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DC, MARVEL FANS AWAIT BATTLES BETWEEN SUPERHEROES, DO-GOODERS

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These battles will be unparalleled in comic book history - DC Comics superheroes against Marvel Comics' superpowered do-gooders.

Not until issue No. 3 (due out Feb. 20) will the title bouts take place. Readers got to vote at comic-book stores to determine the outcomes of five special fights.In preliminary issues of the "DC Comics vs. Marvel" miniseries, other heroes (and a few villains) duke it out, and the editors of the two comic book companies determined who would win those battles.

Likely, the preliminary bouts will end up with the companies in a tie. Readers will break that deadlock.

Marvel Comics has more readers and has to be the favorite. However, here's a look at the matchups in the title battles - with predictions:

Superman (DC) vs. The Incredible Hulk (Marvel):

The Hulk has the weight advantage, 1,150 pounds to 225, but that's not likely to mean much against the Man of Steel.

We're talking about the popularity of the the Man of Krypton, who has had numerous TV shows and movies vs. the green-skinned behemoth who has only had a single TV series.

Besides, Superman can fly, has many other powers and recently even defeated death.

The current Hulk is no longer the savage monster that gets stronger the madder he gets, since Dr. Bruce Banner's mind is control.

The winner, by votes and strength: Superman.

Batman (DC) vs. Captain America (Marvel):

Once again, we're talking about loads of popularity vs. very little.

Batman has had a TV show, cartoons and has starred in three blockbuster movies. Captain America has tried a couple of movies but failed to attract many viewers.

Captain America does have an indestructible shield and may be stronger than Batman, but is he smarter or more cunning? No way.

Batman recently recovered from a serious back injury and has returned better than ever. He'll find a way to overcome the Captain's shield and superior strength.

Winner: Batman.

Superboy (DC) vs. Spider-Man (Marvel):

The Boy of Steel is stronger, faster and can fly, but it is Spider-Man's experience that'll pull this out.

Besides, Superboy is an imperfect clone of Superman, created after his temporary death. Superboy is not nearly as strong, fast or invulnerable as the Man of Steel, either. He's also cocky and overconfident.

"Superboy" has been unable to sustain a constant running comic book over the years and his fame has been fleeting. The Wall-Crawler will pull this one out for sure. Spider-Man knows how to handle clones.

Winner: Spider-Man.

Storm (Marvel) vs. Wonder Woman (DC):

Wonder Woman is older but hasn't had her own TV series for 20 years. She's stronger than Storm, but she relies on updrafts and the wind to fly.

Who can control the wind and weather? Storm can. She could keep Wonder Woman away and win without hardly touching the Amazon. Wonder Woman can deflect bullets with her magic bracelets, but lightning? Forget it.

Storm is a relatively new hero, and given her popularity with the X-Men and her own, new comic book, she'll be impossible to stop.

The Winner: Storm.

Lobo (DC) vs. Wolverine (Marvel):

Lobo is a relatively new creation in the comic books. He just loves to brawl and isn't particularly intelligent. He has gone head-to-head with Superman, but his superior strength and tougher skin isn't going to stop Wolverine, who will smell his opponent coming.

Wolverine, also an X-Man character, is strong, tough and doesn't quit. He seems to have a cunning of an animal and he has those foot-long claws made of Adamantine metal that's almost indestructible. Lobo may be immortal, but that doesn't mean unbeatable too.

The winner: Wolverine.

These title bouts mean Marvel heroes will come out on top, 3-2.