2230: Versus Bracket
Title text: Some works didn't make the cut; in "Ecks vs. Sever" vs. the passage of time, the latter seems to have won pretty decisively.
This comic shows a tournament bracket in which the initial matches represent works of fiction or non-fiction with "versus" (represented as versus, vs., v, etc) in their names (e.g. Batman is initially matched against Superman in reference to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). The list includes 13 movies, 2 video games, and one television episode. The works referenced are:
---> *WARNING* Spoiler Alerts Below *WARNING* <---
- Kramer vs. Kramer, a 1979 legal drama about a couple (the Kramers) divorcing. Winner: Kramer (Joanna Kramer wins custody of her son in court, but chooses not to take custody of him as he has mostly been raised by his father).
- Ford v Ferrari, a 2019 film (released Nov 15, the weekend before this comic strip was released) about the two auto builders competing to win the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Winner: Ford
- The People vs. Larry Flynt, a 1996 documentary film about the life of Larry Flynt, creator of adult magazine Hustler. Depicted in the film is the Supreme Court case Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, which Hustler magazine (and Flynt) won. Winner: Larry Flynt
- Joe Versus the Volcano, a 1990 romantic comedy about a man, Joe, who offers to throw himself into a volcano on behalf of superstitious natives. Joe survives when the volcano erupts and blows him into the ocean. Winner: Volcano
- King Kong vs. Godzilla, a 1962 film pitting the two titular monsters against each other. There is a persistent myth that the Japanese and American cuts of the film have different winners but it is false. At the end of the film, only Kong swims away from an underwater battle. Winner: King Kong
- Freddy vs. Jason, a 2003 slasher film combining the universes of A Nightmare on Elm Street and the Friday the 13th series. Winner: Jason, although Freddy's severed head winks and laughs at the end of the movie.
- Dracula vs. Frankenstein, a 1971 horror film. Winner: none (both monsters kill each other)
- Alien vs. Predator, a 2004 film in the shared universe of Alien and Predator series. The tagline for the film was "Whoever wins...we lose." Winner: Predator, although an Alien chestburster does emerge from the Predator's chest at the end of the film.
- Marvel vs. Capcom, a video game fighting game series combining the Marvel Universe and characters from Capcom. Winner: none (players can choose and achieve victory with characters from either franchise)
- Marge vs. the Monorail, a 1993 episode of The Simpsons, where Marge leads a campaign against a monorail project in Springfield. This is often considered one of the best Simpsons episodes of all time. Winner: Marge
- Justice League vs. Teen Titans, a 2016 direct-to-video animated superhero film. The Justice League and Teen Titans are both superhero teams and usually are on the same side, but in this film, the Justice League are possessed by demons and forced to fight the Titans. The Teen Titans defeat Superman to free him from possession and turn the tide against the rest of the League and defeat the demons. Winner: Teen Titans
- Asterix Versus Caesar, a 1985 animated film and a film adaptation of the Asterix comic book series. Winner: Asterix
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a 2016 superhero film in which Lex Luthor manipulates Batman and Superman into fighting each other. Batman is on the verge of killing Superman when he realizes Lex Luthor's manipulation. They decide to end their hostilities toward each other. Lex Luthor releases Doomsday, and Superman sacrifices himself to defeat him. Winner: Batman.
- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a 2010 film based on the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel. Scott Pilgrim does not fight against the entire world; rather, he fights Ramona Flowers's Seven Evil Exes so that he can be her boyfriend. Winner: Scott Pilgrim
- Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus, a 2009 monster film. Winner: none (both monsters kill each other)
- Plants vs. Zombies, a 2009 tower defense and strategy video game. The player commands an army of plants who defend their home against the zombie apocalypse. Winner: Plants, assuming the player wins.
Assuming the tournament bracket reflects the results of each original work, the second round would result as follows:
|• Kramer vs. Ford - a newly-single mother against an automotive company.||• Marge vs. ___ - an American housewife against any possible representative from a superhero comics continuity or a company known for its action games.|
|• Larry Flynt vs. Volcano - the creator of a magazine against a natural rock formation spewing lava.||• Teen Titans vs. Asterix - a young superhero team against a Gaul warrior with a magic potion of super strength.|
|• King Kong vs. Jason - a giant gorilla against an ambiguously-human serial killer.||• Batman vs. Scott Pilgrim - a billionaire-turned-vigilante against an ambiguously superpowered teenager.|
|• Predator vs. (bye) - the Predator has no opponent, advances to the next round unopposed.||• Plants vs. (bye) - the plants have no opponent, advance to the next round unopposed.|
The title text refers to the 2002 action film Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, which is qualified to be in this tournament by virtue of having the word "vs." in its title, but as the film is regarded as one of the worst movies ever made, it has been defeated in a pre-entry match vs. "the passage of time" - it is thus not considered worthy of entry in the tournament.
Tournament brackets is a recurring subject on xkcd, most recently used in 2131: Emojidome and 2037: Supreme Court Bracket. The latter is especially similar to this comic, considering that it also extends normal "versus" situations to a second round. The first bracket comic, 1529: Bracket, prompted people to create a series of polls to determine the end results, much like Randall later did himself with Emojidome. Randall even made a reference to one of those polls in the xkcd Header text.
- [A tournament bracket tree is shown with 16 participants each on the left and right side. From both sides toward the middle the brackets reduce to eight, then four, two, and one line where the latter join to a rectangle in the middle.]
- [Left side:]
- Kramer - Kramer
- Ford - Ferrari
- The People - Larry Flint
- Joe - The Volcano
- King Kong - Godzilla
- Freddy - Jason
- Dracula - Frankenstein
- Alien - Predator
- [Right side:]
- Marvel - Capcom
- Marge - The Monorail
- Justice League - Teen Titans
- Asterix - Caesar
- Batman - Superman
- Scott Pilgrim - The World
- Mega Shark - Giant Octopus
- Plants - Zombies
- The same Twitter account that covered a previous XKCD bracket over three years ago, @xkcdbracket, was back to determine the winner of this one by public vote. The Volcano defeated Asterix in the final.
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