By Chase Chapley
A report released today by the Superhuman Bureau of Statistics said that 78% of intra-superhero battles are due to “misunderstandings” among the combatants.
The SBS researched 50 years of intra-superhero battles from all known battles recorded in their archives, which are widely considered to be the most comprehensive data source for superhuman activities in the world. They defined “intra-superhero battles” as “consisting of at least two superheroes,” and they included combatants who have been supervillains in the past or present but were considered superheroes at the time. As for what constituted a “misunderstanding,” that was murkier.
“Generally, a ‘misunderstanding’ as we’ve defined it,” said Jordan States, lead researcher for the report, “is when two or more superheroes fought each other upon their initial meeting and then teamed up to fight a common enemy soon thereafter. We assume, much as the superheroes did, that each side thought the other was working against them. Then, they tussled for a bit before someone asked someone else what was going on.”
“You’d be surprised how many superheroes don’t even bother to ask their fellow heroes what’s going on,” he added.
That number turned out to be 2,403 battles in the past 50 years for about 48 intra-superhero battles per year. (Note: the report did not include sparring matches or training sessions.) The high number didn’t seem to surprise Professor George Quinton, founder of The Quinton School for Young Superheroes.
“Yeah, that makes sense,” he said. “This is a high-adrenaline job, so it makes sense that some people just barge in without thinking. That’s why it’s one of the first lessons I used to teach kids. If you see another superhero, ask first, punch later. After all, it could still be a shapeshifter.”
The report also notes that the rate of intra-superhero battles has decreased in the past ten years. Last year, there were only 32 incidents.
“You only have seconds to make a decision,” said the Muskrat. “Sometimes, you don’t have the intel you need, and you just have to make a gut call. In a perfect world, yeah, we wouldn’t fight our own. It’d save time and energy, but we don’t live in that world.”
“And you never know when it’ll be a damn shapeshifter.”