Oh, this is gonna be epic! Getting right into it…
Ghostface “Yo, man, you’re gonna come up outta that shiny armor, dog! This is Theodore Unit and you’re outta pocket, knahmean?!” Killah
Tony “The ends justify the means and I’ve got enough ends that I can get away with being mean!” Stark
“Wait, this isn’t a comics matchup!”
It is, because this is my site and I say so.
Ghostface Killah is probably unfamiliar to more than a few of you. If I had to describe him in one sentence, that sentence would be “GFK is what James Joyce would be if he rapped.” He’s self-referential, clever, punny, and willing to go on complete stream-of-consciousness tangents during a rhyme, even going so far as to detail what a group of people he’s about to rob are eating and finishing with “My stomach’s growlin’, yo, I want some.”
GFK first rose to fame on Wu-Tang Clan’s first album, “Enter the Wu-Tang.” The first track, “Bring Da Ruckus,” opened with GFK spitting “Ghostface, catch the blast of a hype verse” and capturing the minds of the youth. Years later, his second solo record, “Supreme Clientele,” was credited with both saving the Wu-Tang Clan and his own career. “Supreme Clientele” was an instant classic and gave Ghost a chance to shine and show off his storytelling and abstract skills. You could make a case for Ghost being an abstract rapper, but a better term would probably be “free-association.” His rhymes shift in and out of the topic of the song, but are always related somehow. Think of him in the same way that you think of decompressed storytelling in comics– he adds color commentary and that helps fill in the blanks between what he’s saying.
GFK has in common with Tony Stark is a love of alcohol. He’s even done a St Ide’s commercial. Something else he has is a collection of aliases. Tony Stark (also rendered Tony/Toney Starks), Ironman, Ghostdeini, and plenty of others serve as clever pseudonyms. He’s got as many names as Iron Man has spare armors in his garage.
Tony Stark, Iron Man, on the other hand, is the much maligned victor of the War Between the Heroes. His victory has resulted, directly or indirectly, the death of one of his best friends, the imprisionment of dozens, if not hundreds of his compatriots, and the worst press since Richard Nixon kicked a baby on live television.
He’s a recovering alcoholic, super-rich, and the owner of a gang of armors that have enough firepower to level a third of the free world and all of the rest of it.
Too easy? No contest?
Iron Man is a hardened warrior and the type of guy to shaft his friends in the name of the greater good. GFK is a beloved rapper, smart, and has dropped at least four classic albums and had a hand in two others as part of a larger group. Nobody likes Tony Stark, not even the people who work with him. Everyone likes GFK, even Freddie Foxxx, who hates everybody.
The trick is, Ghostface named himself after Tony Stark. His first album was called “Ironman” for a reason. He grew up on Marvel Comics. He’s a student of Tony Stark, and please believe that he knows all his tricks. This is simply a case of the student going up against the teacher. Ghostface has seen “Demon In a Bottle” and all that.
Tony Stark doesn’t have that advantage. Sitting up in
his ivory tower Stark Tower like he does tends to skew your perspective of the little guy. Ghostface is beneath his notice, literally, which is a mistake.
Tony would try to hot dog this one and take him out solo, leaving SHIELD at home. Show some flash, do a few tricks, and teach the kid a lesson, get him off the streets. Problem is, Tony would catch the blast of a hype verse and get taken by surprise. The pen is, after all, mightier than the sword.
After that, Tony Stark would catch a Kennedy, and that would leave one Iron Man standing in the end.
I’m Iron Man, no die-cast metal, I’m steel alloy
–GFK, “Daytona 500″