@ohgodwhy: Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. Everything that has actually been shown so far suggests that Itachi may be able to take EMS Madara; the latter hasn't done anything that would put him above Itachi. Itachi still outclasses Madara in brains and he still has the best susano. Itachi's genjutsu would be a problem for Hashirama I think; Madara has shown a more direct approach with his attacks, attempting to overwhelm his opponents, whereas Itachi, it could be said, is a deadlier opponent, in that he has more attacks that spell insta-win for him: if he catches Hashirama in a genjutsu, it's over, if he hits him at all with his susano, it's over.
I'm sick of people using the current edo Madara to back up their Hashirama = God arguments, I really am. Yes he is mocking them, but his uber respect/hatred/admiration for Hashirama would likely make him biased anyway. He didn't even know the full extent of their power when he said that as well, as shown when he mocked Tsunade yet recognized her skills later when she released her self-regeneration jutsu. Anyway, feats>Madara's word, and the feats are most certainly against Hashirama here.
Yes, Kabuto did ackowledge him as being the strongest of the kages even in his old age. But then Hiruzen himself stated that he doubted anyone in the village could beat Orochimaru. And assuming he was the strongest kage at the time, so what? It could be said that Itachi is superior to any of those kage as well. If you really think an old Hiruzen>Itachi then I think you need to go back and read the series again, especially given that we still haven't seen everything Itachi has to offer.
Most of that first paragraph is just speculation. Nothing that Itachi has done so far suggested that he was more powerful than Madara as far as I can remember. He outclasses him in brains? I don't know where you pulled that out from, Madara is merely playing with the kages because he doesn't consider them competition. He knows they can't hurt him so he's willing to take hits. That was evident when he almost blew up everyone with his metorite attack.
Best susanoo? That's possible, I can't really disagree with that but as we have seen Itachi can't keep his Susanoo up for long as it causes a massive strain on his chakra. Even a healthy Sasuke at the kage summit couldn't keep Susanoo up for long and as we know Itachi was pretty much blind before his death. Madara has his EMS and has been using Susanoo without showing much strain.
Madara hasn't used genjutsu because he hasn't needed to, both have different fighting styles. Once again you're speculating, for all we know Hashirama can fight against genjutsu. Sasuke fought off Tsukiyomi without the MS and it wore Itachi out far too much to even bother trying again.
2nd paragraph starts of with more speculation. You assume he's biased yet there's no evidence. He recognised Tsunade's skill but didn't seem too impressed by it regardless. It's almost like he's nurturing the kages, he could easily kill them if he wanted too. What's to stop him from calling in another meteor or several meteors.
"It could be said that Itachi is superior to any of those kage as well" Possibly but it's not been said and you're just speculating. Itachi said himself that if he fought against Jirayai he would have drawn and there's no way he could have known about Jirayai's sage mode so this is normal Jirayai. Finally his EMS self and Sasuke aren't doing too great against Sage Kabuto either.
I've read the manga plenty of times lol that was a bit uncalled for. If Itachi does use that Izanagi technique then I'm fairly sure it's a suicide move or has a very high cost.
Back to the thread seeing as we've gotten sidetracked. Hashirama was also said to be able to self heal and create near perfect wood clones that fooled all the kages when Madara used the technique. If Itachi gets fooled it's all over. Hashirama can also change the entire battlefield into his own forest and he move around freely within the forest. Madara also released all those spores into the air which knocked out most of the kage and seems to have drained their stamina. We haven't seen hardly any of the 1st's techniques yet but Madara seems to be dominating all 5 of the kages with what techniques we have seen so far and Madara isn't even fighting seriously. He hasn't looked like he's strained so far at all.
I still say Madara's statements still stand. I think Kishi purposely keeps mentioning how powerful Hashirama is because he want's us to appreciate his strength. If Madara's words aren't enough for you then how about Kabuto's. He stated that there weren't any ninja in the current era who could match up to the 1st. You would assume that included Itachi as well seeing as he is recently deceased and is now back in edo form anyway.