It's Friday and that can mean only one thing here at Comic Vine! No, not the podcast. No, not the best covers this week. Okay, so it turns out there's actually a lot of pretty cool stuff on Comic Vine every Friday, but this is the place where action junkies can feast their eyes on some of the best brawls from the latest issues. Anyway, enough with the babbling, let's jump right into it.
"Hey, why isn't a fight I love being highlighted and/or listed in the honorable mentions? What gives?!" Well, it's possible we didn't read that issue (not sure if you noticed, but A LOT come out each week), or we just didn't dig it as much. So, be sure to make suggestions in the official Best Battles Discussion Thread from now on to put this stuff on our radar. We review that before writing this weekly feature and do our best to get our hands on the issues suggested.
Batman vs. McKillen's goons (BATMAN & TWO-FACE #27)
It should come as no surprise that Batman has found himself in the middle of yet another rough spot. BATMAN &
ROBIN TWO-FACE's latest story, The Big Burn, is adding new twists to Harvey Dent's origin story and gives him a very bloody link to the mobster Erin McKillen. Basically, they want to kill each other and poor ol' Wayne's doing everything in his power to prevent anyone from dying. In the beginning of this issue, McKillen's at Two-Face's mercy, but the two were unaware that more gangsters were on the way. One bulletproof bat-cape later and Batman's able to swoop the two away from the gunmen. He also happens to leave a nice little treat for the goons as he takes off.
The boot flashbangs help the trio soar away safely, but it's not long before they find themselves pinned down yet again. If you've been following Batman's life for the past year or so, then you know his son was killed (apologies to the five or so people who have somehow eluded this development) and Peter J. Tomasi's previous arc had Wayne going through the five stages of grief. Well, all those memories still linger with him -- and understandable so -- and he channels that into some very efficient shooting. Don't worry, they're obviously non-lethal darts. He's not going Man of Steel on us or anything (oh, settle down).
What's also pretty great is the way the above scene is laid out on the page. You can't see it, but key moments from the five stages of grief stoyline frame those panels. It's a nice way to take us down memory lane and help connect with what Batman's going through. Anyhow, the trio is able to escape, but one wiseguy brought a rocket launcher to the party. You know, a party where their objective was to capture someone alive. Go figure. Needless to say, it doesn't end well for the three.
So, what happens post-explosion of doom? Well, you'll just have to read the issue to find out. Since this segment's only two days after new comics, we try to avoid spoiling endings and all that. Seriously though, these last two issues of The Big Burn have been quite good, so if you're looking for another Batman book, give this one a chance.
Black Widow vs. Iron Scorpion (BLACK WIDOW #2)
Natasha Romanova's still trying to make up for her past (as pointed out in Marvel's The Avengers, she's got plenty of red in her ledger) and her latest mission brings her to Shanghai. The mission starts off simple enough: rescue someone's son. It's nothing she hasn't done before, but her sense of familiarity and overconfidence makes her miss some red flags she would have otherwise noticed. After escaping from one trap, she returns to the man she's working for and walks right into another one. We can't get a good look at the individual, but someone's relentlessly swinging a sword at Black Widow. Luckily for the Avenger, she's very agile.
Natasha leaps out the window and makes a not-so-graceful landing on the crowded street. The villain finally emerges from the shadows and now has her at gunpoint. He reveals his name is Iron Scorpion and, just like a true bad guy would, he gets his monologue on. Iron Scorpion explains why he wants to kill Black Widow and he's eventually interrupted by the police. This momentary distraction gives Natasha the chance to draw her firearm, but Iron Scorpion disables the weapon with his blade and then begins to shoot at the authorities. As he takes out the police, Natasha is able to slip behind cover. Sure, she's unarmed while he has a sword and a pistol, but you do know she's an Avenger, right? This guy's obviously good, but I'm putting all of my money on Natasha.
So, why does this dude want her dead? Let's just say if you have a history of killing lots and lots people, odds are you're going to make an enemy or two along the way. It's a really nice way for the book to illustrate her being haunted by her past, coming to terms with it, and, of course, eventually overcome it. And man, she overcomes it in a rather brutal manner in this issue.
Yes, we knew she'd win, but what we're not showing you is what happens immediately after that panel (which is awesome) and how everything wraps up. This new series is off to a very strong start, so if you haven't given it a chance yet, you'll definitely want to pick up these first two issues. You've earned it.
Jim Hammond vs. Tanalth the Pursuer (ALL-NEW INVADERS #1)
Jim Hammond seems to be enjoying laying low and living a standard life in Blaketown, Illinois. He's working as a mechanic and his boss, Roger, tells him to take some time off for lunch. Jim obliges but when he reruns, his boss is dead and a very intimidating looking character (named Tanalth) is standing over the corpse. Unfortunately for the original Human Torch, he happens to possess knowledge that the Kree want, and they're going to get it through any means necessary. So begins the explosive brawl.
The fight spills into the town and Jim does his best to dodge that massive melee weapon while also telling people to run like hell from the area. As the fight progresses, Jim tries to get some answers and you can't blame the guy. If a big and violent alien shows up, kills your boss and then chases you around town, you'd probably want to know what's going on, too. Tanalth reveals she needs some knowledge he possesses and then she blasts him with some kind of advanced pistol. The projectile from the weapon isn't meant to harm Jim, though. Instead, it thrusts Hammond into a moment from his past -- one which he doesn't even seem to recall. But within that moment lies the item the Kree have been searching for and this brief trip to the past has given them the information they require. Now that the Kree warrior has what she came looking for, she plans on killing the android and, just to be safe, the entire town as well.
Hammond's able to save the man and hits Tanalth with a massive wave of fire. She clearly feels the attack, but ultimately, it's not nearly enough to put her down or even slow her down. The evil alien taunts the attack and then sends one back at Hammond. This is no mere wall of flames and the blast of energy hits Hammond with a whole lot of force.
Hammond's certainly powerful, but it's clear he's outclassed in this fight. How does he recover after taking that massive hit? Can he recover? This is the series' debut issue (by James Robinson & Steve Pugh) and we recommend checking it out. Oh, and spoiler alert: it ends with a cliffhanger that's sure to make you pick up the next issue.
- Jason Todd vs. Ra's al Ghul (RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #27)
- Dead End vs. Green Dragon and his gang (BAD ASS #1)
- Gage, Rachael vs. Goons (DEAD BODY ROAD #2)
- Deadpool vs. Minotaur (DEADPOOL: THE GAUNTLET #3)
- INJUSTICE: YEAR TWO #2 vs. Kyle Rayner fans