It's Friday, action junkies, and what better way to celebrate than checking out some of the best brawls in this week's new comics? We could spend some time babbling and teasing each one we're going to highlight, or we can just jump right into it. Seems safe to assume you're cool with the latter, yeah? Great, let's go.
"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 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.
FOREVER EVIL #5
On one side, we have Giganta, Blockbuster, Deathstroke, Copperhead and Shadow-Thief. On the other, there's Captain Cold, Lex Luthor, Black Manta, Black Adam, Bizarro, Catwoman and, of course, Batman. To top it all off, there's also Sinestro chasing Power Ring down in the sewers. Juggling a fight with this many characters certainly isn't an easy chore, but Geoff Johns manages to fill it with a few highlights. Odds are you've seen the preview (no? check it out here), so we'll skip what occurs in the opening three pages and leap right into what goes down next. If it was presented in bigger panels, the melee between Giganta and Black Adam would definitely have been highlighted, but unfortunately, it wasn't so instead we'll just quickly tell you what happens. First, Giganta lays into Shazam's enemy with two enormous punches. Catwoman then distracts the giant villain, giving Black Adam a moment to recover and then knock the super-sized baddie of the building with a wallop. Johns and David Finch then cut to what's going on between Captain Cold and Shadow-Thief. Spoiler alert: it's not looking promising for Leonard Snart, but it's a good thing for him that he's not alone in this fight.
Batman continues to assault Copperhead with his fists and feet, and Slade's able to sneak up on Lex, but what about that cosmic fight? Power Ring stops cowering in fear and brings the battle to Thaal Sinestro. The two blast each other around a little bit, but it's not long before the fight is cut short and a winner is clearly determined. We obviously won't show you how it ends, but here, enjoy a little bit of the two smashing one another into walls and such.
To talk about what happens next would dive into some major spoilers, so let's just say there's some shooting and a character or two meet an unfortunate fate, okay? Even after all of the bloodshed, Blockbuster is still standing and he leaps at one of the "good guys." Luckily for said character, Bizarro has his back and the odd version of the Man of Steel makes the brute say "hello" to the ground with his face.
This is where we usually tease about how the fight possibly ends and what goes on beyond that, but come on, we're talking about the latest issue in DC's big event. You're going to read it anyway, yes?
MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN #5
Peter Parker's latest limited series (by Matt Kindt and Marco Rudy) has forced him to endure a completely ridiculous and beyond difficult gauntlet. We've seen duke it out with most of his major villains and, five issues later, he's finally in the home stretch. Sure, he's battered, bruised and beyond tired, but he's certain the Kingpin is behind the crazy scenario and nothing will stop him from getting some revenge... not even a hallway of countless villains. Typeface is in the mix, so don't place your bets on Spidey yet!
Damn, that's a lot of fighting. After facing the likes of Venom, Carnage, Sandman, Kraven, Lizard and more, you really didn't think of flood of lesser-knowns would stop Pete, did you? Sure, the all-powerful Stilt-Man was in there, but odds are he was under the weather or something on that day if Parker could make it past him so easily. At any rate, after the hero flips, punches and kicks his way through the sea of enemies, he finally reaches Wilson Fisk. We wont spoil the specific plot details behind this scene, but needless to say, Spider-Man's pissed off and wants to turn the villain into a punching bag.
The wall-crawler has every right to pummel Fisk into oblivion after what he's put Pete through, but can we take a second or two to praise the beyond detailed and eye-popping artwork by Marco Rudy and Val Staples? Each page has a totally unique style and layout, keeping the book refreshing with every single new panel. It's a crazy amount of detail and effort on their part and it's definitely impressive. At any rate, the slugfest between Pete and Wilson continues, and if you know even just the basics about these two characters, then it should be clear who has the edge. As big and as intimidating as Fisk may be, Parker's simply faster, stronger, more agile and has better reflexes. Peter should have this in the bag unless some other factor happens to come into play...
So, does this mini-series conclude with Spider-Man going all Back in Black on Kingpin or does Kindt find another way to wrap up the book? We won't really spoil it here, but let's just say the writer leaves us on a surprisingly positive note.
FOREVER EVIL: ARKHAM WAR #5
For the past few issues, Bane has been absolutely obliterating team Arkham's forces in this mini-series. Seriously, it's been a total stomp and nothing has slowed down the venom-enhanced villain and his army from Blackgate. However, Scarecrow has recently acquired a wild card which he hopes will even the odds: a squad of Talons. After a little bit of brainwashing, these lethal combatants are sent out to teach Bane's army a lesson. Blackgate's forces are well trained and willing to die for Bane, but they get totally decimated by these assassins with healing factors. It reaches a point where you almost feel bad for them. Almost.
Bane's goons get sliced apart with ease, but he won't be so easily defeated. The big dude's sporting a spiffy new armor (okay, it's basically high tech Batman cosplay) and even without it, his pain tolerance is crazy high. Even though he's outnumbered in this war, he has no problem ripping into any Talon unfortunate enough to cross his path. One gets close and is able to slash Bane across the face twice. So how does the large villain respond? He hits the guy with a freaking fire hydrant then drowns the Talon in the geyser of water. Brutal stuff.
Despite being a street level powerhouse in The New 52 -- the guy has undergone an impressive physical upgrade -- he's still against overwhelming odds. One on one, Bane can demolish a Talon, but with so many stabbing and slashing him, the damage beings to add up and even he can only take so much of it. It definitely seems as though Bane's arrogance got the better of him in this encounter.
Does Bane go all cliche on them and just break one back after another? Does he call in a "Banemobile" for assistance? The guy needs help and what happens next is vicious and honestly kind of awesome. Plus, there's a tease for the next development in the war, and that's sure to be even more fun.
- Captain America, Bucky, Jim Hammond vs. Tanalth (ALL-NEW INVADERS #2)
- Green Arrow, Robert Queen, Shado vs. Kodiak (GREEN ARROW #28)
- Batman, Poison Ivy vs. Killer Croc (DETECTIVE COMICS #28)
- Deadpool vs. Blade (DEADPOOL: THE GAUNTLET #5)
- Oliver Queen vs. Robert Queen (GREEN ARROW #28)
- Black Widow vs. Prison Guards (BLACK WIDOW #3)