Hey there, Comic Viners, and welcome to the latest edition of 'Best Battles.' As you probably know by now, this is where we pick our 3 favorite fights in the latest comics and show off why they were super awesome. This week we have the Ninja Turtles in a desperate situation, two enemies are forced to team-up and Cheshire reveals how The New 52 has changed way more than just her attire. Don't forget to chime in with your own top 3 in the comments below!
*WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!*
TMNT & Casey Jones vs. Shredder & The Foot Clan (TMNT #22)
Rember that time I warned you about spoilers? You know, like two spaces or so up? Well, that applies big time here. So, if you don't want the intro chapter of 'City Fall' spoiled for you, you need to make a run for it right now.
The Turtles' first big event kicks off with Raphael and Casey Jones getting ambushed by a really, really, reaaaaally big crowd of Foot Clan ninjas. Usually the heroes can make short work of them, but this is two versus a ridiculous number of enemies. Shortly after the brawl begins, Casey takes a hit to the neck and goes down for the count. This distracts Raph, and despite all of his rage, he's quickly subdued when the ninjas basically dog pile on him. Not exactly an ideal start for our protagonists.
The two are held captive but Raph manages to break free in an awesome escape sequence. Naturally, he manages to grab his sais as he bolts. While Casey is still in the enemy's possession, Raph did manage to overhear where the Foot was heading. Outraged and overwhelmed with a sense of urgency, the red turtle brings this news to his brothers and they set off to rescue their pal. However, Splinter and Leonardo are no fools and obviously fear it could be a trap, so they decided to scout the area and observe before jumping into action. They do eventually find Casey being held by Alopex and Karai, but before they can form a plan, Shredder enters the scene. Fully aware they're being watched by the heroes in a half shell, Shredder decides to make the first move... and it's an unfortunate one for Casey, to say the least.
Raph was already livid, but seeing his friend get impaled? The dude goes into overdrive and leads the assault. Shredder, Karai and Alopex aren't alone, though. Plenty of ninjas appear and the turtles and Splinter quickly begin to go to town on them. In spite of being outnumbered, a few of the good guys manage to pull Casey away from the battle and bring him to the van. The group realizes he needs medical attention immediately and begin to fall back in order to save their buddy. However, this is all part of Shredder's plan. You see, he never cared about Casey... this entire show was just to get Leo within his grasp, and when the group flees to help Casey, Leonardo takes a hit and goes down for the count. Upon making it to the van, the turtles realize they left Leo behind. Seeing as Casey is in beyond urgent need of a doctor, they realize they have to make the impossible choice and leave their brother behind. This issue has taught us two things. One: Shredder's a jerk. And two: this is just the beginning of Dark Leo! Will Shredder brainwash Leo to legitimately stand by his side or is Leo merely playing along? Only time will tell.
Will Casey survive? It seems so based on the dialogue, but hey, it's possible they'll shock us, too. All I know is I cannot wait for TMNT #23 to finally come out. One thing's for sure, though... 'City Fall' is off to a great start.
Venom & Toxin vs. Symbiote Slayers (VENOM #35)
After months and months of tension, Eddie Brock finally seeks to end his rivalry with Flash Thompson and confronts him in the school. Brock doesn't tell him to meet him at the flag pole after class or anything like that, he just gets straight down to business and says this fight is going down now whether Flash likes it or not, and because of that, he better opt to go outside with him. Brock may be a villain, but he has no desire to hurt innocent kids, after all. Before the argument reaches "come at me, bro!" levels, a rude group of symbiote slayers invade the building. Since they're outnumbered, the two symbiotes agree to an uneasy alliance. Toxin rushes them first and while he is certainly a powerhouse, it's not long before he starts getting ripped to shreds. It's a great moment as Flash watches and realizes he could literally do nothing and all of his problems with Brock would be over. But no, Flash is a better dude than that, and that's why I've grown to love him so much over the months. Eventually, Flash becomes Eddie's knight in slimy black armor.
They may be called symbiote slayers and look all kinds of fierce, but let's be real, not a whole lot is going to stop the combined forces of Toxin and Venom. As expected, the enemies are eventually ripped to pieces in a horrific fashion. And while it's something we've seen so many times before, it never truly gets old thanks to Declan Shalvey's art. I swear, Marvel created the man in a lab just so he could one day illustrate a Venom title and, you know what? It paid off because the dude can draw symbiotes like no other.
What makes things especially interesting is how this all wraps up. Prior to being Toxin's host, Eddie Brock was dead set on killing symbiotes. No matter how good the person was, Brock wanted them dead. He thinks no one can truly keep control as a host and is destined to do terrible things. Seeing as he's Venom's ex, it's only natural he holds the most hostility towards that specific symbiote. He's wanted to kill Venom and Flash this entire time, but witnessing Flash act as a hero and protect children when their lives were in danger gave the man an epiphany: maybe Flash can control it and help the city... at least for now. He basically let him off the hook, but says he'll be watching... and when Flash does lose it, he'll be there to put him down. Yes, it's a stark contrast to his mindset up until that point, but it's a change of heart that I really dig.
Besides, maybe this can open the door to a Toxin title? Assuming it's not rehashing Brock's old stories, of course.
Red Hood, Arsenal, Green Arrow & Starfire vs. Cheshire (RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS ANNUAL #1)
Cheshire stole the show in this issue. The lethal assassin has a complete makeover in the New 52, but so much more than her costume has been altered. Pre-Flashpoint, she was just very skilled and loved using poisons. Now, she can teleport. That's right, the scary and deadly assassin can now teleport. As you can imagine, this makes her a much bigger threat and she promptly humiliates both Roy and Ollie with zero difficulty.
Pre-Flashpoint this would be a pretty unfair fight. Sure, Cheshire's very good, but against the combined forces of Green Arrow, Arsenal and Jason Todd? It would be game over, man. But now that she can hop around like Kurt Wagner and easily evade projectiles, the fight becomes totally one-sided. It's so easy for her that she essentially toys with them the entire time, both physically and verbally. Honestly, I thought her banter was the most entertaining part of the annual!
It's clear Cheshire's having fun messing around with the group, but soon enough she realizes she's here for a mission and gets her head back in the game. Thanks to her power, getting close and sinking her poison-laced nails into Roy's neck wasn't much of a hassle at all. While Ollie tries to help him, Cheshire sets her sights back on the real target: Jason Todd. Unfortunately, he doesn't put up much of a fight... like, at all. She defeats him just as easily as she did the others, but before she can go for a seemingly lethal strike, Starfire enters the fray and the the alien powerhouse tackles the assassin out of the base. She carries the villain over the ocean but Cheshire promptly blinds Kori and vanishes.
If they made Cheshire this formidable, I can only imagine how insanely dangerous Bronze Tiger will be in the upcoming issues.
- Captain America vs. Jet (Captain America #7)
- Hulk / Thor vs. Frost Giants (Indestructible Hulk #8)
- JLA vs. Shaggy Man (JLA #4)
- Gambit vs. War Machine (Gambit #13)
- Principal O vs. The Nurse (Five Weapons #4)
- Hunters Vs Vampires (Grimm Fairy Tales: Unleashed #2)
- Knights Vs Cindy and Monsters (Realm Knights One-Shot)