DC brought the pain this week! The publisher absolutely dominated when it came to action scenes and because of that, we're giving it all three spots in the latest edition of 'Best Battles in New Comics.' That said, the other publishers certainly had some enjoyable material and the "honorable mentions" is packed.
Did your favorite melee not get a mention? Well, it's possible we didn't read that issue, so be sure to make suggestions in the official Best Battles Discussion Thread from now on. We review that before writing this weekly feature and do our best to get our hands on the issues suggested!
Superman vs. Kalibak
In case you haven't been following along, the Injustice universe is all about Superman eventually ruling the world as an evil dictator (who thinks he's doing the right thing, but yeah... he totally isn't). To be fair, though, it took one helluva tragedy to set him on this path. You see, Joker abducted Lois and to make matters worse, she was pregnant with Clark's child. Superman eventually finds out where Joker is hiding but then, OH NO! DOOMSDAY! Superman doesn't have time for the villain's nonsense, so he flies him into orbit to get rid of him. However, along the way, his allies make a terrible discovery: that's not Doomsday. Superman was breathing in a new kind of fear gas (laced with kryptonite) and that person he grabbed and flew up into orbit? Well, it was Lois. To make matters even more absurdly tragic, the Joker connected a device to Lois' heart and once it stopped beating, it detonated a nuke in Metropolis. Yeah... so, in one moment, Clark lost the love of his life, his unborn child, and the city he has grown to call home (and not to mention everyone in it).
So, it's understandable a tragedy of this magnitude could make anyone -- even the Man of Steel -- lose their cool when they're confronted with the villain behind all of this. In one swift motion, Superman put his hand through Joker's chest. Now the Joker's blood is literally on his hands and he's overcome with guilt, feeling like the blood of Lois, his unborn child, and every victim in the tragedy is on his hands, too. Because of that, he vowed to use his powers to make the world a safer place. He's done some pretty drastic things since then, but he hasn't taken another life since Joker's. We're all caught up now, right? Great. Moving on.
Fast forward around twenty chapters or so and now Kalibak and a slew of Parademons are invading the planet and killing innocents. This is only a tad awkward because it comes as Superman is delivering a global speech about how he's here to help and he just wants to save lives. Kalibak then hits Superman with a blast. Big mistake, guy. The Man of Steel responds with an uppercut almost on par with his power move in the video game. Kalibak goes soaring into the sky and smashes through the wing of a large plane. Instead of stopping to save the now plummeting plane, Clark barks at Wonder Woman to save it because he still has his sights on Kalibak.
As Wonder Woman attempts to slow down the large passenger plane, Superman tags Kalibak yet again and the villain comes crashing back down to Earth. Meanwhile, boom tubes are opening in heavily populated cities and Parademons are opening fire on ordinary people. Superman demands for Kalibak to cease the attack, but the foe from Apokolips calls his bluff and says, "Or what?" The truth is Superman has no immediate answer to this. Sure, he's done some fairly extreme things thus far, but in this moment he appears to be at a loss. Then Kalibak opens a tube right behind him and a massive group of Parademons emerge. As they begin to pile on Kal-El and Kalibak holds him down, we see the hero can hear the screams of everyone dying across the globe. Innocent adults and children being slaughtered and technically, he has the power to stop it. Kalibak then points out he's "failing" them. Biiiiig mistake, man.
All of those Parademons who jumped on Superman? Yeah, bad choice. Superman decides it's time to stop holding back and his eyes turn vibrant. Then, the pile is gone in a mere moment as he unleashes a blast of heat vision which would make even Cyclops exclaim, "DAYUMN!" Kalibak's forces are reduced to skeletons in one move and now we wait until Tuesday to see what'll happen next. My guess? Kalibak is screwed.
Also, I think this is the moment that'll put Superman on the fast-track to becoming the version we saw in the video game. You know, the disagree-with-me-and-I-heat-vision-your-face version of Superman.
Wonder Woman vs. First Born
I'm not going to lie, I'm a bit out of my comfort zone with this one. When it comes to WONDER WOMAN, I'm only on the first arc. It's nothing against the series, it's just I can only follow so many comics, you know? But when numerous people suggest a fight, I try my best to check it out and see if it's worthy of the segment. And the brawl in WONDER WOMAN #21? It totally is. It was a terrible jumping on point for someone like me, but I still thought it was quite a solid issue. Therefore, I can only imagine the current fans really dug it. Anyway, Lennox and First Born are having a bit of a pissing contest and then the villain crosses the line and smacks his mother. Wonder Woman won't stand for this nonsense and she swoops into action, dishing out one heck of a punch. First Born isn't fazed by it, though, and he essentially swats her out of the way. Before First Born can follow through, Lennox smashes a poll on his head. Sadly, this didn't faze him either and he slugs Lennox across the face, cracking his cheek. Diana then rushes him and pulls off the following (and oh-so amazing) throw.
The duo proceeds to beatdown First Born. They actually pummel him to the point where a cloud of dust forms from the strikes. But still, it's not nearly enough to keep the big guy down. The fiend not only gets up, but he also grabs both of them by the throat and brutally smashes their faces into the ground. 'A' for effort, I suppose.
BOOM! A CHALLENGER APPEARS! A tube pops up and Orion jumps into the fray, making First Born taste the bottom of his boot with a kick to the face. Things go really well at first for the New God as he goes pro wrestler on the villain, kneeing him in the gut and following-up with a DDT ("THE CROWD GOES WILD!"). Orion then plays it particularly dirty and attempts to gouge First Born's eyes, but the powerful enemy lands a strike, sending the New God flying away. Before we know it, the duo are grappling again, but Wonder Woman comes in and saves the day with a super mighty punch.
What happens next is pretty neat, so there's no way I'm going to spoil it for you.
Strix and Batgirl vs. Calvin Rose
Now that Calvin Rose is being blackmailed by the Court of Owls, they've sent him on his fist mission: kill Mary Turner aka Strix, a fellow talon. Strix is in a weakened state after an encounter with Mr. Freeze (you remember talons are weak to low temperatures, yes?), but she's not alone. Batgirl has her back and engages Calvin in a melee. She immediately notices the talon is holding back and we're treated to an amusing back and forth.
Even though he's clearly restraining himself, Calvin still manages to find a way to remove Barbara from the fight. Remember that time The Incredibles taught us capes are stupid? It's a shame the Bat-family never watched that film because Calvin uses Batgirl's cape against her. Once she's caught in an awkward position, he kicks her down the stairs and slams the door shut. It's an embarrassing loss for Gordon, but at least she isn't hurt, right? Now it's time for Strix vs. Calvin and before things can really get going, she tackles him off the freaking rooftop. Strix wakes up first and holds her blade to Calvin's neck but she instead opts to spare his life and bolts. Naturally, Talon wakes up shortly after and is hot on her trail. Before we know it, the two are locked in combat again and Calvin notices she's not not as fast or agile as her file stated (again, thanks to Mr. Freeze).
Calvin eventually comes to the realization that he's there for a reason and, if he's going to end it, he might as well make it swift. The character stops holding back and with two skilled motions he manages to drop the Court's latest target. In spite of the Court blackmailing him, Calvin decides he just can't do it. He sees the scars on Mary's face and realizes he can't bring himself to kill her.
What happens next is shocking. Strix KILLS Calvin. I mean, the poor guy just had his neck snapped by Bane and now this? Or, they have a mutual understanding and decide to team-up and bring the fight to the Court. Spoiler alert: it's the latter. Regardless, this will continue in TALON and the team-up should hopefully be a fun one to observe. Especially if Bane is involved because Bane is great. That's a fact and definitely not an opinion.
- Batwoman vs. Killer Croc
- Batman / Batgirl vs. Goons
- Superior Spider-Man vs. Scorpion, Vulture & Boomerang
- Bloodshot vs. Kuretich's forces
- Hulk vs. Super duper awesome gun
- Avengers vs. Ultron
- Splinter vs. Old Hob (pre-mutation)
- Supergirl vs. Crix
- Vibe vs. Suicide Squad
- Superman's uppercut vs. travelers' safety
- Age of Ultron vs. our expectations
- Hugo Strange vs. Having an important role