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Best Battles in New Comics: 07/12/13

This week, we feature awesome fights from JUSTICE LEAGUE, INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK, and WOLVERINE: JAPAN'S MOST WANTED.

It's time for another dose of 'Best Battles!' If there's one thing these three featured fights have in common, it's excellent artwork for our eyes to enjoy. This week, we have a quick fight between two heroes who could level buildings with their fists, an agile good guy trying to dodge a powerful brute, and the return of a classic rivalry between two brutal fighters.

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. Shazam (JUSTICE LEAGUE #22)

The beginning of Trinity War is finally here and it kicks off with a brief yet oh-so-awesome slugfest between Shazam and Superman. You see, Billy Batson was just trying to do the right thing when he flew to Kahndaq -- he simply wanted to put Black Adam's ashes to rest in the villain's homeland. The nation's government, however, didn't take too kindly to him crossing into its territory and opened fire on the new hero. Before Billy could retaliate, Superman sent him soaring with a super-fast and super-strong punch. Despite Superman saying there's no need to fight, Billy didn't react to kindly to being struck by the powerhouse. What happens next is fantastic.

It's official: Clark hates people who smile. Guess that explains why he always teams up with Batman.

Being new to his powers and all, you can understand the surprising amount of joy Billy has when he discovers he has what it takes to send Superman -- yes, Superman -- flying with a punch (that page also makes you smile, right?). Unfortunately for him, the power trip goes straight to his head and makes the mistake of trash talking Superman while punching him in the face. Unwise move, child. Billy soon discovers the Man of Steel has been holding back and he's then struck by an absolutely tremendous punch from Clark.

To see Superman being himself, read INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US or watch 'Man of Steel.' (Calm down)

Most of you probably know what happens next to really set off Trinity War, but in the event some of you out there still have no idea, I'll spare you the details. Besides, it's one of those things you need to read for yourself, because if you hear it from someone else, odds are you'll overreact without having all of the facts.

So, something rather terrible happens when the Justice League of America confronts the Justice League after the little brawl between Clark and Billy. But what follows is far from terrible. In fact, it's glorious and that's thanks to Ivan Reis' amazing panel below.

As the great Stephen Chow once said, "Wow, that's a big fist!"

And if you are upset by what occurred: come on. Writer Geoff Johns drops about three lines or so informing you there's much more to the situation than meets the eye. Have patience, friends.

Hulk & Daredevil vs. Baron Zemo / Hydra (INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #10)

When you think of an awesome team-up, Daredevil and Hulk doesn't immediately come to mind, does it? Well, the INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK story 'Blind Rage' proves they're an incredible duo and even makes me wish Marvel would green light a HULK & DAREDEVIL book under this creative team. Matteo Scalera and Val Staples turn writer Mark Waid's tight script into a beautifully cinematic and visceral experience that you simply have to check out. Don't believe me? Just gaze at the following page and let all of its glory sink in.

When it comes to trash talking, Baron Zemo > Daredevil.

Now that I'm done praising the creative team, I'll let you know what's going on in these stellar pages. Baron Zemo is attempting to set up a high tech armory right in Hell's Kitchen and naturally, Daredevil and Hulk don't take too kindly to that. If you're wondering why they're together in the first place, please do yourself a favor and read INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #9 -- you can thank me later. Hulk already withstood the power of a gun designed to rewrite his molecules, but he's not so lucky when Baron uses a gun which is designed to blind everyone it hits. As expected, Daredevil is perfectly fine, but now we're dealing with a blind and unhappy (not to mention not too bright) Hulk in a warehouse full of high tech weaponry. Need I remind you it's in a highly populated section of Manhattan, too? Daredevil has to stop the brute from flailing and destroying everything around him, so he picks up one of the sonic guns and hopes for the best. Unfortunately for him, it doesn't work.

After this, I'd be all for an issue consisting entirely of Daredevil trying to elude Hulk.

The brawl eventually smashes out of the building and into the streets of Hell's Kitchen. With no idea how to stop the Green Goliath (something tells me his baton won't suffice), Daredevil chats with Maria Hill and Bruce Banner's partners via an emergency device he has on him (thanks to his time with the Avengers). The team suggests he needs to change the sonic gun to a certain frequency, but due to his radar sense, he can't spot the important markings on the advanced weapon and just hopes for the best. Again, no such luck.

I had to crop the final panel in there because... well, just look at it!

Remember when I said I was done praising the creative team? I lied. Seriously, take a moment and look at the above page again. The art team absolutely kills it when it comes to delivering frenetic action and Waid's script is as sharp as ever. How does it end, you ask? I'm not going to tell you! Buy the issue if you want to know -- it's well worth your cash.

Wolverine vs. The Hand & Sabretooth (WOLVERINE: JAPAN'S MOST WANTED #1)

Look away, Wolverine fans, because this isn't a flattering showing for your favorite X-Man. The first digital issue of Logan's thirteen chapter series came out this week, and while it was a tad light on plot, it made up for that with a whole lot of action and solid visuals. The story literally begins with Wolverine in the middle of fighting a large swarm of Hand Ninjas. While this shouldn't be too troubling for him, it's proving more difficult than usual (though we still don't know why that is) and, as you can see from the panel below, one Hand Ninja even has the chance to burrow his sai deep into Wolverine's shoulder.

I love Wolverine's facial expression as he's being stabbed. "The hell?"

At this point, the fight has been going for hours and Wolverine needs to get away from the army of melee-wielding ninjas he's facing on a rooftop. So, he leaps off of the rooftop, successfully crossing the width of the street many floors below him and goes crashing into a skyscraper. Wolverine then almost makes it to an elevator before SHUNK! No dice, Wolvy.

Hawkeye trains Hand Ninjas in his free time.

When Howlett finally wakes up, he's in the elevator shaft and abruptly becomes covered in gasoline. As Logan looks up, he sees none other than Victor Creed aka Sabretooth standing in one of the entrances. The brutal villain lights a match and lets it falls near the X-Man, setting the area on fire. Creed jumps down and begins to claw away at the hero. Sabretooth gets a good hit or two in but it's not long before Wolverine lands a hit of his own and then escapes the elevator shaft.

Hey look, a recent panel of Sabretooth being not totally useless!

Honestly, it's kind of disappointing to see Wolverine giving such a lackluster performance as a combatant, but I'll give the series the benefit of the doubt and assume an answer will be provided for that in due time. After all, Creed even remarks that a couple dozen ninjas used to be easy for Wolverine. But for now, I'm cool with enjoying this really crisp and vivid action.

Honorable Mentions

  • Death vs. New Shanghai Troops (East of West)
  • Apex vs. Nico (Avengers Arena)
  • Suicide Squad vs. Anarchist Group & Giant Creature (Suicide Squad)
  • Spider-Man vs. Smythe (Superior Spider-Man)
  • TMNT vs. the Military (TMNT: New Adventures)
  • Barney Barton vs. Tracksuit Bros (Hawkeye)
  • Batman vs. Red Hood Gang (Batman)
  • Michonne vs. Zombies (The Walking Dead)
  • Superman vs. a the Apollodorus(Superman Unchained)
  • Savage Dragon vs. Inmates (Savage Dragon)
  • Anderson Lake vs. Inmates/Security (Ghosted)
  • Superman vs. Flash *in a game of chess* (Injustice: Gods Among Us)
  • Batman & Robin vs. Catwoman & Goon (Batman '66)
There you have it, Viners. What were your 3 favorite fights?

Don't forget to make nominations every week in the official thread or tell Gregg via Twitter.

60 Comments Refresh
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Posted by Yung ANcient One

Always love your weekly/monthly series katz

Thanks for covering the spoiler fight. I shouldn't have looked at it but oh well. Can't wait for Avengers Arena volume 2 no matter what everyone says. ( + )

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Nice. Liked the Wolverine vs The Hand fight scans. The arrow shot just blew me. lol.

Edited by Wolverine08

It was cool watching Shazam beat up Superman, Hulk and Daredevil are a great fighting team, but Wolverine can't have showings like that. Fights like that promote the streotype that Wolverine doesn't know how to fight (even though he's rated as a 7/7 by Marvel, and is arguably the best fighter in Marvel.)

Posted by The Stegman

I love that Shazam! is just ignoring WW in his fight with Superman.

Posted by FlashDamn


Edited by Lvenger

Despite the iffy event that took place, Superman showing Shazam who's boss was impressive. Wolverine seems to be having an off fighting day lol. Nice picks this week!

Posted by ManofIron11

I hope Superman kicks MM ass.

Posted by cameron83

Loved the JL fight. I especially loved the DD one and Wolverine

Posted by TheIncredibleSuperHulk8642

Superman owning Shazam ahhhh I loved that scene. the Hulk,DD team up was awesome. and that Wolverine comic look's good is it any good?

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Wait.... Black Adams dead?

Posted by TheIncredibleSuperHulk8642

@jonny_anonymous: He died in Justice League issue 21 but he's going to be back for villains month and that whole Forever Evil crossover.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
Edited by longbowhunter

Haven't read Hulk yet, but anytime Matteo Scalera is handling pencils I know the action is going to be awesome. The Billy and Supes fight was great too.

Edited by mightypug78

the last one looked a little boring

Posted by TheIncredibleSuperHulk8642
Edited by deathmedal

It would be cool to see an unrestrained superman vs a SHAZAM that has full control over his powers.

Edited by sinestro_GL

Always a fan of superman vs Captain Marvel

Posted by jwalser3

Is the Wolverine digital canon?

Posted by Saren

@jwalser3 said:

Is the Wolverine digital canon?

According to the solicit, yes.

Moderator Online
Edited by G_Money_Christmas

Man, I want to pick up Hulk 9-10, but it's not on my regular pull list so it'll have to wait a couple weeks. I just hope my LCS still has copies of both.

Posted by CRTrobinson

Anyone else sick of seeing wolverine get whooped in almost every single appearance? I think it is getting old.

Posted by Wolverine08


Yes, I hate it. It just helps fuel the stereotype that Wolverine can't fight (even though he is arguably the best fighter in the Marvel U)

Posted by k4tzm4n

@lvenger: Thanks!


Thanks for the kind words, man!

It was cool watching Shazam beat up Superman, Hulk and Daredevil are a great fighting team, but Wolverine can't have showings like that. Fights like that promote the streotype that Wolverine doesn't know how to fight (even though he's rated as a 7/7 by Marvel, and is arguably the best fighter in Marvel.)

There's clearly more to it. As I said in the feature, Creed even remarks that Logan isn't up to par. I really hope Aaron explains why in the next chapter.

Posted by medulaoblaganda

@crtrobinson: have not been following wolverines comic, do they really whoop is ass currently, because i saw superior spider man whooping is ass pretty easily. wolverine couldn't even touch him. shame on wolverine, but i will blame the writer behind wolverines ongoing series. haha

Posted by LifePool

How is Secret Avengers not here? That fight scene with Tasky was awesome!

Posted by Nahuel

Aaaaaaaaaaah... Cannot wait til justice League 22 comes to my country!!!

Posted by Trodorne

@k4tzm4n: id also like to mention exihibit A:

This arrow should be hitting adamantium spine and should not even be going a couple of centimetres deep.

but I realized outside of this, we could technically kill wolverine by removing his head.

Posted by medulaoblaganda

the wolverine i know is arguably one of the best fighter in marvel, and i want that wolverine back. not the wolverine they usually beat up all the time.

Posted by Wolverine08

the wolverine i know is arguably one of the best fighter in marvel, and i want that wolverine back. not the wolverine they usually beat up all the time.


Edited by k4tzm4n

@wolverine08: Did you read the issue or my description? Creed even remarks Logan is off his game, so I'm hoping Aaron explains why in the next chapter.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Supes vs. Shazam was pretty awesome!

Posted by Wolverine08


I understand what you mean about Logan being tired and off his game, but writers really have to start showing his fighting skills more.

Edited by comicace3

I hated how Wonder Woman came into the fight.

Posted by StMichalofWilson

Nice choices! Really awesome!

Posted by MartianManhunterIsBetterThanCyborg

Martian Manhunter has become a beast.

Posted by New_World_Order

@wolverine08: Wolverine is not known for his fighting skills, but for his anger, undestrucable claws, and insane healing factor. Wolverine barely gets written with much skill anyways for the last decade, he just has little exceptions here and there. Yes he does have skill, but you're not going to see a lot of it, due to his nature.

Posted by New_World_Order

How did Black Adam die?

Posted by Wolverine08


But it has been stated in multiple comics that Wolverine is a prodigious fighter. Writers are getting to hung up on Logan's healing factor and forgetting his other skills.

Posted by New_World_Order
Posted by anthonygiu

I am looking forward to the rest of the Trinity War. I just read Justice League #22

Posted by noj

@thundergodswrath: in Justice League 21 Billy goaded him into saying Shazam thus reverting him back to his natural age turning him to dust. he's probably not actually dead though.

Posted by New_World_Order
Posted by Queso6p4

Nice choices and your captions are great as usual.

Edited by Skyfire

Don't really like how Superman just bullrushed Billy. Unless I'm missing something Superman wouldn't have known he could handle a blow like that.

Posted by noj

@skyfire: Well there are 3 explanations that came to mind for me. The first is that Superman is obviously under some sorta outside influence so that could explain his rush. 2nd he saw a situation where he believed that Shazam would attack the army of Khandaq thus making things much worse so he didn't have a choice but to take him out of the situation. Finally and most logically Imo is that Superman knew he could take the hit because the League has files on Shazam. They were obviously aware who he was when Batman informed Superman about the situation and they were shown earlier having extensive files on the worlds heroes when they were looking to expand the League.

Posted by Cavemold

E ast of west should of made the list besixes HM

Posted by ThreadPool

Super powered beings pummeling each other in a comic book featuring Superman?!

Shh... Don't tell some of the reviewers that hated Man of Steel.

Edited by laabitres

avengers arena battle and the superman shazam battle were so epic

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