Welcome back to 'Best Battles!' Sadly, there wasn't a new edition last week because of San Diego Comic-Con, but hopefully this one helps make up for it. This week, I honestly had a pretty tough time selecting the third choice. The first two are super obvious picks, but as you'll see in the honorable mentions section, there's quite a few fights which could have easily taken the third highlight spot, too. One did involve a swarm of sharks, after all -- there's just no overlooking how rad that is. In the end, I dug these three fights the most and hopefully you'll get a kick out of them as well. Be sure to comment with your three favorite fights when your done reading!
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!
Superior Spider-Man vs. Various Heroes/Avengers/Hyperion (SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM-UP #1)
This issue opens with SpOck assaulting various heroes and we have no idea why. Seriously, the guy just punches Dagger in the face for apparently no reason and that's just the beginning. He keeps having these physical encounters with heroes and we're totally in the dark over why. Superior Otto-Man is a jerk (heck, it says that twice on the opening page), but to randomly attack everyone? That's not exactly his usual strategy. Before we find out, we're treated to a page of SpOck encountering even more heroes and you can't help but want to cheer as Iron Fist's foot crashes into his face. Oh, and this is probably the most Moon Knight you'll see for some time, which is a total shame.
Upon hearing about this, Captain America won't stand for these assaults and he assembles the Avengers. The group encounters Spider-Man and like almost all hero vs. hero situations, attacks are thrown before the misunderstanding can be cleared up. To be fair, this can be credited to Spider-Man's stubborn personality. Had he blurted out his reasoning real fast, maybe they would have been more prone to chat instead of the following.
In Spider-Man's body, Ock has some solid strength, agility and reflexes, but against the Avengers? The dude has no chance and his best bet would be to bolt. Unfortunately for him, that shield toss to the gut gave Hulk and Thor the opportunity to restrain him. After calling everyone idiots, Spider-Man finally explains that he's been going after heroes who have been infected by Carrion. The bad news is the latest hero infected is freaking Hyperion. The powerful Avenger gives the team massive trouble until he does what every stupid villain does: wastes time babbling. That gives Hulk the perfect opportunity to smash. We all know smashing > villainous babbling.
Once down, Spider-Man uses his technology to make Carrion flee Hyperion's body and yay, all is well. It's all sunshine and flowers... or is it? The ending of this issue has me really stoked and I'm excited to see what Christopher Yost has up his sleeve.
Batman vs. Batman & Superman vs. Superman (BATMAN/SUPERMAN #2)
Still not sure about exactly what happened in the last issue's conclusion? No worries, writer Greg Pak spends the introduction of this issue spelling it out for you. Kaiyo the Trickster has transported the past versions of New 52 Batman and Superman over to Earth 2. We've already seen N52 Superman smack around a peaceful E2 Batman, but this issue let's the characters come face-to-face with their alternate reality counter-parts.
As expected, the encounter between two Bruce Waynes consists of fluid strikes and counters. It's a test of skill and mind as the two are on virtually the same page when it comes to recognizing the moves the other throws as they're surrounded by smoke. Jae Lee does a stellar job illustrating this battle and while it's pretty short, it's a real treat and the ending of their melee is priceless.
As expected, it's not long before the two begin to talk it out. After all, having two great detectives continue to use their fists and feet in a scenario like this would be silly. "You're clearly me. I don't know how or why you're here, but let's fight instead of figuring it out!" While they put their brilliant minds to use, New 52 Superman encounters Earth 2 Superman. N52 Superman is a little more hotheaded and not in the best mood after previously dealing with Earth 2 Batman, so he doesn't exactly greet his alternate version of himself with the best manners. Earth 2 Superman opts to meet the rude character with a hilariously powerful shove.
Don't worry, the Kents step in and stop this fight before anyone gets their neck snapped.
Larfleeze vs. Laord of the Hunt (LARFLEEZE #2)
We're just two issues in and I officially adore this book. A fair portion of this series is dedicated to the selfish Orange Lantern battling a massive threat which comes from the other side of the creation point: Laord of the Hunt. Larfleeze displays some huge power as he takes on the gargantuan, but it's not long before his personality puts him at a disadvantage. After disarming their enemy, I imagine most characters would follow through. Larfleeze? He hugs onto the weapon and declares it as his -- it's hilarious stuff.
It's a bright and hectic space battle and that alone warrants recognition in this feature, but what really makes it shine is the writing from J.M. Dematteis and Keith Giffen. From Larfleeze's remarks during the brawl (my favorite one is below) to Stargrave and Lou observing the fight and having such a casual conversation about it, the entire issue is basically one big laugh and a total blast.
Laord's a creature with a sense of honor and relishes the hunt, but eventually, the being decides that it wants to call it wraps. It begins to utilize different technology and even calls in Lou to give a helping hand. It's just too bad Larleeze apparently can't count on Stargrave to have his back in a fight. Then again, he'd probably wouldn't want anyone else taking any of the glory. Regardless, Larfleeze continues to give it his all and the only thing more entertaining than the attacks is the nonstop banter.
Does Larfleeze overcome the odds or does Laord actually emerge victorious? If you really want to know, you should buy this book because it's absolutely worth it.
- Aquaman vs. The Dead King (REALLY wanted to highlight this one but I loved Larfleeze's fight a bit more)
- Scarlet Spider & Wolverine vs. The Red Death
- Talon vs. Wolf-Spider
- Bloodshot vs. The Renegades & Toyo Harada
- Constantine vs. Demon
- Lady Shiva's shurikens vs. Man-Bats' heads
- Spider-Man & his army vs. Shadowland
- Wolverine vs. A razor
- Batman's real name vs. Social media