Wow, there was a flood of epic battles this week. Not that I'm complaining or anything, but we had a ridiculously tough time narrowing it down to just three highlights. As you'll see, the honorable mentions section is quite packed this week, but we're certain the three we've selected are thoroughly awesome and more than deserving of the focus. Don't forget to chime in with your own top three, too!
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!
Wonder Woman, Orion, War vs. First Born (Wonder Woman #23)
It's time for a big ol' brawl between some formidable powerhouses. Wonder Woman confronts the super-strong First Born, but instead of taking her on, he sends his goons after her. Naturally, they're no match for the Amazon, but there's still a lot of 'em in her way. To even the odds, War calls upon a massive army consisting of warriors throughout all of time on our little planet. As the two sides clash, Orion attempts to go for the big kahuna. Despite landing one helluva first strike, First Born has no problem handling Darkseid's son and makes rather short work of him.
Before the villain can deliver a killing blow, Diana steps up to the plate, prepared for a bloody bout. The iconic character goes full speed ahead, grabbing her foe and taking the two high into the sky. She hits him across the face with a thunderous punch -- one which makes blood spew from his mouth -- but it still isn't enough to put an end to the big man's madness.
Losing control and throwing around fists like a boss still won't faze First Born and it's not long before he turns the tide. The large villain wraps his arms around Wonder Woman and sends the two rocketing back down to Earth... face first. First Born walks away from the staggering crash landing. Wonder Woman? Well, the impact has her down for the count... for now, at least. The powerful antagonist then sets his sights on Hera and grabs her by the throat. War, however, is able to divert the terrible man's attention with a bullet to the man's head and so begins a battle between finesse and raw might.
War is now at First Born's mercy and Wonder Woman is still reeling from that slam. What will happen next? You didn't honestly think we'd ruin it for you, did you? Go get that issue, Viners, and thank us later.
Batman, Nightwing, Damian vs. The Heretic (Batman & Nightwing #23)
Batman's five stages of grief comes to an end. What started with a powerful silent issue wraps up with an explosive yet gripping issue filled with emotion. Bruce is trying to prove he could have saved his son on that terrible day by enduring a simulation over and over (dubbed Internet 3.0 Resurrection Program). Thus far, he hasn't been able to save his son and the best case scenario was a blast which killed him, Damian and Heretic. However, Dick Grayson agrees to jump into the virtual reality with him and the two are able to assault the lumbering enemy before things go downhill for Robin.
Now that Batman and Nightwing are in the picture, Damian is saved from an absolutely brutal onslaught of attacks. But for how long? Can these two change his fate now that they're in the fight at this critical moment? They're sure as Hell going to try and they unleash viciously against Talia al Ghul's beastly ally.
The trio of heroes continues to struggle with the ginormous brute. To make matters even more difficult, they're attempting to dispatch the numerous gunmen surrounding them, too. There was a reason Bruce has been unable to successfully end this simulation, after all. Unfortunately, one of the said gunmen has a RPG and the blast drops the Dark Knight. As if things couldn't get any worse, The Heretic pins Damian to the ground by impaling his cape. The fiend readies his sword, prepared to deliver the killing blow on the child. Concurrently, Batman throws Nightwing a spear. Who strikes first? Let's take a look.
The five stages of grief definitely hit some speed bumps, but it ends on quite a strong note that's sure to make some tears flow. Plus, more art from Patrick Gleason is ALWAYS a good thing (as seen above).
Superman vs. Captain Atom (Injustice: Gods Among Us #32)
The last chapter of Injustice concluded with Superman holding a seemingly defeated Captain Atom by the throat. This was certainly a disappointing cliffhanger for fans of the character, but this issue makes up for that and then some. Tom Taylor writes a gloriously epic brawl between these heavy hitters and the art team (Jheremy Raapack, David Lopez and Santi Casas) bring the cinematic smackdown to life with exceptional talent. Prepare your eyes for awesomeness.
Atom reveals he's been playing possum, hoping Superman would do the right thing. But upon seeing Clark's gloves are off, he throws the first attack and Clark goes FLYING (as seen above). Atom flies after Kal and hits him with an absurdly strong punch, savagely sending Big Blue back to the surface. The Man of Steel's impact creates quite a crater, but he quickly recovers and gives Captain Atom a taste of his own blunt-force medicine.
That's quite a hit from Supes, right? In spite of it being such a devastating attack, it's not nearly enough to keep Batman's ally on the ground. In fact, all it does it make Captain Atom come back with a right hook of his own. Unfortunately for Superman, it's way more effective. So effective that its "KOOM" warrants two extra letters. That's quite a wallop, folks, and the art team does a killer job with the splash page.
Superman goes down from the punch, but what happens next? Well, I suppose you'll just have to buy the digital comic to find out! Seriously, it's totally worth the whopping $0.99 price tag.
Honorable Mentions (...so yeah, there's quite a few this week)
- Dark Leo vs. Karai (TMNT Villain Micro-Series #: Karai)
- Aric vs. Eternal Warrior (X-O Manowar #16)
- Venom / Mania vs. Lord Ogre's hired forces (Venom #39)
- Superman vs. Mongul (Adventures of Superman #17)
- Arsenal vs. League of Assassins (Red Hood and the Outlaws #23)
- Superman vs. Wraith (Superman Unchained #3)
- Justice Leaguer free-for-all (Justice League Dark #23)
- TMNT vs. Snakeweed (TMNT Animated Adventures #2)
- Relic vs. Lanterns & Guardians (Green Lantern: New Guardians #23)
- Hulk vs. Dinosaurs (Indestructible Hulk #12)
- Jennifer Blood vs. FBI (Jennifer Blood #30)
- Batman & Nightwing #23 vs. our feels