Hey there and welcome to the latest edition of 'Best Battles.' Every Friday, we flip through our pile of new comics and choose our three favorite action scenes that went down. This week, we've decided to feature a high-speed encounter, a superhuman back and forth in the rainy streets of Houston and a large dose of madness from DC's latest big event.
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!
The Flash vs. Reverse Flash
Who's the speed force killer and what's their deal? Barry Allen still has no idea, but we're in no rush to find out if it means a brawl between two speedsters which lasts pretty much the entire issue. That's right, Viners, THE FLASH #23 is basically Flash and Reverse Flash beating one another to a pulp until the villain's identity is finally revealed in the conclusion. There's a lot of running and punching on the horizon, but Brian Buccellato opens the issue with savage kick to the face.
Francis Manapul is without question one of the most creative artists to grace DC's catalog of comics. Every issue of THE FLASH has a wonderfully inventive introduction and, as you can tell from the above image, issue #23 is certainly no exception.
You didn't expect a kick to the face to end this fight, did you? Of course not. The two continue to duke it out as Darwin Elias shoots at them to no avail. The two smash around Elias' lab for a bit and the Justice Leaguer lands an awesome punch. Before Flash can get any answers about the man he's facing, Reverse Flash tackles him through the wall and the fight goes tumbling into the city.
Barry realizes he has to take the fight out of the city to protect the crowded streets from the fast-paced punchfest, so he sets off and naturally, the villain follows. Instead of slowing down the pace of the fight, Manapul delivers the intensity of the greater picture and gives glimpses of the chaos taking place in the dust trail. We love those big splash pages highlighting one hit, but this was a great way to convey the intensity of a race between these two and capture key moments.
To say what happens next would spoil the fun, so if you want to see what goes down when this fight comes to an end and get all of the answers, we strongly recommend picking up the issue.
Kaine vs. Ben Reilly (aka Kraven)
It's Scarlet Spider vs. Scarlet Spider! Ben Reilly appears in Houston, and considering his rocky history (that's putting it lightly) with Kaine, he's looking to get some payback. And by "get some payback" I mean "pummel Kaine into oblivion." An emotional and brutal encounter like this deserves a fitting atmosphere, so of course the brawl happens when there's a massive thunderstorm going on. Kaine fans, you may want to close your eyes.
Kaine's going through a lot at the moment, so you can't really blame the dude for trying to get away from the blue hoodied man who's punching and kicking him with no mercy. However, Kaine can't run forever and it's not long before Reilly catches up and says "hello" with some impact webbing to the face. The attacker then follows up with a beyond vicious volley of strikes. Man, Kaine just can't catch a break, can he?
Kaine realizes he can't keep running from the past and finally recognizes that yes, he's been doing his best to be a decent fellow for some time now. The last thing he needs at the moment is a guilt trip from Reilly, so the clone decides to stop taking it and start dishing it out. After one hell of a tackle, the two trade blows and clearly, a determined Kaine is something very few street levelers can overcome.
Reilly's finally down, but not out. What occurs next? Do they talk it out and web swing around Houston for a team-up? Does Reilly get super emo and flee? Is it even the original Ben Reilly?! If you want to find out these answers (and enjoy the entire issue in all of its glory), then you should go buy it right now. Seriously, it's a great jumping on point and the book could really use the sales. It would be a terrible shame to see it get canceled.
Everyone vs. Everyone (Justice League #23)
If you've been keeping current with DC news, there's about a zero percent chance you don't know who pops up at the end of this event. That said, reaching that conclusion has a nice twist or two along the way and some superb artwork to compliment Geoff Johns' story. But, before the issue hits us with some reveals, there's a big ol' brawl between all of the Justice Leaguers from the three different teams.
The glorious splash page above takes place after Simon Baz grips Batman with a construct. Baz says he isn't afraid of the Dark Knight, and in response, Bruce hits him with a projectile which appears to be acid. Immediately after that, Superman decides to join the fray with an epic pillar smash of epicness (epic is the word of the day, by the way). From there, we get a glimpse of assorted battles with the likes of Deadman, Shazam, and more.
When it comes to Aquaman vs. Martian Manhunter, we all know that's a fight J'onn is going to take. It doesn't matter which character you like more, the Martian has a more than transparent edge power edge. What's particularly funny encounter about this is the fact J'onn doesn't just beat Arthur, he basically humiliates the Atlantean by giving himself an extra (and totally unnecessary edge). Manhunter could beat him in a straight up fight, but instead, the alien catches him off guard by posing as Mera, granting himself a momentary advantage on top of the numerous other ones he has. Aquaman has been kicking a whole lot of butt in the New 52, but this wasn't exactly his best week. No need to feel down, Aquaman fans, because he's still all kinds of cool.
Big Blue sets his sights on the Caped Crusader, but Wonder Woman steps in and stands up to the Man of Steel. The clash between these two titans is so powerful that it sends Bruce smashing into a pillar. So, What happens next with Pandora's Box and how does this lead into Forever Evil? Well, you'll just have to shell out the $3.99 if you want to find out. Sure, you could probably ask anyone and they'll tell ya, but don't you want to experience it for yourself?
- Larfleeze vs. The Wanderer & Laord of the Hunt
- Aquaman, Atlanteans & Topo vs. Scavenger's forces
- Deadpool & Captain America vs. A.I.M. goons
- Cyclops vs. Superior Spider-Man
- Thor's moon scene vs. memories of Superman's moon scene
- Injustice #33 vs. the ability to hold back sadness and/or rage
- TMNT #25 vs. the ability to keep calm