Prepare for greatness, action junkies. Plenty of cool brawls took place in this week's new comics, but after much consideration, we've narrowed it down to our three favorites. First, Captain America and Falcon will fight to save people from a powerful killer who's armed with a mini-gun. Then, we'll witness the fun return of everyone's favorite Blue Elf in a swashbuckling battle. Last and absolutely not least, we'll head to the skies and watch Spider-Man take on a trio of his infamous villains while trapped in a plane. Each of these fights have their own qualities which make them more than worthy of highlighting, but keep in mind we're only showing you bits and pieces of each one. This means if you want to enjoy everything that goes down, you'll just have to go buy the comics. Sure, you can just ask a friend about what happens, but why not actually support what you love and experience it for yourself?
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!
Captain America/Falcon vs. Nuke (CAPTAIN AMERICA #13)
When America needed a hero, Captain America was born. But what if the super-soldier experiment went wrong? Frank Simpson aka Nuke would be the end result of that and he's a mentally unstable killing machine. Extremely durable and full of rage, Daredevil once had to completely unleash against the character just to survive and even his nerve strikes were entirely ineffective. So, how will Steve Rogers fare against this mass-murderer? Well, he kicks things off with a bang: a shield smash to the face.
Nuke once again shows off his durability because, that soaring shield to the face? Yeah, he's perfectly cool after it. Steve follows through with a punch across Simpson's face, but if a shield smash directly on that deranged face of his won't do it, a punch certainly won't, either. Cap's had his turn to dish out some attacks -- now it's Nuke's turn. Let's just say Captain America has seen better days.
Falcon doesn't handle any better and promptly gets smacked by the massive mini-gun Frank's holding. Now that the two heroes are down, Nuke continues his vicious slaughter of everyone and everything in the nation of Nrosvekistan. Thousands have already been killed and now Rogers and Sam Wilson are desperately trying to make sure Nuke can't continue this killing-spree. Unfortunately, as the two Avengers are down, Frank kills even more men and eventually throws explosives at another group. Falcon swoops in, hoping to save the targets, but Frank makes him slam on the breaks with a barrage of bullets.
Do the explosives take any more lives and does Nuke's rampage continue? How do Cap and Falcon hope to stop the madman? You'll definitely want to read this issue to see much more of the fight and all of the emotion Rick Remender put into it.
Speaking of super-soldiers gone wrong, what ever happened to Protocide? Bring the guy back, Marvel!
X-Men vs. Azazel/Pirates (AMAZING X-MEN #1)
Eternal happiness in a gorgeous land? Yeah, many people would be thrilled to be in heaven, but Nightcrawler is clearly yearning for his old life. It's a total coincidence that as he elaborates about this a bunch of crazy pirates go on the assault and give the character a chance to remember what his old life was like. We haven't seen the Blue Elf in action for quite some time, so it's a real treat as Jason Aaron makes the X-Man go all out with his teleporting.
These sword-wielding enemies may look intimidating, but against Nightcrawler they're complete chumps. Also, they made one big mistake: they basically handed Kurt's favorite weapon over to him. He won't slice and dice anyone due to his morals, but he has no problem smacking them around with the weapon's handle and, man, it sure looks like it hurts.
Those goons were a piece of cake, but now it's time to see who was leading them. Much to our surprise, it's Kurt's father, Azazel. Even if Mr. Wagner isn't one of your top X-Men, there's just no denying how fun it is to watch him BAMF around in a brawl. It's mostly a stalemate against his dear old dad, but then Kurt lands a solid hit to the chin. It doesn't knock Azazel out or anything, but still, it's pretty rad.
Does the Blue Elf ultimately defeat the Red Elf? How does this link back to the X-Men? Well, you'll just have to read AMAZING X-MEN #1 to find out, won't you? It's the return of Nightcrawler, after all! Do you really need another reason?
Spider-Man vs. Shocker/Sandman/Hydro-Man (MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN #2)
You're going to have a bad day if you're forced to fight Shocker, Hydro-Man and Sandman all at once. But drugged and confined in an airplane? You're going to have a really bad day. Despite looking spiffy in a whole new attire, Spider-Man makes short work of Herman Schultz aka Shocker with just one clean punch. One threat down (with basically no energy wasted), two to go.
Fun fact: Shocker's actually not a chump every now and then. Even though he's an ordinary human, his costume produces a vibro-shield strong enough to soak hits from even Spider-Man. Heck, one time he created a suit so powerful that Spider-Man couldn't win and survived out of sheer luck. Unfortunately for Herman, his new attire doesn't seem all that effective and one punch later, he's entirely out of the picture. Sandman and Hydro-Man, on the other hand, won't be so simple to defeat. Sandman doesn't hold back at all in this gauntlet and begins to suffocate the wall-crawler.
Parker usually needs to think outside the box to beat Sandman. He's a powerful enemy, but he's overconfident, has a blatant weakness or two and isn't all that tactical. Parker often takes advantage of this, but trapped in an airplane, what can he hope to do? Well, writer Matt Kindt has a unique solution to this: he punches the villain in the groin. Yes, Sandman is defeated via a punch to his nether regions. Who knew he even had that when in sand form, right? Two down, but Hydro-Man still remains. Unfortunately for the web-slinger, Hydro-Man's attack is relentless and brutal. Instead of attempting to drown or smack him around with waves, the fiend begins to drain all of the water out of his body. Yeesh.
So, how does Spider-Man get out of this one? You should know by now we're not going to tell you, silly. Kindt's creating an enjoyable gauntlet, but Marco Rudy's art really is something else, isn't it? It's totally out there, fully immersing us in the crazy and twisted scenario Spidey's currently stuck in. You'll most certainly want to pick this one up to appreciate all of the pages.
- Green Arrow/Batman/Diggle vs. Killer Moth (GREEN ARROW #25)
- Ultraman vs. Black Adam (FOREVER EVIL #3)
- Superman/Wraith vs. Drones (SUPERMAN UNCHAINED #4)
- Hal/Kilowog vs Nol-Anj (GREEN LANTERN #25)
- Superman vs. Metallo (ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #28)
- Swamp Thing vs. Seeder (SWAMPTHING #25)
- Superman vs. Doctor Fate (EARTH 2 #17)
- Batman vs. "Nightwing" (BATMAN/SUPERMAN #5)
- Luke Fox vs. Muggers (BATWING #25)
- Superman vs. a hurricane (ACTION COMICS #25)
- ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #28 vs. My heart