'Best Battles in New Comics' is back! We took last week off because of the holiday, but hopefully today's edition will make up for that and then some. First, we have a glorious looking battle between two of DC's most iconic characters and an immensely powerful cosmic villain. Secondly, you'll get to witness what's without question a very creative battle between Spider-Man and couple of his most dangerous foes. Last but certainly not least, you'll fly to another planet and witness a pair of popular Green Lanterns struggle against overwhelming odds. Once all is said and done, let us know what you think about the fights we've highlighted and be sure to tell us your top three from this week, too.
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. Mongul, Batman (BATMAN/SUPERMAN #6)
It's possible one day Greg Pak asked himself, "How can I guarantee a spot on Comic Vine's Best Battles in New Comics feature?" After thinking it through, he came up with the latest story in BATMAN/SUPERMAN. An out-of-character Superman and Batman at odds with Mongul tossed in the mix? Sounds quite fun and sure enough, it does indeed deserve a spot in the feature.
We all knew the cliffhanger in the last issue wouldn't mean the end of Wayne and sure enough, Batman's back in action soon enough. But before he enters the picture, Superman goes toe-to-toe with the very powerful Mongul. Except based on the events in this comic, you wouldn't really think he's that powerful (despite one caption comparing him to Darkseid) because, after soaking an attack, Superman cuts loose and obliterates the conqueror with one punch.
After BFRing Mongul like a total boss, Superman returns to check on Batman. Seeing as we don't want to completely ruin the story for you, we'll be incredibly vague and just say that not only is the Caped Crusader functional now, but he has a whole plethora of new abilities thanks to what's going on with the villain's plot and Toymaster's desire to control characters. Upon being resurrected, the handful of gamers (who believe they're playing a sophisticated game and not controlling something in the real world) are able to dictate Batman's actions. So why sit through a peaceful cut-scene when they have the Dark Knight lash out at Superman, right? While the two heroes argue and trade blasts, Mongul's attacking a city. Naturally, the two heroes talk it out and head to the destructive scene. As Batman (who can now fly) saves citizens, Superman once again squares off with Mongul. The villain gets a hit in, but ultimately, he's humiliated yet again.
Despite the epic punch, Mongul is by no means down for the count. As the two grapple, the villain's plot takes a massive step forward. We won't give away what happens, but we will tell you it takes a ginormous toll on Bruce. Before you know it, the Dark Knight rudely jumps into the fight between the two heavy hitters and assaults Big Blue. What happens next is beautifully brougt to life by Brett Booth and Andrew Dalhouse.
Awesome splash page, yeah? Now that these two aren't really in control and have their focus set on each other, what's Mongul up to and what exactly are the details of his plan? Go get your hands on this issue to soak in all of the details which we didn't reveal to you.
Spider-Man vs. Venom, Carnage (MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN #3)
Matt Kindt and Marco Rudy's limited series with Spider-Man is easily one of the trippiest books you're going to find. It's not just abstract for the sake of being abstract, though. The premise revolves around Spider-Man being drugged by Arcade and then being thrown into a surreal scenario where he has to battle has absurdly long list of villains. It's only fair that a crazy premise gets crazy visuals. In this latest issue, Spider-Man is unlucky enough to bump into two deadly symbiotes: Venom and Carnage. Just one of them can wreck the wall-crawler in a random encounter, but two at once? Yeah, good luck with that, Spidey.
Kindt compliments Rudy's remarkably imaginative pages by having us jump deep into the hero's mind and experiencing he copes while facing such an terrifying obstacle. Listening to his thoughts as he swiftly maneuvers around the two and lands some hits of his own is a fantastic and absorbing read. But if you know anything about Venom and Carnage, then you know flips and punches won't be nearly enough to save Spider-Man from these two -- their durability against blunt force trauma is topnotch.
Not only does Rudy's art style help drive home the fact the web-head is drugged, but it's also presented in some absolutely stunning page layouts. As you can somewhat see above, that panels on that page are separated by Carnage's twisted face and that's barely scratching the surface of what the issue offers visually. They're seriously creative pages.
How can Spider-Man possibly hope to beat Venom AND Carnage at the same time? Who does he have the misfortune of encountering after that? If you dig these pages, you'll definitely want to pick up this limited-series. Next month features Kraven, so you can bet we're stoked to see how that's handled.
Green Lantern Corps vs. Nol-Anj, Braid Clann (GREEN LANTERN #26)
Hal Jordan and Kilowog come to Dekann to deal with Nol-Anj, but there's one little problem. By "little" we mean the overwhelming number of individuals from the Braid Clann. Despite the Green Lanterns being figures of authority, their enemies have no desire to lay down their arms. Completely surrounded, the two Lanterns are bombarded with projectiles. Luckily for them, they have this thing called Power Rings which not only generate a way to protect them from all of the incoming fire, but also produce a way for them to fight back.
However, there's a bit of a twist with Lanterns in action now. After what went down in Lights Out, using the emotional spectrum now harms the universe because it's draining energy from it. Needless to say, various Lanterns are now being far more conservative with their rings. Against just the Clann, Hal and Kilowog would be victorious after a long battle. But throwing Nol-Anj into the fray? Things get quite unfair for our duo.
The constant onslaught of projectiles is one thing, but the two cosmic heroes realize the hostile Star Sapphire needs to be their primary target. Once she's out of the equation, things will be a lot easier for them. So, with a little bit of teamwork, Kilowog momentarily incapacitates her and Hal swoops in for a punch with a big ol' brass knuckle construct. Unfortunately for him, the Clann has her back and hits him with one heck of a blast. Realizing they're in over their heads, Hal calls for back-up. He doesn't just call in a few allies... he calls in all of the Green Lanterns.
How does the chaos conclude? Is the Clann wiped out as the battle wages on or is an agreement of some kind actually reached? And, most important of all, how does Mogo fit into all of this? Get your Green Lantern on and buy this issue to see everything that goes down.
- Superman vs. Ghost Soldier (ACTION COMICS #26)
- Shredder vs. the Afterlife (TMNT VILLAIN MICRO-SERIES #8)
- Karnak vs. Avengers (INHUMANITY #1)
- Superior Spider-Man vs. Venom (SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #23)
- All of the assorted madness in Earth 2 (EARTH 2 #18)
- Shang Chi vs. Hawkeye (SECRET AVENGERS #12
- DEADPOOL #20 vs. Your brain