Friday is finally here! For action fans, that can mean only one thing: a new edition of Best Battles in New Comics! The staff has discussed all of the brawls that went down in the latest issues and we've narrowed it down to our three favorites. First up, we have a flying slugfest between four heavy hitters from the DC universe. After that, you'll travel back down to the surface and witness the Ninja Turtles fight for their lives against a new mutant and Foot assassins. Last but most definitely not least, Batman is forced to face Doctor Death as he tries to put an end to the Riddler's latest plan. Now, I'm sure some of you are wondering why Deadpool's epic street brawl in DEADPOOL #25 didn't make the cut. Well, truth be told, I thought it was a total blast (you can read the review here) and didn't want to spoil any of the fun for you. Plus, since we only do a top three list, we thought the ones we've selected may offer a little more variety.
"Hey, why isn't a fight I love being highlighted and/or listed in the honorable mentions? What gives?!" It's possible we didn't read that issue (A LOT come out each week, after all), or we didn't dig it as much. So, be sure to make suggestions in the official Best Battles Discussion Thread from now on to put this stuff on our radar. We review that before writing this weekly feature and do our best to get our hands on the issues suggested.
SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #6
Round 1 of Superman and Wonder Woman versus Zod and Faora didn't go so well for the Justice Leaguers. Yes, Wonder Woman was a total boss, but Superman definitely wasn't pulling his weight and was obviously as the weak link in that brawl. They agreed to go their separate ways instead of making the violence go any further, but seeing as Zod plans to open up the Phantom Zone and do something all kinds of diabolical with it, you can bet the two heroes aren't going to just sit around and twiddle their thumbs. To tilt the odds in their favor in the upcoming rematch, Clark and Diana visit Hephaestus. Not only does he give them an invisible jet (which the duo promptly uses to blast Zod), but he also arms them with a new armor. Round 2... fight!
As the Amazon dukes it out with Faora, Kal-El approaches Zod and demands to know what his plans are. The former resident of the Phantom Zone has no problem spilling the beans and then lands three super-strong strikes before the Man of Steel even has a chance to defend himself. Talking won't resolve anything at this point, so the two heroes continue to play Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots with their Kryptonian enemies. Fists, feet and even foreheads fly viciously at their targets.
All those punches, kicks and headbutts to faces are just a small sample of what's right around the corner. In this issue, writer Charles Soule and artist Tony S. Daniel dedicate an entire page to getting up close and personal with every strike and heat vision blast. I noticed some people were mixed on this decision in the review's comments, but honestly, I dug it. It allowed you to really hone in on each attack and appreciate the speed and force behind the superhuman hits.
"Wait, why are they wearing that armor?" It's rude to interrupt like that, but it is good question, reader! Soule soon reveals why they're wearing the new duds and, even after that, the conflict is hardly over. SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN is quickly becoming my go-to source for popcorn entertainment. No matter how you feel about the relationship between the two iconic characters, I think many of us can agree that the book is very pleasing to the eyes and quite a lot of fun.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #32
After City Fall, the team is taking some much-needed time to recover in Northampton. However, that period of rest and reflection is about to reach a very abrupt end. In the last cliffhanger, the new mutant, Koya, and a new class of Foot ninjas (dubbed "Foot Assassins") made their violent debut. The villains dish into the team and this forces Leonardo to equip his blades and finally put his blue mask back on. Leo's been uncertain of where he belongs after what happened with Shredder back in the Big Apple, but this solidifies it: he belongs right there with his father and brothers! You just messed with the wrong family, Koya. There's no room for cowabungas in this brawl, people... it's just straight forward melee action for basically the whole issue.
As Leonardo and Splinter continue to battle against Koya (there's a very solid use of ninja stars, too), Mikey and Donatello hold their own against the three Foot assassins. Watching these two fight is always a joy and this scene is most definitely no exception. Meanwhile, Raphael continues to believe Alopex is working with the Foot, but it's soon revealed that she's been honest this entire time and truly isn't allied with them anymore (want the full details? Buy the book). Now realizing that he doesn't have to chase down and interrogate Alopex, Raphael enters the barn to assist his brothers. And now that it's three on three, the Heroes in a Half Shell have no real problem overcoming these goons.
Not sure if you noticed, but artist Ross Campbell and colorist Ronda Pattison's work is a real delight. Prior to this issue, this was an incredibly engrossing character-driven story that they brought to life beautifully, issue after issue. They created page after page of calming images that would drain you of all your empathy, but now they're getting a chance to fully unleash, and man, it looks great, doesn't it? Not only do the characters look wonderfully unique, but I'm also a huge fan of the raw energy behind each and every attack. Anyway, let's dive back into the match. The assassins are now down, but Koya, who's a much bigger threat than the assassins, is still standing strong.
How do the turtles overcome this new mutant? We won't spoil it for you, but I can pretty much guarantee it'll make you want to cheer out loud. It's a hugely satisfying and very entertaining way to conclude the fight, that's for sure.
The Riddler is prepared to take control of Gotham, and a weather balloon is instrumental in his plan. Batman has been able to get on the floating object and aims to destroy the villain's plan with a jammer. It's just too bad a little and oh-so-pretty obstacle is standing in his way: Doctor Death. The last time these two encountered, Doctor Death almost crushed his skull and killed him. Despite that, the Dark Knight tries to solve this confrontation with his words, but the scientist won't hear it continues to attack the hero. Batman's able to save himself from the villain's sharp fingers for a little bit, but eventually, his luck runs out.
See that red object flying away from Batman? Yeah, that's the jammer, the one thing that can apparently prevent Nigma's sinister plan from unfolding. The item slides towards the edge of the weather balloon and Batman lunges for it. Unfortunately for the Caped Crusader, the disfigured foe gets a hold of him and the jammer -- the one thing that can save Gotham -- falls off the balloon. Doctor Death, you just upset Batman, and that's not a very wise move. One ticket to combo city, please.
As cool as that assault was, let's take a minute to give some massive praise to artist Greg Capullo and colorist FCO Plascencia. The vivid sky, the eye-popping lightning, the impressive character work... it's all so good, isn't it? And the funny part is we're not even showing you some of the most jaw dropping moments in the issue, either. There's one splash page that's going to blow you away -- it's a smile inducing reference to a little Batman story you might have heard of. Anyway, after that display of hand-to-hand awesomeness, Bruce Wayne tries to see if there's another way he can foil Riddler's plan, but in doing so, he gave Doctor Death too much time to recover.
Look, this is usually where we try to tease you about what'll happen next and all that but, come on, it's the conclusion of Dark City and it leads into Savage City. Sure, the price tag is a little intimidating, but it's an oversized issue and astonishingly cinematic. If you like Batman -- and somehow I suspect many of you do -- then you should be reading this volume.
- Deadpool vs. Crossbones (DEADPOOL #25)
- Hawkeye, Black Widow, Spider-Woman vs. A.I.M. goons (SECRET AVENGERS #1 )
- Gladiator vs. X-Men/GotG (ALL-NEW X-MEN #24)
- Nightwing vs. Zsasz (NIGHTWING #29)
- Boomerang vs. Bullseye (SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #9)
- Black Widow vs. Molot (BLACK WIDOW #4)
- Ninjak vs. Everyone in his path (UNITY #5)
- X-Factor vs. Danger (ALL-NEW X-FACTOR #4)
- Stargirl vs. Despero (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #13)
- Hawkdog (or "Steve") vs. Mister Sun (HAWKEYE #17)
That's it for this week, friends! What are your top three fights from this latest round of new comics? Also, don't forget to make nominations every week in the official thread or tell Gregg via Twitter. See you next Friday. Oh, have a good weekend, too!