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Best Battles in New Comics: 3/21/14

Come feast your eyes on awesome action scenes from the latest issues of THUNDERBOLTS, NOVA, and SUPERGIRL.

Hey action junkies, thanks for returning to this weekly segment! Seriously, that's really cool of you and we appreciate it. This Wednesday's new round of comics had a lot of exciting fights to appreciate. In fact, there's so many that the honorable mentions section is the longest it has been in quite some time. The staff has talked about each of these brawls and we've managed to narrow it down to our three favorites. Honestly, it's a good thing you stopped by because there's a pretty solid amount of variety this week's edition. We have a frenetic fight between Venom and the Thunderbolts; two DC titans duking it out; and a lighthearted dose of cosmic fun.

"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.

THUNDERBOLTS #23

The latest issue of Charles Soule's THUNDERBOLTS has a very simple premise: Flash Thompson wants to let the symbiote take over and have the team bring it down. So yeah, it should come as no surprise this issue is making its way into this segment. As Flash allows Venom to take the wheel, the slithery alien immediately eludes the team because, obviously, taking them all on at once is suicide. What follows is Venom essentially singling them out. Think of it like Alien but with a lot of powers and a whole lot of weaponry. And sorry, Deadpool doesn't strip down to his tighty whities for issue's final act. I can't help but wonder how many non-Alien fans are confused by that statement. Anyhow, let's jump back into the fight because... you know, that's why you're in here.

Oddly enough, Venom seeks out the most powerful character on the roster first, Ghost Rider. Honestly, I'm no Ghost Rider expert, but the way Venom gets the better of him seems pretty questionable. Feel free to debate this in the comments, but it seems tough to believe the symbiote's sins are too much for Blaze to handle. But whatever, they had to move the powerhouse out of the way so Venom could proceed and, honestly, the scene at least looks really, really cool.

Venom then goes after Punisher, Elektra, and the Red Leader. As amusing as those segments are, nothing there is really worthy of highlighting (since we only pick 3 images per issue). So, instead of boring you with a play-by-play of everything that went down at that point (buy the issue if you want all of the facts, silly), we'll cut right to the first highlight worthy encounter: Red Hulk. As tough as Venom may be, Thunderbolt Ross simply has him physically outclassed. So instead of sticking around for a slugfest he's very unlikely to win, Venom toys with Ross' head and then escapes to locate his next target.

Flash has tuned himself into an alright dude. Venom, though? Still a total jerk.

As the rest of the team comes up with a plan, we're treated to Deadpool's glorious display of tactics. Basically, Deadpool has a fake Spider-Man located right under a massive vehicle that's being held up by a wire. He'll obviously drop said vehicle when Venom happens to go for the bait -- if he does at all, that is. Unfortunately, this brilliant plan falls apart before Venom even gets there. I mean, it literally falls apart; the cable holding the ship snaps. That's okay, though, because we're treated to a bit of a melee between these two awesome characters. Deadpool somewhat dressed as Spidey vs. Venom. Place your bets! Spoiler alert: considering Deadpool is only sporting two blades, it would be wise to bet for the latter.

More of Kim Jacinto illustrating Venom, please.

Exactly what you'd expect happens next and honestly, we don't want to spoil the fun for you. Artist Kim Jacinto does a killer job illustrating a fully unleashed version of Venom and the conclusion of their fight is equal parts funny and horrific.

Okay, so you remember how Ghost Rider was totally downplayed earlier? Well, Ross and the others have come up with a plan and the Spirit of Vengeance gets to serve as a key part of it. As much as I love Venom, watching Ghost Rider catch him with those vivid chains and then drag him across the floor is just so entertaining.

Yup, that's basically how Ghost Rider vs. Venom should go down.

Venom's certainly a tough combatant, but come on, we're talking about taking on Ghost Rider, Red Hulk, Elektra, Punisher, the Red Leader, and Deadpool at the same time. Needless to say, it's an uphill struggle for him. Throw in the fact the team has now had some prep time and it's safe to say we all know which side is going to win this encounter. But why did Flash Thompson want them to do this and how do the Thunderbolts finally put him down? As always, we won't spoil the conclusion here, so you'll just have to purchase the issue if you want to see how it all unfolds.

SUPERGIRL #29

After a brutal throwdown with Lobo, Supergirl became the newest member of the Red Lantern Corps. Kara Zor-El letting the rage take over is a big dose of terribleness for her friend, Siobhan Smythe. The Kryptonian has lost control and is firing blast after blast at her buddy. Siobhan is barely able to dodge the projectiles and attempts to flee, but when you're facing someone that mighty, you can't really hide from them, can you? Siobhan reaches the hash conclusion that the only way she's going to survive this is if she turns into the Silver Banshee and defend herself with some good ol' fashioned black magic. But in doing so, she fears that she too would lose command of her abilities. Siobhan makes the transformation and, luckily for everyone in the city, she's able to keep keep control of her actions. So begins a battle between two titans that will involve many, many blasts and tremendous punches.

Best game of tag ever?

Seeing as Siobhan is still in control, she realizes that a fight between her and an enraged Kryptonian is going to be a whole lot of bad news for the populated areas around them. However, she doesn't exactly have total control over her powers or even know what their limits are, so simply flying away doesn't appear to be an option at the moment. This is when Silver Banshee decides to be a bit of a team player and lets Siobhan know about one of her abilities: teleportation.

How great would it be to observe this? From a safe distance, of course.

Poof! Concern over the locals is now cast aside as the two abruptly appear one hundred miles away in the Catskill Mountains. As the two continue to unleash incredibly strong punches and blasts, penciller Yildiray Cinar, inker Ray Mccarthy, and colorist Dan Brown make sure the explosive event is every bit as forceful and vibrant as it should be. We are talking about a fight where a character is tackled into the side of a mountain, after all.

Slam of the week. No doubt about it.

Are the two able to talk it out over a cup of tea? Does one of them take one too many super-strong hits and winds up seeing stars? Do the other Red Lanterns show up and make the fight totally unfair? This was just a small sample of the fight, so if you want to experience the whole thing, get your hands on a copy.

NOVA #15

Sam Alexander is trying to hunt down an evil dude named Skaarn, but Sam is a little too late and ends up barely missing the fiend -- by thirty seconds, to be exact. While his target may be out of his reach, three of Skaarn's hired guns are standing right in front of him. Calling themselves the "Disavowed of Galadoria," the trio (Bakin, Nujin, and Klax) was brought in to aid Skaarn on an upcoming heist. The three don't take Nova seriously when they spot him and basically accuse him of cosplaying. Sam quickly shows them it's no mere costume.

Once again, Gerry Duggan proves he can write material that's both hilarious and badass.

Sam had the advantage of a surprise attack, but now the three mercs realize they're dealing with a legitimate threat and not some little Nova fanboy. Bakin tags the teenager with a blast of heat and the hero quickly retaliates by tackling him through a wall. Keep in mind, they're fighting in an intergalactic trading post that's constructed into the noggin of a deceased celestial. So when Sam flies this enemy through a wall, they end up in somewhere.... well, organic.

In an alternate timeline, this moment must have turned them into best fiends, right?

One of the villains admits they wanted to go easy on the kid, but they're through holding back -- I mean, they are fighting a kid. We saw Bakin can generate heat and Nujin was blasted away before he could react, but what can Klax do? It turns out this character actually has a pretty awesome ability. Klax is able to "short-circuit" a character's perception of reality. This gives artist David Baldeon the chance to unleash a few trippy panels (saving those for the people that pick up the issue) and it puts Sam in a rough spot. How does our cosmic hero get out of this, you ask? He fuses their legs together. Yup, he merges their legs. That's gotta suck just a bit, no? At least he's kind enough to take their focus off their newfound problem.

You know it's one hell of a punch when a "SKRABAM" is dropped.

As you can see with that final panel, Nujin's about to reenter the fray. As you can imagine, the foe probably isn't all that happy about getting humiliated right when the fight began. Will Sam also kick Nujin's booty? Will Bakin and Klax's health insurance cover the operation they'll need to debond their legs? Will there be an awesome cliffhanger that promises more Beta Ray Bill goodness? Answer key: maybe, unlikely, and yes! Gerry Duggan's NOVA is good fun, and you enjoy fun, right? Of course you do. Now go give it a chance.

Honorable Mentions

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 us via Twitter (be sure to use #CVBattles). See you next Friday. Oh, have a good weekend, too!

44 Comments
Posted by Alak

I'm glad Magik got an honorable mention. It was a really cool showing for her!

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

I haven't liked the last 2 issues of Nova, I hope the next arc picks up.

Posted by Teerack

Super Girl is still a red lantern? Is that like a permanent thing now?

Posted by dondave

@teerack It's probably not permanent but it will here for some time considering she still a Red Lantern in the Doomsday crossover covers. But by the time she joins Justice League United, she'll be back to her regular self.

Edited by Fallschirmjager

Aquaman vs Olympian next week!

Posted by mak13131313

All excellent choices! Supergirl as a Red Lantern means trouble for everyone. Glad to see Superman Unchained get a honorable mention. The fight was awesome and the art was just beautiful! Now if they could just bring the last 3 issues out on time.

Posted by jwalser3

Has Thunderbolts improved in story? The art looks better.

Posted by patrat18
Posted by w0nd

I don't know why but it never worked and I always found it stupid.

Posted by iaconpoint

Wait, there is a character called Wraith in both a Superman and a Spider-Man book? Whaaaa?

Posted by sparty-dbq

"And sorry, Deadpool doesn't strip down to his undies in the issue's final act."

Um, that's actually EXACTLY what he did. In order to make the fake Spider-Man dummy, remember?

Posted by CF12793

Always wanted to see Venom and Deadpool dish it out in a comic. I really can't wait for the Carnage vs. Deadpool mini as well.

Posted by IndieComicsFTW

@w0nd said:

I don't know why but it never worked and I always found it stupid.

What you posted shows it does work. Brock Venom actually felt the pain, and Ketch was only down for a few seconds from the feedback of his power working for no good reason at all.

The sad part is this.

They made Blaze, the strongest ghost rider honestly, look weaker than Ketch did when he used it on Brock Venom.

This is pure bad writing. NEVER has the Penance Stare ever failed that badly. Whats more shocking is the fact GR even feels the sins! Thats not how it was ever shown to work. It works by making the target feel the sins and pain it caused. What does having so many sins do with anything!?

Epic Fail. Lazy writing and epic fail. @k4tzm4n This hurts me as Ghost Rider fan :/ He has been badly mishandled since Arron left.

Edited by Lvenger

Nice choices Gregg though I'm surprised the Thor or Unchained battles didn't make it in this week. Still these choices are definitely awesome ones at that!

Edited by CyberWarrior

Thunderbolts VS Venom = Ghost Rider, Deadpool and Red Hulk VS Venom. Honestly, the other bogyemen are to do nothing here.

And, note - Deadpool was the first part of the plan (the distraction).

Posted by k4tzm4n

@mak13131313: Thanks

Thunderbolts VS Venom = Ghost Rider, Deadpool and Red Hulk VS Venom. Honestly, the other bogyemen are to do nothing here.

And, note - Deadpool was the first part of the plan (the distraction).

Gah, slipped my mind at the time. Made the edit. Thanks for the correction.

@lvenger said:

Nice choices Gregg though I'm surprised the Thor or Unchained battles didn't make it in this week. Still these choices are definitely awesome ones at that!

As much as I love Thor: GoT, big G zapping him once doesn't seem particularlly highlight worthy. A fantastic scene and looked great, but it would be difficult to create spread it out and create three battle-focused scans, you know?

"And sorry, Deadpool doesn't strip down to his undies in the issue's final act."

Um, that's actually EXACTLY what he did. In order to make the fake Spider-Man dummy, remember?

I said final act, man! ;)

Staff
Posted by Lvenger

@k4tzm4n: I see, that makes sense now. Looking forward to seeing that for myself when I read the issue.

Posted by w0nd

@w0nd said:

I don't know why but it never worked and I always found it stupid.

What you posted shows it does work. Brock Venom actually felt the pain, and Ketch was only down for a few seconds from the feedback of his power working for no good reason at all.

The sad part is this.

They made Blaze, the strongest ghost rider honestly, look weaker than Ketch did when he used it on Brock Venom.

This is pure bad writing. NEVER has the Penance Stare ever failed that badly. Whats more shocking is the fact GR even feels the sins! Thats not how it was ever shown to work. It works by making the target feel the sins and pain it caused. What does having so many sins do with anything!?

Epic Fail. Lazy writing and epic fail. @k4tzm4n This hurts me as Ghost Rider fan :/ He has been badly mishandled since Arron left.

That's what im confused about...his powers are basically a kamikaze? They hurt venom the first time but he got up before GR.

The second time they knocked him out completely, like come on GR get it together.

Posted by Experio

Nice.

Posted by GraniteSoldier

@k4tzm4n: So awesome to see Venom back in here, but DAMN IT you make me want to read Thunderbolts again. I honestly got bored with it because it was focused more on Red Hulk, Punisher, and Deadpool. Venom just always got pushed into the background. Glad to see Flash is being shown as bada** as he should be, he hasn't let the symbiote take over since he first went to Philly. Since then, and the whole "Mania" thing, the suit and Flash have been more cooperative. It's fun seeing Venom at the helm for a little bit again. Now I need to go buy it...damn you and your teasing!

Also awesome seeing Supergirl on here. She's one of the handful of powerhouse characters I like, and the whole Red Lantern idea is really interesting considering her personality in the New 52. Plus, her Lantern outfit looks awesome.

I also found the Thor honorable mention quite funny.

Excellent picks!

Posted by jashro44

@granitesoldier: I wouldn't jump back on thunderbolts since You were upset venom wasn't getting much screen time. He's left the team now.

Posted by cosmoman

Red lantern kara huh, sounds promising, i am glad they are making the various corps spread across the dc universe. Hopefully we'll see more from the best corps of them all, the indigo tribe B-).

Posted by OreoAssassin

@k4tzm4n: Awesome! Thanks for including the Thunderbolts!

Posted by OreoAssassin

Alright now onto the whole "Venom vs Penance Stare". My theory:

The Penance Stare affects those who have sinned. But, did Venom actually sin? According to OUR thoughts and views, of course he has, hes a blood thirsty killer. But, on the SYMBIOTES view point, has he really sinned? Symbiotes and killing is completely natural. Its in their blood and DNA. Symbiotes have violence in their genes, simple as that. The Penance Stare not working is because the symbiote is innocient in its own perspective. It doesnt SEE anything wring with Venom or any symbiote for that matter. We view killing has immoral and wrong, which is why the Penance Stare works on most, but when the Stare see's or acts upon Venom, it sees it as completely natural for those "sins". Just a little theory, so dont take my word for it

Posted by GraniteSoldier

@jashro44 said:

@granitesoldier: I wouldn't jump back on thunderbolts since You were upset venom wasn't getting much screen time. He's left the team now.

Thanks for the heads up, you've saved me some cash haha.

Posted by jashro44

@granitesoldier: No problem.

Alright now onto the whole "Venom vs Penance Stare". My theory:

The Penance Stare affects those who have sinned. But, did Venom actually sin? According to OUR thoughts and views, of course he has, hes a blood thirsty killer. But, on the SYMBIOTES view point, has he really sinned? Symbiotes and killing is completely natural. Its in their blood and DNA. Symbiotes have violence in their genes, simple as that. The Penance Stare not working is because the symbiote is innocient in its own perspective. It doesnt SEE anything wring with Venom or any symbiote for that matter. We view killing has immoral and wrong, which is why the Penance Stare works on most, but when the Stare see's or acts upon Venom, it sees it as completely natural for those "sins". Just a little theory, so dont take my word for it

I don't believe the penance stare works that way.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@granitesoldier said:

@jashro44 said:

@granitesoldier: I wouldn't jump back on thunderbolts since You were upset venom wasn't getting much screen time. He's left the team now.

Thanks for the heads up, you've saved me some cash haha.

Yeah, the whole point of the issue was just to make the team prepared to take him down if it was ever needed (per his request). Once they were able to beat him, he walked away from the group.

Staff
Edited by IndieComicsFTW

@jashro44 said:

@granitesoldier: No problem.

@oreoassassin said:

Alright now onto the whole "Venom vs Penance Stare". My theory:

The Penance Stare affects those who have sinned. But, did Venom actually sin? According to OUR thoughts and views, of course he has, hes a blood thirsty killer. But, on the SYMBIOTES view point, has he really sinned? Symbiotes and killing is completely natural. Its in their blood and DNA. Symbiotes have violence in their genes, simple as that. The Penance Stare not working is because the symbiote is innocient in its own perspective. It doesnt SEE anything wring with Venom or any symbiote for that matter. We view killing has immoral and wrong, which is why the Penance Stare works on most, but when the Stare see's or acts upon Venom, it sees it as completely natural for those "sins". Just a little theory, so dont take my word for it

I don't believe the penance stare works that way.

It does not. I t works on demons who have no concept of good and bad, and it worked on Angels who also are pretty much above morals in their minds. It work on Mad Cap who also has no morals of good or evil, there is just chaos.

The whole theory the target must have morals has NEVER been shown or stated how the PS works. It simply stated and shown to work by making you feel the pain and suffering you have caused others.

Posted by AmazingWebHead

Venom has a point. Red Hulk is pretty bad.

Silly Kara, flame breath is Bizarro's thing. (Seriously, how long is this Red Lantern thing gonna last? Remember when she was "a genius by even Kryptonian standards"? Why did they change the character just to make her suffer more?)

Edited by CyberWarrior
Posted by OmniBeast

Could someone explain the latter thing? I see it often on CV but I never really understand it.

Posted by HolySerpent

@omnibeast: the " latter" meaning the second of the two.

Example: who's stronger batman or Superman? The latter (Superman).

Posted by OmniBeast
Posted by Rainja

I LOVE VENOM, I REALLY REALLY do, but him being not only immune to the penance stare but having the ability to somehow cause it to backlash on Ghost Rider for the apparent reason of being too EVIl is HORRIBLE, i did not like it. I would really like to see Venom go up againts RULK though, That would be very interesting. I mean Venom aint on no level to.outclass Rulk physically, but it would be fun watching him, slash, bite,strangle and even ambush Rulk before rulk lays the smack dowm on him as expected.