Hey there, action junkies. Week after week, new comic book issues find ways to make our favorite heroes and villains solve their problems with their fists, heat vision, firearms and more. Sure, we all love a good story and an emphasis on character depth, but what's the point of these characters having all of these superb talents and powers if they never get to use them?! This week had quite a few entertaining brawls, but we've managed to narrow it down to three that we really enjoyed. Hopefully you'll get a kick out of them, too. If not... well, maybe we'll win you over with next Friday's picks!
"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 (not sure if you noticed, but A LOT come out each week), 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.
FOREVER EVIL #6
Lex Luthor, Batman, and their new allies are prepared to bring the fight to the Crime Syndicate of America. If you've been following along, then you know the Dark Knight's first order of business should be obvious: rescue Nightwing. Luthor, Catwoman, the Caped Crusader and Bizarro are able to locate Dick Grayson, but you're crazy if you think we'll spoil what goes down in that part of the story. That's something you've gotta read for yourself, friends. As they work to save Nightwing from the dictators from an alternate Earth, some of their teammates (Sinestro, Black Adam, Deathstroke) are unlucky enough to bump into a few of the heavy hitters from Earth 3. Sinestro is able to momentarily save himself from Ultraman's grip, but despite the Lantern's power, it's safe to say we all know who should eventually win a fight between these two (unless we soon witness a huge power boost because of Parallax, that is). Fortunately for Thaal Sinestro, he has teammates by his side... and one of them wants nothing more than to pummel Ultraman into oblivion.
"Round two of Black Adam and Ultraman?! HELL YES! Bring it on!" That's probably what quite a few of you out there are thinking after seeing Black Adam tackle the villain. Unfortunately, there isn't really a big rematch between these two titans. The book chimes in on it later, but we only get a glimpse of it. Don't be sad, though, because the rest of the issue is still really, really cool.
Seeing as we want to keep things mostly spoiler-free in this article (you're welcome, person who came in here despite not reading the issue), we can't tell you why Bizarro has decided to throwdown with Batman and Catwoman. However, we can tell you that it's a rad moment for Batman fans. Bizzaro, say hello to Batman's glowing green fist.
Meanwhile, Johnny Quick and Atomica set their sights on Black Manta and Captain Cold. As Atomica tries to find a way into Manta's suit, Quick arrogantly disarms Cold and begins to mock him. Quick is certain Cold is helpless at this point, but the Rogue then states an amusing little jingle (okay, maybe Batman fans won't like this one). Why'd Captain Cold say the random rhyme? Well, it turns out his gun can be voice activated. Needless to say, this wasn't the best time for the speedster to have the weapon pointed right at his own leg.
Watching Quick unleash has been a fun experience (see ROGUES REBELLION), but we all knew this cocky jerk had something like this coming his way. Now that the super-speeder is sans a leg, what happens next to him? And what's even going on with Nightwing?! DC fans, do yourself a favor and don't miss out on this event.
Velvet Templeton wants to locate a double-agent named Roman. Luckily for her, he's pretty easy to find because it turns out he just can't resist attending the Carnival of Fools in Monaco. So Velvet puts on a mask and you can bet she heads to the event. As Roman gambles, Velvet scans the room and realizes three men stand out. After a little research, she quickly realizes they're Russian assassins from the KGB and they're looking for the very same man she is. The trio of deadly men manage to get the jump on Roman first, but Velvet leaps into action. The fight begins with her jump kicking one of the gunmen, but now that her surprise advantage is gone, it's time to see how she plans to beat the odds and take 'em all on.
Writer Ed Brubaker has the formidable spy narrate during the fight and she reveals that she actually isn't all that fond of close combat that lasts more than five seconds. She elaborates about how the longer a fight goes on, the more violent and unforgiving it becomes. This specific fight may not be anything out of the ordinary just yet, but trust us, you'll soon understand why she feels this way. Before things get particularly cringeworthy, Velvet's able to disarm the enemy that's still standing in her way. However, the KGB agent is every bit as deadly with just his bare hands.
Remember how Velvet talked about hating fights that last more than five seconds because they turn ugly? Of course you do, that was just one paragraph ago. Well, it's about to come full circle and she makes sure this fight takes just about the ugliest turn it could possibly take. We're not talking about a simple kick to the head or a gunshot wound to the chest. No, Velvet's in a dire spot as she's being viciously strangled, so she does what she needs to do to survive. Basically, if you're not cool with painful looking things, you may want to scroll down as quickly as possible. Seriously.
Obviously, the last panel spells bad news for that dude, but you still have no idea what happens with Roman, do you? There's a huge development here, folks. If you've been digging this book, you better not miss it. Don't be a slacker and go read it right now. Just come back later to read the rest of this article, okay?
FOREVER EVIL: ARKHAM WAR #6
The war between Bane and Scarecrow has been spilling across the streets of Gotham. Both sides fight for control of the city and Bane, William Cobb and Blackgate's forces have been taking the edge over Jonathan Crane and his allies from Arkham Asylum. Bane has been a step ahead of his enemies, but Scarecrow and his allies are now enhanced with venom and they're hoping brute force will allow them to finally defeat the man who broke the Bat's back. Prepare yourself for Batman's villains on venom versus Bane on venom. Overall, it's a lot of muscles and a lot of big fists being tossed around.
You'd think Scarecrow could come up with a better plan, but hey, punching things has worked for Bane in this war, so why wouldn't it work for these villains, yeah? The group is able to swarm Bane, but with one swing of the Arkham Asylum sign, the man from Santa Prisca evens the odds and swats them all away. Previously, the Talons were able to overcome Bane because of their blades, but these fiends are trying to best him with blunt force. If you know Bane well enough, then you know the dude can take a substantial beating and keep on trucking... especially on venom.
Even though team Arkham has the clear numbers edge and even variety (e.g. Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy) on its side, the big man is able to hold his own just fine and tackle every obstacle they put in his way. If you read DC's solicitations, then the upcoming one-shot gave away the outcome of this war months ago. That said, the combination of solid art and mindless action still made this a pretty amusing time.
We all knew Bane would win this war (Scarecrow fans really do have my sympathy), but how does it wrap up once the sea of punches comes to an end? This was hardly the best story around, but if you're in the mood for some popcorn entertainment and love seeing Bane act like a total badass, then you should dive right into this issue. Now we just have to wait and see what Peter J. Tomasi has in store for us with the upcoming one-shot.
- Bloodshot vs. Archer (ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG #18)
- Superman clan vs. Batman clan (BATMAN/SUPERMAN ANNUAL #1)
- Deadpool vs. Zombies (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEADPOOL #4)
- Punisher vs. Dos Sols gunmen (THE PUNISHER #3)
- Green Arrow vs. Spear clan (GREEN ARROW #28)
- Atom's arm vs. Atom's face (EARTH 2 #21)
- Archie vs. Zombie dad (AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #4)
- Punisher vs. Electro (THE PUNISHER #3)