Hey there, action junkies! If you're a regular, welcome back and we hope you'll think this latest edition is full of win. If this is your first time checking out the weekly segment, then you're in for quite a treat! This week, we have a battle between two Marvel characters that literally shakes the Earth; a slugfest in space between two Valiant dudes; and the brawl in the big finale of SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #31 (without major spoilers, of course).
"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.
THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #21
Jason Aaron has filled THOR: GOD OF THUNDER with some amazingly epic brawls. Remember the double Mjolnir action in the Godbomb arc? How could you not, right? Well, his latest battle could very possibly be his best one yet. Old Galactus and King Thor are having a little -- okay, a big -- standoff over the fate of Midgard. Galactus wants to finally eat it, and, despite the world being desolate, Thor refuses to let big G have it as a snack. They've been having one hell of an amusing verbal exchange and Galactus blasted him an issue ago, but now the clash has truly begun! It opens with a gorgeous splash page (by Esad Ribic... we'll praise him in a little bit) but then Aaron delivers something so ridiculous yet astonishing: the Asgardian hits Galactus in the stomach so hard that he vomits.
As thrilling as Aaron's script may be, it would be basically moot without an excellent visual team. Luckily for Aaron, the mighty Esad Ribic and colorist Ive Svorcina are working on these pages. The thunderous encounter is taking place on a barren stage, yet this duo instills a crazy amount of power and life into the cosmic melee. Keep in mind, we're only offering you 3 bits of the entire fight. There's a whole lot we're not showing you and they're absolutely worthy of your eyes' focus.
Did you see that? The freaking Earth is shuddering as these two titans clash. The funny thing is we're not even showing you the absurdly powerful hit that occurred before that. Hint: take a look at the moon in the above image. Yeah, it wasn't like that before this match started. That's all we'll say, and trust us, that's only potentially spoiling half of what the strike produces. We haven't read every single new comic, but it feels safe to assume it's the most potent punch that happened in this week's new batch of issues. At any rate, the struggle continues and neither is slowing down... until Thor lands a game-changing blow, that is.
While the hammer toss does indeed knock down the devourer of worlds, the fight is by no means over just yet! Honestly, we cannot stress enough just how immensely enthralling this book is and this is absolutely a must read issue. It's not designed as a jumping on spot, but thanks to an adequate recap page, it can most definitely serve as one.
X-O MANOWAR #24
Valiant's next big event, Armor Hunters, is approaching and Robert Venditti was given the chance do to some major hype-building in his most excellent sci-fi book, X-O MANOWAR. In the latest issue, a creature named Malgam demands for Aric's sophisticated armor. Naturally, the Visigoth refuses and it's not long before the first wallop is thrown and man, it's a strong one.
Malgam packs quite a punch, but given the armor's durability, it only fazes Aric of Dacia. The alien then throws some debris at its armored target, but X-O's able to slice through it with little effort. As the odd being races towards Aric, our hero swiftly realizes there's just no reasoning with this enemy. With that in mind, Valiant's cosmic powerhouse swings his vibrant blade in an effort to disable his foe. In one fell swoop, the enemy's hand is lopped off.
Fun fact: Malgam recovered after an energy blast took off a chunk of his head in the last issue. So yeah, we can all assume slicing off one of his hands won't bring the fight to a close, but at least Aric's trying to avoid making this a battle to the death. Still, his attempt to bring the fight to a halt is futile and the behemoth quickly retaliates with yet another massive blow.
Malgam proceeds to obliterate the latest member of Unity, but we all know X-O will make it out in one piece. But how does he survive this slugfest in space? We won't spoil it for you; however, we will say it teases that there's much more to the alien armor he's bonded with. Plus, it's the prelude to Armor Hunters, so how can you resist this? X-O MANOWAR's consistently great, so go give it a shot, people.
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #31
This is it, friends. Dan Slott's SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN ends here and it's up to Peter Parker -- you know, the actual one -- to save the New York from the Goblin King. As several heroes duke it out with Spider Slayers, Spidey heads straight for the boss fight: the Green Goblin. The evil guy is waiting for the wall-crawler on Alchemax's roof, and he isn't alone. The villain has Anna Maria Marconi, Otto's girlfriend, tied up and surrounded by explosives. He's prepared to hit Otto with a great tragedy, but the Goblin quickly discovers that Otto is no longer in control. How is he able to find this out, you ask? It hits him when Spider-Man delivers one of his signature quips, because we all know Superior Spider-Man wouldn't mess around like that. The masked fiend begins to fly away, expecting the costumed hero to stay behind and rescue the girl. That doesn't happen, though. The Goblin's expectations are shot as Spider-Man leaps after him instead of hanging back to save Anna. We all know Peter's not cold blooded like that, and he winds up proving he can take down the villain and save the girl at the same time. All he'll need is a sharp object, and luckily for him, the villain just tossed one his way. Thanks, Gobby!
You see, Anna doesn't need Spidey to save her -- just a means to free herself. Now that she has a dagger, Parker's confident she'll be able to cut free from her restraints and then elude the Goblin's explosives before they detonate (they're on a timer, of course). Now that he doesn't have to worry about her, Spider-Man brings the fight to the Green Goblin and opens with a vicious and bone-crunching attack to his wrists. Ouch.
As the two grapple on the twisting glider, Parker's able to strip the villain of his green and purple mask. Goblin Nation has kept us wondering if it really is Norman Osborn behind the mask, and it turns out Slott was understandably saving the reveal for the final chapter. What lies beneath that signature mask may not be what you expected. Or is it? We can't read your mind, after all.
Peter Parker is able to best his foe, but what about Anna? And how will Pete explain his crazy situation to his friends and family? After all, Otto's actions over the past few months have left many people he's close to thinking he's quite a jerk. This is a huge issue and something no Spider-Man fan should miss. Come on, it's the return of Peter Parker!
- Nova vs. Skaarn
- Batwoman vs. Arkham Inmates
- Deadpool vs. Carnage, Shriek
- Kyle Rayner, Carol Ferris, Guardians of the Universe, X'Hal vs. the Godkillers
- Cyborg, the Metal Men vs. Grid
- Thor vs. Roxxon's lawyers
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 us via Twitter. See you next Friday. Oh, have a good weekend, too!