Hey, thanks for checking out the latest edition of Best Battles in New Comics! We don't mean to brag, but this week's selections are pretty spectacular. There were a lot of solid action scenes in the latest wave of new comics, and we've picked three that we really enjoyed and we're pretty sure you will, too. Basically, we have two massive slugfests and one team struggling to defeat the spirit of vengeance. As always, we'll only show you bits and pieces of each brawl, so if these highlights pique your interest, we recommend buying the issue. Support what you love and all that, you know? Of course you do, now let's check out these fights.
"Hey, why isn't a battle 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.
FOREVER EVIL AFTERMATH: BATMAN VS. BANE #1
While Batman was busy in Forever Evil, Bane took over Gotham and humiliated the Dark Knight's other villains (you have my sympathy, Scarecrow fans). Now Batman's back and ready to reclaim his city. Will he outsmart Bane? Will he take him down with his array of advanced technology? Nope, he's going to take control the same way Bane did: through sheer force.
Bane's always been a tough fellow, but he's undergone a physical upgrade in the New 52. He's even stronger and faster than before, so Wayne trying to go punch for punch without any weapons or additional tactics involved likely won't end favorably for him. Yes, Batman's skilled, but he's trying to match Bane blow for blow here. He uses some batarangs to scratch the villain up, but Bane's a powerful dude and won't be easy to topple.
Truth be told, this is a huge showing for Batman. Considering all that Bane accomplished in ARKHAM WAR, it's a big feat for him to stand toe-to-toe with this guy and recover from hits like the one above. Sure, you probably need to suspend a little disbelief (Bane's absurdly strong now, after all), but it's all about the fact this battle has been brewing for quite some time. Batman's back to save Gotham and he's going to beat Bane at his own game. Thankfully, it's not just Batman's fists that eventually weaken the tactical bad guy. Batman gets a little help a nearby piece of sculpture, so this makes the big man's eventually downfall easier to swallow.
Yes, we all know Batman will triumph and Bane will fall, but we've only shown you a small portion of this battle. In fact, there's roughly 10 pages or so of these two being at odds and we even left some of the most cinematic parts out!
UNCANNY AVENGERS ANNUAL #1
Rick Remender's latest chapter is about as polarizing as it can get. It's essentially one big piece of satire, so you're either going to laugh along with his commentary or feel disappointed these characters weren't placed in a more legitimate scenario. No matter which side of the fence you're on, it's safe to say a majority of us had a blast with Ghost Rider losing control and threatening everyone on Mojo's world. Sure, Remender mocks the formulaic way big fights play out and then delivers just that, but he does it so well! How can you not love a fight that begins with Mjolnir slamming right into Ghost Rider?
Believe it or not, this is actually the second big fight in this annual -- well, third if you count the hysterical scuffle between Thor and Wolverine. Anyway, not only does Remender continue to enthrall by bluntly calling out several elements of the industry, but he also manages to deliver on the "mindless battle" that would indeed be worthy of a hype-building trailer. This is pure spectacle, folks. Even if he's mocking the way things play out, it's tough not to revel in it.
Just like the writer pointed out, the initial plan doesn't work (shocker!), so the team needs to improvise. Enter: Man-Thing. The creature is able to momentarily incapacitate Johnny Blaze, but when this book is offering satire on storytelling, you don't really think it'll end on such a lackluster note,do you? Of course not, and, as expected, Ghost Rider makes one heck of a recovery.
So, how does the team subdue Blaze? Can they do so before the residents of Mojoworld are wiped out? Well, given the handling of the story, it's pretty safe to say Remender won't stray from an expected "heroes save the day and all is well again" kind of ending, but it's a smile-inducing and fun ride, that's for sure. Besides, where else will you see Thor make fun of tank tops?
The second chapter of Mark Waid's latest HULK volume just dropped and it saw the return of a classic villain: The Abomination! The huge guy is finally back and Waid sure knows how to give him one hell of an entrance. Not only does he show Hulk the true meaning of "smash," but what comes after that is a non-stop flow of big ol' punches.
What follows that massive drop is pure savagery. There's no banter and there's no monologuing as these two duke it out. There's only room for one thing: giant fists crashing into giant green faces. The creative team here makes sure you feel every thunderous punch as these two titans clash and it's an absolutely relentless assault. Neither side is backing down, but it's clear Abomination is the one landing more hits.
Does that huge wallop put Hulk down for the count? Of course not! Despite being launched through so many vehicles and straight into a building, it's not long before these two decide to play rock 'em sock 'em robots all over again. Abomination keeps the advantage as he dishes out yet another vicious combo, but Hulk is able to eventually find an opening. The mighty hero aims his fist right at the villain's face and releases. Unfortunately for Banner, the punch doesn't even seem to faze the foe. Yeesh, this isn't one of Hulk's better showings against Abomination.
If you want to know how the super-strong and super-green fiend has popped back into the Hulk's life, well, you'll just have to buy the issue. We're not too fond of dishing out plot details in here, and honestly, you're just here for the punchy, punchy anyway, right? Seriously though, this was a huge return for Hulk's longtime foe and Waid continues to establish a new mystery, so any fan of Green Goliath really shouldn't miss out on this one.
More battles that are full of win can be found in the following new issues:
- BATWOMAN ANNUAL #1
- THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1
- GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS ANNUAL #2
- THE FLASH ANNUAL #3
- RAI #1
- TRANSFORMERS MORE THAN MEETS EYE #28
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!