Friends, 2013 has come and gone. Fortunately for us, it was overflowing with very awesome comic book brawls. Now that we're in 2014, it's time to look back and give praise to the ones that truly stood out. The Comic Vine staff took some time to reflect on the entire year and, after thinking it through, we've selected our three favorite action scenes from last year.
Yes, the honorable mentions section is pretty packed as well. We tried to snag a good battle from numerous titles, but we're talking about an entire year worth of fights, so don't be too shocked if the one you happen to love isn't there.
Spider-Man vs. Superior Spider-Man (SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #9)
Even though Doctor Octopus was the victor in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700, writer Dan Slott was giving fans a very slight glimmer of hope that Peter Parker could return. Yes, we all know he'll one day make a triumphant return, but the "ghost Peter" made some of us think the iconic hero could emerge sooner rather than later. SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #9, however, changed all of that. Ock became aware that a "version" of Peter Parker still existed in his head and, as expected, he wasn't cool with it. In this issue, Octavious aims to delete what's left of Peter and, if you read the solicitation ("will get you angrier than you were after Spidey #700!"), you knew this wasn't going to go well for our hero.
At first, Ock attempts to erase the remains of Parker in his brain, but it proves more difficult than he anticipated. So, he jumps into his own head. After a brief back-and-forth involving the memories of Peter's loved ones and enemies, the true hero realizes he needs to win this as Spider-Man, not Peter Parker.
Love or hate the issue, there's just no denying Ryan Stegman's talent, especially when Pete pulls away his face to reveal the wall-crawler. Awesome yet twisted stuff right there. Anyhow, and so begins Spider-Man's struggle to reclaim his life.
The fiend lands the first hit, but after that, Peter dishes out some much deserved strikes to Ock's goofy face. We won't lie, after what went down in ASM #700, it's great seeing Otto get smacked around for bit by the classic Spidey. As if the hits to Otto's face weren't satisfying enough, the longtime villain also goes crashing back down to the ground and makes a painful impact. Sadly, the webhead's advantage will soon come to an end, so try to enjoy it while it lasts, yeah?
Just as Peter Parker previously realized he needs to be Spider-Man to win the battle, Otto realizes his only path to victory is by becoming the Superior Spider-Man. After Stegman treats us to yet another creepy face pull, the two engage in a fight and debate over who's the better hero. Parker's always been someone we respect because of his commendable willpower and strong set of morals. However, as the two clash, Otto begins to point out how Parker's actions have allowed villains to take more diabolical moves and even claim more lives.
Sadly, Otto is able to rid himself of that version of Peter Parker and currently continues to pose as the legendary character (which you probably already knew since the book's still called SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, right?). But fear not, Parker fans, we all know the true web-slinger will one day make his return. One day...
First Lantern vs. Lantern Corps (GREEN LANTERN #20)
2013 marked the end of Geoff Johns' time with GREEN LANTERN and man, he sure did leave with a bang. #20 is Wrath of the First Lantern's finale and it was basically one big, action-packed space epic (while also serving as a fantastic sendoff, of course). Volthoom is about to rewrite history and command all of existence, but there's no way all of the Corps are just going to sit around and let that happen. The Green Lanterns are the first to attack, but unfortunately, things don't go too and they basically stand no chance. Luckily for them, Atrocitus and his Red Lanterns bust onto the scene and red leader viciously snaps the First Lantern's neck. But you didn't think a story this massive in scope would come to an with a simple neck snap, did you?
After Atrocitus' failed attempt at saving all that is and ever will be, just about anyone and everyone has a go at the powerful enemy. First off, Volthoom has to withstand one of the most ridiculously powerful attacks the Corps can dish out. Kyle and the Green, Blue, Sapphire and Red lanterns feed their energy to Mogo and the living planet hits the villain with a ginormous blast. Despite that, Volthoom still stands (well, kneels in this case).
Next up: Sinestro steps up to the plate and totally unleashes against the bad guy. But if Volthoom could withstand a wicked blast from Mogo, then surely Thaal's attacks won't bring this to a close, right? And sure enough, they don't. Next, Hal Jordan emerges as a Black Lantern and brings an entire army with him (if you feel out of the loop here, we strongly recommend you read the story for all the facts). Third time's a charm, yes? Nope. The First Lantern easily dispatches the forces and then has Hal at his mercy. Thankfully for Mr. Jordan, Sinestro becomes Parallax's host and is able to control the being (because he's awesome like that). This new version of Sinestro rips out Volthoom's heart, but again, it doesn't keep the absurdly powerful character down. The attack may be futile, but it did buy Hal some valuable time. During this distraction, Jordan summons Nekron. Seeing as Vothoom is somewhat weakened by now, they're able to revert him back to his human form and the Lord of the Unliving finishes the job.
The big bad may be eliminated, but the issue is far from over. You see, Sinesto still blames the Guardians for everything and wants them dead. Hal knows this and, despite Thaal being Parallax's latest host, the Green Lantern will do everything possible to stop him from murdering the blue individuals. The fight itself is quite short, but that's okay because it produces this superb image.
In the event you somehow missed out on this issue, we really don't want to spoil the conclusion for you. It has quite a turn of events and is absolutely worth every penny, so if you consider yourself a Green Lantern fan, it's pretty much your duty to read this issue.
Avengers vs. Thanos, Corvus Glaive, Proxima Midnight (INFINITY #6)
Marvel's latest big event, INFINITY, recently wrapped up with a really, really pleasing and cinematic battle between Thanos, his forces and a few key Avengers. Sure, there was quit a bit of madness going on in different locations, but this one segment was absolutely the highlight.
Once Captain America and the team make it back to Earth, they realize they still have quite a bit of a walk before they can reach the Mad Titan. Because of this, Rogers sends the Green Goliath to soften up their enemies (seeing as he can cover great distances with ginormous leaps and what have you). Except it doesn't go as planned. Not at all. Hulk, you're often the strongest one there is, but when Thanos is around? Well, you may want to wait for backup.
Despite his vast power, Hulk's no match for Thanos and his forces. In the end, Hulk ends up at their mercy, and right as he's about to endure a terribly violent attack, his teammates jump into the fray and save the big dude's life. Many characters would fall to the combined forces of Captain America, Thor, Captain Marvel and Hyperion, but against this specific cosmic threat, the odds simply aren't in the Avengers' favor. They learn that out the painful way as well.
The team does have a stroke of luck, though! Captain America's able to deflect a powerful attack which weakens Corvus and Hyperion is able to take advantage of it (in a very unkind way). Right after that, Captain Marvel blasts Proxima Midnight. Thanos' two allies may be defeated, but he still stands and, overall, he's the biggest obstacle for the heroes. Hyperion and Captain America are weakened and now Thanos strikes Captain Marvel with one helluva punch. Now it's up to the God of Thunder to save the day. To kick things off, the Son of Odin strikes Thanos with some lightning. Thanos' response? "Do it again." Thor obeys, but the attack proves ineffective yet again and Thanos taunts him once more. Lightning may have failed to bring the man down, but how about a shattering wallop from Mjolnir?
Sorry, Thor fans, but this also proves to be ineffective and Thanos swats the Avenger away with his big ol' fist. As if things couldn't get any worse, Thanos now begins to unleash. We all know Earth is still in one piece after this big event, but now that the heroes are defeated, how is the planet saved from the Mad Titan? Considering the event came to an end just a little over a month ago, we'll avoid ruining the final moments for you because we're kind like that. It goes without saying that this battle is only addressing a pretty small portion of the issue, so you'll definitely want to check it out if you haven't already done so.
Honorable Mentions (brace yourself)
- Thors vs. Gorr (THOR: GOD OF THUNDER)
- Daredevil vs. Ikari (DAREDEVIL)
- Batman vs. Joker (BATMAN)
- Superman vs. Alfred (INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US)
- X-Men vs. X-Men (BATTLE OF THE ATOM)
- Scarlet Spider, Wolverine vs. Assassins' Guild (SCARLET SPIDER)
- Wonder Woman, Orion vs.First Born (WONDER WOMAN)
- Green Arrow vs. Komodo (GREEN ARROW)
- Flash vs. Reverse Flash (THE FLASH)
- X-O Manowar vs. Commando Class Armors (X-O MANOWAR)
- Hawkeye vs. Ninjas (HAWKEYE)
- Trinity War's conclusion (JUSTICE LEAGUE)
- Marvel Knights: Spider-Man (all of it)
- Luther Strode vs. Jack the Ripper (THE LEGEND OF LUTHER STRODE)
- Punisher vs. Avengers (PUNISHER: WAR ZONE)
- DC Universe vs. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (all of it)
- Wolverine vs. Hand Ninjas, Sabretooth (WOLVERINE: JAPAN'S MOST WANTED)
- Damian Wayne vs. The Heretic (BATMAN, INCORPORATED)
- Deadpool vs. The Blandtastic Four (DEADPOOL)
- Toyo Harada vs. Bloodshot (HARBINGER WARS)
- Dark Leo vs. TMNT (TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES)
- Thragg vs. Omni-Man (INVINCIBLE)
- Venom, Toxin vs. Symbiote slayers (VENOM)