Welcome back to 'This Week's Best Battles.' As your wallet likely already knows, this was a huge week for comics and within the pages of these countless comics are some truly terrific fights. Narrowing it down to three was a real pain this week and, as you'll see, the honorable mentions section is fully stocked.
Did your favorite melee not get a mention? Well, it's possible we didn't read that issue, so be sure to make suggestions in the official Best Battles Discussion Thread from now on. We review that before writing this weekly feature and do our best to get our hands on the issues suggested!
Batman vs. Superman (BATMAN/SUPERMAN #1)
Ah, the age old debate of Batman versus Superman. Sure, you can dispute that Batman could take down Clark with enough prep and if Clark is holding back enough and blah, blah, blah. Look, throw away personal preference and it's clear who's going to walk away after a majority of encounters between these two. It seems obvious Greg Pak understands that and presents it quite well as the two meet for the "first time" in New 52 history. What makes it particularly great is seeing the thoughts from both sides of the fight. Batman knows there's a thousand ways Superman can take him down. And Superman? It turns out he's thinking the exact same thing. However, Batman does manage to surprise him and knocks him out of the building with an explosive. Wayne hopes his enemy can't fly, but yeah, we know the answer to that one.
Seeing as I want to keep this mostly spoiler-free, talking about the rest will be a little tricky. Let's just say the two are about to clash and then we're teleported to a farm in Smallville. Clark spots Batman and rushes to engage him -- except this isn't the same Batman he was just facing. This version of the Dark Knight already knows who Superman is and activates a kryptonite shield. As expected, the shield weakens Clark and Bruce attempts to reason with him. Despite Bruce clearly not trying to pose a threat, the Man of Steel grabs the kryptonite with his bare hands and tosses it aside, disabling the shield. The Caped Crusader remarks that Clark is weakened... and how does Superman respond? With his fists, of course. Because why not totally bash the guy who's trying to talk with you? All kidding aside, it's a really cool sequence.
Weakened or not, Superman isn't holding back and he absolutely demolishes this version of Bats. After a slug to the face and a fist to the gut, Clark holds Wayne down, only to punch him yet again and send him flying. Kal-El then grabs Wayne by the throat, but something -- or someone -- makes him to let go. Who or what, though? Like I said, I'm not going to spoil it! Besides, this issue was pretty enjoyable, so it's worthy of your cash if you're curious.
As for why we jumped from Metropolis to Smallville... well, I suppose you'll have to read the next issue to find out.
Scarlet Spider & Wolverine vs. Assassins Guild (SCARLET SPIDER #19)
Think of the most awesome street level duo possible. Go on, I'll give you a few seconds.
Upon realizing Kaine isn't really his enemy, Wolverine agrees to team-up with him and bring the fight to the Assassins Guild. The two engage in some really enjoyable banter, but what comes next is really badass. You know how some video games have ridiculously fun stealth sequences and you have to silently take out various enemies? That's exactly what happens here and it's fantastic.
Eventually, the duo is heard and now it's time to see why they're equally fearsome in a head-on assault. We're treated to a magnificent splash page (don't worry, it's provided below!) of the two completely dominating the group of enemies. Believe it or not, the best part isn't the slicing and dicing -- it's a caption from Kaine. According to Spidey's clone, Wolverine's an "angry midget ninja."
It's not long before the clone and the X-Man get into a throwdown with the more dangerous members of the Assassins Guild. While they do pose a threat at first, they're taken out one by one in due time. Plus, we get some adorable teamwork from the duo. First, Kaine saves Wolverine from an explosive and then Logan returns the favor by removing the speedster Harvester from the fight. Marvel, you really need to consider a team-up book featuring these two anti-heroes.
I'd explain what happens next, but it would sound all kinds of ridiculous without reading the issue. So, do yourself a favor and read it, because honestly, SCARLET SPIDER is a seriously good title.
Superman vs. Kalibak & Parademons (INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US #24)
Kalibak, you goofed big time, man. Darkseid's son thought he could stroll on over to Earth with a massive force of Parademons and start slaughtering innocents across the globe. I guess he never got the memo that this version of Superman has begun taking more extreme measures to protect people, so murdering millions and then mocking him about it? Not exactly the brightest idea ever. Superman realizes he can only stop the madness if he doesn't hold back and that's exactly what goes down. A brutal uppercut from Kalibak doesn't even make him move an inch. This is 100% serious business Superman, people.
After being threatened by Clark, Kalibak promptly reminds him about who his father is. What happens next is more powerful than any punch... Clark basically calls him a daddy's boy. Outraged, Kalibak tries to punch him, but Clark effortlessly grabs the villain's massive fist and cracks it. As if that wasn't humiliating enough, Superman then savagely beats the cosmic villain and eventually smashes his head into the ground. There's unfair fights and then there's this.
One big bad down, an entire army of Parademons to go. Clark finally realized by focusing on not killing his enemies, he's actually letting more and more innocent people die. Why care more about the well-being of his enemies than those he's trying to save? So, he decided to change this. The Man of Steel flies above the Earth, pauses for a moment, and then comes crashing back down. In one fell swoop, Clark zooms around the world, blasting apart every single enemy along the way.
This was a huge moment for Superman. Prior to this, he was taking more drastic measures in enforcing the peace, but he only crossed the line with Joker. Now, he apparently thinks killing is okay as long as it's for the greater good. And seeing as everyone cheers for him in the end, I imagine he's now firmly on the path that leads us to the super evil version we saw in the video game.
RUN WHILE YOU STILL HAVE THE CHANCE, SHAZAM!
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- Lucky vs. Kazimierz Kazimierczak, Bros
- Shazam and allies vs. Black Adam
- Deadpool vs. Vetis
- Guy Gardner vs. Atrocitus
- Aric's forces vs. The Vine
- Batman vs Tweedledee
- X-Men vs Mindless Ones
- Gamora vs Maxill the Accuser
- Bane vs. a guard