Posted by k4tzm4n (39714 posts) - - Show Bio

2013 might not have flying cars or personal jetpacks (not yet, at least), but it does still have 'Best Battles!' Welcome to the future, and luckily for me, comics in the future still have plenty of heroes and villains duking it out.

In case you're new here, this weekly segment is my chance to praise my 3 favorite fights that took place in new comics. I don't have the time or attention span to read every single comic each week (except for the week of ASM #700, that is), so if a fight you loved didn't make the cut, you're free to discuss it below!

Without further ado, here are my selections! 

Warning! Spoilers ahead...

Darth Vader vs Cho'na Bene

It's the rise of the Empire and Vader is tasked with making the citizens of Vaklin fall in line. The only issue is they love and worship the Jedi, so Vader and his forces attempt to remove all remains of their influence. A statue? Destroyed and replaced by an Empire building. A temple? Reduced to ruins. But one Jedi still defies Vader and his name is Cho'na Bene. The four-armed alien finally confronts Vader, and tragically, the hero stands no chance.

Clearly outclassed, Cho'na lures Vader into a location where they can't use their blades, but little does he know that even unarmed combat won't save him. Cho'na attempts to incapacitate the Sith Lord with a grip from behind, but Vader smashes the Jedi into a pillar and later plows through the rubble that is sent his way. It goes without saying that Vader's a boss.

Darth Vader denies your hug, Cho'na.

Vader quickly proves he doesn't need a lightsaber or even the force to deliver a vicious beat down to any and all who oppose him. Vader brutalizes Cho'na, whacking him across the face then abruptly smashing his face into the ground. He then clearly has the Jedi at his mercy, yet opts to let him go. Seems a bit out of character for Vader, eh? Don't worry, it'll make sense soon enough.

Now that's just mean, Vader.

Battered and beaten, Cho'na flees to the market and tries to get support. However, Major Oniye Namada is waiting for him and executes the defeated hero in front of the crowd. What's the best way to kill their faith in the Jedi? It's not simply erasing their footprints on the society, but instead proving that their hero stands no match against the might of the Empire. Consider their hopes and dreams of an Empire-free Vaklin officially shattered.

Major credit to the art team for that emotional final panel.

Rest in peace, Cho'na Bene.

Punisher vs Howard Aguello

Howard Aguello, your life could have been so different. If your parents were there to teach you right from wrong, you'd possibly be running in place on a treadmill for an evening workout instead of running for your life from the monster known as The Punisher. But here we are, you opted for a life of crime, and because of you, an innocent child is now dead. Frank won't stand for that nonsense.

Guess who wins? Tough choice, I know.

Running from The Punisher only means you're going to die tired. Sadly, Howard wasn't CC'd on that e-mail and he attempts to outrun Frank. Naturally, the effort is futile and Frank eventually catches up and makes his target eat the sidewalk. Young ones, shield your eyes, it's about to get brutal.

This is exactly why no one plays tag with Frank anymore.

Howard's stray bullet struck and killed a child. So, it only seems sickly fitting that memorial candles for said child are used to kill Howard. Let it never be stated that Frank Castle isn't a resourceful man. Should have thought twice before pulling that trigger, Howard.

Apollo Creed vs Ivan Drago was more fair than this.

Frankly, I'm impressed that candle case is so durable. But anyway, this is how PUNISHER: NIGHTMARE #1 opened. This display of brutality meshed with the excellent gritty artwork is hopefully just a taste of things to come in this 5 issue series.

A strut that only runway models could mimic.

Frank, you've got red on you.

The Heretic vs Batman Inc.

Oh, Knight... we hardly knew ye.

BATMAN INCORPORATED #6 had some superb displays of Batman taking down goons and, at the time, I was certain it would receive a spotlight this week. But then writer Grant Morrison blew me away with an ending I simply had to focus on this week.

Knight revives Squire, but this moment of happiness will soon be replaced with sorrow. Now prepare yourself for giant pages of fantasticness.

That's one big fist.

Knight delivers one last (heroic) line before The Heretic's massive hand tightens around Cyril Sheldrake's neck, cracking it and killing the hero. Despite a face full of tears and blood, Squire puts her slingshot to great use, shattering a projectile through the villain's visor. Unfortunately for the heroes, the attack doesn't have a lasting effect on the towering bad guy. The fiend then uses Knight's limp and deceased body as a weapon to swat Batwing. Talk about humiliating.

A moment of silence, please.

The Dark Knight arrives too late to save Knight yet makes a valiant effort to defeat their enemy. He lands two strong strikes, but the brute is far too durable and too strong for Bruce Wayne. Talia al Ghul's ally then smashes Batman's face into the dirt, kicks him away and then lands a devastating blow to his abdomen. Defeated, the tall foe then holds the hero over his head (a la Bane) and throws him off the building. Will this be the end of Batman? Probably not, but he's likely going to need a band-aid or two when all is said and done.

RIP Squire's slingshot.

I can only hope one day I'll be able to include a fight with Bat-cow or feline Alfred.

Well, those are my picks. What are your top 3? Sound off below!

Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine & IGN Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter, it's what all of the cool kids are doing nowadays.

#1 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6958 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow, hard for me to pick between K&S's fight or Vader's! Both equally good I say!

#2 Posted by Duo_forbidden (1815 posts) - - Show Bio

I didn't even realized that Knight died until reading it again. I thought the krack sound effect came from Squire's slingshot. That sucks. I enjoyed reading Knight and Squire miniseries.

#3 Posted by Outside_85 (12449 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a pity the Batman Inc. art makes everyone look awful.

(btw, who thinks the Heretic is Bane?)

#4 Posted by longbowhunter (8845 posts) - - Show Bio

Ugh...that was a punch in gut. Great issue of Inc. but poor Knight.

#5 Edited by secondfallen616 (119 posts) - - Show Bio

Those pouches on Castle's wrists AND ankles? c'mon..........they are distracting and i find it personally offensive, im contacting my lawyer, i want my Punisher to be wrist AND ankle?-pouch free thank you very much Mr. comicbook drawer guy whoever you are.............

2013, the year the wrist and ANKLE?-pouches were kidnapped and taken to the island of bad costume choices and forced to fight to the death and only one will emerge victorious!

#6 Posted by TDK_1997 (16121 posts) - - Show Bio

The battle from Batman Inc. was epic.I loved it!

#7 Posted by dondave (40259 posts) - - Show Bio

Knight died, I didn't even notice. Nooo!

#8 Posted by iaconpoint (1382 posts) - - Show Bio

On the surface, Knight's death is really tragic. But in the big picture, we all know he'll be back as soon as some other writer hack needs him and can't think up a character as interesting. Someone like Dan Slott...

#9 Posted by Or35ti (1133 posts) - - Show Bio

A major spoiler tag for Batman Incorporated would have been nice, but that was still awesome.

#10 Posted by Dark_Vengeance_ (15329 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think knight is coming back guys.

#11 Posted by usabfb (76 posts) - - Show Bio

Knight's death and the fight that surrounded it was the best moment in comics this week. I was getting kind of tired of Batman Incorporated because there was little to no payoff in any of the recent issues, but this issue is going to keep me going for the next few months.

#12 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (41770 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh come on!? There isn't enough British superheroes as it is, why kill off the only one at DC?

#13 Posted by ccraft (11231 posts) - - Show Bio

star wars artist is awesome, makes me wanna pick up star wars comics

#14 Posted by toptom (1393 posts) - - Show Bio

avatar vs star wars?? seems cool!

#15 Posted by entropy_aegis (16120 posts) - - Show Bio

@Outside_85 said:

It's a pity the Batman Inc. art makes everyone look awful.

(btw, who thinks the Heretic is Bane?)

He does have a fighting style and physique that is eerily close to Bane,but I think he really is a Damian Wayne clone.Also the Heretic seems to be nothing more than a brainwashed brute,he even referred to Talia as his mother,and he was grown in the belly of a whale(literally,see Batman:The Return).It is possible that he might have a little Bane in him(venom,or Talia getting some DNA to make him fully perfect).

And great feature as usual k4tz,I'm seriously considering Star Wars and some of the other non DC/Marvel books that you write about.

#16 Posted by G_Money_Christmas (902 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't read any Star Wars comics but that Darth Vader fight looks awesome

#17 Posted by whacknasty (5861 posts) - - Show Bio

" This is exactly why no one plays tag with Frank anymore" 
Lol, excellent Punisher scene there, makes me want to pick up this one.

#18 Posted by TheHT (72 posts) - - Show Bio

Man, Vader is ice cold.

#19 Posted by Icarusflies (12975 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd like to nominate Yuri Gagarin and Laika vs. evil Franklin Roosevelt AIs (from Manhattan Projects #8).

#20 Posted by Mediumflyer7 (314 posts) - - Show Bio

@Outside_85: Oh yeah. I never considered that

#21 Posted by StMichalofWilson (5017 posts) - - Show Bio

Vader is one bad mother-


Also that Batman Inc fight; I like to think it was Bane buuuuutt... maybe not.

#22 Posted by KnightRise (4811 posts) - - Show Bio

@entropy_aegis said:

@Outside_85 said:

It's a pity the Batman Inc. art makes everyone look awful.

(btw, who thinks the Heretic is Bane?)

I think he's a Damian Wayne clone. Also, the Heretic seems to be nothing more than a brainwashed brute, he even referred to Talia as his mother, and he was grown in the belly of a whale (see Batman: The Return).

I agree

#23 Posted by SupremeHyperion (1776 posts) - - Show Bio

The punisher one reminds me of that "dirty laundry" short movie

#24 Posted by NXH (1031 posts) - - Show Bio

@SupremeHyperion said:

The punisher one reminds me of that "dirty laundry" short movie

Oh yeah! Damn! That was awesome. If only they could make a full length movie just like that with Thomas Jane as Frank Castle again. They could easily make it as a true follow up to The Punisher (2004) and forget about that War Zone one.

#25 Posted by JamDamage (1195 posts) - - Show Bio

Is that big dude that killed Knight have super strength or just a tought guy in a suit? Because if he just a tough guy then that death was lame.

#26 Posted by SupremeHyperion (1776 posts) - - Show Bio

yes jane was a great punisher and I think they need to make a sequel but make it darker and more bloody... no travolta

#27 Posted by LordRequiem (1335 posts) - - Show Bio

Entertaining stuff, and enjoyably described.

#28 Posted by mettlekm (422 posts) - - Show Bio

LOVE this column. Look forward to it every week! thanks!

#29 Posted by Jake Fury (21440 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice work, Katz. The Heretic is a beast.

#30 Posted by k4tzm4n (39714 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks for all for the kind words. It's always nice to know this is a segment you guys enjoy :D

#31 Posted by Yung ANcient One (5166 posts) - - Show Bio

I wouldn't consider Punishers "battle" a fight (+)

#32 Posted by MrStatham (18 posts) - - Show Bio

@Outside_85: No chance the Heretic is Bane. Talia's already shown she had a second Damian growing during the course of Batman and Robin. And given Damian has chosen Bruce and effectively become 'the good son', the Heretic is the antithesis of that. So it pretty much has to be Damian 2.0, who eventually becomes another perverted mirror image of Batman.

#33 Posted by Sampsman (75 posts) - - Show Bio

No Jonah Hex vs. Mr. Hyde? That fight in All-Star Western No. 15 was epic.