Welcome to Best Battles! This is where we let dialogue take a backseat and focus on the unfriendly encounters that take place between the fictional characters we follow. Each week, I'll review all of the new comics I can and select my 3 favorite action scenes. I'll provide as many images I can for your viewing pleasure. Keep in mind, I don't read every single new comic that's out there. So, if a fight you love isn't here, you're welcome to express why it was top-notch below.
This week we have a fun and gorgeous fight involving the new Spider-Man, an epic sword battle from the pages of a new TMNT series, and Frank struggles to escape Thor.
As Bane once said... let the games begin!
We're not here to babble over the plot points of writer Dan Slott's latest story. No, sir, leave those heated arguments at the door or take it to another thread. Instead, we're gathered here to praise the rad fight that took place between Superior Spider-Man and a new Sinister Six. Not only was it a crazy amount of fun, but artist Ryan Stegman did a beyond fabulous job. Let's begin with a kick to the face, shall we?
A new Sinister Six debuts, and as you can imagine, Superior Otto-Man isn't pleased to see that his former team name is now in the hands of a bunch of C-listers. The evil scientist puts Parker's powerful body to full use, smacking the group around and even making them use their weapons against one another (Parker would be proud). However, Speed Demon shows up and delivers a mega combo on the new wall-crawler. The "hero" can't take the pain, so he bolts. Ock would never be worthy of a green power ring.
Despite his better judgement, Superior Octavius jumps back into the fray to save a police officer. The attack meant for the cop stuns him and this gives Boomerang a chance to step up to the plate. But, like a vast majority of villains, he's a moron and takes his time instead of quickly ending the stunned hero. As expected, Octopus-Man not only survives, but he puts those new claws to good use. The team escapes from this new and more brutal version of Spider-Man and Boomerang has just enough time to sew his shirt back together for round 2.
If there's one thing evil geniuses are good at, it's using their prep time well. Ock Parker discovers the team will next assault Horizon Labs and he rigs the place in his favor. He makes it so Speed Demon can't keep balance on the floor and BAM! Webbing to the trachea. Painful stuff there, Slott.
The team's abilities are disabled and Doctor Otto Parker makes incredibly short work of the team. Shocker's gauntlets are disabled. Beetle loses her strength. And Big Wheel... poor old big wheel gets knocked on his side.
All that, though? That was nothing compared to what Superior Octopus has in store for Boomerang (poor dude drew the short straw, didn't he?). Despite surrendering to the friendly neighborhood Octopus, the hero decides to viciously lay into him. With news cameras rolling, Spider-Man begins his relentless assault.
So what happens next? Go read SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1 to find out! Or... just check out one of the gazillion spoiler threads.
Takeshi Tatsuo vs Yuu Clan (TMNT: The Secret History of the Foot Clan #1)
First off, if you haven't checked out this issue yet and you like TMNT at all, go do so now. This 4 issue mini series dives into a brand new and quite extensive origin for the Foot Clan. Before the Foot, however, there was the Yuu Clan. And within the Yuu clan there was the talented warrior named Takeshi Tatso. His master feared his abilities, so he sent Tatso into an overwhelming ambush. Except even against an army, Takeshi wouldn't back down from a fight. Prepare yourself because this is about to get awesome.
While the Yuu clan had the clear numbers advantage, Takeshi had an unparalleled skill with a blade. Check out the excellent artwork by Mateus Santolouco as the warrior takes on the absurd amount of enemies.
Not even a slew of injuries and overflowing blood loss would defeat him, though. Even when his leg is taken from him, Takeshi lunges at his remaining enemies and slays them. When none are left, he finally decides to rest against the snow and accept his fate.
Luckily for him, the universe had other plans. Takeshi was saved and, much to his surprise, had his leg and foot regrown. This is just the beginning of a superb issue that I cannot recommend enough.
Frank Castle, a gifted soldier and tactician, takes on Thor, the God of Thunder. Doesn't seem like a fair fight, does it? Thankfully, writer Greg Rucka knows how to turn a blatant mismatch into a fun and believable encounter. It literally kicks off with a bang as Frank blows up a truck next to the Asgardian.
The Punisher knows his odds of winning a direct fight with Thor are 0%, so he rabbits. However, little does Thor know that the vigilante is luring him to an enemy base. Why get your own hands dirty when you can have a God of Thunder shut the entire place down for you? Crafty, Frank.
Frank clearly underestimated Thor's potential. One strike sends everything flying, including the Punisher. Just as Thor plainly put it, the battle is ended. Frank's a stubborn fellow, though. He tries to pull a pistol on Thor and it's a pointless effort. One punch later and Frank is down for the count.
Fortunately for Frank, Thor had no intention of bringing the defeated anti-hero back to the states. Instead, he tried to talk some sense into Castle over a beer. It's a great moment between the two and left me itching to see what Rucka will bring us next.
Wouldn't it be awesome if Frank was a lightweight and became totally belligerent after the first sip? "YOU THINK YOU'RE SO COOL WITH THAT STOOPID HAT, THUUUUR?!"
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Gregg Katzman is a writer for Comic Vine & IGN Entertainment. Be kind and follow him on Twitter.