Welcome to this week's edition of 'Best Battles.' The concept is simple: every week characters find a reason to punch, kick, shoot and stab each other in the comics we love. My job is to sort through the new stuff and present my 3 favorite non-friendly encounters. Sorry DC, but this week I've selected 2 from Marvel and 1 from Valiant.
As much as I'd love to, I simply can't read every new title out there. This means a fight you like might not be below. If that's the case, don't just say "HEY BRO, WHY ISN'T "X VS X" HERE?" Instead, share why the fight was fantastic! And if you're able to, provide a picture or two so everyone else can enjoy the battle, too.
Without further ado, here's my 3 favorite throw downs from this week's new pile o' comics.
Deadpool vs (undead) George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Gerald Ford & Richard Nixon
Deadpool isn't a stranger to taking on groups of superheroes all by his lonesome, but former Presidents that won't stay down and have crazy levels of super strength? That's a new obstacle that's proving to be especially difficult for the Merc with a Mouth to overcome. Wilson casually knocks aside America's first President with a kick, but he made the mistake of mocking Lincoln's infamous demise.
"Booth had the drop on me!" I know a lot of you think Deadpool's all immature poop or fart jokes (which is... well, partially true), but co-writers Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan are doing a great job delivering some sharp humor. You're seriously missing out if you're shrugging off Wade as just some immature moron. Anyway, back to the violence because that's why you're here, right?== TEASER ==
Lincoln angrily tosses Mr. Wilson into a car. Washington and Ford then use their mighty zombie strength to painfully squish 'Pool in the vehicle. Despite being blatantly incapacitated, Wade can't help but run his mouth. Well, it turns out Washington isn't a fan of the jibber jabber and horrifically thrusts his sword through Wade's back. Ouch.
As if the situation wasn't embarrassing enough for our anti-hero, he's then turned into an (American) football. Trapped and with nowhere to go, Ford introduces Wade to the bottom of his foot. I never thought I'd see Lincoln doing a field goal sign, let alone a glowing zombie Lincoln doing it. So, that's rather awesome.
Deadpool's been through worse, though. The dude shrugs off the hilarious attacks and eventually pulls himself out of the rubble. But his Presidential zombie encounter has only just begun. You see, that trio was simply the warm up. It's time for Wade to take on the main event: 'Tricky Dick!' He might not be a crook, but he's got no problem with aggravated assault. Nixon tosses Deadpool into a building and relentlessly pummels him. Wade turns the tide with a field goal kick of his own... right into Nixon's groin.
Up until now the only way to defeat these undead politicians was a heft amount of electricity. Thankfully Deadpool has Doctor Strange on his side and we all know the Sorcerer Supreme can conjure up another way to put down these pesky Presidents. A spell or two later and Strange gives Washington's classic sword an enhancement that'll put an end to these threats. If you had a glowing electrical sword of awesomeness, you'd name it, right? Deadpool does just that. Meet Vito, the magic sword!
Alright, I'm sure a majority of you are right now saying "what's a Shadowman?" So, let me catch you up real fast. Valiant is publishing a handful of titles (all are amazing) and SHADOWMAN is the latest one. It's about the forces of evil (spirits and all kinds of terrible things) from this place called Deadside. They want to break through into our world and the Shadowman legacy is the only thing holding 'em back. Jack is the latest to have this power and in this scene he just discovered he has it.
Meanwhile, there's a group of humans (who practice magic) also struggling the protect the world we know against the evil creatures. They're called the Abettors and there's only two of them in this issue, Dox & Alyssa. The big bad, Mr. Twist (click the link to see how insane he looks), has sent two possessed police officers to take down Jack. The Abettors won't let that happen. Chaos ensues.
Dox dedicates his time to making each pistol round special and capable of putting these creatures down for the count, but a bumpy ride isn't exactly ideal for accuracy. In the end, it's his car that's the ultimate weapon against the mystical villains. When the turned cop is down for a count, that's when Dox finally puts a bullet to good use.
Meanwhile, Shadowman is holding his own against the other hideous fiend. As Jack quickly discovers, his strength has been given a boost and his fist fiercely plows through his target's head. Tis but a scratch, though!
Caving in their heads is good fun and all but it's clearly a futile (yet fun) effort. Jack's gotta go for the gold and he realizes there's a wee creature within the beasts. The hero pries open the creature's gruesome mouth and plunges his arm into the foul opening, which I can only assume smells less than stellar. Jack finds what he's looking for and swiftly pulls the creature from the body. The move kills the possessed cop but the little force of evil escapes and finds its way back to the massive Mr. Twist.
Inspired to give SHADOWMAN a chance yet?
Vigilante tough guy versus smooth super spy. Honestly, I'm surprised this encounter didn't happen sooner. Black Widow wants to bring The Punisher back to the United States, but as you can obviously expect, Frank Castle isn't a man that'll be easily to take in.
The two bust into some slick John Woo-like gun disarming before Natasha flips Frank onto the sand. Oh yes, it's go time. Will Frank's sheer willpower and insane amount of pain tolerance overcome Black Widow's agility? Play some "Eye of the Tiger" because they're about to throw down. Writer Greg Rucka has the two evenly matched as they both counter and dodge each strike.
Natasha eventually lands a clean kick across Frank's bearded face. It's clear the fight could continue, but Frank has a back-up plan in place (he's crafty like that). He seemingly flees from the Avenger and lures her to a village that is in dire need of her aid. She's forced to stay and help as Frank escapes into the jungle, once again eluding the heroes. Don't get your hopes up, Frank, Thor's coming after you next. Yeah, Thor. Good luck with that one, buddy.
Natasha has the Super-Soldier Serum in her (The Red Room Academy's version). Unless Frank's resurrection via the Bloodstone gave him a bit of an upgrade (which I honestly don't recall, so weigh in on this one!), I think Natasha should technically be stronger than Punisher, too. However, that one possible technicality wasn't enough to take away from the fun this fight offered.
- Batman vs Clayface
- Hawkeye & Kate Bishop vs goons
- Hellboy vs Eligos
- Darth Vader vs Vaklin Insurgency
- Iron Man vs Vibro, Firebrand, The Living Laser
- Cyclops & Magneto vs Human Forces
- Elektra vs guards
- Red Hulk's hand vs a random dude's skull
Want more action? Here's the previous Best Battles
Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine & IGN Entertainment. He's really anxious to see how Rucka will handle Thor going after Punisher. Frank's going to need a major plot device to escape that encounter... or will Thor succeed in bringing him in?