By lusilly 3 Comments
There have been a lot of Top 10 Comic Book Somethings lists lately, and I thought I’d throw in my two cents. I’m pretty amateur when it comes to reading comics, so my favorites are generally centered around the same group of characters, and I’m not counting anything in the New 52 either (otherwise you would most definitely see something about the Court of Owls, if not a lil Damian Wayne at his grandparents’ graves).
In any case, here are ten moments (and an Honorable Mention each, because how could I choose just 10 and also I didn’t want to be super redundant) that I think were awesome, badass or in some way completely freaking cool.
Needless to say, major spoilers ahead. But they’re all for fairly well-known stories, and none are that recent, so you’re likely familiar with at least most of them.
In order of ascending badassery:
Number Ten: Nightwing pays bounty + $1.50, Nightwing #82
Now I know this may not be a popular choice, but anyone who knows me knows that I’m kind of in love with Dick Grayson, and I loved Nightwing. A lot.
So what’s going on here is that Deathstroke’s been paid thirty thousand dollars to kill Captain Amy Rohrbach, one of the few good cops on the Blüdhaven force and a close friend of Dick.
The thing that I love about this part is that Dick pretty much knows that Slade’s going to carry out this contract, no matter what. He knows that no matter what he does, Slade is going to be on Amy and her family until he kills her. It’s a hopeless and terrifying situation, and what does Dick Grayson? He one-ups Blockbuster, who paid Slade in the first place, by a dollar and fifty cents. One dollar and fifty cents. And Slade just sort of looks at him, and then laughs, and then says “sure whatever” and leaves. We don’t ever even see him collect the money. Slade takes it. Dick saved Amy, and he didn’t even kick anyone’s face in.
Also: one dollar and fifty cents. How is that not adorable?!?!?
Honorable Mention: Starfire fries Adeline Wilson, Titans #12
So I don’t know if you guys heard, but Starfire’s pretty badass.
Everyone was squabbling over Addie’s body here for various reasons related to themselves. Everyone was freaking out over everything else and basically it was one big mess, and everybody seemed to forget that this was a woman who was basically dead already they were fighting over. In comic books, sometimes it’s so easy to forget that somebody’s in pain, especially if you don’t see them groaning and moaning and constantly talking about how much pain they’re in. Adeline was just sort of lying there, and it was easy to get caught up in everybody else’s feelings and actions and dilemmas and forget about her.
But Kory can’t ignore her, and she explains herself pretty damn well here. Nobody was thinking about Addie, they were all thinking about themselves. Except for Kory. And people wonder why I love her?
Number Nine: Oracle and Black Canary meet for the first time, Birds of Prey #21
First of all, Barbara fought off a whole bunch of dudes looking to kill her and then essentially swam to the surface all by herself. Without the use of her legs at all. If that doesn’t qualify her as a grade-A badass, I don’t know what does.
Secondly, Barbara Gordon and Dinah Lance have one of the greatest comic book friendships ever. And up until this point, they’d never even met. It’s just such a powerful moment, as Dinah cradles the woman in her arms, a little smile on her face, and Barbara looks just about ready to collapse. Dinah coming to save her is amazing by itself - but honestly, Barbara had just about saved herself, and that’s even more incredible. You go, girls. You go.
Honorable Mention: Huntress takes on Lady Shiva and totally kicks her ass, Birds of Prey v2 #6
Helena: Screw your honor, you stuck-up bitch.
Zinda: She’s popped her brain. She’s loco.
Dinah: No, Helena, dammit, no.
Shiva: What…you stupid…
Helena: For once in your damned life, lady…shut up and listen. You think you scare me? You think I’mfrightened? I’m Helena Bertinelli of the Sicily Bertinellis. Just shut your bragging trap for one second. And I’m talking now.
The only important line: She…No one puts Shiva off her feet. No one!
Hahaha, fuck you. The Huntress can do whatever the hell she damn well wants. Now Helena’s been known to not give up ever, and to be a total freaking badass, but this is Lady Shiva we’re talking about. She’s on a whole new level, and without any hesitation, she goes for it. She makes Lady Shiva sit down, shut up, and fight her. Which is crazy because - Huntress? Against Lady Shiva? I mean, we all know Helena’s good but is she reallythat good?
Welp, yeah, she is. She is constantly underestimated. She’s better than she knows. Except for right here. Right here, she’s good and she knows it. Bitch.
Speaking of the Birds of Prey…
Number Eight: A newlywed Black Canary stabs her husband in the neck, Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding Special
I’m including this because I read GA/BC Wedding Special pretty early on. And it was beautiful and cute and I was laughing the whole time, and then I got to the end and I’m pretty sure I literally shouted “WHAT IS GOING ON.”
Which is why it makes it on here. Emotional whiplash, to the extreme. And me? Yeah, I really thought Ollie was dead. Again. Because I am the most gullible fan. I should’ve known better.
Still, it was a shocker. And it was badass on Dinah’s part. She didn’t even hesitate. Second he attacks her, she attacks back. And that’s…wow, Dinah. Wow.
Honorable Mention: Dinah punches an Amazon in the face (and Athena loves it), Green Arrow/Black Canary #2
So I would say that I’m pretty sure Dinah is part Amazon, but let’s be honest here, she’s way too badass to be an Amazon. She’s the most badass. And she doesn’t need her words, just her fists. This is also awesome because it’s Mama!Black Canary, defending her baby Mia, and that’s amazing to me. Somebody insults Mia, and Dinah unapologetically attacks her, without a word. Aw yeah, Dinah. Aw. Yeah.
This issue also gets bonus points for naked Ollie. I’m a fangirl okay, leave me alone.
Number Seven: Damian Wayne beats the Joker with a crowbar, Batman and Robin #13
Oh, revenge is sweet.
First of all, look at that image again. You can just feel the weight of the crowbar swinging through the air, you can just hear it colliding with the Joker’s face. And it is so damn satisfying. So. Damn. Satisfying.
But the best thing about this is that Damian’s not doing this as revenge. He’s not doing this because the Joker killed Jason and he’s a sucker for poetic justice. No. Damian Wayne is doing this because he is sick of the Joker’s punkass attitude, and the crowbar is a blunt weapon that will probably cause the most pain. Damian’s not doing this in the name of justice or because he hates the Joker with an emotional passion. Nope, Damian’s doing this because the Joker’s being a bitch and he doesn’t like it. Ohhh, and it is sweet. It is so sweet. Four for you, Damian Wayne, four for you. This is me, living vicariously through Damian.
Also, bonus points for this moment:
This is Dick, afraid that Damian will kill the Joker.
Damian’s ten years old.
I just. I can’t even. And people wonder why we love him so much.
Honorable Mention: Blood mask! Aw yeah! from Streets of Gotham #11
Because…blood mask! Aw yeah!
Up until this moment, the story was pretty good, but the second Damian dipped his fingers into his own wound and painted his face with his blood, this issue instantly skyrocketed into my top 10 favorites ever. Look at him.Look at him. I just. I fangirl squee’d. I fangirl squee’d so hard.
Number Six: Batman’s reveal to Jim Gordon in NML; Jim’s reaction, NML volume 4 (I don’t have the specific issue for any of my NML picks, sorry)
This one gets a few pages.
What a powerful moment. The simplicity here is breathtaking. They’re in an intensely desperate position, and everybody’s been so mad at Batman for disappearing, and Bruce is a little bit beaten, and…and so he pulls down the cowl. And is ready to be Jim’s friend as the read him, as Bruce Wayne. He offers this to Jim because there is nothing else he can offer.
And what does Jim say? Put it back on.
skjdhfsakjhfdsahdaskhjfkjshdg. The weight of this moment is just…it’s amazing, to me. Because yeah, Jim pretty much knows already. For sure. But he cannot acknowledge that, or everything else come crashing down. It’s kind of funny, when you think about it - this whole premise of the Batman isn’t held up, fundamentally, by Bruce. Or by Alfred. Or Dick, or even Bruce’s parents. The Batman only exists because Jim Gordon let it exist. If it weren’t for her cooperation, then the Batman would have been shut down years ago.
And also these pages show how young and hopeful Bruce really is. Jim is old. He’s old and he’s smart and he’s kind of cynical, for all he’s seen. You’d think that Batman would be the most cynical, end of story, but he’s not, not really. He’s still pretty naive. He thinks things are simpler than they are.
It’s just a really good summation of their relationship, in my opinion. And perfect characterization. And I was shocked when Bruce lowered the cowl. Shocked.
Honorable Mention: Huntress stands her ground, NML volume 5
Another Huntress moment. Because, come on, who is more badass than Huntress? No, seriously. Seriously, let’s look at everything Helena’s done for a second, and then you tell me who is more badass than she is.
No one. That’s who. Nobody is as badass as the Huntress, when she wants to be, and she kicks ass over the next few pages, and she takes a beating and takes bullets and she does it all on her own. All. on. her. own. Without flinching once. Helena. Helena, let me love you.
She held her ground. We’ll NEVER forget that.
Number Five: Red Devil’s sacrifice, Teen Titans v3 74
Just looking at this makes me tear up.
Eddie Bloomberg was everybody’s favorite Titan. He was always laughing and cracking jokes and he had crushes on girls and was actually pretty badass. He essentially faked a relationship with Blue Devil. He’d literally sold his soul for his powers, and once he got out of the deal he was actually upset because he’d lost his powers. He was a true hero, in the purest sense of the word, and what made his sacrifice all the more heart-wrenching was the fact that he never came back. He probably never will. He’s one of the few heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice, no take backs. He deserved more than a statue. He deserved to be honored, and after this it kind of felt like he was forgotten.
Titans Together, Eddie. Titans Together.
Honorable Mention: Donna Troy, bitch, Countdown to Final Crisis #15
Because rarely have I actually shouted out loud “FUCK. YEAH.” after a comic book line.
I wanted to fit Starfire blasting Wonder Woman in Teen Titans #6 in here, but come on. How can you not love this moment?
Number Four: Starfire puts things into perspective, 52 Week 41
Kory: A-hem. On Tamaran, we were taught to make our own destiny, Adam Strange. The fact that I’m leaking my vital life essence isn’t bothering me in the slightest and at the moment it certainly shouldn’t bother you! Now, I made a solemn promise to return Buddy’s jacket to Ellen Baker… Get us out of this or I’ll show you just how obnoxious a princess of blood royal can actually be! Your wife and baby are waiting for you on the other side of all this unpleasantness.
She says, as their ship careens into a sun.
Kory refers to all of this as “unpleasantness.” They’ve been lost in space. They’ve been hunted several times, and one of their number has been killed. She’s pretty much dying. They are pretty much going to die. And she calls it “unpleasantness.” Kory. Kory. I love you.
I think that these three panels basically sum up the entirety of what superhero comics are supposed to represent. You don’t give up. Ever. There is no surrender, and there you do not accept no-win situations. You keep your chin up, and you move forward, and you leave all the unpleasantness behind! KORY I LOVE YOU SO MUCH /SOB
Honorable Mention(s): The Bakers reunite, sit and look at each other, 52 Week 51….
Okay, so if it wasn’t already obvious, the story I was most emotionally invested in during 52 was Starfire, Animal Man and Adam Strange’s adventure in space.
My favorite part about this is that he’s been gone for so long, and when he returns he warns her that they can’t touch just yet, he needs to cool off or his power needs to wear off, or something. And so she says, “I’ll just sit here and look at you.” And that’s what they do. They sit together and they love each other so much. All the other superhero couples out there, they do okay, but they ain’t shit next to Ellen and Buddy Baker. That’s what real love looks like, folks.
…and Sobek EATS Amon, 52 Week 43
I have pretty much never gasped as loudly as I did here. Because…WTF?!?!? Who saw that coming? Maybe I have too much faith in monstrous characters, but holy crap, this shocked the hell out of me. I can’t even…wow.
Now I could have picked a loooot from 52 - the stories of Renee Montoya and Ralph Dibny in particular stood out to me, and I wanted to pick something about them, but when it comes down to it I had the most feels about Kory’s adventure in space and how could I not include Sobek and Amon?
Number Three: The Wests return, to everybody’s surprise, Justice League of America #10
I’ve said this before, but I was kind of mega confused while reading The Lightning Saga. I had no idea what was going on for most of it. And just as I was getting the hang of what was going on - BAM. Wally West and the fam.
I think I started crying? Not sure, but Wally West is easily one of my favorite characters, and the West family is absolutely one of my favorite comic book families. His return was epic, and he totally deserved it and everything was lovely. Everything was lovely.
Honorable Mention: The whole Flash family, together again! Flash Rebirth #5
I don’t even like Barry. But damn, do I love this family. All of them.
I almost chose the moment where Iris siphons the connection to the Speed Force away from her brother, because for a second there I think my heart stopped beating. But you know, I’ve gotta go with everybody reuniting, because it’s just such a triumphant moment. I love it. I LOVE IT.
Number Two: Wonder Woman blinds herself, beats the crap out of Medusa, Wonder Woman #210
So I absolutely had tears in my eyes at the end here.
Wonder Woman comports herself with absolute honor and elegant grace at every turn in this storyline. Even when she slices a snake from Medusa’s head and squirts poison into her eyes, blinding herself. She kills Medusa, and she wins, and she’s a mess.
But the greatest thing here is that she hasn’t been alone. People have been watching her this whole time. And where this should have humiliated her - it did not. She emerged stronger than ever, and everybody watching - they were rooting for her. The whole time. And that’s powerful to me. She was never alone on that field. And she was never desperate. She knew what she was doing the whole time, and goddammit, she won, and fuck, why wasn’t this on anybody else’s list of Awesome/Shocking/Badass Moments in Comics? Wonder Woman deserves a freaking shrine for this. I just want to find her and give her a big hug and then a high five.
Wonder Woman, guys, have I mentioned? She is my idol. My role model. I. Love. Her.
Honorable Mention: A blind Wonder Woman fights Zeus’s champion, and wins, Wonder Woman 213
Yeah so this is in the same arc, I know, because nothing is more badass than blind!Wonder Woman. Unf. Look at that thing. Look at her. She won’t be beat, Zeus. Nope. Not ever.
And I love that Athena had total faith in her the whole time. Diana was pretty pissed at Athena, but Athena knew she could do it. Total faith. I just. I can’t.
Number One: BARBARA GORDON, THERE ARE KNIVES IN YOUR LEGS, Detective Comics #881
OH GOD JAMES GORDON WHAT THE HELL
When I saw those knives in her legs, I gasped louder than I think I ever have gasped in my life, except for maybe by the time I reached the end of the page. And then I legitimately think I did scream “FUCK YOU” at James. I can’t even. The very fact that he tells this story, it’s just…oh my God. James, I just wanted to kill you. This is ridiculous. I was screaming the whole time I was reading this issue. Screaming.
Honorable Mention: BARBARA TEARS THE GODDAMN KNIFE OUT OF HER GODDAMN LEG AND STICKS IT IN HER BROTHER’S GODDAMN EYE, HOLY SHIT, Detective Comics #881
NOPE YOU GET NO WORDS FOR THIS ONE
IT SPEAKS FOR ITSELF
Barbara Gordon was the most badass character in the DCU. The. Most. Badass.
So yeah. My favorite moments.
I have a thousand more. I probably didn’t think of some other ones. I probably should have included Bruce Wayne killing a god with a handgun. But for one reason or another, I love the other actions here just a little better than that.
Most of these would probably not make the others' lists, but I'm a particular breed of fangirl and these are my particular moments that I loved.
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