Fighting and comics go together like ramalama ding dong so when Scott Farquharson requested the best fights in comics it felt like an open goal. There’s so many battles and all different kinds from intergalactic superhuman battles to street level martial arts fights. In all honesty my list will not be the most bombastic one out there as I prefer street level comics and hand to hand martial arts scenes. I understand the love for the over the top, explosions everywhere type battles but they just don’t always click with me. That said there will be all types making it onto the list as it’s a big ‘un. Let’s get ready to rumble!!
54.Moon Knight And Bushman Face Off: From-Moon Knight: 2006
Bushman was Moon Knight’s first nemesis from his original ongoing series in 1980 and their first battle was a lot of fun. It had nothing on their battle from volume 3 written by Charlie Huston and drawn by David Finch. If you like your comics grim and gritty then oh boy this series is for you, it still amazes me that Marvel allowed it to pass. The violent battle ends with Moon Knight slicing Bushman’s face off and presenting it as a sacrifice to his god Khonshu……eeesh.
53. Batman Takes On An Entire Swat Team: From-Batman Year One:1987
Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s classic “Year One” was chock full of great moments but none were as breathtaking as this scene. Batman is cornered in a run down building by the GCPD and it seems there’s no way out. This is early on in Batman’s vigilante career so he isn’t as polished or skilled as he would become and he bursts into an ugly brawl that ends with the epic moment where he uses a device to cause a swarm of bats to fly towards him, confusing and scaring the swat team. This allows him to escape and it’s exhilarating stuff. The movie Batman Begins later used a scene similar to this.
52.Cats In The Cradle: From-Uncanny X-Force:2012
This issue of Uncanny X-Force was covered in my top emotional moments list and it’s such a great fight full of pathos and aggression. Daken is Wolverine’s son that he never knew about until he found out he’d fathered a psychopathic killer. Daken plans on killing everyone in the X-Men’s school and so Wolverine feels he is the one to stop him. As he gets the upper hand and starts drowning his son we see flashes of the life he wishes he could have provided for him. If only he had known of his existence earlier, things may have turned out differently.
51. What The Hell Happened?: From- Plastron Cafe:1992
TMNT co-creator Peter Laird wrote this short story set in the future for the anthology comic Plastron Cafe and it packs a punch. Donatello is seen as an old….turtle undergoing a virtual training schedule set up by his computer Chet(an inside joke for TMNT fans) so we see him fight holograms of Shredder and the Foot Clan but Chet accidentally sets up holograms of the full turtle team. Donnie shuts off the training immediately and bursts into tears demanding Chet never ever do that again. It was cool seeing old Donnie fighting The Shredder etc but the whole session is a set up to show that something awful happens in the future and leaves it in the heads of the reader.
50. Sick Burn: From-Watchmen:1986-87
Not one specific fight but rather Rorschach’s entire time in prison was filled with violence and chaos. From burning a fellow inmate’s face off with boiling oil to dispatching attackers in his cell to Nite Owl and Silk Spectre helping him break out during a riot the time our favourite sociopath spent in the slammer was an unforgettable read. We even get to find out what turned Walter Kovacs into Rorschach……disclaimer……it’s not nice.
49. Shovel Knight: From-Batman Birth Of The Demon:1992
A beautifully choreographed fight with stunning painted artwork from the brilliant Norm Breyfogle. This came from Denny O’ Neill’s story depicting the birth of Ras Al Ghul flipping between present day and 500 years ago. The fight is so brutal that Ras impales Batman with a SHOVEL! and he still keeps fighting!! Exhausted, they both fall into the Lazarus pit where Batman heals up from his wounds.
48. The Final Battle: From-Marvel Civil War: 2006-07
Civil war was a contentious story at the time of release with the comic community split down the middle (a sort of civil war if you will guffaw) with some loving it and others thinking it was blasphemous to pit heroes against each other like this. Indeed Mark Millar faced some backlash along with the praise but I am firmly in the positive camp. I really enjoyed it and even though there are some plot holes and things I found a little off with it, I still thoroughly enjoyed the series. The final battle comes when Cloak teleports almost every Marvel character into downtown Manhattan and the pro and anti superhero registration camps clashed heavily. It came down to the leaders of the two groups, Iron Man and Captain America, the latter of whom stops fighting as he sees the destruction the fight with his former friend has caused to the people they are supposed to be protecting. He hands himself in and calls off the war, eventually when on trial Cap would be assassinated. The final battle was epic and tragic and Marvel were dealing with the fallout for several years after it.
47. Spidey Snaps: From-Spider-Man: 1973
When your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man screams ” FILTHY WORM EATING SCUM” you know it’s on. This out of character tirade is more than justified as Norman Osborne (The Green Goblin) has murdered the love of his life by throwing her from a bridge. This comes just weeks after he had killed her father, Captain Stacy so Peter is incandescent with furious rage. Goblin was the main nemesis in the early days and is still seen as the face of Spidey villains but this is where he met his end……well……for a few years anyway because…..comics. In an attempt to kill Spidey, Goblin impales himself with his own glider, nae luck.
46. X-Men vs Bastion: From-X-Men Second Coming-2010
If you read my top X-Men stories then you’ll know how much I loved Second Coming and a big part of that is the massive fight between the X-Men and Bastion with his Nimrods. There are different fights in different areas but it’s all considered one giant fight in my eyes with highlights including Rogue taking on Bastion and of course Nightcrawler sacrificing himself by teleporting through Bastion’s arm to save Hope from being killed. A tragic end to a superb trilogy.
45. Robin vs Robin: From-Battle For The Cowl:2009
Ok so when Batman went through that whole Final Crisis debacle where he was “dead” it left the world without a Batman so this led to a huge argument about who should take up the cowl and be the next Batman. The recently returned Jason Todd was desperate to prove his worth by basically being a massive dick and causing problems for everyone due to his Lazarus pit revival messing his head up. It sounds confusing and it does take a bit of required knowledge of DC history but basically Jason used to be Robin and he gets into a great fight with Nightwing (Dick Grayson) who also used to be Robin. Jason electrocutes Dick and douses him with Scarecrow’s fear toxin but Nightwing still manages to come out on top. Seeing two former Robins go at it was incredibly cool and even though the Battle For The Cowl event was met with mixed reviews, most people agree that this was the best part.
44. The Punisher goes postal: From-Punisher vs The Marvel Universe-1995
Garth Ennis hates superheroes….we know this, boy does he let us know in his writing but back when it was still a novelty and hadn’t been drilled into the ground he wrote this thrilling one shot. The Punisher’s family get caught in a crossfire during an X-Men battle and die. Big Pun then goes on a killing spree trying to take out every hero and villain in the Marvel universe. Tracking the Hulk until he turns into Banner before executing him and electrocuting Wolverine to death are just some of the fun and inventive ways that he dispatches his targets. It even manages to squeeze a little pathos and emotion at the end with his buddy Daredevil. Great stuff.
43. Batman vs The Mutant Leader: From-The Dark Knight Returns-1986
Chances are you don’t need me to tell you about the cultural impact of Frank Miller’s seminal classic The Dark Knight Returns and if you do need more info then check out my top Batman stories. So with that said let’s just jump straight into the brutal one on one fight between the aging Caped Crusader and the hulking leader of the new gang terrorising Gotham “The Mutants”. The mutant is younger, stronger and quicker to the punch so Batman needs to use everything in that grey haired head of his to overcome the situation. The utter brutality and grim nature of the fight along with the other Mutant’s looking on in the dark of night sends this fight onto the list.
42. And Now For My Next Trick: From-Daredevil:1982
I’m going to be honest here……I’ve never been a massive Elektra fan. I understand her popularity by meh, spoiled rich arsehole doesn’t click with me. I’m protective of Matt as a character and he’s better off without….so there!. Nonetheless, the devastation this event caused Matt’s life is still being felt to this day, it’s shaped him as a person ever since. I actually think this is Frank Miller’s finest piece of sequential art ever. From the moment she is stabbed by Bullseye to the point where she dies in Matt’s arms after dragging herself to his place we are with her ever painstaking step of the way.
41. Neck And Neck: From-Savage Sword Of Conan:1976
There are very few humans in the world of Conan that can present themselves as something of a fight for everyone’s favourite Cimmerian but that’s exactly what Baal Pteor presents as. A massive, dark skinned behemoth who is something of a mid level boss (to use a confused analogy) and main servant of Totrasmek, a sorcerer ruler. His special killing technique is strangling so he and Conan get into a strangle-off with our man coming out on top while dropping the mic with diss after diss. Ahhhh Conan, never change. Interestingly Neal Adams did the art here.
40. Brotherly Love: From-Wolverine:1995
Big shocker, Wolverine and Sabretooth at it again but ooft this one was a doozy. Set during an interesting time in the X-books, this issue basically had the two brothers brawl for an entire issue while Sabretooth begs Wolvie to give in to his dark side and try to kill him. They are alone in the X-mansion and level the building as they brawl all over the place with Wolverine finally getting the upper hand which is when things get REALLY interesting. Logan has Creed pinned down with two of his claws out either side of his head, Creed keeps begging him to give in and pop the third claw to kill him…..(not entirely sure why) and unbelievably ……Wolverine does it. The issue ends with the famous sound of his claws being unsheathed. Brilliantly (or infuriatingly depending on you viewpoint) just before the point of impact the world changed and turned into The Age Of The Apocalypse timeline (a whole other story) so Creed lives to fight another day.
Ok that’s part one done, plenty more to come though Kinkermaniacs. Keep the conversation going by letting me know your thoughts. Catch me @swing_kinker or @BigGlasgowComic cheers. x