29. Shredded And Splintered: From- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: 2015
Something that many, non hardcore TMNT fans don’t know is that in the original comics Shredder died in issue 1! Such was his impact that he ended up being the main villain in every cartoon series, most movies and subsequent comic series. The recent IDW series portrayed shred head brilliantly as a calculated, highly skilled ninja who has a serious past with Master Splinter. In this iteration Splinter and Shredder are reincarnated versions of two humans who lived hundreds of years ago (the turtles were splinter’s literal sons in their past life) so when the huge build up finally came to a head in issue 50 it was on…IT WAS ON!. The two legends met on a rooftop and battled it out in a game of life or death. Shredder, admitting defeat, commits seppuko and asks Splinter to behead him. In a rare act of humanity he tells his daughter Karai he is proud of her and any discipline he forced upon her was purely for her to better herself. He then tells Splinter they will meet again in the forest where they played together as friends in childhood…….what are you doing?? Don’t make me like you!!!. Splinter does the deed and takes over the foot clan. A massively brave step for IDW and a huge change in the status quo. One that poor Mikey cannot grasp, it all became very real to him at that moment. Brilliant stuff.
28.Sweet Barry Hi!: From-The Flash: 1993
I try to keep these blurbs quick so we can get to the next entry nice and quick but sometimes there’s a need for some backstory and sometimes there’s a need for…..a lot of backstory so bear with me and I’ll keep it as quick as I can. If you’re older than me then chances are your Flash growing up was Barry Allen, the second and most famous version of The Scarlet Speedster. Barry died a hero during the timeline altering reboot Crisis On Infinite Earths from 1985/86 and after a while the book was brought back with his wife Iris West’s nephew Wally West taking up the mantle for a new generation….(mine). Quite early into Wally’s run Barry makes a sudden and stunning return with no memory of how he got there, only that he is indeed Barry Allen. Most are delighted with this news but Wally was always a little trepidatious of this fella and after he’s left to die on a mission he knows this is not the man he grew up idolising. Indeed it ends up being Eobard Thawne, The Reverse Flash in what was a tremendous and shocking twist. See Thawne himself was thought to be dead as Barry snapped his neck to save a woman’s life but this Thawne is from a different timeline and has never even met Barry….phew ok so there is a lot more to reveal here as this is really the origin of the family of speedsters with Max Mercury making his debut and all of them teaming up to take down Thawne, The battle itself is more amazing due to it’s impact in the sense that this is where stubborn Barry Allen supporters finally accepted Wally West as the one true Flash for the 90s. Part of Mark Waid’s epic and unbeaten run on the character.
27. Finally: From-Street Fighter: 2008
Ok, my favourite video game of all time is Final Fight….there are many reasons (most of them nostalgia based) for this but that’s another story for another time. So when Udon’s fun Street Fighter comics announced they’d be incorporating Final Fight characters into their series I was hyped. The two games have always shared a universe with several FF characters turning up as playable characters in the SF series. In all honesty the inclusion of FF into the comics was a bit of a damp squib with only a few pages being dedicated to the characters but we did get this cool moment between FF legend Guy (based on Fugazi singer Guy Picciotto) and his sister in law from FF2 Maki. Maki challenges him to a fight to prove her worth and while she can’t get the better of him she still gains the respect of the Ninjitsu master. It was just so cool for me to see FF characters on the page that it didn’t really matter what they were up to, I would still be interested.
26. Can You Feel The Power Of The Gladiator?!: From-Daredevil: 2007
I love characters like Melvin Potter’s Gladiator, the big dumb brute with a heart of gold. The problem is characters like these are easily manipulated by villains who wish to use his strengths for their gains. Melvin randomly seems to go on a killing spree throughout Manhattan, murdering several innocent people and leaving a trail for Daredevil to find. During a meal with Milla Donovan Gladiator finally makes himself seen and challenges Matt to a fight after killing the waiter with his forearm blades. Daredevil is caught between getting everyone to safety and fighting Melvin….but he’s also pleading with him, letting him know that he’s trying to help. It’s clear that Melvin isn’t himself but Matt is unable to overpower him and ends up brutally beaten into unconsciousness. It’s a visceral fight with big implications and plenty pathos as you’re hoping Melvin comes to and realises what he’s doing but sadly that moment doesn’t come.
25.MC Escher In Da House!: From-Secret Avengers: 2011
It’s the greatest martial artist Shang Chi fighting several enemies in a trans-dimensional villain base with crazy gravity misplacement. Sure Captain America and Sharon Carter are there kicking arse as well but I’m a Shang Chi man so it was good to see him destroying fools through David Aja’s always creative panel work. A thing of true beautiful carnage.
24.Deathstroke Of Genius: From-Identity Crisis: 2004
Identity Crisis was a hugely polarising story within the comic book community and my thoughts on the whole thing are seen elsewhere on these lists but it’s not a conversation for today. What this is about is an amazing fight between Deathstroke The Terminator and THE ENTIRE JUSTICE LEAGUE of the time. That’s right the villain that mainly hangs out around the Teen Titan books fighting and often coming up short against children is going up against the greatest heroes on the planet. Not only does he hold his own, he gets more than a few licks in and it takes a mass scramble from the entire team to take him down. If nothing else, this series showed Deathstroke as legit a threat as legit can get.
23.Wild Thing: From-Fantastic Four: 1971
The battle of the behemoths indeed. Back in the 70s this was the chat of the geeks….”who would win in a fight, Hulk or The Thing?”. There have actually been quite a few fights between the two of them but this was the most fun one as it lasted an entire issue. Thing holds his own really well against Hulk and gets quite a few hits in before the mean green machine catches him in a choke hold that has him passing out. Thing just manages to escape before his love Alicia Masters turns up asking them to stop. Hulk then blasts the distracted Thing with a massive sucker punch that nearly kills him…..fight over.
22. The Joke’s Over: From-The Dark Knight Returns-1986
Part of Frank Miller’s much celebrated Dark Knight Returns storyline set in a future dystopia where Batman is retired and broken down. A series of events lure him out of hiding and back into action with a chunkier, slower Batman prowling the police state of Gotham. This brings the Joker…..who is catatonic in Arkham asylum….back into life again as his old nemesis was the only thing keeping him going. He gets out and goes on a killing spree that ends up in a fun fair tunnel of love with Batman tracking him down and a brutal fight ensues. Joker repeatedly stabs Batman as he is being pummeled half to death. Sensing the police coming Joker pulls off his last great joke, snapping his own neck so as to incriminate Batman for murder. He dies with a rictus grin on his face that remains a chilling visual.
21. Back In Black: From-Spider-Man: 2007
The Kingpin is a big fan of breaking his enemies into tiny pieces by messing with their belongings, their families, their loved ones. When the focus of his favourite pass time is Peter Parker things get ugly……very ugly. Aunt May, everyone’s favourite comic book oxygenarian is shot at the request of Kingpin who is quietly stewing in prison. A guard at his facility passes the news onto him that the deed is done. So angered and out of control is Peter that he changes to the famous black costume, conveying his unrestrained aggression and lack of witty one liners…..he means business. Spidey ends up face to face with Fisk in prison where he precedes to beat the ever loving crap out of him. It’s a heinous but satisfying beatdown that ends with Petey pimp slapping Fisk in front of the other inmates, utterly humiliating him. Safe to say a message was sent…..do no mess with Spider-Man’s family.
20. Ooohh Hell Is A Place On Earth: From-Swamp Thing-1986
Issue 50 of Swamp Thing was part of Alan Moore’s character defining run and was part of a crazy story called American Gothic that dealt with the forces of hell planning a march up to heaven in an attempt to change the balance of the world. John Constantine manufactures a plan that sees the forces of good execute a two pronged attack on the demons who now manifested themselves as a massive shadowy cloud. In one spot we have Constantine leading a group of DC magic wielding heroes in seance while Swamp Thing and his band of misfits (including Etrigan The Demon and Dr Fate) try to convince the forces of evil that they need to remain where they come from. The shadow spits out everyone who cannot convince them until finally they are satisfied with an answer given by Swampy…..the sun comes up, the status quo remains and it’s another victory for the good guys. ……Oh and a couple of folk die in the battle…..meh.
And that’s it for this part folks, we’re into the teens next as the countdown continues. Keep yer peepers peeled and I’ll be back with more Kinker Korner before you know it. @swing_kinker