Oh, man, this week's brawls are not for the faint of heart at all. We have a bloody battle in a mall which involves all kinds of stabbing and smashing, a group fight with vicious kicks to the groin and last but certainly not least, arrows doing very painful things to very unfortunate people. Ready for an overdose of action? Of course you are.
Did your favorite melee not get a mention? Well, it's possible we didn't read that issue, so be sure to make suggestions in the official Best Battles Discussion Thread from now on. We review that before writing this weekly feature and do our best to get our hands on the issues suggested!
*This edition has a decent amount of gore and even swearing. If that's not your cup of tea or if you're super young and sneaking on the internet, go away right now*
Green Arrow & Shado vs. Count Vertigo & his goons (GREEN ARROW #23)
GREEN ARROW continues to be beyond awesome thanks to its brilliant creative team. With Jeff Lemire coming up with these super thrilling moments and Andrea Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo fleshing them in a visually stunning manner, this is a book that has been consistently grand since they jump onboard back at issue #17. So, what makes the latest issue worthy of the segment? Well, Green Arrow and Shado are still on the run from Count Vertigo and 3 of his very unlucky goons happen to stumble upon the duo. What happens next is a painful yet gorgeous display of why arrows rock.
Count Vertigo wouldn't be much of a villian if he just let his forces do all of his work for him, right? The foe steps up to the plate and decides to go after the two characters himself. However, in the last issue, an EMP arrow messed up the device which seemingly generates and controls his dizzying ability. With enough power left for only one attack, Vertigo sends a projectile soaring at Oliver, a man who has also sent an arrow flying right back at him. The two projectiles pass one another and Ollie's piercing weapon takes off a chunk of the bad guy's ear. The Justice Leaguer, however, suffers a far more direct hit and once again, the art team does a PHENOMENAL job with it.
Oliver may be unable to continue the fight for now, but Shado is more than ready to kick some Vertigo booty. She's proven herself to be more than efficient with a bow and now she gets the opportunity to showcase her talents yet again. Shado makes swift work of one final armed goon with a brutal shot through the guy's forehead. Count Vertigo's assistant then suffers an abruptly yet hilarious end. I mean, the guy died picking up his Lord's ear and talking about how he can fix it. What an embarrassing way to go.
What happens to Count Vertigo next? How does Richard Dragon fit into all this? Find out by BUYING the issue because it's worth every penny. This is without question my favorite book by DC right now.
Luther Strode & Petra vs. Jack the Ripper (THE LEGEND OF LUTHER STRODE #6)
A finale in a Luther Strode book can only mean one thing: it's time for a boss battle. As always, Justin Jordan, Tradd Moore and Felipe Sobreiro uppercut it out of the freaking park. We've already seen Luther and Jack the Ripper square off, but it was beyond glorious and I'm pretty sure the creative team knows that. So, they generously decided to give us a second helping of these titans facing off.
Only a few moves in and a clash between these characters has already caused a hysterical amount of property damage. This is just the warm up, though. You see, showing off their raw strength and speed with these powerful blunt strikes is good fun and all, but it's not long before Jordan makes Jack the Ripper put those horrifying knives to use. If you're squeamish, you may want to leave now because OUCH KNIVES INTO BOTH HANDS.
"Where's Petra?" I'm glad you asked, random reader. At this point, Petra puts a few rounds into Jack, giving Strode a much needed moment to collect himself. Although, the moment is quite short because it's not long before Jack rips off the legs of body in the mall and then throws them (broken and pointy bones first) at the two. Not sure if you noticed, but I had to use italics to emphasize how insanely absurd yet astonishing that is. To make matters even more over the top, Strode catches them and then attempts to use them as a melee weapon against the mass murderer. While they're going one-on-one, Petra gets the remaining survivors in the mall to leave. This sets Jack off, enabling him to slip out of Strode's grip and set his murderous sights on Petra. What happens next is so cool. Seriously, check it out.
How does this all wrap up? You've gotta read the issue to find out, silly! Seriously though, there's no way I'd ruin the finale. It's so ridiculous but in a totally good way.
Kick-Ass vs. Goons (KICK-ASS 3 #2)
Dave Lizewski has come quite a long way since writer Mark Millar's first volume. In the latest (and final!) series, Dave's approached by a fairly large group of intimidating thugs. At this point, there's no shame in losing your spine and giving them whatever they ask for. But Dave? The dude is intrepid now (well, mostly) and has the brass to trash talk them. But his verbal assault is far less effective than what happens comes next. Dave throws the first strike and it's clear his training with Mindy (who's now incarcerated, by the way) has paid off big time.
Talk about simple yet effective. Hitting two dudes in the face simultaneously is nothing special, but then redirecting your fists to their vulnerable man parts? Rad. Dave's still outnumbered and definitely doesn't have the size advantage, so he follows up without wasting any time. He uses the two guys he just stunned to throw the rest of his targets off balance and then tosses his elbow quite viciously into to a guy's face. Unfortunately for our hero, it all goes downhill once a rather large boot says "hello" to his genitals.
They have the numbers edge and they still fight dirty? Man, talk about being total scum. Dave can take a beating, but a hit down south? That's something he can't exactly shrug off no matter how hard he's been training. As if that wasn't literally low enough, they then kick the poor kid while he's down.
Don't cry for Dave, though. The guy has endured way worse and, while I won't say how this concludes (because buy the issue, duh), Dave is indeed able to walk away from this assault without any lasting injuries. I get KICK-ASS 2 turned some of you off because it took some seriously twisted turns, but Millar is doing a superb job with volume 3. There's a strong emphasis on substance over shock value so far and it's definitely worth diving back into... if the franchise at least interests you, of course. I know that sounds silly after showing you a brawl like that, but trust me, the rest of the issue is Millar doing a fantastic job expanding the narrative.
- Rock, Bear & Lex vs. Stripper Ninjas (BURN THE ORPHANAGE #1)
- World Army vs. Hunger Dogs (EARTH 2 #15)
- Shadowman vs. Master Darque (SHADOWMAN #9)
- Batman vs. Wrath (DETECTIVE COMICS #23)
- Batwing vs. Lady Vic (BATWING #23)
- Robocop vs. Enforcement Droid (ROBOCOP: LAST STAND #1)
- Carnage vs. Wizard (SUPERIOR CARNAGE #2)
- Henry Fyff vs. a shattered heart (GREEN ARROW #23)
- Quantum's personal space vs. Woody's personal space (QUANTUM AND WOODY #2)
- Andrea Sorrentino vs. our eyes (spoiler alert: Sorrentino wins every time)
- Lady Vic vs. a rude director (BATWING #23)
- Superman vs. a bicycle wheel (INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US #30)
- Jeff Lemire vs. YOUR BRAIN (TRILLIUM #1)