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Best Battles in New Comics: 09/06/13

This week, we feature fights from the pages of X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM, LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT, and VENOM.

Oh yes, it's 'Best Battles' time! In case you're new here, this is the place to be every Friday if you want to see some pretty cool fights from the latest comics. This week, we ended up picking two from Marvel and one from DC. And yes, this obviously contains some spoilers.

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!

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Batman vs. Joker, Killer Croc, Clayface (Legends of the Dark Knight #66)

Norman Carver has a bad case of hero worship. He was obsessed with heroes -- specifically Batman -- as a child and now that he's all grown up and a talented geneticist, he's attempting to create his very own Batman. But his goal is to produce an enhanced version of the Dark Knight. How is he going to accomplish this? Well, he's spent the past three years collecting the Caped Crusaders blood from scenes where the hero fought one of his numerous villains. Now we're lucky enough to revisit each of those brawls. The first one was three years ago and had Bruce facing off against the Joker. He already punched Joker in the face and a bullet grazed the hero's arm. Here's what happens next. Spoiler alert: seeing as it's a close combat encounter, we wouldn't recommend placing any bets on Joker winning.

You can never go wrong with a bat-kick to the gut. Never.
You can never go wrong with a bat-kick to the gut. Never.

Next up was a sewer encounter with the sometimes scary and sometimes laughably pathetic Killer Croc. Fun fact: when treated with a fair dose of respect, Croc is actually a pretty formidable dude. Sure, there are times when Wayne knocks his lights out with standard strikes, but there are quite a few other instances where the Dark Knight had to rely on his gadgets and the environment to beat the villain. In this case, Batman takes the easy way out and quickly dispatches the large foe with a nice dose of electricity.

That isn't really something to be proud of, Batman.
That isn't really something to be proud of, Batman.

Up next: Clayface. This is pretty much a repeat of the Justice Leaguer's fight with Croc. The big ol' baddie gets a solid hit in, but instead of trying to go mano-a-mano, Batman uses his brain and immediately whips out something that's sure to stop Clayface in his tracks. Problem easily solved, that's for sure.

GASP! Batman's a thief!
GASP! Batman's a thief!

The digital issue concludes with Carver's Frankenbatmanstein coming to life, so we'll definitely be checking out the next issue to see how that develops.

X-Men vs. Sentinels (X-Men: Battle of the Atom #1)

Kitty Pryde has been training the original X-Men, but now it's time to see how they'll act when the going gets very, very, veeeeeeery tough. Like, a group of enormous Sentinels tough. Kitty trained them to all link onto her in the event of imminent doom. Luckily for them, everyone is able to do so in time and, thanks to her mutant power, she's able to protect all of them from a huge volley of blasts from the massive foes. The Sentinels assume their targets are destroyed and begin to turn away. Young Cyclops, however, decides to go ahead and ruin all of that by playing hero and trying to save trapped civilians. Does he have a heart of gold? Yes. Is he a tactical genius? Not yet, apparently.

ALWAYS listen to your professor, people. Or... you may get shot by a Sentinel.
ALWAYS listen to your professor, people. Or... you may get shot by a Sentinel.

They were fortunate enough to survive the first blast, but now they're facing impossible odds. Scott nobly offers to distract the giant enemies so his teammate can escape in one piece, but luckily for him, he doesn't need to make the sacrifice play. Current Cyclops steps in, and since his powers are all over the place since having the Phoenix Force, he's able to take down three Sentinels with just one blast. Not bad, Scott... not bad at all.

Cyclops is the king when it comes to Ned Starking Sentinels.
Cyclops is the king when it comes to Ned Starking Sentinels.

No longer do the odds seem impossible. Now that Summers' X-Men are on Kitty Pryde's side, the large roster of mutants decides it's time to go on the offensive and lay waste to their robotic enemies. And that's exactly what they do -- with extreme efficiency, too. Personal favorite bit of ownage: Angel dropping Beast on one of the Sentinels so he can rip key parts to shreds with his strength.

*insert montage music here*
*insert montage music here*

Just because the Sentinels are down doesn't mean the threat is over... not by a long shot, actually. If you want to find out what happens next, pick up the darn issue! There's no need to worry if you haven't been following the gazillion X-Men books -- it's a fine jumping on point.

Mania vs. Lord Ogre's goons (Venom #40)

We got a glimpse of Mania in the last issue, but now it's time to see how she handles crime when Flash isn't around. Wanting to slaughter the man responsible for her father's death, Mania attacks criminals in an effort to find Lord Ogre. In case you haven't been following along, Lord Ogre's the big bad in Philly and he put a pricey hit on Flash's head because the hero's being a total party pooper when it comes to the criminal element. In an effort to get at Flash, Jack O'Lantern (or so we thought...), attacked his neighbors and said neighbors happened to be Andi and her father. Sadly, her father was killed by the fiend and in an effort to protect Andi, part of the symbiote slithered over and bonded with her. Now she's running around as Mania and looking for revenge. There's something particularly scary about a pissed off punk/goth/whatever Andi is flailing at goons with giant claws.

Is it just me or is Mania way more frightening than FlashVenom?
Is it just me or is Mania way more frightening than FlashVenom?

A NEW CHALLENGER APPEARS! Alright, time to see Mania show off against this new trio of hired guns! Surely this is going to be an epic brawl for the ages, right? After all, she may be kicking all kinds of cannon fodder around like they're nothing, but this is now dealing with people who specialize in this kind of stuff. Alright, let's see what happens as she faces her first big set of threats!

That top panel makes it look like she has giant boxing gloves on, doesn't it?
That top panel makes it look like she has giant boxing gloves on, doesn't it?

Okay, maybe she's adapting to the symbiote a bit faster than we expected. She downright humiliated that dude! However, it appears she's not all that durable. Despite her speed, strength and pointy hands of death, we can understand how Crossbones may be a threat if a single cut can make it through and draw blood. Anyway, that's one enemy down and two to go. Maybe she'll have a bit more difficulty with this duo.

Well, that was easy.
Well, that was easy.

Or... maybe not. Man, she hasn't spent too much time with the symbiote but Mania is a boss. Maybe if we're fortunate enough, she'll survive VENOM's final story arc and have additional time to develop into a brand new anti-hero/hero. And yes, this is the FINAL story arc in the series, so if you've ever wanted to check the series out, now's the time.

Honorable Mentions

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Don't forget to make nominations every week in the official thread or tell Gregg via Twitter.