2012 was an excellent year for battles. Clenched fists crashed against soft faces, feet harshly collided with groins, and writer Rick Remender treated us to what will easily go down as the most creative use of teleporation ever.
As expected, reflecting on the past 12 months and trying to pick just 3 fights wasn't easy. My brain went into overdrive as I tired to recall anything and everything when it comes to the slugfests between the fictional characters we all love (and loathe). In the end, I decided it would be best to pick 1 from Marvel, 1 from DC, and 1 from any other publisher. There were so many great battles this year and so many of them deserve praise, but ultimately these are the 3 that hold a special place in my heart. I've also selected 1 honorable mention for each publisher.
Fellow staff writer Mat 'Inferiorego' Elfring was also kind enough to pick 3 of his own. Once you're done reading the article and gazing at the images, be sure to share your own top 3.
AoA Nightcrawler vs Blob
Best. BAMF. Ever. Forget trying to nitpick the details behind this one (space for the shark, durability of his organs, etc.), this was by all means one of the most jaw-dropping moments in Remender's UNCANNY X-FORCE (and trust me, there's a lot of 'em). Words cannot fully express just how shocking and gruesome Age of Apocalypse Nightcrawler's victory over Blob truly is. The visuals do a more than able job with conveying the torment Blob is going through, but Remender's twisted captions add a whole extra layer of delightfully sick details. I know "jumped the shark" is a negative saying, but let's try to turn "ported the shark" into a positive one. A fight leaves you stunned? It totally 'ported the shark.
Relive this painful moment with the panels below. And yeah, you might want to hold off on eating anything while you do so.
Goodnight, fat prince.== TEASER ==
TMNT vs Shredder
Oh, nostalgia, you have such a powerful influence over me. Tom Waltz and Kevin Eastman's IDW comic had the Turtles and Shredder facing off for the first time and it's clear the encounter was heavily inspired by the classic rooftop battle in the first Mirage comic. The villain makes short work of a tired Master Splinter, but naturally, the Turtles appear just in the nick of time. The Foot Ninjas, Karai and others don't prove much of a match and the Turtles quickly face down the classic arch enemy. Just like the original run, he's too skilled for them to handle on their own. But by fighting together they can eventually overcome their foe. Unlikely the first issue in the Mirage series, Shredder lives to see another day at the end of this bout.
Below are the highlights for your eyes to enjoy.
I anxiously await round 2.
Batman vs Nobody
Man, you know you're totally screwed when Batman drops a death threat your way. Writer Peter Tomasi's brilliant opening story arc in BATMAN & ROBIN concluded with a superb and brutal fight between two former allies -- Bruce Wayne and Morgan Ducard aka Nobody. The struggle is incredibly violent, but what makes it so special is everything that has led up to this point. Batman is forced to listen in on Ducard torturing Damian, the son he's been struggling to protect. Nobody thinks he's delivering sweet revenge, but all he's really doing is setting himself for a horrific beat down, courtesy of a bloodlusted Dark Knight. The look on Damian's eyes as he witnesses his father about to cross the line is astonishingly powerful material.
This was my favorite from 2012 and therefore I'll treat you to a lot of the fight. I recommend listening to some epic music as you read on.
As if that wasn't enough, Damian then kills Nobody while he's incapacitated.
Marvel: Deadpool vs zombie Presidents
DC: Batman vs Lincoln March
As promised, here's staff writer Mat 'Inferiorego' Elfring's picks
Deadpool vs undead F.D.R.
Sometimes, a fight is so darn ridiculous and over-the-top that it becomes the most memorable fight of the year. In DEADPOOL #1, Deadpool finds himself fighting the ghost of ex-United States President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who is in a wheelchair. Don't the wheelchair fool you though. FDR puts up one heck of a fight as Deadpool's first challenge in this new series. Aside from the epicness of this battle, we get some fantastic FDR-related one-liners, and Deadpool ends up riding on FDR's lap. Now that's what I call an amazing battle.
Aric vs Vine Members
X-O MANOWAR #5 has a fight scene that is so over-the-top and awesome that I high fived a buddy about it. A group of military men make their way into the jungle, looking for Aric, only to find their helicopter blown up. Afterwords, a few of them get shot at by Aric, one guy gets shot in the face, and Aric shoves a live grenade in one of the military members' stomach AKA the gut grenade. It's just a few pages of amazing action that not only establishes this book as amazing, but also establishes Aric as a complete bad@$$.
Cloned Alan Fisher vs Young Alan Fisher
DANCER is a game of cat and mouse between a man and the younger, cloned version of himself. The last couple of issues, of this mini-series, are incredible suspenseful as cloned Alan Fisher tries to get best of his non-clone self in an incredibly suspenseful, back and forth game of cat and mouse. In the final issue, cloned Alan is near moments away from killing the Dancer, Quinn. Across the way is older Alan, bleeding out after being shot, trying to reach his sniper rifle. It's an incredibly suspenseful and thrilling, and ends with one amazingly blood page. It's a fight that will keep you on the edge of your sear.
Gregg Katzman is a writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter because it's what all the cool kids are doing nowadays.