With great power comes great slugfests. We want to see writers develop the characters we love every Wednesday, but every now and then it's nice to see them solve their problems with their wealthy variety of superhuman abilities, too. Every Friday I'll feature my three favorite battles from the week's new issues and this week I've selected two from Marvel and one from DC. Once you're done enjoying all of the chaos, don't forget to chime in with your own top 3 in the comments section below!
Scarlet Spider vs. Beast, Iceman & Wolverine (SCARLET SPIDER #17)
Christopher Yost hates Wolverine, doesn't he? First Superior Spider-Manhumiliates him, and now the writer gives Kaine a chance to lash out at the famous X-Man! Tasked by the Assassins Guild to kill Logan, Scarlet Spider breaks into the X-Mansion (with help from "Hummingbird") and encounters Beast and Iceman before making his way to the main event. Beast certainly is formidable, but up against Kaine? It's a case of "anything you can do, I can do better." Sure, Bobby has the potential to take Kaine down with ease by his lonesome, but seeing as he's in character, doing something drastic like freezing the clone's blood just isn't logical. Yes, there's plenty of other ways Iceman can beat Kaine, but a little downplaying on his behalf is alright with me since we're all here to see Kaine go head-to-head with Wolvy, yes? Beast gets a bit of respect as he locates a cloaked Kaine (picked up his scent), but ultimately, Kaine makes short work of both of them. Then it comes down to the big match: Kaine vs. Wolverine. Let the madness begin!
No matter which character you prefer, there's no denying the facts about their physical differences. Logan is more skilled and, thanks to his adamantium lacing and healing factor, he can endure more punishment. However, Kaine's much stronger and definitely faster. Yost does a good job accurately representing the key differences between the two in this one. Right off the bat, Kaine thinks about how Wolverine's first strike nearly ended the battle -- if not for his speed, he'd be holding in his guts. From there, Kaine takes the edge, but as expected, it's nothing Wolverine can't withstand. Eventually, Wolverine lands a strike, but this allows The Other to take a bit of control.
Now that he's basically in beast mode, Kaine doesn't hesitate to go for the kill. With a single strike, Kaine thrusts his claw between Wolverine's ribs and straight into his soft heart. With a single motion, Kaine pulls his claw from the X-Man's body, slicing the heart into two pieces. Needless to say, the attack drops Logan. The runt is down, but Kaine still has a house of quite upset X-Men to deal with. Where will things go from here? I have no idea, but seeing as Yost continues to make this book extra awesome, I'm quite anxious to find out.
You all know Wolverine isn't actually dead for good, right? Of course you do.
Deadpool / Superior Spider-Man vs. The Blandtastic Four (DEADPOOL #10)
Deadpool's still serving as Vetis' hitman. Last issue he took out a not-so-subtle parody of Aquaman, and this week he's going after a parody of Donald Trump. He encounters Superior Spider-Man along the way and we're treated to a super hilarious team-up. Seeing as "Gump" has pre-cog abilities and a mountain of cash, he's hired some mercs to watch his back. While Taskmaster and Batroc are good choices, one has to question his judgment when he also uses his dough to employ the likes of Chance (I love you, but you kind of suck), Lady Stilt-Man and Paste Pot Pe...er, The Trapster (his declaration of his name had me in tears, by the way)! Despite Batroc giving the likes of Iron Fist and Captain America decent fights in the past, Wade humiliates him with a single counter. Believe it or not, that's still not a low point for the character. One time he basically trembled in fear when Crossbones confronted him -- and that was with Zaran by his side, too! Deadpool deems the group the Blandtastic Four... but wait a second, aren't there five of them? Whatever, moving on.
One merc down, four to go. Love him or hate him, you simply have to acknowledge the fact that Taskmaster is a boss (unless he's facing Moon Knight, that is...). However, it has been clearly established over the years that Deadpool's his kryponite and that once again holds true. Tasky gets one hit in, but Wade makes short work of him with a kick to the gut. To be fair, Taskmaster says his heart just isn't in this job. Meanwhile, while Spider-Man's occupied with Chance and Lady Stilt-Man, Wade promptly embarrasses Trapster. With a SHORYUKEN(!!!) inspired uppercut (he doesn't scream it, though... we've already seen that joke, folks), he knocks the villain on his rear. Deadpool then shoots the foe's tube, spraying his infamous glue all over the roof and incapacitating everyone except for Gump, Lady Stilt-Man and Deadpool.
Lady Stilt-Man grabs the wealthy fiend and attempts to flee. Deadpool, however, has snagged Spidey's web shooters and is in pursuit. He eventually catches up with them on a rooftop and dispatches the tall enemy with virtually no effort. Then it's just Deadpool and his target... and it obviously doesn't end well for his target. Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how badass the heavily shaded panel of Deadpool is? I mean, seriously, look at it. It's great.
Superior Otto-Man eventually finds Wade and makes him see stars with a superhuman slug to the face. Otto webs him up with the other villains, but naturally, Wade escapes.
Atom, Element Woman, Firestorm, Martian Manhunter vs. Despero (JUSTICE LEAGUE #20)
Despero's a character you don't want to take lightly. The tyrant is a team-buster and a massive threat... one that the new Justice League recruits are totally not prepared to face. Unfortunately, they aren't given any say in the matter and are forced to hold their own against the villain. Element Woman, Atom and Firestorm are each powerful in their own right, but they're clearly inexperienced in The New 52 and it's not long before the huge enemy takes them down.
Martian Manhunter aka "the most dangerous character" shows up to save the day. The two have a brief melee battle but it's not long before Despero attempts to best the hero with his telepathy. Bringing him to "Mars," Despero defeats J'onn J'onzz in a terribly violent manner. Apparently, ripping his skull from his head isn't enough -- you've gotta crush it, too! But surely that's not the end of it, right?
You really didn't think this would be the death of the powerful hero, did you? J'onn reveals he's been in control this entire time and, unlike their last encounter, he has no reason to limit the use of his telepathy. Reversing the flow of his synapses, Martian Manhunter defeats Despero, leaving the villain incapactated and it'll take his mind anywhere from days to weeks to recovery.
J'onn informs Atom she cannot tell the Justice League he was here, so she's now forced to lie about how she "defeated" the massive threat. Yeah, good luck with that one, Rhonda!
- All of the chaos in GL #20 (Hal, Sinestro, Lord of the Unliving, First Lantern, etc)
- Superman vs. Orion
- Cyclops vs. Dormammu
- Black Adam vs. Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg & Shazam
- "Hummingbird" vs. Toad
- Mr. Unknown and Lolita Canary vs. Motorcycle Quinte
- Frank Hurt vs. Everyone
Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. This is the part where he shamelessly plugs his Twitter page in hopes of getting a new follower or two.