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Top 100 Comic Book Battles: 80-76

(Note: I tried to post this last night but the server went down – it didn’t even save my last changes! Luckily, I copied and pasted it all to a word document and now I’m finally able to post it! -BC)

Here’s the next five!

Here is the master list!


80. Spider-Man vs. Venom (First Battle)

Talk about making an entrance!

Both Todd McFarlane (who had just become the regular artist on Amazing Spider-Man with Amazing #298) and Venom made quite the impression on readers in Amazing Spider-Man #299, when Mary Jane came home to find a sinister looking monster wearing what looked to be Spider-Man’s black costume!

In Amazing Spider-Man #300, David Michelinie and McFarlane gave readers the full scoop on this dastardly new villain of Spider-Man’s – it was made up of the alien symbiote that Spider-Man had brought over from Secret War. It made the user (Eddie Brock) extremely powerful and undectable by Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense. Most importantly, the symbiote and Eddie (calling itself, collectively, Venom) knew Peter Parker’s secrets from having bonded with it!!!

So Peter’s family were in danger from this new monstrous villain who quickly became one of Spider-Man’s most prominent baddies. While Venom did nothing to Mary Jane in #299, he left with the clear threat that he COULD have, just like he COULD do bad stuff to Aunt May, as well.

In their first battle, they fight it out in an abandoned building where Spider-Man learns of how Eddie became Venom, and after being fooled into thinking he knocked Venom out, Spider-Man finds himself blindsided and captured.

He awakes webbed up to the bell of the church where Spider-Man first got rid of the symbiote. Venom’s plan is to kill him with the deadly sound of the bell. The clapper begins and only Spidey’s super-strength is able to keep from being killed the first two rings – but it is clear he can’t last very long. So he hold on to the bell and lets it rip him from the webbing and he continues the fight.

The key is when he discovers that Venom’s webbing comes from the symbiote itself, so he forces Venom to use up enough webbing that it is weakened and cannot produce any more, at which point Spider-Man knocks Venom off of the roof to the ground below – victory, Spider-Man!

Spidey gets the Fantastic Four to come by and take Venom into custody.

79. X-Men vs. Cassandra Nova

While Venom made a notable entrance, Cassandra Nova was even more impressive, as she first showed herself by tricking a relative of the original Sentinel makers to give Nova access to the Sentinels. At which point Nova launched an assault on the mutant haven of Genosha. The small island nation had 16 million mutants. When the Sentinel attack ended, it had about 100.

And that was not even the most dramatic of Nova’s plans!

Her next step was to take control of the body of Professor Charles Xavier, who it turns out, was the twin brother of Cassandra Nova! She died in the womb, but managed to survive as pure malevolent energy, until finally becoming corporeal.

Now in control of Xavier’s body, after a bit of mischief at the X-Mansion (like breaking Beast’s spirits completely) she travels to the Shi’Ar Empire, where she quickly takes over the entire empire and lays waste to most of it and sets her sights on Earth!

Luckily, the X-Men are able to defeat the invasion as well as trap Nova in a body where she can (seemingly) do no more harm.

A great storyline by Grant Morrison and various artists (most notably Frank Quitely).

78. Thing vs. The Champion

I guess this is another notable entrance!

The Champion showed up in Marvel Two-in-One Annual #7, by Tom DeFalco and Ron Wilson, and declared that he was going to fight the best of Earth in a boxing match, and if they beat him, he would spare Earth – otherwise, he would destroy it!

He collected the most powerful heroes of the world, but most of them are disqualified for one reason or another (Thor, for instance, can’t box when he has a hammer at all times, lest he turn back into Don Blake).

Story continues below

Eventually, all of Earth’s heroes are eliminated except for the Thing, who, while quite strong, is nowhere near the Champion’s league.

However, unlike the others, Ben Grimm knows how to box, and he manages to stay in the game for a couple of rounds while taking a gruesome beating. The Thing, though, refuses to quit and just keeps plugging away until the match is called.

The Thing will have none of it and mocks the Champion. Though the Thing can barely stand, he says he will never stop fighting until he can’t fight anymore!

The Champion is so impressed that he declares Earth saved!

The world rejoices as the Thing collapses and enjoys one of the nicest horrible hospital experience you could ever imagine.


For GarBut, I’ve added a picture of the Champion.

GarBut wanted a shot of the Champion getting punched by the Thing, but I don’t think that’s really what this comic is about – it’s not about Thing punching his problems away, it’s about his perseverance!

That said, how about a wicked shot of the Thing getting ready to rumble by Ron Wilson?

Thanks to the Leader’s Lair for the scans.

77. Mr. Fantastic vs. Doctor Doom (Timeslip)

This story was one of the last ones that Walt Simonson told during his Fantastic Four run (in fact, was it the very last?) and it was perhaps his best one!

Fantastic Four #352 is a battle between Doctor Doom and Reed Richards, only it takes place through the time stream (the story is called Timeslip), so they are constantly going back and forth through time in the issue, so what Simonson does is tell the story by having small notations telling the reader where they are in time. You have to go all throughout the issue to different pages to follow the fight as they leap around in time.

It’s an absolutely fascinating idea, and Simonson even works the cover into the fun, as well (note the time stamp on the cover) – that cover counts as one of the fight scenes in the book.

Pretty awesome, no?

Is Simonson’s Fantastic Four collected in trades?

76. Captain Britain (and friends) vs. The Fury

The Alans, Moore and Davis, respectively, introduced the Fury in the pages of Marvel UK’s Marvel Superheroes #387 in 1982, but soon brought him over to a brand-new title called Daredevils (which was mostly designed to reprint Frank Miller’s classic Daredevil run).

The Fury is basically an unstoppable killing machine. In one of its first appearances, it wipes out the entire superhero population of an Earth (one of the many Earths of the multiverse – the “regular” Marvel Universe is 616).

Captain Britain travels to confront the Fury, and the Fury (as shown above) KILLS HIM!

That’s how tough the Fury is. Luckily, Captain Britain is revived by Merlyn and sent back to the 616 Earth.

But here’s the thing about the Fury – it always adapts to whatever it needs to do to kill someone. Well, when it senses that Captain Britain is still alive, it actually adapts itself to inter-dimensional transport!!! So it travels to Earth-616.

Captain Britain puts together a group of super-humans (the inter-dimensional mercenary group, the Special Executive) to fight the Fury.

The battle was fierce and many heroes lost their lives but the Fury was seemingly immobilized at the end of the battle.

That did not last long and the Fury soon returned, but after another fierce battle, the Captain Britain Corps member Captain UK (each dimension has their own version of Captain Britain) finally succeeded in (seemingly) destroying the Fury after Captain Britain severely weakened the beast (Captain UK struck before it could repair itself, because each time it repairs itself, it upgrades itself and makes itself even deadlier!).


There’re two “Fantastic Four Visionaries: Walter Simonson” trades, but they only cover up through #346.

That’s what I was thinking – that they didn’t have the Timeslip battle.

Get on it, Marvel!!!

Can you PLEEZE post a picture of what The Champion looks like? Preferably taking one to the jaw courtesy of Aunt Petunia’s fave nephew?

Wow, lot of Marvel on this list.

Done, GarBut!

Hey, there’s my #1: Captain Britain. Given how hard it is to find that story here in the states, it’s impressive that it finished as hight as it did. I get the feeling that everybody who had it on their list had it at #1. As well they should.

I know that the Cassandra Nova story and the Thing story are favorites on this blog, but boy oh boy I’m not a fan of either.

It’s a shame that the Simonson Visionary Volumes didn’t make it up to that story, but not surprising. Who is in charge of picking material for those things? Probably someone with severe OCD: The Simonson FF volumes are ruined by the fact that they felt obliged to include begin with some earlier clean-up issues he wrote and then some horrible Rich Buckler “Act of Vengeance” issues that Simonson barely contributed to. Why not just start with the good stuff after Simonson was doing the art and starting his own storyline? Likewise with the Roger Stern Spider-Man Visionary Volume. It feels compelled to begin with the PPTSSM stuff that’s not very good. Why not skip to the beloved Romita Jr. ASM run? Unsurprising, they never even got to that stuff, presumably because anybody who bought the first volume must have wondered what all the fuss was about. You can just picture some super-nerd assistant editor stamping his feet and saying “NO! We have to be COMPLETE!”

I think most of the coolness of the Cassandra Nova fight was really the X-Men vs. Imperial Guard, and then Cassie taking down Gladiator.

I wish Morrison had shown us more of Nova and the Shi’Ar. We don’t get to see anything between Nova-possessed Xavier being beamed up and the Empire is doomed so let’s kill mutants cause they carry a plague okay now? Aside from that, excellent storyline.

The Champion: totally worth it. Look at ‘im! And fair enough–I guess ma did actually raise me better, teaching me that the holidays really aren’t about vulgar displays of power. Thx Brian,

Wow, I’m amazed other people actually voted for Simonson’s FF! I think I had it at #4 or so, and I remember it mostly because Reed just decks Doom at the end, defeating him. Simonson really made Reed cool again, undoing all the damage Byrne had done.

Just now re-reading that X-Men arc. It’s so weird how writers are just now getting back around to where Morrison took things during his run – starting with Whedon, more or less.

I am glad that Timeslip battle from the FF made it…. Time magazine even wrote about it a while back in their “When the Fantastic Four Lived up to Their Name.” I even pointed out the article to Simonson on another MB. http://www.time.com/time/columnist/arnold/article/0,9565,104312,00.html

Oh, and Reed didn’t deck Doom. What happened was that at one point towards the end, Doom has his ward Kristoff was standing in for him and he’s also the one that gets zapped by the TVA.

Eeeks, wish you could edit these things. Meant to say that it isn’t clear at what point Kristoff took Doom’s place in the battle but he definitely took the hit from the TVA and was presumed dead. He got better though, in DeFalco’s run. :-)

phil from Germany

December 22, 2008 at 3:57 am

For what reason was the Hulk barred from figthing the Champion?

Walt Simonson’s run lasted for two more issues (up through #354). The final two tell a very funny story concerning the Time Variance Authority (a shadowy group of bureaucrats monitoring time misuse), whose leader seems to be modeled after writer Mark Gruenwald. Both are terrific and cap his work on the book perfectly.

Another great thing about issue #352 – there are two stories that run parallel through the issue. There is the Reed/Doom fight through time, and then there’s the other three members of the FF in Doom’s castle, in “real” time. If you read the second story of Ben, Johnny and Sue conventionally from the start of the book to the end, Reed and Doom pop in and out, out of sequence of their fight. That’s how I read the issue the first time, confused as to what the heck was going on until I figured out the time-code sequence for the Reed/Doom story.

Marvel should do like they did for John Byrne’s Fantastic Four and release the earlier stories of such runs in a Visionaires “volume 0″ AFTER publishing the stuff the run is remembered for.

Note that the Thing story was copied almost verbatim for a Monkey cartoon (a Dexter’s Lab spinoff).

Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

Lord Paradise, it would have been cool to see what happened between the time Xavier went with the Shi’Ar and Nova’s attack, but think of the dramatic impact it had without seeing the events in between. We see Xavier beamed up, knowing he is possessed by Cassandra, but not knowing what exactly will happen. A few issues later, we abruptly see Nova in full control with much of the Imperial Guard believing that mutants have a plague and must be exterminated. Since Nova is a telepathic we don’t have to see her corrupt the Shi’Ar minds because we already knew she could do it, and much of what she did behind the scenes was outright said or implied anyway (like violating Lilandra).

The only shame is that Grant didn’t make the battle larger by including more Guardsmen and the other X-Men living in the mansion that he seldom acknowledged. Otherwise, epic story.

I’m shocked that the Champion/Thing fight rated this low.

It’s such a good single issue.

The Fury sounds alot like the Nimrod Sentinel. Adapts to new attacks/situations, and repairs itself each time it’s damaged in a way that makes the attack ineffective.

Man, i have read that FF #352 issue several times. i always get confused by it, so i keep re-reading it. Ultimately, i did get it and it blew me away. i love the concept and having the cover be a part of the internal story is a great part of it. Normally, i don’t like the cover to be a part of the internal story, but this was so kool that i had no problem with it. Also, the dialogue between Reed and Doom is great. Truly a great battle!

nice nice… wait what about venom and the punisher in VENOM – funeral pyre #3 even if PYRE realy isent a great marvel character and not realy a super hero adding him would of been sweet cuz, in funeral pyre THE PUNISHER AND VENOM have a REAL REAL rough time beating PYRE… like pyre kicked the snot out of both ofem for like ever…. and best of all AFTER VENOM AND PUNISHER LEFT PYRE WAS NOT DEAD!!!! he was laughing, now thats somthing i cant get enough of….

Tim from Jersey

February 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I know this is “A REALLY LATE RESPONCE” but to Phil from Germany, The chumpion saw what a brute Hulk was when Hulk smashed his fists together destroying the gloves & said something like “I REFUSE TO DIRTY MYSELF WITH SUCH A BRUTE”, it looked like cowardice to me.

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