James Robinson's "Squadron Supreme" Takes Lethal, Pre-Emptive Action
Here’s the next five!
Here is the master list!
70. Wolverine vs. Sabretooth (Right before the Age of Apocalypse)
This fight (written by Larry Hama) is probably most notable for the fact that it was perhaps the first time Wolverine actually popped the third claw after doing the bit where he puts his two side claws around a person’s head then says something like “Don’t make me give you the third claw” (the third claw being in the middle, so it would go through the person’s head, naturally). He used to do that a lot during the 90s, but never actually popped the third claw.
Well, in this fight, he actually popped the third claw!!
In any event, at some point around 1993 or 94, Professor X took Sabretooth in in an attempt to rehabilitate him. Wolverine was away from the team at this point, going through some issues due to his adamantium being pulled out of his body by Magneto. So in Wolverine #90, when Wolverine returns to the X-Mansion, well, as you might imagine, he is displeased at seeing Sabretooth there.
Sabretooth, meanwhile, also wants to fight Wolverine but can’t because he is held back by a force field. However, being extremely tough, Sabretooth manages to get past the force field – but Logan is waiting for him.
They tussle, and Sabretooth is talking all sorts of trash.
The comic came with fold-out pages, letting artist Adam Kubert really cut loose on the fight scenes.
Finally, Wolverine had Sabretooth at his mercy with the claw routine, and Sabretooth is mocking him about how Wolverine better kill him, because if he doesn’t, Sabretooth will kill someone Wolverine loves (as he has done so many times in the past).
The book ends as Wolverine pops the third claw to the awesome sound effect “SCHLIKT!” as reality falls apart and the Age of Apocalypse begins (we later find out that Wolverine basically lobotomized Sabretooth, but as he has a healing factor, Sabes gets better eventually).
69. Spider-Man vs. Morlun (First Battle)
J. Michael Straczynski began his run on Amazing Spider-Man with artist John Romita Jr. by both introducing the idea of the Spider-totem (did the radioactive spider give Peter powers due to it being radioactive, or was the spider already a super spider?) and also introducing the poweful villain Morlun.
Morlun is drawn to Spider-Man because he needs to feed on Spider-Man and the pure energy within him.
The fight between Spider-Man and Morlun is a great one because it also manages to work in the whole “Spider-Man never backs down from a fight” routine that makes other Spidey stories so good (and, of course, John Romita Jr. is a great artist).
Although, it’s interesting that this is a fight where Spider-Man actually DOES try to flee, but he can’t because Morlun starts killing civilians until Spider-Man will fight him again. Spidey only gets a respite when an explosion ruins Morlun’s clothes. Morlun’s powers work in a way that he can always find Spider-Man again, so he leaves to go get new clothes and find Spider-Man again.
Morlun is very powerful, but even worse, every time he hits Spider-Man, he drains some energy from him, making the blows that much worse.
Spidey is in bad shape, and he is only saved from the man, Ezekiel, who told him about Morlun recently. Ezekiel manages to draw blood by a punch to Morlun’s nose, but Morlun is able to absorb Ezekiel’s energy, leaving him sated for now.
Spidey uses this time to examine Morlun’s blood and come up with a way to stop him – when next they meet, Spidey has injected himself with radiation – so when Morlun tries to absorb Spidey’s energy – it is no longer pure – it s now “tainted” with radiation!!
This weakens Morlun to the point where Morlun’s assistant takes the opportunity to kill Morlun.
68. Doom vs. Beyonder
When the Beyonder called a bunch of Marvel heroes and villains to Battleworld to battle it out for the “ultimate prize,” he did not take into consideration the fact that Doctor Doom was not one for taking orders. Doom is all about taking power for himself on his OWN terms, like the time he took the Silver Surfer’s Power Cosmic.
Doom decides to do the same to the Beyonder, and confronts him in Secret Wars #10, in a devastating battle where the Beyonder puts Doom through quite a beating – however, Doom knows that if he can just hold off long enough to absorb the power, he can fix himself. And if there’s one thing Doom has going for him – it’s willpower.
And ultimately, Doom succeeds! He beats the seemingly unbeatable! He has the power of the Beyonder! Of course, the Beyonder secretly puts some of his essence into Klaw to protect himself from Doom, but still, Doom did quite an impressive feat.
67. Magneto vs. Apocalypse
The Age of Apocalypse was based on the idea of what would happen if a powerful mutant killed Professor X in the past before he could create the X-Men? The power display would waken Apocalypse, who would attack the world before it had the proper superhero defenders to stop Apocalypse, and Apocalypse would soon rule the world.
However, with Professor X dead, Magneto would have to be the one who started the X-Men, and in the Age of Apocalypse, we see that Magneto and Apocalypse have had quite a few battles over the year through Magneto’s X-Men and Apocalypse’s forces of evil.
Magneto had been captured by Apocalypse’s forces earlier on in the storyline, and in the final issue of the crossover, X-Men: Omega (by Scott Lobdell & Mark Waid with pencils by Roger Cruz), Magneto has been tortured and is in bad shape. Meanwhile, nukes are falling all over the place in an attempt to destroy Apocalypse. Magneto and the X-Men, however, need to get Bishop enough time so that he can travel back to the past to stop Xavier from having ever been killed. To do so, the X-Men break into Apocalypse’s headquarters to free Magneto.
They do so, but suffer heavy casualties.
The weakened Magneto takes on Apocalypse, and things are not going so well, but in one last heroic gesture, Magneto uses all of his power he can muster and TEARS APOCALYPSE IN TWO!
That dramatic scene gives them the opportunity for Bishop to make his move (with a few stowaways from the Age of Apocalypse universe) and Magneto can stand happy as the nukes fall knowing that he has saved the day.
66. Swamp Thing and Friends vs. The Soul of Darkness (American Gothic)
The conclusion to American Gothic deals with the “Soul of Darkness” which is basically a Primordial Shadow, which threatens to change the status quo in Hell by marching upon Heaven.
John Constantine puts Swamp Thing into the position where he can help stop this, in a two-front battle.
Swamp Thing and a host of notable DC magic users (like Phantom Stranger, Dr. Fate and Etrigan the Demon – who is leading an army of demons who don’t WANT the status quo to change) into battle with the Shadow and his army of demons.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, Constantine leads a group of the most notable magicians in the DC Universe to also stop them. In the ensuing magic battle, both Sargon the Sorceror and Zatara are killed.
Ultimately, it all comes down to Swamp Thing (as Constantine planned it), who convinces the Shadow that evil and good are not necessarily at odds with each other – the Shadow then strikes up a balance with the Light of Heaven, and all is right with the world (except for the casualties, of course).
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