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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 246

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at a neat moment from JLA/Avengers #3…

Okay, so our heroes have now had their planets merged, and the Grandmaster is letting them know that this merged life they’re living is not for real. Before they decide to fight for their OLD lives, though, he wants them to first see all the stuff (which includes painful events and, in some of their cases, DEATH) that will happen if they decide to bring back the “real” events.

Being heroes, you know their decision, but it’s still gripping seeing it be presented to them…

(Click to enlarge the double-page spread)

Good stuff from Kurt Busiek and George Perez!


I always thought continuity cross-overs were rather lame, but this seems pretty inspiring. Nice!

I loved that series. Despite having bought the mini when it first came out, I still picked up the huge $75 collector’s edition. The only time I’ve done that. Some great extras, and Perez’s art looks even better on the bigger pages.

I also shelled out the big bucks for the huge collector’s edition. Makes the enjoyment of reading the story even better.
Don’t know if this would qualify as a Moment, Panel or Cover, but the sight of Superman carrying both The Sheild and The Hammer.

Great series, but I still don’t buy that Superman defeated Thor in a page or so and then took on the rest of Marvel’s super-strong heroes singlehandedly. I figure Superman, Thor, and the Silver Surfer are in the same power class. The Sentry too.

It’s weird to read the Wanda-Hal discussion knowing that Avengers Disassembled and GL: Rebirth both were published within roughly a year of that page. I sort of wonder if Busiek knew what was coming for those characters.

I always like reading these posts… Gives me some shopping ideas :)

cool…i was waiting for this series to show up
lots of cool fanboy moments & really cant forget that lsat page of 1st issue

The one bit I always took from this sequence was the reactions of the heroes who “fell” in the “mainstream” reality — Hank Pym, especially. It seems like he can’t even imagine hurting Jan, even though he’s essentially the same guy. It reads to me like Busiek is making a little commentary about things that shouldn’t have happened in the “real” universe. And, of course, I agree with him.

Thor is not in Superman’s strength class. Not even close. That is why I like Marvel generally more than DC.

Sentry is in Supes class, which is why I don’t like Sentry very much.

It is all about scale. :)

Thor is in Hulk’s strength class, since they fought to a draw before. The Hulk is in the Sentry’s strength class (see WORLD WAR HULK #5). And you admit the Sentry is in Superman’s strength class. Therefore, all four are in roughly the same class.

Thor was Marvel’s Sentry until someone felt the need to invent the Sentry.

Strength class (which is relatively subjective and prone to constant shifting) is not even really relevant here. Thor is MAGIC. He should wipe the walls with Superman.

Hands down, my favorite inter-company crossover.

In ancient Greece, Achilles was considered the bravest mythological hero because he went to his last battle knowing he would die. Same concept here, and damn if it isn’t inspiring.

I feel ashamed that I never read this series. It looks incredible.

I don’t think Hulk or Thor is in Superman’s strength class. Like Rusty said, Marvel characters tended to be a little less powerful than DC. I mean, can’t Superman do crazy things like move the orbit of planets, or at least the moon? I never heard of Hulk or Thor moving a planet. Let’s face it, Hulk was struggling to hold up a mountain in Secret Wars (where the heck was Thor during that scene, anyway? I can’t remember). You know if that was Superman, he would have chucked the entire mountain into the nearest star with one hand.

As for the Sentry, the mini that introduced him by Jae Lee was awesome. He was never truly intended to be a regular part of the Marvel Universe as far as I can tell… he was ‘erased’ from everyone’s memories because it was too dangerous to have him around due to the Void (with some major impact, like Peter Parker’s Pulitzer Prize being forgotten as well). It was a pretty cool story, and it kind of showed up out of nowhere. I remember buying the first issue on a lark and really digging it and chasing down the entire five issue mini and the related one shots.

It was, however, entirely dumb to bring the Sentry into the Marvel Universe as an active character instead of as just a one-off.

Time to get my nerd on:

I think Thor is about the same power class as Superman overall. He’s a god, people. Superman would probably beat him because of superspeed though.

Silver Surfer could take Superman for sure, though.

I agree with Joe Mac on Sentry. The original series by Jenkins and Lee (and a bunch of other great creators like Sienkiewicz) was good. Bringing him in the MU was stupid. The same is true, but even more so on both points, for Marvel Boy.

JoeMac, and anyone else who never read JLA/Avengers,

Busiek & Perez did an amazing job on the book. It was tremendous fun, and several cuts above most Event books (both inter-company and summer crossovers). If you like super-hero comics, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll like this comic, although those looking for a more modern take on super-heroes won’t find it here. It’s not perfect (the dialogue gets a little too reverential, although that makes sense for this type of project, Cap & Superman getting hostile gets old fast), but it was highly enjoyable.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

September 4, 2009 at 6:17 am

In a fight between Thor and Superman, I think the winner would be…wait, what needs to happen in the story? Why are they fighting? What are the stakes of the fight and what is each character fighting for? Is this myth vs. science (fiction), or paganism vs. American Protestantism, or what?

Man, I just don’t know unless these questions get answers.

Unfortunately that’s the akward fit you get whenever you cross over Marvel with DC – there are just areas where the two universes don’t fit neatly together. The DC universe is populated with heroes who can chuck planets into black holes. Marvel typically doesn’t go with “power” or “strength” on such a grand scale – lifting mountains is red-lining things in the MU. However, that’s kind of the price you have to pay for the “coolness” of seeing the two universes characters together, interacting, fighting with, and against, each other. The only thing that continually bugs me is how superior supes is always shown to be against just about anybody, whether they be from MU or DCU. I do think a battle between Thor and Supes would have been much longer and much more intriguing than what was shown in this story, but I suppose that showing such a throwdown wasn’t really the point, and probably would have been worthy of a mini-series all on it’s own.

JoeMac – I believe that Thor was off somwhere making “smoochies” with the Enchantress while Hulk was holding the mountain up in Secret Wars. Those two kind of stole away together early in the story line. Something about the fact that they, as immortals, were the only two who could relate to each other among the horo/villian teams. Leave it to Thor to get some action while everyone else is wringing their hands about what to do. That, my friends, is what manliness looks like.

This scene must be one of the best Mr Busiek has ever written – and that’s saying something! Good choice!

Yes, yes, characters like Thor, Superman, Sentry, Hulk, Capt. Marvel, Silver Surfer are the heavyweights of their respective universes, but please let us all acknowledge one supreme truth:

Batman would beat them all.

The sixth panel of the third scan seems to have the art flipped – Superman’s “S” shield is backwards (I don’t think Bizzaro was there to see Wonder Women holding her dead mom).

cool pannel for loved how after the heroe saw what could happend to them if they go to restore things . with Hal and Wanda the most freaked out they still decide to fight and restore things. well worth the twenty years it took for the thing to happend

I’ve always figured that if Thor and Superman were to fight, Thor would do a LOT of damage to Kal – there would definitely be broken kryptonian bones when the fight was over – but Superman should be able to eventually defeat Thor due to his superspeed, which would give him a huge edge.

Thor’s lightning? Superman can dodge lightning. Superman’s heat vision? Thor has wrestled with fire giants many times. But Superman would be able to hit Thor hundreds of times with superspeed, and a hurricane of superpunches should be enough to bring even the Odinson down.

This series was absolute gold. I still reread it sometimes when I’ve got too much on my mind and need a bit of escape.

@ Capper, if you look at the perspective, we are looking at the image from the back (reverse side) as Wonder Woman would be staring at the front and seeing the image correctly. This assumes the floating images are transparent.

Capper- we’re looking at the image from behind. That’s why everything is reversed.

Great series, but I still don’t buy that Superman defeated Thor in a page or so and then took on the rest of Marvel’s super-strong heroes singlehandedly. I figure Superman, Thor, and the Silver Surfer are in the same power class. The Sentry too.

I am not a big fan of these debates, since they are at their root highly subjective. They tend to be proxy fights over which character (or company) someone prefers and it is a lot easier to simply argue about that.

That said …

It all depends on what laws of physics are switched on. If we are calculating force in the normal way, then Superman would make quick work of Thor, or the Hulk. Force equals mass times velocity. Thor has a big hammer that he is strong enough to swing very quickly. Ordinarily, that would end most fights.

However, Superman is nearly as fast as the Flash. The speed at which his fist moves is many times greater than the speed at which Thor can move his hammer. Conversely, the difference in mass between Thor’s hammer and Superman’s fist is much less. A punch from Superman does vastly more damage than getting hit by Mjolnir, although I would suggest that you avoid either.

Also, Superman is more resistant to damage than Thor. We’ve seen the Man of Steel trade blows with other Kryptonians who (as we now know) do vastly more damage than Mjolnir. Superman rarely seems that much the worse for wear after going 16 rounds with Zod or whoever. A black eye is pretty much the worst of it. Again, Thor has been defeated by Beta Ray Bill. Despite looking cool, BRB cannot do the same type of damage that Superman can.

Honestly, it is not much of a match-up. The only chance Thor has would be to get in close and wrestle, where their strength is closer and Thor has more experience. If Superman could keep him at a distance and just trade blow, then it would over very fast.

Re: the Thor v. Superman debate:

You’ve got to remember that Superman actually has two different kinds of strength: 1) his lifting strength, which is partially psionic and is astronomically greater than just about any other character, and 2) his punching strength, which is likely about roughly equivalent to Bizarro/Metallo/Thor/Hulk/etc.

This differential was one of the best tweaks added by 80’s Byrne: Superman notices he can lift a lot more weight when flying b/c he generates a kind of psionic field to assist him (it also explains why the large objects he lifts don’t collapse). So he can now move planets AND engage in believable fisticuffs with Grundy.

As for Thor, my money is on Supes – superspeed, dontchaknow.

If I remember correctly…

During the Secret Wars, the heroes were buried under an entire mountain range, not a single mountain, and Thor (who had just escaped from Doom and Ultron) was doing his best to rescue them. The heroes heard his efforts as a tapping sound, which prompted him to say “My mightiest blows…tapping? You were buried deep, indeed.”

As far as “ho’od win…” I’d give Superman the edge in close quarters, but give Thor a little breathing room and that magical lightning of his makes a pretty potent distance weapon against the Man of Steel. I’m also certain Superman could take the Hulk if he acted quickly enough and the Hulk was mildly peeved. Let the Hulk get really, really torked off, and there’s not much in either universe that could stop him.

I can’t be the only one that doesn’t like George Perez.

Rob R. – I stand corrected. Thor’s fling with the Enchantress happened earlier in the storyline, shortly after which he had to do a quick dissappearing act to get away from Ultron, Doom & Co. (in such a way that it actually looked like Ultron had disintegrated Thor) before going off the help rescue the heroes under the mountain range. I bow before your superior powers of recollection.

Still – this doesn’t take away from the “manliness” of Thor getting a little action going with the Enchantress before things kicked off in earnest.

Wow, this has a surreal quality, basically having the characters react to how they’ve been treated over the years in their comic books. I don’t know if Busiek intended this as commentary, but their reactions just seem right on the ball, except I’d almost see Hal or Hank going into denial (“I’d NEVER do that! It must be a lie!).

Makes you wonder how Iron Man would react to Civil War, or Cap to Bucky being alive and he being dead. Or Wanda to House of M for that matter.

Thor and the Avengers had just arrived on DC earth, and were in a state of shock, so taken by suprise by the ferocity of the assult. Also it wa stated with both Quicksliver and Wanda, the the DC world opperates slighty differantly to the Marvel universe, (the reason QS is not flash fast) and has one of those changes was the effect on cahos magic, it may well also had an effect on asgardian powers.

this thread also proves the mountain from SW 4 needs to be shown or the list is not a cool list

I would love to see the sequence just before Thor gets “disintegrated” in Secret Wars. The one where he’s being dogpiled by most of the supervillains and shrugs ALL of them off at once with the exclamation “THY TOUCH OFFENDS!”

I know people here have a love/hate relationship with Secret Wars, but for my friends and I that was always a defining “Thor is a badass” moment.

American Hawkman

September 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Busiek’s take on Hal as the guy who has the willpower to struggle on, no matter what it costs him personally, simply because it was the right thing to do, was probably the best Hal moment from GL #50 through Rebirth #4. Even Captain America was awed by him in the conclusion.

As for Superman vs. Thor, I feel it was handled respectfully in the issue. Superman NARROWLY defeats Thor, and, weakened, gasps how that was the hardest fight he’d ever been in, and he didn’t know if he could have won… and Marvel’s other big guns promptly beat the snot out of the weakened Man of Steel in revenge, and Superman doesn’t have anything near enough to handle them all after narrowly defeating Thor. In fact, Aquaman saved his life, by controlling one of the Mole Man’s monsters. (Battle was on Monster Isle, if you’ll recall.)

I still LOVE the Hercules/Wonder Woman moment…


“It all depends on what laws of physics are switched on. If we are calculating force in the normal way, then Superman would make quick work of Thor, or the Hulk. Force equals mass times velocity. ”

Those certainly are some comic book laws of physics you’re talking about being switched on! ;)

Your general point is correct, but your jargon isn’t, quite.

In our universe, force equals mass times acceleration (see Newton); mass times velocity is momentum. Even without taking into account relatavistic effects (perhaps only relevant to the pre-Crisis Superman – if he swung his fist at a significant fraction of the speed of light, it would actually gain mass (see Einstein)), a super-speed fist would still have more momentum to transfer than Mjolnir. In an inelastic collision (say, of Superman’s fist with someone’s face), momentum is transferred from fist to face across a certain period of time. The briefer the time interval used to transfer the momentum, the greater the force that is applied (momentum also equals force times duration – see Newton again). This is why car safety measures like crash barriers or crumpling front ends work – by extending the duration of the collision, they lessen the peak intensity of the force to be endured; hence one would rather drive into a collapsing crash barrier than a brick wall.

So Superman’s super-speed is his ace in the hole – it gives his fist more momentum than Mjolnir, lets each punch strike with greater force (for a given delta of momentum) by minimising the collision duration, and allows him large numbers of strikes per second.

@ Bill K:

Thanks for the clarification.

@Bill K:

Beat it buddy! I’m working this side of the street!

Seriously, Bill K. – excellent discussion of the physics involved. Have to agree with your analysis.
(Unless Thor uses his space warp capabilities of the hammer to take the fight to a planet under a red sun).

Jim (Physics of Superheroes) Kakalios

@Jim Kakalios:

Praise from the master! Colour me deeply chuffed.

“(Unless Thor uses his space warp capabilities of the hammer to take the fight to a planet under a red sun).”

Good point, assuming someone told Thor this would help. Thor also maybe has a wild card with Superman’s weakness (especially pre-Crisis) to “magic”. One could maybe make a case that Superman might be vulnerable to the magically created portion of Thor’s strength when the latter is wearing the belt that doubles his strength, but I feel I’m grasping at (devil’s advocate’s) straws here: under ordinary circumstances, Supes would seem to have the physics of the situation on his side.

“Thor is not in Superman’s strength class.”

Depends on which Superman we are talking about. Pre-Crisis, he isn’t (so few people are anyway). Post-Crisis, I would say he def is. Then again, DC is reverting things each day to their pre-Crisis status quo, so who knows?

“Superman would be able to hit Thor hundreds of times with superspeed, and a hurricane of superpunches should be enough to bring even the Odinson down.”

Yeah, but if he did that, it would get very boring. Which explains why he doesn’t. If he did that, the “Death of Superman” would’ve lasted one or 2 pages. Same as when he fights powerhouses like Asmodel and Gog/Magog and Captain Marvel (and his speed didn’t help out much at first during Kingdom Come, did it?).

I think, in these types of situiations, it all depends on the writer. It’s not shocking that Busiek, of all people, had Superman win. Other writers would have called it differently. I know I would have. I remember Wizard had a top 10 list 10 or so years ago with Thor ranked ahead of Superman, and the Silver Surfer outranking them both. Go figure.

I am reminded of how excited I was about comics and this series at the time. Busiek and Perez were amazing together and brought me back to comics after a seven year hiatus. Unfortunately, Bendis’ Marvel has sent me the other way, quickly losing all interest.
I am also reminded how badly these characters have been treated since then.
Busiek treated the Wasp with respect. During his run, using an idea begun with Roger Stern, the Wasp was shown as a strong capable leader, second only to Captain America. While she continued to love Hank, she had also grown up to become a strong independent woman. Unfortunately under Bendis’ run, she was reduced to a lush and now, dead.
What Bendis did the the Scarlet Witch, I don’t even know where to begin. While I agree “the Scarlet Witch goes crazy” has some story potential, the execution was all wrong. Wanda can control reality. The thought being planted in her head that she could get her kids back, and the lengths she would go is far more compelling than “I have kids?!? Must destroy the Avengers.” A cautionary tale of a woman changing reality to reclaim her lost children, without realizing she is changing herself in the process, is far more compelling than what Bendis gave us.

A big question I have always wondered is does Bendis have a thing against super-heroines? The Wasp became a lush and is dead (arguably murdered for trusting her ex-husband.) The Scarlet Witch went insane, killed her ex husband, destroyed reality and started sleeping around. She-Hulk became a violent monster and was quickly removed. Lionheart was injured immediately and quickly removed. Tigra has become a personal punching bag for the Hood. Spider-Woman was shown being competent only to reveal its not her but some evil alien.
Roger Stern made great efforts to improve the Wasp, Tigra and She-Hulk as characters and heroes. I find it sad that this has been ignored.

What was also annoying was that we had seen Wanda acknowledge and accept that she had kids, and what happened to them. Bendis chucked that all out so she could become some crazy bitch. I know people say that continuity should be ignored if the result is a good story, but is it ok to ignore continuity for some really bad torture/death porn?

Casey said:

I can’t be the only one that doesn’t like George Perez.

Probably not, but I’d say you’re in a distinct minority.

Bendis hates superheroes in general, except for a handful of street level characters that he can fit into his one note style of storytelling. Sadly, Marvel has let him set the tone for their entire line. Marvel is completely dead to me.

When I looked at this page and the two before it, it reminds me just how great George Perez’s artwork is, was, and will always be.

The story mostly wrote itself, so I’m led to believe, as there were a lot of fanboygasm moments, but it looked great.

Quite possibly the last bestial roar of old Marvel quality.

Casey, certainly you can be the only one who doesn’t like George Perez. Don’t sell yourself short, man!

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