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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Classic Comic Battles Key Issues Part 3


Think I'm gonna mix it up a little bit here with Part 3 to this classic comic battles key issues series and not go with some obvious ones. Yes, we got some DC Comics in here, and we're pulling a bit further away from the Hulk briefly

Actually, the first one to kick off this rumble is a DC/Marvel cross-over. Once again, classic battles without regard to the comic investing aspect. As stated in Part 2, some are great comic investments, some are okay, and some won't be.

Some are just great reads that have a classic match up or tussle. Click the Part 2 link if you stumbled on this and missed the previous post. If you're good to go, let's get it on!




SUPERMAN VS. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1
1st meeting & battle of Superman & Spider-Man
1st Superman & Spider-Man team up
1st Lex Luthor & Doctor Octopus team up 
1st DC/Marvel cross-over

Alright, well, here's to mixing it up. For the longest time, the Marvel and DC universes pretty much stayed clear from one another until this issue here. Toted as the Battle of the Century, this comic is the first inter-company cross-over done by the two biggest publishers in comics.

So how did this come about. Well, literary agent  David Obst suggested to Stan Lee and Carmine Infantino that there should be a Spider-Man and Superman cross-over flick. It was a good idea, but a Superman film was already in production. Yep, the one starring Christopher Reeves and still the best Superman film to date in my opinion.

The film prospect wasn't possible, and Spider-Man was in the works for several TV movies. Instead, the two comic publishers settled for an over-sized comic that featured the two characters.

Gerry Conway was at the helm to pen the story and Ross Andru shelled out the pencils for this comic. John Romita Sr. also assisted in the artwork.


In the early parts of the fight between the two, Superman and Spider-Man basically dodge and slip attacks from one another for the most part. That's until good ole Lex Luthor makes it interesting and fires some kind of ray at Spidey that irradiates him with a light similar to the red sun.

Of course, this cancels out Superman's near invulnerability, so the Wall Crawler is able to scrap it out and commence a smack down on Superman for a little while at least. They did have to make the battle sort of plausible after all, or else it just honestly would have been quite a ridiculous match up to begin with.

But nothing good lasts forever and the ray's effects soon wear off. Spidey's attacks are comically rendered ineffective. Spidey calls off the fight, because there's nothing much else he can do. Pretty comical scene in the comic.

Smart choice since there's no doubt that Superman would and could tear Spidey apart in an all-out slug fest that didn't involve kryptonite. I mean, let's be honest here, and I'm definitely more of a Spidey fan than a Superman fan. But it's really not even a close match up. Spidey isn't even in the same weight-class in this fight.

Of course, the two heroes realize they been deceived and do the typical team up thing. This also has a team up between Doctor Octopus and Lex Luthor.

It's definitely worth noting here for sure and a classic battle for being the first time the two cross over into different worlds. However, we all know that it's not really a closely even match up like Thor and Hercules or even the Thing and the Hulk.

I mean, there's a panel in the story where Supes has to pull his punch, and an all-out slug fest between the Hulk and Superman would've better been served. Just my opinion, though, and there are some comical parts to the match up.

It's still a fun read and this comic as a whole is definitely a classic, so it belongs here for certain. It's also pretty valuable and definitely not over-looked.

I wonder, however, since it was brought up way back in the 70s for a Marvel and DC cross-over flick, are the studios even considering it today? I think it'll happen. Why? Greed, of course.

That would be a high grossing movie just on curiosity alone. Anyway, Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man: Battle of the Century has the cover date of January, 1976.

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JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY ANNUAL #1
1st appearance of Hercules & Zeus
1st meeting of Thor & Hercules
1st battle of Thor & Hercules

No doubt that it's a clash of the titans when Thor somehow stumbles into the famed Olympus and meets none other than the powerhouse Hercules. It's a first meeting and clash between two gods that was bound to happen and shouldn't be missed.

Both are super strong and have a lust for battle, and the tussle these two have in this issue is indeed classic. Their battle starts off over a pretty lame reason, and that's who should be able to cross a bridge built for only one person at time first.
No, let me cross the bridge! No, I should cross the bridge first! Me, have bigger muscles. Me have bigger muscles and hammer and longer hair. Okay, nobody crosses the bridge. I'm just gonna rip it up. And these are the superheroes we entrust to keep our world safe? Ha! Ha!
So these two meatheads with the godly egos engage and deliver some blows and give each other a pretty good whomping. I do find it comical and entertaining that they have to say exactly what they're doing during the battle. 

Old school, baby! Old school. Well, Zeus is the one who breaks up the fight at the end and sends trouble-making Thor back whence he came from.

First appearance of both Hercules and Zeus in this issue. Not sure if it's only a cameo for Zeus, though. CGC 9.4s and up and already priced at above or around the $1,000 range, so this comic is already valuable. 

Most recent CGC 9.2 sold for $800 back in November, 2012. Most recent CGC 8.5 sold for $360 April 6th of this year 2016. CGC 9.0s and down aren't too ridiculously expensive as of this writing, but that depends on what you think is expensive for a comic investment.

Journey into Mystery Annual #1 has the cover date of October, 1965.

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BATMAN THE KILLING JOKE
Classic story
Joker paralyzes Barbara Gordon
Joker origin retold 

Anytime Batman goes up against the Joker is awesome and worth gunning for, but in this case, this is definitely a classic story during the Copper Age that dealt with Batman and the Joker. The story is a classic, and although the battle in here is a brief two page tussle between the two arch foes, it's worth noting.

Also, most stories involving the Joker with Batman don't really end up in any major slug-fest. Stories with the Batman and Joker are always more of a cat and mouse game between the two with the Joker setting traps for Batman. However, in this issue the Batman and Joker do actually come to blows for a very brief time.


Joker even gouges Batman's eyes and then konks him over the head with a two-by-four. Of course, in the end, ole Bats lands a blow that's just too much for the Joker and the little tussle is over. That's to be expected though. Not like the Joker can really go toe-to-toe with Batman for very long.

Classic battles between the Dark Knight and the Joker have a different dynamic than most superhero and villain battles in comics, but although different, they can be classics for sure. This is probably my favorite Batman story of the era a long with A Death in the Family.

Batman the Killing Joke has the cover date of March, 1988. 




Definitely some fun and classic battles here. Thor and Hercules first meeting and rowdy-ha is pretty comical. Well, at least, to me it is.

Like mentioned before, Batman and the Joker have a different thing going on. They usually don't end up classic slug fests, but just because they often don't or for very long, doesn't mean they don't have classic battles in a different sense.

I think Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man being a classic battle has more to do with the comic being the first cross-over for DC Comics and Marvel Comics. Sure, the battle is exciting and cool, but it's not like the two are classic rivals or evenly matched for that matter.

Sometimes, that's all it takes though. Just some fun stuff all around. 


7 comments:

  1. Here' s my top five favourite classic battles list for Marvel:

    1. Wolvie - Sabretooth
    2. Spiderman - Venom
    3. Captn A - Red Skull
    4. Thanos - Silver Surfer
    5. Thing - Hulk

    Whats yours, Mayhem?

    Max Rebo

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  2. 1. Any fight with Wolverine & Babretooth - probably X-Men #213 - damn vicious fight.
    2. Amazing Spider-Man #122 - Spidey goes nuts on Gobby, Gobby dies from his own glider.
    3. Incredible Hulk #340 - pure nostalgia, first time I ever saw Hulk bleeding.
    4. Fantastic Four vs. X-Men #2 - great story and great battle that I grew up reading over and over.
    5. Man, it's a three way tie between Fantastic Four #320, or Punisher #10, which had a great slug fest between the Man of Fear and the Punisher.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry third tie is Daredevil #181 Elektra vs. Bullseye

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  3. Definitely agree on 1 and 3! Just my opinion, but I think team fights should make a separate list... Otherwise it gets a bit confusing.

    Max Rebo

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    Replies
    1. I love anytime where Wolvie can cut loose and a foe give him a run for his money. Sabretooth does that. Actually, I was kinda thinking Wolverine #10 as well. Didn't know team fights was not on the program, so I would have to say Daredevil #181.

      In the classic battles series, team fights will be featured in the series thought.

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  4. Batman: The Killing Joke is probably one of the only copper age comics that has stood the test of time with the market & popularity without having a major 1st appearance attached to it. One the greatest Batman stories ever told.

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    Replies
    1. A big fan of the Killing Joke comic and story. Glad you thinks so also.

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