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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Classic Comic Battles Key Issues Part 4

Alrighty, no Hulk in this one either. In writing this series, I noticed I could probably do a dozen parts for the series just on Hulk battles alone. 

Gotta shuffle around the battles and comics, so it doesn't get stale. Maybe not for you, but for me. Well, maybe for you as well.

Some collectors like the classic battles between characters, especially rivals. Some don't really care for 'em. Either way, it's all good to me.

Not gonna be the one to tell anyone what they consider a great battle, but when it comes to classic, some definitely can be a debated out there. I think heroes going at it gets a little more attention than heroes vs. villains since good vs. evil is pretty standard.

Two heroes, though? That's a definite whoa! What got these two fella's tights all bunched up? Hopefully, the reason is better than a bridge.

Not to say that classic hero vs. villain battles in comics are anything to sneer at. Quite a few of those are definitely classic brawls as well, and we will be seeing those throughout the series as well.

Anyways, we're here at Part 4 to this classic comic battles series. Click the link if you missed Part 3, but if you're ready to rumble, I saved you a front row seat. Let the bodies hit the floor. Let the bodies hit the floor.

X-MEN #104
1st battle between new X-Men team & Magneto
1st meeting of new X-Men team & Magneto
1st appearance of Muir Island
Definitely a comic that was over-looked and under-valued in the market not that long ago is this one right here.  Right now, it's moving up to the east side! Yep, it's getting  noticed a lot more in the secondary market. Okay, for high grade CGC 9.8s, that is.

A lot of fans before over-looked the fact that this is first time Magneto meets and goes up against the new X-Men team with Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Wolverine in it.

You know, the team that actually made the comics super popular. Why is it a classic?

Well, let's take out the 1st aspect here. In this brawl, we learn two important things here concerning two new team members, and that's just how ineffective Wolverine and Colossus are against the X-Men's arch nemesis and most threatening of foes.
Important? You betcha! That theme about Wolverine has played out quite a bit throughout the comics and Magneto being able to do what he pleases to the saucy runt also played out in several of the X-Men films also.

The battle with Magneto was just a diversion, so that Eric the Red can get to Professor X. The battle is cut short by Cyclops, much to chagrin of Wolverine. Not like he would've been any use if he stayed and brawled with the Master of Magnetism.

If this isn't a classic X-Men battle, I don't know what is then. Now, this comic has at least gained some respect in the market and CGC 9.8s are getting play. Most recent one sold for $700 and even hit $999 at the beginning of this year.

9.6s are getting a little bit. Most recent two sales all sold for $265 in February of this year. Pretty big disparity and there aren't a whole lot of 9.8s or 9.6s on the market currently.
X-Men #104 has the cover date of April, 1977.

X-MEN #112
2nd new X-Men team and Magneto battle
1st appearance of Nanny

Since we are on the new X-Men team from the Bronze Age, which actually isn't so new anymore, we might as well talk about the 2nd battle they have with the Master of Magnetism.  This battle is with the full X-Men team.

Seeking revenge from their last bout in X-Men #104, Magneto captures the X-Men and takes them to his secret base hidden inside a volcano somewhere in Antarctica. Inside the base, the X-Men rally back and attempt to take on their most dangerous nemesis.

Some of the X-Men do get some licks in. Cyclops is able to zap Magneto and stun him long enough for Colossus to get up close and get a shot in. It's short lived for the X-Men strongman as Magneto tosses him quickly aside like rubbish.

Needless to say, the X-Men are easily overpowered by their long time foe. One by one, Magneto takes them out - Nightcrawler, Beast, Storm and then Cyclops until Magneto faces Jean Grey as the Phoenix for the very first time!

Even the power of the Phoenix is no match for Magneto in this fight. Using the Earth's magnetic forces, the Master of Magnetism uses it to create a bottle-like effect around the Phoenix and ultimately drains her of power.
All the meanwhile, Wolvie is watching his comrades get dispatched, and he uses the diversion to get a swipe in. Instead of hitting anything meaningful, Wolvie gets nothing but cape, and that mistake leads to the most classic part of this fight.
That's right! Magneto controls Wolvie's hand and tries to end him by making him stab himself through the head with those adamantium claws. Instead, Magneto makes Wolvie knock himself out as he retracts his claw.

That panel also gets a chuckle from me. That sequence alone makes this battle a classic. X-Men #112 has the cover date of August, 1978.

Batman vs. Superman

This is the fourth and last story to the Dark Knight Returns limited series. The story is entitled "The Dark Knight Falls", and in it we see a classic battle between Batman and Superman

This series definitely got a bit of love with the whole Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice flick. Written by none other than legendary Frank Miller, the series was respected by comic fans before.

Obviously those who entered Hollyweird and started making comic book flicks were comic fans during the Copper Age and 90s. When the flick leaked the Batman armor concept that he uses to take on Supes for the film, the comics definitely got some love in terms of demand.

The 1st Dark Knight Returns issue of this series surely did. Anyways, Batman with armor gives Supes a pretty big fight in this issue, and it's a classic battle because it's an all-out slug fest. I'm not sure if Superman or Batman ever had a serious brawl prior, other than fighting over the covers in Superman #76.

Maybe we just like seeing Superman take a good whomping? I know I do!

Not saying this is the first down and dirty fight between Supes and the Dark Knight, but it's the first time I saw the two go at it. Never mind that it's not part of continuity and took place on the alternate world of Earth-31, it's still a classic showdown between the two most popular heroes in the world of DC Comics. 

Batman The Dark Knight Returns #4 has the cover date of June, 1986.

Superman vs. Wonder Woman

I'm not sure if this is the first ever brawl between Superman and Wonder Woman. I couldn't find any other preceding comics that have an earlier bout.

Would seem oddly strange that this would be their first ever tussle since it's a 1978 book, but DC seemed to be more into team ups among their heroes instead of fighting over who gets to cross a bridge first before. However, DC did catch on.

In this issue, Wonder Woman and Superman do trade blows even if the battle is somewhat brief, and how the fight starts is pretty ridiculous as well.

The story takes place during World War II, and it was retroactively placed on Earth-2 in a later comic despite Superman and Wonder Woman having their Earth-1 look or appearance. Apparently Wonder Woman is upset over atomic weapons and steals a file on the Manhattan Project from the War Department.

Horrified at what she discovers, Wonder Woman decides to eliminate all atomic weapons. Her first course of action is to brilliantly rampage through the streets of Chicago?

Superman goes to stop her, obviously, and the rumble is on! Wonder Woman just decks Superman with a lamp post.

For being friends, that's a pretty hasty call to just deck your buddy without even chatting first, especially when they end up on your side in the end anyhow. Then again, Wonder Woman is pissed, and trying to reason with someone who is that pissed is usually doomed. So, in this issue, Wonder Woman starts the fight between the two DC titans.

That's okay, I suppose. Superman would get her back later in a more recent comic when he's all crazed out.

Now, I admit, this comic isn't the best of stories, but there are some great clobberin' scenes the two give each other and it's a pretty classic battle that fans had been waiting for concerning these two powerhouse DC characters.

The cover does read "The Battle You Never Thought You'd See!" I'm sure the Man of Steel didn't see that coming from Wonder Woman, but he sure didn't let it rest. Lady or not, Superman quickly recovers and gets mighty pissed off himself.

"Even if she is a woman, no one treats me that way...And I mean no one!" POWW! Supes straight up clocks sexy and knocks her into a brick wall. Of course, Wonder Woman gives it right back to Superman immediately with a counter move, and Superman finally suggests that they take this fight to the moon where no one can be hurt from all the destruction they're causing. Wonder Woman ends up agreeing with his suggestion.

On the moon, Wonder Woman gets distracted because they find ruins in one of the moon's craters. Superman doesn't care and wants to continue their battle.

He throws another punch at Wonder Woman, but she jumps out the way, and when Superman pursues her, she straight up clobbers him. It's then Supes has to say that he's been pulling his punches, and he needs to start giving Wonder Woman some tough love.

I only included a few panels. The fight quickly ends after Supes hits WW with the green tower and then teams up with her against Baron Blitzkrieg. 

Despite the story and the reason for these two going at in this issue being pretty flimsy at best, the fight that these two dish out to one another is only a few pages long but it's pretty classic. Definitely won't be the last time these two have gone at it, and it seems to be a big deal in more Modern Age comics.

All-New Collector's Edition C-54 or simply Superman vs. Wonder Woman has the cover date of January, 1978.

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Alright, that ends Part 4 of this classic comic battles key issues series. The reason why the X-Men issues featured here are classic is because they establish and reinforce both Wolvie's and Colossus's weakness when it comes to Magneto.

Although all the other X-Men seem pretty useless against Magneto, it's just amusing as a fan of both of those characters to see them get man-handled by Mags. Like mentioned before, it does set up a precedent, and as most of us know, Magneto even ends up ripping out Wolvie's adamantium skeleton later on.

The Superman vs. Wonder Woman issue has a pretty cool fight, and I haven't seen them battle like that before. I'm not sure if that's their first battle or not, and it's suppose to be the Earth 2 Wonder Woman and Superman since it was retroactively retconned in a later issue.

Who can keep up with DC's multi-mess?

While collecting during the late 80s, the Dark Knight Returns series was quite talked about in comic shops and in the circle of skater, comic fans I hung around with back then. The price was like a dollar above cover price or cheaper depending on what comic shop you found it at.

It wasn't in high demand for sure. It's nice to see that comic get a boost in demand for helping to influence Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice, but now that the movie is slowly disappearing from theaters, I wonder how long current prices will sustain or if they'll drop.

Still, it is a classic Frank Miller story and a classic battle between Batman and Superman. Brings back some good memories. Part 5 to this madness is ready so just click the link below to continue.


  1. Im a big X-men fan and I'm glad to see they made the cut here. X-men #100 would've been a good choice as well. It's the first time the best and most famous team up move, the Fastball Special, was used.

  2. Im a big X-men fan and I'm glad to see they made the cut here. X-men #100 would've been a good choice as well. It's the first time the best and most famous team up move, the Fastball Special, was used.

  3. Chris Claremont + Dave Cockrum + John Byrne + X-Men = Magic! I really like the X-Men 100 cover, and it has been swiped a lot. Of course the cover of 101 is great as well. Which brings me to another classic battle: PHOENIX vs X-MEN. Oh boy, what can I say about X-Men 101 that hasn' t been said? It' s on my personal "Comics I have to own before I die" list ;-)

    Speculation Jones

    1. X-Men 101 is also on my want list as well. Since I already have 94 thru 100. Issue 101 will complete that great early bronze age key X-Men issue run for me.

    2. That reminds me...I need to start hunting for a deal on that issue.

  4. What the heck, with the Doc Strange movie on the horizon I recommend Dr. Strange vs Dormammu!!! Be on the lookout for Strange Tales 126, possibly the next Ultron or Apocalypse.


    1. I agree Ace. Strange Tales 126 is probably a top 5 Dr. Strange key issue to have. Right now I'm holding back on selling mine since I haven't seen or heard of Dormammu or Clea appearing in the first flick.

    2. Gonna blow the surprise on this one that's in Part 8 of the series. Dr. Strange and Dormammu first meet in Strange Tales #126, but they don't battle. Strange battles Dormammu's creatures, but they don't go toe-to-toe in that issue.

      Strange Tales #126 does have the first Clea and Dormammu so that's still a good one to get. If you're on the look out for their first tango, you really need to get Strange Tales #127, which holds the 2nd appearance of both Clea and Dormammu plus their first battle.