Sunday, August 03, 2008

It's Olympic season on the Infinite Wars, which means, after spotlighting some of the characters you know and love, we can turn our attentions away from cinemas to get back to what's important -- super fights!

The Infinite Wars likes the titanic clashes of powers like Hulk and Hercules, but we have to confess to having a special prediliction for the hand-to-hand artistry of a good martial arts fight! Be it Daredevil, Batman, Ryu, or Scorpion, there's just something special about a character whose greatest offensive asset is his or her self! In this modern world of international trade and co-dependence, can we not relate especially to the idea of self-sufficiency as a super power?

Gathered for your viewing pleasure is a small but impeccable selection of hand-to-hand battles featured previously on the Infinite Wars. To find more fisticuffery of this calibre you'll have to make the trek into the exciting world of the Secret Archives, but fret not! Next Sunday we'll have another selection of bashing bigmen in a whole new flavour!

Power Man & Iron Fist #90 (February 1983)
"The Untouchable!" Busiek/Cowan

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, Parker Brothers... The world has seen many impressive tandem pairings, but few measure up to the tag team of duo of Power Man and Iron Fist!

Comics' original buddy team - the Heroes for Hire compliment each other as the ultimate pairing of strength and power, with finesse and skill. Tactical brilliance and fighting execution are brilliantly displayed in this instant classic that pits the heroes up against the Italian job of the mutant menace - Unus; the Untouchable!

With an impenetrable forcefield allowing him to commit petty crimes unchallenged, Unus has the overwhelming advantage, forcing Power Man and Iron Fist to call upon all their kung fu skill and brawler brawn to save the day!

DC: The New Frontier #2 (April 2004)
"Fun City" Darwyn Cooke

When the greatest fighters in the DC Universe need to hone their hand-to-hand skills, there's a selection of fighters they might go to. Few, however, have the seasoned experience and wisdom of Ted Grant -- better known to the world as the powerless member of the Justice Society of America, Wildcat!

A former boxer; Grant proved powerful enough to hang with the big boys, joining the collective of superheroes that made up the world's very first superhero team, with little more than his fists and determination!

Responsible for contributing to the training of Batman and Catwoman; Wildcat is truly at home in his own domain - the ring! Darwyn Cooke puts on a show exclusive to the comic book version of New Frontier, pitting the Wildcat against a certain opponent that may or may not be fast, pretty, and impossible to beat!

Detective Comics #796 (September 2004)
"... And Red All Over" Gabrych/Woods

Few skills are as important to the Batman as his keen intellect, but when it comes to executing the perfect strategums, a finely tuned body trained in a variety of martial arts is vital!

Batman combines his brilliance and fighting skills with a small arsenal of weapons that counter balance the assault of foes who draw upon a wide range of gimmicked weapons and powers. There are, however, those who would challenge the Dark Knight with a fighting prowess that rivals his own!

The serial killer Victor Zsasz observes humanity with a cynicism that provokes his murderous intent. Baring a deep seeded grudge against Batman, Zsasz remains one of the most dangerous madmen in his gallery of criminally insane rogues! A harsh induction for a Robin in-training!

Green Arrow #71 (April 2007)
"Change Partners" Winick/McDaniel

Another of the DCU's super-powerless vigilantes; Oliver Queen draws upon his skills as an archer and hand-to-hand fighter, to combat evil as a solo hero and member of the Justice League!

Not too long ago Green Arrow opted to broaden his skills in the field to include the use of a sword. This new training comes in especially handy when the ruthless former-Robin, Jason Todd, comes to Star City to corrupt GA's sidekick and continue his grudge against the superhero community he feels failed him.

It's an all-out hand-to-hand smackdown as the two fighters clash in what soon turns out to be yet another planned piece of Red Hood's sinister scheme, forcing GA to fight not only for himself, but his sidekick Speedy, as well!

Immortal Iron Fist #11 (January 2008)
"The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven" Fraction/Brubaker/Aja

The hidden mountain city of K'un L'un is famous for producing the chi-powered might of Iron Fist, but this tradition of the noble martial artist began long before Danny Rand inhereted the unique skill!

An ancient tradition sees the champions of seven cities competing in a tournament to decide which of the heavenly cities would be exposed to the conventional plane.

Spiteful son of K'un L'un, Davos, returns to the hidden city as a representative of of their rival, K'un Zi, all in an effort to gain the powers he was denied by Danny Rand. In battle he reveals his transformation from Steel Serpent, to Steel Phoenix, showing no mercy to opposition who learn the bloody consequence of martial arts warriors who are not without powers!

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