Sunday, January 21, 2024

Blood Feud Part 1 of 4 (Titan)
Tekken: Blood Feud #1 When: June 2017
Why: Cavan Scott How: Andie Tong

The Story So Far...
Running through the streets of Kyoto -- Ling Xiaoyu and her pet Panda narrowly avoid being run down by a speeding vehicle! They're the target of a professional manhunt, but G-Corporation paramilitary agents aren't the only force with eyes on the young student...

Xiaoyu is caught in the conflict between father & son as Kazuya Mishima pursues the whereabouts of Jin Kazama. Both men have deployed their forces to capture the young girl, but the global chase can only end in the inevitable collision of two generations possessed of the powerful Devil gene!

Tale of the Tape...
Strength: Panda 4 (Enhanced)
Intelligence: Anna Williams 2 (Average)
Speed: Draw 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Panda 4 (Athlete)
Agility: Ling Xiaoyu 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting: Ling Xiaoyu 5 (Martial Artist)
Energy: Anna Williams 2 (Projectile)
Total: Anna Williams 20 (Champion)

Chances are you probably have some awareness of the characters and plotlines from the Tekken video games, but I'm not sure I've ever seen as much storyline engagement as with the upcoming Tekken 8.

The Mishima Family conflict has had the majority of focus in the robust promotional campaign, which included a brief summary by Succession actor Brian Cox. Their inter-generational conflict consumes today's featured characters, even though they aren't originally central to the Mishima blood feud.

Anna Williams is an Irish martial artist trained in various assassin arts, including Aikido, and Koppo bone-breaking style. She was taught by her mother, and neglectful father - a retired IRA assassin, whose murder fueled an intense suspicion and blood feud with her rival & older sister, the assassin Nina Williams.

Sibling rivalry drove Anna to enter the first King of Iron Fist Tournament, and in the second event, she worked to protect tournament organizer Kazuya Mishima to thwart her assassin sister. This led to eventual further employment by Kazuya, and her present involvement leading the G-Corporation's elite soldiers.

Their primary target is Ling Xiaoyu: a Chinese school girl trained in Hakke Sho and Hikka Kan martial arts, with an interest in amusement parks and former fellow high school student Jin Kazama.

Initially she entered the third King of Iron Fist Tournament to raise funds for the construction of a perfect amusement park, but her increasing exposure to the Mishima family spurs her to fight for Jin's redemption, and peace within his family.

Accompanying Ling on this journey is her faithful pet Panda: a powerful but friendly creature committed to the protection and well being of her friend.

The Tape: Anna Williams & G-Corp Ranking: Draw (Not Ranked)

What Went Down...
Ling Xiaoyu and her pet Panda narrowly avoid being run down in the street by diving either side of a speeding vehicle in hot pursuit! It's a close call!

The black car has jumped the sidewalk, making a sharp handbrake turn across the footpath to keep the pair in the beam of its headlights. Xiaoyu hops on Panda's back and makes a run for the nearby alleys.

The car can't possibly make its way down the narrow passage, but it doesn't have to -- Anna Williams and G-Corporation soldiers are there ready and waiting!

Grilled for information - the young student denies knowing the whereabouts of her friend, and short-lived head of the Mishima Zaibatsu -- Jin Kazama.

Anna isn't convinced, but as the pressure of the situation begins to build, a homeless man covered in a dirty red shawl and carrying a wine bottle, staggers down the alley towards the stand-off.

A G-Corporation trooper attempts to move the homeless man along, but he isn't the harmless drunk he might appear to be! Exploding from beneath the red cloak comes Paul Phoenix -- leading with his gloved fist!

Phoenix buries his boot in the gut of another soldier, causing them to drop their gun, while he announces his intention to rescue the young student in distress.

Ling Xiaoyu squints one eye and looks sideways. She doesn't need rescuing!

Xiaoyu launches into a flying kick while Panda barrels through two soldiers!

A hotheaded trooper calls to fire at will, but Anna overrules -- reminding them they need to take Xiaoyu alive (but can do as they please with Paul).

Before Anna can get her hands dirty - she's visited by a descending boot heel!

The kick to the face puts Anna on the ground and announces the arrival of her assassin sister -- Nina Williams!

Far from beaten, Anna turns her predicament into a rising back heel kick that launches her sister off her feet!

Nina tumbles backwards, but rolls with it, narrowly dodging a follow-up punch that leaves Anna's fist crashing into the concrete wall behind her!

Pain ripples through Anna's arm and Nina counters with a hard and fast elbow & forearm to the face. She keeps up the pressure, flowing into a spinning back heel kick!

Elsewhere down the alley -- Ling Xiaoyu dances through a hail of bullets, dodging machine gun fire while squaring off with one a G-Corporation's armored goons.

Phoenix offers his seal of approval for the youngster's efforts, comparing it to his own successful efforts. He manhandles a soldier, gripping the trooper by the ankle and wrist -- turning him into human projectile that bowls over two more!

Not wanting "too much of a good thing", Paul takes the break in action to order a hasty retreat for Ling Xiaoyu and Panda.

They make a break for it -- racing to a nearby van waiting down the alley.

Speeding towards a successful getaway, Xiaoyu wonders about the fate of Nina, but Paul Phoenix knows all too well she can handle herself. A thud on the roof of the van confirms the assassin has joined them in their escape.

The Hammer...
Mortal Kombat tends to get a lot of credit for the supposed unique quality of its story, but as a diehard fan of the fighting game genre, I usually regard it simply as the more conventional series, with less prismatic plotlines and delivery methods than Tekken, Street Fighter, and some of the other Japanese franchises.

There are, of course, many equivalencies, but MK predominantly concerns itself with conventional narrative, hanging its assembled pieces together while routinely, and arbitrarily, redesigning everything from characters to gameplay engines.

The main unifying principle of Mortal Kombat has been simple stimulation, which has always created a certain amount of frustration within the details that appear to be important -- but often aren't -- growing increasingly inconsistent and damaged throughout the most recent entries, and generational shifts.

It may seem unlikely, but I think MK ultimately lives in the mind, while Street Fighter speaks to the soul, and as time marches on - Tekken finds itself living somewhere in between.

In terms of seminal influence, Tekken cribbed pretty directly from the polygon-based gaming of Virtua Fighter -- holding true to principles of character design that followed in the Street Fighter II mould.

Characters themselves become storytelling devices, driven by simple archetypes based on nationality, fighting style, and an interest - the latter often influenced by one of the former. You can therefore tell a lot about these characters just by looking at them and watching them move. If something suddenly seems out of place -- it might be the central focus of a small, but significant human story.

For me, the buffet of a fighting game ensemble cast is a huge part of the appeal, and Tekken, like Street Fighter, has always been good at curating each character so they have their own à la carte motivation, and primary rival. Individual parts that contribute to the pleasing experience of the overall whole.

There was a noticeable shift in style in Tekken 5 that, in some small way, began to remind me of Mortal Kombat. There was the murderous kung fu fighter Feng Wei, and darkly Asian aesthetic of the Hell's Gate stage. Forebears to an escalation of MK-style stakes in Tekken 6 that took the conflict between the Mishima clan away from a simple martial arts tournament - and drafted the majority of the cast into their respective associated corporate entities and an all-out global military war!

Why all these comparisons to Mortal Kombat? In recent years it seems like MK and its linear "Story Mode" presentation has had greater influence on the other major fighting game franchises, and Tekken has continued to go further down those "world war" stakes, making it feel less like Street Fighter (or Virtua Fighter), and more like MK. With all the flirting between Ed Boon and Katsuhiro Harada in recent years - I honestly won't be surprised if a character from either franchise shows up as a crossover guest in Tekken 8 or Mortal Kombat 1.

There are also interesting comparisons between the opening scene in Tekken: Blood Feud #1 and the most recent MK comic book: Both series start with the action already under way - a chase sequence leading quickly to the first fight. In the case of 2015's Mortal Kombat X opening story arc, Blood Ties, it starts with a young Takeda on Kenshi's back, running from Hsu Hao and the Red Dragon clan.

Just like the MK battle - there are allies lying in wait. In MKX, Scorpion shows up to bombastically deliver the first fatality of the series. In Tekken: Blood Feud we had to settle for a more inconclusive intervention from Paul Phoenix and Nina Williams, who help Xiaoyu out of her jam, but cut & run before any real damage is done - which speaks to a major diverging point between the two comic tie-ins.

Mortal Kombat X was ultimately a twelve issue ensemble series, expanding upon new characters like Takeda and Kotal Kahn, while also revisiting classic backstory, creating a completely new story, and filling in hypothetical events between two video games -- even if multimedia tie-ins will rarely live up to canon status.

At only four issues, Tekken: Blood Feud will predominantly continue to be one long chase. More characters will join both sides, but if we continue to explore events and battles from the later issues, we'll see a small cast engaged in a small story.

I'm personally of the opinion that killing characters off, especially in a secondary medium, is a lousy way to go about things, but I think Mortal Kombat went about kicking things off a little better with a short, sharp, conclusive battle that got the blood pumping with its obligatory action. Tekken: Blood Feud is a little vague and loose, lacking a real signature move in the opening going to feel super satisfying.

Fighting video games are a bit of a passion of mine, so I very much hope to look at all the fighting results from the Tekken tie-in comic in the future. If you'd like to make that a priority - consider becoming a supporter on Patreon. You can get my ear by joining the Patron Discord, and sponsor customizable content, including featured fights and Rank & File Top 10 lists.

Secret Wars on Infinite Earths has documented & discussed over 700 featured fights and more than 1,000 characters. You can find them all by diving into the Secret Archive for a complete index in order of publisher, series, and issue. You'll find Tekken and other series in the Miscellaneous section towards the bottom.

Follow links throughout this post and others to find more content with your favourite characters and subjects. Get free daily links to fights inspired by the topics of the day by subscribing to Twitter, or by becoming a freebie follower on Patreon. Don't forget to smash that like, fave, and share -- and keep your eyes peeled for the week's top trending battles every Sunday on Twitter & Discord!

Winners: Inconclusive (Draw)
#507 (new) Nina Williams
#508 (new) Paul Phoenix
#509 (new) Ling Xiaoyu
#510 (new) Panda
#511 (new) Anna Williams

Friday, January 12, 2024

The Coffin (Marvel)
Web of Spider-Man #31 When: October 1987
Why: JM DeMatteis How: Mike Zeck

The Story So Far...
Sergei Kravinoff is an old man. A man sustained by herbs & roots and an iron will. A man whose family left behind a Russia with no room for his aristocratic dynasty. Whose only purpose now is to pursue the wild hunt.

Kraven the Hunter has suffered many indignities in his long life. A life he is quite certain must end soon -- but not before another hunt. Not before he consumes the many poisons of the arachnid and uses them to fuel domination of his ultimate foe.

While Spider-Man pays one last visit to a two-bit crook in a dive bar open casket -- he has no way of knowing his preoccupation with death is shared by a predator who has him in his sights. For he is the target of Kraven's Last Hunt!

Tale of the Tape...
Strength: Spider-Man 5 (Super-Human)
Intelligence: Spider-Man 5 (Professor)
Speed: Draw 4 (Olympian)
Stamina: Spider-Man 5 (Marathoner)
Agility: Spider-Man 5 (Cat-Like)
Fighting: Kraven 4 (Trained)
Energy: Kraven 4 (Arsenal)
Total: Spider-Man 29 (Super)

Sergei Kravinoff is an expert big game hunter who refined his body and senses to the peak of human ability. Further enhancements from an herbal formula created by Calypso allow him to wrestle the deadliest game into submission with his bare hands --
graduating Kraven the Hunter to super-human prey!

Kraven most famously stalks Spider-Man, but he's also had memorable run-ins with the likes of Tigra, Man-Wolf, Vermin, Daredevil, and Ka-Zar.

Many of these opponents are a little out of his weight class, but the thrill of the hunt lies in the challenge, and Kraven's skill & tactical acumen more than makes up for any natural advantages his target might possess.

Kraven's exploits have been adapted across multiple mediums, most recently appearing in PlayStation's Spider-Man 2 video game, and soon to feature on the big screen in a live-action Kraven the Hunter movie.

We previously took a look at an incarnation of Kraven from the MTV Spider-Man animated series, which ended, as it so often does, with Spider-Man victorious, but today's battle is a little different. This time Kraven is driven by every past indignity and humiliation he's ever suffered. This time Kraven is playing for keeps.

Will ritual preparation -- and a driven belief that this holdover from a forgotten age must soon die -- finally deliver Kraven to the ultimate victory? This isn't Kraven's final hunt, but it is leading him towards it. Let's see what happened!

The Tape: Spider-Man Ranking: Spider-Man (#2)

What Went Down...
Caught in the night's rain and deep thought: Spider-Man is alerted to a coming danger by his preternatural spider-senses.

He leaps clear of an incoming dart, leaving it to poke harmlessly into a nearby billboard -- while also jumping into the path of a second shot! It hits its target!

The projectile sticks into Spider-Man's neck, administering a poison that rushes through his body. For a moment he has a vision of Joe Face: a two-bit crook who used to feed him information, but is lying flat in a wooden box in a local dive.

Death is on his mind, but Spider-Man refuses to yield when he's confronted with Kraven the Hunter on an adjacent rooftop enclosure.

He shoots a web to pull himself across the divide with a mighty leap.

Again the toxin causes Spider-Man's mind to drift to visions of the recently deceased. A dangerous distraction Kraven is all too ready to seize upon!

The Hunter strikes with a wooden staff -- smacking Spider-Man off the enclosure to a lower rooftop level!

The Spider lands hard on his back & shoulders, precariously balanced on the edge of the roof. His muscles begin to stiffen and he can hardly move himself -- effects of the drug now coursing through his veins.

Kraven aims to further immobilize his prey -- ensnaring him in a weighted net!

Whatever the mesh is made of, it's tough enough to resist the weakened Spider.

Kraven drops from the enclosure, brandishing a rifle as he calmly approaches.

Spider-Man's addled mind races wildly between reassuring thoughts of Kraven's usual non-lethal modus operandi -- and the danger of a hunting rifle.

Spidey continues to try to free himself from the net. He can see there's something different about the look in Kravinoff's eyes. This isn't the Kraven he's usually faced. No matter how many times he reminds The Hunter of his usual desire to win with his bare hands -- this time something is different!

Kraven lines up his shot as Spider-Man desperately continues to struggle against the net and more visions of Joe Face. The thought that tomorrow it might be somebody else who dies eats at him. Somebody he loves. Aunt May, Mary-Jane, or...

With a wild-eyed gaze and deranged, toothy grin -- Kraven takes the shot.

It's over.

The Hammer...
I can only imagine if & how shocking the conclusion to Web of Spider-Man #31 might have seemed to a regular reader back in 1987.

It's a smidge before my time. When I finally got around to reading for myself -- there was little surprise to be had. It was already canonized as one of the legendary Spider-Man stories, and I was well prepared for the shocking turn of events that would follow Kraven the Hunter's victory. I had it on a trading card.

I was never left guessing what would happen after Kraven & his cronies end the issue lowering Spider-Man's coffin into a freshly dug grave.

I didn't endure any agonizing wait when Spidey remained six feet under in the next chapter, published in Amazing Spider-Man #293.

You can probably tell from the images included in this article - I had the benefit of a collected trade paperback. The entire story in my hot little hands, ready to consume. A format for convenience, but lacking the majesty of what I imagine the first run on newsstands would've been like. It was actually a little under whelming after all those years of hearing about it, but I've come around over the decades. Still I wonder about the wait in real-time...

Mike Zeck's pencils, with Bob McLeod on inks, and a trio of colorists -- Janet Jackson (not that one), Bob Sharen, and Zeck himself -- are pretty marvelous and moody, but the heavy tone that hangs over the issue doesn't feel particularly unusual to me, in keeping with other Spider-Man comics of the era.

It's a visually dark New York City, with the black suited Spider-Man prowling across its muddy blue and purple hues. It has the urban grit of a late eighties B-movie. I wonder if a regular reader might've overlooked the stakes, conditioned to always assume Spidey will come out on top, no matter the mire. And of course - he does. The rifle was loaded with some exotic tranquilizer or knock-out potion.

The enduring image from Kraven's Last Hunt becomes Spider-Man pulling himself out of his own grave on the cover of Web of Spider-Man #32, but there is still the lasting legacy of Kraven not only burying Spider-Man alive, but also supplanting him -- to the psychological horror of Peter Parker, and his then-wife, Mary-Jane.

Back in those days, it wasn't often that villains would secure such decisive and mind-bending victories. It reminds me of more recent affairs, like Otto Octavius assuming control of Peter Parker's body, or the countless comic book deaths that last a few years of suspended disbelief, before inevitably restoring the icon.

Kraven's Last Hunt only spans six issues, lasting a couple of months of print, which might not leave the reader a long time to stew, but sets about planting similar seeds without needing to burn a few years of publication. It seems to me far more impactful and efficient in its delivery of a memorable moment.

Update: Over on Twitter (aka; X), Sammy Younan was nice enough to respond to this entry, noting: "The danger in Kraven's Last Hunt felt real. Sometimes with these stories it's phony. I read these comics "live;" you instantly grasped this was BIG." Given the fast reputation of the story - I don't doubt it.

I'm interested to explore the story further and see how it sits within Kraven's legacy. As of Chapter 1, it reads like an opportunistic win for a heel villain, but once Kraven becomes Spider-Man, it takes on a very different context. That, more than today's victory, is probably what makes this one of the enduring milestones.

If you'd like to see that sooner than later, consider becoming a supporter on Patreon. Your contribution will help support further scholarly activities and the general cost of living. As a thank you you'll unlock access to the Discord, extra updates, and sponsored content options, such as Rank & File Top 10s.

Secret Wars on Infinite Earths has documented & discussed over 700 featured fights and more than 1,000 characters. You can find them all by diving into the Secret Archive for a complete index in order of publisher, series, and issue.

Get free daily links to fights inspired by the topics of the day by subscribing to Twitter, or by becoming a freebie follower on Patreon. Don't forget to smash that like, fave, and share -- and keep your eyes peeled for the week's top trending battles every Sunday on Twitter & Discord!

Winner: Kraven the Hunter
#433 (+297) Kraven the Hunter
#2 (--) Spider-Man

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Happy new year! Season 2023 of the Secret Wars on Infinite Earths has officially concluded, meaning we gather once again to rank the best battles in an order determined by your views & votes! Check out the Featured Fight Recap for a complete list of last year's entries and their order of publication -- this one is all about determining the cream of last season's crop!

Hit the covers below to discover the full featured fight, or scroll straight to the bottom for a list of links that will make spell out each entry and issue. The top battles featured: Spider-Man, Miles Morales, Miguel O'Hara, The Flash, Kang The Conqueror, Wolverine, Thor, Blue Beetle, She-Hulk, Black Adam, Green Lantern, Madelyne Pryor, Captain Marvel, Batman, Lizard, New Warriors and more!

You can also find more topical discussion in free Patreon updates, flashback to the best fights of 2022, or return to the main page where Season 2024 is sure to be upon us soon enough!

Behind The Covers
2. LIZARD vs SPIDER-MAN (Amazing Spider-Man #6)
3. GORILLA GRODD vs FLASH TRIO (DC Special Series #11)
4. OMAC PROJECT vs BLUE BEETLE (Blue Beetle #7)
6. GREEN LANTERN vs BATMAN (Justice League #5)
8. THE SPOT vs SPIDER-MAN (Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man #100)
9. GREEN LANTERNS vs HOUSE OF ZOD (Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #37)
11. ULTRON vs VILLAINS (Marvel Super Heroe Secret Wars #1)
12. AVENGERS vs KANG THE CONQUEROR (Avengers #267)
13. SPIDER-MAN vs OMEGA RED (Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #7)
14. ABSORBING MAN & TITANIA vs ANT-MAN & WASP (Avengers #275)
15. AVENGERS vs MODOK & AIM (She-Hulk #1)
16. CHUN-LI vs BLANKA (Street Fighter II #2)
17. X-FACTOR vs FRENZY (X-Factor #4)
19. FLIPSIDE vs SPIDER-MAN (Spider-Man 2099 #30)

Friday, December 29, 2023

Weaving through every entry on Secret Wars on Infinite Earths is the constant thread of the Fight Club Rankings! Nestled at the bottom of every new battle are live updates to characters' positions -- but only here can we see the true consequence of another year of wins & losses!

Season 2023 faced the usual challenges, but we had some strong and interesting entries across the year. There were inspirations from the usual sources of multimedia adaptations, and a few old favourites providing the usual eclectic mix of obvious -- and not-so obvious -- movers & shakers.

Black Knight made the biggest gains this year, leaping +545 slots to take Most Improved. Respectable runners-up included movie-relevant B-listers Blue Beetle, The Flash, and Hercules, with ranks improving by over 270.  Also leaping over two hundred ranks were Moondragon, Uncle Marvel, Galactus, and Tawky Tawny. Otherer noteable rising stars included: Ibis the Invincible, Adam Warlock, Ultron, General Zod, Justice, Mary Marvel, and Vision.

The Top 10 remained consistent from last year's result, but the hotly contested #20 position was claimed by Black Adam, whose past successes in comics were a little more impressive than his entry into films. The Black Marvel edged out Iron Fist, but couldn't steal the lightning of a slipping Thor, or rising Flash. It will be interesting to see if new names enter into the gatekeeper's position, with a wider margain starting to open at this portion of the ranks.

The complete list of Season 2023 competitors is available below with adjusted movements based on our year-end record of last year's rankings. You can also flashback to recaps of the ranking movements in 202120202019, 2018, 2017, and 2016. Don't forget to revisit all the action in the 2022 Featured Fights Recap, and stay tuned for the Top 20 Battles as chosen by you! You can also help shape Season 2024 by becoming a Patreon supporter for more updates, sponsored content, and good will!

#1 (--) Batman (Bruce Wayne)
#2 (--) Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
#3 (--) Superman (Kal-El)
#4 (--) Iron Man (Tony Stark)
#5 (--) Wolverine (James "Logan" Howlet)
#6 (--) Hulk (Bruce Banner)
#7 (--) Captain America (Steve Rogers)
#8 (--) Daredevil (Matt Murdock)
#9 (--) Luke Cage
#10 (--) Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscira)
#16 (+2) Green Arrow (Oliver Queen)
#17 (+2) The Flash (Barry Allen)
#19 (-2) Thor (Thor Odinson)
#20 (+2) Black Adam (Teth-Adam)
#24 (+12) The Flash (Wally West)
#28 (-4) Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
#34 (+5) Wasp (Janet Van Dyne)
#38 (+2) Black Canary (Dinah Lance)
#40 (+9) Archangel (Warren Worthington III)
#41 (+9) Captain Marvel Jr (Freddy Freeman)
#42 (+12) Captain Marvel (Billy Batson)
#48 (-6) Black Widow (Natasha Romanova)
#51 (-5) Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders)
#55 (--) Beast (Henry McCoy)
#56 (+32) She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters)
#57 (-1) Juggernaut (Cain Marko)
#74 (+49) Chun-Li
#76 (-9) Chasm (Ben Reilly)
#78 (+62) Mary Marvel (Mary Batson)
#86 (+62) Vision
#87 (-8) Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner)
#88 (-9) Giant-Man (Henry Pym)
#91 (-4) Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom)
#92 (-2) Cyclops (Scott Summers)
#93 (-4) Hawkeye (Clint Barton)
#100 (-3) Reverse-Flash (Eobard Thawne)
#102 (--) Stargirl (Courtney Whitmore)
#122 (+197) Ibis the Invincible (Amentep)
#123 (+210) Tawky Tawny
#124 (+103) General Zod (Dru-Zod)
#125 (-3) Nova (Richard Rider)
#127 (-6) Shadowkat (Katherine Pryde)
#130 (-3) Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur)
#131 (-26) Hellcat (Patricia Walker)
#134 (+238) Galactus
#140 (+243) Uncle Marvel (Dudley
#141 (-6) Drax (Arthur Douglas)
#146 (+276) The Flash (Jay Garrick)
#151 (-17) MODOK (George Tarleton)
#154 (-1) Iceman (Robert Drake)
#159 (-17) Cannonball (Sam Guthrie)
#160 (-5) Marvel Girl (Jean Grey-Summers)
#162 (+274) Hercules (Hercules Panhellenios)
#163 (-9) Green Lantern (Guy Gardner)
#174 (+277) Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes)
#200 (-7) Sentinel A7
#203 (+177) Warlock (Adam Warlock)
#208 (new) Goblin Queen (Madelyne Pryor)
#300 (-7) Firehawk (Lorraine Reilly)
#357 (new) Spider-Man (Miles Morales)
#358 (new) Ant-Man (Scott Lang)
#359 (new) Spiral (Rita Wayword)
#360 (new) Bulletman (James Barr)
#361 (new) Spider-Man (Miguel O'Hara)
#362 (new) Spider-Boy (Peter Ross)
#363 (new) Spider-Boy (Mig-El Gand)
#364 (new) Ursa
#365 (new) Skrull Thunderbird (Unknown)
#366 (new) Skrull Adam Warlock (Unknown)
#367 (new) Skrull Captain Marvel (Unknown)
#380 (-202) Wildcat (Ted Grant)
#388 (+3) Wrecker (Dirk Garthwaite)
#389 (+5) Piledriver (Brian Calusky)
#390 (new) Kang The Conqueror (Nathaniel Richards)
#391 (+264) Moondragon (Heather Douglas)
#395 (+161) Ultron
#396 (-45) Titania (Mary MacPherran)
#400 (-20) Warlock
#432 (+545) Black Knight (Dane Whitman)
#440 (-66) Atom Smasher (Albert Rothstein)
#441 (-40) Sandy the Golden Boy (Sanderson Hawkins)
#453 (-20) Gorilla Grodd
#462 (-7) Speedball (Robert Baldwin)
#500 (new) Frenzy (Joanna Cargill)
#501 (new) Firefist (Rusty Collins)
#502 (new) High Evolutionary (Herbert Wyndham)
#503 (new) Firestar (Angelica Jones)
#504 (new) Namorita (Namorita Prentiss)
#505 (new) Night Thrasher (Dwayne Taylor)
#518 (+68) Justice (Vance Astrovik)
#571 (-34) Mister Terrific (Michael Holt)
#600 (-20) Cyttorak
#652 (new) Molecule Man (Owen Reece)
#653 (new) Enchantress (Amora)
#654 (new) Son of Vulcan (Jonathan Mann)
#655 (new) Maxam (Unknown)
#656 (new) Pip the Troll (Pip Gofern)
#657 (new) Lor-Zod
#660 (-23) Eradicator
#661 (-304) The Spot (Jonathan Ohnn)
#671 (-135) Doctor Mid-Nite (Pieter Cross)
#688 (new) Absorbing Man (Carl Creel)
#700 (-26) Captain Nazi (Albrecht Krieger)
#800 (-25) Warden Nuchitt
#900 (-25) Megayakuza (Unknown)
#1000 (-25) Death-Dealer (Li Ching-Lin)
#1004 (new) Blizzard (Donald Gill)
#1005 (new) Karma (Xuan Cao Manh)
#1006 (new) Pride
#1007 (new) Envy
#1008 (new) Greed
#1009 (new) Hatred
#1010 (new) Selfishness
#1011 (new) Laziness
#1012 (new) Injustice
#1013 (new) Flipside
#1014 (new) Kang The Time Conqueror (Chronos-Tut)
#1015 (new) Blanka (Unknown)
#1016 (new) Jroyy
#1017 (new) Skrull Captain Britain (Unknown)
#1018 (new) Skrull Havok (Unknown)
#1019 (new) Skrull Green Goblin (Unknown)
#1020 (new) Skrull Abomination (Unknown)
#1021 (new) Skrull Medusa (Unknown)
#1022 (new) OMACs
#1023 (-42) Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius)
#1027 (-377) Swordsman (Unknown)
#1034 (-58) Omega Red (Arkady Rossovich)
#1061 (-79) Thunderstrike (Eric Masterson)
#1072 (-43) Captain America (Sam Wilson)
#1073 (-56) Gold Goblin (Norman Osborn)
#1074 (-44) Killer Croc (Waylon Jones)
#1075 (-41) Lizard (Curt Connors)
#1076 (-45) Cloak (Tyrone Johnson)
#1077 (-45) Lady Deathstrike (Yuriko Oyama)
#1078 (-45) Dan Hibiki
#1079 (-44) Zangief
#1080 (-44) Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff)
#1081 (-44) Sabretooth (Victor Creed)

Thursday, December 28, 2023

November ends the Secrets Wars on Infinite Earths year, and although we had a quiet end to Season 2023, there were still plenty of memorable entries throughout the run, including some personal favourites!

What were the best battles of the most recent bouts? Now's the time to help lock-in our Greatest Hits of 2023 by revisiting your favourites from the list below. Every time you view a featured fight it casts a vote towards our final rankings -- so vote now and vote often before the end of December!

#1 Spider-Man versus Omega Red (Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #7)
#2 Avengers versus Kang The Conqueror (Avengers #267)
#3 Avengers versus MODOK & AIM (She-Hulk #1)
#4 Absorbing Man & Titania versus Ant-Man & Wasp (Avengers #275)
#5 X-Factor versus Frenzy (X-Factor #4)
#6 Avengers versus Kang The Conqueror (Avengers #2)
#7 Ultron versus The Villains (Marvel Super Hero Secret Wars #1)
#8 Beast, Cannonball & Karma versus Spiral (Beast #1)
#9 Marvel Family versus Seven Deadly Enemies of Man (Power of Shazam #11)
#10 Black Adam versus Justice Society (JSA #27)
#11 Captain Marvel versus Wonder Woman (War of the Gods #1)
#12 Marvel Woman & The Fallen versus Green Goblin & Man-Spider (Mutant X #5)
#13 Avengers versus Infinity Watch (Warlock and The Infinity Watch #27)
#14 Apocalypse versus High Evolutionary (X-Factor Annual #3)
#15 Flipside versus Spider-Man (Spider-Man 2099 #30)
#16 Kang The Time Conqueror versus Spider-Boy (Spider-Boy Team-Up #1)
#17 The Spot versus Spider-Man (Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #100)
#18 Chun-Li versus Blanka (Street Fighter II #2)
#19 Green Lanterns versus House of Zod (Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #37)
#20 Gorilla Grodd versus Flash Trio (DC Special Series #11)
#21 Skrulls versus Wolverine (X-Men #90)
#22 Project OMAC versus Blue Beetle (Blue Beetle #7)
#23 Green Lantern versus Batman (Justice League #5)
#24 Lizard versus Spider-Man (Amazing Spider-Man #6)
#25 New Warriors & Thor versus Juggernaut (Thor #412)

You can find even more superhero smackdown by checking out the Secret Archive for a full index of every battle ever featured on Secret Wars on Infinite Earths! You can also flashback to the 2022 Feature Fight Recap, check out the Top 20 Fights of 2022, and revisit last year's Rankings Recap. Stay tuned to the main page for more year-end updates, and if you enjoy having superheroes in your feed all year round -- consider becoming a supporter on Patreon this holiday season. It would really help in 2024!