It is not the end. The one last battle that you have been gearing up for, using all your superpowers to make it alive out of this one. It all boils down to that one last fight scene. After all, who doesn’t love nail-biting action scenes?
Just to clarify though, these don’t have to be the ending necessarily. We are highlighting the most epic fights that may have happened anytime during the character’s life. In a few of these, the character makes it alive too (hurray!). Ready for the top 10?
Here they are :
1. THOR VS SKURGE AT GJALLEBRU
Walter Simpson’s “The Mighty Thor” #362 (1985): In order to return the innocent souls that Hela (Asgard’s version of Hades) had stolen from the mortal realm, Thor, and his company have to escape from the clutches of Hel (Norse equivalent of Hell). Thor decides to have his last stand at Gjallebru, the bridge out of Hel, to save his friends and fight the endless waves of demons chasing them. Long -time Thor villain, Skurge the Executioner knocks Thor out.
With plenty of ammunition and enchanted M-16s, Skurge fights the entirety of Hel hence proving he isn’t a fool anymore. They sing no songs in Hel, nor do they celebrate heroes. For silent is that dismal realm and cheerless. But the story of The Gjallerbru and The God who defended it is whispered across The Nine Worlds. And when a new arrival asks about the one to whom even Hela bows her head… The answer is always the same… He stood alone at Gjallerbru… And that answer is enough”, were Skurge’s beautiful words after winning himself a place in Valhalla.
2. JOHNNY STORM’S EPIC LAST FIGHT
Fantastic Four #587 (2011) : With only 4 minutes left for the Annihilation Wave ( endless horde of insect destruction) to strike and the control console destroyed, the only way to close the portal between the Negative Zone and Earth permanently was possible if someone stayed behind. Johnny Storm throws Ben Grimm back into the portal putting Ben into shock since he had volunteered for it.
Ben looks back at the portal in tears at Johnny who flames up for his last epic fight. Johnny’s last words with the portal closing on him were, “A billion to one. You think I’m afraid of that? You think I’m afraid of that?! FLAME ON!”
That goosebump giving line should motivate everyone out there to be brave. If Johnny wasn’t scared of death and had no fear, you can get through the biggest problems in life.
To be honest, all great stories begin with men in capes and thongs. The battle of Thermopylae between King Leonidas with his 300 Spartans against a thousand Persian Empire nations is the epic last fight. Even if they all the Persians could not be killed, Leonidas key they could win via a war of attrition; demoralize the men so much that they get humiliated and abandon the campaign.
Like any book cannot be compared to it’s movie; you need to check out Frank Miller’s artwork in the comic series of 300. Doesn’t matter if you have watched the movie 300 times (too much eh?), there is always time to check out the comic series and spot the differences. For example, in the comic Leonidas just rejects Ephilates and does not offer him the chance to tend to the wounded whereas in the movie this turn’s Ephilates betrayal into vengeance, not an emotional reaction to being rejected but a more deliberate choice. Ephiltes pledges loyalty to Xerxes and helps himself instead of helping Sparta.
4. PUNISHER : BORN
The last fight of Frank Castle is the first fight of Punisher. Written by Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson and Tom Palmer, the Punisher was born from Frank in Vietnam, during an internal exchange and not when Frank’s family was gunned down at Central Park; as it is widely believed. Frank tries to hold on for long as he can during the final days of the Vietnam war, trying to protect the Firebase Valley Gorge.
It’s a battle between endless Vietcongs charging at Valley Gorge and Frank; who knows that he can make it out alive only if he unleashes the dark presence disturbing him inside. And thus emerges Punisher, beating up two dozen men with a battered M 16 even when he has 8 bullet wounds in him.
5. INVINCIBLE VS CONQUEST
This war sets the stage of the war, with the Image Universe seriously lacking in heroes. Conquest, a Vitrumite war fighter is sent solo by the Empire to destroy the planets. Conquest treats his scars as trophies and doesn’t use special Vitrumite power to heal them. Before the last epic fight, Conquest thanks, Invincible, saying “It’s not very often that I get to cut loose like this. I mean cut loose as I have here. Usually, there are so many mission parameters… But not here — not with this planet. For whatever reason, I don’t care why, to be honest, I was told — take control, no matter what it takes… take control of the planet. So whatever you did to piss us off — thank you. This has been fun.”
Mark refuses to make this his last fight, giving his all in, trying to stand true to his name. Even when Conquest snaps his right arm and left fist, he head bashes Conquest.
6. STAR WARS EMPIRE: TO THE LAST MAN
To the last man summarizes every last ordeal beautifully:“All duty is sacrifice… sometimes that sacrifice provides its reward.”
Written by Welles Hartley and Davide Fabbri, the Galactic Empire face Amani, the natives of Planet Maridun. Amani’s spears cut through stormtrooper suits like lightsabers through younglings. Imperial Officer Sunbar is the protagonist, the only who seems to know what he is doing while his seniors are busy seeking promotions.
Even though the Amani isn’t savage, Sunbar knows he needs to hurt the Amani in the little hope that they can make it out alive. They dig three angled trenches, and Sunbar is ordered to command the first trench, the most vulnerable one. Sunbar agrees to say, “You’re right. Somebody has to command that position. It should be me.” The other Imperial officers betray the plan giving an insight into the questionable tactics of the Star Wars Universe.
7. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE MAN OF TOMORROW?
Superman’s last fight can be witnessed in this 1986b comic written by Alan Moore, Curt Swan, George Perez and Kurt Schaffenberger. The onslaught of old-school opponents forces Superman to seal his Fortress of Solitude.
“Perry, I’m scared. I think I’m going to die, and there’s so much in my life I have to get straight…”, are words uttered by Superman making him sound almost human. Jimmy Olsen, Lana Lang and Krypto the super dog come to Superman’s aid, showing him no one loves him more than them. Even though Krypto knows how deadly Kryptonite Man’s touch is, he goes for the Jugular to save Superman. In the end, Superman is defeated, not by the opponent, but by breaking his oath – to never kill. It’s the exact opposite of “Man of Steel.”
8. BATMAN: KNIGHTFALL
Bane creates an intricate loop of challenges which forces Batman into a war of attrition. Batman returns to Wayne Manor thoroughly exhausted after facing an onslaught of villains from Amygdala to Zsasz only to find Bane waiting for him.
Bane’s plan is elaborate – from giving Bats a chance to beating down Joker for killing Jason Todd to interrupting Batman’s rooftop Bat-Naps, he has been making Batman run around till the last ounce of strength is drained out of him.
Batman knows he cannot win this one yet and Bane confirms it to him saying “You are already broken.” Batman tries to swing one last punch and stammers “ G-Go… back.. to hell”. Bane crushes Batman under the giant penny and even beats him with a piece of Batcave. When Bane is done playing with Batman, he raises him over his head, bringing him down over his knee, breaking Batman’s back and finishing him.
9. BULLSEYE VS PUNISHER
We read about Punisher’s story above so let’s get a little insight into Bullseye’s story. Written by Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon, it gives an insight into the glorious last battle. Bullseye was a devoted, organized method massacre. One that not only hit the aim on point but slowly adapted to his opponent’s habits to know them better and break them.
He discovers one of Punisher’s safehouses and begins wearing Frank’s old clothes and sleeping on his old mattress to think more like Punisher. This prompts Punisher to siege Fisk Tower for a final battle.
Bullseye prays to God, “And I only ask one little favor… this awful bloodshed that’s about to happen here… This horrible reckoning of vengeance and the most depraved sort of violent shenanigans imaginable…Please just make it last.” His prayers are answered when their elevator fight leads them to a floor under construction with tools laying all around and no safety equipment in sight. Bullseye sighs and exclaims, “There is a God.”
10. HARD BOILED
Nixon, a robot assassin created by Willeford Home Appliance Corporation to take out corporate rivals is under the delusion that he is a tax collector. Nixon believes he is Carl, has a happy family except for his disturbing dreams, the dreams of his life before he was made into a Robot.
He comes across Unit Two, another robot from Willeford who explains that Carl is their last hope of ending Robot slavery. Nixon dismisses the claim, shoots her, another bunch of people and finally realizes Unit two wasn’t lying when a part of his robot parts underneath his skin reveal the Willeford logo.
Nixon makes the decision to take over Willeford alone, destroys most of the security forces but in the end is compromised. Defeated and hopeless, he makes a deal with Willeford to get his old life back and reset his memory. Willeford wins, and Nixon fails to save his robot brethren making this not only an epic last fight but signifying the win of evil over good.