Friday Night Bear Fights!
Ever since I posted this month's header logo (available here in case you're reading this at some point in the mad world of The Future), the subject of super-hero bear-fighting has been a hot topic of discussion around ISB Headquarters.
Well, really, it boils down to two emails, but trust me: As the tumbleweeds roll through my inbox, that kind of buzz is nigh unheard-of.
But while the Punisher's trip through the Central Park Zoo is certainly the best bearfight in comics (and one of my favorite single issues of all time), it's not an isolated incident. Heck, it's not even the first bearfight that the Punisher's ever had, which means at this point, it's almost a pattern.
Super-heroes and bears are natural enemies. Fact.
Take this scene from 1992's Darkhawk Annual #1, where we find that while Darkhawk's extradimensional android body may posess super-strength, a force field, lasers that shoot out of his chest, and a face so hideous that he uses it as a weapon like three times during the series, it has one glaring weakness:
But that is mere prelude to the only bearfight in comics that can stand up to "Welcome Back, Frank" in terms of sheer awesome. It's a moment so mind-blowing that when it appeared in the first comic my pal MG3 ever read, it not only hooked him into comics for life, but cemented Batman in his mind as the coolest character ever created.
It all goes down in 1976's two-fisted Action Comics #465, courtesy of Cary Bates and Curt Swan. In his most diabolical plot yet, Lex Luthor had somehow managed to turn both the Flash and Batman into mere children, robbing them of their years of crime-busting experience. So when they meet up with Superman in a field, he's understandably suspicious, and makes them prove their identities.
For the Flash, of course, this is pretty easy, what with the fact that he can run at the speed of light and all. But for Batman, who has no such powers, it's a little more difficult. So what, I ask you, can they possibly make him do to prove himself?
...AND HE KICKS ITS ASS.
And not only is it a grizzly bear, but it's a grizzly bear that the Flash brought from a circus that has been trained to fight men. It's like a modern Frankenstein, the hubris of man come back to chase him up a tree and devour him. And yet, ten year-old Batman takes that mother out.
That's what I call badass.
| Sonny Chiba's Karate Bearfighter |