Badass Week: The Toughest Man In Comics... Revealed!
The votes are in! And tonight, the ISB reveals The Toughest Man In Comics! But first, a word about that.
Even with my post on OMAC, ISB readers will note that there's one badass character that I'm known for being a pretty big fan of that hasn't been mentione all week. And that's on purpose. One of the ideas that I'd toyed with after I'd written up the post with the six nominees was letting the vote run its course throughout the week, and then writing up a post about the winner: Batman.
Because Batman, I would say, is so badass that he can win a Toughest Man in comics competition without even being eligible for the vote. That guy will punch you in the face just to prove a point. It's kind of his deal.
But once I got home that night and found out that I'd had seventy-five votes in a single day, I figured I should probably pay attention to them.
That said, here's how it worked out, with 109 of you casting your votes!
Coming in as the last-place shocker is ORION, the mighty scion of Darkseid himself and weilder of the Astro-Force, whose barely-contained fury only managed to garner only six (6) votes. This leads me to believe that you guys should probably be reading more New Gods.
Up next, with 7 votes, was Val Armorr, the Legion's very own Karate Kid. I pretty much knew this guy was the underdog going into it, but I still maintain that being a teenage outer-space future karate master who marries a princess and then dies blowing up a spaceship with his bare hands after being beaten within an inch of his life is totally frigg'n hardcore. Clearly, 102 of you felt differently.
The Mighty Thor, God of Thunder, hammered out 13 Votes in between smoting Frost Giants in the wastes of Jotunheim, but sadly, using an Uru mallet to call forth the fury of lightning that can rip through the very dimensions of the Nine Worlds wasn't enough to bring him into the top half. And really, that's going to upset some people.
So who makes it to the top three? With 18 Votes, Marvel's own patron saint of brutality himself, The Punisher! That's right, a man with an M-60 and a vendetta beats out two gods when it comes to being a badass, and that's a pretty good showing. But not good enough.
"Know, O Prince, that between the first days of June and the return of jokes about Jimmy Olsen, there was a week undreamt of, when Conan of Cimmeria, dark-haired and sullen-eyed, obtained 24 Votes to tread four of his five rivals beneath his sandaled foot."
By this point, those of you with a head for math should realize that out of the original 109, the tally thus far leaves Thirty-Seven Votes, well over a third of the total unaccounted for. But there's a good reason for that. Because in the army of badass characters, the five men above are just soldiers.
And one guess'll tell you WHO'S IN CHARGE.
That's right, Sgt. Rock blasted through the competition--and a shitload of Nazis--to take his rightful place as the toughest man in comics history. And why? Well, it probably has a lot to do with the fact that every Sgt. Rock cover could be used as a motivational poster for the word "Determination," assuming that your boss didn't mind the drastic increase in punches to the face.
If you want to be a badass--and really, who doesn't?--you can learn everything you need to know from the Rock of Easy Company. Check it.
Sgt. Rock on Child Care:
Sgt. Rock on The Fine Art of Letter-Writing:
Sgt. Rock on Pacifism:
Sgt. Rock on Exploding Into White-Hot Fury:
Sgt. Rock on--HOLY SHIT DID THAT GUY JUST GET SHOT IN THE HEAD ON THE COVER OF A CODE-APPROVED DC COMIC?!
And that's BADASS.
And it doesn't just stop at the cover. Read the stories, and you'll learn exactly why Sgt. Rock is so tough. Ever wonder why he wears a uniform with no sleeves? They got ripped off when he tore through a barbed wire barricade while storming a beach on his way to destroy a German pillbox with no gun and a handful of grenades. On his first day in the army. Read a few more, and you'll find out about his Spider-Sense-like "Combat Antenna," a form of mild precognition that warns him of danger and allows him to know what his men are thinking, which he says any veteran soldier can do if he's seen enough war.
That's right: Sgt. Rock has been fighting the War so long that he's developed telepathy. RESPECT.
But the absolute most badass Rock moment of all time? Grab yourself a copy of 1963's Showcase #45 (or the 1989's convenient Sgt. Rock Special #3) and read the Kanigher/Kubert classic "Sergeants Aren't Born." The story incorporates the elements from Rock's origin story in "Three-Stripe Hill," where we find out that Rock earned his rank by being the last man alive on a mission to hold a hill against the Nazis, at one point running out of ammunition and fighting the German soldiers hand-to-hand until reinforcements arrived and held him back.
Say what you want about Wolverine's berserker rage; Frank Rock flipped out so hard that an American Soldier told him to calm down and stop punching Nazis to death.
"Sergeants Aren't Born" adds a new twist to the story, though, taking us back to Rock's days in Basic Training, where a Nazi POW relentlessy calls him a "Wooden soldier." At one point, the Nazi even tries to escape, jumping Rock from behind and thrashing him. Rock, of course, doesn't stay down, but he's not able to overpower the Nazi himself, and as the MPs drag him away, the Nazi laughs at him again.
The whole thing gives Rock the motivation to do what he does, with every awesome battle he wins in the war being another step closer to proving that bastard wrong. But when Rock comes up against a tank that he has no choice but to fight alone, he has the chance to do it one-on-one: He runs into the same Nazi soldier.
Things don't really go so well, and Rock ends up knocked out by the blast when he takes out the tank, and after recognizing him, the Nazi takes Rock's own gun, laughs at the Wooden Soldier one more time, and sets himself up in a position to take out Easy Company with their own Sarge's bullets.
But Frank Rock doesn't stay down. No, he drags himself inch by inch across the ground until he falls into a nearby river, forcing himself to stand up and walk through the water towards the enemy.
...And that's when you know that dude is fucked.
Perhaps you were all forgetting about Madamoiselle Marie, the French resistance fighter who battled Nazis in a miniskirt and fishnets?
She knows what's up.
TOMORROW, ON THE ISB!
You've cast your vote and seen the results for the The Toughest Man in Comics, but BADASS WEEK still has some fight in it! Be here tomorrow, the mind-shattering finale as the men take a hike and the ISB reveals THE TOUGHEST WOMAN IN COMICS!
WILL IT BE HER?!