After writing a Christmas article last year, I wasn’t really sure what to write for this year. Knowing that the article would probably be posted the day after Christmas, my wife Ana suggested that I write an article for Boxing Day about some of the best fights. You see, I’m a Canadian and in Canada we have this weird extra holiday the day after Christmas called Boxing Day. It’s really just an excuse to get more time off of work and play hockey (and no, I’m not kidding about the hockey thing; a major international tournament starts on that day and many towns have one-day tournaments for their local teams). So, in Ana’s honor, here are some of most memorable punches in comic books (and elsewhere).
Justice League #5: Batman lays out Guy Gardner with one punch. One punch! Do you want to know how awesome this scene is? Just google “Guy Gardner one punch” and read the many, many blog posts devoted to the awesomeness of this scene. Or you could just read the scene itself.
New Teen Titans #19: This is another example of one team-mate knocking another team-mate around. In this case, Donna Troy lays in to Dick Grayson for coming back from Tamaran a self-pitying mess. She’s hoping a few punches will knock him out of his depression. Surprisingly, it doesn’t work.
Uncanny X-Men #183: More therapy not recommended by American Association of Psychiatrists. Wolverine takes Colossus out for drinks then lets him fight Juggernaut all by himself as punishment for dumping Kitty and breaking her heart.
Invincible #11-12: This is the fight that changed everything. Invincible’s father Omni-Man reveals himself to be an advance spy for a galactic empire and the two of them have one of the greatest one-on-one battles in comic book history.
Martin Lapointe vs. Ethan Moreau, Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks, October 17, 1996: Martin Lapointe has his own one punch moment. This fight is sometimes mis-remembered as featuring Darren McCarty, who’s famous in Red Wing lore for beating up on Claude Lemieux. But it was Lapointe, not McCarty, who laid Moreau low with one quick right hook.
Avengers #159: Graviton is making mincemeat out of the Avengers. They simply aren’t able to cope with the scope of his powers. Then, Thor finds out about the fight from Jarvis and flies into action. He arrives at full speed and lands one major punch. That should end the fight right there, except that Graviton is able to negate Thor’s hammer with his gravity powers. Even so, that scene of Thor roaring in to the rescue with a masterful punch is burned into my brain.
Holly Gennaro McClane vs. Richard Thornburg, Die Hard: Officer John McClane gets the best lines but his wife Holly gets the best punch when she reels back and hits obnoxious reporter Richard Thornburg. Another one punch classic!
Infinite Crisis #5: It’s Superman vs. Superman in one of the greatest battles in comics. To be topped only an issue later, when Superman and Superman take on Superboy Prime. No heat vision or cold breath or anything fancy, just super punch after super punch.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #15: Giant Dawn vs. Mecha Dawn in an instantly memorable fight scene. Okay, so there’s more biting and hair-pulling than actual punching but this is still one of my favorite fights.
“Through the Looking Glass,” Lost season 3 finale: This starts out as one of the great cathartic moments as Jack finally lays into Ben for lying, manipulating the survivors and ordering the execution of three of Jack’s friends but it goes beyond catharsis into a brutal beat-down. That makes it the most memorable of Lost’s many punch-outs.