Friday, January 12, 2018

Hitting The Fan (DC)
Suicide Squad #6 When: October 1987
Why: John Ostrander How: Luke McDonnell

The Story So Far...
When the Soviet Union proposes a trade with the United States for a controversial novelist's freedom; The Suicide Squad are called upon in secret to extract the prisoner right from under their noses!

It was a politically charged mission to Moscow none of them wanted to take, but the ingenious plan of new recruit Oswald Cobblepot, (aka; The Penguin), makes the trip behind enemy lines seem possible! There's just one catch: Nobody thought to ask Zoya Trigorin if she wanted to be rescued!

A hostile prisoner throws the mission into disarray -- much to the delight of Enchantress! With the Soviet Army closing in fast, Colonel Rick Flag has no choice but to order Deadshot to bring the wild witch down when she goes rogue!

Tale of the Tape...
Strength: Deadshot 3 (Athlete)
Intelligence: Enchantress 5 (Professor)
Speed: Deadshot 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Enchantress 4 (Athlete)
Agility: Draw 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting: Deadshot 4 (Trained)
Energy: Enchantress 6 (Cosmic Power)
Total: Enchantress 24 (Champion)

Floyd Lawton is Deadshot by name, Deadshot by reputation -- but can a bullet from the assassin's gun really pierce the magic veil of the Enchantress? That's what we're here to find out in a battle of Suicide Squad teammates!

We have, of course, seen another Squaddy take down Enchantress in a previous instance: Bronze Tiger was on-hand to make sure she played nice when the team went up against Brimstone in their inaugural mission [Legends #3].

Deadshot's aim was true, successfully taking Brimstone down with the use of a specialized laser weapon. The next mission was also a success for Deadshot, who defeated Manticore in a deadly close-quarters battle [Suicide Squad #2].

There's no denying Deadshot is a master marksman, but not quite every shot is a bull's eye! His very presence with the Suicide Squad is a result of being captured by The Flash, who was too fast for Deadshot's draw [in Legends #1].

No hero has gotten under Lawton's skin quite as thoroughly as Batman! Their multiple run-ins include Deadshot's very first outing, when he posed as a masked vigilante to oust The Bat. He nearly pulled it off, but as in most of their clashes, it ended in Deadshot's defeat. His eventual comeback in Detective Comics #474 is one such example.

Enchantress doesn't have the hand-to-hand fighting prowess of Batman, nor his unique insights. She does, however, possess a broad spectrum of magic powers as a witch that should be able to deal with most guns and munitions.

Without specialist weaponry, Deadshot seems pretty out of his depth against Enchantress. His greatest strength lies in long-range sniping to get the drop on an unprepared Enchantress. That's how Bronze Tiger closed similar odds.

Enchantress was supposed to impersonate novelist Zoya Trigorin while the Squad extracted her from Russia, but with the mission thrown into chaos, she's completely off the leash. That bodes well for Deadshot, who can capitalize on her distraction. Will it work? Let's find out...

The Tape: Enchantress Ranking: Deadshot (#114)

What Went Down...

An explosion rings out from the Novogorod Psychiatric Hospital. The mission has gone bad. Real bad! The Suicide Squad regroups in the snow covered woods just outside, while The Enchantress delights at the opportunity for chaos!

With Russian troops rapidly closing-in; Colonel Rick Flag is forced to make an urgent decision about the witch flying overhead. With time running out, he turns to Deadshot with a non-lethal order to shoot.

Deadshot feigns concern that he may not be able to bring Enchantress down without accidentally killing her. Flag puts a gun to his head and warns him not to miss!

Unaware of the conspiring gunmen below; Enchantress is completely unprepared when she hears the sudden explosion of Deadshot's rifle!

The searing sting of the bullet follows in an instant. Struck in the head, The Enchantress plummets from the sky to the thick floor of snow below.

Flag orders Nightshade and Nemesis to collect the body. A dark smile creeps over Deadshot's face as he assures the Colonel his shot was made to order -- on target and non-lethal.

Enchantress is groggy when Nemesis lifts her from the snow by the shoulders. He demands to know her name, but she instinctively refuses! If spoken, it will return the wicked witch to the darkness -- restoring innocent June Moone.

So Nemesis tells her she's June Moone: a spy who will be shot on sight! The barely conscious witch denies this, too. With time running out he leans over her face and asks who she really is. At last she says it: "Enchantress!"

The Hammer...
This one may challenge your definition for a "fight", but the fact is: some conflicts end not with the throwing of fists, but with the firing of a single bullet! Such is the stock & trade of Deadshot!

As we build a bigger profile for Deadshot, it'll be interesting to see what his strike-rate as a marksman is really like. The reputation of killers in comics doesn't always match-up to results. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see what today's win does for his overall fight rank!

Today we're here to track the movements of Enchantress, whose early tenure with the Suicide Squad provided one of the great sub-plots of the first couple of years. It loosely inspired elements of the 2016 movie, but as with most things in that adaptation, the source material was not well represented.

The premise is simple: The Suicide Squad are a band of convicted villains operating as a black-ops team to work-off their sentences. They're guided by trusted agents like Rick Flag and Bronze Tiger, but the criminal nature of most of the team means there's always an underlying tension of mistrust.

Enchantress is arguably the most openly hostile of the group, but she's tethered to the pleasant alter-ego of June Moone, who volunteered her services.

Moone initially has enough sway to keep the wicked witch in check, but every time Enchantress is summoned, her dark powers grow. The threat that she'll turn on the team is always there, but the trade-off is that her magic is one of the Squad's most powerful weapons, and sometimes can be directed.

Inevitably, this dangerous game means various members of The Squad are forced to take Enchantress down once her work is done.

We saw this in their inaugural mission, when Enchantress saved the team from being scorched by the flaming aftermath of Brimstone -- only to immediately turn on them! Bronze Tiger became the first teammate to shut her down.

Comics being what they are; there are different flavours to the various times Enchantress is thwarted. The next time we visit the theme it will probably seem vaguely comical, but each indignity is only building toward the inevitable.

The reader knows Enchantress' power and hostility is growing, and the tension that mounts is one of the great threads weaved into the tapestry of John Ostrander's early Suicide Squad!  It could've greatly enhanced the film had they taken it in the same direction, rather than abruptly making her the arch-villain of the first film. One of many mistakes.

If you're looking for more Suicide Squad, or follow-up entries, be sure to check out the Secret Archive. You'll easily find featured fights indexed by publisher, series, and issue! If you just want to read these issues in their entirety for yourself, you can support the site by using the Amazon link provided!

You can also follow Secret Wars on Infinite Earths on Facebook and Twitter to get daily links to fights inspired by the topics of the day! A like, share, or retweet is a much appreciated way to show support!

Additional Note: Assist stats will be recorded for Rick Flag for ordering the hit, as well as Nemesis & Nightshade, who helped ensure Enchantress switched back to June Moone. These details were important to securing Deadshot's triggerman victory.

Winner: Deadshot
#66 (+48) Deadshot
#846 (-314) Enchantress
#383 (--) Rick Flag [+1 assist]
#420 (+75) Nemesis (Tom Tresser) [+1 assist]
#527 (new) Nightshade (Eve Eden) [+1 assist]

Friday, January 05, 2018

Betrayal! (Marvel)
Captain Marvel #26 When: May 1973
Why: Mike Friedrich & Jim Starlin How: Jim Starlin

The Story So Far...
Rick Jones' girlfriend betrayed his love when she fingered him for a murder rap he didn't commit! When Captain Marvel goes looking for answers, he discovers poor Lou-Ann Savannah is a reluctant pawn in a cosmic conspiracy!

The Mad Titan Thanos plans intergalactic conquest starting with the planet Earth, and his scheme is being carried out by Skrull minions: Skragg and Kl'rt!

With the truth exposed: Captain Marvel is on the warpath -- but he's still reeling from the mind-games inflicted in a previous fight with the Skrulls! Super-Skrull has lured The Thing into a trap that paralyzes his vocal chords -- meaning the hero cannot object when Captain Marvel mistakes him for his shape-changing enemies!

Tale of the Tape...
Strength: Thing 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: Captain Marvel 4 (Tactician)
Speed: Captain Marvel 4 (Olympian)
Stamina: Captain Marvel 6 (Generator)
Agility: Captain Marvel 3 (Acrobat)
Fighting: Draw 3 (Street Wise)
Energy: Captain Marvel 5 (Lasers)
Total: Captain Marvel 31 (Super)

Today's featured fight marks the first serious entry for the legendary Captain Marvel! Not to be confused with the original Captain Marvel of Fawcett [and DC] Comics fame! This one's a cosmic Kree warrior published by Marvel Comics!

We've actually seen the man called Mar-Vell on one prior occasion. An intriguing quirk of the Marvel Zombies universe is its retro timeline, which meant Captain Marvel lived long enough to become walking dead! We saw his zombie take serious damage from Silver Surfer back in Marvel Zombies (Vol. 1) #3!

In our universe: Captain Mar-Vell was a decorated hero of the Imperial Kree Space Fleet drawn into the grand plans of the Supreme Intelligence. He sent Mar-Vell to Earth as a spy, but his altruistic nature led him to use his unique powers to become a hero on Earth! He was eventually bound to Rick Jones, forcing one to dwell in the Negative Zone while the other existed in our reality.

Mar-Vell gained multiple power boosts in his time, developing super-human strength, speed, intelligence, reflexes, photon energy blasts, and cosmic awareness. He was also an accomplished combatant prior to gaining his powers.

Thing's no stranger to duking it out with cosmically aware opponents! As a member of the Fantastic Four he's faced the majority of cosmic threats, even battling the likes of Silver Surfer, Champion of the Universe, and Ronan!

In past features we've seen Thing take on villains from the Kree's rival empire: Paibok The Power Skrull [Fantastic Four #358], and Kl'rt the Super-Skrull [Fantastic Four (Vol. 2) #7]. The former was a typical triumph for the physically powerful hero, but the latter saw him outmatched by raw cosmic might!

Thing should outclass Mar-Vell in the strength department most days of the week, but The Captain has superior speed, reflexes, and the ability to fly. He's also a far more skilled technical combatant.

It's rarely a good idea to bet against the ever lovin' blue-eyed Thing, but the versatility of Captain Marvel's abilities mean he's a real wildcard! Our Tape and Rankings can't agree. Let's find out how the fight went down!

The Tape: Captain Marvel Ranking: Thing (#10)

What Went Down...
Spotting The Thing skulking in the dark, Rick Jones remembers the recent deceptions of the villainous Skrulls and assumes the worst! He smacks the incredible Nega-Bands together to tag in the cosmic Captain Marvel!

The Kree soldier wastes no time launching an attack on the man he believes to be an unsuspecting foe! His left hook is fantastic enough to send even the mighty Thing flying uncontrollably through the air!

At first Thing thinks he's been attack by a Skrull in disguise, as well, but Marvel's belligerent berating puts the pieces together. As Thing recovers from the devastating punch, he realizes they've been set up!

With his vocal chords neutralized earlier by the insidious Skrulls, Thing has no choice but to let his rocky fists do his talking! He throws an all mighty right hand at the charging Captain - and then slams his head into a wall!

Rather than slow the Kree soldier down - it strengthens his resolve! Refusing to give up until he claims victory, Mar-Vell grapples with his hulking opponent and launches him through a nearby interior wall!

The impressive toss sends the pair deeper into the Skrull base, exposing a more hi-tech interior than the decrepit apartment they entered. Captain Marvel flies straight in like a missile targeting his powerful enemy!

Thing catches the airborne Captain with a devastating left hook to the chin that redirects the threat at a nearby steel wall!

Cap hits shoulder first, and before he can collect his footing: Thing uses his incredible strength to rip the steel floor up like it was mere carpeting! A gambit that successfully throws Captain Marvel into a carnage of interior structure!

Thing believes he has finally claimed victory, but Captain Marvel explodes from the wood and metal! Still mistaking his opponent for a deceptive Skrull, he snatches an exposed power cable and thrusts the live wire at Thing's chest!

Thousands of volts of electricity course untamed through Thing's body! He's down for the count, and with all that's been experienced leading up to this duel of mistaken identities -- Captain Marvel is ready to kill!

The Kree warrior forages for a jagged prong of metallic wreckage as Thing tries desperately to stir to his knees. Mar-Vell looms over his fallen opponent and raises the spike above his head to drive it down with a killing blow!

Yet! Only the floor feels the point of the improvised weapon!

Despite the terrible crimes the Skrulls have committed, Captain Marvel does not have it within his soul to murder a helpless man in cold-blood!

A good thing, too -- because Benjamin J Grimm is no villain! Fortunately, the jolt of electricity has counteracted the paralysis of his vocal chords! Recovering from the attack, he speaks for the first time - forging an alliance of heroes!

The Hammer...
Whoa! What the heck just happened?! Did Captain Marvel really just steamroll the Fantastic Four's resident muscle at half past clobberin' time?! It was such an intense slobber knocker -- I was hardly even paying attention to the result!

No prizes for guessing who's been reading Captain Marvel over Christmas! A deep dive back to the life of one of Marvel's forgotten heroes was exactly what the doctor ordered!

Nothing I say or do will capture the white-knuckle frenzy of seventies Captain Marvel! I've been hearing the phrase "gonzo" thrown around a lot to describe fast and loose comics coming out today -- but you don't know the meaning until you've treated yourself to this patch of potent publishing!

The 1970s and I don't always get along, and sometimes even Marvel comics from the decade can read a little dour. No such trouble in Captain Marvel, though! Every action is thrust with maximum intensity! Every judgment made to snap! One minute Rick Jones is betrayed by a lover -- the next moment Captain Marvel's yelling bloody murder as the walls collapse around him!

I tend to think of Jim Starlin writing cosmic opera in the nineties, but here he is two decades earlier as a proficient penciller, too!

The artwork reminds me of John Romita's account of working on Spider-man, and the editorial influence of Jack Kirby and exaggerated, non-stop action. Peter Parker doesn't fold his clothes neatly and take practical action to find a flagpole outside his window. He leaps out and explodes into web-swinging action! That ethos is very much here in just about every wide-eyed panel of Captain Marvel!

I suspect Starlin's large panels and melodramatic figures are key to injecting the wild energy spilling off every page. There's an enthusiastic, reckless vibe I would naively equate with a college  sensibility. Starlin was in his mid-twenties at the time, so that might not be such a bad reading.

I also wonder if the infamous circumstances of Captain Marvel's creation helps explain the reckless, erratic energy of the book. It may read like a Kirby-tinged cosmic rollercoaster, but it's a lot looser than anything The King put out!

Fawcett Comics stopped publishing the regular adventures of their original Captain Marvel in 1953. His reign as comics icon was partly ended by a successful suit from National Comics (later DC) for infringing on the basic copyright of their archetypal originator: Superman. This lapse in publication meant the "Captain Marvel" trademark expired -- and Marvel Comics pounced!

If Marvel was to maintain the trademark, they would have to continue to produce relevant publications. Even when Captain Marvel wasn't selling particularly well, the obligation to maintain the series remained.

Guaranteed publication and a flagging audience is a perfect storm for wild and unusual ideas! The editorial chains come loose, giving creative folks free reign to find an audience without fear of reprisal! That seemed to contribute to the revamp of Mar-Vell's design from retro spaceman to modern superhero. I imagine it was the impetus for letting a young Starlin loose, as well.

Whatever the reasons -- I'm enjoying the heck out of it! I love the cavalcade of guest heroes and villains who went through the series during this period, and I'm sure we'll be back some time in the future to talk more about them!

If you like what you've seen and want to read more about the life and times of Captain Marvel, be sure to check out the Amazon links provided. Doing so will put collected editions in your hot little hands - and help support the site at no extra charge!

If you're looking for more battles from the cosmic corners of the Marvel Universe, be sure to check out links to characters and featured fights found throughout this post. You can also dive into the Secret Archive to check out past featured fights index by publisher, series and issue!

Subscribe to Secret Wars on Infinite Earths on Facebook and Twitter to get daily links to classic fights inspired by the topics of the day! A like, retweet or share is another great way to support the site, and dazzle your comics loving friends!

Winner: Captain Marvel
#160 (+279) Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell)
#10 (--) Thing

Monday, October 02, 2017

Real Name: Selina Kyle
First Appearance: Batman #1 (June, 1940)
Fight Club Ranking: #34

Featured Fights:
- vs ELEKTRA: Marvel versus DC #3 (Apr 1996)
- vs ABOMINATION: DC versus Marvel #4 (Apr 1996)
- vs POISON IVY: Batman #611 (Mar 2003)
- vs HARLEY QUINN: Batman #613 (May 2003)
- vs BATMAN: Solo #1 (Dec 2004)
- vs CHEETAH: Catwoman: When In Rome #4 (Mar 2005)
- vs BATMAN: JLA #118 (Nov 2005)
- vs BATMAN: Batman: The Mad Monk #1 (Oct 2006)
- vs TRIPLE THREAT: Catwoman #63 (Mar 2007)
- vs CHEETAH: Catwoman #78 (Jun 2008)
- vs JASON TODD: Batman: Battle for the Cowl #2 (Jun 2009)

As a general rule of thumb: I don't like hard reboots.

Movies, video games, comics... Contemporary culture is rife with do-overs and remakes, ranging from the utterly ill conceived -- to the passable, but largely unnecessary.

You have to make a real mess to actually need a hard reboot in serial fiction. It's almost by definition a submission of total and utter failure, and is best thought of in those terms. That was basically the case in 2005 with Batman Begins: a justifiable revival of Batman on the big screen, eight years after Batman & Robin rendered the idea unpalatable, if not unprofitable.

Christopher Nolan's new entry into an already fractured adaptation process was actually sold within the framework of a contemporary trend of prequels. It offered the untold story of Batman's origin. Its Joker epilogue was even discussed as a plausible allusion to Tim Burton's 1989 Batman, as much as teasing a prospective sequel. It wasn't necessarily designed to be the template for a generation of ill conceived imitators and an eroding, colourless cultural apocalypse. It just worked out that way.

I'm drawing a long bow in today's Hero of the Week, even if it's revisiting common themes persisting on the blog. How this relates to Catwoman is in the big questions raised by news Selina Kyle has recently become engaged to be married to Batman in DC Comics.

This won't be the first time Batman and Catwoman have said "I do".

The pair were hitched in the reality of Earth-Two in the late 1970s. It was the culmination of their relationship in almost forty years of publishing: part of an aging counterpart continuum to the modern Silver Age, designed to maintain and advance the Golden Age heroes on their own Earth.

The Bat & Cat spawned a precursor to today's Huntress: a vigilante daughter named Helena Wayne. She took up the costumed fight for a new generation when her mother was murdered by a former associate. Eventually all of this was undone by the hard reboot of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Earth-Two had its fans and Crisis created many headaches in the decades that followed, but it was always somewhat justifiable for advancing the mission to create a definitive DC Universe. After all, the DCU as we know it wasn't planned. Many characters joined through corporate acquisitions, and were created completely disparate from one another, without a plan to be everlasting cultural icons.

Crisis brought it all together in one place, at a time when refining the definitive vision of characters was still a work in progress. Much of what was done in the eighties is still underlying in modern incarnations. Minor adjustments along the way restored and refined elements decided upon in the eighties, to create what I would argue was close to a definitive DCU in the 2000s.

Then came the much maligned New 52 and a reprisal of the line-wide reboot with no real purpose, and few benefits. A self-made problem, an arbitrary breaking of the chain, now half-heartedly being addressed with the current Rebirth initiative. Results have still been very mixed, and Batman's proposal is one of the elements that raised a lot of questions about Rebirth's actual intent.

Eighty years of publishing tells us DC Comics is at its best when their heroes are iconic and instantly recognizable. Changes may occur over time, but the framework for advancement is limited within a clearly understood centre of the characters. Efforts to challenge this only divide the audience, create repetitive storytelling, and produce ever diminishing returns. Verisimilitude fading.

So, can Batman and Catwoman be married without plunging the DC Universe towards another unwanted wiping of the board?

Doomsday Clock and the expected intrusion of the Watchmen universe is keeping an apocalyptic feeling about DC Comics, who've spent far too long selling the world on the concept of their own death. One hopes Geoff Johns is returning to his best to create a way forward that is iconic and positive, but will he need to break everything to do that? Can another break really make things stronger?

The Batman/Catwoman romance has been enjoyable in the past, but it raises some big questions about the future of DC Comics as we know it. Maybe they won't really get married. Maybe it's just a passing story. Or maybe it's another cheque written that can't be cashed. A foolhardy decision that can only end in the kind of total and utter failure that leads a company to need a hard reboot.

      [Home]      Hero of the Week 09/25: Silver Surfer >>

Monday, September 25, 2017

Real Name: Norrin Radd
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #48 (March, 1966)
Fight Club Ranking: #33

Featured Fights:
- vs RONAN THE ACCUSER: Silver Surfer #13 (Jul 1988)
- vs NEBULA: Secret Defenders #10 (Dec 1993)
- vs DOCTOR DOOM: Silver Surfer #107 (Aug 1995)
- vs GREEN LANTERN: Marvel versus DC #3 (Apr 1996)
- vs THANOS & DARKSEID: DC versus Marvel #4 (Apr 1996)
- vs SUPER-SKRULL: Fantastic Four #6 (Apr 1997)
- vs ZOMBIES: Marvel Zombies #3 (Apr 2006)
- vs HULK: Incredible Hulk #95 (Jul 2006)
- vs BETA RAY BILL: Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter #2 (Sep 2009)

Typically Hero of the Week is reserved for the big stories, or topical curios of the moment. I could try to connect Silver Surfer to the conclusion of Dan Slott and Mike Allred's impressive Marvel Comics run -- but that isn't really what's been on my mind.

Every now and then HOTW is a purely self-indulgent exercise, and I'm putting on my tin foil hat to speculate whether the impossible might actually be plausible! It's been a simmering thought for a while, but now seems like the time to lay it down.

I was recently reading Jim Starlin's space epic The Infinity Gauntlet and thinking about how it relates to Marvel Entertainment's hugely anticipated 2018 sequel: Avengers: Infinity War.

The big appeal of the movie is its gathering of characters and plot threads from the last ten years of successful Marvel movies. Thanos first threatened movie-goers after the credits of 2012's Avengers, and he's expected to take possession of gems scattered throughout the various films before, and after, to create a version of The Infinity Gauntlet story.

One of the most important heroes throughout the comic book is the Silver Surfer. He crashes into Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum to announce the threat to the heroes of Earth -- and he stands solemnly with Adam Warlock when they make their final stand against Thanos in space.

Admittedly, there are other characters who could stand-in for The Surfer, but he's the new addition I'd most like to see. A more integral inclusion, I would argue, than Spider-man was in the 2016 big screen retelling of Civil War. The only problem is: Silver Surfer's film rights are presumably still tied up with 20th Century Fox, who made 2007's disappointing Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.

It's popularly understood that Disney have mandated a cold shoulder approach toward the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties held by FOX. The FF have implausibly been out of print since 2015, and in most merchandise and media, the characters have been an expressed no-go zone for licensers.

Yet, if I didn't know better, I'd say Marvel was starting to warm up to both franchises! We've already seen the confirmed return of a Thing & Human Torch led Marvel Two-In-One, which may or may not return the Fantastic Four to Marvel Comics. The X-Men are also slowly repopulating across multiple major and publicized series, including a Sabretooth crossover covered a few months back.

There's also the unlikely confirmation that The Skrulls will play a major role in Marvel Entertainment's 2019 Captain Marvel movie.

The Skrulls are inseparable from the Fantastic Four, which suggests at least some sort of deal between the two major studios. Rights to Ego The Living Planet were relinquished by FOX in exchange for permissions to change the powers of Negasonic Teenage Warhead in last year's Deadpool.

A partnership like the one forged with Sony seems unlikely, but a broader deal to revert the Fantastic Four and related properties back to Marvel doesn't sound quite so strange. FOX's efforts with the FF have been mediocre to downright disappointing. Maintaining the rights may prove to be more trouble than its worth, especially if Disney is willing to offer monetary compensation!

Most other heroes involved in The Infinity Gauntlet are already under the Marvel umbrella, with Sub-Mariner reportedly reverted back to Marvel from Universal Pictures. Wolverine and Cyclops could be missing from the action, although Hugh Jackman did make it known the one thing that could bring him back to the role he retired earlier this year is an Avengers team-up.

The one I'd really like to see is Silver Surfer, and dare I say, I'm not ruling out the possibility!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Comic Book Fight Club has been in heavy backlog mode of late, but we couldn't let the annual festivities of Batman Day go uncelebrated! The second last Saturday in September is all about DC Comics' Dark Knight Detective -- and as the #1 ranked combatant: he's played a big part on Secret Wars on Infinite Earths! That's why this edition of Cover To Cover has been super-sized to spotlight some of the best -- and most interesting -- Batman battles in history!

By clicking cover to cover below, you'll open the case files of The Caped Crusader's classic Bat-battles against: The Joker, Harley Quinn, Darkseid, Two-Face, Bane, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Deadshot, Mongul, Gorilla Grodd, Amazo, The Injustice League, The Society and even Marvel's Captain America and Scorpion! With such a dastardly line-up of rogues, it's a good thing Batman is joined by his friends: The Justice League, Nightwing, Robin, Catwoman, Red Hood, Superman, Wonder Woman, Black Canary, The Flash, and more!

Still not enough Batman to satisfy your Batman Day needs? You can always dive into the Secret Issue Index to discover even more famous face-offs starring Batman and his friends!