Friday, September 21, 2012





Created By: Bob Kane and Bill Finger  First Appearance: DETECTIVE COMICS #27 (1939)

The Batman is one of the greatest and most heroic figures in the history of comics, but he is also one of the most tragic. A family outing to the cinema ended in tragedy for young Bruce Wayne. Walking homeward, Bruce, his father, Thomas, and mother, Martha, accidentally ventured into Gotham City's notorious "Crime Alley" and were accosted by a mugger. Not content merely to rob the wealthy family, the hoodlum named Joe Chill shot Dr. Thomas and Martha Wayne dead before fleeing into the darkness. As he knelt beside his parent's bodies, Bruce swore to avenge them. After the police arrived, Bruce was comforted by Dr. Leslie Thompkins. Dr. Thompkins and his butler Alfred Pennyworth helped arrange matters so that Gotham's Social Services would not take Bruce into care. In this way, both Dr. Thompkins and Alfred enabled Bruce to realize his dream of becoming a crusader against crime. Bruce embarked on a journey that took him to every continent as he sought to learn all the skills he would need to keep his vow. In time, Bruce forged himself into a living weapon to wage war on crime and injustice. He built himself into the peak of human perfection in dozens of areas, notably martial arts, acrobatics, strength, and escape artistry. Intellectually, he is just as peerless; he became one of the world's greatest scientists, criminologists, and tacticians, as well as a master of disguise. He is now regarded as one of the DC Universe's greatest detectives. Rather than simply out-fighting his opponents, he often uses cunning and planning to outwit them. He is arguably a Renaissance man in the sheer variety and depth of his knowledge and skills. 

In his identity as Bruce Wayne, he is one of the world's foremost businessmen, making Wayne Industries into one of the wealthiest companies in the world. As Batman, he became an urban legend, a cautionary tale that sent shivers through the city's underworld. He also found a friend in Commissioner James Gordon, an honorable man who appreciated the results of his nightly crime fighting. Batman's Rogues Gallery grew to become the greatest cast of bizarre criminals in all of comicdom, such as the Penguin, Catwoman, Bane, Two-Face, Clayface, Poison Ivy, the Riddler, Killer Croc, Mr. Freeze, the Scarecrow, Hugo Strange and the the greatest villain of all--the Joker.
Batman is the typical brooding loner, he can appear to be cold and aloof towards others who wish to get closer. To him, he'd rather be alone because if he cares for someone, he knows he could eventually get hurt if he loses them. Still, that cold and sometimes arrogant, prideful and obsessive side is what most people (who don't know him personally) see instead of the kind and compassionate person he truly is underneath. And despite his darkness and brutality, he has a moral code he will not cross; he will not take a life and he would never use a gun.
With his tremendous mindset, skills and unmatched aura, Batman is arguably the greatest and most dangerous superhero on Earth (as well as in comics). And this is even more surprising by the fact that he is only a human among a host of super-friends that have enough raw-power at their disposal to rival the gods. Yup, he is that respected and that feared! And having the reputation as DC's greatest combat fighter (BAM! POW! ZAP! and WHAM! are famous words due to his punches and kicks), Batman has been in some of the most iconic and legendary battles in the medium's history. And this write up is dedicated to the ones that changed the comic industry forever (no easy task mind you). Here is the Batman and here are his best...

5.) JUSTICE LEAGUE #5 (1987)

Writers: Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis  Art: Kevin Maguire

While this fight was not an all-out, action-packed slugfest that Batman fans are used too, it is just as brutal and as any fight in the Dark Knight's history. Surprisingly its notoriety also comes from the sheer hilarity of it. Since the formation of the Justice League team Guy Gardner has been running his mouth and driving all his teammates into a tizzy with his arrogance and gall. But his arguments with Batman about who should really lead them was starting to get out of hand. At the JL Headquarters, Guy Gardner and Batman are into another heated argument (that the Dark Knight seems to be enjoying and subtly instigates). Finally fed up with the Caped Crusader, Guy removes his GL ring and attacks him, but Batman knocks Guy out to the delight of the entire team -- and with only one punch! Guy now found out that no matter how tough or powerful you might be, you don't mess with the Batman. 

4.) JLA #37 and 38 (2000)

Writer: Grant Morrison  Art: Howard Porter and John Dell

Prometheus possesses no superhuman abilities, but has undergone intense physical and mental training and utilizes an extensive range of equipment and technology. His common tools include body armor; gauntlets that fire various projectiles; a tonfa with several technological features; and a helmet that in addition to emitting strobe lighting capable of disorientation and hypnotism, can via a compact disc allow a download of the knowledge and physical skills of others directly into his brain. He is a perfect adversary for the Batman, but no one knew just how perfect. When both combatants first went at it in JLA #16, Batman was taken off-guard by the villain's arsenal and completely humbled by him in hand-to-hand combat to everyone's amazement. And although the JLA team eventually defeated and drove Prometheus off, Batman never got his revenge. Comic readers went nuts, and they demanded a rematch!  

Now on the Moon where the JLA fight to stop a gathering of super-villain's and Armageddon, Batman arrives and faces off against Prometheus for a rematch. Prometheus begins getting the better of Batman again, however, the Dark Knight planned for this, he booby-trapped Prometheus' helmet before it was put on display against him. At the push of a button, the martial artist and gymnast programs in it are overwritten by the physical abilities of one man - "PROFESSOR STEPHEN HAWKING!" Crippled, Prometheus is an easy target and knocked out by the Caped Crusader. It was an amazing victory for Batman and established what everyone already knew, with some prep-time, he is just about unbeatable. After witnessing the fight Huntress turns to Batman and says "Did I see you cheating?" he responds "Winning." Yes, it was winning indeed.


Writer: Frank Miller  Art: Frank Miller and Klaus Janson

The Dark Knight Returns is easily one of Batman's greatest and most influential stories ever. It truly defined the Cape Crusader into the modern age and brought him back into the Dark Avenger of the Night that he was always intended to be. The story itself is deep, gritty, dark and took comic book story telling to a whole new level (only Alan Moore's Watchmen can be considered an equal). 

With an older Batman coming out of exile to restore order to Gotham, he finds himself in combat with a Mutant Gang and their leader who wants to run Gotham for themselves. Following his leads, the Caped Crusader succeeds in tracking down the Mutant lair and defeating them with the his new Batmobile (which is as an armored supertank, with large cannons and machine guns that, according to him, only fire rubber bullets). When Batman first encounters the Mutant Leader he could easily kill him with his Batmobile, but as the Mutant taunts the elder Batman to see if he has the courage to fight him hand-to-hand, the hatch opens and Batman attacks! In a brutal hand-to-hand fight, Batman is defeated and almost killed by the Mutant Leader, as the aging Caped Crusader tries to prove to himself (and Alfred) that he is a force at any age. Luckily, Carrie, in her new Robin costume, has been following the Dark Knight, and manages to save him. 

Batman returns to the Batcave where Alfred tends his wounds (and argues with him over the danger to Carrie); meanwhile, the Mutant Leader is brought into custody. The Leader's absolute animalistic nature (and, hence, the animalistic nature of his underlings) is fully revealed when the Leader manages to tear out the Mayor's throat while in custody. Gordon and Batman conspire to defeat the Mutants psychologically by staging a fight between Batman and the Leader in front of the whole Mutant gang. Using his greater experience and his environment, Batman cripples the Mutant Leader in the rematch in full view of his followers. While many of the Mutants are arrested, many more now latch on to Batman as their role model, dubbing themselves the "Sons of Batman." These fights are easily some of the most vicious and brutal fights ever in comics that lead the industry into the Modern Age of Comics.

2.) BATMAN #1 (1940)

Writer: Bill Finger  Art: Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson

There can be no doubt that the Joker is the greatest villain in all of comics and he is by far Batman's most dangerous adversary. The Clown Prince of Crime's rivalry with the Dark Knight is a never ending battle between order and chaos. Their battles and capers have been some of the most epic and legendary stories in the history of comics and they have influenced creators and fans for generations. Despite the number of times they faced off, Batman #1 set the tone for what was to come and keep coming. Because no matter how beaten or humbled the Joker was, he always returned to give the Batman a run for his money and test his wits and sanity better than anyone else ever could. This rivalry began here in these two historic stories that started the greatest super-hero vs super-villain match up of all time.

This mysterious new villain named the Joker announces on the radio that he will kill Henry Claridge and steal the Claridge diamond at midnight. The police guard Claridge but he still dies at midnight with a smile on his face. The police then discover that the diamond was stolen and it was replaced with a glass one. Later the Joker announces that he will kill Jay Wilde and steal the Ronkers Ruby. The Joker succeeds again showing that he is much more dangerous than anyone ever expected. Now a mobster named Brute Nelson who is enraged that the Joker is pulling off all these jobs that he planned sends word out that he thinks that the Joker is a coward. Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson hear about this and suspect that it's a trap so Bruce (now as Batman) goes to the mobster's house. The Joker is already there and as he murders Nelson he is confronted by the Caped Crusader and they fight it out. However, the Joker proves that he is no slouch as he pounds on Batman and knocks him off a bridge. Luckily, Batman survives but he realizes that the Joker is far more dangerous than he ever suspected. The Clown then resumes his murderous rampage by announcing that he will kill Judge Drake. The Joker impersonates a police chief and then kills the judge. The Joker also discovers Robin outside and kidnaps him but the Batman soon saves him. The Joker manages to escape and Robin then tells Batman that the Joker was saying that he was going after the Cleopatra Necklace. They meet up again with Batman defeating the Joker in their rematch and send the clown off to jail where he states that they will meet again.

The second story takes place two days after the Joker was captured. He manages to escape using explosive chemicals hidden in some false teeth and begins to cause his reign of terror. At home, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson hear the news on the radio and Bruce speculates that Joker is probably after vengeance. The Joker enters his secret laboratory through a hidden entrance in a graveyard and starts plotting. He threatens the Chief of Police and kills him with a dart that is released with a phone call. The next day, a painting is stolen, and the owner of a stolen gem is found dead...grinning. Then the Joker threatens to steal the Cleopatra necklace. Bruce, hearing it on the radio, promises to stop him. In the museum, the crazed clown emerges from a sarcophagus and uses his poison to incapacitate the guards. Batman appears and disarms the mad clown but the Joker seizes an axe and manages to knock Batman out. The Police arrive and find the unconscious Batman and notice that the necklace is missing. Before the cops can remove Batman's cowl, he wakes up and escapes out a window. 

A reformer, Edgar Martin calls for the capture of the Joker, and is marked for death. That night, Martin is guarded by security and plays cards to help him calm down. But he notices the deck is full of jokers, and they are poison-laced, killing him. The next day Bruce Wayne suggests a trap for the Joker to his friend Commissioner Gordon. They have the press print a series of articles on the Fire Ruby, and despite suspecting a trap, the Joker goes for it. When he arrives, the police surround him, and he shoots, making for the roof. But Robin is there waiting for him and he fights with the mad clown but gets knocked off the roof. Luckily, the Boy Wonder grabs a flagpole and saves himself. Running down to see if Robin died, the Joker takes aim to shoot him but is intercepted by Batman. The two arch-rivals now fight it out in a savage brawl with a knife. It ends when the Joker stabs himself in the chest and starts cracking up while falling to the ground. Batman and Robin think the Joker is dead and take off, leaving the Police to find out that the Joker is still alive. To be continued...


Writer: Frank Miller  Art: Frank Miller and Klaus Janson

Never before in the history of comics had Batman ever clashed with Superman. They are the two icons of DC Comics, and although they had different styles to fight crime, they were friends and have a mutual respect for each other. It could never happen. DC Comics would never let it happen ... or so we all thought. The Dark Knight Returns broke all the rules in the comic industry back in 1986 in so many ways. It's impact is so legendary that it has been considered one of the all time greatest stories ever written in popular fiction. It is simply the standard of what true epic storytelling is all about. It also gave fans what they never could have expected..."Batman vs Superman" in what could well be possibly the greatest slugfest in the history of the medium. That's right! It doesn't get any bigger than this! 

Though near death from wounds inflicted during his fight with the Joker and the police, Batman applies his ingenuity to restoring law to Gotham. He and Robin muster a force of mutant followers called the "Sons of the Batman" and train them in non-lethal methods as a means to stop looting and ensure the flow of needed supplies. Gotham, ironically, soon becomes the safest and best-fed city in America. Seeing this as an embarrassment rather than a blessing, the U.S. government dispatches Superman to take the Dark Knight down. Warned of their plans by Oliver Queen, the former Green Arrow who is now a bitter one-armed revolutionary, Batman prepares for his ultimate clash. 

Armed with an artificial powered exoskeleton, the Batmobile, synthetic kryptonite and a mysterious pill, Batman confronts Superman in a final showdown at Crime Alley, where Wayne's parents were murdered decades earlier. Batman has a plan set up that allows him to defeat the kryptonite-weakened Man of Steel, only to apparently die of a heart attack at the stroke of midnight. At precisely the same moment, Alfred oversees the destruction of the Batcave and Wayne Manor, suffers a fatal stroke immediately afterward (his last thought as he realizes that he is dying is "how utterly proper"). The news that Bruce Wayne was Batman spreads throughout the world; however, Wayne's stocks and funds have been sold and liquidated to his "heirs" and Wayne board members, Wayne Manor and Batcave destroyed, and all evidence as to his methods and tools wiped out. At a funeral attended by Gordon, Kyle, Yindel, Carrie and others, Superman (as Clark Kent) is plainly ravaged with sadness and guilt. Just as he turns to leave, however, he hears a faint heartbeat coming from the interred coffin. After staring at Carrie for a few silent moments, Kent gives her a wink and leaves. Wayne has faked his death with planning, skill, and his knowledge of chemistry; Carrie digs up his living body as soon as possible. Wayne had hoped to keep the secret even from Superman; with his wink, however, Kent confirms Wayne's hope that he would play along with the charade. Bruce Wayne, finally looking forward to his life, leads Robin, Green Arrow, and his army deep into the unexplored caverns beyond the Batcave, preparing to continue his fight for justice in a more low-key, but equally important, way than in his "previous life."

Agree? Disagree? Let's hear it fanboys!!

Check out other "TOP 5 GREATEST BATTLES OF..." here:

Captain Marvel (SHAZAM!)



The Sub-Mariner

The Thing

John Cimino
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert that runs a business called "Saturday Morning Collectibles." He buys, sells, appraises and gives seminars on everything pop culture, so if you got something special, let him know about it. He contributes articles to ALTER EGO, RETRO FAN, BACK ISSUE and THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR from TwoMorrows Publishing, runs the Roy Thomas Appreciation Board on Facebook and has appeared on the AMC reality show Comic Book Men. He also represents some of comicdoms biggest stars and brings them to a Comic Con near you. John likes to think he's the real Captain Marvel, people just don't have the heart to tell him he's just an obsessed fanboy that loves to play superheroes with his daughter Bryn. Contact him at or follow him on Instagram at megostretchhulk.

Sunday, September 9, 2012




Created by: Bill Everett  First Appearance: MOTION PICTURE FUNNIES WEEKLY (1939)

Namor McKenzie "The First" is the King of Atlantis and is the original "hotheaded" personality in the Marvel cast of characters from the late-1930s. He is extremely arrogant, charismatic and majestic and knows full well that he is quite capable of defeating just about any opponent in the Marvel Universe (he makes this very clear to everyone around him). He grew up with a strong sense of pride and due to his abilities and royal heritage (and to a lesser extent an imperialistic attitude towards the surface world) Namor feels he is leagues above any man. And if they just so happen to be in a relationship with a female he desires, it would be their honor to let her be "courted" by him. Despite his gall, Namor is quite the ladies man in which women have always been captivated by and have eagerly desired his "royal-hand" (he has had Sue Richards, Lady Dorma, Emma Frost and Marrina as just some of his conquests). 

The Sub-Mariner is also an impetuous fellow. Despite his advanced age he retains brash, aggressive tendencies bordering on reckless. Perhaps this is an offshoot of his longevity… he looks young, and acts like he did when he was young. He is very moody (although this has been explained by his physiological dependence on air and water that results in manic-depressive mood swings) and becomes angered very easily, unable to think clearly and logically. These "swings" are often unpredictable and almost always involve passionate positive or negative feelings. Regardless, they make him a perfect warrior on the battlefield (or under the bed sheets).

During his early years he had a major distrust for the surface world that constantly polluted and destroyed his waters. Eventually, Namor realized he had to put aside his hatred for humanity for the good of his people and banned official acts of war against them. He even grudgingly began using his superhuman abilities in defense of the surface world, but first and foremost, he was the monarch of Atlantis. As such, he was beholden only to his subjects because despite his temperament, Namor is also very noble, proud, honorable, intuitive, dedicated and loyal. In present times, he has been a member of the X-Men, Defenders and Avengers (among others) that truly show his dedication to the world and his willingness to protect it. 

But whether you were a friend or foe, if you didn't show Namor the proper gratitude or respect, your very life would be a stake. Yes, fanboys, the Sub-Mariner is that intense and that feared. He is one of the most powerful beings in the world and only a fool would challenge his powers, especially beneath the seven seas (just ask him). And being a "little-bit" edgy makes Namor a favorite among the most intense fighters in the Marvel Universe (he isn't nicknamed "The Savage" for nothing). With a huge reputation and the battle-cry of "IMPERIOUS REX!" Namor has challenged just about anybody who could flex a muscle, had the gall to question his authority or tried to claim to have a bigger... errr... ego(?) than him. As a result, the King of Atlantis can never be ignored. So here are his 5 greatest battles that defined him and turned him into a legend.

5.) THE INCREDIBLE HULK #118 (1969)

Writer: Stan Lee  Art: Herb Trimpe
"Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" was a rivalry that was always intense, brutal and full of ego. Namor always hated that he was considered only a "close second" to the Incredible Hulk in physical strength. Although he respected the Hulk's immense power, he considered himself the stronger and more powerful when he was wet or beneath the sea. And even though they were unstable allies that mistrusted the humans, they always had this bitter rivalry between them. So when Lady Dorma finds Bruce Banner unconscious floating in the sea, she takes pity on him and puts him into her ship while giving him a 24-hour air tablet so he can breathe freely under the water. Now Dorma will take Bruce down into the sea for medical attention, not realizing that she has just brought the Incredible Hulk to Atlantis. When Namor finds out about this (by Mistress Fara who is jealous about his relationship with Dorma) he flies into a rage looking for the human and unexpectedly finds himself confronted by the Hulk!! 

They fight back and forth with Fara dying in the process from the wreckage (as she was trying to kill Dorma). At the end, Namor and the Hulk collide into each other hurling each combatant back countless fathoms. Namor eventually gets his strength restored by the waters and manages to stop himself and spots the Hulk's limp body rocketing out of the sea. Namor will then swim after the Hulk and surprisingly finds a passed out Bruce Banner instead. Namor will then turn around and go back into the waters as Banner is beneath his notice. 

Was Namor now considered the most powerful being on Earth because he was able to take the impact while the Hulk could not? The question still remained unanswered, but this fight proved how truly powerful Namor was when he was beneath the sea and he shouldn't be considered a "close second" to anybody.


Writer: Carl Burgos  Art: Carl Burgos and Harry Sahle

Namor and The Human Torch have teamed up and fought each other so many times during the Golden Age that it's hard to keep count. It was the definitive rivalry on "Water vs Fire" that readers couldn't get enough of. But despite all their classic fights, this incredible issue gave the readers their greatest and biggest slugfest ever!! And what is even more amazing than the fight itself was the fact that this monstrous 60 page comic was fully completed by the writers and artists in just THREE DAYS!!!

As the Sub-Mariner nears Atlantis, he comes across a sea battle between Allied and Axis forces. Knowing that this will endanger his people, Namor enters the fight and sends both sides fleeing. In the aftermath of the battle, the Sub-Mariner dives down into the ocean and inspects the carnage that the conflict has wrought. Entering an underground shelter, Namor is reunited with his mother Princess Fen. Fen informs him that various undersea races are now meeting to decide how best to deal with the surface dwellers war. He meets with a woman named Rathia. She suggests that they all rally their forces together to wage war on the surface world and take it over. She convinces Namor to support this move, using her female seduction and playing on Namor's ego by suggesting that he would be a great leader of the entire world. Namor then contacts Casey and finds out where he will be covering the war. When Casey responds that he is covering the Russo-German front, Namor sends him a warning to avoid that region. Finding it suspicious, the Human Torch and Toro go to investigate for themselves. As the two heroes fly to Russia, Casey arrives in Moscow where he steals a soldiers uniform so he can sneak onto the front line and get a first hand account of the battle. To his surprise both sides are suddenly swept up in a massive whirl pool that floods up from the nearby water. Casey almost drowns along with the soldiers, but is rescued by the Torch and Toro. 

With the conflict ended, and a new danger presented Casey is reassigned to London while the Human Torch and Toro decide to seek out their sometime ally the Sub-Mariner. Meanwhile, Namor is happy over his first strike against the undersea dwellers and Rathia plays up his ego again. When Namor spots the Torch and Toro coming to visit him, Rathia tells him that a conqueror has no friends only pawns, and so the Sub-Mariner decides to try and recruit the Torch and Toro as allies. Sweeping the flaming duo up in a whirl pool and taking them below the sea, Namor offers them a part in his conquest of the entire world. The two heroes ultimately refuse to aid him, and Namor floods the room with water. While the Human Torch manages to escape, Toro is captured. Rushing to the surface, the Torch flies over both Germany and Russia and attempts to warn them of Namor's pending attack. Both sides of the conflict dismiss the Torch's warning as an enemy trick. The Torch decides to return to London to try and get Casey to put the word out hoping the press will have a better job warning the world of Namors threat. 

Along the way, the Torch stops in Africa and warns Ka-Zar of the potential threat of floods in his region. As the Torch rushes off to London, Ka-Zar begins building a massive ark to protect his animal friends from any flooding. Meanwhile, the Torch's warning reaches the presses and it spreads across the world. The Patriot brings the news to the President of the United States who agrees to mobilize US troops to deal with the coming crisis. While the Torch meets with the British Prime Minister for troops that he can lead in a strike against Namor's undersea kingdom. However, in attempting to tunnel their way through the ground, they are easy targets by the Sub-Mariner who uses his whirlpool device to flood the tunnel. The Torch has no other choice but to save himself and seal the tunnel so that Namor does not use it to invade Britain. Going after Namor, he confronts the undersea monarch in his hide out and the two fight it out. However the fight is cut short when Rathia arrives and douses the Torch's flame. The Torch is then easily overpowered and locked in a water filled cell. The Torch is then fed drugged food that bends his will to Namor's cause. 

With the Torch as his slave, Namor sends him to prove his loyalty by destroying Allied forces before mobilizing a massive undersea army to launch a full out attack on the surface world. While down below, Toro -- who has been locked in a water filled room since his capture earlier -- has started to become delirious thanks to the onset of pneumonia. Namor has the Torch's young side kick taken out of his cell and placed in medical care. That night as the conflicted Namor struggles with the guilt of Toro's position and his desire to rule the world, Toro awakens and in his impaired mental state manages to escape. Toro makes it as far as the British coast where he is found by a soldier and taken to a hospital. 

Meanwhile, Namor and his legion attack the British post on the Gibraltar. The invasion is a complete success and eventually the soldiers stationed there surrender to Namor's forces. After attacking British naval ships and Nazi U-Boats, Namor then activates one of his whirlpool devices to flood Africa. Thankfully, Ka-Zar and his animal friends are spared from drowning thanks to the ark he had built earlier. The Torch has meanwhile been sent to melt glaciers near Russia, causing massive flooding in the area. While Hitler plots to change his tactics, unconcerned with the sudden freak floods the Torch snaps out of his mind control. Free from Namor's control, the Human Torch stops the continued flooding from the area and then is contacted by Casey who tells the Torch that the United States is threatened by the melting of glaciers in Canada. The Torch rushes off and stops this flood as well and briefly clashes with the Sub-Mariner, however when Namor begins to lose the battle he flees. 

Learning where Toro is located, the Torch pays a visit to his injured sidekick and offers to bring him to New York to get away from the bombings going on in London. Toro however is inspired by the bravery of the British people and decides to remain in London to recover. Meanwhile, Namor's campaign against the surface world continues as his forces attack and flood Nazi Germany, and easily over powers their army. However when the Human Torch arrives, the Sub-Mariner and his forces retreat. They head toward the United States, sinking British fleets along the way and activate one of their whirlpool devices to flood New York City. The Torch arrives and minimizes as much of the damage as possible, and in battling Namor within the Statue of Liberty convinces Namor that he is fighting a lost cause and that Rathia will eventually betray him and take over. Realizing the folly of his ways, Namor decides to give up his aggression against the surface world and stop his attacking army. When Namor rushes off to confront Rathia alone, the Torch soon catches up with a specially pipe that sucks the water away from him allowing him to turn on his flame underwater. The two destroy the last of the whirlpool devices and capture Rathia and forcing the undersea army to surrender. 

3.) THE SUB-MARINER #8 (1968)

Writer: Roy Thomas  Art: John Buscema and Dan Adkins

During the '60s and '70s nobody did a better job fighting against both of Marvel's legendary man-monsters; the Incredible Hulk and the Ever-Lovin-Blue-Eyed-Thing than the "Savage" Sub-Mariner did! He was just as brutal and tenacious as either of those brutes and had many epic battles with them that laid the foundation of the Marvel Universe during the Silver Age. These slugfests are what truly gave Namor his reputation, proving that he could stand up to any Marvel Super-Heavyweight no matter how big, how durable or how strong and still be victorious! When Namor fought either the Hulk or the Thing it was always an event with a lot of ego and destruction involved. 

When Namor and Diane Arliss nurse Lady Dorma back to health. Namor tells her of another woman he loved, Betty Dean, whom he met decades ago and she had convinced him to fight against the Nazis in WW2. Meanwhile, the Thing is hired to deliver Destiny's Helmet of Power to Washington. Namor intercepts him because he's concerned that its power is too much for anyone to handle. With Namor being already distraught over Dorma and the Thing always ready for a scrap, it doesn't take long for both guys to go at it. Their battle rages back and forth with both combatants being evenly matched. Soon Namor will use guerilla tactics and ambush Thing by hurling an electrical generator at him and hurting him badly for the first time in the fight. While Namor goes in for the kill, an older Betty Dean appeals to Namor to end the carnage. Namor then leaves to dispose of the helmet with the Thing knowing he lost the scrap on a TKO but feeling like he won due what just happened. This fight is another classic among the Silver Age and enhanced the legend of the Sub-Mariner (as well as the Thing) into the consciousness of the readers.

2.) TALES TO ASTONISH #100 (1968)

Writer: Stan Lee  Art: Marie Severin and Dan Adkins

With the Incredible Hulk being considered the most brutal and relentless slugger in the Marvel Universe, the Savage Sub-Mariner goes all-out to prove he can match the Green Goliath and be his equal in every way. Under the control of the Puppet Master, the Hulk attacks and has a legendary battle with Namor! This fight rages all over the city and beneath the sea with both combatants going back and forth. At this point in the fight, a raging-mad Hulk will go toe-to-toe with a wet Namor on land and gets the better of the Sea-Prince. Namor must now fly to the air and take a breather after the brutes brutal onslaught.

As Namor recomposes himself, he stands ready and tactically brings the Hulk to the beach were he drags the fight under the water again so he can gain the advantage. The Hulk now fights awkwardly as he tries to muster up his last ounce of strength to resist the control of the Puppet Master. Namor will take this advantage to put the Hulk in a whirlpool and even though the Hulk breaks free from this, Namor greets him with a punch to the face that sends him back into it. The Puppet Master is soon caught in a big wave that will destroy his lab and release the Hulk from his control. When Namor finds the Hulk again, he finds Bruce Banner washed up on the shore unconscious. The Sub-Mariner would soon leave back into the sea as Banner is beneath his notice. 

Once again, Namor proves his mettle as he goes one-on-one with the Hulk and comes out looking incredible and proving that although the Hulk is the most powerful being on the surface, he is the most powerful beneath the sea. This fight easily stands as one of the most brutal battles of the Silver Age and made "Hulk vs Sub-Mariner" a legendary match up.

1.) TALES OF SUSPENSE #79, 80 and TALES TO ASTONISH #82 (1966)

Writer: Stan Lee and Roy Thomas  Art: Gene Colan, Jack Kirby, Jack Abel, Gary Michaels and Dick Ayers

This three-part epic slugfest ranks as not only Namor's greatest battle, but one of the greatest battles in all of Marvel history!! What also makes this fight so interesting is the legend behind the making of this comic book. Artist Gene Colan drew the first two issues and then only the first two pages in the final issue before coming down with the flu. Stan Lee had to scramble to make the deadline and asked the King of Comics Jack Kirby to finish the art to the story. The 10 pages that Mr. Kirby did in such a short amount of time is a true testament to the man's unmatched skill! What readers got to witness was an absolute genius piece of work that was the pinnacle of superhero action at its finest. Tales to Astonish #82 (and this entire 3-issue saga) is another example that made the Silver Age the greatest age in Comic history.

Following his battle against the Mandarin and his creation, Ultimo, Tony Stark has returned to the States to find that his factories have been closed, his accounts frozen, and himself with a warrant for his arrest for refusing to appear before a Senate committee to reveal the secrets of the Iron Man armor. Hiding, in the dark street, Stark soon finds that his chest plate is almost out of power and that he needs to recharge it or risk his heart failing him once again. Caught in a bind, Stark rushes to Pepper Potts' apartment but finds that she isn't there, just as his chest plates power runs dangerously low. Changing to Iron Man so that the built in power supplied could temporarily recharge his chest plate, Stark then seeks the aid of Happy Hogan to find that he isn't home either. With nowhere else to go, and low on power, Iron Man begins considering turning himself over to the authorities, however while he is near the harbor thinking this over, he finds himself attacked by Warlord Krang who appears near the shore in a Atlantean sub with Lady Dorma in tow. He attacks Iron Man hoping to kill the hero, however Lady Dorma prevents this, giving Iron Man the chance to blast the sub and force it to submerge. 

With his armor damaged and his power supply running dangerously low, Iron Man is forced to break into his own lab in order to recharge and repair himself. While he's there he is suddenly visited by the Sub-Mariner who proclaims that this is Iron Man's finish. During their fight, Iron Man proves to be at a great disadvantage to the Atlantean monarch and so he locks himself in a lab in order to repair his damaged armor and recharge himself. Iron Man finally repairs his armor, recharges to full power and opens the door to take on Namor, only to find that he is gone. Just then the police, Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan arrive to find out what's happening. There Iron Man tries to explain to the police that he was attacked by the Sub-Mariner.

Meanwhile, Namor had fled because his strength was weakening and so he flew to the nearest source of water to replenish his powers. Now at peak strength, Namor once again charges off to get revenge on Iron Man. Eventually they face off with both combatants at full power, Iron Man gains the upper-hand against Namor because he thinks that Iron Man is still weakened. After some major blows, Namor is back into the fight and both heroes go back and forth causing a ton of property damage. Soon the police arrive on the scene and prepare to attack. Noticing this move, the Sub-Mariner turns his aggression's on them, sending the officers at bay. While shouting threats warning the officers from striking him again, Namor is distracted long enough for Iron Man to jump him from behind. As Namor and Iron Man struggle again, the monarch's keen eyesight allows him to spot Warlord Krang's submarine out at sea. Breaking off from the fight, the Sub-Mariner dives back into the ocean and swims after his hated enemy Warlord Krang. With the battle over, Iron Man leaves the scene as well.

Agree? Disagree? Let's hear it fanboys!!

Check out other "TOP 5 GREATEST BATTLES OF..." here:

Captain Marvel (SHAZAM!)




The Thing



Iron Man

The Avengers 


John Cimino
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert that runs a business called "Saturday Morning Collectibles." He buys, sells, appraises and gives seminars on everything pop culture, so if you got something special, let him know about it. He contributes articles to ALTER EGO, RETRO FAN, BACK ISSUE and THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR from TwoMorrows Publishing, runs the Roy Thomas Appreciation Board on Facebook and has appeared on the AMC reality show Comic Book Men. He also represents some of comicdoms biggest stars and brings them to a Comic Con near you. John likes to think he's the real Captain Marvel, people just don't have the heart to tell him he's just an obsessed fanboy that loves to play superheroes with his daughter Bryn. Contact him at or follow him on Instagram at megostretchhulk.