Here’s the last five!
Here is the master list!
30. Thor vs. The Midgard Serpent
In Norse mythology, Thor is destined to fight the Midgard Serpent (also known as Jormungand) and kill it, but die himself soon afterwards.
In the comics, Thor’s battle with Jormungand is basically the climax of Walt Simonson’s epic run on the title, although there are two issues afterward that serve as the ending of the run.
The dramatic battle happens after Jormungand disguises itself as Fin Fang Foom, and finally, we get to Thor #381, which is the last issue of Thor written and drawn by Simonson (he was not even the regular artist on the title at this point, Sal Buscema was, but he came back for one last issue).
The entire issue detailing the fight is done in full page splash pages.
It is epic and it is amazing, and when it is all over, the impossibly strong dragon is dead, and Thor seemingly is, as well (of course, things aren’t always as they seem).
29. X-Men vs. Dark Phoenix
After their battle with the Hellfire Club in Uncanny X-Men #135, Phoenix has officially flipped her lid and become Dark Phoenix.
The X-Men battle against her in Uncanny X-Men #135, but she casts them aside like they’re children compared to her might. After the fight, the ex-X-Man, Beast (now an Avenger) comes to help the team out in Central Park where Dark Phoenix left them.
The X-Men regroup and decide to try to get her into a MacGuffin device, but she ruins that plan easily and once again kicks all their collective behinds. Cyclops is left standing, and he tries to appeal to the human essence within Dark Phoenix, and he begins to break through, but Professor X never turns down an opportunity to attack someone, so he begins a telepathic assault on Dark Phoenix which is a major battle of the minds.
Ultimately, with the help of the Jean Grey persona within Dark Phoenix, Xavier is able to shut down Jean’s telepathic powers and silence Dark Phoenix…for now!
28. Legion of Superheroes vs. The Forces of Darkseid
The Great Darkness Saga involved the Legion of Super-Heroes fighting against some dark beings serving their dark master.
The Legion eventually learns that the dark beings are reverse-clones of powerful beings of the 20th Century like Superman and a Guardian of the Universe.
There is also a mysterious young boy who is being targeted by the dark beings. The Legion protects the boy and fights against the dark beings.
Mon-El confronts the dark master, who has already defeated Mordru and the Time Trapper and taken power from them (so he’s REALLY powerful right now) and the dark master hits him so hard he goes into a coma.
Mon-El recognized the dark master from his time in the 20th Century, but he was knocked unconscious before he could warn the rest of the Legion. Seeing the Daxamite Mon-El, the dark master is hit with an idea. The dark master travels to Daxam where he uses his power to turn the Daxamites into thralls of his power and also takes them to a yellow sun where they are now all Supermen.
Now that he is on the precipice of conquering the universe, we learn that the dark master is Darkseid!
The Legion has its hands full fighting against the brainwashed Daxamites (but Element Lad helps by adding some lead to the game).
Ultimately, though, it is the young boy who saves the day, as it turns out to be Highfather, Darkseid’s opposite.
Highfather is not powerful enough now to stop Darkseid himself, but through a series of machinations, lets loose the populace of Daxam (now free of Darkseid’s control and none too pleased with Darkseid) on Darkseid, forcing him to retreat from his plans of universe domination.
That’s just a VERY brief description – there are a LOT more twists and turns than that – this Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen storyline was so good that it was hard for them ever to meet this level of quality again, although they sure tried!
27. The Final Battle of Civil War
Like the Dark Phoenix battle, Civil War involved heroes fighting against themselves.
The Superhero Registration Act forced heroes to split into two camps – those willing to register and those unwilling. The registered heroes were led by Iron Man, and they were tasked wit hunting down the unregistered heroes, led by Captain America.
Cap’s heroes also kept on being superheroes at the same time they were on the run.
Ultimately, after a daring escape from the Registration Camp’s prison, the heroes have one final confrontation in New York City, and Captain America’s forces actually seem to have the battle won, but then Cap notices something – the people of New York are rooting AGAINST him.
He then realizes that they’ve been battling in the middle of New York and causing countless amounts of damage. Cap then decided it was time to surrender, so he gave himself up and was arrested (and later, he tragically was killed while in custody).
26. Morpheus vs Choronzon
The final fight of our journey is not a traditional matter of fisticuffs or energy blasts, but rather a battle of wits, between Morpheus and the demon Choronzon.
Morpheus was captured for a number of years, so during this time, he lost his totems of power – a pouch of sand, a helm and a ruby.
He needed to get these items back, but since he was imprisoned for so long, he was too weak to just TAKE them, so when he encountered the demon who had the helm, he had to instead challenge him to a game of wits.
Each person would think of something and the other would name something more powerful until one could no longer name something more powerful than the other.
Here, then, is Neil Gaiman’s brilliant piece of writing showing Morpheus defeating Choronzon (Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg do a fine job on the art, too).
Choronzon: I am a dire wolf, prey-stalking, lethal prowler.
Morpheus: I am a hunter, horse-mounted, wolf-stabbing.
Choronzon: I am a horsefly, horse-stinging, hunter-throwing.
Morpheus: I am a spider, fly-consuming, eight legged.
Choronzon: I am a snake, spider-devouring, poison-toothed.
Morpheus: I am an ox, snake-crushing, heavy footed.
Choronzon: I am an anthrax, butcher, bacterium, warm-life destroying.
Morpheus: I am a world, space-floating, life nurturing.
Choronzon: I am a nova, all-exploding… planet-cremating.
Morpheus: I am the Universe — all things encompassing, all life embracing.
Choronzon: I am Anti-Life, the Beast of Judgment. I am the dark at the end of everything. The end of universes, gods, worlds… of everything. Sss. And what will you be then, Dreamlord?
Morpheus: I am hope.
Okay, folks, that’s it!