Sometimes it is hard to identify with superheros and supervillains. Their great acts are often as out-sized as their personalities and outfits. They may go saving a city or attempting to destroy the world on any given day and they may be switching from secret identity to super-identity by changing in a phone booth, but the one thing that they have in common with us and that is that at the end of the day, they often end up in the local bar.
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Unfortunately for local bar owners and their insurance companies, when superheroes and villains mix with drunk folks, things tend to escalate rather quickly. In this list, we look at 15 superhero bar fights, some serious, some silly, but all that were entertaining to see (from a safe distance).
15 JESSICA JONES AND LUKE CAGE
In 2015 Netflix gave us their second Marvel series, "Jessica Jones." In the second episode, "AKA Crush Syndrome," we get a look at Luke Cage's powers as he is attacked in his bar by a group of drunken idiots. Jessica Jones coming to the bar sees the attack in progress and intervenes. During the fight, we see two characters with two wildly different styles, as Jessica is all wild attacks while Luke is calm and lackadaisical about the whole thing.
The highlights from Jessica include the improvisational use of a pay phone receiver, while the highlights from Luke are absorbing punches and beer bottles with impunity. The best part of the entire sequence might just be Luke's reactions throughout the fight, especially his epic eye-roll. Actor Mike Colter really owns this scene, though actress Krysten Ritter does get in the best one-liner at the end about teamwork. This serves as a good reminder never to start a bar fight when you don't know what your going up against.
14 GUY GARDNER AND JOHN STEWART
In "Red Lanters" #33, writer Charles Soule and artist Alessandro Vitti bring us to Sector 1818's Formgalt Trading Outpost. On the trading post is a bar that looks straight out of "Star Wars," but with the added bonus of drinks being delivered by tentacle. Green Lantern John Stewart joins Red Lantern Guy Gardner for a drink and a chat. Gardner is attempting to recruit Stewart to help him in his fight against Atrocitus, and as part of this effort, he instigates a group of aliens to attack Stewart in the hopes that the fight will get Stewart angry and convince him to help.
While the fight ends up with the two friends drinking cordially, Stewart still declines to help Gardner. This fight has a bit of everything: interesting local, cool looking characters, humor and mild destruction. Sometimes a drink and a little brawl with a friend is just a nice way to catch up.
13 SUPERMAN V. CLARK KENT
Christopher Reeves' third Superman film gives us see a rather unique fight that starts within a bar before concluding in a junk yard. "Superman III" was directed by Richard Lester and written by David and Leslie Newman. In the film, we see Superman at war with himself in a way that we have not seen before in the series.
After his exposure to a bad batch of homemade kryptonite, Superman's personality and behavior changes. He becomes selfish, depressed and angry, and ends up getting drunk at a bar. Superman is literally in a bar fight with himself. He flies away to a junkyard where he splits into two individuals, the evil Superman and the good Clark Kent, and he engages in a no holds barred fight with himself that ends when Clark is able to strangle his evil self. A rather good depiction for how we are often at war with ourselves and attempt to hide in a bottle to escape our personal issues.
12 WOLVERINE AND ROGUE
From writer Chris Claremont and artist Rick Leonardi, "Uncanny X-Men" #237 finds Wolverine and Rogue deep behind enemy lines on the island of Genosha. Attempting to avoid capture by the Genegineer's forces, the duo is using Magistrate ID's to travel across the island. With Wolverine in disguise and Rogue dressing to distract, while relying on Carol Danvers' skills, the pair enters a local watering-hole in search of fresh ID's.
While Rogue is busy pick-pocketing distracted marks, Wolverine takes a minor dispute at the bar and escalates it into a full-blown brawl. Wolverine is known to enjoy a good scrape, but this one is with the singular purpose of relieving Magistrates of their wallets. This issue features some really entertaining art from Leonardi that includes Rogue posing and Wolverine displaying his dexterity. All of this proving once again that Wolverine and Rogue make a pretty good team, and that bars are a great place to practice one's spy craft.
11 BATMAN AND CATWOMAN
The complex relationship between Batman and Catwoman, as well as their alter egos Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, is one that has been explored in nearly every iteration of Batman storytelling across various media. Sometimes foes, sometimes lovers, sometimes allies and sometimes even all three at once, this is a relationship that has proven interesting to storytellers and audiences alike.
In the video game "Batman: The Telltale Series: Episode 2: Children of Arkham", we see Bruce and Selina meeting up at The Stacked Deck as Bruce attempts to enlist her help against the Penguin. We get more backstory on Bruce's relationship to the Penguin, Selina's relationship to Harvey Dent and some minor flirtation before their conversation is interrupted by the Penguin's goons. This is a fun chance to see Bruce and Selina kick some butt outside of their costumed roles and a chance for them to display some well-coordinated combination attacks on their adversaries.
10 WOLVERINE V. CIVILIANS AND FASHION
Marvel's "What If?" #31 features the story "What if Wolverine had killed the Hulk?" Now you would think that in a story about Wolverine killing the Hulk (which involved him falling into Magneto's plot, becoming a spy within the X-Men and ultimately led to his own death), that the precipitating event for all of that would be the killing of the Hulk.
Instead, in this story from writer Rich Margopoulos and artist Bob Budiansky, the real catalyst is Wolverine's killing a Québécois man named McKenzie in a bar fight. Clad in the most absurd western attire, Wolverine is at the bar celebrating his defeat and killing of the Hulk. Unfortunately, Wolverine is drawing the attention of all the local ladies at the bar and the gentlemen do not appreciate that, leading to a fight that results in a gun being pulled and Wolverine instinctively unleashing his claws and skewering the late Mr. McKenzie. This is a perfect example of how, at least for the super-powered individual, a bar fight can quickly get out of hand.
9 BUCK V. BOOTH
Fox's 2016 film "Deadpool" gave us a fresh in both senses of the word, take on a superhero movie from director Tim Miller and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The R-rated romp starring Ryan Reynolds and Morena Baccarin featured a ton of fights, but it is the one in which Mr. Pool doesn't even throw a punch that made our list.
Ryan Reynold's Wade Wilson character decides to instigate a fight between two burly boys at Sister Margaret's School for Wayward Children in an attempt to win the bar's dead pool contest. Sending a shot called a "blow job"over to Buck (Randal Reeder) and asking the waitress to tell him it was from Boothe (Isaac C. Singleton Jr.) is all it takes to instigate a furniture-smashing brawl. What makes this fight super is that Wilson starts a fight for his own financial and entertainment benefit, coming out on the other side without even throwing a punch.
8 POISON IVY AND HARLEY QUINN
Written by Amy Chu with art from Clay Mann, the first issue of the six-issue limited series, "Poison Ivy: Circle of Life and Death" features the tempestuous relationship between Poioson Ivy and Harley Quinn. After Harley shows up at Ivy's new job, they decide to go somewhere more appropriate to talk and end up at Bobby's biker bar. Harley is feeling neglected by Ivy, so they start to have a fight.
When Harley sees a bikers harassing their waitress, she decides to blow off some steam by teaching the man some lessons. Between Harley's mallet and Ivy's lime wedge and new pheromone spray, they make quick work of the bikers. Unfortunately, Harley is still upset and storms off, leaving Ivy alone. Even when they are fighting, the dynamic between Ivy and Harley is thoroughly entertaining. This comic also serves as a nice reminder for the gentleman out there that treating women at the bar with respect is probably the best idea.
7 MAGNETO AND XAVIER
The conflict and friendship between Professor Xavier and Magneto is one of the most compelling and frequently revisited X-Men stories. In "Uncanny X-Men" #321, writers Scott Lobdell and Mark Waid, and artist Ron Garney, take us into a flashback with a younger Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr are in Haifa, Israel at a military bar. Xavier and Erik are once again having one of their philosophical discussions when Xavier sees and objects strongly to a bully picking on a crippled vet.
The angry Xavier decides to physically teach the man a lesson, and when the bully's buddies jump in, Erik steps in to save his friend and the pair easily handle the bar patrons. There is something really satisfying in seeing a less controlled Xavier and a more compassionate Erik in this issue. Seeing them walk out of the bar together, arms around each other in triumph, is a beautiful note for a relationship that is too often very bitter and violent. This bar fight shows both the friendship of these two men and the things they can accomplish when working together.
6 ERIK LENSHERR (MAGNETO)
Beating up Nazis is always satisfying. In 2011's "X-Men: First Class" Erik Lehnsherr the man who would become Magneto pays a visit to Villa Gesell in Argentina looking for clues on the location of the Nazi scientist who killed his mother. Erik pays a visit to a bar featuring three Nazis who had fled Germany after the war. The self-described pig farmer, tailor and barkeep have no idea what just walked through the door.
The tension in the scene builds as Erik casually walks up to the bar and orders a beer and slowly reveals who he is to the Nazis. When they finally begin to realize what is going on, it is too late. Taking the knife from one, Erik uses it to stab the man's hand to the table and uses his magnetic powers to force the bartender to shoot the tailor. Then in the blink of an eye, he uses his powers to send the metal dagger across the room, killing the bartender before returning it to the pig farmers hand. We never see how he kills the pig farmer, but the scene does give us a look at the monster that Erik has become.
5 BUCKY BARNES
In "Captain America" Volume 5 #26, by writer Ed Brubaker and artists Steven Epting and Mike Perkins, we see heroes dealing with the death of Steve Rogers. The Winter Soldier and old friend of Captain America, Bucky Barnes is at a bar watching the news coverage about Cap's death when other patrons make disparaging remarks about the fallen hero.
Bucky beats up everyone in the bar, and only after he is done and Sam Wilson (a.k.a. The Falcon) shows up does he reflect on how Steve would have felt about his actions, at which point guilt starts to sink in. The Steve and Bucky relationship may be a complicated one, but it is clear that Bucky isn't going to allow anyone to disrespect his old pal, especially after his death. This is a good reminder to watch your mouth at the bar, as you never know who may be listening and how they may react.
It may only be a single splash page and show the aftermath of the fight, but "Warriors Three" #1 from writer Bill Willingham and artist Neil Edwards give one of the funniest bar fights on the list. One of the Warriors Three (a trio of Thor supporting characters), Hogun the Grim was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for "Journey into Mystery" #119. In this story, we see Hogun standing triumphantly amidst five battered men, a cowering female and a demolished bar.
We don't see what caused the fight but we do find out that Hogun may have a very poor sense of humor, a short temper or both. As Hogan delivers the simple line, "anyone else care to make mirthful comments about my hat?" Why anyone would think it is a good idea to insult a giant muscled man who comes into a bar carrying a spiked mace is beyond us.
3 ROCKET V. DRAX
Making new friends is hard. In James Gunn's 2014 film, "Guardians of the Galaxy," after breaking out of prison and agreeing to work on a mission together, tempers flare between Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Drax (played by Dave Bautista). Rocket is understandably sensitive about the fact that he is a raccoon who was surgically modified to be something both unique and odd.
With alcohol involved and the two having different communications styles, Rocket's sensitivity and Drax's inability to understand anything other than literalness lead into a brawl between Drax and Rocket with Groot's help. Only the intervention of Peter Quill and the inherent greed of Rocket prevent things from ending very badly, either with Drax blown to bits or Rocket a bloody mess. It does seem a little unfair of Rocket to pull a giant gun on Drax, but given their differences in size, who can blame him?
Fighting for a lady (or guy), fighting for honor and fighting just for the sake of fighting are all well established grounds for a bar brawl. In DC's animated film "Justice League: Throne of Atlantis" what Arthur Curry does may have never happened before and may never happen again in world history. He starts a bar fight over a lobster.
Sure, maybe you get in a fight with friends or family over the last lobster tail, last lobster claw or the last cup of melted butter, but Curry decides he has had enough of some rude patrons who are interrupting his conversation with Mr. Lobster. Given Aquaman's inebriated state, the fight goes back and forth a little more than you would expect, but ultimately he comes out on top. We are not sure there are any lessons to draw from this one except that it is probably a good idea that the bar didn't decide to have a clam bake.
1 COLOSSUS V. JUGGERNAUT
After breaking Kitty Pryde's heart at the beginning of the issue, Wolverine and Nightcrawler take Colossus out to the bar for a much needed talking to in "Uncanny X-Men" #183 by writer Chris Claremont and artists John Romita Jr. and Dan Green. Wolverine, ever the protective father figure to younger female teammates, has no respect for what Colossus has done to Kitty and wants to make sure the big Russian knows it.
Colossus eventually has enough of Wolverine's lecture and, as he tries to get up and leave, accidentally spills his drink on the Juggernaut. Now, Juggernaut is off duty from being a supervillain, so he is wearing civilian clothes, talking to a lady and just looking to have a nice night at the bar. What ensues is a massive six-page brawl that literally uses the bar as a weapon and ends with Juggernaut collapsing the entire building on Colossus. However, it is the final five panels in which Wolverine's words hit harder than any of Juggernauts punches.
What's your favorite comic book bar fight? And let us know who won it in the comments!