By their very nature, comic books are rife with conflict, often between adversarial forces of good and evil. While the genre has published its fair share of quiet, character-driven dramas that develop arcs over the span of months, or in some cases years, even these stories have a tendency to culminate in a showdown: a clash of super-powered titans that is used to resolve the conflict in the favor of either the hero (usually) or the villain (rarely).
Still, even with an abundance of good versus evil stories to choose from, there are a number of battles or fights that stand out from the rest of the pack for their iconography and influence on the industry. Because of how absolutely epic these battles are, they are frequently referenced in other comic book stories, or have been adapted for film and television. In some cases, because a decisive winner was not decided (or because the story was so well-received by readers the first time around), creators have revisited these showdowns two, three, four and five times over.
These battles have also had a lasting impact on the status quo for their respective series and universes. Significant characters have been killed off, or relationships between hero and villain, or hero and hero have been forever changed by the circumstances surrounding the confrontation.
So get set to revisit 12 of the biggest, most important battles in comic book history.
Mark is a professional writer living in Brooklyn and is the founder of the Chasing Amazing Blog, which documents his quest to collect every issue of Amazing Spider-Man, and the Superior Spider-Talk podcast. He also pens the "Gimmick or Good?" column at Comics Should Be Good blog.