Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs! DINOSAURS! Fighting! Fighting! FIGHTING! Fighting humans, fighting animals, fighting nautical craft! There's nothing like a seven ton Tyranosaurus Rex to separate the capes from the commoners. See who can hold their own against the Late Cretaceous period!
Let us today pay tribute to the humble dinosaur. Without dinosaurs, Michael Crichton would have only been that complete loser who wrote The Andromeda Strain, museums would be tumbleweed-strewn burned-out shells of buildings, and The Land Before Time would have been ninety minutes worth of poignant shots of ‘tree-stars'. And comic books? Comic books would have gone the way of The Land Before Time. No other medium uses dinosaurs like comics uses dinosaurs. Below, see the top five dino-fights in comics and forget sad-eyed apatosauri forever.
5. The fifth-place dino fight wins a spot in this line-up through its originality and choice of dinosaur. When planning a dinosaur fight, so many people automatically go for the T-Rex. So many focus on conflict among dinosaurs, or among dinosaurs and humans. These people, while holding higher places on this list, will never understand the dignity, the good will, and yes, the poetry, of an organized pterodactyl strike.
(Some sticklers will recognize this as a still from the Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series and say that it shouldn't be counted as it is not technically a comic. To you, I repeat Plastic Man's immortal words: "Are you seeing what I'm seeing? Because I'm seeing gorillas, riding pterodactyls, with harpoon guns, stealing a boat.")
That's right. Feel shame, pedants. Feel shame.
4. Our fourth-best dinosaur fight appears in Wolverine: Old Man Logan. Have a look.
‘What's so special about that,' you say? This:
A T-Rex chasing a jeep? Please. They did that in Jurassic Park.
A T-Rex chasing a jeep while people are shooting at it? Better.
A T-Rex chasing a jeep while a blind man shoots at it? By god, that's a good fight.
3. The third fight in this series starts on an ordinary, average day. Batman and the Green Lantern are hanging out in the Batcave and an alien monster attacks. You know, the kind of thing that happens when there's no big crossover event going on but something needs to happen in the premiere issue of The Brave and the Bold.
Because the attacking alien is a glowing energy-creature fifty feet tall, batarangs don't do much. Fortunately, there is one thing that Batman keeps in his cave that might do the trick; a giant animatronic dinosaur that Green Lantern can control with his ring.
Look at that. You can see why it wins the bronze. This fight is pure technical perfection. Batcave: check. Aliens: check. Batman and Green Lantern: check. Dinosaur: check.
What's that you say? It's not a real dinosaur? That's right. It's a robot. Leading to my final point.
The fight is so awesome that even Batman has to take cover.
2. The second place fight snuck into the back pages of the final issues of DC's recently-completed Wednesday Comics. Hawkman, the superhero with the silliest headgear in the comics universe, fought a T-Rex. Unfortunately for him, he chose to taunt said Rex, and it responded the way all Tyrannosaurs do when you taunt them, or even when you don't. It kicked the crap out of him, and chased him to the beach and into the ocean. As it turns out, that was his clever plan all along, because Aquaman had come along as back-up.
One little picture can capture so much. A man body-surfing. A giant seahorse. An unrecognizable blur that turns out to be a squid tangling around a tyrannosaurus's legs. But none of those things are what made this fight take the second-place spot.
Look at the T-Rex's tail.
Yes. That's a shark. It's true that sharks inspire a lot of terror, but that's only because in the water they are hundreds of pound of muscle, thousands of teeth, perfectly streamlined, and probably heading for your legs . . . right . . . now.
Out of the water, pretty much all they do is twitch and asphyxiate. That doesn't stop this shark, though. If all it can do is gnaw some dino tail-tip, then that is what is going happen. Never have I seen such a perfect tribute to both the viciousness and the nobility of these often misunderstood creatures. It is like a whole Shark Week squeezed into one panel. One panel with a dinosaur in it.
1. This is Devil Dinosaur from Marvel's Nextwave.
This is Devil Dinosaur shattering a champagne flute in anticipation of kicking the crap out of the protagonists.
This is the protagonists pushing Devil Dinosaur's perfectly round mansion off of its foundations in the two-mile-high floating city it rests on. (Just go with it.)
This is Devil Dinosaur's reaction.
This is Devil Dinosaur's house bouncing off a mountain like a marble off an anthill.
It has to be said that I'm more of a DC person than a Marvel person. It also has to be said that there is good-natured rivalry maintained between those two companies.
Most importantly, though, it has to be said that, without question, Marvel wins the gold in this competition. They had to. They left everything out on the field, and it shows.
Honestly, this fight would have placed if it had stopped at the champagne flute move, because when a Tyrannosaurus Rex in a smoking jacket shatters a champagne flute prior to a fight, the reader has to respect the artistry inherent in that image. But the floating city, the globe-house, the game of pinball with the Alps, the revolver in a dinosaur's claw; it all added up to the most incredible, awe-inspiring, and piss-your-pants funny dinosaur fight of all time. My hat is off to you, Marvel. If this is all you ever do to make the world a better place, be proud. You have succeeded.