By Beau Smith
I like violence with a moral attached.
Yep, it’s true. There’s a 13-year-old boy still lurkin’ within me that loves to see a good knock down drag out fist fight. A slobberknocker, a fistacular! Nothin’ wrong with a good throw down. Comics is the perfect place for it too.
Ya know, I don’t think I’m alone either. I think most of ya out there readin’ this feel the very same way. You want a good punch out just as much as I do. You may not admit it out loud, but deep in your black sin filled heart you’re dyin’ to see Daredevil club The Owl upside the head with his billy club.
In these politically correct times you’re not supposed to say that fighin’ is good.
Why do ya think action movies do so well at the box office? Folks want action and they want it with every smash, crash and pow. They want their action in your face with a balled up fist.
Now don’t get me wrong. I like stuff like The Watchmen just as much as the next guy, but now and then I want to see some teeth flyin’ outta some bad guy’s mouth. It’s a part of comics that I’ve always loved.
Now I will say this, there should be a moral attached to the punch. Something like?.
DON’T BE A BAD GUY!
That can be followed up with stuff like:
- Don’t rob banks.
- Don’t steal an old lady’s purse.
- Don’t try to take over the planet.
- Don’t kidnap the good guy’s girlfriend and tie her up.
- Don’t kick puppies for fun and profit.
- Don’t team up with disgruntled Nazi mailmen.
- Don’t try and marry the hero’s 90 year old aunt.
- Don’t leave the good guy alone when he is in your fool proof death trap.
- Don’t tell the good guy you whole master plan.
- Don’t wear your bad guy costume in prison. It’ll bring ya nothing but bad news.
I could go on and on, but you’re smart enough to get the picture.
I can remember that one of the great things about Marvel Comics when I was growin’ up was that they always had the super heroes fightin’ each other. Yeah, there was always a little mix up that started the fight, but ya always had about five pages of head bustin’ before they realized the mistake they made and then proceeded to give the bad guy the business.
The problem with DC Comics in the late 60s was that their heroes always got along. They never had pissin’ contests. At Marvel each hero had an edge to em’. I remember Fantastic Four #25 had a great brawl between the Thing and the Hulk. It even had em’ on the cover slingin’ fists at each other. Why are comics like that so few and far between now?
It seems that most comic book writers today wanna fill the panels with either a big talk fest or one of those terrible JLA fights where everybody floats around blasting a galactic menace with rays blasts. Geez, the last good fist fight that Superman had was with Doomsday. Even Batman, who used to be known for his fistfights has been lackin’. I’m tired of it. I want some jaw jackin’.
Where are the writers of great fights? Other than me I can only think of three current writers that really know how to write a fight. Chuck Dixon, Geoff Johns and newcomer Robert Kirkman. Writin’ a fight is not easy work. It takes true talent to pace one and keep it exciting. Check out the fistfights that Geoff has done in JSA. Look at the carnage that Kirkman has pulled off in Captain America #29. Look at Chuck Dixon’s work in Richard Dragon. You’ll see some good stuff.
Kirkman’s work in Captain America #29 is the latest comic that is filled with fightin’ and one-liners. The first page has Captain America and Mr. Hyde bustin’ knuckles in true good guy/bad guy fashion. The best part is that Hydra is in this issue and that means lots of nameless morons to mash, and trust me, that’s what Cap does.
Scot Eaton’s art on this issue is amazing. It proves that Scot is one of THE best action artists in comics today. A few years ago, Chuck Dixon and I teamed up on a couple of mini-series at DC. Batman/Wildcat and Catwoman/Wildcat. No brag, just fact, you will not find better fist fights than what lies in these issues. I’m not pattin’ myself on the back, but I know how to write a fight, so when ya get both Chuck and I teamin’ up then you’re getting’ the best. I highly suggest that ya find these issues and see just what I’m talkin’ about. Ya won’t be sorry.
I wanna use this week’s Busted Knuckles to issue a challenge. No? make that two challenges.
One: I challenge any comic book writer to come up with a better fight scene that what I can come up with.
Two: I challenge you the reader to find some great comics with some great fist fights. If ya do, then tell everybody else and pass the word.
The world needs more ass kickin’ comics. Help us find em’.
I look forward to the gems that ya might find. Lord knows I ain’t hard to find.
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