Super Types

November 3, 2011

The Comics Console: The 10 Best Supervillain Boss Battles

They say a hero is only as good as his villains. In the case of the comic book video game, I believe that rule is law. There is nothing more thrilling than playing as your favorite comic book character and going up against their biggest and baddest supervillains, and thankfully, in some cases, those dreams have become reality. We’ve all observed our favorite hero vs. villain conflicts via comics, film, and television, but to do battle with such evil ourselves is an entirely different experience, and these are just ten of the most awesome hero vs. villain experiences available on game consoles.

The Avengers vs. Red Skull
Captain America and the Avengers

Captain America and the Avengers is a very simple game, but also a very exciting one. The game’s story is about as thin as the comic book pages the Avengers originate from, but the tension for the final battle builds to incredible heights. The battle with Red Skull isn’t so much the thrill as finally getting to Red Skull, but the boss fight is superbly satisfying (especially if you’re playing with four players), because the epic beat down you and your friends will deliver makes you wish Skull’s health bar was larger just so you could savor the brutality longer.

That's Red Skull being thrown across the room by Iron Man.


Batman vs. Clayface
Batman: Arkham City

For Batman, the badder the foe, the bigger the battle, and given the circumstances surrounding this confrontation (see Arkham City spoilers here), this boss fight was huge. But even bigger than the circumstances was the scope of this fight. Batman: Arkham Asylum’s and Arkham City‘s bosses had a Legend of Zelda kind of approach, with the classic “three hits and you’re dead,” but the brawl with Clayface takes it to a much more challenging level, forcing you to combine all your Bat-skills you should have acquired throughout the game at that point. And the arena for this fight is arguably the coolest part (again, see spoilers for details).

Spider-Man vs. Kraven the Hunter

The video game adaption to Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man film is a great game, but Xbox owners got a special treat with an exclusive Kraven challenge level. Kraven literally has his crosshairs aimed on you at the start of this fight as he puts you through a deadly obstacle course. This battle is pretty brief, but a ton of fun and a perfect usage of Kraven in a Spider-Man game; and it all results in a fist fight in the middle of a snake pit!

Scott Pilgrim vs. The 7 Evil Ex-Boyfriends
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Video Game

Okay, I know the title of this column is “The 10 Best Supervillain Boss Battles,” and with all seven of Ramona Flowers’s ex-boyfriends it comes out to 16, but I chose not to bother picking just one of these boss battles, because all of them are awesome. Scott Pilgrim‘s old school style, which reflects the very nature of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels so superbly, makes it without a doubt one of the greatest comic book video games of all time, but more than that, it’s just a damn fun game. Each boss battle is unique and challenging, and a perfect representation of the comics. It makes me sad their are only seven ex-boyfriends to fight.

Batman vs. Ra’s Al Ghul
Batman: Dark Tomorrow

This game sucked! The gameplay was slow, Batman moved like C-3PO, and the camera angles made it seem like you were playing the game through a series of oddly placed security cameras. However, the game had heart. It was the first fully realized Batman video game offering a genuine Batman experience with a rogues gallery that matches Batman: Arkham City; the only problem was the game just wasn’t fun. But the game’s final battle captured the spirit of what a Batman supervillain fight is perfectly. When you reach the game’s final boss, Ra’s Al Ghul, you battle him in classic comic book fashion in a duel of swords. Some argued that it was stupid for the player to have to suddenly learn all new sword handling controls for the very last level of the game, but I argued that the fight should have taken place in the Sudan with Batman shirtless Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams style. Though this boss battle was awesome, sadly, playing through the entire game to get to it just isn’t worth your time.

The Ninja Turtles vs. The Shredder
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time

This particular fight didn’t exactly have you going 4-on-1 with Oroku Saki (although you do in the final bout of this game), but it did incorporate the most fun part about beating up Foot Soldiers: throwing them directly at the screen. As Shredder controls a death-ray turret, you have to throw the multi-hued henchmen at the monstrosity’s controller to advance. What I love so much about this fight, more than just chucking the Foot, is the unique perspective we fight this battle through. As popular a franchise as TMNT is, it’s a shame that modern technology still hasn’t found a way to top this game as the best TMNT game ever.

The Hulk vs. The Hulkbusters
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction

The Hulk vs. Tony Stark feud is legendary in Marvel lore, and though you aren’t exactly going monster-a-mano against Iron Man in this game, Stark technology is plentiful for your smashing desires. Similar to the Grand Theft Auto series, as Hulk does so much damage to the reimagined New York City, the military’s intervention grows more and more precedent. However, where police forces will stop you in GTA, National Guard and eventually Hulkbusters will come your way in Ultimate Destruction, and that’s where all the fun comes from this game. No Hulk game has smashed better than Ultimate Destruction, and the Hulkbusters are available to destroy anytime you want. Furthermore, there is a boss fight against a 100-foot Hulkbuster mech that was arguably the most difficult battle in the game. I seriously doubt we’ll ever see a more satisfying Hulk smashing experience in our generation’s lifetime.

Wolverine vs. Sentinel Prototype
X-Men Origins: Wolverine

No, we didn’t see any Sentinels in the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but that’s the beauty of the video game adaptions; they can go where the movies can’t. In Wolverine, an early unperfected Sentinel is launched, and as Wolverine it’s up to you to dismantle it as it’s on the ground and in mid-flight. The scale of this bout is exactly how you would expect a Wolverine/Sentinel fight to be, and it’s a shame we’ve only seen this level of Wolverine gameplay in a single movie adaption instead of a serious Wolverine game franchise.

Marvel/Capcom vs. Galactus
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

Could there possibly be a bigger supervillain battle than against the eater of worlds itself, Galactus? The coolest part of this battle is how at its beginning, Galactus doesn’t even deal with you himself, he sends two Silver Surfer-like characters from the game’s roster for you to do battle with. After you defeat them is when you do battle with Galactus’s never ending hunger. The game forces you to be at your best in this battle, and it takes a strategically picked roster of three Marvel/Capcom heroes to successfully contend against this Goliath of a supervillain.

Batman vs. The Riddler
Batman: Arkham City

This particular superhero/supervillain battle doesn’t take place in just one fight, it takes place throughout the entire experience of the video game. But what makes this conflict of good vs. evil so great is how perfectly it represents the comics. Riddler has always been out to prove he’s smarter than the Batman, and you, as the Dark Knight, must solve 400 of the Nigma’s riddles in order to locate him and put a stop to his villainy. If the Riddler’s arrogance isn’t enough to drive you to beat him, the challenge of “am I clever enough to solve these riddle” is. This is a perfect example of how Rocksteady has brilliantly put the player in Batman’s boots, and why Arkham City is, so far, the best comic book video game ever made.

What’s your favorite supervillain boss battle?

For more of The Comics Console, click here!

Andrew Hurst



  1. Moses

    Red Skull was a great boss in Captain America & The Avengers. Also one of my favorite Comic Book games. From the same era, the X-Men arcade game had some great bosses, complete with outstanding dialogue. “I am Magneto! Master of Magnet!”

  2. Moses, great call on the X-Arcade game, especially regarding the dialogue.

    Glad to see Turtles in Time on this list! That Shredder fight was so damn hard when I was 8.

  3. Moses

    Thanks Andy. I still play both X-Men and Captain America & The Avengers on my PC with MAME. To me, the classics are still the best.
    My favorite dialogue from Captain America & the Avengers:
    “You cannot escape!”
    “You will be the one escaping!”
    “America still needs your help!” (i.e. put more coins in this machine and keep playing!)

  4. […] The Comics Console: The 10 Best Super Villain Boss Battles […]

  5. That Avengers game brings back soooo many great memories of hours spent at the arcade!

    Hulk: Ultimate Destruction is one of the surprising gems that popped up and I still play it on my ps2. Wolverine was another surprise and ended up being a pretty decent game.

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