Greatest Punches in Pop Culture

Posted by David Winnick

[Image by Pixabay on Pexels]

Getting punched sucks. The dull thud of flesh on flesh as an argument reaches its apex is by far one of the most off-putting experiences of life. Since today is National Punch Day, we at Quirk have decided to ignore the fruity beverage version of punch and instead take a look at some of the most epic punches in comic books and literature.


Lisbeth Salander and the Computer Thief

Lisbeth Salander is perhaps one of the toughest women to ever grace literature. She doesn’t take garbage from anyone and makes sure that those who harm her get their just desserts. One of the driving plotlines in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo involves a broken laptop. As Lisbeth is making her way down into the subway one night, a thief attempts to steal her prized laptop only to find himself on the receiving end of one heck of a right hook.

The thief ends up tumbling down an escalator while Lisbeth makes her getaway. Unfortunately for the young hacker, her laptop doesn’t fare too well in the scuffle, and she is forced to attempt to replace it.  


Batman and Superman

Batman and Superman have not always seen eye to eye on things. Last year their arguments even made it to the big screen. While the battle we saw in the theater was based on the fight the two had in Frank Miller’s comic The Dark Knight Returns, it is the punch from Jeph Loeb’s story Hush, which stands out to many fans. Controlled by the pheromones of the evil Poison Ivy, Superman goes after Batman, never a good idea.

While Supes may be one of the toughest characters in the DC Universe, he is no match for Batman wearing a Kryptonite ring. One epic punch and that was all she wrote, Superman hits the mat and Batman stands victorious. 


Tyler Durden and The Narrator

If you haven’t read Fight Club yet then skip this entry. Here be spoilers. At the beginning of the novel, The Narrator finds himself wandering the streets at night. It is that evening that he stumbles across the nere-do-well Tyler Durden. The two strike up a friendship almost immediately which only leads to a very bizarre moment where they decide to punch each other. It is in this encounter that the two men begin Fight Club. It is only after months of running the covert men’s group that The Narrator finds out that he is in fact Tyler Durden and is suffering from multiple personality disorder.   


Captain America and Iron Man

Although these characters should almost always stand next to each other in their battle against evil, Iron Man and Captain America had a major falling out in the story Civil War. When the two could not see eye to eye on the Superhuman Registration Act, things came to blows. Many punches were thrown, but none as powerful as Iron Man nearly taking Cap’s head clean off. This was definitely a case of super punches for super people.  



James Bond and Any Villain

It is hard to narrow down a single best punch from the super spy James Bond. After all, Bond has been punching his way through the secret world of espionage for over sixty years. It isn’t one punch, but a flurry of haymakers which really set Bond apart. Whether it is fighting Le Chiffre, Goldfinger, or the man at the top, Blowfeld, James Bond is always there with a fist at the ready.  


The Escapist and Hitler

This was an obvious reference to Captain America punching Hitler, but in Michael Chabon’s novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, it is the titular character’s creation The Escapist who throws that punch. A novel, which revolves around the early days of the comic book industry, is chock-full of references.  


Eben and Vicente

Vampires, just like punches, suck. This is especially true if you live in the town of Barrow, Alaska. In 30 Days of Night, when the sun goes down, the vampires come out to feast. The safety of the remaining citizens is on the shoulders of Eben and Stella Olemaun. The two battle against head vampire Vicente from the shadows where they are hiding, but when bad turns to worse, Eben takes drastic steps to save his friends and family. After injecting himself with vampire blood to become strong, Eben confronts the head vampire. With one amazing punch, Eben sticks his fist right through the back of Vicente’s skull.     

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