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No Holds Barred Beatdown: Comic Books
  • Superman:
    • Superman seldom gets a chance to, thanks to it being a world of cardboard, but he's allowed himself to unleash his full fury on opponents like Darkseid, Mongul (Burn.), Cyborg Superman, Lobo, Incredible Hulk, and The Mighty Thor.
    • He does deliver one to the not-Authority in What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, And The American Way? and he was still holding back.
    • Thor gives as good as he gets when it comes to Superman, and both beat the stuffing out of each other once, implying that they are about even.
      • Shortly after Superman gave one to Thor in the Avengers/JLA miniseries, the rest of the Avengers flip the heck out, and Superman is pounded into the ground by the Vision, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Wonder Man, and Hercules.
  • The Hulk gives these to anyone foolish enough to fight him. Especially during World War Hulk.
    • He still receives them here and there, namely from Zeus, who left him crippled for days.
  • In the Superman/Batman storyline, Supergirl, Darkseid gives this to Batman when he threatens to blow up all of Apokolips. Batman even needed a Mother Box to be fully healed from that experience.
  • Invincible is full of these:
    • Mark (the titular Invincible) does this to supervillain Angstrom Levy and overestimates his durability, accidentally beating him to death.
    • Nolan almost killed him when the latter wouldn't go along with his world domination plans.
    • Sadly, the one implied by the cover of issue 50, Mark beating Cecil to death, doesn't happen.
    • Oliver, however, does just fine at beating the Mauler Twins to death.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the Conquest "arc," which is actually four full issues of almost nothing besides Conquest smashing Mark into more and more bloody pulp. It ends with a Crowning Moment of Awesome in which Mark, having lost the function of his arms and legs from the savage battle, manages to headbutt Conquest, caving his opponent's skull in.
  • "Something tells me to stop with the leg. I don't listen to it."
  • Happens just about to every friggin' character, good or bad in The Dark Knight Strikes Again.
  • In Booster Gold, Rip Hunter, in an attempt to teach Booster that history can not be changed, sends Booster back to try to stop The Joker from crippling Barbara Gordon. Booster receives a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown at the Joker's hands — repeatedly, as in a display of Heroic Resolve, Booster insists on going back repeatedly to try to stop him.
  • Secret Six: Deadshot delivers multiple beatdowns of this sort to a gang of white supremacist thugs. The first one results in one of the thugs getting his eye put out, while subsequent beatdowns occur over one night when the thugs decide to go after him for revenge. The beatdowns just keep getting more and more humiliating until Deadshot's date finally offs them.
  • Pretty much every fight involving Superboy-Prime is this, though his first fight with Connor (regular Superboy) stands out in that he not only beats Connor to within an inch of his life, but he literally kicks Krypto halfway across Smallville. The JSA, Teen Titans, and the Doom Patrol arrive shortly after that. Does this change anything? Nope. Prime wipes the floor with them; he kills Pantha, Baby Wildebeest, and Bushido, and rips Risk's arm off. He was in the process of beating the snot out of Beast Boy when a bunch of Flashes arrived and managed to seal him in the Speed Force for a good deal of time (It didn't hold, obviously). The other one that stands out is the one against the Superman of Earth-Two. Prime beats him to death with his bare hands even though both are depowered. We get to see every single minute of this.
  • Daredevil
    • In their first meeting, Kingpin beats Daredevil and then slams a vault door on his head after Daredevil experiences a moment of Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh......
    • In the "Born Again" arc the corrupt cop, about to confess to framing Matt Murdock/Daredevil, is subjected to a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown by one of the Kingpin's minions.
  • New Avengers #35.:
    • If male-on-female beatdowns are rare, they do happen. Tigra was beaten and shot by The Hood. She eventually got even but still, hard to look at.
    • Another male on female example is the first time She-Hulk fought Red Hulk.
  • Robin:
    • In "A Death in the Family," this happens to Jason Todd's Robin at the hands of the Joker in the third chapter, as Jason is beaten within an inch of his life with a crowbar. Batman later pays him in full in the Knightfall saga, roaring Jason's name the whole time.
    • And speaking of Knightfall, Bane finishing off an exhausted Batman by beating him to a pulp and then breaking his back. Bane later gets the crap beaten out of him by Azrael.
    • Batman delivers a truly terrifying beatdown to the Joker in chapter 7 of Hush. Harley Quinn and Catwoman both try to stop him, but fail utterly. It's accompanied by an Internal Monologue listing some of Joker's more heinous crimes, so it's hard to feel sorry for him, but the same Internal Monologue makes it clear that Batman has every intention of killing Joker, and nobody is capable of stopping him. At least, until Gordon talks him out of it. It's probably the closest he's ever come to finishing The Joker off once and for all.
    • In The Last Laugh Nightwing beats the shit out of the Joker, both for Jason and and under the mistaken belief that Tim is dead too. He actually beats the Joker to death. Though, he gets better.
  • In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, The Joker finally presses Batman's Berserk Button, and Batman attacks him with a fury that leaves no illusion to his intent.
  • Bone has a male and female example when Thorn and Fone Bone get the tar beaten out of them before they're thrown into jail. Really hard to witness, especially when she discovers her bruises, black eyes, and a missing tooth. Then Fone smiles apologetically to reveal his missing tooth. Both are drawn like that for the rest of that day.
    • And each is missing a tooth from that point til after the big climactic battle.
  • Watchmen:
    • The Comedian receiving one that ends with him being flung out of the window to his death. Then, near the end of the comic, Ozymandias beats down on Rorschach and Nite Owl as he explains his motives.
    • Hollis Mason, a former vigilante pushing 70 years old, is killed this way by a group of thugs. The movie manages to make this scene even harder to watch by letting him get a few punches in.
  • Spider-Man lives for this trope.
    • Every now and then a new villain shows up or an old one with a vendetta and Spidey gets the crap beaten out of him. A lot of the time his My Name Is Inigo Montoya moment is very far away. If not for outside interference, he would've bitten the dust against Morlun, for instance.
    • In "Spider-Man: The Other" he does bite the dust against Morlun.
    • Spidey gives these out like candy if you push him far enough - say, if you're the Kingpin, and happen to have caused Aunt May's almost-fatal gunshot wound. Usually, he's sorry after, but after that one, he just kinda smiled.
    • After The Green Goblin kills Gwen Stacy, Spidey hunts him down and beats him within an inch of his life. Hell, if Spidey hadn't decided against it, Norman Osborn would've died that day. Though, Norman's glider did the job for him.
    • In the alternate Spider-Man: Noir series, Spider-Man is beaten half to death by the Sandman the first (and only) time they meet face-to-face. After Spidey's punches fail to get a reaction from him, Sandman knocks Spidey down and pounds his face into paste. He doesn't even stop right away when police hit the scene. When all's said and done, the Sandman is dead from a hail of police gunfire and Spider-Man's mask is in tatters and he's delirious from blood loss.
  • After a long globetrotting journey to burn out his own mind, Tony Stark finally faces off against Norman Osborn. The "battle" is completely one-sided in Osborn's favor since Tony is all but brain dead and in an outdated suit at that point. The beating is savage enough to render Tony comatose, which of course was All According to Plan. The beatdown was also broadcast on live television, winning Stark public sympathy and casting Osborn in a very negative light.
  • In the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic series (Leonardo #1), the Foot manages one on Leonardo while he's out training solo. After a lengthy chase, he's cornered and numbers overwhelm him, though most of the actual beatdown takes place out of frame. By the time he's thrown through April's apartment window, Leo is only able to choke out that the Shredder has returned. For the next full issue (#10) he's unable to participate in the ensuing Foot vs. Turtles battle, and the next (#11) is dedicated solely to our heroes' recovery from the incident.
  • In The Punisher MAX storyline "Mother Russia", Nick Fury takes off his belt and whips the general who came up with the whole "Fake terrorists crashing a passenger jet full of innocent people as a distraction" plan. Over and over and over again. The guy is a bloody whimpering mess after Fury's through with him.
  • This is approximately one-half (or slightly more) of the standard MO of The Boys. The first half is usually some combination of surveillance, investigations, a little blackmail, messing with government agencies, etcetera, but sooner or later someone, somewhere, will be handed the kind of beating that, no matter how much the target might deserve it, is still likely to leave the reader feeling slightly queasy.
  • In an issue of The Avengers dealing with the Skrull-Kree war, The Vision displays a Not So Stoic reaction against an opponent after the Scarlet Witch is injured. An ally warns the Vision that he doesn't know what he's doing, and might beat the opponent to death. The Vision replies that he has a computer mind and knows precisely what's he's doing. "I am beating him to death."
  • In one of the later Ultimate Spider-Man story arcs, Norman Osborn fights off SHIELD agents while trying again to coerce Peter into helping him. When the conflict reaches its climax, a fight breaks out between Osborn in mutated form, a ship full of SHIELD agents, Spider-Man, and Harry Osborn in mutated form. When Harry tries to beat his father into submission, Norman goes insane with rage and smashes him to the floor, striking him in the face until he accidentally kills him. This shocks everyone into halting the fight, and a moment later Osborn shifts back into human form and requests that someone kill him.
  • This occurs in the Garth Ennis Punisher comic Streets of Laredo when a thug insults his boss' son. Rachel, the leader of a gunrunning outfit, has an openly gay son whom she adores. When one of her men calls him a "stinking queer" and proceeds to tell her that someone ought to put him down like an animal, she challenges the man, who is easily twice her size, to a fight. He has a Bowie knife and she has brass knuckles. He doesn't even scratch her and she completely wrecks him before delivering the final blow.
  • Preacher: Jesse does this to Jesus deSade, a child pornographer.
  • Wonder Woman delivered a notable one to Medusa after she petrified a child under Diana's protection. Medusa had to invoke Ares' protection to stop Wonder Woman from beating her to death there and then.
  • Nextwave:
    • In #4, the Dirty Cop running the Samuroid Seed gets one of these, courtesy of Aaron Stack and Tabitha Smith. Notably, neither of them know he's dirty and simply beat the hell out of him for being a cop. Played for Laughs.
    • In Nextwave #6, Aaron gets one of these from Monica Rambeau, Elsa Bloodstone, and Tabitha for wearing a woman's bra and refusing to take it off. Played for Laughs.
    • Finally, in Nextwave #8, The Captain delivers one (offscreen) to Dread Rorkannu, which included doing something unpleasant to him with a toilet brush. We never get to know what (thankfully). Unsurprisingly, this too is Played for Laughs.
  • Anathos does this to the Legendaries right after reincarnating in Danael: as soon as he appears, he impales Jadina on his sword, slashes Gryf everywhere on his body, burns Shimy's eyes, and cut Razzia's arm off. All of this in two pages. While the comic had got quite dark at this point, this was so far the most violent scene in the whole series.
  • A strange one happens off-screen in issue 46 of W.I.T.C.H.. To convince Will to give up the Heart of Kandrakar, Phobos in Endarno's body mind-raped her. Will looked like she would give up... And whatever she did him, it reversed the body swap and left Phobos unable to walk and utterly terrified of Will. It's probable she would have tortured him to death if it wasn't for the need to send Phobos back in his body and recall Endarno into his own, and when the following issue gives her the chance the first thing she does is calling dibs on the killing shot ( Phobos was lucky: due the situation, Will opted to make it quick and disintegrated him).
  • In the first run on Infinity, Inc., Marcie Cooper, the third Harlequin, tricked Solomon Grundy into killing Sylvester Pemberton (Star-Spangled Kid I/Skyman) by using her illusion-casting goggles to appear as Jade, whom Grundy had become attached to. When Grundy realized he'd been tricked he mercilessly beat Marcie to within an inch of her life. In fact, the readers weren't sure if Grundy had killed her or not until Word of God clarified that Marcie wasn't dead since she hasn't appeared since.
  • In H'el on Earth, Superboy is pounded into the ground by Supergirl for trying to stop them from resurrecting Krypton. Having been severely weakened, he doesn't even bother fighting back and instead tries to reason with them.
  • X-23 delivers a brutal one to Zander Rice at the end of Innocence Lost. She could have easily killed him instantly with her claws, but after disabling his gun she put them away to beat the ever-loving shit out of him bare-handed in return for everything he'd done to her (short list: forcibly activating her Healing Factor at age seven with lethal doses of radiation, removing her claws at the same age one at a time to be coated in adamantium without anasthesia as part of his sick Revenge by Proxy against Wolverine, leaving her behind to be killed on a mission for no good reason, and thirteen years of general abuse and cruelty intended to strip her of her humanity). Her mother just gave her a mission to kill him. Laura pummeling him for about nine minutesnote  straight? Payback.
    Laura: Animal.
  • The Doctor Who Magazine comic doesn't have that much graphic non-fantasy violence, but the No Holds Barred Beatdown Jodafra gives to his own niece Destrii in "Bad Blood" (after she stopped him from sacrificing a bunch of abducted children to an extradimensional monster in exchange for powers) is quite horrific. And pivotal in starting her Heel-Face Turn and making his irredeemability clear after he'd been introduced as a Lovable Rogue.
  • During J. Michael Straczynski's time writing Thor, we had the God of Thunder deliver BOTH a thorough beating and a "The Reason You Suck" Speech on Tony Stark (a.k.a.- Iron Man) for his actions during the previous Crisis Crossover, Civil War. To cap it off, Thor lays down an epic Badass Boast while holding Stark up by the neck:
    "Give your orders and ultimatums to those who choose to obey, or too cowardly to fight, NOT to me. Or learn again the difference between a God of Thunder and a mortal man in a metal suit."
  • In the prequel comic for Injustice: Gods Among Us Batman fights Superman (who in this world is an Evil Overlord) to distract him long enough to scan a pill that grants normal humans super-strength and invulnerability. Superman beats the ever-living crap out of him, finishing the beatdown by breaking the Bat over his knee.
    • Immediately following this, the scan of the pill finishes. Alfred Pennyworth then takes the pill and, taking Superman completely by surprise, delivers the mother of all beatdowns on the Man of Steel. All the while he is yelling, “You don’t get to hurt my family anymore!” Needless to say, it’s Badass.

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