The most recent battle on this list is nearly ten years old as of this writing. However, we feel compelled to tell you that this list contains SPOILERS and will tell you the outcomes of the fights. Do not say that we did not warn you… this time. This list will attempt to boldly tell you what the greatest hero on hero battles were that were ever put into comics. We made some very unflinching bold choices on what to include as well as fights to leave off of this list. We fully expect that there will be disagreement with some of the choices on this list. That is why we will direct you to the comments section at the bottom of this page to air those grievances.
10. Human Torch vs The Sub-Mariner (1940)
In Marvel Mystery Comics #8-10, comic book fans got a glimpse for the first time that characters might inhabit a “shared universe.” They learned that their heroes could talk, interact, and beat each other’s brains out. The premise is that the surface world has asked Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, to lend his power to humanity. By “lend his power to humanity,” they meant “willingly sit down to be electrocuted.” As a result of this rather silly mix-up, the Sub-Mariner decided to destroy New York City. This brought the Sub-Mariner into conflict with the original android Human Torch. This set-up allowed the two heroes to engage in glorious battle.
The “fire versus water” battle raged to a glorious standstill which the writers appeared not to have a good solution for. The battle reached a standstill when Namor put the Human Torch in a two-ton “transite case.” The trouble was that the Sub-Mariner could not leave the Human Torch in the “transite case.” The Sub-Mariner also could not let the Human torch out of the “transite case” due to the imminent threat of incineration. How did the writers respond to this predicament?
In the defining moment of the fight, the writers appealed directly to the children reading the battle. They end the ninth issue basically asking “Hey kids… what’s your solution?”
The tenth issue devotes exactly one page to stating that there was no good way out of the fight. Fortunately, Betty showed up and convinced them to hug it all out.