This one’s gotten harder because my standards got stupid high. Plenty of shows have solid fight choreo. Plenty of shows are capable of doing a long-shot. But I look for something a little extra special these days, just that sprinkle of je ne sais quoi, and I think these fights had it.
Bronze: Girls Get it Done, The Boys, “What I Know”
Throughout the second season of The Boys, we watch the filming of the next big movie for The Seven, and they take a jab at moments like the famous “Every female hero” group shot from Avengers: Endgame, which come on I liked it too the first time but it’s basically meaningless. In this case, a quick shot of Starlight and Queen Maeve looking confident and saying “Girls get it done!” So after mocking meaningless “Yay girl power” group shots, it was incredibly satisfying to see the posing get put aside to have literal Nazi supersoldier Stormfront get absolutely curbstomped by Starlight, Kimiko, and tide-turner Queen Maeve, arguably the three most powerful characters on the show save for the ever-menacing Homelander. Powerful ladies punching Nazis is more than okay by me.
Silver: The New JSA vs the ISA, Stargirl, “Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part 2”
And so it came to this… to save lives and prevent the brainwashing of millions of people, Stargirl’s hastily assembled junior Justice Society must face the villains who wiped out their predecessors, the Injustice Society of America. It’s a great climactic battle, as each member of the JSA (save tech girl Dr. Mid-nite) gets their moment to shine, but the title character gets that little extra chance to flourish, which is good, because Stargirl’s gymnastic fighting style is really fun to see in action.
Here’s a taste, which sadly doesn’t include the giant monster brawl or some of the big character payoffs, but the clip is meant to make you want to watch the whole episode, so, yeah, fair.
Gold: Doomsday 2.0, The Umbrella Academy, “Right Back Where We Started”
As the second season of Umbrella Academy kicks off, Number Five finds himself transported to November 25th, 1963, witnessing a Russian invasion he definitely doesn’t remember happening, because oops his siblings caused another apocalypse. But before bombs start dropping, the Russian troops find new opposition in the form of the other six Hargeeves, each taking their power to new heights, having unlocked a full potential they never expected to be possible last season. Well… except maybe Luther, he just jumps real far, but there’s only so many new heights your power can reach when you’re the strong guy. It’s an incredible shot, even if the appearance of being a oner is definitely digital trickery, looks fantastic, and has an Umbrella Academy signature cool needle drop, which all add up to a hell of a sequence.
And then they didn’t quite get back to that place for the rest of the season, but they’re definitely closer, so I call this a promise more than a tease.
The next page is riddled with spoilers, just lousy with them, proceed at your own risk or jump to the one after.