The DC Extended Universe, love it or hate it, has given audiences some of the most memorable and mind-blowing fight scenes ever seen in live-action. Viewers have seen the members of the Justice League and many other heroes engage in some dazzling and inventive brawls unlike anything the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done.
Since the DCEU seems to be near its end, here’s a look back at some of the best fights from DC’s greatest heroes.
12. Battling the Trench (Aquaman)
Director James Wan went back to his horror roots with this scene in 2018’s Aquaman. As Arthur and Mera brave a terrible storm to find the Trident of Atlan, they are attacked by a horde of ravenous sea creatures known as the Trench.
This gory and claustrophobic scene feels like something out of one of Wan’s scary movies, as both heroes find themselves trapped on their tiny boat in the middle of nowhere with these aquatic monsters. Even with all their superpowers, the duo is still overwhelmed by the Trench, forcing them to flee deep into the ocean in a beautifully terrifying chase.
11. Rick Flag vs. Peacemaker (The Suicide Squad)
After Starro frees himself from his prison in Jötunheim, Rick fights Peacemaker (Chris Smith) over the former’s intent to reveal America’s crimes against the people of Corto Maltese. This scene shows both men bashing and throwing each other around the room with a Schwarzenegger-level of intensity. It also features a mesmerizing pan shot of the two of them fighting in the reflection of Peacemaker’s helmet.
However, the scene shocks its audience when Peacemaker brutally stabs Rick in the heart, killing him. Though the latter is gone by the scene’s end, his final words to Peacemaker leave a haunting impact on him long after the film ends.
10. Battling the Butterflies (Peacemaker)
The season 1 finale of Peacemaker shows Chris and his squad raiding the Butterflies’ farm in a spectacular wave of violence. This gruesome battle features some truly rocking kills as the heroes slice through the alien invaders with style and flair.
The way Chris uses his shield to slaughter his opponents is especially eye-catching. And with the show’s glam metal theme song playing in the background, this scene makes for the perfect climax to Peacemaker’s first solo journey in the DCEU.
9. Battle at the tomb (Black Adam)
Teth-Adam awakens in present-day Kahndaq by beating his way through multiple Intergang soldiers and saving Adrianna. Black Adam doesn’t hold back with its violent content, as it shows Teth-Adam burning a man’s flesh off his bones and ripping another man’s arm off just by throwing him.
It only gets more mind-blowing when he’s outside, as he wipes out an entire Intergang army in slow-motion. This scene alone proves that the Man in Black is one of the strongest forces in the DC Universe.
8. Black Adam vs. The Justice Society (Black Adam)
Teth-Adam’s war with the Intergang is interrupted by the arrival of the Justice Society, who try to control the vigilante’s merciless rampage. Each member of the JSA puts up quite a fight against Adam, unleashing their respective powers on him in a spectacular display of strength.
Cyclone and Doctor Fate are especially notable with their dazzling and colorful abilities. But after taking blows from Fate’s magic, Hawkman’s mace, and Atom Smasher’s colossal fist, Black Adam still reigns supreme and overpowers them all.
7. Raiding the police station (Birds of Prey)
When Harley Quinn locates Cassandra Cain at the Gotham Police Department, she is forced to overcome a variety of obstacles in about 10 minutes. She opens fire on the cops with her grenade gun, filling the building with colorful smoke and confetti. Next, she faces off against multiple convicts while practically dancing in the rain.
She even faces some hit men on a rampage through the police warehouse. While many of DC’s heroes have superpowers to fall back on, this eye-popping sequence shows how Harley can hold her own using her athletic prowess and any tools she can find. Also, one can’t help but marvel at Harley’s skills with a baseball bat in this scene.
6. The Trinity vs. Doomsday (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
In their first scene fighting together on the big screen, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman team up for an epic battle against the Kryptonian monster Doomsday. Though the beast vaporizes everything in its path with its destructive power, the three of them manage to put up a good fight as they try to quell its rampage.
But even though the three heroes unleash all their power and skills, the nigh-invincible monstrosity nearly overpowers them all. Thus, the battle culminates in Superman sacrificing himself to kill Doomsday and save the planet in a stirring final clash.
5. Superman vs. Zod (Man of Steel)
After Superman foils General Zod’s plan to terraform Earth, the Man of Steel faces the evil Kryptonian in a final bout to protect humanity. While Zod may have more fighting experience than Supes, the latter has the home-field advantage and is able to match his vicious opponent on the battlefield.
The two of them tear their way through Metropolis as they land world-shattering blows on one another, eventually taking their battle into orbit and causing a satellite to fall to Earth in a rain of fire. This anime-style sequence makes for one of the most destructive, but exhilarating battles ever shown in a superhero movie, and filmmakers have tried to replicate it in many comic book movies since.
4. Warehouse fight (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
After Batman forges a truce with Superman, he breaks into Lex Luthor’s warehouse to save Martha Kent from the villain’s goons. In a showdown straight out of the Batman Arkham video games, the Dark Knight holds nothing back as he rages against his foes with incredible ferocity.
Breaking bones and bashing heads, Batman pulverizes all his opponents with his gadgets and exceptional fighting abilities, even when outnumbered four-to-one. Though the film emphasizes Caped Crusader’s battle with the Man of Steel, this thrilling scene is one of Batman v Superman‘s biggest highlights.
3. Harley breaks out (The Suicide Squad)
Harley Quinn once again makes this list with her outstanding jailbreak in Corto Maltese in The Suicide Squad. With a pep in her step, Harley takes down every guard in her path with sheer but graceful brutality as the scene is perfectly accompanied by the song Just a Gigolo playing in the background.
She proves herself to be a one-woman army as she kills all her opponents with whatever she can use as a weapon. But despite all the bloody gore and violence, the second half of this scene depicts Harley’s carnage with a beautiful wave of flowers and cartoons, giving audiences a glimpse into how she sees the world around her.
2. The Invasion of Earth (Zack Snyder’s Justice League)
In a Lord of the Rings-style history lesson, Diana (aka Wonder Woman) tells the story of how the armies of Earth fought against Darkseid and his army of Parademons in the Age of Heroes. After the God of Evil drives his spear into the ground, he and his legions face off against the combined forces of humans, Amazons, Atlanteans, and Olympians in an epic clash for Earth’s future.
Darkseid proves himself to be a formidable opponent, as he successfully kills a Green Lantern and withstands the power of Zeus, Ares, Artemis, and Atlan. Though the alien tyrant survives this legendary battle, the heavy loss he endures at the hands of Earth’s defiance proves to him that this world should not be underestimated.
1. No Man’s Land (Wonder Woman)
This is the moment Diana became Wonder Woman. Marching out into the middle of No Man’s Land, the hero takes on all enemy fire and gives the Allies the opening to cross the battlefield and reclaim the town of Veld. There, Wonder Woman busts through walls and blows through countless opponents without breaking a sweat.
Steve Trevor and company also get plenty of moments to shine as they help Diana take down the German soldiers. It all ends with Diana’s team launching her into the air and taking down a sniper, cementing her legacy as the hero.