One Punch is a popular cultural meme based on an infamous moment from Justice League International, featuring Guy Gardner. A sub-plot of the series involved Guy frequently challenging Batman for authority, and being harshly denied, which grew into a large conflict between the two. While Batman was clearly the superior, Guy simply refused to let up on his ego and machismo. This climaxed with Guy challenging Batman to a fight, believing he could take on the Dark Knight even without his power ring in unarmed combat. Hilarity ensues when Batman knocks him out with a single hit to the face. This leads to Blue Beetle, doubling over with laughter, famously exclaiming One punch! One punch! on the course of the fight. This iconic event has been referenced several times since.
In a later conflict with Hal Jordan for the position of Earth's Green Lantern, Guy was knocked flat once more by Hal's devastating right hook causing Blue Beetle to claim one punch! a second time. Although Guy recovered and the battle went on for quite a deal longer than that, he still ultimately lost the fight.
During Green Lantern: Rebirth, the situation is nearly reversed. Hal Jordan was believed to be a supervillain for many years, due to his possession by the evil Parallax fear entity, and Batman completely refuses to trust him. The constant challenging from Batman and refusal to let him deal with his own problems leads Hal to unexpectedly punch Batman. Catching him off-guard, Jordan absolutely decks Batman in a single blow, causing Guy's respect for him to immediately sky-rocket.
Later, in the middle of a team-up, Batman hits Hal with one of his own right hooks, knocking him on his ass once so that they'll be even. After this, they are able to go back to being friends.
Guy Gardner references the event again when Batman knocks someone else out in one punch during one of their team-ups.
In a possible future for Guy Gardner, in reference to the joke, he knocks out an offending alien at a bar when he is much older. One of the aliens watching remarks on the efficiency of the maneuver.
Hal Jordan once again references the event after taking the Royal Flush Gang down, commenting that they should rename themselves "The Guy Gardner Quartet" because "all it takes to knock any of [them] out is one punch."
- This gag was written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, with art by Kevin Maguire.
- One Punch is also a recurring gag on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Batman, again in a power struggle with Guy Gardner, decks him with a single punch when a fight is provoked.This time it is G'nort who exclaims One Punch! One Punch!
- In the Year of Magic of the One Earth Regime's rule, when John Constantine calls Batman useless against the Spectre due to being barely able to stand in his condition, Batman punches him out in an identical panel to the one in which he punched out Gardner, in one punch.
- It was later revealed that Batman actually bragged about this to Superman and Wonder Woman, both of whom found it very funny. Apparently, Black Canary actually took a picture of Guy lying there knocked out and faxed it to Diana as well. They both requested that Batman reenact it for them, which he was happy to do.
- In a column written by Keith Giffen in 2008, he gave his opinion on the increasing popularity of referencing this joke as "I never thought I'd say this, but enough with the "one punch" already. It was a throwaway bit. Move on. Please."
Links and References
- ↑ Justice League #5
- ↑ Green Lantern (Volume 3) #25
- ↑ Green Lantern: Rebirth #6
- ↑ Green Lantern (Volume 4) #9
- ↑ Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #13
- ↑ Green Lantern (Volume 5) #20
- ↑ Superman/Wonder Woman #2
- ↑ Red Lanterns Annual #1
- ↑ Supergirl (Volume 7) #21
- ↑ The Eyes of Despero
- ↑ Death Race to Oblivion
- ↑ Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Three #2
- ↑ Justice League of America (Volume 2) #0