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Glossary:Fastball Special

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Glossary:Fastball Special

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Fastball Special

Dark Reign The List - X-Men Vol 1 1 page 14 Fastball special (Earth-616)

The fastball special is probably the most famous tag-team move in superhero fiction where a super-strong hero literally throws a willing partner toward a target. The maneuver first appeared in the Marvel Comics series Uncanny X-Men #100, when Wolverine (James "Logan" Howlett) had Colossus (Piotr Nikolaievitch Rasputin) hurl him in a battle. It quickly became a favorite tactic of the two heroes. It has also been used by many superheroes, some from companies other than Marvel, since.

When executing the fastball special, Colossus—a large and very strong mutant—takes the much smaller Wolverine into his hands and hurls him forward, like a baseball pitcher would throw a fastball. As Colossus is one of the strongest mortal characters in Marvel Comics, this throw can be superhumanly far, on one occasion even having Wolverine reaching an aircraft in-flight. As a result, Wolverine can reach the target of an attack he may not be able to reach otherwise and do it much faster than he would if he ran there by himself. Furthermore, Wolverine's metal-laced skeleton and his healing factor means that he is typically not in major danger of being severely injured in the move.

The fastball special was also reversed once, when Wolverine took advantage of the moon's reduced gravity to throw Colossus at Phoenix. [1]

The fastball move was revisited in a scene from the comic book series Astonishing X-Men written by Joss Whedon and drawn by John Cassaday. In the story, Colossus, who was believed to be deceased at the time, had just been discovered and released from imprisonment, and one of those responsible was escaping in an aircraft. Wolverine asked Colossus if he was capable of physical effort after his long imprisonment, and when Colossus replied that he was, Wolverine said, "I have two words for you." The next frame, a full two-page spread, showed Wolverine in mid-air and Colossus far below in a "follow-through" position, obviously having just launched his teammate; no dialogue was used in this frame, the picture speaking for itself to readers familiar with the maneuver.

A new way of employing this move was seen in Avengers vs. X-Men #2, when Magneto uses his magnetism powers to hurl Colossus at S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, called a "magnetic fastball special".


(See Also: Fastball Special at TV Tropes)
  1. Uncanny X-Men #137

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