In the black corner... it's Batman and Sgt. Rock, written by Bob Haney and drawn by Nick Cardy, Brave and the Bold #96, "The Striped Pants War!"
In the orange corner... we have the Thing and Shang-Chi and his Deadly Hands of Kung Fu, written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by Ron Wilson and Sam Grainger, Marvel Two-in-One #29, Two Against Hydra.
... DING DING DING!
In this story, BOTH Bruce Wayne and Batman and deputized as diplomatic envoys by the President of the United States, and off they go to Spain to replace/rescue a U.S. Ambassador taken by terrorists in Spain(?). Millionaires get all the perks in Nixon's America! And with Alfred's help, Wayne can "meet" the Batman, who appears to enjoy relative popularity abroad as BatHombre. Bruce already knows the embassy's chief of security, former U.S. Sgt. Frank Rock because remember, Bruce was briefly in Easy Company, at least according to Bob Haney!!! Being in Spain allows Batman to fight bad guys who use all sorts of Spanish or Latin American weapons, but you can't bolo Batman!
Meanwhile, the Thing is in London with his girlfriend Alicia Masters, basically playing the part of the bad American tourist. Big Ben? Just a clanging noise to him (and SHE'S the one that's blind). He's kind and tender, grabbing pigeons and letting her stroke them, but he seems to be a massive bore on a vacation, working vacation though it is; he still needs to find a scientist who can help Deathlok. When they find the dude's house in a shambles and the man missing, Alicia screams (see the reason below) and brings Shang-Chi running, and because they MUST fight as per the standard Marvel Comics Team-Up contract, Ben says stupid misleading stuff like "The girl's mine!", leading the martial arts master to think he's a monster. Much couch throwing ensues.
Not only did Sgt. Rock make it out of World War II, but he went to Korea as well, and is now desperate to re-enlist. They just won't let him! So this military attache gig is only until he can be sent into the mix once again. There's no stopping the Rock, y'know? Well, maybe there IS stopping him, like with accusations of treason! Could he have had a hand in the Ambassador's kidnapping? It certainly doesn't help that he essentially lets Batman do all the work, waiting for him to track down the malefactors before jumping in. But of course, he's innocent, and shows plenty of courage, staying behind to face the terrorists while Batman escapes with the Ambassador in a dumb waiter (why would I make that up?) and throwing a grenade in an enclosed space, damn the consequences.
The thing with Shang-Chi is that he doesn't need powers to go toe to toe with someone like the Thing. He holds his own.
The terrorists our heroes face are the Companeros de la Muerte, or the Companions of Death. A bold name for guys who use bolas, piano wire and... bulls on wheels?
The Marvel heroes are up against Hydra, so bonus points right there. Hydra is serious business. This is my new mantra:
Odds vs. Ends
From Brave and the Bold:
-I'm struck by the similarities between this premise and the one from the previous issue. Once again, a "president" sends Batman to another country to recover someone, and once again a hero seems to act like a villain. The big difference is that the president in question doesn't turn out to be a heavy. Oh wait, this came out in 1971? I guess I take it back. -1 Bat-point
From Marvel Two-in-One:
-Ron Wilson has a strange relationship to cheek bones:
Farewells and Scoring
Friendly farewell: Bruce Wayne and Sgt. Rock are old friends and part on a handshake.
Unfriendly farewell: We don't see Ben and Shang-Chi say goodbye, but here's the thing - after Ben complains there's too much talking during fights (WHILE NEVER SHUTTING UP HIMSELF), Shang-Chi says he doesn't have time to talk anyway, not when he's fighting. And then never speaks to Ben again. He just stands there are various goals are accomplished, never saying a word. Here's his last exchange:
Surprise! Shang-Chi defeats Sgt. Rock 18 to 16! Well, it's all in the power of Kung Fu. That's just one fight though, and in the overall battle, Batman is still winning 3 to 1. Plenty of time for either of them to outpace the other. Batman brings back an old favorite next time, just to make sure he does...