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A recent trope that with the advent of new computer manipulation can make fight scenes look 20% cooler!

A variation of Bullet Time, two enemies face off, charge each other, collide in the center and BOOM! A shockwave bursts from the collision that blasts out windows, upsets small animals, sets off car alarms and gets the fight off to a great start.

Can also occur as a result of other kinds of kinetic impact, such as opponents hitting or kicking each other or even slapping their own hands together.

Has nothing to do with Guile's signature move from Street Fighter.

Examples of Kung Fu Sonic Boom include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Various bricks in Marvel and DC do this, especially against each other, often the shockwaves are powerful enough to destroy large portions of the surrounding area.
  • The Incredible Hulk has been known to do this deliberately to stun or deafen weak or evasive enemies, by slapping his own hands together.
    • More than once, The Hulk has collided with an enemy possessing a comparable level of strength with enough force to wreck surrounding buildings. Notable instances include him clashing with Iron Man(wearing a Hulkbuster suit) in mid air, blowing out the windows in ever building for blocks in the World War Hulk story line, and a fight against Red She-Hulk that was causing tremors for miles around.
  • A literally "kung fu" example; an issue of Immortal Iron Fist has the titular character and his arch nemesis, both supremely skilled martial artists, strike each other each other with chi enhanced flying kicks. The resulting shockwave demolishes the office building they're inside.
  • The most dramatic usage this troper can recall was in the culmination of The Death of Superman arc: the Big Blue Boy Scout realizes he's literally on his last gasp, and is praying that Doomsday is as well. Doomsday comes in with a double-handed overhead smash, Superman with an uppercut that could launch a space shuttle. The actual impact is a 2-page spread of a single panel, with numerous narration boxes talking about how some people remembered the sheer force of the impact creating a huge crater in the street, others how it shattered all the windows for blocks, or overturned cars and trucks. All of this was drawn in the most detail yet seen in a comic book. Truly a Dying Moment of Awesome, so much so that it was used in (obviously) Superman: Doomsday, as well as referenced in the final Superman/Darkseid fight as listed below for JLU.


Live Action TV

  • Power Rangers. However, a punch or kick generating a shockwave tends to indicate it's nearly a finisher-class blow. This'll stagger even the Big Bad.
  • Also used in Kal-el's Smallville incarnation. Clark's flight effect relies on the same style of visual effect. His fight with Zod had the boom.
  • As far back as the late 1990s, Singapore's local Chinese-language wuxia drama shows had a lot of such visual effects edited in. This also applies to other such series made in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan.

Video Games

  • In City of Heroes, almost every attack with Super Strength creates a spherical shockwave.
  • The Grav Hammer in Halo 3 gives off a boom when you use it (whilst it's charged anyway), this is actually what makes the hammer deadly as it can knock people several meters.
    • It can also knock vehicles around - which can occasionally (if one's lucky) crush another player, effectively killing two birds with one stone.
  • Sonic Boom is a powerup in Backyard Football; it makes all the enemies fall once they hear the sound.
  • In New Super Mario Bros Wii, a Combination Attack Ground Pound causes one to emanate from each character once they hit the ground.

Western Animation

  • Superman is known to let loose one of these when he isn't holding back. Enhanced by computer effects in the recent Superman: Doomsday animated movie.
  • Taken a step further by Flash in Justice League Unlimited. Think punches look awesome at Mach 1? Wait 'til you see them at light speed.
    • In the first of Doomsday's two appearances, he fights Justice Lord Superman and the two of them recreate the "punching each other out" scene from the comics. The shockwave breaks the windows of every building around them and almost knocks a helicopter out of the air.
    • Superman and Captain Marvel squared off in an empty city. Their first punch shattered most of the town. Naturally, Lex Luthor videotaped all of it.
    • The Grand Finale shows that this is the perfect way to cap off a World of Cardboard Speech.
    • Supergirl tried this against Amazo when the android was returning to Earth, creating a shock wave that was most likely visible for a hundred miles. It didn't work.
  • Literally illustrated between Thunder and Cyborg in in early Teen Titans.
  • Transformers Cybertron: Megatron/Galvatron and Optimus Prime do this a few times. The Galvatron vs. Starscream fight takes it Up to Eleven.
    • Bulkhead and Breakdown also achieve a shockwave when their melee weapons collide in Transformers Prime.
  • Wonder Girl does this in her first appearance in Young Justice. She punches Lobo in the gut hard enough to break every window of the room they're in.
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