The Fastball Special is a popular tag-team move in superhero fiction. In a Fastball Special, a hero with superhuman strength throws a (usually willing) partner toward a target. It dates back to at least a 1958 DC Comics team-up in Adventure Comics #253 in which Superboy throws Robin. The maneuver was popularized by the Marvel Comics series Uncanny X-Men starting in issue #94, when Colossus hurls Wolverine during a Danger Room session (Colossus initially refers to this as "Maneuver Seven"). It quickly became a favorite tactic of the two heroes. It has also since been used by many superheroes in publications other than Marvel.
In other media
- The Fastball Special was referenced in the 1992 animated television series X-Men episode "The Unstoppable Juggernaut". It was later performed by Beast and Wolverine in "Savage Land, Strange Heart (Part 1)."
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the maneuver is performed by Giant Man and Hulk in the episode "A Day Unlike Any Other," and Wolverine asks Thing to perform it in the episodes "New Avengers" and "Avengers Assemble".
- In episode 14a of the Television show The Powerpuff Girls, Blossom says "... Bubbles. You, Me. Fastball Special..." just before performing the maneuver.
- In The Aquabats! Super Show! episode "Showtime!" Crash Mclarson performs the maneuver by hurling the M.C. Bat Commander at Space Monster M.
- In Transformers Animated, the maneuver is performed by Bulkhead and Bumblebee on a number of occasions, including the episodes "Along Came a Spider" and "TransWarped". A variant in the episode "Nanosec" involves a third participant, Prowl, who is launched by Bulkhead, and in turn launches Bumblebee.
- In an episode of Ben 10: Alien Force, Kevin and Ben perform this move with Kevin throwing Ben at one of their enemies, only for the two of them to be reprimanded by Gwen, who tells the two friends don't throw friends.
- In Young Justice, the move is performed several times. It's referred to as "maneuver seven", which is what the move was originally known as in the comics.
- In episode 3.2 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, the stunt is performed by Shining Armor and Princess Cadance, with Cadance being thrown.
- In Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Man is leading a team exercise with Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Nova and White Tiger where they try to attack him. Luke Cage does a fastball special with Iron Fist by throwing him, but missing, which makes Spider-Man remark that this move rarely works. Yet in the episode, "Return of the Sinister Six", Luke and Iron Fist use the move successfully against the Rhino. Spider-Man himself evens pulls off this technique (with Wolverine, no less) against a large Arcade-bot in "Game Over".
- In Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "Wendigo Apocalypse", Hulk performs this move with Wolverine to finish off the Wendigo King.
- In RWBY, Professor Oobleck uses his weapon to bat Zwei at flaming speeds to destroy an enemy mech.
- In the Transformers: Robots in Disguise episode "Worthy", the maneuver was used by Sideswipe and Grimlock during a battle with a trio of bounty hunters hired by Starscream, with Sideswipe being thrown.
- In Critical Role, Scanlan uses Bigby's Hand to throw Grog at an enemy Beholder, a move directly referred to by DM Matthew Mercer as a Fastball Special.
- Wolverine and Colossus use the move twice in X-Men: The Last Stand, first against a Sentinel and then against Magneto. Brett Ratner specifically studied John Cassaday's interpretation in 2004's Astonishing X-Men #6.
- In the Disney film Sky High, Will Stronghold throws Warren Peace in gym class.
- In the Pixar film The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible launches his wife, Elastigirl, in the air toward their falling infant shapeshifting son, Jack-Jack.
- In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Cloud Strife is thrown from one friend to the next in a daisy chain version of the maneuver.
- In Super Mario RPG, Bowser gets a weapon that lets him use Mario in a similar way.
- In Sonic Advance 3, by pressing the 'R' button when Tails is the second character, a similar effect happens that the main character grabs Tails and gets thrown into the air.
- Wolverine can perform the move with various characters in X2: Wolverine's Revenge, X-Men Legends, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2. The Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games also allow for other combinations of heroes, like the Thing throwing Mr. Fantastic as he is curled into a ball.
- In Chrono Trigger, a combination technique called "Spin Kick" which is done with Robo and Ayla is reminiscent of this move.
- In Gunstar Heroes, the players can throw enemies, and each other, towards other enemies to destroy or damage them.
- In Lego Marvel Super Heroes, there is an achievement entitled "FastBall Special" for using a special throw attack on Wolverine while playing as Colossus.
- In the Marvel Heroes MMORPG, Colossus has an attack called "Fastball Special", which causes Nightcrawler to teleport in with Wolverine, and then have Colossus throw him.