Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tournament of Scoundrels Round 1

First up in our fight between the Sinister Six and the Rogues we have Kraven the Hunter vs. Captain Boomerang. You can view the contest rules at the post below this one.

Here are the official write-ups for this contest:

Captain Boomerang

Real name: George "Digger" Harkness
First appearance: Flash (vol. 1) #117 (Dec. 1960)
Created by: John Broome and Carmine Infantino
Powers and abilities: Captain Boomerang is an unparalleled master of throwing boomerangs, and employs a number of trick boomerangs including razor sharp boomerangs, sonic boomerangs, exploding boomerangs, and remote controlled boomerangs. He has also been known to use giant remote controlled boomerangs as vehicles, traps, and weapons.


Kraven the Hunter

Real name: Sergei Kravenov
First appearance: Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 1) #15 (Aug. 1964)
Created by: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Powers and abilities: Kraven is an expert hunter and tracker, and a master of numerous weapons and martial arts. Further, he has enhanced strength, speed, senses, stamina, and reflexes from an herbal potion which he ritualistically ingests. He uses numerous weapons in combat, most often spears, nets, axes, and knives, as well as various toxins and tranquilizers.

Now, right off the bat, you may think that Kraven has an advantage, but bear in mind two things: Captain Boomerang has the advantage when it comes to range, and Kraven's enhanced physicality does not propel him to a superhuman level. He's more akin to Captain America's level of strength, speed, etc.

I think it's gonna be a good fight!

The First Monthly Tournament of Scoundrels!

Starting tomorrow (Monday), I will begin a feature that I plan to do for one week each month. I'm calling it the Tournament of Scoundrels, as I will be pitting two teams of villains against each other in combat. I will choose one team from Marvel Comics, and one from DC that I feel are an appropriate match up.

Here's how it will work: each day, I'll post a match up of two characters, one from each team. You, the readers, will cast votes on who you deem the winner of the match. At the end of the week, the team with the most wins under its belt will be declared the winner. In the event of a tie, either between individual combatants, or the team, the reader with the best argument as to why their choice should be declared the winner will determine the final outcome. I will determine whose argument is best. Further, I'll cast no vote in the proceedings, just to keep it fair.

Once a winner is determined for each day, I'll then post a drawing of the match on my sketchblog, located at

Post your vote in the comments section of the individual match up. Voting will be open as soon as the match is posted, and will be closed at midnight. Feel free to tell us why each character got your vote, but keep it relatively brief, and save your best arguments for a tie!

I'll post a short summary of the combatants, including what will be considered the official power sets of the characters in question. I'll do my very best to be as impartial as possible.

Now, with the formalities aside, here are the first two teams to fight:
The Sinister Six, with their original line-up:

Kraven the Hunter, Electro, Mysterio, the Sandman, the Vulture, and Doctor Octopus


The Flash Rogues!

Captain Boomerang, Weather Wizard, Mirror Master, Heatwave, the Trickster, and Captain Cold!

Despite the fact that it's not entirely accurate to the proceedings, I couldn't resist posting this fantastic image by Scott Kolins.

I think the Sinister Six has an advantage in terms of raw power, but the Rogues could certainly take the title due to their far superior teamwork!

The first match up will be...

Captain Boomerang vs. Kraven the Hunter!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Top 25 Marvel Villains- You decide!

Ok everybody. It's been a while. I've been busy.

Now that that's over with, I want to know what YOU think!

Who are your top ten villains? From your lists, I will aggregate the top 25 villains of the Marvel U. I'm gonna do something with the list, but you'll have to wait to see what happens with that.

Anyway, nobody is off limits. As long as it's mainstream Marvel continuity, it's on the table.

Here's Marvel's directory list of villains, if you need some help!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ask Kang Vol. 2

Today's question comes from Newsarama forums user edogawa.

edogawa: since Time Traveling doesn't actually change the timeline or time stream because all it does is creat an alternate reality, aren't your time traveling gimmick useless now? I mean, you could techinically be a foe of the Exiles.. maybe.and you lost your girlfriend to a robot, how does it feel?

Kang: What is this, DC Comics? Is this Hypertime? Do I look like the Time Trapper to you? Or Booster Gold or something? If you think that I can't make some real shit happen in the timestream, you better get a life right now. I WENT BACK IN TIME AND FELL IN LOVE WITH MS. MARVEL AND IMPREGNATED HER WITH MYSELF AND THEN SHE GAVE BIRTH TO ME AND WE FELL IN LOVE AGAIN! You know how I did it? With time travel. And guess what, doofus. That was in the good 'ol 616 (not my home reality). That's another thing your stupid question (yes, there are stupid questions) doesn't consider about mighty Kang: your precious 616 might even BE my alternate reality timeline duplicate mistake. Sorry to ruin your day.

Also, I could not feel better about that mechano-man taking that jailbait hussy off of my (or at least my younger self's) hands. Have you heard her taste in music? Plus I'm like 50, and my only love is Ravonna. Or Ms. Marvel. Or the Celestial Madonna. Or Stature.

Aww dammit...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Top-Ten Most Enduring Villains

Today is Friday, which means it's time for another top-ten. This time I will explore the ten most prominent and enduring Marvel villains of the silver age.

10. The Mandarin

Here is the difference between Marvel comics in the sixties, and DC comics in the sixties. If this character had debuted at DC, his origin would be that he was a white guy who was hit by a space laser that not only turned him asian but granted him ten completely unrelated and arbitrary powers. Also, his name would probably be Chip Chop Chang, and he'd speak with that awful vaudeville chinese accent.

Instead, we have a much less racist Chinese villain with a cool gimmick that justifies his random collection of abilities and puts him on the same level as Iron Man. The Mandarin makes this list for that reason, but also because he's been a mainstay of Marvel comics for over 40 years, even appearing in a slightly skewed form in the hugely successful Iron Man film. He's part Kung Fu grandmaster, part mad scientist, all super villain.

He also once held the Unicorn as his "body slave." Poor Unicorn.

9. The Kingpin

I'm not gonna spend a lot of time on Kingpin, because this weekend will see part 2 of my article on Daredevil villains, at which point I'll great pretty in depth with fatty, here. Actually, that's not fat. It's muscle. Enough muscle to bench press an engine block or two. Enough muscle to crush a human skull in his bear hands. Enough muscle to harass Spider-Man until you're bored and then change your mind and go after Daredevil. Enough muscle to completely dismantle a superhero's whole life.

Many remember Kingpin as he was portrayed by Michael Clark Duncan in a little film called "Daredevil" that no one liked. I prefer to think of him as he was in "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk," as portrayed by John Rhys Davies, in which he was obsessed with television and rode around in a hovercraft. He had a VHS of some guys kicking Daredevil in the stomach that was going to make millions! MILLIONS!!!

Kingpin makes the list for being Marvel's premier crime boss for its entire modern history, even if his role has somewhat diminished recently.

8. Ultron
There is nothing funny about Ultron. Ultron has been badass for pretty much his whole life, from his humble beginnings as a Dalek to his days as the merciless destroyer of an entire country, Ultron has haunted the Avengers throughout their entire history. The mere mention of his name strikes fear in the hearts of those with hearts, because all he cares for is logic and cold, awful steel. Ultron is man's fear of technology given form.

Even though his most recent exploits consist of boringly trying to conquer space and getting a sex-change, Ultron remains an unstoppable whirlwind of cybernetic death who should be feared. He also once led the Masters of Evil, so if everything else wasn't enough, that proves how awesome he is. He makes this list because no one in the Marvel universe doesn't shit in his spandex at the mention of the name "Ultron."

7. The Red Skull

Who are the classic villains of modern history if not the Nazis? Nobody likes a Nazi except another Nazi, and probably not even then. The Red Skull appeals to the same values that his nemesis Captain America embodies, just on the opposite side of the coin. This is a man who willfully presents himself as the preening visage of death itself. He even troubled Captain America from beyond the grave. I love anything to which the phrase "from beyond the grave" can be applied. He wielded the Cosmic Cube, and his failure to conquer the world even with that unlimited power at his disposal proved what we already knew: that even ultimate power means nothing in the face of determination and an honest sense of justice. The Red Skull is a perfect villain because much like Creed for music lovers, he gives everyone everywhere something to hate

6. Loki
Loki is a classic villain in that he's been a villain for literally thousands of years. Loki inadvertently united the Avengers, thus ensuring that there would always be a whole gang of guys around ready to kick his prancing ass at every opportunity. Though he is often portrayed as effete and fey, Loki can also be quite vicious. He's had numerous children, most of whom are wolves or serpents or rulers of infernal realms of cosmic damnation.

I would also say that more of Marvel's villains have gotten their powers by accidentally hanging out around Loki than by any other method. The lesson we get from this is that if you see a guy who looks like a spokesman for Sprite running around in a pointy hat, stand close to him. Maybe even pick on him. Chances are that he will inadvertently grant you strange and wonderful powers. At the very least you will get a magic crowbar or gigantic hands.

Recently Loki turned himself into a girl, and, unlike when Ultron did it, it is actually badass because he's shown off his Machiavellian side like never before. The dude actually went back in time to his own childhood to engineer the events that led to his Godhood. Hello, time loop!

He still has the pointy hat, though, so if you're trying to find a way to getting beaten up by Thor, standing by his brother/sister here is still a viable option.

5. Galactus
Man, I don't even know where to start with Galactus. Sure, he's got pants now, but when he started out he was just another hundred foot guy in a kilt. I guess, at that size, what did he have to be ashamed of? Who was gonna tell him? Anyway, they say that Galactus appears to everyone who sees him in a familiar form, so humans see him as human, gelatinous cubes see him as a gelatinous cube, etc., but I'm almost positive that that's a convention of more modern thought on this character. I prefer the idea that it's jsut coincidence that when first came to earth, he just happened to have an arabic "G" on his chest.

Supposedly created when Stan Lee posed to Jack Kirby the unfathomable question, "What if the Fantastic Four met God?" Galactus is honestly one of Marvel's most novel concepts. Not truly evil, nor good, Galactus is simply a force of nature with a hunger to be reckoned with. Over the years, the only things that have really deterred him from eating the Earth are a spell by Dr. Strange that forced his awareness of every death for which he had ever been responsible, and the Ultimate Nullifier, a device so powerful that it not only kills its target, but changes history so that the target NEVER EXISTED. I guess I would be fucking afraid of that, too.

4. The Skrulls
Truth be told, I would rather have put Kang on this list than these little weirdos, but they have been so important in the last several years of Marvel comics that they made the jump all the way to number 4 on this list. Not bad for a bunch of little moon men who were once defeated by being hypnotized into thinking they were cows.

3. The Green Goblin
The most prominent villain in the Marvel universe aside from maybe the Skrulls in the last several years is Norman Osborne, who made his rep as the Green Goblin, arch-foe of Spider-Man. The Green Goblin has always been badass, and I am actually enjoying the current storyline in which he has become probably the most powerful man in the world. Although he no longer dresses like an extra from the Labrynth, I will always remember Norman Osborne for his early years as a costumed criminal moreso than his current turn as a Lex Luthor-like figure. I do appreciate, however, the fact that he is responsible for the return of actual supervillains to the Marvel universe after the last several years of hero vs. hero slapfighting.

2. Magneto
Magneto is such a great villain because he is so defensible, if not even relatable. Probably one of Marvel Comics's most recognizable and important villains, Magneto has filled many roles throughout his career, even leading the X-Men for a time.

There's one thing about Magneto that makes him really impressive, though, and that is that he is seriously like 97 years old. The healing power of magnets, ladies and gentlemen. Magneto must be following the Jack Lalanne method to be as ripped as he is at his age. He was a teenager in Auschwitz, and still doesn't look a day over 40 tops. I actually thought that Ian McKellen was an awesome choice to play him in the films for this reason. Not only is Sir Ian an extremely accomplished actor who managed to strongly balance the heart of his pathos alongside his unbridled arrogance, but he actually looked believable as someone that old.

Magneto is awesome even if he is a senior citizen.

1. Doctor Doom
Is this a surprise to anyone? Like, at all? Dr. Doom is the premier badass in all of Marveldom. He is the smartest man alive, the second greatest wizard, and the only guy in modern times who actually has time travel. This man is so badass he scarred up his own face because he couldn't wait to look scary as hell in that metal grill. If you are not at least a little afraid of Dr. Doom, you are stupid. Mr. Fantastic's college roommate built a machine that could summon the spirit of his dead mother when he was still at university. It ran for two minutes and thirty seven seconds before exploding and turning him into the supreme overlord of cool.

No, he does not shoot lightning. No, that is not a humanitarian award on his face. Yes, he will eat a human heart with his bare hands just to impress you.

He tricked the devil himself into releasing the spirit of his dearly departed mother only to turn the whole thing into a bid for power. He scarificed the only person he ever cared about besides himself JUST TO GET A LITTLE BETTER AT MAGIC. On a scale of evil wizards, 1 being Criss Angel and 10 being Venger from the Dungeons and Dragons animated series, Dr. Doom is a 32.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ask Kang Vol. 1

Unfortunately, due to some changes in the schedule of my real job, I didn't get a chance to finish up my Daredevil article today. The good news is that Kang got back to me with the first question for Ask Kang, so here it is.

Our first question comes from Newsarama forums user doc_doom.

doc_doom: Kang, how come once Avengers Disassembled/New Avengers occurred, all of the Avengers top level threats (Yourself, Masters of Evil, Count Nefaria, the Zodiac, Terminus, etc...) have been conveniently not present. This is probably the team at their weakest point. Now would be the opportune time to strike. Instead we get Ninjas, a whiny Sentry, an overrated Hood and weak-sauce Skrulls.Can you answer?

Kang: Good question, doc_doom. It is true that my mortal enemies the Avengers are at what may seem to be their most vulnerable since Gilgamesh (the best-left Forgotten One) was among their ranks, but in truth, there are no less than three Avengers teams running aruond right now, and I am reasonably certain that at least one of them is full of people who will straight kill a man. While I am willing to die to achieve honorable victory over my lessors and let my name live on, I am not willing to be eaten by Venom or at least the cab driver who wears his skin these days. No, as anyone who is not a complete simpleton knows, I prefer my victories to be won hard-fought and honorable. What difficulty is it to great Kang to simply follow the timestream to the day of my enemy's birth and simply destroy him in the womb? None at all, but there is no true victory in this. Plus, there are really like 30 Avengers right now and that is just too much heat for me.

As for my "contemporaries," I think that about 90% of the Masters of Evil who were ever a threat are either Thunderbolts or part of the Hood's gang, and those idiots have been bungling their way through Norman Osborne's laundry list for some time now. This may be a better question for him. Also, what the hell is a Terminus, and the Zodiac are probably making out somewhere. I know Libra was pretty much a jerk all along. He dared challenge mighty Kang... once.

I hope that answers your question. To sum up, I am not weak enough to have to attack my enemies at their lowest point, for that is not truly a victory (also there are actually a whole ton of Avengers these days), and everyone else is playing patsy to that lout Osborne and his delusions of grandeur.

Thanks, Kang!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The A to Z of Villainy!

Today I am beginning a new feature here on "If This Be Doomsday...!" I will be going down the list and spotlighting a villain for each letter of the alphabet.

Naturally, since today is the first day of this feature, I'm going to begin with a character most everyone should be familiar with. This well-known ne'er-do-well began his career as an enemy of the Mighty Thor, but has also prominently squared off with the Incredible Hulk, and was even featured (albeit in a slightly altered form) in Ang Lee's ill-received Hulk film adaptation.

That's right; it's Absorbing Man.

This is Carl "Crusher" Creel. What a bag o' donuts. Like many of Thor's enemies, he was granted his marvelous powers by Thor's dickweed half-brother, Loki. The big difference though is that Loki gave Absorbing Man his powers on purpose. I'm not sure what Crusher here did to deserve such a gift, because usually to get powers from Loki you have to steal his hat, or at least be friends with the guy who did. In any case, while in prison for racketeering (not a surprise) Loki slipped him some magic asgardian herbs, which gave him the ability to adopt the physical properties of any material with which he came into contact.

"Dude... I'm seriously like... like one with this chair. Like we're brothers and the whole universe is connected. I need to become one with some Doritos, next..."

Anyway, maybe Loki just figured that this guy was born for a life of crime and bestowed on him these wonderful gifts which allowed him to escape from prison and never change his pants again. Seriously, I guess those prison scrubs are comfortable. Oh, you know what? Actually his pants look like they change into stone or electricity or whatever along with him, so it's probably best that he just keep those on, because I don't think they sell matter-transmuter Dockers at the Gap, and I honestly fear what the other options might be.

Absorbing Man is actually a really cool villain, though, and his powers are pretty original. Much better than your standard "accidental super-strength" which was typical of many villains of the day. He gave Thor a run for his money a pretty good number of times, too, because all he had to do was absorb the properties of Thor's hammer, and he was pretty much unstoppable. Most fights between Thor and Absorbing Man ended with Thor tricking him into changing into something useless like water or flowers or something. Once, he even tricked him into turning into cancer.

That's right, cancer.

Absorbing Man also once challenged Odin, the Lord of the Norse Gods himself. Odin summarily launched him into space because, hello, Odin. An ex-con with a skin condition is no match for the King of the Gods. After catching a ride back to Earth on a comet (!), he went on to challenge the Hulk a few times, and even tried to flee the country after getting sick of being tricked into turning into glass or cancer or whatever, but he accidentally took a hostage and the Avengers tricked him into merging with the ocean. A while later he married a female villain named Titania and they both joined the Masters of Evil, earning my respect and fearful adoration in the process. Unfortunately he also lost a fight with the Dazzler.

Absorbing Man's last known whereabouts include being turned into cocaine by the Owl and sold off.

And that is really gross.