Thursday, January 31, 2013

Villains, Unite!

I think it's time for assessment of the status of some of the major rogues galleries in the DCU.

Superman.   They've been doing a good job with the villains we have seen: Luthor, Brainiac, the unsubtly named H'El, and even Metallo and Mxyzptlk (whenever Morrison's done whatever nonsense he's using him for). But I don't think we've heard word one about classic foes like the Kryptonite Man, Zod, The Toyman, The Prankster, Terra-man. I'm not surprised none of them have gotten a story, but I currently can't even tell whether they exist in any way in the new DCU.  As I've mentioned before, Superman's never been as reliant on villains to fill his dance card as some other heroes, but I'm afraid the DC is just going to abandoned some of these characters as unworthy relics from another time.

Batman.  Heh. No problems here.  As usual, Batman is falling over himself with both classic villains and new ones every day; it's enough to make even Dick Tracy jealous.

Flash.  The Twin City Rogues seem to be in great hands with Manapul.  Thanks to him, DC finally bit the bullet on "power internalization" that the Rogues have needed for years to be serious threats to the Flash.  A fresh new 'spin' has been put on 'the Top' in the person of Turbine,  the golden Glider's got a new less on the afterlife, and a new version of the Reverse Flash is on the horizon.  Plus the team isn't shying away from additions like 'Mob Rule'.

Aquaman.  Well, Black Manta and Ocean Master have certainly been repositioned forcefully on the sea-board.  I hope that Johns has plans for the likes of the Fisherman, because Aquaman doesn't have too many re-doable villains. I mean, it's not like Fire-haired Karla, the Invisible Un-thing, or the Awesome Threesome are likely to be put back into play.  Considering that piracy is a very real-world concern nowadays, I'd enjoying seeing him bring a truly piratical foe into the mix again: Black Jack, Captain Squid, heck, even the laughable Wind Pirate.  Which reminds me... who's up for OGRE?  I'm up for OGRE.

Wonder Woman.  I love what's currently being done with Wonder Woman, which is taking full advantage of her mythological origins, without being pedantic or being tied exclusively to characters invented 3000 years ago.  But mythology's gain is Villainy Inc.'s loss.  WW never had the most stellar line-up of foes, but she did have a lot of female foes (e.g., the Blue Snowman, Dr. Poison, Dr. Cyber, Clea, Giganta, the Silver Swan), which we could certainly use in the new DCU.  I believe that these characters have as much potential as Flash Rogues (more, actually).

Martian Manhunter.  *snicker*  C'mon, DC; give us back the Human Flame.  And, for that matter, the Human Squirrel (which is less ridiculous than the anthropomorphized squirrel in the GL books).

Cyborg (a.k.a. The New Martian Manhunter).  ...?...

I'd love to see OGRE make a comeback! But they need to change the name of the group. "Organization for General Revenge and Enslavement" seems a little too unsubtle for today's tastes.

Since you brought it up....howza bout an OGRE Week? You could even a have a renaming contest! (Same acronym, different words.)
That's an interesting idea. I bet most younger readers don't know about the "James Bond phase" that both Aquaman and Martian Manhunter went through.
Giganta's been shown to exist via an appearance in one of the Rotworld books.
Oh, that's good to know. Whatever she is, LOL.
You know, now that you mention it, I'm sort of sorry that Wonder Woman isn't taking on supervillains. Which is not to say I want the current story to end any time soon; this is Wonder Woman in top form. And recasting her as one of Zeus's bastard offspring gives her a supporting cast / family that actually works. It even positions her, unexpectedly, as the one relative who knows how to keep the peace on Thanksgiving.

But that said, I like Wonder Woman keeping one foot in the realm of superherodom.

I really like the piracy thing for Aquaman. Heaven knows he could use another plot besides Atlantean intrigue, or, worse yet, war with Atlantis.

Wonder Woman is definitely firing on all cylinders. Taking the Percy Jackson route was clever. Hey, now that I think about it, maybe I should have my kid read some of them. She likes Wonder Woman and Percy Jackson. I would like to see Drs. Poison and Cyber, though. And Giganta is a favorite.
Wait...are you saying that J'onn didn't have memorable villains?

I am...dumbfounded!
"Memorable" isn't the same as "good", Sally. Although memorable they certainly were.
The Kryptonite Man (granted, a new one, but same concept) showed up in the Action Comics Annual a while back.

And Animal Man and Swamp Thing have been a treasure trove of villains later. Mutated, Rot-possessed villains, but it's nice to know they're out there!

Cyborg is the only member of the League who doesn't have his own title, or really any semblance of a life outside the League. Which is good, I guess, since his main function with the League seems to be serving as the housekeeper for the satellite HQ, taking care of the League's tech, running the Boom Tubes, and so on.

In other words, Cyborg is the League's house boy. And I'm not trying to offend anyone by saying this, but DC's current treatment of Cyborg kind of offends me.

I thought it was interesting that Hawkman's portrayal in this week's Justice League was the best so far in the New 52, better than all 16 issues of his own title. Geoff Johns had, and has, a handle on Hawkman that is sorely missed here.

And how about some League villains? We've seen Darkseid, and Felix Faust over in JLA Dark, but where are Despero, Doctor Destiny, and the Crime Syndicate?
>>> I bet most younger readers don't know about the "James Bond phase" that both Aquaman and Martian Manhunter went through

Also Blackhawk...
I'm up for the return of OGRE only if CAW is brought back.
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