Daily Archives: August 1, 2013

My 10 Favourite DC Villains

So, Villain’s Month is coming up in September, which will lead into Forever Evil, and that’s got me thinking about who some of my favourite DC villains are. And while I’m on the subject, while the idea of a month-long event followed by a multi-month event dedicated to villains over heroes is VERY strange, I will say that for Villain’s Month at least, several of my favourite villains are getting spotlighted. Now, of course, since Batman and Stephanie Brown are my favourite superheroes, naturally, a ton of their villains would be among my favourites of all time, especially since Batman’s rogues are among the most interesting and tragic of all DC villains. However, I’m gonna try to keep it from being a COMPLETE Bat-fest in here by instead limiting it to two Bat villains that I like the most and then later doing a 10 Favourite Bat Villains list later. So for now, let’s get the list underway, and just so I get them out of the way, here’s the two Bat villains first, starting with…

#1 – Pamela Isley, AKA Poison Ivy

Yeah, you knew she was gonna be on here. To be fair, though, even my girlfriend finds this woman impossible to resist. lol Anyway, Pamela Isley was one a young and ingenious botanist, until her mentor betrayed her and used her in his experiments. Left for dead, her sanity was forever shattered, and she since has been a dangerous eco-terrorist named Poison Ivy. She’s able to animate and manipulate all plant-based lifeforms though a connection to The Green, and is immune to all forms of toxins, bacteria, and fungi. She can also use specialized pheromones to become completely irresistible to helpless victims, and can make them do whatever she wants. By utilizing Kryptonite, even Superman is unable to resist her mind control. Her most dangerous form of attack, however, is her kiss, which she can make lethal. One lip lock, and you can kiss your life goodbye…but hey, I suppose there’re worse ways to go. ^_^

#2 – The Joker

Y’know how I said I was glad to see a lot of my favourite villains getting books dedicated to them in Villain’s Month? The Joker…is not one of them. Now, he IS one of my favourite villains, but I don’t wanna see a book dedicated to his origins because I DON’T WANT TO KNOW HIS ORIGINS! The Joker works better as a character when you don’t know who he is, what he wants, or what he’s going to do to get it. His speeches in The Dark Knight about how he got his scars are basically him making a joke out of how something so simple could drive him to do the things he does. Telling his origins kind of ruins the character.

…Anyway, getting back to the character, Joker is generally is armed with a lethal laughing gas called Joker venom, which he himself is immune to. He also wields nitroglycerin cigars, cyanide pies, bladed playing cards, BANG!flag harpoon guns, and even joy buzzers that shoot lethal amounts of electricity through a person. That said, he sometimes prefers to stick to simpler weapons, particularly knives he keeps hidden up his sleeves. The Joker is also a master manipulator and chess master, and he is capable of doing ANYTHING to achieve his goals. He even allowed his own face to be cut off as a way of sending a message to Batman. What’s bizarre, though, is that for a seemingly crazy person, his plans are usually so well thought out that even Batman has trouble keeping up at times, thus leaving it up to the reader to decide if the Joker is really an insane lunatic, or if he’s simply a parody of an insane lunatic.

#3 – Lex Luthor

Okay, this could technically be considered cheating, since Lex Luthor has fought Batman a number of times. However, while he’s not the original Superman villain, he has established himself as his arch-nemesis over the years. And it’s not hard to tell why: Superman, who is not human, yet represents the best of us, would naturally find himself at odds with a man like Lex Luthor, who IS human, yet represents the WORST of us, at least from a moral and ethical standpoint. Otherwise, he’s at the peak of human physical conditioning, and is the most brilliant human being in the world. In fact, one could say that aside from being morally bankrupt, he really only has a single weakness. The only problem is that it’s so glaringly obvious that it has cost him dearly on several occasions. This weakness: His obsession with Superman. He is bound and determined to prove himself Superman’s superior, even to the point where he believes himself to be good and Superman to be Earth’s greatest evil. It has cost him his freedom, his billions of dollars, even his once-held presidency over the United States. Yet, like any good villain, Luthor continues to come back as a more dangerous threat to his enemies every single time. Though nothing could compare to the greatest crime he’s ever committed… … …those forty cakes he stole. I mean, that’s as many as four tens. And that’s TERRIBLE.

#4 – Sinestro

It’s always bad when you’re a superhero and the man who oversaw your training turns to evil. Case in point: Sinestro. One of the most powerful Lanterns in the universe, Sinestro was the mentor to many Green Lanterns, the last of which being Hal Jordan. However, Sinestro eventually turned to evil, and with that turn, he became one of the most terrible forces of evil in the universe. Now wielding a Yellow Power Ring to counter the Green Power Ring, he’s committed many crimes, not the least of which being that he manipulated events to result in Hal’s own fall to darkness. While he recently had a chance for redemption, he threw it away in a last-ditch effort to stop the First Lantern, merging with Parallax to gain even more power. He then took the Sinestro Corps. far away, out of the reach of the Green Lantern Corps, but if he should ever return, it could spell a whole new crisis.

#5 – Darkseid

Y’know, while Darkseid’s motivations can at times be a bit more simple than I like in a villain, Goddamn it if I don’t like to see him show up sometimes. He is one of the New Gods, but unlike the peaceful New Gods living on New Genesis, Darkseid rules over the Hell-like world of Apokolips with an iron grip. He seeks the Anti-Life Equation, a mathematical formula that can apparently prove the futility of life and bend anyone to his will, and has crushed whole planets across this and other universes to find it. In the New 52, however, he has added motivation for his rampage across the stars: He has a daughter who has disappeared, and he will destroy all that gets in his way of finding her, seemingly unaware that she’s actually being held by A.R.G.U.S. on Earth. He has raw power rivaling that of Superman, and possesses a genius-level intellect, but most dangerous of all in his arsenal is the Omega Effect. The Omega Effect allows him to pass effortlessly through time and space, and fire Omega Beams out his eyes that bend and warp to hit their determined target, either teleporting or destroying whatever they hit. His only vulnerability is a toxic substance called Radion, which ultimately led to his demise when Batman broke his no-guns vow in order to shoot Darkseid with a Radion bullet. Normally not something I’m okay with at all, but since he saved the universe, I’ll let it slide…this time. lol

#6 – Cheetah

I don’t care what anyone says, I like what the New 52 did with Cheetah. Suddenly, this solo villain of Wonder Woman‘s has become a force to be reckoned with among the entire Justice League. Her speed, durability, strength, and senses are beyond most mortal men, and her claws and fangs are enchanted, meaning she can wound even Superman. But above all that, what made her so hard to bring down was that she was SMART with her abilities, hitting Batman first, then cutting Flash at the legs, and then infecting Superman with her curse. Of course, she’s not invincible, as Wonder Woman was able to exploit her far more vulnerable state in the water by throwing her into the lake where Aquaman could finally take her down, but just the fact that it took so much to finally stop her pretty much cements her presence as one of their most dangerous foes.

#7 – Prankster

Giving Prankster a MASSIVE revamping and then making him a Nightwing villain was actually an excellent choice in my opinion. Dick Grayson, who has just left Gotham City for Chicago, needed a major intellectual villain to prove his mettle against in this new setting. In much the same way that Joker or Riddler tests Batman on a psychological level, Prankster has been doing the same since his initial appearance in Nightwing. Sick and demented, he gets his name from pulling horribly sadistic pranks on his foes, oftentimes testing their desire to live and what they’ll do to do so. He’s also a master hacker, even able to hack the systems in Nightwing’s suit. However, his overall confidence in himself and his traps may be his ultimate downfall, as anyone with the skill to overcome them will find Prankster dumbfounded and vulnerable.

#8 – John Corben, AKA Metallo

A villain so powerful that even the World’s Finest, Superman and Batman, can find themselves struggling to take him on as a team. And with good reason: Metallo’s sheer power, surprising agility for his size, and the ability to morph his metal body can make him an easy match for Batman, and his Kryptonite heart is one of Superman’s greatest weaknesses, powering the Man of Tomorrow down to the point where he can take him. His only real weakness is that his Kryptonite heart not only powers his body, but it keeps him alive. If it’s removed, he’ll die. Otherwise, the only other way to beat him is to just power through with enough sheer force that even he can’t counter. It’s not easy, but Superman HAS done it before with enough willpower.

How do you stop a man who cannot die and has endless years to hone his skills, train his body, and craft his plans for the world? That’s the problem that heroes (and on some occasions, other villains) face when they find themselves confronted by Vandal Savage. Now, as I understand it, the majority of his appearances in the New 52 have been in Demon Knights, where he’s actually a somewhat heroic barbarian. However, seeing as how he’s led many lives throughout his immortal existence, it wouldn’t surprise me if he turned to good for a short time before becoming a villain again at some point. He does have one weakness, however, that I only recently found out about and am kinda surprised wasn’t brought up in Hereafter: When Savage was made immortal, he had already contracted cancer. Now, the cancer won’t kill him, but it will cause him irregular intervals of pain, and there’s no way to remove the cancerous cells from his body. As such, he’s cursed with an immortal body that will NEVER completely stop screaming in pain…which probably goes a ways to explain the whole evil thing, and is kinda disturbing to think about…o.O

#10 – The Anti-Monitor

This is THE villain of the DC Universe, at least as far as the DC Universe as it was before Crisis on Infinite Earths. This was THE foe that destroyed entire universes, leaving death everywhere he went, and I daresay that no single villain, be it Darkseid, Superboy Prime, Brainiac, the First Lantern, or Trigon, has possessed the sheer destructive power that the Anti-Monitor possesses. He can also fire antimatter waves that can utterly destroy matter itself, something that shouldn’t normally be possible. He could also absorb whole universes into his being, but in his appearances since his rebirth, he has yet to use this power. Ultimately, he only has a single exploitable weakness: His overconfidence. He was so sure that he couldn’t be stopped that he was caught off-guard by Supergirl, who damaged him so badly that by the time he finally hit her with a lucky shot powerful enough to kill her, he was forced to retreat. It happened again when he was ultimately defeated by, oddly enough, some assistance by Darkseid, finally reaching his end when Earth-Two Superman shattered him into mere molecules of disjointed energy. While he has been brought back since, it would seem his once near-unstoppable power is at a small fraction of what it once was.

And that’s it for my 10 Favourite Villains of the DC Universe. Check in next time as I instead focus solely on Batman’s rogues gallery and list my 10 Favourite Batman Villains. Ja né!

Tales of Dumbassery – Hey, Man of Steel! It’s Miller Time!

…Well, this isn’t gonna be pretty, folks. Because not only is this Tales of Dumbassery, but………It’s Miller Time.

PUT THE ALCOHOL DOWN, that’s not what I mean. For those that don’t know, Miller Time is a segment on Atop The Fourth Wall, wherein Linkara looks at the ever-increasing insanity of Frank Miller, who has pretty much become a hack in every single meaning of the word these days. So why am I talking about him today? Well, Superman fans should get ready for this story to break their hearts…

Snyder and Miller to Talk About “Man of Steel” Sequel

“When Zack Snyder announced at Comic-Con that Batman would be included in the sequel to ‘Man of Steel’, he had many Superman fans worried when he had actor Harry Lennix read a quote from Frank Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Returns‘ graphic novel. While Snyder did say they weren’t adapting Miller’s story, the Independant received word that Zack Snyder is planning to meet up with Frank Miller to discuss the new movie.” And real quick, before anyone attempts to blame Snyder for this, because that was my own knee-jerk reaction, “A Superman Homepage source managed to speak to Zack Snyder yesterday, and put to him the concerns of some Superman fans, with Snyder remarking, ‘It’s too early for me to discuss the film. However, regardless of how I feel about Superman, ultimately I have to go along with the direction that Warner Bros. thinks is best’.”

…Yep. THIS is basically what you can expect, people. Batman vs Superman, for no real reason other than to get them into a fight.

…Y’know, I had so many high hopes for this franchise. Even after Man of Steel was being described as edgy, I kept hope that they knew what they were doing. We were gonna have a couple of awesome Superman movies, maybe one or two for heroes like Batman, The Flash, and Wonder Woman, and then a Justice League of America movie to tie it all together and get these heroes together in a story that would rival the success of The Avengers’ film. And heck, despite some flaws with Man of Steel, I can say that overall, I really enjoyed it…And now, THIS has happened.

Now, lemme clarify something right now: Way back before Frank Miller apparently got infected by a brain parasite that killed all good sense in his mind, he could tell an amazing Batman story. He did so with Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and he did it again with Batman: Year One. But, even back then, and this is crucial people, while DKR gave massive new life to Batman, it did equal amounts of damage to Superman. And THIS is the guy you wanna get input from for the Man of Steel sequel?! REALLY?!

This is and has always been Superman in the eyes of Frank Miller: A strong-man puppet of the government.

Then again, maybe I’m the wrong person to judge this decision, since I don’t even get why this is a VS movie to begin with. Shouldn’t the next logical step have been a Man of Steel movie involving Lex Luthor or Brainiac or Metallo? Why involve Batman at all? Look, I get that he’s been DC’s meal ticket for a LONG time now, but the Man of Steel series was supposed to be about Superman. Do you really have that little faith in the world’s first superhero that you had to bring Batman into it? And heck, if they REALLY felt the need to involve Batman, as this was likely their knee-jerk reaction to mixed reviews of Man of Steel, why have them be adversaries? Why not do something like the Superman The Animated Series‘s three-parter, World’s Finest, where they would start off unsure of each other, but quickly wind up teaming up to battle a super-villain duo? And between the two of them, I think they could find two of their rogues to form a pretty lethal team that they’d NEED to take on together.

But you wanna know what I’ve always found funny about the fight between Superman and Batman in DKR? Even though it’s specifically set up in such a way that Batman can emerge victorious over Superman, it pretty much spells out why Superman would beat Batman at least 9 times out of 10. Think about it: Batman had a ton of prep time to Superman’s zero, Batman used gadgets and trickery while Superman just used pure power instead of playing it smart, Batman had back-up in the form of Carrie Kelley and Green Arrow, Superman only lost because he inhaled Kryptonite from one of Ollie’s arrows, and to be perfectly blunt, Clark didn’t even want the fight in the first place. That’s why I generally give it a pass when most won’t. The problem is that, again, Frank wrote that when he was still sane, rational, and had a basic understanding of how certain characters worked. He doesn’t even understand how Batman works now, what makes you think he can help at all with Superman?

…Btw, if they’re REALLY gonna do this, I DO kinda hope Carrie Kelley is in the movie. lol

Anyway, I think I’ve gone on about this enough. Leave your comments below, or vote as to whether you think getting Frank Miller’s input is a good call or not. Ja né!