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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!

Jyger’s Rant – Justice League: Hereafter

…I cannot believe how long it has taken me to getting around to doing this, especially since this is a requested review from one of my closest friends, but here we go: As pretty much everyone who reads my blog knows, I love me some superheroes. Be it comic books, movies, tv shows, I love a good story that involves superheroes, and one of my favourites is the Justice League animated series. They just seemed to tell the stories of these heroes and their supporting casts a lot better than most any other series involving multiple heroes in a team. And it was a very diverse team, with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash (Wally West, THANK GOD), Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter, and Green Lantern (John Stewart). There are tons of great episodes to pick a favourite from, but in the case of PinkRangerWannabe, hers is the two-parter known as Hereafter.

So, as is my custom nowadays, let’s go through the actual plot first before making additional notes and whatnot. Part 1 opens with the forming of the Superman Revenge Squad, which consists of Metallo, Weather Wizard, Livewire, Toyman, and Kalibak. They decide to stage an attack on Metropolis to draw out Superman, but they bite off more than they can chew when the entire Justice League shows up. They do manage to hold their own well against the JLU, though, but are ultimately taken down one by one until only Toyman remains, piloting a giant robot with a cannon that seems to be utterly disintegrating anything it hits. Of course, it’s not like he could actually hit Superman with that…until he aims it at Wonder Woman and Batman, who are unable to get out of the way. With no other choice, Superman flies in its path, taking the hit and vanishing. Well, Diana kinda goes apeshit on Toyman, bringing down his robot and almost killing him before Flash can stop her, reasoning that Superman wouldn’t want revenge, to which she tearfully agrees to.

As can be expected, the world is left in a state of shock and grief: Superman, their greatest and most noble hero, is dead. Even Lex Luthor claims that he’ll miss him. The only one who refuses to take part in the funeral is Batman, who is in a state of denial since matter simply can’t disappear without a trace, though he does watch from the shadows, unseen by all except Wonder Woman. Later, at Superman’s wake in the Watchtower, the rest of the League (minus Batman) trade happy stories about the Man of Tomorrow, before they eventually realise that they should probably consider increasing their numbers with Superman’s death. Of all people who could possibly show up to interrupt, Lobo arrives on the Watchtower to cause havoc, crashing through the windows like Macho Man demanding kids snap into a Slim Jim…which is technically alright, since he only told Superman he’d leave Earth alone, and they’re well above orbit. lol Anyway, he insists that the League needs the Main Man, but they refuse, and a fight breaks out. The JLU eventually corner him, but they have bigger problems when they learn that Batman is in trouble.

Down on Earth, it seems that the Superman Revenge Squad have broken out of prison with a number of the JLU’s rogues gallery, going on a massive attack in celebration of their biggest adversary’s death. When Batman is clearly not enough to deal with them all, the League are forced to bring Lobo down with them (because they don’t trust him alone on the Watchtower) to deal with the situation. To his credit, Lobo does manage to stop Kalibak in a pretty badass fashion, albeit while doing far more property damage than necessary. Lobo insists that the League is far better off with him than they were with Superman, but unbeknownst to them, in a distant place lit by a red sun, Superman lives! (Yes, I went there. 😛 )

Part 2 opens with Superman getting to his feet and trying to contact the Justice League, but he can’t get through to them. What’s worse is that the red sun has robbed him of his powers, and while he can seem to pick up a JLU beacon, it’s clearly far off. Luckily, plenty of food and supplies got caught in Toyman’s blasts, as well as…

So Superman drives the car as far as he can, trying his best to avoid a group of wolf-like creatures along the way, but eventually he runs out of the gas he siphoned from the other cars and is attacked again. However, after the last attack, he went blacksmith and made a sword for himself. So he kills the pack leader, uses his fur to make new clothes for himself, and the rest of the wolves are made into sled-dogs for a sled he fashions out of the hood of the car…What?! They attacked him first! Besides, as he goes along, he makes sure to keep them well fed, and when he gets to where he’s going, they actually seem kinda sad to leave him.

Anyway, Superman arrives at his destination, but finds that what he’s been tracking isn’t just a beacon: It’s the Watchtower, crashed in the middle of a jungle filled with giant cockroaches. What’s more, he finds there’s no record of what happened to the rest of the League, only to be told they died thousands of years ago by the only human on the planet: the immortal Vandal Savage. Yep, it’s a post apocalyptic future!…And Superman has a beard…and yet, he’s not Bearded Idiot…WHY IS THIS SO HARD FOR COMIC BOOKS TO GET RIGHT?!

Anyway, Vandal Savage very calmly lets Superman know exactly what happened: He killed the entire Justice League with a gravity machine and then accidentally disrupted the gravitational balance of the solar system, thus killing every human being on Earth. Superman now is in a post-apocalyptic world 30,000 years in the future, the red sun is keeping him weak, and the only company he has on the world are the creatures that have evolved on it and Vandal Savage, humanity’s murderer. However, it seems that doing so came as a VERY heavy blow to Savage, who now understands how meaningless his pursuit of power was, although he admits he should’ve learned it FAR longer ago. His guilt over destroying humanity is eating him alive, too. He HAD built a ship to find and colonize other worlds, but decided he deserved to be punished and left alone. He constantly gathers what self-help books he can find in the ruins of cities to deal with his issues. He even built a time machine to go back and stop himself, but he can’t use it since he can’t travel to any point he already exists in…although, Superman ISN’T there, meaning they have a chance to undo all this.

Unfortunately, the only power source in the world that can open a stable time hole isn’t currently in Savage’s ownership: It’s an energy generator that, for all intents and purposes, is basically a miniature sun. Unfortunately, the roaches stole it and built a colony around it. He can build another one, but it’ll take fifty years, and without his enhanced physiology granted by a yellow sun, there’s no guarantee Superman will be in any position to stop him in the past at that age, so they have to try to get the generator back. They make it to the central chamber of the colony, but Superman falls into the pit where the generator is held. However, since the generator gives off energy exactly like a yellow sun, his powers are restored just enough to fly out and take down the roaches. Savage gets everything ready, and tells Superman that, to complete his gravity machine, he’s going to steal a piece of dwarf-star matter from a scientist named Ray Palmer, who we know as The Atom. The JLU HAS to stop him, by any means necessary. Superman understands and leaves through the time hole, Savage ensuring him that, if he’s lucky, this will mean redemption for him.

It turns out Superman actually arrives back in the past just at the right time, as Deadshot fires a rocket at Batman right after the battle at the end of Part 1. Superman manages to save the Dark Knight, who in turn takes down Deadshot. Everyone is happy to see Superman alive, and Superman promptly fires Lobo and tells to go frak himself. He then tells the rest of the League they have work to do and fly off, the story coming to a close back in the future as Vandal Savage sees humanity starting to fade back into existence as he fades away…though I’m pretty sure he’s not dead, since he’s kinda/sorta immortal, so that DOES leave me kinda curious how the Justice League stopped him.

So, my final thoughts? This two-parter is definitely a must-watch for anyone who loves these characters…BUT, I do need to critique it in places. There’s a couple of animation inconsistencies, like where an ATM reads MTA instead, which are admittedly small and don’t really detract at all. The only problem I have with Part 1, and if you’ve been to the DCAU Wiki then you probably already know this, the episode raises more than a couple of questions regarding knowledge of Superman’s secret identity. His parents are near the front row, and nobody questions why? Clark Kent is missing from the biggest story IN THE WORLD, and no one notices? If Lois Lane still could not piece together that Clark Kent was Superman by this point, there’s something SERIOUSLY wrong there. As for Part 2, the pacing at certain points feels kinda off. It just feels like there wasn’t enough time devoted to Superman and Vandal Savage going on the operation to find the generator. Also, how DID the Justice League stop Vandal Savage? I mean, we could assume he was locked away, but we never get an answer. Hell, Vandal Savage never shows up again in the entire DCAU.

But, with all that in mind, this is still a good story. And considering that the second episode was a post-apocalyptic Superman story, it could’ve been a lot worse.

………A LOT worse. I’m Jyger85, and this has been Jyger’s Rant. Ja né!