The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Marvel Supervillains (Part I)

Dr. Doom

Doctor Doom is perhaps the greatest evil overlord of all comicdom. First off, he has a mask, armor, and a cape, and he had it before Vader made it de rigeur. Secondly, he has his own country--Latveria--that seems to be eternally stuck in the late middle ages thanks to Doom's evil, oppressive, and largely unspecified fiscal policies. Thirdly, he refers to himself as "Doom." Most people can't get away with referring to themselves in the third person, but most people aren't named "Doom." Finally, he has an actual doctorate. That shows he's well-rounded. A+


Stan Lee thinks big. He came up with Galactus, a massive purple guy who eats entire planets. That's menacing! To get any more epic in scope, you'd have to have Andromedax, The Galaxy Who Shoots Other Galaxies With A Big, Galaxy-Sized Bazooka. Even better, Galactus isn't some sort of hand-chafing nefarious schemer. He's just very large, very hungry, and loves the great taste of ecospheres. A+

The Green Goblin

The thing about Spider-Man is that his enemies can't just be sociopaths who like pretty things. Some are, sure, but an astonishing number of them are his best friend from high school, or his girlfriend's father, or the cat he raised from a kitten. Something angsty. So there's the Green Goblin, who's not really that inspiring as a villain. I mean, pumpkin bombs? But in his various incarnations the Green Goblin has been practically everyone on Peter Parker's speed dial. That's a little more interesting. I guess. C-

The Red Skull

The Red Skull is a deformed Nazi. Gosh, the Nazis made good villains. They're just nasty unpleasant people with guns, and there's no uncomfortable racist overtones to hating them. Nobody seriously talks about wiping all aryans from the planet. Who would do all the parasailing? However, the Nazis don't really have much influence these days outside of inspiring panicky newspaper articles about how some fifteen-year-old prick in Nebraska has a "Whites R Grate!" Web page, so the Red Skull doesn't get as much play as he used to. Maybe he could take up telemarketing. C

The Leader

He's a green guy with a big brain. He's the Hulk's arch-enemy. Kind of obvious, really. Hero: Big green dumb strong guy. Villain: Small green smart weak guy. It's not really dripping with creativity, and the moral ends up being "clever planning and logic can never win against the sheer physical brutality of a guy who barely even knows where he is." This is not a moral that your average comic book reader wants to hear. D+


He's a supervillain AND an allegory! I've never really understood the whole anti-mutant sentiment in the Marvel Universe. People are cool with people shooting power blasts as long as it came from a radiation accident or a vitamin supplement, but not if it's genetic? I guess that's the moral point: prejudice knows no logic, but it's really handy for moving plot lines along. Anyhow, Magneto always struck me as uncomfortably Doomlike, with his helmet and plans for world conquest. He may even have his own country now. I'm not sure, I stopped reading X-Men about the same time they started putting Wolverine on the cover of comics in which he didn't actually, technically, appear. C+

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