Category Archives: Lesser is still great
This is how I met the Black Panther, 1973-1974, age nine and ten, with “Panther’s Rage” in Jungle Action #6-19. Read the rest of this entry
It took a lot of working out the context in my mind, but I’m finally ready to look at a very interesting species of comics villain.
Cast your mind back to 1987, before Gulf War I. Here are the first two issues of Suicide Squad, which absolutely needed a villainous antagonist evil enough to justify the dark-and-edgy premise of the U.S. government using supervillain felons for black ops. Need darker-and-edgier to fight! Read the rest of this entry
This is Monica Martinez – Texas Mexican-American, ex-U.S. Marine, neither better nor worse than you or I under most circumstances, and mightily pissed off. She’s also Topaz – a supervillain who robs banks. Read the rest of this entry
Because I’m writing villain protagonists, I’ve put some re-reading and extra thought into the few we’ve got already. Read the rest of this entry
I can imagine the senior editor logic easily, upon seeing the mid-late 80s Suicide Squad pitch: “hey, the fans evidently want raw meat, Marvel’s massacring mutants, we have all these useless and unmarketable villains lying around, might as well blow’em up, one by one, or two by two if the plot needs it.” Oooh, awesome, here’s a fictional context for using them as cannon fodder so we can enter the “we’re gritty too” body count competition.
RON CAN’T STOP WON’T STOP
In the 90s, you were able to do good stuff only when no one was looking. And for “good stuff,” you can’t do much better than Batman: The Animated Series, 1992-1994. Read the rest of this entry
Which is to say, The Astounding Antagonists, by Rafael Chandler, a prose novel published last year (2014). It’s nestled right there with my big beating heart because it’s a completely non-ironic superhero genre book told almost completely from the villains’ point of view.
Dr. Strange, the Hulk, Namor, and the Silver Surfer? Someone had some balls to propose a super-group with these characters; if they could ever find a common sphere of activity and a collective identity, that’d be the end of super-heroing and super-villaining for anyone else. But that line-up didn’t last past its own set-up, and settled instead into Strange, Valkyrie, and Nighthawk in a sort-of recap of the early Thomas Avengers, with the Hulk showing up frequently.