Continuing my wiseass commentary in conjunction with Calamity Jon’s OHOTMU Redux project, which you should be following like it was your dad and you wanted to buy a Slurpee:

SUPREME INTELLIGENCE. The Kree were just as crazy-mad for adding superlatives to everything as were their enemies the Skrull. The leader of the Kree was a blobby floating green head known as the Supreme Intelligence, but that wasn’t enough for these hyperbole-happy extraterrerstrials: he was also known as the Supreme Organism, or Supremor. A lot of people wouldn’t let themselves be governed by a gigantic video image of an inorganic computer construct made up of the mashed-together brains of former leaders, but you have to make sacrifices if you want to become a galactic empire.

TERRAX THE TAMER. A moderately compelling herald of Galactus (“moderately compelling”, here, means that he wasn’t a pitiful mope like the Silver Surfer or a nonentity like Firelord), Terrax was more interesting in that he crossed paths with Dr. Doom, thus giving ol’ Vic a chance to prove why he’s the Babe Ruth of supervillains. What happened was, the good doctor gave Terrax these insanely amped-up powers (over and above his inherent powers and Galactus’ cosmic power) and then aimed him straight at the Fantastic Four. The devious twist is, he gave him so much power that he was programmed to self-destruct, thus ensuring that after the FF Was beaten, Dr. Doom wouldn’t have anyone laying aound more powerful than himself. It didn’t work, of course, but that’s the kind of truly twisted villainy that separates the men from the boys — or, I guess, the Dr. Dooms from the Frog-Mans.

THE THING. You know what I like about the Thing? The Hulk called him Rock Face. Rock Face!

THOR. Thor is the only superhero I can think of who is shared by half a dozen comic book companies, which will happen if you’re in the public domain. I’m sure you all remember that period in the late 1980s when It’s-a-Wonderful-Life-Man fought crime for Marvel, DC, First, Eclipse, Image and Jerry’s Backdoor Medical Comics. Anyway, Thor (at least the Marvel incarnation) was a pretty cool character, so there’s really not too much to make fun of, other than the fact that he had, like, eighteen secret identities — Donald Blake, Jake Olsen, Sigmund, Sigfried, Sigurd Jarlson, Terry Bradshaw — until finally realizing “Hey, I’m a god. Fuck this shit.” (Note: possibly not his exact words.)

TIGRA. I am deeply ashamed to say that hubba, hubba.

UNICORN. I’ve never been entirely sure about why some people would choose to take on a particular super-persona. With the case of this guy, maybe it’s because he was a foreigner, and had problems with the language or the culture. Or maybe he was so low-ranking on the super villain totem pole that he didn’t carry any clout in the decision-making process. But somewhere along the line, did it never occur to him to put his laser-beam gun in, say, his glove, where it would be easier to aim than on top of his head? And even if he was forced to use a coconut-mounted blaster, why would he name himself — or allow himself to be named — after a mythical animal known less for its association with fierceness and evil than for its association with posters in the bedrooms, and stickers on the Trapper Keepers, of teenage girls?

UNLIMITED CLASS WRESTLING FEDERATION. Have you ever wondered what Vince McMahon’s WWE would look like if all the wrestlers gave themselves retarded superhero names and dressed in stupid costumes? Okay, not that different, admittedly. But what if you pumped them full of weird chemicals to increase their strength, endurance and resistance to injury? All right, still pretty much the same. But what if you hired some untalented hacks to write crummy dialogue for them? I forget what point I was trying to make here.

VIPER. Aw, yeah! The originoo Bloody Mama of the Marvel Universe, Viper (alias Madame Hydra) was strutting around going all nutball Aileen Wournos on people long before trendy flavas-of-the-month like Typhoid Mary drank their first pint of bile. She was so psychotic that it’s pretty easy to believe that when she was around, even MODOK was on the Mental Organism Designed Only for Backing Out of the Room Quietly tip.

WARLOCK. Some people like this incomprehensible “techno-organic” thingamajig because he was really powerful and had a wacky space-opera origin and was drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz. But sadly, these people are wrong. Why are they wrong? Because Warlock was inextricably linked with Doug fucking Ramsey (they even merged for a time and were called “Douglock”, for Christ’s sake), and being linked with Doug Ramsey is like being linked with Hitler: no matter what positive qualities you might otherwise possess, you will be forever tainted by the association. Warlock is the Leni Riefenstahl of the New Mutants.

WHIZZER. Hey, if your superhero name is going to evoke images of urination, you might as well go all-out and give yourself a yellow costume, right?

WOLVERINE. All right, I couldn’t think of anything particularly funny or interesting to say about him, other than the fact that he’s short, he has terrible taste in clothing and hairstyles, and once he became the most popular hero in the history of funnybooks, the writers sort of went apeshit and gave him a waaaaaay too convoluted backstory instead of keeping him enigmatic. It’s not the character’s fault that he eventually became a cartoon (well, even for a cartoon, I mean), or that he inspired a million shitty imitators and helped kicked off the lamentable ‘grim, murderous anti-hero’ trend of the late ’80s and early ’90s. But really, when you look at it objectively (and how often do you hear someone say ‘look at it objectively’ about an imaginary mutant super-guy with a metal skeleton? That’s added value, folks), you could have seen it coming. The only reason a generation of comic fans embraced Wolvie so warmly, despite the obvious fact that he’s a complete ass and that no one in their right mind would want him to be part of their team, is because they were so used to bland, big-chinned, whitebread nonentities like Cyclops that they were ready to bend over for the first character that had a personality, even if it was a really obnoxious one. Wolverine was (and, sometimes, still is) a fascinating character, and you can’t really hold it against him that he was the catalyst for one of the most depressingly awful periods in comic book history. Still, that Kitty Pryde & Wolverine mini-series sucked moth shit, right?

WONDER MAN. Wonder Man (whose early years were chronicled in a classic Tenacious D song) was notable mainly for having a particularly incomprehensible origin and a particularly ludicrous name. Despite of, or perhaps because of, these handicaps, he got to pal around with the Avengers. What was his super-power? Well, I’ll let Peter Sanderson explain in the direct, simple, easy-to-understand prose the series was famous for: he was a guy whose body “fully metamorphosed into an unspecified superhuman flesh-like substance nourished by ionic energy.” You know, one of those guys.

WRECKER. This guy (whose purple costume and slack-jawed, moronic appearance seem to guarantee that he has said the word “daar” at least a hundred times in his life) was just a violent moron with a predilection to yell a lot and smash things with a crowbar, until he robbed a hotel room where, by a total coincidence, Loki, the Norse god of evil and Thor’s arch-enemy, was staying. He happened to absorb some powers that were meant for the trickster, thus becoming a violent moron with a predilection to yell a lot and smash things with a magical crowbar. The thing that really troubles me about the Wrecker is, why does Loki need a hotel room? He’s a god. What, is he desperate for a free continental breakfast? Also, the Wrecker’s real name is Dirk Garthwaite, which is not a name commonly encountered among construction workers outside of the gay porn milieu.

YELLOWJACKET. You know, considering that he’s been Hank Pym, Ant-Man, Giant-Man, Goliath, and Yellowjacket (and for all I know, Spider-Man and Magnus, Robot Fighter), Henry Pym has never been very interesting. Even when he crawls around in the Wasp’s cooter. Yes, I realize I keep bringing that up, but it’s very disturbing. I need to work through the pain.

ZZZAXX. The last entry in any Marvel Universe listing, at least until DC tries to one-up them by creating someone called Zzzzzango or something. This glowing whatsis is described as a 40-foot-tall “semi-sentient electromagnetic construct of psionic energy”, but I don’t know who they’re trying to fool: he’s obviously the glowing lava-monster from the old Scooby-Doo cartoons.


One Response so far.

  1. Andrew Taylor
    09/26/2012 at 11:06 PM

    Damn. I like Peter Sanderson’s Comics in Context column, but that Wonder Man description he wrote is just…flabbergasting.


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