Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Martian Manhunter Menagerie March Madness: Round 1 Round-Up, Part 1
The Master Gardener vs. Cabal: I knew from last year's poll that the American Secrets fans' love of the mini-series extended to the characters to a degree I hadn't expected, but I thought the Ostrander fans might rally around one of the better villains and stories from that run. Heck, there could even be some support for Cabal from a theoretical Jemm readership. Instead, the Master Gardener took nearly four times as many votes.
Bel Juz vs. Cay'an: I originally planned to pit D'Kay against Cay'an in the battle of the recent "Green Martian females to appear out of nowhere after all these years with stupid (apostrophe) names and not accomplish anything." That would have been cute, but that would have left Bel Juz to face Bette Noir. Bel was one of the very worst performers in last year's Vile Menagerie reader interest poll, and my art commission of her has been sitting in the artist's "to do" pile for nearly a year, even though I paid better than twice what I gave anyone else. I kind of figured she might have been plotted under a bad sign. However, I've made a concerted effort to promote a favorite Manhunter villain and point out her importance to his cannon, even if she lives in the black hole of fan interest that is J'onn J'onzz's Bronze Age. Maybe that helped, or maybe folks hated Coneheadhunter and Cay'an's lame last issue reveal more than I thought. Either way, Bel devoured Cay'an without any heartburn by the same margin as the Master Gardiner.
Doctor Trap vs. Monty Moran: The Getaway King: I thought maybe the Getaway Mastermind would get a bump from Silver Age readers or the unearthed archival footage from the 1967 Manhunter from Mars Movie, but Larry Trapp got four times the votes with a quarter fewer total than the first two matches. Honestly, I don't care all that much about Moran, either. Andy Kuhn would seem to agree.
Malefic/Ma'alefa'ak vs. Fernus the Burning Martian: The highest number of votes in any of these face-offs so far is 23, so I find the 300 or so daily hits Google & my other counter claim I get suspect. 18 of those were for Malefic, which means he got more than most of the other contests by himself. I was actual surprised Fernus did as well as 5, since they're very similar characters, with Malefic making much more of a lasting impression.
Kanto vs. Lobo: The Main Man may be the better selling character, but the 'Bo has his haters in droves, and Kanto proved quite popular with the Ostrander crowd. Hell, even I agree he's the most appropriate of the New Gods to be associated with J'Onn J'Onzz. I'd still have voted for Lobo if I did in fact vote, but I didn't, and the only difference would have been to cost Kanto the status of receiving more than twice as many votes.
Mr. V vs. Director Bones: I wasn't at all sure how this would go. The former Mister Bones was as well liked as Infinity, Inc villains got, and his switch to regional director at the Department of Extranormal Operations in a critically acclaimed series was more notice than Faceless ever got. However, even after becoming a semi-regular antagonist in the Ostrander series, Bones couldn't overcome the weight (*ahem*) of Mr. V. I would have been happy either way, but Faceless deserves the recognition. Readers agreed twice over.
Antares & the Clanetary System vs. The Bloodworms of Mars: Two Ostrander/Mandrake creations involving hordes of monstrous xenomorphs wrecking widespread destruction. The Worms took two thirds as many votes as Antares, which was pretty close, seeing as the Clanetary System showed up in early bestselling issues versus the Worms latter-day ("almost canceled") one-off appearance.
Asmodel vs. Inflict: The corrupt leader of the mutinous angels of the Bull Host killed J'Onn J'Onzz (under Mark Millar's orders, no less) after appearing in one of the most fondly remembered JLA epics Grant Morrison ever wrote. What does it say about how far Asnodel's fallen from grace that an intergalactic warrior who appeared in a handful of silent panels in a little read one-shot gave a serious run for the money. Inflict lost 6-9, but it feels like Asmodel saw a Pyrrhic victory.
The Conjurer vs. Doctor Samedi: One was inducted into the Vile Menagerie a year in (back when I did that sort of thing more than once a year) and has been a Martian Manhunter rogue for over half a century. The other appeared on two pages of one of the most blatantly racist comics from a major publisher in the past fifteen years. Still, the Conjurer was a forgettable poseur I killed off in an overlong fan fiction, and Doctor Samedi used the voodoo he do in the war of the "Guys Who Keep Stalemating" by nearly twice the votes. I already wrote his induction post.
Professor Anthony Ivo vs. Doctor Arthur Light: Besides being a classic Justice League of America villain, the final confrontation between Ivo and J'Onn J'Onzz at the end of the first volume of their book qualified the Professor for the Vile Menagerie in its first incarnation... by the lower standards employed by my old '90s fan site. They've had little to nothing to do with one another in the decades since, but I forgot to take Ivo off my old Manhunter villains list. I still like him a lot better than Dr. Light, who I grew up on as a silly, incompetent New Teen Titans foe. Raping and getting killed didn't exactly help Light's case, even if he did help kill J'Onn J'Onzz for slightly longer than Asmodel. This was a close race, but Ivo pulled ahead by three votes in the closing days.