Monday, March 21, 2011
Martian Manhunter Menagerie March Madness: Round 2 Round-Up Second Half
Doctor Samedi vs. The Osprey: I hope you'll forgive a bit of arrogance on my part, especially over such a piddling matter, but I feel like I "made" the Osprey. He was one of the earliest entries in the original incarnation of the Vile Menagerie from my late '90s site, which got him referenced elsewhere on the net, and he was also one of the first villains back in after the launch of this blog. Whoever created the Osprey page for Comicvine swiped my scan from here, and I figure my adoption and disproportionate coverage of the character has lent him greater credibility than he actual earned in his sole cameo appearance foreshadowing a confrontation that never arrived. At least Doctor Samedi has the goodwill of Ostrander fans from his two page confrontation with the Martian Manhunter and Fire. The Osprey has literally done nothing but talk a bit of smack and take flight. Each of these characters has survived initial qualifications and 1-2 additional rounds of combat, but they also fall into the category of dudes with exceptionally weak opponents and bogus tie matches. The Osprey didn't fall until the final hours of voting, by a single ballot, or else I'd be stuck finding opponents for both of these losers in Round 3 (says the guy who has an Osprey fanfic brewing...)
S'vor vs. TOR: I should be more accepting of the lesser characters here, because there really should be multiple weight classes. I've spoken at length about heavyweights like Darkseid and Despero, who are difficult to schedule for lack of comparable opponents, so that they often end up K.O.ing middleweights like Mongul and the Marshal who deserve to go more than one round. That's probably why I get so irate when I have to keep juggling nobodies like S'vor, who could have been gobbled up long ago by bigger dogs if I weren't such a bleeding heart liberal about this thing. The Robot Criminal of Mars' absence has long been one of my biggest slights on this blog, so TOR has been something of a secret weapon in clearing out the dead weight. I'll salute S'vor for lasting so long, but I can't help resenting him for the finer foes who fell before him. Um, not actually before him, like in front of him, because he beat them. Other even better guys beat the better guys before S'vor got beat. Didn't we talk about this? (4-8)
Scorch vs. Bel Juz vs. Bette Noir: I apologize for this match, which was thrown together out of frustration. In a contest full of Martians with a weakness to fire, Scorch's flames make her a major pain in the ass to place. She really tended to be a heavyweight in the voting, and easily led this match for most of its run. I think she had further to go, and I was looking forward to rounds against Asmodel or Despero. Bette Noir pulled a one vote win in the last couple of hours after a latter day surge of votes that leads me to suspect ballot stuffing. We'll see if Bette has Scorch's strength in these final rounds.
If there's been one character I've tried to shield in this contest, it has been Bel Juz. She's come a long way from being completely disowned by this blog's readership in last year's villains poll, but the lack of reprints of her appearances and her tendency to manipulate rather than act directly hurts her effectiveness and affections. I busted up the obvious match of D'Kay vs. Cay'an to give Bel a chance of at least qualifying, and even then I wasn't sure of her survival, but she made it to round 2. However, I got tired of finding people to sacrifice to facilitate Bel's ambitions, an amusingly poetic position to find myself in. I could have had her try to woo one of these twits that keep surviving like cockroaches, and I was particularly amused by the prospect of trying her potency against B'rett, but that guy has won his place by way of the hard road. At this point, Bel's inability to directly attack anyone was screwing up good potential matches, so I decided on a catfight. Bel still had a chance if Bette and Scorch divided the modern vote, not unlike how Beyonce lost to Taylor Swift at the VMAs that year Kanye showed his ass because the country vote held after the pop vote got diluted by Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Ah, who am I kidding? I got tired of carrying Bel, and threw her under the bus. (7-4-8)
Vandal Savage vs. Gorilla Grodd: The Immortal Savage had a good run for several years as the main guy Martian Manhunter tangled with before getting a solo series, and even then DC One Million was a reminder of their animosity. Grodd has fought J'Onn a few times, but it still feels more like throwing together the leftovers of two teams (see also: Dr. Light) rather than an organic animosity. Both of these villains are favorites, so I couldn't do them the disservice of lesser opponents, but it always pains me to see quality get the cut. (10-8)
Commander Blanx vs. Kanto: I was sweating this one, and before a reshuffling, Kanto would have been up against Vandal Savage instead. Kanto has a solid fan base among Manhunter fans, so he was going to be a major threat either way. I'm still not sure how much Blanx's win involved first hand knowledge versus his reputation preceding him, but I'm just glad he didn't end up tasting the assassin's blade. (10-7)
Despero vs. Darkseid: Whew! Talk about a clash of titans. The Lord of Apokolips has been the 800 lbs. gorilla of this competition (sorry, Grodd,) with power levels and visibility far greater than any other Martian Manhunter villain. I've often expressed my issues with his even being counted among them, but someone will always point to Martian Manhunter defeating Darkseid in a potential future many centuries from now as a triumphant moment. I was afraid I was sending Despero to his death, but he managed a narrow victory, slaying the mighty dragon. I would have been so disappointed if March Madness had come down to Darkseid vs. Malefic. (10-9)
VULTURE vs. The Devil Men of Pluto: Man oh man, somebody has to bring the Devil Men back from the dead. Every time I put these guys in front of readers, they get a standing ovation. I guess the exact same line-up of Devil Men wouldn't be necessary, as a whole new batch of Plutonian scoundrels could be rounded up. I nominate the Ayatollah Khomeini, Idi Amin, Josef Stalin and Pol Pot as figure models for the next batch. As for Vulture, well, they're an international crime organization. There were a few exceptional members that could have carried their own matches, but they were mostly ineffectual goons in cheap suits with devices supplied by Mr. V. That will only take you so far. (7-8)
Martians vs. Plutonians!
The Hyperclan (White Martians!)
The Devil Men of Pluto
Head Like A Bowl!
Professor Arnold Hugo (Wizard of 1,000 Menaces)
Black Magic, Woman!
Exodus To Revelations!
Asmodel (Corrupt Angel of the Bull Host)
The Body Snatchers!
Tor, the Robot Criminal of Mars
From A Jack To A King!
B'rett (Yellow Martian Criminal)