Monday, October 18, 2010

Which Martian Manhunter Villains are among your Third most Interesting?

My penultimate commentary on your selections in the January 2010 poll regarding the villains you are most interested in reading about on this blog looks at the three-way tie for Third Place. Each of these characters received eleven votes, making up 34% of all respondents.


I'm very much of the school of thought that Darkseid is overexposed. Like most people of my generation, I was introduced to the Lord of Apokolips through the Super Powers Collection toy line and the cartoon tie-in that finally killed the long-lived Super Friends. That was well after I'd become acquainted with a good number of über-baddies Darkseid had inspired, from Darth Vader to Thanos to Baron Karza, so for me he was just another of a type. I grew to like and respect the character through Legends and Cosmic Odyssey, but he'd become such a go-to big bad at DC by the '90s that he began to set my eyes to rolling. Further, everyone got away from his original m.o. and personality, aside from a consistent flatness. Sometimes he was a Machiavellian schemer on a galactic scale, and other times he would engaged in fisticuffs with super-heroes and stop just shy of cackling/mustache-twirling. I can get excited about the guy, except when I argue against him as an appropriate Vile Menagerie entry, but I set that aside to acknowledge him as The Tenth Most Important Martian Manhunter Adversary.


I still don't have a VM entry up for Despero, because there's so much to say. Still, the big D gets a lot of love around here, so I figure no one is left wanting. I thought Despero was the poster child for how goofy DC Comics were when I first saw him in the August 1985 issue of Who's Who, but he took to badassery in a big way when he turned his fin into the world's coolest fauxhawk. He's also by my objective reckoning The Fifth Most Important Martian Manhunter Adversary.

Gorilla Grodd

What more needs to be said but "tech-wizard mind-reading man-eating jungle-king super-gorilla?" So many wonderful hyphenates! Grodd hasn't tangled directly with the Martian Manhunter all that often, but when they do, it's magic, and it's been occurring more often in recent years. Grodd's another one of those villains that makes me want to read a book due to his mere presence.


mathematicscore said...

Yep, three big bads than aren't MM villains per se (although Despero I could go either way, and often do) but are big DC villains that illustrate the circles he runs in.

Where is that Darkseid image from? makes me pine for the late eighties in a big way.

LissBirds said...

Darkseid inspired Darth Vader? That's pretty awesome!

It's interesting to note how many characters I thought were ridiculous/silly at first glance, until I learned more about them.

Diabolu Frank said...

Good Lord! 23 pieces of unfiltered SPAM between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.? This is why I moderate comments!

M.C., I found the image at Comicvine, which doesn't exactly detail their sources. I assume it's from a licensing style guide, but that anatomy is pure Jim Starlin. Maybe Ed Hannigan aping his style post-Cosmic Odyssey?

Liss, Star Wars was a big ol' bag of reconstituted influences, but Jack Kirby was a big one. Darkseid=Vader, but the armor is from Dr. Doom, and Luke Skywalker=Orion.