As explained last week, based on the idea submitted by commentator jimmypulv, I'm doing my best from a position of ignorance to emulate March Madness. Each year, the college basketball teams of the NCAA are broken up into four divisions, then paired off into numerous subdivisions. The winner of each contest progresses to challenge the winner of another subdivision match until one team stands triumphant in their overall division. Then the leaders of the four divisions are matched up, until their competition leads to two triumphant teams who engage in a final showdown for that year's National Champion.
Here, we're doing it with the Martian Manhunter rogues gallery, and I'm trying to treat it like a rock festival. Everybody wants to (literally) catch Wayne Coyne as he rolls over the crowd from inside a giant transparent plastic ball at a Flaming Lips concert, so you don't put a garage band from South Dakota against him, because annihilation like that is boring. Instead, you pit the Flaming Lips against KISS, known for their kabuki stage make-up, demonic costumes and pyrotechnics, plus it's funny to kiss lips.
To that end, I've still got "qualifying tournaments" running amongst lesser lights who will make up the four divisions. Since I haven't planned this out thoroughly, who exactly is in what "division" will remain fluid for much of the duration. I'm sure in the NCAA they're very scientific about it, but I'm just freewheeling it with the best matches I can manage to keep things fair and fun.
Before we get to the official First Round matches, let's all say nah-nah-nah-nah, hey-hey-hey, goodbye to those who didn't qualify to fully enter the March Madness contest.
The Pyre: I guess only having ever made a one page cameo appearance was something of a handicap. Lost by a 3-to-1 margin.
The Swarm: I only vaguely remember these pests. Like the Pyre, I think they only appeared in #1,000,000, but they received a splash page and some flavor text. Folks liked the issue with the Bloodworms of Mars, though, so total crash and burn.
Marlon's Beast: I still haven't read this story. I don't like dinosaurs, but he's anthropomorphic, so he seemed fun.
The Renegades of Mars: This was one of the less bad Ostrander arcs for my money, but the backflips pulled to have J'Onn J'Onzz remain the last green Martian while still totally fighting green Martians were pretty ridiculous. Also, the Hyperclan were stiff competition.
Baron Voto: Medieval power ring or no, he's the umpteenth middle-aqed, overweight Silver Age Manhunter villain with a Van Dyke. The guy couldn't even challenge Nemesus, better known as "who?"
Strega: The witchy woman who once merged John Jones with the Spectre. I thought the Ostrander contingent would bury the Conjuerer, but she only got one vote. Either I've severely underestimated the Conjurer (which isn't borne out by the villains poll I ran last year,) people forgot Strega, or they just think she's more of a Spectre villainess.
Professor Amos Fortune: Founder of the Royal Flush Gang, one of the JLA's earliest villains, one of the few defeated almost entirely by J'Onn J'Onzz, and... he received one vote. Baron Voto looks like a champion by comparison.
The Cosmic Creature: Another dinosaur, or rather saurs, since it could shapeshift. I abstained from voting on this one initially, but cast the tie-breaking vote because I wanted to see Inflict go up against Asmodel.
Since I'm writing this three hours before the polls close, there are still two qualifying matches too close to call, and first round voting won't open fully until the morning. Here are the tentative matches:
Mars & Saturn Tour!
The Master Gardener
...And H'ronmeer Created Woman!
Catch & Release!
Monty Moran, the Getaway King
Fires of Hate!
Fernus the Burning Martian
Director Bones of the Department of Extranormal Operations
Mr. V/Faceless of Vulture
B'rett (Yellow Martian Criminal)
Tybalt Bak'sar (Terrorist Furry!)
Nemesus (500 B.C. Jerk)
Antares & the Clanetary System
The Bloodworms of Mars
Asmodel (Corrupt Angel of the Bull Host)
Inflict (Intergalactic Warrior)
The Cosmic Creature (Shapeshifting Dinosaur)
Doctor vs. Professor!
Professor Anthony Ivo