Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Unnecessary Rankings: Marvel/DC Supervillains

And just like that, basketball is over until July October. The Lakers went out with a whimper, and congrats go out to Glen Rivers, the Boston Three Party, and the rest of the Celtics for winning the title. A special thanks to Brian Scalibrine, for keeping the rest of the team out of "trouble." If you been to Boston, you know what that means.

But fear not, Fundamentally UnSound is not solely for basketball; although, it seems that way. I live outside the box scores of other sports, too. If there's a women's field hockey story that needs to be mentioned, I'm on it! In the meantime, most of these posts will be diversions from work. They'll be silly little lists/comparisons to help me pass the time until NBA Tip-Off around Halloween. At least I don't have to hear Mark Jackson say, "Get it done..." again. Who knew he borrowed material from Larry the Cable Guy?...... *crickets*

Anyway, in light of Kobe's inability to step out of the phone booth, I'm disappointed in superheroes at the moment. So I'll unnecessarily rank the ten best supervillains of all-time. The list only covers Marvel and DC Comics, so MF Doom does not qualify to make this list. Also, the villain has to be somewhat well-known and not have a two or three-episode appearance; and I don't care about the different drawings or stories of each character. It's the villain as a whole. Really, it's only like 15 good supervillains; which makes the list that much easier. This list is based on powers and overall villainous swagger. My bias will be on full display here, and you'll be able to tell what kind of person I am by my number one answer. To the list...*superhero transition music*

10.) Venom

Real Name: Edward "Eddie" Charles Brock

Archenemy: Spiderman

Weakness: Intense Soundwaves (Read: Ringing bells, rocket launches, etc.)

Weapons/Abilities: Umm...alien, shape-shifting, space-goo

An alien symbiote from space finds its way to the Big Apple and fuses with Spiderman's suit, creating the best costume ever. It gives Peter Parker a boost of confidence, amplified spidey powers, and an ever-increasing temper. It seems that after Parker parted ways with the symbiote, and it fused with Brock, it took on a more evil persona. Brock has been stricken with terminal cancer, and becomes passionate about bodybuilding. However, he failed as a journalist, and blames Spiderman for it. Venom, to me, gives Spiderman his toughest challenge; but Parker manages to stave off each of Venom's plot.

9.) Red Skull

Secret Identity: Johann Schmidt

Archenemy: Captain America, The United States

Weakness: Age

Weapons/Abilities: "Dust of Death" - Turns victims' heads into "red skulls"; Super Soldier Body

Captain America's main nemesis lands at number nine. He doesn't have any glaring weaknesses that any other normal human doesn't have; but his body is infused with the Super Soldier serum that Cap has in his body. In fact, Skull's body is a clone of Cap's. Since this was created during World War times, it's only natural that he's a former Nazi and confidant to one Adolf Hitler. As with most supervillains, he had a traumatic childhood; with both of his parents being murdered. In the later comics, Captain America is able to easily dispose of him because he's in his mid-80s. Or at least that's what Wikipedia says. I'm not one to argue with comic book heads.

8.) The Joker

Real Name: Unknown

Archenemy: Batman

Weakness: Jokes?

Weapons/Abilities: Genius, "Joker Venom," "Comedic" Gadgets (Razor-sharp playing cards, etc.)

The Joker is probably the most recognizable villain ever. His distinguished look, plus his creepily unique laughter makes him a favorite among children. As the familiar story goes, his pale-white face, green hair and large grin come from him falling into a large bin of unknown chemicals. That, plus the death of his family, is what drove him insane. I guess his mastermind crime-planning skills garner him respect among fellow evildoers, but he's creative with his weapons, not the elaborateness of his schemes. The primary weapon of choice—Joker Venom—causes the victim to have uncontrollably violent laughing spasms; with the result being a semi-permanent grin left on the face, similar to the Joker's. His notoriety is primarily what get him the number 8 spot. Besides, he has an equally-insane girlfriend, Harley Quinn; and that's nice...if you like psycho relationships...

7.) Galactus

Real Name: Galan

Archenemy: Fantastic Four

Weaknesses: None

Weapons/Abilities: Power Cosmic, "Heralds" (see: Silver Surfer)

The image above you is what the Fantastic Four television show used to portray the "Devourer of Worlds;" however, in "Rise of the Silver Surfer," Galactus was portrayed as a cloud-like entity. The latter version is what comic book guys and original storytellers have penned him to be. He possesses the Power Cosmic, which is the power to control all things in the universe—matter, teleportation of galaxies, size-alteration, and a bunch of other things I learned through my "extensive" research. He traverses the universe in search of new planets to devour for strength. According to the Marvel Universe, he does it to keep some huge evil from awakening. Whatever...

6.) Darkseid

Real Name: Uxas

Archenemy: Superman

Weaknesses: None

Weapons/Abilities: Omega Beam, Super Strength/Speed

To my knowledge--which is just the various Superman cartoons/movies--this is The Man of Steel's most powerful foe. In the animated series that used to come on the CW WB, he even bloodied Superman to the point he doubted he could win. But, as with every hero show, he finds more strength and was able to defeat Darkseid. It's rare that you even see Darkseid in a fistfight because of his Omega Beam. This deadly accurate, multi-purpose eye laser usually does all the damage he needs. Or so says DC Comics. So, you're telling me there's no more basketball until October, right?...

5.) Magneto

Real Name: Goes by "Magnus"

Archenemy: The X-Men

Weaknesses: Non-metallic Items/People

Weapons/Abilities: Magnetic Powers, Helmet that blocks Prof. X's Psychic Powers

A Jewish supervillain cracks the top five of this list. Magnus witnessed his parents murdered by Nazis during the Holocaust, and has been bent on using his amazing abilities to seek revenge on humanity. Everyone knows what he can control, but few know he was powerful enough to remove Wolverine's adamantium skeleton from his body. Apparently, he's an alcoholic and avid party-goer as well. More on that in a couple selections...

4.) Dr. Doom

Real Name: Victor von Doom

Archenemy: Fantastic Four, particularly Reed Richards

Weaknesses: Extreme heat, then immediate cooling

Weapons/Abilities: Titanium battlesuit, Superior Intellect, Mind-switching, Energy bolts, Other Mystic Arts

Daniel Dumile's inspiration for his alias is at number 4. Doom's is determined to outsmart Reed Richards, also known as Mr. Fantastic. Richards' wits have been better than his each time, and Dr. Doom can't seem to conquer the world. No one knows what his real face looks like. Some say it's heavily disfigured, others say Doom's twisted vanity has made him believe it's disfigured. Apparently, he has a moral side as ruler of Latveria; and frequently saves his townspeople in various comic books. Are you sure there's no more basketball?

3.) The Juggernaut

Real Name: Cain Marko

Archenemy: X-Men, primarily Professor Xavier

Weaknesses: Helmet Removal

Weapons/Abilities: Super strength/durability, Super suit-designing ability

If it were not for the cult-famous Juggernaut videos, Juggy probably wouldn't have even made this list. But for some reason, I think the people over at My Way Entertainment captured Juggernaut's swagger perfectly. As stated, silly weapons cannot harm him; and he can only be damaged by psychic attacks once his helmet is removed. His power appears to come from an ancient stone tablet with mystical symbols etched into it. Professor's X's step-brother is one of the most physically powerful forces in the Marvel Universe, and it's said that once he moves in one direction that nothing can stop him from continuing that way.

2.) Apocalypse

Real Name: En Sabah Nur ("The First One")

Archenemy: X-Men

Weaknesses: None

Weapons/Abilities: Extensive shape-shifting, immortality

Based on the X-Men series, Apocalypse was discovered in Egypt and raised by the locals. You know what that means, he's Black! I still don't know how the good guys seem to eventually thwart his diabolical plans, seeing that he is immortal and has literally no weaknesses. He even comes back, after his long slumbers of defeat, more powerful than before. But I guess we can't have evil people winning, or that would be so much different than the real world, right?

1.) The Riddler

Real Name: Edward Nygma

Archenemy: Batman

Weaknesses: Being outsmarted, he's human

Weapons/Abilities: Superior intellect, Power over question marks

This is my bias in full bloom. A lot of you superhero fans are saying, "What the hell? He's normal! He doesn't even fight!" All of those are true; and in a battle royal of these ten villains, he'd be eliminated in seconds. I mean, Apocalypse can't die. He's on this list ahead of Thanos, Dr. Octopus, among others with actual weapons and abilities. At the core, he's just some guy in a green suit. However, this is based mostly on villainous swagger; and no one has more than The Riddler. Who else is more creative in his schemes, traps, and clues to his crimes? Now, the obvious idea is that he shouldn't give any chance for the Dark Knight to know his activity; and should be inconspicuous. But therein lies the genius of him. He challenges another fully human superhero to a battle of wits. If you were a kid and figured out most of the riddles from the live TV and cartoon series, then you're like me. This is why I'm biased: I love logic and the idea of solving things. Chess is my favorite game of any genre (see me), and I frequently try to solve lateral thinking/logic problems just to say sharp. Needless to say, I'm a nerd at heart. With that said, here's a few riddles from a website. If you're feeling like such a smart guy, then here's an impossibly difficult set of lateral thinking problems (I strongly urge you to click the link if you have the time/brainpower). The goal is to keep advancing to the next problem. Oh, and no one's ever finished it. This is what is keeping me from dying of boredom from no basketball. Good luck!

That's the list. Agree. Disagree. Just don't really care like me? Comment and let the debate rage on long as you're not as bored as I am now.


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