Today's post was inspired by my niece and nephew who are staying with me until school starts up next week. They're aged six and eight and they like to read my old comic books. This leads to having them both ask me a lot of questions about why things in the comic books are so different from the Marvel cartoons they watch on Jetix every day. Here's a post about some of my favorite Marvel comics villains from my childhood. Here goes:
Tarantula was a South American villain that became an assassin after he helped a government achieve office in his home country. He adopted an outfit that resembled Spider-Man's while becoming an icon similar to Captain America. That being the case, his two major adversaries ended up being Spider-Man and Captain America. Tarantula was a skilled hand to hand combatant and an Olympic level athlete. His main weapons were his razor tipped boots that contained deadly venom and his gloves contained retractable blades. Tarantula used to roll with his boy Senor Suerte on some missions.
The villain known as Whiplash/Blacklash was a frequent enemy of Iron Man's since he started out as a weapons designer that worked as an undercover mole of the Maggia at Stark Industries. He designed a bulletproof outfit and an titanium whip that could also turn into an extension pole, nunchaku, or he could press a button and shoot it as a projectile that could also become an explosive.
He could spin his titanium whip fast enough to deflect bullets and he could even modify his whip to emit electricity when it came into contact with people. This made him quite an adversary for Iron Man, Spider-Man and Captain America.
Killer Shrike was a former soldier that was given genetic enhancements by the Brand Corporation through Roxxon Oil to serve them as a contracted killer. He often ran afoul of Spider-Man, Moon Knight, Hulk, She-Hulk and The Avengers. He had a specialized suit fitted with body armor, he could fly and he had twin blasters that protected energy bolts as well as possessing sharp metal talons for close quarters hack and slash purposes.
Henry Pym made many important inventions over the years, his most famous being The Pym Particle and his most resilient invention being Ultron. Ultron was given a nearly indestructible adamantium body and Pym used his own brain as a template for Ultron's. Shortly after Ultron was activated he began to rebel against his creator, escaped and tried to take over the world (anyone remember the Crimson Cowl?). His invulnerability, intellect and an array of weapons made him a foe that you need a good sized team of superpowered heroes to take down.
Ultron's ability to create and manipulate technology led to him creating The Vision (who eventually turned on him and joined The Avengers) and his "mate" Jocasta (who also turned on him and ended up joining The Avengers). Ultron has fought The Avengers on several occassions and has been destroyed and has managed to rebuild himself or acquire a new body 17 different times. The new Phalanx version of Ultron is the one that currently exists in the Marvel Universe. Years ago, he created a new mate named Alkhema...she turned on him, too.
Klaw started out as a Dutch scientist and physicist that decided to plunder the rare ore called Vibranium from Wakanda. The Royal Family wasn't having that so Ulysses Klaw used his sound blaster to kill the King Of Wakanda and several other Wakandans. Prince T'Challa of Wakanda seized a sound blaster and subdued Klaw's men then he blasted off Klaw's right hand forcing him to flee. T'Challa then became Black Panther.
Klaw became an altered human after an experiment went wrong and he replaced his right hand with a claw that turned into a sound blaster. Klaw became a physically tangible soundwave and he used his power of sound manipulation to attack Black Panther and he ended up often clashing Fantastic Four and The Avengers. After being "killed" and having his sound blaster end up in storage, Klaw was resurrected in recent years and is active once again.
Baron Karza was one of the most sinister villians in comic book history. He was supreme ruler and dictator of The Microverse after manipulating his position as Head Scientist of the Body Banks. He would take organs and body parts from the poor at will to augment his own physical power. He could also manipulate his own cellular structure and form of animals or just take energies at will. With a vast army at his disposal and an insatiable thirst for power, Karza fought the Micronauts for control of the Microverse.
Bullseye is a psychotic assassin with perfect aim that seemingly has nine lives and lives to kill Daredevil. Bullseye is so batshit insane that while he knows how to use damn near every item he comes into contact with as a killing device/deadly weapon and he is resourceful enough to find all of his targets he doesn't even know his own name anymore. He's often in the employ of Wilson Fisk AKA The Kingpin and he wants nothing more than to be his top assassin.
He has clashed with The Punisher, Daredevil (he killed Elektra), and Captain America on several occasions and he's often ended up in traction, been completely paralyzed or just had his neck broken. Each time some company has managed to bring Bullseye back and give him genetic enhancements such as lacing his bones with adamantium and healing his injuries. Bullseye is determined, single minded and he doesn't miss. What's better than a psycho villain that can kill a man with everyday items you'd never think of as weapons?
The villain known as Taskmaster is quite an enigma. He can see someone perform a feat or task once and he can duplicate it perfectly. He can study someone's fighting technique and movements then he can predict what they'll do next. He can evade an attack using Spider-Man's agility, copy one of Shang Chi's Kung Fu moves to stun his opponent and then put them down with one of Daredevil's attacks. He can also throw objects with Bullseye's accuracy, use a bow with Hawkeye's proficiency or throw his shield like Captain America.
He's been invaluable as a teacher and a trainer to both bad guys and government agencies. He's trained Jessica Drew, U.S. Agent, several S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives as well as several villains including the Red Skull himself. He prefers to run his academies behind the scenes and train operatives and agents rather than actually fight superpowered foes because he doesn't see it as profitable. He's fought The Avengers, Spider-Man, The Punisher and Captain America (usually to standstills) in the past but he tends to break camp before the fight is over. He's currently running around with The Thunderbolts in the current Marvel Universe.
Mac Gargan was merely a private investigator hired by J Jonah Jameson to discover how Peter Parker kept getting photos of Spider-Man. He ended up becoming a guinea pig that had genetic enhancements via scorpion DNA infusions and was given a battlesuit that transformed him into The Scorpion. His strength, speed and agility was enhanced to superhuman levels and his tail shot tear gas, acid and energy blasts. After years of battling Spider-Man, Daredevil, Captain America and The Avengers he (Gargan) gave up being The Scorpion and he is now the new Venom and a member of the Thunderbolts.
The most powerful Sentinel ever created was named Nimrod and he existed in the "Days Of Futures Past" alternate reality where mutants were hunted and exterminated in the near future. Rachel Summers (daughter of Jean Grey and Cyclops) was used to track her fellow mutants down for Sentinels but she managed to escape to the X-men's timeline where Nimrod followed her. Nimrod then proceed to go afoul of every mutant he came into contact with including a legendary fight where he completely thrashed Juggernaut.
After years of warring with the X-Men and all their mutant allies Nimrod ended up encountering the Sentinel known as Master Mold and after a fight both Nimrod and Master Mold were combined after a trip through the Seige Perilous and became Bastion, a highly evolved Sentinel that can rebuild itself, turn normal humans into Sentinels and then control them all. Bastion is so powerful that he poses a threat to all mutants now that there are so few on Earth following The Decimation.
Doctor Doom is one of the greatest comic book characters ever created. The one time friend of Reed Richards turned greatest enemy is a genius that uses his knowledge of technology and great intellect to manipulate things. His royal pedigree and unlimited resources as the ruler of Latveria make him a dangerous foe as comes up with scheme after scheme to gain ultimate power and rule the world (and in some cases the universe).
Doctor Doom is an enemy of the Fantastic Four, Avengers, Defenders, Spider-Man and whatever other superhero team you can think of. His unrelenting ambition has also brought him in contact with superpowered entities like Uatu The Watcher, Galactus, Silver Surfer, The Beyonder and several others where he has tried to manipulate them or steal some of their powers. Oftentimes he's succeeded, making Doctor Doom even more of a dangerous villain.
Thanos was one of the Eternals, a race of superbeings born on Titan. He was born with the appearance of a Deviant (a cousin of the Eternals) while his brother Eros (Starfox) looked like a handsome human. Thanos felt completely detached from his people and extremely morose while his brother enjoyed being loved by his family and the other Eternals. Thanos became obsessed with death and destruction and over the years he sought out ways to become the most powerful Titan and then the most powerful being in the Universe.
His neverending quest for universal domination has led him to acquiring the Cosmic Cube, the Infinity Gems (which he used to create the Infinity Gauntlet) and made him enemy of The Avengers, Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, Captain Marvel, Drax The Destroyer, Adam Warlock and Moondragon. Thanos will do anything to woo Mistress Death and attain ultimate power, making him so much of a problem that even Mephisto, Galactus, Chaos, Order and The In Betweener intervene in his actions.
I'll be doing more of these in the future featuring more of my favorite all time comic book villains. Look forward to them.