Friday, March 30, 2012

Discuss: Your Favorite Super-Villain Team-Ups

Doug: Not the magazine Super-Villain Team-Up per se, but any get-together by super-baddies is fair game!

27 comments:

cerebus660 said...

Well, my least favourite super-villain team-up was Ronald Reagan and Maggie Thatcher. Scarier than Doc Doom and the Red Skull put together ;-)

david_b said...

Doug, great topic.. This Avengers story comes to mind as my favorite. Always a Swordsman fan since I first grabbed ish 114.., this saga had heart and was great story-telling.

My guilty favs have been both the Frightful Four and Zodiac for a few reasons..:

1) They count among the 'first villain teams' I ever read in the Marvel universe..,

2) Despite their initial intimidating stance, in the early days both seem at times comical once you read more stories with them.., especially Zodiac, mentioned here several times for being basically a group of costumed thugs with no real powers at all, yet they're able to humble our A-Team even with the likes of Vish, Thor and Iron Man every so often with basic trickery.

Frightful Four..? The Wizard's grand schemes always seem to run foul quickly and the team pretty much unravels, like when Spidey tricked Electro into knocking out Wizzy, then him and Mr Fantastic trap Sandman and Electro in a vacuum cleaner and a fire-hose respectively. Just.. too funny.

Doug said...

OK, it seems that after a 90-minute glitch in the commenting function, the problem is corrected. Here's to fingers crossed...

Loved the huge team-up in G-S Avengers #5, which was of course a reprint of Avengers Annual #1. In that era, I really liked the Swordsman/Power Man match-ups against the Kooky Quartet!

I could never figure out why the Cobra and Mr. Hyde gave Thor any trouble, however.

Doug

J.A. Morris said...

Cobra & Hyde were fun in Daredevil stories.
The team-up of Annilihus,Blastarr & Super-Adaptoid (in Marvel Two-In-One #75) was great.

Mad Thinker(why didn't scourge off him and his "awesome" android?) & Puppet Master were amusing together, always screwing up.

Everyone remembers the Sinister Six, but one of my favorite one-off teams was Electro's Emissaries Of Evil in Daredevil Annual #1. Electro formed a team made up of Matador,Gladiator,Leapfrog and Stilt-man. A b-grade team if there ever was one, but it made for a fun Lee-Colan punch-up story.

And one of my favorite stories as a kid was Avengers #130, featuring the(Communist)Titanic Three:Crimson Dynamo, Titanium Man and Radioactive Man. They're later joined by c-lister named the Slasher(AKA Razorblade) in battle against the Avengers.

And I agree with david_b about the Frightful Four. But when I was younger, they were my favorite villains! After reading FF #177 & 178, I had to search for all their other appearances! I guess I always had a thing for "opposite" villains(Mimic,Adaptoid,Crime Syndicate,Professor Zoom) & villain teams.

david_b said...

At the pinnacle of Lee/Kirby/Sinnott FF tales, I'll always love Blastaar and Sandman teaming up in FF 61-63.

LOVED the team-villain banter. Liked the Galactus trilogy and all, but I still love this FF tale best..!

humanbelly said...

I've always had a soft spot for the team-ups or partnerships that have a spark (or perhaps a full-fledged flame) of a true personal relationship behind them, rather than the traditional "If we can combine our powers, we can RULE THE WORLD-- BWAHAHAHAHAHAA!!" motif. Two quick, obvious examples of this would be Absorbing Man/Titania and Mystique/Destiny. I seem to remember that there was an element of this with the Headmen from the Defenders, as well-- possibly an impression created by something as simple as the fact that they referred to each other by their first names. I know there are other examples out there-- but I'm tending to remember them in general rather than specifically. Possibly, they tend to be one-shotters-? With one partner self-lessly following another to his doom, "because he's my friend/partner" sort of thing?

On the pure rock 'em, sock 'em end of the scale, Rhino & the Abomination teaming up in Hulk #171 was simply a joy-- especially since ol' Greenskin effectively defeated them by abruptly leaving the fight at an extremely inopportune moment ("Fight is stupid. . . so Hulk will leave. . .")-- it's pretty much the very next moment following the cover image, if you happen to like to look those things up. . .

I'd say that there's a distinction between, say, a Supervillain Team-Up (Mandarin/Sandman; Magneto/Dr Doom) and a Supervillain Team (Masters of Evil, Lethal Legion, Frightful Four, etc, etc), yes? And alien races or soldiers (Kree, Skrulls, Badoon, etc) and the like would also be sort of exempt, you think?

HB

Inkstained Wretch said...

Let's see, Fantastic Four #187 had a cool story of the FF facing off against Klaw and the Molecule Man, two villians that seemed oddly well-matched.

I always dug appearances by the Squadron Sinister too, Marvel's not-so-veiled poke at the Justice League

Anonymous said...

what fiends reagan and thatcher were! daring to stand up for individual freedom in the face of communist aggression and mass murder is just plain evil.

Dougie said...

Favourite Bronze Age super-villain team-ups: Viper and the Silver Samurai (in MTU first, I think); Klaw and Solarr in Avengers.

At DC: The Fiddler, the Shade and The Icicle in the JLA/JSA/New Gods Crisis. A weird, unsettling one from the Legion: Grimbor and Charma.

Lemnoc said...

I did like MSVTU 10-12 with Doom and Red Skull. Usually it was Subby, who had the kind of ethic and honor that could be exploited by Doom and keep their team-up from exploding.

Not so with Herr Skull. Their play dates were cosmically rancorous. Their evil narcissist banter was great, and I love how in the final installment Doom does a hostile takeover of the Skull's henchmen and leaves the Nazi to die. Nazis hate that!

I don't recall they actually *accomplished* anything, they each were so hellbent on killing the other. Not exactly your most productive team. But fun to watch.

Garett said...

The Joker and the Shaper of Worlds, in the Batman/Hulk team-up book. When the Joker is granted powers to shape the world into anything he can dream, it's a joy to see Garcia Lopez create all the craziness the Joker can imagine, including a Picasso world.

Edo Bosnar said...

Wait, Klaw and Solarr teamed up in Avengers? I don't remember that. What I do remember is their cool impromptu team-up in Marvel 2-in-1 during the Project Pegasus story. Speaking of Project Pegasus, I also liked it when Thundra teamed up with the Grapplers.

Anonymous said...

Luthor and Brainiac in Superman #167; Luthor and Mr. Mind in Shazam #15; Red Ghost and Mole Man in Avengers #12; the Crime Champions (Wizard, Icicle, Fiddler, Dr. Alchemy, Chronos, and Felix Faust) in Justice League of America #21-22 (which was also the first JLA-JSA team-up). Stretching the definition slightly to include anti-heroes (or sometimes hero, sometimes villains), Hulk and Sub-Mariner joined forces in Avengers #3.

Dougie said...

Edo, yes, "All the Sights and Sounds of Death". Englehart-era Avengers 126. The plot wrote T'Challa out so he could go off and have his Panther's Rage in Jungle Action. I think it was Solarr's second appearance after Englehart introduced him as a peyote-enhanced drug-courier in Cap & Falc.

Anonymous said...

I remember liking Avengers Annual #1, with the Mandarin, Swordsman, Power Man, Enchantress, Executioner, and Living Laser, even though the plot was a rehash of an old Justice League or Justice Society story. And I really enjoyed Electro and his Emissaries of Evil in Daredevil Annual #1, although it was basically a remake of Spider-Man Annual #1. But then, I was easily impressed when I was nine.

Anonymous said...

Batman #201 had several villains (including the Penguin, Catwoman, Cluemaster, and Getaway Genius) teaming up, not to fight Batman, but to help him escape death traps set by an organized crime ring that was planning to move in on Gotham. The villains knew that they would be the next targets after Batman if the interlopers succeeded. The story itself was no classic, but it was an interesting variation on the usual villain team-up premise.

TrevScan said...

I know it doesn't hold up very well now, but I LOVED Secret Society of Super Villains as a kid. I was fascinated with the Manhunter character, and it introduced me to Captain Comet, even though he wasn't a villian.
Very fun stories.

starfoxxx said...

I always thought Cobra and Mr Hyde made an interesting pair, and I believe they fought together against several different solo heroes. I'll have to investigate their history together.....

Anonymous said...

How about the 1966 Batman movie - Penguin submarine, Riddler missiles, Joker, Miss Kitka, turning the United World Council to dust...What a team!

Tom

William said...

Gotta go with the Sinister Six from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. All of Spidey's greatest enemies (Doc Ock, Sandman, Kraven, Electro, Vulture and Mysterio) banding together to crush the wall-crawler and take over the city. Meanwhile Peter Parker is having a nervous breakdown that's causing him to lose his powers! Never before or since has a super-villain team-up thrilled me as much. Truly epic stuff.

Fred W. Hill said...

The evil FF were one of my early favorite super-villain teams. The first time I saw mention of them was in the Marvel's Greatest Comics reprint of Ff #44 & 45 (with the Torch & Thing's quasi-meeting with that other Fab Four, the Beatles thrown in to boot). One brief scene showed Sandman & the Trapster in a prison cell specially designed to frustrate Sandy's attempts to escape and they discuss the Wizard being in the hospital due to injuries from a fight with the Thing and wonder why Medusa isn't helping them. Very intriguing to my 9 year old self but it was another year or so before I caught a glimpse of the Frightful Four in action, with Medusa's replacement, Thundra. Much later I finally got the earlier stories in which they were truly frightful, even if not quite at the level of Galactus or the cosmic-powered Dr. Doom! Of course, that late '70s Thomas & Perez tale wherein they held the good FF hostage while hosting tryouts for yet another vacancy in that 4th spot were hilarious.

B Smith said...

Having a look at that Swordsman/Mandarin panel you've presented...I somehow find it hard to believe that old wives anywhere sat around talking about the Mandarin...

Ray "!!" Tomczak said...

The Brave and the Bold is just about my favorite comic ever, so I'm gonna have to go with the Joker/Two-Face team up in #'s 129 and 130.
Still, I can't believe no one's mentioned the Dr. Doom/Sub-Mariner team-up from FF #5

Ray "!!" Tomczak said...

Sorry, it was FF#6 that was the 1st Doom/Namor meeting. #5 was Doom's first appearance.

Rip Jagger said...

Love the Masters of Evil, in all their many manifestations! The JLofA never had enemies this strong or focused.

Avengers King-Size Special is one of my all-time fave comics and the teaming of Swordsman, Power Man, Living Laser under the control of the Mandarin makes for a great fight fest.

This comic is a tour de force for Don Heck, but alas is also the comic which got him bounced as the regular Avengers artist, because Big John Buscema stepped in to fill in and never stepped away, at least not for a long time. Sadly Heck seems to have become a second-tier artist after this time, at least that's the way it seemed.

Rip Off

Vintage Bob said...

Best supervillain team up EVER, and my all time fave, was Dormammu and Loki when they instigated the Avengers/Defenders war. My favorite storyline of all time.

Matthew Bradley said...

Doug, thanks so much for your comment about the Swordsman/Power Man team. I've rhapsodized over their outings against "Cap's Kooky Quartet" in general--and the villainous crew they joined in AVENGERS ANNUAL #1 in particular--so often, both here and over at Marvel University, that it's become almost a running gag. Definitely one of my favorite issues of all time, but sad to hear from Rip about its effects on Heck's career. Not that I don't prefer Buscema, but I always thought that with the proper inker (especially Wally Wood), Heck was an excellent AVENGERS penciler.

SUPER-VILLIAN TEAM-UP itself was a big favorite of mine, most notably that epic AVENGERS cross-over, although of course it seemed a bit silly to classify Namor as a super-villain by that point.

Agree that the Cobra and Mr. Hyde were a fun team, but better suited to DAREDEVIL than to THOR. And, speaking of Hornhead, the Emissaries of Evil were fun, yet couldn't hold a candle to the Sinister Six. At that time, Spidey was practically unrivaled in having the best rogues' gallery.

Kudos to Vintage Bob for invoking the Avengers/Defenders War. Similarly, that long Dormammu/Mordo arc in the Lee/Ditko STRANGE TALES was awesome, even if Mordo was a decidely second banana to Dormy.

Mentallo and the Fixer, while never top-tier, always seemed to complement each other's abilities well, and certainly gave S.H.I.E.L.D. a run for its money during their first outing, brushing aside the defenses with unnerving ease and strapping Fury to an atomic weapon.

Great topic.

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