Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Discuss: Multi-Hero Menaces, Plus Alex Ross Paints the Hulk

Doug: Our second post in what has become a quarterly Super Blog Team-Up will run tomorrow, and as the theme winging your way across 12 blogs is super-villains, I thought we could dip our toe in the water today and discuss some multi-hero nasties!

Doug: I only included Marvel baddies below as examples, so feel free to throw out some DC (or other company's) villains for discussion. Be sure to say where you felt your nominees worked best -- was the Rhino more interesting as a Hulk bad-guy, for example? Additionally, who was a one-book villain who should have spread the hate a bit more?

Doug: I just saw this on Twitter, in a tweet from Marvel about a new writer on the Hulk series. This is the cover to Hulk #5, by Alex Ross. Methinks it be rather spectacular.


Humanbelly said...

Kingpin, naturally, is the very first name that comes to mind as the 60's/early 70's mob boss who was a central Spidey foe-- who, if anything, went on to become even more closely identified with Daredevil in the 80's/90's. And I've always given that a big thumbs-up. It seamlessly hi-lights the inter-mural nature of the Marvel Universe at its most effective, and it actually added depth and complexity to the relationship between Matt/DD and Pete/Spidey.

The Rhino's a great example, as he became a fairly regular & enjoyable Hulk foe after being introduced in Spidey. The only knock against him is that, truly, even in the early years, he couldn't have conceivably been a physical match for the Hulk. Relative power levels tend to get fudged, which weakens overall consistency. (Although Rhino's hilarious dispatch in issue #158 did have a certain " 'nuff said" quality to it. . . )

One over at DC that I only know of through references is the time/dimension/reality-hopping entity MORDRU in JSA's later incarnations. He really became their base-line nemesis-- but if I understand the old letters pages correctly, he started out as one of the LoSH's heavyweight foes. . . is that correct? I have to say, he is indeed a shudder-inducing figure in the JS of A-!


david_b said...

The DC villain I know who crossed titles a tad is Doctor Light, who really ended up being more a joke than a serious threat by the '80s.

Never a big Supes collector, I did like when the Joker'd show up, just as a nice change of pace.

Perhaps more so for Marvel, it was really down to who was writing. I don't know if 'single hero' villains joining a team counts as 'multi-hero', such as Doc Spectrum or Scorpio but they could be considered.

I'd say most heroes who faced off with Hulk also faced Thor at one point or another. I liked when villains like Kingpin or Sandman switched titles; it gave readers a super, dynamic way of refreshing old characters, I wished that was done more than introducing the weak, later Bronze Spidey villains like Will-O'-The-Wisp, or all the insipid ninjas against DD.

J.A. Morris said...

This is another reason why, for me Marvel was way ahead of DC during the Bronze and Silver Ages. The fact that some heroes shared villains helped cement the idea that they all populated the same city and universe.

I think it's cool to have certain enemies only fight one hero. Green Goblin never fought other heroes and Doc Ock rarely battled other heroes.

Others work as "generic villain of the month." Sandman, Rhino and Scorpion work fine as villains of the FF or Daredevil.

And other villains have changed over the years. For instance, Magneto was depicted as a typical madmen bent on world domination when he fought the FF or Avengers. Younger readers who only know him as a holocaust survivor would likely be confused reading those stories.

Electro is a funny case. He appeared in Daredevil #2 (Electro's 2nd appearance ever), making him the first super-villain DD faced (the villains in DD #1 are generic gangsters). Electro later organized the Emissaries of Evil in the first DD annual. So you might say he was Daredevil's arch-foe for a short while.

Dr. Oyola said...

Since I have never read a Hulk comic featuring the Rhino, I think of him as a Spidey villain.

And while Sandman made notable appearances in FF, I still think of him as Spidey foe (sometimes friend) as well.

Then there is Absorbing Man who showed up in Spidey's comics once or twice, but is definitely an Avengers/Thor guy. Same goes for Juggernaut, who will always be an X-Men foe to me.

Doesn't matter where Dr. Doom shows up, he belongs to the FF - same goes with Magneto in terms of the X-Men.

Back in the day I would have liked to see more appearances of ROM's Dire Wraiths in other comics that did not involve a Rom cameo.

I would love for the Penguin to crossover to Marvel and become a Daredevil villain.

Garett said...

Joker was great in the Batman vs Hulk book, twisting Hulk against Batman.

Doug said...

Lex Luthor and Dr. Doom would have been a great cross-company switch.

Osvaldo, do I recall a Dire Wraiths story in the Avengers in the late 1980s?

The Wrecking Crew made their rounds from time-to-time. Memorable in the Defenders.


Dr. Oyola said...

Yep Doug. I own those (and every other appearance of ROM or Dire Wraiths in all Marvel Comics good or bad ;) )

Anonymous said...

Interesting how Spider-Man's rogues' gallery was so frequently raided by other books:

Sandman: Taken over by the FF for most of the '60s-'70s

Kingpin: this one is really shocking. The Kingpin was one of Spider-Man's big three alongside Green Goblin and Doc Ock. But then Frank Miller snagged him for DD. And he got depowered to boot (go back and read Kingpin's Spider-Man appearances; the guy was traditionally depicted as possessing superhuman strength).

Rhino: Moved over to the Hulk.


Anonymous said...

Doug:"The Wrecking Crew made their rounds from time-to-time. Memorable in the Defenders."

And their appearance in THE DEFENDERS created a great bit in their fight against Iron Fist.In the Defenders, Dr Strange put the magic whammy on the Wreckers' bar. In IRON FIST 11, Danny Rand tried to do the same thing. Only it didn't quite work out for him:

The Wrecker:"The last hero who tried to steal my bar like this was Doc Strange.

He was Master 'o the Mystic Arts. But it took everything he had ta beat me.

You're good, Iron Fist.... But whatever you are, you ain't that good! An you ain't got that kind 'o power!"

Gets me every time.


Anonymous said...

It is interesting to think about how close we associate a villain with his "true" hero. Doom with the FF, Magneto with the X-Men, Bullseye with Daredevil, Goblin with Spider-Man. I guess that would make Miller's transition of Kingpin from Spider-Man to DD all the more unique.

One I would throw out for discussion is a early Iron Fist villain. A guy by the name of Sabertooth. Or was it Sabretooth? I forget. I think he ended up matched with someone else. Oh yeah, Wolverine.

Though never a big fan of Iron Man, I thought the times that they matched him against Dr Doom really added to each character. Both those guys were so alike it was almost as though they were fighting themselves. That was another move that smacked of genius. Was that during Layton's tenure?

The Prowler (remembers the Dire Wraiths from X-Men).

Fred W. Hill said...

The earliest story I recall seeing the Sandman in was a brief cameo in a reprint of FF #44 in Marvel's Greatest Comics, wherein he & the Trapster are shown in a specially made cell that Sandy is trying to pound his way out of to no avail (it made absolutely no sense for the Trapster to be in that cell with him and in costume yet! But I suppose they had to give Sandman someone to talk to and without his costume the Trapster wouldn't have been recognizable). Next up came his appearance with the Frightful Four in the then current FF early in Roy Thomas' initial run, then I caught the reprint in which he took on the FF by himself in the first appearance of his Kirby kostume. In that mag, the Sandman seemed so formidable it seemed incredible that Spider-Man could have possibly ever taken him on, never mind once defeated him with a vacuum cleaner! It wasn't until several years later that I read any of those early Ditko reprints, and those were in those pocketbook editions. I still think of him more as an FF villain that a Spidey foe and I never read any of those stories in which Sandman reformed and became a good guy, at least until his old rotten teammate the Wizard turned the Id Machine on him. Speaking of the Wizard I vaguely recall him once taking on Spidey in one of the less spectacular Annuals from the late '60s, but otherwise he seems pretty much a singlemindedly Fantastic Four foe.

Humanbelly said...

In the Hulk's book, from it's outset in the late 60's through the mid-70's, there was clearly an effort to get him "caught up" with other books' established rogues galleries. He hadn't been running continuously for nearly as long, and pretty much only had the Abomination, the Leader, and Ross & the flippin' Army to call his own. So there seems to have been an attempt for him to "adopt" foes from other books-- some w/ more success than others. Mandarin didn't last after two attempts; Sandy (teamed up w/ Mandy at one point!) did slightly better; Rhino became a notable addition, certainly identifiable as a Hulk foe; Absorbing Man has probably appeared in the Hulk's book more than any other character's; the Evil Inhumans had a couple of early appearances, and drifted off; Dr Doom is obligatory for everyone; Tyrannus belongs to the Hulk, but has dragged the Mole Man along w/ him a couple of times; Hydra made appearances in the 130's and the 150's.

Surprisingly, Juggernaut- who seems like a dead natural- never popped up until issue #172. Like Magneto, it was hard to think of him outside of the X-verse for a long time.


Anonymous said...

Trajan 23, I have that very issue of Iron Fist right now! It's funny how IF was able to hold his own against the entire wrecking crew in this issue, even though he ultimately couldn't wrest the Wrecker's mystical bar from his grasp.

I guess my vote goes for the usual suspects - Kingpin, Rhino, and Juggernaut. Even though Juggie is thought of as a classic X-men foe and rightly so, I remember he had a memorable encounter with Spidey and Madame Web in Amazing Spider-Man #229 & 230. Doctor Doom gets a mention here too because while he's had a lot of history with the FF, he's tussled with just about every other hero in the Marvel universe too.

- Mike 'the next sequel should be Godzilla vs the Joker' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Doug said...

I'll second the notion (or third it, whatever) that the Juggernaut should have been a recurring Hulk villain. Talk about some throwdowns!

As you probably know, tomorrow is our second outing among a 12-blog crossover called the Super-Blog Team-Up. We'll be profiling the Frightful Four, and look forward to the usual fine discussion that happens at this space each day. We'll hopefully have some new friends along for the ride, so welcome them as you get the opportunity. And we're sure you'll want to go spelunking around the rest of the SBTU blogs as well. Can't wait!


Edo Bosnar said...

Mike from T&T, pretty sure Godzilla vs. Joker would be a bit like Bambi vs. Godzilla...

And speaking of the Frightful Four, they (including the Wizard, naturally) also tussled with Spidey on two occasions: once in the pages of the Peter Parker series (#40) - although granted, that story continued into an issue of the FF; and in the pages of ASM (#s 214-215).

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