Friday, March 11, 2016

Who's the Best... Super-Villain in the Bronze Age? + Civil War Trailer #2!

Doug: I am going to request that today's answers be supported with some rationale based on dastardly doings that fell within our generally accepted parameters of 1970-85 (if you're new, we've had this dates conversation several times). For example, ol' Norman Osborn's Green Goblin could be at the top of someone's list because he killed Spidey's love, Gwen Stacy. That's pretty awful, hence it could surely qualify GG on a heinous "best" list. So give us some additional fodder for consideration after you make your nomination. Oh, and just because a particular devilish plan was thwarted should not keep us from talking about the intent of the do-badder.


Doug: And of course by now everyone (say it isn't so if you have not!!) has seen the second Captain America: Civil War trailer. It is a feast -- I am really excited for this flick! And, how about the reference in the clip to the cover featured below? How cool is that?


J.A. Morris said...

I'll post thoughts on the trailer when I watch it again.

As for best Bronze Age super-villain, it's a no-brainer:Doom.

Doctor Doom was everywhere in the Bronze Age, not just fighting the Fantastic Four. He's the only Marvel villain to have not one but two "solo" series in the same decade:His solo stories in Astonishing Tales and Super-Villain Team-Up. Between 1970 and '85 (the tradition definition of the Bronze Age) Doom battled Thor, the Avengers, Namor, Cage, Hulk, Iron Man, Champions, the X-men, even "lesser" Marvel heroes like Dazzler and the Micronauts went toe-to-toe with the good doctor.

Doom also became a more complicated, "gray" character during the Bronze Age, teaming up with Spider-Man and the FF. I think this made him a more interesting character, not just a one-note bad guy.

Sure, Green Goblin was responsible for one of the worst crimes of the Bronze Age. But he never battled anyone other than Spider-Man. Plus, he was "killed" in an issue cover dated July 1973, so he was gone for most of the Bronze Age.

Anonymous said...

Dark Phoenix. She destroyed a star and the billions of inhabitants of the planet orbiting it. Surely that's the worst crime of the Bronze Age ?

Anonymous said...

Well, this is a tough one. Dr. Doom would indeed seem to be a seem to be a no-brainer... except, if he's "not just a one-note bad guy" then he's no longer the most dastardly in the terms set out, right? Thats the difficulty here - is the "best" super-villain in fact the worst, or not?
I always kind of liked Doom - maybe he was just trying to do the best for Latveria. Hard but fair, so to speak. I always thought he had a point about Reed Richards.
And wasn't he always trying to rescue his mum from hell? Can't see the Red Skull doing that, somehow.

Green Goblin? Small potatoes next to Thanos. "Total stellar genocide" - you've got to give it to a guy who thinks big. But then, he was basically just trying to impress a girl, so....

Most dastardly - and as it happens, best - is surely Darkseid.
The Anti-Life Equation! Apokolips! He beats all challengers.
(Although I was tempted to go for Funky Flashman:)


Redartz said...

Sean- you make a good argument for Darkseid! However, I'll go with my first choice, Thanos. As portrayed so well in the epic Avengers Annual 7 / MTIO Annual 2, his evil sparkles with madness. Darkseid, to me, may be a bigger player, defintely, but is so 'above it all' and cool. I still geek out at the implied menace when Thanos catches Warlock's friend Pip the Troll aboard the spaceship in the Avengers Annual, telling him " things have changed".

Doug- yes, that trailer for Civil War got me stoked. So cool seeing so many characters on screen. It looks to be a lot of fun. Man, if they made films like this when I was a kid...

William said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say, The Hobgoblin. (Possibly the last great villain introduced in the Bronze-Age). He came in late, but he came in with a bang, and really ramped up the stakes in Spider-Man's books. The creation of the great Roger Stern / John Romita Jr. team, he was the most intriguing Spider-Man villain to come along in many many years, and he instantly became a classic villain, a big fan favorite, and Spider-Man's greatest enemy of the time. Those early Hobgoblin stories were nothing short of "Amazing"! Spider-Man hadn't been that exciting and that good for a long time. (Or since, for that matter).

It's just a crying shame the way in all ended up. (Not naming names) but there was an editor who apparently had it out for Spidey writer Tom Defalco (who had big plans for Hobby), so this editor seemingly took it upon himself to get rid of DeFalco, and ruin Hobgoblin out of spite. (This was actually all straight from said editor's mouth, btw).

As for the Civil War 2 trailer -- all I have to say is "SCHWING!!"

david_b said...

I'd list Thanos, Goblin (who was frankly more than just Norman.., Harry continued the Goblin presence in Peter's life and morphed of sorts into the Hobgoblin), Ultron, and yes, Doom.

WAIT ~ What, no Doctor Bong...?

Anonymous said...

Ditko eyes!!!

dbutler16 said...

My first thought is Magneto. Aside from the fact that he was the archenemy of the most popular Bronze Age title (the X-Men, that is) I really like how he developed from a stereotypical "comic book" super-villain into somebody who believed he was doing good, fighting for mutants' rights. He all of a sudden became very interesting, and very human, which we can't say about a lof of comic book super-villains. Mageneto became Malcom X to Professor X's Martin Luther King, jr.

Anonymous said...

This challenge would have been a lot tougher if we had to name super-villains who were actually created IN the Bronze Age but if we are allowed to throw in any Silver Age villain that comes to mind then what about Galactus, Mephisto and Annihilus as none of them have been mentioned so far.

Doug said...

Ah, but it's what was so awful about them within the parameters of the Bronze Age? Your nominees are all solid bad guys, Colin -- but what were their worst crimes in the Bronze Age?

Galactus wanting to eat Counter-Earth? I'd say that would qualify.


J.A. Morris said...

I'll take Colin's challenge and I'll sort of echo William's comments. Hobgoblin is my favorite villain created during the Bronze Age. He was full of mystery and he was Spider-Man's equal in battle. Unlike Norman Osborn, Hobgoblin was never psychotic, which made him all the more dangerous. He'll always mean more to me than any Osborn because he was "my" Goblin, since I read his early appearances when they were brand new.

Pat Henry said...

I always liked Dread Dormammu, who was in his realm what Doom might have been like had he ever gotten control of this realm. He delivered some great megalomaniacal rants, which I think has to be a central criteria for a bad guy in the Bronze Age, and seemed to be able to go toe-to-toe and hold his own against anyone. He also had some of the coolest looking henchman. Finally, he managed to run around with his head on fire and be rather calm about it.

spencer said...

Not sure if anyone has mentioned Galactus. Yes, one could argue that he is not a "villian," but his presence was pretty pervasive in the Marvel universe. Ok, maybe more of a silver age guy.....

Pat Henry said...

On a related note, my favorite villain-on-villain matchup in the Bronze Age was Doom vs. The Red Skull in MSVTU (#12??). Spot-on characterizations and dialogue from two guys who really didn’t like each other and hadn’t any use for the other. Just animus. Their “team up” was a refreshing change for that book, because I don’t recall that they teamed up on anything. Red Skull threatened to flay Doom’s misshapen flesh, and Doom took umbrage at having his physical form mocked on left the Skull damaged and dying on the Moon, screaming that he’ll get his revenge. Doom never looks back. Great stuff. Read that book until it fell apart.

Anonymous said...


My greatest villian of the Bronze age, the @%$&@!! who first suggested printing comics on Baxter paper. Yes, it 'looked' better, but for me this was immediately offset by the huge jump in price.


pfgavigan back from the dentist and using the other computer.

Anonymous said...

Gerry Conway for starting the whole "clone" mess. (Actually, I like Conway's writing, but he really opened Pandora's Box with that first clone story.)

Seriously, what about Kang/Immortus? His (their?) schemes expanded in the Bronze Age to include taking over the entire timestream, which kind of encompasses every other villain's plots. Kang even managed to impress Doom (though I guess that happened in the Silver Age).

Mike Wilson

Martinex1 said...

This is hard to decipher; so many "good" villains out there. I am going to suggest the Kingpin. Obviously he is not the most powerful. But he made consistently evil choices. His sole motivation was for his own benefit. He proclaimed loyalty to family, but consistently chose revenge and control over the city over his own family's needs. He wasn't mad or influenced by a potion like Green Goblin; he just consistently went for the jugular. I liked him when he fought Spidey in the early Bronze Age and I liked him when he hassled Daredevil toward the end. Doom had his nobility when written well. Magneto had a sympathetic history. But Kingpin was just cruel by choice. At least that is how I perceived him.

For interesting villains created in the Bronze Age, I offer Bullseye (related to the above), Deathstroke (over at DC), and though a team rather than an individual the Hellfire Club sure set some bad stuff into motion.

Anonymous said...

pfgavigan wins, yes?
(Although actually it didn't look better... the art reproduction might have been sharper but - those colours! Aaarrgghh! My eyes, my eyes!!)

No one like the Joker anymore? That does surprise me.


Edo Bosnar said...

Saw that trailer yesterday - even though I'm not the biggest fan of the Civil War concept, as with pretty much all of the other Marvel Studios offerings thus far, I'm once more excited by this one.

As for the main question, I'm partial to Doom, and adding to the great reasons J.A. laid out, I liked the way he was fleshed out during Byrne's run on FF. I also found the arguments for Hobgoblin and Kingpin, as put forth by William and Martinex, respectively, quite persuasive.
However, I have to agree with dbutler, in that the first guy that came to mind is Magneto, especially the way he was made a much more complex character during the initial Claremont years - still villainous (quite so, remember that he annihilated an entire city in the USSR in X-men #150), but his motivations were better explained. I didn't like when he turned into a good guy for a while, though.
As for one created in the Bronze Age, the first one I thought of is Ra's al Ghul, who is quite a wonderfully evil and complex villain (who also thinks he's doing the right thing). He's a really great adversary for Batman.

Anonymous said...

I do't know who the "best" villain of the Bronze Age is...probably Doom, I guess, but I know who the most EVIL is.
It's that Yellow Claw guy. He...he created giant spiders and used them to attack people.
Man, that...that's just wrong.
It's just wrong is all.
It crosses the line.

Anonymous said...

Count me in on the Doom faction! Yeah, Doom was all over the place in the Bronze Age, messing not just with the FF but Spidey, the Avengers and the X-men. Heck, it's probably easier to count those comics who he didn't pose a menace to back then.

As for the Civil War trailer, well like Edo even though I'm not a Civil War nut, it does look good. Seems like Sony wised up and allowed our favourite webslinger to enter the Marvel cinematic universe, a win-win situation if ever there was one. The only thing left is for FOX to give us a decent FF movie now!

- Mike 'looking into vacation getaways to Latvia' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Rip Jagger said...

Darkseid! Accept no substitutes! (Hear that Thanos.)

Rip Off

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