Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Top 5 Supervillains

Though this gesture may be really insignificant, I'm dedicating this Top 5 list to Heath Ledger, whose death really shocked me when I heard about it today.

Dan's Top 5:

1. Dr. Octopus (Spider-Man) - Doctor Octopus has always struck me as the ultimate badass, for some reason. Maybe it's because he's a doctor, or maybe it's because he's got those sweet metal arms. Anyway, he was probably the first comic book villain I really remember, and he's always been a terrific foe.

2. The Joker (Batman) - The idea of a villain who likes to kill his victims via fatal hilarity is really a genius idea. As a side note, I don't think anyone who has portrayed the Joker has ever been bad. There was Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, the voice of Mark Hamill, and now the late Heath Ledger.

3. Lex Luthor (Superman) - The only one on the list who (to my knowledge) doesn't have any superpowers. He just represents American greed, and his existence as a villain allows us to divorce that quality from the necessary definitions of the American identity.

4. Magneto (X-Men) - Magneto loses points for having the ridiculous helmeted costume. But just a few looks at what he's been able to pull of really makes you have a new respect for the potential effects of the electromagnetic field.

5. Doomsday (Superman) - Easily the latest of the list, I think he (or it) deserves to be here as being the only thing powerful enough to kill Superman (at least for a little while). I remember reading an article in the newspaper when Superman had been killed off. To little old me, it seemed so monumental.

Ryan's Top Five

Dan adeptly covered comic books, so I'm going to digress a bit with my top 5.

1. Dr. Moriarty - The "Napoleon of Crime," in many ways he is the original supervillain. But, frankly, I put him #1 not for his timeless status but because, in Lawrence, we have a dentist named Dr. Moriarty, and amazingly he still gets business (though I've never met any of his clients...perhaps he is consolidating power as we speak).

2. Carmen Sandiego - The leader of V.I.L.E., a criminal mastermind, and the heinous bitch behind hours upon hours of my childhood spent attaining newer, increasingly meaningless detective rankings ("Super Action Gumshoe Level III"). Capable of stealing large geographic locations (e.g., Venice) and geological formations (e.g., the Andes). Abortively chased through the United States, time, and the world, by myself and various kids on PBS (some lucky to receive the US map, other poor bastards unfortunate enough to receive Asia or Africa).

3. Dr. Claw - The leader of M.A.D, Inspector Gadget's archnemesis, and my introduction to the faceless supervillain. (I would later discover Wilson on ABC's Home Improvement.) On the plus side, his dastardly deeds are quite easily foiled, apparently, as evidenced by the tenacity of a young blond girl and her dog.

4. Cobra Commander - Terrorist overlord and leader of Cobra. Responsible for untold death and destruction, specifically at the hands of myself ritualistically wielding an aluminum baseball bat (like the neighbor kid in Toy Story). Also responsible for much of my parents' money being spent in the Hasbro-aided counter-terrorist measures of the late 80s/early 90s.

5. Shredder - The best supervillains have names that are at once supremely ominous and also useful around the office (why don't we have a supervillain named The Printer? Come on, DC). His chief crimes involve masterminding the HARDEST FUCKING VIDEO GAME EVER in the original NES TMNT. He's probably a tough villain to beat, but I never got past the underwater levels.

Honorable Mentions: George Steinbrenner, Mike Shanahan.

Tim's Top 5:
Hm. I should mention that I don't have any comic books and have never had any...thus, this is incredibly difficult for me.

1. Lex Luthor - What does he have that all other supervillains don't have? Easy...a reason to be villainous. The poor bastard's bald as all get out, so of course he wants to kill Superman. I'm only balding and I'd be hoarding kryptonite as a last ditch effort to once again look like I'm not a ponytail away from Michael Bolton-ness. Note: wikipedia informs me that he wants to kill Superman precisely because he blames Superman for making him bald. This is a villain I can really get behind, I hereby also make it my life quest to kill Superman.

2. The Riddler - I don't know that he even counts as a "supervillain", but he's the most notorious of all the Batman villains because he's the one you'd have Phil 344 with, he'd get off on reading shit like Plato and then coming up with little puns and jokes to let you know how smart he was. Seriously, just because Einstein got lousy grades doesn't mean you're smart when you fail Stat 101. Too bad he couldn't develop any job skills besides delivering for Jimmy John's. Riddle me that in the unemployment line, douchebag.

3. The Red Skull (Captain America) - He gets the vote because wikipedia informs me that he was a Nazi twice and then a Communist. What an asshole. But really he wins because he looks weird (the Luthor factor) and because the only comics I've read were my Dad's, which means I've read plenty of Sad Sack comics (they really lack a villain) and Sgt. Fury, where the villains were just Nazis in a general sense. They do make good villains, much like in that popular reality show...what the hell was its name...oh yeah, World War II.

4. Not Me - The evil mastermind that haunts Billy, Dolly, Jeffy, and PJ by running off after breaking a lamp, murdering a prostitute, or knocking over a spoonful of Thel's black tar heroin (seriously, she's that thin for a reason, and it's not Slim-Fast). Unlike said children, he cannot be traced from a vertical map with dotted lines showing the circuitous path that he took either. Truly a mastermind who is responsible for those children's ritualistic beatings from their ill-tempered and unstable father Bill. Oh god, put the wrench down, Bill, P.J.'s already dead.

5. George W. Bush - He has the superpower of being immune from common sense and maintaining tremendous popularity among the Christian right for being a former cokehead with a drinking problem. He's led to the point that the entire slate of non-Giuliani candidates on the 2008 slate would be an improvement...something that can be said about nearly no one short of Stalin.

Tory's Top 5

1. Hank Scorpio - How he wasn't mentioned by anyone else is a sin. He scores number one by comprisng all of the possible qualities that you could want in a supervillain: powerful position, complete armory, soldiers that do his bidding, an awesome personality, an excellent sense of humor, extensive knowledge of his town (i.e. hammock distributors,) on hand sugar (even if it is not in packet form,) and the ability to obtain anything (see: a football team.) He also helps out around his town, handing out fruit baskets and wine to new arrivals in the neighborhood, as well as doing fun runs for charity. Also, killed James Bond.

2. Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd - This is a dual villain, as both of them play the villain as well as the victim. Any episode of bugs bunny is a constant moral crisis akin to Abraham's decision between whether or not he should kill his son Isaac as the Lord has instructed him to do: does Elmer Fudd to catch Bugs, or does Bugs outsmart Fudd? To this day I cannot tell you which one I would side with, and this in my hypocrisy of eating meat but not wanting to hunt.

3. Hitler - Statistics:

- Responsible for the deaths of 6, 000, 000 Jews
- Responsible for the deaths of 5, 000, 000 Slavs, Chinese, Roma, and homo-sexuals
- Responsible for 2 suicides
- Responsible for countless works of terrible art

4. Roger Klotz - This is a difficult one to sum up as Roger himself is not a supervillain himself, however he did embody countless villains facing off against one of the greatest (and definitely the smartest) superhero's of all time: Quailman. Roger Klotz, in his tenure as the bully of the show, faced off against Quailman no less than 3 times. As Klotzilla, he kidnapped Patty Mayonaise, and as Baron Von Klotz and Dr. Klotzenstein he aimed to wreck any attempt Quailman had at saving the world or getting a date with Patty.

5. Baby Gerald - Though not faceless, his crimes are so unbelievable that they are not even mentioned. His biggest offense is his hatred for Maggie Simpson, followed by his unibrow.

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