Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Avengers' all-time greatest villain.

Avengers #79, the Lethal Legion
For a team specifically created to be Marvel's flagship super-group, it's always seemed to me the Avengers have generated surprisingly few great villains in their time.

Mostly, in the 1960s and '70s period in which I read the strip, they seemed to find themselves up against villains who were rarely - or even never seen again - or bad guys imported from other titles, often after failing to set the world alight  there.

Still, amongst all these not-quite-greats, there was the odd classic bad guy created for the strip.

And, anyway, all because a villain's not an all-time great doesn't mean he can't be appreciated.

In a couple of days from now I'll create a poll to find out just who is the Internet's favourite Avengers foe. And that means I need your nominations.

Remember, if he/she/it isn't in it, he/she/it can't win it.

14 comments:

Kid said...

Note that The Grim Reaper has two hands on the cover, whereas isn't one supposed to be a scythe?

Buscema - you're nicked, my son.

Dougie said...

It'll be a toss-up between Kang and Ultron inevitably but my favourites include some of the quirky, one-hit wonders: Ixar and Ultrana, the Collector, The Living Laser and Brainchild.

The villains with most potential for development are Zodiac but the most thematically important are the Sons of the Serpent. I can't chose between Van Lunt and the Supreme Serpent.

Boston Bill said...

Perhaps the constantly shifting membership of the group prevented them from getting into the sort of longterm grudgematch with a villain, a la FF & Doc Doom. But I'd have to go with Ultron, one nasty guy with a connection to Hank Pym, the Wasp and the Vision that made him much more personal than the other Avengers' baddies.
I've always had a soft spot for the Squadron Sinister as well, despite their having a mere one appearance. It was a great idea. Then Roy had to backpeddle and come up with the Squadron Supreme, an actual team of Superheroes. Alas, since we love to see them fight, they suffer from constant mind manipulation! But the original SS were the evil versions of the DC heroes that really made the matchups fun!

Doug said...

Mistake on the Reaper's hand aside, this is one of Big John's greatest covers. If you've read his How To Draw Comics the Marvel Way, you'll see just about everything he preaches in terms of dynamics, positioning of characters, foreshortening, facial expressions, etc. on exhibit on this cover. Truly one of his best.

Doug

Steve W. said...

My assumption was always that the Grim Reaper had two hands but one was hidden inside the handle of his scythe.

I've just had a quick check and panel 4, page 17 of Avengers #52 shows him with both hands intact after the Panther takes his scythe from him.

So I can confirm that, in his first appearance at least, he definitely had two hands.

Anonymous said...

I def agree with Kang, Ultron (my fav) and the Squadron Sinister - I think most of the Avengers main villians have been in teams or other characters main enemies like Loki, AIM, Hydra etc what about Baron Zemo, Attuma and the Space Phantom (ok he was mince but an early character)-McScotty

Super-Duper ToyBox said...

it has to be Ultron, really

Kid said...

He must've lost the hand later on then, because I remember the Marvel No-Prize book showing a Rich Buckler (I think) panel of the Grim Reaper with two hands and saying it was a goof.

Keith Giles said...

To me it's a toss-up between Ultron and Count Nefaria (especially the 3 issue epic battle drawn by John Byrne).

Rip Jagger said...

The list of Avengers baddies is short, but potent.

I'd rank them like this:

1. Kang the Conqueror - The ultimate Avenger bad ass
2. Ultron - Hates them more than the Assemblers can imagine
3. Grim Reaper - What I said about Ultron but he's dead to boot
4. Graviton - So powerful, even he doesn't know what he can do
5. Loki - The god who got them together - what a dope

cerebus660 said...

Kang Kang Kang Kang...

( Sung to the tune of Monty Python's "Spam Song" )

Wonderful Kang...
Kang Kang Kang Kang
etc.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for all your ideas. The poll's now up, so nominations are now closed. :)

Don Hudson said...

I voted for Kang. If Loki showed up to harrass them a few more times over the years, I'd choose him.

Steve W. said...

I must admit I voted for Ultron because of his sheer nastiness.

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