MAX’S TOP 100 VILLAINS (#24)

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#24 – Green Goblin

Spider-Man (various comic book titles, video games, films, and television shows 1964-now)

The Green Goblin is Spider-Man’s most persistent and vengeful foe. Some may say he is the most dangerous of Spider-Man’s rouges gallery having caused the most grief and loss in Peter Parker’s lifetime. There have been a handful of people to use the name Green Goblin and even more off-shoot Goblin characters influenced by Norman Osborn’s legacy (like the multiple Hobgoblins, Demogoblin, Grey Goblin, Menace, and Monster). As far as GREEN Goblins are concerned, Norman Osborn is the definitive and none can quite live up to his level of insanity (he doesn’t even need a Goblin costume to be an awesome villain).

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Norman worked hard throughout school mastering chemistry, electrical engineering, and business as a result of his failed businessman of a father taking his frustrations out on him as a child. After forming a partnership with one of his college professors, Mendel Stromm, they founded Osborn Chemical (later re-written as Oscorp). Stromm would later be arrested for embezzling from the company and Norman took complete control over it. Shortly after giving birth to their son, Harry, Norman’s wife fell ill and eventually died. Instead of raising Harry like a loving father, Norman buried himself in work to mask his grief. It turns out that Stromm had secretly created a super power formula that Norman found from old files. To spite his negligent father, Harry mixed some of the chemicals in the formula before Norman could drink it resulting in an explosion that gave him super strength, endurance, and remarkable healing as well as mental instability as a side effect. Norman designed a Green Goblin costume based on a childhood nightmare and sought out to become the ruler of the criminal underworld (because he was suddenly crazy and why the hell not?). As the Goblin, Norman encountered Spider-Man twice before he quickly figured out that his true identity was Peter Parker, who just happened to be best friends with his troubled son.

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I would also like to praise Norman’s origin in the Ultimate Universe continuity. This more recent retelling explained that Oscorp was commissioned by SHIELD to reinvent the lost super soldier serum that led to Captain America’s creation in the 40’s. Instead of a “radioactive spider” biting Peter Parker, the spider was a test subject holding the “Oz” serum Norman was experimenting with and later exploded on himself to become a hulking goblin creature with pyrokinesis. Most hardcore fans belittle the “Hulk Goblin” but I think it’s brilliant in that it: 1. Makes him an incredible threat that isn’t a guy in a Halloween costume and 2. Ties Captain America and SHIELD into the mythos of Spider-Man on a personal level as well as tying into the overall theme of superhuman expansion and scientific discovery started in the 40’s of the Marvel Universe. Originally the Ultimate Green Goblin simply yelled single words but he quickly gained super intelligence and became able to revert back to human form at will. Through multiple injections of the Oz formula and believing Peter to be his “son,” Norman’s mind was twisted and he often hallucinated in really creative creepy ways. In a sense, Ultimate Goblin was even more crazy than the one of the main continuity.


(Back to the original) It was later established that Norman Osborn was a completely separate persona from the Goblin personality and he wasn’t all that much of a bad guy aside from his schizophrenic outbursts. The Goblin knew of Spider-Man’s identity but Norman did not for several years and this made Peter sympathetically leave him alone and cross his fingers for the best in a gesture to not screw up Harry’s life any more than it already was. In turn, the Goblin persona resurfaced and ended up tossing Peter’s love, Gwen Stacy, off a bridge which ended up causing her death (not from the fall but from the force of the whiplash she got from Spider-Man’s web when he tried to save her… Yeesh!). I’m going to try to refrain from talking about how supposedly before this happened; Gwen had an affair with Norman and had super powered goblin children that were raised in Europe… There I acknowledged it… We’re done!

Shortly after Gwen’s death, Norman “died” in a last ditch effort to kill Spider-Man with his glider jet but impaled himself (exactly like the first Sam Raimi film depicted… SPOILERS??). Of Course, Osborn was too awesome to be put down forever and it was rewritten that this attack didn’t kill him due to his healing factor. His death was merely covered up by bribes to everyone involved in his funeral. Supposedly when he was believed dead, Norman influenced Miles Warren (AKA the Jackal) to clone Peter Parker and make him believe he was the clone of Ben Reilly (the real clone… my brain just exploded). After the super human Civil War, Tony Stark appointed (a believed to be reformed) Norman Osborn as the director of a Thunderbolts team managed by SHIELD. Norman struggled to suppress the Goblin persona with pills and played the role of a sane hardened leader, but it was only a matter of time before his obsession with ending Spider-Man caused the Goblin to come out periodically.

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Osborn further played up his “heroic” appearance when Skrulls invaded Earth and he was able to land a kill shot on the Skrull Queen Veranke on television. With worldwide approval, Norman Osborn was appointed as the new head of SHIELD (which he re-named HAMMER) and began an era called the Dark Reign. Now backed with HAMMER, government resources, and public trust; Osborn was able to hunt down the true heroes who he had mostly labeled as enemies of the state. During this era Osborn formed a Cabal of figurehead supervillains who would otherwise not work with each other, put out a hit list of nearly all of Marvel’s super heroes, filled the roles of the Avengers with criminals (Dark Avengers), and blatantly ripped off Iron Man and Captain America’s iconography by donning the suit of the Iron Patriot. This reign ended when his manipulation of the Sentry was pushed too far resulting in the Avengers reuniting to defeat the Sentry’s evil persona, the Void, and shutting down HAMMER. After establishing himself as more of an Avengers mastermind villain, Osborn has since then returned to his roots and formed the Goblin Underground, an army of goblin themed minions ready to go to war with other crime lords challenging him.

Are These Leaked Photos Of DOCTOR DOOM?

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If you check out the above photo, you may recognize the likeness. According to Geek Pride, who leaked this photo along with the photo below, this is a photo of the Fantastic Four reboot’s Doctor Doom. (Also, Johnny Storm is said to be pictured up there in the right hand corner, pre-visual of course)

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When taking a closer look, this almost definitely looks like Victor Von Doom. He does look a bit “homely,” but I do think the look ads a bit of intrigue to the character. Perhaps the origin of Doctor Doom is also a bit updated for the reboot? I suppose only time will tell.

For all of your Fantastic Four updates, stay tuned right here at ACR!

Michael Bay’s TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Literally Could Have Been Worse…

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After viewing the atrocity that was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, one might say: “wow, it couldn’t possibly get any worse than this”

But as it turns out, the move literally could have been worse…

Comicbookmovie is known for digging up concept art from popuar film franchises, and recently they got their hands upon the concept art for TMNT from designer Anthony Francisco. A few years ago, Francisco was brought on to the project to create a “new look” for the heroes in a half shell, and luckily for us things didn’t work out.

Take a peek for yourselves:

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Seriously….what the hell was that?

 

Donald Glover Is Finally Playing Spider-Man

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Remember when the internet (mainly twitter) exploded with requests that Donald Glover play Spider-Man (as Miles Morales) ? Well, your wish has come true, internet!

(Sorta)

USA Today has reported that the former Community star is set to take on the role of Miles Morales (AKA Spider-Man) on Disney XD’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors. In the series, Peter Parker (played by Drake Bell) travels to other dimensions and meets other Spider-Men.

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Apparently, the fan demand for Glover’s audition campaign was so strong, that Stan Lee himself hopped on the bandwagon, saying:

“A lot of my Twitter followers have been saying that he ought to have a chance to audition for the role. So I tweeted back by saying, as far as I’m concerned … anybody should have a chance to audition for the role. I certainly think he should have a chance to audition”

Though he’s not quite suiting-up for the live action role, Glover remains hopeful:

“I’m still holding out, though. I still have hopes to do something like that one day. I don’t look at this as second place. Spider-Man, he’s such an icon—you have to do something with him.”

Stay tuned here at ACR for all of your Spidey updates!

MAX’S TOP 100 VILLAINS (#25)

Renegade with Letters
#25 – Parasite

Superman (various comic book titles, video games, and cartoons 1966-now)

I am not a huge fan of Superman, but if there is any one character that can catch my attention and persuade me to buy an issue of the over-popularized super hero; it’s the Parasite. Much like Rogue of the X-Men, the Parasite has energy/life absorbing powers that are deadly to the touch. Rather than struggling with a life of never knowing the touch of someone else without killing them, Parasite is mainly concerned with his boundless hunger and addiction to feasting on others as a side effect of his powers as well as self-preservation. Like many other lesser known DC characters, Parasite has had many incarnations and different identities.

parasite-cover-photo-600x300The first Parasite, Raymond Maxwell Jensen, was kind of an idiot who assumed he could find company payrolls in a storage container at his job at a research center as a plant worker. Instead he found biohazard materials that Superman had collected from space and given to the facility. After being subjected to the stuff, he transformed into a purple-skinned monster that fed off of peoples physical and mental attributes by touch. By stacking up a death toll from his need to feed, Parasite was put at odds with Superman who was able to super charge the creature and granted him a portion of his powers temporarily. Aside from becoming equally as powerful as Superman, Jensen was also able to leech off of Superman’s memories making him a more dangerous villain that often targeted Clark Kent from learning his identity by touch.

After the Crisis of Infinite Earths, a new Parasite was made from a janitor at S.T.A.R. Labs named Rudy Jones when, again, he decided to check an experimental container thinking something of value was held within. In 2009, Rudy’s origin was re-written as a janitor at the Daily Planet who had accidentally eaten a donut coated in a purple toxin extracted from kryptonite while visiting a LexCorp facility (which is definitely my favorite origin. I’d like to eat a donut like that some day). Rudy Jones has held the Parasite mantle the longest and is by far the most recognizable, although he was originally green-skinned instead of violet. He once took on the Justice League and Suicide Squad simultaneously until the two teams decided to work together in order to defeat him.

While imprisoned, scientists attempted to cure Rudy of his parasitic condition but only improved his powers by accidentally giving him the power to feed on forms of energy like heat and electricity (and finally turning him purple). This ability allowed Rudy to absorb Superman’s deadliest attack (heat vision) which caused him to enlarge his body mass several sizes but also increased his need to absorb more frequently to live. In relation to this, the Parasite featured in All-Star Superman was shown to have a thermal-like vision that allows him to identify food or energy sources. After absorbing Dr. Torval Freeman of S.T.A.R. Labs, Rudy permanently acquired his vast scientific intellect. After another mutation, Rudy could retain stolen powers for twenty-four hours and somehow permanently absorbed a random shapeshifter metahuman into his biology that allowed him to mimic the appearance of anyone he touched.

With this power, Rudy imprisoned, posed as, and “fed off’ of Lois Lane in order to make Superman’s life a living hell (who was currently married to her). By simply being around Superman as his wife, the Parasite gradually drained him of his powers making him weaker for an extended period of time (he also nagged him a lot). On a weird note, Rudy as Lois had numerous affairs with Lex Luthor to scorn Superman… (Before you call Luthor gay, I have to point out that the shapeshifter’s abilities copied people’s forms to a biological level. So technically Rudy was 100% woman when this happened, at least in a physical sense). Parasite was finally exposed after he punched Clark out of a window as Lois. As Parasite was moments away from defeating his exhausted foe, he suddenly fell deathly ill because of kryptonite poisoning that he had drained from Superman. Rudy then died without telling Superman where he had hidden his wife.

Two new Parasites were created when Professor Hamilton experimented on the twins; Alex and Alexandra Allston. The twins had a very sleek design and chose to become serial killers but had a very short shelf life before the New 52 continuity came into play. The New 52 Parasite introduced another civilian identity as Joshua Michael Allen, a bitter delivery boy punk that was somehow mutated by a giant parasitic alien that Superman fought in Metropolis. After being physically deformed and plagued with insatiable hunger, Joshua attempted to kill himself by leaping off a tall building. Superman rushed in to save him, but this in turn allowed Joshua to find out that touching Superman is like an energizing rush that filled his belly. This version of the Parasite resembles a crack addict parallel to the feeling he gets by touching and absorbing Superman’s powers as a stimulant and antidepressant, which is a fun aspect. Random giant aliens used in origin stories are hard for me to take seriously (less so than a super powered donut), but so far Joshua has seemed almost identical to Rudy Jones with an added design emphasis with traits of various parasitic organisms (like weird fungi, barnacles, and tendrils sprouting out of his skin when he’s powered up by Superman) so I’m not complaining.

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MAX’S TOP 100 VILLAINS (#26)

Renegade with Letters
#26 – Exodus

X-Men (various comic book titles and video games 1993-now)

I’ve mentioned Exodus, the ultra-powerful mutant, a few times in previous articles but now I finally get to talk about him! He could very well be one of the most powerful mutants overall in the Marvel Universe but he’s spent most of his comic book lifetime as the right hand lackey of Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister, and most often fiercely loyal to Magneto.

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In the 12th century, Bennet du Paris was a crusader along side his best friend and past incarnation of the Black Knight, Eobar Garrington. Due to some time displacement Eobar’s body was possessed by the current Black Knight, Dane Whitman while the two were on a quest to find the Tower of Power, a place rumored to be ruled by an “Eternal Pharaoh” in Egypt. Dane and another Avenger at the time, Sersi (of the Eternals), caused du Paris to depart on his own and eventually proved his strength to Apocalypse (the Eternal Pharaoh) with the manifestation of his mutant powers.

It’s unclear how much of his awesome powers are his own natural mutant abilities and how much are the result of Apocalypse’s alteration to his genetics but by becoming Exodus, du Paris had an impressive level of telepathy, frightening telekinesis, flight through his telekinesis, the ability to teleport himself or others halfway around the world, augmented physical attributes in every aspect (especially resistance to damage having a degree of invulnerability), a healing factor matching Wolverine’s, and either immortality or an extended lifespan due to the healing factor. He’s basically Wolverine, Jean Grey, Colossus, and Nightcrawler all rolled into one, more powerful, and without any of their limitations. He even has a power that causes him to become even more powerful when in the presence of other mutants! WHAT??

Apocalypse ordered his powerful slave to kill his former friend, the Black Knight, but ultimately refused and turned against Apocalypse calling him a “false god.” As punishment for his betrayal, Apocalypse put Exodus in a state of suspended animation in the Swiss Alps, until Magneto discovered and released him in the 90’s. Being forever grateful for his rescue and admiring Magneto’s almost biblical philosophies and messiah-like presence, Exodus swore his loyalty to him and adopted his viewpoints as his own on mutant superiority and protection. At this point in time, Magneto was less concerned with terrorizing humans and more so with creating a human-free haven for mutants on his asteroid base, Avalon. As Magneto’s newly appointed leader of his Acolytes, Exodus was sent to every mutant faction on Earth to spread the gospel of their mutant sanctuary resulting in fights with X-Factor, X-Force, and the X-Men teams (all of which got their asses handed to them). This storyline in which Exodus was first introduced ended in Magneto’s mind being wiped clean by Charles Xavier, which led to Exodus’ rule over Avalon and Magneto’s Acolytes. He had seized this position by claiming he could converse with Magneto’s brain dead body like a prophet with a connection to god.

When the treacherous former Acolyte leader Fabian Cortez had kidnapped Magneto’s half-mutant half-inhuman granddaughter, Luna, and gone to Genosha; Exodus along with the X-Men, Avengers, and an angry Quicksilver pursued him during a civil war between humans and mutants on the island. After attempting to turn the tides in mutant favor, Exodus came at odds with the Avengers and easily defeated them. Fabian Cortez cunningly held Luna ransom and charged Quicksilver (Luna’s father), Crystal (Luna’s Inhuman mother), Scarlet Witch, and Jean Grey to defeat the vengeful Exodus for her safe return. AGAIN Exodus easily defeated this group (and we’re talking about SCARLET WITCH and JEAN GREY! Two of the most powerful Marvel characters!). After “killing” (but of course he survived) Fabian Cortez, Exodus took Luna and demanded the Genoshan mutates kill every human on the island at the threat of crushing the island with a massive telekinetic force field. This act of madness was finally stopped when Charles Xavier proved to be his telepathic superior long enough to let the Black Knight (Dane Whitman who had witnessed Exodus’ making in the past) strike him with his energy sword.

Since then he has fought with Holocaust (the fight that resulted in the two causing Avalon to crash land to Earth), X-Man, Cable, the High Evolutionary, the Inhumans, and more X-Men teams (backed by various formations of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants). To differentiate his ideology farther away from Magneto, Exodus was in later years said to have made it his “holy mission” to rid the world of impure or artificially made mutants like the High Evolutionary’s creations on Wundagore Mountain, the Inhumans, as well as mutants that have been infected with the Legacy Virus. This purist mentality was silenced after the events of “M-Day” where the Scarlet Witch used her powers to depower a majority of the mutant population which left mutantkind an endangered species. Lacking an overall cause to fight for, Exodus then turned to Mr. Sinister for leadership and participated in the events of the Messiah Complex as one of his Marauders who battled against the X-Men and the human Purifiers over the possession of the first mutant born since M-Day. This event ended with Charles Xavier “dying” from a bullet to the head, although Exodus quickly used his telepathy and telekinesis to repair his brain and bring him back to life in order to lead a new brand of Acolytes in a new but still merciless direction. Xavier declined and yet again bested Exodus in a match between minds.

With all of that being said, Exodus is an overwhelmingly powerful foe who can go toe-to-toe with the big leaguers of Marvel. He’s only been beaten by Apocalypse, Xavier, a hyper powered Quicksilver, and a combination of Emma Frost and Dust (who shredded his insides with her sand-like body… Yeeesh! Good thing he’s got a healing factor). As much of a protective mutant zealot Exodus is; he’s kind of insane and a little too eager to sacrifice the people he preaches to save. He also likes to get in fights with anyone he possibly can with a narrower view than his teacher, Magneto. With all that power, I guess he can hold his own anyway, but it’s always his foolhardy religious activism (with a mutant twist) that separates him from the more elegant classics like Xavier and Magneto. His level of hypocrisy is at least hinted with a nice flavor of insanity and that’s why he’s more of a villain to me than Magneto is.

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Bring his cool shoulder things back!

MAX’S TOP 100 VILLAINS (#27)

Renegade with Letters
#27 – Liquid Ocelot

Metal Gear Solid (various game sequels 1998-2008)

Before anyone gets technical on me, I just want to state that by “Liquid Ocelot” I’m really highlighting the awesomeness of both Liquid Snake AND Revolver Ocelot. MAINLY Liquid Snake… Even though he was and wasn’t truly part of Liquid Ocelot. Sound convoluted? Well that’s the Metal Gear Solid franchise for you. ocelot-metal-gear-4msitp5l-e1393659573895The first Metal Gear Solid game from 1998 revolves around Foxhound, a special military unit for the U.S. government, rebelling and taking the world hostage by seizing control of Shadow Moses Island, the building site of Metal Gear REX. The leader of Foxhound is Liquid Snake, the twin clone brother of the main protagonist, Solid Snake. After Solid goes through the hell of facing or sneaking by an army of genome enhanced soldiers, killing the other skillful and supernatural members of Foxhound, and getting tortured by Ocelot; Liquid reveals that his plan all along was to use REX’s nuclear capabilities as a means to send the world’s governments into chaos resulting in a world without politicians. This endgame was very similar to the dream of the man Solid and Liquid were cloned from, Big Boss. Without fully understanding the launch sequence to REX, Liquid made use of various Foxhound members and his fairly easy-to-spot disguise (“Master Miller”) to elaborately mislead Snake into activating it in an attempt to shut it down.


When Metal Gear REX is activated Liquid mans the gigantic weapon and goes after Snake. After brutally murdering the Cyborg Ninja AKA Gray Fox (just after a tear jerking revelation) Liquid is defeated by Snake and REX is destroyed. On top of its ruins Liquid gets some one-on-one time with Snake and reveals that he actually is his “brother” in a way (he wasn’t just calling him “BROTHER!” the entire game for no reason) or rather they were both twin clones of Big Boss as part of the Les Enfants Terribles project enacted by the Patriots in an attempt to make “super babies” or templates for the next generations of natural super soldiers. Somehow Solid Snake had been raised without knowledge of this and wound up as the US government’s personal infiltration expert while Liquid was raised in the United Kingdom (hence the over-the-top but loveable British accent) and became a member of the SAS before joining Foxhound. Liquid had also developed a resentment towards Snake by believing him to have gotten Big Boss’s dominant “soldier genes” while he himself received the inferior genes, when in fact, it was the opposite way around. When the fight between siblings concludes, Liquid falls from REX to his death… But with rage and endurance on his side; he survives the fall and chases Snake in a jeep until they crash and he dies… BUT HE DOESN’T! AGAIN! and attempts to kill Snake one more time until the target selecting virus FOXDIE finally sends him into cardiac arrest and kills him for good. Seriously, the last ten minutes of the game is like a horror movie where the evil creature just won’t die.

The fun doesn’t end there because Liquid lives on (or at least his legacy and persona did). During the events of Metal Gear Solid, Revolver Ocelot’s right hand was sliced off by Gray Fox and between the events of that and the sequel, Ocelot transplanted Liquid’s corpse’s arm onto his own as a replacement. Seemingly in Hideo Kojima-style goofiness Liquid could possess Ocelot at any given moment and especially in the presence of Solid Snake. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty revealed that Revolver Ocelot was secretively working for the Patriots, who were the enemies of both his allies (Liquid and Solidus) in both games although Liquid seemingly takes over Ocelot’s consciousness near the end of the game and completely undoes all the double agent stuff he did up until that point. Originally Liquid was written to have caused Arsenal Gear to crash into Manhattan as a terrorist attack but that detail was left out of the game due to the event of 9/11 shortly before its release.

With access to some of the special coding in the AI developed by the Patriots used in Arsenal Gear, “Liquid Ocelot” was able to enact his final plan to rid the world of the Patriots for good. The world’s “war economy” was largely assisted by nanomachines as part of the SOP Program used to make better soldiers. Originally wanting to destroy SOP, Liquid with the help of the AI and Dr. Naomi Hunter, was able to use the SOP as a way to control any soldier through the nanomachines within their bodies instead. Basically he could control almost every soldier in the world against their will, which is a pretty big deal. Eventually the whole mess was cleaned up when Solid Snake uploaded a virus called FOXALIVE that wiped out Liquid’s AI as well as the Patriots AIs in Liquid’s base of operations. With what remained of the Patriots now dead, Liquid gloats to Snake that getting rid of them was his original goal in the first place and the years to come would leave the world suffering from economic bankruptcy, chaos, and debt without the control and guidance of its illuminati-like leaders working behind the scenes.

During Solid and Liquid’s final fight, Ocelot reveals that his transplanted arm was actually a cybernetic prosthetic the entire time and his persona of “Liquid Ocelot” was merely a ruse to fool the Patriots with hypnosis, drugs, and psychotherapy. Essentially this meant Liquid Snake really did die for good on Shadow Moses and Revolver Ocelot was a quadruple agent against the Patriots (a mastermind who posed possessed against his will who posed as an agent of the Patriots who posed as a Foxhound terrorist against them… FUCKING MIND BLOWING…). While I have to give credit to Ocelot for doing circles around his allegiances and ultimately becoming the main antagonist of the franchise, it’s the persona of Liquid Snake that I truly loved about the character. As hokey as it was, the combination of both characters in one was where things got really fun and unique for the overall story. That’s not to say they weren’t equally as awesome as individuals working together in the original Metal Gear Solid story either because they were. It’s the justice that was portrayed through the two since then that makes it even better.