Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Get Yourself an Arch Enemy Wednesday!

Let's face it: A hero is only as good as his bad guys. What makes Superman so dull (especially in movie form) is that his biggest adversary is Lex Luthor. Ditto for the Hulk, which is why he and Wolverine have some kind of "misunderstanding" that causes them to thrash each other in a snow-covered forest about every 18 months.

Heroes with kick-ass villains are just more fun to read: Spider-Man, Batman, the Flash . . . where would the entertainment be without their respective nemesis? Or is it nemesises? Or nemesi?

In any respect, for all you aspiring super-heroes and heroines out there, this is how you cultivate a worthy adversary:

First, you find a social outcast. Video dating services from the 1980's are wildly fertile ground:

Once your future foe has established that he is suitably creepy, he must learn a few moves so he doesn't just fold at the first punch. I recommend Ketsugo from Adventure Comics #365!

That's right.... all the martial arts moves without the "mumbo-jumbo," whatever that is. Ketsugo will also do a little something-something about your acne, according to the Google.

Finally, your foe needs a creed. I mean, a bad guy who seems to be a bad guy just for the sake of being a bad guy isn't that interesting, as every issue of Iron Man will illustrate. If you have no creed handy, Smilin' Stan Lee gave us this manifesto in Daredevil v.1 #52:

I'm sure his heart was in the right place, but this is an weird forum for it. It's like if you're watching American Idol, and right before the song starts, the karaoke poser "performer" says, "So, how many folks here are pro-life?"

Anyhoo, you get your bad guy all fixed up, and you have got yourself a butt to kick and a name to take!

I know, I was in a mood today....


Anonymous said...

Hey, what if I WANT to be a pirouetting Pollyanna?

Hoosier X said...

Sydney Greenstreet is trying to ruin my vase with varnish and vinegar and vaseline and violets!

Oh noes!!!!

Seriously, the Man in the Panama Hat. He's better than the average J'onn J'onnz villain, but not quite good enough to be a Green Arrow villain.

Sea_of_Green said...

AAAAAHHHH!!! Barbecue Lou -- arch-nemesis of do-gooders everywhere!!!

Gosh. I never knew it was against the law to fill vases with vinegar and varnish. Must be due to the fumes.

You're absolutely right, though, Adam. I've always said that a hero is only as good as his or her supporting cast -- especially where the villains are concerned. said...