Tag Archives: Magneto

Top 5 Rogues Galleries in Comics – #3

Following The Avengers at # 5 and The Flash at #4, coming in third in our countdown is Marvel’s merry band of mutants, the X-Men. There probably isn’t a more diverse group of villains that those of the X-Men. They have enemies ranging from those capable of destroying entire solar systems to super-powered assassins. This is a rather lengthy list, so I’ll try to be brief with all of them.

The X-Men

magneto

Obviously first and foremost among X-Men baddies is the Master of Magnetism, Magneto. Rarely does a villain and hero represent such diametrically opposing ideas as the X-Men and Magneto. For most of his time in comics Magneto has sought to subjugate mankind under mutant rule, while the X-Men fight to be accepted by and live in peace with humans. He even formed his own group of mutants to fight for his cause called the Brotherhood of Mutants. While he is the oldest and most persistent villain to Professor X’s team of mutants, he has on multiple occasions been a part of, and even lead, the X-Men.

brotherhood-of-mutants

Much like Magneto, Mystique has been a major antagonist to the X-Men both as an individual and as the sometimes-leader of the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood’s roster has always been in a constant state of flux, the most prominent members include Toad, Mastermind, The Blob, Pyro, Avalanche, Destiny, Sabretooth, Sauron, and even briefly Magneto’s twin children Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch before they reformed and began fighting for good instead of evil.

juggernaut

Jealous of of his step-brother, Charles Xavier, and what he perceived as preferential treatment from their father, Juggernaut hated Professor X long before he found the Gem of Cyttorak that granted him superhuman strength, near invincibility, and unstoppable momentum while in motion. His only real weakness is to psychic attacks, so he (like Magneto) wears a helmet that keeps telepathic mutants from being able to attack him psionically.

sentinels

Created by Dr. Bolliver Trask as a means to exterminate the mutant population, Sentinels have long been a major threat to not only the X-Men but all mutants. Their level of threat was never more on display than in the “Days of Future Past” story arc, where it is revealed that in the future, after a US Senator is murdered by a mutant (Mystique), the Sentinels wipe out the vast majority of mutants and other super-powered beings, and the few that are left are rounded up into internment camps. In a desperation move, the future Kitty Pryde is sent back to the present to stop the assassination from taking place.

apocalypse

Bent on creating an army of mutants to fight for him in what he believes to be an inevitable war between humans and mutants, Apocalypse is one of the most dangerous baddies the X-Men face. To create this army, he pits mutants against one another in battles to the death, many times against their will. Those that survive he brainwashes, enhances their abilities, and often mutilates their bodies into better weapons. There is no better example of than when Apocalypse captured Angel, turned his skin a pale blue, ripped his wings off, and replaced them with metallic ones with razor sharp feathers that could be thrown at an enemy. Born in ancient Egypt, Apocalypse is believed to be the very first mutant.

mr-sinister

Obsessed with DNA and creating the perfect mutant, Mr. Sinister is one of the stranger big bads of the X-Men. While he is a brilliant physicist and biologist, Sinister is also a serious threat in battle as well. He is essentially immortal and has the ability to control his body down to the molecular level, he can change the consistency, density, strength, and appearance of any part of body, making him virtually indestructible. The one thing that has shown to consistently hurt him are the optic blasts of Cyclops, leading him to focus his obsession for perfection on Scott Summers, his wife Jean Grey, and the future version of their child, Nathan Summers, better known as Cable.

dark-phoenix

When Jean Grey became bound with the entity of pure psionic power known as the Phoenix Force, her already considerable telepathic/telekinetic abilities were enhanced to virtually limitless levels. The Phoenix Force lay dormant inside Jean until muniplulation from Mastermind and a telepathic battle with the then-evil Emma Frost of the Hellfire Club brought it to the surface, becoming the Dark Phoenix. After nearly killing them and draining a sun to rejuvenate itself (killing all life in the solar system surrounding it), the Dark Phoenix was immediately recognized as one of the most dangerous beings in the universe. There are very few beings in comics that can match the Phoenix Force in terms of sheer power. It can destroy all creation in all dimensions of existence if it so chose. This has put it at odds with the X-Men and other peoples throughout the galaxy. The difference is, the X-Men are concerned with not only stopping the Phoenix but also saving their friend in the process.

 

100 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time – Part 15

Because I’m kind of just ready to move on to other things, instead of just giving a 5 character entry with descriptions, I’m just going to list the Top 30 with a picture. Sorry if you were enjoying it in the original format. Maybe one day I’ll go back and finish it that way. But until then, here goes:

 

30. Jesse Custer

Jesse Custer

 

29. Dr. Strange

Dr. Strange

 

28. Green Goblin

Green Goblin

 

27. Darkseid

Darkseid

 

26. Thor

Thor

 

25. Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler

 

24. Rorschach

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23. The Thing

Thing

 

22. Martian Manhunter

 

 

21. Jean Grey

Jean Grey

 

20. Cyclops

Cyclops

 

19. Deadpool

Deadpool

 

18. Lex Luthor

Lex Luthor

 

17. Mr. Fantastic

Mr Fantastic

 

16. Catwoman

Catwoman

 

15. Daredevil

Daredevil

 

14. Nightwing

Nightwing

 

13. The Flash (Barry Allen)

Flash

 

12. The Hulk

Hulk

 

11. Wolverine

Wolverine

 

10. Iron Man

Iron Man

 

9. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)

Green Lantern

 

8. Magneto

Magneto

 

7. The Joker

The Joker

 

6. Dr. Doom

Dr Doom

 

5. Superman

Superman

 

4. Captain America

Captain America

 

3. Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

 

2. Batman

Batman

 

1. Spider-Man

Spider-Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100 Greatest Comic Characters of All Time – Part 11

50. Thanos

Thanos

Possessing incredible superhuman strength and endurance, telekinesis, a brilliant scientific and strategic mind, and an obsession with the embodiment of Death, the being known as the Mad Titan is one of the most formidable in all comics. Unique among major villains in that he is not the nemesis of any one particular hero. Through his callousness and attempts to impress Lady Death, Thanos has crossed paths with virtually all cosmic heroes, and just about all of the Earth-based ones as well. Never was he more powerful than when he located all six of the Infinity Gems and created the Infinity Gauntlet, granting him control over reality, time, space, power, the mind, and the soul. He was omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent…basically the most powerful being to ever exist.

49. Scarlet Witch

Scarlet Witch

The daughter of Magneto and twin sister of fellow mutant hero Quicksilver. As her name would imply, Wanda Maximoff has the ability to cast all sorts of spells and hexes, but what makes her truly powerful is her ability to alter and control reality itself. So incredible is this power that in the “Decimation” story arc, with the utterance of the simple phrase “No more mutants,” Scarlet Witch wiped out about 99% of the world’s mutant population. With her mutant genetics, she has had short stints with some of Marvel’s X-teams, but she is most often portrayed as a long-standing member of The Avengers. Her tenure with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes eventually lead her to a romantic relationship with the android Vision.

48. Loki

Loki

The Norse god of mischief, Loki is the adopted son of Odin and brother of Thor. Loki desires for nothing more than power and control. He believes that his brother is a brash, hot-headed, brainless warmonger who is far less fit for the throne of Asgard than he. Because of this the relationship with his adoptive brother is almost always one of contention, though they have worked together one more than one occasion. Loki is also responsible for the creation of The Avengers, as events he set in motion necessitated several of Earth’s heroes banding together to stop them.

47. Captain Marvel (Shazam)

Shazam

DC Comics’ Captain Marvel, though due to a lawsuit with Marvel Comics, he is otherwise known as Shazam. When the child Billy Batson utters the word “Shazam!” he transforms into an adult with power that rivals that of Superman. He is virtually immortal and invincible, can shoot and control lightning, has a genius-level intellect, can fly, and possesses superhuman strength and speed. While Captain Marvel is typically regarded as a character from a bygone era, he was never more modern or relevant (or dangerous) than he was in Alex Ross and Mark Waid’s masterpiece Kingdom Come, when he is manipulated and controlled by Lex Luthor into a climactic showdown with the Man of Steel…a fight that eventually leads to the death of nearly all of DC’s heroes.

46. Archie Andrews

Archie

Another iconic character from a simpler time. The last holdover from the days of wholesome, strictly family-friendly comics. Portrayed as the all-American boy-next-door, Archie Andrews and the comic that shares his name epitomized the look and feel of the 1940’s and 50’s. Unlike most comic characters, whose appearances change slightly depending on the artist, Archie and the rest of the gang from Riverdale have remained mostly the same throughout the vast majority of their 70-plus years of existence. Only in the recent years was a change made to make the characters appear more current. The cartoonish style in which the characters were drawn has become synonymous with the characters themselves, leading people to refer to it as the “Archie-style.” Archie is also notable in that he is the only major comic character to have an entire publication company named after it.

X-Men: Days of Future Past Review (With and Without Spoilers)

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As I said last time, I’m a huge fan of the “Days of Future Past” story arc in X-Men. So going to see the movie based on that story was a highly anticipated moment for me this summer. Aside from the fanboy in me that loves the characters and the story, this was going to a movie event unlike any other: seeing two timelines in the same franchise thrown together. Critics and movie-goers have been raving about the film. It opened to a huge weekend. All of this had pushed my expectations level even higher than it already was.

X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past

 

Sadly, my expectations weren’t really met. Let me first say, I didn’t hate this movie. I didn’t even dislike it. I enjoyed it and was entertained by it. But I just couldn’t help but feel a little let down.

days-of-future-past

 

There was plenty to like in this installment in the successful X-Men franchise. The acting is (for the most part) top-notch. Patrick Stewart is great reprising his role as the older version of Professor X. Peter Dinklage was excellent as the antagonist Boliver Trask. Nicholas Hoult is very good as The Beast. But the real stars are James McAvoy as the younger, angrier Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as the young Magneto, and the lovely (gotta love a Kentucky girl!) Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. The action is fast paced. The visual effects are some of the best I’ve ever seen. There’s a good balance between drama, action, and comic relief. The writers did a nice job of blurring the lines between good and evil in the fight for acceptance for mutants.

Days-of-Future-Past (1)

 

Hugh Jackman, however, was a little underwhelming this time around as Wolverine. Maybe I’m just too used to him playing the character that it takes too much to impress me….I don’t know. I was very disappointed in the actual Sentinels. The Nimrod Sentinels in the future were awesome, but the originals from the 70’s were pretty lame. The biggest problem I had with the movie were the multiple, giant plot holes (more on these in the spoilers section). They tried very hard to do some ambitious things with the script, and some of it worked, but a lot of it either fell flat or just left even more things unexplained.

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I’d encourage anyone to go see the movie. I wholeheartedly disagree with those claiming this is the best X-Men film yet (I’d probably place it 3rd or 4th) and even more so with some I’ve heard say it’s possibly the best movie based on a Marvel Comics property. It’s not even close. But it is a very fun, entertaining ride.

 

***Warning: SPOILERS BELOW!!!***

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Plot holes, plot holes, plot holes. This movie suffers from several of them. How exactly does Kitty Pryde have the ability to send someone’s consciousness back in time? How did her powers evolve into that? I’ll give Bryan Singer credit for pulling off what is essentially a retcon in a movie series. He righted a lot of the wrongs perpetrated in the awful X-Men: The Last Stand, and has basically hit the reset button for future movies. Cyclops and Jean Grey are both alive again, which is a great thing. Now hopefully Scott Summers can finally get the movie treatment he deserves!

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However, in resetting the timeline, they’ve left a ton of lingering questions. With Jean alive and still a part of the team, did the events in 1973 change the history of Jean having the dormant uncontrollable power that we saw in previous films? Or did Professor X do a better job of helping her control it than he did before? The final shot before the credits shows that the William Stryker that takes Logan is actually Mystique…so is Mystique the one that creates the Weapon X program? If so, why would she do that? If she did, how are she and Stryker seen on screen together in X2? Or are they saying that the events of that movie never took place? If those events never took place, does Wolverine not have adamantium fused to his skeleton? After the climactic battle, Magneto and Mystique leave separately and are not on good terms as each shot the other at one point during the movie. So how/why to they end up back together and just as close as ever at the beginning of the first film?

X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-Jennifer-Lawrence-Mystique-closeup

 

I was really looking forward to seeing the Sentinels in action. Unfortunately, the ones in 1973 weren’t really shown as being particularly formidable, and spent more time under the control of Magneto than they did as being a threat to all mutants.

X-Men-Days-of-Future-Past-Sentinel-x-men-36852603-750-463

 

Then there’s the stinger. We get a tease of what’s coming up next in the series: Apocalypse…complete with the Four Horsemen. I have to admit that I’m extremely excited about this prospect. Apocalypse is one of my absolute favorite villains in all of comics. I’m a little disappointed to see them bringing in the telekinetic powers of the character, as I think he’s pretty freaking awesome without them, and have thought they were terribly unnecessary since they first brought them into the comics.

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Even with all the questions left unanswered, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I just feel it could have been better. However, it looks like the movie franchise about our favorite mutants is going in a much better direction.

Days of Future Past Is Here!

Days of Future Past

One of my all-time favorite story arcs is set to make its silver screen debut today. I’m of course talking about X-Men: Days of Future Past. In Chris Claremont’s masterpiece, a dystopian future collides with the present day in an epic story of survival.

DOFP

After the assassination of United States senator Robert Kelly at the hands of the Brotherhood of Mutants, mutants are hunted down by an army of giant robotic soldier called Sentinels and either eliminated or placed in internment camps. Once the mutant threat is subdued, the Sentinels begin targeting all super-powered beings, and eventually moving on to ordinary humans as well. With almost of their kind wiped out, the remaining few X-Men make a final, desperate attempt to stave off the subjugation of the human race at the hands of those designed to protect it, by sending the consciousness of Kitty Pryde back in time to her younger self to prevent Senator Kelly’s death.

Sentinels

The story is one of the greatest and most famous in not only the X-Men mythos, but in all of comics. It was tweaked significantly for the X-Men animated series in the 90’s, presenting it to a new generation of fans. It has been revisited multiple times in the comic series. It was even blatantly ripped-off for a major storyline in the NBC television series Heroes.

DOFP Poster

They’ve obviously tweaked several elements of the original story for the movie as well, but as long as it stays true to the original story, I’m perfectly fine with that. It should be a lot of fun to see both timelines of the X-Men movie franchise thrown together. The trailers look amazing, and all reviews I’ve read about it so far have been stellar. So needless to say, I’m extremely excited. I will be going to the theater Tuesday to watch the awesomeness unfold. Come back on Wednesday for the review. Until then, have a great holiday weekend folks!

You Will Never Find a More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy (Part 6)

IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN…the worst of the worst. The final installment of “The 25 Greatest Comic Book Villains of All-Time.”

5. Galactus (Silver Surfer/Fantastic Four)

Galactus

The “Devourer of Worlds”…a lot of bad guys throw around phrases like this to intimidate or to emphasize their realm of influence. For Galactus, it’s not hyperbole. He literally eats planets. While he may not be a villain in the purest sense, because he has to eat the life force of planets in order to survive, the amount of sentient life he has taken is immeasurable. Despite his destructive nature, there have been several instances where he has helped stop beings who meant to conquer and/or destroy the universe. He has even made pacts with the Fantastic Four to not attempt to eat Earth, but whenever they seek his help, breaking that pact is always his payment…apparently Earth is tasty.

4. Lex Luthor (Superman)

Lex Luthor

One of the most famous villains in the history of comics. He has been the foil of Superman for over 70 years worth of stories. While his background and origin has changed multiple times, the one constant element is his hatred for the Man of Steel. Originally Luthor was a scientist who would have to be saved by Superman in order to keep his inventions from hurting others or Luthor himself. This caused Luthor to resent Superman for humiliating him. Then he was re-envisioned as a corrupt and egomaniacal businessman who is jealous of Superman receiving the adoration that he believes he rightfully deserves. Lex Luthor bankrolls fellow villains against other superheroes, and eventually moved into politics…where the American people were dumb enough to elect him President.

3. Magneto (X-Men)

Magneto

The Master of Magnetism is possibly the most powerful mutant on the planet. Had circumstances been different, he probably would have been a powerful ally of Charles Xavier instead of being his team’s greatest enemy. His Jewish family was sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp during World War II. It was here that a young mutant named Max Eisenhardt witnessed firsthand the cruelty of mankind towards those that are different. He would eventually escape, but the horrors he lived there would shape his view of humans forever. He grew to hate and fear humans. Where he failed to protect fellow Jews from the Nazi “Final Solution”, he desired to protect his mutant brethren by any means necessary. This has put him at odds with the X-Men, who work to erase fear of mutants and create a peace between them and humans. Rarely are the fundamental ideals of a hero and villain so diametrically opposed. While Professor X and Magneto both want whats best for mutants, their views of what is best for them are complete opposites. The two, however, remain close friends and care for each other deeply…both hoping to rally the other to his cause.

2. The Joker (Batman)

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The Dark Knight’s arch-enemy and probably the most iconic villain in all of comics. The Joker is pure mayhem. He finds humor in causing pain and suffering to others. The Clown Prince of Crime is the epitome of chaos…even within his own mind. Sometimes he is very calculating and will create extremely complex and elaborate schemes and traps for Batman…yet other times is prone to fits of rage and madness. While most villains have desires for power and/or authority, the Joker is singularly obsessed with his nemesis, the Caped Crusader. His every move is to cause pain to or corrupt Batman or his allies. The Joker tortured Commission Gordon…paralyzed his daughter Barbara…and killed Jason Todd, the second Robin… all in an effort to hurt Batman. In The Dark Knight Returns it is established that so deep is The Joker’s obsession that he is virtually catatonic without his adversary there to motivate his insanity.

And now…the moment you’ve all been waiting for: The Greatest Villain in the History of Comic Books!!!

1. Dr. Doom (The Marvel Universe…primarily The Fantastic Four)

Dr Doom

Victor Von Doom is the quintessential villain. Not content to be the ruler of merely one country (his home nation of Latveria), he desires ultimate power and authority. He is one of the most intelligent and brilliant scientific minds that has ever lived. He uses this brilliance to create suits of armor that allow him to fly, shoot lasers and electricity, and go toe-to-toe with heroes like The Hulk and The Thing in hand-to-hand combat. His force of will is the greatest of not only all villains, but possibly of all comic characters period…he has resisted mental attacks from the likes of Emma Frost, and withstood unbelievable torture without so much as a groan, all on sheer will and focus. He is a master strategist, a world-class sword fighter and marksman, one of the most powerful sorcerers on the planet, and has an army of “Doombots” that are basically robotic clones of himself that are nearly indistinguishable from the actual Dr. Doom. One of the most intriguing things about Doom is the fact that since he is the ruler of his country, he is protected against punishment for his crimes by diplomatic immunity. The only real flaw Doom possesses is arrogance. He believes that there are none on his level in intelligence and ability. He even wears a mask to cover his face because even though he only has a small scar on his cheek, he considers it to be horribly disfigured. Anything less than perfection is failure. It is this arrogance that always leads to his defeat. While he is the arch-enemy of The Fantastic Four (Mr. Fantastic in particular), Doom has faced off against practically every major (and some not so major) hero in Marvel Comics. His realm of influence outside of comics is unmatched by any other villain. He is the at least partial inspiration for the majority of James Bond villains, and was the major inspiration for the greatest villain in all of pop culture: Darth Vader.

There you have it, folks. The best of the bad. Hope you’ve enjoyed this journey through the most despicable and dastardly baddies in comicdom.