What Would Comic Book Villains Do? (WWCBVD?) Week 13

After a long hiatus, one of the most popular recurring features of this site is back!  

Join us as we delve into the darkest pits of worst that humanity has to offer.  The super-villain is not only the counterpoint to the super-hero, but a broken reflection on all that we are as a society.  The most vile and terrible criminals and maniacs of all time have been gathered and a few of their number selected to answer a moral question in their own unique way!

Scenario:  The day started out very hot and you drank a lot of ice water before departing on a stroll in the park.  Along the way you twice stopped at hot dog carts or other vendors to purchase a large bottle of cold water.  Now you find yourself on the far end of the Bike & Hike trail, the meandering stretch that is the furthest from any public restrooms in either direction.  It is inevitable that nature calls at this very moment.  Confronted with an agonizing walk to get relief, what do you do?

Zebra-Man:  I may look like a wild animal, and I may have a reputation as something of a wild man – especially when I’m drunk, but I am not some kind of uncouth savage!  Sure I’ve fought Batman!  Sure I’ve committed terrible crimes!  Sure I’ve spent time in Arkham Asylum!  But that doesn’t mean I’m not human!

I would do what any smart guy would do in this situation of course.  I’d wander off the trail and into the most secluded wooded area I can find an relieve myself there.  I mean seriously!  Do you know the penalties they level against people for public urination in this town?  I’m not taking any chances!  I’m a human being after all!

Vermin:  It is obvious you people do no research for this segment.  I live in a SEWER!  Do you think I really care about the whens and wheres  when the old bladder needs some relief?  Didn't I tell you last time that you needed to fire whoever puts your candidate list together?

Super-villains are a nasty lot and I’m the nastiest of them all!  I actually pride myself on that.  Besides, I can’t let normal biological functions slow me down when killing Spider-Man is on the agenda!  And no, I am not going to do that exaggerated Spider-Man growl this time.  I am so over that.  I still want him dead, I'm just not going to get all up in that about it.

Cheetah:  Unlike the boys in this survey, I am possessed of certain feminine refinements that define my behavior in such situations.  I was raised to be a lady, albeit a lady that grew up to be a career criminal.  None the less there are certain lines one must never cross, regardless of their level of evil.  Etiquette is certainly one of these.  One must simply put on a brave face, practice grace and poise, and make their way in a lady-like fashion to the nearest lavatory. 

Of course in my case I can make that happen in a split second, but that really should not undermine the core point here.

Dragon Man:  As an android I am constantly baffled by the minutia of the lives of biological creatures.  Waste evacuation is not outside the realm of my mechanisms, but the process is so alien to that which dictates the lives of you flesh-things as to offer no true analogue in the context of the query at hand. 

Furthermore my logic circuits are taxed by the suggestion that an entity like myself, imbued as I am with the power of unassisted flight, should elect to subject oneself to the terrestrial drudgery that is the fate of the pedestrian.  While I am no stranger to ambulation of this type, were I to find myself confronted with circumstances that put me a great and less-than-linear distance from my goal, I see no reason not to avail myself of the more worthwhile use of my wings over that of my legs. 

If a man-made villain could be allowed to make a suggestion, one that has no doubt been proffered by others, this particular column would benefit greatly by employing a researcher or a full staff thereof.  Such assistance would greatly improve the odds that the selection of participants more accurately matches the scenario presented to those providing their personal answers.  But what do I know?  I’m just a dumb fire-breathing robot!

Tapeworm:  You know what?  That is about the smartest thing anyone has ever asked me in all my time as a villain!  No, really.  I am not being sarcastic or anything.  I really wish someone had posed this question to me years ago.  And I’ll tell you why…

This exo-tail suit thing (I really never came up with a technical term for it, sorry) is a marvel of technology.  It is chock full of gyroscopic sensors and auto-correcting mechanisms that turn an otherwise unwieldy length of servomechanisms, solenoids, wires, pistons, nested gears, circuits, and bushings into a marvel of controlled momentum.  When I don my Tapeworm suit I transform from an awkward and uncoordinated loser into a combination of a titanic powerhouse and the most nimble ballet phenom!  Yet amid that perfection there is an inevitable flaw.

You know how that port on the Death Star undermined the integrity of the whole shooting match in Star Wars?  Little flaws can make a big difference.  In my case the Law of Unintended Consequences comes into play in that I never thought to work out an internal means for relieving myself.  While this suit is a pinnacle of modern mechanical engineering, it is not a simple thing to extract oneself from at the end of the day, much less in cases need like this one. 

I really should research what NASA builds into their space suits.  I bet our astronauts don’t take a hiatus from eating and drinking for half a day or more before they don their spacesuits!  I kid you not, the worst part about putting this bad boy on for a day of robbing banks and fending off crime-fighters is having to avoid food and drink for around 24 hours like I have bloodwork in the morning or something!  I don’t think I’d fare very well in the situation you describe if I was off my traditional regimen for suiting up as Tapeworm, let’s just leave it at that.

Black Talon:  You dare?!  Have you no idea whom you address?!  It is I, Black Talon!  He who has awakened the dead to walk upon the Earth anew!  He who has mesmerized chieftains, kings, and CEOs!  He whom the very Abyss does fear!  He who is so secure in himself that dares to go about proudly in public in a ridiculous chicken costume!  I am BLACK TALON!  Fear me, o mortal!

But since you asked nicely and all, I’d just drop trou and whiz off the edge of the path.  It’s good for the flowers, right?

What Would Comic Book Villains Do? (WWCBVD?) Week 12

When the worst that humanity has to offer is concentrated into one pitch black soul and the custodian of said soul is empowered by natural or artificial means then you have the stuff of super-villainy!  From simple street hoods who discover ancient mystical artifacts to deranged geniuses who use their stunning mental capacity to criminal ends to the physical embodiment of wickedness, the fraternity that is the counterpoint to the super-hero is always lurking in the shadows!  And so it is into those shadows that we delve to discover what path the truly evil might take when faced with a simple moral conundrum.

And this edition of WWCBVD? is brought to you by the letter R!

Scenario:  You are out strolling through the park on a cool summer evening and decide to take in the sights by sitting on a park bench and relaxing.  Then you notice that the only bench in sight has a sleeping homeless person stretched out across its entirety, contentedly snoring away.   What do you do?

Ruby:  Okay, don’t think me bad because of this, but honestly, how could I resist?  One of the only real advantages of having your consciousness transferred into a hyper-malleable compound sphere that replaces your now severed head is the sheer freak-out factor my physical form provides.  I mean look at my body!  Not that much!  I said look at my body, NOT undress me with your eyes you perv!  Okay, now imagine me wearing a hat and a veil so for all intents and purposes any guy would be thinking to himself, “With a body like that she must be either a looker or a butter face!”  Regardless the curiosity is just too much for most and when I grant him a peek I like to reshape this crimson globe of a noggin into bizarre shapes and forms, usually alternating from spikes to long tendrils to a bizarre ear shape.  That really gets them running every time!

Needless to say, if I came across some wretched soul camped out in the park for a little nap time I would quietly wander up to the bench and position myself near his face while giving him a gentle waking nudge.  Then I’d say, “Okay buddy, take it someplace else!”, while forming a pair of cartoon-like hands with my head and clapping loudly.  I would just want to see the look on the guy’s face when he realizes what’s making all that racket!  And if that is not enough to make him wet himself and hot foot it out of the park I’ll just do a quick shape-shift and confront him with a gaping maw full of teeth all Venom-style!  Is that really evil of me?


Ra’s al Ghul:  Personally I can imagine no better course of action than to befriend this hapless soul.  I find that the destitute are ideal agents as they are grateful for the opportunities my various organizations provide them.  We take in the indigent routinely, clean them up, provide them with fresh clothing, vocational training in the all-important work of toppling world governments by subtle means, provide nutritious meals, a regimented lifestyle, and a serve-my-ends-or-die ultimatum that tends to really turn their lives around.  And it keeps the park benches free of layabout space-hogs so people can enjoy what their local government has provided for their enjoyment and recreation until such time as my machinations undo the fragile underpinnings of contemporary society.

And yes, it is not lost on me that the likes of Dr. Psycho, Mesmero, and Starro the Conqueror have suggested using their mind control powers to create loyal minions.  Like any of the three of them was the first to hit upon this idea!  Well, Starro, perhaps, he is almost as old as Darkseid after all.  But then he probably stole that idea from Darkseid!  The thing I am getting at is that is that there is nothing new under the sun so don’t get all splitting hairs on me for utilizing the age-old doctrine of obtaining henchmen and minions from reasonably easy to control sources.  Not all of us have mind control or hypnosis on our sides.  Some of us have to fall back on good old fashioned brain washing through lengthy training and conditioning.  Besides, apart from Starro, which of these vaunted mind manglers can claim a private army at their beckon call?  And I don’t have starfish spores slapped on my people’s faces! 

And no, I am most assuredly not bitter!

Rhino:  If I wasn't busy on some caper or another or fighting Spider-Man or Hulk or some other such thing – basically what I mean is if I’m not busy at the time – I’d likely just kind of take a seat on the ground next to him to make sure no one gave him any trouble.  These homeless guys, they live a really hard life.  Most people look down on them, call them “bums” or “creeps” or worse!  And everyone assumes they are every single one a bunch of winos.  The truth is that some are suffering from mental illness and can’t cope in society or have just fallen so far down on their luck that there’s no getting back.  I know a lot about how these folks have to live.

You see, when you live your life forever trapped in a massive animal-themed super-suit, you don’t generally get your application for an apartment approved.  When I’m not working with the Fearsome Five or some such I spend a lot of time catching my zees in parks, back alleys, loading doors, or city zoos.  Apart from the zoo I tend to get to really socialize with people that most of us just ignore.  It turns out that by and large you find some of the most generous, affable, and understanding people in the homeless community.  A kind of “we’re all in this together” society.  So if I happen upon a guy trying to get comfortable and have a decent rest before he’s got to pound the pavement in hopes of scoring enough grub to keep him going another day I would be happy to scare of punks and smart-asses and lousy cops telling him this is a public park and he can’t be sleeping here.  He’s part of the public too, you know! 

Rainbow Raider:  That is quite the question, but first I have one for you…  Do you know what a “stage mom” is?  Sure.  Of course you do.  Most people have heard the term before.  But do you know what it is like to have one?  To live under the oppressive thumb of a parent who’s pride in her offspring is equaled only by her own insecurities and jealousy?  No, you don’t, do you?  Count yourself lucky, my friend!

You see, this was my fate, born as I was the fifth child and preceded by four sisters.  As the sole male child of the Bivolo family, my parents finally had the opportunity they had so long awaited – saddling a son with the name Roy.  You see, my name was really my mother’s idea.  She always thought it would be fun (after marrying a Bivolo, that is) to have a son who’s name would invoke the mnemonic for the colors of the rainbow.  Yeah, you are catching on now, aren't you?  The whole “Rainbow Raider” shtick was dear old mom’s idea!  Right down to being an arch criminal…can you believe that?!  My own mother pushed me into crime!  I wanted to be an artist!

You’ve probably heard that I never pursued my artistic potential because I am color blind and that in desperation I turned to becoming a color-themed criminal with a fondness for knocking over art museums and galleries.  Well you know what?  That was mommy’s idea too!  I’m about as color blind as a honeybee!  If anything I have above average color perception.  I had it checked out after my mother passed away a year ago August.  All those years I wasted with mom pulling the strings, living a life of crime vicariously through her own son!  Did  you know my sisters wouldn’t even visit me in prison any time I got caught by the Flash?!  Ohhhh yeah!  The whole family turns their backs on poor ol’ Roy Boy when the cuffs get slapped on, but guess who picks me up outside the stone walls and barbed wire?  Yep!  It was mom!  All “welcome back son and here’s the next big score”!  And you think Honey Boo Boo has it bad!

Now days I am following my own dream and not someone else’s.  Flash pulled some strings with his pals in the Justice League and found me a really affordable loft where I can pursue my art.  I even had a gallery show a couple of months ago that was pretty well received.  And get this, it was a gallery I robbed 15 years back!  Ain't the world a funny place?  So anyway, as a result of the show I got myself a patron now.  Some big business mogul up in Metropolis.  Guy has his own skyscraper and everything.  He says he wants to sponsor me and had some huge plans for me to help him out with some art he’s always wanted.  Something about the Mona Lisa.  I guess this Luthor guy wants me to churn out my own rendition or something.  At least I’ll be doing something I’m good at!

Did you ask me about some street bum earlier?  Sorry, don’t know any.       

Rogue:  You certainly aren't up on things, are you sugah?  I've not been a villain in oh so many years!  When did you put this list together?

Riddler:  When is an interviewer like a confused coon hound? 

When he’s barking up the wrong tree!  Sorry, I could not resist.  I heard about your little confusion with Rogue.  Anyway, it is usually me who poses the questions, you know.  Well, actually I tend to just pose riddles, which are like questions yet are not truly questions.  Hmmm…there’s a riddle in there someplace.  I will have to explore that further.  And by the way, why aren't you bugging Joker with this sort of thing.  It is more suited to his style!  Oh?  He was in the first one, eh?  Showboater!

Okay, what do about this hypothetical hobo of yours… 

The best remedy is a quick poke or two with my cane and then a pithy little riddle like, “Why is your presence on this bench akin to British English and me standing here like the American variety?”  Naturally I don’t expect him to be witty enough to puzzle through the all-too-obvious answer to this query, so I will let him off the hook by yanking him off the bench with the crook of my cane and providing the proper response…”Because there is a bum where my ass should be!”

What Would Comic Book Villains Do? (WWCBVD?) Week 11

What lurks within the dark heart of evil?  What dastardly machinations drive the twisted mind of those who devote their every thought to all that is diabolical?  What causes a man (or woman) to walk such a dark path?  And what happens when the bellicose, the corruptible, the fiendish, and the unholy are asked to contemplate simple moral questions?  This final question can be answered through the auspices of this very feature of The JediCole Universe!  

Now join us as six of the most vile and despicable representatives of crime, corruption, and wanton destruction are presented with a puzzle into which they can really sink their teeth! 

Scenario:  You are at a gathering, be it a party, a work event, or just hanging out with friends, and pizzas have been ordered and eaten earlier.  While gathering up the empty boxes you see that one piece still remains.  It is cold and a bit dry for having been left out so long, but no less tempting for all of that.  Then you notice that someone else has also spotted this remaining slice and is eying it with equal desire to your own.  What do you do?

Big Sir:  Pizzahhhhh!  Pizzahhhhh!  Gimmie!  Gimmie!  Gimmiegimmiegimmie!  What?  No real pizza?  Awwwwwwww!

Viper/Madame Hydra:  This is a classic conundrum faced in any group dynamic where a quantity of delicious pizza has been consumed by all to the point where no one could possibly even consider, much less actually eat, another bite.  Inevitably the passage of time will leave two or more of the “power eaters” in the group to have managed to digest enough of their meal to start to feel unnecessary cravings and turn their attention to the question of any remaining pizza that could satisfy such hunger pangs.  

When you think this sort of thing through to such levels of detail as I do in all things then you cannot help but realize that nobody involved actually needs more pizza.  Everyone has certainly overeaten as it stands.  That is the way it always is when you get a group together and confront them with a stack of cardboard boxes housing pizzas topped with everything from just cheese (really?) to an endless variety of iterations of diced meats and vegetables – everyone eats far more than they really need.  Yet equally inevitably this leaves one solitary slice untouched that then becomes, simultaneously, the coveted target of a number of diners.  Why this should be the case is unfathomable, what is certain is that this last piece should be mine!

There is an advantage in casual situations, like my book group for example, to being one of the only “girls” in the mix.  Men will trip over themselves to surrender that final piece of pizza to a lady.  But such courtesy is as absent in the super-villain fraternity as are traits like honesty, compassion, and loyalty.  How often I ran into this very situation when we ordered out for pizza during my tenure with Hydra or those lost years I spent as part of the Serpent Society!  Let me tell you, trying to capture the Serpent Crown makes for a mean appetite and the end of the day!  And it’s not like we had a cook back at headquarters.  What do you think the Serpent Society is, “Emergency”?  So when it comes to that last slice, that much desired prize, I tend to trust my whip and various throwing knives to make it clear who’s claim on the pizza is the strongest, especially when you are up against the likes of Death Adder or Baron Strucker! 

Jimbo da Mighty Lobster:  I would just #&@%ing let some other mother-#&@%er have the #&@%ing thing.  I mean, how the #&@%  am I supposed to watch my #&@%ing weight if I #&@%ing go around eating so #&@%ing much #&@%ing carb-#&@%ing-heavy pizza?!   I’m #&@%ing out of here! 

Floronic Man:  Oh I would take it.  I would take all right!  I would cradle that slice of pizza to my chest and liberate it from the meat creatures that had created this poor abomination! 

What?  Oh, sorry about that, perhaps and explanation is in order.  Consider the constituent parts of the pizza.  Fields of grain were enslaved to be mercilessly mowed down and crushed to form the flour that is the basis of its crust!  Vast quantities of tomato plants surrendered their reproductive fruit to be wasted in a stew of what remained of their legacy, creating, along with leaves and seeds ripped from herbal plants, a savory sauce!  Other plants were similarly destroyed to allow for vivisected portions of pepper and onion (and sometimes pineapple fruit) to mingle with curdled milk and rendered animal flesh (also spiced with plant life) and subjected to outrageous levels of heat for the consumption of mankind.  Oh mankind, you evil curse upon the Green!  So you see now why I must spirit away this representation of the havoc you humans have wrought upon the Plant Kingdom over millennia, find a secluded patch of earth in which to inter this hideous creation, and leave it to give nourishment back to the surrounding vegetation rather than sustain the life of these creatures of the Red!

Either that or I may just use such sentiments as a pretense to find some out of the way place where I can eat the thing.  I was once human myself, after all!

Galactus:  You ask such a pointless question to the Devourer of Worlds?!  When I get a case of the munchies, entire civilizations perish in the process of me temporarily sating my appetite.  I have been around since the dawn of time!  I have consumed inestimable planets, many replete with sentient life.  I have supped of biospheres without number and you dare to stand in my presence and ask what action I would take if confronted with but a single slice of pizza amid a crowd of my peers? 

While I truly have no peers, being as I am the sole planet-hungry entity in the universe, I must admit that I have consumed a copious volume of pizza in my timeless existence.  I realize this seems a curious revelation.  After all, how could the entity that feeds upon the vastness of heavenly bodies possibly have enjoyed something as relatively insignificant as a pizza pie?  The answer is as simple as it is astonishing! 

You see, as in so many things you Earthlings imagine yourselves unique in the cosmos.  By way of example, the pizza, a foodstuff attributed in its origins to the lands known as Italy, is actually one of the most commonly occurring consumables galaxy-wide.  From the far flung worlds of the Badoon to the star-spanning Shi’ar Empire from the disputed quadrants held by the Kree and Skrulls to the oft-forgotten territories of the Dire Wraiths there can be found some variation on pizza.  Thin crust, buttery pan-baked, hand (or tentacle) tossed, and deep dish are all available in some form.  From pies baked in a savory edible clay pot to those with crusts stuffed to brimming with cheese, shellfish, or durable fruits, something akin to your terrestrial pizza can be found anywhere sentient life has mastered the culinary arts. 

As to why I have imparted this knowledge of the existence pizza and pizza-like dishes may seem perplexing at first, but there truly is logical reason behind my actions.  For you see, upon further reflection of your query it occurred to me that posing such to me was not so illogical after all.  Whenever I should happen to dine upon a world populated by civilizations of any degree of advancement, it is an inevitability that I ALWAYS get the last slice of pizza – ever!

Mirror Master:  Challenges of the type my therapist says I need to avoid.  I really wasted so much of my life trying to find ways to use mirrors and other reflective surfaces to commit crimes or just make the Flash’s life miserable.  I even started branching out into holograms and lasers down the line!  What a complete and total waste of my life.  Ever since I settled down, got a job refurbishing old smart phones, and started seeing a counselor my days are a lot more focused, if routine.  In fact I've lapsed into such a rut that it would probably do me good to take some of my co-workers up on offers to go out for a beer or go to their place to watch the big game.  Hell, I was even invited to a birthday party next weekend!  I should really go to that party and you know, I think I will.

Those kinds of parties usually have some kind of meal or snacks.  And knowing some of the folks I work with they are more the “order out” than “home cook” types, so there’s bound to be pizza there.  And the worst thing about ordering a bunch of pizzas is that there is never enough, especially of the ones with the best toppings.  Someone always over-orders the “Supreme” and never gets enough of something like sausage and mushroom.  That always leads to the kind of competition for the last slice you were asking about.  Luckily I always have some mirrors of my own creation at hand, even now days.  Yeah, I know, Dr. Michaels would say that is not a good idea, but I don’t carry near as many any more.  And I long ago sold off my old mirror guns to a crime museum in California.  Sometimes a common mirror comes in handy, right?  Or even an uncommon prismatic rotational projecting mirror.  So what if I have a pair of those with me at this party?  It just means some buffoon who goes after that last piece of sausage and mushroom gets a fist full of empty air while I am enjoying the coveted slice without looking like I even have the thing in my hand!  He can pick the onions off that leftover supreme if he’s so damn hungry!

Jimbo da Mighty Lobster:  Oh!  And if you see that #&@%er Savage Dragon, tell him I’m #&@%ing ready to kick his smug #&@%ing ass!

What Would Comic Book Villains Do? (WWCBVD?) Week 10

Friedrich Nietzsche had admonished mankind with the simple philosophy, "Battle not with monsters lest ye become a monster."  Good words to live by if one seeks to go out and challenge the evils of the world.  However, if we simply wish to pose moral questions of such monsters, perhaps we might learn something important instead.  

So at the risk of becoming just a tad monstrous, The JediCole Universe yet again seeks to discover, "What Would Comic Book Villains Do?"

Scenario: It has been a long and exhausting day, but it is Friday.  The weekend is here at last and you are ready to relax.  No sooner have you settled in at home than the doorbell rings as family members from out of town have arrived unexpectedly.  What do you do?

Loki:  I guess it would really depend on which members of my family you are talking about.  My step brother is such a jerk!  I really can’t stand him and he would have some nerve showing up at my place uninvited.  My parents and I have always had a kind of strained relationship, but I suppose I could accommodate them.  The apartment is not huge but I have an inflatable bed I keep for overnight company.  So long as long as dad doesn’t have his stupid ravens with him.  What am I supposed to do with them?!  I don’t even have a pet deposit on this place.  And I am certainly not going to clean up after them.  This place has brand new carpet! 

What?  Why of course I have an apartment.  Where else would I live?  It’s not like I can just go back to my old room at Asgard after all the pranks I’ve pulled over the millennia. 

Gorilla Grodd:  Isn't that just typical!  Is there no such thing as courtesy any more?  When I was a little ape in Gorilla City the importance of courtesy was drilled into me from an early age.  We were taught to say “Yes ma’am” and “No ma’am” and “Please pass the banana salad.”  Then I get out on my own and all of that just means nothing to the rest of the family!  Every time I am in the middle of some project or another to subjugate the hairless apes of the outer world one or more of my two dozen brothers shows up without warning!  And usually with some bimbo they picked up at the zoo or a circus.  And you know that one night becomes a week before you know it!

It’s not like anyone of my kin has the least bit of interest in defeating the Flash or toppling world governments so I may as well forget about getting a thing done!  Even my own parents have shown up like this once or twice over the years!  I swear one of these days I am going to move and leave no forwarding address!  What happened to them?  They grow old and forget all that stuff they taught us in our youth. 

And don’t get me started about television!  My brothers and sisters and I had to share one television in the living room when we were kids, so you can imagine how much fighting that created.  I wish I had discovered my mind control powers back then!  It was all I could do to get to watch Lancelot Link once fortnight!  But get this!  Now when you go to my folk’s place what do you find?  A television in nearly every room!  Who needs seven TVs?!  And do they all have to be on at the same time?  Sheesh!  What has happened to them?!

Wrecker:  This is a question I have long pondered actually.  Toward that end I’ve been planning a really nice guest room for the house.  You know, on the side where the sun comes through in the morning and just makes you feel right at home.  Once it is done I would be more than happy to put up family members there.  I’ve got the walls knocked through and the yard pretty well torn up for laying a foundation.  Yep, it’s all set. 

Unfortunately while I am an expert at destruction, especially with my handy enchanted prybar, I never really have been much of one for building things.  The same is true of the guys from the Wrecking Crew!  We got together and did the preliminary  work one weekend then realized none of us knew thing one about building.  If only there was a super villain called the Contractor or the Barn Raiser or something like that I could befriend then I would say bring on the family! 

Moloch the Mystic:  Wow, that is a good one!  It is not like I have a shortage of places to accommodate guests.  The problem is that my family are all pretty much convinced I am some low rent conjurer plying my magic tricks at small theaters and children’s parties.  While I do still pull the odd rabbit out of a hat or pour milk into a cone of newspaper to have it mysteriously disappear into thin air, that is not really what puts food on the table. 

You see I have somehow managed to keep my immediate family from realizing that I am THAT Moloch the Mystic.  The one who is a nationally known crime lord and all that.  That they have not made that connection I count as the greatest magic trick of my career!  Yes, sure I have lots of spare rooms in my brothels, my underground casinos, my unlicensed boxing dens, and many a safe house, but in opening them up to my family I would also make the connection at last and be obliged to report me to the cops.  Or worse yet, the Crimebusters!  I heard that old windbag Metropolis was trying to start up a new group like the Minutemen from back in the day.  Can you believe it?

Taskmaster:  There are some advantages to living the kind of life I live and one of those is having no permanent address.  Half the time I don’t even have a temporary address!  Ha!  But okay, I’m game.  On the off chance someone from my family should happen to show up at the lair, apartment, hotel room, or tent in the desert where I happen to be hanging my cape for the night I would do that only thing that I could do.  I would yell at them asking what they are thinking!  Do they have no idea how dangerous it is to be associated with me?  When super-heroes aren't trying to capture me then other super-villains are trying to do me in to reduced the completion.  There is not a week that goes by where some goon from Hydra or AIM isn't trying to score a bounty on my head.  I’d tell them to get lost!   We are family and all, but come on!  Use your head and move on if you want to keep your head!

Two-Face:  That’s a good question you've got there.  Let me just flip my coin and…  Nope!  Sorry friend I can’t answer that question, it came up scarred side up.  But hey, at least I was just flipping for whether or not to answer your question!  This would not have been good for you if I was flipping for whether or not to just shoot you. 

Hey!  Where are you running off to?  Don’t go!  Awwwwwww…

What Would Comic Book Villains Do? (WWCBVD?) Week 9

It's Black Friday in the United States so what better day to explore the dark side of super-powered entities than to present a new addition of What Would Comic Book Villains Do?  So without further ado we will explore how some of our favorite bad guys would handle a particular social situation...

Scenario: A friend of yours comes to you for advice about a big decision in their life.  What they have in mind is not a good idea in the least.  You don’t want to hurt your friend’s feelings but at the same time you see nothing but disaster coming from their plans.  What do you do?
Dr. Psycho:  In cases like this one it is always best to fall back on the old ways.  Some people we encounter in our lives simply lack the capacity to realize their dreams, or in this case, realize how foolish those dreams are in reality.  What is best for them in the long run is to have me administer some targeted reordering of their thought processes.  I am a doctor after all.  I live to help people, especially if they may help me in the process advance the ends of my own dreams.  After all, my dreams are the only ones worth dreaming! 

So once I’ve managed to erase any vestiges of such pointless notions from his mind I would then help make sure he puts his time and energy to a more useful purpose as one of my mindless henchmen.  After all, even if he gets caught aiding and abetting me, no court in the land would convict someone under the unnatural influences of a master manipulator of the mental capacity of others.  It is a win-win situation really.

Mesmero:  You know if I had a dollar for every time one of my friends or colleagues came to me with some half-baked scheme asking for advice I would never have had to turn to a life of crime!  Be it my old college buddies or that guy from two doors down at my apartment complex or worse still other super-villains, everyone has an angle on something!  And for some reason I seem to have this big flashing sign around my neck that everyone but me can see that says, “The Life Advisor Is In”!  I learned  a long time ago to just hypnotize any such notions right out of their noggins so I don’t have to suffer through giving my sage advice only to have it flatly ignored!

Saturn QueenAs a would-be, and bear in mind I don’t intend to remain so for much longer, conqueror of the galaxy I have little time for such trivialities.  Who has time to cultivate friendships when there are planets to subjugate and the Legion of Super-Heroes to thwart?  Mere mortals simply do not understand what we villains go through on a day to day basis!  Do you know what it is like to spend months or years hatching a scheme alone or with my colleagues only to have the whole thing undermined in a heartbeat by some do-gooder?!  Of course you don’t!

And the worst thing is that we villains don’t tend to socialize much.  Sure we get together to plan, to scheme, to work out the minutia of our next caper, but that is strictly business.  I don’t even know Lightning Lord’s real name!  How sad is that? 

You know this feels really good, opening up like this and all.  I spend so much of my time exerting my mental will on others to open bank vaults or decide not to arrest me that after all that I never get a chance to share my true self.  Is this the kind of thing friends do?  I believe I would like to have this friend after all.  Someone I could tell about my day over the vidphone and just get a lot off my chest.  Especially that “grand plan” my friend has in mind!  If anyone ever needed a notion willed out of their head by someone it is my friend!  What a moron!  In fact I find myself questioning why I ever decided to have a friend in the first place!  I wonder if I can self-hypnotize that notion out of my own head. 

Hi.  Who are you?

Controller:  Who am I to stand in the way of someone else’s plans?  Have all of my own schemes gone forward as hoped?  Not even close!  Sometimes I sit in my jail cell or at my headquarters depending on my present state of personal liberty and contemplate the aspects of my schemes I should have recognized as detrimental.  Hindsight is 20/20 as they say! 

Sure I could always take over his mind and extract such thoughts and ambitions as I deem impossible, couldn’t I?  Now you tell me how that is a responsible use of my powers!  This is my buddy we are talking about here!  Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find people you can just pal around with when you look like this?!  There is no way I would do anything to jeopardize that friendship.  Besides, he’s a grown man, he can choose his own way, right or wrong.  You never know, he might just pull it off!  

Starro the Conqueror:  There is only one way.  THE way!  There is only Starro!  Starro must rule all!  The Way of Starro is the way of all life!  All must bow before the might of Starro the Conqueror!   

 So what I am getting at here is that I would use one of my countless spores to take him over and make him my slave for all time or until the Justice League again manages to thwart my deviltry, whichever comes first.  Sorry about all that “Starro must rule!” garbage.  When you’ve been conquering as long as I have, and you look to all the world like a harmless, if colossal, starfish then you have to really pump up the drama to be taken seriously.  Since I’ve never really been one for friends or camaraderie I think a good spore to the face is the way to go here.  

Puppet Master:  Oooooh!  I just realized that this would be an ideal opportunity to utilize my special mind control clay to create a puppet of this hapless friend!  Imagine his confusion as I, behind the scenes, manipulate his every action, silently guiding him to make the kind of decisions I would make to keep his plan on track.  Naturally I want him to succeed where otherwise he would have failed. The best case is that he would become filthy rich with my guidance and then I could simply force him to divert much of his new wealth to me!  What a great plan!  If only I had such a friend…

But wait!  I just realized something else!  I could engineer this whole scenario by using my special clay to make a puppet of some random individual, forcing him to be my friend and later to ask my advice about his hare-brained scheme.  I could feign support while secretly putting my plan of manipulation into effect and in the end making myself rich!  You know I don’t usually respond to these surveys but in this case I am really glad I did!

What Would Comic Book Villains Do? (WWCBVD?) Week 8

Welcome to the eighth installment of What Would Comic Book Villains Do?  After seven rounds and 42 different villains chiming in we are on quite a roll.  For the most part only Marvel and DC villains have been invited.  So in the interest of fairness I am making an effort to more consistently open the floor to nefarious characters from a few more companies who will now be joining their counterparts from the “Big Two”.

Scenario: A close friend of yours is has been trying to stop drinking and been going to various programs and groups to help in the process.  But recently you have seen him going to a local bar every few days.  Being concerned about his goals to stay sober what approach do you take to help him if he is having trouble reaching those goals?

The Clown:  I’m a very proactive type when it comes to my friends.  If there is something needs doing then I am the one to do it!  Just ask Malebolgia!  He say’s I’m a go-to kinda guy!  So this friend of mine is going to a bar is he?  And this is how he’s gonna stop drinkin’?  Well there is only one way to handle a situation like that in my book.  First I set the bar on fire.  But from the back side, you see, that way everybody inside has to run out the front door.  Then I watch for my buddy in the crowd, after I stop laughing hysterically at everyone fleeing the joint, and run up to him all concerned like and tell him it’s a good thing he’s on the wagon and all.  He could have been one of those poor saps I just saw staggering out of the place when it went up like a matchbook!  Of course if this doesn’t work out with a combination of shame and danger and he starts goin’ to a different bar then I’ll just make it a little harder to get out until he’s finally sober.  Or dead.

Shocker:  I have a tried and true method for helping people stick to their goals.  Or do what I say.  Or get out of my way in traffic.  Or stop talking during a movie.  Or give me all the money in the drawers and the vault.  Two words: shock treatment!  Yeah, it works for just about everything!

Penguin:  It is always a shame when someone loses sight of what they want and need to do for their own good.  But Oswald Cobblepot is nothing if not loyal to his friends!  I would invite the poor soul over to the Penguin’s Nest for an intervention.  Once you wander off a path you need the help of good friends to guide you back.  The method I employ in these situations is my Twelve Umbrella Program.  Of course if that should fail, as it usually does, I have the Magpie Aversion Therapy Program as a backup.  This utilizes a trained magpie that perches on the shoulder of the alcoholic and pecks his head voraciously if he even attempts to take a drink.  Now I just need to train my magpies to differentiate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages!

Immortus:  After I have determined what possessed me to allow someone, anyone, to become a friend with myself I would formulate a plan to use my dominion over time to intervene in a way that is truly beneficial.  Perhaps I would transport him to ancient Greece just to mess with his mind.  Nothing is quite so much fun as watching a displaced soul wandering through the forum of a city like Athens or Pixos.  Lost in another country and another time with all of their vaunted modern conveniences lost to them.  Or perhaps I might just push them forward in time to the day after they planned to go to the bar.  This is always a good one if the day of they planned to go to the bar was the only one they had free that week.  If not a full day into the future, even just a few hours can throw things off if it is after “last call”.  I am really starting to like this intervention thing after all! 

Sportsmaster:  It really depends.  If its one of those old-timey bars where grizzled old guys sit around and drink themselves blotto or worse yet one of those pretentious wine bars I’d have some issues.  Who wants to go to a place like that?  I mean one is depressing and the other is really off-putting!  Have you seen the guys in those wine bars?  What a bunch of self-important jerks!  Now if it is a good old fashioned sports bar, well that’s another story.  When I’m not knocking them over for their cash I like to kick back and watch whatever’s on the screens.  The best is when there’s a baseball game or two, plus something different like soccer or cricket and then maybe one of those “World’s Strongest Man” competitions on the various TVs all at once.  Now in a case like that I’d be right in there with him, throwing back some brews and talking about how he really needs to quit!  We’d have some laughs and enjoy the game and take a cab back to my hideout to try to recover.  If it was one of those other types of bars I’d probably just smack him with a polo mallet and tell him to stick to the plan!

Vermin:  You really need to fire whoever books these things.  I live in a sewer!  And contrary to cartoons, you don’t make a lot of friends living down there!  I spend most of my time trying to find enough food to sustain my existence and of course plotting new ways to kill Spider-Man.  That really leaves little “me time” to cultivate friendships.  Oh sure, I’ve made the odd alliances, but those are usually spur of the moment and always of the teaming-up-to-kill-Spider-Man variety.  I suppose if one of the more gregarious rats or albino alligators I sometimes call friends (more often pets, but that is really more for dramatic effect if someone like Daredevil or that blasted Spider-Man is down here) were to be trying to clean up I would offer to be someone to call on in moments of weakness.  Perhaps I could help shepherd my sewer dwelling friend through  the long process of drying out and staying sober.  That is the kind of thing that would really make me feel good about myself the next time I am beating myself up about my inability to kill Spider-Man.  SPIDER-MANNNNNNNNNN! 

What Would Comic Book Villains Do? (WWCBVD?) Week 7

After a hiatus that was far too lengthy I am proud to announce the return of What Would Comic Book Villains Do?  If you have missed the previous five installments of this popular series, be sure to click on the links below to see each one and discover what answers the ever-changing rogues gallery of bad guys.

This week is “Ladies Week” and features a variety of female super villains who’s voices have yet to be heard in this forum.  And with so many femme fatales joining the discussion what better choice of a question to pose than one put on the table by Mrs. JediCole.  So without further ado we will pose this week’s collection to these nefarious ladies.

Scenario:  You find a note from a friend of yours to her boyfriend, or so it seems at first.  You read further, curiosity getting the better of you it is soon revealed that she was in fact writing to someone else, and in very intimate and romantic terms.  Burdened with this knowledge and being friends with her boyfriend also, what do you do now?

Phobia: It’s funny.  This sounds amazingly like something that happened back in my early days with the Brotherhood of Evil.  We did a job with some of the Fearsome Five that autumn and it was disasterous!  Shimmer...don’t get me started on her…was dating some friend of her brother Mammoth.  Everyone knew she could not stand this guy but she stuck it out because it was her brother’s friend.  That big lummox may be able to mangle freight trains with his bare hands but he’s still such an adolescent!  Mind you, he’s a hunk!  But still…  Sorry, lost my train of thought there.  Mmmmm…hunk!  Anyway, along comes this guy, Bill I think it was who was just perfect for her.  He wasn’t even super-powered or anything, but those two were really meant for each other.  And what a looker!  Not like that jerk Mammoth had her hooked up with, a mud fence that one.  Sure he could leap sixty feet straight into the air, but how practical a power is that?  Little wonder she went for old Bob, now that I think if it his name was Bob. 

So anyway, one day Mammoth managed to figure out that his sister was seeing Bob and he went on a rampage!  He was so upset he nearly smashed his friend, who luckily leapt five yards out of the way so I guess it has its uses after all.  Warp wanted to send Mammoth to Antarctica to cool down, the Brain was out shopping with that gorilla of his, and Houngan, it turns out, had never thought to make a cyber-voodoo doll of Mammoth so it was left to me to set things straight.  I instilled an intense fear of his friend in Mammoth which had the further effect of elevating Bob or Bill or Bart whatever to ideal boyfriend for his sister status. 

So in a case like this I would just cut to the chase and drive one or both of them mad with fear and save everyone a lot of collateral damage.

Black Cat – I would have to have fun with this.  I am “catty” by nature, not to mention bad luck.  Okay, enough of the feline puns, that really is not my style anyway.  My agent said I should start playing up my name a bit more, but it’s just not me.  To put it in simple terms I would confront my friend about her infidelity.  Sure she would accuse me of being a terrible friend for having read her letter, but please!  She left the thing out there where anyone could see it, including her boyfriend.  And that man treats her like gold!  This is the thanks he gets for all of his years of dedication?!  It is such a slap in the face if you ask me!  Once she calms down and starts listening to reason I will help her see what a fool she has been and how she really needs to stick with the man that loves her without question.  I would promise never to say a thing to her boyfriend on the condition she cuts things off with the other guy.  I would even offer to help her out by dating this other guy on the rebound.  That way her boyfriend would have not idea she was seeing this other guy now that he’s mine.  After all, that’s why I broke into her house in the first place, on the off chance I could find some incriminating evidence to plain sight to orchestrate the stealing of her illicit boyfriend for myself!  This is just the sort of thing that happens when I cross your path!

Nah, that stuff still doesn’t work for me.

Harley Quinn – Well that is a tough one.  I mean it would depend on which of my friends you were talking about.  If it was…  Wait a minute!  Is this one of those things my therapists and Arkham used to talk about where you substitute hypothetical people for real people?  That would mean you are really talking about me and the Joker, right?  Is it true?!  Is Mr. J seeing someone else behind my back?!  He promised he’d kill me, or at least gas me, before he’d ever have another love!  Why?  WHY?!  MR. J,WHYYYYYYYY?!

Destiny – While I find it funny you should see fit to ask me any such questions for this series, I have to admit I already knew you would, when, and exactly which question.  Perhaps that will help illustrate that I would already know about the note long before it is even written, have visualized the possible outcome of any given course of action, and simply resigned myself to let things take whatever course they might without any interference on my part.  Okay, you drug it out of me!  I can’t predict the future as well as I used to.  Not after that damned Kitty Pryde phased through me when I was trying to advance the cause of Mutantkind by killing off Senator Robert Kelly.  Ever since then my precognitions, like my aim with the crossbow that fateful day, have been just slightly off the mark.  Can you believe the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants had the audacity to put me on notice!  Some brotherhood I tell you!  I would predict nothing but misery in their future…if I could count on the visions at full. 

Maybe it is just time to retire from all of this. 

Granny Goodness – Darkseid told Granny that you would probably be bugging Granny at some point with inane questions that are so far below the masters of Apokolips as to be unnoticeable.  But to Granny’s surprise, Granny must admit, your choice of query intrigues Granny!  What exactly would your good Granny do when confronted with such shenanigans?   Hmmm, Granny must ponder this a moment!  Moment passed!  First Granny would dispatch one of Granny’s Female Furies, probably Stompa or Mad Harriet, to round up all three of the participants in this little drama and bring them to Granny at Granny’s Orphanage.  Granny would then pit both males in mortal combat against Parademons with the winner gaining the hand of the female.  Should both perish, as undoubtedly would be the outcome, then  Granny would gain a new trainee for her Female Furies as their numbers have become a bit thin of late.

Scorpia – I know as a super-villain I should really have some kind of twisted opinion on all of this, I really should.  The thing is I just tend to steer clear of people’s personal lives.  I mean, how would I feel if some well-meaning “friend” was snooping around in my business?  For all I know that note could be really old or maybe part of a novel she’s writing.  You would really be surprised how respectful of privacy the villains I’ve worked with in the past are.  Especially Vulture!  When he’s not trying to kill Spider-Man, he’s an absolute gentleman!

Harley Quinn – Why Mr. J?!  Why did you do it?!!  Bwaaaahhhaaaaaaaaaa!

What Would Comic Book Villains Do? (WWCBVD?) Week 6

It is time yet again to delve into the dark underbelly of the caped and cowled super beings.  Yes, the terrible world of the super-villain.  In order to better understand their evil order we will pose simple moral questions to them and take what we can from their responses. 

Scenario:  You are at your weekly poker game with three friends.  Everyone is drinking and having a good time, talking about the past week and what they are up to these days.  Your friends confide in you that they have been making good money “running errands” for a local gangster.  They drunkenly let details drop about a big heist they have planned to impress their new boss.  Throughout the card game almost every detail is about the time and place of the crime is recklessly imparted to you.  What do you do?

Rama Tut: After I have determined what possessed me to play this strange game you call Poh Kurr I would formulate a plan to use my dominion over time to play a game that is truly fun.  Perhaps I would transport the lot of them to ancient Egypt, I got my start there you know, just to mess with their minds.  Nothing is quite so much fun as watching displaced souls wandering through the plaza of a city like Memphis or Hieranknopolis.  Lost in another country and another time with all of their vaunted modern conveniences lost to them.  Or perhaps I might just push them forward in time to the day after they planned their heist.  This is always a good one if the day of the operation is as crutial as the time of day.  If not a full day into the future, even just an hour or so can throw off a well laid plan.  I am really starting to like this Poh Kurr game after all!    

Magpie: Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie, gimmie!  I don’t care what they plan to steal, I want in on it!  I love to steal.  Anything, everything!  I will steal what they steal from them if I can!  I have three storage buildings in town with nothing in them but things I stole that I can’t remember why I took them.  So why wouldn’t I want to be in on their big score.  It doesn’t matter to me if it is money or jewelry, guns or furs, baby bottles or boa constrictors, I want to steal it all!

Batroc: Unless zee heist they plan involves leaping I really don’t care what they are up to.  I have far too many schemes of my own involving zee Avengairs or Capeetan America after all!  And all of my plans naturally involve leaping.  It’z what I do!  It is what I’ve done for zee last 30 years!  Leaping about!  And on zat note, do you know what really pizzez me off?  Zoze young punks you see zees days leaping and hopping from one building to zee next.  Zeir so-called parkour!  Zey act like zey invented leaping or zomething! 

Shade: Anywhere else in the world, with the possible exception of Paris (and then incumbent on my mood), their actions would be of little consequence to me.  After all, absent villainy would there be need of heroics?  Now if this were in Opal City that would be quite a different matter indeed.  In such a case I would take it upon myself to teleport into their midst and exact terrible retribution upon them with my shadow demons.  This may garner me some considerable scrutiny on the part of the O’Dares, but it is of little consequence.  My Opal would be rid of a threat to her purity and would have a compelling new entry for my journal.  And a good excuse to indulge in little absinthe afterwards. 

Arnim Zola:  Well that certainly all depends on what they are planning to steal.  If they have an angle on some high tech merchandise – something publicly known from Stark or perhaps clandestine weaponry from A.I.M. – then I would arrange to get to that coveted technology before them.  I would love to get my hands on some Stark or A.I.M. stuff!  Do you have any idea how hard it is to obtain?  Nobody can get near it!  The closest I have ever come was picking up a stray neutron ray blaster that the Defenders missed when they cleaned out an A.I.M. compound near Los Angeles.  Hercules, the big oaf, had tossed a guard so high that he landed on the other side of the fence and his blaster was still laying in the vacant lot nearby the next morning!  Yeah, I like going out to survey the aftermath of super-hero battles, so what?  It’s called “beachcombing” and you never know what you might find.  I have a genuine Spider-Man web-shooter cartridge I found after he fought the Juggernaut!  What do you have?

Green Hornet: I would endear myself to them, see if I can get “in”.  I am always enthusiastic when it comes to the criminal enterprises of others.  I like to get in the middle of things.  Find out who’s who, work my way up the chain to meet the boss.  It is best to know all of the players when you are counted among them I always say.  I sure hate it when the cops come muscling in on things and break up the whole gang top to bottom, though!  Then I have to drive around with my partner and find some new bunch of crooks to hang out with!

What Would Comic Book Villains Do? (WWCBVD?) Week 5

Nasty.  Nefarious.  Naughty. 

Just a few words used to describe those who embrace or indeed embody evil.  They are the super villains of comics, the requisite “bad guys”.  They are the arch-nemesis, the evil twins, the players on the other side.  And yet how often do we seek their opinions on issues?  Largely this is a matter of personal safety that we spurn them, but when you take the time to pose a pertinent question to such villainous types, you learn a lot about them you might never know otherwise.

Scenario:  You answer the phone in the middle of the night to the sound of a frantic voice.  It is an old friend you have not seen in several months and he begs you to meet him at a secluded corner in town.  Concerned, you agree to his request and find him looking disheveled and terrified.  Looking unnerved he begs you to hide a gun for him until the heat is off and he can take it off your hands.  What do you do?

Hammerhead: Wow, this sure brings back memories!  I remember the first time I needed to hide a gun!  I called my cousin Saulie in the Bronx because he was the only person I thought I could trust.  I was so panicked!  He told me to forget about it, there was no gun.  Saulie took good care of me, you see.  Funny thing, ten years later that gun winds up being used in a robbery.  The guy gets caught and, get this, he winds up taking the rap for not only the two guys I plugged but some broad that was killed before I ever got that gun!  Small world, huh? 

Deathstroke the Terminator:  Certainly I would take the gun to hide.  In my line of work what we call “experienced firearms” are always welcome.  Depending on the type of gun I would either sell it to underworld contacts or file down the serial numbers and reconfigure the rifling before adding it to my personal arsenal.  Though I am rather particular about the guns I use myself, so it will likely be the former.  A few days later I will naturally have to track him down and kill him.  No loose ends as we say in the business.

Arcade:  Naturally I would be only to happy to hide the gun.  And I would hide it very well.  Deep in the bowels of an abandoned warehouse that I have refit with elaborate death traps like animatronic Foreign Legionnaires armed with long rifles, a breakaway bridge over a snake pit, and an oversized version of Whack-a-Mole.  Convincing me to hide the gun is no problem at all, getting it back will be quite another matter!

KGBeast: I would take the gun and hide it for him.*

Kraven the Hunter:  I would refuse and send him on his way with a strict rebuke!  How dare he deign to assume that Kraven the Hunter would hide a handgun for him!  A HANDGUN!  Everyone knows of my disdain for those pathetic weapons.  Now a rifle, that is a whole different story.   A rifle is a man’s gun!  From the Browning A-Bolt to the Ruger M77 these are the guns of choice for a true hunter.  Take the .300 Winchester Magnum (with a Nikon Buckmaster 4.5-14x40 scope) for example.  Ideal for hunting zebra, red hartebeest, or caribou.  It is also highly prized (by me) for hunting Spider-Man.

Gizmo:  I would only be willing to hide a gun for a friend if he did not actually ever want it back.  Certain guns make ideal templates upon which to build more elaborate, and indeed useful, weapons.  By reconfiguring a revolver to accommodate miniaturized kinetic energy accelerators of my own design and adding an amplification matrix to the muzzle I can create a single-shot force ray useful for blasting holes in bank vaults.  Certain types of automatic pistols are useful in creating sonic resonance field generators that can counteract Cyborg’s white sound laser.  I hate that guy and his gadgets!

*KGBeast (continued):  What?  No, there’s really no more to it.  I have many places to hide a gun, no one would ever find it.  I’m KGB, hiding a gun for a friend is elementary stuff!  A new recruit could do it.  Why do you insist on long, drawn-out explanations?

What Would Comic Book Villains Do? (WWCBVD?) Week 4

We can all pretty easily guess what a super hero would do in a situation where a strong moral code is essential.  But what about their polar opposites?  That is the purpose of this series of course.  So once again we pose a conundrum to a variety of super villains from the long history of comic books.

Scenario:   A car pulls up on a residential block with music blasting so loud that it can scarcely be distinguished as music.  The driver and passengers seem to have no regard for anyone on the block and loiter at the street with no apparent business other than to shatter the idyllic peace of the once quiet street.  What do you do?

Black Adam:  I would pick up the offending car and toss it fifty feet into the air.  Then I would fly over to catch it before it hit the ground and throw it again.  I would repeat this constantly until I managed to get them all the way to vast open fields or a trackless desert.  Then I would lower the car to the ground and, if the occupants survived the journey physically and mentally I would tell them, “Now you can turn it up as loud as you want!”

Anaconda: Me?  I would use my stretching arms and super strength to surround and crush the car and everyone in it!  I love crushing cars, especially with the radio blasting like that.  You get the great visuals of the body and frame crimping and bowing and the sound of the radio up to the point where it is rendered inoperable from the force of my constricting.

Circe: Well if they insist on acting like pigs I will do them a favor and turn them into pigs!  They won’t know what hit them!  One minute they are cruising around in their big fancy car, the next minute their hands are turning into hooves, their noses into snouts, and they are sprouting curly little tails.  I really love turning people into pigs.  I mean come on, I’ve been doing that for centuries!  It’s my thing!  Oh I know!  I’ve heard it time and time again…a good sorceress should be able to turn people into ostriches, trout, or even tarsiers.  Blah, blah, blah!  I just choose to specialize in pigs, okay?!

Asp: If there is one thing I can’t stand it is obnoxious people who play their music so loud that even they can’t hear any discernible lyrics.  Death Adder is like that, always playing his music to loud!  As if that wasn’t bad enough Cottonmouth and Rattler just egg him on!  So I would do like I do when the boys back at Society headquarters play their music too loud.  I would approach the occupants of the car and ask them politely to turn down their music and be respectful of others.  They would probably be dismissive of me and laugh just like the guys I work with.  In that case I will simply fall back on my usual Plan B and just zap the daylights out of them with my venom blast.  That usually does the trick!

Mirror Master: Music is not really my forte.  You might want to ask somebody like the Fiddler.  Now when it comes to light and reflections that is where I come in!  If they had a bunch of flashlights or something I would probably be able to come up with something cool to do.  Loud music really never bothered me that much.  To tell a bit of a secret I’m almost deaf.  Not that good hearing helps you when the Flash swoops in out of nowhere.  You barely have time to register the sonic boom before he has whisked you off to prison!  But I just got this really great idea about the question…I would make  a holographic mirror image of myself to go tell them to knock it off with the noise.  These types are usually pretty tough so if they try to threaten “me” I would make a whole bunch of duplicate images of myself appear.   I would make myself look as menacing as possible (not easy to do in green and orange) and tell them they had better get out of “our” side of town!

Constrictor: You know what the real question here is?  Why can I not get inducted into the Serpent Society?!  Come on!  I’m Constrictor!  My name invokes snakes as well as any of the rest of that lot.  I mean Princess Python got in!  What is that all about?  I guess I’m just the wrong gender.  They have a lot of guys and need more ladies to balance things out.  So that’s how it is!  They can keep their snobby society and their stupid quest for the Serpent Crown!  It’s not like they can split the damn thing between all 20 of them!  At least I got asked to participate in this installment.  Ha!  Take that Serpent Society!  What?  Anaconda AND Asp already gave their answers?!  Damn it! 

What Would Comic Book Villains Do? (WWCBVD?) Week 3

From the darkest corners of the pages of comic books come the villains!  The often deadly foils to the greatest heroes their four color world can offer.  We know they scheme.  We know they hate.  We know they destroy and kill and steal and maim.  But what do the do when confronted with simple moral dilemmas?  Let's ask a few, shall we?

Scenario: You see a co-worker stealing loose change out of other worker’s desks.  He does not know that he has been detected doing this.  You have become good friends with this co-worker outside of the workplace.  What do you do about what you have seen?
Sandman:  A co-worker?  Really?  I’m a super criminal!  I don’t have co-workers!  Okay, yeah, I guess you could call the other members of the Fearsome Five co-workers.  It is a bit of a stretch though.  It’s not like we all got hired by a big company and we are in the same work group or anything.  We just kind of get together to commit crimes and do battle with various super-heroes.  It’s not as organized as it looks, really.  If Green Goblin and Chameleon are working on a scheme and phone up Electro for advice, one thing leads to another and as soon as there are any five of the guys involved we carry out the plan as the Fearsome Five.  Have you never wondered why the roster of the group changes so often?!  I mean it makes sense for the Avengers.  They all have a common goal.  Villains are really more of the “every man for himself” mentality at the end of the day, so teaming up is not something that really works out on a regular basis.  Best just to just let the guy keep to his own devices and maybe hit him up later for some money for a candy bar or something.  It’s not like it’s coming out of his pocket, right?

The Riddler:  Oh how I do love puzzles, conundrums, and the like!  This one presents a most appealing scenario to me.  Anytime you see someone in the midst of petty larceny it is best to play upon any conscience they may have with little tricks that lead to ever crueler manipulation of your knowledge of their activities.  First you drop subtle hints by saying things like, “I think I will take my break at the QUARTER of the hour.”, or “I think I need to CHANGE a few things around the office.”  It is always fun to watch them pretend it does not bother them at all.  Then after that has softened the little thief up a bit start leaving notes that suggest that they are being watched.  Leave voice mails or anonymous emails sent from the public library computers to tell them they are being watched.  It is such sport to see people crack up under pressure!

Sebastian Shaw, Black King of the Hellfire Club: Where you may see a petty criminal I see an ideal recruit for the [Hellfire] Club’s private army.  Utilizing a series of hidden cameras we have long utilized office shenanigans to help pinpoint the type of malicious and shallow people that have proved ideal pawns…um…soldiers in our cause.  You really do need to find the right mentality if you want people to wear a peach-colored hockey mask, a navy and red jumpsuit, and be the first line of defense against Wolverine!

Sinestro:  I would confront him immediately, threatening to turn him over to the boss.  As he begs and pleads I will be secretly tapping his fear to power my yellow ring.  Sometimes you need a quick boost for the ring when the Power Battery is back at home and it is going to be one of those long nights at the office.  After I got a decent charge on the old ring I would let him off the hook, probably even help him look for more cash laying around.

Tiger Shark:  I’d kill him!  Rend that sucker limb from limb and feed his remains to a pod of killer whales!  If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s really wanting a Dr. Pepper and finding my loose change has been pilfered.  It’s not like you have time on your break to find someone to break a single for you.  And everyone knows that the bill acceptor that’s been broken for months will never get fixed!  Yeah, he is pretty much doomed if I catch him.

Solomon Grundy:  Solomon Grundy will handle like he handle all such problems!  ARRRRRRRRRGGHHH!!  Ahem!  Terribly sorry about that, needed to clear my throat there.  Firstly I would approach my coworker and advise him that rooting through other’s desks is morally reprehensible and terribly disrespectful of others.  His reaction to this gesture would color my next step in the process.  Should he appear embarrassed at his actions, admitting he was hoping to supplement what he had in his pocket by borrowing someone else’s change until the next day when he could replace it so he could get a candy bar to carry him through that lengthy report he has to finish then I would tell him to be sure to get that money replaced right away.  If he is belligerent or indifferent I would tell him that I am obliged to report his actions to our employer immediately.  You have to weigh the facts at hand in such situations.  Now if it was someone from the Justice Society or the Justice League, well that would be a different story indeed.  They really bother me!  They get under my skin and soon the rage is boiling in Grundy’s head and Grundy’s teeth begin to grind and Grundy’s fists clench and Grundy must destroy the Justice People!  ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!

What Would Comic Book Villains Do? (WWCBVD?) Week Two

They are evil.  They are treacherous.  They are nasty, cruel, scheming, and not at all nice.  They are the villains of the comic books!  And select members of their malicious fraternity are invited each week to share their thoughts on how they would handle a day to day or ethical situation. 

The best way to combat evil is to understand evil.  By discovering how the mind of arch-criminals works we might better understand how to defeat them.  With that in mind I offer up this week's scenario for our select panel of super-villains.

Scenario: You hear the cries of a kitten nearby.  Looking around you do not see the source of this sound until you chance to look upward into the foliage tree.  Standing in the fork of two high branches is a tiny tabby kitten frantically calling out for help in its predicament.  What do you do?

Lex Luthor: I would have one of my staff phone the Fire Department immediately.  We can't have stray kittens stuck in trees now can we?  They would of course immediately dispatch a ladder company to see to the rescue as the Fire Chief owes me a great many favors.  Once the little creature was safely down from the tree I would immediately adopt it as a pet.  In my meteoric rush to become the most powerful man in the world (yes, I said that Superman!) I never had time for a pet.  It would do me good to have a cat around the house.  One of my staff would of course see to its care, feeding, and training.  And it would be housed in a special pet wing of one of my Metropolis mansions.  And it would be assigned a full-time caregiver on call 24 hours a day.  Once every few months or so I might drop by and scratch it between the ears.

Stilt Man: Using my incredible cybernetic stilt-legs I would easily rescue the kitten from its plight.  My armored exoskeleton would protect me from its claws as I lowered it slowly to the ground.  You know how it is with scared kittens, they get all flailing about with their claws straight out.  They don't mean to scratch, they are just terrified.  Yeah, I would get the poor little thing down safely to the ground.  My therapist says I should do more things like that, you know?  Like using my incredible cybernetic stilt-legs to do some things that benefit mankind.  And once the kitten was safely on the ground and calmed down I would scoop it back up in my arms, rise up to the treetops and put it back in the high branches before taking a stilt-assisted stroll around the block (you make great time with 15 foot long legs let me tell you).  Once back around I would hear a little kitten crying out from the trees.  I should probably rescue it, that is the right thing to do after all!

Ocean Master: A kitten?  Seriously?!  I'm Ocean Mater!  I spend like 95% of my time under water!  Do you have any idea how many kittens are stuck in trees at the bottom of the sea?  I'll give you a hint.  The number rhymes with "hero"!  Honestly!  I mean I could have been jovial and said something like, "Well if I found a baby catfish stuck in a tree coral I would do this..."  You get the idea.  How patently ridiculous was this question to ask me?  You couldn't just wait for the question about someones jewelry falling overboard from a boating excursion and it being discovered on the sea floor with their phone number engraved on it could you?  No, not at all!  I be Black Manta gets invited to that one.  That is just so typical!  Do you realize how few undersea villains there are?  There's a reason we don't have a League of Aquatic Evil you know!  There aren't enough of us to pay the rent on a submersible headquarters!  So say hi to Manta for me.  That was sarcasm by the way... 



Copperhead: I would run.  Run away as quickly as possible.  Um, to get help.  Help to get the kitten down.  The little thing must be so scared and unsure of itself.  Someone should do something about that!  What?   Why don't I slither up the tree and back down again carrying it to safety?  I'm a super villain!  Do you think I took the name of  a venomous North American snake because I wanted to seem approachable!  I am the epitome of evil!  My heart is as frigid as Arctic pack ice and my soul is as black as the void!  And...I'm afraid of cats.  Okay?!  Are you happy?  You just pried and pried until you drug that out of me.  Yeah the great and mighty Copperhead is afraid of cats!  Lots of people are you know.

MODOK: Like my fellow super-villains I would use every means at my disposal to rescue the infant cat.  NO!  I most certainly did not read their replies in advance!  I merely utilized my genetically enhanced super-intelligence to glean their reactions based on an intense psychological study of each that took less than one trillionth of a second to calculate.  That aside I would utilize that self same hyper intelligence to aid me in using the  A.I.M. technology at my disposal to enhance the genetic structure of the young animal allowing it to grow to many times its normal size.  It's developing body would express bullet-proof armor instead of fur.  It's eyes would be capable of projecting deadly laser beams and its purr would create glass-shattering resonances.  It's indestructible claws would cut through thick reinforced steel like butter.  And it would be my loyal companion in all of my nefarious deeds.  Wow!  I just read everyone else's replies (I am capable of formulating my own before viewing theirs) and that Copperhead one really took me by surprise! 

What Would Comic Book Villains Do? (WWCBVD?)

Welcome to a new series for The JediCole Universe!  Every week or so I will explore the dark underbelly of comic books with in-depth discussions on how comic book villains, primarily from Marvel and DC Comics, would approach some everyday situations.  While comic book heroes are bastions of all that is right, we can often learn a lot from those who have devoted their lives to criminal enterprises.  By looking at their reactions to certain common circumstances we can learn more about the state of society and ourselves.

Scenario: An old woman is walking along a city sidewalk nearby when a ruffian rushes out of the shadows and attempts to snatch her purse.  She is able to hold on to one end of the strap while the crook tugs on the other.  They are both only about a yard away from you.  What do you do?

Dr. Doom: If this is in America I would not be there on that street.  It may look like I am but in all actuality it is one of my Doombots.  I use them in most cases when I am perceived to be abroad so that should my schemes run afoul of the Fantastic Four I am not personally inconvenienced. Witnessing of purse snatching is not in the present programming of my Doombot army so it would seem I would do nothing as a result.  If this were in Latveria I would stun them both with a mild blast from my gauntlets, see them safely taken to one of the nearby prisons, tried, and executed before tea time.  The criminal for the act of thievery he attempted and the old woman for having the audacity to publicly flaunt the ownership of a handbag on my streets!

Joker: Well this seems more up the Riddler’s street.  Perhaps it takes place on the Riddler’s street!  I made a little joke there.  And you’re not laughing!  I don’t like it when people don’t laugh at my jokes!  And you won’t like me when I’m not liking you!  But in answer to your question, I would cheer the petty little thief on, even lending my assistance if necessary.  Then as he made good his escape I would chase after him yelling, “Stop…thief!  Police!  Help!”, that sort of thing.  This would thoroughly confuse him enough to let me catch up to him and offer him a safe place to hide.  We would retreat to one of my hideouts where my henchmen and I would subdue him and place him on the bench of a dunking booth over a tub of acid or piranhas (depending on which hideout) and take turns hurling softballs at him until Batman arrives to thwart us.  I can promise you that he will never steal again!  If only the authorities would listen to me.  Joker-style criminal justice always sends even the hardest criminals back onto the street as reformed and productive members of society!

Ultron: I would vaporize the purse snatcher thus engendering my synthetic self to the old woman.  Then I would vaporize her as I suspect to an organic sentient being that would be an unexpected action.  Then I would vaporize the buildings nearby.  I would follow this by further vaporizing of cars, buildings, traffic signals, pigeons, and those little easels in front of cafes that show the daily specials.  Then I would pause in my vaporization efforts to allow my power cells to recharge before vaporizing anew.  Can you tell I like to vaporize things?

Toy Man: I would yell, “Hey!  I was going to steal that purse!  Go find you own!”  I think that would be pretty funny.  In actuality I wouldn’t be planning to steal that purse at all.  Unless I happened to have a wind-up monkey or a little racecar with a  retractable purse-catching hook on the side to do it with.  But alas, I do not.

Chameleon:  I would watch the theft play out and then discreetly follow the thief to wherever he has snuck off to count his loot.  Quietly I would sneak up on him and change my appearance to look like the old lady, thus shocking him into returning the stolen goods.  As he runs frantically away from the woman’s doppelganger I would then take on his appearance for a time.  While I wear his face I will commit some major bank heists and even hold the United Nations for ransom before quietly disappearing.  Imagine his surprise when an entire army of International law enforcement officers converge on his apartment to arrest him!

Darkseid: I would not hesitate for a moment.  Even a moment’s hesitation would be too much to afford mere human beings.  No, there would be no hesitation on my part.  Nor would there be any action.  I would give the incident no notice as it serves me in neither accomplishing the completion of the Anti-Life Equation nor wresting control of Earth from her super-powered champions before reshaping it in the image of my beloved Apokolips. 

Check back in about a week to see what our next six super villains have to say on the topic!