Misused Marvel Malcontents
Heroes are defined by their villains. You can’t have a good protagonist without an equally bad antagonist. Over the years we have been presented with several Marvel villains and memorable malcontents. Lately, though, it would seem that they have not been using these guys to the best of their abilities, either having them riding the bench, or having them play a position for which they are not suited at all. The following is a list of five characters whom I think could be better utilized.
Cain Marko, stepbrother of Charles Xavier: abused as a kid by his father, who favored Charles over Cain. Cain possesses the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak. With this gem he is empowered with immeasurable strength, and is an unstoppable force. “Nothing stops the Juggernaut”. The only thing he is susceptible to is psychic powers, and he even had a helmet crafted to protect him from that. He has been defeated several times. To quote Deadpool, “Nothing? Plenty stops the Juggernaut! The X-Men, the Hulk, Spider-Man…TWICE!”. He is invulnerable, and unstoppable. Cain’s one major weakness is intelligence. So how could he better be utilized?
Two words: mindless rampage. With Marvel going all over the map on how they want to portray the Hulk, let’s turn Cain into the new and improved Savage Juggernaut. After years of being beaten, which reminds him of the times his father beat him, he just snaps and loses it. Wherever he is when this happens, he just makes a beeline for the source of his pain: Westchester County. Never mind that Xavier and his dad are dead; he’s insane and rampaging now. Picture Doomsday from Death of Superman, just straight-line for one place, destroying anything that gets in his way, and no one can really stop him, because before he snapped… he was holding back a little.
The Kingpin of Crime, Wilson Fisk. First, let’s address the elephant in the room. Fisk isn’t just some overweight bum. He is muscle. While having Michael Clark Duncan play him in the Daredevil movie outraged many fans, MCD had the muscle build to pull off Kingpin well. Fisk is a crime boss. Correction: he is THE crime boss in the Marvel Universe. Think Godfather, on steroids and muscle enhancers. He is connected – politics, business, law enforcement, military. If he wants something done, it gets done. As an example, during the “Born Again” storyline Fisk made a few phone calls and got a Super Soldier, on loan from the government, to go into Hell’s Kitchen and draw out Daredevil. He picked up the phone and got this done. That, my friends, is power.
For years he was able to stay above the law, having legal teams explain away his connections to various crimes. I’d love to see him come back to this, the Kingpin who has his fingers in every last thing. Not just in New York. There are street-level heroes all over the place. Anytime they are stopping a drug deal, they are interfering with Fisk’s business. Perhaps we could see him taking on the likes of Moon Knight, or Shroud, or Cloak and Dagger. Have him be a force so omnipotent that no matter what city a hero is in, they can come in contact with an operative of Fisk’s. Expand on his power base. How many politicians does he own? Maybe he can get an anti-vigilante bill passed in a city, in a state, the country? A story exploring just how deep and far his roots go, with the good guys having to figure out exactly how to trim that rosebush.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that his origin needs some sort of revamp, or some sort of de-aging (again) needs to be worked into his history to make the Jewish Nazi camp thing work. People who get their comic-book education from movies might think the only thing Magneto can do is move metal. Sadly, this is a huge misconception. Magneto’s power ranges across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. He could stand over a city, emit an EMP, and there you have it… no more technology. He can control light, infra-red, ultraviolet, radio waves. If it’s in the EM spectrum, he can manipulate it. He was, at one time, a threat so large the United Nations bowed to him, and gave him a country. And now, he’s a “good guy”. *headdesk*
Magneto’s ultimate goal has always been to safeguard the homo-superior race. He is, sadly, a reflection of his upbringing. A racial supremist, Magneto believes that his race is the master race. So why not take this to a whole new level? First, Magento takes control of HYDRA. Then he starts recruiting his master race. Sure, he will have humans in HYDRA, but they will be second-class beings next to the mutant inner circle. Picture a HYDRA led by Magneto, and administered by a group of hand-picked mutants out to create a world where mutants are the superior and ruling race of beings on earth.
Marvel has been all over the map with how they portray Doom. He’s a scientist, he’s a magician. He’s the ruler of Latveria. It’s upsetting, really. Doom has always been the rival of the Fantastic Four. With Marvel currently not running a FF series (thanks, 20th Century Fox), they have Doom wandering around as – I kid you not – Iron Man. This needs to end. He is a genius on par with Reed Richards, if not smarter. He’s on par with Stark as far as making weapons and armor. Depending on the writer, he knows as much about magic as Dr. Strange.
The last good Doom story, in my opinion, was the “Unthinkable” storyline – recommended reading – which focused on his magical power and skill. I’ve always pictured a storyline where Doom challenges Strange, and wins the title of Sorcerer Supreme. Now, how does this make him a bad guy, you ask? Well the Sorcerer Supreme is supposed to defend Earth from mystical threats. It’s easier to defend a world you rule than a world that you only control one part of. Also, it should be noted that when he ruled Latveria, it was one of the most peaceful, crime-free countries in the Marvel Universe. Think of what he could do for the world.
“Who is Molecule Man?” I hear you asking yourself. Good question. Owen Reece is one of, if not the most powerful character in the Marvel Universe. Due to an accident with a particle accelerator, Owen had his full psionic potential unstopped like a cork from a bottle. It was later revealed he was one half of a Cosmic Cube. His powers allowed him to reshape matter. ANY matter. Mjolnir, Cap’s Shield, the Silver Surfboard, anything. He had no limits. And then, after he merged with the other half of the Cube, he was gone. He then returned, and was last seen just wandering away from the woman he loves.
So let’s bring him back. He can reshape matter; he can recreate the world. Lately in Marvel there has been a crap-ton of damage done by a bunch of fights. So Owen comes back, to rebuild. Ulterior motive: to win back Volcania, his girlfriend. She, of course, rejects him again. And, well, the lover spurned, Owen just goes off. Starting with places she loved – favorite restaurant? Vaporized. Let’s write him the opposite of what he has been. Let’s make him the jilted, won’t-go-away boyfriend on a cosmic scale.
Insect-like aliens, they mainly tussle with the X-Men. These things were Marvel’s take on the Xenomorph from Alien. They lay an egg in a host, and as that egg matures it transforms the host into a Brood. For the longest time mutants were immune to being a host for an egg. And then they weren’t. It’s confusing. There are rumors that the Brood will be making an appearance in season five of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which I think would be a good way to get them back into the public eye. Perhaps if Marvel were to get the rights back to the film franchise, they could make the first movie a Brood movie.
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