Making the Grade: More Super Friends Villains

The evil overlord of the dark planet Apokolips had quite a stranglehold on events by the time the Super Powers: Galactic Guardians show came around. When he wasn’t plotting his own dastardly schemes to conquer the Earth, he was inevitably the shadowy figure behind every other super-villain that came along. I like that in a bad guy. Sure, Darkseid was a vicious, evil alien tyrant out to enslave all mankind, but you have to admit the guy knew how to delegate. That’s got to count for something. B+

The Mr. Smithers to Darkseid’s C. Montgomery Burns. It’s kind of sad, really — in the comics, he’s the master torturer of Apokolips, forever designing all manners of devices to inflict ungodly amounts of pain on his prisoners (my personal favourite: the amusement park that doubles as a secret torture chamber, with tortures that probably include things like waiting in line with a puking three-year-old and paying $8.50 for a Coke). But in the G-rated land of animation, he doesn’t get to do much more than cackle and suck up to the boss. A lackey that lacks something, all right. C-

You know, I’ve never been a big fan of putting the Joker in G-rated entertainments. I mean, you take away the acid-filled squirting flowers, head-exploding trick cigars, and electrocuting joy buzzers, and what have you got? Just some guy in a purple suit who might give Wendy and Marvin a tough fight before the inevitable “Curses! Foiled again!” happy ending. Plus, a guy who incessantly laughs like a maniac isn’t really that funny unless he’s about to kill everyone in the room with him. Or so I’ve heard. D

For all the evil and not-niceness that Darkseid bestows upon the Super Friends every week, you’ve got to feel at least a little bit sorry for the guy when you think about his progeny. Let’s review Kalibak’s attributes: He’s big, strong, ugly, not terribly brights, and desperate for his father’s approval. Oh, and he carries a really big stick, which he uses to club heroes with. “Freudian” doesn’t even begin to cover his issues. Between this guy and the 99-to-1 male-female ratio on the Smurfs, it’s a miracle any of us children of the ’80s turned out normal. D

su_mxyzptlkMr. Mxyzptlk
Why? Why? Why did this little imp always get tripped up by the Super Friends? How hard can it be to not say your own name backwards? It’s not like his name is “Bob” or anything. Backwards, it’s Kltpzyxm, or “kil-TIP-zix-um,” as far as I can tell. Sure, he’s got those cool magical powers, but between the derby and the name thing, he has, as the politicos might put it, a “credibility gap” the size of the Grand Canyon. C-

I’ve got a crazy new idea for a masked criminal: he’ll do everything the Riddler does, only he won’t give the heroes clues about what he’s going to do next. That way, he can go nuts robbing banks while the heroes are back at the Hall of Justice taking turns roasting marshmallows over Firestorm’s head. Still, for a guy whose only superpower is an inhuman sense of fashion, I have to admit he dished out more than his share of trouble. C

Rip-off! The comic-book Scarecrow was the “master of fear” who used gases and drugs to bring his victim’s fears to life. Here, he’s forced to use handheld skulls that emit concentric-circle soundwaves that do the same thing. What, did the animators think depicting gas clouds of fear gas would drive all the kids right into crack and crystal meth? Changing Scarecrow’s M.O. only made it easier for the heroes; they just had to reach out and smash the skull. Lame! On an unrelated note, if I had the Dark Knight in a fetal position crying for his mommy, I wouldn’t waste much time putting a bullet through his Bat-brain. But then, I’m a details kind of person. C-

Green Lantern’s sole contribution to this gallery of rogues is Sinestro, an alien from a planet where they’re pretty lackadaisical about what they name their children. He’s just like Green Lantern; in fact, he was a Green Lantern before he got booted out of the corps. But that’s okay, because he’s now got a spiffy yellow ring to whomp on everyone’s ass. Problem was, he never seemed sure of the rules, like the one time he created a giant yellow foot and got himself stuck under it. Instead of zapping it away with the very same ring that created it, he just whined and pounded his fists and said “Drat!” or some such thing. Huh. C

Speaking as someone who has the entire Kenner Super Powers action figure collection on a shelf, I’m not going to say anything snarky about this poor soul’s predilection for playthings. Toys in themselves are fun; toys as reliable superhero deathtraps, however, leave much to be desired. But at least he had a goal in life; whereas the rest of the Legion of Doom seemed content to follow the standard super-villain manual and try to conquer the world, Toyman’s only goal was to steal enough money to buy every toy store in the world. That’s kind of sweet. Demented, but sweet. B-



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s