Monday, May 22, 2006

Monday Challenge - Anti-Justice League

If you were to create an Anti-Justice League, using the seven original members as your basis, who would the respective villains be?

Luthor, Sinestro and the Joker are pretty much givens. Sadly, I don't think anyone can beat Circe for Wonder Woman. That leaves Flash, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter.

Flash is mainly a choice of villains, but probably Zoom would win.

Aquaman is between two, Ocean Master and Black Manta.

But Martian Manhunter? Who would you even choose?

9 Comments:

Anonymous Rebis said...

You know, I think Morrison got this headscratcher just right once upon a time. He made a suprising choice back during his intial Injustice League story during his JLA run (or were they the new Injustice Gang?). You know, the six-parter with the two-part mindf*ck that found a futuristic League battling Darkseid? That arc. "Rock of Ages," right?

Good old Grant assembled a seven-memeber anti-Justice League comprised of Luthor, Joker, Circe and Ocean Master. Sinestro was still dead at the time and off-limits, sadly; ditto Zoom. (Well, the original was dead and the savage new replacement hadn't been created yet.) So Morrison roped in Dr. Light and Mirror Master, neither choices quite as fine, but his hands were tied there. (I do like the Scottish version of the Flash Rogue. Morrison kept with with a bit of characterization he'd begun in A-Man, allowing Mirror Master to have something of a conscience, albeit a very selfish one.)

So that's six of seven ... and then Morrison ran into your very dilemma: Who's Martian Manhunter's nemesis? So Morrison reached into the DC Grab-Bag of Forgotten D-listers and pulled out J'emm, Son of Saturn! (Remember him? For some reason they gave him a maxi-series waaay back when! Maybe with Gene Colan art?) (Gosh, we're geeks. I'm lovin it though.)

J'emm wasn't a villain, of course. But Lex and his wicked anti-League held J'emm hostage. They were harnessing his mental powers to their nefarious purposes. A fun little twist to provide a nemesis for J'onn.

(btw, does anyone else think Morrison should've picked J'emm to be one of his Seven Soldiers? Because one genre he didn't really mine fully in his crazy mix of SS minis was sci-fi. Frankenstein's more horror/action, really. And Mister Miracle could have gone there, but ... I dunno what the hell that one was.)

Anyhoo ... If you want a more satisfactory, long-term J'onn villain, well ... [shrug] [furrows brow] Ostrander did some good stuff with J'onn! Good old Ostrander. He came up with a villain from Mars who somehow was still alive, Malefic I think? But then again, Ostrander also made the bone-headed choice to kill him off. You never kill a great villain. Where we would be if Finger, Kane and Company had killed Joker right away? (Stupid Tim Burton!) But you know, death lasts about 1.8 years max in the DCU these days, so Malefic's due for a bad-ass comeback.

(Another new-ish villain who never got his/her due is Fatality. She could've been the ultimate GL opponent -- even had the potential to rival Sinestro, I think -- but the writergods keep maiming her and shit.)

An easier choice for J'onn's doppelganger would be Despero, who, while known as a solo League villain, certainly seems to have it in for J'onn in particular. Although why he'd want to pal up with Luthor and Joker, well, that's a whole nother dilemma.

5/22/2006 11:31 PM  
Blogger joncormier said...

Despero.

5/23/2006 11:17 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

J'onn suffers from a lifelong case of aimlessness. His story and backstory has been yanked around in so many directions that there's no, well, for want of a better word I'll call it his Center. Throughout his years in the back of Detective, he never had a recurring villain, an Arch-Enemy. And those who've surfaced since (Marco Xavier, Malefic) are dead and forgotten.

He borrowed a Bat-villain once, Professor Arnold Hugo, and that had potential.

So the best bet is to borrow a JLA villain, since most of his finest moments occurred with that team. The new Despero, while not a bad idea, is wa-a-ay too powerful to hang around with the anti-League you've postulated.

I've always liked Amos Fortune, and J'onn featured prominently the first time they captured him, immune to Fortune's machinations because Martians don't have a luck gland (*ahem*).

Superman - Luthor
Batman - Joker
Wonder Woman - EGG FU!
Aquaman - Ocean Master
Flash - GRODD
Green Lantern - HECTOR HAMMOND
J'onn J'onzz - AMOS FORTUNE

5/23/2006 2:14 PM  
Blogger T. said...

I would go against the grain and not use Luthor for Superman. The mismatch is laughable and just makes Superman look like a glorified bully. I would do the matchup Marvel-style, meaning for once the heroes won't be 10 times more powerful than the villains right out of the gate:

Superman - Black Adam

Batman - R'as Al Ghul or Prometheus

Wonder Woman - One of the female White Martians from the 1st JLA MOrrison arc

Aquaman - Ocean Master

Martian Manhunter - Mongul

Flash - Zoom

GL - Sinestro

Luthor is behind-the-scenes mastermind.

5/23/2006 4:22 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

But isn't Circe a good deal more powerful than Wonder Woman?

5/23/2006 6:48 PM  
Blogger T. said...

That's magic, so I don't count it because it gets written so inconsistently. Plus it makes for boring fight scenes. For all her powers, we always know that one punch that connects will knock Circe out. Didn't Plastic Man beat her? I'd rather someone she can thrown down with.

5/23/2006 8:54 PM  
Blogger Derek B. Haas said...

I think about this question way, way too much. For an equal-but-opposite group, I think Bizarro, Zoom, Sinestro (or Nero), Ocean Master, and Fernus the Burning are locks. You can swap Fernus for Protex, if the former didn't kill the latter in the Phantom Zone. Zod is a viable Bizarro-substitute, as well. For an anti-Batman, you can pick from Killer Moth, Catman, and Prometheus, each of whom is unsatisfying in some fashion. For an anti-Wonder Woman, I can only say that Wonder Woman has a weak-ass rogue's gallery (outside of a few old favorites), but a quick peek through the DC Encyclopedia suggest Devastation as a candidate.

For a great enemies anti-League, I'd say: Lex Luthor, Joker, Mirror Master (also possible: Gorilla Grodd; Vandal Savage; Captain Cold), Black Manta, and Despero are solid choices. Green Lantern doesn't really have anyone who leaps to mind but Sinestro, but I'm sure someone can suggest an alternate (perhaps a Weaponeer of Qward?). Wonder Woman really should have Paula von Gunther here, but she was for some reason omitted post-Crisis--let's go with any one of Hades, Circe, and Dr. Psycho, instead.

We can also always just look to the anti-matter universe, of course...

5/23/2006 9:45 PM  
Anonymous DanLarkin said...

Jemm was an interesting choice as the anti-J'onn. Wasn't his series originally suposed to be a Martian Manhunter revamp called J'onn, Son of Mars that editorial nixed and requested a new character instead?

Though he's a Superman villain, Brainiac would be a good match for J'onn. Psycho Pirate with his emotion twisting powers might work too. There's also J'onn's evil brother M'alefic.

5/23/2006 10:28 PM  
Blogger Derek B. Haas said...

I actually babbled about J'onn foes in a comment on this post at WYPB.

5/24/2006 12:21 AM  

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