Monday, July 18, 2016

Villain Retrospect - Miles Mayhem

Miles Mayhem, Max Malice.  There's no wonder who the inspiration is to the villain from Old School Evil.  They share the same vaguely military uniform.  They're older looking than their cronies.  They're gruff, grumpy looking dudes.  Since you've never see Malice, you'll have to trust me - they're a lot alike.


There are a lot of pictures of this guy shaking his fist.
Unlike my last retrospective, I'm a lot more familiar with Miles than Mumm-ra.  Why?  Because M.A.S.K. is the only other show besides Transformers that I've wanted to collect.  Well, I wouldn't mind owning He-Man, but so far I don't.  Anyway, Miles's show is easily one of my favorites.  It shares a lot of aspects with Transformers, now that I think about it.  You've got shape-shifting vehicles and characters with special powers.  Let's looks at each of these separately.

It changes from a flying vehicle into... another flying vehicle?


First, the vehicle.  In no other show is a vehicle so closely related to a character.  Each one had their own distinctive ride, and Miles had arguably the coolest of them all.  You have a helicopter, already a pretty cool vehicle, and dwarfed by one other original M.A.S.K. toy (Rhino).  But then, you flip a few switches and suddenly, you've got a freakin' jet!  That was bad-ass!  Way cooler than Matt Trakker's Thunderhawk, in my opinion.  What would you rather fly in, a car with its doors up, or an actual jet?

Second, you've got M.A.S.K.'s signature weapons.  Each of the characters wears a mask that basically grants them special powers.  There's x-ray vision, levitation, phase shifting.  Basically any power you can think of.  Miles's mask, Viper, shoots highly corrosive acid, perfect for melting safes to steal whatever was inside.  In a cartoon where most of the powers are supportive, it's cool seeing one so much devastating potential.

I can't see outta this thing!
As I've watched through this show more since buying the series set, I have noticed however, that Miles Mayhem is a little short-sighted.  In contrast to many of his villainous peers, Miles's plans ran the gamut from stealing jewels to finding ancient weapons, with all sorts of weird stuff in between.  I mean, there's an episode where he robs a bank - that's child's play.  You have these great vehicles and powerful weapons and what you want is money?  For shame, Miles, for shame.  It really demonstrates that Miles has no real ambition.  Megatron wanted to steal Earth's energy, Skeletor wanted to get the secrets of the ancients from Grayskull, Cobra Commander wanted world conquest.  What did Miles actually want?  No clue.  If it was ever actually mentioned in a show, I must have missed it. The blog Cartoonopolis makes a great argument for V.E.N.O.M. (Miles's organization, interestingly also snake-based) just starting out and needing capitol, but since that was never argued in the material, it's just a very fitting theory.

Let's get to the rating - Coolness: 3.  I'll be the first to say I love this guy, but if you take away his vehicle, he's just an old guy in a fake-looking military outfit.  His voice isn't memorable and even his mask is pretty bland compared to some of the other characters.
Effectiveness: 3.  Miles's plans go awry as much as every other villains' did, but I would give him more props if his plans were more evil than robbing stuff.  Compared to others, Miles just doesn't stack up.

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