Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Villain Retrospect - Venger

Today, I end the first half of the Villain Retrospective series with another show I can't really look back on as I never watched it. Maybe this should be the beginning of another series where I look at villains from shows I'm not at all familiar with. There are plenty of them, like Visionaries, Bionic Six, and Galaxy Rangers.

Dungeons & Dragons, though, I knew about as a kid just like Silverhawks. While I did know more about Silverhawks, I knew D&D strictly from its villain - Venger. I had no idea what cartoon he came from, but I knew that no nose, one-horned sorcerer was a real bad guy.

From the Cartoon Scrapbook
Since I had no memories of Venger besides that wicked look of his, I had to brush up on the cartoon. I went through the first few episodes and I gotta say I'm impressed. Venger is leagues above his peers!  It's not very often that a cartoon's main bad guy is as successful or imposing as Venger is. This isn't a cartoon where the villain loses and has to run away at the end of every episode, his tail tucked between his legs. This is a show where the protagonists are lucky to get away.

Dungeons & Dragons tells the story of six kids who get trapped in a mystical land after a roller coaster ride goes bad. Real bad. They're given empowered weapons and classes by the Dungeon Master, which are sought after by Venger. Venger's already the most powerful wizard in the world and there's only one force that can stop him, the dragon Tiamat. As far as I've seen, the kids only escape Venger in the end by pitting him against Tiamat or another stronger force, like an army of ghosts or a rival wizard, which Venger is able to dispatch.

From Dungeon's Master
Besides sheer power, Venger relies on trickery more often than his peers. He disguises himself as others like Merlin, or employs illusions to his accomplices. His plans don't rely on ridiculous schemes. He doesn't run around with a group of lackeys that plot against them at every opportunity. He's what the other bad guys should aspire to be!  How successful could Megatron or Skeletor be if they were as committed or competent as Venger was?  Everyone could learn from this guy.

Let's rate him!  Coolness: 8. I mentioned in my Nemesis retrospective that Peter Cullen's villainous voice was a huge departure from his more familiar Optimus Prime. Here again, he delivers an intimidating part as Venger, and comes across as even better since he doesn't need to sound as robotic. He's incredibly powerful and looks like a bad-ass demon to boot with his horn, fangs and even wings. 
Effectiveness: 7. Honestly, he's one of the most successful villains I've come across in here. He's been able to steal the kids' weapons before (though they were drained of their powers before then), and he's only defeated through interference by other forces. If the kids were on their own, they'd have lost in the first episode.

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