Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Villain Retrospect - Who's the Coolest & Most Effective Villain?

When I started the Villain Retrospect series, I aimed to rate each of the bad guys on their coolness and effectiveness.  Looking back, I wish I had picked a few more categories to rate them in: power, intelligence, strength, etc.  Basically, something like the Tech Specs the old Transformers used to have, only without the red decoder.  I have plans to go back through them all for the tournament, but that's coming up in a bit.  For now though, I want to go over what I learned on the two that I covered.  I'll look at the top three of each category.  Click on their image for the post where I cover them more in-depth.

3. Genghis Rex
How can you not love a villain that is a Tyrannosaurus?  Yeah, he's an anthropomorphized dinosaur, but he's still got the giant toothy maw, what else can you ask for?  Not only that, but he's got a cool personal ship and a starship that looks like a massive metal version of himself.  If he had a cooler voice, he could have gotten a higher grade.
2. Shredder
I won't deny that later down the line, Shredder turned into a laughing stock.  It's a shame too, because he has such potential to be a top-notch bad guy.  He's got a great simple look - the blades covering half his body, the samurai-like helmet, and the purple cape - and a great raspy voice provided by James Avery.  The fact that he was a ninja, and sometimes could stand up to all the turtles at once, is icing on the cake.
1. Megatron
Was this ever in question?  There are good reasons why he's always been my favorite villain.  He's extremely powerful, intelligent, and intimidating. Frank Welker lends him a threatening voice and one of the best maniacal laughs in cartoons.  People may give him crap for transforming into a pistol that needs to be shot by someone else, but I have no problem with it.  Makes more sense to me than a camera at least.

Most Effective
3. Overlord (Spiral Zone)
I've got to give this guy credit - he took over almost the entire country, turning half of it into his Spiral Zone and reducing its citizens to mindless zombies.  He sees the Zone Riders's plans from a mile away, often times turning their tricks against them.  It's not often you see a villain so capable and creating such a threat against half the population.
2. Venger
I'm not sure how I missed this guy as a kid.  Venger is a combination of awesome power and a demonic image, paired perfectly with Peter Cullen's best villain voice.  The fact that he was so much more powerful than the good guys he faced was something most cartoons steered away from, making him one of the most capable characters in the whole show.
1. Queen of the Crown
I have to give the old lady credit - she knows how to run an empire.  Using the power of the Psychocrystals, she steals the life force of every human and alien she captures to build an army of Slaver Lords.  In the first episode, she kidnaps the wife of the Galaxy Rangers' leader and even though he's able to recover her body, the Queen still keeps her spirit locked away for the entire 65-epsiode run.  I can't think of a single villain that can beat that ruthlessness.

Now we're going to take a look at the lowest of both categories and it's pretty funny that the lowest scores of both coolness and effectiveness are the same, so I'll be looking at the last five.
Least Cool & Effective
5. Doc Terror
If someone had described to me a scientist that was half human, half-robot and controlled a drone army to wipe out humanity, I would have expected someone so much better than this.  Doc Terror takes all those expectations and throws them out of the door, instead being a loud-mouthed, easy to anger bore.  If they made him more methodical, dare I say more like Emperor Dark, I would have ranked him a lot higher on this list.
4. Saw Boss
I understand why they made named Saw Boss like they did, but wouldn't it have made more sense to give him a different name since most of the time he doesn't have a saw? It's not like he turns into the bladed vehicle all that often, instead sitting on a chair, telepathically commanding his troops. Saw Boss is also in the odd situation as the villain hunting the good guys down in every episode, instead of them stopping the Monster Minds from some criminal act, so you'd think he'd have an easier time completing his goals, but no, he can't even catch them either.
3. T-Ray
It's telling that I can't find a single thing online that tells me who provides T-Ray's voice.  It's not bad, though it's the same gurgle-y voice that the rest of Rankin-Bass's bad guys have.  His look is just as bad though and he's inept with a weapon - how does a whip even work underwater?  Not to mention it gets used against him every time he uses it.  It's telling that the first thing he does in the show is release a worse villain and then immediately surrender to him.
2. Mon*Star
Good God that's a stupid looking villain.  Like Mumm-Ra, he has a transformation into a stronger form, but I don't even understand why.  Mumm-Ra as a small, frail form most of the time and turns into a muscle-bound bruiser, but Mon*Star already is a big guy, so why bother?  Even worse, the stronger form is stupider looking than this one with beady eyes, toothy mouthplate, and elbow blasters.  Seriously, I think he would have gotten off better if they combined aspects of both forms and didn't have him change at all.  At least T-Ray always looked the same.
1. Big Boss
I absolutely hate this guy. He's so incredibly bland!  He's a mob boss, so let's make him fat and talk in a stereotypical mafia accent and give him a pet to stroke.  But he's in the future so let's give him a metal hand and do the same thing to his pet.  He fills the role of the villain who barely does anything, instead barking orders to others and yelling at them when they fail even though he did nothing to help out.  Such a complete loser of a bad guy.

What do you think of the lists?  Do you disagree?  Maybe you think Big Boss kicks ass and Megatron sucks eggs.  Leave a comment and let me know.  And if I left anyone off the list, make sure to check out the Villain Retrospects page to see what other villains I've covered.

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