Greetings from the Odinson,
The 5-part column debating whose heroes have the most dangerous adversaries - Marvel or DC – continues! The Rogue War kicked into overdrive last week when the enemies of the Last Son of Krypton edged out the Gamma-Powered monsters that tangle with the Hulk.
This evens the tally at: Marvel 1 / DC 1
Now on to the next bout…
Rogue War Part 3: Wonder Woman’s Rogues vs. Thor’s Rogues
In the Pantheon of Super Heroes, other than save maybe Hercules, there are no heroes more entrenched in mythology than the Amazing Amazon and the mighty Norse god of thunder. Diana Prince is an Amazon from the island of Themyscira and her origins and powers stem from the Greek Gods themselves. Dr. Donald Blake is a crippled mortal who when he strikes his walking stick on the ground, in a blinding flash of thunder and lightning, is transformed into Thor, son of Odin, defender of the eternal Realm of Asgard, and protector of the Realm of Earth. Thor and Wonder Woman are larger than life heroes with unimaginable power and courage. So it should come as no surprise that their foes are every bit as legendary as they are.
When listing the greatest enemies of Wonder Woman, there is only one place to start – Cheetah. Though there have been many versions of this villainess – Golden Age Cheetah, Silver Age Cheetah, Post-Crisis Cheetah, and Modern Day Cheetah - one thing has always remained the same…she is one of the Amazing Amazon’s deadliest adversaries. At her scariest, Cheetah is a feral foe with super human speed and strength and a lust for blood. She’s a foe that pushes Diana to her physical limits and tests the Amazon’s courage. Doctor Psycho on the other hand challenge’s the DCU’s greatest female super hero in a whole other fashion. This diminutive little madman possesses powers of the mind. He uses telepathy and illusions to baffles his victims, but his most dangerous asset is his uncanny ability to enslave others with his mind. Doctor Psycho’s psionic power set challenges Wonder Woman in ways that make her superior physical strength useless.
There can be no deadlier adversary than one that can kill with but a look. Diana has crossed swords Medusa and her Gorgon sisters on several occasions and every time barely manages to escape with her life. Medusa is one of the most feared creatures in the history of storytelling. Once a beautiful woman, she was cursed by the goddess Athena when she lay with Lord Poseidon in a temple dedicated to the goddess. The curse rendered Medusa’s features so horrible that to look upon them would turn any living creature to stone. Wonder Woman has had to make great sacrifices when facing an enemy this dangerous, even once blinding her own eyes to prevent herself from meeting her foe’s petrifying gaze.
Giganta is mad scientist that can rapidly and greatly increase her size and strength. I remember her most from the Saturday morning cartoon of my youth – Challenge of the Super Friends, a classic series pitting the Justice League of America against their greatest foes, the Legion of Doom. This giantess has battled Wonder Woman both by herself and as a member of such criminal organizations as the Injustice Gang, the Secret Society of Super Villains, and Villainy Inc.
Few foes have ever pushed Diana to her limits the way Circe has. Circe is a witch from myth and legend of enormous power. She is the very same Circe that once held the Greek hero Odysseus captive in Homer’s The Odyssey. Proving to not only be one of Wonder Woman’s greatest enemies but one of the most dangerous Rogues in the DC Universe, the immortal Circe once ignited a War of the Gods, a plot to turn all the Pantheons of the Heavens against one another in her bid for ultimate power. It took the concerted effort of all the heroes of Earth and divine intervention to finally defeat the witch.
But Wonder Woman’s number one Big Bad has to be the god of war himself – Ares. This devious arch foe has manipulated, deceived, and plotted against Diana almost since her birth. Because Diana and the Amazons are representatives of peace, they are a glaring opposition to one whose sole purpose is war and chaos. Physically Ares is more powerful than Diana and as an immortal with a millennia worth of experience, he is also her most dangerous foe.
Wonder Woman’s Rogues Gallery rounds out with: Silver Swan, Genocide, Achilles, Hades, the Minotaur, Devastation, Dr. Cyber, Osira, Villainy Inc., and Maxwell Lord.
Meanwhile, over in the Marvel Universe, the mighty Odinson has his mettle tested on a daily basis against foes like The Wrecking Crew. The Wrecking Crew are the everyman super villains. When construction worker and all around dirt bag Dirk Garthwaite was imbued with Asgardian magic he became the powerhouse known as the Wrecker. After his first encounter and subsequent defeat by Thor, Dirk, using his crowbar, the magical conduit for his power, divided his divine might evenly among him and three buddies. Wrecker was joined by Thunderball, Piledriver and Bulldozer. These beefy, bone-breaking bad guys have gone on to make a career of becoming a thorn in the side of the Thunder God and his allies, the Avengers.
The Absorbing Man has already made an appearance in this contest last week as part of the Hulk’s Rogues Gallery. But that’s just how dangerous a guy like Crusher Creel, empowered by Asgardian black magic, is. He can make not one, but two Rogues Galleries. He possesses the uncanny ability to absorb the properties of anything he touches, thus absorbing its strength or power. He even once threatened the very throne of Asgard by absorbing the nigh omnipotent Odinforce. Not to be out done, but the thunder god’s battles against the Incredible Hulk are the stuff of legend. These two titans have engaged in some of the most epic battles in comic book history. It is the great debate…who’d win if these two fought? When it comes to super-human strength these two are at the top of the list. Even though the Thunder God can move mountains and tear the earth asunder with his bare hands, the madder the Hulk gets, the stronger the Hulk gets. So far there seems to be no limit to the strength he can amass. The Hulk may be the “strongest one there is” but the Prince of Asgard is second to none when it comes to courage, cunning, and fighting skills honed over the course of a millennia. In divine power he is second in his pantheon only to the nigh omnipotent Odin, King of the Aesir. Plus, Thor wields a weapon (his mystic mallet, Mjolnir) that has given the Celestials and even the mighty Galactus pause. When these two clash it is always a classic.
Odin, King of the Norse Gods, knew that the space deities known as the Celestials would someday return to pass judgment on planet Earth (see The Eternals Saga). In preparation for this coming Odin created the Destroyer. The Destroyer is an eight-foot-tall armored engine of mass destruction. It is a lifeless construct that is powered by human, or divine, souls. The Destroyer’s strength rivals that of even mighty Thor. It is impervious to harm. The Destroyer has even withstood the powerful blows of Mjolnir. The Destroyer can fire immensely powerful blasts of force from its hands and its stare can disintegrate matter. Easily one of the Odinson’s most deadly adversaries, the Destroyer actually succeeded once in killing Thor. The Destroyer is the one opponent that even the Thunder God has never truly defeated. What else can you expect from a creature that is empowered with the Odinforce and was intended to do battle with the Celestials?
Surtur is the demonic ruler of the fiery realm of Muspelheim. He is an ancient creature whose origins go back to the universe’s primordial beginnings. His power is unrivaled in all the Nine Worlds. Many times he has tried to ignite the flames of Ragnarok and every time Odin and the gods of Asgard have stood in his way, albeit barely and not without great sacrifice. Odin himself has sacrificed his own life, twice, to topple this fiery titan. However, it’s the Midgard Serpent that poses an even greater threat to the Son of Odin. This leviathan is the sea creature of legend. This is the beast that haunted the dreams of countless sailors from the days of yore. Jormungand, the Midgard Serpent, is said to be so massive that the length of its body coils and wraps around the entire Earth. Thor has encountered, bantered, and battled this monster on several occasions. It is prophesized that the Midgard Serpent shall be the Odinson’s last opponent. It is foretold that on the day of Ragnarok Thor shall battle and slay the great serpent, take ten steps, then fall dead, succumbing to the serpent’s poisonous bite. Never was this depicted more beautifully than in Walt Simonson’s homage to this great battle in Mjolnir’s Song.
No list like this would be complete without Loki. Loki is the God of Evil and half-brother to the mighty Thor. For millennia this trickster has plagued both the denizens of Midgard (Earth) and fabled Asgard. Not blessed with the Odinson’s great strength, Loki was able to become the Thunder God’s rival in power by studying the ways of sorcery. It was because of the threat of Loki that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes banded together to form the Avengers. Loki is directly and indirectly responsible for some of the most dangerous criminals walking around today (the Absorbing Man and the Wrecking Crew). He was the architect of the Acts of Vengeance. He’s actually once conquered Asgard. He orchestrated Ragnarok, the end of days. Loki is truly one of the most dangerous evil doers in the Marvel Universe. He is so manipulating and sneaky that even the God of Thunder never knows when and where this arch fiend will strike next. Long live Loki, the Prince of Lies!
Thor’s Rogues Gallery rounds out with: Ulik, The Enchantress and Skurge the Executioner, Mangog, Ares, Pluto, Mephisto, the Celestials, Ego the Living Planet, the Crusader, Hela, The Forgotten One, the Grey Gargoyle, Set, Juggernaut, Karnilla, Kurse, Lorelei, Radioactive Man, Zarrko the Tomorrow Man, Fafnir, Malekith, Replicus, Perrikus and the Dark Gods, Ymir, Thanos, Desak the God Killer and Galactus.
WINNER: Thor’s Rogues
I have to say, when I started this contest, with how closely these two heroes were both related to mythology, I thought that their foes would make the best sport. But once you get past Wonder Woman’s Big Bads (i.e. Cheetah, Circe, Ares, ect.), her Rogues quickly descend into the spare category. Meanwhile, even after Thor is through rumbling with adversaries like Crusher Creel, the Destroyer and Loki, he still has earth-shakers like Mangog, Juggernaut, Kurse, and Hela to weed through. And the most telling fact of all is that Ares is Wonder Woman’s greatest adversary, while on Thor’s list Ares only makes the Honorable Mentions. This was, without a doubt, the most one sided battle in the contest. That’s my bad. Hopefully next week will be more competitive.
Rogue War Total: Marvel 2 / DC 1
The competition continues next week when the Crimson Comet’s Blue Collar Rogues square off against the fiendish foe of the Sentinel of Liberty.
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell