Sunday, October 7, 2012

And No, It's Not Levi Johnston


Can YOU

Name This Marvel Villain??



Sure, go on, get your hockey jokes out of your system. "Hey, bet he's part of a team!" "Is that a hockey stick, or is he just real happy to see me?" "Does he have a specific goal?" Yuk yuk yuk. Better not let him overhear you. That stick isn't just for show.

Yeah, you'd think by the look of him that Gaard would be a team player. Instead, he's a solo player entrusted with a very important task, and empowered enough to carry it out.

In his primary battle, Gaard ended up giving the Thing quite a hard time, while Ben was on a mission in hyperspace to destroy a universal nexus. (Which Arkon was planning to use in a scheme to blow up three parallel Earths and funnel the released nuclear power to his own world.  Jeez, you certainly can't say that Arkon doesn't think big.)  Ben ran into a little obstacle that Arkon positioned to guard the nexus--the aptly named Gaard, whose weapon (yeah, a hockey stick, but really an electron-powered "cosmic sceptre") allowed him to repel one attack after another from the Thing.

The battle is further complicated when both combatants have odd feelings of familiarity:



But when Ben finally finds a way to slip past Gaard's--um, guard, and collapses the nexus, only we learn the truth about the identity of Arkon's henchman:



Of course, Arkon had any number of choices available to him to fill Gaard's position, even from just drawing from his own troops--he certainly didn't need to spend valuable time searching through the jungles of an alternate Earth and then trying to bring a near-death body and mind back to fighting shape.  But since writer Roy Thomas was already hip-deep in alternate concepts playing throughout this four-part story, apparently he wanted to add one more for its ending.

At any rate, it's time for Gaard to hit the showers.  Though I wouldn't want to be in his skates when Arkon gets back to the locker room.


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