Thursday, May 22, 2014

Where Every Villain Knows Your Name

When you're talking about bar fights with super-beings, as we have been during this week-long look at such throw-downs, our focus inevitably has to turn to super-villains--and, thanks to yesterday's various blog posts out there by some very talented folks, you've had super-villains coming at you "left, right, and below the belt," as Susan Hayward would put it. (Guess what film she said that line in, and you get a free comic book! Not really!) So it seems appropriate we take a look at some of these unsavory types frequenting otherwise respectable drinking establishments, and seeing whether they choose to hoist a few, or hoist each other over a few tables, chairs, and bar rails.

At Duffy's Bar, for instance, things start out calmly enough when the Sandman has a brew and cozies up to Sadie, a regular here at Duffy's and, shall we say, popular with the clientele. The problem is, someone else on the lam--Hydro-Man--has Sadie in mind for a little R&R, and finds his seat's been taken.

Needless to say, it's looking like today at Duffy's is going to have a beach theme.

At first glance, you'd think a battle between Sandman and Hydro-Man would be one where their abilities cancel each other out:

But aside from ending up being the most muddy brawl in history, there are ways for either of these guys to prevail, given the right opening. Frankly, my money is on Sandman, who's been around the villain block a lot longer than his watery counterpart and probably knows a lot more dirty (no pun intended) methods of fighting.

But, to the relief of Duffy, it looks like it won't come to that. Because Sadie, who knows a good thing when she sees it (in this case, two good things), has the solution:

Whew. I know I'm relieved. But, c'mon, aren't we looking for a little rowdiness with our villains? Then we need look no further than the Bar With No Name, a watering hole on the down-low that specifically caters to super-villains--patrons who have more cause to drown their sorrows than most, as often as they get their heads handed to them. Given the egos involved, and definitely the temperament, the establishment makes clear to everyone that it has a no-fighting rule in effect, an informal "truce" which manages to hold up pretty well; in fact, there's almost camaraderie here that these villains don't find out on the street while involved in their power plays.

Unfortunately, the super-heroes who manage to locate the bar never signed off on any truce:

Spidey and DD are actually in a joint operation with the local police to shut down the bar, though they're obviously taking the lead in regard to reining in its super-powered patrons.

If these villains know anything, it's when to scram--so it's no surprise they eventually scramble for the exits. And it looks like our old friend, Hydro-Man, has an escape route only he can take advantage of:

Soon enough, all that remains is the wrap-up. Naturally, the proprietor of a bar that serves criminals thinks that he'll be able to slip from police custody easily enough, once he lawyers up--but it looks like Capt. Watanabe has been brushing up on her mobster history, taking a leaf from how Al Capone was finally nabbed:

But as we know, the Bar With No Name is always turning up in one locale or another. And when Wilbur Day, otherwise known as the classic villain, Stilt-Man, finally bites the big one, the Bar becomes host to one of the strangest wakes on record:

But, let's be realistic about a bar where super-villains are imbibing liquor. A word or two--a glance--a gesture might be taken the wrong way... tempers might flare. Push comes to shove. A wake doesn't necessarily guarantee a respite from bruised feelings. And in the case of the Rhino and the Armadillo, bruises are just what we're likely to see as a result of simply being accidentally bumped into.

I don't know why any of these other super-villains aren't stepping in to stop this clash before these two bruisers impact. There's something to it in theory--I mean, everyone else here is a powerful villain capable of, say, firing a bolt to split them apart before it goes further. On the other hand, it's not often we see villains stopping each other from fighting--even more rare that they succeed at it.

In addition, it looks like the proprietor of this bar has perhaps gotten a memo that the no-fighting rule is impractical, and that a brawling clientele is a paying and perpetual clientele, as long as they're kept happy. And tell me that this crew isn't happy:

I'll say this: Stilt-Man probably never expected to go out on such a high note.

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