Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Failure To Ignite


Name This Marvel Villain??

Marvel Team-Up has at times been the kiss of death for villains whose careers began in that title--for instance, chances are that Jonathan Darque, otherwise known as Magma, doesn't exactly resonate with you as one of Marvel's all-time outstanding criminal minds. In his brief career in the 1980s, Magma would menace both Iron Man and Spider-Man in his quest for riches; but despite his power to generate massive earth tremors, apparently he wasn't able to shake up enough interest in Marvel readers to make more than a few appearances.

Darque shares one thing with many men who turn to villainy--the feeling that they've been wronged by society in some way. In Darque's case, he began as a brilliant inventor who used his resources to mine the Earth more efficiently and aggressively, but who then ran into resistance from those who believed he was doing so recklessly and without conscience.

Striking out on his own, he designed his personal "magma" equipment and moved up to extortion, threatening to destroy New York City by triggering a deadly earthquake unless he received $100 million. His scheme was halted by Spidey and Shellhead, and he was presumed to be killed in the volcanic eruption created by his earthquake equipment.

But NYC's loss is Roxxon Oil's gain, because they were on hand to make Darque a sweet offer to head his own research facility where he would make use of a child prodigy to develop powerful energy projectors that would allow him to, in his words, "set myself above goverments, to pursue my goal of providing the world with cheap energy without the moronic restrictions applied by left-wing ecological dreamers!" Fortunately, Spider-Man again interfered in Magma's mad plans--but, as before, it was Magma's own power which proved his downfall.

Magma would also make a futile attempt to defeat Iron Man using a giant mobile pod--with a good chance of succeeding, since Tony Stark was in a state of inebriation at the time, though James Rhodes was able to take Darque down after donning the Iron Man armor. It would later be the Human Torch who would give Magma a taste of his own medicine by first melting his equipment, followed by melting his boots into the asphalt on which he stood. If you can't stand the heat, pal...

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