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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #293

I end my current look at bad guys with a flamboyantly fun villain who has a nifty premise. (Archive.)


293. Arcade

Arcade 1.jpg

I had difficulty picking the final Villain “Week” candidate. I mean, hell, there’s so many good bad guys in comics! But, anyway, I’m going with Arcade for this one.

Why? He’s a Claremont/Byrne creation I don’t hate! Imagine that! Arcade has a fantastic premise– he’s a crazy, dapper hitman who brings his enemies to him, and deposits them in a homemade amusement park of death aptly titled “Murderworld.” Giant pinball machines of doom, for God’s sake! It’s a joyous thing, it is.

Now, Arcade first appeared in Marvel Team-Up as an opponent for Spider-Man and Captain Britain, but he soon became enveloped in the X-Men Universe, going up against those pesky mutants multiple times. However, as Wikipedia tells us, Arcade has faced off against more superheroes from more corners of the Marvel Universe than any other villain. I’ve no idea if this is true, but it sounds cool, right?

Arcade 2.jpgArcade 3.jpgArcade 4.jpg

Arcade’s always fun for a story now and then; he breaks up the monotony. It’s hard for some villains to be both “wacky fun” and “scarily sadistic” at the same time, but he manages. He takes the hero into his turf and keeps them in constant mortal danger. That leads to great action stories. Sure, he loses all the time, but hey, he’s the villain. That’s his job.

Strangely enough, Arcade was very popular for a while. He’s the head baddie in two video games, those being X-Men: Madness in Murderworld and Spider-Man/X-Men: Arcade’s Revenge. He’s also appeared in other games and cartoons. The dude gets around.

Want more on arcade? Make with the clicky here or here.

I guess that’s it for the Bad Guys… for now, anyway. After all– don’t they always come back? Mwahahahahahahahahahahahah!


as Wikipedia tells, Arcade has faced off against more superheroes from more corners of the Marvel Universe than any other villain. I’ve no idea if this is true, but it sounds cool, right?

Actually, if I had to guess, I would say that Doctor Doom gets that honor. I mean, I think at one point or another nearly every Marvel character who ever had an ongoing series has had a run-in with Doctor Doom. The only one who didn’t, as far as I know, was Nick Fury, and even there, Doom was behind the robot Yellow Claw duplicate that SHIELD fought.

So, while Arcade has bumped into quite a few heroes, it’s nowhere near the amount that Doom has.

I’d say you’re probably right too, Ben, but Arcade needs the ego boost. After all– uh oh–


Oops. Sorry. Caps lock. Doom is all! Death to Arcade! Unless he wants to take out Squirrel Girl. Doom could live with that.

Arcade plays a fairly large role in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance video game too. He is a natural for any video game, of course, as his shtick lets you fit in highly “game-y” stuff like being trapped in a giant pinball machine, and it fits.

Arcade’s appearance was inspired by Malcom McDowell.

So he’s like DC’s Toyman only slightly more specialised?

(Should point out here that I only know Toyman from the Challenge of the SuperFriends cartoon series, where he trapped Wonder Woman and Hawkman in a big ol’booby-trapped dollhouse. Always thought that was kind of neat.)

Arcade had a great guest appearance in Deadpool. I wish Simone was able to write a full mini with him.

It seems silly that Arcade got caught up with the X-men so much, he’s a much better all purpose villain. Seriously, with the right set-up he could be a match for the Hulk.

One of the few things I liked about Slott’s THING (ew) was the inclusion of Arcade and his Murder Island.

The entire premise of Arcade is just silly.

And that is exactly what makes him a great comic book villian.

Ohhhh man, Arcade is the best. When he attacked Thing with a barrage of Hulk-bots, each a different version (including one that was just puny Banner) in Slott’s series it was priceless!

Although, my all-time favorite Arcade story has gotta be the X-Men one where a team of reserve X-Men (Iceman, Havok, Polaris, and depowered Banshee if memory serves) went into Murderworld, while the real X-Men went up against Arcade AND Doctor Doom. The back-and-forths between Doom and Arcade were great.

Arcade’s a weird one. He always yanks me right out of any suspension of dibelief I might have, and yet, the concept behind him is totally sound.

I don’t hate him, but he’s not my favorite flavor.

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