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CSBG Archive

You Decide ’09 – What Was Your Favorite Villain Reveal?

You know the bit – each day in October I’ll give you folks a poll question. Each poll will last four days. The results will be posted every Tuesday leading up to (and ending with) Election Day on the first Tuesday in November. Here is the master list of all questions asked so far!

Enjoy!

WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD FOR SOME OLD COMIC BOOKS!!


NOTE: In an effort to reduce whining, I added an “other” option. Do note, though, that if you choose to go “other,” I’m only listing in the results any “other” that gets at least 10 votes.

126 Comments

So many good choices. This was the first poll I’ve had to sit and really think about it, but I’m going with Xorn as Magneto. I remember really liking Xorn as a character and being completely saddened when Magneto reveiled himself.

So many of these had been spoiled for me before I read them, so I had to go with the one that wasn’t… Ozymandias.

I went with the Hyperclan reveal. It was executed really well. I thought about writing in “Jason Wyndgarde is Mastermind”, though.

Really torn between Dynaman and the Thunderbolts. I settled on Thunderbolts because, IMO, it was representative of Marvel’s transition out of the mire of the early 90s and into the neo-classical renaissance of the late 90s. Plus, I sure didn’t see it coming.

Yeah, I had to limit my choices to the books I actually read as they came out, which meant I couldn’t pretend to be shocked by Ozymandias or Dynaman.

But the Masters of Evil thing wasn’t just a great plot point – it was a complete swerve on the premise of the book (as it had been advertised), making it something so much more interesting than “Hey, enjoy these new heroes!”

I don’t even know what the Dynaman = Hitler thing is from, but it sounds awesome.

I voted for Hyperclan– one of the few not spoiled for me, and conveyed superbly in the writing. “Ready when you are.”

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

October 26, 2009 at 8:13 am

The Thunderbolts was the winner for me, not least because, as others have noted, the secret was kept so well right up until publication in everything from solicitations to interviews.

Bill: It’s from The Golden Age. You know, from back when James Robinson was a good writer.

Dynaman == Hitler is from James Robinson’s “The Golden Age”, a re-imagining of the Golden Age characters of DC Comics, written back before he wrote “Starman”, when he was in his prime.

It was excellent.

Dammit, Greg.

The Crazed Spruce

October 26, 2009 at 8:20 am

I almost went with either Ozymandias or the Thunderbolts, but I just had to go with Terra betraying the Teen Titans. One of the best moments from one of my all-time favourite stories.

A lot of those were really awesome, but I’d have to go with The Thunderbolts as well. No one saw that coming at all and they had even been featured in other books beforehand.

I went with the Hyperclan reveal, both because it was so well done and also becauyse it was the only reveal on the list that happened as I was reading the book, so I was genuinely surprised.

All of the others happened in books I read after the fact, and some of the reveals I was familiar with ahead of time, lessening their impact (such as Darkseid in the Great Darkness Saga)

Another one I just thought of that would have been good for the list- Anton Arcane revealed to be inhabiting Abby’s husband’s body in Swamp Thing #29. Brrrr….gives me chills still thinking about that scene…

Oh, and what issue/comic is the “Mr. Mxyzptlk has gone insane!” from?

Defintiely Hyperclan. Just picturing that image of A-Mortal hanging from the ceiling with Batman’s hand-written note: “I KNOW YOUR SECRET”.

Can I pre-emptively vote for WORST villain reveal of all time? Because “Jean Loring killed Sue Dibny” wins that one by a country mile.

For me, Niles Caulder wins in terms of pure awesome. Xorn and Ozymandias were the runners up.

“Mr. Mxyzptlk has gone insane!”

Assuming this is the occasion in “Whatever happened to the Man of Tomorrow?”.

Another one I just thought of that would have been good for the list- Anton Arcane revealed to be inhabiting Abby’s husband’s body in Swamp Thing #29. Brrrr….gives me chills still thinking about that scene…

I actually meant to have that one on the list.

Let me add it quick.

Like others, I have to go with the ones that weren’t already spoiled when I read them: Xorn takes it. The Ozymandias reveal was good, but it was kind of gradual which lessened the shock factor, and the White Martians and Niles were well executed but I wasn’t as acquainted with the history of the characters, and Alex in the Pride was very cool, but we’d been waiting for that reveal for months so were sort of braced for it.

I was most invested in the Xorn character, and the twist was a great shock I didn’t seem coming (even though clues were planted).

Wish I’d read Thunderbolts no. 1 when it came out, ’cause that would have been a great one as well.

I went with Brainiape is Hitlers Brain! from Savage Dragon. That one makes me chuckle everytime.

Xorn is Magneto. Not just for the reveal itself, but for the entire issue leading up to it – the build to the actual moment of reveal was perfect.

Had to go with Omniman. One of the greatest “Oh Shit” moments in comics, ever.

It was between Swamp Thing and Great Darkness Saga for me, but I went with the GDS. Great (and still the best) use of Darkseid.

Niles Caulder is my choice followed by Ozy, Xorn, and Omniman.

Xorn as Magneto blew my damn mind. When you re-read the run, theres so many clues that point to it, and a lot of lines gain more reverence(Xorn: “What is this world of liars!?”), but I thought Xorn was the best new addition to the X-men cast in a long time, and then BAM hes actually frickin’ Magneto(I don’t care what crappy Marvel retcon says).

The Hyperclan reveal is awesome too. That reminds me that Morrison re-did this beat somewhat with Batman RIP, where when Batman suddenly gets the upper hand on the really powerful bad guys, he stands over them and says “Ready when you are”.

I went with Swamp Thing, as I red that one first. But Caulder, Ozymandias, Hyperclan, and Xorn were all huge surprises as well. Basically anything by Moore or Morrison tends to throw me off guard.

Xorn is Magneto. Ozymandias, Dynaman and the Thunderbolts are all runners up… but I knew who I’d vote for as soon as I saw the subject of this post.

Xorn was just about my favorite character during Morrison’s run. He had me completely and utterly fooled. The X-Men had been my favorite superhero comic since I was 12 years old and in the space of three years Grant Morrison took a brand new character and made him into the most interesting person on the team. I was trying to come up with a Xorn pitch to send into Marvel, at one point, and then in the space of a single issue, everything came crashing down on my head. As Ultimate Matt said, the execution of the reveal that issue was perfect, it was such a complete upheaval and it was just suddenly happening, and you had the sense that even Magneto hadn’t planned the exact moment of the reveal, he just sort of found himself at the right time for it and then completely devastated the team. I have never, in the history of my fiction reading, had the rug so completely swept out from under me. And then we were able to look back over all the Xorn stories over the last three years and cast everything in the light of that revelation and it was just utterly mind-boggling to me.

Thunderbolts is #1 for me, and it was one of the last great moments from when I was a regular comic-buyer. The Terra twist is second, although I never liked the character anyway.

This vote is the toughest one by far. Obviously getting no love from our younger readers,”Alfred as the Outsider” ranks up there on my list if for pure nostalgia alone. “Mr. Mxyzptlk has gone insane!” is the finale of one of the all time best stories, but it wasn’t the reveal that made that story it was using Curt Swan that makes me treasure it. “Terra is working for Deathstroke!” is about as good as DC can get on a reveal easily beating out ” Ozymandias is the evil mastermind behind everything!” due to Changelings emotional connection to Terra. Kinda hated almost everything Morrison did with the X-Men ( a punch in the throat for what he did to Beast), so I have to go with the one that actually made me go “whoa”–The Thunderbolts are the Masters of Evil! Busiek and Bagley reveal was 6 reveals in one.

The Hyperclan reveal is brilliant, surprising without feeling cheap, and dang if it isn’t Batman finest moment on the JLA. “He’s just a man!”

That the Anti-Monitor is the Guardian for the Sinestro Corps.

399 votes in, there’s actually a TIE for #1!

That’s a rarity!

400 votes in, tie was broken. ;)

I thought the Dynaman reveal was dumb, honestly. When Robinson revealed that Ted Texas (or whatever the hell his name was) was Ultra-Humanite, that was pretty cool. But then when they introduced Dynaman as Hitler? It just felt unnecessary. It could have worked if the reveals came farther apart in the story, but it actually came off like “Ted Texas is Ultra-Humanite!! ….But wait, that’s not all! Dynaman is Hitler!” Not handled very well at all.

Niles Caulder is the correct answer.

Terra is the first time I remember thinking “This cannot be!” I’d give Xorn a close second, though.

Had to go with Thunderbotts as the best executed reveal in anything I’ve read. Can anyone tell me what issues the Alfred and Hyperclan stories are in?
Also, Ozymandia #2 because he did it 20 minutes ago, and Omniman #3 because no way did you see that one coming.

What? No Captain Atom is Monarch? :.P

I almost went with Alex Wilder… but you can’t beat the Mxyzptlk reveal.

I had to be irritating and go with “Kid Marvelman is evil!” Omniman would be my second choice.

Ozymandias. Because he did it 20 minutes ago. I read it as it was published, and it blew my mind.

Runners-up: The Hyperclan and the Thunderbolts.

Dude, no “Xavier is Onslaught” option?

I voted Hyperclan.

Great choices! Really hard to pick. I started reading comics with New Teen Titans, so the reveal there was huge. The Runaways’ reveal was another shocker.

Had to go with the Thunderbolts #1 reveal. I had been frequenting a message board that had pretty muched grokked out the secret by the time #1 arrived, and I still just got chills / thrills / such a dang kick reading those last pages over and over.

What’s with this constant use of “reveal” as a noun. Why not “revelation?”

Anyway, I voted Thunderbolts.

Mmm, so many good ones here. Ultimately, I had to go with Niles Caulder, as that’s the one that blew me away the most, although I don’t think it’ll win — not enough people have read that amazing “Doom Patrol” run. (I still remember exactly when and where I was when I read that particular issue, with Caulder revealed to be a crazy villain and the Candlemaker going berserker on top of that.)

Terra is my second choice, followed by Xorn, Ozymandias and Anton Arcane. (Also: Although “Infinite Crisis” was a crappy comic, it was pretty cool when Alexander Luthor, one of the heroes of the original Crisis, was revealed to be the big villain. I wish he were still around, instead of Superboy-Prime.)

What’s with this constant use of “reveal” as a noun.

It IS a noun (and a verb, too, of course, but check a dictionary – it’s a noun, as well).

It’s rare to get a complaint about using a word correctly.

No love for Terra? I love that issue, and I love Marv Wolfman talking about it. How he always knew, how he wrote Terra as a snide little girl, but people loved her anyway. Such fun.

I went Omniman. I remember reading Invincible and just falling in love with the happy go-lucky stories and then BAM! His dad was a murderous alien sent to conquer the earth and enslave all of humanity. I was shocked.

“It’s rare to get a complaint about using a word correctly.”

But using “big bad” as a noun still seems iffy…

Retcons be damned, I have to give a write in vote for, “Ned Leeds is the Hobgoblin.”

Not only was the story done well, it blew me away.

Theno

No Emperor Joker love? That wasn’t soiled for me, and it made everything — Myx’s presence, the card theme of the cover, Batman being tortured — all make sense.

So many people voting the Hyperclan, I can’t believe it.

It was a good enough story, but so very bland and standard, as compared to the following stories Morrison did.

It was a toss-up between Hyperclan, Xorn, Niles Caulder, and Ozymandias for me. Yes, three quarters of those are from Morrison comics. And only one of them was a surprise to me as I read it. I blame the internet. But they were all pretty great; the Xorn one was a masterful climax after so much hidden build-up, and I really didn’t see it coming.

Jean Loring killing Sue Dibny was also very shocking, but that’s because it made absolutely no sense and was maybe the worst single issue every published.

Basically, I love earned reveals– ones the reader has a chance to figure out, but is blindsided by anyway, because they’re so well-written.

When they let me write the JLA movie, I’m so just going to adapt the New World Order arc.

Steve Ditko was just plain wrong about Norman Osborn.

Omni-Man. It was a complete shock for me, never seen it coming…

It’s not as big as the other reveals listed, but I always had a soft spot for the final Bill Sienkiewicz New Mutants issue where the bloated criminal behind the Gladiators arena turns out to be Karma.

She’d vanished from the comic for 24 issues, so not only was her arrival a surprise, but the way she was back was completely unexpected. It was a good example of Claremont letting a subplot dangle and then bringing it back for maximum impact.

It’s between Hyplerclan, Xorn and Terra for me. Even though I saw Xorn coming, (It seems from reading the comments I’m the only one who did) I still loved it. Terra I knew before I read it so it wasn’t a surprise. Hyperclan I loved and didn’t see coming, but I knew they would be evil.

I’ll go with other, from Batman: The Long Halloween. (One of my all time favorite comics) Gilda Dent is Holiday. I did not see that coming at all.

Omar Karindu, with the power of SUPER-hypocrisy!

October 26, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Gilda Dent is Holiday. I did not see that coming at all.

You didn’t see it coming because the story barely sets it up, and because there are still so many plot problems with the reveal that many readers still argue she’s just nuts and was never really Holiday.

Alex in The Runaways with Mxy as a close second. This was probably the most difficult poll of all this month! Phew!

What? No Devil Dinosaur in NEXTWave?

“I’ll go with other, from Batman: The Long Halloween. (One of my all time favorite comics) Gilda Dent is Holiday. I did not see that coming at all.”

Yeah, but not because it was surprising, but rather because it made no sense.

This poll is a weird one. I wasn’t even reading comics for most of the list and things like Watchmen had long been spoiled for me before I read it. My favorite was Xorn is Magneto though. That caught me be surprise.

This was difficult, because I hadn’t read any of these when they were new. I did read about the Master Planner and Ozymandias in reprints without already knowing the surprises, but neither one seemed shocking at all to me. I actually guessed that the Master Planner was Ock before it was revealed. I read a couple of issues about Terra when they were new, but it was right after it was revealed, and I hadn’t seen her before, so there was no shock. And of course, Osborn’s identity as the Goblin was the first thing I ever knew about him, long before I’d actually read any issues he was in.
I decided to vote for the Thunderbolts, even though it occured in the decade I wasn’t reading comic books and I had no knowledge of it until recently. It was the first thing I even knew about the Thunderbolts, and I still haven’t read the actual story, but it sounds like the best shock of any of these. The fact that they had their own series, I think makes it even more shocking, since villains almost never have their own titles.

I’ve only read one Mxyptlk story, but I had the impression he was always insane.

I would complain about the use of ‘reveal’ as a noun, too, but I already did that yesterday. And I got criticised for it, so it’s nice to have somebody else take the flack for me this time.

I voted Jean Loring.

Man, I don’t care what anyone says, I LOVED that comic and I loved that ending.

On reveal vs. revelation, reveal became a noun due to connotations of revelation. A revelation has gained the connotation as being a sudden, internal realization. If you figured out that Ozymandias was the villain during the Fearful Symmetry chapter, then that was a revelation. If you didn’t figure it out until it was revealed in chapter 11 then it was a reveal. Language evolves, live with it.

I would complain about the use of ‘reveal’ as a noun, too, but I already did that yesterday. And I got criticised for it, so it’s nice to have somebody else take the flack for me this time.

It’s nicer to not make the complaint at all, since it’s such a poor complaint.

Thunderbolts FTW, for me, that is the best “Oh $hit” last page I’ve ever read, that was a surprise.

Peace.

all good chocies but had to go with Terra revealed to be working with death stroke. for all this time and that moment is shocking that tera who had titans fan fall in love with her turns out to be actully working against her team mates not to mention also being lovers with death stroke. scary and creepy. as for the swamp thing moment mention where arcane is in matts body one of the most creepest things of the whole saga.

Far and away, Thunderbolts. Thunderbolts #1 barely held my interest , I was thinking that I would not buy the new series, and then WHAM! It went from nothing much to a must-read in the one page. Xorn is a distant second. It was a shock, but I was annoyed that a favorite new character was a sham.

It blew my mind when Strife took off his mask and it turned out he was Cable. Hey, I was 8. And it was significantly less cool when they explained he was a clone of Cable (or whatever) rather than him just being a bastard.

I’m old enough that I even remember the Alfred is The Outsider reveal. My vote came down to The Thunderbolts or Dynaman, so I went with Dynaman because The Golden Age is Watchmen-level great and never gets enough respect.

Lots of great ones here (except for the Jean killing Sue thing which is stupid and nonsensical) but I have to go with the Thunderbolts being the MoE.

Alex from Runaways; I completely did not see that coming, but it was always a possibility and was well-justified in retrospect.

Daniel O' Dreams

October 26, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Another tough choice, I’m a fan of so many of these. I had Watchmen, Terra and The Great Darkness Saga spoiled for me so I’m going to have to go with Xorn = Magneto with the Thunderbolts being a close second.

Heh the Outsider reveal (which I had spoiled for me by Who’s Who) should earn points just for audacity. The butler did it, you know, your DEAD butler…. wonder how many people guessed that one! ;-)

I voted LSH/Darkseid even though I loved many of the others. I had never been a fan of the book but got hooked when the Giffen art started cos I was a big fan of his Defenders work with David Kraft. And I started to like the characters in the book and wondered who this mysterious villain was…. I was only 19 or 20 at the time.

Was completely surprised by Alex working with the Pride, so I voted for that.

I voted for the Thunderbolts being the Masters of Evil – well executed, shocking in that they had their own comic, no leaks (sadly no longer possible nowadays) and hopefully this would encourage guture writers to write this well

For me, “Alex is the Pride’s mole” was always secondary to “Alex has been masterminding the whole series up to this point, yes, even the first issue.”

“Mxyzptlk is insane” and “Terra’s working for Deathstroke” were both very tempting…but I went with “Jean Loring killed Sue Dibny.”

It’s not really a villain reveal, but the revelation in JLA: Year One that J’onn had been spying on Hal, Dinah, Arthur and Barry was pretty much perfectly handled.

Write-in vote kinda ruins this whole procedure, doesn’t it?

Write-in vote kinda ruins this whole procedure, doesn’t it?

I wouldn’t say so. With such a broad topic, we were bound to get a lot of “What? No (insert reveal this person thinks should be used)??!?” So this way, rather than complaining, those people can just use the “other” option! And if ten people actually agree with one choice, then, fair enough, that choice will be listed.

Definitely, in terms of just being a reveal, the T-Bolts for me. In the Internet boom, I cannot – CANNOT – believe they slipped that one by us.

Maybe it would have been Ozymandias if I didn’t know ahead of time that he was the bad guy.

Good choices all.

I went with Ozzy partly because of the in-issue reveal was so compelling and understated. to paraphrase (cuz i’m too lazy to dig out the trade): “Holy shit. The madman behind all of this. I think it’s Adrian.”

THe others are so OVER THE TOP melodramatic. THough it was hard not to vote for Terra was a big one in the day, and both Anton Arcane and Darkseid were excellent.

Another vote for Thunderbolts here. Most of the rest I guessed easily (like Darkseid being behind the THE GREAT DARKNESS Saga- duhh) or didn’t care for anyway (ie. Magneto/Xorn). Thunderbolts set up a situation full of potential that just begged to see more of (and it’s a DAMN SHAME- and a sad sign of today’s times in comics- that the series has abandoned its theme of redemption for one of false heroism and viciousness.)

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 26, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I think it’s got to be the Xorn reveal – despite being a new character who was almost too good to be true, you didn’t even suspect that there was something to hide until he pulled ff his mask – and then not only was it a shock, you realised that it had been pointed to all along.
It’s also the one where you felt as betrayed and hurt as the team did, as you had liked the character so much.

1,123 votes in, the top two choices are separated by THREE VOTES!!!

As soon as I saw the topic, I went to the Thunderbolts. It’s what I went with, even though I briefly played with writing in “Alicia is a Skrull” or “H.E.R.B.I.E. is Dr. Sun.”

What, no one’s voting for Nixon? Or is it just that Nixon being evil was not a surprise? That whole story is a brilliant intersection of reality and super-reality, and reading the big bad’s dialogue in Billy West’s Nixon voice gives me no end of pleasure. I’d go with the Thuderbolts behind that.

The Xorn thing still makes no sense to me at all – Magneto goes from having a Batmanesque level of competence, able to fool a team of people who know him intimately (three of whom are psychic), not just speak perfect Chinese but think in it, and apparently fake entirely new powers, and then the very next issue he’s a cackling mastermind who displays not a trace of subtlety? At least it was conceivable that Jean Loring could have pulled off what she did, albeit inconceivable that she would have.

Terra by a cigarette. :)

I agree with Michael Ellis.

Can’t we separate the events from the runs? I loved Grant Morrison’s run on the X-Men, but Xorn = Magneto made absolutely no sense. But it gets a pass while Jean Loring doesn’t, just because Jean Loring is part of a whole storyline that pissed on the Silver Age.

Not that Jean Loring’s motivation made a lot of sense, and I never liked those “out of nowhere, she is nuts” development (Bendis and Scarlet Witch comes to mind), but yeah, it was a little more credible than Xorneto.

I voted for the Thunderbolts but I have to say when reading it back in the day, I was surprised to see that the Yellow Claw was just a construct by Doom. The splash page with Doom and the Prime Mover by Steranko was pretty awesome. Steranko did get some grief about the conclusion being too “out of the blue” though. Heck, I was only a kid so it worked for me.

For me I couldn’t count Ozymandias because by issue nine I had figured out he was the villian. They had an origin story every two issues, issue nine focused on Silk Spectre so it wasn’t too hard to figure out.

Also the Thunderbolts. In the Hulk Citizen V mentions to Meteorite that she had faced Hulk before. Since my first Hulk story was the crossover with Cap the feature Moonstone it wasn’t difficult to figure out.

I think the Solomon Grundy reveal in the first run of this Justice League was interesting.

But using “big bad” as a noun still seems iffy…

Why? ‘Bad’ is acting as a substantive adjective. Then noun ‘guy’ has been elided. Next you’ll be telling us not to say “the more the merrier”.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 26, 2009 at 6:18 pm

1,123 votes in, the top two choices are separated by THREE VOTES!!!

Quick!

Everyone go vote multiple times so that your favourite wins!

It’s all that matters!

The Xorn thing still makes no sense to me at all – Magneto goes from having a Batmanesque level of competence, able to fool a team of people who know him intimately (three of whom are psychic), not just speak perfect Chinese but think in it, and apparently fake entirely new powers, and then the very next issue he’s a cackling mastermind who displays not a trace of subtlety? At least it was conceivable that Jean Loring could have pulled off what she did, albeit inconceivable that she would have.

Due to his use of Kick, he was being influenced by Sublime.
This would explain the change of character and the boosting of powers – they explained how he used his powers differently to usual to make it look like different powers.
If his usual helmet makes him free from telepathic interference, why not the Xorn helmet?

Once he’d stopped being Xorn for the end play of his plan, not only did he start using too much kick, it fell apart because he couldn’t garner support – the sort of support he had managed to get whilst he was Xorn.
So plot wise, it works, and thematically, it showed that the mutants of the MU had moved past the Xavier Vs. Magneto mentality.

Norman Osborn as the Green Goblin was the first “big” unmasking that I can think of, so I voted for that. It set the standard. Terra being a traitor would be my second choice and revealing the Thunderbolts’ true identities my third.

Lots of choices here, but the decision varies greatly depending on which generation is voting. Xorn is receiving a lot of support but I had long dropped the X-books by then. There a quite a few on that list I have never read. The Hitler surprise that Robinson wrote was very good, though.

My other is *NEXTWAVE SPOILERS*

Devil Dinosaur in Nextwave!

Yeah, Funky, but that reading doesn’t allow us to engage in an adolescent, Guevara-like lionizing of an already-established murderer and would-be dictator, so we have to toss it out.

kisskissbangbang

October 26, 2009 at 7:45 pm

One reason Xorn was surprising was that Morrison had said explicitly in interviews that he wasn’t going to use Magneto during his run, and that he didn’t even like the character, whom he regarded as played out. Also faking people out was the issue he wrote set in the former Genosha titled “The Last Magneto Story”. Sure, I didn’t expect that would stay the case, and I knew he’d come back eventually , but not that soon.
One you didn’t mention that older fans will remember also happened in X-Men, in the Roy Thomas/Neal Adams era. One of the X-Men (Angel, I think) is hurt in the Savage Land and nursed back to health by a kindly, white-haired gentlemen. After Angel is out of earshot, his benefactor is asked by one of his assistants, “And he doesn’t recognize you?” Whitehair shrugs and says, “Perhaps it’s true what they say…”; then, in the last panel, rests his hand on Magneto’s helmet and adds: “Perhaps clothes _do_ make the man!” We had never seen Magneto without his helmet before…

I voted for Norman Osborn, but since you let us thonk of others, I´ll say that “Jason Wyndgarde is Mastermind” was a great reveal. It explained a lot of what´s happening with Jean/Phoenix; suddenly, a lot of thinks make sense.

H.E.R.B.I.E as Dr. Sun was also great, and I guess not everyone will remember that but Ultron as Omega (?), hidden in Attilan on Quicksilver´s wedding was also good.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 26, 2009 at 8:31 pm

One reason Xorn was surprising was that Morrison had said explicitly in interviews that he wasn’t going to use Magneto during his run, and that he didn’t even like the character, whom he regarded as played out

And brilliantly, the story he appeared in was all about Magneto realising how played out he was, and that he was much better dead than alive.

Good thing Marvel decided to bring him back two months later so that he could……. has he done anything since they brought him back?

even though I briefly played with writing in “Alicia is a Skrull” or “H.E.R.B.I.E. is Dr. Sun.”

OK, that made me chuckle. Oh H.E.R.B.I.E., you scamp.

Had to go with TBolts, though Dynaman, Terra, and Mxy, are all pretrry strong contenders.
(i’ve never read the Xorn stuff, so no judgements there)

“What, no one’s voting for Nixon?”

This is a perfect example of a “you had to have bought it off the rack” comic.

It seems tame, and almost lame today, but it absolutely wrecked our shit back in the day.

Rene, I can’t seriously believe you’re equating the horror of the Jean Loring “solution” to Sue Dibny’s murder to the brilliance of Magneto masquerading as Xorn. I wasn’t going to say anything about it until you brought it up — apparently a few posters here enjoyed “Identity Crisis,” and good for them — but man, that last issue ruined everything. Yes, I know plenty of people already hated it because of the rape and/or the mindwipes … I was willing to go along with all that because I thought Meltzer really was playing fair with us readers. But half of the plot points he introduced had NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the solution. It was the worst kind of mystery writing. Meltzer didn’t play fair with the readers AT ALL. (Even Geoff Johns just recently poked fun at the solution in Blackest Night, with Black Lantern Sue making a crack about a flamethrower.) Whereas Morrison put plenty of clues in his stories to justify the Xorn twist.

(Having said all that, I still think there’s one masterful sequence in the miniseries — although it’s more a tribute to the excellent art by Rags Morales, who draws the hell out of the characters’ faces: When Bruce and Tim Drake can’t drive quickly enough to save Tim’s father, and Tim has to listen, helplessly, from the Batmobile, to the deadly confrontation with Boomerang. Man, that really is a gut-punch of a story beat.)

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 26, 2009 at 10:39 pm

It seems tame, and almost lame today, but it absolutely wrecked our shit back in the day.

Maybe Futurama played a part – even ‘What, no one’s voting for Nixon?’ got read in my head as if Futurama Nixon were asking it.
Heck, during Frost/Nixon, I found myself adding in my own Futurama Nixon sounds after he talked.
Real Nixon is dead, but Nixon’s head lives on – and he doesn’t hide the fact he’s a bad guy!

I felt so betrayed when Niles Caulder was the big bad. On the one hand I guess that means that issue had its intended effect. On the other hand I was so depressed I stopped reading the title.

“Mr. Mxyzptlk has gone insane!” is the finale of one of the all time best stories, but it wasn’t the reveal that made that story it was using Curt Swan that makes me treasure it.

It’s funny, I didn’t even remember the Mxyzptlk thing, even though I reread the story very recently. There are so many memorable moments in that story, but for me that’s not one of them.

Of these Darkseid made the biggest impression on me when it first came out, so I had to go for that.

Should probably point out that, the selective blindness of the telepaths aside (their inconsistency has been a plot point since day one), at least two of the X-Men have superpowerful senses of smell, hearing, etc .

Another one I just thought of: “The Man Behind the Red Hood” from 1951, one of the earliest of this type I can think of, although its interesting not so much for the revelation but for its establishing a cause and effect relationship between Batman and his rogues that would eventually turn the original premise of the series (that Batman is necessary to fight against the criminal element) on its head (Batman helps create a more vicious criminal element). Or whatever.

Ooh, yeah, forgot about about the Red Hood story! Good one! And it plays fair too.

One that came to my mind after voting is actually a twofer.
First the end of Justice League of America #149 that Snapper Carr is the Star-Tsar. That blew me away as a kid.
Then in issue 150 we find out that the real Star-Tsar is The Privateer! What’s funny is that in the previous issue I had noticed that Dick Dillin had failed to draw The Privateer in some scenes & I wrote it off to being an artist mistake, then it turns out it was a big freaking clue! D’oh!

I know that because he is Saint Morrison he gets a pass while Meltzer doesn’t, but I always had the impression that Xorn used to be a different character, and then Grant Morrison decided to “make” him Magneto mid-way. Never felt natural to me. And why can’t Wolverine smell him as Magneto? Would we still be talking of his brilliance if Morrison had left a little earlier and then Chuck Austen “revealed” Xorn as Magneto?

Always seemed contrived as hell to me. But while I dislike the “reveal”, I like the general storyline of Magneto being portrayed as as hypocritical, played out loony-bin.

I went with the Thunderbolts. That was an excellent reveal.

Caulder and Xorn wwould have been next (in that order).

By the time I got ’round to reading Watchment, I already knew about Ozymandias. Pity.

“I felt so betrayed when Niles Caulder was the big bad. On the one hand I guess that means that issue had its intended effect. On the other hand I was so depressed I stopped reading the title.”

Felicity, you really need to read to Doom Patrol to the end. I mean it. Seriously. Go do it now.

Morrison’s final issue in particular profoundly affected me.

but I always had the impression that Xorn used to be a different character, and then Grant Morrison decided to “make” him Magneto mid-way.

Xorn being Magneto was part of Morrison’s initial proposal for New X-Men.

Professor Warren is the Jackal!!?

That blew me away when I was nine. Shame the story has been tainted somewhat by subsequent events.

Out of the choices, Alex working for the Pride is the only one of the choices (that I’ve read) that really shocked me. What is a surprise is how many I haven’t read in 30+ years of comic reading. Too many DC choices for me and I only really read DC in the Moore Swamp Thing, Byrne Superman, JLI etc. era.

I went with Thunderbolts in the end because it was the last great reveal not spoiled in anyway. Speaking of which, Marvel needs to collect the old run outside of the first 8 issues.

Xorn was good but in the end didn’t make much sense because the power set varied greatly. And hello, they been enemies / allies for years. Wolvie’s nose, Xavier noticing tendencies etc.

I never liked Terra as much as others did so her being a traitor didn’t affect me as much. I felt more for Terra 2 from the Team Titans more than the original actually. (Even though in their infinite wisdom DC eventually intertwined the 2.)

Dynaman in the Golden Age was a great one also, I remember gasping at that but what overshadowed that one was the Manhunter’s ultimate path of discovery.

The Oz reveal in Watchmen was Meh to me actually. Sorry, even back then as an urban black kid in NYC, I am used to ‘rich heroes’ eventually being revealed as underhanded in some way.

I went with Thunderbolts. It isn’t the best comic on the list, but the surprise factor was HUGE!

Mary Warner said: “I decided to vote for the Thunderbolts, even though it occured in the decade I wasn’t reading comic books and I had no knowledge of it until recently. It was the first thing I even knew about the Thunderbolts, and I still haven’t read the actual story, but it sounds like the best shock of any of these. The fact that they had their own series, I think makes it even more shocking, since villains almost never have their own titles.”

I voted for Thunderbolts for the same reason. I never read it, but when I first heard about it, it still shocked me. I mean, that must be a hell of a reveal, if it can shock you a few years after the fact without you ever actually reading it.

I always liked the reveal of Professor Warren as the Jackal, and Ozy as the bad buy in Watchmen was awesome. Even Foswell as The Big Man was shocking enough to stick with me, even if it was pretty dumb.

But the Thunderbolts seem like the most audacious of the lot. (Although I never read Morrison’s X-men (or Whedon’s for that matter) and was thinking about going back and reading them but probably won’t now because now I know Xorn is MagNEETo)

I think some people are forgetting that Norman Osborn had only been introduced 2 issues prior to the reveal. To me that kind of defeats the point of the whole “mystery villain” scenario.

JoeMac – Knowing Xorn is Magneto simply means you’ll be on a similar page to all of us who went through and read the run a second (and third and fourth and fifth) time because it was just so damn good. And the run lasted three years, there’s plenty of comics brilliance in there besides just Xorn/Magneto.

Currently, two of the “other” votes are for “Xorn is Magneto.”

Oooooooookay.

Also, over 1,500 votes in, the top two are separated by five votes (and it was three votes an hour ago)!

i couldn’t decide between xorn and alex wilder. i went with alex wilder…

FunkyGreenJerusalem

October 27, 2009 at 9:51 pm

Would we still be talking of his brilliance if Morrison had left a little earlier and then Chuck Austen “revealed” Xorn as Magneto?

No.

It’s not what happened, it’s how it happened.

Austen doesn’t have Morrison’s plotting/pacing/character understanding/dialogue skills, so it wouldn’t have read as well if he had written it.

Heck, if Austen took over, they probably wouldn’t have revealed their most popular new character to be a villain – as it was they tried to undo it three months later, anyway.

Rebis said:
(Having said all that, I still think there’s one masterful sequence in the miniseries — although it’s more a tribute to the excellent art by Rags Morales, who draws the hell out of the characters’ faces: When Bruce and Tim Drake can’t drive quickly enough to save Tim’s father, and Tim has to listen, helplessly, from the Batmobile, to the deadly confrontation with Boomerang. Man, that really is a gut-punch of a story beat.)
I am right with you on this one. In a bad mini-series, that sequence just shines.

Also – Xorn as Magneto? I think not. Magneto died and died well back in X-Men Volume 2 #3, and I’ll hear no different.

Alan Lauderdale

October 28, 2009 at 6:40 am

Reveal (noun) vs. revelation One more time.

(And a note of personal bias: I also dislike the use of reveal as a noun. In fact, architects and housebuilders should be upset over this new usage since the noun form of reveal was formerly understood to mean… uh

reveal, revel. Vertical return or side of an aperture in a wall between the naked of the wall and e.g. a door-frame. It is generally set square with the face, the return inwards from the reveal for the door- or window-frame being the rebate, and the inside return the jamb, often splayed, hence a splayed reveal.

And now, this new usage may cause ambiguous houses with oddly exposed apertures to be built. )

Anyway, the reason why this new noun form of reveal was needed is because the emphasis of “revelation” is on the content of the new knowledge whereas the emphasis of “reveal” as a noun is on how well the new knowledge is presented. How well executed was the act of pulling away that curtain and making the audience gasp. The content is secondary to the dazzling display, which is very twenty-first century. Thus, here, the poll is indeed all about the execution of those big reveals.

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