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You Decide ’11 – Who is the Greatest Avengers Villain?

Each day this month, I’ll be posting a different poll question – each poll will last five days, and I’ll reveal the results of the finished polls every Tuesday.

This way, for this month, we can see what our readers feel about various comic book questions. For a month, you folks will decide! Click here to see the other questions that you can answer as well as checking out the latest poll results!

Read on for the latest poll question!


I was going to just make the choices Ultron, Kang and Masters of Evil, but eh, I might as well give a little more variety to the options!

69 Comments

No Skrulls?

I loves me some time travel, so I’d first think Kang, but Ultron’s got that Shakespearean/Oedipal “villain created by a member of the team”. Plus, didn’t Ultron create the Vision? So he’s got that going for him.

So yeah, I went Ultron.

I think I read somewhere that Garth Ennis said that he didn’t know why every time Ultron appears, his whole history has to be reviewed. Ennis said, he’s an evil robot, move on! I always liked that bit…

Ultron. Just in the general devastation that happens when he appears and well that Hank Pym created him enhances that quality. Ultron Unlimited alone qualifies him for my vote.

Didn’t you forget Swordsman and the Grim Reaper, they were created specifically for the Avengers. I voted for Kang. Time travel, his evolution as Immortus and Rama Tut, and especially the Roger Stern’s council of Kangs! For drama, you should read his early appearance with his love Ravonna (sp?).

no Master Pandemonium?

And lets see Bendis do a story with Kang in it! He would fall flat on his face.

No Skrulls?

No Skrulls. In fact, I also took the Kree off of the poll. They really did not belong (luckily no one had voted for them yet).

Didn’t you forget Swordsman and the Grim Reaper

They did not really compare to the others. I also left off The Commissar and Proctor and the Gatherers! :)

And lets see Bendis do a story with Kang in it! He would fall flat on his face.

He just did. It was very cool.

no Master Pandemonium?

I really couldn’t figure anyone saying that he was the greatest Avengers villain.

Who is master Pandemonium?

Master P was a guy who could turn his arms and legs into demons.

He was very cool but i know he is not remembered all that fondly anymore.

Kang.
Kang is eternal. same way that all these other time traveling dudes are. And he was one of the young Avengers? yeah. it’s kang.

Ultron for me, just in terms of power, look, history with the team (esp. Pym) and very cool stories. Out of the choices here, it was no contest.

However, I WOULD have hesitated if I’d seen Count Nefaria and Korvac on the list! While each villain only had one or two major stories on the book, both of their appearances pretty much went down in history as amongst the greatest Avengers battles and as a result it’s hard to think of a list of great Avengers villains without their inclusion!

My thought process was exactly like Travis. Has to be Ultron. Kinda wonder if Tony Stark should be in included.

OK, so it’s pretty much down to Kang, Ultron & Maybe the Masters. I always treated the Hoods gang as Masters of Evil under another name. Pretty much the same with the dark Avengers. I’d have like’d to have seen a nod for the Grim Reaper at least, as he’s always struck me as a big Avengers Villain. Not Ultron or Kang, but his appearances are usually an event, and he’s got the same kind of family ties that Ultron does. Maybe Immortus as well, unless he’s counted under Kang.

Ultron. Kang is a confusing mess. Ultron is a mega badass.

Can you add Bendis to the list? Surely Disassembled and what happened to the Scarlet Witch has to be one of the more successful villainous plots in a long time.

Almost voted for Ultron but in the end I went with the Masters of Evil. The every changing cast is a perfect mirror to the Avengers.

I never realized what a lack of villains the Avengers had.

I chose Masters of Evil. Ultron is cool and all, but I hate the concept of villains that are created by heroes, because each time they kill, it means the hero is indirectly responsible for that death. Thus when Ultron killed a whole city or country, that means that Hank Pym is basically responsible for the death of a city or country. If Pm was never born, all those people would still be alive. As a concept, that always bugs me. The eviller you make him, the worse you end up making Hank Pym’s impact on the world. Ultimately he makes Pym’s existence beyond redemption, which always seemed like a flaw in Ultron’s concept to me.

Graviton!!!

I chose Ultron because…awesome! My first comics outside of Transformers and GI Joe were The West Coast Avengers (I saw a number 1 on the cover and figured it was a jumping on point). So my first experience with Ultron was “Mark” 12.

What? No Beyonder? (I kid, I kid)

Ulton’s one of the coolest-looking villians ever (especially in ‘wheelie’ mode), but it was Kang who scared the crap out of me as a kid, so Kang by a whisker. Also the Grim Reaper was the first Avengers villain I ever saw, so I’m kinda disappointed he wasn’t listed.

had to go with Ultron for not only is he a walking force of destruction but also thanks to Hank creating him knows how the avenges operate. not to mention he keeps coming back learning from his mistakes.

The greatest villain is clearly Won’t Reveal the Answers to Cover Theme Games #30 and #31 Man.

He’s evil, I tell you!

I’d vote Dr. Doom, but you don’t have an “other – explain in comments” choice here.

I’m not voting until Brian reveals the answers to Cover Theme Games 30 and 31.

@T. I’d say the Pym-slap did worse for his reputation that the creation of Ultron. Some people are just irredeemable. Better accept that and enjoy them as they are :)

No Squadron Supreme/Sinister?

I like the way Jon Walker thinks, but not even Bendis can ruin the incredible Ultron.

No Scarlet Witch? Since she, you know, kind of destroyed the original Avengers…

Ultron FTW! Why? It’s a villain that’s designed to destroy them? You couldn’t ask for better than a villain tailor made for you.

@T. I’d say the Pym-slap did worse for his reputation that the creation of Ultron. Some people are just irredeemable. Better accept that and enjoy them as they are :)

You know, I totally agree that Pym is much more maligned for slapping his wife ONE TIME than indirectly causing the genocide of an entire European nation along with the destruction of some manned spaceships, which boggles my mind. I’ve seen so many books showing Hank’s unresolved guilt over slapping Jan, yet his role in the death of a whole nation? Never seen that dealt with!

It kind of reminds me of the Stalin quote: “A single death is a tragedy, 1 million deaths is a statistic.”

That Ultron story is another major reason I don’t like Busiek’s run. One of the few things I liked about the early stories was how it tried to redeem him for slapping Jan and have him make peace with it, but then it turns around makes him responsible for genocide! Much better! :D

It’s because there’s a difference between a person doing something and their son doing something.

He didn’t create Ultron for the purpose of being genocidal, so he’s not guilty in that respect. He definitely hit his wife. One time is one time too many.

Yeah, Brian. Post the answers to 30 and 31 on the Cover Theme Game Master List, PLEASE!

I’d vote for The Mutt’s choice, but since that isn’t an option I’ll go with Ultron. I always get excited when I see an Ultron story. At this point I think it’s tough to top the story Busiek did with him, but he’s still a great villain.

I don’t know. If someone gave me the choice between deliberately hitting my wife once or accidentally causing the genocide of a whole nation, I’d choose deliberately hit my wife once. I just can’t see how the guilt for the former can outweigh the guilt for the latter, even if the latter was an accident.

I would imagine the legal fallout of civil suits from the latter alone would provide 10 years worth of stories.

Ha! Hilarious!

Ultron is pretty clearly a sentient entity capable of making his own decisions, like, as has been suggested, a kid. Pym didn’t make him that way or tell him to be all evil; it was a choice that Ultron made. There’s a sort of indirect chain of logic that makes Pym responsible for Ultron, but no moreso than a murderer’s father. Once we accept this level of culpability, Batman is to blame for all the murders the Joker commits after the first time he saved his life instead of letting him fall into a vat of acid or whatever.

That said, Masters of Evil.

Waaaaaay back in Avengers #113, the courts declared the Vision an independent, fully-recognized citizen with all attendant legal rights and responsibilities. Vizh’s brain patterns are based on Simon Williams, but Simon’s not legally responsible for anything Vizh did. Similarly, Phineas Horton never got any legal culpability or any financial benefits out of creating the original android “Human” Torch *or*, by extension, providing the raw materials to make the Vision.

This would seem to me to set a precedent: Ultron’s a sentient android, and even with Pym as the basis for his brain patterns, there’s no further tie of responsibility between them. Most fans, I’d wager, don’t see the classic Avengers version of the Vision as a mere extension of any of his creators or his brain donor; it’s incongruous to adopt any such view of Ultron, and in any case the comics seem to have decided sentient androids are neither the property of their creators nor the simple byproducts of any donated brain patterns.

The fact that Ultron and Pym behave in radically different ways in the main Marvel Universe also ought to suggest how little Pym’s influence over Ultron really counts for anything morally or legally. When two humans create another sentient human, we don’t blame them directly for that little sentient human’s actions once they’re functionally and legally adults. Since MU androids with adult minds are legally full adults, and usually morally/ethically imagined as the same, their creators are no more responsible for their deeds than the parents of an adult child.

I went with the Masters Of Evil, but only because I assume you meant the Under Siege version. Not all of the ‘Masters of Evil’ have been so great.
If Master Pandemonium had been on the list I probably would’ve voted for him. One of John Byrne’s many crimes from his short period on West Coast Avengers was the offhanded way he got rid of their greatest villain.

It was a tough call between Kang and Ultron, but ultimately I have to go with Kang. The tie breaker for me is Busieks “Avengers Forever”, one of my all time favorite Avengers stories, rich with what everyone seems to hate about comics these days….that dreaded word “continuity”!

Leslie Fontenelle

February 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm

I like the Masters of Evil, but Ultron is the Assemblers’ greatest foe.

Kang is a headache that becomes more annoying every time he shows up, because it gets more and more convoluted each time. But Ultron is essentially undefeatable, and his goal is much more clear and straightforward than Kang’s.

Obviously the missing person on the list is the Hulk

Thanos should definitely be on there. cosmic cube, infinity gems, gauntlet. He accomplished more and was a more dangerous threat than any of those chumps.

No contest for me, Ultron

Thanos should be on there.

I’m surprised at the Ultron love. He’s good, but I still think the Masters of Evil are a much better match for the Avengers. Regardless of who’s on the Avengers, which era the team is, the Masters fit the perfect role of foils. Ultron isn’t always a perfect fit for some of the teams, which makes some of his appearances questionable at best (why is an adamantium-laden robot so easily taken apart?).

Plus, Under Siege is the best Avengers story ever.

I’d vote for Fabien Stankowicz.

Some people (if you believe the message boards) would say that Bendis belongs on that list. Not me though.

I’m going with Kang.

That’s funny, I thought of Fabien Stankowicz, too. Thanos is a good call as well.

No one else agrees with a NEFARIA or KORVAC honourable mention? Where my Shooter fans at?

@dhole: Shooter’s da man!

I totally agree with Nefaria. He’s been in several stories, at this point is pretty damn powerful, and has a long history with the team (his first appearance was way back in issue #13!, which I have, by the way. It was the most expensive comic I had ever purchased at that point. But I’m rambling…) He hasn’t popped up as much as Kang or Ultron or the MoE, but he’s definitely an Avengers foe and a good one at that.

Korvac I feel had that one really good story and that’s it. He just hasn’t been enough of a consistent threat to be considered one of the top Avengers villains in my opinion.

Cpt.CharlieDavidsonAmerica

February 10, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Agree w/ dhole. Nefaria was great but that fight scene issue @ end of Korvac story was best Avengers issue ever.Altho Byrne’s Chthon drawn issues are awesome also.Add Thanos,but not from much in the actual avengers comic.After reading 35 years of comics, tho, I agree w/ T.,this makes me realize Avengers dont have many quality villians just rehashed storylines.

funkygreenjerusalem

February 10, 2011 at 11:15 pm

No Proctor?

He’s an evil alternate dimension version of Black Knight killing every version of the Sersi through the dimensions, and it took the combined might of Quicksilver, Thunderstrike and Sersi to beat him, resulting in Black Knight and Sersi having to be exiled to another dimension!

How is that not the greatest villain ever?

and it took the combined might of Quicksilver, Thunderstrike and Sersi to beat him

That is an awesome sentence.

Gotta be Kang for me. Ultron is kinda cool and all (although my favorite Ultron moment is Daredevil beating him to death with a stick), but I love Kang’s crazy time plots; I’ve always thought of him as the Dr. Doom of the Avengers. (The mask helps.) I agree that his stories tend to get convoluted, only more so as they double back upon each other, but considering that his whole deal is mucking about with the timeline, in his case that’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

funkygreenjerusalem

February 11, 2011 at 12:43 am

That is an awesome sentence.

I’d already decided to do Proctor as the joke ‘why not’, but when I looked him up to see how he was defeated…
Wow.
It’s hard to top, isn’t it?

Quake in fear at the awesome menace of… The Lava Men!!!

I would vote for Bendis. Since he is not on the list, and I don’t particularly like Ultron as a villain, nor have I ever actually read a story with Dark Avengers or Hood in it, it comes down to Kang vs Masters of Evil.

Thanks to Roger Stern’s single-handed reabilitation of the credibility of the Masters and particularly of Baron Zemo as villains, the torch goes to the MoE.

Ultron.

He has an interesting look, personal ties to many Avengers, a clear and believable motivation, power to spare, and most of the stories he appeared in were good.

Kang… well, Kang is a good villain too, but he has problems. First, he has a purple facemask and purple tigh-high boots. What is up with that? Maybe in the future they’re more accepting of drag queen supervillains? Second, the time travel thing can be done well (I like Englehart’s stories, and Busiek’s Kang saga was magnificent), but it can also be done in a confusing way (Avengers Forever, I am looking at you!).

The Masters of Evil are great. Most of their stories have been good. And they’ve been unusually effective and scary villains. The only problems I have with them is their name (least original supervillain team name ever), and the way no two incarnations remotely resemble each other. They don’t really have an identity, except as those evil guys that fight the Avengers.

I’ve always seen Loki as a solo Thor villain, first and foremost.

I am sick of the Hood.

The Dark Avengers had an interesting line-up of monsters and psychopaths, but I am sick of Bendis’s storytelling style in Marvel books too. They chat and banter so much that the scary factor goes down.

The Korvas Saga is my favourite Avengers story, but one story does not a ‘greatest villain’ make.

In fairness, the varsity superteams have historically weak villains of their own largely because they can draw on the individual villains of the solo heroes’ rogues’ galleries.

For many decades, the JLA’s recurring rogues boiled down to some generic mad scientists who eventually got worthwhile themes and gimmicks and some even more generic space aliens. Doctor Destiny didn’t become anything interesting until the 1970s revamp by Gerry Conway, and didn’t become a go-to caracter until Neil Gaiman got to him in 1989. Kanjar Ro simply dropped out of the JLA rogues gallery. Despero was nothing much until Gerry Conway revamped him in the mid-80s. Starbreaker was a one-shot villain, and even today he’s been in precisely three JLA stories. The Lord of Time turned up three times, and then reformed in a mid-1980s story, and only became a major-league villain when Grant Morrison revived him in 1997. Starro has plenty of charms, but tends to go away for long stretches when writers or fans decide he’s too silly; he’s also utterly devoid of personality in most iterations. The Crime Syndicate turned up as antagonists only twice in the JLA’s book before Morrison’s late-90s revamp, and would hardly have been considered major recurring foes before then. And do I need to discuss Doctor Light’s waxing and (mostly) waning fortunes as a baddie?

I voted for the Masters of Evil on that account, a team that can and has pulled in many worthwhile baddies from elsewhere, and is a remarkably flexible concept despite the goofy name…heck, Ultron debuted as the leader of the second version!

The Avengers greatest enemy is… Brian Bendis! Okay, just kidding :)

Seriously, this question almost always comes down to Ultron and Kang, with long time Avengers fans split down the middle over the two. Myself, I say Ultron, because he has that ability to hurt the Avengers on such a deeply personal level that Kang is incapable of doing. But I think Kang runs a very close second.

I like Funky’s comment on Proctor.

I just wish he’d encounter, and team up with, an alternate version of Gambit named Gamble.

Yeah, that’s right, Proctor and Gamble. They’ll clean up crime, and…stuff.

Ultron. The first Avengers issue I ever read was @202 “Ultron Lives”. Creepy, brilliant, insane, and connected to the team. Also, not a time traveler. I hate most time travel stories. I tend to obsess over inconsistencies and paradoxes.

This is a short list of enemies. i would prefer a longer list & let people decide who among them to vote for. If Master Pandemonum [i can’t even care enough to spell his name correctly] gets all of one vote, who cares? i would rather see 20 choices, with 12 of them being really lame than only six with a couple of good ones left off. i would put on Dr. Doom, Nefaria, Thanos, and maybe a couple of others.

If they only get a couple of % points, that’s okay. At least they were presented as choices.

All that said, i love the Avengers & these polls. Thanks Brian!

DFTBA

For truly, Ultron is the scariest. Especially for us non-powered folk. In fact, the idea of a sentient AI becoming mankind’s bane is so pervasive in latter twentieth century arts that it has become something of a trope. And it’s still scary, even with “When Robots Attack” to help me prepare.

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