Our Squad: The DC Supervillain Fantasy Draft, Part Three
There are enough great DC supervillains to fill Belle Reve Prison several times over, so we’ve asked ComicsAlliance contributors Benito Cereno, Elle Collins, Chris Haley, Emma Lawson, Kieran Shiach, and Tom Speelman to compete in putting together their very best fantasy DC supervillain teams.
In part two, Deathstroke, Deadshot, Black Manta and Lady Shiva found homes on our villainous squads --- but as we head into part three, everything could change. We're introducing our wildcard element! Every player can steal just once from another team. And in order to incentivize bad behavior, anyone who steals gets a bonus pick at the end of the contest.
Each team must still include a mastermind, a heavy, a monster, and an assassin, even if their pick for that category has been stolen out from under them!
Chris: Well, if we’re talking about wildcards, it couldn’t hurt to have one on the team, so I’m going to go with Harley Quinn. She’s been all over the alignment map, but more often than not she’s on the wrong side of the law. She’s fun, she’s smart, she’s dangerous with a giant mallet, and she and Mr. Mxyzptlk would probably get along like a house on fire. She’d also bring a much different POV from anyone else on my team that could prove invaluable when dealing with all the possibilities the superhero community might throw at them.
Emma: STEAL! There’s no way Harley Quinn is not on my team. I grew up with Harley on the Batman: The Animated Series TV show and I love how much she’s grown since her first appearance to be far more than just the Joker’s sidekick/love interest. (I find her love of the Joker absolutely fascinating, though, but I’m really glad she’s with Poison Ivy now --- it’s a much healthier relationship.) She’s smart as nails, she can find the humor in any situation, and she thinks wildly outside the box.
Chris: We are blood enemies now, Emma.
Emma: That’s fine.
Elle: Harley’s already causing chaos and discord as usual.
Tom: As much as I'd like to indulge this stealing power right away, I want to rectify the dude-ness of my team by adding Livewire! From her debut on Superman: The Animated Series to being brought into comics by Gail Simone and John Byrne a decade later to getting an updated, timelier origin in the Burnside era of Batgirl, Leslie Willis has always added a charge to every story she's appeared in (ayyyyyyy).
Her look is cool and distinct --- I'll admit I'm a sucker for silver-haired characters --- and her power over electricity has infinite possibilities, from shorting out security cameras to electrifying a manhole cover and shooting it at someone. Livewire is always a blast to see in action, and she's a quick thinker, reacting on the fly to combat whoever stands in her way.
Elle: I going to go for an unexpected pick this time, because there’s a role that’s not on our official list that I think every team should have: the magic user. With that in mind, I’m choosing the Enchantress. She’s a weird old Silver Age character who nobody (except me) ever gave much thought to until she showed up in a movie this year. But it’s the comics version I’m interested in, obviously. I love that she was a good person who got corrupted by a dark power. That makes her almost as tragic as she is dangerous, but she’s still plenty dangerous. Plus she’s one of the few comic book witches who ever wears an old school witch hat, which is an underrated look.
Benito: I’ve got to make my next choice because it would completely ruin my day if someone else picked him: Titano. Any villain team in the DC Universe has to have anti-Superman insurance, and that’s where King Kong with kryptonite laser vision comes in. Although Titano is more of a wild beast than a calculating criminal, he can be compelled to follow orders by Grodd’s mental commands, and soothed or otherwise wrangled by the similarly-sized Giganta.
Chris: At this point, I’m going to be sad if something messes up your all ape squad.
Kieran: For my fifth pick, I’m going to recruit my heavy, and it’s going to be someone who could also be considered a mastermind, because I like my villains to diversify their portfolios. It’s gotta be Bane!
When done right, Bane is one of the best street level villains of the DC Universe, but so often he’s just there to put someone over his knee. I really liked the soft-hearted approach to Bane in Gail Simone’s Secret Six, so I’d lean more in that direction, but he’d always be making sure his Venom made him slightly broader than Darkseid.
Chris: For my new fifth pick (replacing Harley Quinn), I’m choosing Professor Zoom, The Reverse Flash. Whatever you want to call him, you can’t overstate how useful a guy that can go so fast he can travel through time is. If utilized properly and pointed in the right direction, his powers and willingness to go that extra step to terrorize his heroic targets could make him a one man anti-Justice League.
And for my sixth pick, I’m just grabbing a character I love, Black Adam. He’s got all those magic powers to match strength or speed or invulnerability with any of your big time heavy hitters, plus he’s got all the sneering attitude of a monarch that truly believes he’s better than everyone else.
Emma: For my sixth pick, I’m choosing Plastique, our beloved Bette Sans Souci. As a Canadian, I can’t not choose the Quebecois separatist terrorist! Originally she’s more of a suicide bomber, strapping explosives to her body, but she does gain the ability to project explosive force. She’s been thwarted in her attempts to assassinate the US President and the Canadian Prime Minister, but I feel with a proper leader behind her she’ll have more success.
Tom: But who’d wanna assassinate Justin Trudeau? Who, I ask you?
Tom: I decided to reach a little ways back for my next pick with Doctor Poison. Specifically, I’m going with the Golden Age/WWII version, who not only developed a drug called “Reverso” to sabotage Allied forces by “confusing [soldiers’] brain centers” and making them do things wrong, she did it all as a drag king!
That’s awesome in and of itself but “Reverso” turns out to have a lot of applications. Poison’s granddaughter, who also calls herself Doctor Poison, explains that her predecessor died by spilling Reverso on herself and reverse-aging right out of existence.
That’s a bummer ending, but if the OG Doctor Poison was resurrected via magic-or-some-such in the modern day and had access to today’s scientific technology? Reverso could be used on all kinds of stuff. And people.
Elle: I don’t think I can put off choosing my heavy any longer. Obviously, I’m picking Knockout.
I guess it’s less obvious if you don’t know me or the character, but a glamorous, muscular queer femme from Apokolips ticks several of my boxes. She might not quite be the tallest, strongest, and most beautiful woman ever to defect from the Female Furies, but coming in second to Big Barda is nothing to sneeze at. Knockout has never struck me as particularly evil, but she really loves punching people and things, and being a criminal provides the best opportunities in that regard.
Benito: For my choice of assassin, I’m leaning more in the “expert killer” direction than the “professional hitman” direction and going with everyone’s favorite clown-themed mass murderer, the Joker.
Wait, sorry, hit enter too soon there. As I was saying, the Joker’s protege, Jackanapes. A gorilla stolen as an infant from his mother by the Joker and trained somehow to become a weapons expert, inventor and molecular biologist, Jackanapes has primarily been seen as a villain for the future version of Damian who becomes Batman, but this submachine gun and machete-wielding killer has had stories told in the present, too, including his pretty suspect origin story (suspect as it was narrated by the Joker himself). My version would be the one at the height of his intellect and killing prowess.
Kieran: I don’t currently have any Flash villains on my list, which is criminal in itself as they are all my favorites. I’m going to go in direct competition with Chris Haley and draft Hunter Zolomon AKA Zoom! Zolomon’s motivations have always been really interesting to me because he actively wants to make heroes better at their jobs, he just has a very bad idea of what makes people good at being heroes. Plus, he has a prior relationship with Cheetah that could make for that sweet, sweet interpersonal drama.
TEAM ROSTERS: DAY THREE
Chris: Lex Luthor, Shaggy Man, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Mongal, Professor Zoom, Black Adam
Emma: Doomsday, Talia al Ghul, Deathstroke, Parallax, Harley Quinn, Plastique
Tom: Brainiac, Solomon Grundy, Deadshot, Kalibak, Livewire, Doctor Poison
Elle: Catwoman, Bizarro, Cheshire, Black Manta, Enchantress, Knockout,
Benito: Gorilla Grodd, Monsieur Mallah, Ultra-Humanite, Giganta, Titano, Jackanapes
Kieran: Darkseid, Prometheus, Cheetah, Lady Shiva, Bane, Zoom
That brings us to the final round of picks... unless there's a sudden rash of stealing. Come back tomorrow to see how low our competitors are willing to go, and whether Harley Quinn's journey between the teams is done.