Our Squad: The DC Supervillain Fantasy Draft, Part Four
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 three, we introduced the stealing element, and while there was only one theft, things are about to get hectic in our fourth and final day of the draft. Can Emma hold on to Harley Quinn? Will Benito keep his team of apes together? Is anyone here going to rise above and resist the urge to steal?
Remember, each team must include a mastermind, a heavy, a monster, and an assassin. Anyone who steals is rewarded with an eighth pick for their supervillain team.
Chris: STEAL! One good turn deserves another, so I’ll be stealing Harley Quinn right back. If you wanted her on your team so badly you should have picked her first, Emma. We were all thinking about picking her for our teams… well, except for Benito.
Benito: Pfft. You don’t know me. I could go anywhere with my final pick. I could go... bananas?
Emma: Fine, Chris, that's just fine! For my new sixth pick I'll go with Harley's girlfriend and colleague, Poison Ivy. One of Batman's longtime enemies, Pamela Isley is a whip-smart eco-terrorist who can extract poisons and toxins from plants to injure or control the minds of her enemies. You've got to respect someone who cares about the environment that much, and I think she'd get along well with Plastique.
For my seventh pick, I'm choosing Granny Goodness. One of Darkseid's elite soldiers, she trained her dog so well that it even attacked her on command. Granny’s excellent at training youngsters, so I think she could teach some of my young whippersnappers a thing or two.
Tom: STEAL! You always gotta surprise them in the first round so that's why for my final pick I'm stealing Black Adam from ya, Chris!
Not only does he give my team an added source of power --- pound for pound, I think he's one of the most powerful villains in the DCU if not the most --- but he gives them a base of operations in his kingdom of Khandaq. He's a huge force to be reckoned with and between him and Grundy, my team’s unstoppable on the strength front.
Chris: This will not be forgotten.
Elle: STEAL! Well, I already knew what I wanted to do this round, but Tom just made me feel less guilty about it by stealing from Chris. You see, I’ve been thinking that my team could use a little more muscle (and a third Legion of Doom alumnus), so I’m taking Solomon Grundy. He’s kind of like the Hulk if he was also Swamp Thing but also a zombie, and that’s a winning combination.
Benito: Dang, wow. Looks like everyone is stealing. Well, when in Rome, I guess. STEAL! I’m going to use this opportunity to complete my lineup as originally planned: with a twist! Secret mastermind! Secret assassin! Talia al Ghul! While not an ape, she can use her history as an eco-terrorist and environmentalist to convince Grodd and Ultra that she is on board with their pro-ape/anti-human agenda. But in fact, she will foster the enmity between the two alpha male types in order to subvert their causes in favor of her own agenda. Which is... a secret? I didn’t plan that far.
Emma: Grumble grumble.
Kieran: STEAL! I’m in a pretty great position right now, because unless I’m wrong and I’m about to get my comeuppance, no-one has stolen any of my villains and everyone has stolen except me, which means I can steal freely without any worry of reprisal.
So, who should I steal. Who should I steal? I had a long hard look at everyone’s lists, and the only person that really jumped out at me for my team was Black Adam. Sorry Tom. The one thing my team was really missing was a Superman type, and I think he’ll be a great addition.
Chris: Since Black Adam’s suddenly become so popular, I’ll just replace him with an even more villainous “Superman type”, Superboy Prime! Arguably more powerful than Black Adam, and due to his willingness to really let loose with his powers with reckless abandon, possibly more powerful than Superman. He’s going to be tough to beat. Plus he fights ugly… in that it’s ugly when he rips people’s arms off. Plus, the sight of a villain team with Lex Luthor and an evil Superman on it is pretty neat.
Emma: Since my mastermind Talia was stolen from me (how rude), I’ll replace her with her father, Ra’s al Ghul, another genius with excellent strategic skills in peak physical condition. I wanted a woman to lead my team, but I guess he’ll do. One of Batman's longtime foes, Ra’s has kept himself alive through centuries by using the Lazarus Pits, so he’s had many many years to hone his supervillain skills. He’s led a giant criminal organization, so he’ll have no trouble with my small team of bad guys.
Tom: Well, so much for my “Black Adam & Pals” idea. He's quite a few notches down from the Black Marvel but I'll replace him with Professor Pyg. One of the creepiest parts of Grant Morrison’s Batman mega-story, Pyg is single-minded and remorseless, fixated on taking people, mutilating them and fusing animal masks onto them.
He can provide both a base in his equally creepy Circus of Strange as well as an army of henchmen in his mind-controlled slaves, the Dollotrons.
And seeing how I'm down a monster, I'm gonna draft Chemo! A walking, talking pile of chemical waste, there's pretty much nothing that can stand up to his power. (Well, except for the Metal Men but they die each time they face him anyway.) I'd only use Chemo as a last resort/threat but what a trump card to have!
Note: Every player now gets a bonus pick for stealing. Bonus picks are awarded in order of plunder.
Emma: For my bonus pick, I’m choosing one of my personal favorite villains, King Shark. He’s a shark! With arms! He’s a shark with arms! He’s got superhuman strength, he’s near invincible, he can operate underwater, plus he reads Rumi. Might be a bit tough getting him to comply with orders, but I feel like it would be pretty hard for him to eat Doomsday or Deathstroke if he got mad. I just find him so charming.
Chris: It’s hard to top a shark with legs and big ol’ muscley arms! For my final pick, I’m going for someone to fill a gap I just realized my team was missing. I’ve got possibly the best bad guy brain and lots of power to spare, but I don’t have a Batman type, and I think I’ve gotta have someone who can take Batman out of the equation if need be. Also, this character, while not known for being an assassin, is going to be my assassin pick since he has no qualms about killing and has the skills and mental aptitude to set up a way to take just about anyone out.
And that’s why I’m choosing Owlman. Specifically, the Grant Morrison Earth-2 Thomas Wayne Jr. version. The one with drug-enhanced cerebral cortex, because if you’re going to make an evil Batman, you might as well find a way to take his greatest asset (his brain) and turn it up a notch.
Tom: For my final pick, I’m going back to a villain who might be a bit of a wild card in terms of loyalty, but in terms of sheer malevolence, I gotta go with Sinestro! The greatest of all Green Lantern foes, the former Lantern and ruler of the mirror-universe of Qward and the Sinestro Corps is a great bad guy with not only inside knowledge of how the universe’s space cops work, but also virtually the same power set, with the added ability of his Ring creations inspiring fear! That’s like 1000X more powerful than plain ol’ fear gas.
Sinestro has swerved from villainy to anti-herodom to villainy again, but at the end of the day, he wants to rule by any means necessary. While that could lead to a power struggle with Brainiac, it also makes my team equally able to pull off both Earth and space crimes. Gotta hit all bases!
Elle: I’m going to finish out my team with a classic villain who I’m a little surprised made it all the way to the end of the draft. The Riddler is one of my favorite Batman villains, and I think he’ll make a great addition. He’s always trying to prove he’s the smartest guy around, which can make him a motivated team member, but also leads to tension with those around him, which is something every villain team needs. This also means that fully half my team (all my male villains, in fact) were in the Legion of Doom on Challenge of the Super-Friends, which is a team that’s stuck with me since childhood as a great assortment of villains.
Benito: My last pick is one I had been keeping in reserve in case someone stole one of my first choice picks, but that didn’t happen, so for this bonus round, I’m picking George Dyke, the Gorilla Boss of Gotham City.
Gorilla Boss was a mobster who, after being executed, had his brain transplanted into a gorilla body (with a brief period in which Sinestro stole his brain and grew it to the size of a planet). But for maximum effect, my new version would combine George Dyke with a similar villain who once fought Animal Man, 1967’s Mod Gorilla Boss. This means I get the power of the George Dyke version mixed with the sweet fashion sense of the hippest gorilla gangster Deep Hollow, Montana, has to offer.
Kieran: For my final pick I’m going to choose a new villain that I’d like to see more of in the future, and that’s the Batman baddie, Mr. Bloom. I really loved what Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo did with Bloom over the course of the “Superheavy” arc and he’s a villain with motivations that resonate deeply with very current socio-political issues. He’s not super excited to be on a team, but what villain is. He’s going to try and spread his message as far as possible, and this is a convenient way to do it.
FINAL TEAM ROSTERS
Chris: Lex Luthor, Shaggy Man, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Mongal, Professor Zoom, Harley Quinn, Superboy Prime, Owlman
Emma: Doomsday, Deathstroke, Parallax, Plastique, Poison Ivy, Granny Goodness, Ra's al Ghul, King Shark
Tom: Brainiac, Deadshot, Kalibak, Livewire, Doctor Poison, Professor Pyg, Chemo, Sinestro
Elle: Catwoman, Bizarro, Cheshire, Black Manta, Enchantress, Knockout, Solomon Grundy, The Riddler
Benito: Gorilla Grodd, Monsieur Mallah, Ultra-Humanite, Giganta, Titano, Jackanapes, Talia al Ghul, Gorilla Boss
Kieran: Darkseid, Prometheus, Cheetah, Lady Shiva, Bane, Zoom, Black Adam, Mr Bloom
But who put together the best squad? Who here is an Amanda Waller in the making? As always, we leave that choice up to you.