Every week I get emails from lots of the regular Knuckleheads that support this column with their undyin’ manliness and testosterone filled back up. I truly appreciate it.
They give me all kinds of inspiration, information and some really great questions that I either write back to personally or address here in Busted Knuckles for the whole world to share.
The other day I got a couple of emails on the same subject. Becky Norris from down in San Saba, Texas and Billy Windgar from San Diego, California both wrote and asked what obscure Marvel Comics characters would I like to write and why.
Well, I pondered on that a couple of days as I went about doin’ my best to rid the world of reality TV and I managed to scratch down a few characters that could use a little of my manly spotlight. Good guys as well as bad. When it comes to bein’ es muy macho I’m an equal opportunity creator.
Let’s start by seein’ who I dug up in the good guy side.
El Aguila: This guy was a modern day Zorro for Marvel. He first showed up on Power Man/Iron Fist #58. Not a bad costume; could use some updates, but basically not bad. El Aguila carried on the Zorro tradition by goin’ after drug pushers and street level bad guys that preyed upon the poor in the streets of the urban jungle. I like that and feel that he could continue doin’ that on a major basis now. El Aguila is a master swordsman, of course, and can shock the shit out of ya with his power to discharge up to 100,000 volts of manly electricity at one time. Most of the time he doesn’t have to use that much, but it’s there if he needs it. A lot of the time he runs the charge through his cool sword. The Big Apple could use this guy to carve out the rotten parts with his sword.
Armadillo: This poor lug got a bad rap. His wife came down with a really terrible sickness and he was tryin’ to find a doctor to save her and all he got was that nutbag Dr. Karl Malus, that screwball master criminal scientist that was always tryin’ to transform street thugs into his super powered henchmen. Malus turned Antonio Rodriguez into this huge, hulking human Armadillo. The shit hit the fan in Captain America #308and there was a ton of fightin’. Cap realized that Armadillo was a kind of pawn used by Dr. Malus and didn’t turn Armadillo into the cops. They made Malus cure Armadillo’s wife and he then turned to a life of professional wrestling. I have special plans for The Armadillo and the other guys that follow:
The Gibbon, The Kangaroo, Razorback, and The Grizzly: The Gibbon is also known as Marty Blank; one of Spider-Man’s lamest bad guys. Kinda hard to call Marty a bad guy. He was just some poor guy that got out on the wrong side of ugly and tried to take it out on the world. Spidey set him straight. The Gibbon even joined up with some other losers that fought Spider-Man. Guys like The Kangaroo and The Grizzly. The Grizzly was Max Markham, He first showed up in Amazing Spider-Man #139. Former wrestler and flunky of The Jackal. The Kangaroo (Original one) was an Aussie named Frank Oliver, a low-level thug and former boxer. Frank first showed up in Amazing Spider-Man #81. He died later on and was replaced by some moron named Brian Hibbs. Razorback came in durin’ the CB Radio craze. A hog of a trucker that could kick ass and make a couple of jokes while he did it. Big guy with a powerful punch. They all got kicked to the curb after a while and there were even some second-generation versions of em’. They were played for laughs and soon forgotten. I’d like to take a more serious take on The Kangaroo, Razorback, Gibbon, Grizzly and Armadillo. If ya think about it their names aren’t any dumber than ones like The Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus or The Rhino. These poor guys were just never written right. I could change that pretty quick by teamin’ em’ up and showin’ the world just what they could do as good guys and with interestin’ personalities. I’ve got plans for these boys.
Ka-Zar: Kevin Plunder. Believe it or not there was a time when Ka-Zar was a really well written character with wonderful art. It was in the 80s when Bruce Jones and Ron Frenz were at the helm. To this day it was some of the best-written stuff out there. Just pick up any of the back issues and you’ll see what I’m talkin’ about. The dialogue was quick and smart. You loved Ka-Zar and his supporting group of Shanna and Zabu. As far as what I would do? try and carry that same torch. The train was runnin’ great. I just think there is a real readin’ audience for it now. I would simply keep loadin’ fuel into that engine and let her rip.
Texas Twister: Drew Daniels. Former ranch hand, rodeo star and agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. If ever there was a character for me it was Texas Twister. A big ol’ boy that could make himself a human Twister and spin the sin right out of ya. He first showed up in Fantastic Four #177. He puts a whole new meanin’ on the phrase “Passin’ Wind.”
Skull The Slayer: A tough guy that fought dinosaurs, monsters, weird ass bad guys and he had a supporting cast that didn’t really like him that much. This is a mix of the TV show Lost with the movie Die Hard. Great stuff and there is more that can be done. Just imagine Skull goin’ around the world now huntin’ down more mystery spots with monsters and crazy bad guys. A mouth full of knuckles for everyone.
Red Wolf: In keepin’ up with the western side of me. There were two versions that I remember. One that fought in the old west and one that was in modern times. He was one of those great characters that wore an animal head as a hat. A great tracker and fighter. Fought with a staff and a huge wolf that was as smart as Lassie. I’d love to set him and Texas Twister loose on crime in the southwest today.
Let’s downshift into Bad Guy gear and see what we can come up with.
The Abomination, The Juggernaut, and The Absorbing Man. Although not really obscure, I would love to get these guys in a script. They are the original city crushers. There’s nothin’ these bad boys can’t tear up or down. I don’t understand why writers at Marvel aren’t back stabbin’ each other to write these guys. Makes no sense to me. Classic real man villains. Old school all the way. No angst from these power punchers.
The Boomerang: Fred Myers. First showed his ugly head in Tales To Astonish #81. Another pissed off Aussie that even played minor league baseball here in the states for a few years before he got ticked off and took to a life of crime. Great powers and always had a mean streak.
The Original Masters Of Evil: Ol’ Baron Zemo knew what he was doin’ when it came to puttin’ together a big batch of bad guys. Throw a glance at this checklist of hero haters: Baron Zemo, The Melter, Radioactive Man, The Black Knight, The Executioner, The Enchantress, Klaw, Crimson Cowl, Whirlwind, The Black Knight, Egghead, Tiger-Shark, The Scorpion, The Shocker, The Beetle, Absorbing Man, Moonstone, Titania, The Wrecking Crew, Bad Goliath, Mr. Hyde, Grey Gargoyle, Black Out and The Fixer. Tell me that’s not an All-Star line up of evil. I’d almost find myself rootin’ for them to whip the good guys. I can just imagine the dialogue between these crime causin’ creeps. Oh the joy!
Here are a few that I’d add to the list of wonderful but wacky bad guys that I would love to write life into. See how many you remember: Torpedo, Man-Ape, Plant Man, The Porcupine, Modok, Mimic, Super Adaptoid, The Trapster, Taskmaster, The Enforcers, The Eel, and The Cobra.
The list goes on and on, but I’ve rambled far too long already. I get pretty stoked talkin’ about the lesser known characters. Through the years they’ve all had their moment in the spotlight, for some it just wasn’t long enough. I’m here to see that they get that extra few minutes, even if it’s just here in Busted Knuckles. The Marvel Universe needs to have an “American Idol” type of try out for heroes and villains. Let the readers throw in their votes and see who makes the cut and who gets that ticket right back to comic book limbo.
Not a bad idea (of course, I came up with it!) Maybe somebody should make this happen. With the internet I’m sure that there would be thousands of folks that would vote. What do ya think? How would you feel about givin’ a low-level hero or villain a chance to shine?
Keep those questions a comin’. I always try and get back to ya with an answer as long as it ain’t too long.
Wrap It Up Like A Bad Burrito
I hope all of ya had a fun holiday weekend. For some of ya it may still be goin’ on. Mine was filled with loads of food, sun, a big Smith family gatherin’ that had everything from beer swillin’ to fist fightin’.
At one point this weekend I got pulled over by the police for havin’ an expired inspection sticker on my truck and improper use of a seat belt. (You don’t really wanna know) Needless to say my Tuesday will be a busy day at the court house, the West Virginia DMV as well as sayin’ a lot of “Yes your honor, I am very sorry.”
The Flying Fist ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507