Thursday, November 4, 2010
The Injustice League: NBA Supervillains
Those are, I think it's safe to say, two images that have never been grouped together. So what the hell are they doing there? Well, you could have phrased that more politely, but thanks for asking.
Today we're going to learn what my three least favorite NBA teams and comic book supervillains have in common. And it's probably more than you think. Debuting exclusively on The Once and Future Blog, here is the first installment of Bruene's Bizarre Analogies: NBA Supervillains! Where I try to figure out who all the important players on these teams correspond to with, I think, some success. I tried wrote each explanation so that it could apply to either player or comic character, though I did cheat a couple of time. Well, enough preamble. Enjoy!
Team One: The Los Angeles Brotherhood of Mutants
They've been committing wide-scale villainy since the fifties. Consistently a force to be reckoned with, they've been plaguing our heroes for decades, and much more effectively than most villain teams. And they're lead by...
Phil "Magneto" Jackson. The man can't be stopped. The most successful coach/genocidal monster of all time, his calm planning, ruthless cunning, and serious talent are not to be trifled with. There's a reason he's considered the best of all time.
Sasha "Toad" Vujacic: He is, to be polite, not the direst of threats to the heroes. Every once in a while he'll contribute some minor act of villainy, but mostly he just kinda sits there. He does have a hot love interest though.
Matt "Lobo" Barnes: An effective and widely-traveled mercenary, you probably won't regret hiring him, if you want to get the job done and aren't particularly concerned how it happens.
Shannon "Pyro" Brown: He's not going to destroy the world anytime soon, but he's effective enough and very, very flashy.
Andrew "Solomon Grundy" Bynum: He just won't stay down. No matter how many times he's defeated, the gigantic guy just keeps coming back from the dead to wreak havoc, albeit temporarily
Lamar "Poison Ivy" Odom: Powerful, effective, and very evil...when the mood strikes. More often though, content just to simply relax and not take the hard work of villainy too seriously.
Derek "Lex Luthor" Fisher: Somehow manages to convince the world that he's not nearly as evil as he really is, and has had a long career of sometimes spectacular villainy against superhuman odds despite not having any real superpowers. Also prematurely bald.
Ron "The Joker" Artest: The craziest villain in the world, he's truly unpredictable. But also very, very dangerous, sometimes to his allies. Has had some killer jokes over the years.
Pau "Dr. Doom" Gasol: A foreign leader, he's perhaps the greatest threat to the fantastic four*. Usually calm but prone to outbursts of emotion, he is one of the most potent threats to the peace and security of mankind. He's also prone to wearing ridiculous things on his face.
Kobe "Doomsday" Bryant: Even doomier, he's absolutely unstoppable. When defeated, he comes back, only this time immune to however you beat him before. He is known to vanquish supermen. Loved only by the most degenerate and nihilistic, he is a true and existential threat to the continued survival of mankind.
Team Two: The Oklahoma City Black Lantern Corps.
Composed of the reanimated and malevolent corpses of fallen heroes, they are a horror beyond mortal comprehension. Their mere existence is a brutal affront to nature and all that is good in the universe. But the architects are even worse...
B.J. "Blob" Mullens: Doing little more than take up space, he is dangerous only in very limited circumstances.
Royal "Bi-Beast" Ivey: No one knows who he is, and he has a very peculiar name.
Serge "Juggernaut" Ibaka: You should be alright as long as he doesn't get going. But once he does, get the hell out of his way.
Nick "Archangel" Collison: Originally a hero, dark circumstances conspired to turn him to the side of evil. Still, his overall level of villainy is noticeably low.
Russell "Venom" Westbrook: Flirted only very briefly with the light, before becoming a terrifying manifestation of shadow. The stuff of nightmares.
Jeff "Two-Face" Green: A sad case, his descent into darkness was an unfortunate mistake. He did good work for the cause of justice before his fall.
Kevin "Superboy-Prime" Durant: For a short but glorious time was one of the foremost champions of good. But after a truly tragic set of circumstances conspired to trap him in a hellish prison, driving him to evil. Now he is a burgeoning and seemingly unstoppable force of destruction, bent on savaging whatever remains on the side of truth and justice. He hasn't been at it long, but has already been frighteningly successful.
The Lords of Darkness:
Scott "Black Hand" Brooks: Responsible for the day-to-day minutia of evil, he is no more than a pawn, but a dangerous one.
Sam "Mister Sinister" Presti: A bit higher up the ladder, he deals with longer-term matters that are responsible for acts of cruelty and destruction on a grand scale. But he is still a minion, frightening as that may be.
Aubrey "Sinestro" McClendon: A powerful villain, he thrives by bringing fear and suffering into the universe. But even he pales in comparison to the true face of evil...
Clayton "Apocalypse/Nekron" Bennett: A being of ancient evil, his machinations are behind near extinction of joy, beauty, and love in the universe.
Team Three: The Miami Injustice League Unlimited
Formed by a group of three superpowered individuals who had grown frustrated operating on their own, the three soon attracted a number of others to begin operating their villainy in earnest. The newest group, time will tell how effectively evil it is.
Day-to-day operations run by Eric "Crossbones" Spoelstra: Dangerous in his own right, but not even close to his master.
Pat "Red Skull" Riley: An organizational mastermind, he works both behind the scenes are openly when it suits him. He has no reservations about throwing a subordinate under the bus when he wants, and he has had some major successes over the years. However, he's also well known for being defeated by an American legend.
Zydrunas "The Vulture" Ilgauskas: An ungainly bald man, he's only effective on a team with more dangerous allies.
Mike "Ozymandias" Miller: A popular and talented (if reserved and sometimes mysterious), mildly effeminate prettyboy, the motivation behind his deed was well-intentioned, but the act itself unforgivable.
Eddie "Bullseye" House: A nearly peerless marksman who seems to never miss when it matters, he carries himself with an undeniable swagger.
Udonis "Sentinel" Haslem: He'll follow his master's commands to the letter, and is reliable for defeating powerful superheroes if rarely spectacular. At least, by himself.
Chris "Harley Quinn" Bosh: Obsequious and eager to please a more talented and dangerous superior, shows little individual initiative. Still very dangerous, perhaps even more so individually, as being around the superior talent seems to blunt the abilities and talents.
Dwayne "Mastermind" Wade: A very talented and dangerous opponent in his own right, but he thrives by manipulating other even more powerful friends into helping him.
LeBron "Galactus" James: A titanic danger to Earth, he is unable to control himself and has little awareness of the consequences of his actions. He leaves only a trail of destruction in his wake. He also has a penchant for wearing stupid hats.
*Specifically, Rondo is The Human Torch, Allen is the Invisible Woman (for disappearing in game 3), Garnett The Thing, and Pierce is Mister Fantastic. Really, it works remarkably well on it's own, and even better with Gasol as Doom and LeBron as Galactus.
And that is it, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you enjoyed it, I certainly had a good time writing it. I like most of these, but I'm open to suggestions. I couldn't come up with anything good for a few players, like Mo Peterson, Juwon Howard, or Luke Walton. Any ideas? I do enjoy feedback