Fantasy Drafts

Friday, September 16, 2005

Superheroes and Supervillains Commentary

3:13 PM
And the commentary is in. Love it, hate it, run to the local water cooler to discuss. Or do none of the above. The choice is yours. Enjoy...

Sarah’s Draft:
Captain Planet
Cat Woman
Professor X

When rating this draft, one thing must always remain clear: Sarah got Superman. And in doing so, she got the archetype for all the superheroes that we now know and love. She got a man who can shoot laser beams from his eyes, fly (to the point that he can reverse the rotation of the earth and thus go back in time), stop a speeding bullet, etc... In short, with this selection, she got, as the kids on the street say today, the ‘fly honey’ of this ‘wacked out’ genre. And for that she should be commended.

Similarly, she deserves commendation for her decision to stray from the typical comic book heroes (burly, rippling muscles, spandex outfits...) that the rest of the drafters seemed to feast on with their selections. Specifically, she did very well taking Voldemort in the third round, Donatello in the sixth, and Gargamel in the eighth. By doing so, she managed to snag the most dangerous villain from the most popular literary series of the day, the best of the bad ass teenage mutant ninja turtles, and well, gargamel. Kudos on those selections.

However, Sarah’s draft was not all peaches and cream. There were bumps. There were dents. There was a huge ass comet sized crater. Lets start with the crater, otherwise known as Captain Planet. Seriously Sarah, you’re going to follow up a first round selection of Superman with this putz. What if one of those kids oversleeps, or loses his ring, or just plain doesn’t want to save the world? Then we’re all screwed. I won’t dwell too much because space is limited, but still. Ugh. Of the other picks, I personally thought that Buffy was a slight hiccup for Sarah. Granted, it's not a horrible pick. But let’s go over the storyline. Blonde bimbo cheerleader from California learns that she has been predestined to be ‘the slayer’ of vampires. Then she goes out and kills them, thus saving the world. Honestly, this doesn’t sound so much like the backstory for a Superhero as much as it sounds like the plot for a skin flick. Which isn’t a bad thing. Certainly, certainly not a bad thing.

To round out her draft, Sarah took Catwoman in the fourth round. This is a good pick, not a great pick, but a good one. So, to suffice, Sarah had one amazing pick, three most bodacious picks, one holy ‘sweet mother of god the bus has gone off the bridge’ pick, one not so great, not so awful pick, and one serviceable selection. And for that, she gets what she’s always wanted, a grade above a C. Good job Sarah. B+

Albert’s Draft:
The Flash
The Incredible Hulk
Martian Manhunter

Albert’s draft his typified primarily by headlining superheroes. Spiderman, The Flash, the Incredible Hulk, He-Man, Blade...all of these heroes at one point or another have been the face of their own comic series, and in some cases, their own television shows and movies. However, a position of leadership does not necessarily a good leader make (Dubya). And so, closer examination of Albert’s draft must be done to truly determine the strength of this particular draft.

Spiderman in the first round is a great selection. In his position, Albert had his choice of two superheroes. He could have selected either Spiderman, or the masked detective from Gotham, Batman. In choosing Spiderman, Albert not only gets a complicated hero, but a complicated universe. The Marvel Universe, unlike the DC Comics one of which Batman is a member, represents an extremely imaginative world with mutants and aliens. Batman, on the other hand, exists in a much more realistic world (well as realistic as comic books get). For my money, if I had had the second pick, I would have gone the same way as Albert. Great pick. With his second pick, Albert selected The Flash. Honestly, I’m not so much a fan. If the world were being attacked by a crazy alien, or Dr. Doom, or whoever, is The Flash really who I want as one of my primary defenders? Now if we’re talking about a marathon against the Kenyans for national pride, well okay, I’ll take the Flash. But for world security, I’m just saying that I’d rather take, a Green Lantern or a Human Torch or Daredevil (but not Aquaman).

Rounds three, four, and five saw Albert get back on the reservation. The Incredible Hulk is awesome. I mean come on, mild-mannered Bruce Banner turns into the huge and uncontrollable Hulk when he gets angry. That’s great stuff. And if you’ve never wanted to grapple with the military, all the time tossing tanks this way and that, and still be referred to as a hero, well then you’re not a true American. The round four selection of He-Man is great as well. I mean its He-Man, cmon. He runs around in a loincloth, has a huge frickin’ sword, and gets his power from Greyskull. You can’t make stuff like this up. Well, you can, because someone did, but you get my drift. The round five selection of the Martian Manhunter is good, although not amazing. The man is the last of the Martian race, he’s got crazy powers, and he’s an overwhelming badass. That said, does he remind anyone else of Superman? Yeah, me too. So, for that reason, it’s a good pick, just not a fantastic one.

Rounds six and seven were good value rounds for Albert. He managed to get Blade, the day walking vampire killer, in round six and Darkseid, the bad-ass villain from superman’s universe, in round seven. Mystique in round eight was equally good, giving Albert a member from the X-Men universe to close out his draft. All in all, Albert had a very solid draft. He had one exceptional pick, three great picks, three good value picks, and one overrated pick. As a team, it’s a solid group of characters, although I have to knock him for taking The Flash so early. That said, I wouldn’t want to get on the bad side of any of these characters, and I’m sure you wouldn’t either. A/A-

Adam’s Draft:
Wonder Woman
Dr. Doom
Captain Marvel
Mr. Fantastic
Professor Moriarty
The Thing

I want to give Adam a good score in this draft. Dammit, I really do. And it's not just because he’s hot; it’s also cuz he’s a genuine nice guy and a pleasure to be around, and single. Would you believe it? Anyway, enough of my shilling for our west coast rep, back to the commentary. Like I was saying, I would like to help our dear friend out. But alas, I swore an oath to uphold justice when I began writing this commentary, and to not tell it like it is, well that would just be a lie. And so, with a large breath of air, here we go.

Adam had an amazing first three selections in this draft. His first pick of Batman was an obvious and amazing choice. Dark Knight, Detective, the Bat, Bruce Wayne...whatever name you call him, you always know what you’re getting: a nasty superhero who kicks ass and takes names later. Gotta love that. The second round selection of Wonder Woman at first befuddled me, but the more I considered it, the better a selection it seemed. Not only was Wonder Woman able to exist in a predominantly male superhero universe, she was able to do it without any help, and she was quite good at what you did. Honestly, I’d let Lynda Carter (circa 1975) wrangle me with her truth lasso any day of the week (just don’t tell my girlfriend). The third round selection of Victor Von Doom, aka Dr. Doom was excellent. As has been noted, Dr. Doom typically fights with the Fantastic Four, and consistently holds his own. This is something of an anomaly in the comic book world as villains typically outnumber the heroes. The fact that Dr. Doom is able to be outnumbered, and not get destroyed easily is a credit to his evil genius.

However, following this selection Adam appears to drive the wagon that was his draft straight into a burning pile of elephant poop. Translation: those of you with heart conditions and weakened constitutions, please, I beg of you, do not read on. In rounds four and five, our sweet little Californian selected Captain Marvel and Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards). These two selections, for all intents and purposes, completely defy logic. First, Captain Marvel. Anyone know who he is? If you do, congratulations, cause you’re likely reading this at home, on a Friday night, waiting for Battlestar Gallactica to come on. And that's cool, really. And Mr. Fantastic? Okay, I’ll give you that he’s the leader of the Fantastic Four. And they are an incredibly successful and influential group. But even as the leader, he’s not even close to being the coolest, or to even having the best power. Of the accident that caused their mutations, Mr. Fantastic’s abilities are light years behind what happened to Dr. Doom and the Human Torch. Light years. And granted those two characters were taken, but that’s still no reason to select Mr. Fantastic. The selection of Professor/Dr. Moriarty in the sixth round signals a brief respite of Adam’s insanity. While the man had no special powers, he was a cunning evil genius, and essentially, the first supervillain. However, this was only a short vacation, as Adam plows back into the elephant dung with his seventh and eighth round selections: The Thing and Robin.

And, as should be expected, neither of these selections truly excites me. Starting with the Thing, he’s the third member of the Fantastic Four universe to be taken by Adam in this draft, and once again, not nearly as good as Dr. Doom or the Human Torch. Before the radiation, he was a pilot. Now his favorite catch-phrase is ‘it's clobbering time.’ Something doesn’t add up. If you ask me, he’s a roider. Now, about Robin. He’s the first, and only, sidekick taken in this draft. Many other characters were taken who were part of an ensemble, but Robin is the only sidekick. Now you could make the case that his role as a Teen Titan negates this, but I don’t buy it. He started as Batman’s protege, and that’s what he’ll always be. A better selection for either of these two characters may have been Bishop or Cable from X-Men, the Silver Surfer, or Black Cat.

All in all, the draft started with much promise, but ultimately, it crashed and burned. And, like so many things in Adam’s life, it came out smelling like elephant poop. C+

Sydney's team:
Lex Luthor
Human Torch
Emperor Palpatine
Powdered Toast Man

Luthor is everyone's favorite super villain, in addition he does get with Lois (yes they are real) Lane in some versions. He is a superb number one overall selection; you really can't fault Sydney for falling into the snare of the supe' riche, supe' bald capitalist, I mean she is lonely. Going villain back to back is never easy on a girl, and while I agree that Magneto has some impressive powers and is the main anthesis to the X-Men, he is but a cog in the X-Men wheel. The series is predicated on myriad characters and story-lines, making him just an iffy selection. However, in the third round, Sydney goes off the deep end with Aquaman; his most noteworthy powers are his abilities to communicate with sea life, to breathe underwater, and to swim really really fast (can anyone say Sub Mariner?). For Christ sake, he was just a fringe star during the comic book golden age - it's like drafting Winger in the third round of an 80s hair band draft. Round 5 - what do you know - another stumble; Lion-O's selection is a reach of Reed Richards proportions; I mean the cat was voiced by the dude who did Count Chocula, a way cooler character. With Palpatine, Sydney gets back on the rocker at a calm cool pace and stays on with Splinter. It is great to see the show of our youth getting two shout-outs in this round - however, both Shredder and Michelangelo are more dynamic and interesting characters - Splinter is the Bea Arthur of superheroes. Finally, the train wreck all spectators secretly want to see: Powdered Toast Man; it makes me want to unleash a string of profanities, but instead: the most ridiculously stupid and insignificant pick ever.

Summation: 2 good to great rounds (1 & 4); 2 decent rounds (2 & 6); 1 so-so (7th), and three miserable rounds, Help me Aquaman, what does my lobster say before he/she hits the water: C.

Dan's team:
Darth Vader
Captain America
Green Lantern
Green Goblin
Red Skull

Dan (like Chris) gets off to an uninspiring start with Darth Vader, I mean one drafter (hey redheads have fun too) even thought the villain wasn't selected and attempted to take him in the eighth round. Plus selecting a villain first not named Luther is a mistake. First round behind us, Dan's draft takes off like Supergirl when she hit puberty (talk about huge umbrages). Captain America is an amazing pick (one in a string of selections he stole from me). His back story is truly great, his shield is so cool, and those colors are fantastic, plus he has a good arch-enemy, correctly packaged in the seventh round. Daredevil is an easy pick in round three, I feel like he gets negative points for being associated with Ben Affleck, I mean he should have followed Matt Damon and J.Lo's step and avoided him like the plague. Also is this Dan's Freudian occupational slip, a blind lawyer? Well? Green Lantern is a huge superstar, the glue that holds the Justice League together, he is as moody as Batman, but somehow earned more respect from Martian Manhunter - if green is the color of jealousy then color me jealous of that gorgeous ring he possesses (My Precious). Gambit might have been a reach, however this commentator, knows Dan's affinity for the sweet-talking Cajun, and wasn't surprised - he could have gone later, but you don't leave the girl you really want to dance with alone, just cause there are hotter (less easy) one's still free. Iron Man rounds out a great draft, seriously, we are talking third to fourth round talent in the final round, that's like selecting Kelly Preston last in a Baywatch Actress draft.

Summation: 5 good to great rounds (2, 4, 5, 7 & 8); 3 decent rounds; Ironman, Ironman ...radioactive Ironman... Ironman, Ironman...I bet that man was made of Busch Lite Cans: A

Chris' team:
Terminator T-800
Wicked Witch of the West
Radioactive Man

Chris stumbled with a reach in the first round, however this could be due to draft position, still Captain America and the Incredible Hulk were available. Wolverine is a good superhero although some have questioned whether his back story is a rip-off of C.A.'s and similarly he is a member of a team, he doesn't headline, he is more of AN integral part than THE integral part; he's no Chesty LaRue. First round aside, Chris performs a one-two punch a la Punch Out, in grabbing the Joker and Terminator (T-800). Joker is perhaps the number two villain of all time, having been immortalized by Jack Nicholson. Terminator is brilliant, absolutely a great pick, the duality of both villain and hero, the heart Schwarzenegger portrays in the character is amazing, plus the mofo is strong as Paul Bunyan. Chris stumbles a tad in round four, Rogue is good, and seriously hot, but you can't touch her, I mean I know you want to, but you really cant get close - I don't think they make a condom for that, and the patch is just worthless. Wicked Witch of the West seems to be trying too hard, I mean I love Pink Floyd, but who watches that movie; the 'little people' are funnier in Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, anyway. Radioactive Man is a huge reach, and add to that, he was selected in the last ROUND. Again, Chris tries to break out of the normal construct, by selecting an atypical "hero." Radioactive Man was a freaking fringe character on an animated series. Chris why don't you get RM & Fallout Boy and create your own double-stuffed Oreo, because I ain't buying the shit you're peddling.

Summation: 3 good to great rounds (2, 3 & 5); 2 decent rounds (1 & 7); 1 mediocre at best (4); 2 god-awful rounds. No Chris, I don't Care to Dance with the Devil in the Pale Moonlight, C++.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you guys heard the joke about the invisible man, wonder woman and superman?

also Captain Planet, wtf?

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Chris deserved a much higher score. Jesus, Albert, just because you don't appreciate great cinema.

Also, *I* deserved a higher score, because my commentary was clearly written by someone who has never watched "Buffy."

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Albert said...

ok S. chris had three awful picks, Wolverine in the first round is a HUGE throwaway and Radioactive Man is only outshadowed by the amazingly stupid Powdered Toast Man (Ren & Stimpy)?

Wicked Witch of the West isnt even Super, she's a freaking witch. why didnt you just try and take Dracula.

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Wicked Witch of the West was a really creative pick. And she is way, way scarier than ANY of the other villains taken in this draft, with the possible exception of Voldemort.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Albert said...

S. you are a moron. WWW is not a super villian. How many appearances does she have? How many times did she hatch a scheme to take over the world? How many times did she try to kill dorothy in a smoldering coffin? ONCE, sweet pick. YOU ARE WRONG

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush was asked what he thought of Roe v. Wade and he said : "I don't care how people get out of Louisiana."

12:01 PM  
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