Hi-Tech: A Villain With Some Level Of Technology

Hi-Tech, real name as yet unrevealed, is a minor Superman foe from the 90s, but in spite of having only a few minor appearances in Superman books, she somehow managed to get a starring role in an story running in some DC Anthology book. I can only assume the creators had plans for her that never came to fruition. Well, I will currently ignore those insignificant potential plans to fit her into my own, even less significant plans.

Hi-Tech, as her terribly generic name suggests, is a technology-based villain. She was apparently just a bored adrenaline junkie type who became a cyborg for the thrill of doing super-crimes. She was essentially a mercenary, doing crimes for pay, eventually winding up having her consciousness wind up in an entirely robotic body. Like all the crooks for this team I’m suggesting, she’s not too bad (she actually came to feel bad about some things she did) and she’s not a threat to Superman alone, so she’d fit into the group fairly well.

Every team of heisters needs a hacker type and the fact she can also participate in a fight means she doesn’t have to stay behind in the team’s van and watch everything on monitors or whatever. She can participate in the action.

In terms of relations with the rest of Metropolis’s criminals, I expect Toxus would have little problem getting her to sign up for capers. She’s eager for the opportunity. I also have to wonder what kind of relationship might evolve between her and the electricity-based supercriminal Livewire. Friends? Enemies? Only way to find out is if people use the character.

Toxus: The Rootin’ Tootin’ Pollutin’ Supercrook

Today I bring you Toxus. Toxus, real name Virgil Belasco, is a crook who has only appeared in one two-part Supergirl story, but I think he’d make a good addition to Superman’s recurring cast of c-list enemies. And not just because “Virgil Belasco” is an awesome name.

Toxus was your basic crook except that he came across some technology from the future that allowed him pollution powers. Among those powers were the ability to essentially fly turning himself into smog and to generate lead-filled smoke that can’t be penetrated by x-ray vision. A lot of fun could be had with the concept of pollution powers, I think. Also, Toxus has an angle that I think would be good to teach kids about pollution: it isn’t his goal to cause pollution, like some Captain Planet villain, he is just a selfish guy who doesn’t care that pollution comes from his actions. That is more realistic a depiction of pollution and kids ought to see that.

His personality? Well, we know he’s a crook but let’s extrapolate based on his pollution theme to expand on it. I say he’s the kind of guy who manipulates his fellow crooks to get what he wants and doesn’t care if it gets them in danger or causes them problems in their lives. Toxus would essentially be the crux of the little community of crooks. For example, I would absolutely have him as a cohort of Timebomb and he would definitely use the latter’s anger to manipulate him into doing things for him.

Next week, I’ll write something about another potential member.

Superman’s C-List Villain Team

I have said that I am jealous of Batman’s villains because they are “better” than Superman’s. That is true, but you know whose villains I enjoy even more than the Great Fleidermaus Detective’s? Spider-Man’s. That guy has a ton of villains who are just plain fun. And it isn’t even his a-listers I’m talking about. I barely care about Spider-Man’s big villains. What I like is his c-listers. They are so good they could and have headlined their own books while still being c-list super-crooks, not brilliant criminal masterminds or maniacal killers. That is what I want for Superman’s foes. I want him to have his own equivalent to the Sinister Syndicate. So let’s work on that, shall we? (I will do it. You can just sit there.)

I don’t know what name this team would have, if it had any. In my ideal world, I would find a name that was once used in some obscure Superman comic that would fit this team perfectly and reclaim it. At the moment, I have not found that name. I would NOT however, call this team the “Superman Revenge Squad”. I’ll probably do a post about those guys someday, but they aren’t these guys. These are the guys who mostly don’t want revenge on Superman. They just want to do crimes when Superman isn’t around. There probably wouldn’t even be a permanent roster. They’d be more casual criminal acquaintances than an actual team.

Mostly I will be plucking very obscure supervillains for this. There are some more mainstream ones who’d fit in, though. Off the top of my head, Metallo and Livewire would work. Anyway, at least, I don’t have enough to say about either of them to merit their own posts, so I’ll cover them here today.

Metallo, a cyborg thug with a heart of Kryptonite, is without a doubt the highest ranking of the villains I will propose for this group. He’s also the one most likely to be involved in plots that go beyond the parameters I just set for the team. He is the type who’d go out for revenge on Superman. He would probably be perfectly willing to work for Lex Luthor or whomever instead of doing bank jobs or whatever. But he’d do those smaller crimes too. He’s not picky. And for this group to work, they need at least one notable criminal in the batch. Metallo works.

Livewire, an electrically-powered sassmouth criminal, on the other hand would probably think she’s too cool for this crew. But being a supercriminal isn’t easy. Sometimes she’d need the money and working with a team can be better than working alone. I don’t know that she’d be especially loyal, though. She’d also probably think she’s on top of things enough to manipulate the rest of the group, but that may not always be true.

And that’s it for villains anyone has heard about. I’d also throw Timebomb into this. I think he’d fit into the group too. Next week I’ll start throwing out some of the others I think belong here.

Other Things A Superman Game Could Have

This week I am just going to be unloading a random mess of thoughts about a potential Superman game, as I discussed last time.

Collectibles: seems like all these games have things strewn around the city that you must gather up because it is easy fun. Well, I propose we can do that here as well. I would go with the story that Beppo the Supermonkey ransacked the Fortress of Solitude and hid them around town. You gotta get them back. Easy. And the collectibles would be souvenirs from old missions or Kryptonian artifacts and so on. A good chance to introduce the franchise to players.

Mxyzptlk Missions: As I said last time, I would keep Mxy away from combat missions. Much better if he is used to create crazy side missions. And I would absolutely include one where he makes you fly through rings as in Superman 64, considered one of the worst games ever. And I wouldn’t even feel bad about it.

Fast Travel: I don’t know for sure how super speed could be done in a game. I picture a button that you press and everybody but you slows to a snail’s pace, it uses up your power and all that stuff. That is all well and good, but also it is clear that fast travel in the game could also be presented as super speed in action. As long as your in your guise as Superman (ie, not as Clark Kent) you should be able to instantly get to any location in the city. And if you leave the city boundaries, or just fly up, up, and away, you get to choose locations outside of the city to visit. (The Fortress, Smallville, probably some oil rig, wherever else the game takes you).

Other Playable Characters: If this game is designed to make it feel good to be Superman, don’t take that away by making the player have to be Lois or Jimmy for missions. Instead, have the Other Character missions be other superheroes. I have no idea what kind of canon this game would be shooting for, but if I were in charge we would be seeing a Superman who has been around a while and therefore has allies. Supergirl, Steel, Mon-El, Superboy, Krypto. There are plenty of options.

Plot: As I said among these posts, I’d not want to use either aliens (such as General Zod) or Lex Luthor as the villain of my Superman game. For the first game, I’d keep it lower stakes. You start the game with Lois and Clark investigating someone wrongly accused of murder (which functions both as a reference to the very first person Superman saved in the comics, and as the sort of thing I like to see them doing in general) and that investigation leads them to uncovering corruption in local politics, police, and ties organized crime (The Scarlet Widow would work for that role, of course). These corrupt politicians and mobsters would obviously have supervillains on the payroll, so we’re good to go.

Anyway, I’m gonna stop talking about the game now. I have proven to myself it could work, so now I can sit back and wait until a real Superman game is either made poorly or not made at all.

Who Should Superman Beat Up?

I have recently been seeing bits of this new Spider-Man game that just came out, and thus my jealousy of other non-Superman superheroes is rising up again. I know I already solved the lack of a good Superman game by saying they should be making a game about Jimmy Olsen, but even I am aware how unrealistic that would be.

If a Superman game ever happens, it would star Superman. And they would probably want it to still be like these Spider-Man and Batman games where the hero fights through armies of crooks. That wouldn’t be great for Superman. It is an iconic image of the Superman mythos: he stands before a crook who empties a gun into his chest and Superman just stands there, unharmed. Just because you have a gun, doesn’t mean you win anymore. Superman is in town. To accurately make a Superman game, you would have to replicate that. He would not be a good fit for the style of gameplay that the recent Spider-Man and Batman games have. This should be solved by making combat against supervillains (Metallo, Parasite, Clawster, and so on) a special event and the rest of the time you’d be doing journalism and saving civilians.

But no. It wouldn’t happen that way. If you only get to taste combat during boss fights, you would never get to enjoy it, right? Superman needs hordes of goons that he can beat up on. Today I will provide some examples of baddie hordes one could use:

Aliens seems like the easiest way to. There is a whole army of Kryptonian criminals waiting in the Phantom Zone to fight. But if it were me making this game, I would be saving most of the aliens for the sequel, so I will focus on Earthly threats.

Robots is a good place to start. I would make it a mandatory requirement of this game that the robots from the Mechanical Monsters short show up. That is a must.

My next thought is Toyman. His army of robot toys would provide a lot of variety for baddies. You could have green army men as his main troops. Giant teddy bears as the muscle. He had flying monkeys once on Supergirl, so throw those in. Toyman offers a lot.

A non-robot source of a variety of enemies would be Funnyface. As I explained before, he can animate characters from comics, so he could bring forth any number of sci-fi or fantasy foes worth our fists. (Similarly, Mxyzptlk offers a means to fight any and every thing, of course, but I would rather save him for non-combat stuff.)

If we absolutely need Superman to be punching actual people, we can do that a couple different ways. The main way, the way which Absolutely Will be in a Superman game if they ever make one, is to give mobsters super high-tech weaponry. That’s fine, but a batch of Intergang crooks with fancy guns is not particularly interesting. It’s downright boring. It can be in there, but it has to be the least of Superman’s worries.

Luckily, Superman has a villain called Riot. He has the power to create multiple forms of himself and run amok over the city. That means there could be massive battles against dozens of enemies that are actually one guy. I am actually pretty sure he actually showed up in the Superman Returns game, so lets take that and improve on it.

Another option that occurs to me is criminals who are using Tar. In a storyline during the 90s, I can’t recall if it was in one of Superman’s books or in Steel’s, there was a drug called Tar that would turn its users into superhuman brutes. I like the idea of including them because it could be required to administer an antidote to defeat them, thus changing up the gameplay a little.

Finally, a pretty obvious one: Lex Luthor. He is an obvious opponent for the game (too obvious for me. I would not have him as the big bad.) But he would be a plausible source of robots, and of human opponents. In some stories LexCorp has a security force of guys wearing power armour (Iron Man style). That means enemies who can fly around as a precursor to the Phantom Zone criminals to be fought in the sequel. And after Superman beats them Lex can issue a press release about how those guys were disgruntled employees using stolen equipment and so on.

Well, I think I have proven that you can have a variety of goon hordes in a Superman game. I suspect that next week’s post will also be about a hypothetical Superman game.