Welcome back to the StarCityGames.com Daily series. If all goes well, I’ll be on my way to Atlantic City as you read this. Well, okay, everyone reads this at midnight, so I won’t be in AC yet… but let’s just pretend that you’re reading this on Thursday morning about 9-10am, at which point I will be well on my way to AC. Yep, I’ll be finishing up my Spring Break in a forty-degree urban wasteland, because I plan my vacations that well.
Anyway, just because I won’t be posting in the forums for this puppy doesn’t mean that I don’t immensely appreciate everyone who is reading: even if I manage to f*** these lists into a cocked hat, some of you are going along for the ride, and that makes me happy.
I had a great list all prepared for today, but then the forum response to Tuesday’s “superheroes = Magic players” list changed my plans a little. I had purposely left villains off the list, because I thought it would be pretty easy for me to offend people by comparing them to the bad guys. I mean, really, who wants to be told that they remind me of Penguin or the Blob?
However, a certain Theodore Cardgame responded in the forums that such an attitude lacked “huevos,” and that a villain’s list was clearly called for. Well, I’m hardly one to back down from a challenge like that, especially coming from Ted, so…
Thursday’s List: Top 10 Super Villains who Remind Me of Magic Players, or Vice Versa
A problem with this list is that there are just way fewer villains than heroes out there (that’s not an original thought on my part; Alan Moore pointed it out first in “Watchmen”), so the resemblances are a little looser. Ready to go, True Believers?
10. Scarlet Witch = Rachel Reynolds
No, the Witch never intended to be a villain. However, her ability to alter reality at will has killed many a good hero in the Marvel Universe over the last couple of years. I’m sure anyone who has fallen victim to a Magic Online bug can relate.
9. The Kingpin = Randy Buehler
I just imagine him sitting up in a tall building, chomping a cigar and planning to have all of our heroes whacked. He already took out Counterspell and Birds of Paradise – who will be next? Plus, in his most recent attempt to gain more power (SCG P9 Richmond), word on the street is that he was foiled by a blind daredevil. The guy must have been lacking both sight and fear, in order to put only thirteen lands in Randy’s deck.
(Come on, Menendian, I kid because I love. Speaking of which…)
8. Brainiac = Stephen Menendian
As Steve seems to be taking over as Vintage Supercomputer, this seems only right. Tell you the truth, I can’t make many jokes here because I don’t know Brainiac very well; even when I was an uber-comic-geek, I never read Superman titles. I always thought Supes was kind of boring: too many powers, so then the threats get bigger to match him, and in turn he seems to get even more powerful to take down those threats, etc. It’s what Magic R&D calls “power creep.”
Come to think of it, that’s also a good nickname for someone with as many Vintage Top 8s as Steve has.
(Recent seasons of Smallville are changing my mind about the Big Blue Boy Scout, by the way. Jeph Loeb is gas, as are the other DC writers who have worked on the show.)
7. Kang = Dave Humphreys
If you can play that slowly and still mount a successful Pro Tour career, surely you must be the Master of Time. I’ll bet he always drafted mono-Kang when the UDE people were testing the Avengers set; I know Matt Tatar (another Kang; remember, they’re not unique) always did in our Dreamwizards drafts. Sorry, I’d have more Magic jokes here, except these were just too easy to pass up.
6. Mr. Mxyzptlk = Mark Zajdner
A bizarre, impish fellow whose last name is all but unpronounceable – who else matches that description so well? By the way, anyone who has sat next to Zajdner and myself at a Grand Prix player meeting (damn the alphabet!) needs to know the following:
I’m twenty-eight years old, Mark! Twenty-eight! And, contrary to what you told Tim Aten at Grand Prix Richmond, I do not live in a van down by the river!
Whew. Just had to get that one off of my chest.
5. The Joker = Mark Herberholz
I mentioned this one in the forums on Tuesday. Contrary to what you might have picked up from that awful, awful Tim Burton movie (Yeah, I hated it. Forums, flame on!), the Joker is actually supposed to be a tall, skinny fellow, which means there is a physical resemblance. Plus, maybe I’m wrong here, but Heezy’s post-Pro Tour grin just screamed Joker to me when I saw it.
However, I’m sure you’re more interested in the psychological arena, to wit: did you see that “Price is Right” appearance? This guy is freakin’ out of his mind! I thought Bob Barker was gonna have him spayed or neutered. Also, his efforts to put Jeff Cunningham on Life Tilt remind me of the classic Moore story “The Killing Joke,” in which the Joker tried to drive Jim Gordon insane. Finally, Heezy’s blog exploits have me convinced that he’s gonna wake up on a Saturday Tuesday morning with green hair, a chalk-white face, and no memory of how he got that way. You know it’s true.
4. The Riddler = Zvi Moshowitz
Riddle me this: who ever gets all of the answers right in that “The Play’s The Thing” column? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? You could even stump Batman with that stuff. Also like the Riddler, we think Zvi is mostly harmless, but just you wait: one of these days a reader is going to mail him an example so complex, heads all across the country are going to spontaneously explode at about 12:15am on a Tuesday morning. Then we’ll wish we’d dealt with him more harshly.
3. Galactus = Mike Flores
I mean, really. The guy is so big-time that comparing him to a godlike planet-eater isn’t even fair! If Mike wins the Invitational, we might have to move to a new galaxy before he swallows this one whole as a celebratory dinner.
Actually, this may not be a good comparison because Galactus is a fairly taciturn fellow, content to let his heralds do the talking for him. I doubt anyone would ever say that about Flores.
2. Magneto = Tim Aten
Angry mutant, a man of few words, who nonetheless gets other mutants to follow him around… and I haven’t even started on Magneto yet.
Actually, you can’t tell this from the Web photos, but Tim has enough piercings in his head that he generates a pretty powerful magnetic field. That’s why I got contact lenses; meeting Tim in person at Grand Prix Boston warped my metal-frame glasses beyond repair. True story!
1. Doctor Doom = Ted Knutson
I thought of Doom here for a specific reason, which involves a little story. Let me first say that I’m not making this up; Jim F and Star Wars Kid are witnesses…
Teddy Cardgame had faced some rough matchups at Virginia States 2005 with his U/B beatdown deck, so he dropped and entered an 8-man Standard side event. Ted crushed his first round opponent, and then won a close mirror match in the semifinals. Ted’s finals opponent, who was at least ten years younger, offered a prize split. Ted refused, and in true Doctor Doom style, monologued briefly about how it was utterly impossibly for him to lose to his young opponent’s G/W beatdown deck. Yes, he actually used the phrase “impossible to lose.”
Except that, much like Reed Richards, the Small Child™ had some secret tech. His deck wasn’t just a G/W beatdown deck: it was a Glare of Subdual deck, a crude version of the Ghazi-Glare deck Ted would cover at Worlds a couple of months later. Such cards as Scatter the Seeds and Fists of Ironwood may have been deemed bad by the Japanese, but Ted had no answer for them in combination with Glare. Soon, it was all over but the schadenfreude.
See, there’s a difference between “huevos” and “hubris,” but I guess we shouldn’t expect Doctor Doom to spot it.
We finish up tomorrow with the efforts of others.