So for a few days now Marvel.com has been running a poll asking folks which villain should join the Thunderbolts. Choices include a lot of great classic villains, like the Absorbing Man, Batroc, Mr. Hyde and The Shocker, as well as some that aren’t quite so classic, like Dr. Demonicus.
I’ve changed my vote several times now, as I keep going back and forth on who really deserves the kind of redemption being a Thunderbolt could bring:
- I started out backing Sandman, because I always thought Flint Marko got a raw deal when they turned him back into a villain. The now-classic Marvel Two-in-One #86 was a quiet story where Sandman and The Thing hung out at a bar, trading tales and becoming friends, that set up the Sandman as the ultimate case of redemption. Marko eventually moving on to work for Silver Sable and even became an Avenger. I mean, look how happy he is here — doesn’t he deserve a second second chance?
- But then I started to remember that the Absorbing Man also had some desire to get away from his life of crime, so I started backing him. Plus, he was ahead of Sandman and probably had a better chance of winning. I always thought Crusher Creel was an awesome bad guy; I still remember an issue of the Avengers where he pretty much took apart the team by himself, until he turned into glass or smoke or whatever substance was around him that he accidentally touched. But he showed his softer side later on, marrying his insane girlfriend Titania and even becoming a follower of Thor, before eventually being portrayed as a villain again. But hey, maybe this time redemption will finally stick.
- Or maybe not. The more I thought of some of those classic fights he’s had with Avengers and Thor, the more I decided maybe I didn’t want him redeemed. And you know who else might be even more deserving? Madame Masque. Sure, she’s been the Hood’s right-hand woman most recently, but she started her career as someone more misguided than evil. Let’s see, she’s the daughter of an evil super villain, she’s got a scarred face, she’s the former lover of Tony Stark … she even had a “bio duplicate” who hung out with the Avengers for a time. So there’s a nice redemption story there that’s been set up by past events. She’s also taken the lead this morning, knocking the Shocker out of the top spot.
Could any of these guys or gals be redeemed? I was holding out hope that one of them just might make it, like Songbird and Atlas and
Techno, er, and MACH-V. But who really knows, except for Thunderbolts writer Jeff Parker.
“And hey, don’t worry about which villains are redeemable when you write in- I sure don’t,” Parker said on Twitter.