The end of the Hood’s reignPosted: 05/09/2014
Loki died during the Marvel event Siege. But he died in that Asgardian god way, as in he came back to life a few issues later. Unfortunately, Loki’s demise meant the loss of the supervillain Hood’s (real name Parker Robbins) evil magic wizard powers as they were tied to/gifts from the evil magic wizard Loki. Bad news for the Hood. Luckily, the Avengers spent most of the battle thumping other supervillains and the Hood manages to escapes with his girlfriend Madame Masque (real name Whitney Frost).
As the end Siege brought forth the beginning of the Heroic Age, it’d be a terrible ending if the former kingpin of New York City flees his crimes to live a happy life in Latveria or Madripoor or other seedy bad guy-friendly places. So for their final mission as the New Avengers, our protagonists join forces one more time in New Avengers Finale #1, written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Bryan Hitch & Stuart Immonen. Oh, and while I sort of spoiled it already, I figured I’d leave in the warning — have you read Siege #4 (or looked up what happened on Wikipedia) yet?
Count Nefaria (a name that obligingly forces him to be a supervillain like his peers Mr. Sinister and Doctor Doom) possesses the superpowers capable of solo-ing Thor. He’s pretty much invulnerable, and since he lives in Los Angeles which only had one superhero at about that time — the insane non-powered Moon Knight — he rules Los Angeles’ crime unhindered.
Yet to save his daughter, he’ll have to go up against the full New Avengers roster: Luke Cage (team leader, unbreakable skin, no longer wears a tiara); Ronin (Hawkeye pretending to be a ninja); Captain America (the metal-arm’d Winter Soldier); Mockingbird (super gymnast); Ms. Marvel (energy blasts, flight, super strength); Spider-Woman (energy blasts, flight, gross pheromone spray); Wolverine (small, hairy, drunk); and Spider-Man (a requirement that he joins every team during the 2000s).
To find the missing Hood, the New Avengers’ll have to do some ol’ fashioned detective work. Since none of them are Batman, it mainly involves threats of physical harm.
With that, the team heads to Los Angeles — the city of Brotherly Love or whatever it’s called — to punch the Hood and Madame Masque until they cry tears of submission. John King, the Hood’s cousin and current captured fugitive, brings up a fantastic point in the next scene: why bother? No seriously, why go to all this trouble? It won’t even take a full scroll across the TV news crawler announcing the Hood’s imprisonment before another flamboyant supervillain takes command of New York’s underground. But Luke Cage answers John’s simple “why?” with a simple response: because, gosh darn it.
With Marvel’s sheer amount of mad scientists running around, you figure every person in the Marvel universe would be equipped with a full supply of magic powers to shoot lasers or teleport around, but apparently much like good healthcare, the possibilities only go as far as the cash available:
Note: it’s not sunset. With the intensity and bravery that only the powerhouses like Magneto and Doctor Doom can match, Count Nefaria fights all the New Avengers. At once. By himself. Wearing a suit and tie.
You can click the above picture for a larger version. Supervillains must really hate the Avengers. They show up usually with hordes of government vehicles and toys. There’s always a ton of them, and that sometimes includes Thor who can mop the floor with Spider-Man’s entire rogue gallery in a single hammer swing. Then there’s all the pre-fight trash talking, mid-fight trash talking, and post-fight rubbing-salt-in-the-wound trash talking. I mean, at least the Fantastic Four take time off to explore the Microverse or Negative Zone. The Avengers just hang out specifically waiting to roundhouse kick the next disaster. Count Nefaria doomed himself the moment his daughter poorly chose her new boyfriend.
Goodnight, sweet count. May your dreams be filled with not getting clawed open by Wolverine before Ms. Marvel smacks you with the explosive equivalent of a nuclear blast. As for the Hood, he eventually gains one more shot at supervillain stardom — until he gets hit in the face by a Hulk. It happens to the best of us.
The end indeed.