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Battle of the Brains
by The Alpha Craig

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Land, it's the only thing their not making more of.

Land, it's the only thing their not making more of.
How many evil geniuses does it take to screw in a light bulb? Give up? None, they just hire a bunch of bumbling idiots in matching costumes to do it for them. Well that is the mentality of the late 60s Batman TV series. Of course most evil geniuses still refrain from getting their hands dirty, short of Wile E. Coyote. This has been a common element for most of the genre. Let's face it, most superheroes are just that, super. Unless you want to be personified as "the evil version" of a hero or modify an existing hero name to include the moniker Zaro at the end of your name(Bizarro and Batzarro spring to mind - Cunning Craig), you are going to have to build up a differnt kind of power. I have compiled a list of villains who rely upon the one muscle that most heroes don't consider as important (no not that one, let's keep it g-rated here - Age-appropriate Alpha), their brain.

Lex Luthor
This was an obvious choice. He is your typical polar opposite in the physical sense, but his motivations were/are the same as his rival Superman, he just wants the world to be a safe place to live.....just under his control. It all stems from the origin printed in 1960. As an aspiring scientist, Lex Luthor happened to encounter Superboy on the business end of some Kryptonite (radioactive pieces of Superboy's home world that are lethal to him - Comprehensive Craig.) In return for saving Superboy from the Kryptonite, Superboy built Luthor a state of the art laboratory as thanks. Shortly after that, Luthor was able to create an intelligent artificial life form. Realizing he could have never made this achievement without his high-tech lab, he then turned
Doom does not suffer fools.

Doom does not suffer fools.
his efforts towards finding a Kryptonite antidote (which still hasn't been created in the DC universe thank you very much - Wise-arse Alpha) which caused a chemical fire to break out in Luthor's lab. Superboy used his super-breath to blow out the flames and, inadvertently, the smoke and fumes from the chemicals back into the lab causing Luthor to go bald and killed his artificial life form. Luthor believed Superboy did this because he was threatened by Luthor's vast intelligence and considered him a threat to mankind, which he still does to this very day.

Victor Von Doom a.k.a. Doctor Doom
Here is a guy who had everything. brains and looks. Victor was born on an island called Latveria, which was ruled by an unnamed nobleman called the Baron. His mother practiced the art of witchcraft. Victor's father kept his mother's practices a secret, but they were revealed when his father was killed by the Baron's men unjustly. He swore revenge on the Baron and focused on his schooling which attracted the attention of the dean of Empire State University where he eventually met Reed Richards. The two quickly became friends and considered each other to be colleagues. Victor developed and unhealthy desire to try to communicate with his deceased mother. He devoted time developing a communications array he felt would be effective in his endeavors. Against numerous warnings from Reed Richards, Victor pressed on with his experiments which resulted in an explosion and a scar on his face "perfect" face. This resulted in his expulsion from school, at which point he moved to Tibet (and no, not for 7 years - Joke-cracking
I will not die a monster!

I will not die a monster!
) to study with the native monks. Feeling betrayed by Richards and feeling that his visage was eternally scarred, he forged a suit of armor to cover up his grotesque failed greatness. In doing so, he put on his iron mask before it had enough time to cool off, further marring his face. Now only he is able to take it off (we never really see his face, just his back facing us and the reactions of others around him who do catch a glimpse of it which always suggests that it isn't very pretty - Alluding-to-the-fact Alpha.)

Dr. Otto Gunther Octavius a.k.a. Doctor Octopus a.k.a . Doc Ock
Born the son of an industrial factory worker, Otto Octavius was raised to despise menial labor in favor of using his brain to solve problems and equations. After gaining a university scholarship, he dedicated his to time to nuclear and atomic physics experiments, quest lectures and new inventions. One of his inventions was harness that was made up of four mechanical arms (two for lifting and two for stabilization - Continuity-mind Craig.) They were designed to handle highly volatile substances including radioactivity and provided great strength while maintaining precise and careful movement. His body however was not resistant to radioactivity and, after an unhealthy does, he became fused to the harness (it was later revealed that he had undergone mutations to his brain, whether it was natural or force is not known, in order to create a mental link to the harness - Astonding Alpha.) There was, surprisingly enough, no arch nemesis scenario invovled which could hurt him in the rankings.

Vril Dox a.k.a. Milton Fines a.k.a Brainiac
There are so many variations I will try to limit it to the most basic
Another tiny city to add to my collection from many worlds.

Another tiny city to add to my collection from many worlds.
interpretation. The Brainiac program is a Coluan 12th level intellectcomputer designed to seek out all existing information, record and capture it for further study. The program originated on the planet Colu and made its way to Krypton where it captured and shrank the city of Kandor ( as was its way of "recording and storing information - Colun Craig.) It took on various forms including possessing Coluan scientist named Vril Dox who tried to overthrow the tyrant leaders of his world. He then went on to possess the body of a human sideshow mentalist named Milton Fines who had genuine psychic ability and ironically also went by the stage name . On many several occasions Brainiac tried to absorb, shrink and reformat Earth and was stopped by Superman. He is a cold calculating computer program, just completing its core program. That is some serious hard drive, PUN!

When it all boils down to it you have to factor one thing into this, physicality. These are four geniuses who could easily think each other to a standstill. The only thing that really makes one stand out from the other three is that three are organics depending on technology to maintain their power while one is pure technology with total control over technology itself and organics around him on techno and mental levels. Basically it would play out like this, Brainiac would hack into Luthor and Doom's armor thus taking control of them as well as severing and taking control of Doc Ock's harness and basically has them destroy themselves. Simple, direct and to the point. I know this was a quick battle, but the set up took some time. I hope you enjoyed. Thanks for reading true believers, EXCELSIOR!

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Other Columns
Other columns by The Alpha Craig:

The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Friend

When I'm Good, I 'm Bad.......

Hey Bub, I'm Not Through With You

With Friends Like These....

She Works For Fudge!

All Columns

The Alpha Craig
I am the first and the last, maybe not. I'm 31 years old and still spend my disposable income on comic books. Might as well put it to good use.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to The Alpha Craig by clicking here.

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