Friday, October 28, 2011

Owariverse Encyclopedia: Section II - Heroes and Villains (M)

Macro Warriors: The Macro Warriors are giant robots created by Third World, and are the crowning technological achievement of that subversive organization. Of course, that doesn't mean they aren't a little buggy from time to time.

The most notable appearance of the Macro Warriors was when Third World launched a full-scale attack on Major City with a squadron of the mechanical monoliths. This epic battle led to the formation of the super team the Invincible Alliance, which is another example of Third World's exceedingly bad planning.

At least one Macro Warrior has been captured intact and is in the custody of the authorities. This refurbished robot was called into action to subdue a rampage of the giant ape Gargantua Maximus.

Masked Menace: The Masked Menace first appeared in 1941 as a foreign saboteur who fought Thunder Man on the parallel Earth they both call home. Though his initial scheme to blow up American dams was foiled, the Masked Menace quickly established himself as Thunder Man's arch-enemy in the minds of virtually everyone by sheer persistence. And when the United States officially entered World War II, he began to more blatantly express his allegiance to the Axis powers - particularly the Third Reich.

The Masked Menace's true identity was a matter of considerable interest to the U.S. government, due to his fifth columnist activities and apparent ability to travel across the world at will. Suspicions eventually zeroed in on one Wilhelm Krupp, a member of the German American Bund. However, as federal agents sought the Bundist for questioning, they discovered him murdered in his apartment. That evening, Thunder Man caught the Masked Menace planting TNT at a munitions factory.

The end of WWII did not spell the end of the Masked Menace. His anti-American rhetoric faded away, to be replaced almost entirely with a focus on crime. The Masked Menace continued in this vein until 1948, when he was gunned down by his own gang. That seemed to spell the end of the infamous villain.

Somewhat inexplicably, the Masked Menace returned in 1954, claiming to be the original and refusing to explain his resurrection. He briefly espoused a belief in Communist doctrines quite at odds with his wartime views, but later became entirely intent on elevating himself to a position of power. He eventually challenged Thunder Man to a “final” battle in 1977 that ended when he accidentally stabbed himself with his own knife and plummeted from the top of a skyscraper. This seemed sure to be the last chapter, but the Masked Menace's body was not recovered afterward.

The Masked Menace made one final comeback in 1984, and engaged Thunder Man in a fierce duel to the death. He lost, and as he clearly died for at least the third time, the Masked Menace crumbled to dust. He has not returned since, but if history is any indication, it is only a matter of time.

Mr. Metal: It's a story we've all heard countless times. Two business rivals compete in the same arena. One of them is far more successful in his endeavors. The other lags behind and declares bankruptcy. One blames the other for his company's failure and vows revenge. Usually, the results aren't worth discussing. The case of Paul Mann and Louis Schmidt is the exception.

The reasons why Louis Schmidt lost out to Paul Mann had nothing to do with a lack of skill on Schmidt's part. They also weren't due to any unethical behavior on Mann's behalf, but that wasn't the way Schmidt saw it. He felt that Mann's gains in their sector had to be because he was cheating. To Schmidt, there could be no other explanation. He was clearly superior to Paul Mann in every way - at least in his mind.

Especially galling to Louis Schmidt was Paul Mann's career as Captain Satellite. Schmidt complained loudly and often that reporting the Captain's exploits constituted free advertising for Paul Mann's business interests. He demanded equal time, but was rebuffed at every turn.

Bankruptcy was the last straw for Louis Schmidt, and the end of anything passing as “reasonable behavior.” Whether he snapped completely or just was consumed with a lust for vengeance is academic. Schmidt used his company's resources to kitbash the armor that would make him into a super-villain. Now known as Mr. Metal, he swore that he would destroy Paul Mann just the way Paul Mann had destroyed him.

Mr. Metal has never quite achieved his stated goal, but he is a powerful force of villainy. He has been known to form a team-up of convenience from time to time with fellow felon Disco Ball. Neither is very happy with the arrangement, for differing reasons.

Muscle Woman: Elisabeth Huerta (“Beth” to her friends) was an excellent student and promising athlete at El Oceano State University when she gave it all up at the age of 19. Why? So she could run off and marry Len Gordon, a man 12 years her senior.

Unfortunately for Beth, throwing caution to the wind didn’t exactly work out for her, and she wound up being another divorce statistic by 21. Attempting to piece her life back together, she enrolled at Magnifica University (unable to face returning to her former college) and set about the business of graduating. She retained the married name of Beth Gordon both out of convenience and as a reminder to not stray from the task at hand again.

What Beth Gordon could never have anticipated was being kidnapped by Third World agents and subjected to a process they hoped would make her a weapon in their quest for world domination. And remarkably, Beth did not die after being dosed with any number of chemical potions and bombarded by several different unknown rays. Instead, she found that she had gained fantastic strength far greater than possible by normal means.

Third World’s brainwashing techniques were just as efficient as usual (i.e., not very), and Beth soon broke free from her captors with her super strength. Determined not to let them get away with their nefariousness, she threw together a costume and single-handedly broke up the Third World branch that had abducted her. During this case, she coined the name “Muscle Woman” for herself.

Muscle Woman has continued to fight crime and injustice and garnered considerable fame in El Oceano. She keeps her alter ego a secret despite the promise of glamour and fortune, desiring mainly to further her education and maintain a low profile as Beth. However, she does hope to one day meet the superheroes of Major City and work with them to crush Third World once and for all.

Mystery Spaceman: He first appeared in the skies of Major City one crisp autumn afternoon, and alighted atop the towering Mando Building. Captain Satellite and Shelly Ericson were called in to investigate, and the Captain dubbed the stranger “Mystery Spaceman” due to the symbol etched into his uniform resembling a question mark. Shelly is still annoyed that her suggested name was shot down: “Space Face.”

The Mystery Spaceman is a riddle. No one has ever been able to discern a motive for any of his actions on Earth. It doesn't help that he (it?) doesn't communicate in any manner recognizable to humans. Mystery Spaceman simply is, and mankind just has to deal with it.

Upon learning of their existence, Captain Satellite postulated that the Mystery Spaceman was an emissary of the Astro-Giants. This theory was demonstrated to be spurious when the Spaceman inexplicably joined Cap in driving the cosmic entities away from Earth. All that case ended up proving was that alien beings can have their own agenda, separate from anything we might comprehend.

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