Dreadknight, Take Me Away!

by Michael Vlachakis

129568_38c215ebc01d3e8ead978ddfed2e6b277aa2951f-194x300 Dreadknight, Take Me Away!Marvel should be built on characters.  I can buy an action figure of the most obscure Star Wars or GI Joe character at any point, but Marvel likes to pick and choose which characters they want to focus on and promote.  I am beginning to wonder if they keep picking wrong.  Taskmaster better be awesome in Black Widow, because he currently feels a bit lame in all the teases.  Why is Marvel unwilling to bet on villains the same way they bet on some heroes?

Most of the movies that have been released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) have a main bad guy that is basically just the counter to the good guy.  Black Panther had Killmonger.  Ant-Man had Yellow Jacket.  Hulk had Abomination.  Iron Man had Iron Monger.  Captain America had Red Skull.  Thor had Loki.  Very Vanilla vs. Chocolate.  I understand.  You have to introduce a character and make people realize why they are good and there is a bad to counter and blah, blah.

OK.  Now you have some sequels.  I assume the level of villain is going to get better.  Dark Elves.  Chitauri.  Ultron.  Ugggghhh!  This is not cutting it.  At least we got Thanos!  And Thanos again, and…oh, shit.  Uninspired at best, Marvel.

Awesome characters are not hard to find.  The Dreadknight, Bram Velsing, made his first appearance in Iron Man #102 in August of 1977.  Originally a scientist from Latveria serving Dr. Doom, the Dreadknight uses his intellect and weapons from Frankenstein’s Castle to re-brand himself as a villain.  He rides a horse that is genetically modified with bat DNA and can fly.  So, yes…we want to see all that.

Fans of the Iron Man cartoon from the 1990s may remember Dreadknight as one of the bumbling villains always failing to complete a villainous mission that is easily foiled by Iron Man and his team of heroes.  Along with Modok, Blizzard, Fing Fang Foom, and others, the Iron Man cartoon had more amazing villains than all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Iron Man movies combined.  So if Marvel was willing to use all of these great villains in the 1990s, and in a cartoon, then why am I having to deal with Aldrich Killian as the main villain in a movie?  What the crap, man?  I sat through Whiplash.

Copies of Iron Man #102, in a 9.8 grade, have been scarce on the marketplace.  Only a handful of sales have occurred in the past several years.  I would expect any copy that hits the market to be highly desired by collectors.  If you read my blog about my Christmas wish list, you know that I will be one of the contenders if a copy does pop up on the market.  This book should receive quite a value bump from the previous recorded sale.  With the traction we have seen from Dreadknight’s cameo book Iron Man #101, I would expect a copy of Iron Man #102 to sell around the $500 mark, if not higher.  It will be interesting to see what happens when a copy hits.  I for one am excited about the prospect.

Which character are you hoping for in the MCU?  Do you feel like we could have had better villains in the Iron Man sequels?  Drop your comments and join the speculation!


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1 comment

Cameron Svendsen February 5, 2020 - 2:21 pm

Outstanding sentiment Michael, I couldn’t agree more. Although, Marvel villains as a whole leave something to be desired. They seem to always have nefarious intent but noticeable character flaws, beyond their evil, that prohibit them from being taken too seriously. Perhaps this has changed since villainy of the silver and bronze age, but I’d like Marvel to choose wisely for this next phase or else things are going to start getting very tired. And that would definitely put a damper on the fun of comic speculation. By the way, you’ve inspired me to submit my IM 102 to see if I can swing a 9.8…fingers crossed.


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