Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Rescue Me: Megatak

Megatak, a.k.a. Gregory Nettles (one of the most delicate, hand-milled English soap-sounding names for a bad guy I've ever heard) was an industrial spy who got "electro-kinetic" powers during a botched theft at a trade show. He was costumed as 1983's hottest new video game character, Megatak (by "Nogari") and the accident had the side-effect of driving him bonkers and making him think he was the character. This was a Doug Moench plot. And if you remember my Zaniac post, then you know it's not the first time he's used it. As Megatak, Gregory could absorb electricity and use it to create "electro-magnetic constructs" -- favoring video game characters as his models. The constructs could then discharge energy, blasting all who opposed them. He showed up in Thor twice, about a hundred issues apart. And in his second appearance, Scourge killed him.

When Marvel's editors were drawing up their list of bad guys to unceremoniously frag, Megatak's name was probably the first one on there. And it was probably scrawled in huge cursive letters with a lot of flourishes, like John Hancock's signature. While I don't agree with their decision, I'll admit there were some serious strikes against the poor dope:
1. A stupid name that tells me absolutely nothing about what he does. Before I did any research on him, I assumed he was some sort of giant robot.
2. A goofy costume. Take a look.
3. A sorely overpowered opponent. That's the part that most baffles me. Who the hell creates a villain with electrical powers and then pits him against The Mighty Thor? I could see him faring better against Power Man and Iron Fist, but as a Thor villain? Come freakin' on. And now for the stinger (if you haven't read the link I'm cribbing this from): Megatak was getting his balls handed to him by Sif at first, but then Thor showed up and asked her if he could wail on Megatak for a while and Sif was all like, "Whatever. Go for it."

But I don't think Megatak was necessarily lame. I think he was just in the wrong comic at the wrong time. Especially with that second comic. Ouch! Here's how I would have handled him:


I think Megatak would have made a fun, weird villain against one of Marvel's wisecracking heroes, like Spider-Man or She-Hulk. The fact he can bring video game characters to life makes him a contemporary version of the Golden Age Superman baddie, Funnyface (who did the same thing with thinly-disguised versions of famous comic strip characters). I like the visual contrast between 8-bit, 2-D graphics and a more realistically drawn human character. I don't see why Megatak couldn't have created electro-magnetic versions of video game weapons, either. I think that would have looked cool. And the best part is, Metatak could still work today! Especially if you ditched the insanity part and just made him a retro-gamer who was into the old Atari 2600-era stuff. He could still be an industrial spy or hacker or what-have-you. And can't you just see him conjuring up a giant version of the Atari 2600 Pac-Man, all flickery and lame with the busted doorbell sound effects (*TONK, TONK-TONK*) and then it bites your arm off.

I tried to make my Megatak design work as an actual costume but I think it looks better as gussied-up street clothes. The mask is sort-of aviator goggles, with rectangular lenses. His hair stands straight up from the static he absorbs. And the logo is a giant M with a monster face on it. Kind of like Space Invaders but without the antennae.

Next: Gender-Reversed Black Canary! (You asked for it...)


Phillip said...

I like it. Definite potential! He would make a great Spiderman baddie, for sure. Actually, his origin reminds me of a character who was a villain on the "Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends" cartoon around that same time (1981, close enough) by the name of Videoman.

Phillip said...

Or maybe I was thinking about this Videoman, who was a hero.

Anonymous said...

Those pants are awesome. I'd almost wear them in real life (not a lot of superbeing outfits I can make that claim with). Nice colors.

Great revision; I like the retro angle, and am psyched at the very idea that he could throw Er & Ignignokt at people. Technically they aren't video game characters, but they definitely look and sound retro.

Anonymous said...

Cool design! He really looks like a retro video game guy now. I like the t-shirt over long-sleeved shirt look this guy has. I could see him fighting Spider-Man.

I love the possibilities of his powers. He could summon Kool-Aid Man, Pac-Man, the ships from Space Invaders, the big bad bug from Yar's Revenge, the missile launchers from Missile Command, Asteroids from, well, Asteroids, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Robot Tank, Dig would be so cool!

I also like the idea of him using video game weapons. Great re-imagining of one of the most obscure super villains ever. Please tell me you're trying to break into definitely have the imagination for the job.

Anonymous said...

Man, I remember Marvel trying this "Thor vs. Video Games" thing numerous times; it would suprise me if Megatak was the lamest version. One of my seminal "put it back on the spinner rack" moments was reading a story featuring Thor facing off against a giant Pac-Man.

Here's my take on how to make Megatak work: He needs to be able to mess with reality, and impose the limiting rules of video games on his unsuspecting victims. Suddenly, Thor is faced with a 2-D scaffold, and Megatak, in the shape of a giant ape, is hurling barrels at him. Fortunately, Mjolinor can smash them up, as long as Thor isn't stuck on a ladder.

There, I can imagine that the gloves, boots, and goggles you've designed could help remind the reader that Megatak is "running" the boss guy.

The problem is, I'd have probably put that comic back on the rack, too. Oh well.

Matthew E said...

Gregory Nettles (one of the most delicate, hand-milled English soap-sounding names for a bad guy I've ever heard)

It's really more of a baseball player's name.

Anonymous said...

I like this. I think this is my favorite of your redesigns so far. It's not too complicated, but it's graphically memorable.

I'd like to see this dude team up with Arcade. They could create some kind of virtual reality Murderworld.

Anonymous said...

Genius. That's all that I can say about your Megatak redesign, Sheer, undeniable genius.

Word Verification: dmjzzgkl, a video game sound effect used for when Megatak is defeated.

Marc Burkhardt said...

Your best redesign ever. I also like the idea of giving him a 2-D world to trap heroes within.

Sadly, it's too whimsical for modern Marvel unless Grant Morrison becomes EIC there one day ...

Jeremy Rizza said...

Wow, I had no idea y'all would like this design so much! I'm touched! And not just in the "crazy" sense. Also, those are some great ideas for other ways to use Megatak.

Anonymous said...

You're spot on on this one (again!). As I started to read the post, I thought, "Man, I could send you the blogs of a thousand guys who _wish_ they were Megatak." And apparently, so did you.