Thursday, May 05, 2005
Lame-ass villain #5 - Turner D. Century
Mere words cannot adequately convey the deep, profound lameness that is Turner D. Century, but I’ll give it a shot.
First appearing in 1980 in Spider-Woman #33, Turner D. Century was an extreme social conservative who longed for the halcyon days of yore when our society wasn’t corrupted by smut and everyone knew their place, particularly women and minorities. There are plenty of assholes like that in America who either run for office or get their own talk radio shows, but Turner wants to advance his social agenda by fighting Spider-Woman. Go figure.
I should qualify my mockery by saying that Turner D. Century was created by writer J.M. DeMatteis, who I think was going for a creepy/surreal/absurd/insane villain with maybe a pinch of social commentary. The end result, however, is a stupid fucking villain who has a flamethrower umbrella and a flying bicycle.
How scary would it be to fight Turner D. Century? I mean, the guy’s about as threatening as Col. Sanders or the “Pepperidge Farms remembers!” guy.
This is one of those one-punch villains that even the wimpiest superhero should be able to take out in a panel or two, but it takes Spider-Woman the whole damn issue to defeat him. I mean, the writer has to contrive implausible reasons for Turner D. Century not to get his ass kicked right off the bat. I don’t know, maybe Turner D. Century is a step up from some of the clowns Spider-Woman normally fought, like Gypsy Moth (she dissolves clothing!) or The Hangman (he has a rope!) or Daddy Long Legs (he’s got long legs!). I have a feeling if her series wasn’t cancelled, she would have fought villains like Squirt Gun and Potato Bug.
Amazingly, Turner D. Century appears in two more comic books after his initial appearance. Yes, somebody at Marvel thought to themselves, “You know, kids really like Turner D. Century – let’s bring him back! He could be the next Sabretooth!” So he appeared in Marvel Team-Up #120, where he tried to use his “time horn” to kill everyone in New York City under the age of 65. I’m not making that up.
Mr. Century’s final appearance was in Captain America #319, where he met his fate at the hands of Scourge in the Bar with No Name. That’s right, he died on that bar room floor right next to other super-villain greats like Cheetah and Steeplejack. I’m sure children everywhere were devastated.
Don’t worry kids, in five or ten years I predict Ultimate Turner D. Century. You heard it here first.
[EDIT: Thanks to reader Martin for pointing out seanbaby's brilliant Turner D. Century page. Lots of quality scans of Turner D. Century in action as well as seanbaby's usual hilarious commentary. And if you haven't read his SuperFriends stuff, you're missing out.]