Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Lame-ass villain #13 - Master Pandemonium



Just look at this chump.

Movie studio executive Martin Preston (M.P. – get it?! Preston has the same initials as his alter-ego!) got shitfaced and drove his Jag off a cliff one night, but was “saved” by Mephisto, the Marvel Universe version of Satan. Preston lost both his arms in the accident, but Mephisto replaced them with, yes, demon arms! He became Master Pandemonium, but his friends call him Master P.

Of course, if you have demon arms you have to be a bad guy – it’s a rule - so Master Pandemonium gives himself a villain name, grows a Fu Manchu beard, and picks the worst possible outfit and goes into the super-villain business. Myself, I would just enter arm-wrestling contests with my demon arms, but I’m not a “big picture” thinker like Master P.

He had all sorts of cool demonic powers, like spitting fire and shit. No, no – he didn’t really spit shit at people – that’s a different guy. It’s a figure of speech. Master P’s arms could turn into demons and separate from his body, leaving him armless. That doesn’t sound like a great power, does it? What if the demons decide to go get a burger or something? Dude’s got no arms until the munchies are over.


"Snack attack motherf***er!"

I briefly mentioned Master P in a previous post, and DLB reader Stacie Ponder rightly pointed out that Master P and his crew look like they're line-dancing in the panel above. Another drawback to having demon arms - you have to wait until "Achey-Breaky Heart" is over before you get your arms back.

I think the final indignity of the whole demonic arm thing is that Master P couldn't really trust those things while he was sleeping. I can just see him trying to get some shut-eye in his waterbed while his arms move on their own power, lighting cigarettes, turning bad Lifetime movies on the TV with the remote, or - gasp - even worse things. Demon arms can get pretty naughty when you're not paying attention. He'd have to change his name to Master Bates!

Oh, snap! You don't know how long I've been waiting to do that lame joke.

The most famous Master Pandemonium appearance has got to be John Byrne's Avengers West Coast #51, in which Master P swaps his stock demon arms for custom arms made out of The Scarlet Witch's toddlers! Behold:

Yeah, I don't know exactly how having baby arms makes one unbeatable. Take it from me, Master P, when your arms get hungry you're going to be looking for some boob, and fast. Yet another reason why Master Pandemonium is included in the ranks of lame-ass villains.

46 comments:

Mike P said...

With double baby arms, Master Pandemonium could quickly become the scourge of places like buses, movie theaters, and churches. He could breed discontent all over the globe!

Hoosier X said...

Does John Byrne, like, totally suck or what?

zailo said...

Yo! Yo! Master P is is in the Hizzy! What a terrible name. It reminds me of my stage name,
the Soul Honky
What if the Devil went down to Georgia and challenged Master P to a fiddle playing contest? Could a demon with two arms beat two demon arms?
G-Money-Love-Dawg, out.

Chris said...

Let me get this straight: Mephisto saves a dude who totals his Jag and replaces his arms with demons.

The real question we should be asking is how did the demons get selected for this honor?

"You there! The ones carpooling! BLARGH! You have parked in Mephisto's parking space for the last time! Congratulations, morons, you're now some dude's arms! BLARGH!"

David Lawson said...

The funny thing is, master P only lost one arm in his accident. So you have to imagine Mephisto is trying to explain replacing both arms with demons.

"It'll look better this way. More symmetrical. Yeah, that's it."

kelvingreen said...

Reason Number 32 Why You Shouldn't Invite Mephisto To Your Stag Party.

What if Master P goes to the cinema, or the opera or something? Does he have to pay for three tickets, or just one?

Sleestak said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Fortress Keeper said...

Welcome back and congratulations! My son was born the same day Spider-Girl #1 came out, so I've always had an affinity for that character...

As for Master Pandemonium, I hold this entire storyline to blame for the debacle of Avengers Disassembled, since the seeds of Wanda's "insanity" were planted here IMHO.

Verity Kindle said...

Wait. What happened to the babies, ultimately? I must know, even though I later wish I didn't. Are the babies ok?

Dan Coyle said...

Marc: That's one thing I hated about AD, it seemed to be about Bendis' pissing match with Byrne- "I'll show HIM a Wanda goes crazy story! I'll show them ALL!!"- than anything else. Oh well.

Going to be interesting to see the hoops that will be jumped through for Wanda's eventual return, though.

Anonymous said...

King Byrne rides again!

Man, did that run of west coast kick ass! And taking a weak-ass villian like the hollowed tummied pandemonium and slapping some sweet baby arms on him? Genius!

All hail byrne!
-thebridgeisover

David Campbell said...

For the record, Byrne didn't create Master Pandemonium - he first appeared in West Coast Avengers #4. I'm with thebridgeisover on this one; I'm a big fan of Byrne myself, although he lost me during his Wonder Woman run and never really got me back. With the right inker, he's the shit.

Michael said...

"I'm sorry, lady, I wasn't trying to cop a feel (or two), it's just that my hands need to suckle some boobs several times a day."

Mike P said...

Verity Kindle said...

Wait. What happened to the babies, ultimately? I must know, even though I later wish I didn't. Are the babies ok?


The babies were actually shards of Master P's soul or something, and not real babies at all. He absorbed them back into him, because I think he got the demon arms in order to get back the fragments of his soul for Mephisto or some nonsense like that.

Verity Kindle said...

Y'all keep mentioning the Scarlet Witch-- was she like
Master P's girlfriend before the car accident and demon-baby-arm-surgery or something?

Verity Kindle said...

Oh and thanks, Mike P. The unresolved baby-arms issue was damaging my calm.

Verity Kindle said...

Wait, cancel that last thing-- after re-reading, I can see they were The Scarlet Witch's babies, all swinging around on the arms. That would get anybody upset.

Sean Warren said...

Did Master P have demon legs, too? I might be hallucinating, but I seem to remember some story where he picked a fight with someone out of his league, and they pulled off his demon arms and legs, leaving him laying on the ground and looking very sad.

Mike Loughlin said...

Shards of his soul, huh? I pictured Master Pandemonium being dragged around by two four olds attatched to his arms, creating havoc and discord at the Sweet Munchkin preschool.

"Two cookies for snack? Two cookies shall never satisfy the arms of Master Pande-... yes, Righty, I'll take you peepee after I smite this-...no, Lefty, you can't play with blocks now, it's nap time. Bah!"

Anonymous said...

Sean Warren--yeah, Master P got all his limbs removed by the Cat People (making him, essentially, first base) and Tigra was supposed to kill him. I don't remember much more about it. Which is not a bad thing.

Great blog!

joncormier said...

Um, weren't The Scarlet Witch's babies retrofitted to be figments of her imagination? I mean, a robot was the father afterall...

I'm wondering what would be better, demonic arms or imaginary baby arms?

I guess I'm really left wondering if pot was really cheap or people rushed to actually meet deadlines so we're given random bad-guys...

Macavity said...

I actually own most of the Master P Whacko issues. He was never a cool villain, but he tended to spawn interesting side-notes, plot-wise. Mephisto did, more-or-less, pull of his second arm for symmetry. He had this funky, star-shaped hole in him that he needed to find five pieces of to... um... stop being evil? Damn, into my longbox..... I'll update you, possibly.

David Cutler said...

You know, I thought something rang untrue about the whole Bendis 'she altered reality to create her babies' angle. I didn't think her powers had anything to do with that at all.

I recall Dr. Strange telling everyone there's no such thing as Chaos magic or something... but then I remember him studying the very same magic years before in a story Ellis penned.

I think I'm just going to ignore the Marvel U for the next while...

Cassino said...

Um, weren't The Scarlet Witch's babies retrofitted to be figments of her imagination? I mean, a robot was the father afterall...

As far as I know, the original explanation still stands. Wanda wanted a baby so much that her powers reached out and grabbed pieces of Mephisto to use as souls for two little babies. Mephisto then created Master P to get back those pieces, which he did by absorbing Wanda's babies. Once he was done with that, I'm pretty sure he wound up getting sucked into the gaping hole in his own chest. And yes, a robot was the father. Which either shows some remarkable foresight on the part of Ultron, who made the Vision, or that "Destroying the Avengers" was item no. 2 on Ultron's reasons for creating him.

jamawalk said...

Your forgetting an important aspect of this mort's persona.

That star in his stomach? No, he's not a Sneech. That's the hole that Mephisto sucked out his soul through. So he has this big sucking wound shaped like a star on his belly, and aparantly all of his shirts as well.

He had to find pieces of his soul to replace the ones taken (it was broken into fragments to make the storyline as long and ridiculous as possible).

I know he eventually found a few, but i don't recall how many. Anyway, that's why in the Byrne pannel his star is a weird shape--he's filled in a couple of the missing fragments.

Strangely enough, this is the same origin story as Jerry Bruckheimer.

bfnh said...

i expected this to all come to the glorious conclusion of linking the following image.

http://www.supload.com/files/default/ScarlettGoldenGlobesFeltJT.gif

i mean, demon arms, baby arms, nuclear arms -- they all want teh boobage.

Duncan said...

Cool. He's got like 3/5 of his soul back there, then. Not bad.

That is a pretty disturbing image.

Verity Kindle said...

Wait, so a robot was the father of the Scarlet Witch's babies and Master Pandemonium was the....surrogate mommy?

Mike P said...

The father of Scarlet Witch's children was no one. They were pieces of Master Pandemonium's (or was it Mephisto?) soul which Scarlet Witch pulled from Hell and used as fuel for her babys. Technically, the father would then be Mephisto or Master Pandemonium. Let me start over.

Scarlet Witch wanted children ever so badly, and her husband was a robot (though they called it something else). She wanted them so bad she used her mutant power to pull pieces of someone's soul (either Mephisto or Master Pandemonium) as a sort of mystic sperm. These bonded with Scarlet Witch (most likely her mind or some of her power, or mystic egg) and a while later, her twins were born. A little while after that, Master Pandemonium showed up and re-absorbed the babies (shards of his soul) into the gaping star-hole on his chest.

Also, Tigra was supposed to kill Master Pandemonium in order for the Cat People to accept her, as Master P had done them some horrible wrong before. However, Tigra refused to do such a thing, and so the Cat People did not accept her.

I have a confession. I know more about Master Pandemonium then I previous let on.

Gayest Neil said...

Good thing Master P didn't have demon legs. Then he'd be stuck with a pair of deviled gams!

Wakka wakka wakka!

Jay Nickola said...

You can't hug your military with baby arms.

Wait, I got that wrong . . .

Stacie Ponder said...

Holy friggin' frig! I come here for my Daily Dose and my name is in the post! It's like my name is up in lights! I feel like I'm on Broadway! Starring in Cats at the WInter Garden in 1986!! Top o' the world, ma!! Nay- top o' the woild!!

Exclamation marks!!!

Anonymous said...

Michael Jackson wants to buy that John Byrne page.

Rick Jones, really said...

I didn't really have anything to contribute, but, man, when your verification word is vatvag it's impossible not to post.

Macavity said...

Tigra wasn't supposed to kill Master P to be accepted by the Cat-People, it was so that they would eliminate one part of her soul (Cat or Human, because she was going nuts and sleeping with everyone. Then she wore a costume and so the souls were balanced (don't ask), so she was fine for a while. Master P. got his first shard back during the fight with the Cat-People. I checked (damn, you make me re-read a lot of comics)

Anonymous said...

There is a part of the story you guys are leaving out. Mephisto's soul had been shred into pieces by Franklin Richards in a Fantastic Four story in the famed Byrne run (Byrne fan here too--his old Marvel stuff). So Mephisto took advantage of Master Pandemonium in order to find his last soul pieces. They were the Scarlet Witch babies.

ghostman said...

I either own or have read all of the issues in question, and the whole thing still didn't make any damn sense to me, at the time or now. That may be a personal or intellectual failure on my part, but my Bullshitometer just won't quit reading 11. It might have been different if the kids had been around long enough for you to get tired of them, or at least tired of them being stuck at the same age, like Franklin Richards was for approximately 40 years. But they hadn't--we were just getting used to the idea of Vision and Wanda having kids, with basically none of the story potential being explored, and suddenly it never would be.

The whole twins episode was almost anti-Marvel: rather than taking no risks with the characters and keeping them essentially unchanged forever, someone actually broke some new ground. And it was promptly undone by Byrne, in so profound a fashion (both Wanda and Vision were fundamentally fucked over at about the same time) that it couldn't ever be put back. For me it was a profoundly unsatisfying storyline, and just felt like Byrne saying, "Screw all of the previous continuity with any of these characters! I'm John Fucking Byrne, and I'll do whatever the hell I want, whether it makes sense or not!" Not like that's ever happened before or since.

The whole thing with the Scarlet Witch's babies was just another example of Marvel's rule that "No female character will be allowed to get too powerful for too long without getting royally fucked over." (See also: Ms. Marvel/Binary/Warbird, the Wasp (powerful in terms of leadership and effectiveness, that is), Captain Marvel (female), etc.) Wanda's been a victim of that rule multiple times--I think she may even be the default. I picture them sitting around the Bullpen, trying desperately to come up with original ideas, and finally somebody says, "Well, we haven't fucked with the Scarlet Witch in a year or two."

One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is the fact that Wanda's pregnancy resulted from her redirecting a massive amount of mystical energy from a ritual that Salem's Seven was performing. (And that she was caught up in, as I recall.) Her normal powers--at the time at least--weren't enough to pull off something like getting pregnant from a synthezoid. Although I'm sure that Wonder Man, the Vision's psychological template and "brother", would've been happy to provide stud service. (Cue the cheap porno music...)

ghostman said...

Just to be clear, I didn't mean to suggest by my comments that John Byrne never respects continuity. Better minds than mine have pointed out that his pendulum apparently swings between "All original traits of the character, no matter how obscure, up to and including typographical errors, shall henceforth be considered Gospel" and "Continuity is naught but toilet paper for the Byrne Rectum". Sometimes I really enjoy his work, but to me all he did with Wanda and her twins was step on his pendulum. Hard.

Anonymous said...

He has a star-shaped hole in his chest. It looks like it's part of his costume, but no, it's a hole in his chest. From where his soul is missing. And when he absorbs parts of his soul back... a bit gets filled in. Thereby ruining the symmetry of his costume. One reason he never really took off: Everytime he develops as a character, it fucks up his costume.

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