Heroic Age: Villians #1
The sequel to Heroic Age: Heroes #1 is naturally about the bad guys that make the heroes so heroic, so says Steve Rogers in the full page introduction to this files-type handbook. The format of the book is similar to the first book, with three entries per page presented as notecards, with a brief description of the baddies as written from the perspective of Steve Rogers’ personal opinion, followed by a suggested method of how to deal with them. Lacking from these entries is any type of power grid, replaced instead with a chart classifying the villains into their various plots and schemes. Witchfire has a 1/3 page entry and Zombie Guardian appears in the entry for the Zombie-verse.
Far less trippy than the first book in the series, there is a particular emphasis on what to do with many of the villains. Here’s where the book is really at its most interesting because you get the full spectrum of tolerance all the way from suggesting rehabilitative psychiatric treatment, therapy and medication to outright life-long permanent incarceration under maximum security. It’s a nice touch that the writers didn’t just assume Cap would have a “one size fits all” remedy and instead thoughtfully approached each villian’s motivation and general state of mind. Of course the best suggestion is for the Orb, a villian with an actual giant eyeball for a head, an inscrutable biological configuration. After mentioning that “an irritated or injured eye can drive people crazy” in the text entry, Cap suggests:
TREATMENT: Recommended long-term incarceration in a mental hospital and give him a special protection for his eyeball like a globe filled with artificial tear fluid.
Witchfire’s entry has an inset taken from the Finch variant cover for X-Infernus #3, but with much of the swirly background removed and replaced with null space. Unfortunately, the background wasn’t cleanly removed from the foreground of the wispy tendrils of flame emanating from her awesome flamey-eyes, resulting in a splotchy appearance around the indistinct borders of the flame. Here is the same inset as taken from the original cover, which ought to have been used instead. Described as being “a deadly threat to all on Earth”, her suggested treatment is “Recommended containment at ARMOR facility”, but how she could be held there is not clear.
The Zombie-verse entry has an inset taken from Ultimate Fantastic Four #23, with a tiny image of Zombie Guardian. Also seen in the inset are two very tiny flying figures that could be Zombie Northstar and Zombie Aurora. Even in the original comic, the figures are so extremely tiny that it’s impossible to be sure and the reproduction here is even smaller.
In the entry for the Purple Man, Cap uses the limited space to make a quick mention of another Alpha Flight member, “the Canadian Hero Persuasion”, who is of course the Purple Man’s daughter. She isn’t shown but it was nice to have her mentioned in this well-researched entry.