World Cup of Baddies: Semi-finals
And so we reach the semi-final stage of the IPC World Cup of Baddies.
To date, there have been 3194 votes cast. Thank you! The largest share of any vote gained was by Sweeny, in the first round group stage, where he gained 85% of the votes against Cor!!’s Jasper the Grasper, Sandie and Tammy’s Angus McScrimp, and Tammy’s Jed and Gert (mean uncle and aunt of Bella Barlow). Torquemada gained 82% of the vote in his quarter-final demolition of Judge Mortis.
Jed and Gert didn’t get any votes at all, and neither did nasty, bullying butler Pickering from Tammy’s No Tears for Molly.
Two ties finished in a draw, and went to a play-off. In the first round, Krazy’s Pongo Snodgrass put up a stinky battle against 2000AD’s Fink Angel, losing by a nose in the play-off. And in the quarter-finals, Sweeny was very nearly brought to justice by alien adjudicator Doomlord, and scraped the play-off by 51% to 49%.
Of the original 64 contenders, 22 were selected from The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, 2000AD, so it’s little surprise to see the later rounds dominated by that publication. An interesting hierarchy of popularity emerged for the four Dark Judges from Judge Dredd, with Death making it to the semi-finals, Mortis to the quarter-finals, Fear to Round 2, and Fire not able to progress beyond Round 1. Intriguing battles along the way saw a contest between Angel Gang brothers Mean Machine and Fink in Round 2 – Mean bossed it over his elder sibling – while Nemesis the Warlock’s Torquemada had a tough path to the semi-finals, disposing of a number of 2000AD pagemates (the Dictators of Zrag and Judges Cal, Mortis and Dredd himself) along the way. Non-2000AD villains to impress have been Sweeny Toddler, Doomlord (Eagle), Fuss Pot (Knockout and Whizzer and Chips) and Grimly Feendish (Shiver and Shake).
Judge Death, alien superfiend and ghastly shadow of Judge Dredd, hailing from Deathworld in a parallel dimension to Mega City One, is surely the bookies’ favourite. Death has sssswept asssside Grimly Feendish and Mean Machine Angel with 75% and 79% of the respective votes, and made what could have been a tough group in Round 1 (Eagle’s The Mekon, Thunder and Lion’s Black Max and Dredd’s brother Rico) look eassssyyyyy.
Old One Eye, the half-blind Tyrannosaurus Rex from the first book of Flesh in 2000AD, is perhaps a surprise inclusion in the final four. I almost didn’t include her in the competition at all, as one might question whether she qualifies as a baddie – her only crime being to defend her life, her brood, her very species from cruel cowboy meat-harvesters from the future. But she was vicious, and relentless, and a fearsome opponent for any of the three bad boys she might fight for a place in the final.
Sweeny Toddler is the funtime package in the semi-finals, but there’s more to the demon pre-schooler than laughs. Having dispatched Doomlord and Judge Fear, and stormed his first round group, no one can expect to take candy easily from this baby. Sweeny is the great survivor of IPC comics, having made it through merger after merger from Shiver and Shake, Whoopee!, Whizzer and Chips to Buster. He wasn’t selected for the original set of Shiver and Shake characters to transfer into Whoopee! back in 1974, but won an audience vote to be brought back a few weeks later. There’s no keeping this toddler down.
Tomás de Torquemada, Grand Master of Termight, nemesis of Nemesis and scourge of all non-human life across all galaxies, has past form. He won the Eagle Award for Best Villain three years in a row (1985-87), and – as a representation of fascistic bigotry, prejudice, suspicion and sadistic cruelty – perhaps is the most terrifyingly close to the evils we see around us in the world today. Be Pure, Be Vigilant, Behave … and use your vote wisely.