Our two stooges for this week are really C class super villains. Oh sure, they come in fancy flying craft of gold, with blasters that seem to neutralize our powerhouse protagonists, the Shield and Captain Atom (alongside his fellow Sentinels of Justice in their sole "named" appearance), and at the start of the contest they *seem* menacing enough. But alas, it t'wasn't to be. Presenting: the Gloater and the Manipulator. Two real pint-sized one-hit wonders that we *have* to mention for equal time sake!
After a dizzying array of futuristic gadgets inside Gloater's armor, we seek the evil that lurks in this man's heart. Which is overpowered by the wimpy factor after a good star-spangled spanking! He would return for a fleeting appearance in a mass group shot of ultra-criminals, but nevermore focused on (thank goodness). And in the end, he's sent packing to his era with his visions of matching the wickedness of history's most infamous fiends crushed in as many pieces as his armor. Spanked into submission:
A millionaire businessman named Jonathan Barrington Collingsworth Junior decided one day that the world was not enough (hmmmm, an interesting name for a movie, perhaps?) So he adopted the alias of the Manipulator to live up to the infamous dictators of old. So he channeled his inner Doc Doom and found himself a fantastic four to plague his existence!
Somehow, amazingly, he pulls off what no one else was able to accomplish through the decades of the Action-Heroes' publishing existence. Make them all play nice and in the same sandbox...as in motivate them to join together against a common foe. Okay, Cap Atom and Nightshade had a thing going, and Blue Beetle and Question got together once formally and prior to that informally (Quest was in his civvies on that occasion). Still this was quite an accomplishment, only not the kind the Manipulator would be proud of. Thankfully, while his army of Fiery-Icer, Ironarm,and the Madmen kinda fell flat against our Sentinels, Jr. had enlisted a henchman who seriously upgraded since his last appearance:
And that was that, as both masterminds slunk back into the depths of comic book limbo. And aren't we thankful that we don't have to relive *that* painful experience again? Blue Beetle sure is! Ouch.