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CTG Villains Month: Armaggon

by mahargen on September 20, 2013

What makes the hero the hero?  A hero is most commonly defined as one who steps up in the face of adversity and does the right thing.  In the world of comic books, that adversity generally comes in the form of the villain.  Villains bring a changing flavor to storylines.  The heroes stay the same.  They are the constant in a given title.  The villains rotate in and out of the story as the creators see fit.  

I’m a child of the 1980’s.  As such, growing I had two great loves in the animation world - Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  In 1987, the TMNT Adventures cartoon debuted, and I was there eating it all up.  Great stories, and, moreover, great villains.  Shredder.  Kang.  Dimension X.  I was captivated.  Fast forward a year or two, it’s 1988 and I’m six years old.  I’m at the mall with my mother, who is an avid reader.  We’re at a store called Waldenbooks where I first encounter a lifelong love affair - the spinner rack.  And right there, front and center, are the TMNT Adventures comics.  Curiosity got the better of me, and I flipped through.  The art was similar, I recognized the characters from my TV, and my mother said I could get a couple.  I devoured them.  I learned how comics work.  Release schedules, story arcs, etc.  It was my introduction to a new medium.  

Over the next few years I was introduced to many remarkable villains.  None stayed with me as much as Armaggon.  Armaggon was a mutated shark from the future.  Yes, you read that right.  A mutated shark from the future.  What part of that wouldn’t a kid love?  Fun fact - looking back into that story for this piece, I found out that Armaggon's name was the result of a typo.  A character was supposed to have said "armageddon" and the proofreader missed it.  More than just an awesome character design that screamed “fun,” his introduction set me up for so many stories beyond the TMNT Adventures.  A lot of those plot points get me prepared for some of the great stories in Marvel and DC history.  The dystopian future Armaggon calls home features banged up versions of the characters I had grown to love.  Raphael without an eye.  Splinter has passed.  Ninjara is gone.  I credit this storyline with introducing me to those tropes, and making everything that happened later in comicdom more acceptable.

Fast forward again.  I’m in college.  My parents are moving, and I have to deal with the years worth of amassed junk I have in storage in their basement.  Among those belongings, my runs of TMNT Adventures.  I’m not going to lie.  I had a moment.  I re-read a bunch of those stories from my youth. I could see how those introductions fueled my love of comics.  How those villains like Armaggon set me up.  TMNT Adventures introduced me to the comic book medium.  I’ll always be thankful for that.  And, if you’re wondering, I didn’t finish going through my stuff that night.  Shortly after I devoured my favorite TMNT stories, I came across the box with the Death of Superman and Knightfall runs.



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