What’s a superhero with out a supervillain? Not a lot. Some supervillains, nonetheless, are price much more than others. I’ve due to this fact determined to highlight some lesser-known villains. Are they underrated gems or irredeemable losers who need to be forgotten? You determine! Right now’s topic: the Matador!
As associated in his debut look in Daredevil #5, Manuel Eloganto was as soon as Spain’s most notorious bullfighter. After stopping in the midst of a bullfight to lash out on the viewers, he was gored and hospitalized. (This being the ’60s, it’s a surprisingly cold damage.) By the point he acquired out, he’d made up his thoughts to grow to be a prison. Principally, he simply threw his cape at folks, blinding them lengthy sufficient to permit him to get away with no matter he was doing.
Proper from the beginning, Manuel’s conceitedness is obvious. Even a minor accomplishment is sufficient to get him monologuing about how nice he’s, whereas a single failure leaves him quaking in his slippers. He’s additionally not actual vibrant: after Matt Murdock publicly insults him, the Matador decides to confront him by visiting Murdock’s legislation workplace after enterprise hours. By some means, he’s shocked to be taught that Murdock isn’t there.
Matador’s debut subject is the spotlight of his profession, if you happen to can consider it. From this level on, issues went decidedly downhill for our Spanish swindler.
The Matador barely reveals up on this subject, however I feel it’s notable for just a few causes. First, the plot: a villain named Man-Bull (self-explanatory) agrees to steal a golden bull for the Matador in change for sufficient cash to go away the nation. Man-Bull ultimately decides he don’t want no assist from no one and activates the Matador, seemingly killing him.
Like I stated, Matador, regardless of spearheading this prison operation, solely seems as an unnamed, shadowy mastermind till the final web page. I’m undecided how a lot I like that, given his love for the highlight. Alternatively, that is the primary time the comedian acknowledged how goofy he’s: they actually lean into the “bull” theme, with each Man-Bull and the golden bull theft. Much less amusingly, they offer Matador a hideously written accent. And, in fact, a personality’s “loss of life” is all the time notable, even once we know they’ll be again.
Additionally on this subject, we be taught by way of information report that John and Robert Kennedy are alive and chilling in Europe. I’m positive this was adopted up on in later points, however for now it simply sits there, being bizarre.
U.S. Agent #1
It took a few a long time, however the Matador lastly resurfaced within the Nineteen Nineties. By this time, nonetheless, he had lengthy since served his time and gone straight. Nonetheless, he struggled to regulate to well mannered society: when the Scourge, bent on murdering all criminals no matter whether or not they’d reformed, tracked the ex-Matador down, she discovered him in a rundown condominium babysitting his widowed sister’s kids. Manuel was so dejected that he didn’t even attempt to save himself.
Is he actually suicidal, or is that this his outdated satisfaction stopping him from begging? Or does he simply love the children a lot that he doesn’t wish to threat their lives by defending himself? It’s fascinating to take a position, however sadly, we don’t get a solution. The Scourge can’t convey herself to kill him and takes off.
All-New Hawkeye #5–6
The Matador’s most up-to-date look was in a flashback, when it was revealed he as soon as evicted tenants from rundown buildings for Derek Bishop (father of Kate Bishop, the long run Hawkeye). As with Daredevil #129, this strikes me as extremely out of character for a man who was so prideful and craved the limelight a lot. However now it’s even worse. Now he’s skulking within the shadows and performing as another person’s lackey? Please.
The one in-character second was when Kate, his younger kidnap sufferer, instantly outsmarted him, giving the Avengers an opportunity to swoop in and defeat him.
An entire new Matador appeared within the “Satan Takes a Journey” storyline in 2006. As a substitute of dredging up Manuel once more, they invented a brand new character. All we study him is that his title is Juan, he’s an orphan, and he’s considered one of Spain’s greatest bullfighters.
It appears like Marvel was attempting to present the character a Darkish and Edgy reboot, however this Matador’s first look has him bullfighting lions whereas wearing a dressing up lined in skulls. That isn’t cool, that’s only a totally different model of hilarious.
Midway by means of the storyline, we discover out Juan right here was actually simply the lackey of a lackey to the actual villain, and that he’d been brainwashed into collaborating in any respect. Not precisely a promising begin to a prison profession.
Whereas the discrepancy between the Matador’s hubris and his precise abilities makes for some good comedy, Marvel clearly has no thought who this character actually is or what to do with him. Their temporary try at giving him some pathos, begun within the pages of U.S. Agent, resulted in Daredevil #23, when the poor man is ambushed and thoughts managed whereas on his technique to a legit job interview. (One assumes he didn’t get the place.) Since then, the Matador has solely appeared in flashbacks when the script calls for somebody to be foolish and get busted instantly. And, for sure, the brand new, “critical” iteration of the character has gone nowhere.
The optimist in me needs to present Manuel one other probability, since I’d form of prefer to know extra about his makes an attempt at reform. However realistically, if the character hasn’t discovered his area of interest by now, he most likely received’t accomplish that anytime quickly.
Earlier Profiles in Supervillainy