Lame character spotlight – Battling Bantam
Hey everybody, lets all hop on in the Delorean and travel back to the year 1993. Many wonderful things happened this year. Let’s review the following list of the top events that happened in 1993 –
1 – Jurassic Park is released in theaters
2 – I turned 12
6 – Did I mention Jurassic Park?
So, That was about it. However the other wonderful thing that happened this year was when Marvel Comics released the annual issues to most of their titles! 27 annuals came out this year all featuring a new character. These characters were definitely the most memorable, ever! When people say ‘Marvel Comics’ they shouldn’t think of Iron Man, Spider-man, The Hulk or X-men. Oh no, they should be automatically think of Annex, Irish Wolfhound, High $take$, Hit Maker and of course, my favorite The Battling Bantam.
The main reason I remember this gem, is of course because he showed up in the Captain america annual #12. Lets learn more about this character shall we?
Robert Velasquez was a boxer from San Juan Puerto Rico. He was subjected to some sort of superhuman enhancement and because of it, he went into a ‘Berserk” rage and killed another boxer in the ring! *gasp* Then for some reason the man who enhanced Velasquez shot him and left him for dead. Perhaps it was one of those Hank Pym creating Ultron moments. Hank realized that he shouldn’t have created the sentient being because it became evil. Instead of Bantam becoming evil and taking over the world, he simple became lame and the world forgot him. Since Bantam was enhanced he didn’t die. I know, we weren’t that lucky. Then, he went out and sought revenge. During his cliché hunt he came across Captain America and proceeded to fight him while in his “berserk” mode. I don’t really remember the outcome of this amazing fight. I’m sure it was as intense as Tyson v/s Holyfield . If I were to take a guess, I would think Robby laid down in the fetus position and waited until the echos of laughter faded. Then he sought Cap’s help and I’m sure he did what he had to do, or turned away from killing vowing to use his powers for good and not revenge. Or something like that. Who cares? Or he used his powers and the quality look of his costume to make people laugh and feel better, e.g. Patch Adams.
Just when I thought he had battled his way out the hearts of the 4 people who liked him, lo and behold he actually showed up during the Civil War story line. He was fighting another powered individual by the name of Thunderclap. Which is a guy with huge hands, or a huge VD problem. I thought they were trying to make a lame character likable, something that has been done so many times before. During the fight, Thunderclap actually knocked Bantam into a gas truck and it exploded killing him. That was pretty awesome.
Dear Robert, you will be missed and your boxing gloves will be bronzed and placed next to Uncle Ben’s pocket comb and Kraven the Hunters pocket change, as tribute to the dead that have never returned.
Coming soon there will be a post about Thunderclap. One of the greatest heroes that has done so much for the Marvel Universe that has gone overlooked. We love you Thunderclap.