Madam McEvil's Terrible Trio

Madam McEvil's Terrible Trio
The comic book histories of Madam McEvil, Angar the Screamer, Ramrod, and the Dark Messiah, from Marvel comics.

When I learned about telekinesis as a kid, I'll be real. I was intrigued. I tried to bend spoons with my mind. Spoiler, I did not figure out how to do that. Not because it isn't a real thing, and it's only something actual frauds claim to be able to do, but because I didn't try hard enough. You have to give Heather Douglas props.

You deserve a break today (because a spaceman just caused your dad to crash his car)

She was born in the 1950s and, when her parents saw a spaceship in the sky while driving, they focused more on the spaceship than the driving and careened off the road. They died in the car crash, leaving Heather an orphan. Mentor, the king of Titan found the girl wandering, said sorry for killing her parents, and zapped her away to Titan, where he could raise her as his own.

But...he didn't. You see, he was having a hard time with his son, a precocious purple sociopath named Thanos - so he left Heather at a monastery on Titan, where, honestly, she really took to it. There, through sheer strength of will, she learned how to be a master martial artist, gained psychic powers, and learned all about space technology.

Lol baby Thanos looks intense. Image copyright Marvel.

She also fought a demonic moon dragon in her meditation - one known for corrupting things - and won! Didn't notice the spirit of the dragon seeping into her, though.

Anyway, because you can never have too much tragedy, her second home was also destroyed, this time by her adoptive brother, Thanos, when he destroyed most of the planet, and she went to earth to fight Thanos there.

She arrived on the scene in the 1960s and in her first issue managed to get Namor, king of Atlantis, and Iron Man to fight each other and Iron Man almost died until Heather hacked his suit (no small feat in the late 60s). It was only because Namor dodged Heather's blast from the hacked Iron Man armor that her super yacht sank, but she almost killed two of the most powerful heroes in the world, and they had no idea she was even there.

That was probably a good thing, though, because while she deserves props for her effort and strategy, her branding leaves a lot to be desired. Her first time out...she went with the name Madam McEvil. Yeah. It's...definitely a choice. I'm not sure what the reasoning behind it was. McDonald's was on the rise, and maybe she was like, hey, they have solid branding. Why is no one doing McEvil?

Even Madam McEvil didn't stay Madam McEvil for more than three issues. She eventually took on the name Moondragon, in honor of the dream dragon she killed, but that wasn't before publicly announcing Madam McEvil's terrible Trio.

Did somebody say McEvil?

The questionable branding didn't stop there, either. She was convinced that Thanos had agents on earth in the form of the superhero team "The Avengers" so she would stop at nothing to keep earth from falling to Thanos as well, so she found three people to try to take out the avengers. The first was Angar the screamer.

A living LSD factory, Angar the Screamer induces hallucinations to, in the parlance of the times, “freak out the whole world, man.” He hates Daredevil and any superheroes as much as he hates “the man,” the “pigs who crushed his life,” and, I guess, also wearing a shirt under his denim, tasseled vest.

He wasn’t always Angar the Screamer. Once upon a time, in the late sixties, he was just a hippy who wanted peace, love, and freedom. You know when was a bad time to be a hippy wanting peace, love, and freedom? The late sixties. He blamed the authorities for killing that dream anywhere it reared its long-haired head and breaking the spirit of the hippies. As happens when peace, love, and freedom don’t work out, Angar, with his not-at-all on-the-nose name, turned to vengeance against those who had killed his friends and destroyed his dream…by allying with one of the capitalists he so despised. He let a high-powered San Francisco lawyer who apparently had access to super-science tech experiment on his larynx. Now, whenever Angar the Screamer screams, he unleashes LSD-like hallucinations on everyone who hears it. He’s only kept in check by an implant the lawyer put in his skull. Transformed from a peace-loving hippy to a violent nihilist, he now works for the “man” so that the lawyer can become the poorly defined “King of San Francisco.” That apparently involved taking out two New York based superheroes: Daredevil and Black Widow.

No matter how angry you are, don’t let people experiment on you with super-science. It almost never works out well. There was some good left in Angar the Screamer, and that was revealed when Matt Murdock – the secret identity of Daredevil – once again in the parlance of the time told him that he was on a bad trip. A power trip. Matt, apparently speaking his language, had an effect on Angar the Screamer, and he let the attorney go.

Look I know it's a meaningful symbol in a bunch of different religions, but that's just not what it means, anymore, Angar. Image copyright Marvel.

He was eventually defeated by the heroes, escaped, and Madam McEvil scooped him up, prompting him to join her team. Angar the Screamer did, not knowing that the attorney who did experiments on him with super science was also led by Madam McEvil.

They also did experiments on Ramrod, the second entry in the terrible trio.

Now, Ramrod was your run-of-the-mill foreman on an offshore oil rig who got crushed almost to death by a giant drum of oil who then woke up in a super lab in space having been given a steel skeleton and super-strength. It's so common in fiction that it might as well be a cliché unto itself. The procedure, though, was not covered by insurance. There was, however, another way he could pay the bill: by killing Daredevil.

And he might have gotten away with it if Peter Parker and Black Widow weren't in town. They kicked him into some wet cement, and waited for the cops to show up.

Put a smile on

The final member Madam McEvil's terrible trio is Mordecai Jones, AKA the Dark Messiah. A street performer who cracked his head on the sidewalk, Mordecai was rushed to the hospital. Thanks to our garbage healthcare system in the US, he was left on a bed in a hallway and almost completely forgotten, but not by Madam McEvil, who took him aboard her spaceship and gave him superpowers. He got super-strength, of course, he could shoot power beams, create force fields, and maybe read minds. Unfortunately, for him, he took his new moniker of "Dark Messiah" pretty literally, and actually believed he was some sort of Biblical source of reckoning, going so far as to make disciples and speak in some sort of garbled, half-Elizabethan English.

His disciples apparently looked like professional wrestlers. Image copyright Marvel.

He literally exploded when Matt Murdock said, hey, aren't you that street performer that I took to the hospital after you bonked your head.

Madam McEvil decided to do the dirty work herself, and kidnapped the agent of Thanos that had been thwarting her plans: Daredevil. Proving that doing the scantest amount of research to learn that the planet you're saving hasn't been occupied by a tyrant's armies, Madam McEvil read Matt Murdock's mind, learned that no, the earth wasn't under titan occupation, and quickly changed course. Madam McEvil changed her name to Moondragon and tried to join the Avengers after she spent some time as Matt Murdock and Natasha Romanov's roommate. The 70s were pretty weird for comics.

I'm Lovin' It

I mean, it is difficult to smack Daredevil upside the head, so props. Image copyright Marvel.

Anyway, she eventually learned that her dad had been reborn in the form of Drax the's actually kind of interesting. The wife and daughter Drax was so upset over Thanos killing in the movie? That was Yvette and Heather Douglas. When Mentor saw his son getting out of control, he plucked Arthur Douglas's spirit from the air using magic or technology or something, and created a nemesis for his son, blocking the memories of Arthur's old life and instead giving him a single-minded hatred for Thanos.

After the Avengers defeated Thanos, Drax settled down on a planet and tried to help them solve their problems. Luckily, his daughter was there to help. She brought peace to Drax's home planet by psychically enslaving everyone. The Avengers defeated her and made Valkyrie her chaperone.

There's a lot more to her story. It actually gets kind of intriguing as she learns that the reason she's been doing evil stuff was because the evil dragon she thought she beat very early on in her supervillain career actually infected her. She fought it, defeated it, and went on to explore a life free of its evil influence. She did join the Avengers for a bit, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and Moondragon experienced a bit of redemption. What's irredeemable, though, was that original name. Madame McEvil. Really, what was she thinking?

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