Thursday, September 25, 2014

What The Fuck Were They Thinking: The Battling Bantam

S'up folks, and happy Thursday to ya'.

So all this week I've been feeling very creative, bursting with new column topic ideas. Well today I decided to bring back a not-so-old feature around here called, What The Fuck Were They Thinking.

Past inductees into that particular  hall of shame include The Slug and Paste Pot Pete.
Well today they get a new roommate; The Battling Bantam.

Yes. This guy.

 Because you know, the Colonel Sanders' Fighting Chicken was too weak-sounding, and the Angry Cock, not kid-friendly enough.

The Battling Bantam, or Roberto Velasquez, as is his real name,

first debuted in Captain America Annual #12(1993).
Yeah, this was during they're initiative that year to create new and exciting and hopefully long-lasting superheroes/villains, in the pages of that year's annual.

None of them ever lasted with the exceptions of maybe Genis-Vell(Captain Marvel's test-tube son), a.k.a Legacy, who later went on to become Captain Marvel, and the X-Cutioner(He was former FBI agent with a serious grudge against mutants who also got his own action figure and trading card. And it's really no surprise when you see the list of characters that made up the class of '93.

Characters like:
-Adam The X-Treme

The list goes on, but you get my point. They mostly sucked and reeked of that particular era.

But I digress.

Mr. Velaquez's story is that he was a boxer who, based off his short stature, wouldn't have never made it as a top guy in the sport of boxing.  One day he was approached by a guy named Armando Avlies who offered Roberto a way to be bigger and badder and all without drugs; The Power Broker.

You guys remember him right?

He was the guy that gave numerous bad guys their enhanced strength and all that, like US Agent, Battlestar, guys like that.

Roberto successfully received his power enhancement, but wound up accidently killing his boxing opponent in the ring.
Fearful he'd do it again, Roberto went into hiding, while working for with his sparring partner Manuel at the local gym.
Of course trouble started when Aviles wanted Roberto to fight for him, and lured Roberto back into the open with the threat of having his sparring partner killed. Aviles set a trap for Velasquez in an attempt to kill him since Roberto refused to work for him. Roberto survived the attempt and faked his death in order to go back into hiding from Aviles.

 Roberto then goes and steals some boxing gear from Aviles' sporting goods store, and becomes inspired to wear this fucking ridiculous get up:

Goddamn man. Really?  Where's that famous Puerto Rican pride I always hear about?

So as the Bantam, Roberto finds out some z-list bad guy named Lazar threw his buddy out of a window killing him. But hey, at least he did him a  favor and spared him the sight of the greatness and awesomeness that is the Battling Bantam am I right?

Understandably pissed off, Bantam goes after Lazar, but somehow Captain America's involved, and Bantam's in full-on berzerker mode(like Wolverine, but no where as cool as Wolverine) and attacks Cap, and then they fight, and just a bunch of needless confusion happens.

They then team-up, and go after Lazar and Aviles. They all fight, and Lazar is defeated, while Aviles is accidently killed by one of his men.
I wonder if that was the wrong time to ask for a raise. Maybe;)

So after all that, Bantam decides to take up his good friend Trini's offer to work at his gym.....and hopefully never wear that god-awful chicken suit again. But to no avail. He winds up splitting his time between being the Bantam and training potential boxers at the gym.

Years later in 2006, during the whole Civil War mess, Roberto registers , officially joining the Pro-Registration side. To the applause of no one, save for Colonel Sanders.

Because of this, Roberto received the fun task of rounding up all the non-registered superheroes/villains.
It was during one such round-up of a guy named Thunderclap(I really hope he didn't get that name after having a bad experience at Taco Bell;) that Roberto was killed after being sent flying into a gas truck. He then blew up real good, much like his namesake.

Well damn.

Looks like Los Pollos Hermanos lost their celebrity endorser.

Isn't that just the way it goes sometimes....
And so was the tale of the Battling Bantam.
Seriously Marvel, and with all due respect to the late, great Mark Gruenwald,


Oh, and btw, the fine folks at Comic Book Resources did an article on him. You can read it here on there always amusing feature, I Love Ya', But You're Strange:

Have a good/great weekend people.....

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