April 21, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Characters Case File #402: The Intelligencia

A group of smart villains formed a collective once. It didn't last.

Man, I kicked myself as the Disney+ She-Hulk: Attorney at Law was coming to a close when I remembered where I’d heard the name “Intelligencia” before.  On the show, that was an online community of male She-Hulk haters.  The name just didn’t hit me right away that it came from the comics.

It was a very different sort of group then.

The Intelligencia was a collective of various Marvel supergenius supervillains.  They met ostensibly to pool resources and share information with the original line-up consisting of Dr. Doom, the Leader, Hank Pym enemy Egghead, the Red Ghost with his Super-apes, the Mad Thinker with his Awesome Android, and MODOK.  Based out of Latervia, the group went around gathering whatever was left over from the Library of Alexander, a task that had them successfully breaking into Wakanda, Atlantis, and the Eternal city of Olympia.  Then Doom remembered he doesn’t play well with others and kicked the others out.

Oh, it’s probably worth noting the Intelligencia’s work may have been what summoned the Beyonder and caused the Secret Wars.  But retcons kinda suck when they explain things that don’t need explaining.

Anyway, the thing is, the Intellgencia aren’t really much of a threatening group.  Individually?  Sure.  Collectively?  They’re behind the scenes types who just share data with each other.  Their biggest contribution is that they made Thunderbolt Ross into the Red Hulk to have an effective weapon against Bruce Banner’s Hulk.  That backfired when some of the other test subjects–Banner’s friends and allies–didn’t go along with the program and Ross drained the gamma radiation out of the Leader, leaving him a rather ordinary Sam Sterns.

See, the thing is, the Intelligencia’s whole thing seems to be they’re scientists out to push the bounds of knowledge.  So, while the line-up has changed, adding members like Mr. Sinister and the Chameleon (disguised as Klaw), they seem to fall apart as soon as they try to fight someone from what I’ve gathered.  Heck, a bunch of them were killed when the Sinister Six got ahold of one of their weapons.  Fortunately for them, MODOK survived and revived the lot of them.  It looks like their last hurrah involved an incident where, while battling the Avengers, Ultron showed up and took down both groups.


So, why are they, well, internet trolls on the She-Hulk show?  If I were to hazard a few guesses, I’d say the first problem is most of the members haven’t appeared in the MCU yet, and I find it doubtful that they’re going to premier characters like the Mad Thinker and the Red Ghost on She-Hulk, especially with plans to bring the Leader back in the next Captain America movie while MODOK makes his first appearance in the next Ant-Man.

I mean, why not make them internet trolls?  I have a hard time believing the creators weren’t aware that they were going to somehow get a comedic She-Hulk series out that wouldn’t get attacked by a certain type of fan.  Why not acknowledge it?

And that is more or less why I didn’t connect the Intelligencia name from the show to the comics until the penultimate episode because I don’t think the show could have made a group more different from its namesake if they tried.

Good for them.