Comic book creator Steve Gerber recently passed away, and much of the media coverage surrounding his death has focused exclusively on his most famous creation, Howard the Duck. While Howard’s influence in modern comic book storytelling should not be overlooked, Gerber was responsible for many other wild and wacky characters during his time at Marvel.
Even when writing about the most absurd of subjects, he made a point of making the charasters believable, and treating them with dignity. Today at The Brave and the Blog we’re going to look at one of my favorite Steve Gerber creations, the bubbleheaded villainess known as Ruby Thursday!
Ruby Thursday (real name: Thursday Rubinstein) is a brilliant scientist who decided to attach a living computer to her brain. This computer is made of a futuristic malleable plastic, and can change itself into any form Ruby chooses. She can use this to create powerful tentacles for combat, or simply to disguise herself in a more human-looking form. In her first appearance (Defenders #32) she used her abilities to become a popular presidential candidate, with an ultimate goal of winning the White House and taking over the world.
Some time after Ruby appears again, this time finding herself at odds with the original Omega the Unknown. It is a direct result of her actions that led to the heroes’ death, and it wasn’t long before The Defenders went after her once again. During the ensuing battle her head was smashed into bits, and Ruby was presumed dead. Of course, nobody stays dead in comic books, and this was only the first of several ‘deaths’ the character has experienced over the years.
Ruby leads a group of eccentric villains known as ‘The Headmen,’ but has found herself in numerous solo adventures over the years. Most recently Ruby has done battle with the current incarnation of the Heroes for Hire, although her head was once again shattered, and she hasn’t been seen since. As a minor villain, very little is known about Ruby’s origin or personal life. At one point she was romantically involved with The Answer, although it’s unknown if they are still in a relationship.
Being the memorable character that she is, it only makes sense that she receives a card in the VS. System. Ruby’s organic computer has a lot of versatility and could be represented in some interesting ways. Here’s what I would do…
I like how this card turned out, and it definitely fills in some holes in the Crime Lords’ roster. She suffers from the low defense plaguing most of the team, and makes sense given how often she finds her head destroyed. Ruby’s high attack represents her skill in combat, since she had managed to take on characters like The Hulk and The Avengers over the years.
A conditional recovery seemed the best way to capture her ability to escape certain death without using Evasion. With her low defense you would always want to reinforce her anyways, and her card draw effects gives her some utility as well. Her recovery should also be helpful with maintaining board presence; something which can be virtually impossible in Crime Lords matches against more aggressive decks.
I have no high hopes that Ruby Thursday will make an appearance in Marvel Universe, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised before. After all, I never expected other Steve Gerber characters like Man-Thing and Howard to show up in card form, let alone in such fun and flavorful ways.
Could we all be so lucky once again?