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from M.A.S.K.

As cartoon villains go I think Miles Mayhem is one of the more underated ones. He seems to have all he needs to be truly great. There is only one thing holding him back - direction! He just doesn't have that clear precise aim to channel his meglamaniacal schemes that halps make a villain truly great. Other villains we've looked at had it - Krang, Hordak, Sawboss, etc.
No Miles ends up getting preoccupied with his enemies. He is more in the Mumm-ra league of villains.

First of all a bit of back story - Miles first worked with his mortal enemy - Matt Tracker (doesn't that name just shout moralistic git!?>. They worked together in an anonymous organisation dedicated to preserving World Peace. Miles was annoyed at not getting any publicity for his actions. When Matt's younger brother (Andy) came up with blue prints for vehicles that could change from normal trucks and planes into weapons and maks that held amazing power (how they actually work was never delved into) Miles started a fire, stole the plans and fled. The fire killed Andy, thus making Matt Tracker swear to bring Mayhem to justice. Mayhem only got half the plans though. Matt Tracker ended up with the others. Thus MASK & VENOM were formed.
MASK dedicated to helping World peace and stopping the terrorist activities of VENOM and VENOM dedicated to conquering the World. This is where Miles Mayhem lacks direction. He wants complete power. However he only has a few members of VENOM and only tends to spend his energies trying to destroy MASK rather than staging coups on World leaders or holding countries to ranom after capturing nuclear weapons. I guess they just didn't make terrorists the same way back in the 80s.

Well that's where Miles Mayhem's motivation comes from. Now let's see what he has going for him.

Well to begin with he has a cool looking mask to wear. Not quite sure why it has a daffodil emblem at the top though. Perhaps he's Welsh. Could explain why he hates MASK so much. It is run by a smarmy American. Welsh people get very annoyed I find, due to the fact most Americans don't seem to realise it is a country. When they say they are from Wales the usual US response (or so I'm told) is to ask if that is a town near London. Anyway moving on...
Miles also has a kick-ass jet-plane (name of Switchblade for you needless fact lovers out there). As with all VENOM vehicles it changes so it can desguise its true identity/weapon potential. Switchblade here disguises itself as a helicopter. Yep that's right. Bit less scary I guess but not the best disguise.
Thirdly Miles (don't worry, we're on first name terms) has a fairly loyal band of followers. Well more loyal than most cartoon villain leaders get. A band of followers including the lovely Vanessa.

Cliff Dagger & Vanessa

Vanessa masked and unmasked

See there she is. Not only nice looking but her mask power is to get a whip...but I digress...

Each VENOM member gets their own vehicle and mask. Cliff Dagger above, not only gets a cool name and a mask that looks like an Incan temple, but his mask has a flame thrower on it. Miles' own mask spits acid. But enough of his toys and gadgets. What about the man himself? What credentials does he have to get into the cartoon villain hall of fame?

Max Mayhem

Well first off he has a great last name. Mayhem. With a name like that you can't help but to grow up to be destructive. As proved by the fact that his identical twin brother - Max Mayhem - is also evil, rather than the normal good/evil twin mix you get. Max wasn't as intelligent or evil as Miles and thus never tried to overthrow him, but he did get to wear a monacle. Also if you look at the picture of him at the top of the page (or just at the one of Max and try to imagine the monacle isn't there) you notice he seems to look good with the whole Stalin/Saddam style moustache. With a tache like that you are bound to either try to become a dictator or work in the seventies porn industry. As VENOM turned up in the mid 80s I guess the porn career fell dead after '79 and being the head of an evil organisation was all that was left to him.

The organisation itself is the final key to his greatness. It proves his evil intelligence and also helps prove his fantastic use of puns. Puns are an often overlooked form of evil. You see the organisation is called V.E.N.O.M. which stands for - Vicious Evil Network Of Mayhem. And his last name is Mayhem. You see the play on words there? Oh Miles you punster! That was worthy of Richard Medley on Countdown. Anyway despite the pun that is a cool name. It tells it how it is. Even when abbrieviated it is cool. If I were to set up a terrorist organisation that is the sort of thing I'd go for. Way scarier sounding than the ones we have in the real World. Some of them don't even seem to mean or stand for anything. But VENOM! now there's a name. It also shows his superiority over his enemies because M.A.S.K. stands for - Mobile Armoured Strike Kommand. And as I'm sure we all know Kommand should in fact start with a 'C'.
The best part of VENOM being an organisation rather than just Miles and a few buddies, Skeletor style is people can be fired, killed, whatever and new applicants can apply and join. A never ending army of characters to make toys out of. I'm not sure what the application form for VENOM would be like but no doubt you need a cool last name.

On a final note the VENOM base is actually hidden within an oil rig, with the emblem - Snake Oil - on the side. Whilst sounding cool, tying in with the venom theme and giving them a mobile base to avoid detection it also housed a huge phallic missile launcher. I think maybe Miles Mayhem may be overcompensating for something. Could be what turned him evil. Probably got laughed out of the porn business.

So Miles Mayhem we salute you - Despite being a failed porn star, you came up with the coolest terrorist organisation name, have a cool jet-plane and are a master of the pun!