Fantasy Baseball: Comics' Best Starting Nine Royals and Giants

Game Four of the World Series kicks off tonight, pitting the San Francisco Giants against the Kansas City Royals.

It's one of those years where nobody particularly would have thought either of these teams likely to make it to the Series, so having both of them competing in what so far has been a fairly neck-and-neck contest (the Giants demolished the Royals in Game One, the Royals returned the favor in Game Two and then won last night's third game 3-2), seems wildly unlikely.

So, of course, we've decided to celebrate their accomplishment by creating our own lineup (a starting nine, anyway) of royals -- actual royalty, that is -- and giants -- actual giants -- from comics.

Because that's how we amuse ourselves.

We won't speculate on who might win this particular baseball game, were it to be played, as we suspect there would be some issues with placing a pitch in the strike zone for either team.

The Royals

Thor

The Odinson's father is the king of Asgard, making him not only one of the most powerful gods in mythology but also the only founding member of The Avengers with a royal station.

Wonder Woman

The daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta, she's royalty twice over and the Princess of Themyscira. She's also got an impressive skill- and power set even before you start looking at all the enchanted gear she has that increases her abilities substantially.

Doctor Doom

Like a number of characters on this list, he doesn't exactly rule for the benefit of his people. Doesn't change the fact that he's a wildly effective dictator. For decades now, some of earth's mightiest heroes have been trying to dethrone him and it just...doesn't happen.

T'Challa

Ruler of one of the most mineral-rich and technologically-advanced nations in the Marvel Universe, it seems like Black Panther might actually be on the road to getting his own movie soon.

Black Adam

His Middle Eastern fiefdom is actually one of the most frequently-endangered and contested lands in the DC Universe. And apparently they have some great regional cuisine.

Aquaman

Not only is he royalty, but unlike many superheroes who have royal titles, we actually deal quite a bit with the ramifications of his rule and whether or not one can truly serve humanity while also ruling a particular nation with its own needs.

We even got to see him go to war with Wonder Woman in Flashpoint.

Black Bolt and Medusa

We're putting these two together because while they're both worth mentioning, being a married couple means we don't really have to take the time to explain who they are separately. As King and Queen of the Inhumans, these two have been busy following the events of Infinity and the creation or activation of dozens of new Inhumans. Don't expect that to slow down anytime soon when we discover that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch may not be mutants after all...!

Geo-Force

Another superhero, another ruler of a fictional nation (Markovia). The weird thing about Brion Markov? His powers were emulated on Arrow...by a machine that was the big bad's main weapon at the end of Season One.

The Giants

This one is a bit trickier because size manipulation is a common power in comics and, often, artists find that actually facing normal-sized characters off against a giant is a hard thing to make visually appealing. So we're going to include some beloved characters who are often giants, and some less-beloved or more obscure characters who are always giants, just to stay on message.

Also, we're ruling out Ego and Mogo, the living planets from Marvel and DC respectively, for their lack of arms, which would make them poor baseball players.

Galactus

One of Marvel's all-time great villains, this dude floats through space eating planets. He's set his eyes on Earth more times than we can count at this point...and his first major appearance in Fantastic Four is still widely considered to be one of the best stand-alone stories in Marvel history.

Nekron

This once-obscure Green Lantern villain is not only a lord of the limbo dimension where the souls of the dead are held, but he popped back up during the Geoff Johns run on Green Lantern as the central antagonist behind Blackest Night, the centerpiece of his beloved and history-making time on the title.

Devilance the Pursuer

I love this goofy character in all his Kirbyesque greatness and all his totally character-less violence and antagonism in 52.

The Anti-Monitor

The DC villain with undoubtedly the biggest body count under his belt, The Anti-Monitor is always BIG. He's occasionally truly gigantic, though, and since we love the image above, he makes the cut.

Terminus

Depending on who's drawing him, Terminus can be one of the most awesome or awe-inspiringly ridiculous characters youll ever see on a printed page. But he IS huge...and he's powerful enough to stand shoulder to shoulder with Starro the Conqueror (another guy who'd be on this list if not for the total inability to swing a bat) in JLA/Avengers.

Giganta

One of Wonder Womans' most iconic villains, of course she's going to make the list...since this is, y'know...her whole schtick.

Giganto

Yeah...some of these names are pretty on-the-nose, huh?

Anyway, if you've read a comic in the last fifty years, you've probably seen this cover.

Titano

A giant monkey who shoots Kryptonite out of his eyes?

Yes, please, I'll take two.

Giant-Man

Yeah...like Wonder Woman above, you just HAD to know that Giant Man/Goliath/whoever would make this list.

...And then he didn't, in the first draft, because I literally just ASSUMED HE WAS ALREADY THERE.

So we're bumping the next guy down to "dishonorable mention," and giving you GIANT-MAN!

Thanks to Ron Marz for pointing out the mind-numbingly obvious thing I missed.

Dishonorable Mention: Onslaught

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Once the hybrid of Magneto and Charles Xavier, Onslaught is a powerful and dangerous being who has gone through a number of changes since. At present, the powers of Onslaught are controlled by the Red Skull, and he's giving the whole Marvel Universe trouble in AXIS.

...huh. There are a lot of giant bad guys, huh?