Five (Seven Actually) Really Lame DC Villains
Pushing the lameness scale
Just when I thought it was a herculean task to find and comment about five of the lamest Marvel villains, I found something even more difficult - DC Villains. While Marvel has had more than its fair share of lame villains, I really had to check all of my resources to find them.
Seriously, I had to scrape through The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and come up with a good criteria of lameness. Now I can hear you asking, "But Chris, how did you fairly determine what's lame and what's not?"
I'm glad you asked.
It's not just the costumes
Initially, I thought that you could just tell by looking at a completely stupid and ridiculously ludicrous costume and say, "That's really lame." I couldn't do that because there are some great characters that have completely stupid and ridiculously ludicrous costumes out there.
Case in point, The Creeper and The Question. These two inventions that came from the mind of Steve Ditko, seem, at first, to be very lame. The Creeper is a character that seems to be made of spare parts and is essentially The Joker gone good - he's one of my favorites actually. We also have The Question. Vic Sage (pun on visage meaning "face") is a journalist who has a gas that changes the color of his hair and clothes and wears a mask that gives him a blank face. Yet, I've seen so many incarnations of this character that have been so well done, I can't call him lame.
It's not just the powers, either.
There are some great comic book characters out there that have no super powers. Some of the worst, most dangerous villains are powerless.
I always think of Lex Luthor and Prometheus.
Lex Luthor is dangerous because we encounter people like him every day in the media. He's a multimillionaire who seems to be above the law. He was even president once. The thing that makes him scary is that he's brilliant and bent. Superman won't take him down because, technically, he can't prove anything that he's done.
Oh, and if you haven't heard or read anything about Prometheus, you really have to. He's a nightmare Batman. His parents were killed by police and he's waging war against justice. He's really smart. He's an unbelievably good strategist. Plus, he's got a device that can instantly download any fighter's abilities into his cerebral cortex - making him really hard to fight.
Does he have a lame costume? Yeah, he kinda does.
However, a man like that took out the Justice League BY HIMSELF.
It's a combination of both
Yup, a bad costume with bad powers under a really stupid premise or rationale gets my vote on lameness.
I started doing my research into DC characters and thought I'd have enough time to do another hub on Zombie Preparedness. No such luck. I jotted down no less than thirty candidates for this article and I swear to you, making the cut was hard work.
If I didn't actually see the character's entry in my DC Comics Encyclopedia or in my DC Comics Who's Who, then I saw something that reminded me of a character that was just unbelievably lame.
Like this guy...
Egg Fu - Giant Egg Villain Mastermind
You think I'm kidding, don't you? No, really, I'm not.
Egg Fu was an oriental criminal mastermind who originally fought Wonder Woman. He manages to temporarily kill both Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor with an explosive device. That made him deadly. He's defeated by the amazon princess but his brother "Egg Fu the Fifth" manages to capture her again. Egg Fu 5 is defeated by Wonder Woman when he makes her do her "Bracelet Clashing Dance" and cracks his shell.
He also has a robot twin called "Doctor Yes" (a play at James Bond villain Doctor No) who fights the Metal Men. He's successful at making the Metal Men destroy themselves rather than say something unpatriotic.
Sample dialogue - "When the Amelicans see how these gleat heroes of theirs have turned tlaitors-- they will doubt anyone's stlength to lesist us!"
He's insanely lame.
Not only is his dialogue written as if it came from a bad Charlie Chan movie, but his big weapon is that he whips people with his mustache.
The Outsider - Butler of Doom
I've been writing a lot of articles about zombie warfare preparedness. Why? Because zombie warfare and The Walking Dead are great to talk about. I thought I loved to talk about the undead and why they're evil.
Until I remembered The Outsider.
The Outsider is a Batman Villain who was a poor unfortunate that was brought back from the dead through unknown science. That science changed that person into an freak with psionic powers, chalky white skin, and a hatred for Batman. This character called himself the Outsider because he considered himself "outside of humanity". This character attacks Batman and Robin with some outrageous schemes for a few months with limited success.
Okay, not only did he look like a zombie with psoriasis but, do you know who the Outsider actually was? Alfred Pennyworth.
Yup, DC authors actually consciously decided to kill Alfred, one of their most beloved stalwart characters, and bring him back as a zombie villain - who hates Batman.
WHAT THE @#%* WERE THEY THINKING?!!
Here's another thing. DC did this back in 1968, when the Adam West series was on. As part of this plot line, they introduced Dick Grayson's Aunt Harriett into the Wayne household. Bad enough she was in the show.
Captain Stingeree & Cavalier - Modern Swashbucklers of Crime
Sorry, these two are a set.
Let's start with Captain Stingaree. His motivation for becoming a villain essentially came from being born a one of quadruplets and was the black sheep of the set. He started committing crimes in Central City and was arrested and did time with Captain Cold. After he got out, he started a pirate bar in the motif of a pirate ship. This started him on his life of crime using swordsmanship and a pirate theme to uncover Batman's secret identity. Batman and the Flash take him in.
The Cavalier, on the other hand, decided that he just wanted things that he couldn't buy. Originally a millionaire, he wanted to make his own private museum. After losing his money, he decided that he'd steal what he wanted by dressing up as a musketeer and fighting Batman with a sword.
Okay both separate, they're pretty lame. However, the geniuses at DC had to push the envelope by MAKING THEM A COUPLE. This takes the expression gay blades to a new level.
Now, I'm a pretty progressive guy. I'm a huge opponent against DADT, but even I can't help but think how stupid that concept is. I mean, they spend their days committing crimes, come home to the lair, and, I don't know, do sword puns.
Desaad - Bastard for Darkseid
I've been reading comic books for over forty years and still can't figure out the staying power of a character like Desaad.
Not only can't I figure out how he finagled his way into Darkseid's elite, but I can't figure out why Darkseid lets him live. He has no powers. He's a genius but not really a strategist on the level of Prometheus. He's immortal (as all the New Gods are). But, all in all, he's just really a sadistic ass who's ambitious. He's like every butt kissing idiot that we see in the business world today.
Jack Kirby came up with his origin. Essentially, he started as a kid who was told that his cat killed his bird and he buries his cat alive. Then he finds out he was lied to and when the bird returns, he kills the bird.
WHO DOES THAT?
Anyway, what we know about Desaad is that he's a sadist and a coward. We know people like this and we usually make ourselves happy by just beating them senseless. DC and Jack Kirby made him a power player of a supervillain.
Amos Fortune - A Lucky Guy
I'd seen an episode of Red Dwarf where scientists experimented and found that there were viruses that were beneficial to man without realizing they were viruses. The premise was the luck was a virus and that they'd been able to isolate it. An injection of good luck would make you the "luckiest man alive".
It's funny on British television.
Meet Amos Fortune a man who thinks that luck runs in his glands. Apparently everyone has "luck glands". They secrete good luck and bad luck. His big thing was that he tried (with the Royal Flush Gang - which he founded) to remove the luck of the Justice League. Then he came up with the Luck League, a group that could mimic the JLA.
So, in essence, we have a villain who is "lucky." He's a gambler and a scientist and his goal is to be really, really, lucky. He's even been known to use his "stim-o-luck" devices to make more luck.
Well, apparently his luck ran out when he received a call from the wife of some guy he'd killed a few years ago. When he went to check it out, the woman shot him in the face.
Guess it wasn't his lucky day.
Rag Doll - He Bends
How do you define yourself as having a superpower. I think Stan Lee has a show about this. He goes around the world looking for people who have extraordinary abilities.
Rag Doll... well, he bends.
He's a contortionist. And somehow, in his mind, he thinks that's enough to make him evil and successfully pull off crimes. He's actually triple jointed. His big plan for thefts is to impersonate a toy, get smuggled into a store or factory as a giant rag doll. Then when everyone goes home, he robs the place.
Not for nothing, I don't think that plan has a long shelf life or a big pay off.
However, his reputation in the underworld came when he could be delivered to heiresses as a large toy. Then he could rob the heiress. Of course, most people would think, "Where's my money and my giant almost man sized doll?" I don't think someone would think, "I'm going to steal a large man sized doll."
Either way, I think the writers were scraping the bottom of the barrel on this one.
This was a hard one. But before I close this one out, I need to make some honorable mentions. Their lameness can't go unacknowledged.
Runners up are:
- The Clock King
- The Cluemaster
- The Gambler
- Gorgeous Gilly
- Granny Goodness
- The Joker's Daughter (who is actually Two Face's Daughter)
- The Mad Hatter
- Patchwork Man
- The Prankster
I don't know where these ideas come from. All I know is that some people are very bold for presenting them. I guess it falls under the theory that if you throw enough crap against a wall, some of it has to stick.
© 2012 Christopher Peruzzi