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Five Really Lame Marvel Villains

Updated on July 26, 2017
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Chris Peruzzi is a comic book superhero historian who is passionate about how today's comic book heroes are the new mythology for America.

The Circus of Crime
The Circus of Crime

Why Lame?

What single thing about a lame character makes him lame?

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With All Due Respect...

Before I get started, I need to say something first. I'm taking a lot of pot shots at comic writing legends right now. Stan Lee, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, and many of the fathers of modern fiction made this medium in the last six decades prime entertainment. Without these pioneers paving the way when publishing comic books was a shaky business venture at best, we'd be so much poorer without them. These men brought us Spider-man, The Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and the Avengers.

It was their imagination that inspires us.

No one bats a thousand. My point is that for every Spider-man idea there are thirty Speedballs and OMACs littering the landscape. And every once in a while, we see a character that is just plain sad.

For example, The Circus of Crime (pictured right), created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko were a group of villains that posed as circus performers. The Ringmaster wore a special top hat that mesmerized the audience at the end of the show. While the entire audience was in a deep trance, the circus would rob the audience blind, collecting their valuables. The Ringmaster would then give a post hypnotic suggestion, erasing their memory but planting the idea that they'd seen an awesome show.

Not a bad plan.

Things, of course, go awry every so often when someone like Daredevil is in the audience. A blind man can't be hypnotized. Then Daredevil (and Spider-man) wind up fighting the performers (they fight each other first, but I digress).

What's lamer than being attacked by an evil circus?

"Oh no! There's a scary clown and a weight lifter coming to get me! I hope my proportional strength and speed of a spider will do the job."

See what I mean? Let's use these guys as "the bar." Here we go.

Peepers
Peepers | Source

Peepers

Let's start with this guy: Peepers.

Yes, "Peepers." What if you could see really, really, really well? Would that prompt you to go into the super villain game? Actually, he was recruited by Magneto to be part of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Peepers was a mutant who had telescopic, X-ray, and a sort of laser vision.

Personally, I just think that numbers were down on the mutant recruitment drive and Magneto just needed to fill out the ranks after Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch left.

I think after a while Marvel started to hate this character and not only did they kill him off, they killed him off in a really bad way. Peepers, while driving and talking on his cell phone, hits a deer and loses control of his car. He wrecks his car and then gets killed by a mutant killer.

You'd think that if you could see really, really, really well, you'd have seen not only the deer but the mutant killer as well. I bet he never saw that one coming.

Oh well.

Brother Nature - Vigilante for Nature
Brother Nature - Vigilante for Nature

Brother Nature

Before your kid becomes a forest ranger, he should know that there is a possibility the Earth Spirit will tap him on the shoulder and make him an ecoterrorist. Mark Diering loved nature so much that he did just that. He had a vision from Mother Earth who gave him some weather and nature powers to act as its guardian.

He had it out against Captain America and then had a nervous breakdown after he destroyed one of his own trees. That's right, kids - he's the Lorax.

He was last seen giving up a fight against Radioactive Man and the Thunderbolts when a forest was threatened by Radioactive Man saying he'd "leak his suit."

Here we have a character who, potentially, is almost a god. Nature gives him the ability to control some weather, grow some plant life, and be one with the Earth. Unfortunately, in most cases, he surrenders faster than a French toddler after watching a monster movie.

Uber-lame.

Gorilla Man - Head of man, body of a gorilla
Gorilla Man - Head of man, body of a gorilla

Gorilla Man

Somewhere out there, there's a group of gorillas thinking, "You know, this bastard scientist is removing organs from gorillas. Let's remove his head and graft it to one of us. That'll learn him."

That's what happened to Dr. Arthur Nagan. A bunch of gorillas were able to do what no one has done in human history. Transplant the head of one thing and successfully put it onto something else.

Then they went back to Africa to throw poo at each other.

Were this the only instance of head transplants in the Marvel Universe. Hagan was actually the first of a bunch of scientists that have had some experimentation on their bodies. As part of the group, The Head Men, he actually got the best deal of the four of them. His compatriot, Shrunken Bones, experimented with Pym Particles and accidentally shrunk his bones to ten per cent of their original size while leaving the rest of his skin and muscles normal size (how his brain didn't leak from his skull is a mystery). Nagan also grafted his fellow member Chondu the Mystic's head onto a demonic looking body (tentacle arms, wings, and eagle feet).

Why? Who knows?

The last member of the Head Men is Ruby Thursday. She had an organic, malleable computer grafted to her body. Once again... no one knows why.

In any event, the entire head grafting market has been at an all time low since "The Brain That Wouldn't Die". I don't see Marvel going in for this plot line in the near... ever.

Turner D. Century - Master of 19th Century Science
Turner D. Century - Master of 19th Century Science

Turner D. Century

Have you ever heard really old people go on about how great things were in the "good ol days"? This is the result. A kid who wanted to bring back the "good ol days" and the values they represents.

You know? Like barefoot and pregnant. Like separate but equal. Like making those damn people go back where they came from.

That stuff.

But he's not going to use those "new fangled" technology things. He's going to use good old fashioned, time tested, antiques. I don't know where this genius came from but attacking a superhero with 19th century science really isn't effective.

Even more laughable was the hero who faced him. Out of the mothball cub-bard comes an aging Dominic Fortune - old man of action... with Spider-man.

Fortunately, someone decided that Turner D. Century was just not the type of person who should go on breathing. The "Scourge of the Underworld" killed him and a whole bunch of B-Listers in "The Bar With No Name".

Justice was truly served.

The Slug - Crime Lord
The Slug - Crime Lord

Ulysses X. Lugman - The Slug

The Marvel Bullpen must have been at it again thinking that if George Lucas could make Jabba the Hutt a convincing mob boss bad guy, then they could make one, too.

Ulysses X. Lugman, The Slug, is that man. He's a fat mob boss that makes the Kingpin look anorexic. His big kill move? He smothers people in his fat. To be fair, that's not all he is. He is a master strategist and genius... blah, blah, blah. He has to have something else.

Really, he's so much like Jabba that like most morbidly obese people he's confined to a hovering platform. Other than that... well... nothing.

I'm waiting for some scantily clad princess to sneak behind him and choke the life out of him.

Final Words

I have to be honest. This was a hard one.

There was such an over-abundance of lame within the books that there were a lot of hard calls. Am I going to say that these are the be all end all of Marvel villain lameness? No, I can't. There really were too many. I'm certain that a lot of people can find a few that may even surpass these.

What I will say is that I think that it will be hard to surpass these. I mean... Peepers? The Slug? Brother Nature?

This may only be the tip of the iceberg.

Next "Lame DC Comics Villains."

© 2012 Christopher Peruzzi

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    • cperuzzi profile image
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      Christopher Peruzzi 14 months ago from Freehold, NJ

      Yeah, Turner De Century... Sigh...

      It's sad that I can say I can write more of these articles and given that Marvel is coming out with more TV series and movies, I may need to.

      If I do, I promise I won't spare the snark.

    • Eric Mikols profile image

      Eric Mikols 5 years ago from New England

      Wow, Turner...

      Some characters just never rise to the challenge.

      Nice Hub!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I came upon your hub because of the Hubnuggets. Congratulations for your nomination. Check it out right here https://hubpages.com/community/An-Invitation-To-A-...

      Thinking about the villains, I find myself amused that I hardly recall the villains...hahahahha

    • cperuzzi profile image
      Author

      Christopher Peruzzi 5 years ago from Freehold, NJ

      It is nostalgic. DD's yellow and red costume brings back memories.

      The concept of the Ringmaster is a good one. His family was doing this for a few generations which could be traced back to the Two Gun Kid. I just don't know of any story where the Circus wasn't rightfully trounced. Power Man and Giant Man (the late Bill Foster) took down the circus as well as many other heroes... It's almost like a hero hazing ritual.

    • montecristo profile image

      Angel Caleb Santos 5 years ago from Hampton Roads, Virginia

      I agree in part. I have to disagree on the Ringmaster. I read the circus of terror and, in my opinion, liked the plot. I enjoyed Spider Man fighting Daredevil in his original costume--Classic!

    • Horatio Plot profile image

      Horatio Plot 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, England.

      Great Hub. I love the ease and flow of your writing. Made me laugh all the way.

    • cperuzzi profile image
      Author

      Christopher Peruzzi 5 years ago from Freehold, NJ

      @ FatFreddyCat - The Trapster has risen from his lameness. I'm going to write a hub about characters that started lame and became pretty cool.

      I draw your attention to PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #91 & #92 (Spider-man: Identity Crisis). Howard Mackie did some really good work with the Trapster and made him a really dangerous foe. He even introduced a way that he could climb walls like Spider-man by using his glue and solvent intermittently. He also used the tactic of smothering victims by gluing their mouth and nose shut.

      Ordinarily, I'd agree about the Trapster, but they did managed to develop the character pretty well.

    • cperuzzi profile image
      Author

      Christopher Peruzzi 5 years ago from Freehold, NJ

      Thanks, Jack.

      I'm trying to give it a go as a writer. A few people have told me that it's what I'm best at and I really enjoy doing it.

      One of the first things they tell you is to write what you know. Well, I know comics. The ones I know best are Marvel and DC. I've been reading them for forty years.

      And finding your bliss is the name of the game.

      In any event, I plan on writing a lot of these articles and I hope you enjoy them.

      Once again, thanks.

    • Jack Hansen profile image

      John A Hansen 5 years ago from Fort Myers, Florida

      cperuzzi, you are a real aficionado of comics. I had a friend in a photography class who piqued my interest in comics for other reasons other than the story, itself. He referred to Batman as being a work of art that was angular and dark. That was the first time I learned that Batman was the Dark Night. His background and story wasn't the picture I originally had of Batman. Years later, Batman, The Dark Night, came out on film.

      Your Hub and writing is very interesting. Every once in a while, I start reading a Hub. The ones I finish are the ones that hold my interest. Yours did in a humorous and informative way. Thanks for sharing.

    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 5 years ago from The Garden State

      One of my favorite lame-o villains was "The Trapster," formerly known as "Paste Pot Pete." He had a big tank attached to his back that would shoot out streams of quick-hardening paste to immobilize foes. I have an old issue of Marvel Team-Up where Spidey repeatedly calls him by his "old" name during battle just to get his goat. Haha!

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 5 years ago

      pretty interesting hub. i can't wait to read the next one on lame dc villains.

    • cperuzzi profile image
      Author

      Christopher Peruzzi 5 years ago from Freehold, NJ

      Well, Stan Lee had some good advice on villain character development. They should always be a little stronger than the hero.

      I just wish he'd taken his own advice at times.

    • MrAungst profile image

      MrAungst 5 years ago from Penna

      Another great hub. I love the super hero stuff. I've always wanted to create my own, but I'm afraid it would be as lame as some of these villains, or worse, as some as the DC Heroes in your last post. Thanks for the read! You're helping me procrastinate from my research paper!