It seems there's nothing like a good old-fashioned Top Ten list for engaging reader interest and fermenting rabid debate of the kind that all good blogs thrive on. Therefore, Steve Does Comics enters an exciting new phase of humanity as I launch my first ever Top Ten.
As I've always fancied myself as a bit of a super-villain - and not a very good one - it seems only right that I start with my Top Ten worst super-villains of all time. Now, I must admit that, like most posts on this blog, nothing that resembles research, knowledge, planning or insight has gone into the compiling of this list and it can therefore not be deemed definitive or even worthwhile. It is however reflective of my feelings at the instant of writing.
So, let's kick off:
10. Forgettable Aliens.
We all know there's been a whole slew of memorable comic book alien races. The Skrull, Kree and Shi'ar leap instantly to mind but during Marvel Comics' early years it seemed like every hero had to come up against at least one bunch of totally forgettable aliens who usually had some unlikely plan for world conquest. Who can forget the aliens in Iron Man who tried to take over the world by using a robot hypno-neanderthal? Then there were those aliens who tried to defeat Daredevil by firing a Blinding Ray at him, and I think that none who saw him will ever forget the Hulk's early foe Mongu the gladiator from space who was so useless an alien it turned out he wasn't even from space.
9. The Jester.
Cursed was Daredevil with a set of foes that most Marvel heroes wouldn't even cross the street to fight but I always had a special loathing for the Jester, possibly because, unlike most of DD's worst foes, he had the gall to keep coming back. He was clearly meant to be Daredevil's answer to the Joker but his shambolic costume and endless bags of annoying tricks meant he was more like the Green Goblin with the good bits removed.
8. The Mole Man.
There was nothing Stan Lee liked doing more in the early 1960s than endlessly recycling the same ideas. And so, in the pages of The Incredible Hulk, we got Tyrannus, king of a subterranean kingdom, who wanted to conquer the surface world. In the pages of Iron Man we got Kayla, queen of a subterranean kingdom, who wanted to conquer the surface world.
Not in their class was the first of this gaggle to appear - the Mole Man, ruler of a subterranean kingdom, who wanted to conquer the surface world. Needless to say, being the least impressive of the three, he was the one they kept bringing back most but it didn't matter how many times Sue Storm declared, "Reed how can we hope to stop him? He seems so powerful!" we could all spot he was just a short, blind man with a stick. Admittedly he had an army but it was an army of stupid, unwell-looking people.
7. The Boomerang.
He was an early foe of the Hulk. He had some boomerangs. How could even the Incredible Hulk hope to stand against such power? Well, quite easily as it turned out, which is why the Boomerang was dead by the end of the issue and the Hulk wasn't.
6. The Beetle.
I know this long-standing crook has his fans but I could never get into him. His costume was so dull and I could never work out how he could fly with solid steel wings. I can't remember him ever featuring in an interesting story or ever having anything that resembled an interesting plan.
5. Mister Mxyzptlk.
An annoying little leprechaun who caused nothing but mischief and could only be defeated by making him say his name backwards. This would've been fine if his name was Tub or Tab or something but how could anyone be so stupid as to be tricked into saying kltpzyxm without realising he was saying it? How my heart'd sink whenever I opened a Superman comic and discovered Mister Mxyzptlk was the main villain of that issue.
4. The Hatemonger.
He first showed up in Fantastic Four #21 and, with his power to make everyone violently hate each other, had the potential to be a great villain. The trouble is that at the end of the tale he dies and is unmasked as... ...Adolf Hitler! Suddenly a potentially great villain enters the realms of total stupidity.
3. The Purple Man.
Another of Marvel's mind-controlling villains to add to the likes of Mr Doll, the Puppet Master and the Ring-Master. I actually don't remember that much about him from his first appearance in Daredevil #4 and he might've been fantastic but I'm putting him on this list purely because he was called the Purple Man, which has to be up there with "Paste Pot Pete" when it comes to hopeless super-villain names.
2. The Scarecrow.
Not the Batman villain or the later Marvel character but the short-lived Iron Man foe, an escape-artist who decided that, with his power to control a couple of pet crows, he had an unstoppable super-power. Has there ever been a punier foe for Iron Man to face? And has Iron Man ever made a greater Horlicks of tackling such an under-powered opponent?
1. Adam Orion.
Thor, Adam Orion concocted a plan to defeat Bouncing Boy. To push himself to new heights of uselessness, he was then defeated by Bouncing Boy.
What is the insane plot to destroy a world? And how can Petra 97 stop it? Find out in I Need An Earth Girl! by Stephen Walker:
Amazon.com, Amazon UK.
Lees Hall, Gleadless.
7 months ago