A List of the Truly Lame Comic Book Villains
The 1930's and early 40's are described as the Golden age of Comic books and while it may be apt for the Superheroes created at this time, it certainly doesn't apply to the fictitious criminals. The worst supervillains ever all come from around the pre-war period. On reflection they make those camp characters in the sixties Batman T.V. series look like Hannibal Lecter. I hope you enjoy my list of worst supervillains of all time.
5. Kite Man
We start with a real high-flier of a criminal in the name of Kite Man. Now any of you that read my first article on terrible superheroes will know there is something quite naff about normal people, with absolutely no superpowers, dressing up and participating in the whole hero-villain comic book rivalry. Kite Man is one such person. And by person I mean complete nutter.
Now before I continue any further it's important to know that the creators of this supervillain were Bill Finger and Dick Sprang. Now if you're going to base a criminal mastermind on any fictional character who would it be? It's a tough question but you'll never guess who the Finger/Sprang partnership picked: Charlie Brown from the Peanuts comic strip. That isn't a joke.
So Kite Man A.K.A Charles Brown was born, and like his namesake he liked flying kites....but he doesn't have a pet called Snoopy.
Kite Man unsurprisingly uses a Kite to terrorise Gotham city. Terrorise is a strong word, gently amuse, would be more accurate.
So let's summarise the credentials of Charles Brown, would-be supevillain: he is based on Snoopy's pal, he doesn't have any special powers and he likes flying kites, is there anything else that's truly chronic about this super villain? Of course there is.
Despite only being known for one thing, flying a kite, he's not very good at it. On two separate occasions Batman has used his own Bat Kite to ascend into the air and defeat him. I think it may be time Charles Brown took up a new hobby, or buy a pet dog to look after.
4. Crazy Quilt
If you want to be taken seriously as a master criminal it is important to look the part.You need to strike fear into the hearts of the public and a chill down the spine of all Superheroes. Do not, whatever you do, decide to wear and name yourself after something your Grannie knitted you. Which is exactly what the Crazy Quilt did.
After once brilliant painter Paul Dekker was blinded by a gunshot wound he managed to have his sight returned, in part, through a revolutionary experimental procedure. Unfortunately for Dekker the treatment wasn't a complete success and rather than perfect vision he only saw in bright, lurid colour than eventually drove his criminally insane.
Obsessed with colour, Crazy Quilt decides to steal all colour from Gotham city. Yes that's right, he wanted to steal all colour from a city (eh?!). More embarrassing for Crazy Quilt is not only this truly stupid idea, but the fact that he was defeated by Robin alone. The Bat didn't even have to turn up. Obviously the Boy Wonder had a chat with Batman and told him not to panic, he'd cover this one and save Batman for serious criminals.
3. Mr Polka-Dot
Abner Krill was once an ordinary man living a normal existence in Gotham city. Then one day, for some unknown reason, he decided to dress up in a polka dot one-piece and start a crime spree against any establishment that had 'dot' connotations in their business name.
His first encounter with Batman and Robin, in Detective Comics #300 from February '62, came as he was robbing the Spot Service Cleaning Company in downtown Gotham. Perhaps I'm being a little harsh on Mr Polka-Dot here because he did have one major weapon: he could rip the spots off his costumes and throw them at Batman. Now this isn't actually as lame as it sounds. The thrown dots magically transformed into different weapons like a chain-saw, a flying saucer or sleeping gas. Yeah, on second thoughts it is truly lame.
After his first unsuccessful encounter with the Bat, Mr Polka-Dot took a vacation for around 34 years and returned in August of 1996 to have a second attempt to beat Gotham's caped crusader. This time he changed his name to Polka-Dot Man but for some reason decided to keep his naff outfit.
He didn't last long and was eventually killed, after getting into a spot of bother, by the Human Flame.
2. Armless Tiger Man
Eric Hertz, created by Paul Gustavson and Al Bellman, made his debut in Marvel Mystery Comics No.26 in December 1941. With World War II at it's height writers didn't have t0 look very far to find a common enemy that readers would loathe, so like a lot of comic book villains in the early 1940's Hertz had affiliations with Nazi Germany.
In his youth Hertz was the victim of a terrible accident while working in a mechanical laboratory in Munich, Germany. The tragic results of the accident took both of Hertz's arms and left him with a lasting bitter hatred of all machines. After his recovery in hospital the young Hertz sought revenge on what he viewed as the cause of his accident, namely all machines everywhere.
The recuperation process was long and eventually Eric learned to use his feet and legs like arms and hands and even had the ability to use knives and weapons. Together with his sharpened teeth this made Armless Tiger Man more vicious that his name first suggests.
With his newly developed abilities Hertz decided to complete his plan and take revenge on machines across Germany but is eventually captured by the German Secret Police, the Gestapo. Rather than imprisoning the young man the Third Reich decided that he could be far more useful in helping them win the war, and therefore decided to let his have his revenge by sneaking him into the U.S. and creating havoc there. That was the plan, in reality, eh... it didn't really work out that way.
The character lacked the quality needed for any longevity, after all he had no arms and his only unique attribute was his sharpened teeth. Together with that, he did have a bit of a Hitler-hair thing happening and thankfully lasted only as long as the Fuhrer himself.
Stroll down to your local government offices and randomly walk up to any middle-aged male employee there, and you could be looking at the next criminal on our list. In at number one of Worst Supervillains ever is the Bureauc-Rat, a disgruntled traffic official who wants to take over the world because, wait for it, he is made redundant after budget cuts in his department. What with the Credit Crunch and subsequent recession in most European countries we can now expect a whole army of these super villains to try and take over the world.
Armed only with his hideous dress sense (a yellow waistcoat and blue jacket, I mean really!) and a red tape gun he once tangled with The Flash in Superfriends issue #41. How on earth does the Flash manage to beat this evil colossus I hear you ask. Well the Bureauc-Rat is distracted with a Hostess Fruit Pie (no really) and while his attention is elsewhere, the Flash tangles him up with his own red- tape gun.
Brilliant, but I wonder why the Flash didn't simply wait until late afternoon because as we are all aware, no government official will ever work past five o'clock.
So there we have it, in my opinion these are really the 5 worst supervillains of all time. If you enjoyed this article you can check out my list of worst Superheroes: