Ok, we’ve all seen comics with a lame villain or two but some of them (especially in the late 70’s) were just plain pathetic. Even though I do love Stilt-Man I had to put him down on the list cause he is very limited in his schemes (as long as the bank is on the top floor he is good to go!)
So here is the list that I compiled in no particular order:
1. Stilt Man (Marvel)- Stilt-Man first appeared in Daredevil vol. 1 #8 and was one of his earliest enemies. He is a criminal wearing a suit of armor with powerful telescopic legs (useful for high-story heists).The character did not age well, as his powers were more a curiosity than a real threat. As of 2008, Stilt-Man is seen as a mere footnote and as an example of the arguably weird rogues’ gallery Daredevil had in his early, pre-Frank Miller days — indeed, during Miller’s Daredevil run, Stilt-Man was portrayed as a miserable loser.
Stilt-Man continued to make sporadic appearances in various Marvel comics, wherein he has continued his criminal career and fought several superheroes, but without much success. One of his most prominent appearances during this time was during the Iron Man storyline “Armor Wars”, where he was one of the many armored super-villains whose armors had been secretly upgraded with technology stolen from Tony Stark; Iron Man quickly defeated the villain in their confrontation by throwing one of his own hydraulic legs at him to knock him out. Stilt-Man later attempted to kill District Attorney Blake Tower for sending him to prison, but was captured by She-Hulk. Stilt-Man was among the villains assembled by Doctor Doom to attack the Fantastic Four in Washington, D.C. during the Acts of Vengeance. Even though he had several other villains with him, he failed miserably. He was also among the villains who attempted to attack the Avengersat the site of their reconstructed mansion, but was foiled by the construction workers.
2. The Top (DC)- Roscoe Dillon is a small-time crook who turns his childhood obsession with tops into a criminal persona. Roscoe taught himself how to spin around fast enough to deflect bullets and produce other semi-useful effects. The Top soon discovers that the spinning somehow increased his intelligence as well, allowing him to create a variety of trick tops. He tried to blackmail the world with an Atomic Top that would destroy half the world when it slowed down and imprisoned the Flash inside it, but the Flash vibrated out of it and sent it into space. His unique gimmick and moderate success in crime soon makes him a respected member of the Flash’s rogues gallery. He dates Golden Glider, Captain Cold’s sister, while coaching her on ice skating. Eventually, the Top develops immense psionic powers, as years of spinning moves dormant brain cells to the outer areas of his brain, endowing him with mental powers.
3. Captain Boomerang (DC)- Secretly the illegitimate son of an American soldier and an Australian woman, Harkness was raised in poverty, during which time he developed great skill in making boomerangs, and in using them as weapons. As a young adult, he was hired as a performer and boomerang promoter by a toy company which was, unbeknownst to him, owned by his biological father. Audiences ridiculed him, and a resentful Harkness turned to using his boomerangs for crime. He originally became Captain Boomerang as a mascot for a Toy Company and briefly pretended another man was impersonating him, showing his ‘parents’, (really other crooks) to the Flash after the Flash caught him next to a crime scene. He nearly succeeded in killing Flash after knocking him out with a boomerang, then tying the Flash to a giant boomerang he fired, so that it was sent into space then fell into the ocean, but Flash vibrated so fast and increased the boomerang’s velocity so much he was able to free himself from his friction-proof bonds and jail his foe and the two crooks.
Although he lacked any actual superhuman abilities, he became a recurring enemy of the Flash, typically by devising altered boomerangs which could produce astonishing effects (some would explode, others had razor-sharp edges, etc.), and using them ruthlessly. He became a staple member of the Rogues, a group of villains dedicated to opposing Flash, and who were first organized after Gorilla Grodd broke them out of jail. Though captured when Flash made their weapons hit each other, they continued to act together.
Throughout the first several years of the character’s existence, Captain Boomerang spoke with an American accent. Beginning in the late 1980s he developed an Australian accent.
4. Calendar Man (DC)- Calendar Man is fascinated by dates and calendars – even his real name is a play on the Julian and Gregorian calendars. His crimes always have a relationship to the date that they are committed. The theme may be related to what day of the week it is or to a holiday or to a special anniversary on that date; he will plan his crime around that day. He often wears different costumes which correspond to the significance of the date, though he does have a main costume which has various numbers (meant to represent days on a calendar) sprouting from the shoulders.
5. The Mole Man (Marvel)- The Mole Man was originally Harvey Rupert Elder, an American nuclear engineer and explorer. Elder was socially shunned due to a combination of his abrasive personality and his homely, dwarfish appearance. Furthermore, his fellow explorers ridiculed him for his eccentric, crackpot theories regarding a Hollow Earth. In 1956, while following the group of explorers called the Monster Hunters, he stumbled upon Monster Island, which was at the time a base of the Deviant Warlord Kro (at the time, Monster Island was located near Japan, although other stories place it in the Bermuda Triangle; some issues of X-Men have portrayed them as two distinct separate locations).
When Elder fell into a massive cave leading deep into the underground realm of Subterranea, he decided his theories had finally been vindicated. However, he suffered permanent damage to his eyes when he gazed directly upon a highly reflective deposit of diamonds. Partially blind and apparently secluded from the surface world forever, Elder dubbed himself the Mole Man and began exploring his new home. He eventually became the ruler of the branch of Subterraneans now known as the Moloids, and the ruler of much of Subterranea and the caverns of Monster Isle. He used the Deviant-derived creatures and technology that he found in Subterranea to strike back at the outer world in numerous attempts to rule or humble the world that had rejected him.
6. Leap Frog (Marvel)- Tired of his lack of success as an inventor of novelty items for toy companies, Vincent Patilio designed himself electrically powered coils that could be used for leaping great distances and incorporated them into a frog-like costume.
Calling himself Leap-Frog, Patilio was not known for being lucky in his criminal career. For example, he started by taking blind lawyer Matt Murdock hostage (Murdock being in fact the civilian identity of the superhero Daredevil). He was recruited by Electro to serve in his Emissaries of Evil in a revenge against Daredevil for previous defeats. However, Daredevil defeated them. Other attempts at being a criminal failed at the hands of Daredevil, before Leap-Frog was defeated by Iron Man and sent to jail.
7. Polka Dot Man (DC)- For some unknown reason, Abner Krill decide to launch a crime spree in Gotham City revolving around spots and dots by assuming the identity of Mr. Polka-Dot. He ended up in conflict with Batman and Robin and used his polka-dots to fight them. He managed to capture Robin only to be defeated by Batman.
Some years later, Mr. Polka-Dot (now naming himself the Polka-Dot Man) returned without his gimmicks. He used a baseball bat to assault Officer Foley leaving the policeman with minor injuries. The Polka-Dot Man was then assaulted by Harvey Bullock who was tired of seeing costumed villains in the city. The assault put the Polka-Dot Man in traction, and he filed a brutality suit against the police department which resulted in Bullock being forced to see a psychiatrist for some time.
Abner reappeared with a new look and working for General Immortus. He has returned to the name Mr. Polka Dot. He is later killed by Human Flame.
8. The Vulture (Marvel)- Adrian Toomes was born in Staten Island, New York. He is a former electronics engineer who was once the business partner of a man named Gregory Bestman; Bestman handled the finances whilst Toomes handled the inventions. One day, after creating a flight harness, Toomes eagerly rushed into Bestman’s office to share the happy news. However, Bestman was not there, and Toomes discovered that Bestman had secretly been embezzling funds and that Toomes had no legal recourse, meaning he lost his job. Enraged, Toomes wrecked the business, discovering that the harness also granted him superhuman strength. He then decided to turn to crime professionally as the Vulture.
His wings’ feathers are as sharp as swords and can be used as projectile weapons. They will replenish themselves so he can maintain flying abilities.
The Vulture employs a special harness of his own design that allows him to fly; his flight is directed by a pair of wings worn on his arms. The harness also endows him with enhanced strength and (according to some sources) increases his lifespan. Although Toomes is advanced in age, he is a strong fighter and a remorseless killer. On one occasion, he restored his youth through biochemical means, though this wore off after exposure to the corpse of an elemental superhuman. At one point he had used a device to steal Spider-Man’s youth, leaving Vulture young and Spider-Man elderly, but this effect wore off within hours.
The Vulture first encountered Spider-Man when he was on a robbery and burglary spree throughout New York City. Spider-Man realized for the first time he could sell photos to Jameson after the Daily Bugle offered a reward for a picture of the Vulture. Spider-Man was beaten in the first battle due to his occupation with the camera, he was knocked out by the Vulture and sealed in a watertank with sides too slippery to climb up, but was able to break free. The Vulture then challenged the police, saying he was going to steal diamonds; however, he escaped through the sewer. Spider-Man had created a device that stopped the Vulture’s harness working and activated it during an airborne fight with the Vulture, causing the two to crash onto a roof, knocking the Vulture unconscious. He was then arrested. The Vulture modified his harness, and attempted to rob theDaily Bugle payroll. He joined Doctor Octopus’s first Sinister Six, and gave the message to the Daily Bugle that they had captured Betty Brant. He was the last foe to battle Spider-Man before Doctor Octopus. He forced Spider-Man to remove his web-shooters by threatening to fly away, then squirted oil onto the roof, and tried to push Spider-Man off using a wind created by his wings, but Spider-Man escaped this. The Vulture was caught after Spider-Man swung onto him using a lasso the Vulture had tried to use against him. He then told Spider-Man where to find the lair of Doctor Octopus, and like the rest of the team was jailed by the end of the story
9. Codpiece (DC)- When Codpiece was in high school he asked one of the most popular girls out on a date. The girl, not knowing what excuse to give him told him she couldn’t go out with him because he wasn’t “big enough.” This surprised him. He han no idea how she could know about his lack of endowment. It turns out she did, in fact mean that he wasn’t tall enough. Codpiece started becoming more sensitive to the issue of his “manhood’s” small size.
In college, he finds himself in another failed relationship. When confronting his “girlfriend” asking if they were breaking up, she informed him that they were never together to begin with. They had only gone on three dates. Codpiece naturally assumed she was leaving him because he was too small even though she had no way of knowing.
As an adult and still insecure about his size. He continued trying to thrust himself upon women who quickly turned him away. All the while, Codpiece simply assumed it was because of his body.
Codpiece goes to a plastic surgeon asking him if he can do anything about his situation. The doctor tells him that they could try implants or he could try some stretching exercises. When he suggests counseling before taking drastic measures, Codpiece thinks the doctor is making fun of him. He thinks he’s insinuating that he needs to get his head “shrunk” to match the rest of his body.
He tries paying for some female companionship but even that goes wrong when he fails to perform. The woman tells him not to get hung up on it as it ruins his concentration. She suggests he get something to “pad the protection.” Codpiece doesn’t take this well.
Angered more than ever, Codpiece, built a robotic suit, complete with a transforming weapon in jutting out from his groin area. The weapon (a self-made codpiece) included several gadgets such as a spring-loaded boxing glove, an intimidating drill, giant scissors, an ultra sound emitter and a rocket firing canon.
After robbing a bank and causing chaos, a transsexual superhero named Coagula comes to the rescue and destroys his groin weaponry with her special dissolving powers.
10. Mirror Master (DC)- Sam Scudder was a simple convict, but had the goal to learn how to get inside the reflection of a mirror. Stumbling into a hall of mirrors, he experimented and discovered a way to get in his own reflection. He used this power to become the criminal Mirror Master, and was a frequent foe of The Flash. Scudder died around the same time as Barry Allen, alongside the Icicle during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Later, Captain Boomerang briefly assumed Scudder’s identity, becoming the second Mirror Master. He used this as an alternate identity with which to commit crimes, thus not alerting his teammates in Suicide Squad to his extracurricular activities. Pre-Crisis he studied mirrors after someone’s reflection was held inside a mirror he was working on in the prison workshop. He then learned how to create creatures of light.
In Blackest Night crossover, Sam Scudder has reanimated as an undead Black Lantern during the Blackest Night and is preparing an attack on the Rogues with the deceased members who are also reanimated.
The Rogues visit Sam Scudder’s old hideout and unveil a giant mirror with the words In Case of Flash: Break Glass. It has been shown in several past incidents that something lives in the mirror universe that is deadly. When the Flash enters the gateway of unveil a giant mirror, it only shows him a vision of his mother. The Rogues learn that giant mirror is actually a slow acting poison.
11. The Fiddler- The Fiddler (Isaac Bowin) first appeared in All-Flash #32 (December 1947/January 1948).He developed the ability to use his violin to play sounds that could either hypnotize others, shatter objects, or create barriers which would use to perform crimes. The Fiddler’s history was changed somewhat during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Post-Crisis explored him as a man that started out as a thief who was arrested in India and sent to jail. While in prison, he met a fakir, charming a snake in his cell, who taught him the “mystic art” of Indian music. For the next five years, he learned the fakir’s secret and made a crude violin made of material he can scrounge in the prison. After the fakir declared his student had surpassed him, he used the instrument to hypnotize the guards to open their cells and he and the fakir escaped. He then murdered the fakir and the merchant who had him arrested in the first place. Post Crisis would reveal him as the son of British aristocrats, Isaac Bowin had a talent with music, and an impulse to travel. Running out of money, he resorted to theft and robbery to make ends meet until he was arrested in India and sent to jail. He then met a fakir, much as in the pre-Crisis version.
The Fiddler was appear after that as a recurring Flash villain starting in the Golden Age. He would ally with The Thinker and Shade in “Flash of Two Worlds”. He also appeared as a member of the second Injustice Society. Although he would eventually be a minor character in the modern age comic books being killed off by Deadshot after joining the Secret Six in Villains United.
Outside of the mainstrean DC universe, he would appear in the Justice League Unlimited spin-off comic book series in issue #8 and also makes a cameo in issue #15 of the Batman: The Brave and the Bold spin-off comic book series.
12. The Walrus (Marvel)- The Walrus is a supervillain and foe of Spider-Man. He wears a costume that resembles a walrus (or a giant plush toy) and despite being physically strong, proved to be completely inept and pointless. Where most supervillains are interested in stealing money or taking over the world, the Walrus was content with mindless property damage. He considered his role as a supervillain as that of a “mass-destructionist”.
The man who would one day don the guise of the savage Walrus, was once a cab driver named Hubert Carpenter (a minor reference to Alice in Wonderland’s The Walrus and the Carpenter). Hubert’s uncle Humbert (a mad scientist/eccentric janitor) used devious experimental technology to endow Hubert with the attributes that would surely make him into the pre-eminent supervillain of all times. Hubert, now with the “proportionate speed, strength and agility of a walrus”, started causing havoc.
Hubert claimed to have the proportionate speed, strength, and agility of a walrus. However, he demonstrated little evidence of superhuman powers as a walrus is neither fast nor agile on land; his speed, agility, reflexes, and endurance seemed to be inferior to that of a normal human. The Walrus did demonstrate feats that would require enhanced strength and resistance to damage. He was actually able to hit Spider-Man with sufficient force to knock him flying and rip a metal lamp post in half, as well as withstanding razor sharp and explosive carrots fired at him by the White Rabbit as a test.
It was revealed that he had been mutagenically altered by his uncle with walrus DNA, which would presumably add certain walrus characteristics to his physiology, such as a layer of blubber to keep him warm in freezing water and the ability to hold his breath for a much longer time than a human. None of these abilities would be very useful to a supervillain who never goes anywhere near water; however, the layer of blubber could explain his resistance to injury.
The Walrus’ durability was such that Spider-Man was able to defeat him by flicking him with his index finger, which knocked the Walrus out. As Spider-Man pointed out during their first encounter, since Hubert is smaller than an average walrus, having the “proportionate speed, strength and agility” of one would make him less fast, strong and agile than his namesake.
The Walrus was noticeably unintelligent, but was good at crossword puzzles.
13. 3-D Man (Marvel)- Brothers Chuck and Hal Chandler were born in Los Angeles, California. As a test pilot for NASA in 1958, Chuck was piloting the experimental XF-13 rocket plane when he was captured by Skrull invaders. They attempted to interrogate him, but Chuck escaped, damaging the Skrulls’ warp drive in the process. The Skrull saucer exploded as Chuck flew away, exposing him to strange radiation. He crashed the XF-13 in the Mojave Desert, and when his younger, crippled brother Hal attempted to rescue him, Chuck disappeared, believed to have been killed. Hal, a research scientist, discovered that Chuck’s image had been imprinted on the lenses of his glasses, and that Chuck had been transformed into a two-dimensional being. When Hal wore the glasses and concentrated, he triggered a dimensional shift that caused Chuck to materialize into a three-dimensional existence; in his new form Chuck wore a green and red bodysuit, and his normal strength, speed, and stamina had been tripled. As the costumed 3-D Man, Chuck fought another group of Skrull agents. He battled more Skrull infiltrators, and then battled the Cold Warrior.
At some point after his 1950s adventures Hal Chandler decided to stop functioning as 3-D Man and left his brother floating around in another dimension. Hal married Peggy Clark, and they had two children, Chuck Chandler II and Hal Chandler, Jr. Hal later encountered a down-on-his-luck Bruce Banner and, afraid that the Hulk might show up, used the glasses to summon 3-D Man once more. After this encounter, 3-D Man returned into his brother’s glasses, determined never to return. However, alongside many other costumed heroes, he was summoned briefly by the Grandmaster.
14. Rainbow Rider (DC)- Roy G. Bivolo dreamed of being a famous artist as a child, eschewing other activities children partook in to paint. Unfortunately, Roy was colour-blind and his works of art were considered ugly due to the clash of colours he would display on canvas. An optometrist and expert in optical technology, Roy’s father promised his son he would find a cure for his condition but died before he could do so. On his deathbed Roy’s father imparted to him a pair of goggles he had worked on which created beams of solid rainbow-coloured light. Embittered by the terrible reception he received for his art, Roy decided to use his father’s gift to help him pursue a life in crime.
15. The Clock King (DC)- Born William Tockman, Clock King spends his early years taking care of his invalid sister. One day he finds out from a doctor’s visit that he himself only has six months to live. Despairing for his sister’s future, he watches the timing of a local bank’s vault in order to rob it, hoping the money would provide for his sister after he was gone. His caper would have gone successfully, had he not tripped a silent alarm and been caught by the Green Arrow.
While he is incarcerated, his sister dies alone. In further hideous irony, Tockman discovers that he really isn’t terminally ill; his doctor had accidentally switched his papers with those of another patient. Infuriated, he escapes, later futilely attempting revenge on the Green Arrow.
With several other villains, the Clock King becomes a member of the Injustice League, a team of out-of-luck supervillains who, when banding together, become even less successful than they have been in their individual careers. The Injustice League is defeated time and again by the Justice League International, at least when they are not making laughingstocks of themselves. Trying to reform, the members later become the core of the equally laughable hero team Justice League Antarctica. This JLA includes G’Nort, who ends up saving the lives of the entire team. Like his compatriots, Clock King becomes an ardent supporter of Maxwell Lord, partly due to the fact he is the only one willing to hire them. His group even guards Lord when he is incapacitated by a bullet wound. The villains again later reform as the Injustice League as henchmen of Sonar.
Later, Clock King leads his own, separate team of villains in a mission. They consist of Radiant, Sharpe, Acidia and Crackle. They are not as well-organized as even the Injustice League. For example, Crackle still lives with his mother and they have to take the bus to their fight. It takes place at a Metropolis toy store. They end up fighting one of the many incarnations of the Teen Titans, the heroes Booster Gold and Firehawk and DEO agent Cameron Chase. An unclear super-effect from Chase ultimately neutralizes Clock’s team and they are all imprisoned. Clock himself escapes on another bus.
Still later, Clock’s friends are transformed into the new Suicide Squad. They are sent to a remote research facility where a genetic monstrosity is holding its creator hostage. Its main defenses are spawned “children” that could explode. During the mission, most of the team are seemingly killed, including Clock King, who is shot repeatedly in a retreat attempt. He is seen still alive after his brutal wounds but, in the end, Major Disaster believes he is the only one who survives. It turns out Cluemaster, shot in a similar manner as Clock King, survives, albeit with drastic scarring. (Suicide Squad (second series) #1). Multi-Man also survives due to his ability to be reborn with new powers after dying.
Clock King is not seen for a period of time after Infinite Crisis. In an issue of 52, one character decides to kill all the time-travelers, and mentions someone “ending up like Time Commander and Clock Queen.”
A new version of the original Clock King reappears in Gotham City in The New 52 (which takes place after the events of Flashpoint) now amped up on Venom. He is shown battling the newest incarnation of the Birds of Prey. He is later seen in Seattle, as a prominent underworld figure and owner of the Midnight Lounge nightclub.