As many fans know, the Marvel Universe is home to some of the greatest villains in comics. While I personally feel that when it comes to conflict DC is the place to go, that doesn’t mean that Marvel is a slouch either. How could they be; with baddies like Loki, Red Skull, Ego, and more, it’s not hard to see why the Avengers and X-Men are still around to this day. Spider-Man easily has the best rogues gallery of any superhero. From any storyline.
Much like DC, though, not all of the villains are terrifying or memorable. Or even slightly scary, at that. While that’s largely to be expected, as not everything will be a hit, some make you wonder what the writers were thinking. Some villains go the extra mile in terms of how bad they are. Some are simply so incredibly stupid that you can’t help but laugh at the ridiculousness. What results is a simple inconvenience for our heroes rather than an all-out battle. Our belief isn’t suspended that much to allow for heroes to brawl with people that jump slightly higher than everyone else.
Needless to say, many of the results are so bad that they are actually quite hilarious. I would encourage you to read these entries with that on your mind, as you will easily get a laugh or two out in the process. Make sure you’re sitting down for this one, because we are presenting 15 laughable villains that Marvel wants you to forget.
15. MCU Mandarin
The Mandarin is one of Iron Man’s greatest foes ever. Bearing the Ten Rings, this villain has incredible and mystical powers that make him strong enough to go toe to toe with Tony Stark’s most advanced gear. It’s easy to say that many fans of the villain were excited when it was announced he was going to be in Iron Man 3. Then after watching the film, the hype was immediately destroyed. The Mandarin in the movie wasn’t anything like his comic book counterpart- probably the farthest thing from it. He was, for all intents and purposes, a big joke. What makes this even more frustrating is that Marvel teased just how terrifying the Mandarin would be in all of the promotions and trailers. However, it turns out that it was all just an act, and that the Mandarin doesn’t really exist. Now we all know that Aldrich Killian dubbed himself “The Mandarin”, but that doesn’t count in my book. Thankfully, it seems that Marvel will not make a similar mistake in the future, as they’ve also attempted to put the Mandarin back on the list of respectable villains. Perhaps we’ll find out in a future Iron Man movie.
14. Asbestos Lady
As we all know by now, comics weren’t always the great storytelling mediums that they are today. Many times in the past, they were instead used for getting across a particular moral or message. The writers took it upon themselves to teach kids about things like drugs and death. Perhaps the funniest example of this came in the form of Asbestos Lady. She didn’t have any unique powers or abilities; she simply wore a suit made entirely out of asbestos. Granted, this was back when asbestos was incredibly popular, and due to its heat resistant properties, she was a prime adversary for the Human Torch. She even had a gun laced with asbestos bullets that pierced through the Torch’s flaming body. Eventually, science worked in the Human Torch’s favor and found out that asbestos is actually a dangerous carcinogenic chemical. Naturally, years after Asbestos Lady’s debut, she was brought back in order for the Marvel Universe to diagnose her with lung cancer, which she eventually died from at the age of 45. Alright, kids, remember not to breathe in asbestos while taking down your bullies, because you’ll probably die of lung cancer if you do. It’s not effective, but at least it gets a point across.
13. Leap Frog
Comics and mad scientists go hand in hand. We have people like Norman Osborn and Otto Octavius who each create their own suits to effectively battle the heroes that they despise. They’re scary and serve as an excellent challenge for our favorite characters. Then there are people like Vincent Patilio. Patilio isn’t necessarily a bad guy, just a bad inventor that just can’t catch a break. After years and years of failing, he finally decided that the only way for him to succeed in life would be by breaking the law. He did so by creating a suit with coils to allow him to jump higher than the average man. The rest of the costume was designed to look like an anthropomorphic frog. Dubbing himself “Leap Frog”, Patilio was as D-list as villains get. He first went up against Daredevil, who made quick work of him. Then he ended up fighting Spider-Man and Iron Man. How he planned on beating those two is a mystery to me. At the end of it all, he was thrown in jail. To give him some credit, his plan might’ve worked on an Earth that had no superheroes whatsoever.
12. Stilt Man
Remember in that old movie, Empire Strikes Back, when they’re on the Snow Planet with the walker things?
Ah, the classic Daredevil villain that everyone loves to make fun of. While he might be a bit cliche at this point, just look at the guy! He created a suit with telescopic legs in order for him to rise to abnormal heights. However, despite this advancement, he failed to implement the ability for his legs to bend. This means that Daredevil just has to apply enough pressure to knock him off balance, then he falls to the ground. What makes matters even worse about Stilt Man is that when he was put in prison, he hired a lawyer to help him out on his case. This lawyer was Matt Murdock. This isn’t even his worst mistake, though! He actually told Murdock that he was Stilt Man, making it even easier for the Man Without Fear to find him and make him pay for the crimes he had committed. Eventually, Marvel gave that poor man a break and killed him off, but it gave rise to Lady Stilt Man. Don’t even get me started on that terrible name.
11. The Living Eraser
Do you remember those older episodes of cartoons where a character would be lying and have to come up with a name quickly? In a panic they look around the room and name something after the first few objects they see. That’s probably what Marvel did with this horrible villain. The Living Eraser is an alien from an alternate dimension and is about as ridiculous as comic book villains can get. His power is a bit interesting though- he can make things disappear with his mind. The only problem is, he’s literally an eraser. However, this didn’t stop the writers from pitting the Living Eraser against Ant-Man and the Wasp, a move that only made those two heroes seem even cheesier in the eyes of the public. He also once attempted to go up against She-Hulk, which didn’t go very well, as you can imagine. Furthermore, the Living Eraser doesn’t have any qualities or ideals that even make you want to latch onto him. He’s not cool as a bad guy, nor do you understand his perspective. His only reason for being there is to give Ant-Man something to punch, and after looking at this creature’s face, a good punch might be an excellent improvement!
10. The Kangaroo
Spider-Man, like I said earlier, has the best rogues gallery in the Marvel Universe. However, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have some pretty stupid adversaries that try to go up against him from time to time. One of these terrible villains is the Kangaroo. Hailing from Australia, you know you’re in for a treat with this one. His origin story is as stupid as his name; he grew up with the animals of his country and ate a lot of kangaroo food. As such, he gained the ability to jump just a bit higher than everyone else (sound like anyone else we know?). Once he came to New York, he aptly turned to a life of crime. However, most villains with silly costumes usually have some form of intelligence backing them up. Kangaroo doesn’t. He’s about as stupid as his namesake. He is so stupid in fact that when he stole a bacteria sample, Spider-Man had to stop him not because Kangaroo would use it for unspeakable evil, but because he was so stupid that it would’ve likely been accidentally released to the public. How was this character able to get into Marvel Comics, again???
9. Flag Smasher
Captain America has always had it a bit rough before he was able to receive his own movie franchise in the MCU. For starters, he was the source of a lot of jokes, as his shield was awfully similar to a frisbee. Next, there’s always been a bit of an issue with his villains, especially back in the day. Because he had been known to fight Adolf Hitler, many people expected the Captain to fight other countries or political ideals in order to feed the American supremacy. As such, Marvel had to come up with more unique ideas on bad guys for Steve Rogers to go up against. That’s when they decided to have him fight… world peace? You see, Flag Smasher is a pretty terrible villain by his own right, but it’s his ideals that make him even worse. As his name suggests, he doesn’t “pledge allegiance to any flag”, and instead wishes that every nation would just unite. While that’s a noble cause, the way he goes about his ideals is in a really counterproductive way: by the use of terrorism. If that doesn’t make sense to you, then that means you actually have a brain. As for the person that came up with Flag Smasher, I would’ve ironed that idea out a bit more first.
8. Paste Pot Pete
Paste Pot Pete or the Trapster, it really doesn’t matter. Nothing will change how ridiculously contrived this Marvel villain is. Peter Petrovski was once a scientist who was studying the inner workings of glue and other adhesives. Eventually, he created a new kind of adhesive that was incredibly strong. He even patented this new invention! Like any businessman, you’d think that he would attempt to make a profit from that, right? Well, this is comic book logic we’re dealing with, so instead he decided to put into a gun and turn to a life of crime dressed as a French painter. That makes perfect sense! Paste Pot Pete made his living by robbing banks with the use of his glue gun. He could stick anybody to anything he wanted, after all. However, he had to carry a pail of glue everywhere he went, and when he went up against the Fantastic Four, that was his literal downfall. All they had to do was knock the bucket over and Paste Pot Pete was soon behind bars.
A lot of times, stories of war veterans are both impressive and heart-wrenching. They often change a man and make it difficult for them to re-enter the real world once they return home. Just look at The Punisher and how it all affected him. Well, apparently Marvel felt like they could strike gold twice and essentially created another war veteran turned villain in the form of Typeface. Gordon Thomas was a soldier alongside his brother Joey. Unfortunately, he watched his brother die during combat. After finally returning home, George was never quite the same and destroyed his marriage and his relationship with his daughter. Once he was by himself, he took up a job as a signsmith and was soon laid off from his work. That sent him over the edge- not the war or losing his brother, but losing a job as a signsmith. In order to deal with his rage, he stuck letters of all shapes and sizes to his face, taking the name Typeface. He then goes on a spree, seeking vengeance against his employer as well as taking on the occasional gang. If you’re still wondering what Typeface’s powers are, he doesn’t have any. He’s just a guy with alphabet soup on his face.
6. Ruby Thursday
If there’s one thing comics have been known to do in the past, it’s passively objectify women. Many comic book heroines and villainesses wear very revealing costumes. While they might have become staples of said characters, it still raises an eyebrow as to what the writers and artists were actually going for. Some have denied that the artists ever intended that, but with characters like Ruby Thursday, it’s hard to believe them. Ruby Thursday is a bit of an oddball, as she doesn’t have a normal brain. Instead she essentially has a computer for a head that is so smart, it can change into pretty much anything. In short, she can have any head that she wants. However, the writers decided never to give her a face and instead have her take the appearance of a bulb or giant lips. To make matters worse, the costume she wears shows off a bit of her more “human” assets. It might not have garnered any attention back in the day, but if such a character were released now, social media would have a cow. Forget the cow, they’d probably have the whole barn!
5. The Slug
The Kingpin is one of the more interesting Marvel villains. His large size and build makes him capable of fighting with some of the stronger Marvel heroes, yet his status in Hell’s Kitchen also provides him with a decent amount of connections. Marvel obviously liked this character and decided to make another that would potentially be just as interesting. However, they had to make the new villain a bit different and as such increased one of the Kingpin’s traits. As you can tell, it doesn’t seem like they accented the best one and only magnified the character’s size. This resulted in them creating The Slug. This character was originally a simple drug dealer before he resorted to a life of crime and spent his time with other D-list villains. Eventually it was revealed that the character was actually a Skrull, in a plot twist that was reflective of the older comic book era. What makes this villain incredibly dumb is the fact that he is so incredibly massive that he can’t move or fight or really do anything of consequence. He is a monster of a villain, but in the worst sense of the phrase. It’s hard to believe he would ever bring down any kind of superhero.
I’m not sure what it is about Daredevil that attracts all of the stupidest villains to him, but for some reason that’s the case. The next ridiculous baddie to fight the Man Without Fear is the Matador. Before he became a villain, he was an actual matador, making a living off of fighting bulls and swooning the crowds that watched him. However, many of his adoring fans eventually left him due to accusations of animal cruelty (no real life parallelisms there). After this horrible drop in an audience, Matador responded in the only way he knew how: crime. However, he still felt that his matador skills could serve him well and he decided to use them while fighting the law. With his trusty cape, he blocks the vision of any vehicles that carry anything of value so that when they crash, he can simply take whatever he wants. It’s really dumb, but what makes Matador even dumber is when he went up against Daredevil. He tried to use the same trick to obstruct the hero’s vision, and we all know why exactly that didn’t work. For a stupid move like that, Matador should be in jail.
3. Hypno Hustler
Music is one of life’s greatest inventions and will continue to captivate people for many generations to come. Despite peoples’ different tastes, there are still popular hits for each period in time. In the 70s, it was the disco music that dominated the charts as well as my parents’ childhoods. Unfortunately, the music genre was so popular that Marvel Comics decided to capitalize on it in order to bring more readers into their stories. This resulted in a horrible lovechild between disco and comic book villainy: The Hypno Hustler. Bearing a spotted outfit that’s as ridiculous as his name, Hypno Hustler is one of the craziest bad guys to ever be put on the pages. Going up against Spider-Man in the Spectacular Spider-Man run, Hypno Hustler’s work consisted of hypnotizing people through the sound of funky disco music. Thankfully, Spider-Man was a good enough hero at the time in order to take down this chart-topping criminal and we haven’t really seen him since. If Hypno Hustler and the Mercy Killers ever make a reappearance, let’s hope it’s some form of a satire or Marvel Comics is going to lose some sales.
2. Werewolf Mary Jane
There are many reasons why people hate The Clone Saga, and the reason for me is this aspect alone. In one of the issues, Spider-Man finds himself dating Kitty Pryde, but some tragic events have led him to protect Mary Jane, his ex-girlfriend. Their adventures eventually lead to Mary Jane being kidnapped, and she then is subjected to some weird science experiment. Once Peter found her, he noticed that there was something different about her. By different, I mean Mary Jane was turned into a freaking werewolf! There are many reasons why this is so stupid, but the biggest one is that it’s a plot twist that would come out of some teen romance novel rather than a long-running comic book. In my research, thankfully, this new form of Mary Jane did not last very long, and we only got to see her for a handful of minutes. That said, it was still one of the craziest things to ever come from Marvel Comics, and it will not be sorely missed. For starters, a character like Mary Jane deserves much better treatment than that. It just makes her look like a helpless character that needs saving.
1. Doctor Bong
There is no way on Earth that you’d be able to read this name and not do one of two things: think of a dirty joke or laugh until you’re blue in the face. The villainous Doctor Bong heralds from the Howard the Duck comic arcs, so the expectations are already pretty low. If you think his name is dumb, wait until you hear what his abilities are. One of his arms is a metal ball, and he hits his head with it as hard as he possibly can to create damaging waves. However, some villains can be redeemed by their ideals and explanations of why they fight, but Doctor Bong’s motives aren’t that good either. He simply wants people to give him cotton candy, so he bangs his head like a five-year-old to get it. I understand that he’s still a Howard the Duck villain, so he’s not supposed to be the greatest thing to grace the pages. That being said, he still remains one of the stupidest things about Marvel Comics. One thing is for sure though: when Marvel tries to create something bad, at least they’re great at it and they own it.