Thursday, November 17, 2011

Legion of Subpar Villains: He Also Flops Like a Fish


Look, Ive been at this long enough that I'm not going to start taking shots at Aquaman this late in the game. I mean, The guy is one of DC's longest enduring characters, he rules over roughly 70% of the Earth's surface, and yes, he definitely does quite a bit more than just "talk to fish".

On the other hand, he does tend to spend a lot of time bobbing around with a dumbfounded look. on his face.


That said, Aquaman has a real chum-bucket of a rogue's gallery, and waaaay down at the bottom of that barrel you'll find The Human Flying Fish!


A menace to man and seagull alike, The Human Flying Fish first appeared in Adventure Comics #272 (May 1960) when this lunkhead, Vic Bragg, allows this quack surgeon and self-proclaimed "Medical / Aquaman expert", Dr. Krill, to sugically alter him into a human fish. Somehow, miraculously, he does not die, but instead goes on to be a reeaaly subpar supervillain.

The Human Flying Fish recently reappeared in the last few issues of Aquaman:Sword of Atlantis. It's probably his fault it cot cancelled.



Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Legion of Subpar Villains: 100 Feet of Failure!


The Crimson Centipede made his one and only appearance in Wonder Woman #169 (April 1967), and surely must have driven WW artist Ross Andru "buggy" that month, having to draw all of those arms and legs. At least this Human Centipede didn't require anyone's mouth to be surgically attached to anyone else's butt; just some godly intervention from the clouds:


That's right, Mars don't care what pantheon he's supposed to be in, so you know he don't give a crap about nuanced storytelling. Crimson Centipede got the cheapest, easiest origin of all: the old "because the gods said so" trick. This happened to a lot of Thor villains as well, though Loki and the Enchantress usually at least picked a mortal to act as their pawn. Mars doesn't even have to put in that much effort, and apparently just poops out a Crimson Centipede when the whim hits him. Two panels later, the little rascal is robbing banks with no further explanation:


Wonder Woman tried to stop him, but quickly found herself overcome by the wily Centipede's amazing powers of brushing things aside and scurrying away:



This being a typical Silver-Age Wonder Woman story, the entire city immediately loses faith in our heroine! Luckily, she has a good man by her side to encourage her when times are bad:


Finally, Wonder Woman and the Crimson Centipede meet for a final showdown. The Centipede brings sixteen guns with him, and fires at the Amazon, who deflects his bullets with her magical bracelets. Now of course, this wouldn't be an old-timey Wonder Woman story without some freaky bondage subtext, so his next move ends up being a huge mistake:



That's right, kids, when Wonder Woman loses her Bracelets of Submission, she loses all self control and goes crazy-ape bonkers! WW beats the Centipede and starts tearing up the city, until a man (well, Steve Trevor) replaces the bracelets and puts her back in her place. Under control where she belongs, WW and Steve share a happy ending while Mars fumes and Aphrodite gloats (and Ares calls his lawyer).

And the Crimson Centipede was never seen again, another addition to the Legion of Subpar Villains.