Friday, February 17, 2017


Last year, I had the pleasure of having my first book, The League of Regrettable Superheroes, published by the fine folks over at Quirk Books in Philadelphia, PA. Although the cat has been out of the bag for a little while, I'm nonetheless proud to announce that the logical sequel -- The Legion of Regrettable Super-Villains -- is slated to debut on March 28th! You can now pre-order the book over on AmazonBarnes&Noble, and probably on the weird superhero book black market. It does thriving business!

To whet your appetite for the new book, every Friday leading up to the release date, I'll be providing brief snapshots of just some of the 108 (!) historically effed-up bad guys covered in the book (and that's not even counting the sidebars).

Everything's better with friends, and that includes villainy! Plus, since the heroes have had the temerity to form their Leagues and Squadrons and Societies, it's only fair that the bad guys get their Legions, Gangs and Syndicates. Here's a collection of sinister societies and the dopes who populate them ...

Created by: Mark Gruenwald and Paul Neary
Debuted in: Hawkeye vol. 1 No.3 (Marvel Comics, November 1983), Captain America vol. 1 No.317 (Marvel Comics, May 1986)

A team of evil mercenary jugglers may be a redundant phrase, but it's also the least-threatening-sounding theme for a group of bad guys outside of "The cast of Hamilton goes spree-killing." And yet, in the wild and wonderful world of Mark Gruenwald's Captain America, they was for REAL!

The 'Throws consisted of Bombshell, Oddball, Knick-Knack, Ten-Pin and Ringleader, all of which sound like what you might blurt out in panic if someone asked you to name the Seven Dwarves. Originally, the 'Throws started off as a duo who fought Hawkeye and Mockingbird, heroes with arrows and a large stick respectively, and against whom maybe they had a chance. Then they fought Captain America, a super-strong man whose shield can literally stop whole tanks and, therefore, fuck a juggling club is what. Let's see how Lin-Manuel Miranda does with his weaponized jabot.

Created by Steve Engelhart and Al Milgrom
Debuted in: West Coast Avengers vol. 2 No.17 (Marvel Comics, February 1987)

I spent most of my life in Tucson, Arizona, and your inevitable condolences are appreciated. It's a beautiful land with a complicated ecosphere, home to dozens of cultures with rich heritages, a vibrant art community, and race crimes. Still, although I never truly appreciated its beauty until I became an adult, I nonetheless thought as a kid and continue to think now that the Desert Dwellers, villains based on the flora, fauna and climate of the Sonoran Desert, sucked yucca.

There was Sunstroke, the villain who primarily kills senior citizens on their way to the mailbox, and the adroitly-eponymous Cactus and Gila. Protip: They had the powers of cacti and gila monsters. Rounding out the group was a powerful rock-woman named Butte. Ironically, she was more top-heavy than butt-y.

When it came time to magnify the threat of the Desert Dwellers, they decided to ... clone a bunch of them. IT IS A RICH ECOSPHERE. There's even more than one kind of cactus, goddamnit. I burn for a villainous javalina-person.

Created by Gardner Fox and Gil Kane
Debuted in: The Atom vol.1 No.34 (DC Comics, December 1967)

If you're facing the world's tiniest superhero, you'll want to go as big as possible. On the other hand, you might want to literally go big and not just have a bunch of inane, nearly-pointless "big" themed powers.

Among its roster, some of the members sounded like a good place to start: Big Ben was their strategist and kept his eye on the scheduling of their antics. Big Bertha possessed the power of her namesake, and Big Shot had a bunch of trick guns ("shooting someone dead" is the number one trick gun trick, but maybe he gets bored easily).

Those are the good ones. Then there's Big Wig (who has exploding hairpieces, which you'll want to watch out for), Big Deal (who has exploding and steel-tipped playing cards) and, uh Big Cheese, who is armed with trick cheeses. Actually, I love this idea. Give 'em a movie.

THE 99
Created by Kevin Maguire
Debuted in: Trinity Angels #1 (Acclaim Comics, July 1997)

For Kevin Maguire's Hong Kong cinema-inspired jiggles-and-giggles supernatural superhero action-comedy Trinity Angels (and that was a lot of adjectives used to try to get a grip on this thing), it was only natural that the sexy, scantily-clad super-ladies whose names were on the masthead would have equally unsexy enemies. 

Thus, the Ninety-Nine, a group of otherworldly weirdos who seemed to have fallen fully-formed off of a joke scribbled on a bathroom stall. Meet The Prick, who shoots pricks (as in, fires needles from his body, not "shoots and murders people who are pricks"), a gaseous villain Blowhard, and something called the Mad Cow who could shoot milks of different offensive capabilities from his udders. Yes, "his." Gender is a spectrum, folks.


neofishboy said...

Oh man, I had that Hawkeye mini-series. It was mostly forgettable other than one line. Hawkeye is about to face off against Oddball and says something like "Well, it's down to him and me. My arrows against his ... um ... spheres." Heh.

BillyWitchDoctor said...

Rounding out the group was a powerful rock-woman named Butte. Ironically, she was more top-heavy than butt-y.

Man. I get what he was reaching for, since "Butte" is pronounced like "beaut," buuuuuut...since it's spelled like "butt"...

Sunstroke should be ashamed of himself. It's one thing to swipe someone else's costume design, but to copy from Stingray???

Calamity Jon said...

It's not a bad costume, he just looks like one of those cheap paper fans you get at Pier One

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