Not every villain can be a Doctor Doom, Green Goblin or Magneto. There are many villains who struggle in finding their way, oftentimes falling on hard luck and taking up the moniker of whatever happens to be hanging around in their apartment. Though many of the featured villains on this list get points for attempting to challenge A-list heroes, they themselves never will be the stuff of legends.
With that in mind, we’re here to look at 15 Marvel villains who definitely will not be making it to the big screen, or the small screen, if only because they are the lamest of the lame and the dullest of the dull. Just remember, sometimes it doesn’t pay to get out of the bed in the morning and try to rob the nearest bank while dressed as an out-of-work grizzly bear.
15. THE GIBBON
First appearing in issue #110 of “Amazing Spider-Man” and created by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr., Martin Blank was born with the mutant gift of having an ape-like build and agility. That was it. From there, he did what most people in his situation would do and joined the circus as an acrobat. Of course, to no one’s surprise, this left him feeling surprisingly unfulfilled.
Taking the next logical step, he donned a gibbon-like costume and started a short life of crime, mainly against Spider-Man. Despite Kraven the Hunter boosting the Gibbon’s “power,” such as it was, Martin was still no match for Spider-Man. Spidey, all but feeling bad for the misfortunate soul, befriended the Gibbon, despite his numerous attempts to prove himself a worthy foe, and tried to reform him. It worked for a little while until the Gibbon joined the supervillain squad known as the Legion of Losers. It’s pretty certain you won’t be seeing a man dressed in a gibbon costume in any upcoming Marvel movie or Netflix TV series.
14. MR. HYDE AND COBRA
Back when they first appeared in the early 60s’ in “Journey Into Mystery” #99, Mr. Hyde, or Calvin Zabo, and Cobra, as imagined by the creative team of Stan Lee and Don Heck, started off as legitimate threats to the Mighty Thor. With Hyde using a formula that turned him into a hulking beast and Cobra wearing a cobra outfit attacking from afar with gas pellets, they were a reasonably efficient duo. That is, until writers realized they had no business getting matched up against the God of Thunder and each villain went their own way. Mr. Hyde would go up against Captain America and Spider-Man, losing to both, but proving rather formidable.
Cobra on the other hand, ended up as nothing more than comic relief, unable to hold his own against any foe he faced. Most of his battles involved slithering away until eventually someone like Spider-Man gets annoyed and just punches him in the face. It might not have helped that he chose to wear a snake outfit whenever we went around trying to rob jewel stores.
13. THE MATADOR
The Silver Age was a delightfully kooky time in comic books. It was a period when if you wanted to go and commit crime looking like a Spanish matador, armed with nothing but a rapier and cape, then more power to you. That’s exactly what the Matador did, created by legends Wally Wood and Stan Lee, when he was introduced back in “Daredevil” #5. For reasons unknown, he would go on to become a reoccurring character.
Despite no actual powers, Manuel Elognato, was a competent bullfighter over in Spain. Since fighting super-powered vigilantes and bulls apparently equated to the same thing in his mind, Elognato was quick to don the mask of the Matador and lead a life of crime. To just about everyone’s surprise, he proved a decent threat to Daredevil, which might speak greater volumes about early Daredevil and his weakness for blankets.
12. THE KANGAROO
Nobody ever said a life of crime was easy. Of course no one ever said going around calling yourself the Kangaroo and trying to pick fights with Spider-Man was a good idea either. That didn’t stop Frank Oliver. Thanks to John Buscema and Stan Lee, he first appeared in issue #81 of “Amazing Spider-Man,” and took himself way more seriously than he ought have. Frank lived with kangaroos as a youngster, learning their ways and eating what they ate. He eventually went on to become a decent boxer, but was banned after seriously hurting another fighter. That would be the last time he hurt anyone, aside from his pride.
Travelling to New York and taking on the moniker the Kangaroo, capable of…jumping like a kangaroo, he began his life as a criminal. After Spider-Man stopped him the first time, which you think would be enough, Frank got cybernetic implants to help him jump better. Stew on that for a moment. They don’t help, obviously, and Frank ended up sacrificing himself in trying to stop a nuclear meltdown of some kind.
Clearly harboring a fascination for all things bear-related, the Grizzly’s claim to fame is dressing up as a grizzly bear and doing his utmost to create destruction. Created by Gerry Conway and Ross Andru in 1974 and debuting in “Amazing Spider-Man” #139, the Grizzly was originally professional wrestler, Maxwell Markham. Unfortunately his brutality in the ring got the attention of Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson. Writing scathing articles about him, Markham’s career was ruined. Rather than settling the matter like a stable adult, he dressed in a bear-suit and attacked the Bugle. Spider-Man appeared and promptly put a stop to his shenanigans.
Grizzly wasn’t deterred and tried several more times to fight Spider-Man until eventually Spidey felt bad for Markham and let himself get defeated to boost the guy’s morale. After a convoluted and pointless history that nobody cared about, the Grizzly reformed and is now hanging out with Scott Lang (Ant-Man) down in Miami, working at Ant-Man Security Solutions.
While not the worst villain on the list, you’ll probably never see a live adaptation of the Iguana. The Iguana amounted to Marvel trying for an edgier version of their already iconic reptilian baddie the Lizard. Despite this reptilian villain’s power and edge, he just won’t be making it to the silver screen. Appearing on the scene in issue # 32 of “Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man,” the Iguana didn’t have many follow up appearances.
As for his origin story, the Iguana started off as an iguana, which is a refreshing change from someone dressing up as an iguana. Unfortunately for this little guy, Curt Connors, a.k.a. The Lizard, tried removing his own Lizard symptoms and put them in the iguana…somehow. That little Iguana mutated (of course) and turned into a creature with the memories of Connors, but none of his compassion, so Spider-Man and the Lizard teamed up to fight him. He’d make an appearance or two throughout the years, but never proved much of a threat after his first appearance.
9. ASBESTOS LADY
Because the name Asbestos Man was already taken (seriously, he’s out there), Asbestos Lady wanted to make it clear at the onset just who people were messing with. Another bad guy with zero powers, Victoria Murdock, created way back in 1947 by Mike Sekowsky and debuting initially in “Human Torch Comics” #27, it should be pointed out that in no way is she related to everyone’s favorite blind attorney-superhero Daredevil/Matt Murdock. Early in her career, she somehow figured taking on the Human Torch would be a good idea. Armed with asbestos clothing and guns that would get continuously melted by said superhero, she had a real go-getter attitude. Despite being outmatched by leaps and bounds, Asbestos Lady made plan after convoluted plan to try and defeat the Torch and his buddy Toro.
Despite finding a disintegrator gun, which as the name suggests was pretty apt at disintegrating things, the Torch melted it quickly and once again she was on the run. Asbestos Lady would escape multiple times until she disappeared into obscurity. When last anyone heard of her, Asbestos Lady had contracted cancer after wearing asbestos all the time.
Every superhero needs a Joker. Or do they? Back in 1968, Stan Lee and Gene Coleman clearly thought Daredevil was lacking a clown-themed villain in his rogue gallery. Enter the Jester. Jonathan Powers, who would later become the Jester, was a struggling actor who just couldn’t get a break. Going a bit insane along the way, he decided to obsessively study everything he’d need to make himself a good actor, like gymnastics, fencing, etc., except he didn’t study actual acting. This didn’t work for him. So, deciding to take vengeance on the world, he had the Tinkerer make him an outfit and his crime spree as the Jester began.
Equipped with toys and gimmicks, the Jester is a one-note character. Constantly getting beaten by Daredevil, the Jester is really just a poor man’s version of the Joker, dangerous yo-yos and all. It’d take a lot to make the Jester worthy of anyone’s time in comics these days, much less make him a titular bad guy on, say, Netlfix’s Season 3 of Daredevil.
7. THE RINGER
What does one say about a grown man who goes about voluntarily calling himself the Ringer? It makes a modicum of sense, since Anthony Davis’s only power as the Ringer is to fire off hoola-hoop-like rings at his foes. First appearing in “Defenders” #51, the Ringer first fought the superhero Nighthawk. Yet that wasn’t enough for him and he gained loftier ambitions and taking on Spider-Man. It didn’t end well. The Ringer has been the butt of many jokes in the superhero community. In the mainstream Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe, whenever Spider-Man or other heroes fight the Ringer, they take it almost as an insult to their pedigree.
Unable to earn the tiniest bit of respect, the Ringer moved to the Midwest where comic books tried to reinvent him into something of an imposing figure. It didn’t quite work. Eventually, the Ringer, or at least a version of the Ringer, was killed by Deadpool. Now if only we had a bad guy who could shoot giant rings at our superheroes, thought no Marvel Studios executive ever.
6. ROCKET RACER
Born in Brooklyn and maintaining a startlingly unhealthy passion for racing around on rocket-propelled skateboards, Robert Farrell would become known as the Rocket Racer. A genius of sorts, after realizing his couldn’t support his large family, Robert used his intellect to develop a rocket-propelled skateboard and other rocket-propelled gadgets, taking on the moniker of Rocket Racer and embracing a life of skateboarding and criminal activity.
Instead of using his genius to maybe sell his inventions like a reasonable person might, Rocket Racer’s life of crime included zooming around New York on his skateboard and stealing briefcases full of money. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for Spider-Man to stop him; stop him over and over again. Realizing he might not be suited for a life of crime, Rocket Racer tried his hand as a hero, right before going back to a criminal. Clearly, the one thing the MCU is not lacking is a skateboard-themed villain; or maybe it is.
5. RINGMASTER AND THE CIRCUS OF CRIME
Taking on everyone from the Hulk and Thor, to Spider-Man, Daredevil, and even Moon Knight, you’d think Maynard Tiboldt, the Ringmaster, and his Circus of Crime would garner more respect. They don’t. Nobody likes carnies, especially when their leader wears a giant purple top hat that can hypnotize his victims, though “victims” might be too strong a word. Initially wanting people to simply like his circus act, when his business started failing, the Ringmaster swore revenge on the audiences of America. Granted, the Ring Leader’s powers have hypnotized the Mighty Thor and Spider-Man, implying that if he actually applied himself, the Ring Leader could be a force to be reckoned with. That’ll never happen however, as he and his merry troupe essentially move from city to city, putting on circus shows and hoping, and failing, to steal jewels from their audiences.
Even once possessing a ring with the power of a cosmic cube, all but beating the combined forces of Moon Knight, Spider-Man, and Daredevil, the Ringmaster’s imagination couldn’t go beyond circus-themed hijinks, resulting in the Punisher shooting off his ring-bearing finger. If there’s a crossover between all these heroes on TV, the Ringmaster likely won’t be stealing the show.
4. STILTMAN AND LADY STILTMAN
Perhaps the most iconic of all Daredevil villains, you know, besides formidable baddies like the Kingpin, Elektra, Bullseye and a dozen more, Stiltman, and then later, Lady Stiltman, are legendary for their ineptitude. Created by Wally Wood back in 1965 with his first appearance in “Daredevil” #8, it’s unclear what was going through the famed comic creator’s head when he created Stiltman. After all, Stiltman is literally just a man on giant mechanical stilts.
Lady Stiltman, in trying to restore honor to the Stiltman name, is just a lady in giant metal stilts, who doesn’t understand why people don’t take her, or the villain she’s named after, seriously. They’ve both suffered humiliating defeats at the hands of heroes like Daredevil and Spider-Man. Still, they keep hoping for the day when they’ll be respected, but considering Lady Stiltman once lost on account of one of her legs falling into manhole, that day’s far away. To be fair, Stiltman once almost proved victorious over the web-slinger, but that’s a day that Spidey doesn’t like talking about.
Because all the grizzly bear outfits were taken, trucker Buford Hollis dreamed of being a superhero. Donning an absurdly large pig head on top of his own in issue #12 of “Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man,” he went by the name of Razorback. With low-level superhuman strength and the ability to electrify his mane, just like all boars are capable of doing, he’s gone from good guy to bad guy. Fighting Spider-Man on account of misunderstandings and never winning, he later hung out with She-Hulk before having a spaceship offered to him that he’s using to travel the stars. Then somewhere along the way he came back to Earth and did battle with the Human Torch before getting abducted by the Skrulls. For a kooky character, his history is crazier than you’d think.
2. PASTE POT PETE / TRAPSTER
Here’s a guy who definitely follows the motto that if first you don’t succeed, try and try again. One of the lamest supervillains out there, made fun of by virtually every hero who crosses his path, Peter Petruski, otherwise known as Paste Pot Pete, or the Trapster if you’re feeling particularly fancy, has no powers. Instead, his arsenal is made up of one weapon: a glue gun. Sure, the glue has multiple properties and can even mimic Spider-Man’s webbing to a degree, but that’s about it.
Brought into comics in “Strange Tales” #104, under the awesome team of Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Larry Lieber, it’s a wonder how he’s capable of going up against the likes of the Human Torch, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man and even Captain America. Well usually it’s because he has an entire team backing him, like the Frightful Four, or because of silly writing. Despite each reinvention and every attempt to modernize him, the Trapster can’t catch a break. Forever a joke, it’s doubtful we’ll be seeing Paste Pot Pete standing next to Thanos in “Infinity War” in 2018.
If this was the 70s’ and disco was alive and bopping, Hypno-Hustler might be all the rage. Alas, this is not the 70s’ and for better or worse, disco has all but died. Accompanied by his backup singers the Mercy Killersthe Hypno-Hustler used his jive hypnotic beats to hypnotize audiences into giving him all their money.
Making his tubular debut in issue #24 of “Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man,” despite Antoine Delsoin’s gnarly beer-goggles, the incredible Afro and the white jumpsuit, none of it proved enough to allow Hypno-Hustler to stand against Spider-Man…or anyone really. Spidey easily defeated Hypno-Hustler by removing the guy’s headphones and making him susceptible to his own music. It didn’t take long for Hypno-Hustler to realize the extremity of his lameness, as the last time anyone saw him was hanging out with Big Wheel (another seriously awful bad guy) at a meeting for reformed villains. Should disco become a fighting force once more, only then would it be safe to assume Hypno-Hustler might make a cinematic debut.
Can you think of any Marvel supervillains too cheesy for the MCU? Let us know which ones in the comments section!