June 19, 2012

Hube's Worst Iron Man Villains of All-Time

As usual, because no one demanded it, here now is your definitive list of lamest Iron Man villains in history. At least you know what I'm talking about with this topic!

In no particular order:


In the Age of Aquarius early 1970s, I guess the then-Iron Man writers (in this case Mike Friedrich) were attempting to capitalize on what was ... "hip." In this case, we have a dude who was taught how to "channel his emotions" in order to project flames, increase hs strength, durability, etc. all while wearing a granola gang-style outfit. Yeah, whatever. Amazing how a dude like Shellhead ever managed to come into conflict with such a loser in the first place. (First appearance: Iron Man vol. 1 #52.)


This lame-o loser may be an even better example of a hippie-turned- villain than 'ol Raga. Supposedly, Mikas could draw on the Earth itself for any number of super-powers. It doesn't get much more tree-huggerish than that, people! Around this time it seemed as if some of Iron Man's issues were written while on acid, I tell 'ya. The only real positive about Raga and Mikey here is that they were drawn by one of my favorite IM artists, George Tuska. (First appearance: Iron Man vol. 1 #42.)


Not much is known about this dude other than he was responsible for tranferring the minds of Tony Stark and that of then-Crimson Dynamo Valentin Shatalov. Once Shatalov realized what happened, he tried to use the opportunity to snatch Stark/US government secrets -- not to mention blow Quincy's arms off with Iron Man's pulse bolts! (Really!) Eventually, somehow, Stark managed to get Quincy to activate the same power he used for the mind transfer so that everyone was their self again, but at the end of the issue you'll probably have a big "WTF?" (First appearance: Iron Man vol. 1 #255.)


Doll was basically a cheap knock-off of the Puppet Master, the perennial Fantastic Four foe. (Doll's appearance came about a year after PM's, in case you're wondering.) Unlike PM, however, Doll could only "inflict pain" on his subject by concentrating and touching his subject doll at various spots (gee, that sounds real good, eh?). Which makes sense since his original moniker was Mr. Pain -- but this was nixed by the Comics Code Authority. (First appearance: Tales of Suspense #48.)


The Crusher was a scientist in some unnamed Latin American country who devised a formula which gave the drinker massive strength and virtual invulnerability. He actually made the concoction for the country's dictator, but said dictator didn't trust Mr. Scientist, so had him down the potion himself. Big mistake, natch. For some reason, Crush decides to go to Stark Industries to prove his worth to Mr. Dictator by taking on Iron Man. Of course, IM dispatches of Crush, only to face him again several issues later. That fight didn't last long either. Maybe Crush could have bested Shellhead by more use of his cheesy Spanish accent (written in the word balloons of the time!). (First appearance: Tales of Suspense #91.)


Stark International London Branch Security Chief Tom Wilkins apparently was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. So, as a result, he took on the identity of Endotherm by snatching Stark inventions that were heat and cold-related. Stark journeyed to London to see what was up, and naturally the two tussled. Guess who won? (First appearance: Iron Man vol. 1 #136.)


An alien android that looks like a big caveman, Gargantus was supposed to "disguise" the arrival of an alien invasion force. I guess somehow these "advanced" aliens didn't notice that the human race had long ago evolved past the Neanderthal stage. They also didn't take into account that the light bulbs used for Gargie's eyes just might tip off an astute observer that the caveman wasn't actually, well, a caveman. I guess this lameness could be forgiven as Gargie appeared in Shellhead's very first post-origin adventure. (First appearance: Tales of Suspense #40.)


A villain so lame that he was dispatched by that assassin of lame villains, the Scourge, a dude with a gun that could melt IM's armor should have been a worthy foe. But he was never made such. In fact, in one waning Tales of Suspense issue, Melter coercively had Tony Stark himself devise a new melting beam for him -- one with controls that could also melt flesh, wood and stone. But, uh, doesn't the standard Iron Man armor-melting setting melt all those materials too?? Yeesh. (First appearance: Tales of Suspense #47.)


In true Stan Lee-esque vein, writer Denny O'Neill had scientist Alton Vibreaux (get it?) fall into the San Andreas Fault where he acquired "vibration" powers (see the pic above?). The only reason IM had a little trouble offing this loser is because inside the armor at the time was novice Jim Rhodes. (First appearance: Iron Man vol. 1 #186.)

(Many thanks to the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe!)

Posted by Hube at June 19, 2012 01:53 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

I've heard of Gargantus, Raga, the Melter and Mr. Doll but not the others. I think Mr. Doll's one appearance was just that... his only appearance. Probably for good reason since he was a pretty lame villain.

Posted by: Carl at June 19, 2012 02:00 PM