?For every superhero there are 30 would-be villains waiting in line, each with a gimmick and a dream, waiting to get beaten into a pulp. Some get some nice costumes, some clever tricks, and make a small name for themselves. Most, however, are lame and make one or two appearances before vanishing into an “also fought Spider-Man” list on the internet. And most of those, for some reason, name themselves after animals.
We’re not sure why this is. Animals generally aren’t inherently evil. Sure, vultures are unpleasant, rhinos can be destructive if they get really riled up, and octopuses… well, if you’re in a situation where you’re being attacked by an octopus, that’s probably at least somewhat your own fault. And yet the Vulture, the Rhino and Doctor Octopus are all villains who are at least marginally cool enough to stay off this list. Here are 11 animal-themed villains — of Spider-Man and otherwise — who probably should’ve visited the zoo before beginning their life of crime.
?Nature’s gentle, nonthreatening herbivore, the zebra, is brought to new depths of embarrassment with the Batman foe Zebra-Man. The comic version could control magnetism for some degree, which was good for one issue in the Silver Age, then vanished for a bit. He came back (different character) in the pages of the Outsiders, this time with a silly zebra-appropriate mohawk and an unnecessary bad attitude. So pathetic, I want to punch him out myself.
10) Human Fly
?Spider-Man has more than his fair share of good animal-themed villains (The Lizard, the Vulture, the Scorpion, Doctor Octopus) and awful ones (White Rabbit? Stegron? Puma?), and Human Fly is a villain you just know is a waste of your time. He eats garbage. He’s never made a lasting impression on anyone. And he was murdered by the killer-of-lame-villains, Scourge. To compound his failure, he was resurrected by the Hood to take out the Punisher… and failed.
?Another Spider-loser. He’s a man who lived with kangaroos and developed jumping skills. This, in the mind of delusional people, equals a talent that could be developed for crime. Then, when he dies, another loser becomes obsessed with the original and buys an even dumber costumer to fulfill the original’s destiny. Of getting whupped on by Spider-Man. Sigh. He’s even appeared in the Ultimate universe, which is a sad sign that people remember the Kangaroo.
?Silly Spider-villains tend to stay visible, and the bear-themed Grizzly has shown up in recent months in the punching-bag version of the Thunderbolts. Originally, he wore a full bear costume, complete with fake head. Currently, he’s ditched the headpiece so now he looks like a fool in a fur coat all the time. Even a spot on Marvel’s top underground team doesn’t make him cool.
?Think John Romita Jr can do no wrong? He helped to create the Squid, a villain whose claim to fame is multiple gummy arms. Oh, and he squirts ink. Who the hell wants to embarrass himself by squirting ink all over people? Sure, there’s also a Savage Dragon villain named the squid, but he’s nowhere near as pathetic as the dork with the arms jutting out of his legs. Proof that the Hood is not hiring top talent.
?The Serpent Society is a collection of silly people in silly costumes who pretend to be snakes. It’s hard to choose one who stands out (Rock Adder has little eggs that shoot out metal strips, Cottonmouth can open his jaws real wide), but Bushmaster, the guy with spikey arms and a big goofy tail might just take the taco. Way to get a superpower that makes sure you can never leave the house, dumbass.
?Most of Robin’s solo rogue’s gallery are sad examples of villainy, but Tapeworm stands out from the pack. He’s only made a few appearances, and much isn’t known about him, but we’ve pieced together this much. He’s a dude, who wears a super, super long mechanical tapeworm tail. And he does this willingly, on multiple occasions. Recently, he got his tail broken by the JSA, which does not diminish from his pathetic-ness at all.
?He’s supposed to be a joke villain, we get it. But no one does themselves any favors when you waste page space with a villain who looks like a walrus. Think of the great Spider-Man vs Electro fights we could have seen, instead of the painful beating of a tubby man. Think of the joy we could have had when, instead of an issue where Frog-Man whups on Walrus, we get something that didn’t appeal to furries. Think of the life that could have been. Get a life, Walrus.
?The Kangaroo isn’t the only legacy supervillain. The Turtle’s legacy stretches all the way back to the Golden Age, when the Flash mowed his slow ass down. Cut to many years later, when Barry Allen also mowed his slow ass down. See also Wally West. Now, a slow guy named the Turtle, I kinda understand (works great in Entourage). But when your gimmick is slowness and you tailor your costume after your first few appearances to look more like a turtle, you’re just sad. I can’t believe he ever one-upped the Flash, ever.
?Springs on his feet. That’s all it took for loser Vincent Colorito Patilio to become a villain. No master plans, no great scheme, just springs on his feet. Know who else had springs on their feet? Adam West and Burt Ward in the silliest episode of Batman ever, the one where they fought the Archer. In fact, Vincent is even dorkier than the Archer, because at least the Archer didn’t wear a mask that made him look like a frog. Villains who dress like reptiles are bad enough, but amphibian villains should just look for real work.
1) The Mandrill
?High profile! These days the Mandrill is hobnobbing with the cr?me of the Marvel villain crop, as part of the Hood’s running crew. Still, he’s a mandrill wearing clothes, who talks and controls women’s minds. Mandrills in the wild can tear you limb from limb (they are psycho animals, for serious), but in the Marvel Universe they just get beaten up by Daredevil. It’s not a proud moment for anyone involved, although a mini where he tries to go legit might be fun.