...is BACK, baby!
Today's countdown focuses on five super-baddies who could'a been contenders but wound up scraping the bottom of the garbage pail. Ready? Let's get buzzin' with...
5 Super-Villains that Bugged Me
5) Dragonfly: Those blank eyes! That purple hair! That red skin! Those antennae! A winged chick who can hypnotize ya sounds kinda interesting, huh? Co-creators Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum must've thought so, since after she got her wings clipped by the X-Men in All-New, All-Different X-Men numbers 94-95, they planted a panel in ANADXM #104 showing that our hot li'l hypnotist had escaped imprisonment. Dunno what those plans were 'cause Dragonfly never made another Groovy Age appearance. She did make a comeback in the 90s, but who wants to think about the 90s? Sheesh!
4) Tarantula: This South American baddie, debuting in Amazing Spider-Man #134, had a very cool costume, but a very lame m.o.--his pointy-toed boots were actually spiked, leading Tarantula to employ kung-fu style foot-fighting; kinda like a pointy-toed Batroc the Leaper. You can only jump and kick at Spider-Man for so long until the Amazing Web-Headed Dude takes you down. Senor Rodriguez was a slow learner, though, since he kept on trying to keep his toe in the bad-guy clubhouse by appearing in ASM numbers 135, 141, 147-149, 181, Spectacular Spider-Man numbers 1-3, and Captain America #224.
3) Hellgrammite: When Hellgrammite first appeared in Brave and the Bold #80, he seemed like a pretty tough customer. Armor, strength, leaping ability, and some sort of sticky stuff he could use to make cocoons to imprison his prey. He gave Batman and the Creeper a pretty rough way to go, and it seemed that Gothamites had another weird-but-powerful super-villain on their hands. When Hellgrammite next appeared nearly a decade later in the pages of World's Finest numbers 248-249, he didn't seem as intimidating. In his battle with Green Arrow and Black Canary, Hellgrammite was more of a con-man, using his cocoons to make old people young again. Yeah, he didn't show his face again until after Crisis on Infinite Earths.
2) The Fly: Another cool looking baddie (inspired by Archie Comics' Fly/Fly-Man?). Another baddie with cool powers (almost just like Spider-Man, just swap the webs with wings). Another baddie with tons of potential swatted down in his prime. The Fly made his first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man Annual (Summer 1976), and then in Amazing Spider-Man #193 a couple'a years later. His biggest claim to fame (if it's the same guy--the costume is subtly different) is battling Spidey in a Hostess ad that started running just weeks after his debut in the aforementioned Spidey Annual. Again, he reared his bug-eyed head in the 80s and 90s--but those decades were anything but kind to the former Mel Cooley. Huh? Oh, that's a different Richard Deacon...
1) Mantis: He was created by Jack Kirby as a villain for the Forever People and the New Gods. He could go toe-to-toe with Orion. He appeared in Forever People #2, New Gods numbers 2, 9-10, and Secret Society of Super-Villains numbers 2-5 (what's up with all those number twos?). And yeah, he looked awesome! What else do ya need to know?