Recently, I got my hands on an old edition of the collected Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. The collection is dated to 1987, and like any other official handbook, it's full of pages and pages on obsciure, weird, and fantastic Marvel characters. Here, for your approval, are my ten favorite weird as heck Marvel characters you probably never heard of and maybe never wanted to.
Kang is my favorite Avengers villain, but I never expect to see him onscreen because he is confusing as all get out.
Here is a good example: Born Nathaniel Richards, Kang grew up fearing the supervillain he knew he'd one day become. Until he flipped to the other side of the fence, that is. Then, the man from the future just up and decided to build a time machine and go back to ancient Egypt. So that's what he did.
Armed with future tech and a robot army, Nathaniel conquered the Egyptian city, renaming himself Rama-Tut.
It's like Ancient Aliens, but
NOT stupid LESS stupid.
Eventually, the Fantastic Four popped up to fix the timestream and beat some sense into Rama-Tut, followed by Doctor Strange. Tut eventually left Egypt to become the Scarlet Centurion in his moody teenager phase, before he declared that a massive failure and returned to the Rama-Tut persona. Eventually he accidentally sent himself to the far, far future, where he adopted the Kang persona for good.
9. Red Ghost
Oh hey, another Fantastic Four villain. Fantastic Four villains are weird. And they don't come weirder than the Red Ghost.
The Red Ghost was a Russian scientist who wanted to replicate the cosmic accident that empowered the Fantastic Four, so he chartered a rocket to go through a cosmic ray storm with a crew composed of himself and three trained apes. They flew into space and the Red Ghost and his monkeys (yes I DO know the difference between apes and monkeys please don't explain it to me) all got superpowers.
Unfortunately, the apes did not react like real apes by ripping the face off of their trainer at the first opportunity and instead by turning into the greatest supervillain team of all time. The Red Ghost gained intangibility, which I assume comes in handy when trying to quell the simian freak-outs of a bunch of apes who suddenly found themselves in zero gravity with superpowers.
Can we be honest and all acknowledge that if they announced a sequel to "Fant4stic" with Red Ghost as the villain, we'd all totally buy tickets. As long as it wasn't called "Fant42tic".
8. Red Ronin
I'm just going to write out the first sentence of the Red Ronin's OHOTMU bio here, because nothing I could say would explain it as well.
The Red Ronin is a hundred-foot-tall robot, designed by Dr. Yuriko Takiguchi and built at Stark International's Detroit factory, for the express purpose of subduing the mutated dinosaur called Godzilla.
Excuse me one second, I need to remove these sunglasses that appeared on my face as I was typing that because THAT IS THE RADDEST SENTENCE IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.
Also, yes, Godzilla was, for a time, part of Marvel universe continuity. Seriously. There are panels of J. Jonah Jameson yelling out the window at Godzilla. They are the best.
So the Red Ronin was a giant mech built in Detroit for the intended purpose of Godzilla-fightin'. Red Ronin wasn't great at that. Eventually the suit was used for eeeEEeeEEevil, specifically to fight the Avengers. Sadly, barring some sort of inter-company crossover, the likelihood we'll ever see Red Ronin fight Godzilla again remains depressingly small.
I swear to god, "˜60s Marvel had a weird circus fetish. To quote myself from an earlier article, "It's like the Marvel universe economy was 30 percent circus-based."
Ringmaster was the head of the Circus of Crime. The plan was simple: the circus of crime would go from town to town, performing. At the end of the show, Ringmaster would use his hypnosis hat to freeze the audience while the rest of the circus would"¦um"¦rob everyone. Okay, I lied, the plan was very much not simple.
Y'know, Ringmaster, it doesn't really seem like you need all those other guys. It also seems unnecessary for you and your crew to put on a full circus show for every robbery. Just, like, walk into a bank with your hypnosis-hat and rob them.
Look man, I'm just trying to reduce your operating costs here.
Anyhoozles, the Ringmaster was eventually beaten down by the first ever Spider-Man/Daredevil team-up. They skulked around the corners of the Marvel Universe for a while before disrupting Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne's wedding, which is really more of a heroic move, to be honest.
No, not that Scarecrow.
Yeah, no, I get which one you're thinking of, the fear gas spouting, Batman-fighting one. Not this one.
This one is the Marvel Scarecrow that they don't really use anymore "˜cause the DC Scarecrow is totally more recognizable.
The Marvel Scarecrow had a gimmick that is kinda my favorite thing. He was a contortionist who had an ARMY OF TRAINED CROWS. That is fantastic. Admittedly, maybe picking creatures that routinely break their necks flying into closed windows as your minions isn't the SMARTEST of ideas, but whatever. Trained murder crows are certainly an idea.
Heh, a murder of trained murder crows, in fact.
Also, he was the villain in the Ghost Rider/Captain America team-up, which shouldn't work, but kinda does. I mean, he's still like the THIRD best Scarecrow in comics, but I like him well enough.
5. The Shaper of Worlds
Buckle up, cowboys, it's about to get confusing in here.
Perhaps you've heard of the Cosmic Cube? Right, sorry, forgot. If you're primarily a movie fan, you probably know it as the Tesseract. But either way, you know the thing. It's an adorable little Rubik's Cube of unlimited power with intense reality warping powers.
It's also the thing you're looking at up there.
No, the Shaper isn't a skrull that's had an unfortunate encounter with a table saw as you might've assumed, it's actually a sentient Cosmic Cube. Apparently, after being used by the Skrull Emperor a whole lot, The Cube gained sentience and remade itself partially in his image. Only, without legs for some reason.
Also, let's be honest, if you've even SEEN a wheelchair once in your entire life, you probably get that the system of movement the Shaper seems to be using is just not gonna work.
The Shaper of Worlds everybody! The only reality warping deity that can be defeated with a decent shove.
If you want more than that from this entry, I'm sorry, but you're not getting it.
Silvermane was the don of the Maggia, the organized crime ring Marvel came up with because they were headquartered in New York and when you're headquartered in New York, you maybe don't wanna try to piss off the Mafia.
Not that the Mafia exists. Because they don't. And you didn't hear otherwise from me.
So Silvermane spent most of his life in the pursuit of eternal life. Especially because he was super old. After failing to give himself immortality via the tablet of time, he instead resorted to the idea of a robot body. But he kept his weird old man head, which seems like a bad idea. When "shoot it in the face" is most people's plan to deal with anything threatening them, you maybe don't want to design yourself so that plan works on you. Just sayin'. Also, he was temporarily defeated by a trash compactor. Poor Silvermane.
Oh, Spider-Man villains, the ones that aren't great can be spellbindingly terrible.
I present exhibit A: Slyde.
Aside from needing a remedial English class for spelling, Slyde also has some serious issues with his abilities. His thing is that he wears a suit covered with a slippery lubricant substance that allows him to slide at incredibly high speeds and makes it really hard for me to avoid making a bunch of NSFW jokes.
Also, according to his OHOTMU profile, he does not use weapons, but has been known to use fake guns to bluff his way through situations. Not sure how he avoids letting said toy guns slip out of his hands all the time, but I guess that's more his problem than mine.
Hmm. I wonder what ever happened to Sly"”oh, he was shot in the head in a Civil War tie-in. Guess bullets don't really care how frictionless you are.
Starfox, Starfox, Starfox, why do I always find myself writing about you? Especially when I find myself inevitably creeped right the hell out by you.
For those who don't know, Starfox is an alien being whose superpower is that he can exert pheromones to chemically induce lust in those around him. This is how I wound up dubbing him "Captain Rohypnol".
Starfox is impossibly creepy, and that's why he spent a lot of the "˜80s as a full fledged Avenger.
It's also important to note that's the ONLY INTERESTING THING ABOUT HIM. Wait, no, that's actually not true. I did some extra research, and not only does Starfox's Wikipedia page include an entire subsection entitled "Allegations of sexual assault", but it also reminded me that Starfox was credited with accidently causing Thanos to fall in love with Death, making him indirectly responsible for thousands, if not millions of deaths. Or at least it would if it wasn't IMMEDIATELY retconned. You got off lucky, Starfox.
Oh, and the first person to make a barrel roll joke in the comments is dead to me.
GREATEST MARVEL CHARACTER OF ALL TIME. FACT. Forget Kingpin and Purple Man, this here's a real Daredevil villain.
Wilbur Day stole a bunch of hydraulics and decided to build himself a suit so he could rob high-rise apartments. From the outside. Again, best Marvel Character ever.
Stilt-Man fought Daredevil and Spider-Man a bunch and eventually poor Stilt-Man decided to turn to the side of good during Civil War. Unfortunately, he then ran straight into the Punisher and got himself all shot and stuff. The villains of the Marvel Universe got together at the Bar With No Name to hold his funeral. A really nice funeral. That the Punisher firebombed.
Nice guy, that Frank Castle.
Greatest Marvel Character Ever.
And there you go! I have a couple of these Marvel Handbook Collections so I'll probably do another one of these at some point. Plus, this was fun! Stilt-Man forever.
EDIT: Hey there fine folks, if you enjoyed this, you’ll be happy to know I did another one! You can read it by clicking these miraculous glowing words you’re reading right now! So do that. I mean, if you wanna,