Aaaand we're back with yet another wonderful, fun list of odd DC Characters. We’re currently working our way through the second half of the alphabet, and now it's time for the letter P. And, again, a friendly reminder: I do these because I LOVE these characters. They're so much fun to talk about.
Here we have another segment in this column’s long-running tradition of Oh hey, I know that character…Wait, what? Why are we talking about Nazis now?
Plasmus is best known as one of the repeating villains in the Teen Titans cartoon. As far as I could find through my research, the show never gave him an origin (could be wrong about that), so his real weird comic book origin never really got out. And his name is Otto Von Furth, which is gloriously aristocratic for a gross pile of goo.
Otto was trapped in a mine collapse, during which he was irradiated and mutated. Then former Nazi and Doom Patrol villain General Zahl kidnapped him, and turned him into the protoplasm monstrosity we all know and are grossed out by.
And, boy howdy, is that true. Cartoon Plasmus was very much a Clayface-type goo monster, but comic book Plasmus looks like melted flesh. Like, he looks like he smells horrific.
9. The Prankster
I've always been the dude who says that Superman villains aren't terrible, but that’s not easy when The Prankster exists.
Oswald Loomis started out as the planner for a heist crew. But when he’d acquired a certain amount of money, he began to take part in a series of reverse robberies, wherein he would hold up banks and give them money. After that, he actually robbed a place.
At this point, Superman finally decided, "Okay, fine, I guess I have to do something about this weirdo." And he stopped him. The Prankster later returned by finding a way to copyright the alphabet itself, which I think is the biggest d*ck move a supervillain has ever perpetrated on the American public.
Also, at one point, The Prankster double-crossed The Joker. Admittedly, The Joker almost killed him, but that takes some serious stones. Honestly, I’ve developed a great amount of respect for him, based entirely upon that fact.
8. The Predator
No, not that one.
Not the fun Predator that hunts people in the jungle and fights the Alien every so often. This is the Green Lantern Predator.
Most of you probably know about the Star Sapphire. For a time, Carol Ferris had gotten past that part of her personality, and had moved on. But her psyche spawned another living being that would take over all evil-ing. That being was the Predator.
Having a character named The Predator linked to the very romantically motivated Star Sapphire has always been kinda gross. Especially when he was revealed to be the ultimate embodiment of the Star Sapphires in general. The ultimate force of love in the universe is actually a creepy space monster driven by lust and obsession is"¦um"¦it sure is a thing that was written. He's kind of like the Parallax of love (Side note: The Parallax of Love sounds like a sweet prog rock album).
But, yeah, Predator is one of the weirder Green Lantern villains, and I'm sure we'll all resume forgetting he exists as soon as I finish this sentence.
7. The Privateer
Hee hee. The Privateer.
Mark Shaw was incensed that he couldn't do as much good as he wanted to in his job as a lawyer, so he went for the obvious next step: Contact a bunch of space robots and ask if he could do what they do. So he did that.
Unfortunately, he didn't know that the space robots he’d contacted, The Manhunters, were secretly EVIL space robots. He even failed to realize this after his robot pals instructed him to murder the Justice League, which would be about when I'd put two and two together. He did figure it out soon after, but then decided that he was a mad guy now, and he was okay with that.
This is when he became the Star-Tsar, an ID that left him to team up with The Key to finally answer the question Which Justice League villains are just top to bottom the worst? He began calling himself The Privateer, and worked with the Justice League until his secret evil ways were revealed and his sabotage attempt was foiled.
6. Professor Amos Fortune
Amos Fortune is so weird. And he’s yet another Justice League villain for me to talk about.
Amos started life as the mastermind and leader of a gang of children. His nickname was Pudge. This was supposed to indicate that they liked him. In adulthood, he discovered that all human beings have two glands that had otherwise gone undiscovered by science. These glands were the Bad Luck and Good Luck Glands. I failed to learn about this in health class.
Are they below my lymph nodes? I wish they’d kept it canonical that all DC characters had friggin' luck glands in their bodies. That's hilarious. Amos was able to stimulate these glands in such a way as to affect others.
So he made it so he had good luck and the Justice League had bad luck. It did not work out for him. As you could have figured out if you’d listened to any word I just wrote in pretty much any order.
5. Professor Milo
Look, if you're a chemist with a bowl cut, you aren't going to beat Batman. It just isn't going to happen.
Hey, who finally killed The Batman?
Oh, Professor Milo did.
Those words have never been printed before and they never will be again.
Professor Milo did have maybe the funniest-ever plan of attack against Batman that I've ever seen. He exposed Batman to a chemical compound that made him afraid of bats. I don't care who you are, that's hilarious. To beat this, Batman simply and temporarily changed costumes and names, and beat the stuffing out of Milo. Then Robin found the antidote. Milo’s next plan involved dosing Batman with a chemical that would cause him to lose the will to live. That is dark as s**t.
After that, he experimented with turning people into werewolves, but he ended up mauled for his trouble. And after that, he wound up running Arkham Asylum, which makes more sense than anything else I’ve said so far.
4. Psycho Pirate
Psycho Pirate had one of my favorite costumes in superhero comics. He looked like a court jester who tried to become the Phantom of the Opera.
The Pirate used the Medusa mask to manipulate people's emotions to a drastic degree. Doing this also drove him completely banana-pants insane. When the cosmos was in danger during the Crisis, he decided, "Oh, well, I hated living in this universe, anyway." He then teamed up with the Anti-Monitor, who wanted to annihilate all of reality.
He mostly helped his boss by torturing Barry Allen a lot. Barry broke loose, and forced Psycho Pirate to cause chaos among the Weaponeers of Qward, which allowed Barry to save everyone. After this, the Pirate kind of bounced around the DC Comics universe for a while. He popped up in Animal Man as an embodiment of fourth wall breaking, and was later used as a seat filler for the big villain-focused event that was Underworld Unleashed.
Finally, he appeared in Infinite Crisis, in which Black Adam pushed his eyeballs through the back of his head and killed him. Ew.
3. The Puzzler
Why do so many people think they can fight Superman? You aren't gonna win. Look, I know I just did this bit about Professor Milo and Batman, but I clearly should have looked ahead, because it is far more applicable here.
The Puzzler made his debut by kidnapping Lois Lane. When Superman showed up, Puzzler challenged Superman to"¦a game of checkers! For some reason, Superman actually did this, rather than just throat punching Puzzles at Mach 4. Superman noticed that the villain was cheating, because of f***ing course he was, so he defeated him by"¦cheating better? Look, the older comics get, the weirder they get. And this dude first appeared in Action Comics #49. That's only, like, 30 issues after Lex Luthor’s debut.
He would later return with a great plan: Murder"¦But with puns!! After beating a poker player to death with a fireplace poker, and sending a bridge champion's car off a bridge, he was foiled as he attempted to murder a blackjack player with a blackjack.
Superman beat him, handily.
Dudes like this are why I do this column. I uncover so much goodness that just makes me happy.
Robert Coleman was an architect. He designed a lot of Gotham City buildings. But a building inspector found that he was terrible at his job, and all of his buildings were super duper not earthquake proof. Coleman responded with a resounding "Nu-uh, that's not true." And to prove that he was in the right in this argument, he became a supervillain.
He created a sonic jackhammer, and started attacking the city with earthquakes. However, only the buildings he’d designed seemed to be damaged afterwards. This is the biggest self-own I have ever seen in fiction. And then Batman beat him up.
Sure showed that building inspector, didn't you, Bob?
Ragdoll mostly just scares the ever-loving bejesus out of me.
Peter Merkel wasn't born double-jointed; he was born triple-jointed! This turned him into the world's greatest contortionist, and that turned him into a terrifying psycho made of murder.
He liked being mailed in small boxes to his victims' homes, which creeps me out so bad when I think about it. He was creepy enough as a Golden Age JSA villain, but he really came into his own when he resurfaced in Starman as the only villain so monstrous that three separate JSA-ers could have plausibly murdered him. For valid reasons.
He's the scariest villain in Starman, and when that line-up includes multiple literal demons and a flaming skeleton man, that’s saying something.