They are the shadows in the dark, the blood on the walls; Mephistophelian, they roam the darkness, extinguishing all that is pure, seeping into the lives of innocent men and women, like a noxious gas that brings no good. They plot schemes that bring about the downfall of all those who have sworn to protect; they hatch plans that inter the already dying ideals of faith and humanity. They are… Now wait just a minute. Where are the super villains I was just describing? What happened to fictitious characters like The Joker, arch-nemesis of the Batman, with his warped view of the world, sadistic sense of humour, a schizophrenic clown with that hideous smile carved on his face that says “why so serious?”? What happened to Victor von Doom, the genius inventor, sorcerer, pure evil personified, enemy of The Fantastic Four? What happened to Lex Luthor, The Catwoman, Darth Vader, Jabba the Hutt, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Venom and Bane?
An incompetent villain is like incidental music with too much pizzicato violin plonking. A mediocre villain makes your hero, and all the other characters, look proportionately less impressive as well. And there’s nothing more unimpressive than a villain who’s got a mental block against disposing of his or her nemesis.
So let’s see the top 5 not-badass-at-all villains that have been left at our door, for us to endure.
#5. Heinz Doofenshmirtz
He is a 47 year-old mad scientist appearing on the popular TV show Phineas and Ferb. He is the head of Doofenshmirtz Evil Inc., but there is nothing evil about this character. Admittedly he attempts to wreck havoc on “the entire Tri-State Area and then the world!” but always ends up being beaten by Perry the Platypus. He is so used to being foiled that he tends to be upset on the few occasions when Perry does not stand in his way. The only thing remotely impressive about him is the fact that he purchased a doctorate off the internet under the pseudonym StrudelCutie4427.
#4. Rainbow Raider
If anyone’s got a name like Roy G. Bivolo, (ROYGBIV, a mnemonic for the colours of the rainbow), you immediately presume they’re either an artist or beaten up in high school. So it was with this chap. There was a teensy problem though. He was colourblind. He thought he painted marvelous pictures when in fact they were not. A baboon farting paint on a canvas could do a better job. His father, feeling sad for him, made him a pair of goggles that let him project beams of solid rainbow coloured light on any surface. But Roy, tired of the unappreciative world which apparently couldn’t recognize his “genius”, turned these goggles to sinister use, taking the name of Rainbow Raider as he has the insidious power to affect people’s emotions by coating them in a specific color. How very ingenious and diabolical. I salute the writer for his imagination and can’t imagine the depths his career must have touched for him to descend to this level.
Seriously, Rainbow the Clown, from The Power Puff Girls, is scarier.
#3. The Team Rocket Trio
At first sight, you’d think they were the perfect villainous trio, what with their epic motto and credentials. But as the Pokémon series progress, all you can feel is frustrated. If you really want Ash Ketchum’s Pikachu that much, then hatch a better plan and TAKE HIM! The trio consists of Jessie, the aggressive one, James, the effeminate one, and Meowth, the one who hatches all the plans to please their boss Giovanni, who considers the trio to be incompetent. As they are.
#2. Kite Man
The concept of Kite Man was flawed from the start because if you choose a weapon that is prone to fall to freak gusts of wind, you really aren’t trying hard enough. And what really clinched the matter was that the colour of his costume was pink. Decidedly emasculating for a villain. Also his method of attack was to throw kites at people. Come on people, that didn’t even hurt in primary school. Utterly useless, he met his end by falling off a tower (without his kite obviously), somehow surviving, but then being eaten in jail by Bruno Mannheim. It served him right. He was such a wuss, he didn’t even join the Secret Society of Super Villains in Gotham City. Perhaps, the only redeeming quality of this character is that he was named after Charlie Brown, the main character in Peanuts who has a notable fondness for flying kites.
And now for the crowning glory…
#1. Condiment King
You might as well call him the Mustardy Ketchup Man. He makes use of various condiments, notably ketchup and mustard, to foil his enemy, Batman, but is almost never taken seriously because of the ludicrous nature of his ‘powers’. The only real threat he possesses is to people who can go into anaphylactic shock. Poor bastards would have to be pretty unlucky to have to go out on a day when the world was being terrorized by a freak carrying a nut-based product as a weapon. He’s only useful only for his potential as a punning device and was frequently the butt of many jokes. And how did he eventually die? Why he was choked to death by a ketchup bottle, of course.
So here they were. Villains who don’t scare you in the least or put the fear of God in you. Shame on them. I shall, as always, end with a Parthian shot.
‘Bane could see it. Batman, pale, blinded by light, smeared with filth, dressed in tatters, so thin his ribs almost burst from his skin, his arms and legs flopping, drool leaking down his chin. And then he said, “Put fire to his feet. I want to hear him scream.”
That, my friends, is all what a super villain has to be. Diabolical, full of hatred, vindictive to the core, filling the dregs of humanity with a hatred so powerful it could make The Joker seem like a cheap trickster.