What's this page? These will be the noteworthy Villains of golden-age of the company that has alternately been called Timely, Atlas, Daring Comics Inc, etc. and now known as Marvel Comics. These biographies will contain the original histories as written in the golden-age comics and not the various ret-cons from the 1960s on.
Bamboo Knife Butcher: 1944/45, All Select Comics #5. A mother implores Captain America to look for her son, who was not only reported missing in the jungles where their family has mines, but whose shrunken head was apparently sent to her. Captain America suspects foul play as how would headhunters know her exact address. The culprit turns out to be her brother, who had fallen under the influence of the headhunters. Garbed as a witch doctor and bringing natives to hire at the estate as servants, he's set up his own native temple in the heart of the city where he holds his nephew prisoner. His and the natives' weapon of choice are hardened and razor sharp bamboo knives. The uncle's name is given as Smallen while the nephew is Mallon. He isn't called the Bamboo Knife Butcher by name in the story but it's the title of the story and sounds better than just "witch doctor".
Herr Baron: 1943, All Select Comics #1. In a castle in Northern Germany resides Herr Baron, a man with a mad lust for jewelry and leader of a murderous gang of pirates.He's crushed to death by the debris of his castle when the Sub-Mariner throws a torpedo aimed at him back at the castle. Herr Baron is monstrous looking with a long face resembling mostly an ant-eater though with two fanged teeth protroduing from the long mouth. Some of his gang also look a bit malformed and monstrous. Motivated purely by his lust for jewelry, he cares nothing for the War and Germany's part in it.
Black Ace: 1940, Daring Mystery Comics #6. The Black Ace is a German pilot, dressing in a black costume with a skull and crossbones on the front and he pilots a black plane with a death's head on the side. He maintains a tower that has a ray machine that destroys bombers and planes and then he and his pilots swoop in to destroy the rest of the flight while they are disorganized. The ray machine is destroyed and the Black Ace is shot down by the Flying Flame.
Black Claw: 1941, U.S.A Comics #2. An old foe of Captain Terror's, his working with Nazis and torpedoing ships draws the hero out of retirement. This mostly bald man has a black iron hook in place of his right hand but it doesn't hinder him from firing a gun or being a vicious fighter. He's feared by his own men, reputed to have a temper second to Hitler. Captain Terror is believed to have drowned him.
The Brain: 1951, Adventures into Terror #4. Otto Von Schmittsder is a great Nazi scientist. At the end of the War, he knows that he is on the verge of being captured, tried and executed as a war criminal. However, he comes up with a way to keep his brain alive after death providing his head is hooked up to a machine within 24 hours of his body's death. Thanks to a henchman this is done (though why not find some way to save the rest of his body...). As just a head, he continues his plans of world conquest that had been stopped by the fall of the Third Reich. He has to use intermediaries though and while he can briefly bend them to his will, they seem to have a knack of ultimately rebelling. Even though he's just a head, he shows no problems of speaking, decomposing, or even mobility as he bounces around like a ball. He was last seen faking his death and looking for a new dupe. NOTE: This falls a little out of the scope of my pages. But, he's a unique character and unlike other horror characters did make more than one appearance and truly deserves the title of mad scientist and supervillain. A natural for someone at Marvel to revive.
Captain Suicide: 1945, All Select Comics #6. Japanese mastermind boasts over the radio to the enemies of Japan that death would rain on them through invisible robot bombs. The Destroyer heads to Japan to investigate, and finds that the scientist Haruda never finished the project, that it's a ruse on Suicide's part to demoralize his enemies, the invisible bombs nothing more than previously planted explosives set off by remote control from a "strato-zeppelin". He is presumably killed when the Destroyer sends the zeppelin down in flames. Visibly, Captain Suicide has nothing to recommend him, drawn in the stereotypical racist overtones of a large mouth with large teeth and a bit of a pot-bellied body. However, he does show a cunning and capable mind and a very capable hand-to-hand fighter.
Cat's Paw: 1939, Marvel Mystery Comics# 11. Darci points us to this villainess. She is a master villain and crime boss, wearing a black cat costume complete with tail, leaving only the lower half of her face visible. She also carries a whip, called the Cat's Paw. Over the course of 9 issues, she spars with the Angel, but saves his life earlier in the storyline. When he returns the favor in the final act, she agrees to surrender if he allows her to go in another room to change. He consents and when he hears a commotion and rushes into the room, all he finds is her burning costume and an open window to a five hundred foot drop into the swamps and quicksand (what kind of place was this anyways?). NOTE: Of interesting note, just today by having to go through all my pages and a posting on a message board about this particular character, I realized this entry is pretty much identical to an entry on the MLJ Encyclopedia of the Cat's Claw, a Bob Phantom foe, information provided by Mr. Durrant, although readers that have read both assure me there's also quite a bit of difference.
The Claw: 1943, All Select Comics #1. Enemy agent, the Claw terrorizes the country by poisoning the food supply. The Claw is thin, with a long neck, protruding fanged upper teeth and pointed ears. He's killed and his agents captured when trying to destroy the Human Torch and Toro.
Dame Kackle: 1941, U.S.A Comics #1. This hag captained a ship that was smuggling Japanese into the US. She tended to laugh with a "hee hee" as she talked, hence her name. She had a cat-o-nine-tails that she had no qualms of using. Her scheme was busted by the Defender and Rusty, and last seen jumping overboard.
Death Head Scott: 1945, All Select Comics #7. Bit of a Dr. Sivana wannabe even prone to saying "curses." He creates seemingly innoccuous copper discs that he sends to his would be victims as with a throw of a switch in his lab, the discs send out enough voltage to kill anyone that touches them, leading the Whizzer on a race against doom. NOTE: The indicia incorrectly lists the year of publication as 1944.
Doctor: 1940, Daring Mystery Comics #1. The Doctor (no other name is given) is a giant and because of his freakish size, had to live a life of seclusion for fifty years which drove him insane. Hiding away from man, through his science he mastered the elements, artificial sunlight and night-time and hypnosis and other mad science disciplines. He kidnapped tramps and others that wouldn't be missed and through a hypnotic ray, turned them into green-skinned zombies. The ray obviously had other properties as it changed the color of the skin and he was able to make them commit murder although those with a strong will could resist. His underground lab was guarded by giant vultures as well as an underling who manned the house above. In trying to break the will of Jack Castle who was investigating the missing persons/zombie case at the behest of the police, the Doctor angrily turned the power up too far and instead imbued Castle with fantastic powers. The Doctor is apparently killed when his laboratory is destroyed.
Doctor Narr: 1940, Daring Mystery Comics #5. Narr is a scientist creating robots but he sees them as clumsy and inferior as compared to the reports of Marvex. He uses his robots to capture Marvex in order to take him apart for study. Ultimately Marvex escapes and outfights the robots. Narr sets his lab to destruct. He apparently falls to his doom as he charges Marvex and misses, going out the window and over a cliff.
Dork: 1940, Daring Mystery Comics #5. Evil scientist Dork invents a protoplasm that eats flesh and he sets it loose in the city, his goal to destroy mankind and populate the Earth with creatures of his own creation, ruled by him and his gang. In addition to the protoplasm, his creations include a monstrous ape-like monster. He is stopped by Fiery Mask, the protoplasm shying away from the intense heat that his body radiates. Dork is consumed by his own protoplasm.
Dr. Leech: 1942, USA Comics #4. Dr. Gustave Leech is billed as the Nazi scientist of "sudden death". Bald-headed and with a monocle, he heads a Nazi spy ring in the South American country Arbolivia as well as commanding a submarine. With which, he destroys cargo ships carrying food and such to the country, hoping to ultimately sway the country to the Fatherland's side. He's apparently killed when his submarine is destroyed by Captain Terror.
Ghosts: 1941, Daring Mystery Comics #7. On her way way to a masquerade ball Betty Barstow investigates the reports of ghosts at Woodline Cemetery that her boss private investigator Dan Hurley dismisses as drunken tales by the caretaker. With her knowledge of Jui-jitsu, she easily takes out the counterfeiters using it as a base of operations. The police get a laugh out of them being taken out by a woman dressed as a "Silver Scorpion" and the papers get quite a few headlines. Betty on the other hand decides to continue moonlighting as the crimefighter. NOTE: The Silver Scorpion's costume is almost all yellow, with what may be silver boots, bracelets and a silver scorpion emblazoned on her red cape.
The Green Terror: 1940, Mystic Comics #1. The Green Terror and his organization are kidnapping young, healthy men and women. Stopped by 3Xs.
The Head: 1943/44, All Select Comics #2. The Head heads up a gang of black marketeers, stealing and reselling meat. He and his gang wear loose white clothes and white hoods over their heads. He also has a talent for inventions and manages to capture and briefly imprison the Human Torch and Toro. He's revealed as Michael Vornin of the Ross Meat Co., stealing his own meat. He's a rough and tumble fighter, and is killed when accidentally impaled on a meat hook.
Iron Duke: 1940, Mystic Comics #3. Despite the colorful name, Iron Duke is a run of the mill gangster who goes around setting fires for people wanting to collect on insurance or refusing to pay protection monies. Stopped by Joshua and Joel and Flexo.
Legion of the Doomed: 1940, Daring Mystery Comics #6. In one panel, also called the Legion of Doom, it's a group of demons that targets the Waltins, a mountain couple, leaving with them a baby. At night, the baby gets up and walks with the movements of an adult and transforms into a tall killer stalking the village. The Fiery Mask tracks him down and finds the being doing the killings as offerings to his "Crimson Master". He pursues the killer to its realm after it slaughters the Waltins. He fights a host of demons casting them into the flaming pits before a large figure emerges and sends him back to Earth, to wake up in his office as Dr. Jack Castle, the events seeming nothing more than a dream... though the newspapers report the mysterious death of the Waltins. In this adventure, the Fiery Mask displays the power of hypnotising others in addition to his other abilities.
Lens, the Unknown: All-Winners #2. This Nazi agent first tussled with the Whizzer when he was arranging for wholesale slaughter of women through jewelry with poisoned gems. With a dark hat, coat and glasses, his identity remained a secret and he managed to evade capture by shedding that identity while the Whizzer rounded up the rest of his men.
Madam Satan: 1943, All-Winners Comics #8. Madam Satan seems to be the consort of Satan in Hell. Satan is disgusted by how Hitler is waging the war and she convinces him to send Attila the Hun to rule in his place. Madam Satan accompanies Attila to Germany and she also gives Hitler a gas that petrifies men. The weapon proves to be effective in stopping the mighty Destroyer. However, it and the villains seem to have a weakness for flame. A simple flame from a cigar at a celebration feast gets too close to the Destroyer and frees him and while fighting Attila, the hun is knocked into the fire place which immediately consigns him back to Hell. Madam Satan flees to Hell the same way.
Masters of Evil: 1945, All Select Comics #7. Fleeing Captain America, "Terrible Tom" Garett meets with Terdu the sorcerer. Through his magic cauldron he calls forth great criminals of the past: Captain Kidd, Jack the Ripper, Frank and Jesse James, Bluebeard, Gyp-the-blood, among others. They embark on a crime-wave and manage to capture Captain America and Bucky. However, with their second wind, Captain America easily outfights them and Terdu sends them back to their graves with a command. Terdu accidentally falls into the cauldron and is consumed. Terrible Tom readily accepts a prison cell after all that craziness. NOTE: The indicia incorrectly lists the year of publication as 1944.
Mock Turtle: 1944/45, All Select Comics #5. Ed "Mock" Turtle has made a criminal career of slow and deliberate planning and action. As such, he proves to give the Whizzer a run for his money. The rotund villain has features that make him resemble his namesake. Interesting, in that the Flash would later also fight a villain called the Turtle. Also, at one point, the Whizzer is lost in a mirror maze and one of the Silver-Age Flash's rogues was the Mirror Master.
Alvaroz Monez: 1940, Daring Mystery Comics #2. Monez is a famed African explorer. While there, he discovers a race of headhunters who possess seven fingers and toes which gives them superior climbing ability. He starts a rash of murders of wealthy men and extorting money from others as well as kidnapping. Because of their ability to get at high inaccessible places, and leaving seven fingered hand-prints as well as a feather or two that falls from their head-dress, at first the killings seem to be the work of some kind of bird men. However, Monez is tracked down by Allan Lewis, the Phantom Bullet. The head hunters are tricked into diving out a window to their deaths and presumably Monez is killed in a shoot-out with the Phantom Bullet.
Moon Men: 1945, All Select Comics #9. Appearing on the cover only, the dimunitive aliens fight Captain America and the Torch on what appears to be the surface of the moon.
Mubahn: 1940, Daring Mystery Comics #3. Mubahn is leader of the Demon People of the land of Mirage. The Demon People are half man and half animal, looking a bit like golden/tan bat-winged gargoyles. In addition to their super-science, they are able to send deadly astral projections of themselves. They seek the secret of magnetism that Breeze Barton knows so that they can travel to the Earth through the "spot" that has been known for centuries as only allowing things to come from Earth but not to it.
Mr. Muro: 1940, Daring Mystery Comics #1. Muro (sometimes more formally referred to as Mr. Muro) is a fiendishly clever man and mastermind with his own gang and defensive headquarters with various death traps, cages, dungeons. He is a recurring foe of the magician Monako. In his second published appearance it is revealed that Muro has studied the black arts himself and can transform into a green cloud to evade capture.
Nazi Witch: 1941, U.S.A Comics #1. Appearing on the cover of U.S.A. Comics, she was using molten metal to kill a general. She seemed to be aligned with the Japanese and had a black cat familiar. Presumably defeated by the Defender.s
Ogor: 1943, All Select Comics #1. Corpulant and fraudulant fortune teller, making himself rich off the suffering of others. He even kills a grief stricken father who comes seeking revenge. Satan declares his soul and life are forfeit and send the Black Widow after him. He dies of heart failure while fleeing her.
The Past: 1944/45, All Select Comics #5. The Past plays a bit at being a Phantom of the Opera. Outraged that the Relasco Theater known for playing Shakespeares tragedies now does musicals and girlie shows, the dark robed and hatted figure strikes at and kills the performers in effort to shut it down. Outfought by the Human Torch, he falls from a railing to his apparent doom and is revealed as the elderly prop man Tim. As the Past, Tim is remarkably agile.
Prince Shinto: Anthony Durrant writes us: Prince Shinto was a heavily scarred Japanese nobleman who sent a group of young boys to perform acts of sabotage on an unnamed Pacific island; these boys would sneak in and out of the U. S. Navy installation there without anyone knowing who had done the sabotage - at least until one of the boys was killed while stealing a jeep. The Young Allies (including Bucky and Toro) were called in and they allowed a group of young native boys to pose as them and allow themselves to be captured by Prince Shinto. In the process of trying to free the native boys, the Young Allies destroyed Prince Shinto's base and the Prince as well.
Prince Suli: 1944, All Select Comics #3. Prince Suli has a mansion in the mountains and is fairly well known. However, he also has a lair in the caverns beneath his home where he keeps ferocious trained gorillas and uses them to kill and rob a museum. He's captured by Captain America and Bucky. He has a dark goatee, monocle and opera cape in addition to wearing a suit.
Professor Maluski: 1940, Mystic Comics #1. Professor Maluski is a mad scientist intent on taking over the world with an army of mind-controlled corpses, a trick that never works. He's stopped by the newly revived Blue Blaze.
Rex Herr: 1946, Marvel Mystery Comics # 78. Rex is the main villain in a multiple chapter serial featuring the heroine Miss America. Following Germany's defeat, Nazi Rex Herr fled to Brazil where he began obtaining the resources to trigger WW III and conquer the world. To this end, he kidnapped American agent Ted Banning and tried to obtain a formula for a “Sun Ray.” His goal was complicated by other crooks and agents also after the formula as well as the super heroine Miss America. By the end, several of the other crooks were killed, Rex was captured by Miss America and the formula turned over to the Americans.Boss Sarpo: 1940, Marvel Mystery Comics #7. A gang leader who is put away in prison by Electro. However, his men are able to track down and capture Zog and arrange for Electro himself to break Sarpo out of prison the following issue. They then use Electro to commit various crimes. This plan is only stopped by the intervention of the alien Jago, king of the ferocious Dragon-men who wants to use Electro in his own schemes. Presumably, Electro re-captured Sarpo upon his return.
Sub-Earth Man: 1941, Mystic Comics #5. Geologist Bob Roland and his fiance Carol meet the giant Sub-Earth Man and his Flame men under a volcano. He claims to be nigh immortal, having ruled the Earth before its crust cooled and he wants to cause massive erruptions that will render the Earth's surface suitable for him and his men again. Bob offers to help by directing the best place for an eruption. It's a trick however and the eruption is under the ocean, allowing Bob and Carol to escape though the Sub-Earth Man is still around.
Herr Swastika: 1944/45, All Select Comics #5 Enemy agent who heads up a squad of men that have personal mini-subs disguised as sea-turtles to strike at Allied ships. Captured by Namor, the Sub-Mariner. Swastika wears a black robe with a huge red circle on the front and back with a swastika in it. His hood is pointed but does not cover his villainous face.
Terdu: 1945, All Select Comics #7. See Masters of Evil.
The Vampire: 1940, Daring Mystery Comics #2. Arch-enemy of Mr. "E". While only the one adventure is published, it's evident in the story that he and Mr. "E" had numerous clashes previously. The black hooded and robed Vampire does not display any supernatural abilities, but seems more of a mad scientist and criminal mastermind type.
Dr. Bruno Varoz: 1940, Marvel Mystery Comics #10. Dr. Varoz is an ex-brain surgeon. In his castle laboratory, he has discovered artificial blood and uses it to create an army of living corpses (with green skull like heads and green robes). He also has created a large frightful two-headed monster. These are all stopped by Electro. Varoz is presumably killed in the encounter.
The Voice: 1940, Marvel Mystery Comics #6. A mystery villain in San Francisco who is a mastermind behind the drug trade. He maintained his anonymonity by transmitting his orders to his gang from a transmitter on an island in the bay. His criminal career drew the attention of Professor Philo Zog, the inventor othe robot Electro. He sent his "Operative Number Seven" aka Bill Dunn to investigate and once he had the location of the Voice's hideout, he sent the robot to destroy the transmitter and capture the Voice and his assistant. The Voice's real name is unrevealed.
The Vulture: 1943, All Select Comics #1. The Vulture is an agent of the Axis and sends letters that he will strike at various community leaders. He does so, kidnapping them easily without anyone seeing despite the fact that Captain America and Bucky are standing guard. Even Captain America isn't immune, struck from behind and sent to the hospital, following which is a series of acts of sabotage. Further investigating lead the duo to suspect a flying menace. Sure enough, they soon encounter and capture a "batman", a bat-winged gray figure. The man's tongue is cut out and he dies not long after but not before he leads Captain America and Bucky to the Vulture's hangout and the duo are taken to his roost high in the mountains. The secret of the Vulture, he had created a formula that gives men the power of 20 and the ability to fly but must be regularly administered or the subject dies, hence the batmen are his slaves. The story has a few holes as Captain America uses the flying formula on the hostages so they can fly down from the otherwise inaccessible roost. However, they destroy it so the Vulture and the batmen will die when they don't get their dose... but doesn't that mean he just doomed the hostages? While the Vulture and his batmen have wings, the wings are artificial and just aid in gliding. The Vulture has green skin and pointed ears even before he takes the formula, has a muscular body but the lower half of his legs are thin and taloned like a bird of prey, pretty much impossible to being part of a costume.
Wilbur the Great: 1944, All Select Comics #3. He looks like a joke with his glasses, top hat, cape and umbrella yet just a regular suit. However, he's adept at planning and his umbrella is flame proof which is good if you're going to tangle with the Human Torch. He hooks up with some Nazi thugs and steal oil tank trucks. He and his men are apparently killed when the Torch and Toro destroy the sub they are fleeing on.
The Yellow Claw I: 1945, All Select Comics #6. Bald Japanese genius, the Yellow Claw has developed a formula that turns normal men into mole-men where they have powerful long arms and oversized hands, capable of quickly digging tunnels through the ground. They run up against Captain America and Bucky as they use their tunneling to sabotage and steal military secrets. They apparently all fall to their doom into a lava pit they were planning on turning into a volcano.
Zarpo: 1941, Captain America Comics #9. This inventor went mad after being mocked and continual refusals from the government to buy his invention of a special small time bomb, one that explodes 5 minutes after being near a human being. He starts going after various men that were refused it, killing them with his 'bomb of doom." He's apparently slain by one of his own bombs during a fight with the crime fighter Father Time.