After the smash success of my article detailing five of the worst Spider-Man villains, the folks at FANDOM asked me for an encore of silly villainy. With the new Wonder Woman film coming out this summer, I couldn’t resist digging through Diana Prince’s 75-plus years of publication to find foes that are so bad that they could never possibly appear in her movie or sequels.
Sure, Wonder Woman has a few good archenemies like Cheetah and Ares, but she’s had more clunkers than icons in her past. Buckle up readers, this list contains some of the worst villains ever created.
The Blue Snowman
Starting off our list is a villain whose name sounds like something that is totally NSFW. Byrna Brilyant was a rogue scientist who disguised herself as a snowman to commit her crimes. Other than having a very contrived name, her other powers included a telescopic freeze ray that produced… get this… blue snow. Did she weaponize a Slurpy machine or something?
Throughout the years, DC Comics has made a point of rebooting their universe whenever it gets too complicated. Needless to say, they frequently reinvent old characters in order to make them dark and gritty, or at least edgier. Apparently, some genius saw the Blue Snowman and said “I can work with this!”, the end result gave us:
You can tell this is a darker, edgier, version of the Blue Snowman because this one smokes. Believe it or not, the Blue Snowman has been rebooted twice, and neither are any less goofy than the original. Better add blue to the list of snow colors to avoid.
The Duke of Deception and The Earl of Greed
While Batman and Superman fought cool villains like The Joker and Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman’s early rogue’s gallery was lacking in creativity. If she wasn’t fighting the then-contemporary Nazis, she was clashing with Mars, the Roman God of War. Mars had two flunkies, the Duke of Deception and the Earl of Greed. These two numbnuts lived with Mars on the planet Mars. Because… reasons.
Their one job was to make sure that the planet Earth was in a perpetual state of war. Since they decided to do this during World War II, the job was like shooting fish in a barrel. Ultimately, the Duke of Deception managed to overthrow Mars and take over the entire planet.
DC Comics has basically given up on the Earl of Greed, but the Duke of Deception has popped up a few times in recent history.
This new incarnation looks like he shops exclusively at Hot Topic. Also, you have to give the writers credit for giving him a stick as a weapon. Quite menacing.
Next up we have Angelo Bend, a penny-ante crook who combined his love of crime with his love of geometry. As Angle Man, Bend committed crimes that he believed had “unbeatable” angles only to have his butt handed to him often by Wonder Woman. His weapon of choice was a sharp triangle ruler, but in an attempt to make it seem less stupid he called it his “Angler.” Pro tip: If you want a menacing name for your weapon, don’t name it after a fishing rod.
When they later rebooted Angle Man, they gave his Angler all sorts of nifty abilities. He could teleport, as well as alter space, gravity, and perceptions. While someone must have realized that his original costume was terrible, they decided to go with the street clothes angle (pardon the pun). Unfortunately, instead of something badass like a trench coat and a muscle tee with a triangle on it, they went with making him look like a middle-aged dad. That Angler might as well be a fishing rod at this point because it would be more fitting of his attire.
Oh yikes… Brace yourself for this one. It’s not exactly Wonder Woman’s most PC enemy….
During the height of the Cold War, the comic book industry often used Communists as the go-to boogieman of the day. However, the writers of Wonder Woman take the cake for creating one of the most insensitive characters of all time: Egg Fu. In a nutshell (or eggshell), he’s a massive egg from China. His only superpower is being incredibly racist. Not only that, but he can’t move anywhere. Yet somehow, he thinks that he is going to take over the world. Naturally, when he faced off against Wonder Woman he got cracked.
But don’t worry the rebooted him as well…
This version was a mad scientist named Chang Tzu who once gathered a team of mad scientists to create the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse using science. As awesome as that sounds, this was still masterminded by a giant egg. The writers attempted to update the character to make him a more menacing character. This one can walk! Yet any progress with the character ends with the fact that he’s still a yellow egg who was once an Asian man. Still pretty racist. So they went back to the drawing board….
This version is a fella named Edgar Fullerton Yeung (GET IT?), a large egg that rides around in a gorilla robot body. As bug spit crazy as that is, at least they didn’t go for the awful racial stereotypes of the previous incarnations. However, it does plead the case that stupidity is color-blind.
The most awful villain that Wonder Woman has ever faced might just be many writers’ attitudes toward women. Although created to be a positive role model and a strong female character, Wonder Woman has had to deal with the misogyny that was commonplace in comic books for decades.
For example, Wonder Woman was a founding member of the Justice Society of America.. This roster included the original Flash and Green Lantern, as well as Hawkman, the Spectre, Hourman, the Sandman, Doctor Fate, and the Atom. Wonder Woman was easily the most powerful of them all. Not only that, but she was a princess of an island of Amazons. So what job did they give her?
Yup, she was the JSA’s secretary. That’d be retconned years later, but that doesn’t make it any better. If that’s not bad enough, in the ’50s and ’60s, comic writers regularly made Wonder Woman love sick over Steve Trevor, a Major in the United States Army. Stories frequently featured Wonder Woman hoping or imagining what it would be like to marry Steve Trevor. This often led to scenarios like this:
Yes, they reduced a trained amazon warrior to an apron wearing housewife who apparently can’t cook. This would also be accompanied with her losing her powers or getting captured on most Justice League adventures.
Thankfully, Wonder Woman would eventually become the positive, kick-ass role model that young girls and boys can look up to. But let me tell you, it was a steep climb the whole way and while this could always use some improvement, the character has come a long way from the days where she wore an ankle-length skirt and delegated to the JSA typing pool.
If Batman v. Superman taught us anything, the film version of Wonder Woman is going to be a strong woman that won’t let men diminish her in any way. I got a funny feeling that the new Wonder Woman film will be more of the same.