The DC universe has thousands of superheroes that were created by hundreds of writers and artists. For the bigger heroes like Flash, Wonder Woman, or Aquaman, you have hundreds, if not thousands, of villains created just to fight them. Sadly, not every villain can hit the big time. For every Joker, you have a dozen Puzzlers.
These are villains who show up in the pages of our favorite books to wreak havoc on the lives of the heroes, only to vanish shortly after. Some were surely created with the idea that they would become as big as Lex Luthor or Reverse-Flash, but they never made it all that far, disappearing from the four-color pages of DC comics with little to no fanfare. And like every decade, the 1970s is filled with ne’er do wells who came close to making it to the big time only to vanish over time. These are 10 famous DC villains from the ’70s that have been forgotten…
10 Ten-Eyed Man: 1970
A Vietnam War vet who was injured in combat, Philip Reardon returned home to Gotham City and got a job as a security guard. When the warehouse he was guarding was picked out by some thieves, Readon was knocked unconscious. When he awoke, the thieves were gone, but Batman was there. Reardon, his vision blurry, thought Batman was one of the criminals and attacked him. In the scuffle, the warehouse exploded and Reardon was left blind.
Reardon when to a horrible doctor who attached Reardon’s optic nerves to his fingers, allowing him to see from each digit. Reardon decided to become the Ten-Eyed Man and get revenge on Batman. Ten-Eyed Man battled Batman a number of times before he died during Crisis on Infinite Earths.
9 The Galactic Golem: 1972
Filled with hatred for Superman and inspired by the Hebrew legend of the Golem, Lex Luthor created a super-powerful android by collecting matter from the heart of the universe and sculpting it into a human form. Luthor called his creation the Galactic Golem and set it out to destroy the Man of Steel.
With the power of every star in the galaxy, including the red stars that weaken Superman, the Galactic Golem seemed sure to defeat the world’s first superhero. Superman was able to trick the Galactic Golem into thinking it had won, and the android headed off into space to explore the universe where it ran out of power and seemed to die. It was later found by an alien race and revived, causing a few more headaches for Superman.
8 Terra-Man: 1972
A 10-year-old robber from the 1800s, Tobias Manning was abducted by an alien called Collector. Tobias spent years going around the galaxy robbing alien planets with Collector before returning to Earth, only to find that all of his travels at light speed meant that a hundred years had passed on his home planet.
Calling himself Terra-Man, Tobias pulled off 1800s style bank robberies with alien tech, leading him to face off against a number of heroes over the years. His criminal ways came to an end when he ran afoul of Black Adam, who ripped him in half on live TV.
7 Devilance the Pursuer: 1972
A New God from Apokolips, Devilance the Pursuer was trained to be the greatest hunter in the universe. Darkseid would send his minion to track down those who wronged him, ensuring that their death would be quick and painful. Devilance the Pursuer had never failed to kill his prey until he was sent after the Forever People, who tricked Devilance into battling the Infinity Man.
In DC’s epic weekly series 52, Devilance was tasked with hunting down and killing Adam Strange, Animal Man and Starfire to stop them from revealing the truth about the multiverse to the other heroes. While pursuing them, Devilance is killed by Lobo.
6 Anthony Lupus: 1974
Anthony Lupus was a regular kind of guy who had one big problem in his life; he suffered from severe migraines. Looking for any way to get rid of the horrible headaches, Lupus turned to the mad chemist Professor Achilles Milo. Upon studying Lupus, Professor Milo came to the realization that his patient was suffering from lowgrade lycanthropy. Instead of curing Lupus, Milo gave him a serum made from the DNA of an Alaskan timber wolf, turning the poor man into a full werewolf.
As a second rate Man-Bat, Lupus would turn into a werewolf and battle Batman from time to time. After a time, Lupus gave up the criminal life and retied to the Alaskan wilderness. When his Lupus’ sister needed a bone marrow transplant, Batman hunted him down and forced the werewolf to return to Gotham. Batman promised Lupus that he would find a cure for lycanthropy, but as far as anyone knows, Lupus is still out there, howling at the moon.
5 SKULL: 1976
Starting off as a loose-knit group of common criminals, SKULL turned into a major criminal organization that was headquartered in Metropolis. The organization became a serious threat to the people of Metropolis when the Atomic Skull joined their ranks and helped the group get its hands on some STAR Labs technology.
After getting beat up by Superman a bunch of times, the Atomic Skull left the organization to go solo. After that, SKULL tried to branch out to other cities but was blocked by the Outsiders. While in a weakened state, the Kobra Cult attacked SKULL and took their equipment.
4 Blackrock: 1976
Looking to increase the ratings for the United Broadcasting Company television network, Dr. Peter Silverstone built a supersuit and hypnotized UBC President Samuel Tanner into putting the suit on and attacking Superman. When that plan failed, Dr. Silverstone tried it again, but this time he used Samuel Tanner’s nephew, comedian Les Vegas. That plan failed too.
After that, Dr. Silverstone came into the possession of a powerful stone that gave him the ability to fly, shoot energy blasts and have superhuman strength. As Blackrock, he battled Superman and Supergirl a number of times. Years later, ex-con Samuel Benjamin would take over the mantle before passing it on to a drug-dealer named Lucia. The third Blackrock made her last appearance in 2015.
3 Doctor Phosphorus: 1977
Dr. Alex Sartorius was a member of the Tobacconists’ Club and had this wild idea to build a nuclear power plant in Gotham City, because where better to have a nuclear power plant than in the city where madmen like Two-Face and Joker live? Gotham turned Dr. Sartorius down, so he went outside city limits and built the plant himself. Sure enough, the nuclear power plant had a meltdown, and Dr. Sartorius was turned into Doctor Phosphorus.
Doctor Phosphorus became a regular Batman foe for a number of years before falling out of the spotlight. He was last seen in 2009’s Battle for the Cowl: Man-Bat #1 where he and Man-Bat fought. Man-Bat dropped Doctor Phosphorus into the Gotham River and he was never seen again.
2 Pulsar Stargrave: 1977
One of the Computer Tyrants of Colu, homeworld of the Brainiacs, Pulsar Stargrave has a confusing history. Originally a foe of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Stargrave was as big a threat to the United Planets as the Time Trapper or Mordru. Stargrave would often trick the Legion into fighting his enemies for him.
After Crisis on Infinite Earths, Stargrave was reintroduced during Invasion! and became a foe of Vril Dox’s L.E.G.I.O.N. After vanishing for a number of years, Stargrave reappeared in the 2015 Larfleeze series where he was taken captive by the Orange Lantern and forced to write Lafleeze’s life story.
1 Fadeaway Man: 1978
Anton Lamont was cataloging the collection of the 18th-century sorcerer Cagliostro when he found the magician’s legendary cloak and tried it out. The Cloak of Cagliostro gave Lamont the ability to become invisible or intangible and he was able to teleport.
Lamont took on the name Fadeaway Man and began stealing priceless occult items from museums. These robberies often led to Hawkman and Hawkgirl tracking Fadeaway Man down and bearing him up, but sometimes Batman would get in on the action. Fadeaway Man was last seen as a member of Alexander Luthor’s Secret Society during Infinite Crisis.
Some epic DC comic book villains have come and gone over the years, but these infamous villains from the 70s seem to have been utterly forgotten.