With the Silver Age going into high gear, the 1960s saw the creation of thousands of superheroes, and for each of those new heroes came a slew of new villains. When it came to introducing new characters to readers, Marvel wasn’t called “The House of Ideas” by accident. With Stan Lee and Jack Kirby leading the charge, Marvel’s writers and artists saw everything they looked at as a possible new hero or villain. In ten short years, thousands of new foes were introduced in Marvel’s books, but for every Doctor Doom, you have a dozen or more Titanium Mans.
These are villains who showed up in our favorite four-color books looking to cause chaos, only to be swatted down by the heroes. For some of these characters, their creators surely imagined bigger and better things for them, but others were throwaways from day one; characters designed to fill up a 22-page story and never be seen again. These are 10 famous Marvel villains from the ’60s that have been forgotten.
10 Miracle Man: 1962
Just under a decade before Jack Kirby would introduce readers to Mister Miracle, he and Jack Kirby gave us Miracle Man. Originally a foe of the Fantastic Four, Miracle Man was a megalomaniacal stage magician who used hypnosis to convince people that he had actual magic powers.
Along with the Fantastic Four, this third-rate foe had run-ins with Ghost Rider and the Defenders, but he was never a true threat to anyone. That didn’t stop the Scourge of the Underworld from killing him. Miracle Man was later resurrected by The Hood using the power of Dormammu to be part of a crew that would try to kill Punisher. While he wasn’t killed in that fight, he hasn’t been seen since.
9 Porcupine: 1963
If there’s an animal or insect that exists in the world, there’s a good chance that Marvel has a character named after them. Heck, one of Spider-Man’s oldest foes is Beetle. With that in mind, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Marvel has a character named Porcupine. The first Porcupine, Alexander Gentry, was a scientist with the US military that came up with a battle-suit based on the porcupine. After creating the suit, Gentry decided that he could make more money by becoming a criminal than by selling it to the government. Gentry accidentally killed himself with one of his own quills. After Gentry, two other people, Roger Gocking and Billy Bates, took on the moniker. Roger quit the supervillain business and became Spider-Woman‘s nanny. Billy was a mutant who had no plans to wear Gentry’s suit.
8 Asbestos Man: 1963
Professor Orson Kasloff was a real smarty-pants, but that didn’t stop him from making a dumb decision and becoming Asbestos Man. To prove his greatness to the criminal underworld, Asbestos Man bought an old castle just outside of New York City and sent a letter to the Human Torch, challenging the teenaged member of the Fantastic Four to a battle.
Human Torch and Asbestos Man fought a few times, but the villain was never much of a threat to the hero. After a period, Asbestos Man seemed to vanish. He made a brief comeback when Human Torch died, but was defeated by the Great Lakes Avengers. Readers later learned that Asbestos Man died, likely from wearing a suit made out of extremely toxic material.
7 Plantman: 1963
In the early 1960s, Stan Lee was basically writing every Marvel comic. Doing that didn’t leave him much time to come up with interesting names for characters, which is how we end up with villains like Growing Man or Asbestos Man. Lee would look around, see something, and turn it into a character. It’s amazing Captain America never fought Typewriter Man.
Plantman was a London orphan who came to America to work on his invention that would let people talk to plants. After being fired from his job as a gardener, Plantman’s plant ray gun was struck by lightning, giving it the ability to control plant life. Over the years, Plantman fought everyone from the Avengers to the X-Men and was even a member of the Thunderbolts. He hasn’t appeared in a comic since 2014.
6 Hate-Monger: 1963
You don’t get much more evil than Adolph Hitler, and when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were looking for a new big bad for the Fantastic Four to take on, that’s who they chose to use. As Stan and Jack told it, when it became clear that the Nazis wouldn’t win the war, evil scientist Arnim Zola invented a machine that would transfer Hitler’s mind into a number of clones. One of those clones became the villain Hate-Monger.
Using the battle over civil rights in the United States, Hitler took on the Hate-Monger persona and did what he could to turn the American people against each other, using a “hate ray” to raise the amount of fear and bigotry in the United States. Over the years, other Hitler clones took on the name Hate-Monger and showed up from time to time, with the last one appearing in 2015.
5 The Terrible Trio: 1964
Looking to have a team of his own that could take on the Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom found three men who were willing to undergo an experiment that would give them powers. Con man “Handsome” Harry Phillips was given superhearing so he would be able to locate the Invisible Girl. Career thug Bull Brogin was given super strength that would rival that of the Thing. Circus performer Yogi Dakor became fireproof, making him the perfect foil to Human Torch. Doom, of course, would handle Mister Fantastic himself.
After the Terrible Trio helped Doctor Doom capture the Fantastic Four, the ruler of Latveria paid them $5000 each and sent them on their way. The Terrible Trio would pop up from time to time, always happy to help Doom with whatever he needed. They were last seen in 2007 when they were arrested by the Thunderbolts for being in violation of the Superhuman Registration Act.
4 Mastermind: 1964
Unlike most forgotten villains, Mastermind’s past actions continue to have an effect on the Marvel universe today, even if no one ever thinks about him. One of the earliest X-Men foes, making his debut in X-Men #4, Mastermind used his ability to create illusions to help his pals in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in their fights against the teen mutant team.
Mastermind would go on to join the Hellfire Club and, with the help of Emma Frost, tricked Jean Grey into becoming the Black Queen, which led to her becoming the Dark Phoenix, which wasn’t good for anyone. Mastermind would go on to be one of the mutants to die from the Legacy Virus.
3 Diablo: 1964
Another foe of the Fantastic Four, Esteban Corazón de Ablo was a 9th-century alchemist who sold his soul to Mephisto in return for a much longer life. Virtually immortal, Diablo made a deal with the vampires of Transylvania, which angered the people of Transylvania. The people captured Diablo and buried him alive.
Many years later, the Fantastic Four took a vacation to Transylvania where Thing released Diablo from his grave. For years, the villain caused endless headaches for Marvel’s first family, but he hasn’t appeared in a comic since 2016.
2 Lucifer: 1965
Hailing from the planet Quistalium, Lucifer was sent to Earth to start the preparations for an invasion. After taking over a small town, Lucifer’s actions caught the attention of young Charles Xavier, who freed the town of the alien’s control. In the fight, Lucifer dropped a large stone on Xavier, crushing his legs and leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
Lucifer would return to Earth many times over the years, constantly trying to take the planet over. Along with the X-Men, he would go up against the Avengers a few times before his superiors finally tired of his failures and had Lucifer terminated.
1 Growing Man: 1967
Built by the inhabitants of the planet Kosmos under the direction of Kang the Conqueror, the Growing Man first fought and was defeated by Thor before Kang used it again to attack the Avengers. The android was built to absorb kinetic energy and use it to stimulate the multiplication of its artificial cells, causing the Growing Man to do exactly what its name suggests, grow.
The Growing Man was later found by Hydra and used to attack the Thunderbolts, but that went about as well as the fight it had with the Avengers. Kang then created a new version of the Growing Man to battle the Young Avengers, but neither version has been seen since 2010.
Comic books are full of random, one-off villains, and these Marvel villains from the '60s have been forgotten.