To make it onto any comic book list is a pretty cool thing. Think about it. That’s all comics fans do is make lists and debate their lists. If you rank as a character, you’re doing something right. Usually. Not all lists are created equally, and neither are characters. Some are just better than others.
With nearly a century of comic book history behind us, not every hero and villain is going to rate, but some are so obscure, some are so entirely forgotten, they create their own distinction. Let’s take a look at ten such supervillains from Marvel Comics in the 70s.
Despite making an appearance in a pretty famous X-Men trading card set, Arcade hasn’t been a big deal in the comics in a long, long time. Like his namesake, he’s decidedly a relic of the 70s, first appearing in Marvel-Team Up #65. With his very Riddler-like appearance, Arcade was an evil genius with a prediction for bowties.
His main claim to fame was the creation of his own amusement park (i.e. death trap) Murderworld, which somehow people kept coming to and almost dying. He always left his victims a small chance to survive, and thus, a big reason to forget about him.
9 Big Wheel
Arcade brought his enemies to the circus, but Big Wheel took it with him. Jackson Weele (for real) was your average white-collar criminal, embezzling money from his day job until he decides to level up into blackmail. Pro tip: don’t blackmail supervillains.
To solve his increasingly desperate jam, Weele turns to the Tinkerer (it gets better) who outfits him with a… big wheel. It has guns and mechanical arms, though. His first outing didn’t go so well – after a run-in with Spider-Man, Big Wheel promptly plunked himself in the Hudson River, ensuring his status as a legendary loser with Spidey.
Man, you’re doing well if you rank in any list of major Hawkeye villains. Not that Crossfire does. An ex-CIA operative who turns to a life of crime against people, property, and fashion, Crossfire debuted in 1979.
He had a bionic eye and ear because bionics were the thing in the 70s, and he was very Punisher like, and maybe a bit Deadshot like, and he was definitely like a nemesis for Hawkeye, but he never really left an impression. His initial costume did, along with its very, um, iconic codpiece.
On the face of it, having a body made up entirely of bees sounds pretty scary. In the end, it’s mostly just a hassle. Swarm arrived on the scene in 1977, debuting in Champions #77. After duking it out with the likes of Black Widow and Iceman, he decided to take a shot at Spider-Man.
Made sense. Bees. Spiders. There’s kind of a connection there. But there was just one problem. Insecticide. That’s pretty much how it went for Swarm, though he’s hung around and most recently troubled another bug-oriented hero, Ant-Man.
6 The Gardener
He’s a pretty easy going guy who just likes to tend to his garden. He did try and help the other Elders kill Galactus once, though. And he did try to stop Thanos from acquiring the Time Gem. That didn’t work out so well for him, though. He evidently died, and literally became fertilizer.
5 Nova (Frankie Raye)
Not all Heralds of Galactus are villains, or at least, they tend not to start out that way. That’s the case with Nova, or Frankie Raye as she was known before taking up the mission of finding food for the big giant purple guy.
Frankie was once an average person, and even dated Johnny Storm, but after she transformed, she had no real issue at all plating entire civilizations for her boss. Frankie is later released from her duty and seemingly killed, casting her into the shadows of comics history.
With the importance of the Infinity Stones – ok, gems – in the MCU films, you’d think Magus would favor a little more. Unfortunately, neither or Adam Warlock, whom Magus is an evil doppelganger of, has yet to appear onscreen. Magus showed up in 1975, debuting in Strange Tales #178. Well, the first one did.
That Magus was a future version of Adam Warlock, created by the In Betweener. The second was a byproduct of all the negative energy Adam accrued while wielding the Infinity Gauntlet in the landmark series, Infinity War. He’s hung around, being very cosmic and evil, but not very successful.
One of two Marvel villains named Blackout, Marcus Daniels made his first appearance in Nova #18 in March 1978. Not Frankie Raye Nova – the other Nova. Like a lot of heroes and villains in the Marvel Universe, Daniels got his powers via a science experiment.
This experiment trapped dark energy from another dimension – the Darkforce Dimension – and it worked out so well that Blackout took a five-year powder after Nova before reappearing in the pages of the Avengers. His powers eventually cost him his sanity, and he died, in obscurity.
2 Rocket Racer
Earlier we highlighted the legendary mediocrity of Big Wheel. Remember that Jackson Weele ended up as a villain because he tried to blackmail another one? That was Rocket Racer. Perhaps even more forgotten than the guy who tried to kill him, Rocket Racer sped onto the scene in 1977, in Amazing Spider-Man #172.
He crafted a jet-powered skateboard and somehow didn’t immediately die. Like a lot of 70s Spidey villains, Racer’s criminal ambitions were so inept he eventually gave being a good guy a go. That really didn’t work out either. Obviously.
1 Angar The Screaming Hippie
This actually happened. No, really. Perhaps the most forgotten – and weirdest – villain of them all is Angar, The Screaming Hippie. Obviously someone had some stuff they wanted to get off their chest when the character made his debut in Daredevil #100 back in 1973.
A protestor turned simple public nuisance thanks to modifications on his vocal cords from Moondragon, David Angar got some pretty radical vocal powers as a result. Can’t say they accomplished all that much, though. He screamed and yelled and gave everyone a headache. And then he became an assassin. Very progressive.
When you've been around for as long as Marvel Comics, iconic characters are forgotten. Here are ten famous villains from the 70s you don't remember!