20 Of Marvel Comics’ Weirdest Villains
Kang the Conqueror
Time travel is a notoriously hard concept to nail in fiction, because even the best stories bring up issues of paradoxes and chaos theory. It’s a good thing that comics have tried their hand at it, up to and including the sheer madness that is Kang the Conqueror. He started off as a scholar from the distant future, but got involved with the Fantastic Four’s arch-nemesis Doctor Doom, and began his space-time shenanigans in earnest. He’s not much of a fighter, but he might as well be a sorcerer thanks to technology thousands of years ahead of the competition. Kang the Conqueror gets results, to the point where he created entirely-separate timelines — and on top of that, there’s a whole group of villains made entirely out of Kangs from different timelines. Clearly, he’s dedicated to the craft.
There’s not much point in going over Taskmaster’s costume, because he’s not the first to don a skull over his face, and he won’t be the last to strut about in his skivvies. What makes this mercenary so bizarre is that his power is the ability to copy the moves and mannerisms of anyone he sees in action — which means he’s as good a shot as Hawkeye, and can toss a shield just like Captain America. The tradeoff is that committing those moves to memory means that he loses personal memories; given that, Taskmaster may be one of the only villains out there who can forget he was ever a villain by continuing to be a villain. Keeping a journal on-person would be a good idea, but that begs the question of where he’d put it in his costume.
Looks can be deceiving — so even if this villain tends to look like a stretched-out gummi bear in suspenders and hot pants, Impossible Man can defeat practically anyone in the time it takes to read the funny papers. As a Poppupian, his core ability revolves around shapeshifting; he can turn into anything and anyone, so at the very least he’s capable of turning into any superhero’s weakness — like a giant rock tumbler for The Thing. Despite that, he had a stint as a roommate of the Fantastic Four. It didn’t last; he actually got bored of hanging out with them, and pressured an in-universe Stan Lee to make a comic for him. Seems they call him “Impossible Man” for a reason.
First and foremost, he’s got no relation to The Simpsons’ Hans Moleman — even if that is a missed opportunity. In truth, Mole Man is actually Harvey Elder, a blind, century-old dwarf of a man who spent most of his childhood taking abuse for his “unconventional” looks. Left bitter and jealous of his peers, Elder searched the planet to find a rumored world hidden in the Earth’s center; he succeeded, and became the ruler of several subterranean species. It’s a safe bet that he won their favor with some rousing speeches, but despite his body — and common sense — he’s actually a decent fighter. He might not need to fight if he can command giant monsters, but it’s always best to have a Plan B.