10 Most Bizarre Marvel Characters From The 70s
Marvel already had a large roster of established comics by the 1970s, but the Bronze Age of Comic Books also saw the introduction of some rather bizarre characters. Whether it is because of their strange powers, outlandish motivations or weird backstories, these characters definitely stand out from the crowd. Not all of them have survived to the Modern Age of Comic Books though, but with the resurgence in popularity for superhero movies who knows where they might pop up again.
1. The Gardener - The Superhero Who Sows Seeds
Just imagine what you could do if you were a virtually immortal being able to roam around the universe. Chances are that working as a gardener is not going to be your first impulse, but that is exactly what Ord Zyonz decided to do with his time. This quirky character goes by the alias of “Gardener” and by sowing seeds on planets that can do with some flora. Apparently he has been at it for eons and can transform Earth-sized planets from barren to lush in less than twelve months. At one point the Gardener even got his hands on a Soul-Gem, but used its immense power to aid in his gardening activities.
2. Goldbug - A Gold-Obsessed Villain
Some comic book villains want to rule the world or terrorize the population, but all Goldbug wants is gold. His lust for gold has landed him in quite a few sticky situations, including kidnapping the Hulk in an effort to find the lost city of gold, El Dorado. Needless to say this endeavor did not work out very favorably for Goldbug. Next Goldbug contracted radiation poisoning while trying to steal gold from a laboratory. Undeterred, Goldbug tangled with Namor the Sub-Mariner while searching for underwater gold in between treatments for radiation poisoning. The gold obsessed villain finally ran out of luck when he was shot and killed by the Punisher.
3. Wundarr - The Superman Parody
Fans of a certain man of steel will find a lot of facts around the Marvel character Wundarr to be a little too familiar. Wundarr was actually born on a different planet, but was shot into space by his parents as a baby to protect him from the destruction of the planet. After arriving on Earth he was bombarded by cosmic rays, which gave him super powers such as superhuman strength. However, his parents were mistaking in their belief that their planet was doomed and were executed before they could cause a panic. Since Wundarr grew up inside his ship he was also somewhat mentally delayed and, after some adventures, ended up being studied by the government for his superhuman abilities. Some close encounters with a cosmic cube later and Wundarr is now a self-styled prophet by the name of The Aquarian.
4. Jack of Hearts - The Avenger Who Committed Suicide
Like many other superheroes, Jonathan Hart got a bit of a raw deal. With a scientist father and extraterrestrial mother (who neither Jack nor his father knew was an alien) Jack was destined for greatness, but ended up doused in “Zero Fluid” when his father was killed by criminals. The fluid caused mutagenic changes which gave Jonathan super powers, so he promptly fashioned himself a costume and took on the name of Jack of Hearts. After various adventures, which included battling the Hulk and apprenticing with Iron Man, Jack actually became a member of The Avengers. It didn’t last very long though as his unstable powers prompted him to commit suicide by exploding in space. He does get credit for taking a child murderer along with him into space for the explosion!
5. Living Mummy - The Egyptian Who Was Embalmed While Alive
With many superheroes in the Marvel universe gaining their powers from the unlikeliest events, it should come as no surprise that N’Kantu the Living Mummy got his thanks to being embalmed while still alive. After being sprayed with paralyzing liquid and wrapped in papyrus, N’Kantu got exsanguinated while still conscious and pumped full of alchemical preservative. It only takes about 3000 years for the paralyzing liquid to wear off allowing N’Kantu to escape his tomb. Needless to say his time spent paralyzed and entombed wreaked havoc with his sanity. On the bright side his transfusion somehow gave him superhuman strength as well as durability although this is offset by his wrappings being highly flammable. The Living Mummy is also not much of a talker seeing as his lack of saliva makes it rather difficulty for him to speak.
5. Apalla - A Living Manifisation Of The Sun
Presumably Marvel must have run out of regular deities such as thunder gods by the time that they created Apalla, as she is literally a living manifestation of the Earth’s sun. Apalla’s chance to shine (pardon the pun) came when the Creators, a league of sorcerers, planned on taking over the stars and transforming them into humans. Apalla thwarted their plans along with Doctor Strange, but ran into trouble shortly after when Mar-Vell got a radioactive overdose and started draining her energy whenever he used his powers! All is well that ends well as the two patched things up and Apalla was returned to the sun where she belonged.
6. Arcade - Marvel's Jigsaw
Long before Jigsaw was killing people using elaborate death traps in the Saw movies there was the Marvel character, Arcade. Working as an assassin for hire, Arcade had a penchant for killing using fairground style deathtraps that involve all manner of mazes, trapdoors, booby traps and lethal robotics. He was also fond of cheerfully dubbing these places “Murderworld.” Since the money he receives for his assassinations doesn’t even come close to covering his expenses he pretty much kills for the fun of it. His sanity is also very questionable as he at one point opted to mutilate his own face while trying to pin a series of murders on Wolverine. Despite all this Arcade wasn’t taken very seriously by the other supervillains and ended up being strapped to a stolen S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier as torture by the Masters of Evil.
7. Baron Blood - The Villain Who Tried To Control Dracula
John Falsworth is a Victorian Era aristocrat who lost out when his brother inherited their father’s fortune. This didn’t sit well with John, who promptly set out for Romania in an effort to find and control Dracula. The plan was to amass wealth and power by controlling the vampire. Unfortunately for John the plan didn’t turn out quite the way he wanted to and Dracula predictably enough ended up biting and killing him. This wasn’t the end of John though, as he came back to life as a vampire. Sadly being one of the undead didn’t help his fashion sense at all and he took to wearing one of the goofiest costumes in the Marvel universe and calling himself Baron Blood. Captain America took care of him a few decades later, but two other vampires took up the name of Baron Blood since then.
8. Blackout - The Superhero Who Became a Puppet
Blackout is another example of how gaining supposed superpowers doesn’t always work out for the best. After exposure to “black star” rays, Marcus Daniels gains the ability to control the cosmic radiation and promptly turns to a life of crime under the name of Blackout. Although eventually captured, Blackout managed to escape and free some other superhuman criminals in the process, but at this point his sanity was already slipping. His condition deteriorated to the point that another criminal superhuman, Moonstone, used him as her puppet. This trend continued when another villain, Baron Zemo, used Blackout to cause grief for The Avengers, but when Blackout finally realized what was going on, he resisted the mental commands and ended up dying from a cerebral hemorrhage.
9. Arnim Zola - The Creepy Villain Who Stored His Brain Inside His Chest
Arnim Zola is a character that appears in the 2011 Captain America movie and its 2014 sequel, but bears little resemblance to his comic book version from the 70s. In the comic books, the Swiss geneticist discovers how to create artificial life after uncovering a tome of Deviant science and then sets about building himself a new body. Instead of a head, Zola opted for an “ESP box” and stored his brain inside his new chest. To make things even creepier he projected his face holographicaly on the chest of the new body. Zola went on to become a staunch member of the Third Reich and even went as far as transferring Hitler’s consciousness into that of the Hate-Monger.
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