Stock supervillain plots are such that you can spot them coming a mile off. They come in a handful of different varieties, many with the same end goal: kidnap the superhero’s romantic interest/best friend/elderly relative, find some deadly MacGuffin which saps the hero’s power and makes them easy to defeat, invent a death ray. There are some variations in them, but that’s how the basic bad guy will operate, whether you’re talking Bond film, comic book, or Chick tract. Every so often, though, a writer will decide to break away from the pack and come up with a truly unique villainous scheme, unlike anything you’ve seen before. And it will be a bad idea. It is the nature of superhero comics that villains recur on a frequent basis, and they’re not just going to try the same thing every time. What didn’t defeat their nemesis the first go-around will surely fail on every later occasion as well. That’s how you get to the multi-layered planning of The Joker in the Dark Knight, for example. If that one felt ludicrous and reliant on coincidence, however, it’s nothing compared to some of the frankly bizarre ideas cooked up in actual comic books. Extreme lengths to find a new heir, a dubious way of helping Superboy and marrying an octogenarian all figure into the ten most ridiculous supervillain plots in comic history.
10. Kraven The Hunter’s Ultimate Scheme Ends With Suicide
Kraven’s Last Hunt is one of the classic Spider-Man storylines. One of the more kitschy early enemies of the wallcrawler, the big game hunter who decided New York was a more exciting safari than the plains of Africa didn’t look out of place amidst the four-colour villains of sixties comic books. By the eighties, that costume was harder to bear. In the 1987 arc otherwise known as Fearful Symmetry, JM DeMatteis and Mike Zeck aimed to make Kraven a formidable presence again. It’s just a shame that the villainous plot which would put him back at the top of Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery would also be the character’s final appearance. For a while, anyway. The last part was in Kraven’s scheme for his hunt from the start. He shoots Spider-Man, buries him, and adopts his persona to violently take down an enemy called Vermin. Then it turns out Spider-Man was alive, which Kraven planned for, because he wanted to prove he could beat his nemesis. Then he shot himself, because he was the winner. Eh?