Loophole, aka Deacon Dickson, is similar to my take on Stasis, in that he is an aging guy who seems like he is turning to villainy as a way to feel young and powerful (and, of course, “show them all”). But where I decided that Stasis is pathetic and kind of sympathetic, Loophole is a slimy asshole.
Probably having the most appearances of any of the crooks I am analyzing lately, Loophole invented a device that allows him to slip through solid matter. Using this for crimes, he would often bring along young women as his “sidekick” and if that doesn’t sound like the behaviour of a man trying desperately to deny his aging, I don’t know what does.
Instinctively, I feel like Loophole would hate being part of a team. He’s got something to prove. He uses henchmen. Unless he is the leader, he would be unhappy. With that in mind, I’d cast him not as a member of the supervillain team I’ve been building up, but as a rival.
Blindspot, in his two appearances, was kind of a comically inept hitman with a suit that allowed him to turn invisible. I would alter that just a little, making him a comically inept robber with the ability to turn invisible. It is easier to be sympathetic for the guy if he isn’t actively trying to kill people.
And I would want him to be at least a bit sympathetic. If I could again draw on a criminal’s powers to infer their personality, I would cast Blindspot in the role of the ignored and unrespected crook who feels as invisible as he can turn. He would probably overreach himself trying to prove his value to the team and would fail a lot of the time. He gives the rest of these losers someone they can mock to feel good about themselves.
It is worth noting that Blindspot was of Chinese descent (or at least he was Asian and capable of hiding out unnoticed in Chinatown). He was never given a civilian name, so if I were given my druthers he would be Henry Wong, after a Chinese crook who appeared in an episode of the 50s Adventures of Superman show. I can see no reason not to do it, and it works as to remind that diversity in superhero stories isn’t as strange as certain complainers think it is. There was also a Wong family who appeared in issue Superman #54 in the 40s. They were not criminals, though. But maybe they’re Henry’s family. Why not?
Stasis is probably the least justifiable of the villains whose return I am calling for in this batch. He appeared only once, in a minor Superboy story and there isn’t much to say about him. He had invented a helmet that allowed him to put people into stasis (basically a non-ice freeze ray). He was beaten when he was tricked into freezing too many people and he was unable to maintain his concentration.
Everything else I see in the character is something I am putting there on my own. But I will make my case.
I see Stasis as the most pathetic of the supercrook group I am building. I picture him as a middle-aged guy whose turn to supervillainy is probably part of a mid-life crisis. I assume I got that because he was an adult fighting teenaged Clark in that Superboy story.
After that, I look to his powers as an indicator of his personality. Would he be someone who holds people back when they want to change or improve their lives? Nah. I already have Toxus for that. Instead, let’s take a method that works with the mid-life crisis idea and say he is the one who wants to change his circumstances, but he’s unable. Oh, sweet irony. Probably, when he got into villainy, he paid his helmet with money borrowed from the Laugher. Now every unsuccessful heist digs him in deeper. And he probably has substance abuse problems too. He would sign up every time Toxus convinces him they will have a big score, but showy crimes never get him anything but trouble. And one can only make so much by freezing convenience store clerks and robbing cash registers while you know Superman is busy fighting the Galactic Golem uptown.
Hi-Tech, real name as yet unrevealed, is a minor Superman foe from the 90s, but in spite of having only a few minor appearances in Superman books, she somehow managed to get a starring role in an story running in some DC Anthology book. I can only assume the creators had plans for her that never came to fruition. Well, I will currently ignore those insignificant potential plans to fit her into my own, even less significant plans.
Hi-Tech, as her terribly generic name suggests, is a technology-based villain. She was apparently just a bored adrenaline junkie type who became a cyborg for the thrill of doing super-crimes. She was essentially a mercenary, doing crimes for pay, eventually winding up having her consciousness wind up in an entirely robotic body. Like all the crooks for this team I’m suggesting, she’s not too bad (she actually came to feel bad about some things she did) and she’s not a threat to Superman alone, so she’d fit into the group fairly well.
Every team of heisters needs a hacker type and the fact she can also participate in a fight means she doesn’t have to stay behind in the team’s van and watch everything on monitors or whatever. She can participate in the action.
In terms of relations with the rest of Metropolis’s criminals, I expect Toxus would have little problem getting her to sign up for capers. She’s eager for the opportunity. I also have to wonder what kind of relationship might evolve between her and the electricity-based supercriminal Livewire. Friends? Enemies? Only way to find out is if people use the character.
Today I bring you Toxus. Toxus, real name Virgil Belasco, is a crook who has only appeared in one two-part Supergirl story, but I think he’d make a good addition to Superman’s recurring cast of c-list enemies. And not just because “Virgil Belasco” is an awesome name.
Toxus was your basic crook except that he came across some technology from the future that allowed him pollution powers. Among those powers were the ability to essentially fly turning himself into smog and to generate lead-filled smoke that can’t be penetrated by x-ray vision. A lot of fun could be had with the concept of pollution powers, I think. Also, Toxus has an angle that I think would be good to teach kids about pollution: it isn’t his goal to cause pollution, like some Captain Planet villain, he is just a selfish guy who doesn’t care that pollution comes from his actions. That is more realistic a depiction of pollution and kids ought to see that.
His personality? Well, we know he’s a crook but let’s extrapolate based on his pollution theme to expand on it. I say he’s the kind of guy who manipulates his fellow crooks to get what he wants and doesn’t care if it gets them in danger or causes them problems in their lives. Toxus would essentially be the crux of the little community of crooks. For example, I would absolutely have him as a cohort of Timebomb and he would definitely use the latter’s anger to manipulate him into doing things for him.
Next week, I’ll write something about another potential member.