Armagideon Time

Some supervillains are motivated by a burning desire for revenge on those who have wronged them. Others are inspired by unrestrained megalomania or the need to imprint their sociopathic vision upon the canvas of society. Still more operate from a more mercenary agenda, order in which naked avarice frequenly works in tandem with hyper-specific forms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

And then there are those whose embrace of gaudily costumed evil is rooted in a profound and abiding love of interpretive dance…

…like Daddy Longlegs, info who made his high-steppin’ debut in Spider-Woman #47 (December 1983).

Pint-sized prancer Ramsay Kole wanted nothing more than to trip the light fantastic in front of adoring crowds, but discovered his small stature barred his progress though the upper echelons of the Terpischorean arts. In a fit of desperation, Kole sought out the services of Bill Foster in hopes of scoring a hit of the biochemist’s Pym-derived growth formula.

When the former Black Goliath (and future punchline of a greasy Mark Millar gag) rightly rejected Kole’s request due to safety concerns, the tiny dancer went full Nijinsky on the scientist’s ass…

…before quaffing down the contents of every beaker in Foster’s lab.

As to be expected in this cases of super-scientific substance abuse, the chemical cocktail wreaked havoc upon Kole physiology, granting him the height he so fervently desired — but at the cost of transforming him into a bandy limbed monstrosity akin to a Jack Davis caricature of Julius Erving.

Driven over the edge by the twisted realization of his dream, Kole opted for the only course of action left open to him within the confines of the superhero genre. Doffing a custom set of formal wear liberated from a “Tall and Grotesquely Taller” menswear store and a weaponized twirling cane, the rubber-limbed rhythm king assumed the villainous nom de plume of “Daddy Longlegs” and set about his unspeakably nefarious plan to…

…subject the culturati of Los Angeles to a three hour modern dance recital.

His insidious plans to subject a mildly receptive audience to some superhuman variations of old Bob Fosse routines was thwarted by Spider-Woman, who used a section of chainlink fence to subdue Kole after a strangely eroticized dust-up where the combatants inexplicably “merged minds.”

Though Kole managed to escape from improvised captivity in that encounter, he returned in the fiftieth and final issue of Spider-Woman as a prisoner in an unauthorized super-jail where he found ample time to pursue his other creative passion…

…slam poetry.

It takes a rare kind of terrible to qualify as the most laughable member of Spider-Woman’s rogues’ gallery (see also: Firestorm and Silver Age Ant-Man), but Daddy Longlegs has got both the moves and high-concept-gone-horribly-wrong moxie neccessary to earn his mad prancing self a place in the non-star revue known as Nobody’s Favorites.

(Thanks to Zack Smith for reminding me of Daddy Longlegs’ tragic existence.)

Related posts:

  1. Nobody’s Favorites: No antidote
  2. Nobody’s Favorites: Let’s pretend he’s relevant
  3. Nobody’s Favorites: Whoa oh, here she comes

11 Responses to “Nobody’s Favorites: Hurling dervish”

  1. Josh F.

    Holy smokes, it’s Young Cartilage Head.

  2. ftw

    what astonishes me is that there was a time when spider-woman could make 50 issues…

  3. Mitchell Craig

    Why Norman Osborn never recruited Daddy Longlegs as a H.A.M.M.E.R. agent…is quite understandable.

  4. Monzo

    This is actually Marvel’s second (or first? I forget) tuxedo-wearing dance-based supervillain. See also: Tapping Tommy.

    http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/tappingt.htm

  5. Philip

    After the last couple of installments, I’m almost disappointed by the lack of Daddy Longlegs apologists in the comments. For me, Father Longlimbs is among the ranks of “never even heard of him”. Yet I have the image of a Jack Davis caricature of Dr. J burned into my memory.

  6. Jordan Levells

    You know the real sad thing about this? He might have actually worked had they made his personality and origins a bit different. Just say he was born as a long limbed boy and rejigger his personality into a criminal mastermind version of Cab Calloway. Not much to it.

  7. Slappy

    I won’t defend him, but will say that while he’s startlingly inoffensive for a supervillain (I’m lanky and I dance! Tremble, world!), he’s not as lame as Spider-Woman’s other nemesis, Turner D. Century (who I thought I’d met here, but a quick search shows me I first saw him at Seanbaby.com).

  8. KrisWV

    Well, I’ll stand up for Daddy Longlegs if nobody else will. That phase of Spider Woman — most of the 50 issue run actually — was trying to find a space between superheroics and gothic horror, so freaky villains were required. For me the Claremont/Leialoha run was interesting, fun stuff, in a part of the marvel universe that was different but still seemed a part of the whole. Jessica Drew was at best moderately powered and so at times crappy villains could get the drop on her, but she always rose to the occasion.

    And those who make fun of Turner D. Century’s first appearance — Century was not a supervillain. He was an insane, mass-murdering terrorist. Spider Woman had to try and save people instead of straight up taking him on. The TDC origin study stands up as a story.

    Of course there is a possibility that I’m just an old coot…

  9. Funkula

    Heh. My first thought was also Cartilage Head, but I was not expecting him to be name-checked in the very first comment. Bravo, sir, bravo.

  10. nobody

    I figured he’d appear sooner or later. Admittedly, I _am_ nobody, so the series’ title stands, but this cat was my favorite of Spider-Woman’s villans. Yes, I also liked Gypsy Moth. I have used his nom de guerre for years on the internet- decades, now that I think of it. “From womb to tomb, good place for a freak.” was my old porn-folder encryption password.
    It’s a big ol’ world, there has to be one of us out there.
    keep swingin’,
    nobody

    “Are we human, or are we dancers?” -TheKillers

  11. Tony Goins

    I wish I were a little bit taller, wish I were a baller …

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