The Rise of Lady Stilt-Man
There is no dorkier character in all of comicdom than Stilt-Man. Here is a super-villain whose only real ‘power’ is that he invented a robotic suit with giant, telescoping legs. The legs let him raise up to the top floors of skyscrapers, bypassing all security by just breaking into a super high window. Now that’s creative thievery. And he’s been around for decades, returning again and again to battle all manner of superheroes in pursuit of riches.
Unfortunately, he’s dead.
Stilt-Man is gone to that great super-villain volcano lair in the sky. Brutally killed by the Punisher with a rocket launcher. Stilt-Man has been around since the 1960s! He was one of Daredevil’s earliest foes, debuting in Daredevil #8! In fact, I have a copy of that very issue framed on my wall. My brother got it for me for my birthday. Kudos to him. But one of the great things about Marvel Comics and their writers is that they are in on the joke. They know just how awesome Stilt-Man was. So rather than just let him die and fade away, they threw a wake! All of Stilt-Man’s low-level super-villain friends threw him a wake at the Bar-With-No-Name – which the Punisher crashed and tried to poison everyone.
Then in a recent anniversary issue of Iron Man, he and Spider-Man teamed up to take on a group of technological cultists who had taken to worshiping the late, great Stilt-Man! Marvel has done so much with Stilt-Man’s legacy, but the greatest of all is the new queen of dorky super-villains: Lady Stilt-Man!
I read a saying once online about what you should do if you ever get the chance to write for a major comic book company, like Marvel. They invite you to play in their toy box of superheroes, so you should be careful with their toys. Don’t break any of them too badly. Try not to steal any. And if you can, add a few more toys to the box before you leave.
That is Lady Stilt-Man, I assume.
Her first appearance was in Amazing Spider-Man #611, billed as a team-up between Spider-Man and current popular fad character Deadpool. She just showed up on the streets of New York City, smashing, stealing and spouting threats that would make a Silver Age villain blush. Spider-Man and Deadpool defeat her by opening a manhole cover, which she accidentally stepped into with her stilt-tastic legs!
Obviously she’s a joke character, but it’s a fun joke. She’s a parody of the various other female variations on male characters, like Lady Bullseye or She-Hulk. I think a female version of The Beetle also appeared around the same time in the pages of Captain America comics. The point is, she’s fun, and I bet it’s a blast to be able to create and write that kind of a character. She first appeared in an issue written by Joe Kelly, but I don’t know if he’s the person who created her. I hope so, I hope he just had this brilliant idea one day and turned it into a reality.
Because Lady Stilt-Man is now in the Marvel toy box.
Which is why I bring her up, because she recently appeared in the first issue of Villains-for-Hire! (or more appropriately, issue #0.1. The first real issue comes out next month). So Lady Stilt-Man has officially made 2 appearances! She’s going places, baby! Her star is really on the rise!
In the issue, the Heroes-for-Hire (nice name) respond to a break-in at a very tall building and find Stilt-Man fleeing the scene. They don’t know it’s the lady-parts version yet. They chase her to a subway train, where she has to defend her name to the Black Panther.
Then she has to defend herself against the Black Panther! Hi-yah!
Of course, the fight doesn’t go very well in her favor. He is the Black Panther, after all. And she’s only Lady-Stilt-Man. Still, it’s a pretty neat little scene, using a new and incredibly dorky character.
So if Lady Stilt-Man is so minor of a character, why do I waste your time with this delightful article? Because I love dorky comic book characters! They are so much fun. Sure you’ve got your Batmen and your Spider-Men as the top tier guys, but there are whole creative worlds out there full of fascinating and fun characters! That’s why I love comic books so much, because they are insane, wild and all-together imaginative places to be. Where else can a character like Lady Stilt-Man get her due? Where else can you even read about a character like her?
True dorkitude is special, and it deserves to be celebrated.