The Top 6 Reptile Superheroes
Animals are at the heart of all superheroes. Two of the most popular superheroes of all time — Batman and Spider-Man — are just dudes with animal themes. And I’ve made it my mission to explore some of the rare and obscure animal themes in comics. This time we’re going to look at the wild world of reptiles!
I’ve already explored birds, dinosaurs, dogs, pigs and frogs, among others. But how about reptiles? People are terrified of reptiles! Snakes and lizards and other green, scaly things are pretty ooky! But why aren’t there more reptile-based comic book characters? Would it really be so weird? Why do Batman and Spider-Man get a pass?
Join me after the jump for the six best comic book characters patterned after reptiles!
Honorable Mention: The Turtle
The Turtle is also sometimes called “Turtle-Man”. He’s an old school villain of the Flash, who is slow instead of fast. The original Turtle, in the Golden Age, was slow in that he was really patient and meticulous in planning crimes. Then the character got a bit of a reboot in the Silver Age wherein he had actual technology to control slowness. Pretty handy against the Flash! There are even more modern updates in the current run of Justice League comics, wherein the Turtle was studying the “Still Force” in opposition to the Speed Force. But we’ve yet to see how that plays out.
Komodo was one of the new younger generation of heroes introduced following Civil War, when a bunch of teen heroes were drafted into the Camp Hammond training facility and the Fifty State Initiative. Suffice to say, she really hasn’t been seen or used since. Melati Kusuma was a former graduate student of Curt Connors who used his Lizard formula on herself, turning her into what Spider-Man called the “dollar store version” of the Lizard. Sounds about right.
Now here’s a good, old-fashioned animal-themed villain. The Copperhead at DC Comics was a contortionist with a special costume that allowed him to get in and out of very tight spaces. He also had a mechanical tail that would aid in crushing his enemies, most notably Batman. Copperhead was a straight up regular villain with a cool snake theme, which is pretty neat. Then he got himself killed, and he’s been replaced a few times by a bunch of nobodies, none of whom look as cool as that big, dopey snake costume!
Is Constrictor based on a snake? Heck yes, he is! Enough for this list! Constrictor is Frank Payne, a pretty nuts-and-bolts style criminal, using his special equipment to rob banks and work as a henchman for proper super-villains. He’s tussled with everyone from the Thing to Captain America, making a bit of a name for himself, rising above other, lesser villains. He’s got a pair of super-strong, prehensile tendrils that shoot out of his arm weapons and grab people or loot. Most recently, the Constrictor became a bit of a good guy after winning a bunch of money in a lawsuit against Hercules. He went back to being evil, then died off-panel. The mantle of the Constrictor was later taken up by his son, who uses it for evil all the time!
3. Killer Croc
Once upon a time in comics, Waylon Jones actually looked human-ish. He was a normal man who just happened to be covered in scales. He was a criminal and a thug in Gotham City, routinely getting trounced by Batman and Robin. But over time, Killer Croc has become more and more a literal alligator-person. What started as a skin condition eventually led to him growing a tail and a snout, taking on a real monster appearance. Crazy how comics works like that. Usually he’s just a big, dumb brute of a villain, who possibly once hit Batman with a really big rock. At least, that’s what I’ve heard.
2. The Serpent Society
A whole dang super-villain army of snake-themed bad guys! And they really go for it! Crazy, colorful costumes, super evil plans, so many members that it’s easy to forget; the Serpent Society is what life is all about! There have been Serpent Wars and Serpent Crowns, and they fight Captain America all the time. They’re just plain funny, if you ask me. With names like Sidewinder, Cottonmouth, Fer-de-Lance, Death Adder, Boomslang and even Rattler, the Serpent Society is a hoot! Sometimes they go on to do more with their lives, like Diamondback, but most of the time they’re just a bunch of snake-dressed chumps. Still, they are committed to their theme, which is the theme of this list, so kudos for that.
DC Comics has their own Kobra Cult dedicated to snakes, but that’s not nearly as cool as the Serpent Society! They formed a whole society!
1. The Lizard
He’s just a big ole reptile in a lab coat! The Lizard is the all-time classic reptile comic book character, one who still holds up all these years later. A dedicated and honest scientist who was trying to study reptiles to learn how to regrow lost limbs on humans, desperate to get his own arm back. When the stuffed shirts wouldn’t help him out, Curt Connors took matters into his own hands and injected himself! He got his arm back, but he also became the rampaging Lizard! Spider-Man whopped his butt and turned him back, but Connors keeps changing to and fro as the years go on. Sometimes he can control the beast and is a good guy, and sometimes he’s a monster. He has a family, and sometimes they’re killed off, and sometimes they’re also lizards. The dude is all manner of roller coaster. But he’s a total reptile comic book character! Go him!