Minor Vilain Showcase: The Tycoon of Crime

Meet Mr. Blob, the Tycoon of Crime, from Superman No. 29. But perhaps you’re not so solid on the definition of tycoon? No problem, folks, the people at DC have got you covered:

Yes, Mr. Blob is [such a big shot that he has his own little domestic scene by way of an introduction. Perhaps this father-and-son pair are on perpetual retainer and proceed him into any situation in which his title might be called into question, who knows?

As the Tycoon himself further explains:

It's not a bad system that the Tycoon has, actually. Since he doesn't have the funds necessary to do something as extravagant as buy works of art such as the Mona Lisa, he instead hires artists to make copies of them and criminals to substitute his forgeries for the real thing. It's judicious application of wealth as a super-power, really, and it all goes just fine until Clark Kent visits the museum and figures out that something fishy is going on. Suddenly Superman is rounding up Tycoon Goons left and right and the man himself is apoplectic. Which leads us to the


The Tycoon’s plan isn’t stupid, though. Hiring a conclave of criminal scientists to devise a method of killing Superman could work, with the right amount of planning. And they have to get points for thoroughness as well:

Yes, the problem is that people have been trying to kill Superman for at least five years at this point, and they’ve tried all manner of methods only to fail every time. And then afterward, at the very end of each story, this happens:

Yes, the Tycoon’s plot failed due to lack of research: a quick trip to the Daily Planet archives would have yielded an extensive list of things that have failed to kill Superman. In fact, several characters make in-story references to the events of issue No. 25, in which a villain named Hi-Jack tried to kill Superman using a house filled with traps.

Remember, folks: when putting together an evil organization don’t just blow your budget on evil scientists. Hire a couple of evil researchers and archivists as well.


Eventually, though, someone in the group realized their error:

Lacking stars to wang together, the scientists produce this contraption, based on the firm scientific principle of "You know how dogs can hear really high-pitched sounds? Well this thing uses really high-pitched colours."

It’s one of the first times that someone has attempted to use one of Superman’s strengths against him, and though I wouldn’t have called it a guaranteed win...

It all works out! And not only that, but the Tycoon doesn’t fall into any of the common traps that usually trip up villains who bring a super-hero under their control: no using Superman to grant wishes like a genie or dressing him up and making him dance, no trying to get Superman to dispose of his enemies or wreck a rival’s business or anything of the sort.

No, he [almost gets it right (after indulging in some harmless whimsy, of course). After all, if anyone is sure to be able to kill Superman, it’s Superman himself.

And hypnotized Superman looks AMAZING.


The key word, however, was “almost”. Sure, Superman should be able to off himself, but without actually knowing that he is the Man of Steel, well:

Things get a bit problematic.

Once noon rolls around and Superman isn’t dead, the conflicting orders just plain cancel each other out and the Tycoon of Crime is left with nothing but a roast chicken to the face. Still, it was a good effort, especially from someone who inspired absolutely zero confidence in me when I first saw him. Tycoon of Crime, I salute you.