Although Movember is nearly at an end for yet another year there’s one thing you can depend on to keep giving throughout the year. Super-villains! Those never-say-die antagonists of comic and cartoon heroes everywhere have more lives than nine cats. But when I looked for villains who sport moustaches I was surprised to find that there aren’t as many as you might imagine. Could it be that the image of the mustachioed bad guy, so prominent in early silent movies, became so much of an over-worked cliché that comic creators now avoid it on principle?
This would seem to be supported by the fact that villains with whiskers are generally more comical figures than frightening ones. Starting from top left in the image above, Batroc the Leaper wears an impressively mirthful-looking moustache, speaks with a stereotypically-written French accent and has no actual super-powers. Primarily a foe of Captain America, Batroc is a martial arts master, a mercenary and possesses the sort of old-fashioned sense of honour which has often caused him to switch sides when he feels his honour has been compromised or betrayed.
Sinestro is yet another villain whose allegiances have shifted over the years, although his shifts are more attributable as a product of self-interest than sense of honour. A former Green Lantern, Sinestro has been a fan favourite and worthy opponent who continually challenges Hal Jordan and other members of the Lantern Corps since the earliest issues. These days, after the events of Blackest Night and Brightest Day, Sinestro could be characterized more as an anti-hero than a full-fledged villain although that could certainly change at any moment. Like the man, his moustache is neat, trim and no laughing matter.
Someone whose moustache is also neat and trim, but enjoyably laughable is Boris Badenov. Representing the losing side in the cartoon world’s take on the cold war, Badenov and his partner Natasha were proud of their status as rotten no-goodniks. They tried to match wits on a weekly basis with the do-gooders Rocky and Bullwinkle using the sort of elaborate plans that were naturally destined to fail spectacularly.
My final Movember villain is Egg Fu, who also has cold war origins. He had his first appearance in Wonder Woman #157 where, in keeping with the times, he exhibited every possible racist and cultural stereotype that was then in vogue. In recent years the stereotypes have been dropped and Egg Fu (now known as Chang Tzu) has been portrayed as a villainous mastermind cyborg. Sadly, this makeover has meant that he no longer sports his prehensile Fu Manchu moustache.
Once again, let me add my shameless plug for myself and my fellow team-mates who are growing moustaches and raising money and awareness for Movember.
The Movember movement was started to promote the subject of men’s health. Prostate cancer is the second-most likely cause of death amongst men and all money raised for Movember goes towards prostate cancer research. Feel free to check out our Movember page, and offer a donation if you care to.
No amount is too small or too large. Five, ten, twenty… even a million dollars will do!