“And now, with my solid-platinum lockpick…”

Do YOU have what it takes to be a Silver Age DC villain? Not just the unifying concept, the name, the costume, and the gadgets, but the unique way of thinking that separates the Mirror Masters from the Clock Kings? Take our simple test and find out!

1) You have a device that can turn lead into gold.

Is your first thought:

a) My monetary worries are over forever!

b) I’d better not use this too much, or I may devalue gold!

c) I’m gonna rob a bank!

2) I repeat. You have a device that can turn ANY MATERIAL into gold. You have just used it to turn garbage cans into gold.

Your first thought?

a) This was poor planning. It’s going to be difficult to convert a solid-gold garbage can into spendable lucre.

b) That was fun, but people are going to get suspicious if I persist.

c) I’m gonna go steal money from a safe!


Having a device that can change ANY SUBSTANCE, INCLUDING STEEL into ANY OTHER SUBSTANCE INCLUDING, OH, LET’S SAY, GOLD, how do you open the safe in Question Two?

a) Turn the steel into paper and enjoy the thrill of tearing it open with your bare hands!

b) Turn the steel into oxygen and enjoy fresh air and cash money!

c) “Ah! I think I heard the second tumbler click!”

(All panels are from “The Moronic Crimes of Dr. Goddamn Moron” in Showcase #14 (1958) as reprinted in Showcase Presents: The Flash and His Seemingly Endless Parade of Retarded Nemeses.)

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3 Responses to “And now, with my solid-platinum lockpick…”

  1. Dorian says:

    I only had to look at the first panel, without recognizing it, to know that this was going to be about a Flash villain. Every single damn one of them could make more money using their abilities legitimately than they ever could by turning to crime, and yet…buncha idjits.

  2. David Thiel says:

    Dave, I will not sit idly by and have you mock the Flash’s Rogues Gallery. Okay, it’s true that Dr. Alchemy could make far more money sitting at home in his underwear drinking beers and turning the cans to gold than he could fighting the Flash. If we began listing all of the supervillains who’d be better off legitimately selling their technological innovations to the highest bidder, the Rogues would have a helluva lot of company. I’m looking at you, Lex Luthor. (And can anyone explain to me why Peter Parker had to make a subsistence-level living selling photos to J. Jonah Jameson when he’d developed a fluid with the tensile strength of steel? Giving Spidey organic webshooters was the smartest move the movies made.)

    I loved reading the Flash even more than Superman back in the day, and the Rogues were a big part of the reason why. Unlike a lot of supervillains, it was clear that they were mostly in it for the kicks and the opportunity to show up the Scarlet Speedster. It was more about rivalry than villainy, and there was a bizarre camaraderie, not only between them and the Flash, but amongst each other. They all went to the same tailor. They had annual conventions, for crying out loud.

    One of my favorite Flash stories was “If I Can’t Rob Central City — Nobody Can!” in issue #243. The recently-deceased villain known as the Top (who, of course, used deadly tops in his crimes) sends a posthumous message to the annual Rogues’ convention and informs them that he’s planted six bombs that will destroy Central City unless they can collect them all and stack them atop each other in time. The Rogues find themselves in the position of having to save the city, though of course the Flash thinks they’re up to their usual tricks. When at last they assemble the bombs, the Top’s pre-recorded voice tells them that he neglected to mention that the explosives must be stacked in the proper sequence, and that they now have 60 seconds to work through tens of thousands of possible combinations. Fortunately, that’s not a problem for the Flash…

    So, you may sneer at the Rogues, Dave, but they will always have a special place in my heart.

  3. Dave says:

    Just remember, Dave, I enjoy a TV show in which there’s a character who is more or less immortal and can freely travel through space and time yet feels like he has to go screw with the signing of the Magna Carta.