Who's Angle Man?

Who's This? He gets exactly one column on page 15 of Who's Who vol.I.
The facts: Introduced by Robert Kanigher and Harry G. Peter in Wonder Woman #70 (1954), Angle Man would become one of the Amazon's few recurring villains through the Silver Age, though he did not, at first, have a supervillain costume or a weapon forged on Apokolips. Instead, he was a mastermind who planned crimes with an "angle". (Similar antecedents like the Plotter, the Brain and "Angle" Andrews weren't so lucky.) After a baker's half-dozen appearances, he disappeared for a while, before being revamped in Secret Society of Super-Villains in the mid-70s. With his new duds, he would start reappearing in Wonder Woman, and would die in Crisis on Infinite Earths #11.
How you could have heard of him: In late 1999, an uncostumed Angle Man appeared in Flash #155. The character was then revamped in 2002 as, simply, Angelo Bend (from Wonder Woman vol.2 #178 on) and would go on to fight the Titans, Young Justice, Catwoman, Zatanna, and others. He's even appeared in the Justice League Unlimited and Brave and the Bold cartoons. But as of Who's Who vol.1, he only deserved a column, and famously, the smallest piece of art in the whole Directory.
Example story: Wonder Woman vol.1 #161 (1962) "Vengeance of the Angle Man!" by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito
I really wanted to see what his original stories were like, before the spandex, and some crazy Robert Kanigher tends to do my soul good. Of course, because the Angle Man is, at this point, a criminal mastermind, he sets things into motion, but then isn't a very acting character. Can't say that about Wonder Woman though, as you'll see. It all starts when the "underworld chiefs" contract Angle Man to make a fool out of Wonder Woman, or at least capture her!
He's got a plan. In fact, he's got a million of 'em. The trouble is picking the one that'll work.
Spoiler/foreshadowing: That first dart completely missed. A few days later, the nation votes on who should get their footprints immortalized on the sidewalk in front of Celebrity Theater (no relation to anything even vaguely like this, we swear!), and Wonder Woman wins. The fix is in though. Do you recognize the guy in the purple suit?
Okay, maybe not at this distance, but it's Angle Man! And I don't know what special cement he's using, but it's invulnerable to Wonder Woman's strength. It will NOT come off her sandals and will NOT break apart. Which doesn't mean Wonder Woman is stuck exactly...
That insane jump gets Diana to her invisible plane, where she tries to balance on the wing. I kid you not. Angle Man and the chiefs drive after her. The cheer as she slips off the wing, but she's already forgotten her predicament: A car has skidded into a lake and she must save the passengers who are, in her estimation, kind of idiots.
Yes, that's Wonder Woman swimming up and then jumping out of a lack, with a block on concrete on her feet and a car in tow. Why does no one ever mention how cool Diana was in the Silver Age?! So she gets herself and the car on top of the plane...
Ironically, she has to make the plane dive at different ANGLES to make any of this work. Eventually, she drops the car off safely, and the Angle Man gets a helicopter to continue his pursuit. Wonder Woman basically resigns herself to living the rest of her life with concrete shoes.
Hey, it seems to work for her. But she loses her balance, hits her head, and falls into an artist's studio. He was supposed to make a statue of her for some Silver Age celebration (those parades aren't just for Superman, then), but failed to make the deadline. When the delivery men show up, they find a "statue" anyway.
See, Wonder Woman may have passed out, but that doesn't mean she'll bend the knee. #Feminism. So it's at the art exhibit that the Angle Man steals the statue (as seen on the splash page, above). He's won! Except he forgot Wonder Woman is friends with Zeus, and a lightning bolt conveniently hits her, destroys the block, damages the helicopter, and wakes her up, in that order. She saves the bad guys from the burning vehicle and takes them to jail. Cue laugh track.
Yes, a laugh track was super-helpful in this case. It's the only way the panel could get some laughs.

999,999 angles to go...

Who's Next? I'm honestly not sure... who have I missed that you really want to see done?


American Hawkman said...

I'm quite fond of Angle Man... It's still a little shocking to me that he got such little space in Who's Who, as he was such a recurring foe. That said, his off-panel death in the CRISIS shows that they clearly hated him. I kind of liked the post-CRISIS version's interest in Donna Troy... He was a bad guy, but had a soft spot for her.

Oh, and you can't go wrong with the Fadeaway Man if you want suggestions.

Siskoid said...

I've come to realize over the years how much of Marv Wolfman's bile was in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Fans today blast DiDio for hating on certain characters (haha, many of them Wolfman's) and doing away with them, but Wolfman did the same thing long before.

LiamKav said...

The advantages of doing things before the internet made everyone angry about every decision all the time for ever.

Jeff R. said...

The Atari Force seems like the best remaining pick from #1 to me...

Siskoid said...

Atari Force? Been there, done that: http://siskoid.blogspot.ca/2011/12/old-52-atari-force.html


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