Monday, September 25, 2017

The Vile Menagerie: ARGUS WEEDE

Alter Ego: Argus Weede
Occupation: Gang Leader
Marital Status: Unknown
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: The Weede Gang
Base of Operations: Middletown, U.S.A.
First Appearance: Detective Comics #313 (March, 1963)
Eyes: Light
Hair: Black

Argus Weede was an extremely elusive crime lord in Middletown. He successfully kept out of the reach of the law through a complex system involving contacting his men via video conferencing or meeting them in person only through an indirect route to "contact stations." These stations included at least one highly advanced underground lair hidden below an artificial tree trunk elevator. Another base was established in a lushly decorated abandoned railway car.

The asset that most set Weede apart from common criminals was his interest in "black magic" and occult artifacts. These included a magical element Weede acquired which, if combined with the notable but seemingly powerless Wand of Wodessa, would grant spectacular abilities. A small time hood named Roy Roggins who had been refused entry by the Weede Gang heard about the gang leader's interest in the wand. Roggins stole the wand from an elaborate estate known to hold a collection of magical artifacts, but was greeted upon exiting by Weede's men. Also on the scene was police detective John Jones, who chose to address the situation in his secret identity as the Manhunter from Mars. Jones had been staking out the site in hopes of capturing Weeede, and the Manhunter decided to pretend the wand had powers in order to clandestinely follow his gang back to their leader.

Eventually, the hoods reached Argus Weede, who was able to guess at the Manhunter's plan. Weede took the Wand of Wodessa from Roggins, connected the essential magical element to the tip, and temporarily trapped the Martian Marvel. The Weede Gang then launched a crime spree that The Manhunter struggled to contain, thanks to a series of magical constructs. Finally, the Manhunter faked his own seeming demise, invisibly separated Weede from the wand, and delivered the lot of them to jail.

Powers & Weapons:
Argus Weede appeared to be a man of great resources, possessing a wealth of advanced equipment of unknown origin. With the Wand of Wodessa, Weede could animated objects like statues of Civil War mounted soldiers, a humanoid champion made of raw electricity, and a smoke creature to do his bidding. The Wand of Wodessa could also levitated, collapse, explode, and otherwise broadly manipulate objects with enough force as to briefly contain a powerful Martian hero.

Quote: "I've got as many tricks up my sleeve as the Manhunter has!"

Created by Jack Miller & Joe Certa

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