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December 07, 2004


matt rossi

God, this is perfect: thanks very much, Marc.

The Circus of Crime operates under different names so that the audience will not suspect that they are the Circus of Crime.

And let us not forget that they hired the Hulk and disguised him as a robot.


By the way, I tried to find a picture of the famous Johnny Cash frisbee (that night was also your birthday, wasn't it? or the night after, which is always depressing for me, so either way it's a safe bet one of us was celebrating a melancholy anniversary). Alas, no images turned up, and the fourth hit for "Johnny Cash frisbee" was your own retelling of the tale from last year.

Maybe I should have tried "Jim Belushi frisbee." God damn it.

Steve Pheley

Heh. I always wondered why people would attend performances by the "Circus of Crime" -- now I know!

Dave Van Domelen

No self-respecting superhero setting is complete without a circus of crime!

Captain Spaulding

From the same site:
But once in America, Tiboldt's Circus proved incapable of competing successfully with larger American circuses.

Damn Ringling Brothers - the Wal-Mart of circuses destroying the little family circus.

Blaming Americans not only for ignoring his circus...Tiboldt decided to turn to crime. If Americans would not enrich him and his performers willingly, they would be forced to do so.

First of all, if he's not getting audiences, then how can he rob them? Second, he's fallen into the trap that anyone who performs in front of live audiences can tell you not to. To wit, if there's a small audience, don't get mad at the audience because they showed up. Be mad at the jerks who didn't show up.

According to the same site, the Ringmaster's father used a circus front in WWII. The Circus of Nazi Sabotage and Murder of High Officials, if you will.


Steve, I would attend performances by the Circus of Crime in a heartbeat.

And no, I wouldn't worry too much about getting robbed. This is a group that, when it got sick of the Ringmaster's incompetent leadership, replaced him with a clown on a unicycle.

As Matt put it, "his main qualification was his keen sense of balance."

matt rossi

Oh God, the Johnny Cash frisbee. People still refuse to believe me about that one. I only wish I'd had a camera.

And I think it may well have been after my birthday, yeah.

Chris Durnell

The Circus of Crime is one of those concepts so outrageously bizarre, you secretly want them to be successful.

I always wanted to see the Circus of Crime in a guise of Las Vegas crimelords ever since I saw the James Bond film, Diamonds are Forever which had scenes at Circus Circus and showed Blofeld impersonating a Las Vegas hotel baron.

Best Appearance - ASM #22 when they kicked out the Ringmaster and fought Spidey as the Masters of Menace. The closest they ever came to being respectable criminals.

Most Bizarre Appearance - When they infiltrated Avengers Mansion and disrupted the wedding of Yellowjacket and the Wasp. It was never revaled why exactly such lowlifes wanted to destroy such powerful heroes or why they thought they could succeed. However, before they bizarrely attacked the Avengers in person, their original plan of sneaking in explosives and blowing them up was actually sound.


The Masters of Menace appearance is a fun little issue for all the double-crossing that goes on within the gang, and the femme-fatale portrayal of Princess Python - it's the Circus of Crime as written by James M. Cain.

However, that's the issue where their membership gels into the line-up we all know and love, and that's when it all goes irrevocably wrong. (As if following the Ringmaster weren't enough of a start.) In their earlier appearances the Circus of Crime had dozens of members, but they've gotten rid of most of them and kept the five goofiest. One can only wonder at their internal evaluation process.

Powers: Swings around five-hundred pound barbells with ease
Evaluation: Simply too useful for the Circus of Crime
Status: FIRED

Powers: Has lime-green harem pants
Other abilities: Is seen in one panel leering lasciviously at a dwarf
Evaluation: No dumber than the Gambonnos
Status: FIRED

Powers: Extra tall; extra wobbly
Evaluation: Shtick already taken by a Daredevil villain
Status: FIRED
Note: The only good decision the Circus of Crime ever made

Powers: A living projectile who strikes with the force of a missile, if you happen to have a cannon handy; otherwise you need two people to pick him up and use his little metal cap as a battering ram
Evaluation: Much more complicated than just shooting the cannon at people

Powers: Keen sense of balance; juggling
Other abilities: Unicycle acts as a very slow, one-person getaway vehicle

The Circus of Crime: the greatest failure in super-villain human resources history.


nothing to do w/ the topic at hand, besides being about comics, but i thought this was interesting from today's wash post



And it quotes ICAF Chair Charles Hatfield! (Though it doesn't say anything about ICAF.)

Interesting link, Kan - thanks. This line in particular deflates some dearly-held assumptions:

"In one fifth-grade class at George D. Lisby Elementary School at Hillsdale, in Harford, nearly all the students said they had read comic books in their free time."

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