The Beagle Boys, for example, (…even during Carl Barks’ “Terrible Beagle Boys” phase) for all their enduring tenacity, would probably not be considered “super villains” because they do their thing with mere trickery and brute force. The same criteria also eliminates Peg Leg/Black Pete.
Magica De Spell, by contrast, qualifies, due to her supposedly supernatural abilities – even if a fair amount of that is also “trickery” of sorts. Evil Inventor Emil Eagle also gets a talon in the door, by virtue of his scientific prowess and his “crossover appeal” as a foe to both the “Duck and Mouse” groups of characters.
Even a relative newcomer like alien criminal Tachyon Farflung gains entry to the club, given his otherworldly technology. And Don Rosa’s Black Knight hits all the nasty notes as well. But, just who might be Disney comics’ FIRST “super villain”?
The immediate reaction would be to say The Phantom Blot, one of the most memorable malefactors to menace Mickey Mouse, waaay back in 1939. He certainly qualifies in the “fear factor” department, and has the reputation with both fellow characters and readers alike.
But, while there may be no definitive answer to this question, one answer MAY lie in the TERM “super villain” itself.
It’s opposite; the term “super hero” has been around seemingly since the Golden Age of Comic Books (Predominantly: The 1940s) , if not longer. However, I’m truly at a loss to pin down when – and by whom – the term “super villain” was coined. Even Wikipedia’s entry for the term “super villain” (Click HERE) defines it and provides examples throughout the history of fiction… but offers no definitive origin of the term itself.
I’m not entirely certain that the term “super villain”, as such preceded Comic Books’ Silver Age (Predominantly: The 1960s) – when most of the conventions of super heroics born of the Golden Age were fleshed-out and SOLIDIFIED into the basic tenets that still apply today.
To my knowledge, the term “super villain” had never appeared in a DISNEY comic book… until (Drum roll!) MICKEY MOUSE # 111 – released in December of that unforgettable year – 1966!
In this lead detective adventure tale by writer Vic Lockman and artist Tony Strobl, said “Super Villain” turns out to be the rather presumptuously (…and unoriginally) named “Crime King”!
The Crime King’s reign is quite short – the story was 14 pages long and he, himself, appears in a pathetically puny TWO PANELS (!) of those 14 pages, and was never seen again…
…BUT, at least by this line of reasoning, and quirks of both timing and terminology, we hereby salute “The Crime King” – Disney comics’ first “Super Villain”!
So modest is he, that we don’t even have an Internet scan to represent him! (…And heck, we even found one for Tachyon Farflung!)
Now, aren’t you sorry you never asked that question?