My Favorite Pulp Villains

the-hand-of-fu-manchu-book-coverLast Saturday, I listed out for you my favorite “classic” pulp heroes. I had fun making my little list so I thought this time, I’d flip it over and look at the other side of the coin…

The bad guys.

Yep, as we all know, heroes are often defined by their villains. If you think of the greatest heroes, they almost all have at least one villain that is closely related to them in terms of public perception. Batman has the Joker, Holmes has Moriarty and The Road Runner has Wile E. Coyote.

Or something like that.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s my list of my favorite pulp villains. Again, I kept it to ‘classic’ pulp villains — so nothing from New Pulp is on this list.

Here we go:

10. Fantomas
9. Wu Fang
8. Doctor Death (Dr. Rance Mandarin)
7. The Voodoo Master
6. Shiwan Khan
5. Thoth-Amon
4. John Sunlight
3. Doctor Satan
2. The Prince of Evil
1. Fu Manchu

What villains top your personal list?


  1. Fu Manchu is by all means at the top of my list.
    This said, I have a well documented soft spot for the Dragon Lady in Terry & the Pirates.
    And then there’s Zenith the Albino – from the Sexton Blake novels, British Pulp – to round up my personal top three.
    Not “proper pulp”, maybe, but great fun.

      1. I think you might like it.
        The pulpier, fresher stuff was published between the wars – over the top characters (including the above-mentioned Albino), muscular action, endangered ladies, weird plot twists.
        Fun – basically a (very) pulp take on Sherlock Holmes, but done right.

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