IMHO, the Death Throws is arguably one of the stupidest comic book teams ever created by Marvel. The team first appeared in Captain America #317 and consists of five costumed villains who use their honed-to-perfection agility and coordination for crime.
Now, as we all know, all superheroes and villains use some special weapon or ability in their daily pursuit of glory (legal and/or illegal). Spider-Man can crawl walls and shoot webs. Captain America is agile and has that shield to throw around. Magneto can control electromagnetic fields. Bullseye can use anything as a deadly projectile weapon.
So, the question then is what do the Death Throws use in their criminal pursuits?
Yes, that's right - juggling. The act that a busker, circus performer, and your cool uncle would perform - usually with some balls, fruit, or if you're really daring, some sharp objects. Not exactly the stuff of legends (criminal or otherwise) but I guess these guys were really good at what they did.
The group was organized by the criminal "mastermind" Ringleader (another circus-oriented villain) and consisted of Oddball, Bombshell, Tenpin, and Knickknack. Oddball first came on the scene in New York as part of the villainous Crossfire's plans on ridding the city of superheroes. The plan required the capture of Hawkeye (another ex-carnival performer) and Mockingbird (then members of The Avengers) and Oddball came up to bat, along with Bombshell, a female demolitions expert at the time. Unfortunately, they were defeated at the hands of their targeted victims and taken into custody. I guess they really dropped the ball on that one.
okay, that was a bad pun.
However, they were soon bailed out of prison by Oddball's brother, Tenpin, and returned to their criminal endeavours. Oddball taught Bombshell the art of juggling and she became so adept at it that she became a full-time member of the Death Throws.
The team's first assignment was to break Crossfire out of prison before he could stand trial. Captain America successfully intervened and the defeated Death Throws were soon relegated to comic book oblivion, a brief entry in older editions of Marvel Universe, and available for play in the Marvel Super Heroes Roleplaying Game (TSR).
Surprisingly, they even managed to survive the low-class villain purge of Scourge. I guess nobody at Marvel even remembered that they existed?
Lucky for us that there are people like Habakkuk who remember such things, although he may deny it.
- Marvel Directory (www.marveldirectory.com)
- An old issue of Marvel Universe from the 80s which is missing the cover and a few pages