published by Marvel Comics
. The Hypno-Hustler
appearance was in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #24
It is 1978 and comic books are ever on the cutting edge of cultural
trends. In this case, the trend is the disco craze and writer Bill
Mantlo's answer is the Hypno-Hustler.
The Hypno-Hustler and his back-up singers the Mercy-Killers are a
popular act in all of the clubs around New York City. The
Hypno-Hustler fronts for the group, dressed in a white jumpsuit,
funky purple glasses and moon boots. The singing of the three
women back-up singers combined with the twirling hypnotic gaze of
the Hypno-Hustler allows the group to entrance whole audiences who
they then rob. The audience would awake to believe that they had
drunk too much and bought rounds for the entire club and be too
embarrassed by their behavior to mention it to anyone, ensuring that
the villains would get away with it.
These funky evil-doers would have continued their reign of groovy
terror if not for a run in with Spider-Man. Bummed that his
Aunt May was in the hospital (again) and that he had been left
back for not getting a credit in gym, Peter Parker went out clubbing
with his friends. They ended up at a trendy nightspot where the
Hypno-Hustler and his minions were performing. While the rest
of the audience was brought under the sway of the
Rick James of larceny, Peter fought off the effects of the music
and changed into his Spider-man costume, stuffing webbing in his
ears to muffle the sound.
Spider-Man and the Hypno-Hustler fought for a time. The Hypno-Hustler's
attire turned out not only to be stylish, but filled with deadly
weapons, like shoes containing both poison gas and retractable knives.
The two tussled for a bit, but Spider-Man finally got he upper hand
when he pulled the earphones off of his opponent's head, and the
Hypno-Hustler was enthralled by his own music.
Oddly enough, the Hypno-Hustler has only appeared in this one issue
of Spider-Man. Fans of this disco madman can take heart that
Marvel likely has plans for him still, as he was not one of the
second-rate villains that was offed during the whole Scourge storyline
a few years back.