A well-known professional wrestling term is “jobber,” which is a wrestler whose sole purpose is to lose. They are there to enhance the reputations of the people who defeat them. In other words, they are meant to look tough, but in the end, they will lose to the more popular wrestler so that it will make the wrestler who defeated them look good. These wrestlers are typically journeymen, but occasionally you will have a jobber who defeats lesser wrestlers so that it makes it better when he or she loses to a star wrestler or an up-and-coming wrestler.
The term has transitioned to comic books, where it has come to apply to comic book villains who are technically very strong and certainly look imposing, but they always manage to lose, even to characters who are seemingly much less powerful than them. Superheroes are supposed to win in the end, but sometimes, in the process, the reputation of the villains that they defeat take big hits in the process. The effect, then, is the opposite, tearing down the reputation of the villain and doing not much for the triumphant hero. Here, we celebrate (or commiserate) 20 physically imposing Marvel supervillains, who have proven surprisingly easy to defeat over the years.
Sabretooth was created with the intent of being tied together with Wolverine, but for whatever reason, it took more than a decade before Sabretooth even met Wolverine in a comic book! In that decade, Sabretooth became more and more of a sad sack character. He went from barely being defeated by Iron Fist to becoming actually part of a criminal partnership with… Constrictor? It says a lot about a villain if they are partnered with someone like Constrictor. Sabretooth was a recurring villain in Power Man and Iron Fist and his results were worse and worse as time went by.
Even when Power Man and Iron Fist ended, Sabretooth then got beaten easily by Black Cat in the pages of Spectacular Spider-Man. Claremont finally got him into an X-Men storyline, and Sabretooth has fared generally better since. Claremont even planned at one point to reveal that the Sabretooth who kept losing all the time was a clone. The writer’s take was that Sabretooth should always be a little bit stronger and a lot bit tougher than Wolverine. In the years since, Sabretooth has gone back to losing to Wolverine all of the time. Wolverine even beheaded him once!
19. THE WRECKING CREW
No super villains are quite as good at “jobbing” as the Wrecking Crew. The Wrecker was introduced in Thor’s comic book when Loki gave him an enchanted crowbar that gave him strength enough to take on Thor all by himself. Over time, though, the Wrecker decided that he liked being part of a crew, so he shared the power with three other criminals — Thunderball, Piledriver and Bulldozer. They formed the Wrecking Crew.
The Wrecking Crew have an interesting place in the Marvel Universe as they are the characters that seemingly every superhero beats at one point or another to show how strong the new superhero is. Hawkeye once took down Piledriver with a wooden arrow! No matter what the power level is, it seems like the Wrecking Crew always end up losing to some new superhero. Writers sometimes try to redeem the team, like when Kurt Busiek came up with the idea that they could be powered by alternate sources, such that their abilities were all ramped up for a brief period of time. In general, though, their entire existence seems to be based around them getting easily defeated by heroes, despite the fact that they are intended to be able to give Thor a run for his money.