SHOWCASE PRESENTS: The Worst DC Villain Of All Time
(Editors Note: All editorials are solely the opinion of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of DC Comics News or its staff.)
Right now we’re just about finished with DC’s Villains Month event so, to commemorate the occasion, I’d like to talk about DC’s worst villain. I don’t mean “worst” in the sense that the character I’m about to discuss is the most evil or the most nefarious. After all, what would be the point of that? Every great DC villain worthy of discussion (plus the Joker’s Daughter) already has their own one-shot coming out this month. I mean the worst.
I’m talking, of course, about Ann Nocenti.
No, but seriously, there’s a dude named Crazy Quilt I wanna make fun of.
1946 was a tumultuous time for our country. Hitler was dead. We’d recently come to the conclusion that blowing up cities was totally a thing we could do. And Russia was starting to act a bit suspicious.
Jack Kirby was working on a series called Boy Commandos which, contrary to its title, wasn’t a comic book for pedophiles. Issue #15 rolled around and Kirby figured it was about time to introduce his greatest creation: a man named Paul Dekker. Also known as Crazy Quilt.
At first, Dekker was a painter. But then, one fateful day, he ran out of paint. He cursed at the cruel gods who could allow such a tragedy to befall him. At last, he realized what he had to do: turn to a life of crime. To be honest, I have no idea if any of that is remotely true.
What is true is that Dekker hid the plans for his crimes in his paintings for his henchmen to find. Why couldn’t he just talk to them? I… I honestly don’t know. He was an artist, dammit. And art doesn’t bend to logic.
Anyway, one day one of his henchmen turned on him and ratted him out to the cops. Dekker got blinded by a gunshot and sent to prison. Of course, it was a prison where coincidences ran rampant, so Dekker signed up for an experimental procedure to restore his sight. Naturally, the experiment went slightly awry. His sight was restored but colors appeared so vivid that they actually drove him insane. Not insane enough to close his eyes or wear sunglasses or anything, but clearly insane.
Soon, Dekker was released from prison. Because f#%! it, that’s why.
“Dekker’s parole is coming up.”
“Dekker? The guy who keeps getting mad at colors for existing?”
“In a racist way, or…?”
“No, just like red and green and yellow. Like, he would see a rainbow and be furious.”
“Rainbows are just nature’s way of taunting us, son. Doing things that TV’s can’t do… RELEASE THAT MAN IMMEDIATELY!”
So anyway, he gets out of prison and names himself after the most terrifying thing he can think of: quilting. With an awesome new costume, he took to the sheets! Where he was promptly arrested by a group of pre-teen boys.
He later decided to up his game by wearing a helmet that emitted colorful lights. Mistaking him for a legitimate threat, Batman and Robin decided to try and stop him. Upon realizing that Dekker was just a homeless dude with a strobe light on his helmet who named himself after something grandmothers sew, Batman decided to let Robin take care of things.
Robin, being unsure of what to really do to Quilt that Quilt hadn’t already done to himself, kicked Dekker’s helmet. Which caused the lights to get damaged. Which blinded Dekker permanently.
Still, he was not dissuaded from his life of crime. He soon returned and tried to pick a fight with Jason Todd, the second Robin, believing all the Robins to be the same person. He did not win.
His last canon appearance was during a meeting of the Secret Society of Super Villains (JLA 80 Page Giant #1 in 1998). During the meeting, which I assume he was invited to as a joke, a villain with the only name comparably stupid to Quilt’s, the Monocle, made fun of Dekker’s costume. Dekker, having had no idea he was not wearing normal clothes due to his blindness, was furious. The fury, however, was rather short lived as the entire meeting was just an elaborate trap set by the JLA who proceeded to capture every super villain there.
That’s it. That’s the whole story of Crazy Quilt, the worst super villain who ever lived. And I for one can’t wait for his inevitable gritty reboot.