Remember when I said that there was no villain so lame that he needed to be killed off? I take it all back. Because I had forgotten about the Grinder, from "Spider-Woman" #26 (May, 1980).
Whirlwind, and y'know what? None of the spinning blades were on his head. And the Skittle-fied color scheme! Yikes! Normally I'd blame something this garish on early-80's Marvel colorist Don Warfield, but nope. The credits indicate it's actually old standby Carl Gafford, or, as he's listed here, "Gaff." Yeah, that sounds about right.
It gets worse. This issue was written by Michael "Dave Sim is my homeboy" Fleisher, so the Grinder actually presents a challenge to poor, pathetic, woman-y Spider-Woman. To quote her thought balloons: "Blast it! I was too self-confident! If I'd waited till I'd moved in closer, I could've probably hit him in a spot he couldn't protect with that shield! Now it's going to be another hour before I'm sufficiently recharged to unleash another venom blast! He's leaving the way he came! It's not going to be easy to catch him-- because he's equipped with motorized flight, while all I can do is leap and glide! But I've got to try!" Darn that feminine self-confidence! Bah. If I want to read about a superhero who's a whiny little bitch, I'll pick up a Spider-MAN comic, thank you very much.
Thankfully, Spider-Woman pulls herself together in time to defeat the Grinder with one of his own blades, and from the ground, no less.
Is there a way the Grinder could have worked? I can think of two, actually. The first and most boring way is to simply move the blades off the top of his head for God's sake and onto his arms where they'd look cooler. The downside is that he winds up as a very generic 90's-style villain. And nobody in their right mind wants another one of those. The second option was inspired by the following panel:
Tomorrow: more costume-foolery from Michael Fleisher's Spider-Woman. Friday: a letter from Lenny!