Have fun with this guy. What’s his superpower? He has lubed up clothing. That’s about it.
Seriously, he’s fought Spider-Man on many occasions. He was part of one of the versions of Masters of Evil. And he’s apparently dead (not that that has stopped anyone in comics EVER). In fact, he was killed once before…only to be revealed that it was his step-brother in the costume. Evidently, the costume is more important than any piece of meat shoved inside it. That should help you somewhat…
You know, others may laugh, but I actually think Slyde has potential, and there are a few things that set him apart from other characters. First of all, while his power is somewhat silly, it’s different and relatively helpful. He can move very quickly by sliding along the ground, and he’s very difficult to stop. Can he do any real damage in a fight? Well, not so much. Or, at least, not yet.
Here’s the thing. In his “I’m not a dork in spandex” identity, Slyde is a chemical engineer. He created the costume that gives him his abilities and that suggests that he may be able to create some other gimmicks that can increase his attack power. So there is some potential there. I also find him interesting because he’s 40 years old, which is 256 is super-hero years. Add to this the fact that he’s managed to cheat death twice, and I think we may have a savvier character here than anyone realizes.
Slyde is currently part of the Initiative, and I think that’s perfect. Slyde should be part of a team. He knows his powers will always be somewhat limited, and he also knows that, as a forty year old man, even in great shape, he’s better off surrounding himself with testosterone infused young ‘uns, who can take the blows meant for him and cover his back. So, we have Slyde in an Initiative team, perhaps being presented in Marvel Comics Presents. It doesn’t really matter who else is on the team; we can tell Slyde’s story over the course of a year of stories about this Initiative team, weaving it in and around the stories’ of the other characters.
This Slyde is the original. After his first defeat by Spider-Man, he decided to get someone else to run around in the costume, and roped in his brother-in-law. After his brother-in-law got killed, Slyde realized that no one else would want to take on the Slyde identity unless it was shown that Slyde was a viable concept, so he went out to beat on Spider-Man. With that out of the way, he was able to sucker some other schmoe into the costume again, but this one got killed by Hammerhead. Well, now Slyde realizes he can’t keep relying on others, since they’re morons and don’t understand how best to utilize his abilities. He knows that, to achieve his goal, he’s going to have to do this himself.
Slyde’s main goal is to seize control of the company that fired him, which is what caused him to become Slyde in the first place. To achieve this goal, he’s going to need a lot of money, and it would be nice if the authorities weren’t hunting him. He’s tried to get two other numbskulls to use his suit as villains and steal some money for him, and that road has been a bust. Civil War gives him an idea for a new plan; he figures that working on the side of the authorities makes more sense, since this gives him amnesty and those aforementioned big strong guys to watch his back (and being heroes, they’re more likely to actually do that watching than the villains he’s worked with in the past).
So, while helping out his new team when they need it, Slyde is also figuring out crimes he can commit. He puts his chemical engineering skills to use and actually comes up with something useful; a chermical that dissolves anything inorganic that it touches, something like a super-acid. (We can’t have him dissolving organic things, as it wouldn’t be good if he started putting holes in super-heroes.) Making himself some rudimentary sprayers, he creates a new identity as Acid-Wash (hee-hee, that is such a stupid name; but this is the guy who thought Slyde would take the world by storm…obviously he can’t pick names) and goes out to start committing robberies to get money. He does pretty well with these robberies, partly because he knows where the local super-heroes are going to be and how to avoid them.
So, the reader is seeing this new villain committing crimes, but no one knows who he is. Perhaps he runs into two of his teammates during one crime, and manages to escape, but now his Initiative team has been tasked with hunting down and defeating this new criminal. The reader doesn’t know who Acid-Wash is (Bwah-ha-ha….sorry, I can’t help it, that name is horrible) and the Initiative is getting frustrated, since they never seem to be able to find him when the entire team is assembled. Perhaps Slyde gets someone to act as Acid-Wash, as he did with the Slyde identity, so that the team can fight him once or twice, and perhaps even defeat him. Then, when Acid-Wash is in jail, a few nights later, he’s spotted again. The mystery (for the reader) deepens.
After a few months of this, Slyde has enough money to mount a takeover of his former employers. He uses someone else as a front for the takeover, but once the takeover is complete, he can’t resist coming out and making it known that he now owns the company, and personally firing the ones responsible for his own ouster. However, it’s now known that he was the money behind the deal, and everyone wants to know where this money came from. Whoops. The mystery draws to a close as Slyde’s teammates begin to piece together the truth, and Slyde is forced into final battle with them, using the weapons of Acid-Wash and the costume of Slyde (which should actually make him relatively formidable). Even if he wins, he is now a criminal, but he’s achieved his goal of revenge against his former employer, and may sneak away until something would cause him to again become a costumed villain.
Ooh…I like that. It has a bit of the original Thunderbolts idea in it, but with a twist. However, Acid-Wash has to go! How about Acid Reign?
Yes, the name was horrible, although part of that thinking was that the guy named himself Slyde, so obviously he doesn’t have a lot of talent in the “Name a supercharacter” department. That being said, Acid Reign is a much better name. Maybe he got better after spending time in the initiative around those wonderfully named heroes like Yellowjacket, Justice, and, um, War Machine.
Or, you know, maybe not.