Your Favorite Pulp/Victorian Villain
Most bad guys didn't survive more than one encounter with Doc Savage, The Spider, The Shadow, The Avenger, or even Wizard of Oz's Dorothy Gail. But a few of them were more durable and memorable and even had their own series of novels -- and later movies, radio shows and/or comic books. Cthulhu by Gaslight gives us write-ups and stats for the ever-insidious Dr. Fu Manchu, Professor Moriarty and Lord Varney the Vampire. Some other contenders for Worst Pulp Villain might include:
Fantomas -- French master villain and master of disguise. He had multiple visages and secret identities in various portions of society, the better to keep tabs on his many schemes and potential victims. Only his aristocratic mistress knew his true face, and she was terrified as well as enamored by him. Fantomas specialized in extortion and blackmail, meting out weird dooms to those who didn't pay up. In his Fantomas guise, he appeared to be a tall man in a black top hat, cloak, and domino mask.
The Grand Vampire -- From the same nation and era, the Grand Vampire organized and oversaw the outrages committed by the French gang "The Vampires," who performed their crimes with military precision and fiendish ingenuity. The Grand Vampire was aided by five or six lieutenants, each a specialist in a particular area of crime. Robbery, kidnapping, swindles -- no scheme was too low or too small as long as it was profitable. When the original Grand Vampire was killed, he was promptly replaced by another crook of similar intelligence and cleverness.
Dr. Antonio Nikola -- Mad scientist with an occult bend, Nikola's goal was to live forever. He was totally amoral and ruthless in his quest. A small dark-haired man with hypnotic eyes, impeccable suit, and baleful black cat always perched on his shoulder, Nikola was a sort of Caucasian Fu Manchu (although he came first).
Count Fosco -- Con man, former agent for an outlawed Italian political faction, master chemist, and hypnotist, Fosco was charming, outrageously fat, and a seemingly a comical figure until one realized how dangerous and unscrupulous he was. Not a real member of the aristocracy, he aided an English nobleman attempting to seize his fiancee's fortune, and succeeded in having the poor girl committed to an asylum while replacing her with a look-alike.
Anyone else have a favorite villain? I'll skip a poll this time since there are so many bad guys to chose among.