Terrible Trio (DC)

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Researched by: Tsemasi

The Terrible Trio is a group of fictional character, DC Comics supervillains. The Trio’s first appearance was Detective Comics #253, published in March 1958. The real names of Fox, Shark and Vulture were originally Warren Lawford, Armand Lydecker & Gunther Hardwick - though these have changed over the decades.

The Terrible Trio were originally three famous inventors in Gotham City, who sought new challenges by starting a criminal career. As a gimmick, they dress up in business suits while wearing cartoon masks of animals. From this, they become known as the Fox, the Shark and the Vulture. Tapping into their respective areas of expertise, they base their technology on their respective animal themes. The Trio were recurrent foes of Batman and Robin for years, but they have also battled G'nort, and, more recently, the new Doctor Mid-Nite.

In the Doctor Mid-Nite mini series, the three have moved their operations to Portsmouth instead of Gotham, and have become the industrial leaders Fisk, Shackley, and Volper, heads of the investment firm Praeda Industries (Praeda meaning "spoils" or "booty", and sharing a root with the word "predator"). In this story, the Trio adopt their guises as part of rituals they perform to bring good fortune to their endeavors, calling upon the spirits of earth, air, and water. The trio attempt to cause simultaneous disasters to much of the city and its coast, leaving only the property in the worst sections of the city - which they owned and could then resell to enormous profit. As part of their plan, the Trio also operate as drug lords, selling the Venom-based steroid A39 to create an army of superstrong zombie-like soldiers. When Doctor Cross begins investigating their affairs they attempt to kill him, but succeed only in apparently blinding him (unbeknownst to them, he gains the abilities that would make him Doctor Mid-Nite). Mid-Nite foils their plans for the city, and the members of the Trio are caught and sentenced to a total of 800 years in prison.

In Detective Comics #832, published in April 2007, the presumed to be deceased Shark is named as Sherman Shackley. In this issue the Fox’s last name is Fisk and Vulture’s last name Volper, though no first names are given for either character. Here, the Shark, in an attempt to reinvent himself after suffering a psychotic breakdown - presumed to be due to substance abuse - fakes his own death and attempts to murder his partners, only to be stopped by Batman. The trio wind up in Arkham Asylum where Fox and Vulture switch their allegiance to Warren White — the "Great White Shark" — who informs Sherman that he can't be Shark anymore and that he's taking his place.

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