Daredevil’s villains have earned him a reputation for lethality and seriousness. Characters like Kingpin, the Hand, Bullseye, Typhoid Mary, and Elektra are all mentioned. Infinite examples may be given. However, they appeared decades after Frank Miller’s grittier 1980s reinvention of the character, which established his current trajectory.
Before that, the Man Without Fear faced some comically inept foes in the Silver and Bronze Ages. Man-Bull was one such villain that we saw in She-Hulk season 7 episode 7. The latest addition to our collection is the amphibian-clad Leap-Frog.
Is this ludicrous persona a product of television or the comics? And it just so happens that Stan Lee had a hand in creating the character of Leap-Frog, who first appeared in Marvel Comics. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and read some old Leap-Frog comics.
Do the Marvel Comics Have a Real Superhero in Leap-frog?
Frog-Man, Eugene Patilio, tries on his father’s frog suit for the first time, complete with the iconic spring-booted frog feet. If someone takes dad’s name and makes a powerful symbol for good, then the ghost of the Leap Frog will finally rest in peace.
He’s far more pleasant, though. Marvel Comics’ Eugene Patilio is the offspring of the infamous supervillain Leap-Frog, Vincent Patilio. After his wife passed away, Vincent’s life became increasingly difficult, but he never lost hope that he would be able to complete his time and pay his debt to society.
Finally, the character you've all been waiting for. 🐸
— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) October 5, 2022
Since Eugene was such a decent boy, he decided to make amends with his dad by painting frog-based adventurers in a positive light. In order to combat crime, Johnny put on the Frog-Man outfit his dad had saved from the trash heap, complete with the spring-loaded boots Vincent had developed.
Don’t act shocked that Marvel Comics’ Frog-Man never played a major role, but he is the type of figure who is always brought up when the plot is ready to take a turn for the ridiculous. During the Secret Invasion, he was replaced by a Skrull and has since paired up with the mutant Toad, been sought by Kraven in a comic book universe full of animal characters.
He seems like the type of person who would be chosen to embark on a cosmic adventure with Iron Man and would propose that they call themselves “the Space Friends.” Even if “total nobodys that you still can’t despise” is his current specialty, all it takes is one truly good tale for him to become a household name. Ultimately, it did occur to Squirrel Girl.
I understand why She-Hulk: Attorney at Law would cast a lesser-known hero as the antagonist in this episode. Sometimes it’s necessary to put the needs of the masses ahead of the demands of the few. However, I’d rather think of Eugene as Frog-Man than Leap-Frog.
Leap-frog Made His Debut in Comics
In 1967, in issues of Daredevil, Stan Lee and illustrator Gene Colan introduced their creation, Leap-Frog. Unfortunately for Vincent Patilio, his scientific and novelty toy invention endeavours yielded neither widespread recognition nor commercial success.
Consequently, he embarked on a path of criminal activity in order to secure his financial future. Patilio, dressed as a frog from head to toe, used electrical coils attached to the soles of his feet to make incredible vertical and horizontal leaps of up to 60 and 100 feet, respectively.
Patilio’s energy source was a backpack, operated via buttons on his gloves. In one of his earlier escapades, he battled Matt Murdock while using the alias Leap-Frog.
After that, Leap-Frog did not precisely become a main antagonist for Daredevil. The hero of Hell’s Kitchen gave his posterior several solid kicks. The villain Leap-Frog eventually joined forces with a bunch of other villains, and it was Iron Man who put an end to their plans for several years.
And the Marvel staff, for the most part, stopped paying attention to this comic relief. After serving his sentence, he returned to his family.
Was Frog-Man Able to Break Into the Major Leagues?
The elder Patilio claimed to be a villain once more to alleviate his financial difficulties, and he joined the criminal organisation headed by the villain White Rabbit. Unfortunately, loving old dad was working undercover for the White Rabbit gang while his son, posing as Frog-Man, was trying to bring them down.
There was a lot of confusion as a result, but they eventually figured it out. When Patilio told his kid that he no longer wanted him to go on adventures as Frog-Man, the boy ignored him. While many of the original X-Men were still active, he auditioned for the Defenders. In addition, he shared some escapades with the web-slinger.
Despite his best efforts, Frog-Man was never able to break into the major leagues. Even so, the Skrull Empire considered him crucial enough to replace him with a doppelganger during the Secret Invasion, resulting in a lengthy transition process once they restored him to Earth.
When Kraven the Hunter kidnapped Eugene and exhibited him in a zoo for supervillains with animal themes, it had to rank as one of the most humiliating experiences of his life. Even still, Frog-Man persisted, wanting to redeem his father’s shady history by becoming a legitimate superhero.