WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains

The Earthworm

Personal information

Character History

Real Name: Herbert Hynde


Residence: Mobile 
Occupation: Professional Criminal, Human Trafficker
First Appearance (Post-Golden Age): Wonder Woman #309 (November 1983)

Nothing is known of Herbert Hynde prior to his appearance in Gotham City in the winter of 1983,  Whether this was the first place he had conducted such operations is unclear. Ensconced in the depth of Gotham's sewers, Hynde set up a human trafficking operation obtaining children for unidentified sellers.  In November of 1983, one of his procurements was intercepted by the Huntress, news of which was returned to Hynde by one of his runners.  Disappointed by the news, the Earthworm seemingly directed a series of rats that were in his company to devour the runner alive.

Threatened by the Huntress, Hynde cultivated a relationship with Terry Marsh, a local personality whom he worked to discredit the heroine, thereby minimizing her interference in his operations.  In the meantime, the Huntress had returned the rescued infant to a local pediatrician and learned that it was in withdrawal from heroin. Knowing the area most notorious for the drug trade in Gotham, the Huntress began to understand the scope of the Earthworm's operation.  Targeting junkie couple, knowing their predilection of accidental pregnancy, he traded their infants for just enough cash to get their next fix.

The Huntress finds the Earthworm and follows him into his sewers but he has vanished, leaving a trio of hungry alligators for her to fend off.  Escaping, she returns to the surface only to find that Terry Marsh has inflamed public opinion against her as a "reckless vigilante" and she must fight crowds of protesters before escaping. 

Piecing together clues, the Huntress links the Earthworm to Marsh and confronts him, allowing her to learn his location.  After making short work of his henchman and fending off another horde of rats, the Huntress confronts the Earthworm, only to find he has slipped between impossibly tight bars.  Taunting her, he disappears into the sewers and escapes (Wonder Woman #309-313).

A number of unknown encircle the Earthworm.  His true nature and origins have not been revealed.  Who the recipients of his stolen children were have never been identified.  And whether he was captured and brought to justice on Earth-Two remains unknown.

Huntress_Earthworm_final colors resize

Powers and Abilities

The exact nature of the Earthworm's abilities are not clear.  He managed what appeared to extensive network of child procurement and trafficking, the scope of which is unknown. He appeared to have a symbiotic relationship of some sort with animal inhabitants of the Gotham sewers (rats, alligators) but the nature of this relationship is not know. He apparently had a high level of contortion skill, the limits of which are not established.  Whether he was even fully human, given his cadaverous appearance and his true age are likewise unknown.

Weaknesses and Limitations

As the nature of his abilities is unclear, the limitation of those abilities is likewise unclear.  He did appear to avoid extensive physical confrontation, suggesting a low degree of physical prowess and resilience.

Multiversity Villains



The Earthworm is known to exist in the Earth-0 timeline and presumable is also Herbet Hynde. Given that the Huntress (Helena Wayne version) does not exist in this timeline, the background of the Earthworm is not clear.  It is known that he accepted the invitation of the demon Neron to significantly upgrade his powers, rendering him even less human (Underworld Unleashed #1).  He later joined the Cheetah and Blackguard in an assault on Guy Gardner where he was eventually defeated (Guy Garnder: Warrior #36,38).




Reprinted in

Wonder Woman #309-313

I: Earthworm, vs the Huntress