1: Mr Dayville aka The Devil
Story: Winner Loses All!
Creators: Mario Capaldi (artist); writer unknown
I doubt this choice and placing came as much surprise. Yes, when the villain is none other than the Devil himself, he just has to be at Number 1. Moreover, he is handled so brilliantly he is a three-dimensional character who even has a dash of humour about him and actually smokes cigars. The Devil is disguised as a bookie named Mr Dayville who uses his job to sucker people into his infamous contracts. Often it’s money, other times it’s desperation, as in the case of Sandy Morton. Dayville takes advantage of her anxiety over her father’s alcoholism and fading hope of being an equestrian champion to pressure her into one of his contracts. And as he’s in no hurry to claim her soul all at once he takes great pleasure in showing Sandy that the returns one gains from a contract with him before he takes his due do not give the relief, joy or benefits that a greedy or desperate person might expect from them before they pay the Devil his due.