Originally, a fairly ambitious dining concept was planned for one of the superhero islands of Universal’s second gate. In the days of Cartoon World, there were two superhero islands: Superman’s Metropolis and Batman’s Gotham City. In the Gotham City section, a unique full-service restaurant was planned called “Lex Luthor’s Villains Club” where Gotham City’s most despicable bad guys gathered to plot their next master plan. In a special article series on comics101.com, Jeff Tucker explains how the experience would have occurred.
The last restaurant on the list is the best in my opinion. Imagine as you walk around the park you come upon an upscale, sit down restaurant done in a 1930’s deco style. It’s down the street and pulling you in. It’s got that Brown Derby feeling of elegance and class. It’s “Lex Luthor’s Villains Club” and it’s simply the finest restaurant in town. Inside there are deep booths and mysterious corners.
The walls are adorned with caricatures of some of Gotham’s finest — not celebrities — but villains. Yes, you’re about to dine in Lex Luthor’s tribute to the criminal elite of Gotham City. Here in the shadows is where the most vile villains in the world meet to sup and plan their next caper. As your reservation is checked and you’re escorted to your table you might find yourself dining right next to some of the most famous comic book (nemeses) in the world. The Joker, Catwoman, The Penguin, Brainiac, The Riddler and Two-Face are just some of the characters that eat here on a daily basis. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget where you’ll dine on 4-star dishes as right next to you the Clown Prince of Crime plots his next battle with the Caped Crusader!
Of course, the Cartoon World concept was dropped, and with it, Gotham City was also dropped. When the Islands concept came about, the DC Comics properties were replaced with concepts for Marvel Comics. The designers seemed to hang on to the concept, because an establishment called The Villains Club can be seen in this concept art. It seems though that The Villains Club was to be an arcade. This likely was the precursor for Kingpin’s Arcade, the exit shop for Doctor Doom’s Fearfall. To this day, Marvel Superhero Island does not have a full-service restaurant.