What could be better than starring as a special guest villain?
Duh! Doing it repeatedly as a
There are lots of one-hit-wonder villains out there (like our friend Blaze from the previous Rung of Villainy). But when you've appeared more than once as "the villain of the piece", that's a difference not just in quantity but in kind. For example, on the Batman TV show, Tullulah Bankhead played the Black Widow, but Burgess Meredith was the Penguin. (Did you know those two slept together once at a Hollywood party? It's best not to think about it, though.)
After you've appeared repeatedly as a villain, you become real. No one questions whether "you still ever existed in current continuity". You go from becoming the answer to a trivia question to an entry in the DC Encyclopedia. One-time villains tend to remain artifacts of their era; as fabulous as the Penny Plunderer was (and trust me he WAS fabulous), he's a product of an era when there were zinc pennies, penny slot machines, coin-operated payphones, and electric chairs. But a repeating villain of any era (like, say, Deadshot or Catman!) become "eligible" for a make-over or a "Transformative Experience" to make them acceptable to current continuity (and tastes).
Even if you trip over some swag and tumble ironically into a nearby vat of acid, the career you began as a Recurring Foe can live on without you. The most valuable commodity in the comic book universe is not novelty but name recognition. No matter how goofy your episodes or gruesome your end, the "Q" value of your name guarantees it won't go to waste. Someone else, at some point, will be tapped to follow in your footsteps.
There may be other Purple Pile-Drivers ... but you'll always have been the first one!
Why, think of all the Recurring Foes from decades past who got a new lease of life.
Or better yet ... name them!