The Terrible Trio was a team of three thieves who wore head covering masks that represented three different animals. They first appeared in Detective Comics #253 (March, 1958).
Gunther Hardwick, Warren Lawford, and Armand Lydecker banded together as a team of thieves, christening themselves The Terrible Trio. Hardwick would adopt the alias Sherman Shackley and wear the mask of a shark. Kawford took the alias Fisk, and wore the mask of a fox. And Lydecker became Volper, donning a vulture mask.The Terrible Trio were originally three famous inventors in Gotham City, who sought new challenges by starting a criminal career. As a gimmick, they dress up in business suits while wearing cartoon masks of animals. From this, they become known as the Fox, the Shark and the Vulture. Tapping into their respective areas of expertise, they based their technology on their respective animal themes. The Trio were recurrent foes of Batman and Robin for years, but they have also battled G'nort, and, more recently, Doctor Mid-Nite.
In the Doctor Mid-Nite mini series, the three have moved their operations to Portsmouth from Gotham City, and have become the industrial leaders Fisk, Shackley, and Volper, heads of the investment firm Praeda Industries (Praeda meaning "spoils" or "booty", and sharing a root with the word "predator"). In this story, the Trio adopt their guises as part of rituals they perform to bring good fortune to their endeavors, calling upon the spirits of earth, air, and water. The trio attempt to cause simultaneous disasters to much of the city and its coast, leaving only the property in the worst sections of the city - which they owned and could then resell to enormous profit. As part of their plan, the Trio also operate as drug lords, selling the Venom-based steroid A39 to create an army of superstrong soldiers. When Doctor Cross begins investigating their affairs they attempt to kill him, but succeed only in apparently blinding him (unbeknownst to them, he gains the abilities that would make him Doctor Mid-Nite). Mid-Nite foils their plans for the city, and the members of the Trio are caught and sentenced to a total of 800 years in prison.
In Detective Comics #832, published in April 2007, the presumed to be deceased Shark is named as Sherman Shackley. In this issue the Fox’s last name is Fisk and Vulture’s last name Volper, though no first names are given for either character. Here, the Shark, in an attempt to reinvent himself, fakes his own death and attempts to murder his partners, only to be stopped by Batman. The trio wind up in Arkham Asylum where Fox and Vulture switch their allegiance to Warren White — the "Great White Shark" — who informs Sherman that he can't be Shark anymore and that he's taking his place.
Batman: The Animated Series
In Batman: The Animated Series, the Terrible Trio are bored, rich men versions of Warren Lawford (voiced by Bill Mumy), Armand Lydecker (voiced by David Jolliffe), and Gunther Hardwick (voiced by Peter Scolari). Each of them inherited family fortunes. Lawford gets his from oil; Lydecker's father owned an aerodynamics firm; and Hardwick's father was a shipping magnate. They had the influence and power to turn to crime. They assume the identities of Fox, Vulture, and Shark, respectively. The creatures they select represent Land, Air, and Water, respectively, and each element is also where a majority of their money came from. Although they strike Gotham hard in the beginning, they are ultimately sent to jail after being defeated by Batman. In the last scene, Warren is ushered into his cell at Stonegate Penitentiary. He takes in the cockroach-infested sink, and his leering, hulking cellmate, and backs away in terror, only to bump into the bars which have slammed shut behind him.
The Terrible Trio appear in the fifth season of The Batman. The Terrible Trio are university students and social outcasts named David (voiced by David Faustino), Justin (voiced by Googy Gress), and Amber (voiced by Grey DeLisle). Instead of costumes, they mutated by using formulas stolen from Dr. Kirk Langstrom's computer. David—the brains and de facto leader of their group—remade the forumla and put it into dissolving patches. After applying one each, David became a therianthropic Fox, Justin became a therianthropic Shark (resembling a hammerhead shark), and Amber became a therianthropic Vulture. Throughout the episode, their schemes were mostly for amusement and vindication, rather than financial gain. One recurring theme was turning others into therianthropes against their will. Since Batgirl (as Barbara Gordon) went to the same college, she assisted Batman in combating them. After receiving a DNA sample from a feather belonging to Vulture, Langstrom also provided an antidote to the mutations. After some difficulty, Batman and Batgirl administered the antidote to Justin and Amber, respectively. David, however, was accidentally covered in a mutagenic fluid meant for several other students when Batman destroyed the mutagen detonator. This turned him into a horned Griffin-like creature. After being electrocuted by the stadium sign and presumably cured, David was sent to prison with Justin while Amber was presumably sent to a women's prison.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
The Terrible Trio appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Return of the Fearsome Fangs" with Fox voiced by Phil Morris, Vulture voiced by Edoardo Ballerini, and Shark having no dialogue. This version of the Terrible Trio are bored millionaires who become martial artists that wear masks of the animals they represent. As members of the Shadow Clan, they plan to steal the Wudang Totem from its respective temple, first killing off the last line of defense: Master Wong Fei. Batman and Bronze Tiger end up battling them to protect the Wudang Temple. When the Terrible Trio obtains the Wudang Totem, they turn into monstrous versions of the animals they represent. Attempting to take over Hong Kong, they are stopped by Batman and Bronze Tiger who managed to use the Wudang Totem's powers to become monstrous versions of the animals they represent.
Batman: Arkham City
One of the Riddler's riddles references the Terrible Trio: "Air, sea or land. It would be criminal to not hire these guys, wouldn't it?" However, the Riddle is answered by scanning the Falcone Warehousing & Storage sign.
Batman (1960s series)
The Terrible Trio appears in issue 30 of the Batman '66 comic book continuation, attending the villain conference arranged by Joker, Penguin and Catwoman. Three originally unnamed villains from the TV show's animated main title sequence were retconned to become the secret identities of Fox, Shark and the Vulture.