Having only pretty much recently re-found my fondness of comics, I became absolutely fascinated by the sheer genius (read: WTF?) of some of the characters that have been created over time. DC has the worst reputation for creating Superheros worthy of a headdesk, but Marvel have a fair share of facepalms too. If not more. So, without further ado here’s my list of 27 of the lamest characters created in comic book history. If I’ve missed any of your favourites for the title, let me know!
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #244 (1989)
Created by Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri
Marvel: Hey, Chris! You’ve been excellent. Here’s carte blanche. Do what you must.
Chris Claremont: Oh how very cool! I was just thinking about a new mutant I want to create. She has these fireworks that she can emit from her fingers and she’s really cool oh and…
Marvel: Yeah, whatever, sounds good. Just let us know when it’s printed.
Chris Claremont: Will do, scooby doo!
Marvel: Hey, Chris! Give us that f’in carte blanche back. No carte blanche for you, Chris Claremont.
Lame rating: Less interesting than a sparkler at Hallowe’en.
First Appearance: Justice League of America Annual #2 (1984)
Created by Gerry Conway and Chuck Patton
The only reason this guy was ever created is that breakdancing was big back in 1984. Like, huge. And this was DC’s attempt at being relevant. You know, down with the kids! A canary-yellow-parachute pant-sporting-eye-patch-wearing bag of crap. Yes, he had a power. His power was being able to shoot teeny sonic vibes from his hands. Worst of all, he was introduced as part of the Justice League. WTF? Who made that decision? Actually, worst of all, he wore a red bandana around his neck.
Lame rating: No sir, he can’t boogy. Well, he shouldn’t anyway.
25. The Red Bee (Rick Raleigh)
Quality Comics (HA!) but sold to DC Comics
First Appearance: Hit Comics #1 (1940)
Created by Toni Blum and Charles Nicholas
Not unlike Batman or The Green Hornet insofar as he’s simply a powerless vigilante. However, this dude doesn’t opt for cool gadgets or even a proper costume. No, no. He liked his stripy yellow and red tights teamed with a red top with pink/see-through flowing sleeves. But it’s not just the fact that he’s a fashion victim that makes him truly lame. Oh, no. His modus operandi was a trained bumblebee named Michael whom he throws at his victim. Yup. Luckily for us they killed him off.
Lame rating: Buzzkill.
24. Phil Grayfield (NFL Superpro)
First Appearance: NFL Superpro #1 (1991)
Created by Marvel’s Fabian Nicieza in collaboration with the NFL
How exactly this lasted 12 issues is completely beyond me. If it were the 60s and everyone was smoking a lot of the goddamn purp slurp, you could reason how someone didn’t say “hey, what the %$&* is this and why is it being published?” It’s the epitome of corporate whoring. So extreme is it that he fights crime with the logo emblazoned everywhere making references to football. Wake up and smell the brie, Marvel.
Lame rating: Foul.
First Appearance: Captain Atom #79 (1966)
Created by Steve Ditko and Joe Gill
Doctor Spectro: You’re happy! You’re sad! You’re angry! You’re calm! Ahaha, I rock this shiz.
Wonder Woman: Stop being the human equivalent of the menopause, you complete failure!
Doctor Spectro: Now I’M sad.
Wonder Woman: Yeah, well so are my eyes from looking at your costume.
Lame rating: Vulnerable to Xanex.
First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes Special vol. 2 #8 (1991)
Created by Steve Ditko and Will Murray
You may be starting to notice a trend that not only do most of these lame superheroes and villains have bad powers (or lack there of) but also bad costumes. This one in some cases takes the biscuit. So, yes she’s mutated into a humanoid squirrel, but she doesn’t have to go around making herself look like a squirrel having an identity crisis. Squirrel Girl has been shown to have defeated some more worthy foes, but her powers absolutely suck. Like, majorly. She’s also always peppy. Peppy people are lame.
Lame rating: Totally nuts.
First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man #611 (2010)
Created by Joe Kelly and Eric Canete
What an awful name. Stilt Man pretty much sucked, but then along comes another version who calls herself Lady Stilt-Man? You’ve gotta be kidding. Her “powers” resemble that of Stilt-Man, i.e. crap. She has telescopic legs and an armoured suit. There’s nothing particularly appealing about her. I mean, she’s not even sexy. She’s beaten by Deadpool by removing a man-hole cover. Yes, she falls in, defeated and… sobs. Yes, she cries. Ugh. What a pathetic loser.
Lame rating: High.
First Appearance: USA Comics #1 (1941)
Created by Al Avison
Robert Frank is unfortunately bitten by a cobra whilst in Africa with his father, Dr Emil Frank. Now, obviously the world-renowned, über-brilliant doctor that he is, Dr Frank throws medicine to the wind and saves Robert by transfusing him with mongoose blood. He soon discovers that Robert has developed super-speed. Then, Robert dressed in tight canary yellow spandex and wore headgear with wings. Also in canary yellow. Then, he spent years battling alcoholism and depression and homelessness and eventually died thinking Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were his children. You actually couldn’t write this shit if you tried!
Lame rating: Taking the whizz.
First Appearance: NFL Superpro #1 (1991)
Created by Marvel’s Fabian Nicieza in collaboration with the NFL
Only slightly more lame than NFL Superpro, Almighty Dollar was one of his crime fighting buddies. This dude actually had some power. But that power was the ability to shoot pennies from his hands. He’s a CPA so money is his business and his MO, apparently. No kidding. His real name is Pennington Pennypacker but more apt would be Crappington Crappacker. He’s one of those characters that Marvel will facepalm about for years to come.
Lame rating: Bear Stearns.
First Appearance: All-Flash #32 (1948)
Created by Robert Kanigher and Lee Elias
He sounds like some kind of sordid sex fiend. He doesn’t even have the strong hands of a sex pest, oh no. This is a guy who channels his magical powers through his violin. Srsly? A character concept so terrible, I forgot to use vowels. Granted some of his violins did have hidden knives and guns. However, when you dress like the retarded second cousin of a leprechaun nobody will take you seriously. Thank jeebus that DC had the decency to kill this bloke off.
Lame rating: GET OFF MY ROOF YOU DAMN HOBO!
17. Bouncing Boy
First Appearance: Action Comics # 276 (1961)
Created by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney
There’s not really much of this character past the fact that he can inflate and bounce. Yes, inflate. And bounce. Like a giant sentient beach ball. Wait, I made it sound a little cooler than he actually is. He’s like a lame-ass bouncy ball. There. He got his power by drinking some potion or some other crap. See, I couldn’t even give a enough of a crap about him to look at his Wikipedia page FFS.
Lame rating: Burst basketball.
First Appearance: Defenders #131 (1984)
Created by J. M. DeMatteis
Guns don’t kill people, walruses do. Well, actually they don’t. A supervillain not hell-bent on stealing anything, or exacting revenge on someone, or even trying to kill anyone. No, Walrus prefers merely to cause a little damage. Yes, he can be seen taking his frustrations out on inanimate objects and property. So, he’s not the brightest, huh? Nah, not at all in fact. But he is good a crossword puzzles. And that, kids, is listed under his powers. For realz.
Lame rating: Wal-Rus.
First Appearance: US 1 #1 (1983)
Created by Al Milgrom and Herb Trimpe
A trucker determined to exact revenge upon the trucker who murdered his brother. Said trucker drives a Satanic 18 wheeler he picked-up by selling his soul to the devil. In the “accident” which cost his brother his life, US 1 had his head crushed and miraculously didn’t die. He subsequently had his skull reformed with a metal plate which gave him his superpower. This superpower is being able to pick-up CB radio transmissions. Yes, you read that right. So then he drove a truck across America searching for the murderer. And it ended after 12 issues. The end.
Lame rating: 10-1.
First Appearance: Sensation Comics #59 (1946)
Created by William Moulton Marston
A nemesis to Wonder Woman, Blue Snowman fought with guns. Well, a snow gun that could create and reverse blizzards. Blue Snowman is, in fact, a woman, posing as a man, dressed as a blue snowman. Honestly, I shit you not. She was imprisoned for a time but then she escaped and formed Villain Inc. with some other lame and not-so-lame she-villains. And now she’s fallen into obscurity. Hopefully never to be drawn or spoken about again.
Lame rating: Coldly goes where nobody should.
First Appearance: All-American Comics # 85 (1947)
Created by John Broome and Irwin Hasen
I will refrain from making a pun on his name and calling him a crock of shit. Oh, who am I kidding? He’s a crock of shit. Sportsmaster uses his Olympic level sports ability alongside pucks and baseballs and other sports paraphernalia that tend to explode. But not in an awesome way. He also wears a fisherman’s suit (or golfer’s) and carries around a rod. For what reason? Dunno, probably got some issues from childhood or some other crap.
Lame rating: Fourrrrrr!
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #269 (1960)
Created by Robert Bernstein and Ramona Fradon
“Oh look! It’s Greg Brady! Oh wait. No, it’s just Aqualad. Well that’s less exciting.”
Yes, it really is less exciting. So he can breathe under water? So can a fish. So he can swim fast? So can a cheetah posing as a fish. So he can withstand underwater pressure? So can a submarine. And all three of those things are more awesome than Aqualad.
Lame rating: Like a shit in a swimming pool.
First Appearance: New Mutants vol. 1 #13 (1983)
Created by Chris Claremont and Sal Buscema
Cypher: So how many languages do you speak?
Me: Two. You?
Cypher: All the languages.
Me: Shut up and go home.
So who are the X-Men? Well there’s Jean Grey, Kitty Pryde, Professor X, Cyclops, Cypher, Wolverine. Wait. Cypher? Yeah, you know the dude whose ability is omnilinguism. You know, a glorified translator. Yes he was a useless X-Man. But Marvel probably kept him around in case of an emergency. Nah, they killed him off. Then brought him back. Then killed him again. And brought him back. They did this just to prove that he was useless. Everytime.
Lame rating: 發展遲緩的
First Appearance: Crack Comics #1 (1940)
Created by Will Eisner and Lou Fine
Oh, you know how the story goes. Baby born in Mongolia during an expedition, everyone dies except the baby who, rather than being eaten, is raised by a family of condors. Condors don’t live in Mongolia? Psh. Whatevs. It’s the 40s. So, little Richard Grey is found by a mountain hermit who teaches him how to speak and sends him back to America to fight crime and become a senator.
And his power? Flight.
And how did he get this? The birds taught him.
Huh? You heard me.
Need we mention the dodgy outfit?
Lame rating: A flyaway failure.
9. Asbestos Lady
First Appearance: Human Torch Comics#27 (1947)
Created by ? Nobody will admit to it, apparently.
It was the 40s, Asbestos was at the height of its popularity. And the poor, unfortunate scientist Victoria Murdock made a suit out of it. Which meant that she was flame retardant. Which meant that she was pretty much immune to The Human Torch. Unless you count that time when he melted her boobs to the asphalt. But it also meant that she was wearing a suit made of cancer. She was locked away, and eventually died with “causes unknown.” I’m no doctor, but I’ll hazard a guess that it was all the f’in asbestos. Bet she wishes she’d gone for a trusty fire blanket instead.
Lame rating: Evacuate your homes.
First Appearance: Feature Comics #27 (1939)
Created by Will Eisner
Me: So, Dollman. What do you do?
Dollman: Oh, I can shrink down to six inches in height.
Lame rating: Size matters.
7. All of Section 8
First Appearance: Hitman #18 (1997)
Created by Garth Ennis and John McCrea
They come as a set because they fail harder that way. We have Sixpack whose power is extreme drunkeness. How about The Defenestrator who carries around a window just to f**k people through it? Or Jean De Baton-Baton who defeats foes with the power of his Frenchness? That’s not enough for you? Well then, I give you Shakes who simply upsets people with his palsy. Or Flemgem who has a bad chest infection and could use some Exputex. Ooh, but to cap it all off we have Dogwelder. Yes, this dude fights crime by welding dogs to people’s faces. A cornucopia of fail.
Lame rating: Lame. Lame. Lame. Lame. Lame. Lame. Lame. Lame.
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #308 (1963)
Created by Edmond Hamilton and John Forte
So, shapeshifting huh? That’s pretty sweet. Yes, it is if you can actually do anything else like, you know, speak. Not Proty, oh no. Proty can change its form but can’t speak or have any abilities other than low-level telepathy. His (?) actual form is a giant mess resembling vomit. This is an example of a potentially great idea gone horribly, horribly wrong. Horribly.
Lame rating: Pile of crap.
5. Arm Fall Off Boy
First Appearance: Secret Origins Vol. 2 #46, (1989)
Created by Curt Swan
This is how it went.
Curt: So, DC, whaddup? Yo, I’ve got this idea for a guy who can detach his arms and use ‘em as clubs. Having a bit of trouble thinking of names though. Fancy helping?
DC Comics: Sure! How about Leper?
DC Comics: Mr Potato Arms?
Curt: Too obscure. I need something more explanatory.
DC Comics: Arm Fall Off Boy…
Curt: Nailed it.
Lame rating: Mostly Armless.
First Appearance: Doom Patrol #70 (1993)
Created by ? You know it’s bad when nobody will admit to it.
Jesus. H. Christ. LOOK at the monstrosity unfolding before your eyes. After being knocked down by a girl for not being big enough, instead of pimping out his car like a normal person he decided to pimp out his crotch. Like a crazy person. A crazy person with guns, cannons, boxing gloves and scissors in his crotch. He’d wanna watch out for kickback from some of those weapons. *insert crude penis joke*
Lame rating: Like a priapism, you just wish it’d go away.
First Appearance: X-Force #116 (2001)
Created by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred
Peter and Mike: We’re creating this new mutant.
P & M: Bear with me, right. Okay so she’s got this awesome power whereby she can create these seismic shockwaves equal to the amount of alcohol in her system. Oh, and she cries a lot.
Marvel: So she’s basically an unstable alcoholic with the DTs?
P & M: Yes, she is.
Lame rating: Hangover from hell.
First Appearance: Obnoxio the Clown vs. the X-Men#1 (1983)
Created by Alan Kupperburg
Guess what this guy can do. Go on, guess.
If you guessed “can turn himself into any flavour of ice-cream”, you’d be right. Like Alex Mack only ice-cream. His power is a mutation, but he is assisted by his unstable molecule refrigeration system. Yes you read those words. If I had this power, I’d have committed delicious cherry suicide long ago. He lasted one issue. Is anybody surprised?
Lame rating: 31 flavours and they’re all ass.
1. Matter Eater Lad
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #303 (1963)
Created by Jerry Siegel and John Forte
Damsel in Distress: Oh no! My baby is locked in the car and I can’t find my keys! Save me, Superman!
Matter Eater Lad: Superman’s off sick today so they sent me.
Damsel in Distress: Who are you?
Matter Eater Lad: I’m Matter Eater Lad. I can eat through anything!
Damsel in Distress: On second thoughts…
Lame rating: I pity the food.