Superheroes are the defenders of the Earth in times of need, those people who are beyond regular humans and the embodiment of everything we hold dear, but even they go wrong sometimes. For whichever reasons, cultural, or on purpose, sometimes it’s not the bad guys who hurt society as a whole, but the heroes themselves. How, you ask? Oh, we don’t know… maybe by sucking so bad that readers can’t help but stop taking the industry seriously as a whole, or setting back social issues a couple decades.
“But Walyou!…” – might be thinking our dear readers – “you must be wrong! Superheroes are awesome and geeky, and they couldn’t possibly go wrong!!”. Fine, don’t believe us? Okay, see for yourselves. This is Walyou’s 10 Lamest Superheros list.
1- Major Mapleleaf
Oh, we love Canada. They’re polite, they like maple syrup, and… well, they’re Canadians. “America’s hat, lol!”. We know there’s more to Canadians than this, but some artists and executives at Marvel Comics might not think the same. Introducing Mayor Mapleleaf:
His powers include asking thieves (very politely, mind you) to stop stealing, and pronouncing “about” as “a boot”. Or something like that. The writers don’t really explain where he got his powers from, but we know he fought alongside Captain America and Namor in World War II as a member of the Invaders. After a story arc where he bonded with Northstar from Canadian supergroup Alpha Flight over understanding the issues of AIDS (you know, because Northstar is gay), he disappeared into oblivion being eventually replaced by his son who looks like this:
2- Whitewash Jones
Whenever someone reads about comic book history, they learn that in the 40’s-50’s there was a huge controversy over what kind of material was appropriate for a comic book and what wasn’t. The new regulations by the Comic Code made the industry almost die by being overly restrictive, and writers argued that it was really hard to properly do a storyline, or create characters. Sure, this changed with time, but what were the things writers were getting away with before? Well, Whitewash Jones was one of those.
The hominid featured on the picture is whatever the artist thought a black man looked like, while his dialog, completely out of fashion, might be the most racist thing ever printed on a comic book. Whitewash Jones was a member of the young allies, whose powers were “making a harmonica talk” and “being good on de watermelon”. We guess that if the character was updated for today’s sensibilities, he’d eat at KFC and make love to “smooth operator”.
In all fairness, this is honestly how black people were depicted throughout the late 19th and early 20th century so it’s more society who has to be blamed over the artists themselves. Still, Whitewash secured himself a place on this list for setting back race issues a couple hundred years. Way to go, buddy!
3-Comet the super-horse
Superman must be a hard character to write, being that he’s invulnerable and all. Who’d you pit it against? And because eventually you run out of alien races and bald men to fight, sidekicks appear. First it was Jimmie Olsen, and Supergirl, and then, along came Comet.
Comet debuted in Action Comics 292 in 1962, and was one of the several animals with superpowers that appeared in that age. This period spawned characters as interesting as Streaky the Supercat and Beppo the Supermonkey but Comet had a twist: not only was he a superhorse, but he (it?) also had telepathic powers. He was originally a centaur in ancient Greece named Biron, whom the witch Circe gave a potion to turn him fully human, but by mistake made him fully horse instead. Once she realized what she had done, she gave him superpowers for the inconveniences caused. “Yeah, right, but where are my hands?”, must have thought Comet. After many adventures with Superman and Supergirl, a magic spell was cast that turned him into a human, but only while a comet passes through the solar system he is in. As a human, he adopted the identity of “Bronco” Bill Starr, a rodeo trick-rider, whom Supergirl fell in love with.
Also, apparently Supergirl is not the only girl crazy or insatiable enough to date a horse, as Lois Lane herself had a brief romance with him. Go Comet, what a pimp.
4- Super Malon
We have nothing against Argentineans, yours truly is one of them, in fact, but this absolutely deserves an entry. Do you ever wonder who patrols the streets of Buenos Aires at night? Well, Super Malon does, of course.
This bunch of cheap knock-offs are somehow inspired by the Argentinean gaucho (basically, a South American cowboy of sorts). Writers were lazy and didn’t really provide them with a proper back story or origins for the most part, but the team is composed by Cachiru (the Hawkman-Batman rip-off), La Salamanca, who possesses elemental powers, and has the ability to astrally project her spirit self (After doing peyote, we guess), El Yaguareté, the flash knock-off with super speed wearing a Jaguar skin costume…
Other members include Cimarrón, a sword wielding swashbuckling hero, Lobizón (who’s pretty much wolverine), Pampero, who can control wind currents, and two heroes that pretty much deserve entries of their own in this list. El Bagual, whose power is having a horse head, and Vizacacha, the master thief and acrobat. Yeah. Also, they fight this guy:
El Mazorquero (“the corn guy”), who is a serious contender for the least-threatening villain ever. Luckily the writers decided to pass on Super Messi, or Bat-Maradona.
5- The Red Bee
You knew it was coming, and Walyou dares not to disappoint. Appearing for the first time in 1940s in “Hit Comics #1″ , here’s the Red Bee.
His powers range from a horrendous fashion sense (god dammit, those pants! That shirt!) to doing nothing in particular at all. Yep, just like Batman, he doesn’t have any particular super-powers. But unlike the Dark Knight, instead of relying on a life-long training in martial arts and physical preparation, Red Bee’s modus operandi consists in using his faithful bee (oh god) that resides in his belt. “Beware, criminals, if you don’t let go of your weapons, my bee will sting you!”. Man, what a loser.
6- Zan and Jayna (The Wonder Twins from Superfriends)
Oh, boy, the Wonder Twins. They might be the most well-known pair on this list thanks to their inclusion in the “Superfriends” TV show by Hanna-Barbera, although for all the wrong reasons.
Let’s skip the part where their ridiculously hideous purple outfits are discussed and go straight up to their powers: they’re basically alien shapeshifters. Zan, the guy, can turn into water in any state, whereas Jayna, the girl, can turn into any animal. While this sounds pretty cool, their adventures usually included Jayna turning into Eagle, so she could carry pet monkey Gleek, so he could carry a bucket that carried Zan in water form. A bit redundant, right? Also, the pet monkey, Gleek, looked like this:
Their fashion sense, while pretty bad, at least is consistent as the monkey’s costume is equally hideous. Also, what is wrong with his face? Did the monkey kill a chipmunk and decided to wear it’s dead body, painted blue?
Let’s face it: until his make-over, it was hard to take Aquaman seriously. His superpowers were diving and talking to fish. Yeah, very useful, Aquaman, now let’s see you trying to stop Osama Bin Laden. Even today he’s still thought of as a joke outside the people who knows what’s going on in his comics. Well, then, once we’ve assumed that, what can we say about his sidekick, Aqualad?
We know young sidekicks can go right sometimes, just look at Robin, who became pretty badass after he found out about pants. But Aqualad, man, he just screams cheap. His powers include being Aquaman lite, with a slightly less embarrassing shade of orange as shirt, and being the son of a deposed, murdered king of an underwater kingdom. Or so he claimed after eating poisonous jellyfish.
Big Bertha was a walking joke no matter where you looked. She was one of those “new” super-heroes from the late 80’s-mid 90’s that disappeared into oblivion because no one cared. Her powers revolved around growing fatter (How is that a superpower? I can do the same by sitting on my ass and eating Doritos while I work). I know what you might be thinking, “oh, but this is a positive message, you can be fat and still be a superhero, man, screw all those super-heroines that look like models!”. Yeah, right, except she could also remove the fat and become a super-model herself, killing every conceivable positive message in the process.
Read the frame above. Not even Iron Man can believe how much she sucks. Now imagine the context where Squirrel Girl could save anyone. Yeah, we can’t come up with anything either. Writers at Marvel Comics really hit an all-time low when they decided to create a super-heroine whose power was summoning squirrels to her aid. We can just picture her trying to stop a bank robbery, summoning a bunch of Squirrels. You know, the same animals who run away from everything because they can’t fight.
We couldn’t finish this list without a really racist Asian stereotype. Wing is the valet and chauffeur of the Crimson Avenger, a superhero from the 40’s. He’s a Chinese immigrant who moved to America in order to escape Japanese persecution, and has no powers at all. He’s good at martial arts (“Because he’s chinese”, must have been what the authors thought), and that’s it. It’s funny, though, how the Crimson Avenger refuses to drive even after changing to his secret identity, and decided it was totally appropriate to have his chauffeur get his own costume, event though they drive the same car (“no one will suspect anything, Wing!”). Also, he talks like this:
Luckily, all recent continuity absolutely ignores the character. The only thing we know about him is a vague reference about how he “sacrificed his life to defeat the cosmic being known as the Nebula Man, a creature who scatters the other Soldiers through time”. Yeah, right. And Poochie died on his way back to his home planet.