by Gareth May
We all love superheroes – when we were kids we wanted to be like them – actually – I guess we still want to be like them when we are adults! Listverse has features many lists on heroes, villains, side kicks, etc. but never before have we explored the realm of the worst superheroes; the superheroes we don’t want to become and, worse still, the ones we don’t want to help us in a tough situation. Enjoy.
First appearance: Hit Comics #1
He-Man had the ma-hussive Battle Cat complete with sparkling orange saddle; Doctor Who had K-9, the robotic dog that could fly; and The Red Bee had a trained bumble bee called Michael. Hmmmmmm, you can see why he never caught on as a childhood hero can’t you? Making his first appearance in the 1940s The Red Bee was a vigilante with a utility belt, a stinger gun and the ability to call upon a swarm of bees… just in case he was gripped with the sudden urge to make some honey.
First appearance: Secret Origins Vol. 2 #46
Isn’t that the name of a band? Uh, no. Arm Fall Off Boy was a bona fide superhero. Albeit a superhero so rubbish even the Legion of Superheroes turned down his membership application – this from the team who had Matter Eater Lad in their ranks, whose sole power enabled him to eat any substance on Earth. So was A.F.O.B’s power really so bad that he was effectively outdone by one man’s eager pursuit of obesity? Yes, it was. He could pull off his arm and use it as a bludgeoning tool. What a waste of spandex.
First appearance: Skateman #1
Vietnam veteran Billy Moon lasted just one issue before getting sent back to the roller disco for some superhero seasoning. And is it really any surprise? Picture the scene. You’re on your way home from work when you decide to take a shortcut through a dark alleyway. All of a sudden you’re accosted by two muggers carrying flick-knives who can’t keep their shifty eyes off your spangling new Rolex. But who’s this coming through the shadows? Who’s this coming to your aid? Skateman! Oh god. Save yourself the time and just hand over the watch.
First appearance: Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #12
Spiderman. Check. Batman. Check. The Wolverine. Check. Pigman. Sorry?!? Did you just say ‘Pigman’? Chances are when Buford Hollis decided to take inspiration from the humble farmyard animal he’d had a few too many brandies. Why else would you think dressing up as a pig and fighting crime would be a good idea? Why Hollis? Why? Oh and did we mention his superpower was the ability to drive any vehicle? Seriously, Hollis. Even Truckman’s a winner when compared with Razorback.
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #342
Don’t we all have this superpower? Colouring in? Oh wait. Color Kid can change the colour of anything. Ahhhhhh… and that’s useful for fighting bad guys how? Perhaps his origin story is a little better? Ulu Vakk, from the planet Lupra, became Color Kid when he was struck by a rainbow coloured ray of light from another planet. Perhaps not. How about any cool story lines? In the Silver Age of comics (early 1950s) Color Kid was infected by Infectious Lass, of all people, with ‘Grandin Gender Reversal Disease’. The result? Color Kid became Color Queen. Probably best to leave it there…
First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes Vol. 2 #8
Here’s the thing with Squirrel Girl. By all rights she should be awful but look at her CV of defeated super villains and you’ll find Doctor Doom right at the top of that list. The superhero world surely must have been her oyster after that monumental W? Nope. She moved to New York city and became the protector of Central Park.
First Appearance: Alpha Flight #44
This guy might just be the most complicated superhero of all time. Whitman Knapp can summon three future and past ‘selves’. The kicker? These genetic relatives are handpicked from varying shifts in the evolution of the human being. There’s Proto, a primeval goo (seriously); Ape-Man, a Neanderthal with brute strength; and Highbrow, an intellectual being from the future with the ability to teleport. Confused? You’re not the only one.
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #210
The only good thing about Krypto was that he was effectively Superman’s dog sent to Earth by the great superhero’s pops, Jor-El, as a test run for the capsule he’d later use to send his son to the planet… and take a deep breath. Being used as an experiment for his masters probably didn’t make Krypto particularly chuffed but he was soon cheered up by the arrival of The Legion of the Superpets which included Beppo the Supermonkey, Streaky the Supercat and Comet the Superhorse. No room for Harry the Superhamster just yet.
First Appearance: Great Lake Avengers #1
Believe it or not, you’d be right in thinking this is what it sounds like. A BDSM hero, Leather Boy wore a studded collar; leather chaps; a leather flat cap; and even had a ball gag in his mouth. Think The Village People on a night off. Although that’s probably doing The Village People a disservice. His best claims to fame were murdering Monkey Joe, dressing up as Doctor Doom and getting caught by Big Bertha, who captured our fetishist hero by sitting on him.
First Appearance: Avengers West Coast #46
Sadly Doorman doesn’t have the ability to deny anyone entry to a nightclub just because they’re wearing trainers.. In fact, Doorman’s real ability isn’t much better than that. He can teleport another person anywhere they want to go in the world… as long as it’s only into the next room. A great party trick to pull when someone needs a beer from the fridge, but good enough to fight crime? Not really. Doorman was frequently undone by his namesake, The Door.