It’s hard to draw a serious line between a stupid and awesome comic book character. A lot of popular characters are, in some way, kinda stupid. I mean, Batman dresses up as a bat, Superman wears his underwear on the outside, and Aquaman is Aquaman. But they’re still popular characters with great stories and great movie adaptations. Who is to say that a character who dresses up as a bat is any better than a character who shoots fireworks out their fingers? What makes the difference?
We don’t know, exactly. But we do know a stupid comic book character when you see one. Ever since Nolan burst onto the scene with his brilliant Dark Knight Trilogy it’s shocking to see how many people forget that comic books are, at their heart, silly goofy pieces of entertainment for kids. Well we haven’t forgotten and to help remind you we’ve dug up some of the dumbest, strangest, weirdest comic book characters to ever grace the printed page.
How do you explain Bat-Mite? Well let’s just give it a go. He’s a reality controlling imp who’s obsessed with Batman. He appears as a little big-headed… thing and his character plays heavily on the whole comic relief thing. Like a lot of the characters in this list, he started out in the earlier goofier days of Batman’s career but has still managed to endure a few attempts at grittification none of which have ever downplayed just how stupid this character is.
So a snack company that made a product called “combos” paid Marvel to make this guy, who is a combination of (almost) all of the Marvel characters who were popular at the time. He was part of a competition where you had to name all the characters integrated into his outfit and honestly it’s kinda fun (if not hard, I mean who can recognise a character based solely on their gauntlets?) but it doesn’t change how stupid this character is. What makes it worse is that he activates his super powers by not-so-subtly stuffing his face with the Combo snack. So not only does he look like a tool but he’s actually just an advert.
3. The Red Bee
Why is it that one guy dressing up as a bat is badass, but another guy dressing up like a bee looks like a tool? I can’t say. There’s clearly no winning formula. But it doesn’t take much to point out that the above guy is a crime against good design, and worst of all is his “superpower”. He has a trained bee. He uses the trained bee to uh… annoy his enemies? At least Batman just punches people over and over and doesn’t use a trained bat to flap around their faces. Also, I’m 100% sure that training a bee is insane and probably not possible.
4. Asbestos Lady
Nothing screams 1950’s optimism like basing a superhero around asbestos. Yeah, this clever lady built a suit out of asbestos and it makes her impervious to heat. Not only does this not make her seem very special (that stuff was everywhere, it’s not like radioactive super spiders that tend to come around all that often) but it also kind of marks her out as a pretty cheap marketing ploy. Also cancer. Butt-loads of cancer. So much cancer. In hindsight, it’s kinda funny that people were like “yay asbestos” but were actually just writing about a woman who was cladding herself in cancer-cloth.
5. Lady Stiltman
She has telescopic limbs. There. That’s it. That’s her “superpower”. We were going to use her male counterpart, Stiltman, but we picked this one because damn that’s a stupid name. But even a stupid name can be ignored if the powers are really cool but nope, her superpower is walking on stilts. She finally met her match when Deadpool defeated her by removing a manhole cover. She fell down the hole and then cried. That’s a bad moment for the character, and an even worse moment for whoever wrote her.
6. Doctor Spectro
He can control your emotions. I’m pretty sure most people can do that anyway with words and actions but let’s just play along and pretend it’s a useful superpower (it isn’t). What’s with his costume? He looks like he’s dressed up as a Twister board for some dodgy attempt at getting laid. “Hey baby, do you like twister. You’ll notice I’m dressed as the board. How about… right hand green…? No?”
7. Arm Fall Off Boy
So uh… this guy sucks. His superpower is that he can remove and reattach his arms which is lame. But let’s get into another rarely discussed aspect of this character. First, his head looks like the tip of a dong. Why? Why is that? No one knows. Second, his stump looks like a butthole. So we can only conclude that early comic book artists had issues they needed to work through and that sometimes those issues made their way into the work. Hence why I’m currently looking at a panel that includes a trifecta of sexual insanity because not only is there a dong-shaped head, and a butthole shaped stump, but those two things are included in one panel with the word “plorp” which I can only assume is a wet sucking sound. So now, if you excuse me, I’m going to cry.
A mechanised dong based superpower is something I’ve written to Elon Musk about frequently but for some reason he refuses to take it seriously. He just insists on going to Mars and solving global warming but that’s just because he lacks the ambition to take the next step in super-science. Which, in case it isn’t obvious, means developing a mechanised dong based gadget that can shoot projectiles, launch spring-loaded boxing gloves, pick locks, and charge smartphones. I’m ready to step into the future, are you?
9. Bouncing Boy
So this guy can inflate and bounce. No it’s not even slightly clear how this could help anyone do anything ever except survive great falls, but there are some other disturbing implications. Mainly, what if you popped him? Would he just fizzle down like a tyre with a puncture? Would he heal and be able to return to *sighs* “crime” fighting? Or, and this is the one I’m thinking of, would he explode in a giant misty spray of pink giblets and stringy intestines? I’m not saying that I want it to be the second one but I know what would be more interesting to see happen. That might seem harsh, or even sadistic, but don’t tell me you don’t want to see a superhero get f*cked up Tarantino-style by a burglar with a thumbtack because I know you do.
10. Ulysses Solomon Archer
It turns out this guy’s superpower isn’t having the raddest name in the history of names. No, it’s the ability to pick up shortwave radio using metal implants in his skull. He uses his superpower to drive around America in a truck looking for the evil trucker who killed his brother. That… kinda makes sense (?). It’s certainly appropriate for the context. Although since most trucks have CB radios it’s not very clear how he has an advantage. All I know for sure is damn he has a cool name. With a name like that you’re destined to be a Howard Hughes style badass and there’s no excuse for not living up to it. If I had it, I’d be busy flying a by-plane through the St.Louis arch while ordering my stock-broker to invest in jetpacks and moon-rockets.
It must be tough being a piss-poor photocopy of The Flash but The Whizzer also has a lame-ass backstory. Turns out he was bitten by a cobra as a child and his father performed a transfusion using mongoose blood which made him… quick? I don’t think mongooses are particularly quick. Nor do I think that blood transfusions work like that. Yeah I know all superhero origins are stupid but it’s not every day you come across gamma radiation or radioactive spiders, whereas blood transfusions are pretty common and it’s not like getting a transfusion from a marathon runner would make you super fit. Also, Jesus Christ this guy has a stupid name. Combined with the colour of his suit I can’t stop thinking of pee. It’s a bad combo.
12. Eye Scream
He can change into ice cream. Not uh… not sure what that would do, really. I mean, yeah there are times it might help out like passing through small spaces but it just raises more weird questions. Like, what if someone eats the ice cream he’s made out of and he reforms inside them? Is it as gross as I’m imagining? Does he have to wait till they poo him out and in that case is he conscious the whole time? What happens if he melts? Can he control the flavour? Is he permanently cold? If he eats ice cream is he a cannibal? Why do his clothes turn into ice cream too? What happens if he you split his ice-cream body in two and he attempts to reform? Do you just get two half people hopping like an extra on The Walking Dead? I got a bit carried away there but, c’mon, it’s a crazy-stupid superpower.
13. Egg Fu
Personally I don’t like Wonder Woman and Egg Fu is, like, 86% of the reason why. He’s just stupid but he’s also one of her biggest villains. He’s a big giant racist egg who talks in super cringe worthy dialogue complete with R-L substitutions and he uses his moustache as a whip. What makes it worse is that he’s meant to be a covert Chinese agent who is just inexplicably an egg the size of a house. Why? Why is he an egg the size of a house? No one knows. I don’t know how much cocaine there was in the room when this guy was conjured up but I don’t think there was enough to completely justify the stupidity of the decision. He’s undergone some gritty reboots since then but it only makes him stupider.
Aw come on! This isn’t fair. How do you make fun of this? It’s not possible! It’s a freakin’ cow that fights crime!! It makes literally no sense. It’s not a super cow, or a special cow with a magic suit, it’s just a cow that Batman and Robin saved and decided to keep and now the cow runs around defeating crime on the side. Is this an anti-meat thing? I can respect that. But I don’t think it is an anti-meat thing. I think it’s exactly what it looks like. It’s a cow-based member of the bat family and is a big ol’ goofy joke. More than any of the others this one, at the very least, feels like it isn’t meant to be taken seriously. Who knows, maybe bat-cow can save the DCEU? I feel like he’d have been a better addition that Jesse Eisenberg’s weak Lex Luthor.