Who’s the worst superhero of all time? The answer to this age-old question is more difficult than Sophie’s Choice, but we’re here to make things a little easier for you.Yes, we did what no one else dared to do and trawled through the worst comics of all time to bring you this definitive list of obscure and unintentionally hilarious superheroes.Just a heads up guys: Those expecting an appearance from Squirrel Girl will be sorely disappointed, as she’s actually amazing and deserves a prominent role in the MCU alongside her squirrel sidekick Tippy-Toe (We’re semi-serious about this).
Adorable [Marvel Comics]
In no particular order then, we present to you the worst of the worst, those superhero rejects who even the Avengers would only accept under the influence of Loki’s mind control or drugs of a rather questionable kind.1. Dogwelder
I’m more of a cat person. [DC Comics]
Evildoers who felt that Bruce Wayne’s crime-fighting methods were somewhat harsh In Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice may want to count themselves lucky that Dogwelder didn’t find them first.
With a supply of dead canines in tow, Dogwelder fights evil by literally just welding a dog to peoples faces. While this method is admittedly unorthodox, it could be worse. The guy could be called Naked Mole-Ratwelder. 2. Maggot
Ah, the 90s. [Marvel Comics]
Speaking of gross animals, another of our worst superheroes possessed the unique ability to gain super strength through two parasitic worms that crawled around and ate things.
Now, we know the X-Men are keen on tolerance and accepting the outcasts of society, but surely, even they have to draw the line somewhere. 3. Vibe
Cisco!? [DC Comics]
Before The Flash TV show made Cisco Ramon cool (kind of), Vibe was basically the Justice League’s dirty secret — a hero whose awesome shockwave powers were undermined by Latino stereotypes and a penchant for randomly breakdancing whenever he felt like it.
When in doubt, blame the ’80s. 4. Skateman
Skating is dangerous, you guys. [Pacific Comics]
Even the best of us can have an off day. Just ask legendary DC creator Neal Adams, whose work on iconic characters like Batman and Green Arrow is somewhat marred by the travesty that is Skateman.In the debut issue of Skateman, Vietnam vet Billy Moon decides to seek justice by throwing on some roller skates and presumably trying to retain his balance on slippery surfaces. Unsurprisingly, the debut issue also turned out to be the only issue, although we wait patiently for the inevitable movie adaptation.5. Gunfire
Guns were cool in the 90s. [DC Comics]
The ’90s were a dark time for comic book fans. Following the success of graphic novels like The Dark Knight Returns, the big publishers decided to make their heroes “grittier,” but ended up just making them more obnoxious instead.
Of all the new superheroes to hit the streets during this trend, DC’s Gunfire was certainly up there with the worst of them. Using the power to turn any object he touched into a gun, Gunfire could successfully turn every situation into a poor man’s John Woo parody, but with less doves and more pointless antics. 6. Thunderstrike
Hippie Thor. [Marvel Comics]
Speaking of the terrible ’90s, Marvel decided to get in on the act too, revamping some of their iconic heroes in decidedly questionable ways. The worst offender? Thunderstrike.Looks vaguely like Thor, right? That’s because Marvel decided to trade in everyones favorite Asgardian for a strange knock-off who was basically the same guy, but instead wore a ponytail and a sleeveless vest, because — ’90s. 7. Free Spirit
What was Cap thinking? [Marvel Comics]
The best things come in threes, so without further ado, here’s Free Spirit, yet another misguided ’90s creation whose very existence encouraged readers to stop reading comics altogether.
Putting aside the ridiculously unrealistic proportions of her body for a moment, Free Spirit’s brief tenure as Captain America’s sidekick did little to save her, and the character was relegated to comic book limbo just a year or so later. 8. The Red Bee
Bee training is tougher than it looks. [DC Comics]
As one of the oldest creations on this list, you’d think it would be easier to forgive a character like The Red Bee as he’s simply a relic from another time, but no compilation of the worst superheroes would be complete without him.
First appearing in 1940, The Red Bee fought crime with his handy stinger gun and a trained bumble bee sidekick called Michael. Say what you want about Robin, but at least the guy could throw a punch or two. Michael’s most impressive skill was the ability to die immediately after giving a mildly irritating sting. 9. Manikin
Um — what? [Marvel Comics]
Manikin possessed the very specific ability to summon genetic relatives from the past and future, each of whom are vaguely useless in the fight against crime.
Highbrow, a futuristic being possessed the power to teleport, but Ape-Man’s strength was equivalent to the average Neanderthal and Proto was basically a blob. No further explanation for Manikin’s inclusion on this list should be required.10. Leather Boy
Does bondage count as a super power?[Marvel Comics]
Superheroes have long been the butt of bondage and BDSM jokes, so why not just go the whole way, right?
That’s exactly what Marvel thought when they created Leather Boy, a crime-fighter dressed in a studded collar and leather chaps who possessed the unique ability to make people feel uneasy in a public setting. 11. Extraño
Oh dear. [DC Comics]
Comic books are often criticized for failing to acknowledge minorities in their stories, prioritizing white heterosexual men over any other demographic. While publishers have begun to improve in this respect, some of their attempts to diversify still leave a lot to be desired.
On that note, meet Extraño, a Hispanic gay magician who couldn’t be more stereotypical and offensive if he tried. It’s almost as if DC set out to create his character with the sole aim of setting LGBT rights back a 1000 years, but, fortunately, no one really cared and Extraño soon faded back into well deserved obscurity. 12. Cypher
Even his costume is boring. [Marvel Comics]
When it comes to job interviews or backpacking around Europe, the ability to decipher any language would sure come in handy, but would you really want a mutant translator on your team in a fight against Apocalypse?
Against all odds, Cypher became a fan favorite among X-Men fans, even after his untimely death at the hands of a bullet intended for his teammate Wolfsbane. Say what you want about Cypher’s lame powers, but he’s surprisingly effective as a human shield.13. Matter Eater Lad
Strangely provocative. [DC Comics]
Ah, the Legion of Superheroes. Like Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters, the Legion will accept literally anyone who knocks on the front door, regardless of whether their powers would actually be useful in a fight.Enter Matter Eating Lad, a hero with the unique ability to eat stuff. Like anything.So while the rest of the Legion are fighting to protect the universe from intergalactic threats, Matter Eating Lad can be spotted in the background, chowing down on a metal concrete sandwich. Props on that name though. Rolls right off the tongue.14. Arm-Fall-Off-Boy
Someone actually wrote this. [DC Comics]
You know you’re dealing with one of the worst superheroes of all time when they’re not even allowed to join the Legion of Superheroes, an organization that includes Bouncing Boy and Matter Eater Lad into their ranks.Like a large but really ineffectual gecko, Arm-Fall-OffBoy possessed the unique ability to detach his arm and use it as a club. To hit people with. We know what you’re thinking, but again, that name is on point.15. Almighty Dollar
Can’t fault a good pun. [Marvel Comics]
Imagine if you had the power to create money out of thin air, like some super-powered Richard Branson. The catch? You can only make pennies, like a poor man’s Midas. Now, the smart heroes out there would probably begin stockpiling those pennies, taking weeks and months to amass enough wealth to eventually create real and lasting change in the world through their limitless funds. Or you could just shoot pennies out of your wrists at bad guys. Oh J. Pennington Pennypacker, we had such high hopes for you.16. Razorback
Is that costume made from an actual pig? [Marvel Comics]
Bats can be pretty scary and arachnophobia is extremely common, so it makes sense that heroes like Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker would adopt personas based on these creatures, striking fear into the hearts of criminals everywhere.What doesn’t make sense is that a character with the mutant ability to drive any vehicle would create a superhero identity based on a large pig. Did we miss the scene in Babe where the pig drove a tractor with the singing mice in tow? I — this is just too much for me. 17. Night Thrasher
Thrashing criminals everywhere. [Marvel Comics]
Clearly, there aren’t enough rich kids running around fighting crime to avenge the death of their parents, so Marvel felt the need to devise a new urban vigilante known as Night Thrasher.What he’s thrashing is not exactly clear, but the fact that he rides around the streets at night on a high-tech skateboard instantly earned Night Thrasher a highly coveted space on this list. 18. Starfox
Thor is not impressed. [Marvel Comics]
Marvel Studios has dedicated a lot of time and preparation to positioning Thanos as the big bad of their cinematic universe, but what casual fans may not realize is that in the comics, the Mad Titan has a brother who’s actually a fully-fledged member of the Avengers. Sounds like he would be a major player, right?Well, the problem is that Starfox possesses the ability to make anyone fall in love with him, which leads to some seriously questionable territory on ethical grounds. Thanos isn’t looking so bad now, right?19. Beppo
Where did they find a costume so small? [DC Comics]
There’s no actual evidence to support this, but the possibility remains that DC writers may have smoked way too much back in the 1960’s, which would explain how characters like Krypto the Super Dog, Streaky the Super Cat and Comet the Super Horse actually saw the light of day.Of all the Super-Pets though, the one that strikes us as the most ridiculous is Beppo the Super Monkey, an alien primate who followed Kal-El to earth. The Monkey of Might possessed the same abilities as Superman, except he was a lot smaller and covered with fur. Beppo. The Super Monkey.We give up. 20. Zan
Oh wait, there’s one more. [DC Comics]
Superfriends was an adorable cartoon from the 1970s that showcased the best of DC’s characters together in one show, long before superheroes became an integral part of the pop culture zeitgeist.For some reason though, the writers felt that the likes of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman weren’t enough to draw in viewers, so they also created new alien characters called the Wonder Twins whose powers could be activated together in tandem.Jayna possessed the ability to transform into any animal, a power that often came in handy during the shows big fight scenes, but Zan — well, Zan could turn into a water element. Need a bucket of water to put a fire out? Zan’s your man. Your soda wasn’t refrigerated? Pop a few Zan ice cubes in the glass and the day is saved. Fighting some bad guys? Zan can turn into an ice unicycle. No, really. Who do you think is the worst superhero of all time?
It’s definitely not Aquaman.