There are several reasons a superhero or supervillain could be lame or unfortunate. Usually, it’s their name or their superpower. Some folks like to refer to these characters as morts; they aren’t long for this mortal coil. Someone take them out of their misery. Let’s take a walk on the sad side with this week’s three lists of three.
Poor Unfortunate Names
Yeah, Doctor Hormone was a short-lived 1940s comic, and it doesn’t hold up today to say the least. First, his name is Doctor Hormone. At best that’s the name of a product someone might sell on a late-night informercial. Second, he wears a pencil moustache and tends to sport a smarmy vibe. The good doctor of hormones doesn’t look like someone you’d leave your kids alone with on a sleepover.
But enough of those nasty thoughts. Hormone is the guy’s actual last name, because it’s a normal surname you’d find anywhere. I know of about three Phil Hormones from Hastings, Nebraska. The hormones this particular Mr. Hormone uses are “youth hormones.” These are the ones everyone knows about that keep someone young and that’s what happened to the good doctor. He was eighty-something, took a youth hormone, and became a twenty-something again. Like a high school senior, he always stays the same age.
To be fair, Ebony White was also created in the 1940s. He played a major role in The Spirit comic books, but that role was as a less-than-intelligent buddy for the real hero to explain the story to. He also happened to chauffeur other characters.
His look was many stereotypes rolled into one. Dark skin and big lipped, his creator Will Eisner liked him so much that Ebony White would get his own solo storylines. Unfortunately, he became a vehicle for comedy and little else. I understand that he’s a product of his time and environment, but it’s hard to watch.
Thomas Kalmaku is one of Hal Jordan’s closest friends. He knows the Green Lantern’s secret identity and keeps a journal of his deeds. When he finally receives superpowers, he improves those around him. He’s intelligent and hard working. He doesn’t deserve the nickname Pieface.
One fan theory suggests that Hal named him Pieface because he’s Inuit, and it’s a reference to Eskimo Pies. While that’s bad enough, the real reason behind the name is far worse. Pieface is a racial slur used for anyone with a round, flat face, specifically people of Asian descent and occasionally Inuits.
For decades Thomas accepts the Pieface nickname without batting an eye, and it’s only been recent incarnations of the character that have him rebel against an offensive name.
Poor Unfortunate Origins or Motives
This one could be filed as lame for his powers as well as his name. It’s the whole package.
Thank goodness this guy only made one appearance in Doom Patrol #70. He lamented the size of his manhood and believed bigger was better when it came to impressing women. He never felt tall enough. It’s like Randy Newman once said, “Short people got no reason to live.”
He could’ve worn stilts and compensated for his height but apparently, he felt small in other ways and attached a codpiece outfitted with a rocket cannon (pun intended, I assume), a drill (another pun I’m sure), scissors, and a spring-loaded boxing glove (because why wouldn’t you).
His codpiece doesn’t last long (again, I assume the pun is intended) and he’s thwarted by the Doom Patrol, but let’s be honest, he was doomed from the start. One of the creators had to have been going through something. Either that or they need to share what they’re smoking.
Ernest Franklin’s hatred of beards started the moment he realized that he lacked the male hormones required to grow his own beard. Again, with hormones. He began his war against beards by killing his stepdad and continued to kill other bearded men he met. He became the Beard Hunter.
Man, the writers at Doom Patrol can come up with some odd stories. The Beard Hunter is another villain, Jim and I wouldn’t want to run into. Sorry, Ernie. I don’t mean to offend you, but my hair migrated from the top of my head to my jawline.
Have you ever wanted to be able to rip off your own arm, so you’d have something to bludgeon someone with? That’s idea behind Arm-Fall-Off-Boy. He can detach his arms and use them as weapons.
He makes this list because the only explanation for his power comes from Matter-Eater Lad—another “great” name—who claimed Arm-Fall-Off-Boy was careless when holding anti-gravity metal Element 152. He may have been kidding, but having your arms pop off by grabbing a strange metal makes about as much sense as any other reason your arm may have for spontaneously detaching.
Poor Unfortunate Powers
Zeitgeist made it into the X-Force roster in Deadpool 2 and died in a woodchipper. Oddly enough, he died quickly in another mission during the X-Statix run of X-Force, but not before he had one of the worst dates in comic history.
Zeitgeist’s power is super stomach acid; he barfs caustic acid. He discovers he has this power after he drunkenly vomits on his then-girlfriend, burning off her face. That’s one way to end a relationship.
Jonah van Helsing has a 6-foot long neck and can wrap it around people and throw them. Yeah, he’s a human giraffe.
What’s worse is that Marvel’s “Decimation” event that aimed to reduce the universe’s number of mutants had Longneck lose his powers. His neck tried to revert to normal but snapped in the process. Ouch!
Fabio Medina is another student at Xavier’s School for the Gifted. His gift is to project gold-colored balls made of an unknown substance and of different sizes from any part of his body at high speeds.
He uses these balls as concussive weapons. He can also reabsorb the balls into his body. So. Many. Jokes.
There are plenty more unfortunate comic book characters; these nine are only the beginning. Guess what, your uncle Geekly poops cat nip. That explains the stoned cats in our neighborhood. Do you know of a hero or villain with a worse power? Let us know in the comments.