ComicMix Six: Sucktastic Super Powers!
So, you want to be a superhero? Not a problem. Oh… you’re not a billionaire orphan with years to dedicate to the martial arts? Don’t fret! I’m sure you can play in a lake of toxic ooze, or get bit by a genetically unstable super-wombat, right? Well… even if you don’t have powers, don’t feel bad. Cause there are some folks out there in comic-book-land that would have been better off as bartenders or stock-boys than crime-fighters or super-heroes. Don’t believe me? Well kind citizen, scope this list of lameoids out, and see sometimes it’s no so bad being normal after all*.
Night Man – Johnny Domino was just your run-of-the-mill jazz musician with those totally hip round sunglasses (Superboy anyone?) and that always fashionable accessory… the dangely cross earring in one ear! Too cool for school you say? Well, without warning, an alien bolt of lightening hit a cable car, which in turn hit Johnny’s convertible, and a piece of shrapnel wound up in his head. Talk about a crappy Monday! Well, lucky for Domino, the shrapnel caused him to gain super human abilities! These powers combined with a kevlar vest and a grappling gun allowed Domino to take to the night and don a name shared by his underpaid jelly doughnut eating brothers-in-arms! Johnny Domino is the man who need not sleep… He is the man who can sorta hear your dirty thoughts… He’s the man who doesn’t need night vision goggles to see in the night. Johnny Domino is Night Man!
Mr. Brownstone – That’s right kiddos… Not everyone gets a superpower and decides to become a hero. Sometimes they decide to become a minor villain! Garrison Klum was born one of those despicable mutants you’ve heard of. When puberty hit, did Klum gain eye lasers capable of destroying mountains? No. Did he gain a flexible metallic shell allowing him to become invulnerable and superhumanly strong? Nuh-uh. Did he gain the power to teleport? Yes! But… not himself mind you. Garrison only gained the mutant ability to teleport small amounts of liquid! Now, give the guy some credit… he renamed himself after a slang term for heroin, and teleported a few ounces of the good stuff right into Spider-man’s heart! Sure he ended dying from his own teleporting brother literally teleporting inside him and exploding out of him (ew.)… But give him credit. The world gave him a lemon of a power, and hey, he made lemonade.
Color Kid – The Queer Eye Guys would kill to have ole’ Ulu
Vakk on their team. Why Carson Kresely would just die if he was hit by
a beam of multi-colored light from another dimension allowing him the
ability to change the color of objects at will! You can’t make this up,
kids. Yes, thanks to the DC Continuity of Crazy Color Based Powers …
this yutz manages to always be useful. Change that kryptonite to
purple? No problem! Make that sky green and the ground blue? Whatta’
distraction! Making my couch finally match my curtains? That would be a power to see my friends.
– When Nell Wilson ate a mystical donut she gained miraculous powers!
Despite her girth, Fat Momma can fly… but don’t let that fool you.
Flight aside, Fat Momma has the power to become fatter (when she
declares “Put on the weight!”), and with three pounds of her chubby
fists on her mighty stomach, she can emit “The Fat Clap!”– emitting a
strong sonic force knocking down her enemies! But you may ask… what
happens when Fat Momma eats too much? She emits “the Super-Burp”.
Folks, I’m not making this up. This is an actual reality show winner
whose concept got turned into a comic book. So, somewhere on Earth 39.5
in the bleed, you can find an alternate earth where this hero resides.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering… her arch-nemesis is named ‘Skinny
Beyotch’. And her super-weakness? Diet food. Look it up kids… I’m not
Flex Mentallo – In direct opposition to Fat Momma
comes a Grant Morrison creation this side of the meta line. Bullied at
the beach too much, Flex was granted ‘reality-altering muscles’ from a
guy with a TV for a head. According to the wikipedia… “As The Man of
Muscle Mystery, Flex Mentallo’s powers are apparently vast but
ill-defined. In a general sense, Flex can affect reality by flexing his
muscles, in a reverse form of mind over matter. In the most extreme
exertion of his power, he was able to transform the Pentagon into a
circular building for a brief moment. When Flex uses his power, his
“Hero Halo”, a shimmering projection of the words “Hero of the Beach”,
appears above his head.” Sure… I’d like to lose my gut, and have a
killer body… But sorry, Grant… this is one power perhaps better
left in that freaky maze of a subconscious you got there.
Last but certainly not least I give you Seth Green’s ubermench… The Intoxicator!
Elwood Johns was hit (alongside several other college freshmen) by an
exploding Ax-Cell-Erator… granting him the ability to share his
inebriation with all those who smell his super-powered emissions. By
emissions of course I mean burps. Super-burps… with the power to
intoxicate all those who smelt it! This is so long as Johns himself is
liquored up. Or high. Or on acid. Or shrooms. Or Ex. Take that, Fat
Momma! With a valid license and a trip to the beer barn (or any frat
party at Arizona State) The Intoxicator is there to help bring that
party vibe to everyone… whether they like it or not.
So, you see folks, it’s not that bad to be normal!
course having a few billion to travel the world and become a peak-level
human being would allow me to be just like Batman. And Batman is
awesome. Sure he can’t change colors at will, and if he wants night
vision he can only use his cowl’s in-eye-piece electronic system…
Hey… you know what? If I were any of the morts above, I’d consider
taking the 17 years and 2 billion dollars it’d take to just be Batman
instead. Now, where’d I put my mystical donut…
Does Skateman count? He didn't really have super powers. He just dressed up in a roller-derby outfit with a mask and kicked criminals in the head with his roller skates. So, no super powers, just lame superhero. Maybe that's a different list. http://www.toonopedia.com/skateman.htmNightman, created by Steve Englehart, was a great hero. He had his own TV series that even had a cross-over episode with "Manimal!" (44 episodes! Where can I get the DVDs? … Oh! You can! But sadly, they are a tad spendy. http://www.warlockvideos.com/Nightman.html) Heck, Witchblade only ran for 24 episodes!
I am a closet Malibu fan Russ. I own the entire Night Man series. Ugh. Still, his super powers were lame, and frankly as a jazz musician he wouldn't be my first choice for "crime fighter". What would you say makes him a "great hero" really?
OK, Nightman's powers are a bit sucktastic. The thing that kept Nightman from seeming to be too much of a Batman copy was that Nightman was always getting the crap beat out of him. For some reason I've always liked it when the hero would suffer.I never watched the TV show much. The lead and the direction was wooden. But I liked the Prowler that Nightman drove around. I thought it was cooler than if Nightman drove a PT Cruiser.
I agree that every single one of these guys has stupid powers. It should be noted though that having stupid or seemingly useless powers, they do still have the potential to be good heros.I think the highest concentration of stupid powers are in the X-Men, probably just by the shear volume of characters. Longshot, Jubilee and Spike come to mind. I'm sure there are more.I think in grade school we made up a guy whose power was that he could remove the paint from parking lots.
I think that the Legion of Super-Heroes gives the X-Men a run for its money. They have an entire team of Super-Heroes with stupid useless powers (Legion of Substitute Super-Heroes includes Color Kid) and there are some members of that team (Polar Boy & Night Girl) with better powers than heroes on the regular squad – Bouncing Boy, Matter-Eater Lad. The Legion also had an entire squad of heroes whose powers basically forced the writers to create a new genre to use them properly – Legion Espionage Squad (Shrinking Violet, Phantom Girl, Invisible Kid, Chameleon Boy)Not to say that the Espionage Squad isn't awesome, but it does indicate that the writers decided that the best way to use the characters was in the spy genre rtaher than the action suer-hero genre.
I think Nightman and color kid are the best ones. They could be saved, I'm surprised Geoff Johns hasn't snatched up the Color Kid with Blackest Night coming on.
Well I must say you picked quite a few duds there, I will agree that some of them in the right hands could be cool but there is no saving Fat Momma. None. At. All.
Night Man to me, isn't savable. He's a low rent Batman at best. Color Kid is useful like Jesus at a party. You get a nice trick or two, but he's largely a puss in a leotard. @ Brian… I was tempted to choose Jubiliee for this list, but figured fireworks were a better power than being Fat. Spike's power is gross, but making sharp things isn't so bad in the hero game. The X-men do have some duds amongst their rank. Dazzler comes to mind. In fact… how is Dazzler different than Jubilee… a yellow rain slicker? And Longshot having the power of luck is plain retarded.
Well, as I understand it, Dazz just lights stuff up (and absorbs sound, an odd quality for a musician), while Jubes can actually blow stuff up – when she's not being a total wuss about her powers. (Kind of like that one Power kid, with the poorly-aimed explosive ability.)
I don't believe Fat Momma actually won Who Wants to Be A Superhero?. The two winners were Feedback (whose prize was a cameo in some terrible made-for-SciFi-Channel movie) and The Defuser.
You know Paul, you're right. Yet Fat Momma was able to reach my 'elite-what-the-fish?' radar. Not to say either Feedback OR The Defuser were any better. Their "powers" were more of the "generic-everyone-has-these-powers-meh" category. At the end of the day, Fat Momma is just a silly message wrapped in completely idiotic powers. "Hey fat kids… don't be down on yourself because you're fat… Just do like Fat Momma, and eat donuts, and make extreme belches!" … or you know… Exercise a little and eat a salad once in a while. FAIL.
Now I never watched the "who wants to be a superhero" show, but I've met the Defuser. He's a nice guy. Really cool, even bought a book that me and my co-partners made at Wizard World. In reading his "superhero origin", it's not that original. But he has no powers beyond performing at peak human levels. He's the Punisher, no wait, he's the Punisher Lite. No, no, wait, he doesn't kill them and only use's non lethal weapons. Ok, he's the non alcohalic lite version of the Punisher.
I gotta say, this is a pretty morty list. I got a good laugh about Fat Momma, I'd like to know Skinny Byotches back story.As for who has a group with lamer power set, I'd have to give it to the legion of supes. there is a guy in the subs who doesn't do anything but turn into an inanimate stone statue.
Dazzler converts sound to light of various types – stun-grenade flashes, laserbeams, etc.
I think Jubilee might win the contest for "lamest powered character that was shoved in the face of a generation of children," at any rate. Mr. Brownstone's power kinda sucks, yeah, but it definitely wasn't the worst part of Kevin Smith's Spider-Man/Black Cat! Unless he also had a power about repressed sexual abuse (I never knew that "Mr. Brownstone" was heroin though! I always thought Guns N Roses was singing about some kind of booze in that song. Hooray for learning).Finally, re: Flex Mentallo – A) that power is awesome. Flexing your muscles to affect reality? That is just sweet. And B) he was created as a parody of (actually, he was pretty much just lifted from) those Charles Atlas ads that promised to turn you into a hunk so you could get chicks on the beach. He's a joke through-and-through, unlike say Fat Momma, who is a joke to only MOST of us.