Tuesday 15 February 2011

The Top Ten super-heroes with no reason to live.

As we all know, there's nothing better in the world than being a super-hero. You get to save humanity, a million times a week, and look good naked.

But there're some super-heroes for whom it has to be conceded there's no good reason for them to exist. So, compiled with the usual lack of thought, insight, wisdom, knowledge and planning I'm famous for, here's the official Steve Does Comics list of super-heroes with no reason to live.

10. The X-Men.
I'm not talking about the "New" X-Men, which we all know is arguably the greatest super-team of all time. I'm talking about the original X-Men, whose adventures completely failed to set the 1960s alight. The whole problem is they were clearly just a clumsy copy of the Fantastic Four, with Cyclops and Professor X standing in for Mr Fantastic, Marvel Girl standing in for the Invisible Girl, the Beast as the Thing, and Iceman and the Angel combining to fill in for the Human Torch. As Marvel already had one Fantastic Four, what did it need another one for? As if that inbuilt redundancy wasn't enough, they had to run around following orders - and what kind of super-hero wants to follow orders?

9. Mon-El.
The pseudo-Kryptonian may have been a Legion of Super-Heroes stalwart but he was just Superboy, wasn't he?

8. The Wasp.
She shrank down to the size of a gnat and then buzzed around, mildly annoying super-villains till they got fed up of her and invariably trapped her in a glass tumbler. She had a weapon - her wasp's sting - but it never seemed to do anything but irritate even the weakest of foes.

7. Ant-Man.
Henry Pym had the same powers as the Wasp - except he didn't have a sting and couldn't fly. So that'd basically be no powers at all apart from the ability to shrink and therefore be less of a threat to evil-doers than he was when he didn't use his super-powers. Let's face it, when you get down to it, shrinking isn't a super-power, it's an affliction.

6. Sif.
After the wimp-fest that was Nurse Jane Foster, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby gave Thor a new girlfriend in the indomitable warrior woman that was Sif. The only problem was, that for all her sword-waving, all Sif ever seemed to do was get kidnapped and have to be rescued. Frankly, you could've got Jane Foster to do that and at least she'd have given you a few bandages while she was at it.

5. Sons of the Tiger.
Marvel gave us Shang-Chi, master of Kung-Fu, and Iron Fist, master of Kung-Fu, so what it needed to do next was give the world three more masters of Kung-Fu, yes? No.

4. Duo Damsel.
Duo Damsel's power was that she was normally an ordinary woman but, with concentration, could turn herself into two ordinary women. This was even less impressive than it sounded, as she started out as Triplicate Girl who was an ordinary woman who could turn herself into three ordinary women. At the rate she was going, she was going to end up as Mono Woman, an ordinary woman who, with a lot of straining, could turn herself into an altogether different but identical ordinary woman. That'd teach the super-villains of this world.

Skull the Slayer #1. the top ten super-heroes with no reason to live
3. Skull the Slayer.
Skull the Slayer was a modern human trapped in a land where dinosaurs still roamed, which meant he was Marvel Comics' answer to Ka-Zar, a modern human who lived in a land where dinosaurs still roamed.


Hold on a minute.

Ka-Zar was a Marvel character.

So why did they need another one?
The Human Fly #1. Top 10 super-heroes with no reason to live.
2. The Human Fly.
I'm sure we all remember the Human Fly from our childhoods. He was like Evel Knievel, a stuntman who did daring things like standing on top of things. He had no super-powers and no one knew his true identity and so couldn't relate to him in any way. Naturally, with his power of standing on top of things, Marvel gave him his own comic. Naturally it only lasted nine issues.
Black Goliath #1, Top Ten super-heroes with no reason to live
1. Black Goliath.
Yay! We're Marvel Comics. Let's show our commitment to non-white readers by giving the world a brand new black super-hero who's just a dull copy of two other characters that Marvel already have, then lumber him with such classic foes as the Stilt Man. Sadly, the adventures of Black Goliath lasted just five issues.

Just to rub in how hand-me-down his powers were, the comic's star Bill Foster later became known as the Second Giant-Man and then the Fourth Goliath. Presumably he had to stand at the back of the queue if the other three Goliaths showed up.


bliss_infinte said...

For some odd reason I bought all the Human Fly comics when I was a kid. I think I liked his costume.

Steve said...

I had one issue but can't remember which one or what happened in it.

Admittedly I was dismissive of Isis until I re-read issue #7 recently and it was better than I'd remembered. So perhaps I'm being unfair on the secretive stuntman. I hope not. It's always reassuring to have things in life to dismiss. A world full of nothing but great achievements would be a very intimidating place.

Matthew said...

Human Fly went 19 issues, actually. Didn't make the book any better, but certainly doubled the quantity.

Steve said...

Argh! You're right. I forgot to put the "teen" on the end.