EDIT: Yeah, three of these are actually supervillains. Get over it.
Cypher is a mutant with the power to understand any language. And that’s it. His whole portfolio. The guy is tits on a fish. You’d be better off downloading the Rosetta Stone app for your phone –at least it won’t cost you anything– unlike Cypher, who needs the cab fare home every time sh*t kicks off. Forget about saving lives, the only thing this chump’s going to save anyone from is having to read foreign subtitles.
There was a French kid at my school who took his own language as a class so he could get a freebie A Grade. I bet Cypher did the same. Arsehole.
2. The Red Bee
What has to happen to a man for him to wake up one morning, step into a striped leotard and say, “From this day on I will be known as The Red Bee”? Look, mate, putting on a dumb outfit and insisting everyone calls you by a silly name doesn’t make you a superhero. Just ask P Diddy.
The Red Bee uses a swarm of trained bees to fight with, but his secret weapon is his favourite bee, which he carries around in his belt buckle. The bee is called Michael. I swear I’m not making this up.
So what’s Michael’s deal? Does he grow elephant-sized and stick evil-doers with twelve gallons of killer venom from his torpedo-scale stinger? No, he’s a f*cking bee. He buzzes about and has trouble with windows.
“Hey, you know what nerds who read comic books love?”
This is the unassailable logic that gave birth to Triathlon, the world’s first jock superhero. Spider-Man had a classmate called Flash Thompson, a bully who’d body check him into the lockers and call him “Puny Parker” (because back then you weren’t allowed to say “dick-hole”). Triathlon is basically Flash Thompson in Spandex – a ‘roided-up knob with so much Creatine inside him you could probably milk his nipples for protein shake.
When I was a school kid my Dad once sent me to play football with split pipe lagging down my socks because he couldn’t afford shin pads. Triathlon would have kicked the crap out of me. F*ck Triathlon.
4. The Almighty Dollar
5. Black Condor
Black Condor joined the long tights brigade when a field trip to Mongolia went shit-shaped and a bunch of bandits straight up murdered his parents. Luckily for him, he was adopted by a family of birds who raised him and taught him how to fly (great for Black Condor but a stone cold smack in the mouth for physics). As origin stories go, BC’s really sh*ts the bed. I mean, couldn’t the writer have had him bitten by a radioactive bald eagle or something? Or maybe he drank too much Red Bull and grew actual wings – that way you’d have yourself a superhero and a sweet product tie-in. Surely anything has to be better than having your superhero grow up with condors yakking mushed-up worms into his gob.
The only field trip I ever took was a high school ferry outing to Calais. It didn’t turn me into a superhero, but I did get a comb that worked like a flick-knife and a pack of pornographic playing cards. Now there’s an origin story.
6. U.S. 1
U.S. 1 was a big rig driving superhero with a steel plate in his head that allowed him to receive CB radio.
I’ve never been in an eighteen-wheeler, but I did once get a taxi in a U.S. city called Harrisburg after the rental car I was sharing with my friend broke down. We were stuck there, bored on a Friday night so we decided to find out where the action was. We asked a taxi driver if he knew anywhere kicking, and he clocked our British accents and told us he knew just the place. We drove past a group of hot girls and we asked him where he thought they were going. He told us, “Y’all can do better than that,” then pulled up to an even hotter group of girls and said, “You’d better tip good,” before winding down his window and yelling, “I got a couple of British guys in here who like to party!” A minute later we were sharing a cab with a group of college girls and headed to their sorority house. I distinctly remember the head cheerleader of the pack telling us, “You guys are going to get so much ass.” In case you were wondering, we did tip good.
PS. I’m aware this story has nothing at all to do with superheroes, I just really wanted share it.
Man-Thing? More like Garden-Salad. What’s he going to do, kale you to death? Playing keep-away with this compost heap is about as complicated as not visiting a swamp, making Man-Thing the Knight Boat of the Marvel universe.
8. Tiger Shark
Take a look at this prick.
I’m not going to waste time laying out Tiger Shark’s backstory, it’s dumb as a bag of hammers and you’re a busy man (or woman, if so afflicted). I’d like to talk about animal-themed capes in general though, particularly how they tend to be utter guff bags. Ant-Man, The Lizard, Doctor Octopus, Squirrel Girl – stick the lot in a manimal farm and charge admission I say. I mean, what’s next? Horse Majeure? Accident Prawn? Invisi-Bull?
One of the rare exceptions to this rule is Spider-Man, who is my favourite superhero of all time. When I was a kid I wanted a Spider-Man outfit so bad I asked my Nan to knit me one. She told me a superhero outfit made of wool couldn’t be done and said no. Years later I found out about an artist called Mark Newport who’s made a career out of knitting superhero outfits.
Once again, f*ck you, Nan.
9. The Crow
Ugh. Look at this sunlight-dodging mall goth with his emo eye make-up and budget Halloween costume. The Crow is Spinal Tap’s “none more black” philosophy in comic book form…
When I was a lad I went to a Halloween party where two girls –one dressed as Wonder Woman, the other as Robin– got into a fistfight over whether an ambulance needed to be called for a partygoer who was lying on his back and vomiting onto his own face. It was ridiculous. Wonder Woman would kick the dick off of Robin.
10. The Fiddler
Apparently, he has a junior ward: The Kiddie Fiddler.
CLICK HERE to get David Bussell’s novel, ‘Normalized’ – a superhero story for people who love comic books but hate all those dumb drawings.