6 Superheroes That Should Never Have Become Superheroes
Some people become superheroes to avenge a wrongful death. Others become superheroes because they were bequeathed extraordinary powers. And a few become superheroes because they never had a good enough high school guidance counselor to advise them to not focus on being beaten severely while wearing a unitard…
Skateman was so unfit for superhero duty that only one issue of his comic book appeared before the publisher realized it was pretty much “Xanadu” with Chuck Norris. A Vietnam vet and martial arts fan, Billy Moon finally finds peace in what is apparently the only all-male roller derby league on the planet. But when his best friend is killed by a biker gang (the leading killer of innocents in movies and comic books in the mid-70’s), Billy comes across a comic book collection and decides to fight crime by wrapping a scarf around his face and putting on his roller skates, a move that in reality would lead to him to blindly skate into oncoming traffic. But instead he battles villains in cut-off jean shorts and wheeled white boots, stomping faces when he wasn’t probably being hauled in by police for emergency psychiatric evaluations.
Matter Eater Lad
Some superhero powers should never truly be revealed. Surely Aquaman waited long after leaving public school before sharing the fact that he could communicate with fish. (Unless a yearbook photo with the caption “Most likely to drown while talking to carp” says otherwise.). And so it should have been with Matter Eater Lad, a superhero who turned a colossal eating disorder into a “power” by being able to consume ANYTHING, whether it be a steel door, a mountainside or—as apparently seen in the above photo—the fence guarding his neighbor’s swimming pool. Alas, this would have been one supposed superhero ability better used to win bar bets, tour with a freak show, or be eliminated completely under a dietician’s strict care.
Imagine if a few years ago a superhero had named himself “The Zune” after Microsoft’s iPod rip-off. By now he would be an out-of-date embarrassment. So it was with U.S. Archer, a trucker with the most patriotic initials possible and the most 1970’s superhero power imaginable—the ability to pick up CB radio distress calls through the metal plate in his head. (The only ability that could have been more 70’s would have been the power of disco, but that was already being handled by Marvel’s “The Dazzler.”) Of course, in reality one would assume U.S. wasn’t hearing CB signals so much as the voices in his own head thanks to 20-hour shifts on the long, lonely road, meaning that not only should he have been avoiding confrontations with evildoers, he should probably also not have been behind the wheel of a speeding, inadvertent killing machine.
A former college football player—hence the hockey mask(?)—Jack Wheeler’s origin story doesn’t say “superhero” so much as “all points bulletin.” While taking night classes after being kicked out of the Marines, Jack learns his girlfriend is killed because she’s the daughter of a mafia crime boss. In retaliation, Jack puts on camouflage pants, combat boots, the hockey mask, and a local college football jersey (which is perfect for tipping off authorities as to your hometown). Then he strapped on a 9mm Finnish submachine gun and electric shock gloves to supposedly fight crime, only to most likely scare the crap out of local merchants, neighborhood families, and serial killer profilers.
For some reason comic books loved trucker superheroes (see U.S. Archer above), Maybe it was because they presented that all-American open-road spirit. Or maybe because so many superheroes are loners and what’s more lonely than driving around for weeks on end by yourself with only a couple hundred pounds of Tyson chicken parts to talk to. And it may have been this very loneliness that drove Arkansas trucker Buford Hollis to put on what hopefully was not a freshly severed boar’s head and name himself after his state’s college football team. (A move copied by the unfortunately ill-equipped Yale Drama School superhero “The Bulldog.”) The Razorback then went around punching people, creating the first comic book superhero book that glorified bar fights as heroism and once again proved that when a love for an animal crosses over into professional daily wear, it’s time to be sedated.
One of the most feared (if the comic book’s own copy was to be believed) heroes of 1940’s New York City was an elderly woman with a red hat, red overcoat, and a prominent Adam’s apple. That’s because “Madam Fatal” was in fact retired male actor Richard Stanton, who believed that the best way to fight crime was not only to start in his late 70’s but also while running around in high-heeled pumps and smacking people upside the head with a large purse probably loaded with Werther’s Originals, Luden cough drops, and several photos of grandchildren. Stanton’s reason was that no criminal would expect an old woman to beat them up, thereby probably finally giving him the necessary excuse to wear woman’s clothes outside of weekly karaoke drag competitions and awkward family Christmas photos.
Am I just projecting my own unhappiness with my life decisions onto these guys? Let my therapist know in the comments!