The Most Ridiculous Characters in Marvel History (Ranked From Pretty Sad to ‘Oh Honey…No’)
Here are at The Mary Sue, it’s really no secret that a lot of us really like Marvel. Both the comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) provide fans with a nearly endless supply of action, drama, and humor. It’s the iconic characters, though, that especially captivate us. Whether it’s billionaire playboy Tony Stark, the patriotic Captain America, or the justice seeking Daredevil, there’s pretty much a Marvel character for every fan’s preferences. These heroes, villains, and teams make up the foundation of the Marvel universe.
However, Marvel has been around for over 80 years now and encompasses thousands of comics (and dozens of TV and film adaptations). Obviously, in an 80-year history, there are bound to be some misses, especially in the superhero genre. There are, at least, several thousand characters roaming around in the Marvel universe, designed by multitudes of different writers and artists. So, in their defense, it is pretty hard to think of an original superhero who is completely different from hundreds of other unique heroes.
Hence, we get characters like Doctor Bong and the Almighty Dollar, that make us ask—why, Marvel, why? Why would someone stick their head in a bell and call it a costume? What purpose does a man who can shoot pennies out of his wrist serve? Of course, Marvel didn’t fall quite as low as DC comics did with Arm-Fall-Off-Boy, but they do still have a number of characters hidden in their comics who don’t have the most sensical names, stories, or powers. Here are the 8 worst characters in Marvel comics ranked from least worst to, well, the kind of worst that makes us question how the hell this actually made it to print.
10. Bailey Hoskins
Bailey Hoskins isn’t as terrible, personality-wise, as some characters on this list are. However, he is probably Marvel’s most useless character. Hoskins is a mutant, whose power is that he can blow himself up … once. He can only do it once because he’ll die in the process, so, of course, he doesn’t use his powers at all. If Marvel wanted to create a mutant who can’t use his powers, that’s … fine, but then they came up with the bright idea to make this guy an X-Man.
The X-Men did give him a powered suit, at least, to make up for the fact that he has no powers, but I still have a lot of questions. How do they even know he can explode if he’s never done it before? Why is he an X-Man? Do they actually expect him to use his powers at some point, as their last resort or secret weapon? If so, that’s a little bit dark. “Oh, you guys have a Hulk? Well we have an exploding kid who will go boom if things go sideways.”
Oof. That’s sad.
Puck was born Eugene Milton Judd and didn’t have any special powers or abilities. However, he was very tall, strong, and agile, and became adept at several forms of combat. This led him to take up work as a mercenary, specializing in supernatural forces. On one mission, he is attacked by the demon Black Raazer, who he manages to get inside him. The demon sucks up his life force, shrinking Judd down to the height of 3’6. So, just to be clear, even though the demon is suppose to take his life force away, it just makes him … short? And also, somehow, gives him immortality, instead of killing him? I guess every demon can’t be great at their job, someone has to be the Jerry of the group.
Anyway, Judd calls himself Puck and starts fighting alongside the Alpha Fight. Technically, he still doesn’t have superpowers, but being short gave him some … interesting abilities. Basically, he didn’t shrink, but instead had his body compressed, which made his skin and body become like rubber, and he’s also a lot faster and stronger for some reason. Then, of course, there’s the fact that he’s named after a hockey puck. As for personality, he’s a bit wild and disregards laws and rules, but he’s not too problematic. Ultimately, he’s definitely not the worst of the worst, but he’s a short, rubber guy named after a hockey puck and surely Marvel can do better than that.
ForgetMeNot is another mutant like Bailey Hoskins, who had a very sad and strange stint with the X-Men. ForgetMeNot, whose real name is Xabi, was revealed to have been serving with the X-Men for years. He actually served quite valiantly on the team, once even helping them battle the brood. However, he has the power of imperceptibility. Essentially, his existence cannot be perceived or remembered by anyone unless they are actively looking at or interacting with him. As a result, he served in the shadows for years, going unnoticed by all.
Professor X and Psylocke, at times, could use their abilities to remember and perceive ForgetMeNot, but Professor X’s death only threw him further into obscurity. His comic book history is pretty brief, but he has claimed to be the source behind some unexplainable phenomena in various stories. Ultimately, he spent his life struggling with depression and a desire to be noticed. ForgetMeNot doesn’t have the most useful power, and the fact that no one in the world is aware of his existence made it pretty hard for Marvel to do much with his character.
7. Almighty Dollar
Almighty Dollar is a pretty lame superhero name, but this guy’s real name is even worst—J. Pennington Pennypacker. He’s also a CPA and just happens to have the perfect name for it. (I have to imagine that he was teased so much growing up, he decided to just, sadly, embrace his fate.) One day, Pennypacker attends some kind of camp that’s suppose to help raise his self-esteem. Instead, it ended up being run by a mad scientist who conducted experiments on the campers. The experiments gave Pennypacker the ability to shoot pennies from his wrist. Hence, he called himself the Almighty Dollar and became an ally of the NFL SuperPro.
It seems Marvel didn’t think we’d understand that this guy is really connected to money. So, they had to make sure to reference money in this guy’s name, alias, job, and superpowers, lest we forget the all important point that he’s the penny guy. Anyway, all those bad guys better watch out, because the penny guy is going to … throw some pennies at them if they’re bad. Also, if someone gained the superpower to generate unlimited money from their body, I think their first thought would be, “I’m going to be rich!,” not, “I’m gonna shoot so many pennies at people!!” But what do I know.
6. 3-D Man
3-D Man is actually, technically, two people—brothers Chuck and Hal Chandler. Chuck was working as a test pilot when a Skrull invasion commenced. So, Hal witnessed his brother (seemingly) disintegrate after a Skrull spaceship exploded and unleashed intense radiation. However, Hal later realized that his brother’s image somehow got imprinted on his glasses. Chuck was now a 2-dimensional being, but, when Hal concentrated, he could make Chuck 3-dimensional again, hence, dubbing him 3-D Man. When 3-D Man was summoned he had triple Chuck’s speed, strength, durability, and senses.
That’s all well and fine, so, 3-D Man proceeded to fight the Skrulls again, but the problem is, he really wasn’t too powerful or grand of a hero. And Hal would usually remain in a coma while 3-D Man was active. Then, one day, Hal basically got tired of bringing his brother back and just decided not to summon him anymore. He also went and married Chuck’s former girlfriend which is kind of a dick move. Poor 3-D Man, he’s just one of those characters that Marvel didn’t really need to create. He’s only 3x stronger than a regular human being, dresses in a ridiculous red and green costume, and ultimately doesn’t do much because his brother got bored of him being 3-D Man. And can you really blame him for that? Imagine having to go into a coma, multiple times, only to let your brother be…super mediocre at his job with bad fashion sense. No thank you.
Paste-Pot-Pete definitely wins the award for having the absolute worst alias out of anyone on this list. His real name is Peter Petruski and he was born in Indiana. Later in life, he developed and patented a type of paste, which made him pretty wealthy. Money didn’t seem to be enough for him, though. Hence, he named himself Paste-Pot-Pete, armed himself with a gun filled with paste, donned a costume, and tried to be a supervillain. Of course, he got made fun of relentlessly for his nickname and costume. Eventually, he did change his name to Trapster and became a more formidable villain who joined the Frightful Four.
However, mainly he failed a lot and got reminded of his old nickname constantly. Over the years, he would upgrade from his paste gun to paste wrist-shooters, and then to shooting paste from his glove fingertips. His paste actually was pretty effective and shared a similar consistency to Spider-Man’s webs. But of course, tragically for our paste-y friend, no one will ever take him seriously regardless of how much he evolves as a villain. He’ll always just be Paste-Pot-Pete, the villain with the saddest name in Marvel history.
4. NFL SuperPro
In the 1990s, the NFL and Marvel collaborated to create the NFL SuperPro. The NFL SuperPro was Phil Grayfield, a former NFL football player, who became a sports reporter (after a knee injury derailed his career). One day, while on an assignment to interview a chemist superfan, Grayfield is confronted by a band of thieves. They steal some sports memorabilia and then set the place on fire. Okay, so then, somehow, the chemist’s potions, mixed with the fumes from the sports memorabilia, gives Grayfield powers. The chemist then gives him an indestructible football uniform modeled after Captain America’s suit and he becomes the NFL SuperPro.
In other words, he pretty much becomes a walking advertisement for the NFL. He fights villains like Quick Kick and Instant Replay and uses football phrases frequently, such as bellowing out, “Touchdown!”—way too often. The NFL SuperPro is an example of why you don’t mix football and Marvel comics. He has just about the most nonsensical origin story of any Marvel hero and his comic book issues were filled with cheesy football tie-ins. When most people read Marvel comics they, understandably, expect to read about super soldiers, titans, and X-Men, but definitely not about an NFL football player in an indestructible football uniform who fights football-themed villains on a football field.
Peter Milligan and Mike Allred are known for creating unconventional comics, but they may have taken things a little too far with the introduction of Fluff. The creators had previously written some series on X-Force and X-Statix, showing fans they weren’t afraid of high stakes and the unexpected. Hence, many expected the same for the X-Cellent, a comic book series from the duo following a team of mutants. What we didn’t expect was for them to drop a mutant with belly button lint powers.
That’s right, Fluff has the power to generate an infinite amount of belly button lint. He even claimed that “The little ladies really go crazy for this!” There really isn’t much more to his story. Zeitgeist, the leader of the X-Cellent, quickly got sick of Fluff undermining his power and had him killed. It was probably for the best, as readers probably weren’t too keen on the Marvel character with the most nauseating power.
2. Doctor Bong
The sad thing about Doctor Bong, is that his name isn’t even the worst part about him. Doctor Bong is a man named Lester Verde. As a child, Verde was bullied relentlessly, so he started coming up with creative insults to hurl at his tormentors. His penchant for insulting people turned into writing exaggerated exposés in college (to get his professors fired if they didn’t agree with him or to get his fellow classmates kicked out of college if he was jealous of them). He also aggressively pursued a woman named Barbara Switzler, despite her clearly rejecting him numerous times (which is less sad than creepy and gross). Verde then became a rock music critic to impress Switzler, but ended up losing his hand in an accident while performing with a band. So … what does all that have to do with becoming Doctor Bong? Honestly, not much.
One day, Verde just magically transformed into Doctor Bong and became a genius. He just showed up with his head in a bell, used his genetic expertise to turn Howard the Duck into a human, and forced Switzler to marry him. The marriage ended up being annulled and Bong went on to raise quintuplet clones of himself that were created in a lab. However, we never do hear how he got his costume or intellect. The only explanation I can think of is that someone got sick of this woman-harassing, crybaby man and shoved his head in a bell, and then he just decided to roll with it. Nothing can possibly explain how this guy is supposed to be a genius, though.
1. Hindsight Lad
Bailey Hoskins is a pretty useless character, but at least he’s a mutant and does have a power. The same can’t be said of Carlton LaFroyge. LaFroyge is just a regular (albeit unnaturally annoying) guy who happens to discover Speedball’s real identity as Robbie Baldwin. He then demands to be allowed to join Baldwin and the superhero team, the New Warriors, or else he’ll reveal Speedball’s secret identity to the world. Hence, he weaseled his way into a superhero team despite having no powers and abilities. The only thing he could kind of do was reflect on how events could’ve played out differently in hindsight. He also used the Avengers’ funds to buy himself a new costume.
Hindsight Lad sometimes actually helped out, but usually, he was more trouble than he was worth. After retiring, he suddenly turned against the team that had humored him when he weaseled his way into it. Hence, he create an anti-New Warriors website and started leaking the identities of the New Warriors to the world, before being stopped. Of course, still desperate for attention, he just turned around and created another website where he made up crazy conspiracy theories about the Marvel universe, like the U.S. President being a Skrull. In hindsight, I think Hindsight Lad actually did have a superpower—the power to be the most obnoxious person in the entire Marvel universe.
(featured image: Marvel Comics)
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