Some comic book characters rely on their superpowers, some have utility belts, and there’s even this one fellow with a magical hammer. What most superheroes and villains lack, however, is a little panache… with a signature ‘stache. But fear not, True Believers! We have raided the faces of your favorite comic book characters to determine which ones have had the most glorious mustaches!
For this list, we wanted to avoid beards as much as possible, but the occasional chin hair might have wormed its way onto the list. So, please forgive the rare inclusion of fur in places not directly between nose and lip. These gentlemen are all well known for one reason or another in the world of comics and film, but we are betting that when you think of them, your mind wanders to their amazing mustaches! Here are our picks for the 15 best mustaches in comics!
Omni-Man is the father of Mark Grayson, otherwise known as Invincible. He is an alien who is a member of the race of people known as the Viltrumites and like all other males of his species, he sports a large, luscious, walrus-like mustache. He made his first appearance in “Invincible” #1, written by Robert Kirkman and penciled by Cory Walker. When he first arrived on Earth, in order to determine the planet’s viability as an entrant into the Viltrumite Empire, he donned the guise of a superhero and became something of a Superman to the people of Earth. He even helped to form a group of superheroes called the Guardians of the Globe.
Soon after Mark showed a maturation of his own superpowers, Omni-Man killed the members of the Guardians and attacked his son, beating him within an inch of his life and killing thousands of people in the process. He became a villain despised by the people of Earth, though he still harbored love for his son and wife. Eventually, he would come around and join Mark in the rebellion to destroy the Viltrumite Empire and even become its rightful leader.
14. JIM GORDON
Commissioner James Gordon probably has one of the most iconic mustaches in comics, but for some reason, they have yet to let his live-action counterpart, played by Ben McKenzie on “Gotham,” let his whiskers grow. Gordon made his first appearance alongside the Caped Crusader in “Detective Comics” #27, written by Bill Finger and penciled by Bob Kane. He has been, through much of Batman’s publication, an ally of the Dark Knight, and has helped him in his crusade against evil. Not only a supporting character, Gordon has been instrumental in the cleaning up of Gotham’s criminal underworld alongside Batman and has become a main character in his own right.
“Gotham” has featured Gordon as the main protagonist with Bruce Wayne acting as more of a supporting member of the cast as he develops from adolescence into maturity. Over the decades, hundreds of artists and writers have had the honor of depicting Gordon, but in each instance, his chevron-style mustache has always been a prominent feature of the Detective turned Commissioner… well, except for that time he shaved it to become Batman, but the less said about that, the better.
13. RED HULK II
You know your ‘stache has some staying power when it remains on your face post-Red Hulk transition, but that’s exactly what happens to General Robert L. Maverick. The General was working for Project Troubleshooter in an attempt to create the next line of superhuman soldiers when he was first introduced into the Marvel Universe. He made his first appearance in “Avengers” Vol. 6, #0, written by James Robinson and penciled by Leonard Kirk. He worked to incorporate A.I.M. into S.H.I.E.L.D. and was fitted with a Hulk Plug-in, a device in his left arm that allows him to transform into a Red Hulk for one hour every 36 hours.
While Maverick is in his Red Hulk form, he possesses the same strength levels as the regular, green Hulk. Maverick is the second character to take on the mantle of the Red Hulk, but the first (and so far only one) to retain their fabulous mustache post-transformation. This is either a testament to how immeasurably masculine he is or an artist’s attempt to distinguish him from his predecessor, General Thunderbolt Ross. We perfer the former, but would bet on the latter.
12. DUM DUM DUGGAN
He may have an odd nickname, but Timothy Aloysius Cadwallader Dugan is one of the most prominent officers in S.H.I.E.L.D. and has been a core member of Nick Fury’s team since its inception. He made his debut in “Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos” #1, written by Stan Lee and penciled by Jack Kirby, in 1963. As you can see from the picture, Dum Dum doesn’t just have an impressive mustache, he also sports a bowler hat, whether he’s in combat or just sitting on the john. The man has style and is renowned for it throughout the Marvel Universe.
Dugan’s nickname likely came from his time as a circus strongman or as an homage to the similarly-named bullet, though it is not stated in the comics. Dugan began as a Corporal in the United States Army prior to the Korean War but was eventually promoted to First Lieutenant under Nick Fury as his second-in-command. He continued his career outside the military alongside his mentor and joined him at S.H.I.E.L.D. where he, and his mustache, was ultimately promoted to the position of Deputy Director.
11. J. JONAH JAMESON
J. Jonah Jameson is known for a lot of things in the Marvel Universe. He is a hothead who hates Spider-Man, of course, but is generally considered to be a good guy when you get right down to it. Even so, his temper and his hatred of the Web-Slinger aside, Jameson is also well known for his lampshade-style mustache. He was portrayed by J. K. Simmons beautifully in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy with none other than a perfect representation of the ‘stache.
Jameson made his first appearance in “The Amazing Spider-Man” #1, written by Stan Lee and penciled by Steve Ditko in 1963. He was the editor-in-chief of the Daily Bugle and given his loathsome disdain for Spider-Man, he was eager to purchase the photographs of the so-called menace from Peter Parker, though he never paid him what the photographs were worth. During “Civil War” when Parker revealed his identity, Jameson’s reaction was to sue Parker for fraud, demanding all of the money he paid him over the years be returned.
10. DOCTOR STRANGE
Doctor Stephen Strange began his career as one of the most successful surgeons in the world. His success eventually helped him to achieve fame, wealth and an incredible level of arrogance. He was in a car accident that completely destroyed his career, limiting his dexterity and making surgery impossible. Strange would travel the world looking for a cure or means to repair his hands until he finally found the Ancient One in Tibet. After initially refusing to help Strange, the Ancient One was attacked by Baron Mordo, a former pupil, which helped Stephen realize he wanted nothing more than to pursue training in the mystical arts.
Strange would prove to the Ancient One that he should be trained, and with time, he became the Master of the Mystical Arts and the world’s Sorcerer Supreme. Strange was introduced in “Strange Tales” #110, written by Stan Lee with pencils by Steve Ditko. In most depictions of Strange, he sports a mustache, which is sometimes accompanied by a full goatee (as he was by Benedict Cumberbatch in the recent film) or soul patch.
Fans of the Merc with the Mouth know that growing a mustache is one of the few things this guy can’t do. Deadpool’s entire body is covered in scars and he is horribly disfigured due to the nature of his cancer and healing factor constantly battling one another. The original “Secret Wars” was printed in 1984, but that didn’t stop Marvel from shoehorning Deadpool into it even though his first appearance didn’t occur until “The New Mutants” #98, written by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld with pencils by Liefeld, which was published in 1991.
When Wade Wilson first pops up in the Secret Wars, he is his usual self — making smart-ass comments and insisting to the heroes and villains on Battleworld that they know him even though they haven’t met him yet (remember, he wasn’t created for another seven years). Pictured is the last panel showing Wade after a serious battle and of course, he is talking to himself. When he emerges from the darkness, he is inexplicably healed completely and sporting a fine golden mustache. There was no explanation in the first issue and we don’t want to spoil anything here, but we couldn’t pass on Wade for this list.
8. ANGAR THE SCREAMER
David Angar was a social activist in the early ’70s (he was a hippie, so the swastika on his headband is a Hindu or Buddhist symbol rather than the more infamous nazi one); during those days, he volunteered for an experiment to gain superpowers. He was subjected to a machine originally from the moon Titan, which bombarded Angar’s vocal chords with hypersound. The resulting change enabled Angar to scream incredibly loudly (hence the name) and cause people to have hallucinations. He was intended to be an ally against the mad Titan, Thanos, but ended up becoming an assassin instead.
Angar made his first appearance in “Daredevil” #100, written by Steve Gerber and penciled by Rich Buckler in 1973. He found his way into the rogues galleries of Iron First and Daredevil and was romantically involved with Screaming Mimi, a future member of the Thunderbolts known as Songbird. Angar was shot and killed in a robbery, which forced Mimi to reform. Pictured are the two ways his ‘stache was depicted. He rocked a mix between a Fu Manchu and a horseshoe with gusto, and for that, he makes the list.
He’s got red skin, was once a Green Lantern, and has an incredible mustache! In other words, Sinestro’s got it all! He started out as the Green Lantern from sector 1417, but eventually rebelled against his former masters and became one of the central antagonists of the Silver Age Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. Sinestro made his first appearance in “Green Lantern” #7, written by John Broome and penciled by Gil Kane. Sinestro and Jordan would battle time and again over the years until finally, Sinestro would come across something that would make him incredibly powerful: a Qwardian ring that utilized the yellow spectrum of fear.
With the yellow ring, Sinestro was able to create an entire corps of like-minded evil doers and waged a war against the Green Lanterns, resulting in many deaths. Sinestro was always a counterpart to Jordan and the Oans as well, given his time in the antimatter universe alongside the Qwardians. Though his loyalties changed from the good of the Green Lantern Corps to his own vengeful desires, one thing never changed: his incredible ‘stache.
Forge was born a Cheyanne native who studied as a shaman until his mutant abilities manifested in puberty. Forge has the ability to innately understand all technology and create any technological marvel he conceives. Thus, he abandoned his work as a shaman due to the conflicts he associated with his mutant ability and mysticism. Soon after, Forge joined the United States Army and fought in Vietnam. When he lost his squad and was faced with an overwhelming threat, he used his teachings as a shaman to call forth demons to aid him. He was unable to undo his spell and return the demons to their realm so he was forced to call in an airstrike on his location, which is how he lost his arm and leg.
With his abilities, he was able to fashion a new arm and leg and would go on to work alongside the X-Men, even becoming a lover of Storm. He made his first appearance in “The Uncanny X-Men” #184, written by Chris Claremont and penciled by John Romita Jr. As you can see from the picture, Forge sports an impressive horseshoe mustache, which has remained with the character throughout his publication.
5. THE COMEDIAN
The Comedian was first introduced in “DC Spotlight,” a free preview comic released in 1985 with introductions to the characters that would later appear in Alan Moore’s award-winning series, “Watchmen.” The Comedian, otherwise known as Edward Blake, is an amoral sociopath employed by the government as a vigilante (or assassin depending on how you look at it). He was killed in “Watchmen” #1, written by Moore and penciled by Dave Gibbons, as a means of kicking off the events of the series, though he would be featured throughout in the form of flashbacks.
Blake was anything but a good guy. He sexually assaulted the first Silk Spectre while with the Minute-Men and made a joke about pretty much every situation he was in… whether it was murdering civilians or accosting a fellow teammate. He tried to change his ways later in life, but could never resolve the many demons plaguing him. The iconic smiley face with blood on it is reminiscent of the Comedian’s life and death. His mustache accompanied him everywhere he went and was buried with him.
4. LANDO CALRISSIAN
We have a lot of people to thank for the glory that is Lando Calrissian’s mustache, but if we had to pick one person to thank, it would have to be the man himself: Billy Dee Williams. Williams’ mustache was part of what defined the character visually (of course his little half space cape helped) and it has been perfectly represented in the pages of comic books ever since. Williams has been described as a thief and a scoundrel, but during the events of “Return of the Jedi,” he redeemed all of his past actions by piloting the Millennium Falcon through the second Death Star, successfully destroying the core and the entire station.
Calrissian made his first appearance in comics in “Star Wars” #42, written by Archie Goodwin with pencils by Al Williamson and Carlos Garzon. He has appeared in hundreds of other books across Marvel and Dark Horse Publishing throughout the years and always has his trademark smile accompanied by its ever-present friend, the mustache we will forever refer to as The Lando.
3. THUNDERBOLT ROSS
General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross is the father of Betty Ross, Bruce Banner’s longtime romantic partner, and is also the principal human antagonist of the Hulk. He was in command of the base in New Mexico that housed the gamma ray experiment Dr. Bruce Banner performed, which ultimately turned him into the Incredible Hulk. Ever since the mishap that unleashed the monster on the world, Ross has made it his personal mission to use whatever resources available to bring in the creature. He hounds the Hulk issue after issue, giving rise to the monster’s oft-used expression, “Leave me alone!”
Ross made his first appearance alongside Banner and the Hulk in “The Incredible Hulk” #1, written by Stan Lee and penciled by Jack Kirby. In recent stories, Ross has even become the thing he hated most, a hulk! He was able to turn himself into the first Red Hulk and possessed the ability to siphon energy away from his enemies. Unlike the General mentioned previously, Ross wasn’t able to take his mustache along for the Red Hulk ride, but when he is in his human form, he rocks the walrus ‘stache.
2. Egg Fu
Not only is the character Egg Fu one of the most offensive in all of comic book history, it also has one of the most amazing mustaches ever drawn! The thing about this gigantic, villainous egg’s mustache that makes it particularly special isn’t the beautifully-rendered Fu Manchu, it’s that his mustache is prehensile! He can actually use it to grab his enemies and throw them, or operate machinery! Of course, he is in the shape of an egg and lacks any extremities, so we suppose they had to give him something to work with.
Egg Fu first appeared in “Wonder Woman” #157, written by Robert Kanigher and penciled by Ross Andru. He was the epitome of every Asian stereotype that existed at the time and lusted after Wonder Woman, causing all sorts of nasty shenanigans along the way. For the “New 52,” the character was reimagined as a slightly less offensive (and much smaller) egg-shaped creature from Apokolips. Despite his offensive origins, we couldn’t help but put a sapient egg who was the size of a house on a list about amazing mustaches.
1. Stan “The Man” Lee
All of the mustaches displayed for this list were chosen because they stood for themselves, but for the final position, we had no choice but to honor the greatest mustache to exist in comic books for decades: Stan Lee. Stan Lee has been making appearances in comics since all the way back in 1941 with “All Winners Comics” #2, written and penciled by Jack Kirby.
Whether you have seen him in the real world, the MCU or in the pages of Marvel Comics, you know who he is and you are probably well aware of his trademark ‘stache. Without him, it’s likely lists like this very one wouldn’t even exist, since he was behind some of the biggest names in comics. He is credited with working on more than 5,000 issues of books over the years and even if you never read one of them, you probably have seen him make a cameo or two in the MCU. He truly is Stan “The Man” Lee, and his mustache is glorious.
Which is your favorite below-the-nose cookie duster? Let us know in the comments!