When Image Comics was founded 25 years ago, the industry’s best artists joined forces to start a new company that would be the next Marvel or DC. It would be expected that the creations coming from these great minds would blow the “Big 2” out of the water. Sure, some of Image’s characters had lasting power. To this day, we’re still talking about characters like Savage Dragon and Spawn. However, for every Spawn, there were probably 20 horrible characters that you forgot about. That’s probably a good thing… but we are not in the business of forgetting.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of characters that Image hopes their readers have forgotten about. Some of these characters are clear rip-offs of established, legendary characters. We already know that the creators that were around during Image’s early days weren’t scared of “borrowing” some ideas from the competition. Other than the rip-offs, there are still many characters that are just plain embarrassing. That includes a talking squirrel, a real-life professional wrestler transported to a dystopian future, tons of female cheesecake, and even a character with an incredibly long, indestructible penis. The characters on this list are the ones that the people over at Image think about and cringe. So, let’s refresh our collective memory with 15 characters that Image Comics hopes their readers forget.
15. LONG DONG
With a character named Long Dong, you can probably guess what makes him so… special. However, you’d only be half right. Sure, Ray McFarland, aka Long Dong, has a…well, a long dong, but that’s not all. His long male appendage is also indestructible. And we’re not talking about a foot long, indestructible penis. No, no, no. We are talking a dong that is longer than his body. It’s so long that finding a picture with his dong and face in it is damn near impossible.
Yes, we know that Long Dong was created for Seth Green’s comedic Freshmen series from Image. That doesn’t excuse the fact that Long Dong is an actual character that appeared in a major comic series from one of the biggest comic publishers in the world. Yes, it’s silly, but does that make it good? We’ll let you decide.
Just by reading the character’s description, you might already see why Cybernary is on this list. She’s a cybernetic anti-hero with someone else’s consciousness loaded into her brain. Not only that, her costume consists of so much ridiculous techno-stuff that it makes Cable look normal. On top of all of this, where she isn’t covered by cybernetic enhancements, her other, more natural, enhancements are basically hanging out. She’s the epitome of everything wrong with ‘90s Image Comics.
Oh yeah, and the reason her series died is because her own creator lost interest in the character. Writer Steve Gerber, along with the late Nick Manabat, created Cybernary. After Manabat’s death, Gerber continued the series with another artist. Unfortunately, Gerber just lost interest, saying, “I admit, I lost interest a couple of issues into the series.” Ouch.
Bloodwulf is that joke that your friend tells you, which was funny the first time, but after the 100th re-telling it starts to grate your nerves. Bloodwulf was created by Rob Liefeld as a “satirical” version of DC’s Lobo (who himself was a satirical version of other ’90s characters). So, as you can imagine, the character’s appearances were all about being a bigger, badder, more raunchy version of the famous DC character. Bloodwulf is a character that overstayed his welcome after only a handful of issues.
What makes Bloodwulf insufferable is the way that his jokes were painfully uncreative. Instead of burying the satire under layers of subtext, Liefeld and Company hit you over the head with references and jokes. As an example, the end of the limited series showed the main villain was none other than Gaimanwank. Gaimanwank was just a cross between Darth Vader and Neil Gaiman. Hilarious, right? Ugh.
Ant is actually a more modern character. Created in the mid-2000’s, Ant first appeared in an Image comic book well after the original Image founders had come and gone. However, that doesn’t mean Ant somehow learned from past mistakes. No, she is a throwback to the heyday of bad Image characters. Created by Mario Gully, Ant is a character that has all the powers of an Ant, but in a super sexy package. That is, if you find cheesecake art sexy.
Buried under the overly-sexualized exterior is a story that, while very complicated, could have potential to work as a series. Unfortunately, you have to wade through the pages of booty shots and ridiculous dialogue to get to it. Adding to the pain of reading the issues is the character design, which consists of a skin-tight red suit with large antennae. It’s so boring that you understand why Gully focused on the butt so much.
11. FIGHTING AMERICAN
Fighting American is the result of pure laziness. As many know, when some of the founders of Image began writing their own books, they pulled from old Marvel and DC pitches for their storylines. That’s why you see so many characters that resemble Marvel and DC characters. Perhaps the most egregious is the Fighting American.
Created by Rob Liefeld, from an old Captain America pitch, the Fighting American is just a poor attempt to copy Marvel’s hero. It’s such a poor rip-off that it almost didn’t happen because of Liefeld being threatened by legal action from Jack Kirby’s Widow. He wanted to use the name Fighting American, but they didn’t let him. He then changed it to Agent America, but was threatened with legal action. Finally, they came to an agreement, and Liefeld’s horrible Captain America copy was released.
10. THE SQUIRREL
The Squirrel is the second Seth Green creation on this list. While Long Dong is just a juvenile sex joke, The Squirrel is an entirely different beast. Jacques Lalleaux, aka The Squirrel, is a character that is changed into a squirrel and develops squirrel-like powers. By powers, we mean that he’s basically a squirrel and does what squirrels do, which is basically collecting nuts.
Again, like Long Dong, it’s clear that the creators were going for humor when making the character. We understand that. Unfortunately, the character just feels haphazard at best. It’s like if Marvel made a Squirrel Girl comic, but removed Squirrel Girl and just focused on Tippy-Toe, and then took away all the fun. There’s nothing clever about the character. Luckily, Image doesn’t have any more Freshman series on the horizon.
Next, we have the character of Fourplay. She’s a character that’s a strong woman with four arms. Oh yeah, and because she was created in the early days of Image Comics in the dark days of the ‘90s, there has to be some sexual innuendo with her name. So, she has four arms and is a woman, right? Ergo: Fourplay! Geddit?
Fourplay was a member of the top-secret assassin group called Bloodstrike. There’s literally nothing memorable about her other than her looks and her name. She’s just a product of a time, created by Rob Liefeld, co-creator of Deadpool and a few other characters on this list, probably after a night of binging Mortal Kombat. We’re guessing the similarly quadra-armed Goro would be very flattered indeed.
8. NEW MEN
Let’s see if this sounds familiar. A middle-aged mentor brings together a group of five teens that tested positive for a gene that gives them superhuman powers, but are now hunted. Nope, we’re not talking about the X-Men. We’re talking about the New Men. See, there’s a difference! What did differentiate them from the X-Men was their poor character design, and incredibly lame power sets, but otherwise, they were definitely discount X-Men.
The series amazingly lasted until issue #20, when it was retitled New Force for 4 issues. Sounds similar to another team title that had a spin-off with “Force” in the name of it; one that was also co-created by Rob Liefeld. Strange, huh? Eventually, the series continued on as New Men until it disappeared for good. Of all the X-Men rip-offs at Image during that time, New Men is arguably the most embarrassing.
7. THE TENTH
Another trend during the early years of Image was its edgy Hulk rip-offs. Creators there would think of a Hulk-like character, but give him claws, fangs, and a darker backstory. What separates The Tenth from these other rip-offs was the addition of a hot sidekick. We all know that the reason the Hulk is lame is because he doesn’t have a young scantily-clad woman next to him at all times, right? Well, unless you count Rick Jones.
If you do a quick Google search for The Tenth, you will notice that a lot of the covers for the series didn’t focus on The Tenth, himself. No, they focused on Esperanza, his sidekick, in various states of undress. Sometimes she’d be in a torn t-shirt. Sometimes she’d be bent over. In fact, if you didn’t know better, you might think she was The Tenth based on the issue’s covers.
Nope, we’re not talking about the allergy medicine. Allegra is the name of an Image character created by Steven T. Seagle and Scott Clarke. She’s another example, much like Cybernary, of the ’90s obsession of having a hot girl in cybernetic armor, with copious amounts of cleavage.
What makes Allegra truly forgettable is the ridiculous backstory in her short series. We’ll try to sum it all up, but trust us, it won’t be easy. In the distant future, Allegra is part of a security force in her city called Midian, which orbits the Earth. The Earth was ravaged by some sort of virus and if Allegra touches down on the Earth’s surface, she’ll die. Needless to say, her story is overly complicated, and her design is a throwback to a time when being half-naked on the cover meant your issues would sell.
If you read the comic, you’d think Nash was created by a 13 year old WCW superfan. Nash is a character that is the cliché badass from a dystopian future. Wars have destroyed Earth’s economy and now food is all that matters. Leading some sort of rebellion is Nash, a big strong guy who loves to beat up bad guys and have sex with busty girls. He basically lives every teen boy’s fantasy life.
Yes, Nash was created by Kevin Nash… but no, they don’t share too much in common. The Kevin Nash we know and love is a middle-aged professional wrestler, who starred in a soap opera where guys in tights beat up other guys in tights in scripted fights. He’s definitely not a sexier Mad Max. Thankfully the series didn’t last long, and most people have forgotten about it. Well, until now. You’re welcome!
Trencher is a character, much like Bloodwulf, that is supposed to be a parody of other, more successful, comics. In particular, Trencher was supposed to take down those overly-violent and dark comics of the late-80s and early-90s. However, also similar to Bloodwulf, the series was very one-note and the joke wasn’t as strong as the creators were hoping.
What makes Trencher so interesting is that it was created by legendary comics creator Keith Giffen. Giffen is known for adding bits of satire into much of his work, so you would think Trencher would be a perfect fit for the creator. However, that never panned out, as the character faded into obscurity, sadly for some of his fans. But don’t expect a revival, as Giffen isn’t interested. In a 2008 interview, he said, “There is not a chance Trencher will ever appear in another comic book…I’ve moved on. The character doesn’t interest me anymore. Never say never, but… never.”
Rebound has had an odd character arc, and that’s putting it lightly. She was created by Scott Wherle and Ted Wing III as a character that would be featured in Shadowhawk. Jen Lyter, aka Rebound, was born to a drug-addled felon father and a sex worker mother. She was then assaulted as a little girl by one of her mother’s friends. Eventually, she grows up, develops powers of deflection, and then falls in love with Shadowhawk.
Now, what pushes the character into complete ridiculousness is how she is portrayed later, in issues of Bomb Queen. In Bomb Queen, she is overly-sexualized, and used as the hot punk/goth girl, where she is constantly scantily-clad and the butt of jokes. It’s crazy to see the character portrayed that way, especially when you know her tragic backstory. It’s the definition of problematic.
If you look at all the rip-off characters that Image Comics has had over its 25 years, Smash would be near the top. He’s basically the Hulk in every way, except two. First, he’s named Smash because well, he smashes things like the Hulk. Second, instead of the iconic green skin of the Hulk, Smash has Purple skin. He also… just kidding, that’s it.
He appears in one issue of Fighting American, and that’s all. Much like the rest of the characters from Fighting American, Image Comics probably just hopes they never see the light of day again and are remembered for whatever pastiche they were originally intended as being. At least with some of the other copycats, they have more original names and designs. Even The Tenth has a scantily-clad, young sidekick to differentiate himself. Smash is just the Purple Stuff to Hulk’s Sunny D.
What’s cooler than Wolverine? Not much. Especially not Deadlock. Imagine if you take Wolverine, remove his amazing signature claws, and repainted his costume black, red, and white. That’s what you get with Deadlock. He’s so blatantly a rip-off of Wolverine, it’s almost absurd.
Of all the costumes in comics, Wolverine probably has one of the most iconic. Those wings on his helmet are so crazy and silly looking that they shouldn’t work, but they do. They’re part of his signature style. So, when you put that helmet on another character, and call him Deadlock (which is itself close to another Marvel property), people are going to notice. Granted, Image did try to make Deadlock different by making him a vampire, but still, he’s so clearly a Wolverine copy, it’s embarrassing.
Can you think of any other superheroes that Image is probably happy for you to forget? Let us know in the comments!
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!