Usually, superhero fights are watching beautiful people, who have won the genetic lottery in just about every conceivable way, in skin-tight costumes beating up on each other. But, there are those characters, both heroes and villains, that can be positively disgusting!
This unsavory nature may come from the character being physically repulsive or it may be an aspect to their superpower that makes them unpleasant to be around but it is safe to say that none of the characters on this list would make particularly attractive dinner guests if they had to use their powers while the food was being served.
Jackson Day secretes a highly potent psychoactive drug through his sweat glands that allows him to subvert the will of any living person through touch. Once affected, the person’s inhibition center in their brain is overridden and they become highly susceptible to suggestion or if left to their own devices, act in uninhibited, immoral and selfish ways. Besides the more unsavory and lecherous aspects of this kind of mind control, there is the fact that the Corruptor must run his sweaty hands over his victims to transfer the toxin. There just isn’t enough hand sanitizer in the world!
Sickly South African Japheth thought he had cancer, and not wanting to burden his family, went out into the desert to die. There, he encountered Magneto, who released two sentient slugs from his abdomen that he later nicknamed Eenie and Meanie.
It isn’t necessarily the powers that have such an “ick” factor. Super strength, endurance, and durability are pretty standard superhero fare. It’s that they have to come from these two huge slugs burrowing themselves out of Maggot’s stomach and eating everything in sight, except actual food, and then burrowing back in. And the name doesn’t help, either!
Humbug didn’t just like bugs. He was positively obsessed. Buchanan Mitty was a student of Entomology at Empire State University when the department was hit with severe budget cuts. Mitty turned to crime to fund his studies into insects.
Humbug created a suit with an ego-skeleton that gave him super strength, speed, and enhanced senses. It also gave him the ability to communicate with every insect on the Earth and beyond and various insect-inspired skills by mimicking insect noises. Humbug began to identify with the bugs and was ultimately killed as a host for the alien Brood.
Most people get sick at seeing a single bone protruding from someone’s skin. Marrow, aka Sarah, was one of the Morlocks that lived in the abandoned subway tunnels of New York City until most of the community was massacred by the Marauders.
Marrow’s power is to create bone protrusions from her body. These can be defensive to save her from falls or attacks or offensive as when she creates long bony knives and stabs people with them. Not only is this incredibly violent but it is also unsanitary. Even if Marrow doesn’t kill her intended target, there’s a good chance that she gave them a nasty infection with that knife she grew out of her shoulder!
Estranged from his well-to-do family, Edward Whelan is found on the streets by Nazi scientists Baron Zemo and Armin Zola who subject him to experiments that turn him into Vermin and unleashed him on Captain America. After his defeat and capture, he escapes to the New York Sewers, where he becomes a persistent foe for Spider-Man.
Vermin has all the attributes of a human-sized rat with diminished human intelligence. He has very sharp teeth and claws, enhanced speed, agility, stamina, and reflexes. He also has slightly superhuman strength and the ability to communicate with rats and stray dogs. Thus allowing him to cover an opponent with rats in a matter of minutes. The very thought would send shivers down the Hulk’s spine!
Perhaps the most famous mutant with a disgusting power, Zeitgeist was part of the failed social experiment eventually called X-Statix. Axel Cluney has the vile power of spewing acidic vomit from his mouth that can dissolve virtually any substance. It has been shown as able to cut directly through a 4 inch piece of steel in 30 seconds.
More in it for the views than the heroics, Cluney and his team started using the X-Force moniker. Unsurprisingly, most of the team died on their first several missions and Wolverine uncovered corruption by their billionaire and former superhero backers.
Not only are Toad’s powers disgusting, but he looks pretty horrid as well. And none of his compatriots ever let him forget. Ridiculed throughout childhood, Mortimer Toynbee developed a toadish demeanor to go along with his appearance which causes him to follow nearly anyone who shows him any attention, good or bad.
Toynbee has the attributes of a human-sized toad, chief among these is his superhuman leaping ability. One of his more disgusting attributes is his prehensile tongue, which he uses to bind people and which also delivers a paralytic agent, and at one time, shoot fire. Toynbee can also control amphibious creatures and stick to surfaces. Add to this Toad’s tendency to not bathe and he is just generally an unpleasant fellow to be around.
Kentucky born Paige Guthrie is an extremely attractive and intellectually gifted member of the seemingly endless Guthrie family. But it how her mutant power manifests, and her unfortunate code name that leave much to be desired. Husk can form another state or shape of herself beneath the surface of her skin. This state can be anything from diamond to wood that may possess any number of superhuman properties.
She must rip away the skin and clothes to reveal this new form. She can do multiple changes over time. She just leaves her discarded skins on the ground! Beautiful or not, no one would want to come across a husk of Paige’s skin on their morning walk.
Deborah Fields is an attractive young woman but her caustic attitude kept Debrii at arms length to everyone. And it isn’t her powers of telekinesis and levitation that give her powers their disgusting aspect. It is what often happens when she utilizes them.
Deborah is a telekinetic magnet who can move large amounts of debris around her for defense and attack. More often than not, in an urban setting, that debris takes the form of garbage. A whirlpool of garbage will now be flying around Deborah’s head or at some villain. Think about the contents of an average weeks garbage being thrown at you forcefully. It’s enough to keep anyone out of trouble.
South Central LA-born Angelo Espinosa has around four to six feet of loose gray skin that covers his body. Angelo can stretch, expand, and pull this skin to perform any number of feats as long as it doesn’t compromise his normal skeletal structure underneath. He can also reshape his face but he can’t change the pigment of his skin. It also requires a great deal of concentration. The thought of being enveloped in the folds of someone’s extra skin brings up a lot of touch issues, not to mention hygiene ones. Also, Angelo looks like a melted candle most of the time if he fails to concentrate.