In the world of comic books there are truckloads of amazing super powers we all wish we could have. From flight to super strength and teleportation, if you’re a superhero, then it’s pretty much assumed you also have incredible abilities. Similar to how clothes make the man, the same can be said for powers. As a superhero, or supervillain if you’re feeling particularly evil, people and fellow vigilantes judge you based on your power set. The top tier heroes and villains are seen as gods, moving mountains and parting oceans. It’s not difficult to garner tremendous respect when you’re someone like Superman or the Mighty Thor.
Yet for every Wonder Woman, imbued with the power of the Greek Gods, there are heroes who have similarly revolting powers. Comic books are a funny place and they go to show that not every character is created equal. Heroes and villains we’ll later see have powers no sane individual would ever dream of possessing. These abilities can gross out those with even the toughest stomachs and make you wonder why such heroes and villains exist in the first place. Here at CBR we’re going to look over 15 of the foulest and most disgusting powers one can have!
15 SYMBIOTIC TENDRILS
Nobody likes getting slimed, or coming in contact with slimy things… like seaweed. Do you enjoy that mushy, tingling sensation you get in the ocean when your feet come across a patch of seaweed? The correct answer is no. Nobody likes that; it’s alarming and gross. Now imagine that on a larger scale, as seen in characters like Venom and Carnage. Oh sure, symbiotes are definitely cool in their own right, but rest assured, they are probably one bad day away from becoming a full-on slimy tentacle monster.
It’s really not pleasant dealing with guys who are really just big puddles of walking goo. If you need a sense as to what those tendrils they lash out probably feel like, go stick your hand in a jar of Gak, the ridiculously awful and nasty goo from the '90s. That should help.
14 HEALING FACTOR
At the offset, having a healing factor sounds like it would be wonderful. On the one hand, you can heal from nearly any wound or sickness in a matter of seconds or minutes and then keep chugging away like the little train engine who could. Yet, while it might be cool to be an unstoppable feral rage monster like Wolverine, you have to feel bad for everyone who ends up having to watch you heal.
Plenty of superheroes, Spider-Man included, get super grossed out whenever they’re witness to characters like Wolverine or Deadpool healing from grisly wounds; watching their bodies stitch themselves back together, as sinew, muscle, and skin, rejoin… it’s a sickly sight. Looking at someone else’s scabs is bad enough, watching those scabs on a slightly larger level is pretty freaking gross.
13 ORGANIC WEBBING
Webbing is one of Spider-Man’s signature traits. Sure, he has the proportionate speed, strength, and agility of a spider, but it’s the webbing that really ties it all together. For the longest while, Peter Parker would labor to make his own webbing formula, which he’d then use to swing from building to building and fight crime. Incredibly useful, his webbing was capable of incredible feats and saved Spidey in battle thousands of times.
Yet after Spider-Man died and came back, he found he’d picked up a new ability: organic webbing. He could shoot webbing straight out of his wrists; it was gross. Having anybody shoot you with their internal fluids is a no-win situation. Having a face full of juicy innards, i.e. webbing, is frankly the kind of experience that sends you to a shrink.
The Legion of Superheroes is one of DC Comics’ pride and joys when it comes to superhero teams. They’ve been around for well over half a century and when they return, it will be to the open arms and thunderous applause. Made up of incredible characters with a wide array of impressive powers, it’s easy to understand why they have such a massive fanbase. Unfortunately not every Legionnaire can be a Lightning Lad or a Cosmic Boy, hence Matter-Eater Lad.
With his one power being that he can eat anything, it’s easy to see how such a power can go wrong very quickly. Thank goodness Matter-Eater Lad has a job and isn’t a hobo wandering the endless galaxies, otherwise instead of seeing him stand side-by-side with true Silver Age heroes, we’d be reading about his exploits rummaging through dumpsters and eating old diapers. It wouldn’t be pleasant for anyone involved.
11 BODY PARTS FALLING OFF
You’d think it’d be difficult to make Matter-Eater Lad look like Fabio, as his friends probably cringe whenever he’s at the dinner table with them, but you’d be wrong. Arm-Fall-Off-Boy made sure you knew what he was about the moment he was in your presence.
Limbs falling off, unless used to comedic effect as seen in Monty Python, are generally gross. Nobody wants to be in the company of the guy who keeps removing his limbs and throwing them at you like it’s no big deal. Think of all the gnarly bacteria crawling around in his arm sockets! The Legion of Superheroes also thought similarly because they straight up refused to let Arm-Fall-Off-Boy on their team; the team that already had Matter-Eater Lad! Suffice to say, it was for the best, as whenever Arm-Fall-Off-Boy panicked, his body fell apart.
10 SUPER PERVERSION
A “hero”, and we use the term loosely here; Bueno Excellente was a sex offender who had enough skill at fighting crime to join the DC superhero team Section Eight. How’d this creepy and constantly sweating greaseball fight crime? By sneaking up on them and ah… serving justice in explicit fashion.
While Bueno Excellente might not have a super power per se, he’s incredibly skilled at intimidation, simply frightening people with the threat of sexual assault. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to be around him, and how he ever got on a superhero team is the mystery of the millennium. Perhaps one of Bueno Excellente’s biggest claims to fame was in marrying the space-faring bounty hunter in an issue of Lobo in a staged wedding. To this day, Bueno Excellent is still running around the DC Universe, quite literally sticking it to crime.
9 BODY FULL OF DEMONS
Many bad guys have made deals with demons or are literally demons themselves. From Doctor Doom to Mephisto, these bad guys rely on the dark side of the mystic arts in their never-ending quests for world domination and taking down pesky superheroes. Master Pandemonium, an enemy of the Avengers, clearly didn’t get the memo on how to properly bargain with demons.
After he got into a horrible accident, he made a deal with Mephisto, the literal devil. As a result, he received a wide array of magical abilities, but Mephisto severed all his limbs and replaced them with demons. His two hands became two little demons who cause him, and anyone who happens to look at them, nothing but grief. Master Pandemonium can also detach his demonic limbs so they can transform into their original demon forms. In short, Master Pandemonium is not easy to look at.
This isn’t the happy-go-lucky shapeshifting you know from comics of old. Oh no, this is the horrific, Lovecraftian-monster looking shapeshifting that haunts your nightmares and makes you beg for a merciful end. While Mystique, and other similar characters, is able to shift without significant hullaballoo, the female villain has shifted to look like something straight out of your deepest fears.
It’s not pretty, but rather gross, and thankfully something she only does once in a blue moon. It’s even more disgusting when it’s the alien from John Carpenter’s movie The Thing or comic book characters like Venom, what with slobbering all over the place and leaking nearly out of every orifice as its body snaps, crackles, and pops in order to shift into something gruesome.
7 SEDUCTIVE PHEROMONES
While not visually offensive to one’s delicate sensibilities, the ability to generate pheromones as a mean to seduce people is just super creepy and kind of disgusting. Weirdly, it’s a power shared by villains and heroes alike; you have Mandrill, the baboon-looking villain with women-seducing pheromones, and Starfox, the super sketchy Avenger.
Mandrill only has the ability to seduce women and make them do literally anything he wants, including, oddly enough, having them fight for him. He once made Spider-Woman try and kill Spider-Man. Starfox, can seduce pretty much anyone, which has gotten him into deep trouble, as he’s been called out for sexual assault on more than one occasion. It bears mentioning Starfox once tried his pheromone powers on the Hulk, trying to calm down the not-so jolly green giant… it didn’t work as expected.
6 ACIDIC SWEAT
Who doesn’t love going for a jog on a blisteringly hot, summer day in 100% humidity, as the pavement cracks underneath your feet and it feels like you could cook an egg on the street. Sweating is gross. You have to deal with that horribly salty smell, it gets everywhere, and unless there’s a shower nearby, then you’re going to be spending the rest of the day as a walking cesspool of rancid odors.
Being around people who constantly sweat is even worse, which brings us to the superhero Anarchist and his power of acidic perspiration. Yup, the dude doesn’t just sweat, he sweats acid! Already having to deal with OCD, his life was made only more complicated when he acquired his smelly power. One of the founding members of X-Statix, he could turn his sweat into energy blasts.
5 EXCRETING TAR FROM SKIN
If excreting sweaty, smelly acid out of your sweat glands wasn’t enough for you, how about some tar? Does that sound appealing? Well to someone it did, hence the creation of the character Tar Baby. Coming right out of the fabulous House of Ideas, Tar Baby was a Morlock who lived with the Drain Dwellers sub-group and not to be mean, but probably for good reason.
His main power, as you might imagine, was secreting a powerful, and smelly, sticky adhesive through the pores of his skin that would cause objects to permanently stick to him. How this is a useful ability is anyone’s guess. Somehow surviving the infamous Mutant Massacre, Tar Baby lived with X-Factor, probably much to their chagrin, before eventually getting killed by the Weapon X program.
4 DEADLY PHLEGM
Well since you asked… how about phlegm? And so you have Flemgem, a character created in 1997 by the brilliant minds of Garth Ennis, the creator of Preacher, and John McCrea. A member of the superhero team known as Section 8, these heroes operated in what was essentially the Irish Section of Gotham City.
One of the heroes tasked with this responsibility was Flemgem; it’s safe to assume nobody waited in line to get this guy’s autograph. If you think it’s disgusting to see the crazy guy down the block hock a loogie, then it isn’t terribly difficult to see the problem with Flemgem, who is constantly spitting phlegm at people! Wearing a bright green suit and a purple eye mask, because of course he was, Flemgem was an old man who could fire off large volumes of phlegm, which could blind, suffocate, or most effectively, gross out enemies.
3 SENTIENT DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
On account of the gods seemingly having forsaken the X-Men, there once was a mutant named Maggott, a member of the superhero team. You know people hate you when they give you the moniker Maggott. All you really need to know about Maggott, aside from his deplorable name, is his abilities and their nauseating traits. Sporting a sentient digestive system, it’s made up of two techno-organic slug-like creatures that literally reside in his bowels and are horribly nicknamed Eany and Meany.
As it turns out, Maggott himself was incapable of eating and instead it was his gross stomach slugs that would eat for him; able to devour nearly anything they came across. Maggott nearly went mad, as the slugs had to burrow their way in and out of his stomach five times a day. It was pretty disgusting for everyone involved, Maggott included.
2 MIND-CONTROLLING MUSCUS
Living deep in the Savage Land, the utterly disgusting Mutate Worm was recruited to do battle with the X-Men… because apparently the lives of the X-Men aren’t horrible enough without having to deal with this nauseating monstrosity. Worm, on account of him looking like a giant snake-human hybrid and since there’s no other child-friendly name you can call him, creates a mucus-like secretion that comes right out of the cup-like pores in his hands.
From there, Worm covers his victims, who are all the while (presumably) praying for the sweet release of death, from head-t0-toe in the ghastly stuff. The boogers then enters the poor soul’s pores and makes them obedient to Worm. That’s right; Worm’s disgusting mucus, which seeps into every part of your body, gives him mind-control over you. Doesn’t matter how you spin it, that’s just disgusting beyond measure.
1 ACIDIC VOMIT
Vomiting is disgusting. Other people’s barf is one of the worst things out there. Having someone turn their vomit into a deadly projectile is probably the leading argument mankind has for wanting to round up mutants in the Marvel Universe. Alex Cluney, or Zeitgeist, was a mutant with the ever-so lovely mutant power of spewing acidic vomit.
You really have to wonder why the X-Gene decided it hated certain people with the passion of a thousand burning rainforests. On one occasion, this abomination was making out with some hapless woman and vomited on her…burning her face! It should come as no surprise that he hung out with Anarchist. Really, if you see the team X-Statix headed in your direction, you better be ready for a month-long shower. Vomit, sweat… what other horrible bodily functions will serve as a weapon?
Are you sufficiently disgusted? Let us know in the comments section!