Space. The cold vacuum of the final frontier is harsh and unforgiving. To survive the rigors of space you either need to have high tech gear to overcome a lack of gravity and air, or you need to have a slew of super powers so mighty that you don’t even notice that you’re off planet. In space, no one can hear you scream, but also in space people can’t hear you complain. Thor and Silver Surfer have called the stars their home, but what the heck is Aquaman doing with a space helmet on floating in zero gravity? Maybe they stood in the wrong line, or maybe their ship took off before they could leave, but there are a number of heroes that wound up in space that have no business setting one foot off of the Earth.
Have the heroes on this list actually been in space? Yes. Have they been effective? Debatably. You’d actually be surprised at how some of these characters got off planet. Swamp Thing with Adam Strange on Rann? Wonder Woman in the vacuum of space thanks to her magical earrings? How good is Ghost Rider’s Penance Stare or Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth in space? Read on to learn about the 15 Superheroes Who Have No Business Being In Space (But Have Been).
15. CAPTAIN AMERICA
Captain America is an excellent tactician, leader and inspiration to those around him. Captain America has led The Avengers to victory all across the world, but how effective is he in outer space? Sure, Captain America can provide strategy for the Avengers in space, but couldn’t he do that from a command center from the ground? Cap’s shield always defied physics, so how well do you think it’ll do when it’s thrown in a vacuum?
This also starts the trend where most Avengers in the mid 1990s, when doing spacewalks, wore only a giant domed helmet to cover their heads and no additional covering. Captain America always wore some form of body armor, but was it NASA grade protection against the cold of space? Even dating back to 1981 in Captain America: Satellite of the Red Skull, we see Captain America in space just wearing a fishbowl for a helmet.
14. GHOST RIDER
In May of 1991, a new Ghost Rider made its debut in Guardians of the Galaxy #12. It was a mysterious character named Wileaydus Autolycus that transformed himself into the Spirit of Vengeance. Previous versions of Ghost Rider depict him with a sweet motorcycle with wheels of fire, wielding a long metal chain and giving villains the Penance Stare.
Now imagine Ghost Rider in space. How effective is a swinging chain against spaceships? Who are you going to give the Penance Stare to unless it’s through a viewscreen? The Ghost Rider from the 31st century rode somewhat of a futuristic motorcycle that had on the front a giant flaming skull with protruding fangs, and in Guardians of the Galaxy #13 he was able to stab Starhawk in the chest with it. We’re not sure who decided to put Ghost Rider in space… but we’re kinda glad they did.
When you think of almost every iconic image of Spider-Man, it involves him as a hero in the big city. Spider-Man thrives on tall buildings that he can swing webs from and crawl around. When you think New York City, you’re thinking your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, not Spider-Man the cosmonaut.
In The Avengers #314, Spider-Man finds himself adventuring in space with the rest of the team. Granted, Peter Parker also has a genius intellect so he’s not completely useless off-planet, but when it comes to a battle where his agility and his web-slinging ability are his bread and butter, putting him in space seems like a literal waste of resources. Has anyone noticed yet that the Avengers space suits of this era just consist of a head covering? What about the rest of the body? Isn’t Spider-Man just wearing spandex? Crazy comic book logic.
12. WONDER WOMAN
Is that Wonder Woman flying around the galaxy? It happened as early as Wonder Woman #108 when she had to fly into space to rescue Steve Trevor. In previous versions of the character, Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet had space faring abilities, and in more recent versions, she’s able to fly due to being the daughter of Zeus, so possibly being the daughter of a Greek God will probably give you the ability to fly across the universe.
Did you also know that her magical earrings grant her the ability to breathe in outer space? And you thought they were just decorative! Even if she is proven to survive in space, what’s she going to do with her Lasso of Truth or her Bracelets of Submission? Not very effective against guys on spaceships, are they? Luckily, she’s still Wonder Woman, so your arguments are invalid.
Oh, Deadpool. This guy turns up in the weirdest of places. For a brief period Deadpool was even the Herald of Galactus (he answered an ad in the newspaper), so Deadpool being in space doesn’t seem that difficult of a thing to envision. But just how effective would he be? Deadpool’s healing factor debatably is the cream of the crop, so surviving in the cold vacuum of space is probably doable. Deadpool also technically can’t die thanks to being cursed with life by Thanos.
Durability is definitely an important asset when being in space, but sarcasm, although an effective weapon against some, is virtually worthless in the void of space. His excellent sword skills and marksmanship won’t come in handy if he’s floating in zero gravity, and a gun won’t fire without combustion, so no air equals no shooting. So, you’d think Deadpool would make for just a sarcastic satellite, but he’s actually been quite effective, taking down intergalactic bounty hunters and dodging arranged interspecies marriages!
Batman is an apex predator. He plans for literally any contingency. Batman even has a backup personality in case his mind gets hacked. So you don’t need to tell the Caped Crusader that he’s useless in space because he knows it already. What’s Batman’s response? Hold my beer, I’m going to go into the vacuum of space without any sort of gear, holding my breath to see how long I can last.
The only thing worse than Batman enduring a little under half a minute of being exposed to the nothingness of the cosmos is getting lectured by Martian Manhunter about how dangerous it is. Batman has worn armor and other aids to help him be off planet, but he knows that it it’s not the gear that needs to survive, it’s the body. And if anyone is going to find a way to get off this list, it’s going to be Batman.
9. THE PUNISHER
The Punisher has always been a gritty hero that had no qualms whatsoever about taking a human life. His need to punish the guilty has taken him around the world, and it’s even taken him into outer space! Maybe you missed it, but there was a series that came out in 2012 called Space: Punisher and it’s kind of ridiculous (in the best way possible). It’s the Punisher in space with a robot sidekick. He’s wearing a cape and uses the craziest of weapons to annihilate familiar foes and alien creatures.
This four-part story is not in regular continuity, which is why it’s so wonderfully outrageous, but if you stop and think about it, there are plenty of people on Earth that need to be punished, so why shoot people in the cosmos when you can do so without having to put on a space helmet? Did we mention Punisher wears a cape?
8. ANIMAL MAN
Bernhard “Buddy” Baker is the Animal Man, who has the power to mimic the abilities of animals. He doesn’t transform into them but instead copies their abilities. For example, he doesn’t sprout wings when he flies nor does he grow gills when he breathes under water. After the New 52 Reboot, Animal Man developed a strong connection to The Red, the force which sustains all animal life.
Before that, Animal Man found himself in space, where he joined Donna Troy in going to New Cronos, as well as when he teamed up with Adam Strange and Supergirl. What’s the problem? The one that comes to mind are the lack of animals in space! Luckily, at the time, he was able to appropriate the abilities of extraterrestrial creatures, making him (oddly) a perfect fit in space!
7. SWAMP THING
Swamp Thing, while starting out as a scientist named Alec Holland who mutated into a swamp creature, eventually was revealed to be something more… elemental. Swamp Thing can control all forms of plant life (animate it, accelerate its growth), which includes his own body. His form itself is less of a body, of course, and more of an assemblage of flora. When you think lush and green you don’t think about the black void that is outer space… or do you?
Swamp Thing has actually ventured off planet a few times (quite famously) once finding himself on Rann, home to Adam Strange. While off planet he did see a change in his color, changing from green to blue (while on a nameless planet), then to red (while on Rann). There aren’t a lot of plants to communicate with in space but strange and wonderful things happened when he found himself on other worlds.
The X-Men represent the next step in human evolution. Professor X, with his telepathic abilities, shows us just how powerful the human mind can become. Nightcrawler with his teleportation powers and Kitty Pryde with her phasing powers are demonstrations of how we can overcome the limitations of our environment. However, humans as a race aren’t quite ready yet to go into the galaxy unassisted.
The X-Men have had a number of adventures off-planet; in fact they’ve become famous for it, always crossing paths with the Shi’ar or being possessed by intergalactic fire entitiest. The X-Men shouldn’t work in outer space on a narrative level, having enough problems to deal with on Earth. After all, the characters were meant as allegories to everything from sociopolitical tensions to changes associated with puberty. And yet, most of their greatest creators have taken them to the stars at some point or another. There’s just something special about the X-Men getting lost in space.
Due to an accident where he was exposed to radioactive materials as a child, young Matt Murdock lost his sight but gained so much more. His remaining senses became heightened to superhuman degrees and he eventually became the blind superhero known as Daredevil.
In Daredevil #106 Daredevil fights against the villain Kerwin J. Broderick (what a villainous name!) who is using alien technology to alter San Francisco. Daredevil has partnered with the telepath known as Moondragon. She is severely injured, and aboard her spaceship Daredevil is trying to save her, but the machinery needed to heal her requires operating a control panel that has colored buttons and dials. With all of his powers, he is unable to operate the machinery due to his inability to discern colors. Sorry, DD, but at that point, you could have been swapped out with literally any person to help her.
Somewhat surprisingly, Hulk has had many an adventure in outer space. In the four-part Peace In Our Time, a prelude to Planet Hulk, Hulk does battle with a S.H.I.E.L.D. space station that employs a number of mechanical tentacles to subdue him. Without ground for Hulk to stand on and merely floating in space Hulk can’t do any real damage to the station and is captured
A similar thing happened in Spider-Man #19 when Doctor Octopus held Hulk in the air with several tentacles and then whacked him senseless with his other ones. Perhaps if Hulk got hold of some space debris, he could fling it at his enemies, otherwise Hulk is at the mercy of inertia. Thanks to the Illuminati, the Hulk was stuck in a rocket and blasted off to parts unknown, leading up to the ultimate Hulk-in-space story, Planet Hulk.
It’s pretty clear off the bat why Aquaman is on this list. Heck, forget space, Aquaman is often criticized and questioned for his activities on land. Aquaman is the King of Atlantis and has dominion over the creatures that dwell underwater, but he’s the brunt of many a joke when it comes to talking to fish or just how useful he would be the further he’s away from the ocean.
Because of his connection to the Justice League of America, Aquaman has found himself in space several times, and although his super endurance and strength do come in handy, he does have the word “aqua” in his name. Water, of course, is just one of the many things that are missing in space. In fact, he should let space come to him. In Aquaman #4, Aquaman encounters Lobo as well as a space dolphin. You read that correctly. You still listening, Animal Man? We found you a space friend.
This one is a little tricky. The Speed Force is a power that grants speedsters the ability to travel at impossible speeds. It also allows for other spectacular things to happen, such as repairing physical injuries, canceling out the Anti-Life Equation, and even providing total recall when it comes to retaining information.
You wouldn’t be crazy at all to say that Flash’s speed would be worthless in outer space because what the heck will his feet make contact with for him to run on? Given how powerful the Speed Force is, it could be possible that the Flash could use it to run or move in space. However, even if it did allow him to run in space, what else could he do? Hopefully run to the nearest flat surface. Still, that hasn’t stopped him from taking space cases, usually alongside his less “space-challenged” chum, Green Lantern.
1. BLACK KNIGHT
Although the Avengers has some ridiculously strong characters such as Thor and Hulk, there are also some very mortal heroes like Hawkeye. Sure he had amazing aim and skill with a bow, but at the end of the day that’s it. Dane Whitman, also known as the Black Knight, fits that category as well. Dane wields the cursed sword as The Ebony Blade and is an excellent swordsman. But that’s basically it.
Now, close your eyes and picture the Black Knight in space. He’s riding something that looks like a mechanical bull and he’s got his sword in hand ready to… well it’s not really clear what he’s going to do. He’s going to poke passing spaceships with his sword, maybe? In space, no one can hear you complain there’s no one to sword fight with… unless you’re a jedi or something.
Any other superheroes floating around in space that you don’t think should be there? Post your comments below!
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