Hollywood is capable of incredible feats, from turning walking, one-dimensional fat joke Etta Candy into a fully-realized supporting character in Wonder Woman to making Vibe the best part of The Flash television series. Heck, even the Inuit side-kick Thomas “Pieface” Kalmaku managed to be included in Green Lantern – sans racist nickname, of course. Most impressive, but not every two-dimensional character can be exhumed from the six-color oblivion of yesteryear. Some characters are simply too ridiculous to adapt, yet remain too terrible to be wholly forgotten.
We’re all for ridiculousness in comics, which is part of the reason why we love superhero movies. A surgically-modified trigger-happy raccoon with the voice of Bradley Cooper? Irreplaceable part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A talking alcoholic duck well versed in the art of Quack Fu? Let’s include him in at least three movies. Blonde Spider-Man in a cut-off blue hoodie? Pump the breaks to your Spider-Mobile, because that ain’t right. Whether its because of racist undertones, litigious quagmires or just being the centerpiece of plot-lines are too ridiculous to exist outside of comics, you’ll most likely never see any of the following 15 characters make it onto the big screen.
15. THE TRAGEDY OF CODPIECE
Angry at the world for his own “shortcomings,” the over-compensating criminal Codpiece whips out his literal crotch cannon to unleash misogynistic mayhem in 1993’s Doom Patrol #70 by Rachel Pollack, Tom Sutton and Scot Eaton. Codpiece utilizes his multipurpose malevolence-maker to spread phallic pandemonium, using a drill-tip to penetrate a bank vault, switching to a hip-mounted boxing glove to incapacitate some cops, all before loosing a wild barrage of legitimate crotch rockets in the most humiliating supervillain rampage, ever.
Frankly, Codpiece is too ridiculous/amazing to exist outside of comics. Furthermore, you can’t end a film with a phallic foe’s junk liquified as if he just flashed The Arc of The Covenant by a water-bending lesbian transgender former prostitute wearing a frog mask, who got her powers during a technical threesome involving an intersex deity comprised of radioactive negative ghost-energy.
14. GOOD BOY
What if furries were legitimately real? The answer is Good Boy from 2016’s Great Lake Avengers #1 by Zac Gorman and Will Robson. Good Boy, who is a girl, has the ability to change into a wolf-person form, who is a guy: “Her idea. She says her fursona is a dude.” Good Boy clarifies that she is not a werewolf, rather her fursona is a man-wolf, which is the literal translation of “werewolf,” but whatever.
Good Boy’s entire family can turn into not-were-animals, with her brother’s fursona being a twin-tailed fox – the closest anyone has gotten to having their Sonic The Hedgehog fan-art appear in a comic. We have nothing against furries, we just can’t picture for real (fur-real?) furries being taken as a serious part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe alongside Norse Gods, talking raccoons and boulder-people.
13. EGG FU
After forcing Diana Prince – aka Wonder Woman – to pretend to be his girlfriend for an hour-long “date,” Steve Trevor races to Oolong Island to photograph Egg Fu’s “Doomsday Locket,” which, to be clear, isn’t an apocalyptic necklace, but just one of the crazy racist jokes from 1965’s Wonder Woman #157. Egg Fu is a racist caricature in the form of a gigantic egg, who makes Wonder Woman and her terrible boyfriend explode like “Fire Clackers.”
Honestly, we feel bad even providing quotations: Steve calls the “Oriental” saboteurs “Chopstickers,” prompting an underwater karate fight before calling them “Chopstick Charlies.” While Grant Morrison reimagined Egg Fu as the eldritch egg Chang Tzu in 52, with “Egg Fu” being one of Chang’s “nine thousand and nine unmentionable names,” it remains hard to bear the ridiculous yolk of an evil egg in a Wild Wild West spider-chair.
While most villains claim to feel empowered by cocaine, Snowflame from 1988 New Guardians #2 by Steve Englehart, Cary Bates and Joe Staton, gains legitimate superpowers from the drug, represented by a glowing China White flaming aura, limited invulnerability, and verbose motor-mouth: “Cocaine is my god — and I am the human instrument of its will!” Powered up with a fist-full of white to the face, Snowflame picks a fight with a green Robocop before perishing in a freak cocaine-lab explosion.
You really can’t have a character gain legitimate superpowers from drugs in a film… provided you’re not Captain America. Regardless, could you imagine a Snowflame action figure? He could have a super-fast voice chip and have a tiny silver platter of marching powder as a battle-accessory. Hold up. We may have just invented something amazing.
Batman’s greatest fan, Bat-Mite, is a fifth-dimensional hyper-imp that first broke the fourth-wall in 1959’s Detective Comics #267 to help out the caped crusader with general ridiculousness, like the Great Gazoo but in a tiny bat-suit.
To only way to seriously have Bat-Mite in a film would be in a hallucination sequence, like in Grant Morrison and Tony S. Daniel’s “Batman: R.I.P.” Dosed with weapons-grade crystal meth and street heroin, Batman’s back-up identity/Burning Man persona – The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh – tweaks out on crime, with Bat-Mite serving as his spirit guide. Coming down, Batman asks “Might” if he’s really a hyper-dimensional imp or just a figment of his imagination, to which Bat-Mite replies, “Imagination is the 5th dimension.” So, if you do speedballs, you get to chill with Bat-Mite? Lesson Learned.
Tyroc is not only the first black member of The Legion of Superheroes, but is actually the first black person that the 30th century team had ever interacted with in 1976’s Superboy #216 by Cary Bates and Mike Grell. The descendant of slave mutineers, Tyroc uses his ability to manipulate reality by screaming at it to become the greatest warrior of Marzal, an island-city “populated entirely by a black race that wants nothing to do with the outside world!”
See, Marzal only phases into the DC universe once every 3000 years, making the first black Legionnaire a super-loud sci-fi racial separatist in an Elvis/Pimp costume. Nothing offensive about that. Hypothetically, one could include Tyroc in a film. All you would have to do is rewrite Tyroc’s backstory, motivation, homeland, costume and update his screaming power set, essentially leaving us in a racist Ship of Theseus.
Originally appearing in New X-Men Annual 2001 by Grant Morrison and Leinil Yu, Xorn is a mutant healer with a star for a brain, encased in a dope metal-skull helmet to prevent from going supernova. As it turns out, Xorn, the six-foot tall Chinese mutant whose star-face we’ve actually seen, is actually Magneto, revealing himself while trying to turn the Earth upside-down.
Overlooking Xorn’s long-lost twin who revealed that Xorn was actually Xorn pretending to be Magneto pretending to be Xorn in order to make Magneto not seem like a supervillain, Grant Morrison’s original twist remains problematic. We can gather how Magneto constructed Xorn’s metal prison, but then, were the military agents and scientists overlooking Xorn a part of the ruse too? Why didn’t Logan recognize Magneto’s scent? Despite his great character design, Xorn is just too convoluted for the big screen.
Fortress is the center point of 2009’s Image United by Robert Kirkman and basically every major Image artist, ever. Try as he might to help form a narrative structure to this confetti shotgun blast of a series, Fortress can absorb different kinds of energy and project it back. Fortress’ main power, however, is stealing focus.
Introducing a new superhero as the focal point of a crossover comic series is somewhat pointless. No one picked up Image United for the plight of their new favorite hero Fortress, they just wanted to see Savage Dragon’s veiny armpits and Witchblade’s physics/modesty defying costume. Furthermore, one cannot have an Image United movie as we have no idea how the series ends – not because Image United was painful to read, but because we’re still waiting on the last three issues of this 6 issue series to be released.
7. THE SCARLET SPIDER
Spider-Man’s “Clone Saga” is radioactive in comics, the untouchable avatar of ridiculous revisions to Spider-Man’s mythos, revisions to the revisions and ridiculous ’90s haircuts as editorial was encouraged to keep “Clone Saga” running for as long as possible. At the heart of “The Clone Saga” is The Scarlet Spider, aka Ben Reilly, the “real” Peter Parker who took on the mantle of Spider-Man as the not cloned Spider-Man, before it turned out Ben actually was the cloned Spider-Man.
Now, one could argue that Peter’s makeshift costume from Spider-Man: Homecoming was partially inspired by the Scarlet Spider costume, and Ben Reilly has been double-cloned in 2017’s Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy. So alternatively there’s Kaine, the other Spider-Man clone with a mullet. Incidentally, we don’t see why being a clone matters. Aren’t clones basically just identical twins?
What if Doctor Strange was gay? The answer is Extraño, which translates to “Odd” or “Strange,” the first openly gay wizard in comics. While it is refreshing to have an LGBT character in The New Guardians, Extraño is written with little tact: “Listen, Honey, your old Auntie’s here to tell you, sex can be highly over-rated!”
Additionally, after the Guardians are informed that one of their ranks is HIV positive after getting into a bloody brawl with The Hemogoblin, Extraño reveals that he is HIV positive – due to a previous sexual encounter. This was before we also discover that Extraño’s teammate Jet got “full-blown AIDs” from a vampire-fight. It’s possible that Extraño could be rewritten as a less offensive character, however the overall hyper-sexuality that The New Guardians series is steeped in makes one wonder if an adaptation of the team is necessary.
5. TEEN TONY
We’re not referring to the teenaged rendering of Robert Downey Jr. in Captain America: Civil War, but rather Teen Tony, the time-displaced Tony Stark from 1996’s Avengers Timeslide. After they discover that Iron Man has been a sleeper agent for the time-traveling Immortus, The Avengers use a time-machine to recruit a teenage Tony Stark in order to beat some sense into Adult Tony. Adult Tony only breaks out of Immortus’ influence after ripping out Teen Tony’s heart, sacrificing himself to save Teen Tony’s life and prevent a time-paradox.
Despite being the same plot of All-New X-Men, Teen Tony was kinda the worst. Take away Tony Stark’s alcoholism, adultery and swagger and you get Teen Tony. Likewise, The MCU already has a teenage analogue of Tony Stark in the form of Spider-Man, so Teen Tony has no unique story to tell.
The mysterious mastermind Romulus comes out of the shadows in 2007’s Wolverine #55 by Jeph Loeb and Simone Bianchi to add another twist to Wolverine’s already confusing origins. Logan apparently isn’t a mutant, but actually a member of the Lupine, a race of regenerating hairy folk primarily segregated by blonde and brown hair. Romulus is Logan’s prehistoric ancestor with an absurdly powerful healing factor, in addition to five-clawed gauntlets, because apparently a villain’s power level is directly proportional to the number of Wolverine-claws they have.
Romulus’ tale is an unnecessary revision of Wolverine’s history that only complicates Wolverine’s character, rather than improving it. If Logan isn’t actually a mutant, then why can mutant-tracking Sentinels and Cerebro pinpoint Logan? Why would Rogue’s power-drain work on Wolverine? Finally, after Logan, do we really need another Wolverine movie?
3. JET BLACK
The daughter of Armin Zola, Jet Black first appears in 2013’s Captain America #1 by Rick Remender and John Romita Jr. as a teenage girl. Twenty-one issues later, Jet Black is hooking up with grown-adult Avenger, the Falcon, after having too much wine together the night before. There was no time-skip, rather Jet Black was rapidly aged in hyper-time during a campaign in Dimension Z, emerging as a super-heroine with a uniform that looks like it was made out of electrical tape.
So, while The Falcon was under the influence during the deed with a (technically) legal adult, he still slept with someone whom was still jailbait up until about a week ago from his perspective. Furthermore, after the controversy that Captain America #22 was met with from fans and critics, Jet Black has essentially been black-listed from comics.
2. THE FIXER
What if Batman was like, super racist? The answer is The Fixer from Frank Miller’s Holy Terror, which was originally pitched as “Batman vs. Al Qaeda.” Alongside Cat — which is actually Catwoman’s original moniker — Fixer fights the war on terror in Empire City in the most jingoistic of manners, when the two aren’t banging on rooftops. There’s no hidden depth to Fixer; he isn’t an analysis of the line separating hero from terrorist.
Fixer is just a “do-gooder” with all the powers of Guantanamo Bay: “So Mohammed, pardon me for guessing your name, but you’ve got to admit the odds are pretty good it’s Mohammed — what’s the plan?” Potential copyright infringement aside, its impossible to find a single character in Holy Terror to root for. Even the two-dimensional Cat is pretty terrible: “Give my regards to those seventy-two black-eyed virgins, you son of a b****.”
1. BUENO EXCELLENTE
Though the ranks of the dysfunctional superhero group Section 8 are comprised of intentionally terrible hero designs, the only member that is too controversial for the big screen is Bueno Excellente, whose first appearance is in an adult movie theatre in 1997’s Hitman #18 by Garth Ennis and John McCrea. A balding, registered sex offender in a trench-coat who can only say “Bueno,” and “Excellente,” Bueno Excellente appears to have no superpowers beyond molesting heroes and villains alike with “the power of perversion.”
Ultimately, it’s super hard to get behind a registered sex-offender turned quote/unquote joke-hero, where the punchline to every joke is assault. Incidentally, Section 8’s second-most offensive member is Dogwelder, which is exactly what it sounds like: a mentally unwell man in a welder’s mask who welds dead dogs to people’s faces… Can’t see animal lovers clamoring for that one.
What comic book character do you think is too controversial for cinemas? Should we have included Squirrel Girl? Forbush Man? Marcus Immortus? Cir-El Supergirl? Let us know in the comments!
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