A superhero, by definition, is more formidable than your average Joe. And indeed, most of them are much tougher than a normal man. Throughout the decades, writers have created countless superheroes, each with their own unique superpowered skill set and personality. From magic-wielding heroes with hearts of gold like Shazam to stoic warriors springing from forgotten races like Wonder Woman, we’ve seen superheroism in all shapes and sizes. But occasionally a far less than impressive hero sneaks in among the ranks of the world’s finest.
These are the super-wimps. Some heroes are super-wimps because they’re cowards gifted with extraordinary abilities. Others may have good intentions but are too incompetent or just-plain-crazy to help out much. Still, others just have ridiculous powers that are difficult to take seriously. And there’s at least one (which we’ve listed below) that seems weaker than your average Joe. But for every underwhelming superhero, there’s another one that outperforms expectations, and that’s surprisingly useful despite their less than impressive appearance. These are the heroes that reignite our love of comics thanks to the ever-exhilarating appeal of the underdog. Without further ado, here are eight heroes who are total super-wimps and seven that are way tougher than they look.
15. WIMPY: MAGGOTT
Some fans consider Maggott to be the worst X-man of all time. We don’t know about that — but he’s certainly the most disgusting, in addition to being quite wimpy, too. In addition to his psychic abilities, Maggott is primarily known for the two slugs, Eany and Meany, that live inside him, and that come out to devour anything and everything for him. There’s the disgusting part.
READ MORE: Worst X-Men Ever!
We consider Maggott a wimp because his pet slugs do everything for him. Aside from these bizarre creatures and the trouble that they stir up, Maggott is just a guy lucky to be an X-Man. Sadly, when Maggott was captured and killed by Weapon X, not many fans mourned. Besides, the two sentient slugs that defined Maggott survived the ordeal.
14. MORE POWERFUL: ORION
Legendary comic creator, Jack Kirby, invented Orion and the rest of the New Gods. Despite being incredibly powerful, the New Gods are mostly goofy looking, and Orion is no exception. The guy flies around space on what looks like a hovering iteration of a Segway. But the guy is way tougher than he looks, despite that goofy helmet and his choice of transportation.
Orion is one of the few heroes the multiverse can count on to reliably beat his dad, Darkseid.
At the end of Death of the New Gods, Orion engages in his most epic battle with Darkseid. The struggle concludes with Orion ripping the heart out of Darkseid’s chest! When you do things like that, we think you’re permitted to zip around the galaxy on an awkward-looking space-Segway.
13. WIMPY: AMBUSH BUG
Ambush Bug is a thoroughbred wimp, never meant to be taken seriously. Created by one of the zanier minds in comics, Keith Giffen, Ambush Bug has his heart in the right place, if not his head. Ambush Bus is egregiously incompetent for a superpowered adventurer and only saves the day by dumb luck.
Despite having briefly worked with the Justice League, Ambush Bug is seen as little more than a joke by DC’s other heroes. We can’t blame them though. Ambush Bug briefly adopted a doll, christened it Cheeks, The Toy Wonder, and fought crime with it. Perhaps even stranger than his partner is Ambush Bug’s archnemesis — a masked argyle sock, named Argh!Yle! Ambush Bug is a wimp for sure, but nobody said he wasn’t interesting.
12. MORE POWERFUL: ELONGATED MAN
Ralph Dibny, aka The Elongated Man, is a stretch-based superhero with notable detective skills. While not as over-the-top as DC’s other elastic superhero, Plastic Man, Dibny played the role of comic relief when he served as a member of the Justice League. That, combined with the essential goofiness of the elasticity super-power, can easily trick fans into thinking that he’s nothing but a joke. But throughout the years, he’s proven otherwise.
Dibny is one of DC’s premier detectives, only rivaled by Batman. But what truly sets him apart is the astonishing level of devotion he shows for his wife. Throughout the series 52, Dibny doggedly pursues a way to resurrect his deceased wife and ultimately sacrifices himself, so that he can reunite with her in death.
11. WIMPY: GEO-FORCE
Geo-Force is known for two things. Firstly, you might recognize him as ‘that guy’ from the Outsiders. But he’s best-known for living in the shadow of his infamous half-sister, Terra. Terra starred in the classic Teen Titans story, “The Judas Contract”, where, at the behest of Deathstroke, she betrayed the Titans and nearly killed them. But at least she did something memorable.
At the time, Geo-Force was a forgettable member of the Outsiders, helping out wherever he could with his vaguely defined superpowers. The Titans opted not to tell Geo-Force that Terra betrayed them and instead let him think that she died a hero. Eventually, he found out, and it broke his heart. We might care more though if he were little more than a living reminder of his legendary half-sister.
10. MORE POWERFUL: KITTY PRYDE
Compared to some of her insanely powerful comrades in the X-Men, Kitty’s powers are rather humble. She can phase through solid objects, as well as cloak herself and others.
Simple enough, but Kitty has proven time and time again to be an indispensable hero amongst Xavier’s school of mutants.
In “Days of Future Past”, Kitty helped prevent a dystopian future from coming true in her reality by stopping the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly. In the years that followed, Kitty played an instrumental role in the X-Men’s victory over the Morlocks, the Marauders, and the Beyonder — one of the cosmos’ most fearsome creatures. Just recently, Kitty worked with the Guardians of the Galaxy, proving that her heroism is adaptable even to the farthest reaches of space.
9. WIMPY: COLOR KID
The Legion of Superheroes has had more than their fair share of ridiculous crime-fighters, but Color Kid is a whole other caliber of ridiculous. Color Kid flaunts the unprecedentedly useless super-power of being able to alter the color of things. The Legion even rejected him at first, before he learned to use his powers to cast illusions and camouflage his teammates. Still, Legion membership or no Legion membership, Color Kid has to rank as one of the wimpiest superheroes in all of comics.
Legion comics have tried their best to sell us on Color Kid’s usefulness. He often employs his abilities to confuse antagonists. For example, he has a penchant for changing the color of the sky. But we guess that villains are more distracted by how astonishingly underwhelming Color Kid’s powers are.
8. MORE POWERFUL: SCARLET WITCH
For the first several decades of Scarlet Witch’s time in comics, the mutant was relatively harmless. Her powers were simple and vague, true to her namesake. Her ability to cast spells made her a key Avenger, but her power level was never on par with the heaviest hitters in the Marvel Universe. And then a latent ability blossomed — the power to alter reality.
The Avengers learned just how powerful this up-to-then quiet ability of hers was when she suffered a nervous breakdown and slaughtered several of her teammates.
If that wasn’t enough, at the end of House of M, she used her powers to eliminate 90% of the mutant population with the words, “No more mutants.”. Ever since these events, the guardians of the Marvel Universe have kept a watchful eye on this outrageously powerful mutant.
7. WIMPY: SPEEDBALL
Robbie Baldwin, aka Speedball, is your typical D-list superhero replete with D-list characteristics. Let’s start with his unfortunate name. He shares it in common with the street name for a mix of cocaine and heroin — so not the most heroic choice there, Robbie.
The major qualification for Speedball’s wimp status has to be his role on the ill-fated New Warriors team. The team was composed of a bunch of goofballs, many of whom could make this list due to their lack of serious heroism. Speedball’s wimpiness took a tragic turn during the events of Civil War. He and his team inadvertently caused a mini-holocaust while gathering footage for their reality TV show, proving for that Reality TV can even kill superheroes.
6. MORE POWERFUL: THE TICK
The Tick’s origin differs between the comics and the television series, but the essence of the character remains steady. Namely, that he’s a nigh-invulnerable oddball that can beat up any supervillain that may cross him. The Tick may seem like a joke to fans of the comics or the show. That’s a reasonable assessment, considering the Tick’s unstable relationship with reality and the legions of absurd villains that he squares off with. But he’s actually quite formidable.
The Tick’s nigh-invulnerability means that he’s capable of withstanding overwhelming physical and emotional adversity.
But his ace in the hole is his strategic use of the battle cry “Spoon!” to stupefy his opponents whenever he enters battle. His synergetic mix of insanity and intelligence make him a highly underrated superhero.
5. WIMPY: CAPTAIN PLANET
While his cause may be noble, Captain Planet is as wimpy as they come. His mission is simple — protect the environment from things like pollutants. The only problem? His weakness is pollution. You know, the stuff that pervades most of our planet. That’s like if Superman landed on a planet that consisted entirely of kryptonite and was then somehow still deemed a superhero.
How exactly is this guy even a superhero? Pollution harms us all, but it harms humans much less than it does Captain Planet. The Planeteers, the group of normal humans that occasionally summon Captain Planet, are thus more powerful than him. Captain Planet closes each show by telling the viewers “The power is yours!” Well, let’s hope so. Clearly, the power is not Captain Planet’s.
4. MORE POWERFUL: SQUIRREL GIRL
Nobody epitomizes the phrase “tougher than they look” more than Doreen Green, aka Squirrel Girl. Squirrel Girl looks and sounds as if she’d be relegated to the D-list accomplishments of D-list superheroes. Instead, she’s racked up an astonishing number of Ws against Marvel’s most formidable villains. In her debut, Squirrel Girl set out to prove to Iron Man that she was worthy of being his sidekick.
The adventure ended with Squirrel Girl calling upon hundreds of squirrels to help her defeat Doctor Doom, shocking Iron Man in the process.
But that was only the beginning of her illustrious career. She’s gone on to topple M.O.D.O.K., Abomination, and even Thanos. Recently, she spent time on Sunspot’s iteration of the New Avengers and continues to prove her place among Marvel’s finest.
3. WIMPY: STARFOX
Starfox, the brother of Thanos, has your classic set of superpowers. He’s got super speed, super strength, an accelerated healing factor, psionic abilities, and is immortal to boot. In one of his early appearances, he joined forces with the Avengers and Mar-Vell to take down Thanos for the first time. You’d think he’d be on his way to Marvel superstardom after such a debut. Instead, Starfox squanders his potential for heroism by choosing to explore the universe and its variety of pleasures.
Starfox’s primary pleasure is chasing the opposite sex. This could-be all-star Avenger is instead a relentless womanizer. Sure, he occasionally shows up to help out his Earth buddies, but it doesn’t look like he’ll ever live up to the potential suggested in his early battle against Thanos.
2. MORE POWERFUL: AQUAMAN
Ever since his goofy portrayal in the Super Friends cartoon, Aquaman has been the butt of many jokes. Now that Jason Momoa has taken on the role of Aquaman on the big screen, DC looks to be hoping to change how the public views Aquaman. But we’re here to say that Aquaman was BA way before Momoa stepped up to the role. And it’s not just because Aquaman can telepathically command legions of the sea’s deadliest creatures.
Aquaman is incredibly strong — several times throughout the comics, Aquaman has lifted entire ships out of the water.
Also, a little-known fact about Aquaman is that he is energy-heat resistant. When doing battle with the likes of Amazo or the Black Manta, Aquaman has shrugged off heat blasts as if he’d only been sunburned.
1. WIMPY: THE ENTIRE GREAT LAKES AVENGERS
We couldn’t decide whether Mr. Immortal, Flatman, or Doorman was the wimpiest. One thing is clear though, the Great Lakes Avengers is an embarrassing excuse for a superhero team. The team originated as a rag-tag squad of impostor Avengers, led by the morbid Mr. Immortal. Mr. Immortal’s distinction is that he can’t die. But this is also a vice of sorts because it leads him to be excessively careless with his life, even against your everyday bank robber.
By Mr. Immortal’s side is the poor man’s Mr. Fantastic, Flatman. He’s basically like the leader of the Fantastic Four, except not as stretchy. Then there’s the perpetually cynical Doorman, who can create a portal that allows his teammates to pass through any solid object he stands against. The Great Lakes Avengers must run into a lot of locked doors.
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