“Heroes, Villains, and Me” is a periodic article on Geeky KOOL by Larry Litle about the world of comic books and my reaction to it. “Heroes, Villains, and Me” is not a comic book review article. I will write about current events, speculation and rumors, or my own wacky thoughts about the world of comic books and related stuff.
I love the zany and weird characters that are unusual superheroes. I have also loved those that are not the top tier heroes. Most of these are so far down the list that they would not be recognized on the streets in their full costume. Now it might be fun to cosplay many of them because only the biggest fans would know them. Well, a lot of fans know #1 and they have good taste if they do.
Check out my list. I also included some “Honorable Mentions” if it is honorable to be on this list.
10) Too Much Coffee Man (Independent)
Too Much Coffee Man is an independent comic character. A male of unknown identities lives above a coffee shop. He wears red long johns as a costume. He gained his amazing powers from drinking too much coffee (his own extra potent Espresso mix) and smoking too many cigarettes. He can go into a manic paranoid frenzy to beat up bad guys.
Why I Love Him: This character is hysterical and super weird. He is pessimistic and a downer. We all know people that sit around depressed and drink too much coffee and chain smoke cigarettes. It is so crazy that it is awesome.
9) Matter Eating Lad (DC)
Matter Eating Lad is a full fledged member of Legion of Superheroes, the greatest group of super powered heroes in the 30th &31st Century (DC). Tenzil Kem comes from the planet Bismoll. Their race has developed the ability to eat any matter. That is right, his power to eat and digest anything.
Why I Love Him: Here is a guy that is in a group of major superheroes with powers of Growth, super strength, darkness, magic, lightning, Magnetism, and telepathy. He holds his own against some of the biggest bads in the future universe by eating things.
8) Howard the Duck (Marvel)
Howard comes from a different universe where anthropomorphic animals are the norm. He was transported to our universe with humans and things just aren’t right. His tag line is “Trapped In a World He Never Made!”
Why I Love Him: Howard is an ill tempered character that is trapped in the 616 Universe (Marvel Main Universe). His comics are satirical in nature. They use comics to speak to societies ills. Howard the Duck was the first Marvel comics character adapted to a movie (a horrible movie but still) in 1986 (22 years before Iron Man).
Eugene Patilio is the son of former bad guy, Leap Frog. Patilio’s powers to leap high is tied to his frog suit (from his dad). It has springs in the bottom of the feet. The mechanics of the suit are a bit mysterious to Eugene.
Why I Love Him: Frog-Man’s abilities are very limited even in his suit He often has trouble controlling his leaps and where he lands. He becomes a random attack because of limited control. I have Frog-Man’s first appearance in Marvel Team-Up #121 – starring Spidey. I am sure that makes it worth… Well probably a Dollar.
Dag Wentim aka Stone Boy comes from the planet Zwen. The Zwenians can turn their bodies into stone as a form of suspended animation. After turning their bodies to Stone, they are unable to move like a Statue. Stone Boy is a member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes.
Why I Love Him: While Matter Eating Lad makes it somehow to the Majors, Stone Boy joins the group of rejects from membership in the Legion of Superheroes. He joins the “Legion of Substitute Heroes.” These are the kids with powers that would get picked last. The Legion isn’t mean about it but they don’t have use for the abilities of these characters (yet Matter Eater Lad…). Stone Boy is first of Three Substitute Heroes on my list. I love the ability to turn yourself to rock like the Thing in Fantastic Four (yes the Thing cannot transform himself… well there was the time on Beyonder’s world but I digress), but cannot move or lift or clobber. About all Stone Boy can do is turn into a statue and his friends (other Substitute Heroes) can fling bad guys at him to hit his stone form. I love it.
DeMarr Davis, AKA Doorman has the ability to teleport others… to the next room. This is a somewhat helpful ability when you want to entered a building or the next room. Doorman will create a door just for you.
Why I Love Him: Doorman is like Cloak from Cloak and Dagger (Marvel) but without the ability to teleport places other than on the other side of a wall. It is like a car that will only allow you to go to the neighbors house. DeMarr is a very pessimistic hero but is always there to help his friends when they need to get into or out of some place… if he is next door.
4) Color Kid (DC)
Ulu Vakk is from the planet Lupra. During an accident in the local lab, Ula was hit with a beam of light from another dimension. It gave him the super power to change the color of any organic or inorganic object or being. He is also a member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes.
Why I Love Him: Some of his Substitute friends might be a little green with envy but he can fix that. This power just cracks me up. It is super helpful as an artist, painter, or designer. But fighting Darkseid, Mordru, or the Fatal Five is not up Color Kid’s skill set.
Carlton LaFroyge is an insightful (pun intended) young man. He figured out the secret identity of the young hero, Speedball, of the New Warriors. Carlton used this information to blackmail Speedball into helping him become acquaintances with the New Warriors. Even though Carlton had no real abilities or powers, he created a costume for himself as Hindsight Lad (later dropping the Lad) with a bike Helmet and side mirrors.
Why I Love Him: Carlton is the annoying guy that you really aren’t friends with but somehow keeps showing up and joining in on the fun. You try to get rid of him but yet there he is. Hindsight Lad, who uses his ability to look behind him (no seriously), become an honorary member of of the hottest hero groups of the early 90s. As much as he annoys me, he has to be on the list with his power to Look Behind him.
2) Arms Fall Off Boy (DC)
Floyd Belkin beckons from the planet Lallor. He has the ability to detach his own limbs, which he can then use as blunt weapons. Little is known about his origin even though Matter Eating Lad (#9) pokes fun at his ability by stating Arms Fall Off Boy was carelessness while holding the anti-gravity metal Element 152. He of course is a member of the Legion of Substitute Heroes.
Why I Love Him: Arms Fall Off Boy only wants to get a flight ring and for the beautiful Saturn Girl to know his name. He has very strong arms so it is kinda KOOL in a very weird and crazy way that he can rip one off and beat someone with it. You have to hand it to him (Again, pun intended).
1) Ambush Bug (DC)
Irwin Schwab has a several mental health challenges and problems with knowing reality. But here is the most accepted origin story of Ambush Bug. Brum-El sent his wardrobe to space from his doomed planet in hopes the clothes would survive. It was intercepted by a giant radioactive space spider and only two items of clothes survive. The Green Ambush Bug costume survived and found Irwin and bound himself to Irwin. Now Irwin cannot remove the suit but has powers to teleport anywhere in the Multiverse. The other surviving piece of clothes is an Argyle sock villain named “Argh!Yle!”
Why I Love Him: His adventures are zany and fun. Ambush Bug can break the fourth wall and talk to audiences (long before the creation of Deadpool). His first adventure was to sorta team up with Superman but really just to bug (pun intended) the snot out of Supes. He shows up at the weirdest times but always brings a smile to my face. Ambush Bug: Year None was one of several miniseries that Starred Ambush Bug. This mini was a 6 issue series. Issue six was delayed and eventually they just released issue 7 and skipped issue 6 because “Dan DiDio, DC Publisher, claims to have lost issue #6”.
Here are my Honorable Mentions:
Squirrel Girl (Marvel- Great Lake Avengers/ Avengers- Powers of a Squirrel and to control Squirrels- she is now moved to a B List hero)
Infectious Lass (DC- Legion of Substitute Heroes- Power to get people sick)
Dumb Bunny (DC- Inferior Five- Super strong but dumb and wears a Playboy Bunny like oufit)
Arthur (Independent -The Tick – Moth outfit gives power of flight for the Tick’s scared sidekick)
Spleen (Independent – Mystery Men- The power of toxic farts)
Speedball (Marvel- New Warrior – Kinetic force field balls around his body allowing him to bounce all around without being hurt)
D-Man (Marvel- He has super strength and a good heart but no other real abilities. He has helped out the big boys but remains on the D-List)
Let me know what you think of my list. Who did I leave off? Who should be in what spot?