We all wish we had super powers, and when we close our eyes and dream about our newfound awesomeness we see ourselves flying, being super strong, moving things with our minds, setting things or ourselves aflame. But for some the dream of being mutated and gaining superhuman abilities does come true, perhaps too true.
For every person who has a better job, better house, and better toys there are the dregs, the pond swill whose unhappy task is to live in the shadows of greatness. I’m talking about the superheroes who were given extremely lame super abilities and forced to live a life of ridicule and mockery while fighting crime alongside their more gifted peers. For every high flyer there is a super crawler with an equally single-minded or eye-rollingly lame name. Let’s explore greatness’ shadow and have a look at the worst super powers ever created.
There were a lot to choose from, so at the bottom of the list I’ve included some more heroes whose powers for one reason or another were not quite as lame as the powers in the list, but hilariously lame enough to earn an honorable mention.
10. Squirrel Girl
Super Power: Able to command legions of squirrels to do bidding
Born with the powerful abilities of a squirrel, fluffy tale included, Squirrel Girl was teased mercilessly at her local high school. She fled and took refuge in the local woods where she bonded with the squirrel population, quickly becoming their leader. She had particular connection to one of her squirrel followers, Monkey Joe, and he became her sidekick. Filled with newfound confidence, she set off to become Iron Man’s side kick. She ambushed Iron Man and displayed her squirrel-based powers, but he was unimpressed and uninterested with the teen. Eventually he did end up in a spot of bother; he was under attack from Doctor Doom and losing. Squirrel Girl commanded her army of squirrels to chew through the machine trapping Iron Man, and he was freed. Even after rescuing him, Iron Man still rejected Squirrel Girl. Squirrel-based powers are a little nuts, right?
Super Power: Next-level translation and decrypting
He was a member of the X-men whose super power was the ability to translate any language or decrypt any code. While he could be useful during wartimes to break enemy code or communicate with hostile alien species, he was generally useless and was often seen hiding behind trees when it came time for battle. Cypher became increasingly insecure and fearful; he lacked the ability to defend himself and relied on others for protection, and eventually was killed off by an evil geneticist know as Ani-Mator. After his death Cypher amassed a cult following, though it is hard to say if it was one of pity or admiration.
8. Rainbow Girl
Super Power: Manipulate the emotional spectrum (resulting in violent mood swings)
You might find yourself with your head firmly placed in your palm as you wonder what in the world DC was thinking when they created Dori Aandraison, Rainbow Girl. This completely sexist character relied on her emotions rather than her physical abilities to handle situations. A mockery of women everywhere, this heroin could harness the power of the rainbow with such colors as red (anger), blue (hope), and green (willpower) to aid her allies and fight crime with her womanly moodiness. Perhaps more insulting was her rainbow pheromone shield, which made her the most popular girl and universally well-liked gal around.
7. Color Kid
Super Power: Can change the color of anything at will
The Color Kid was part of the Legion of Substitute Heroes. These guys banded together and formed a group, after they were all rejected from The League of Super Heroes for having super lame powers, to prove that their powers, and by extension themselves, weren’t horrible jokes. Color Kid was a scientist’s assistant on his home planet, but during his assisting he was hit by a multicolored beam of light from another dimension which gave him the super amazing ability to change the color of any object. His ability does have some use; during a crucial battle he was able to switch the color of the earth and sky. He also changed the color and properties of the green kryptonite cloud around Earth to blue, which had negative effects on the creatures that were attacking. Regardless of his few victories, Color Kid’s gifts are limited in their usefulness, but if you ever look in the mirror and don’t like the color of your hair or feel your walls need reviving, just ask Color Kid, he’ll help you out.
Super Power: Detachable arms
Again, the name says it all. If you need to lay a serious beat down on a villainous fool, why pick up a bat or crowbar when you can detach your arm and bludgeon the guy? Not only is Arm-Fall-Off-Boy always armed and ready for a fight, he’s kind and always there to lend his fellow heroes a hand… Seriously this has got to be one of the worst nail-on-head superheroes ever, and not mention a very ineffective and ridiculous super power. DC has proved one thing with Arm-Fall-Off-Boy, that a super power can be reduced to a cheap parlor trick.
5. Matter Eater Lad
Super Power: Formidable stomach enzymes able to digest any matter
Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel, this guy is literally a “super” eater with possibly the most idiotic name on record. He can munch, crunch, slurp, and gulp his way through any situation. If you’ve got a large metal door blocking your way, it’s snack time for Matter Eater Lad. His planet of origin, Bismoll, is also laughable, as it resembles the pink liquid for stomach troubles. Regardless of the high lame factor, Matter Eater Lad takes a serious bite out of crime.
Super Power: Welding dog heads on the faces of his enemies
I think this super power definitely wins for most awkward and has nudged its way into the creepy and deranged category. Dogwelder was from the Hitman series and a member of Section Eight, a group of superheroes who fought criminals in rather unconventional ways. The basis of Dogwelder’s ability is pretty literal; he would weld the heads of dogs onto the faces of the evil-doers. This was the way this guy fought crime, welding dogs to the faces of evil. It is unknown how having a dog head grafted onto one’s face would stop criminal activity… maybe it was a sick shaming technique that would force villains into hiding.
Super Power: Able to transform into water-based forms
One half of the Wonder Twins, Zan has the ability to change into water-based forms (solid, liquid, or gas). His sister Jayna, on the other, can take the shape (and power) of any animal, real or mythical. So while Jayna could transform into a cobra, lion, or even a dragon, Zan could change into a bucket of water or a snow cone. Rest assured, when the forces of evil attack Earth, Zan will be able to dampen their spirits and mess up their hair while his awesome sister rips them apart.
2. The Red Bee
Super Power: Train attack bees to fight crime
Rick Raleigh was the Assistant District Attorney of Superior City, and at night transformed into basically a powerless vigilante who was excruciatingly less cool than Batman—The Red Bee donned a red bodysuit accompanied with a pink puffy-sleeved pirate blouse and red and yellow stripped leggings. If his costume wasn’t enough to rate this guy as especially lame, his “super ability” sure will. This mook actually took on the forces of evil with his trusty sidekick, Michael. Michael was a bee. Yes, a trained bumble bee who lived in the Red Bee’s utility belt. Talk about lame, this guy spent his free time training bumble bees to fight crime. He must have had to train thousands of Michaels, given the fact that bees die once they sting. This super ability is completely useless; Rick should turn in his pink pirate blouse and stick with his day job.
Super Power: Ability to transform self into a door
Member of the Great Lakes Avengers, his power was to transform himself into a door to usher other characters through him and into an adjoining room. It is exceedingly lame that Doorman’s super power is to transport people from one room to another, but the rooms have to be adjoining or his ability doesn’t work. His power as a literal door is lame enough, but the fact that his power is limited to rooms that are touching explodes the lame scale. I mean if Doormat, I mean Doorman, could at least teleport people that would be one heck of a boost to his significance factor.
Honorable mentions: Ant-Man, Tar Baby, Tattoo Man, Bouncing Boy, and Aqualad.