Top 10 characters marvel wants you to forget electricity experiments for preschoolers

We can’t all have cool sounding names that easily lend themselves to equally cool sounding comic book identities – we’re looking at you, Otto Octavius. If your real name is Jefferson Wheele, your options for a costumed identity are limited – so why not lean into it? A former white-collar criminal who turned to crime after being humiliated by Rocket Racer and contemplating suicide, Jeff instead decided to have a giant, heavily armed mechanical wheel built by the Tinkerer, and pursued a life of crime under the alias “Big Wheel.” He’s since joined a twelve-step program and started using his giant wheel in Monster Truck rallies to try and leave the world of supervillainy behind – let’s hope that keeps him busy.

The Great Lakes Avengers, also sometimes called the Great Lakes X-Men, are a gang of lovable users with mildly effective superpowers who do their best to keep Milwaukee safe from supervillain attacks. So yeah, they spend a lot of time sitting around playing cards while they wait for something to happen. The most unfortunate character in the group is easily the team’s muscle, a woman who can gain superhuman strength and invulnerability but also gains a few hundred pounds in the process. When she wants to return to normal, she has to vomit up all the extra weight. Because bulimia’s funny, right, guys!?

A former Olympic athlete who was stripped of his medals following a doping scandal, this occasional Avenger fell in with a strange religious movement called the Triune Understanding. The group gave him a mysterious artifact which tripled his physical capabilities, and he used these powers as a hero and the group’s spokesman. Even after finding out his new powers had nothing to do with his newfound spiritualism and that the group was ultimately a sham, he kept the costume and identity. Not that we can figure out why. The red and green duds he wears are easily one of the weakest superhero costumes out there, and that’s saying something.

Just because you’re not a fireman or a soldier doesn’t mean you aren’t a hero in your own special way, but that doesn’t mean you should use your profession as the basis for your superhero identity. The only character to ever hold the title “superhero trucker”, this hard truckin’ hero had the top of his skull replaced with an experimental metal after being run off the road. His new metal dome gave him the power to pick up radio frequencies, and he tried to use this and a tricked out big rig to bring justice to the highways. We probably don’t need to explain why the character failed to find traction with readers.

Today we take it for granted that Asbestos, a material long used as an insulator and building material, is extremely dangerous. Spend enough time breathing in asbestos fibers and you can find yourself at risk for a number of illnesses, including lung cancer. But back in the 1940s, the material was in widespread use, and buildings made with it can sadly still be found today. The stuff was so popular that this silver-age supervillain made a costume out of it in an attempt to battle the original Human Torch. Maybe we could let it slide if it were even a decent costume?

There need to be more Irish superheroes, you’ll get no argument from us, and if we have a choice, we’d prefer ones that aren’t walking stereotypes. This superheroine from Dunshaughlin received her powers after her father, a fervent Irish Nationalist, begged the heavens to strike down her son’s enemies. Apparently, the heavens missed their mark a bit and granted powers to his daughter instead. As a vessel for the spirits of innocents killed in war, she has supernatural luck, which helped her get out of a number of jams. She later retired from crime fighting to become a hairdresser and later a bartender catering to NYC’s superheroes.

This uninspired duo was created as part of a Marvel event called U-Decide, in which three comics series went head to head, with fans voting on which of the three would escape cancellation. Given that one was this uninspired Batman and Robin knockoff and the other was the legendarily bad “Marville,” it wasn’t much of a contest. A spoiled rich kid whose brother was killed in a gardening accident, he later learned martial arts and discipline under the tutelage of his groundskeeper, and eventually suited up to fight crime on the streets of Chicago. He and his teen sidekick only appeared in one limited series and has been forgotten ever since.

There’s painful, and let’s face it, racist stereotypes, and then there’s this. This Saudi Arabian hero reads like a checklist of how not to do a Middle Eastern hero. Flying carpet? Check. Magic scimitar? Check. Runs around in silk pants without a shirt on? Check. There isn’t a single aspect to the character that isn’t rooted in archaic stereotypes. He later resurfaced as a member of an organization called Pantheon, but not even a makeover and a more gritty portrayal could save this character from being an unfortunate relic from a less enlightened time.

Originally introduced in 1955, this gun-slinging hero started out as a dyed-in-the-wool Western hero, and thanks to some time-travel shenanigans he’s even teamed up with The Avengers a time or two. However, in 2003 the character was brought back with a new spin: in his new incarnation, the character is gay. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the great moment for LGBTQ representation in comics that many were hoping for. Instead of a nuanced portrayal of masculinity and sexual orientation in the Old West, what readers was got was bad wordplay and cringe-worthy innuendos. It was not Marvel’s finest hour, to put it mildly.

Over the years, Marvel has had a number of partnerships with other companies, brands and celebrities, but none quite so baffling as the one between the publishing giant and the National Football League. Working together, the two produced a comic starring a former football star who gained fantastic powers from football memorabilia doused in a mysterious chemical. Armed with a near-indestructible football uniform this gridiron hero fought crime for 12 notorious issues before meeting with cancellation. Due to copyright issues and the fact that there’s nothing about him that isn’t completely embarrassing, he hasn’t been seen since. We can’t say we’re surprised or even that sad about it.