Who are the weirdest superheroes?
That depends on how you define "weird." After all, The Guardians of the Galaxy film franchise features a talking space raccoon, and the Ant-Man franchise features a hero that comics fans once found ridiculous. Both were massive hits—weirdness is in the eye of the beholder.
With that said, the two main comics companies, Marvel and DC Comics, have had plenty of oddball outliers over their combined 165 years of business, and some are inarguably...well, weird. Here are a few of our favorites, in no particular order.
- Arm-Fall-Off-Boy - DC Comics - Contrary to his name, Arm-Fall-Off-Boy’s arms didn’t fall off on their own—he’d pull one off, then use it to hit his enemies.
- Hindsight Lad - Marvel - He’s able to analyze how events might have played out if things had gone differently—so, basically, he chides much better superheroes about their performance. Hindsight Lad (later renamed Hindsight) has no superpowers.
- Hellcow - Marvel - A cow turned into a vampire by Dracula. Hellcow produces “vampiric milk" and has super-bovine strength.
- Whizzer - Marvel - An unfortunately named hero who received his powers after receiving a transfusion of mongoose blood. Mongooses are fast, but not exceptionally fast compared to other animals—Whizzer benefited from the transfusion because of a bizarre genetic mutation.
- Combo Man - Marvel - A combination of at least 12 other Marvel characters, including Punisher, The Hulk, Magneto, Captain America, and the Human Torch (among others). He activated his powers by eating Combos, a popular pretzel snack. Combo Man was created as part of a promotional agreement between Marvel and Eagle Snacks, the company that produces Combos.
- Bulletman - Fawcett Comics, and later, DC Comics - A ballistics officer who developed a bullet-shaped helmet that can deflect bullets. He could fly and had superhuman strength, but mainly defeated his opponents by punching them (he didn’t carry a weapon). He was sometimes accompanied by his wife, Bulletgirl. Bulletman was an extremely popular character for Fawcett Comics.
- The Red Bee - Quality Comics, and later, DC Comics - An attorney who fought gangsters with trained bees. He had no superpowers, but he wore a striped suit with puffy sleeves. His favorite bee, Michael, lived in his belt buckle.
- Bouncing Boy - DC Comics - After accidentally drinking a super-plastic formula (he mistook it for a soda), Bouncing Boy gained the ability to inflate his body to look like a giant ball. He can bounce great distances, and is somewhat impervious to damage while in ball form.
- Ulysses Solomon Archer - Marvel - A trucker who gained the ability to pick up CB radio frequencies through his skull after receiving a partial skull replacement with an experimental alloy. He can also give lethal headbutts, and he can cycle through CB stations by using his tongue to touch the fillings in his teeth.
- Frog-Man - Marvel - An occasional Spider-Man sidekick, Frog-Man has an electrically powered frog suit capable of jumping great distances at a time. However, the suit’s springs make navigation difficult, and Frog-Man frequently lands off course.
- 3-D Man - Marvel - This one’s complicated: Test pilot Chuck Chandler had a run in with some aliens that turned him into an image imprinted on a pair of eyeglasses. When his brother, Hal, wears the glasses, he can cause a dimensional shift that allows the image to become flesh-and-blood 3-D Man, and the brothers share consciousness inside 3-D Man’s body. 3-D Man has superhuman strength, speed, and stamina.
- Litterbug - Marvel - A soldier who is transformed into a giant cockroach-like creature capable of burrowing underground. He also has superhuman strength, but he has trouble communicating with humans, since, well, he’s a giant cockroach.
- Squirrel Girl - Marvel - Purposely created as a lighthearted superhero, Squirrel Girl has a six-foot-long semi-prehensile tail and can communicate with squirrels. She also has superhuman strength and agility (roughly equivalent to what you’d expect from a giant squirrel).
- Matter-Eater Lad - DC Comics - He's able to eat almost anything without negative consequences.
- Dogwelder - DC Comics - As his name implies, Dogwelder welded the bodies of deceased dogs to criminals' faces. The less said about Dogwelder, the better.
- Defenestrator - DC Comics - Defenestrator hung out with Dogwelder, and his "powers" were even less impressive: He threw villains through windows (“defenestrate" is a fancy word for throwing people through windows). For crimes on ground level, Defenstrator carried around his own window.
- Doorman - Marvel - He can teleport people through solid walls by using his own body as a portal. In other words, he’s a door.
- Looker - DC Comics - A super-strong, telepathic woman who’s able to fly...but she’s obsessed with her appearance. She moonlights as a model, and in later comics, she becomes a vampire.
- Brother Power, The Geek - DC Comics - A mannequin, dressed up like a hippie, who comes to life after being struck by lightning.
- Friendly Fire - DC Comics - A man with the ability to project energy. He cannot hit his targets, however, and frequently hits his friends, hence his name.
- Stone Boy - DC Comics - An alien boy with the power to turn into stone. In his early comics, he’s completely motionless after turning to stone. Eventually, he figured out how to regulate his abilities so that he could move.
- Lady Cop - DC Comics - A female police officer. Introduced in the 1940s, she fought off superpowered villains with her wits. By the way, there were real-life female police officers in the United States since at least 1910, so "Lady Cop" didn’t have much of a gimmick.
While we’re on the subject, we should note a few of the weirder villains from comic history:
- Paste-Pot Pete - Marvel - Later renamed Trapster, Paste-Pot Pete used extremely sticky paste to subdue his foes.
- Asbestos Man - Marvel - Primarily an antagonist of the Human Torch, Asbestos Man was a brilliant chemist who developed an all-asbestos suit. He was introduced in the 1960s, before the dangers of asbestos were well known; in later comics, he gets cancer and dies.
- Lady Stilt-Man - Marvel - The successor to the original Stilt-Man, Lady Stilt-Man gets a mention on this list for her ridiculous name. Shouldn’t she be Stilt-Woman?
In any case, she had no superpowers, but wore a suit with hydraulic stilts. While fighting Spider-Man in her first appearance, one of her stilts got stuck in a giant, decorative high heel on top of a truck. She then fell down a sewer and cried. Seriously.
- Doctor Spectro - Charlton Comics, and later, DC Comics - A scientist who used lights to control peoples' emotions.
- Codpiece - DC Comics - An evil mastermind who wore a codpiece multi-weapon with a canon, a sonic burst weapon, a boxing glove, and various other gadgets.
- Ambush Bug - DC Comics - An insane man who can teleport at will. He started his comics career as a villain, but he came to idolize Superman and decided to switch to heroism. He is aware that he is a fictional character and frequently breaks the fourth wall.