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Marvel's Top 10 Strangest Superheroes
Marvel Comics has some strange superheroes!
Can't we all just get along?
Being an empowered champion of good is a task in itself, right? I mean, you have your family and friends, your secret identity to protect, and what's worse, now the anxiety of all the world's threats fall squarely on your head. It's not like you can just quit, sometimes you barely make it by the skin of your teeth!
Above: The Thing and The Hulk. Best Friends Forever!
But what about those other extraordinary guys and gals. You know, the ones that dwell on the outskirts of the infested city, or in the dreaded swamps, or in the lowly, shambled alleys; they can't live like the rest of us. Maybe something went wrong and they can't have a secret identity, or maybe they're just too weird to fit into the normal day-to-day living. What about the ones unable to fit into society cause of their unavoidable strangeness?
Your questions are about to be answered! In this article we focus on the weirdest, most strange superheroes of Marvel Comics. With roots going back beyond pre-World War II, they've introduced us to some of the most unique -- and sometimes most misunderstood -- good guys of all time.
#10: The Hulk and The Thing - Beauty in strength? I don't think so...
Seriously. Be fair; is there anything common about the Incredible Hulk and the Ever-luvin' Blue-eyed Thing? Everybody knows who they are, but nobody talks about their peculiarities?
When your battle cry is "Hulk Smash!", you have the mind of a pre-schooler, and your power is to grow bigger and meaner the angrier you get, things are going to be tough. Take the Hulk, for example: he's the biological result of a gamma ray explosion (when Dr. Bruce Banner, his alter-ego, got caught in its midst). Somehow he survived, but not altogether the same. In moments of crisis, or in an elevated state of emotion, he grows in mass and strength, becoming an unstoppable wave of green terror. Since his origin, he has been on the run, usually wearing nothing but a purple pair of trousers.
The Thing, however, might have it easier or worse; you decide. Born out of a cosmic ray storm, Ben Grimm's body mutated into an orange, rocky overgrowth. Ok, so he's intelligent, but he doesn't even have all his fingers! Look at them! Can he even hold a glass? How about going to movies? (Sure, he lives in New York, but even he's got to stand out from time to time.)
The Hulk and Thing are recognized together because of their brutish physique, but rarely is that the case. Since the 60's, these two have been duking it out, usually because Hulk is on the rampage. (The Thing just happens to be one of the few who can survive.) In terms of strangeness, though, these two have a lifetime of hurt. Neither of these powerhouses will every truly fit into society.
Viewer's Pick: The Hulk or The Thing - You tell me: Who's the Strangest in this match-up.
Now it's your turn to chime in. Tell me which of these two gargantuan superheroes is stranger than the other. In one corner, you have the uber-green behemoth, in the other, you have a walking pile of rocks.
Which one is more strange? Hulk or Thing?
Amazon has Hulk and The Thing on film - Check out these movies
Fortunately for you, I've located two really good, recent movies out which show The Thing and Hulk in good form. If you like comics, hopefully you've already seen them. And if you're new to superhereoes, this is a great way to be introduced.
This movie pick is great because it contains both movies carrying The Thing (Michael Chiklis) and adds the Daredevil film. For the price you can't go wrong.
This is currently my pick for the best rendition of the Hulk in live-action. In this film, the elements of the Hulk 70s series was combined with the comic book, making it appealing to all.
#9: Deadpool - Strike a pose!
There's little to be said when all you do is shoot stuff and kill; that is, there's little to be said...unless you are Deadpool, the-one-of-a-kind mercenary who always has something to say.
Right now, Deadpool, also known as Wade Wilson, falls into one of our most strangest Marvel superheroes. Heck, he may not even be a superhero (spend more time following his exploits). But this "Merc with a mouth" will surprise you; he's not ordinary by any means. As a matter of fact, if he didn't have a super power, he wouldn't be alive.
And that's because of his accelerated healing rate.
Comparable to Wolverine, Deadpool went into the Weapon X program with hardly a chance for survival; he was diagnosed with severe, advancing cancer before they began. After that, though, a freak, gun-happy, monologue-spouting killer emerged onto the world. (What were they thinking?)
What's so unique about Deadpool? The combination of his cancer and regeneration rate keep him always on the brink of life and death. His body, including his face, are disfigured, constantly battling a war across his skin. Even his mind, which is rapidly destroying and rebuilding brain cells, is affected, attributing to his psychosis; fortunately, it makes him impervious to psychic and psionic attack.
Deadpool is the only hero I know who could fill out an organ donor list. Multiple times. With nobody interested.
Meet Deadpool. - ...before it's too late.
Deadpool is so popular that he's starting to show up in many other superhero titles. Feel free to look through any of these, provided by Amazon.com.
Looking for a strange Deadpool adventure? Try this one: Deadpool heads to the Savage Land to find his own head from an alternate reality. Together, they team up to escape obliteration (If such a thing can occur).
This is a great first volume introduction to Deadpool with face-off interaction from Juggernaut, The New Mutants, and more!
Deadpool has had a rough go of it. Now he wants to be more like a hero. Watch him try...
What? The Skrulls are invading the Earth? Awesome; Deadpool unleashed!
Collecting Deadpool #13-17. Clearly some of his most zany material. (I'm still laughing.)
#8: Mr. Immortal - You wouldn't think dying is a power...
...unless you are Craig Hollis, A.K.A. Mr. Immortal, fatalist and super-heroic guy extraordinaire.
Now lets be fair to Craig before we judge him; the life of a superhero tends to border on the stressful (sometimes, even psychotic). He, however, snapped long before the thought crossed his mind, discovering his "power" after numerous suicide attempts.
Basically, ladies and gentlemen, he can't die. After every bumbling mis-adventure, after every failed leap from building to tall building, from the dynamite, to the arsenic, to the occasional lightning bolt, Mr. Immortal eventually gets back up, dusts himself off, and changes his costume.
So why haven't we heard of Mr. Immortal? Where are his comics? That question becomes answered in his origin. Upon first donning his super-threads, Craig soon realized that you can't catch bad guys when your face has exploded. (Mr. immortal, you see, doesn't heal or regenerate until he dies). Quickly thereafter, he formed a team (to store his body, etc.) called the Great Lakes Avengers.
Nowadays, Mr. Immortal and his team have moved on, dropping the Avengers name. That's ok, with a battle cry like "Dying's what I do best!", he's found them a new title, calling themselves the Great Lakes X-Men! (No comment from the X-Men at this time.)
If you're looking for Mr. Immortal, you'll have to check out the G.L.A. (Great Lakes Avengers), which had a short run awhile back. They originally siphoned off of the West Coast Avengers, recruiting Hawkeye and Mockingbird, and gained some noteriety as one of Earth's Mightest Heroes.
In this graphic novel, you'll see the breaking up the Avengers as a whole, and a very difficult time for the Great Lakes Team. As always, it includes the novel level of humor that always played well for readers.
#7: Penance - This is what happens when masochism is a power.
What kind of superhero can you become when your powers are hinged upon excruciating pain?
Robbie Baldwin knows. Once upon a time, he was a really good guy called Speedball, with the ability to generate a kinetic field of energy that repelled and propelled him through battle. But that all changed one day when his Reality TV Show went awry, levelling an entire city and fundamentally changing his powers.
After serving some time in prison and psychiatric care, Robbie learned that his energies only emerged under physical duress (imagine a superhero with powers that only work when you've beaten him to a pulp). But that's ok; luckily, a civilian shot him point-blank, leaving pieces of shrapnel embedded in his spine.
Sure, that might put off some superheroes, but not Robbie; specially-made of barbs and spikes, he encased himself in an agonizing suit of pain.
Think that's strange? Well, that's not all. It turns out that Robbie's Speedball powers have been slowly returning, but now he's a masochist! Hopefully his therapy will work out; for now, he's unwilling to give up self-inflicted pain!
Own the Complete Marvel Civil War Collection - Where Penance got his start.
The entire Civil War collection is available, from beginning to end on a DVD that can be played across multiple computer platforms.
#6: Big Bertha - Make way...Make way...for the eating disorder superhero.
Big Bertha is another superhero that comes from, yes, the Great Lakes Avengers (Now you might begin to understand that supergroup), almost putting a sickening, twisted perspective on eating disorders. Her real name is Ashley Crawford, a model, highly regarded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And no, it's not because she's so big; Ashley can regurgitate her fat, appearing as a slim, attractive female. (You can imagine her "before" and "after" weight loss commercials.)
Who would want this power? I don't know; maybe everyone, considering the latest obesity statistics. That's ok as far as Ashley's concerned; she's also a wealthy millionaire.
Nowadays, even though her supergroup broke up, Big Bertha can still be found using her tubular powers for good, and sometimes just to be friendly. After all, there's gotta be something special about you if Deadpool wants to go on a date.
P.S. Hey Deadpool, good luck with that.
Get to know your Great Lakes Avengers - Their introductory story.
It all happened one day, Mr. Immortal, Big Bertha, Doorman, Flatman, and Dinah Doar; they answered the ring of justice (even though know one was calling).
Now you can see their first appearance, all here, captured in West Coat Avengers #44. Grab it while it's still on sale.
The Great Lakes Avengers have got to be the strangest team ever assembled by Marvel Comics. Alone, they would be nothing but misfits, but together, with the dying power of Mr. Immortal, the bulging greatness of Big Bertha, the ability to teleport to other sides of the room with Doorman, the 2-dimensional flatness, of Flatman, and the quizzical "what-is-she" of Dinah Soar, you've been privvy to a truly inspiring team.
#5: Man-Thing and Groot - Two Superheroes cut from the same vine...so to speak.
Up until now, our superheroes have been human. But hey, plants can be heroic, too. That's where the swampgrown Man-Thing and alien lifeform Groot come in; each of them fulfill the criteria to be the most strangest of superheroes based on their plant-life powers.
Formally a human, biogenetic scientist Ted Sallis underwent a horrific accident in the everglades while working on Captain America's Super Soldier Serum. Clearly things didn't work out so well; as the flames of his secreted laboratory went down, his body was submerged, fused with strange swamp gasses and chemicals (and who knows what else), rising again as The Man-Thing!
Groot, though, has an entirely different origin; he's always been this way! Born on some distant planet (believed to be Planet X), he is speculated to be the last of his species, From accounts that lead back to Tales to Astonish #13 (1960), he originally wanted to destroy the world. (Fortunately for us, Groot fell to termites.)
Ironically, here's the catch; neither stays dead for long. Through their mysterious plant biologies, they grow in the dirt! Man-Thing only needs a small part of his matter; just throw him in the swamp and watch him grow. Groot can be replanted as a sapling.
But even though they grow and survive the same, Man-Thing and Groot are easily differentiated; their powers are unique to their physiology. Man-Thing is a mass of vines and tangled bushes, Groot is covered in bark. And here's the important thing, just so you don't get them mad: Man-Thing is clearly a vegetable while Groot is a tree.
Man-Thing Stuff - He's seeded the popular interest.
Groot, although originated from the 1960s, actually hasn't been depicted very often. He only recently fulfilled a role in the Guardian's of the Galaxy, which was later disbanded. Hopefully we'll see more of Groot in the future.
Man-Thing, who started back in with Savage Tales #1 (May 1971), seems to have picked up some interest. He's had a straight-to-TV movie, many guest appearances in the comics, and his own titles. Below are some popular items that will get you tuned-in to him.
Although this is Man-Thing's premiere movie (to date), it doesn't really capture the essense of the monster from his comic book days. It still centers around scientist Ted Sallis, but is more or a general monster movie without a superheroic representation. Still, if you're interested in movies off the character, this is a good collector's item. Plus, it's actually an interesting movie.
If you're looking, here's some other Man-Thing stuff.
#4: The Multiple Man - An entirely new take on identity disorder.
Just being a mutant ranks you in the strange category, but Jamie Madrox, The Multiple Man, is exponentially stranger. At birth, his unique powers manifested when the doctor slapped him into two identical babies. ("Congratulations! It's a baby boy! No! ....twins! No....triplets! Arrgh!")
Want to run your own baseball team? Find out how many mutants it takes to fix a lightbulb? Go to school and play hooky at the same time? Jamie's your guy; his uncanny power is based on kinetic absorption. If he stamps his foot, or snaps his fingers, "bam!", he multiples, creating a perfect duplicate which can have its own independent experience, only to be reabsorbed later.
But it's not always rosey when your power is in numbers. It also tends to multiple your problems. Sometimes Jamie's duplicates have a will of their own. (One turned criminal; many had active sex lives; one even gave birth, but the poor child was later reabsorbed by the original Multiple Man.) He's even had to defend himself against frivolous lawsuits!
What's The Multiple Man doing today? You could say "not much", but that's never quite the case when forty of your duplicates are running around. One obtained a law degree, many are in relationships (Of course, now he's being accused of polygamy), one's working for Mutant Registration and Control, another owns a bakery in Harlem. And that's the advantage of multiple personalities; one they return, Jamie also reabsorbs their knowledge.
Never really seeing his full potential, The Multiple Man first appeared in Giant-Sized Fantastic Four #4. He's been affiliated with numerous mutant groups, and even had a starring role in , but often is just too strange to understand. X-Men: The Last Stand
This Multiple Man is an X-Men Villain! - This is what happens when good copies go bad.
In the movie, X-Men: The Last Stand, Jamie Madrox is portrayed as a villain. Although this normally goes against his characters, it's easily explained as a problem with one of his doubles running amok.
This movie is the 3rd of the X-Men movie series, and features unique characters like The Beast, Iceman, Colossus, Juggernaut, and of course, our strange Jamie Madrox. In this movie, though, he's a villain. Not a nice guy. His character role is minor, but you can see his powers working for maximum confusion. Check it out!
The Top 3 Strangest Marvel Superheroes!
Ok. Get Ready.
(Things are about to get really weird.)
#3: Howard The Duck - No more Mr. Nice Duck.
Bringing an entirely new spin on the "superhero" concept, the world became slightly quackers once Adventure into Fear #19 (Dec. 1973) hit the stands. That was when a three foot tall duck shot through a dimensional rift to land here in Cleveland, Ohio (apparently, that's where the center of reality originates.) His name: Howard the Duck. Created by Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik, the original objective was to throw unique quirks at the reading audience, with satirical stories for super-people.
Wow, that's an underestatement. As soon as Howard met the public, he took off, gaining a quack-following (Read: Cult following), facing enemies such as Garko (The Man-Frog), Bessie the Vampire Hellcow, and Pro-Rata (The Cosmic Accountant). He did everything your typical superhero did: save the world, rescue the innocents, and help the needy.
But now understand you just learned nothing about Howard. No, it's true; this Duck has had some of the most astounding adventures ever. Did you hear about the time he ran for President after the Watergate scandal? (He would have won, but his cigar smoking and "foul" mouth turned voters off.) What about that time Disney sued him (they thought he was infringing on Donald Duck), forcing him to wear pants? And then there's the time he was strip-searched and quickly released (he convinced the officer he was a mutant with deadly powers). How many other superheroes can handle all this action, while managing their hot human girlfriend model? (He dates a glamorous art model named Beverly Switzler.)
As far a powers? Not much to say. Howard is basically just a mean-tempered, cranky duck. He has been shown to have some magical skill and is trained in a strange form of martial arts called Quack-Fu, but really it's his duck-like wits that gets him out of jam. Last heard, he's avoiding unemployment as a rent-a-ninja.
Howard The Duck: The Movie - Trapped in a World He Never Made
Back in 1986, Howard the Duck was popular enough to have spawned a movie (Yeah, it was a weird time, the 80s). Have you seen it? It might surprise you that Lea Thompson plays his beautiful girlfriend and also features Tim Robbins.
While this is definately a B-Movie, it's still an entertaining classic if you're a collector..or if you just want to see a duck fight crime. Howard the Duck starts off on his homeworld and "zoom" gets hijacked to the planet earth where we find out that he's been targetted by an experimental dimensional ray. But that's not the end of it; the same process that brought him here threatens to bring another creature, more deadly and evil. In the end, only Howard's duck-wits and skills stand between the Earth's annihilation and safety. Check out Howard the Duck!
#2: Darwin - "Survival of the Fittest" on steroids.
Some are big, some are small, some fly, others teleport. What am I talking about? Why mutants, of course, and you're about to be introduced to one of the most strange mutants to come in contact with the human race.
Ever hear of Survival of the Fittest? That's the commonly quoted saying when you study Darwinism, the science of evolution, a theory which explains how man crawled from the primordial goop to become the walking intellects we are today. Well that's nothing; here's a mutant so unique, so "gifted", that he's taken the concept to an entirely new level.
Born with the super-mutative power of evolution, Armando Munoz, A.K.A. Darwin, has been benefited with the super-ability to adapt to any situation or environment. This means you could try to drown him, throw him into space, or even burn him at the stake. It just won't matter; his body immediately super-mutates, growing a pair of gills, adapting his body for lack of oxygen, or even recomposing his skin with flame retardant material.
If that's not strange enough, the weirdest part is that he can't control the process; it's involuntary. Once he battled the Hulk, only to be teleported away. (It turns out his defensive mechanisms felt the only way he could adapt to the Hulk's beatings was to get him out of there!)
If you're interested in checking Darwin, you're relatively lucky; he first appeared in X-Men: Deadly Genesis #2 (February, 2006). The only problem is we're not sure if he's ever coming back; recently fighting Hela, the goddess of death, his body turned him into a death god. Now, Armando's on indefinite leave while he "searches his soul".
Darwin appears in X-Men: First Class - The Official Trailer
Playing the mutant, Darwin, is portrayed be none other than Edi Gathegi, who recently took the role of the vampire, Laurent, in the Twilight Saga. See if you can spot him in this clip!
#1: Slapstick - Acme Hammers only get him excited.
Nothing is out of bounds with comic book superheroes; that's why we love them. To the casual reader, they astound and inspire imagination; to the dedicated enthusiast, they represent hours upon hours of enjoyable reading. And, so far, as weird as they get, at least it beats the endless "wascally wabbit" or Tom and Jerry antics.
Doesn't it? Well (sigh!), not anymore. Meet the one-and-only superhero that crossed the boundary between heroic drama and loony tune-like ability. You are now introduced to junior high-school kid and goof-off, Jason Harmon. Not only is he capable of surviving the anvil smashing his head routine (Boink!)…not only do cars leave zigzagging tire tracks across his chest after running him over, but for once you've encountered a hero that's actually a real cartoon!
That's because Jason's molecules got spread across 3741 dimensions when he entered a carnival funhouse, imbuing his body (and personal effects) with a strange form of energy called Electroplasm. Sure, he was only trying to rescue his girlfriend from a group of deadly clowns, but that's only a coincidence; he just happened to be wearing a clown outfit and carrying a mallet at the same time.
The result? He's a living creature of animation. Donning the name Slapstick, this curious, but heroic adventurer exploded (well, he does that from time to time) with his own 4-part miniseries, Slapstick, in November 1992.
And as far as we know, he's invulnerable. To date, electricity zaps him, but seems to make him stronger. You can hit him with different wave frequencies, but it only turns him into a fighting puddle of anger. This, coupled with his amazing speed and agility, all damage is practically shaken off. (But there's no word on whether ink, or erasers, cause him harm.)
So if you're looking for a really strange superhero, look no further. Slapstick is not only bizarre in power, but he's unique in mentality and demeanor, and wacky just to watch. He's also still around; currently he hangs with the New Warriors. But there's no telling if he still has a sense of humor.
Find out more about Marvel's Cartoon Superhero - The Origin of Slapstick
Fanning the (cartoonish) flames of his own super-heroic comic book, Slapstick was introduced to the world in this Origin, The Awesome Slapstick #1.
Authored Len Kaminski with illustrations by James Fry III, you'll learn about one of the strangest superheroes ever to adorn the doorsteps of the Marvel Publishing Corporation. Meet Jason Harmon, class-clown, teenager, and accidentally, electroplasmic superhero. Follow Slapstick as he takes on his myriad of motley enemies, each blow as comical as the next!
Thanks for dropping by! Please feel free to leave a comment or talk about what you've seen. If you know of superheroes even more strange in the Marvel Universe, I want to hear from you!
Also, I'm interested in what you think about this lens/article. I built it for maximum viewer participation. If you have any thoughts on this, I'd welcome them.
Alrightly; draw upon your expertise, let's have some fun, and find some really weird stuff!