There was a French kid at my school who took his own language as a class so he could get himself a freebie A Grade. I bet Cypher did the same. Arsehole.
2. The Red Bee
The Red Bee uses a swarm of trained bees to fight with, but his secret weapon is his favourite bee, which he carries around in his belt buckle. The bee is called Michael. I swear I’m not making this up.
This is the unassailable logic that gave birth to Triathlon, the world’s first jock superhero. Spider-Man had a classmate called Flash Thompson, a bully who’d body check him into the lockers and call him “Puny Parker” (because back then you weren’t allowed to say “dick-hole”). Triathlon is basically Flash Thompson in Spandex – a ‘roided-up knob with so much Creatine inside him you could probably milk his nipples for protein shake.
When I was a school kid my Dad once sent me to play football with split pipe lagging down my socks because he couldn’t afford shin pads. Triathlon would have kicked the crap out of me. Fuck Triathlon.
4. The Almighty Dollar
5. Black Condor
Luckily for him, he was adopted by a family of birds who took care of him and taught him how to fly (great for Black Condor but a stone cold smack in the mouth for physics). As origin stories go, BC’s really shits the bed. I mean, couldn’t the writer have had him bitten by a radioactive bald eagle or something? Or maybe he drank too much Red Bull and grew actual wings – that way you’d have yourself a superhero and a sweet product tie-in. Surely anything has to be better than having your superhero grow to adulthood with condors yakking mushed-up worms into his gob.
6. U.S. 1
I’ve never been in an eighteen-wheeler, but I did once get a taxi in a U.S. city called Harrisburg after my rental car I was sharing with a friend broke down. We were stuck there, bored on a Friday night, so we decided to find out where the action was. We asked the driver if he knew anywhere kicking, and he clocked our British accents and told us he knew just the place. We drove past a group of hot girls and we asked the driver where he thought they were going. He told us, “Y'all can do better than that,” then pulled up to an even hotter group of girls and said, “You better tip good,” before winding down his window and yelling, “I got a couple of British guys in here who like to party!” A minute later we were sharing a cab with a group of college girls and headed to their sorority house. I distinctly remember the head cheerleader of the pack telling us, “You guys are going to get so much ass .” In case you were wondering, we did tip good.
PS. I’m aware this story has nothing at all to do with superheroes, I just really wanted share it.
A friend of mine once said he’d give me twenty quid if I could go ten years without eating meat. I won the bet and stayed veggie for a decade but he never paid up. Now there’s supervillainy.
8. Tiger Shark
I’m not going to waste time laying out Tiger Shark’s backstory, it’s dumb as a bag of hammers and you’re a busy man (or woman, if so afflicted). I’d like to talk about animal-themed capes in general though, particularly how they tend to be utter guff bags. Ant-Man, The Lizard, Doctor Octopus, Squirrel Girl – stick the lot in a manimal farm and charge admission I say. I mean, what’s next? Horse Majeure? Accident Prawn? Invisi-Bull?
One of the rare exceptions to this rule is Spider-Man, who is my favourite superhero of all time. When I was a kid I wanted a Spider-Man outfit so bad I asked my Nan to knit me one. She told me a superhero outfit made of wool couldn’t be done and said no. Years later I found out about an artist called Mark Newport who's made a career out of knitting superhero outfits.
9. The Crow
10. The Fiddler
11. Mister Freeze
When Mister Freeze isn’t getting his facts wrong he’s depressing his enemies with an endless conveyor belt of bad dad jokes...
Now what was I saying? Oh yeah, when I was a kid…
CLICK HERE for a FREE COPY of David Bussell’s novel, NORMALIZED - a superhero story for people who love comic books but hate all those dumb drawings.