2014 may well be remembered as the year that the “superhero movie” craze went from full-swing to full-scale disaster. While Marvel Studios seems to have their hands full for the next decade and a half, Warner Bros/DC recently announced that they have similar plans. That’s not counting films from Sony (the Amazing Spider-Man/Sinister Six movies), Fox (X-Men franchise and Fantastic Four reboot), and a whole slew of non-Marvel/DC properties. Needless to say, moviegoers are going to be so over-saturated with superheroes in the next few years that we’ll be pissing Kryptonite and defecating Adamantium. Not that that’s a bad thing (though it does sound quite painful).
That being said, not every superhero is as deserving of being adapted to the big screen as Iron Man, Batman, or even Rocket Raccoon. Some are the product of a bygone era, considered outdated almost as soon as they appeared. Others are the product of laziness on the part of their creators, either dreamed up in a hurry or created to cash in on the popularity of another company’s creation. No matter the reason or excuse, the following 5 superheroes should never appear on a movie or television screen. It’s just better that way.
1. The Whizzer
History: Originally debuting all the way back in 1941, Robert L. Frank was a frequent teammate of Captain America in his pre-Marvel Comics days. Gaining his powers from an infusion of mongoose blood (though this was later “retconned” to the triggering effect of a latent mutant power), the unfortunately-named Whizzer was gifted with superhuman speed and reflexes.
Why He Shouldn’t Appear in the Movies: Aside from him being nothing more than an blatant ripoff of the original Flash (who debuted a year prior in Flash Comics #1), if I have to explain why a superhero wearing bright yellow spandex named the Whizzer isn’t a good pick for the next Avengers movie, there’s less hope for this world that I thought (and I’m not known for my optimism).
History: Created in 1984 by legendary X-Men scribe Chris Claremont, Doug Ramsey was originally introduced as an ancillary member of the New Mutants team. Codenamed Cypher because of his mutant ability to understand any language he comes in contact with (yea, that’ll save the day), Ramsey was so unpopular with readers that the writers received regular hate mail demanding the character be killed (he was the mutant version of Wesley Crusher).
Why He Shouldn’t Appear in the Movies: As cool as his powers would be for a normal person to have (he’d make one hell of a translator), he has absolutely no right to be sharing screen time with guys and gals who can juggle cars, walk through walls, and melt people’s minds by looking at them. Unless they make an X-Men version of Babel, this guy would be nothing more than Sentinel-fodder.
History: Created by Bill Parker and Jon Smalle in 1940, Bulletman the Human Bullet was one of Fawcett Comics’ (the original owners of Captain Marvel/Shazam) most popular characters. Becoming a super-powered crime fighter to avenge his father’s death (sounds familiar), ballistics expert Jim Barr created his own super-serum called the “Crime Cure” that increased his mass and gave him abnormal strength. Combining his already formidable powers with his “gravity-regulating” (and phallic-shaped) bullet helmet, Bulletman took the skies to rid the world of evil-doers the world over. After the Fawcett Comics imprint was purchased by DC, Barr and his wife/sidekick Bulletgirl became little more than an afterthought in a world populated by Superman and Batmen (thought he did make a brief appearance on an episode of Batman: The Brave and The Bold).
Why He Shouldn’t Appear in the Movies: With bodacious headgear like that, there’s only one kind of movie Bulletman is going to be appearing in, and I don’t think Mrs. Human Bullet would approve.
History: Introduced in 1983, Eugene “Puck” Judd was a member of the Canadian superteam, Alpha Flight. Originally intended by series creator John Byrne to be a non-powered “little person” with exceptional acrobatic skills, Judd’s diminutive size was later attributed to his body being the mystical prison of an evil entity known as Black Raazer (a condition that makes him immortal and leaves his body constantly racked with pain). Though he was later given super powers (essentially his body is made of compressed rubber) to keep up with teammates that included Wolverine and an actual Sasquatch (a/k/a/ Bigfoot), Puck’s offense has never really strayed from cartwheels and flying headbutts.
Why He Shouldn’t Appear in the Movies: As much as we’d all like to see a foul-mouthed, bouncing midget fighting alongside Hugh Jackman in the next Wolvie film (hell, professional wrestling has been making money this way for years), the only man who could actually pull the Puckster off without turning the movie into Jackass 4 is Peter Dinklage, and he’s already established as the Sentinel-creating Bolivar Trask.
5. Ambush Bug
History: Ah, the infamous Ambush Bug. Created in 1982 by the equally notorious Keith Giffen, Irwin Schwab was never meant to be anything more than a joke character in the vein of Bat-Mite or Mr. Mxyzptlk. Granted powers from his suit, the discarded wardrobe of an advance alien race, Bug began his comics career as a supervillain (thought that term is used very loosely). After being “put in his place” on a regular basis by Superman and the Justice League, Schwab decided to become a crime fighter. Known more for his inside jokers and regular breaking of the 4th wall, Ambush Bug has essentially become DC’s answer to Deadpool (minus the guns and badass ninja skills).
Why He Shouldn’t Appear in the Movies: After watching Man of Steel and the teasers for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice it’s become very apparent that the DC Cinematic Universe is going to be much darker and grittier than Marvel’s, and having an intentionally silly character like Ambush Bug on-screen cracking jokes is going to kill that vibe quicker than Jar Jar Binks joining the Dark Side.
I hope you enjoyed my newest article, but due to the storm raging right outside my window, I am going to have to end this one right here. See you next week.