Kraak! Kapow! Ka-Thaak! Superheroes are comin’ at ya faster than a speeding bullet, be it in print, TV or movies. Over the decades we have seen some pretty amazing storylines, while others have made us go “Oh, come on, seriously?!” This list highlights the latter, as well as some other superheroes you mat not have heard of.
As we wait for Stan Lee’s next cameo, here are 42 lesser known facts about superheroes.
42. Grey Hulk
Originally, Stan Lee wanted to make the Hulk grey, but due to issues with printing, they moved forward with the iconic green. Hulk in grey would just look sickly. “Hulk under the weather, Hulk need vitamin D!”
41. Super Bald Man
Superman’s first appearance was as a bald supervillain, bent on conquering the world. This was changed once Jerry Siegel realized there was way more potential to the character. Bald would have been great. “It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s George Costanza man!”
40. Nazi vs. Joker
In the DC/Marvel special Batman/Captain America, Joker steals an atomic bomb for Red Skull, but changes his tune when he finds out that the Red Skull is a Nazi. “I might be a criminal lunatic but I’m an american criminal lunatic,” quipped Joker. Even Joker has his limits.
39. Batman Be Smart
Bruce Wayne has an IQ of 192, beating out both Stephen Hawking (160) and Albert Einstein (160). Maybe Batman should start working on Bat-strophysics.
38. ‘S’ on the Chest
Superman’s shield is his family’s crest, known as the insignia for the house of El. The resemblance to the letter ‘S’ is said to be a coincidence.
37. Dead Joker
Joker was originally supposed to die in his second appearance but was saved by the editor, Whitney Ellsworth, who saw the potential for a perfect arch-nemesis to Batman. Joker went on to appear in 9 of Batman’s first 12 issues.
36. School of Batman
There is a course at the University of Victoria, called Science of Batman, where students can study the Dark Knight. They can also learn exactly how they’re wasting their parents money.
35. Super Heartbeat
Superman has complete control over his heart allowing him to stop it from beating, or make it beat louder. Superman can also hear all the heartbeats on the planet. Except for my cold, dark one.
Adding to the list of strange superheroes is Dogwelder, created by DC, with the surprising and strange power of welding dead K9s into evil-doers. This is also PETA’s favourite superhero.
33. Harley Quinn Story
Harley Quinn’s origin story came after her TV debut in the Batman animated series. She is one of the only characters to first appear on the TV rather than in print.
32. Gambit Charm
One of Gambit’s superpowers is possessing a hypnotic charm that he uses to influence pretty much anybody he wants. I use my charm to clear a room.
31. Thor’s Tongue
One of Thor’s powers is “All-Tongue”, the ability to speak and have anybody understand him. That would be very useful when trying to get out of a parking ticket in Romania.
30. Green Lama
There was a superhero called Green Lama, who was a practicing Buddhist. This is all that we could find on him. He practices Buddhism and fights crime.
29. Peter Baaahhhhrker
In the What if? Marvel comic series, Peter Parker was bitten by radioactive sheep, turning him into Sheep-Boy. With great powers come great sweater making responsibilities.
28. Spock vs. Wolverine
At one point Spock from Star Trek dukes it out with Wolverine. In case you were wondering, Spock wins which is absolutely absurd. Wolverine would absolutely destroy that pointy eared space man.
27. Mr. Immortal
Maybe a lesser known superhero, Mr. Immortal is a part of Marvel’s Homo Sapiens Supreme, an advanced superhero with the ability to live forever. He actually attempts to kill himself many times in the comic book only to come back to life. Super power? or curse?
26. World’s First
Apocalypse is one the the world’s first mutants, tracing his origins to Ancient Egypt, where he was adopted by Baal, the leader of a nomadic tribe. Maybe Apocalypse can prove who built the pyramids. Maybe it was him.
25. Dr. Doom Not a Villain
Stan Lee wanted to clear up Dr. Doom’s rep, saying that he is actually not a villain. All he wants to do is rule the world, which actually isn’t a crime. “You could walk up to a policeman, and you could say, ‘Excuse me, officer, I want to tell you something: I want to rule the world.’ He can’t arrest you; it’s not a crime to want to rule the world.” I guess he has a point?
24. Dr. Love
Dr. Doom murders his childhood love Valeria in order to attain more powers from demons. That’s pretty cold blooded, and also clearly counters Stan Lee’s point about not being a villain. One step forward, two steps back.
23. Daredevil Hears Heartbeats.
Daredevil can hear people talking through a soundproof wall, and can recognize a heartbeat from 20 feet away. He can also tell if someone is lying based on changes to their heartbeat. I’m sure a drum session might mess things up.
22. Daredevil Faked Death
In the Fall From Grace storylines from the 90s, Daredevil fakes his own death after his identity is revealed. He comes clean to his love after a few issues, proving that we can never really escape from our our reality.
21. Iron Man Suits
There are over 50 Iron Man suits, some designed to go to the depths of the oceans, others to take on the avengers, with one having a backup of Tony Stark’s mind, allowing it to function in the event Tony Stark is rendered incapacitated. I normally borrow my suits from my older cousin.
20. Roller Skating Iron Man
In the early editions of Iron Man, Tony Stark’s boots would turn into roller skates. One serving of justice, with a side of small fries and a milkshake!
Stan Lee created Spider-Man after watching a fly on the wall, and realized he needed a hero that could stick to surfaces. He thought of a number of names including “Mosquito-Man”, and “Insect-Man”, until he realized those were lame.
18. Worst Character Ever
Bouncing Boy was a real character, and a real superhero. He was a large man, able to inflate himself even larger, and to then bounce around killing his enemies and those who attacked or threatened innocent bystanders.
The word brainiac comes from the 1950s Superman villain of the same name, and was quickly brought into modern day vernacular. Especially in schools where I heard, “You did your homework again, brainiac?!” Yes, Yes I did.
16. Nightcrawler Teleport
Nightcrawler teleports by entering the brimstone dimension, and then returning to our dimension. He can only travel about 3km before he becomes very fatigued. In one extreme instance he traveled 80km. This may not be the perfect for of teleportation but it certainly makes getting out of family dinners very easy.
15. Superman Rated X
Superman once had his mind controlled by a villain named Sleez who convinced him to record a sex tape with Barda, Mr. Miracle’s wife!
14. Live Like Batman
Former comic book editor Darren Hick, ran the numbers and figured it would cost someone $600 million to be Batman. That includes the Batcave, weapons, and computer technology. The only thing that came for free was Bruce Wayne’s brooding depression.
13. Constantine’s Sting
John Constantine was created by Alan Moore, because Steve Bissette and John Totleben were fans of the Police and wanted a character that looked like Sting. Every little thing they do is magic!
12. Lie Detecting Lasso
Wonder Woman’s creator, William Moulton Marston, did a lot of work that contributed to the real life polygraph test, demonstrating a relationship between raised blood pressure and telling lies. Possible connection with Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth? For sure.
11. Spidey Time
Peter Parker is so smart that he actually built a time machine using a VCR, Microwave and Blender. Oh yeah? Well I once fixed my Xbox by hitting it really hard.
10. Superman Kills Lois Lane
In the Injustice storyline, Joker tricks Superman into killing Lois Lane, by flying her to outer space. She dies in his arms, which then detonates a nuclear bomb that destroys Metropolis. I thought I had a bad day.
9. Lantern of Love
The Green Lantern and Wonder Woman were supposed to become a couple, but a reader suggested it in a letter, so due to legal reasons it was scrapped. Also maybe because Wonder Woman is out of his league!
8. United Joker
The Joker once served as the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations.
7. Super Insane in the Membrane
Joker suffers from something called, “Super Sanity”, which means he realizes his absurd place in the stories he is a part of. He understands the important bond he has with Batman, and also breaks the fourth wall, talking to the reader.
6. My Only Friend, The End
Winning the title of the most depressing comic is probably Hulk: The End. Hulk survives a nuclear holocaust and is left alone walking the uninhabited earth forever. Sweet dreams!
5. Thor Scores
Ever wonder if Thor hits harder than superman? Well we can’t confirm with 100% certainty, but he did hit Gorr so hard it created a black hole. I guess that’s hard.
4. The Jewel of Gotham
Writer Bill Finger was thinking of a name for the fictional city (not wanting to go with New York) and while flipping through the phonebook came across the name, ‘Gotham Jewelers.’ The name stuck and was Batman’s home ever since.
3. Bondage be Gone
In the earlier comics, Wonder Woman’s kryptonite used to be bondage — tie her up and she couldn’t get out. That all changed a bit as time moved on and we realized that that’s a bit weird. Not surprisingly, Marston was into bondage himself saying, “The secret allure of women is that they enjoy submission — being bound.” Yeah we’re just gonna move on, here.
2. Fabulous Superman
There are a number of different types of Kryptonite, including Pink Kryptonite, which gives Superman homosexual tendencies. It only appeared in one comic but proved that even Kal-El wasn’t immune to stereotypes.
1. Batman Wins
Although Superman might be the most well known DC Superhero, Batman has made the most appearances in comics, totalling 6,250.