It’s fair to say that superheroes have never been as popular as they are right now. Once upon a time the stories of these over powered heroes were confined to the pages of the comic books. Although there have been many movie and TV adaptations of some of these heroes, it wasn’t until Marvel decided to integrate their entire universe on the big screen with the MCU, that comic book heroes truly found a new fanbase. Between popular franchises like X-Men and The Avengers, there is no better time to be a comic book fan.
Although DC have been making movies about their more popular heroes, Superman and Batman mainly, long before Marvel, the DC Universe is left playing catch up with its rivals. With a Justice League movie finally on its way to the big screen, we’re going to take a look back at the first superhero team. Taking the best and brightest heroes from the DC universe, The Justice League paved the way for the superhero team up. However, with so many members and characters, The Justice League has had its fair share of duds and, let’s just say it, losers. With that, we take a look at the 15 worst members to ever be included in the Justice League. You might be surprised who made the list.
15. Moon Maiden
The first entry on our list has suffered from a very common thing within comic books and that’s the retcon. First being introduced in 2000, Moon Maiden’s story was integrated into The Justice League so she became one of the original members. Not content with messing with The Justice League history, Moon Maiden’s only big story was about being remembered, which she hasn’t been.
Originating from the Romans who somehow managed to survive on the Moon, Moon Maiden had powers that could interfere with the Moon’s gravitational pull and she could also inflict “Lunar Madness” on people. Once she stepped up to the hero game, Moon Maiden faced off against her arch enemy Centurion, who had invented a weapon that erased people from existence. Using the weapon on Centurion, Moon Maiden wiped herself out in the process and the only way that she could return is for her fellow Justice League members to remember her. Which they did, so she came back and then she was promptly forgotten about again.
Next we come to a hero that was dubbed “The Ultimate Man,” and “A hero for the new millennium… If he lives that long.” It’s fair to say that Aztek was built up to be something quite special, so it’s even more disappointing that he didn’t live up to his promise.
Raised by a secret society known as The Q Society, Aztek was a champion of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl. Being at the peak of human physical ability, Aztek also had a special suit which gave him some seriously cool powers: flight, X-ray vision, invisibility, camouflage, and plasma beams to name just a few. However, The Ultimate Man never really got the chance to shine within The Justice League. After finding out that Lex Luthor was behind the Q Society, Aztek quit the Justice League as he didn’t want to be used to betray them, and then ended his time by sacrificing himself to save Superman. He was a fairly new character within the DC universe and a bit of a waste of time and paper.
13. Brown Bomber
The next entry on our list tackles the sensitive issue of race within the superhero community. Over the years, many people have argued that comic books don’t have enough diversity within their pages. Both Marvel and DC have tried to rectify this and have had some great success and some great characters that they’ve introduced. However, Brown Bomber is not one of them.
Brown Bomber hasn’t had a great history within DC, which we are glad about! Being an alternate version of Black Lightning, this version of Brown Bomber is actually an obese white guy that shouts a magical phrase “Black Power,” and then turns into a muscular black man complete with afro. It’s been quoted over the years that this version of Brown Bomber was intended as a joke and a satirical view on black superheroes within comic books, whether that’s true or not is irrelevant. Brown Bomber is an abomination of a character and needs to be forgotten quickly.
12. Super Chief
There have been a few heroes, and one villain, to bear the name Super Chief in the DC universe. For this entry we’re focusing on the Super Chief Jon Standing Bear from 52.
The short lived exploits of this superhero starts with ex con Jon Standing Bear moving to Metropolis and instantly starting his vigilante lifestyle by throwing a sex offender into an oncoming bus. Then he gets handed a meteorite fragment on a necklace that grants him power. Becoming the hero Super Chief, he joins forces with Firestorm as they try to form a new Justice League. However, on his first mission with The Justice league, Super Chief is killed off. This becomes even more ironic because one of the powers of the meteorite fragment is that it grants the wearer an extended lifespan. Obviously the writers forgot this and Super Chief was killed off before he could really do anything.
11. Blue Jay
Now we come to the world of tributes and homage to other characters. Blue Jay is DC’s homage to Marvel’s Yellowjacket, which isn’t really an encouraging sign when you base a hero on an arrogant and aggressive vigilante, oh yes and his tendency to hit his wife!
So with that in mind, Blue Jay was created. Being a member of The Champions of Angor, Blue Jay was one of three members that came to Earth: Silver Sorceress, a homage to Scarlet Witch and Wandjina, a Thor knockoff. Just like his inspiration, Blue Jay has the power to shrink really small, and also grow wings, so a call from the Justice League soon followed. Once he signed up, Blue Jay showed us all that he’s pretty useless. Spending most of his time either being captured or whining about everything, Blue Jay started to become annoying even to the rest of The Justice League so he was bumped down to the reserve list. Last time Blue Jay was seen he left The Justice League to explore the multiverse. Let’s hope he stays out there.
10. Red Tornado
We can’t help but feel like DC thought Red Tornado would be a lot more popular than he actually became. Especially when you look at the success of Marvel’s android based heroes such as The Vision. However, this android hero hasn’t been nearly as interesting or popular.
First being introduced as the comical Red Tornado, aka Ma Hunkel, Red tornado was then re-written as an android that was able to manipulate wind and create tornadoes. Since then Red Tornado has had so many re-writes, reboots and retcons that we don’t know why DC didn’t give up on this character a long time ago. Red tornado has been a person, an android, a host body for Tornado Champion and elemental air. With each rewrite, Red Tornado becomes even more uninteresting and pointless. Luckily, The New 52 Red Tornado has been wiped from the DC universe and hasn’t been seen since, although there has been subtle mentions of his existence, let’s just hope that he stays away.
Our next entry on our list is the short and pointless life of the superhero known as Mystek. A Korean-American woman called Seong, although she changed her name to Barclay, had the power to manipulate energy as well as wearing a suit that made her look male in order to hide who she really was. That’s pretty much it. Because the idea for this character was never picked up properly by DC, they threw her into The Justice League Task Force in order to see how she would do. So much of her back story is either unknown or wasn’t written. Her father was a bit dodgy and mixed up in some covert government thing and a chance meeting with The Martian Manhunter, in which he invited her to join the team, is all that happened.
She didn’t really do much and then she died, not in a blaze of glory like many other characters. Mystek was on board a cramped space ship, realized she was claustrophobic, panicked and blew herself into space where she suffocated and died.
Maxima’s time with The Justice League was littered by what should have been, what could have been and unfortunately what was. Maxima is an alien warrior princess that basically has every cool power out there. Imagine a cross between Superman and Wonder Woman, only tougher, then you get Maxima’s power. She should have been a real powerhouse and a key member of The Justice League. However, she was only introduced to sex things up.
The only reason she joined The Justice League is because she wanted to get with The Man of Steel, and then when he turned her down she pretty much threw herself at everyone. Not only that, but considering she was probably one of the strongest and most powerful characters ever in The Justice League, Maxima would easily get beat by the bad guys on a weekly basis. With all of that together, the writers and the fans soon got bored with her so Maxina gave up her superhero ways and changed to be a villain.
We must say that there is nothing good about our next entry and nothing we particularly like about him. Firstly, his name just screams bad 90s cliche; having blood in anything is supposed to be scary, mysterious and even dangerous, but it just makes us cringe! And the less said about the “Y” the better.
But what really puts this character firmly on our list is his origin story, and his actual character. Bloodwynd was built up as a mysterious creature whose real identity was not only a secret, but was built up to be huge. It turned out that Bloodwynd was just Martian Manhunter in disguise, having been brainwashed to do so, then he and The Justice League went to save the real Bloodwynd whose identity was… Bloodwynd! Yep, there was no secret or big reveal, just a confusing mess. When at last the real Bloodwynd was asked to join The Justice League, it turns out that he’s pretty lame and also a pacifist, which is never a great sign for a comic book hero. Luckily, now he doesn’t really appear as he put himself on permanent inactive duty. We are very thankful for that!
6. The Wonder Twins
No, you didn’t read that wrong. This is actually The Wonder Twins. Starting life out in Super Friends and then The All New Super Friends Hour, The Wonder Twins would then go onto Hanna-Barbera to find fame on the animated TV show Super Friends before finally being put into the main DC universe in the 1990’s.
We all remember the silly, and often camp, animated series. It was fun and entertaining, which is exactly want we all want from a Saturday morning TV show. But to have The Wonder Twins in the DC universe, and not only that but The Wonder Twins being serious? No thanks. Like the show, Zan and Jayna were alien twins coming to Earth to escape an alien regime. Their powers and everything else were pretty much the same as the cartoon, although there was no Gleek! Being introduced into a Post-Crisis universe in Extreme Justice, the main problem with The Wonder Twins is we don’t know why they appeared. Was it nostalgia? Fun? Or did the writers think The Wonder Twins would actually help the dip in 1990s comic books? We can’t believe the latter but something pushed them into it. Thankfully the fans didn’t really react well to The Wonder Twins and they’ve pretty much faded away.
We must say that DC seem to be obsessed with all things ape like and unfortunately for Congorilla, this is one of the worst characters. In the early days of comic books, and as DC were starting to find their way in the world, there was a series of comic strips about Congo Bill. Originally Bill was a bit of a rogue, fighting in World War I and even joining the IRA, until he went off to Africa with an adopted family. Once there Bill suffered a fatal injury and a local witch doctor offered him a magical ring. The ring would save his life but his consciousness would be merged into the mythical Golden Gorilla, oh yes, and his body would die. Bill took the chance and Congorilla was born.
Years later Congorilla would go on to join The Justice League, although this makes him sad as he longs to be back in Africa to protect it. Congorilla doesn’t really do much for The Justice League, apart from a lot of moping. So he quits and heads back to Africa.
Next we come to a character that we still can’t believe actually existed. Most comic books at one point or another seem to suffer from a similar problem and the problem is that they try desperately hard to insert some kind of “cool” and relevant character into their pages. We’re not saying that there aren’t cool characters in comic books, because there are lots. But it’s when the writers put in someone that they think perfectly represents the youth culture of the day and they miss the mark by a long way, that’s when we have a problem.
Lucas “Snapper” Carr is the worst example of this. Essentially, his character is pointless; he has no powers and no importance to the storyline or characters at all. His only purpose seems to be as a mascot to the actual Justice League. To make matters worse, Snapper’s thing is to, well, snap his fingers. In a weird almost Fonzy-like way, the writers tried to force “cool” on us and we hate them for that.
Poor Vibe. Over the years the character of Vibe has had some changes and most of them bad, embarrassing and just silly. Although it must be said that we are all loving the new Arrowverse version of Cisco Ramon on The Flash.
But in the pages of the comic books, Vibe is one for the lame pile. Originally known as Paco Ramon, Vibe suffered from something that a lot of new characters do and that’s the writers trying to force something on us by giving us some social comment that is way off the mark. In Vibe’s case, most of his character traits were already dated. His first issue had him break dancing and busting some truly cringing moves, and then there was references to gang ties and the less said about his costume, the better. All in all, Vibe was pushed on us in a similar way to Snapper. An attempt to be relevant and cool, which missed the mark. The character itself wasn’t great to start with either and the only reason he got into The Justice League is because it had disbanded at this point and they were reforming it in Detroit, which just so happened to be Vibe’s hometown. Right place at the right time!
Just before everyone starts shouting at the screen and demanding to know why we’ve put such a big and popular character like Aquaman on our list of Justice League losers, let us just say, we don’t have a problem with Aquaman as a character; in fact, we have a lot of love for the king of Atlantis. In his own element, he is a great character. He’s dark, mysterious, powerful, and always at constant odds because he’s stuck between two worlds. For those reasons we love him.
However, when you put him with the rest of The Justice league, Aquaman just doesn’t fit. Firstly, it must be said that a lot of the times it’s the writers’ fault and they don’t truly utilize him in a way they should, but also, Aquaman is one of the characters in the DC universe that should be separated. He doesn’t work within a team, which is understandable considering that he’s the king of the sea. But also, more often than not, Aquaman isn’t actually needed. When you have the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and so on, why would you need someone that could talk to fish? The best thing for Aquaman is to put him on his own and in his own world.
1. Plastic Man
The number one entry on our list and the worst hero to ever be included in The Justice League is Plastic Man. We don’t know exactly what it is but any character, across both DC and Marvel, that has the ability to stretch is instantly in the lame pile. Mr. Fantastic and Elongated Man are two examples, but the worst, lamest, and stupidest of all of these is Plastic Man.
From his silly and slapstick beginnings to his more serious, and post traumatic stress, personas, which, to be fair, is justified as Plastic Man was frozen and then shattered into a thousand pieces and was then put back together again. That should have been a great story, but it involved Plastic Man and therefore any serious or dark edge you put on it, we can’t take seriously. The only unexplained and interesting thing about Plastic Man is how, and why, he managed to worm his way onto such a super team like The Justice League. Not even Mr. Fantastic could manage a full time place on The Avengers!