Not every character is created equal. In all forms of media, there are just some ideas, concepts, and designs that simply don’t work on a fundamental level. When compared to the other parts of their stories, they just can’t stand up to the other people that are inherently more interesting to follow. That goes for comics too; not everyone can be Batman. There are misfires of epic proportions on occasion, and it leaves the comic world full of offensive, ill-conceived, and just plain weird characters. And while some of them have been modified with time and turned into actually interesting ideas, people shouldn’t forget the terrible places these characters came from.
But as comic adaptations expand further into the bizarre (in both the Marvel movies and the DC television shows), they’ve managed to make some incredibly deep cuts when looking for characters to pull from the comics and bring to the screen. And sometimes that’s great! And sometimes, that could lead to ruin. But even if they think so, it’s important for Marvel and DC to remember that some characters are better left forgotten, and never put into a movie. Mind you, it’s unlikely either company would try to use these characters in any way. There’s plenty of more interesting X-Men before we have to get to someone like Maggot. Here are fifteen characters from comics that are never going to appear in any of the MCU or DCEU films, and we’re all better off for it.
15 Extraño – Gay Magician
Just so you know, people from the present and future, the 90’s were a different time. Homos*xuality was seen as more of a joke than anything else, a common source for laughs in movies and television at the time. It’s not a good thing to look back on, and it's an unfortunate reality that audiences have to confront when going back to nostalgic classics. Seriously, you guys, there are so many mean gay jokes in Friends that it kind of ruins the experience. And comics, the eternally blunt instrument that it always is, went way overboard with the idea. Thus, we got Extraño, a Peruvian man who had his magical abilities amplified by government super soldier testing, and so he became a member of the New Guardians.
He promptly proceeded to literally prance around the battlefield, speak with a lisp, and generally be a really bad stereotype. It was not great, especially when he was attacked by AIDs vampire Hemo-Goblin, which, trust me, we’ll get to. Extraño ended up quietly disappearing from comics for a while. He recently returned (in a much more dignified form, similar to Vibe) in the comics. But it still doesn’t erase the sheer levels of offensiveness that was his old design, and makes it unlikely he’ll ever make the leap to the films.
14 Starfox – His Super Power Is Assault
Thanos has been built up since Avengers as the be-all end-all bad guy of the franchise. And that’s fair; he’s just as serious of a threat in his comic appearances too. But readers have also gotten to learn more about his kinsmen. This includes his brother Eros, a.k.a. Starfox, who is literally the worst. Starfox is a care-free womanizer, a jerk who will try to help out the good guys in the crunch. He has the same blueprint as a lot of other Marvel characters. The problem comes in with his super powers, which happen to include “pleasure powers” and the psychic ability to control the emotions of anyone around him. And he proceeded to use those powers in the scummiest way possible, by using them to manipulate women into getting with him before leaving them.
He’d make some women fall in love with him just to get laid, and then just bail. And when he went on trial for these crimes (like, literally went to trial on accusations of s*xual assault), he went so far as to manipulate the emotions of the witnesses to change their statement, because this dude is terrible. Seriously, we’d be better off with Thanos throwing chunks of the moon at us.
13 Dr. Light – At Best, He’s An Assaulter
Seriously, the continued existence of this character is baffling. Originally created as a small time Justice League bad guy, Dr. Light was a surprisingly strong opponent for the JLA. But as time went on, the losses weighed on him and he became something of a joke. It got so bad that the Teen Titans started treating him as a workout more than a villain. He became a bumbling C-lister, through and through. And then it was revealed in 2003’s Identity Crisis that he had fallen so bad for a reason. See, it turns out he r*ped Sue Dibny, the wife of a Justice League member on their space base. Yeah. Enraged and concerned he would follow through on threats he makes to the rest of the League’s families, the rest of the Justice League attempted to give him a mind-wipe that turned into more of a magical lobotomy. When his mind was restored, he became a full-time misogynist and all around monster. He even attacked the Teen Titans in revenge for their former mocking of him. It’s shocking he still appears in comics. However, DC has been pulling back on him in recent years, which means we’re never seeing him in real life, luckily.
12 Hemo-Goblin – The AIDS Vampire
Hemo-Goblin is a vampire that was genetically modified and utilized by a white supremacist group. He was developed as a weapon to use against non-white populations, and ran afoul of the late 80s DC team the New Guardians. It was at this point it was revealed that he also had the AIDS virus, and would pass it on to his victims after he bit them. This is absolutely ridiculous and offensive. One of his targets ended up being Extraño, the gay magician in quite possibly one of the worst plot lines of the 90s (and that’s saying something). He died almost immediately after fighting the team, from complications of his AIDs. Seriously. There could be fifty million of these movies and we would never see Hemo-Goblin once.
11 Egg Fu – The Most Racist Character Ever
If you couldn’t guess by his name, Egg Fu was an incredibly offensive Asian villain from the early years of comics. He was a foe for Wonder Woman back in the days where every superhero was seen fighting the Third Reich. But whereas Captain America got to drop a patriotic haymaker on Hitler amidst gunfire, Wonder Woman got saddled with confronting a broken-English-speaking mad scientist/hate crime in print form. He’s got a weird habit of trying to force Wonder Woman into being his Slave Leia, and every time he ends up literally cracked down the middle for his trouble. Recent creators tried to salvage the concept in recent years during 52, but there’s not really anything any writer or artist can do to keep this Humpty Dumpty in Yellowface from being just so, so insulting. And there’s no way he’s showing up in a movie.
10 Gin Genie – With The Proportional Strength Of A Drunk
Created during the X-Statix run of stories by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred, Gin Genie is just one of the myriad weirdos that populate the book. It was presented as a superhero group trying to fight crime while also being the focus of a Real World reality show series at the same time. The entire cast had strange powers, even for X-Men. The craziest was Gin Genie, a lush with the ability to create small earthquakes. She could increase the range and power of these tremors, mind you. She just has to be hammered. Her powers actually increase the more alcohol she has in her system, which works out for her because she’s a full-on alcoholic. Luckily for everyone, the character only lasted a single issue before her (and most of the rest of the original team) were destroyed by a helicopter machine gun. She died as she lived: wasted. Don’t expect her in New Mutants 2.
9 Rage – Black Shazam
At the core of Rage is a really compelling idea. Elvin Haliday is an average 13-year-old growing up in Brooklyn when he’s exposed to radioactive toxic waste. Because this is the Marvel universe, Elvin ends up with super powers and a quickly matured body. He decides to become a superhero, bringing the mentality of a new perspective to the Avengers. The problem is that Rage very quickly became a very stereotypical “angry black man” character in the fights, culminating in the Hate-Monger forcing a racial confrontation between the heroes, and he even had to be punched out when he was ejected from the Avengers for being a minor and also stealing a Quinjet.
His latest (and most likely last) appearance saw him in the buildup to “HYDRA Nazis take over” storyline Secret Empire, he was wrongly arrested after trying to stop a robbery. He was wrongly sent to jail, beaten within an inch of his life by many of the villains he’d helped put away, and was last seen in the hospital about to die from extensive brain damage from the aforementioned super villain prison beating. It’s not the best look for Marvel, and overall an incredibly problematic character.
8 The Sentry – What If Superman Was From Marvel, But Sucked?
Seriously, the Sentry is an objectively bad character. A Superman-esque powerhouse, the Sentry is introduced as a forgotten hero from a bygone era of the Marvel universe who had to enter hiding. He was rediscovered by the Avengers following a mass super villain prison breakout. The first thing he does in that comic is grab Carnage, flies him to space, and just straight-up rips him in half. He even leaves his bisected body in the stratosphere before returning to Earth.
He pretty constantly depicted as a heroic last resort, but his mental health problems were overwhelming. It became a running theme throughout the Marvel books of the mid 2000s that everyone was afraid of him completely losing it ripping them in half, because that seriously became one of his default moves. He’s dropping Mortal Kombat fatalities on villains when Spider-Man is just trying to web them up. He was ultimately killed in the Siege storyline after breaking Asgard in half, where he was mourned by the heroes of the Marvel universe and no one in the real world. He's way too gory for the MCU, and just too weird/dumb too.
7 Vibe – The Breakdancing One
The CW DC shows have been very good about introducing some of the crazier aspects of the DC universe. And yes, by that I of course mean Gorilla City. But it’s also been smart in many of their choices, leaving some of the more… controversial aspects of the character out. But that means we’re never going to see the original version of a character. The Flash series in particular took a character from the comics named Vibe and transformed him from an offensive stereotype to a brilliant scientist, friend to Barry Allen, and superhero in training.
When he was first introduced, Vibe was a painfully over the top Hispanic stereotype, and frequently seen breakdancing his way into battle for some reason. His biggest claim to fame is that he was the first ever member of the Justice League to die in battle, when he was strangled to death by a pair of robot hands and left on the street. No matter how crazy the DCEU gets, it’s doubtful we’ll ever see original flavor Vibe ever again.
6 Maggot – Those Maggots Aren’t Just A Title
As evidenced earlier by the stranger abilities of the X-Statix members, the X-Men have had some of the weirder power sets in comics. But none have been as strange, unappealing, or annoying as Maggot. Introduced as maybe the saddest teenager ever, he ran into the X-Men while looking for Magneto. His power comes in the form of two sentient slug creatures, called Eany and Meany that serve as his digestive system outside of his normal body. That's already crazy, but then it veers quickly into offensive when it’s revealed he’s a survivor of the South African apartheid and that plays a part in his power, which is to always be hungry – wow. That is incredibly weird and strangely offensive in a way that only tone-deaf comics can do. And it only gets worse when you find out that he died in a mutant concentration camp. He’s just a whole mess of wrong.
5 NFL SuperPro – The Superhero The NFL Deserves
Comics have a long history of partnering up with any other aspect of the world to collaborate on a character or two. It’s how we’ve gotten truly odd characters and comics, like the KFC multiverse legion of Colonel Sanders uniting across dimensional lines. But one attempt by Marvel might be the weirdest and worst. Called the NFL SuperPro, it centered around a former NFL hopeful named Phil Grayfield who’s given the chance to become a superhero by putting on an indestructible football uniform. Beyond the sheer silly nature of the character, the recent developments into CTE research when it comes to football players pretty much killed the chance of ever seeing this NFL scrub join up alongside Captain America. Well, that and he’s completely awful.
4 Fiddler – With The Awesome Power To Play The Fiddle
As the name suggests, The Fiddler is a super-powered Fiddler. Yes, that is a real thing. Created as one of the early villains for the very first incarnation of the Flash, he actually became one of his most recurring villains. He achieved his powers after learning the “mystic art” of Indian music while arrested for stealing abroad. In case you needed a reminder, comics used to be racist as hell. His fiddle skills give him the ability to take over the minds of people who hear his music. This turns out to be useless against people wearing headphones or helmets. This error in judgement gets him shot by Deadshot, resurrected as a fiddle playing zombie, and shot by Deadshot again. He’s the kind of guy whose best hope of making the movies would be two minutes in Suicide Squad sequels before he gets himself killed.
3 Floronic Man – The Maniacal Drug Man
Floronic Man is bizarre, even by the insane standards set by the rest of the DC Universe. The same kind of experiments that bonded Poison Ivy with plant life also impacted him, giving him incredible powers of the natural world around him. But sometimes his powers shift and he has to reinvent himself, most notably during a story where he reconstituted his body out of marijuana. He got workers to cut off some of the green growing off him (gross) and started selling it all around Gotham City because apparently Floronic Man didn’t think that was a big enough crime to constitute Batman punching him in the face.
But he doesn’t know how happy punching villains in the face makes Batman, who is shocked that this guy exists and is doing this with his time. Unless Batman movies start getting written by Kevin Smith (which would be horrible), this one-note weed joke isn’t getting anywhere near a film appearance.
2 Rawhide Kid – The Gay Cowboy Who Could Have Been Cool
Rawhide Kid could have been really cool. In the early 2000s, as gay rights started to become more recognized, entertainment started trying to veer away from the gay jokes in exchange for more reasonable representations of LGBT characters. Some, like Gotham PD officer and off-duty-lesbian Renee Montoya are incredibly compelling, well-constructed characters. And others are like Rawhide Kid. Pitched an old west hero in the early years of the Marvel universe, this guy is recognized as a great shot and also every gay man stereotype possible. He complains about fights being too “macho” for him, and he gets catty with women over the clothes they wear. A gay cowboy in a superhero universe would be inherently interesting, but instead readers got a version that should under no circumstances appear in a movie.
1 Proty – What If Your Dog Stole Your Life?
The Legion of Superheroes are some of the most insane sci-fi comics that DC has ever put out. The series, about the teen superhero team of the 31st century, has a longstanding rule that every member of the team must possess their own unique ability. It was a surprisingly progressive comic for the time, incorporating overarching plots and character deaths years before they became standard tropes in the franchise. Some of their ranks have appeared in shows, but it’s unlikely that Proty will ever appear. A shape-shifting pet alien belonging to Chameleon Boy, the pet had a mind of its own. When Lightning Lad is killed and the other Legionnaires decide to perform a ceremony to revive him at the sacrifice of one of their lives, Proty seemingly jumps in and takes the hit for the team and revives Lighting Lad. In reality, though, Proty just had his mind transferred into his body, and proceeded to not tell anyone. He just assumed his life, and that’s absolutely terrifying, DC.