The 6 Most Unintentionally Hilarious Superhero Reinventions

#3. Punk Storm

Storm is one of the X-Men's most popular mutants (after Wolverine, Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Wolverine) and also one of the most powerful, due to her incredible ability to control the weather.


She's most helpful when clearing scary freeway fog.

Originally, Storm was treated as a goddess in her native Africa due to her powers and benevolence, and even after joining the X-Men, she retained that serene, majestic and somewhat naive quality. She's one classy lady, is what we're saying.

The WTF Reinvention:

What happens when you combine Storm, punk rock and (we're not shitting you here) Mr. T?

Uncanny X-Men #173 (1983)
Likes: The Sex Pistols. Dislikes: Fools.

Chris Claremont, the writer of the X-Men at the time, decided it was time to give Storm a new haircut. Then, as a joke gone horribly wrong, the artist did a sketch of Storm with a Mr. T look, since this was the '80s and the guy was everywhere. To the artist's shock, the editor liked that look and forced him to include it in the comic, despite him arguing that it was a "monstrously bad idea."

As any accomplished anthropologist will tell you, fool-pitying naturally follows the mohawk wherever it grows, and Storm was no exception. Storm simply said screw it and proceeded to start taking on whole gangs with her bare hands just to show how badass she could be.

Uncanny X-Men #180 (1984)
Also, at some point she became a Drow.

The change was completed a few months later when she was hit by a ray gun that stripped her of her powers. This would be no big deal, except that the whole point of being in the X-Men is that the characters are mutants. It's the number one criteria for joining and staying. But not only does Storm stay, she challenges a fully powered Cyclops to a fight for the role of team leader.

And wins.


And a single lava tear rolled down his cheek.

Imagine recruiting this sweet, humble foreign girl and watching her slowly transform into Clubber Lang. We're guessing the other X-Men were too afraid of her to say anything at this point, powers or not.

Uncanny X-Men #180 (1984)
Professor X, from a distance, closes one eye and mimes squishing Storm's head, his only recourse.

Once the '80s were over and T-mania ran its course, Storm slowly reverted into her original personality. Just in case, no one's allowed to watch Rocky III at the Xavier Mansion since then.

#2. The Robotic Shadow

The Shadow was Batman before Batman: cool, mysterious, dressed in black and with a talent for terrorizing criminals. The Shadow had unnatural powers, a distinctive costume (cloak and fedora) and a suave playboy secret identity.

The Shadow DC Issue #1
And a train boner.

However, with the Shadow it was never about the superpowers -- he was always fond of firearms, but more often than not he defeated his enemies simply by messing with their heads until they surrendered (and THEN he shot them).

The WTF Reinvention:

And then they turned him into a giant robot:

The Shadow#19 (1989)
Who has enough chrome to outfit every Mercedes in Compton? The Shadow does.

By the '80s the rights to publish official Shadow stories had fallen on DC Comics, who clearly had no idea what to do with the guy (they already had a Batman). DC decided to update the character to the present era, which meant replacing his iconic handguns with Uzis and rocket launchers, for instance. Also he drove a flying car.

The Shadow #13 (1988)
Apparently the "present" setting was as poorly researched as the past would have been.

As the series progressed it became increasingly bizarre and ridiculously violent -- getting to the point where at the end of a regular issue without any warning, this happened:

The Shadow #13 (1988)
"Also, uh, Spoiler Alert, we guess."

But superheroes never stay dead for long. Six months later DC finally brought back the Shadow ... as a disembodied head. Turns out his inept and offensively yellow-skinned sons, Hsu and Chang (created for this series), had stolen his casket in order to bring his body to the mystical kingdom of Shambala where it could be resuscitated, but in the process managed to misplace everything from the neck down.

The Shadow #19 (1989)
"-- hang on, am I a fucking head?!"

At this point the comic was barely recognizable as a Shadow series anymore, but it was about to get even worse. Left with no other choice, the scientists/wizards at Shambala place the Shadow's head on a muscular robotic body they happened to have lying around. Shadow adjusts to this change surprisingly fast and is soon ready to leap back into action.

The Shadow #19 (1989)
"Shaaaadooooooow!"

The new robot body can zap power bolts from its hands and is equipped with all sorts of weapons, gadgets and Terminator-like kill-vision, which the Shadow uses to literally annihilate an army of around 200 thugs in the space of four pages.

The Shadow #19 (1989)
None of them thought to, y'know, aim at the head.

And Shadow stays this way. In the last page a new story line is announced in which the Shadow will battle his oldest enemy, Shiwan Khan, also a cyborg now for some reason.

The Shadow #19 (1989)
Machine-gun nipples come standard on all new-model robot torsos.

Anyway the comic was abruptly canceled after this story.

#1. Captain America Becomes Captain ... Nothing

Here's everything you need to know about Captain America:

Yeah, the flag getup pretty much says it all, and also the fact that he's punching Nazism in the face -- not just Hitler, but the actual concept of Nazism. Reportedly, the moment the artist finished drawing this page, Hitler's actual jaw spontaneously dislocated. After WWII was over, Captain America took it easy for a while, but then returned in the '60s to show all those new superheroes how it was done. Since then, he has remained the most popular patriotic-themed hero in and outside the U.S.

The WTF Reinvention:

Except for that time when he gave up the "America" part and turned into a shitty generic superhero:

Captain America #180 (1974)
"Did ... did Captain America just change his pants in front of us?"

Yep, for a while Captain America ditched his name, costume and shield and became ... another obscure Marvel character no one cares about, basically. It all began right in the middle of Marvel Comics' version of the Watergate scandal, in which President Nixon is found out to be a supervillain and blows his brains out in front of Captain America. Cap is so shocked and disillusioned that he tosses his costume and quits patriotism.

Captain America #176 (1974)
"President Nixon just killed himself. Maybe we should all, like ... process that, first."

However, after a few months of unemployment Cap decides he still wants to be a superhero, and so he starts thinking of an identity that will reflect his new attitude ...

Captain America #180 (1974)
"Cut Man. No. Captain Loose Guy. No. Mr. Manningwithoutacountrington DAMN I'm so bad at this."

... eventually settling on "Nomad" and getting himself the worst costume imaginable. In his debut adventure, the Nomad must battle a woman who is obsessed with snakes inside a movie theater that happens to be playing an old Captain America interview, presumably to underscore just how awful this costume is compared to the old one.

Captain America #180 (1974)
The absence of patriotic quips has forced Nomad to resort to double entendres.

The question is: Why change everything? Couldn't he just cover the "A" on his old costume and be done with it? At the very least he could have kept his indestructible shield (which accounts for only 90 percent of his fighting style) and give it a new paint job to make it look less patriotic. Maybe put some badass flames there or something. Also, even the comic itself acknowledges that the decision to give Captain America a cape was not so great.

Captain America #180 (1974)
"Durp!"

Maxwell Yezpitelok lives in Chile and likes to waste his time writing back to scammers or making stupid comics.

For reinventions that were better left alone, check out 5 Superheroes Rendered Ridiculous by Gritty Reboots and 5 Urgent Questions About the Live Action 'Akira' Remake.

And stop by LinkSTORM to see David Wong's Navajo days.

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