The 6 Least Useful Superhero Abilities in Comic Book History

You'd think it would be pretty easy to come up with a new power for a superhero -- just look around your room, choose an object, and make up a power around it. Congratulations, you just invented Liquor Cabinet Man and his nemesis, Puke Stain on the Carpet Woman.

However, when you're a comic book writer and your job depends on you churning out thousands and thousands of heroes and villains, you eventually get patently stupid ones like ...

#6. Paste-Pot Pete (Marvel Comics) -- A Bucket of Glue

Marvel

A Human Torch villain and one of Stan Lee's proudest creations, Paste-Pot Pete has the brains of a scientist but the wardrobe of a homeless Ebenezer Scrooge. He carries a paste gun and a pail of fireproof superglue that he accidentally created while working as a research chemist. Instead of starting a legitimate door-to-door business selling a miracle adhesive, he decides to commit crimes with it. Here Paste-Pot Pete demonstrates the potential of his glue gun by shooting a cop in the dick:

Marvel
"But once I remove this, my thighs will be smooth, like a baby's."

In Strange Tales #104, Pete robs a bank and then attempts to steal a missile in order to sell it to foreign powers, presumably all in the same day. He wards off the Human Torch, sticks him to the aforementioned rocket, and launches him into space. Let us repeat that: Paste-Pot Pete manages to beat the Torch, a guy who can shoot fire from literally every part of his body, despite the fact that his superpower is basically a pot full of Gorilla Glue.

Marvel
Gorilla Glue, and rhyming, too.

Luckily for America (and the readers, because it means the comic is almost over), Human Torch regains control of the situation and melts Paste-Pot's missile truck. He was arrested and charged for attacking police, treason, and the unrelated robbery of a sperm bank.

Marvel
The vas deferens on the gun was just coincidental.

Throughout the years, Paste-Pot Pete has returned to get his ass kicked by the Fantastic Four over and over again. It probably has something to do with the fact that all you have to do to defeat him is knock over his flimsily secured bucket of glue. We'll remind you now that this guy's only talent is knowing how to attach things to other things.

Marvel
"My hands! The gloves do nothing!"

Later on, presumably after learning to Google himself, he decides to change his name to something with more "dignity" and "drama to it" ... so he goes with the Trapster. He also upgraded his costume by adding wrist-mounted launchers, but this had more to do with the fact that his wrist bones have been nearly obliterated by years of wanking into a pot.

Marvel
At least he decided to stop trying to sound like a legit comic title.

#5. Turner D. Century (Marvel Comics) -- The Power of Nostalgia

Turner D. Century is motivated by his hatred of progressive social change, so he's basically a Free Republic poster with powers. What powers, you ask? Well, he's equipped with a handlebar mustache, a lovely straw hat, and a tandem bicycle with a fake woman on the back, which would be the saddest thing we've ever heard if we didn't have the certainty that he also ravages that faceless doll every night. His motivation is that he wishes that it was the year 1900 again.

Marvel
A time of simpler pleasures, like driving through windows and yelling at strangers.

In Marvel Team-Up #120, Spider-Man and a senior citizen version of a D-list antihero named Dominic Fortune join forces to take down Turner D. Century. Dominic is invited to Turny D's pad and gets a first look at his new invention: a horn that kills anyone under 65.

Marvel
It plays Pat Boone and Jim Reeves records, causing immediate death.

Other than pointing out the stupidity of killing off everyone who is paying for your Social Security, not to mention dooming mankind by rendering inert all genitals that actually work, Dominic distracts Turner until Spider-Man breaks through the window. After initially dismissing the time horn's effectiveness, Spidey is suddenly struck with an overwhelming urge to fall on the floor.

Marvel
Spidey bravely struggled to stay alive just long enough to utter "N-no ... you're gay ..."

Turner takes to the skies and attaches his time horn to his bicycle built for two, honking every young person in New York to death. Dominic Fortune eventually catches up with him and knocks him off the bike. He's about to beat Turner to a pulp, but falls over in exhaustion due to his oldness. Suddenly, Spider-Man comes back from the dead and webs the shit out of him.

Marvel
Dude, you can shoot fire from your umbrella? Why wouldn't you make that your villain theme?

Yep, turns out Turner's time horn didn't even work, because the theme of this issue is that old people are useless. Spidey was fine, Dominic recovered, and everyone in town just casually got back up after being knocked unconscious for a bit. Turner put them through the same ordeal they go through every year after New Year's Eve, including the part where they wake up in Times Square without their wallet.

Marvel
They considered exacting great vengeance on all old people, but basic biology had that covered.

And that was pretty much the end of Turner D. Centu- ohhh, we just got it.

#4. Polka-Dot Man (DC Comics) -- Polka-Dot-Based Weapons

Detective Comics

Polka-Dot Man, aka Mr. Polka-Dot, is a Batman villain from the '60s who wore a white costume covered in colored dots. That's an almost sensible wardrobe choice for a Batman enemy, but what makes Polka-Dot special is that when he rips the dots off of his costume, they turn into some bizarre weapon or device. The official scientific explanation for his power is "No one thought anyone would be reading this bullshit 50 years later."

Detective Comics
Even in the 21st century, however, science has yet to fully understand polka.

He first appears in Detective Comics #300 to terrorize Gotham City with one of the silliest gimmicks ever invented for comics, and the dumbest part is that for some reason Batman and Robin are fucking terrified of him.

Detective Comics
There goes a Bat-nipple. One down, one to go.

This guy's appearance creates so many unanswered questions. Where is he keeping all this shit? How does he keep track of which dot does what? And also, is there a limit to the things he can create out of tiny little dots? On the cover and the above panel alone, we have a flying saucer contraption, a literal sun, and a buzz saw. Next thing you know, he throws a whole bunch of them at Robin and they all turn into little floating fists.

Detective Comics
All of which start taunting Robin with wanking movements.

Anyway, Batman eventually figures out that if you dot out all of his crimes on a map of the city, it forms ... well, can you figure it out, kids?

Detective Comics
An envelope? A big "W"? Two bears high-fiving?

Yes, the puzzle Polka-Dot Man was so sure no one human mind could solve was that the map forms a stick figure, and the head corresponds with the location of his next target, a map company. Batman tracks him down and punches him right in the goddamn face, without even sticking around to hear about how stealing a bunch of atlases fits into his master plan.

Detective Comics
Knocking out his eyes seemed a bit much. But, you know. They were dot-shaped.

Polka-Dot Man made other appearances, including in a recent Batman cartoon, but nothing will ever compare to the time he almost fisted an ice-skating Robin to death.

Detective Comics
All eight hands will be played on the big screen by a masturbating Matt Damon.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

To turn on reply notifications, click here

423 Comments

The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!