#3. Snowflame -- Powers Up by Snorting Cocaine
Superheroes and villains activate their powers in different ways: Some say "Shazam!" and get struck by lightning, some put on a ring and recite an oath to a lamp, and some, well ...
"You shall pay for your insolence, super-fools, when my- OH SHIT, THAT'S TIGHT! GODDAMN!"
... some simply snort mountains of cocaine. Snowflame belongs to the latter category: He's a Colombian drug lord/DC Comics supervillain, which would be a weird enough sentence if he didn't also happen to get his superpowers from ingesting the same white powder he sells. Doing coke makes Snowflame stronger, impervious to pain, and susceptible to bouts of spontaneous disco dancing, apparently.
He also dresses like the son Santa disowned due to his "alternative" lifestyle.
So he's basically Tony Montana combined with David Bowie in the '70s, with some Doctor Doom dialogue thrown into the blender as well. In 1988, Snowflame's path crossed with the New Guardians -- the same ridiculously unlucky superhero group who fought that AIDS-powered villain called Hemo-Goblin we've told you about before. In order to reach Snowflame, the Guardians must first get past his intimidating army of coked-up henchmen dressed in pool party clothes.
We're suddenly seeing an upside to this whole villainy thing.
The Guardians accomplish this by having their plant-powered member absorb all the cocaine from the henchmen, then siphon it to another character with magic powers. So basically, at one point one-third of the team has cocaine in their body, which sends a wonderful message to any kids reading this comic: In order to fight drugs, you must become drugs.
At the end of the issue, Snowflame is defeated by cocaine's natural enemy, namely a huge fucking explosion (caused after he gets punched into his own chemical lab while still ignited).
#2. Hate-Monger -- A Hitler Clone With a Racism Gun
World War II was a boon to American comic writers, because suddenly there was a universal thing that everyone already hated that could be easily incorporated into comics: good ol' Nazis. In fact, 20 years after the war ended, Stan Lee was still milking this idea for all it was worth when he created the villain Hate-Monger, the purple-hooded racist.
Preaching the superiority of the purple race is gonna make for some poorly attended rallies, dude.
In the first iteration of this character, the Fantastic Four confront Hate-Monger when they attempt to break up a hate rally he organized, only to be stopped by Hate-Monger after he fires his Hate Ray at them -- which, if it wasn't clear by the name, is literally a gun that shoots rays of hatred.
"Damn you, Hate-Mon- oh no, it's working!"
The Fantastic Four then beat the shit out of each other for three whole pages and disband until various circumstances allow them to regroup in South America, where the Hate-Monger explains his master plan to Mr. Fantastic: a giant Hate Ray he's going to fire at the Earth by bouncing it off the moon.
"Hm. At first I thought he was crazy, but that moon beam looks legit."
The villain is finally stopped when the Four come to their senses and the H-Monger accidentally shoots his own guy with the Hate Ray, who then turns on Hate-Monger and shoots him point blank. And then it's the moment we've all been waiting for: Mr. Fantastic rips off the guy's hood and ...
... it's freakin' Adolf Hitler.
"Oh fuck, we killed Charlie Chaplin!"
In later issues, it's explained that Hate-Monger was not one of Hitler's doubles, but a clone that had the real Hitler's consciousness transferred upon his death -- a consciousness that survived this encounter and kept coming back to fight Captain America and Nick Fury for years. We've lost track of which Marvel Comics character is housing Hitler's mind by now (Gambit? It's Gambit, right?), but if it was Iron Man, it would explain so much about the character.
#1. Floronic Man -- Literally Made of Marijuana
Supervillains reinvent themselves all the time, but not always for the best -- take the Floronic Man, originally a villain who looked like what would happen if a man came inside a tree and the tree spit out a baby nine months later. Because it wasn't hard enough to get laid looking like that, he went ahead and revamped himself as a huge dank of marijuana with the head of an old man.
"These aren't tendrils, by the way."
In a "very special" Batman storyline, it's revealed that Floronic Man got decapitated and then managed to regrow his body using the nearest plant ... which happened to be some cannabis (perhaps don't store the severed supervillain parts in college dorm rooms next time, cops). Being reborn in this fashion grants him pot-based powers, like being able to grow weed at will, the ability to giggle incessantly at his own lame jokes ...
Ugh, stop doing our job.
... and, of course, super-forgetfulness.
"Oh, right. Can you go to the store and buy me some Pringles?"
Under this new form, Floronic Man starts flooding Gotham City with cheap pot, his reasoning being that if everyone smoked weed, then, like, society would be like so much better and stuff, you know? Marijuano (as he should have renamed himself) also offers Poison Ivy millions of dollars in exchange for a blood sample he can use to create a pot baby messiah, which suggests that maybe, just maybe, the writer researched this story a little too hard.
That's when Batman finds the villain and ...
Wait, did Batman call him "Floro"? Where have we heard that name before?
"But don't worry, dude; I'm a totally safe driver high."
Oh, right -- he's also the guy who saved the day in that Snowflame story by siphoning off all the cocaine during his brief time as a superhero. From this we can conclude that coke is clearly a gateway drug to marijuana and not the other way around like McGruff the Crime Dog told us. Anyway, Batman eventually re-decapitates Floro, and presumably no one ever sold pot in Gotham City ever again.
Related Reading: Want to know history's greatest supervillain? This Cracked video makes the case that it's Leonardo da Vinci. When it comes to stupid supervillain schemes it doesn't get much dumber than tricking Batman into a wedding. Plan to become a supervillain yourself? Take our advice on the best lair to buy.
As 2013 draws to a close, be sure to check out Cracked's year in review because, well, we know you don't remember it half as well as you think.