The 6 Most Bizarrely Offensive Comic Book Supervillains
If "reading comics" and "being terrible" were among your hobbies as a teenager, there was probably a point where you wondered, "Wouldn't it be hilarious if there was a supervillain whose power was being GAY? Or, like, being DISABLED?" Then you high-fived in the mirror and cried yourself to sleep.
Well, it turns out actual comic book writers were way ahead of you -- in the face of relentless pressure to keep coming up with new supervillains, publishers wound up greenlighting ideas that really should have screamed "bad idea" at the doodle stage. Like ...
Armless Tiger Man -- Making the Most of His Disability (in Terrifying Ways)
Armless Tiger Man is the name of an honest-to-goodness Marvel Comics villain from the 1940s and not something we just made up to mess with you. He recently appeared in the same comic as Captain America. And he looks pretty much like you'd expect an Armless Tiger Man to look:
"Surrender, villain! I could beat you with both han- ... um ... never mind."
In his first appearance, we learn that Armless Tiger Man was once a regular German guy working in a factory until he lost both his arms in an accident with a machine. Now he hates all machines with a burning passion, so the Nazis ship him over to America to fuck shit up as part of a plan to sabotage the war effort (and also as part of a plan to never see that guy again, because he creeps the Gestapo out). Once he's in the States, Armie finds the location of the factories he has to destroy and makes do with what he has, namely his feet:
In case you can't read German, he's saying, "FUCK! YOU! MACHINES!"
And his sharp, man-eating teeth (hence the "tiger" part):
Being the '40s, he was required to don a fedora and top coat before kicking a man to death.
So, despite his disability (disabilities, if you count his face), Armless Tiger Man is actually quite resourceful -- he single-footedly manages to sabotage at least one factory and knock out several people using the limited gifts God saw fit to bestow upon him. He truly is an inspiration to cannibalistic double amputees everywhere.
They were all so moved by his spirit of perseverance that they just let him knock them out and eat them.
Armless Tiger Man is eventually arrested by the Angel, an obscure superhero whose only notable superpower, for the purposes of this story, is having arms. Since then, he has only been used in a handful of other comics. Ironic that a character about making the most of what you have should end up as a wasted opportunity.
"Enjoy turning the pages."
He-She -- The Power of Hermaphroditism
A popular formula for creating a superhero or supervillain is to just grab two different things and combine them: bats and men, ghosts and riders, daring and deviling. Guess what two things the villain He-She was a combination of. Go on, guess.
"Hipster hair" and "bold choice in belts"?
Yes, He-She is a half-man, half-woman hybrid who uses the power of having both boy and girl parts in deviously criminal ways. How the fuck does that even work, you ask? Well, first the "She" half seduces people using her feminine charms, and then the "He" half kills them with his manly strength and steals their money.
Which then gets spent on bizarre custom-made suits.
In other words, He-She's entire strategy depends on being seen only from the right angle and adopting a high-pitched voice -- like when he manages to trick Crimebuster after the teenage superhero was just talking to the other side of his face:
"At least you'll be popular in prison."
Crimebuster realizes what's going on and tries to apprehend He-She but keeps getting hindered by dudes who will do anything that half a pretty face and a single boob will tell them to do.
"Of course she's a woman! She's right the- oh, hey, mister, have you seen my girlfriend?"
After a series of wacky misunderstandings, He-She is finally arrested by the happy-go-lucky Crimebuster and his pet monkey Squeeks, and then immediately fried in the electric chair, because that was the only way comics were allowed to end in the '40s. Don't feel bad for him/her, though: The narration to this comic explains that He-She had no soul.
Egg Fu -- Every Asian Stereotype in Giant Egg Form
Most people probably can't name a single Wonder Woman villain off the top of their heads, but if Egg Fu is indicative of her rogues' gallery, that's probably a good thing. For you see, Egg Fu is an Asian egg who sports a handlebar mustache (which is also a whip) and is the size of a stadium for no goddamn reason. If that's not bad enough, he speaks in broken "Engrish" that sounds like Chow from The Hangover if you read it out loud.
"Bewale my casuar wacism!"
In his first 1960s story, Egg Fu, a not-very-discreet communist agent, attempts to take down a U.S. Navy fleet by blowing it up with a missile. Wonder Woman redirects the missile, but she is blown to bits. Luckily, the good people of the Caribbean restore her with a magic atomic beam that they had handy just for the occasion. Wonder Woman comes back to life and defeats him by, um, cracking him with her whip.
"You've discovered my only weakness: My extremely fragile body!"
But clearly Egg Fu was too good an idea to waste on a single issue, so after Wonder Woman defeats him, he comes back a couple issues later as Egg Fu the Fifth.
Which means that at some point Egg Fu got laid. Feel free to contemplate the logistics of that.
This time, the always ingenious Wonder Woman defeats Egg Fu by performing a slave dance for him and then clashing her bracelets together, thus cracking him again with the resulting sonic boom. It was apparently at this point that the Wonder Woman writers took a hard look at their own lives and decided to stop using the character (or, more likely, they just ran out of ways to crack a giant egg villain).
Of course, that didn't stop Egg Fu from later returning in another comic as a metal robot named Dr. Yes, who bears a striking resemblance to Rob Schneider's character from I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.
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).
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.
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.