Superhero Details Only The Apex Nerds Know

Remember when only nerds knew who Iron Man was? Now millions of people around the world can tell you the name of Ant-Man's ex-wife. Hollywood has turned us all into superhero experts, but there are still important parts of these characters that most people don't know about -- mainly, the really stupid ones. For instance, did you know ...

Advertisement

5
Batman Has Another Secret Identity, And It Has A Fake Mustache

Everyone knows Batman is billionaire socialite Bruce Wayne in disguise, and if you didn't, uh, spoilers. But Wayne has another secret identity that has never been seen in the movies: he likes to put on a fake mustache and pretend to be a criminal called "Matches Malone." The Matches costume also includes tinted glasses, flashy suits, and "a perfect New Jersey accent," which is somehow even sillier than wearing a cowl with pointy ears.

So he's Christian Bale in <i>American Hustle</i>, basically.DC ComicsSo he's Christian Bale in American Hustle, basically.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

According to his first appearance, Matches was a real criminal who accidentally shot himself while trying to kill Batman (exactly how tinted are those glasses?). Batman, noticing that this dead crook happened to look exactly like him, decided not to report Malone's death so he could start usurping his identity whenever he needs to go undercover. Which is kinda sad, because it means no one wanted to be Batman's informant, so he had to make one up.

In reality, it would take criminals like a week to realize that every time they told that Matches guy about some plan, Batman would show up and wreck it. He should be a corpse on the waterfront with "SNITCH" carved on its chest. The only way the Matches identity makes sense is if everyone knows he's Batman, so they just humor him and spill the same info they'd give him if he hung them upside down from a gargoyle.

Bartenders love him because he thinks one beer costs $500.DC ComicsBartenders love him because he thinks one beer costs $500.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

At one point, Batman even created an elaborate plan designed to leave Matches Malone as the sole leader of the Gotham underground, because running a massive corporation and being in the Justice League doesn't keep him busy enough. When this brilliant plan was triggered before time, it instead resulted in Black Mask taking over the city and Robin #4 becoming Dead Robin #2 (she got better, though).

4
Wolverine Has An Army Of Bastard Children Who Want To Kill Him

The X-Men movies acknowledge that Wolverine was born in the mid-19th century, but not the natural consequence of being around for so long: the fact that he's spawned a shitload of kids. And they all hate him. First up is Daken, who's basically Wolverine with a Mohawk, a surfer dude tattoo, and an awkwardly placed claw on his palm.

What if Wolverine looked more like a date rapist? -- someone at Marvel, at some pointMarvel Comics"What if Wolverine looked more like a date rapist?" -- someone at Marvel, at some point

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Daken is also a sociopath who murders people without regret (Wolverine at least mopes about it for two panels). In one storyline, Daken puts together a multi-racial group of masked killers called The Mongrels and sends them to murder his dad. Once Wolverine inevitably kills them, he finds out he was all of their dads, too.

Daken didn't want anyone else inheriting that sweet yellow spandex suit.Marvel ComicsDaken didn't want anyone else inheriting that sweet yellow spandex suit.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Then there's Raze, a blue-skinned shapeshifter from the future that Wolverine conceived (will conceive?) with a certain other azure X-Men character. That's right: Beast.

The downside of having a healing factor is that vasectomies only last like 15 minutes.Marvel ComicsThe downside of having a healing factor is that vasectomies only last like 15 minutes.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

The irony is that, while he's neglecting his many bastards, Wolverine has a tendency to take teenage girls as sidekicks and mentor them (Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, Armor, etc.). Sure, he always ditches them when they become adults, but at least he was there for them during their formative years. Perhaps Daken wouldn't have grown up into a psycho if he'd simply been hotter and female-er. It's all his fault, really.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

3
Superman Has Other, Dumber Weaknesses

Superman's main weakness is so famous that it's now a synonym for "weakness," but it's not the only one. When writers got bored of having him bump into chunks of kryptonite every other issue, they established that he was vulnerable to magic, leaving him at the mercy of formidable enemies like Mr. Mxyzptlk (or however the hell it's spelled), a magical imp who has somehow never been featured in a live action Superman movie.

Probably because Brad Pitt's agenda hasn't cleared up yet.DC ComicsProbably because Brad Pitt's agenda hasn't cleared up yet.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

When Superman joined the Justice League of America, DC needed a way to write him out of most issues so that Aquaman and Green Arrow would have something to do. Suddenly, that magic vulnerability became a magic weakness, meaning that something as simple as a magical song could have the same effect as kryptonite on him.

If he ever has to go up against <a href=https://www.cracked.com/article_24218_the-10-most-insane-single-panels-in-comic-book-history.html target=_blank>Doctor Doom</a>, he's screwed.DC ComicsIf he ever has to go up against Doctor Doom, he's screwed.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

After that, writers have gone back and forth between "magic affects him like any other mortal" and "magic fucks him up." In one issue, just being around a ghost makes him look like he's nursing a devastating hangover while Batman is totally fine.

Superhero Details Only The Apex Nerds KnowDC Comics

He's so drunk, he forgot to put on his boxers.DC ComicsHe's so drunk, he forgot to put on his boxers.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Why is Superman such a wimp against the supernatural? One explanation is that, since planet Krypton was completely obsessed with science (evidence of global catastrophes aside), Superman's ancestors just never encountered anything magical. Meanwhile, humans developed natural anti-magic defenses from centuries of getting eaten by dragons and cursed by witches.

That doesn't explain Superman's other forgotten weakness: he seems to be particularly susceptible to mind control. This one also varies from writer to writer and era to era, but there was a period of a few years when he was brainwashed into getting thousands of people killed in another planet, becoming a mind-slave to a Kryptonian paperweight for several months, and making a porn tape with another superhero's wife. If Superman was smarter, he'd be wearing a cool anti-mind control helmet like Magneto all the time.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

2
The Flash Was A Stuck-Up Cold War-Era Conservative

In most media incarnations, The Flash is the wisecracking, hyperactive member of the Justice League, like Spider-Man on super-meth. Both the Justice League movie and the cartoon series have him as the lighthearted rookie who balances out the seriousness of those other squares. But in the comics, Barry "Flash" Allen was the biggest square. He was a bowtie-wearing, crew cut-sporting cop who regularly fought hippies, communists, and Satanic rockers. This issue came out in the middle of the Vietnam War:

Sadly, Karate Chop Stoner Dude wasn't accepted into Flash's Rogues Gallery.DC ComicsSadly, Karate Chop Stoner Dude wasn't accepted into Flash's Rogues Gallery.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

It's been established that Barry didn't get along with literal SJW Green Arrow, with one cover depicting them calling each other "FASCIST TOOL!" and "HIPPIE FREAK!" Also, it's no coincidence that Barry was one of the first superheroes to marry his sweetheart and settle into domestic bliss. The holy bond of matrimony saved his ass more than once:

Guest writer: Jack ChickDC ComicsGuest writer: Jack Chick

Meanwhile, Barry's sidekick/successor, Wally West, was the uppity member of the Teen Titans who spent 80% of his thought balloons moping about how he just wants to be "normal." When the team meets a Soviet superhero, Wally goes out of his way to give him shit for being a Commie and acts like the victim when others ask him to chill.

A conservative with a persecution complex? This is some far-out science fiction here.DC ComicsA conservative with a persecution complex? This is some far-out science fiction here.

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Then, when Barry dies and Wally became The Flash, he embraced '80s neoliberal douchiness, charging a hospital to save a heart transplant patient and only joining the Justice League for the paycheck. Wally did relax his conservative views over the years after experiencing homelessness, finding out one of his best friends is gay, and, uh, hanging out with Fidel Castro. That can't be a coincidence.

1
Daredevil Has had His Secret Identity Exposed Half A Dozen Times

Daredevil should have one of the most air-tight secret identities in comics, because who's gonna guess that a blind lawyer would be doing somersaults on rooftops while fighting ninjas? In the Netflix show, someone finding out that Matt Murdock is Daredevil is treated as a huge deal, but in the comics, it happens every other week. First there was the time Spider-Man sent Matt a letter promising he wouldn't divulge his secret identity, which of course was read by Matt's co-workers instead, instantly breaking that promise.

Also, don't worry, I'm not telling anyone about your erectile dysfunction problem.Marvel Comics"Also, don't worry, I'm not telling anyone about your erectile dysfunction problem."

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

This is what forced Matt to start posing as his non-blind brother, Mike Murdock. He did eventually tell his love interest Karen Page that he's Daredevil ... which came back to bite him in the ass when she became a drug-addicted porn actress and sold his secret to the Kingpin for a fix of heroin. Yes, this happened in a Frank Miller comic, how did you guess?

Being a woman in a Frank Miller comic: not even once.Marvel ComicsBeing a woman in a Frank Miller comic: not even once.

Meanwhile, Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich was able to determine Daredevil's identity on his own through a complicated investigative effort called "overhearing his girlfriend call him 'Matt' during a fight." Ben then confirms his theory by simply showing Daredevil a photo and asking him to describe it.

Psyche, it's a slice of cheese.Marvel Comics"Psyche, it's a slice of cheese."

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Ben decided to kill the story for the greater good. Unfortunately, he's the kind of person who never empties his PC's recycle bin, because 10 years later another reporter stumbled upon his investigation and sold it to a tabloid. As a result, Matt had to fake his death and start posing as a hustler called "Jack Battlin." Yeah, who could imagine that Matt Murdock, son of famous boxer "Battlin'" Jack Murdock, is secretly Jack Battlin?

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Matt eventually comes back claiming he was in witness protection ... only for one of Kingpin's goons to spill his secret to the FBI, who spill it to the press.

Holy shit! Daredevil is Ben Affleck!Marvel ComicsHoly shit! Daredevil is Ben Affleck!

Continue Reading Below

Advertisement

Apparently, the general public just sorta forgot about that bombshell after a while. The most recent fiend to divulge Daredevil's secret identity was Daredevil himself, when he decides to confess it during a televised trial instead of letting some villains blackmail him. Oh boy, how's he gonna get everyone to forget about it this time? Why, through mass-scale mind control, obviously. Which is also the only logical explanation for why so many writers think this "plot twist" is a good idea.

Follow Maxwell Yezpitelok's heroic effort to read and comment every '90s Superman comic at Superman86to99.tumblr.com.

Top Image: DC Comics

To turn on reply notifications, click here

50 Comments

Load Comments