The Top 5 Best Worst Superheroes

It goes without saying that OL is unabashedly in favor of superheroes. Both Caffeine Powered and I spend a frightening amount of time reading, writing, and talking about caped justice. But can you blame us? The prototypical superhero is damn full of qualities that most of us wish we could possess – a set of unusual skills/powers, a secret identity, an amazing wardrobe, independent wealth, talented friends, and a sick house.

Even the lamest superhero is cool.

Which brings me to my current point. While there are thousands and thousands of superheroes in existence, the same names are brought to forefront time and again. Who hasn’t heard of Superman or Wolverine? Answer: Nobody.   This isn’t a case of the cream rising to the top, but of *certain* companies being able toss more cash at the marketing of their heroes. Since Marvel and DC have a stranglehold on the comics industry, they have better chances of ensuring that their new characters (i.e. products) become recognizable (i.e. purchasable).

So what does this mean? It means that I am going to guide you through five of the Best Worst Superheroes – characters that were never given the recognition they deserve.

5) Meteor Man

In the summer of 1993, urban turmoil was finally quelled. The solution to inner-city gangs, drugs, and crime? Well, the Meteor Man of course! Jefferson Reed is an average citizen with concerns, teaching high school in Washington D.C. and wishing that gang warfare wasn’t pushing his city to its limits. But providence steps in as Reed is struck by a green glowing meteorite! Instead of being blown to pieces or paralyzed for life, he’s granted some very useful powers (think Superman and add canine-telekinesis).

Meteor Man manages to bring the Bloods and Crips together, hang out with Sinbad, and instill hope into America’s cities.

4) Barb Wire

“Holy moly! Look those bodacious bombs! That movie must be good!” – Pepsibones Krueger (1996)

Hollywood took a short-lived comic and adapted it into a vehicle for Pamela Anderson Lee.   In turn, Pamela   redefined the term titular character (YOWZA, whatta PUN!). The character is essentially a hot blond bounty hunter who gets caught up in some of the nefarious happenings of the Second Civil War. Other than that, the plot is kind of foggy.

When I was ten years old, I believed that Barb Wire was the most honest depiction of female empowerment possible. And I wasn’t wrong! It has a busty woman kicking ass. There’s no way that she could be objectified, right?

3) Radioactive Man

One of the greatest episodes of The Simpsons is undoubtedly season seven’s Radioactive Man. Springfield, eager to empty some movie industry wallets, opens up its doors to the production of the Radioactive Man movie. This leads to all sorts of tomfoolery, such as the casting of Millhouse for the role of sidekick Fallout Boy.

Some of the best moments come as Rainier Wolfcastle, Springfield’s answer to Schwarzenegger, does his best to get into character.

2) Blankman

Everyone lost their shit when Mark Millar and JRJR debuted Kick-Ass, branding it as an examination of what would happen if comics fans actually started emulating what they read. Interesting concept – it’s just too bad that Blankman beat them to the punch by about 14 years.

Darryl Walker is a comics nerd who, despite his genius intellect, is stuck in a dead-end job as a repairman. His city is broken and corrupt, with mobsters paying off officials left and right. Darryl’s grandma, attempting to stand up against the corruption by campaigning for a leading politician, ends up on the wrong side of a lead-sandwich. To exact revenge against crime, Darryl becomes Blankman!

It’s standard superhero fare, but with hilarious twists and turns. Both Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier shine in this flick, delivering the comedic performances that helped make In Living Color the show it was. Together, they construct a movie that both parodies and pays homage to the campier aspects of superheroism.

1) Powdered Toast Man

Unless you grew up in the 1990’s and worshipped at the throne of The Ren and Stimpy Show, you probably haven’t heard of Powdered Toast Man. But let me assure you, he’s pretty much the greatest superpowered crusader of all-time.

Why? Well, let’s just go through some of his powers: flight, ultra-flatulence, the ability to scrape toast crumbs off of his head, shooting raisins out of mouth, shooting corrosive croutons out his armpits, a slew of telecommunications capabilities, and an inability to determine whether he’s saving people or killing them.

Powdered Toast Man was such a tremendous character that he was actually given his own episode. In these eleven minutes, the hero saves a kitten, shoots down an airliner, rescues the Pope, leaves the Pope to die, helps the President of the United States with his zipper, and kicks ass as only a cereal spokesperson can.