THE TOP TEN LAMEST SUPERHEROES OF ALL TIME

-10. Cypher - Cypher (a.k.a. Doug Ramsey) was a member of the "New Mutants" which was an affiliate of the X-Men. They were the young mutants that were being trained by Professor X and the rest of the X-Men in the 1980s. Cypher's mutant ability was to basically decipher anything. You know, like languages and secret codes and stuff. Yup - that was it. He was pretty much a translator. Furthermore, he was just this little guy who didn't have any fighting skills. To put it bluntly, poor Cypher was worthless during battle. When it came to defeating Galactus he wasn't going to be much good, but if the X-Men's mansion's DVD player manual was only in Japanese, Cypher was your man. It's probably not any surprise to you that Cypher was killed off and never brought back. Yet, for some reason, he remains a fan favourite to this day.

-9. The Red Bee - Appearing in the 1940s in "Hit Comics #1" the Red Bee was basically your powerless vigilante type character. However instead of wearing a cool costume like Batman or the Shadow, the Red Bee opted for a red pirate shirt with pink pouffy sleeves and red and yellow striped tights. However, what made the Red Bee truly lame wasn't just his eyesore of a costume, but the fact that he fought crime with the aid of a trained bumble bee! That's right! You read it right! A trained bumble bee named Michael that lived in a compartment in the Red Bee's belt buckle. I'm serious! A frikkin' trained bumble bee... named Michael! So unless the Red Bee's villains were allergic to bee stings he wasn't much good. It may not surprise you that they also killed off the Red Bee in the pages of "All Star Squadron" but, again, the Red Bee remains to "bee" a fan favourite to this day.

-8. Brother Power the Geek - In the late 1960s Captain America creator Joe Simon created Brother Power the Geek in the pages of "Brother Power the Geek #1". Brother Power was a mannequin that was hit by lightening and came to life with super strength and other limitless magical powers. Also, since he was a dummy you couldn't kill him or even really hurt him. Essentially Brother Power was more powerful than even Superman. I mean, in a fight between Superman and Brother Power, Brother Power could technically win considering that his powers were untapped and Superman can be harmed by magic. Anyways, Brother Power lived amongst the flower people and preached love and peace and fought against "the man" and "the establishment". Brother Power made an attempt to run for president, but was accidentally shot into space in the pages of "Brother Power the Geek #2". While that story was "to be continued" it wasn't completed for over thirty years. After two issues Brother Power was cancelled, making it the fastest cancelled comic from a major publisher. Brother Power eventually made his return to earth in the 90's in a well-written story by Sandman's Neil Gaiman in a "Swamp Thing" Annual and was later featured in a very well written and received "Vertigo Visions" one shot. Once again, it may not be surprising that the two issues of "Brother Power the Geek" are cult favorites and very sought after books.

-7. Matter Eater Lad - Matter Eater Lad should at least get the award for the worst superhero name in comic history. Matter Eater Lad was a character from Legion of the Superheroes. Now in the 1960s the writers at DC comics were always looking for new and strange powers for their quickly growing cast of teenage futuristic heroes. However, though it seemed like they'd hit their all time low with Bouncing Boy, it turned out they could sink even lower with Matter Eater Lad. Get this - Matter Eater Lad's power was the ability to eat through any substance. Yup. The power of "super eating". It kind of worked like this: you needed to get through a steel door you got Matter Eater Lad to "eat" it. Dig? However Matter Eater Lad wasn't into cannibalism so he never actually chowed down on any bad guys. Mind you, I think cannibalism was against the comic code act back then.

-6. Dogwelder - Dogwelder was a character from Garth Ennis' "Hitman" series. Dogwelder was part of a superhero team known as Section Eight which was a band of these crazy guys that fought crime in rather inane ways. Dogwelder is my favourite of the bunch. He's this madman in a silver welder's outfit that basically just goes around welding stray dogs to villains' faces. That's it. That's how he fought crime. Welding dogs to people. Mind you it would be a bitch of a thing to have happen to you. You try to rob a bank and you end up with a Lhasa Apso welded to your face, yapping for eternity. shudder

-5. Arm Fall Off Boy - Ah, that crazy Legion of Superheroes and their crazy writers! They'll let heroes with some of the stupidest powers into the Legion, but they pass up a great character like Arm Fall Off Boy. Arm Fall Off Boy is an oddity all his own because although he only made one appearance in a comic book ever (Secret Origins #46 [1989]), his appearance was so memorable that he has a cult following to this day. Arm Fall Off Boy made an apperance at a Legion of Superheroes recruitment drive where he displayed his "astounding" power to Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad and Cosmic Boy. His power? To detach his left arm from his body and use it as a club. Sadly, Arm Fall Off Boy was surprised when the Legion let him know that his talents weren't quite right for their organization. Arm Fall Off Boy sulked away into comic book oblivion, but was not forgotten. One only wonders how he felt when later on the Legion would accept Bouncing Boy and, well, Matter Eater Lad to their ranks.

-4. Vibe - The year was 1983. Break dancing was big. I mean really big, and being a fad that grew out of the Spanish American subculture all of America was embracing Spanish culture. Yup - Spanish Americans were a big thing. This was when Menudo was a sensation and Eric Estrada was a sex symbol. Anyhow, DC comics followed suit with their own break dancing Spanish superhero called Vibe. Vibe, a former Detroit gang leader left his West Side Story antics behind and moon walked his way into the Justice League and had fairly good powers (the power to create shockwaves - much like an earthquake) but spent most of his time hitting on women and dancing the night away. It should be no surprise that Vibe was also killed, and never brought back and actually has no cult following at all. Everybody just kind of likes to forget about him. Vibe is thought of today as the stain on the legacy of the Justice League.

-3. The Legion of the Superpets - In the late 1950s and the early 1960s DC just kind of got weird. They kept introducing all these super intelligent animals with the same superpowers as Superman who all wore red capes. The first was Krypto the Superdog who was sent to earth by Superman's father Jor-El in a test rocket before he sent Superman to make sure it worked alright. Superman and Krypto were reunited on earth when Superman was a teenager and they fought crime together. Next was Beppo the Supermonkey. Beppo had pretty much the same story. Jor-El also sent a monkey to make sure the rocket would work. Everybody knows that comics need a chimp, so Beppo provided comic relief by wearing a Superman costume. The next was Streaky the Supercat. Now Streaky wasn't sent from Krypton in a rocket but was infected by something called X-Kryptonite which gave earth animals superpowers. Finally came Comet the Superhorse. Comet was an alien horse that was really a centaur who had a curse put on him by some scorned goddess (or something like that) and turned human once a year when a comet passed through Earth's atmosphere and would romance Supergirl in human form, but the rest of the year was nothing but her pet horse (holy Catherine the Great Batman!). Anyways, these animals eventually joined forces to become the Legion of the Superpets. I swear to god.

-2. - Zan from the Wonder Twins - Remember the Wonder Twins from the Superfriends cartoon? Zan and Jayna were these alien twins - Jayna could turn into an animal while Zan turned into a water element. So while Jayna could be a gorilla or a rhino or a cobra Zan, who was inspired, incidentally, by Donny Osmond, could become a bucket of water or an ice cube. To say the least, Zan wasn't much good when it came to saving the world. I mean what would have happened to Zan if he was faced with Doomsday? Get Doomsday wet? Yeah... sorry Zan, that's NOT going to stop him. However, if the Superfriends ever fought the Wicked Witch of the West, Zan would be your man. Unfortunately for Zan, the Wicked Witch of the West is not owned by DC comics.

and finally....

-1. - Aqualad - Now everybody likes to pick on Aquaman as being lame - but can you imagine being his sidekick? I take you now to a meeting of the Teen Titans...

Robin: Okay everybody - how was your week this week? This week Batman and I stopped the Joker from causing mass genocide! What did you do this week Speedy?

Speedy: This week Green Arrow and I shook down some crooked politicians, joined a peace rally, stopped some racist cops and fed the homeless some of Green Arrow's famous chili - how about you Donna?

Wonder Girl: Wow - me and Wonder Woman flew to Mount Olympus in her invisible jet and had a special meeting with Zeus and the other gods of Mount Olympus... how about you Aqualad?

Aqualad: Ummmm... me and Aquaman stopped some dolphins from going into a hydro dam!

Kid Flash: Wow - you suck Aqualad.

Furthermore, Aqualad had this really dumb looking perm - making him look like a Brady... Thanks for coming out Aqualad...

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What Evil Is

-Evil waits,

As silent as nothing,

Held in a frail wooden cage,

Waiting to be unleashed.

-Evil is a shadow,

Dark and foreboding.

An anger,

Following in our footsteps.

-Evil is a wound,

Raw and bleeding.

A deep cut,

Walking hand in hand with pain.

-Evil is a blazing flame,

Burning and consuming.

A flicker of destruction,

Unpredictable.

-Evil is a cracked image,

The reflection in a smashed mirror.

A twisted reflection,

Of ourselves.

By Jez Wong

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The 7 Rules of Being Evil

  1. You have got to be bad: You have got to be down right awful. Be as mean as you can. Make sure you are the kinda person who wouldn't think twice about wiping out an entire city.

  2. You got to have a hatred of the goods and neutrals. This can be a past issue, or something more recent, but you must hate the good and neutrals with a passion. What use is a villain if he isn't trying to do the good and neutrals in? Your main goal, besides world domination, should be the offing of the good and neutrals.

  3. You got to have a decent army of minions. You need enough people to put your evil plans into action. Any good evil villain will tell you, without the support of your minions, you'd have to set all those explosive charges and push all those buttons. Now what evil villain has time for that.

  4. You got to have some kind of soft side. I know what your thinking soft side but hatred can only sustain someone for so long. Even if it's just having a pet, or a fondness for pretty ladys. There are two sides to every person, and there should be two sides to you.

  5. You got to have a great evil plan. What good is being an evil villain, or having an army of minions, if you have a lousy plan to take over the world? Come on, you know deep down you want win so think your plans out.

  6. You always got to have a great escape route. When the chips are down, you should be ready to flee the scene, leaving your minions to face the wrath of the good and neutrals and the army the good and neutrals brought with them to thwart your evil plot. Remember only run when you have to not before don't want look bad in front of the minions or lose respect. Again I know what your thinking run away never but think of it as a get away use this time go some where nice. You can always die later.

  7. If your going to die you got to have a great death scene. Unless you are planning on coming back from the dead. You want your death to be as spectacular as your life was. Make sure you go out with a BANG.

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Henchmen

Your first task is to assemble an entourage of brainless thugs. Thugs will be a major part of your plans, as you don't want to be tackling any heroes first off. You will need some excessive drawn-out violence to soften them up first. Wave after wave of expendable, drivelling idiots are obviously critical to this. Finding buffoons of a low enough calibre is always a problem, but if you follow the tried and tested checklist below, you can't go wrong.

Things to remember when picking your henchmen:

Intelligence

First you will need to give them an IQ test. If they score any higher than 60, ditch them. If your henchmen have a mental capacity greater than a squirrel, they may realise that the odds are stacked against them when faced with a man who has just killed 30 other henchmen with his bare hands, and turn on you.

Moral status

It is vitally important that your thugs have no moral status whatsoever. Test this by running over a small furry animal in front of them. If they react, they're out. If faced with a tough dilemma, these thugs may have the audacity to help the under-dog or save the kid. This is clearly unacceptable.

Attraction

It's important to make sure that your henchmen are castrated as soon as they are initiated. If they fall for the girl, you'll be in a whole heap of trouble. If they don't have to think about sex, their mind will be on violence, 100%. Because they have had their testicles removed, their testosterone levels will drop. Inject them regularly to avoid disappointment.

Love of mindless violence with no regard for personal safety

Henchmen need to be able to react to any situation. With violence. This is good for two reasons:

  1. Thugs should always resort to killing the person who is mucking about with your plans.

  2. In a heated melee, you should be able to escape un-scathed, leaving your henchmen to fight on regardless. If they are obsessed with their own safety, they'll be running too, leaving nobody to distract your attacker.

Lack of imagination

If your henchmen have imagination, they may try to think for themselves instead of following your orders. You do not pay these people to think. You are the evil genius, so you do all the thinking. Ask them what they think it would be like to fall off a cliff and hit nasty rocks. If they can't come up with an answer, they're in. (You will also know that they won't be afraid to fight around dangerous machinery, shark infested waters etc, as they are too stupid to imagine danger…)

Counting

It's important for your business that henchmen cannot count for two reasons:

  1. Large numbers of armed guards should not intimidate your brutish entourage. If they don't know the odds, they won't care.

  2. You can pay them less.

Wild fire

All thugs need the ability to spread hundreds of bullets in all directions. With their level of intelligence, you wouldn't expect them to be able to hit a dead elephant at point-blank range. (If they can shoot straight, and have passed the other tests, they are a rare find indeed.) For this reason, you need to make sure that they can hold down the trigger of a machine gun until they run out of bullets. Extra ammo isn't usually a problem, as they would either have been killed, or killed the enemy after the first salvo. Experiment with sticky tape behind the trigger, or pick thugs with arthritis in their fingers. The next thing to remember is that they will need to produce stupidly wide arcs of fire. Make them practise this random flailing on a plastic sheet smeared with butter.

The ability to drive badly

All henchmen need this skill in order to drive madly through a town square attracting the attention of police cars. Once they have crashed and exploded, the hero may be caught and slowed down by random policemen.

The boss is always right

If your henchmen ever question your insane logic, or even your apparently senseless outbursts, you should kill them straight away. That way, you'll always be able to gloat, laugh, scream or kill without ridiculous enquiries. NB: Questions detract from wide-eyed guffawing, don't let it happen!

Appreciation

Remember that your henchmen need your love and appreciation, or they will not feel valued as an employee. You can show your appreciation by not beating them every day.

You can let them pull the secret lever once in a while. Exactly what effect this will have will differ depending on your super-secret base of operations.

The last thing that you can do to show your appreciation of good thuggery is to promote a henchmen to the status of evil assistant. You should kill this person for failure every now and again so that your other employees get a chance to progress. The "dead man's shoes" ethos is very appropriate here.

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Evil lair - part A

Your evil lair is very important. If you are merely squatting in a back alley, you will not be very credible as an evil genius. You need to have an impenetrable lair of doom. Your enemies need to be filled with a certain level of angst before entering. Take Dracula for example. No hero ever entered his castle thinking it would be as simple as stake-and-go. In order to make it as inhospitable as possible, follow these simple guidelines:

Location

Pick the location of your staging grounds with care. If you set up in the middle of town, you may find that you get untimely visits from health inspectors, or occasionally from the RSPCA if you are working on genetically enhanced animals. A barren wasteland, a hidden nuclear bunker, or an abandoned castle on a rock in an obscure European location, are ideal. NB on castles: Avoid properties owned by the English Heritage. Guided tours are a nuisance.

Lighting

Lighting is important. Your guests or invaders need to be walking into a foreboding environment. You can achieve this with dribbly candles and wall torches. Alternatively, you can confuse them horribly with disco lighting, strobe effects and smoke machines. Which ever you choose, make sure that you apply some thought, your unwitting victims will appreciate it.

Traps

Traps are crucially important. A devious super-villain will always have need for traps. Your traps will also need to come in layers for maximum effect.

Layer 1 needs to be reasonably challenging. Giant rolling balls, poison darts fired from the walls and falling weights are important parts of this layer. They will weed out the chaff and save you from having to re-arm the particularly fiendish traps.

Layer 2 traps need to be ridiculously easy to work around. They will constitute mantraps, slippery floors, lots of winding staircases and pools of rather hot oil. These traps are merely there to give the clever heroes a false sense of security and leave them un-prepared for the next level.

Layer 3 is the epitome of intellectual deviousness. Huge spinning blades of death. Lots of them. Exploding pigs and laser guided halibut flying from the walls. These are the pearls of irrefutable insanity. More fiendish than a fiendish thing in the middle of fiendish season, your level three traps should be clever and random enough to wipe out an army of Oxford graduates.

NB: Don't waste your expendable thugs on testing traps. They usually can't work out how to use the toilet without peeing on their own shoes, let alone work out elaborate traps…

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Evil lair - part B

Elaborate execution area

This is the crowning glory for any evil super-villain. Painfully slow moving lasers and tanks full of sharks are a favourite. Be as inventive as possible with your execution area. You will want to savour the moment as you laugh maniacally in front of the world summit after killing their best agent. It is usually a good idea to install a lever or big red button that activates a nasty device such as a falling weight. That way, you can let your henchmen take it in turns to execute people.

Pointless untidy looking barrels

These are not the most obvious of furnishings, but are as important as the badly strung chandelier. You can fill these barrels with all manner of chemical death. Highly flammable chemicals are a favourite, as are oozing nuclear waste. They have two functions.

1 They provide obvious cover for budding spies and soldiers hell-bent on stopping you. They will realise all too late, with the random spray of bullets from your brainless thugs, that barrels are the last place to hide.

2 They look nice at dinner parties when covered with a frilly tablecloth. (You must be cultured as well as having an insatiable lust for power and destruction….)

Hidden escape facility

This speaks for itself. Without a hidden escape facility, you may as well give yourself up to the UN peacekeepers straight away. You could use a jet propelled escape pod, a large trampoline and parachute, or even a particularly fast dolphin if you've chosen an underwater base.

Weapon store

Weapons! Lots of them. Find the biggest baddest weapons you can get and make sure that every henchman has the keys to the store. Flame throwers are a must, but the real cherry on the cake is a chain fed machine gun mounted on the back of a JCB, or alternatively a bear.

Ominous hidden orchestra

This adds real character to your lair. The invaders who try to take your base will not only have to deal with henchmen and traps, but the incessant hum of a cello and the odd sporadic burst of violins in an ear piercing crescendo as a thug turns the corner firing wildly. NB: make sure that your thugs are equipped with earmuffs. This has the added bonus of making any would-be hero laugh instead of fire.

Insignia

An evil emblem is great when it comes to tying all of your efforts together. This is most important to your base of operations. Without the evil insignia, other super-villains could rip-off your ideas. I have found that it's often a good idea to patent some of your more fiendish traps. You can leave your emblem at random intervals, so that everyone knows the carnage was instigated by you. It's the little touches that count.

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Costumes

This section is important for one reason. You'll look cool.

Boiler suits

All self-respecting super villains should kit-out their henchmen with matching boiler suits. This helps to identify them as your lackeys and means that there is less chance of them shooting each other in a firefight. A small evil insignia should be added to each boiler suit.

Lycra jump suit

Nothing will show how truly deranged you are, more than a Lycra jump suit. The all-in-one stretchyness is suitable for all occasions (Apart from maybe dinner parties.). You will feel superior to your underlings and they will envy your costume, as their boiler suits are so itchy. Remember to add a more detailed version of your evil insignia to the chest of your costume.

Pets

Pets are add-ons for a super villain's costume. White cats have come and gone. Be imaginative, keep an alligator on your lap, or possibly even a flying piranha.

Ironing

Make sure that all of your henchmen have access to an iron. Just because your employees are as thick as custard, it doesn't mean that they can't look tidy. If they turn up to work creased, kill them immediately. Press upon them that "crumples = death".

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Your name

Your name should be catchy as well as unforgettable. Most super villains go for names starting with "doctor", or "general". You need to show that you have a certain level of professional status. If you are merely "Mr. Johnson", nobody will take you seriously. However, when you change the above name to "Lord Marshall Johnson of the doom legion", it instantly sounds more appealing. Think carefully about your name, as it also needs to fit in with your evil characteristics, such as incessant laughter etc…

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Memorable catch phrase

Make sure that you have a memorable catch phrase so that you will be remembered by all as a witty and impressive speaker. Lines such as "See you later guys" do not cut the mustard. "Die horribly, you puke-ridden retards!" is more fitting phrase. It shows just enough madness, but at the same time implies that you still have a loose grip on reality.

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The Plan

Your evil plan is the lynchpin. Without an evil plan, you are nothing. Richard Branson didn't build Virgin without a plan after all! Evil plans need to be devious and complicated. To get you started with your first evil plan, follow the steps below.

Step 1 - Build or steal a weapon or device that you can use to threaten people. This could be as simple as a nuclear bomb, or as complex as an inter-dimensional warp gate that releases mutant chickens into the world.

Step 2 - Make sure that you are well known. Cause some trouble now and again, so that your threats of mass destruction are not be sniffed at by the global community. Occasionally release your thugs for a bit of mindless violence, or blow something up with a large orbital satellite. These events will keep you in the limelight and may get your face onto Time magazine!

Step 3 - Threaten the world with your super device. If they don't respond to your demands, destroy a city. If they still don't bow down to you, destroy the planet. It's that simple.

Final thought:

So, there you are. With these simple, but effective techniques, you'll have the world in the palm of your sadistic hand before you know it!

PS Good luck, I'll probably see you soon. I'm in jail, and I'd like some company!

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