It’s a big comic universe out there, which means not everyone is going to be as incredible as The Hulk, as swift as the Flash or as intelligent (and super-rich) as Iron Man. But thankfully there’s room for everyone, even these not-so-amazing superheroes from DC, Marvel and elsewhere.
1. Bouncing Boy
A DC Comics character who first showed up as a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes in Action Comics #276, Bouncing Boy’s not-so-super power gave him the ability to inflate his body into a giant, globe-like orb. Originally just a regular Joe Blow with an already ample midsection, Chuck Taine glugged his way into superherodom by accidentally drinking a plastic formula that turned him into the super ball of the comics world. How did he defeat his enemies? By bowling them over, of course; and basically playing the plump protector of his friends and humanity.
2. Gin Genie
Created by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred, Gin Genie first made her appearance in the 2001 X-Force comic #116. Before dying on a mission to save the boy band Boys R Us, Gin Genie – whose real name was Beckah Parker – used her not-so-super powers in a single appearance with the then-named X-Force group. What was her unextraordinary ability? She generated powerful seismic waves based on the amount of alcohol present in her bloodstream. It sounds like spring break weekend among some circles of friends.
Though he was introduced as a side character in New Mutants #13, Cypher eventually turned into a somewhat major player by New Mutants #21, both of which came out in 1984. Known as Doug Ramsey to us regular folks, Cypher possessed the ability to translate languages, whether spoken or written, regardless of the species. It also gave him the power to…effectively read body language. Yes, that’s right, Cypher could tell if you didn’t really like his new haircut, even if you promised it perfectly suited his facial structure. And don’t even think about making fun of him around your Martian friends – he’s on to you.
4. Madam Fatal
The oldest member of the not-so-powerful group is Madam Fatal, also known as Jack Stanton, who showed up in Crack Comics issue #1 during the Golden Age of Comic Books in the 1940s. And rightly so, as the character’s sole power was the ability to dress up like an old woman and use his superior acting skills to catch criminals off guard. As a former actor and female impersonator, the Caned Crusader packed a powerful punch, probably as a result of his (her?) daily intake of calcium supplements and green tea.
5. Hindsight Lad
Beginning in New Warriors Annual volume 1 issue #3, Carlton LaFroyge, who later became Hindsight as his beard started coming in, started his life as a not-so-super hero. Though he enjoyed no powers or outstanding abilities, Hindsight Lad did know how to work a computer and perform extensive research, which helped him find several additions to the Warriors lineup when Sphinx plopped the original members on different timelines throughout the universe. Oh, and hey, he was really great at seeing what the Warriors could have done in hindsight too – just like everyone else in the history of ever.