Reporting Jason Iannone
Here comes The Wolverine! But for every hairy little rage-addict that can seduce half the Marvel Universe, there are a dozen X-Men you wouldn’t trust to butter toast, let alone carry a feature film. These, then, are the anti-Wolverines.
You would think joining the X-Men would be a rare opportunity, extended only to the privileged few with mutant powers strong enough to fight off Magneto and his gang. Wolverine. Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Gambit, and even Dazzler all have standout abilities that allow them to kick ass and look cool at the same time. As it turns out, Professor Xavier’s student selection process isn’t as airtight as you might have imagined. Yes, the badass X-Men get the majority of attention, and rightfully so. But there have been some real clunkers over the years, with powers that seem more like practical jokes than anything else.
The fact that Xavier let them not only join his school, but his supposedly-elite team of freedom fighters, makes us wonder if his application process is literally nothing more than:
1. Are you a mutant? (answer yes)
2. Do you hate humans and wish to destroy them all? (answer no)
Pass the test and then BOOM, you’re in; no essays, no background checks, no physical exam, it’s just “You’re a mutant and you’re not evil, congratulations. Now let’s go fight Juggernaut.”
Of course, once these awful mutants realize that joining the X-Men is even less of an honor than being selected to maybe win Publisher’s Clearing House, you have to think depression would set in. After all, if you joined a group with a reputation, and you thought that it was the opportunity of a lifetime and that you were pretty hot stuff, then coming to grips over how it was never a big deal at all could take some time. Not to mention some counseling.
So who are these ultra-lame X-Men, and what would their doctor prescribe as therapy to help them cope with the crashing failure of their careers and lives? The answers to these questions, and many more, below: … never mind, it’s just those two questions after all. Our goof.
Gabriel Cohuelo joined the X-Men on Monday, and was all but forgotten about by Tuesday. He gave himself the codename Velocidad, which is Spanish for “speed.” Just one teensy issue: he doesn’t have super-speed. He doesn’t even have regular speed. Hell, we’d be shocked if he could briskly jog around the block.
What can he do? Well, he can accelerate himself through time, so that’s cool right? Of course it isn’t! Because, while he can accelerate himself, everything else around him stays the same. So he’s standing in front of you, and then suddenly he’s across the room. He just sent himself 30 seconds into the future, while you’re still standing in the present, right where you’ve always been. Also, you’re just as unimpressed as ever.
Oh, and don’t think he could accelerate months or years into the future and really impress us. Technically he could, except it would almost certainly kill him. See, whenever he does his little time jumpy thing, his body rapidly ages. Simply accelerating a few hours ahead can erase days off his life. If he tried to jump ahead to next year, he might well end up with the body of a 100-year-old man. And not one of those shapely 100-year-olds who run marathons every weekend. No, he’d be real old, real feeble, and real dead.
Basically, the time-accelerating mutant’s body views time as a big-ass cigarette that robs it of precious life force every time he uses it. No wonder no kid wants to be him for Halloween.
His Therapist Suggests:
Xanax, Drank, soothing New Age instrumental music, and Bob Ross’s The Joy Of Painting on DVD. Basically, anything to keep him so relaxed, calm and sleepy that he never thinks about zipping forward in time and slowly killing himself.
Everybody on the planet has made jokes about Aquaman’s uselessness. It’s so ubiquitous, a baby’s first words could be “he talks to fish? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA,” and nobody would bat an eye.
Of course, the jokes are horsecrap; Aquaman can summon all the creatures of the sea to do his bidding, including those little buggers called maneating sharks. Fret not though; you can simply mock another superhero’s useless water powers. And this one can’t even talk to fish, which is a shame, because the average guppy is a shockingly good conversationalist.
Rain Boy, in addition to reminding us of Dustin Hoffman counting cards and watching Wapner, is literally a boy made out of rain. His water body somehow holds itself together and creates a human form, one that actually requires clothing, because even walking puddles need to practice common decency.
And what of his power, you might ask? Well, power might not be the right word. He can shoot streams of water at you; since he’s made of water, this is basically an extended punch in the face. Also, don’t think these water blasts are lethally powerful, like a firehose. If he could do that, he could’ve actually hurt someone, and would’ve been a far bigger deal than he actually was.
Sadly, these were streams of, at best, moderate water pressure, ensuring that Rain Boy never advanced past “glorified garden hose” status. When he lost his powers in the Great Mutant Purge Of 2006, literally nobody noticed, save for Xavier’s gardener, who was pissed that he suddenly had to go buy a real hose.
His Therapist Suggests:
A long, quiet, relaxing soak in the hot tub every night. Because Rain Boy’s doctor is a dick.
Here’s a mutant with powers that could have been awesome, except for a silly minor weakness that kinda threatens his life on a daily basis. Gentle has extreme strength, to the point where he could lift up to 100 tons if he so desired. This is due to his ability to inflate his muscles to a size previously only achieved by late ’90s Major League Baseball players, pretty much whenever he wants.
Of course, there’s a catch: he can only super-size his muscles for a very short period of time, before strain and seizures set in. And when we say ”short time” we mean it. He can work for maybe 30 seconds before passing out, so all Magneto has to do is sit tight for a minute and then beat the suddenly-skinny-and-spasming dude to death.
Look, superheroes need weaknesses; otherwise they become stale and boring fast, because all they do is win. But you can’t make them too weak. Can you imagine if Wolverine could only use his claws for ten seconds before his hands started gushing blood? Chances are, he wouldn’t have his own comic book line, movie saga, and a bevy of pretty young “sidekicks” hanging around him every day. What we’re saying is, Gentle’s weakness is horrible and poorly thought-out.
Even worse, it’ll likely kill him one day, once the strain of those mega-muscles become too much to bear. So we have a guy with a pretty cool power, who can only use it for the length of time it takes you to microwave a Pop-Tart. Oh, and one day he’ll flex so hard he’ll burst and die. We’re going to assume Colossus never feared for his spot as Professor X’s favorite “Strong Mutant.”
His Therapist Suggests:
Pursuing non-physical hobbies exclusively. Reading books, needlepoint, solitaire – anything that doesn’t involve muscle use of any kind. He should also only do a big grocery shopping if somebody else carries the heavy stuff inside. Nobody needs muscle and gristle exploding all over the place because potatoes were on sale in bulk that day.
Rain Boy had a silly elemental power, but at least he had a humanoid body to fall back on. Dummy had the power of gas, and showcased it by, well, being gas. Not for a little while either; he didn’t just turn into gas when he needed to pass through cracks in a wall or make the enemy cough. Nope, he was a sentient gas cloud 24/7.
You can see how that hindered his ability to do, oh, just about anything under the sun. This included basic things like eating, drinking, and existing. In order to ensure he didn’t dissipate into the stratosphere, the X-Men secured Dummy inside a latex suit, and placed him in the “Special Class” of Xavier’s school. It’s never specified why they’re special but, considering one of his classmates was an old woman who lugged her brain around on a floating leash, we’re going to assume it’s exactly what it sounds like.
The suit served him well until, at least until the first time he saw anything resembling combat. Turns out when somebody stabs the side of a latex suit, it cuts open rather easily. And when gas is near an opening like that, it tends to leak out all over the place. This goes octuple when said suit is slashed in half at the waist-line. Yes, that was Dummy’s ultimate fate: he leaked out of his suit and floated off into space, never to be seen again.
Technically, he’s still alive, since he’s a damn cloud of gas and all, but nobody seems keen on looking for him. Sounds like a reasonable enough plan to us.
His Therapist Suggests:
Taking deep breaths (or whatever it is that gas does) and refraining from cursing out the X-Men for not giving him a more secure suit, instead of that glorified balloon they actually stuck him in. This is, of course, assuming that the gassy cloud the doctor caught and stuck inside a glass jar is actually Dummy. Hopefully it is; random molecules are awful hard to bill.
Desperate times call for desperate measures; back in 2004, the evil mutant Xorn went on a tear through NYC, and the X-Men were left in shambles. Cyclops assembled a makeshift team of new X-Men, made up entirely of random not-dead students from Xavier’s school. This was the Street Team X-Men, which was about as prestigious as being a member of Eddie Money’s street team. In 2013.
A young mutant named Forearm got the call to join this team because, again, he was alive and vaguely mutant-y. Now, there is actually a Marvel character named Forearm who is very much a badass. Called Forearm because he had four huge, muscular arms, he was basically a Goro rip-off, but an awesome one nevertheless. Our guy, however, is not that Forearm. This is our guy:
– Yep, he has extremely long arms and huge hands and that’s pretty much it. The arms aren’t particularly muscular, or muscular at all, really. Other than his hands being big enough to pack a decent wallop, we literally couldn’t find anything to qualify this guy as a passable X-Man, even with Cyclops’ “Any warm body will do” approach to team building.
As with Rain Boy, Forearm lost his ability to win all of the basketball games during the Great Mutant Purge. We’re assuming this meant he got to live out his life with regular-sized arms, but it might also mean his arms became giant limp noodles, devoid of all bone and unable to be moved in any way other than the occasional depressing flop-around. We don’t know because, for some wacky-ass reason, no writer has ever sat down to pen this guy’s epilogue.
His Therapist Suggests:
Surrounding himself with positive reminders that a life without elongated limbs can be OK after all. And to stay away from anything involving Mr. Fantastic, Stretch Armstrong, or Dhalsim from Street Fighter II, as they could be very triggering.
Longneck was another Street Team X-Man, and somehow lamer than Forearm. Go on. Guess what his power was. Just take a wild stab in the dark.
Did you answer “nothing?” If so, you win! Claim your prize at the end of the article.*
Yeah, Longneck had nothing to offer, power-wise. At least Dummy could trick the bad guys into thinking one of their own had farted. Longneck had, well, a long neck. A very long neck. It could stretch upwards of nine feet, which was helpful exactly never. He wasn’t physically huge, so fellow X-Men couldn’t hitch a ride on it. The neck wasn’t made of titanium, so he couldn’t run into enemies and hurt them. Basically, other than competing with a giraffe for the choicest leaves on a tall tree, Longneck had zip to offer whatever X-Squad he tagged along in.
Notice all the past tense, by the way? He’s dead now, as the Great Mutant Purge sapped his powers, which meant he now required a normal neck. Which he did not have. What he had was a nine-foot monstrosity that collapsed under its own weight, snapping like a huge twig and killing him instantly.
Here’s one of the few hard-and-fast rules in comics: if you die, and you don’t get randomly resurrected a few months down the line, one of two things happened:
1. Your death was a tragic and traumatizing event in a young superhero’s life, inspiring them to fight the forces of evil forevermore, in your name and memory.
2. You were awful and everybody hated you and they probably threw a rockin’ kegger when you died. Guess which one ol’ Longneck falls under.
His Therapist Suggests:
That Mama Longneck pay her son’s outstanding therapy bills stat. While he doesn’t want to sic Collections on a grieving mother, he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do to pay the bills.
Oh, there’s plenty more lameness to mock, friends. Check out Supervillains Too Lame to Be in a Man of Steel Movie and Bat-Villains Too Lame to Be in a Dark Knight Movie before you start laughing at heroes again in The Worst Avengers Ever.
Jason once proposed Story Songs That Would Make Awesomely Bad Comics, and analyzed one man’s mutant power to make everyone stare at him in utter confusion with An Open Letter To The Lead Singer Of Train.