Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Top 10 Of The Oddest Marvel Characters


Real name: Bessie
Origins: Switzerland
Powers: Vampire
First appeared: 1975 in Giant Sized Man-Thingissue No. 5
Bio: One night Dracula, while traveling through the Swiss countryside, finds a cow named Bessie and drinks her blood. Bessie’s owner discovers her lifeless, bitten body and buries her. Three days later, she arises from the dead and begins to roam the earth seeking revenge on Dracula. After 300 years of fruitless searching, Bessie travels to Cleveland. She meets Howard the Duck, whom she mistakes for Dracula. A raging, confused Bessie attacks Howard, who drives a wooden stake through her heart and puts her to rest for eternity.

The Asbestos Lady

The Asbestos Lady
Real name: Victoria Murdock
Power: Fireproof clothing
First appeared: 1947 in Captain AmericaNo. 63
Bio: A brilliant chemist with a criminal mind, Victoria Murdock earned her moniker by creating fireproof clothing lined with asbestos for her and her henchmen to don as they robbed banks. Wielding a flamethrower, she set fires to ward off the police while the bandits made their escape. She also created asbestos bullets to puncture the defenses of her longtime nemesis, the Human Torch. However, as the hazards of longtime exposure became better known, the Asbestos Lady herself fell victim to the carcinogenic fiber. She was revealed to have cancer in 1990 and, sadly, is believed to have succumbed to the disease.


Alias: Sparky
Powers: Jaws of steel, multidimensional teleportation
First appeared: 1965, in The Fantastic FourNo. 45
Bio: Lockjaw’s name is no coincidence; christened “the mightiest clamp on earth,” his powerful mouth grabs hold of his foes and doesn’t let go. That, along with his other power — transporting himself and others across great distances, even between dimensions — makes him an important member of the Inhuman race. But what is Lockjaw, exactly? It’s unclear if he was born a giant bulldog or is a former human mutated into canine form (he does talk, after all). Regardless, one fan site calls Lockjaw the most powerful inhabitant of the Marvel universe, as he’s not restrained by the flaws and vices of other characters: “He has no real enemies, he is free to come and go as he pleases and do whatever he wants. And he enjoys life!”


Real name: Peter Porker
Powers: All of Spider-Man’s gifts, plus a snout
First appeared: 1983 in Marvel TailsNo. 1
Bio: Before The Simpsons introduced the world to “Spider-Pig,” there was Spider-Ham — an adorably plump anthropomorphic swine who lived on Larval Earth, along with such pun-inspired characters as the Fantastic Fur, Captain Americat, Iron Mouse and the Punfisher. Like most freakishly gifted superheroes, Spider-Ham was the product of a radioactive experiment gone horribly, hilariously awry in the basement of a mad scientist. Only this scientist, May Porker, wasn’t trying to take over the world. She was attempting to revolutionize America’s hair-care industry by inventing a blow-dryer powered by atomic energy. Sure, it’s a parody. But the ham stuck around until 1987.

The Great Lakes Avengers

The Great Lakes Avengers
Other names: The Great Lakes Champions, the Great Lakes Initiative
Home base: Milwaukee
Powers: High-pitched voice, voluntary obesity, squirrels
First appeared: 1989 in West Coast Avengersissue No. 46
Bio: When Milwaukee-based Mr. Immortal — a man who couldn’t be killed — realized that his self-healing properties didn’t help him fight crime, he placed a classified ad in the newspaper seeking superheroes with powers that complemented his own. Surprisingly, people responded. His team included:
Flatman: A man of “highly malleable” proportions who could make himself look two-dimensional.
Big Bertha: A Milwaukee supermodel (do those exist?) who could become enormously obese on command.
Dinah Soar: A woman with a voice so high-pitched that only Mr. Immortal could understand her.
Doorman: A man who created inter-dimensional portals through inanimate objects.
Squirrel Girl: A young woman who had the ability to control squirrels. She also dressed like one.
A sixth member, Leather Boy, was kicked out of the group after the team discovered that he was simply a leather fetishist who had misunderstood Mr. Immortal’s personal ad. (Seriously.)
The Midwestern crime-fighting powerhouse accomplished several heroic feats and saved America’s heartland from annihilation on more than one occasion. The group stopped a robbery at the Milwaukee Farmers & Merchants Building, rescued St. Louis from an extraterrestrial attack and halted tornadoes that tormented Ohio. Once they even saved Christmas for a suburb of Muskego, Wisc.

Puppet Master

Puppet Master
Real name: Phillip Masters
Place of birth: Dragorin, Transia
Powers: Uses radioactive clay to bring his puppets to life; they then proceed to wreak havoc.
First appeared: 1962 in Fantastic FourNo. 8
Bio: Battling the Human Torch, Invisible Girl, Mr. Fantastic and the Thing to gain control of the world is no easy task, but this villain was nothing but persistent — even once creating a puppet of himself that fell from a window to its death. Just another example of an otherwise good puppeteer corrupted by too much power, like John Cusack in Being John Malkovich, when Puppet Master got his hands on radioactive clay, he just couldn’t help using them to make his artfully crafted puppets do his evil will.

Howard the Duck

Howard the Duck
Aliases: Master of Quak Fu, the Feathered Fury
Place of birth: New Stork City, Duckworld
Powers: None, unless a wry sense of humor and a foul mouth count
First appeared: 1973 in Adventure into FearNo. 19
Bio: Following a cosmic power play gone wrong, the misanthropic mallard finds himself on planet Earth surrounded by a bunch of “hairless apes” who happen to speak Duckworld’s official language, English. After making a failed bid for the White House (a distrusting public accused him of being a short guy in a costume), he battles his arch nemesis, Dr. Bong, and Dr. Bong’s posse of evildoers, the Band of the Bland, before killing a vampire cow. None of these perils were quite so life-threatening as his career-killing turn opposite Lea Thompson in George Lucas’ notoriously bad 1986 film, Howard the Duck, which includes such cringe-inducing lines as “No duck is an island” and “No more Mr. Nice Duck.”


Real name: Fritz von Meyer
Place of birth: Somewhere in Germany
Powers: Can mentally influence the actions of bees and sometimes other insects
First appeared: 1977 in ChampionsNo. 14
Bio: The former Nazi scientist, who looted gold from European countries to fund his research, fled Germany and settled in South America. In experiments attempting to bend a swarm of bees to his control, von Meyer built a device that later malfunctioned, causing the bees to attack and kill him. But von Meyer’s former consciousness and the bees’ physical abilities formed into a new aggregate being — the villainous Swarm.


Real name: Ego (aliases include Nu-Xandar and the Living Planet)
Place of birth:: The Black Galaxy
Powers: It can shift its surface to appear as if it had a giant face and even grow enormous tentacles
First appeared: 1966 in Thor No. 132
Bio: This planet-size entity is somewhat difficult to define, considering its strength and intelligence are incalculable, but it does have organ-like masses under its surface and the ability to move itself. Ego’s plot for interstellar conquest saw him matched against Thor, the God of Thunder. Ego was defeated but still maintains the ability to morph into a paradise in order to lure unsuspecting travelers to their doom, and to masquerade as a barren world. It is also known for tapping energy sources from stars and other celestial bodies and absorbing their power for itself. In short: Earth, watch your back.


Real name: Alison Blaire
Hometown:: Gardendale, Long Island, New York
Powers: “Transducing” sonic vibrations into blinding light; creating holograms; roller-skating. She is also immune to the harmful effects of bright lights and loud noise
First appeared: 1980 in X-MenNo. 130
Bio: The brainchild of Marvel Comics and disco label Casablanca records, Alison Blaire was your typical, angst-ridden suburban teen until she discovered her mutant abilities at a middle-school dance. (Think Sixteen Candles meets Superman). After years of hiding her powers and conforming to her dad’s expectations, Blaire abandons law school and bursts onto the club scene with a new name (Dazzler), a new look (a shiny, silver jumpsuit) and a “technological secret” that enables her to create totally rad shows (including a performance at Carnegie Hall). But like most other 20-somethings, Blaire struggles to find her niche. She attempts careers in acting, modeling and fitness training before agreeing to join an X-Men offshoot called Excalibur.



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