Excelsior and welcome to Top10Archive's top 10 unusual - and maybe even some useless - super powers found in comic books. We've painstakingly delved into some of the most forgotten pages of comic book history... at least by us, so that you don't have to. For this “Issue”, we're going to stick within the pages of Marvel and DC comics to keep the list simplistic and more potentially recognized. Settle in fellow archivist: as this is sure to be, if nothing else an interesting look into the far-fetched creations of comic book histories biggest companies.
Real name unknown, alias of nobody and all for good reason. The character created from the imaginations of Mike Carey, Simon Spurrier and Christos Gage, has to have the most unusual power on the list. With the power of existential superposition, ForgetMeNot, simply put, has the power to be forgotten by everyone and everything. This poor individual is incapable of being perceived or even remembered at all, as long as he is not within their visuals. The moment you lose sight of him, all memories of him are wiped completely. The only exceptions to this rule are fellow mutants Fantomex and Hope Summers, who for some unexplained reason remember him. Even the great Professor Charles Xavier has to use a mental reminder on himself to remember ForgetMeNot, who was retconned as being one of the original X-Men… whom no one remembered. His abilities also interfere with technological sensors as well, at one point being trapped in one of the x-mansions’ defenses stating that even the security system would forget about his presence.
Dag Wentim, a Zwenian from the planet Zwen, created by Edmond Hamilton and first appearing in DC Comics Adventure Comics #306, has super human strength, durability and the power to turn himself into a living statue. Yup, that’s right, a living statue. This varies from stone skin, in the fact that Stone Boy must remain immobile and inflexible while under the effect. Being super strong and durable is usually better when you’re able to move as well. The legion of super-heroes must have agreed, as he was one of the first to be dismissed and considered to have a non-useful power. He would later go on to become one of the founding members of our lovable group of outcasts, the Legion of Substitute Heroes.
The mutant known as Cypher, born as Douglas Aaron Ramsey, was created by Chris Claremont and Sal Buscema whom first appears in Marvel Comics New Mutants #13. Much as his name would suggest, Cypher has the power of “Omnilingual Translation”. Being able to read, write and understand fully any language albeit human, alien or even hidden meanings in body language. Cyphers’ powers have manifested due to the presence of his X-Gene; unlike that of a non-mutant translator, his powers decode language on a subconscious level. The pieces just seem to fit, whereas a human would need to work it out step by step consciously. Though I must admit, It’d be nice turning the subtitles off Zatoichi (pronounced Zah, Toe, Each, E) every now and then.
Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson created this character and he first appeared in Marvel Comics Uncanny X-Men #504. The only character considered to be a villain on today’s list, the man who goes by the alias John Doe, has the power to raid someones mind upon skin to skin contact, digging deep to unbury the secrets of the unlucky receiver of his touch. Upon learning of said secrets, the ink of his tattoos then shifts to form a picture of the secret. Unless you happen to be great at charades, to most of us this is one mighty useless power. Perhaps he should have borrowed some help from the next member of this list.
Another creation from both Peter Milligan and Mike Allred, making her debut and farewell in Marvel Comics X-Force #116. Beckah Parker, already a superhero of some renown was invited to join the reality TV version of X-Force under direction of Zeitgeist. She has the power to generate seismic waves in direct coalition to her blood alcohol level. Though immensely powerful, the fact that she had to be REALLY drunk to use her powers with any effect.. and the fact that she was an abusive drunk who often times turned her powers upon her teammates in a drunken rage, puts her on our list. Mutant born as is the rest of her team, one wonders what it would be like to sit in a bar with Zeitgeist and Gin Genie.
The first and last appearance of the Super-powered Axel Cluney, otherwise known as Zeitgeist, happened in Marvel Comics X-Force #116. Co-Created by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred, the young man with enhanced durability and acidic vomit would become the short lived leader of reality TV’s mutant group X-Force for a brief stint before meeting his end with the rest of his team in a publicity stunt gone awry. He was forced to wear a protective mask both on and off duty due to his inexplicably strong vomit, which was able to burn through 10 centimeters or roughly 4 inch thick steel in approximately 30 seconds.
Tenzil Kem from the planet Bismoll, is yet another one of DC Comics unusually powered aliens. Though unlike his predecessor from this list, “Color Kid,” Matter-Eater Lad actually landed the 15th place in the roster of Legion of Super-heroes. Co-Created by Jerry Siegel and John Forte and first appearing in DC Comics Adventure Comics #303, Matter-Eater Lad has the power to eat matter. Though not a power among his peoples, the Bismollians have adapted to eat any substance to compensate for their home planets inability to produce substitutable food sources. An entire race of foodies, Bismollians create powerful digestive enzymes to help break down any substance. Upon placing something against his taste buds, Matter-Eater Lad – and any other Bismollian for that matter – can instantly determine the chemical compound of various foodstuffs and even detect toxins within. To wrap up this unusual package of powers comes Metabolic induced super speed, or to simplify… the more he’s currently eating the faster he goes! Now wouldn’t that be nice.
The Mutant DeMarr Davis, created by John Byrne, made his first appearance in Marvel Comics West Coast Avengers Vol.2 #46, as he seemingly appeared from nowhere to answer a call made by Mr. Immortal to form a new superhero team. The team would later be known as The Great Lakes Avengers. Doorman’s entire body is surrounded by little orbs of floating darkforce matter, turning his silhouette into one, man-sized portal to, well just right behind him. This allows any person or object to pass through any other solid object Doorman stands against. He has no control over this aspect of his power, as it is constant. Allowing anything person or object to pass through even against his will. Though later becoming a servant of a being known as Oblivion and gained more powers such as manifestation of solid objects created from his darkmatter and the ability to travel to the afterlife. They were bestowed upon him, and are not part of his mutant abilities.
The young Robbie Rodriguez, or just simply El Guapo, co-created by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred, is next on our list of unusual powers. First appearing in Marvel Comics X-Statix #9, El Guapo harnesses the power of Idiosyncratic Manipulation, but let’s just call it Object Affinity over his Sentient Skateboard. A truly unusual power in a list of oddities, El Guapo is a mutant born with no real powers of his own. Starting off as an aspiring stunt man, Robbie Rodriguez became a full fledged member of X-Statix when he and his super powered flying skateboard saved the team from a vengeful Sharon Ginsberg, a mutant blaming the team for the removal of her once glorious wings. Thinking the team could benefit from his youthful good looks, El Guapo joined the team to attempt a positive facelift in the public eye.
Co-Created by Edmond Hamilton and Curt Swan, Ulu Vakk, also known as “Color Kid” first appeared in DC Comics Adventure Comics #342, as an alien from the planet Lupra. Once a lowly lab assistant, Ulu Vakk was struck by a cosmic beam of multicolored light transforming him into Color Kid, who has the power to alter the color of ANY object at will. With such new found powers, he thought only to help those in need and selflessly traveled to Earth and applied to be a member of the “Legion of Super-Heroes”. Abruptly being rejected, and never being one to be in a “dull” mood, he kept his head high and later joined the “Legion of Substitute Heroes”, a group of applicants rejected by the Legion of Super Heroes, for having considerably useless powers. Maybe someone, someday, will see the value in always finding that sweater you wanted in just the right color!