Top 10 Dumbest Superhero Origins

Script written by Craig Butler They may be awesome heroes, but the way they became heroes? Not so much. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we're counting down the Top 10 Dumbest Superhero Origins. For this list, we’re looking at superhero origins which are strange, bizarre or just plain dumb. We’re also focusing on the origins as they appeared in comic books, not other media, and we’re looking at heroes not villains, although you mat still find anti-heroes here. Also, many superhero origins get updated and retconned over the years, but we’re looking at those origins as they appeared in their original comics as well as updates that made them even worse. Special thanks to our user Laballs for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Dumbest+Superhero+Origins
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Script written by Craig Butler

Top 10 Dumbest Superhero Origins

They may be awesome heroes, but the way they became heroes? Not so much. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we're counting down the Top 10 Dumbest Superhero Origins.

For this list, we’re looking at superhero origins which are strange, bizarre or just plain dumb. We’re also focusing on the origins as they appeared in comic books, not other media, and we’re looking at heroes not villains, although you mat still find anti-heroes here. Also, many superhero origins get updated and retconned over the years, but we’re looking at those origins as they appeared in their original comics as well as updates that made them even worse.

#10: The Golden Age Atom

It’s like the writer for this one took those Charles Atlas ads from the comic books way too seriously. You’ve got Al Pratt, this short dude who’s in love with this girl named Mary. But Mary only wants a muscular he-man and emasculates Al for not punching out a crook who mugs them. Fortunately, Al meets a bum who just happens to be former trainer for famous prize fighters. One year later, Al’s so musclebound that doorknobs break off in his hand. He manages to save Mary from kidnappers, but she doesn’t know it’s him who saved her, which was the whole point of Al’s transformation. The Atom may have gotten stronger since he last saw Mary, but he’s still as dumb as a doorknob.

#9: Puck

The Golden Age Atom isn’t alone in the “short of stature” hero department. Alpha Flight’s Puck is a little person with great acrobatic skills, but when his origin was revealed, things got unnecessarily goofy. See, Puck was originally a very tall and striking guy. He was also a bit of a mercenary, and one day he was hired to steal a mystical sword. Mystical how, you ask? Well, it contained the spirit of an ancient wizard. Remember, this is till a superhero comic not a Dungeons and Dragons module. The evil wizard escaped from the sword and Puck had to give up some of his height to defeat the mage and ended up with immortality in the process. But seriously, what was wrong with him having just been born a little person?

#8: Valkyrie

There’s unnecessarily convoluted and then there is Marvel’s Valkyrie. Brunhilde the Valkyrie was originally a warrior goddess who took the souls of fallen heroes to Valhalla. But then the villain Enchantress took possession of her soul, and used it to give other people the Valkyrie’s powers – starting with herself. Eventually, Valkyrie’s body and powers were controlled by a woman whose own body contained Valkyrie’s mind, AND by pure coincidence the two look so alike that not even Brunhilde can tell them apart. Oh, and that woman’s body was trapped in another dimension. Eventually all the mind and body swapping was sorted out, but that also involved a lot of confusing death’s for everyone involved.

#7: Black Condor

Valkyrie’s origin is way too complicated, but Black Condor’s? It’s just dumb. As in, set your suspension of disbelief one total overdrive, even for a comic book story. Basically, this archeologist is traveling through Mongolia with his wife and baby. They get set upon by bandits, who kill the archeologist and his wife. The baby is saved by a condor, who raises him as it’s own. And in the most amazing example of Nurture trumping Nature, the boy grows up and gains the ability to fly just because he was raided that way. Just like that. No wings. No rocket-pack. Not even a propeller. He eventually metes out justice to his parents’ killers, then goes to the United States and flies around catching bad guys.

#6: Black Canary

Alright, you’re really going to need to pay attention for this one. Black Canary was originally a costumed hero married to a detective named Larry Lance. When he died, she left her Earth and moved to another Earth in an alternate dimension. where she found not only her husband’s dead body – but her own as well. It turns out it wasn’t technically her body however; it was her mother’s. It turns out that Larry wasn’t her husband, he was her father. It all had to do with her mother’s memories getting switched into her own body and this whole time she wasn’t the person she thought she was. This was all a result of an origin that got a little out of hand, and then an attempt to bring all the threads together just made things so much worse.

#5: Catwoman

Catwoman’s origin wasn’t revealed until a decade after her debut and lets just say that time was not well spent. In Batman vol01 No62, Catwoman gets hit on the head by falling debris and forgets the last few years of her life. With Batman’s help, Selina Kyle pieces together the story of how she became the Catwoman. It turns out that she was once an airline stewardess who fell out of a plane when it crashed. This gave her amnesia and, hey, since she didn’t know who she was, she decided to become a criminal because shut up that’s why. The cat persona? Well, her father owned a pet store, and all those felines must have made an impression on her, even with the amnesia. It’s that basic.

#4: Hawkman and Hawkwoman

On the surface, the origin of the original Hawkman and Hawkwoman doesn’t seem that stupid. Wealthy scientist Carter Hall discovers an Egyptian dagger and goes into a trance. He realizes he is the reincarnation of an Egyptian prince, Khufu. Using a mysterious “ninth metal” that defies gravity, he and Shiera become crime fighters. We’re not sure why the gravity defying metal is necessary since they have wings but whatever, it’s standard comics book. That is until it turns out that they are both aliens who came to Earth as part of a galactic police force, but they look like Egyptians in order to combine two very different and conflicting origins in to one absurd mess.

#3: Psylocke

Here’s an origin so dumb it’s like Marvel just kept throwing things against the wall to see what would stick. While her first origin is pretty straight forward, Psylocke shows up here because of how long and convoluted it took her to become the Psylocke we know and love today. Readers first met her as Betsy Braddock, the sister of the hero Captain Britain. Betsy was a pilot, model, and did a little espionage on the side. When she gets blinded by one villain and kidnapped by another, her mind is swapped around a little bit, she turns evil for awhile and ultimately becomes the Psylocke most fans recognize. It was such a drastic change to every aspect of her persona Marvel should have just made her an entirely new character.

#2: The Flash (Jay Garrick)

Barry Allen became the Flash when lightning struck him and a bunch of chemicals. Not 100% scientifically sound, but better than the story of his predecessor, Jay Garrick. A college student, Jay is conducting experiments involving hard water. During a, and we’re not making this up, smoke break, Garrick knocks one of his beakers over and the, umm, ‘water fumes’ give him superspeed. Yes, hard water, which is nothing more than mineral water with calcium and magnesium in it turned him into the fastest man alive. While the origin of Barry Allen’s Flash is better, Kid Flash’s isn’t – as they just copy pasted Barry’s origin into a new character.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Squirrel Girl

The Whizzer

The Elongated Man

Bouncing Boy

#1: Shazam

See if you can spot the bad ideas here. A mysterious stranger beckons a young boy to follow him into a dark, deserted subway station. Before you can say “stranger danger,” he abandons the boy in a hallway lined with creepy statues. The kid walks alone down this bizarre hallway and meets a weird old man sitting underneath a huge block of granite held up by a mere thread. The old man is like ‘hey kid, you want some superpowers?’ and boom, turns the kid into Shazam. So remember kids, if an old man beckons you down a dark ally, well, he’s probably a kidnapper BUT maybe he will also give you super powers so, why not roll the dice. Seriously though, please don’t go off with strangers.

Agree with our choices? What other laughably ridiculous superhero origins should be included on our list? For more marvelous top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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