A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about three of my personal favorite comic book characters who I felt deserve more recognition. This got me intrigued, so I continued to research the world of obscure comic book characters from diverse universes. Not far into my research, I came across three characters I would have never believed actually existed. Their eccentricity had me deeply baffled, yet I was so riveted that I had to dig deeper. These are three absolutely ridiculous comic book characters you probably don’t know, but need to check out.
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Eye-Scream is a mutant gifted with an unusual ability: to turn into ice cream. He was often ridiculed by other mutants and humans for his laughable power. Eye Scream made a decision to destroy the X-men, as their powers made his look pointless and stupid. Unfortunately, the X-men, with help from Obnoxio the clown, completely froze him. He was never seen again.
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A member of the Legion of Super Heroes in the 30th and 31st centuries from the DC universe, this guy can eat anything. His natural biology allows him to consume literally any form of matter. In fact, everyone from his home planet, Bismoll, has this ability. When the natives of Bismoll found that microbes had made all their food inedible, the population evolved their capability to eat all matter as a survival mechanism. Though this seems quite useless, it has made Matter Eater Lad an unstoppable force at times.
Image Via DC Database
Another DC universe character from the 30th century, Arm-Fall-Off-Boy has the ability to detach his own limbs, which he can then use as weapons. His background information is relatively unknown. In fact, Matter-Eater Lad claims he gained his powers through carelessness while holding the anti-gravity metal Element 152, but that’s it. From the planet Lallor, he is one of the most famous Legion of Super Heroes reject due to just how ridiculous his powers are.
After nearly seventy years, the popular satirical publication Mad Magazine will not be coming out with new content, after its next issue. Any new issues from now on will feature best-of-content and other nostalgic material from its sixty-seven years of publication, as well as new covers. It will also only be available to subscribers, and in comic book stores.
Mad Magazine was a highly influential publication for many growing up, since its first issue was released in 1952. It was first established as a line of comic books, before changing to magazine format in 1955. It was heavily recognized for its idiosyncratic front covers, which would parody current affairs as well as other popular TV programs. The mascot, the gap toothed Alfred E. Newman was also often featured on the front covers.
DC, the publishers of the magazine, stated that “After issue #10 this fall there will no longer be new content – except for the end of year specials which will always be new. So starting with issue #11, the magazine will feature classic, best of and nostalgic content from the last sixty-seven years.” They did not explain their decision.
Many fans, including parody singer-songwriter Weird Al Yankovic, responded to the news and shared their sadness.
Image Via Rolling Stone
“I can’t begin to describe the impact it had on me as a young kid – it’s pretty much the reason I turned out weird” he said. “Goodbye to one of the all-time greatest American institutions.”
While we are lucky enough to live in a time where we can witness a relentless downpour of the amazing Marvel and DC graphic novels, the world of comics is far more vast than just those two beasts. The graphic novel universe is tremendously diverse, and it produces so many memorable characters that have had lasting effects on readers around the world. If you are only reading what you know, you’re really missing out. Here are some memorable (albeit strange!) comic book characters that you may not have heard of but will be glad that you did.
An obvious parody of Mickey Mouse, Mickey Rat was first created as a t-shirt design in 1971 by Robert Armstrong. However, the character’s immense popularity earned him an appearance in LA Comics in 1972, and Mickey Rat issues were published until 1982. The character is immoral, opportunistic, and repulsive, seemingly able to execute any act of vulgarity. His creators’ desire to make him the exact opposite of Mickey Mouse is explicit, and even 40 years later, his appeal has lasted, though he now appears mostly on t-shirts.
Sad Sack is a comic book character based in the United States Army. Created by Sergeant George Baker during World War II, “The Sad Sack” is a low ranking private who experiences the embarrassment of everyday military life. “The Sad Sack” was never given an actual name, it’s a term intended to describe the nonconformists who simply did not belong in the army. The character originally did not speak, but instead tried his best to stagger through one military situation after another. After the war, the character became less military oriented and more appealing to younger audiences.
The lovable, alcoholic sea captain and best friend to the world famous reporter Tintin deserves more recognition as a significant character in comic book history. Abandoned by his crew, he sought out every bottle of whisky to lessen the pain of betrayal. However, he regains his self-respect and dignity, becoming the president of the “Society of Sober Sailors” although his love for whisky never dies. His character also becomes increasingly heroic, often risking his life for his friends. He is also known for his short temper and unique vocabulary of swear words, which include bizarre terms such as “freshwater swabs,” “ectomorphs,” and “popinjays,” among many others. His blunt humanity and clear flaws act as a contrast to Tintin’s somewhat unrealistic heroism, and he is (or really should be!) considered one of the most memorable comic books characters of our time.
DC is doing things right lately. Aquaman was epic. Shazam! is better than anyone would have guessed. And now, even though Todd Phillips’ and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker won’t be included in DC’s cinematic universe, it seems like the newest take on the iconic villain will knock the cinematic world off its axis.
The trailer has arrived. I was wrong to ever doubt.
We’ll be seeing a Joker origin story that takes place against the backdrop of Earth One’s Gotham City mayoral campaign, where Thomas Wayne (Batman’s dad) will be running for office. Many of the film’s aesthetics and atmosphere appear to borrow from the TheJokergraphic novel as well.
And even if the film doesn’t quite live up to the high expectations it has just set, you can be certain that acting legend Joaquin Phoenix will do an excellent job. He is already convincing as The Joker who has had “one bad day.”