Want to Make a Superhero Lame? Make him Solar Powered

April 22, 2009

Ever notice that all of the good plant-based comic book characters are villains? Poison Ivy, El Seed, Al Gore, Bushroot. All bad guys.

My theory is that the modern environmentalist movement, which these characters are based off of, view man’s relationship to nature as a war, a war that they choose to fight against man in. They do not believe that man can peacefully co-exist with nature nor that the relationship can be mutually beneficial. They believe that man is a plague on the planet to wipe out or otherwise subjugate.

While they make great villains, eco-cultists make for lame heroes. Don’t believe me? Here is an annotated list of characters that are solar powered (as far as I remember). Tell me I am wrong:

Superman (ret-conned)

Ah, Superman. The original ret-con. When DC changed the origin of his powers from Kypton’s stronger gravitational force to “power from a yellow sun”, that is the first point when one can argue that comics have gone liberal. When the immediate story takes precedence over the history of the character, a good part of what makes the character great (or, in Superman’s case, less lame) dies.

Anyways, “Supes” suffers from lame writing (even going back to the brinkmanship early years), dorky haircut, unemployable alter-ego (how can he keep his job if he’s never seen actually reporting things?), and a ridiculous demigod power set. His powers led to brinkmanship writing and the ret-con; he started off well above where a normal superhero should be and they had to pile on more just to resolve plot lines.


I’m being fair here. Just because I am a Marvel Zombie, does not mean I am only going to pick on DC for this.

Cyclops has a wooden personality. Jean Grey must have been a little nuts to find him even remotely attractive. Maybe psychics like him because he is so boring that they can put whatever they want on him. Kind of like the idiot voting bloc attributing positions they care about on “Hope and Change” Obama. That’s the only reason that power-grabbing strumpet Emma Frost could possibly want to fornicate with him. Well, that and an automatic second-in-command spot.

He’s also a physical gimp. He has to wear dorky ruby crystal glasses to keep him from blowing a hole into whatever he looks at. It’s lame. He is the oldest brother and he got the short end of the stick. I mean, Havok does not spontaneously explode. Then again, Havok absorbs ambient cosmic rays and not specifically sunlight.

Gizmo Duck and Inspector Gadget

I apologize in advance if Gizmo Duck and Inspector Gadget are not solar powered. I vaguely remember seeing solar-panels amongst their toys. I could be wrong.

They are both the same character, so I am lumping them together. These two heroes have robotic modifications that frequently malfunction. You know, getting Gadget Skates instead of Gadget Gatlin’ Gun or getting a Box of Candy instead of a Boxing Glove. If you do not work half of the time, you should not be called a super hero; you should not even be called competent.

They are also very dense and oblivious. When they need the brain-power of prepubescent children to solve their cases for them, they should not be in the super hero business; they should be mopping up vomit like Groundskeeper Willie. And by that, I mean, they should not be entrusted with a job that involves any intelligence beyond operating a vacuum.


When everybody knows you need almost constant sun exposure to get the job done, what do your villains do? They build their bases deep underground. Or not install windows and reinforce the walls. Or fight you in space. And that’s Birdman’s problem. I mean, outside of his lame battle cry (“Biiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrdman”), his pastel colored-uniform, and his creepy sidekick issues.

Just to get to some semblance of cool, he had to get a law degree and work for an eye-patched, blond Steven Corbert, being constantly nagged whether he “got that thing” Peter Potamus sent him. That’s pathetic.

Captain Planet

I could talk about his catamite, mid-drift revealing costume. I could talk about his green mullet. I could talk about the fact that he is summoned by five teenage “sidekicks”. I’d rather point out the idiocy of fighting his enemies.

It is one thing when your villains happen to find your weakness, like “Supes”. Lex Luthor started off by using his wits; he would later incorporate Superman’s weakness as part of his plans.

It is quite another thing when your villains (and, come to think of it, anybody) can readily create your weakness and you are trying to stop them while they are in the process of producing more. Captain Planet can be beaten by POLLUTION. He was fighting POLLUTERS. That would be like “Supes” fighting Kryptonite miners, covered in a fine dust of Kryptonite. Thank, my friends, makes Captain Planet dumber than Gadget.


4 Responses to “Want to Make a Superhero Lame? Make him Solar Powered”

  1. Tony G Says:

    In all fairness, Gizmo Duck did NOT have robot modifications. He had a robot suit. Inspector Gadget had robot modifications. GET IT RIGHT! Along those same lines, Darkwing Duck had to rely on the sleuth skills of prepubescent kids.

    On a separate note, Cyclops is TOTALLY AWESOME! I don’t think it’s fair for you to classify him as a tool just because the movies were unfair to him and should have been named “Wolverine Parts 1-3,” while the actual “Wolverine movie should have been “Wolverine 4: Beginnings.”

  2. liberexmachina Says:

    Are you saying that a robot suit would not be a modification? That a robot suit would not modify one’s life? And why bring up Darkwing? I didn’t.

    I did not base Cyclops lameness just on the movies. There are the comics’ and the cartoons’ depiction of him as a boring gimp.

  3. Tony G Says:

    Scott Summers was a true leader that made decisions when he had to! There’s more to life than making stupid decisions that get the whole team in trouble just because you can’t die and have a skeleton made of metal!
    And I argue it’s not a true modification if you can modify back. Perhaps you’re missing one classic Duck Tales episode where Fenton Crackshell defeats M-E-L, where he relied on his own wits and had no use for the Gizmo Duck costume! And while you didn’t bring up Darkwing, I challenge your point that being solar-powered makes you lame. Darkwing was lame without the solar power.

  4. liberexmachina Says:

    Are we talking classic Summers, where his decision making process was regulated to doing whatever Professor X said? Or current Summers, who has made a number of stupid decisions (dating Emma Frost, moving the X-Men in San Fransisco, sending Emma to de-oppress The Sentry’s psycho personality and getting herself infected with it in the process, moving the X-Men to an island off of San Fransisco and declaring themselves a nation, even entertaining the notion of bringing on Deadpool as an X-Man, diving into Emma’s mind and getting himself infected with the Void shard she was carrying around, et cetera)? One would think he would know better, since he is rather fragile and all.

    What is this “MEL” you speak of?

    Citing someone who is lame that is not solar-powered does not prove you point. There are lots of lame people who are not solar-powered, me for example. You would have to cite some super-hero who is solar-powered that is not lame. And that cannot be done.

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