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Superheroes: Who’s Fantastic?

While watching Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer the other day it was finally solidified for me why it is that I find that particular team of Superheroes so… well, lame. It’s their powers! With the exception of Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) the others are hardly capable of standing on their own.

Now, I don’t mean that The Thing, or Sue Storm (The Invisible Woman), or Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic aka The stretchy guy) couldn’t defend themselves against a myriad of super villains. What I’m saying is that they are, to varying degrees, far less likely to be able to maintain their own readership were they to venture out on their own.

Certainly the treatment that they are given in the latest movie (Rise of the Silver Surfer) seems indicate that at least the director Tim Story and screenwriter Mark Frost felt that the characters needed corny one liners and a gimmicky premise to sell the characters. Which is a real pity because Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis are really likeable as their respective characters. Evans in particular plays Johnny Storm like a far cooler version of Peter Parker. Which brings me back to the whole powers thing.

I’ve never really liked Peter Parker, so when I didn’t like him much in the movies I put it down to them getting the character right. I love Spider-Man though, and think that he’s probably the success that he is because others ‘dig’ his powers too… Parker however turns into a royal smart arse when he puts his costume on… so with that in mind, stripping away the persona behind the powers, I thought I’d slap together a quick list of the superheroes whose powers kick ass and a few who don’t!


Yeap, he’s first cab off the rank. More so to get him out of the way than anything else: He’s your all-rounder. Super in every way. There’s no denying that’s cool.


Again, he’s the guy who gets the most stick for being lame, so lets get him out of the way early on too. Sure he’s like Superman when he’s in the water — super strength, speed, etc — but that’s the problem, on land… well, he’s just lame.

Silver Sufer

Also getting this guy out of the way early, because clearly he’s on the list. You don’t get the ability to manipulate the powers cosmic AND cruise the spaceways on a surf board (which is totally NOT the source of your powers and totally does your bidding even when not in contact with you physically) and not be top-shelf cool.


If the ability to shape-shift isn’t the coolest freakin’ superpower ever, then I don’t know what is. And if you can’t think of a billion things that you’d do if you had that ability then stop taking your medication right now!


Sure super strength and the ability not to clash with snot sounds like a great combination, but what the hell good is it if your IQ drops to that of a potato whenever you turn on the green? Hulk Lame!


I don’t know if you have to be blue to teleport, but even if you do it’d be a sweet power to have. Ah, life without traffic! Coolness!


Not the most well known of your comic book super heroes but this guy has one of the coolest abilities ever. Put simply the dude was zipping around the timestream long before anyone ever heard of Hiro Nakamura. Waverider can also merge with people and view their possible future from that point in time.


You think he doesn’t have super powers? His bank account certainly does! Money may not buy happyness, but it buys a crap load of toys!

Iron Man

Like Batman/Bruce Wayne Tony Stark isn’t really endowed with super powers…. he does however have a super fund and a freakin cool suit.


If you’re going to get super powers from a radioactive insect (ok, arachnid) then you could do a LOT worse than a black and red spider… Seriously, nobody want’s to eat their corn-beef sandwiches out of a Cockroach-man lunch box!

Reed Richards

Ok, granted the guy gets to be married to Jessica Alba, but the fact is that he just looks really stupid when he uses his stretching powers. What good is being able to save the world if you look like a total nufty while you’re doing it!?


While prevention is usually better than a cure, if you are going to take a bullet, knife or ford festiva to the head, the ability to heal super fast is gonna come in handy… it also means that you can get your skeleton chrome-plated (ok, adamantium) as an afternoon procedure.

I’ve only just scratched the surface there, but if you can think of a superhero with totally awesome (or completely lame) super powers then feel free to add them to the list (in the comments).

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    The Punisher.

    Killing women and children when you get pissed off has got to count for something.

  • Gambit – ability to charge small objects and piff them at people, while abusing them in French. Yay!

  • Man, where were you two when I started writing this list… oh, that’s right, I KEEP MY DOORS LOCKED!

  • Wonder Twins – ok, Jayna had the cool power to become any animal. But Zan? “Form of…water”. Er. Great. Maybe Gleek was actually more interesting than both of them – though Family Guys take on the Wonder Twins is great – WATCH THIS!

  • The Shadow!

    He’s got mad mind-controlly skills and was played by Alec Baldwin.

    What more can you ask for?

    Nothing. Exactly.

  • When you go and add the Baldwin factor to anything there IS nothing else left to ask for.

    Top call Furious.

  • Hmm. The Mask? Not Rocky Dennis, although his super powers of cranium mega-mass is something to be feared, laughed at and studied.

    I mean The Mask mask with Jim Carrey. What the fuck was that? He put on a mask and became what exactly? Some crazy dancey guy?

    Pfft. I have a few beers and can dance, doesnt make me a superhero…or does it?