Give 'Em A Chance!1 of 12
Just about every X-Men character ever is currently part of the title's "Dawn of X" era - and even the mutants who don't exact meet the Omega-level standard are getting their due.
And in the just-announced Infinite Destinies, some more recent forgotten heroes are also getting a second chance in the spotlight.
Of course, the entire Marvel Universe is full of characters who are a lot cooler than their weird, gimmicky, or stigmatized reputations let on.
To celebrate these cult classic characters, here are 10 Marvel Comics characters who seem silly, but are actually cool.
Cypher2 of 12
At first blush, Cypher has the worst X-Men power of all time. OK, maybe not the worst (there is a mutant whose power is supersnot, after all), but certainly the most useless in a fight.
A polyglot, Doug Ramsey is able to understand and speak any language he hears instantly. While he may seem useless in a world where universal translators are a thing, there may be something below the surface that doesn't actually suck.
Though longtime New Mutants writer Louise Simonson said that no one ever loved Cypher til after he was killed off, he often played a key role in the team's greatest victories. After his recent resurrection, he also managed to combine his linguistic talents with a knack for computers and programming, widening his usefulness and enabling him to aid Cable in defeating a massive Master Mold, and later join the last iteration of X-Factor.
Now, he's a crucial part of Krakoa, facilitating communication with the living island.
Dazzler3 of 12
Created as a movie and music tie-in with Bo Derek as the proposed actor to portray her in all media, Dazzler is the gimmickiest, disco-est, most ridiculous concept Marvel has ever let come to fruition. Somehow surviving the death of her proposed tie-ins, Dazzler has grown to be one of Marvel's most popular mutants.
And why not? Call it cult status, but the fact is Dazzler kicks ass. Her ability to turn sound into light has been expanded in creative and crafty ways time and time again, and her look has evolved from disco queen, to aerobic video model, to an angst-inspired, darker look, and finally to her current style that combines elements of her previous looks with a modern twist. Still, Dazzler has somehow captured our hearts and fought tooth and nail to earn our respect.
Frog Thor4 of 12
What a world, when one of the craziest, most inaccessibly wacky plot lines from Walt Simonson's legendary run on Thor can become a cult favorite character. While Frog Thor is undoubtedly outwardly bizarre, his appeal is undeniable.
Though his initial appearance was short lived, lasting only an arc, the character later returned as part of the Pet Avengers, a concept that combined a whole host of ridiculous characters into an irresistible cartoon adventure.
Jack of Hearts5 of 12
Jack of Hearts looks like a disco playing card threw up.
The product of convoluted storytelling combined with a bizarre aesthetic, Jack of Hearts was the kind of character most writers have nightmares about. But, in his brief stint at Marvel, Geoff Johns leaned into the character, making him a key part of his Avengers team.
Though Jack of Hearts still maintained the elements that made him terrifyingly hard to love, he managed to be something of a break out character for Johns's run, even when he departed for space towards its end. Jack died in “Avengers: Disassembled,” but like many superheroes his death didn't stick.
Longshot6 of 12
Talk about a name fitting a concept. This be-mulleted weirdo is called Longshot, and he's a wacky alien from the TV dimension who was genetically engineered to be the perfect action film star. Even though Longshot had a well-loved limited series in the late '80's, he quickly became something of a joke thanks to his bizarre backstory and hilariously dated appearance.
But with just a few snips here and there (mainly on the back of his head), Longshot has become a fan-favorite once again thanks to his involvement in Peter David's cult favorite X-Factor series, and a limited series that once again put him in a leading role just a few years ago.
Ka-Zar7 of 12
Ka-Zar may seem like your run of the mill Tarzan rip-off, but he’s the kind of character that could only exist in the Marvel Universe – meaning the lost child of a rich family raised in a world of lost dinosaurs.
This Ka-Zar first showed up in comics in early issues of Uncanny X-Men, but broke out in his own mixed bag series in the ‘70’s. He moped around the Marvel Universe for a while afterwards, but got a new lease on life in the ‘90’s when Mark Waid and Andy Kubert launched a cult favorite series.
Ka-Zar remains a cult favorite, showing up every so often as a supporting character.
Doop8 of 12
A flying green blob who speaks gibberish should not work. And yet, the X-Men's resident Slimer lookalike manages to remain popular not just with readers but apparently with ladies (and sometimes fellows) as well. A product of the Weapon X program, Doop seems to be as powerful as he is bizarre.
Doop's popularity began, against all odds, with his introduction in Peter Milligan and Mike Allred's X-Force. Doop managed to stand out as quite possibly the weirdest part of a book full of weirdness, and yet he garnered enough fan support to receive his own limited series and a scene-stealing role in Wolverine & the X-Men.
Man-Thing9 of 12
Has there ever been a better accidental pun than "Giant-Size Man-Thing?" Those who know fear may burn at the Man-Thing's touch, but those who never grew up laugh at his name. Add to his pun-tastic moniker a lifetime of relative obscurity and a movie so bad most people have erased it from their brains, and you've got a monster man who guards not just the nexus of all realities, but the nexus of all bad jokes as well.
And yet, Man-Thing isn't just an unfortunately named rip-off of Swamp Thing (he debuted two months earlier, for one thing). He is the keeper of the place where the many dimensions and timelines of Marvel comic books come together.
Great Lakes Avengers10 of 12
Comprised entirely of nearly useless and bizarre characters, the Great Lakes Avengers have had a few rides on the merry-go-round, and have often opportunistically changed their branding to match whatever super-team was successful at any given moment.
But despite having characters like Flatman, Dinah Soar, Big Bertha, and even Squirrel Girl among their ranks, there's something to be said about a group of characters that manages to hold together despite being collectively unlovable, and who simply want to use their talents to save the world. There's a great comeback story in there, waiting to be told, like the Bad News Bears of comic books.
Darkhawk11 of 12
The breakout character of 1991!
After a well received 50-issue solo run that included team-ups with the New Warriors and the Avengers, Darkhawk faded into relative obscurity, trotting out only for cameo appearances and several ill-fitting attempts to reintroduce the character.
Despite his Iron Man-meets-Wolverine-meets-Spider-Man vibe, Chris Powell has potential in the hands of the right writer to recapture and redefine his mythology as a kid caught between two worlds, provided he stops being shoehorned into other books.
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