That's What's Up: The best superheroes with the worst origin stories
Each week, comic book writer Chris Sims answers the burning questions you have about the world of comics and pop culture: what's up with that? If you'd like to ask Chris a question, please send it to @theisb on Twitter with the hashtag #WhatsUpChris, or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "That's What's Up."
Q: What great comics characters have the worst origin story? — @BenCollinsJokes
Origin stories can be a tricky thing. If you manage to come up with a good one, you've got something that can immediately hook a reader, and provide the foundation for everything a character does: the sole survivor of a dead planet whose incredible power can save everyone on his adopted home, a child who sees his parents murdered in front of him and vows to never let that tragedy befall anyone else, or a scrawny youngster who wants so badly to stand against the threat of the Nazis that he undergoes an experimental treatment with no idea what it'll do to his body. Those are great origin stories. The only problem is that they've all been done, sometimes two or three times each.
With as many superheroes as there have been over the past 80 years, plenty of origin stories have gone in some pretty weird directions, and it works out well about as often as it doesn't. The good news, though, is that having a goofy, weird, or just plain bad origin story never stopped anyone from becoming a truly great superhero.