Comic characters who should never be on screen

Comics are hot on TV and in movies these days. Everywhere you look, another comic book adaptation gets announced as coming to a multiplex near you, or set to premiere on a major network. But not all comics are created equal. Here are ten awful comic characters who should never get starring roles in new movies or TV series.

Scarlet Spider

Remember this guy? The Scarlet Spider was one of Spider-Man's many clones from the mid-1990s who showed up to confuse the entire Spider-Man comic book franchise for years. While it was kinda cool to have a new, different, off-brand Spidey to follow around into weird stories, the only thing that's interesting about him is that he isn't actually Spider-Man. Other than that, Scarlet Spider is symptomatic of everything that's wrong with comic books. Since Marvel and Sony are on their third version of Spidey in films already, it's clear that just getting the regular Spider-Man right is hard enough. We don't need the Scarlet Spider gumming up the works. Ever.


In the 1980s, DC Comics introduced a new villain named Lobo, a cigar-smoking, space-bike-riding bounty hunter who said dumb things like "bastitch" and "frag." He was co-created by Keith Giffen as a parody of over-serious, grim'n'gritty characters like Wolverine and the Punisher, but soon he became a fan favorite for all the things he was meant to lampoon. He's terrible. Despite this fact, however, there have been at least a few attempts to bring this parody-turned-earnest character into a movie, and thankfully they've all wound up in development hell. Let's hope DC and Warner Bros. never figure out how to make this one work—because it won't.

Ambush Bug

Another Keith Giffen creation, Ambush Bug is a sort of self-aware commentary character who bops around the DC Universe from time to time, exploring the silliness that seems to pervade the continuity of the DCU around him. Unlike Lobo, Ambush Bug is kind of amazing, but only because he never lost his status as a joke character. As such, let's hope that Warner Bros. doesn't try and rival 20th Century Fox and Marvel's Deadpool movie with an Ambush Bug flick. Deadpool might work on the big screen, because even though he breaks the fourth wall, he also fights ninjas. Ambush Bug fights a talking sock named "Argh!Yle!". Yeah.

Howard The Duck

Unlike DC's Ambush Bug, Marvel's parody character, Howard the Duck, did get a movie, back in 1986. Produced by George Lucas, it was a monumental bomb, and remains one of filmdom's biggest failures. And yet, despite all this, Howard appeared in the post-credits sequence in 2014's mega-smash Guardians of the Galaxy, prompting new rumors that the Duck might be back for more big-screen action. If there's any truth at all to that possibility, let's just hope the sun explodes and extinguishes all life on the planet before it happens.


Marvel has a long history of using its comics as a way to earn extra cash with big companies. NFL Super-Pro, ROM Space Knight—both of these characters came from cross-promotional commissions from other brands, but neither have withstood the test of time like Dazzler, a disco singer (and occasional X-Men member) who was the result of a failed collaboration with Casablanca Records. Dazzler can convert sound into light and energy beams, and she also is really lame and has survived since her creation in 1981 for no discernible reason. Marvel has made at least one attempt to bring Dazzler to the big screen, which fortunately for the world never came to pass.


Flying is one of the coolest superpowers, right? And having big honkin' wings that you can use to get airborne—that's pretty cool too, at least in theory. And yet, somehow, Hawkman really sucks. His backstory makes no sense: in some versions, he's a reincarnated Egyptian King, while in others he's literally a flying police officer from another planet. Neither have anything to do with hawks, man. Up to this point, he's appeared in Smallville, while his female counterpart, Hawkgirl, is a regular in the CW's Legends of Tomorrow. With any luck, they'll never go any farther than that.

B'wana Beast

B'wana Beast is weird and gross. He's a Tarzan rip-off in some ways, as a loincloth-wearing man of European descent who discovers his power and place in the jungles of Africa. If only his description stopped there: his superpower allows him to "merge" animals into new, horrifying creatures, like winged lions, or elephant-dogs or whatever. He's awful, and shouldn't be let near a cinema in any way, shape, or form.

The Sentry

Marvel's most recent attempt to create its own version of Superman is the Sentry, a flying, super-strong powerhouse suffering from schizophrenia, manifesting itself as an evil alter ego named the Void—who is also the Sentry's arch-nemesis. The Sentry was created in 2000 as part of a miniseries that spanned the Marvel Universe, and he was brought into mainstream Marvel continuity in 2005, with mixed results. The Sentry is too powerful, too confusing, and not particularly compelling in the comics, so hopefully Marvel will wisely keep the Sentry as far away from its on screen endeavors as possible.


Created by Rob Leifeld at the start of the '90s, Cable is total nonsense. His name doesn't refer to anything interesting about him—it's just a word that hadn't been applied to any superheroes yet. He has cybernetic bits, like his arm and leg and eye. He has telepathy and telekinesis (sometimes) and also "latent time-travel abilities" and, also, he's from the future. Cyclops is his father and Jean Grey's clone is his mother, and he makes no sense and he is pointless. Never put him in a movie or tv show ever.

The Spectre

What happens when a cop is murdered, and then resurrected to literally become the Wrath of God? You get the Spectre, a character who can do anything, but chooses to wear little green briefs, and has a cape. Nope.