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Powerful Comic Book Characters Hollywood Made Look Soft

The cardinal sin of superhero movies is making the characters look lame. Fans will put up with just about anything if the movie gets their favorite character right, but woe betide Hollywood moguls who dare to do something as egregious as turning a superhero—or a killer bad guy—into a pushover. Here's a look at some iconic characters who are incredibly powerful in the comics, but looked soft in the movies.


Listen, nobody wanted to love Zack Snyder's Superman more than we did. But Snyder did everything he could to give the most powerful superhero in the universe feet of clay. Zod wrecked all of Metropolis and Superman was helpless to lift a finger. Lex Luthor outsmarted him, Doomsday whooped on him, and Batman only spared him because they had the same mom (or something). Plus, the guy spent two movies moping, second-guessing himself, and being more emo than Robert Smith's guyliner. No thanks!

Parallax and Galactus

In the DC Comics universe, Parallax is a cosmic parasite with the power to blot out the sun on a whim. Meanwhile, over on the Marvel side of things, Galactus literally eats planets for breakfast. So what do they have in common? Both were portrayed in the movies as angry space clouds, in 2011's Green Lantern and 2007's Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer respectively. Yes, Hollywood took two of the most dangerous, imposing, and powerful villains in all comicdom and reduced them to menacing sneezes. C'mon, guys. At least try!

The Vision

The Vision has a wide array of powers. He can control his own density, allowing himself to become light enough to fly on the breeze, or harder than diamond and thus impervious to harm. He is incredibly strong, can shoots lasers from his face, and his computer mind can access the sum total of humanity's knowledge via the internet in a billionth of a second. Plus, in the movies, he's powered by an Infinity Stone giving him control of one entire aspect of reality itself. So what does he do in Captain America: Civil War? Well, he inexplicably vanishes for pretty much the entire showdown between the two groups of heroes, and when the writers finally remember he exists, he accidentally shoots Rhodey out of the sky. That's it. Apparently he used that density power to make himself incredibly soft.


He's immortal. And purple. And angry! That's about the full extent of the menace we felt from the titular villain in X-Men: Apocalypse. It's a bad sign when the movie begins with your bad guy getting his butt totally whupped by a bunch of normal people with no powers. Then he stands in the background for the entire movie making speeches while his henchmen actually do the work. And when he finally does get involved in the fighting, Jean Grey simply one-shots him. Pow! This was the guy we were all worried about?


Here's a sad case where fans got a little too much of what they wanted. In the days leading up to 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, fans implored new franchise director Brett Ratner to use Juggernaut, even creating internet memes about it complete with specific catchphrases they wanted in the movie. Ratner complied, and the result was proof that you shouldn't crowdsource your scriptwriting. Instead of being awesome, Juggernaut was reduced to a one-off joke, running through a bunch of walls while yammering his dumb catchphrase and wearing a dopey helmet left over from a rejected He-Man cartoon. For a guy who was supposed to be unstoppable, he was a real weenie.


Poor Cyclops was doomed right from the start thanks to a superpower beyond even the scope of his incredible optic beams: Wolverine's fan popularity. Thanks to Wolverine being the breakout star of the X-Men franchise, team leader Cyclops was shunted to the back burner, portrayed as ineffectual, whiny, and annoying. How bad was it? He was eventually killed offscreen just to get rid of him so they could show more Wolverine. Not a very impressive showing for a character who, in the comics, is the heir to the legacies of both Professor Xavier and Magneto.


Mephisto is another name for the devil, a.k.a. Satan, a.k.a. kind of a big deal when it comes to evil. You might say he's the original supervillain. So why is he such a complete pushover in the two Ghost Rider films? Somehow the crown prince of darkness manages to get defeated by a flaming zombie on a motorcycle. And not once, but twice. So Hollywood is basically saying that the guy who has been a thorn in the side of the Almighty himself since before mankind even existed somehow can't defeat one biker with anger issues?

Dr. Doom

And then there's the sad case of Dr. Doom, a man so hard he wears metal underoos. The king of Latveria is about the last character you'd expect to be portrayed as too soft, but that's exactly what's happened to him—three times. First there was the 1994 Fantastic Four fiasco ,which was so bad it was never released in any format. Trust us: Dr. Doom was in it, and he was lame. Then there was the 2005 version of Fantastic Four, where Doom was played by the guy from that plastic surgery show Nip/Tuck. And finally, last year's Fantastic Four reboot fiasco, in which Doom is essentially punched to death by the Thing. Outsmarted by Mister Fantastic, we can buy. But outwitted by Ben Grimm? Being physically soft is bad enough, but that kind of mental softness is way out of bounds. Won't anyone ever get Dr. Doom right?