Heroes come and heroes go. Their legacy is what remains. Their stories are what make them immortal. In the last couple of decades, a lot of superheroes have managed to entice the audiences. While all of these superheroes on this list were famous and were at the peak of popularity at their time, time and tide did not smile at them.
1. Captain Triumph
When he first debuted in the pages of Quality Comics, Captain Triumph was all the rage during his time. Captain Triumph is the result of the combination of two characters. Lance Gallant realizes that he could combine with the spirit of his dead twin brother Michael Gallant and gain superhuman abilities. He was invulnerable, could fly and had superhuman levels of strength. Quality Comics was bought over by DC Comics a short while after World War Two and the character fell to ruins. DC Comics seldom used Captain Triumph until and unless they had a comic scene-setting in where Triumph would be the butt of everyone’s joke. That is a very cruel fate for such a famous superhero.
Delroy Garrett is one of the first-ever African American recruits into the Fifty State Initiative project under the watchful eye of Norman Osborn. He has the power of possessing the abilities of three men all rolled into one, basically giving him the same powers as that of the 3-D Man. But Marvel Comics did a terrible job at giving him some much-needed character development and his sense of judgment was flawed from the start.
During the Secret Invasion arc, Triathol was the superhero who killed one of the few chosen Skrulls that were actually trying to defend Earth. Fans’ expectations for Triathlon were high but the writers could not make him deliver on that promise. The character had potential but he was soon written off.
Jester had one of the weirdest origin stories to ever exist in the history of comic books. When you hear it, you would think whether to laugh or to feel pity at it. Chuck Lane was a police officer who realized that he belongs to the long line of Court Jesters who would play tricks and entertain people at royal courts.
So the next logical thing for Chuck Lane to do was don a clown-like a costume and run amok in the streets of America, solving crimes and making criminals become the butt of his jokes. A modern retelling of the story could have taken Jester down a horror-psychological thriller genre which would be way more appropriate for a character like this. Jester is now DC property.
4. Black Fury
Black Fury is a superhero who has been predominantly female. But there were times that the comic books tried to insert a male character into the scene with varying degrees of reception. In the end, the writers realized that Black Fury should always be a female since that is how the fans had always perceived the character to be. The character actually had a solo publication until the last decade, when it was shut down due to lukewarm responses. Black Fury was popular enough to be considered for a TV Live-Action Adaptation. That too never happened. The Black Fury soon fizzled out and the world moved on.
5. Wood God
Wood God was one of the craziest concepts for a superhero that ever came out of the Marvel Pandora’s Box. Wood God is half man and half goat. That’s right. The guy is what is mythically called a Satyr but he comes with a modern twist. Wood God is not a magical creature. He was created through genetic engineering. He has superhuman strength and speed, is extremely resistant to toxins, and is very intelligent.
He taught himself how to read and write by merely looking at his scientist creator’s notes. He would soon master genetic engineering on his own and become a foremost authority in that area. Wood God would have been a hit in the movies because of his unique appearance. It is a pity he never made it out.
6. Lifeguard and Slip-Stream
Chris Claremont is considered one of the pioneers of the X-Men story arcs in Marvel. But after a string of failures with a series of issues, he was side-lined to head the X-treme X-Men, a side project that Marvel never paid too much heed to. The popular X-Men members would join forces with new mutant superheroes and go on several adventures together. Davis and heather Cameron were surfers who lived in coastal Australia.
When their mutant powers activated, Davis got the ability to literally surf through portals. Heather got a golden skin and superhuman physical attributes. The Cameron’s were never a hit with the fans even though they had extremely potent powers. Davis lost his powers after M-Day while Heather’s fate is unknown.
7. Blue Bolt
The blue Bolt was a World War Two character and a very popular one at that. Blue Bolt has the power of lightning in his hands. Fred Parrish was struck by lightning twice. A scientist found him almost on the brink of death and decided to conduct his own experiments on him and try to bring him back to the land of the living. Fred Parrish not only survived but even got the power to shoot lightning out of his hands. He was also given a gun by the same scientist. This specially made gun would channel the lightning out of Blue Bolt’s hands and project it onto his enemies. Blue Bolt did not find any traction after World War Two ended.
8. Hell’s Angel
The entire journey of Hell’s Angels was wrought with a lawsuit after lawsuit. Marvel UK was confined to selling expensive American reprints of comic book arcs. The only British superhero they had in the 1970s was Captain Britain. To start a new British Superhero universe, Marvel UK came up with a new superhero called Hell’s Angel. The Bernie Jaye and Geoff Senior created the character, whose real name was Shevaun Haldane. He was empowered by the Angel of Death and had the power of a fraction of the universe. The Biker Gang Hell’s Angels filed a copyright lawsuit on the character and Marvel was forced to pay hefty fines. To top it off, another lawsuit that Ronald McDonald launched against the comic book saw the latter paying more than 35,000 Pounds to the former.
In a time where the very concept of gender identity and conventional views of orientation are being questioned, a character like Cloud could have become an icon to the element of gender fluidity that has rocked the new world. Cloud is a superhero that came into being in the year of 1983 in Defenders #123. She was a superhuman who had the ability to gain an amorphous form. But another facet to her ability was to be able to change her gender at will. She was torn between her feelings for Moon Dragon and Iceman.
The writers had to deal with this situation very carefully since the times were not conducive enough for a character this bold. The end result – Cloud was declared to actually be a sentient Nebula and thus, the entire character was summarily disposed of.
10. Doll Man
Darrel Dane is a product of Quality Comics, one of the erstwhile competitors of DC Comics during the golden age of comic books. Darrel possessed the ability to shrink down to the size of a doll. In this form, he retained his human level strength but also possesses several other special abilities. Darrel Dane is pretty much the equivalent to Marvel’s Ant-man in terms of powers.
But after the demise of Quality Comics, DC Comics bought the rights to the character and moth-balled Darrel Dane from ever appearing in any future comic book issue. It was only recently that a version of Doll Man was seen in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Darrel Dane deserved better than what DC Comics had in store for him. He could have made for a w0nderful horror-themed superhero-like Morbius or Venom.