So I'm busy getting psyched for Kick-Ass, which shows exactly what happens if you try to don long underwear and fight crime: you get a brutal beating. Many fictional characters have tried to walk the superhero road. Some are awesome. And some... some are not. Here's 20 garboons who should have hung up the tights and called their therapists.
The Red Bee
Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot. But are they so cowardly that they'd let themselves be intimidated by a trained bumblebee named Michael? That's what the Red Bee hoped - he kept his little honey-loving friend in a special pouch on his belt buckle and let him out to frighten very allergic villains. Until somebody killed him.
The Detroit era of the Justice League of America is rightly derided by nerds for sucking and sucking hard. Out went the world-class dudes like Superman and Batman, to be replaced by Zatanna, a patrotic cyborg and Vibe, the most painfully "street" superhero ever. Paco Ramone was a street gang leader until he decided to go straight and use his metahuman ability to make things wobble to fight the crime he used to do. Then he died.
I'm just going to let Wikipedia handle this one for me. "Extraño (Spanish for "strange" or "odd") is a fictional gay Hispanic magician published by DC Comics." Fictional gay Hispanic magician. To make matters worse, he was later attacked by an AIDS vampire named the "Hemo-Goblin" and given the HIV. Way to play into the magician stereotype.
So if I were going to go after criminals, I don't think I'd pack my rollerskates. And yet, that's what Vietnam vet and roller derby player Billy Moon does in the only issue of Skateman that was ever published. Rumors have it that Skateman died in the 2nd issue by falling down a flight of stairs.
The X-Men have included some pretty weird characters, but this guy was the gooniest. He could transform his body to get superhuman strength and endurance, but to do so he needed to release two huge parasitic worms from his stomach cavity and have them eat things. Unlike, say, fellow X-Man Colossus, who could transform his body to get superhuman strength and endurance by thinking about it.