Deadpool is famous for many things. His snazzy red costume that hides it when he bleeds. His fondness for chimichangas and Hello Kitty. His inappropriate, bordering on creepy, love of Hugh Jackman.
Most of all, Deadpool is famous for his twisted sense of humor and his utter insanity. These two factors and how he employs both in his efforts to save the world (or make a quick buck depending on who is writing him) are what have made Wade Wilson into a household name and earned him not one, but two big-screen solo superhero movies, the second of which is now upon us.
While Wade Wilson may be famous (or should we say infamous?) for his wacky escapades and fourth-wall shattering shenanigans, he is far from alone in this regard. The world of comic books and cartoons are full of costumed crime fighters and colorful criminals who could prove Deadpool's equal in the creative insanity department. Some of them were even offering up the same sorts of anti-heroic misadventures back in the days when Deadpool was just one more thin-ankled, pouch-wearing mercenary and not the Merc' With The Mouth we all know and love.
Well, the Merc' With The Mouth we all know, at any rate.
Regardless, here are 15 Supeheroes Crazier Than Deadpool (And 5 Villains Who Are Even Crazier!)
20 Hero - The Trickster
James Jesse is probably the most misunderstood of The Flash's Rogues. Thanks to his portrayal in two live-action The Flash series (by Mark Hamill, no less) and two Justice League cartoons, most people view him as either Barry Allen's Joker or a total screw-up. The character in the original comics is something else entirely.
The last in a long line of circus acrobats, James had a tragic secret - he was afraid of heights! He eventually overcame his fear thanks to his invention of a pair of air-walking shoes that let him defy gravity. Eventually James heard about The Flash and decided to match wits with him for one simple reason - he wanted to make a superhero look silly.
For The Trickster, the money was never the point of being a supervillain and he certainly wasn't out to hurt anyone. It was all about the thrills and the laughs. He may have been crazy trying to fight The Flash with toys, but the crazy-like-a-fox James Jesse won as often as he lost.
While James toed the line between hero and villain for a while, he did eventually go straight following the Underworld Unleashed event, reinventing himself as a conman for the forces of good. Crazy? The other Rogues thought so, but they didn't know that James had managed to pull one over on The Demon Neron and single-handedly saved the world in doing so. That gave James ample reason to reform and start trying to win brownie points with The Big Man Upstairs.
19 Hero - Frog-Man
What's the one thing crazier than a super-villain in a frog costume whose only power is jumping really far? The son of a supervillain attempting to use his father's frog costume to redeem their family name as a superhero whose only power is jumping really far! Such is the sad backstory of Eugene Patilio - AKA The Fabulous Frog-Man!
Eugene's father, Vincent Patilio, was an aspiring supervillain who invented a pair of shoes that allowed the wearer to leap incredible distances. He then invented a special padded frog costume to protect himself from the inevitable rough landings. His first mistake was thinking this would be enough to allow him to fight the likes of Iron Man and Spider-Man. His second mistake was thinking anyone would take a supervillain called Leap-Frog seriously.
Rightly ashamed of his father, but not his gimmick, Eugene Patilio became determined to redeem the proud name of The Patilios.
Eugene stole his father's gear and decided to become a superhero - despite never having studied how to properly pilot the Leap-Frog suit.
Eugene proved to be just as big a joke as his father, but was far more successful. He managed to capture several supervillains, like The Yellow Claw and Speed Demon. The fact that he did so by accidentally crashing into them and knocking them out after losing control of his costume was besides the point.
18 Villain - The Joker
The Caliph of Clowns. The Mogul of Mountebanks. The Ace of Knaves. The Clown Prince of Crime. He has as many titles as he does origin stories, which is just the way he likes it. As he once noted "if I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!"
The Joker requires no introduction, being one of a rare few supervillains who is instantly recognizable even among people who don't much care for comic books or superhero movies. Making his first appearance in Batman #1 back in April 1940, The Joker is the original prankster gangster and set the tone for every comic book character, hero or villain, who uses comedy as a weapon.
What's funny is that while he's usually considered to be an agent of chaos and the quintessential example of a Chaotic Evil villain, The Joker has played the hero on more than one occasion. The past year alone saw him team with Batman to save all of reality from The Dark Knights. He also worked to save Gotham City from an emboldened Harley Quinn in the reality of Batman: White Knight. Strangest of all was the Elseworld tale of Batman/Captain America, where it was The Joker who saved the world from The Red Skull. The Joker may be crazy, but even he doesn't like Nazis!
17 Hero - The Mask
It is worth noting that the original character from The Mask comics was far from heroic and wasn't called The Mask, but Big Head. Big Head also wasn't any one particular person, bouncing from host to host, as different people became exposed to the mysterious mask that transformed them into the cartoonishly violent Big Head.
The 1994 film The Mask provided a definite origin for the titular wooden mask, revealing it to be an artifact made by the Norse god of mischief, Loki, which would bring out the wearer's repressed urges and give them the power to alter reality on a local level.
In the case of nerdy bank-teller Stanley Ipkiss, The Mastk transformed him into a living cartoon character, capable of inspiring the people around him into bursting into improvised musical numbers.
In the case of gangster Dorian Tyrell, it turned him into an even more violent version of his already evil self.
Though Stanely Ipkiss threw The Mask away at the end of movie, that didn't stop the creation of an animated series which showed Stanley attempting to use his persona as The Mask to fight a plethora of supervillains. Running for two years, the series remained a cult-favorite among animation aficionados despite never seeing an official DVD release until this year, with the first season now available from Warner Archive.
16 Hero - Plastic Man
Bouncing into the world of comics in Police Comics #1 in 1941, Plastic Man was one of the first superheroes to incorporate humor into his crime-fighting. The question of his sanity or lack thereof, however, has varied from writer to writer since then.
Originally Patrick "Eel" O'Brien was an orphan who fell into a life of crime. Wounded during a heist gone bad at a chemical factory, O'Brien's gang abandoned him after he became doused with a strange chemical. O'Brien managed to escape the scene of the crime, but passed-out due to blood loss and the effects of the chemical.
When Eel awoke, he discovered himself in a monastery, having been found by a monk who took him in and treated his wounds. He also discovered that the chemicals had transformed his body, allowing him to stretch himself into any shape, like liquid plastic. Inspired by the kindness of the monk and the revelation that his "friends" had abandoned him when things got rough, Eel O'Brien pledged to turn over a new leaf and use his newfound powers to fight crime as Plastic Man.
While never really an A-List superhero, Plastic Man has proven as long-lasting as his namesake. His manic personality had writer Grant Morrison place him in the Dionysus role when he reimagined The Justice League as a modern day Greek Pantheon. Plastic Man also recently became part of The Terrifics and will soon star in a solo series written by Gail Simone.
15 Hero - The Tick
Blessed with the twin powers of being Mighty and Nigh-Invulnerable (which is even better than just regular old invulnerable), The Tick wages a never-ending battle against crime and villainy. His most stalwart companion is Arthur - an accountant in a moth suit who tries (and fails) to keep him out of trouble. His most formidable foe is gravity, who he has deemed "a harsh mistress."
After the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Tick may well be the most successful independently-owned superhero of all time. After all, how many other superheroes outside of Marvel and DC Comics have had not one, but two live-action television series and their own Saturday-morning cartoon show? Beyond their success as loving mockeries of the superhero genre, the two franchises do share another common trait - they both started out as comic books that are far darker than the cartoons that made them famous and as parodies of Daredevil.
What few people realize is that The Tick was certifiably insane in the original comics.
His very first comic book opens with him in a straitjacket in a padded room and focuses on his escape from a mental institution.
Once he's in the outside world, he is immediately attacked by ninjas and joins a young ninja named Oedipus in trying to save the city from some nonsense involving a mystic artifact. It's par for the course in a city where the ninjas are more numerous than the cockroaches.
14 Villain - Carnage
Cletus Kasady was the classic example of a bad seed. As a child, he pushed his grandmother down the stairs. He burned down the orphanage he was sent to after his own mother tried to end his life, realizing that she had given birth to a monster. He took multiple lives before finally being caught and sent to prison.
Kasady became even more dangerous after sharing a cell with Eddie Brock - the disgraced reporter who made up one-half of the symbiotic menace known as Venom. When the symbiote who had been Peter Parker's black Spider-Man's costume broke Brock out of prison, it unknowingly left its offspring behind. This infant symbiote bonded with Kasady, giving birth to a creature more powerful than either Spider-Man or Venom - Carnage!
Possessing all of the Venom symbiote's powers but none of Eddie Brock's sense of restraint, Carnage is one of the most dangerous beings in the Marvel Comics universe.
His symbiote gives him the power to reshape his body into whatever dangerous weapons the madman can imagine. What is worse, the Carnage symbiote's bond with Cletus Kasady is far stronger than that of a usual symbiote/host relationship, due to the Carnage symbiote having mixed with Kasady's blood. This makes him far more difficult to defeat and so dangerous that even Venom and Spider-Man will put aside their feud and join forces whenever Carnage is on the loose!
13 Hero - Crazy Jane
Crazy Jane was perhaps the strangest original character whom Grant Morrison created for his now legendary run on Doom Patrol. That's quite the accomplishment given that this is the same run that gave us Danny the Street - a sentient stretch of roadway capable of attaching itself to any landscape in reality and blending into the background.
Jane Morris was the dominant personality of Kay Challis - a young woman who developed Multiple Personality Disorder as a result of her abusive childhood.
Following the Invasion event, which saw the aliens known as The Dominators setting off a gene-bomb in a bid to destroy Earth's superheroes, Kay's metagene was activated. Somehow, this gave most of Kay's multiple personalities individual superpowers, which Jane - as the dominant personality - could call upon with some difficulty as needed.
Crazy Jane's more helpful personalities include the pyrokinetic Flaming Katy, the teleporter Flit, the precognitive Lady Purple, the radioactive Lucy Fuege, and Rain Brain, who can become immaterial and walk through anything. Her stranger personalities include The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (an artist who has the psychic power to bring her paintings to life) and The Sin-Eater, who Crazy Jane calls upon to take over when Kay is being tormented as The Sin-Eater can endure any punishment, believing that it deserves to suffer.
12 Hero - The Creeper
Jack Ryder was an abrasive reporter and talk-show host, forced into a security guard position after losing his show. His efforts to rescue the famous scientist Dr. Yatz, who was being held hostage by the gangster Angel Devlin, required his donning an outlandish costume in order to infiltrate a masquerade party at Devlin's mansion.
Though successful in his rescue, Ryder was wounded, requiring Dr. Yatz to save his savior. Yatz injected Ryder with a serum that gave him enhanced healing powers as well as super-strength, enhanced agility and the ability to emit a laugh that caused physical pain and fear in anyone who heard it. He also implanted a device which allowed Ryder to change between his costumed form and his ordinary clothes at will.
Strangely enough, it was only in The Creeper's original origin story by the legendary Steve Ditko that The Creeper's insanity was portrayed as an act.
Every single incarnation of the character since the original has been portrayed as honestly being nuttier than squirrel droppings.
It is oddly in keeping with the character's chaotic nature that virtually every aspect of The Creeper's origins and powers has changed over the years. Is he honestly insane or is it all an act? Can he control his transformations or is it all random? Does he wear yellow tights and facial make-up designed to look like skin or is he running around in nothing but a green Speedo, boots, gloves and a furry cloak? The one constant is inconsistency!
11 Hero - The Flaming Carrot
Once upon a time, an unknown man took a bet to read 5000 comic books in a single sitting. True to his mother's word, the experience completely rotted his brain and left him unsuitable for any job apart from being a costumed crime-fighter. Donning an experimental helmet built by the brilliant scientist Dr. Heller, this man became forever known as The Flaming Carrot.
Why? Because the helmet made him look like a carrot that was on fire, obviously! Regardless, wherever there is an injustice, no matter how strange, he will be there to meet it with a mighty declaration of "Ut!"
Like Batman, The Flaming Carrot has no powers but uses a variety of gadgets that he keeps in a utility belt to fight the forces of evil. Unlike Batman, most of what he carries is completely useless, at least to a sane person.
Despite arming himself with Pez, a bubble pipe, and a secret decoder badge that he once got out of a box of breakfast cereal, and riding into battle on a nuclear-powered pogo-stick, The Flaming Carrot has a surprisingly successful track record when it comes to thwarting villainy.
He has saved the Earth from alien invaders on three separate occasions, stopped a Communist takeover of Iron City, and single-handedly stopped an army of the cloned boots of Adolph Hitler.
10 Villain - Madcap
Once a deeply religious youth, the man who became Madcap lost his friends and family when a tanker-truck full of an experimental nerve agent crashed into his church group's bus. Somehow, Madcap survived, though he was forever changed by the experience and convinced of the futility of existence. In addition to a new perspective, the accident gave Madcap two powers - a healing factor that essentially transformed him into a living cartoon character that could recover from any injury and the ability to project his insanity onto other people.
Over the years, Madcap would pit himself against various heroes, including Captain America, Daredevil and She-Hulk. He joined one incarnation of The Masters of Evil and is notable as one of the few people to withstand the power of Ghost Rider's Penance Stare.
Madcap eventually found a purpose for his existence, setting himself up as the arch-enemy of Deadpool.
Faced with someone who was as invulnerable as himself and even more annoying, Wade Wilson eventually bargained with The Collector in order to get the cosmic being to take Madcap into his collection of unusual beings. Even this victory proved hollow, however, as Madcap declared that he had given up on ruining Deadpool's life, having realized that Wade did a far better job of messing up his own life than Madcap ever could!
9 Hero - Freakazoid
Dexter Douglas was your typical nerdy high-school student who was more comfortable with computers than his peers. His life was forever changed when his cat coincidentally keyed in an exact sequence that, when followed by pressing the Delete key, would trigger a glitch that granted the computer user phenomenal power.
Dexter Douglas transformed into Freakazoid - a being possessing all of the knowledge on The Internet, an enhanced physicality, and a negligible amount of common sense.
Freakazoid was a stalwart defender of Truth, Justice, and the American Way. He was also easily distracted and far more likely to be found watching reruns of The Rat Patrol and his favorite Anime Hero Boy than actively patrolling Washington, D.C. Still, when there was nothing good on TV, he could be counted on to drive any evil-doer unfortunate enough to cross his path completely crazy.
While Freakazoid easily conquered the likes of Cobra Queen and Cave Guy, there were two enemies he couldn't fight - low ratings and The Kids WB executives who wanted the show to focus on selling toys rather than amusing the older kids who appreciated the show's satirical bend. The show only lasted two seasons and twenty-three episodes, but it remains a cult hit to this day.
8 Hero - Brother Power The Geek
Brother Power is one of rare few comics characters who became notable because of their obscurity. Despite being created by Joe Simon (co-creator of Captain America) and being a decent seller, his original series was canceled after just two issues. According to DC Comics Editorial Director Carmine Infantino, this was due to a campaign spearheaded by Superman editor Mort Weisnger, who feared the character glamorized the Hippie lifestyle.
Brother Power was brought to life after a bolt of lightning struck a mannequin dressed in the clothes of a Hippie, who had been beaten by pro-war counter-protesters. Discovered by a circus and forced to work in the freak-show, he escaped and ran for Congress on a pro-love platform. Unfortunately, his charismatic innocence was deemed a threat to The Establishment and Brother Power was ordered shot into space by then Governor of California, Ronald Reagan.
He returned to Earth decades later, in a Swamp Thing annual guest-written by Neil Gaiman. This story revealed Brother Power to be a failed attempt by the same primal powers that created Swamp Thing to create another elemental avatar. In this case, however, their failure created something new - an avatar of humanity's bond with nature, as exemplified by the Flower Child movement.
Sadly, little was done with this idea by later writers. However, The Multiversity Guidebook shows that a version of Brother Power exists on Earth 47, alongside other counter-culture inspired superheroes like Prez Rickards, Sunshine Superman, and Speed Freak.
7 Hero - Mister Immortal
Craig Hollis is the pinnacle of human evolution. More than homo superior, he is homo supreme - a mutant who has evolved beyond mortality itself. Possessing more than a mere healing-factor, Craig can recover from any fatal injury.
Unfortunately, regular injuries can hinder him as much as any mortal man and being immortal isn't nearly as useful a super power as you'd think when you don't heal your injuries instantly and still feel the pain of each demise. This is why Craig formed a superhero team, figuring that he could act as a distraction or a human shield while other people helped to save the day. This led to a long-lasting partnership with Flatman, Doorman, Dinah Soar, and Big Bertha. The team became known as the Great Lakes Avengers until they finally became prominent enough to get the attention of Tony Stark's lawyers.
Ironically, Craig's powers have given him a self-destructive streak and made him more than a little unhinged.
Seeing everyone you love pass on and knowing that you have no way of being able to find peace with them in an afterlife that you know for a fact exists is a hard pill to swallow. To that end, Craig has tried to end his life in various creative ways over the years and grown a little bit more unbalanced with every failed attempt.
6 Villain - Typhoid Mary
Many supervillains are the product of a superhero's mistakes. Such is the case of Typhoid Mary, whose origins can be traced back to one of Matt Murdock's earliest attempts to find the men responsible for his father's death in the days before he became Daredevil. Tracking one of the men to an adult establishment, Matt accidentally knocked one of the women working there out of a window when she tried to defend the man from his masked assailant.
This woman was later revealed to be named Mary Walker and the incident triggered a rage in her as well as her latent mutant powers of telepathy, telekinesis, and pyrokinesis. Mary would go on to develop Multiple Personality Disorder, with three distinct personalities - the kind and nurturing Mary, the assertive and adventurous Typhoid and the sadistic and violent Bloody Mary.
The Kingpin employed Typhoid as an assassin, with Typhoid Mary using her Mary persona to romance Matt Murdock while biding time for Typhoid to take her revenge.
Deadpool himself encountered Typhoid Mary after Mary, having realized what the extent of her psychosis, hired Wade Wilson in secret to take her out and end the threat of Typhoid Mary forever. She didn't count on Deadpool having issues with ending an innocent woman or his falling for her Typhoid personality when she took over. Wade tried to redeem the Typhoid persona, but this ended badly and the two "broke up" after Typhoid tried to romance Wade while disguised as his friend Siryn.
5 Hero - The Maxx
Who is The Maxx? Is he a superhero waging a one-man war to save the world from the monster known as Mr. Gone? Is he the psychic manifestation of one abused woman's psyche - the savior she dreamed of as a child made real? Is he the king of some lost world in another dimension, fighting to protect the warrior goddess he calls The Leopard Queen from the strange beasts that threaten their domain in two worlds? Or is he some crazy homeless man in a strange costume who only thinks he's a hero - a modern day Don Quixote who sees a social worker named Julie as the Dulcinea he needs to save?
These questions lay at the heart of The Maxx - a 35-issue comic book series that remains one of the strangest things ever published by Image Comics some twenty years after its conclusion. Created and designed by artist Sam Keith, with writing by the likes of Alan Moore (writer of Watchmen and V For Vendetta) and William Messner-Loebs (writer on The Flash and Wonder Woman), the question of who The Maxx truly was did eventually get answered. Naturally, given the talent involved, the answer was nearly as insane as The Maxx himself!
4 Hero - 'Mazing Man
Siegfried Horatio Hunch III was far from the typical millionaire. He didn't inherit his wealth. He won it in a magazine publisher's sweepstakes contest. He wasn't a tall, handsome playboy. He was short and couldn't turn heads if he were on fire. He didn't live in a stately manor. He lived in a brownstone in Queens.
The only thing Siegfried had in common with the likes of Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark was that he was a superhero. Of course, rather than being inspired by the loss of his parents or an unfortunate heart condition, Siegfried decided to become a superhero after finding an impressive looking helmet while dumpster diving.
In a costume emblazoned with a crimson W, Siegfriend declared that he would henceforth protect his neighborhood as "Wonderful Man" until the W broke and got stuck upside down. Thus did Siegfried Horatio Hunch III become 'Mazing Man!
'Mazing Man's madness stems from his incurable optimism and refusal to see the worst in people.
Benignly deranged, he truly believes he can make a difference with little acts of kindness. His utility belt holds bandages and safety pins rather than lock-picks and smoke bombs. Despite this, he did earn some small bit of respect in his neighborhood after he threw himself in front of a car to save an unattended child.
3 Villain - Dr. Light
Dr. Arthur Light was a weak-willed physicist of little note who worked for STAR Labs. He turned to industrial espionage in a bid to pad his own pockets, until he was stopped by a costumed hero who turned light itself into a weapon. Arthur later realized that the superhero was his lab partner, Jacob Finlay, and that he had turned their work into a means of giving himself superpowers.
When Arthur went to work the next day to confront Jacob, he accidentally destroyed his co-worker. At least, that was what the resulting investigation concluded. Regardless of whether it was a true accident or a subconscious whim, Arthur still found himself being haunted by Finlay's ghost. This prompted Arthur to take Finlay's costume in a bid to protect himself, discovering that bright lights could keep the ghost at bay.
His fear of the dark and the belief that he was being haunted was enough to make Doctor Light a bit of a joke in the supervillain community.
What sealed that status was the fear of superpowered children that he developed after trying and failing to destroy The Teen Titans.
A coward at heart, Dr. Light targeted the Teen Titans thinking a group of minors would be easy prey. He would repeat the mistake once more when he tried leading a new version of The Fearsome Five against the Titans and proved so incompetent that he was kicked out of the group he had organized!
2 Hero - The Heckler
Delta City is a city besieged by crime and corruption. Held under the dainty yet powerful thumb of Boss Glitter, the populace are at the mercy of criminals like Ratchet Jaw and El Gusano. It will take a brave and powerful man to clean up Delta City. Unfortunately, all they have is The Heckler.
The Heckler is the alter ego of Stu Mosley, a local diner owner whose despair over the state of the city drives him to fight back with the only weapon he has - snark. Armed with only his rapier wit and a keen mind honed by years of watching cartoons, The Heckler mostly incapacitates criminals by tricking them into beating themselves up.
He may not be the most powerful hero out there, but how many heroes can boast that they saved the world from an invasion of alien clown assassins by dressing up as a lady alien clown and then whacking their leader over the head with a baseball bat when he closed his eyes for a kiss?
The strangest thing about The Heckler may be his real-world origin story. Reportedly artist Keith Giffen wanted to write a comic based around the idea of Bugs Bunny as a superhero but he feared DC Comics would never let him near the character. This prompted the creation of The Heckler, who used the same tactics as Bugs while parodying all the clichés of the most popular anti-hero comics of the day.
1 Hero - Ambush Bug
Irwin Schwab would be DC Comics answer to Wade Wilson, if he hadn't made his premiere nearly a decade earlier. Like Deadpool, Ambush Bug started out as a serious supervillain. Like Deadpool, Ambush Bug became more popular after he ditched the villain act to become a fourth-wall breaking anti-hero who annoyed all the real superheroes. That is where the resemblance ends, however.
Ambush Bug's origins are a mystery, even to himself. He originally claimed to have gotten his amazing teleportation powers from his suit - an artifact of a superior alien culture from the planet Schwab, the legacy of the scientist Brum-El, who launched his dry cleaning into space in the hopes that his wardrobe would survive on another planet. His powers have since then been revealed to be a natural part of him, though he still refuses to take off his suit.
Ambush Bug doesn't do much crime-fighting, his satirical adventures largely focusing upon random events like going out to a karaoke bar with Darkseid and avoiding the assassination attempts of continuity cop Jonni D.C. following repeated violations of the DC Comics timeline and basic human decency. Despite this, Ambush Bug was briefly part of the Doom Patrol and was last seen having settled down into a job as an on-the-scene reporter for Channel 52 News. His current whereabouts are unknown, but it's a safe bet that wherever there is free food, he'll be there.
Who else is crazier than Deadpool? Let us know in the comments!