Marvel characters and comics have been around since the early 1960s. Over the course of almost six decades, a lot has changed in society and culture. Which is good. Remembering how awful and offensive things used to be is also a good thing as it enlightens and hopefully keeps history from repeating itself.
The cultural environment we live in now is like a pendulum that has lost control. Both the right and the left are pulling so hard on it that there are days when it seems like our society might just break.
Comics, movies, and other artistic forms bring these issues to light. Sometimes they are done in a powerful and moving manner which prompts individuals to change, while at other times, these issues fail to communicate themselves properly and appear insensitive and downright offensive.
Some shows have been criticized about how they push the line regarding social and cultural issues, but comic books aren’t much different concerning these issues. Many consider Marvel to be wholesome and innocent, but they’re not. Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and dozens of other writers and illustrators pushed the envelope on plenty of storylines and characters-- and sometimes they went way too far.
From issues that degraded one’s race and gender to disgusting concepts of inappropriate relationships and WWII figure heads, here are the 15 Most Offensive Marvel Characters Who Wouldn’t Be Allowed On Screen Today.
Shamrock, also known as Molly Fitzgerald, was first introduced in Marvel Super-Heroes: Contest of Champions #1. The only non-offensive parts about Shamrock back in the early '80s, and today, would be that she was a woman who wanted to do good in the world. Every other aspect of her character is degrading in some shape or form.
Her luck powers were given to her by “luck spirits,” she has curly red hair, and a giant shamrock on her chest. However, that’s not the worst part. At one point, she broke her leg while going to the bathroom.
Assuming her luck had run out, she hung up her costume as a superhero — and became a hairdresser for other “real” superheroes-- because it’s supposedly natural for a woman hero who wants to change the world to become a hairdresser when she can’t be a hero anymore.
14 Black Talon
Technically, Marvel created two Black Talon’s. The first was Pascal Horta, a painter who lost his hand in a car accident. It was replaced with that of a serial slayer, causing him to turn into one as well. The second, and clearly most offensive then and today, is Desmond Drew.
Desmond Drew was a voodoo priest who could create and control zombies. He’s an African-American dressed in a costume that resembles a chicken and features an upside-down cross on the chest. Marvel has attempted to reboot his character several times, but failed miserably each time — for obvious reasons.
If that wasn’t enough to turn audiences off, Desmond Drew was taken out by his own followers for being a voodoo imposter. Necromancy can work if used properly, but not in a degrading and humiliating way like Marvel did with Black Talon.
First appearing in Captain America #312, Flag-Smasher is about as anti-American as one can get. Based off of another Captain America villain named Red Skull, Flag-Smasher succeeds him, but not in a manner that supports the Fuehrer and mass genocide around the world.
No, this guy is just anti-patriotic to his core. He hates everything that America stands for (including freedom and good-will towards others), and wants to wipe it off the globe for good.
Given the climate of the world we live in today, Flag-Smasher wouldn’t last 10 seconds. We don’t need long-winded speeches about how awful America is today-- instead, all one needs to do is read Twitter first thing in the morning. The fact that there are real Flag-Smashers in the world today is enough to put this Marvel character on the bench for good.
12 Warrior Woman
The leather and intimate exploration of Warrior Woman might be less taboo in today's society than when it first appeared in Marvel Invaders #16, but that’s not what made her so offensive. Her being the mistress of World War II’s evil mustache psychopath did her in then, and still would today.
The man known for wiping millions of innocent people off the face of the planet will forever be known as offensive and repulsive, along with anyone associated to him. However, be careful, because the more we censor him out of literature, the more people will forget about what happened.
Warrior Woman was a loyal supporter of his regime, a true entity of evil. While her character wouldn’t work in today's culture, forgetting about her and the man she worshipped will leave the possibility of history repeating itself one day.
11 Gin Genie
It’s no secret that the X-Men aren’t the most stable minded bunch of superheroes, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that neither were the X-Statix crew. Gin Genie, also known as Rebecca "Beckah" Parker, was one of the most unstable of them all.
For starters, her powers were brought on only by the consumption of spiked beverages. Yep, the more wasted she got, the more powerful Gin Genie became.
The downfall to this equation was that she was a nasty and bitter drinker. As she increased her intoxication levels, the more unstable she became — often sending sonic blasts at her own teammates, instead of at the enemy. The only way Marvel could possibly make Gin Genie work today would be to have a character named Smokin’ Flowers as a foil.
10 Big Bertha
Marvel has created some whacked out characters over the years, and Big Bertha easily places in the top 10 of offensive and weird. Her birth name is Ashley Crawford, which was legally changed to Bertha Crawford, and her day job is that of a stunning super-model. She belongs to the Great Lakes Avengers, and she’s a mutant.
Big Bertha puts on 630 lbs when she enters her mutant state-- and it’s not bulk muscle or anything like that. No, it’s all fat — from head to toe. Despite her outward appearance while in mutant mode, she’s somewhat athletic still, can repel bullets, and has super-strength.
The most offensive part about her character involves how she returns to her “normal state.” For her to remove the pounds, Big Bertha has to purge herself over the toilet. Adding insult to injury, she’s often shown smiling and wiping her mouth once leaving the bathroom.
Anarchist, also known as Captain Coconut, was one of the founding members of the X-Statix. Shockingly, Anarchist was created as recently as 2001 and first appeared in Marvel X-Force # 116. Everything about his character is offensive.
He was adopted and raised in a very Caucasian town and neighborhood with the name Tike Alicar. He thought he was always dirty, because of his African-American heritage, and therefore tried to “cleanse himself” in order to be white like everyone else around him. By trying to change his skin color, he somehow gained powers.
While that should be enough to turn anyone off, it gets worse. Upon obtaining his powers, he changes his attitude towards how others perceived that he should act like as an African-American. This led to him being called Captain Coconut-- dark on the outside and white on the inside. Why, Marvel?
Hate-Monger first appeared in Fantastic Four #21, around the beginning of 1963. Even describing this awful character requires serious censoring on our part. For starters, Hate-Monger was the Fuehrer himself dressed up in a purple sheet as a disguise. His mind was apparently transferred to another body before his defeat in WWII.
Hate-Monger belonged to and led the most xenophobic organization ever created in America — the KKK. He also had a weapon called a hate-ray, which was used to turn people into racists. In the comics, he’s best known for starting riots (New York) and instilling a hateful rage in everyone around him.
Marvel thought it was a good idea to have him fight the Fantastic Four, Captain America, and even Spider Man at one point. How his character survived three superhero encounters is baffling to the core. To make matters worse, Marvel even made another version of him named Man-Beast.
Created as a supervillain, Jackal first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #31 around early December 1965. Known as Miles Warren, he started off as Peter Parker’s professor. As the Jackal, he stole some of Peter’s DNA and intended to create clones with it.
While this may sound like a normal comic book villain, it's Miles Warren’s actions towards a cloned Gwen Stacy that becomes highly offensive. The Jackal becomes insanely obsessed with her, doing things so awful that we can’t even write about them because they’re that bad-- just think older professor and a young girl (who also happens to be a clone).
The Jackal would also go on to create clones of Ben Reilly and Kainein, in what would become known as the Clone Saga. Whether clone or human, "no" still means "no" Marvel.
6 Master Man
While perhaps the perfect foil to Captain America, Master Man will most likely be forever buried in Marvel comics. Featuring the symbol of the German army on his chest from WWII, Master Man desired nothing else in life but to serve the Furor of evil himself. Known as Wilhelm Lohmer, he volunteered for an experimental procedure that would end up giving him godlike super powers.
Hydra works as a front for the events which transpired in real life during WWII, but Master Man would certainly cross the line forever if he was ever to hit the big screen today.
There are also two other versions of Master Man-- Axl Nacht, who first appears in Namor the Sub-Mariner #11, and Max Lohmer, who debuts in Captain America #18.
M.O.D.O.K. is a creature whose specific design was to eliminate and terminate everyone. He first appeared in the Tales of Suspense #93–94 and was created by none other than Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
At one time, M.O.D.O.K. was a human named George Tarelton, which is why he wouldn’t make it in on screen in today's current cultural environment. This is not because he was bent on wiping out humanity, but because of what he does to Ms. Marvel. Becoming obsessed with her, M.O.D.O.K. attempts to brainwash her. Thankfully, she escapes — but not before he does manage to do some horrible things to her.
This is one Stan Lee and Jack Kirby story that Marvel likely wishes it could bury forever-- especially after the recent charges that have been alleged against the man who created most of today’s iconic comic characters.
While Marvel pulled off the feat of having the Mandarin in Iron Man 3, he wouldn’t be a wise on-screen choice today. Plus, the Mandarin who featured in Iron Man 3 isn’t the real one.
The real Mandarin is a brilliant scientist who is superhumanly skilled in martial arts. His source of power derives from ten power rings he adapted from an alien technology, found in the wreckage of a crashed space ship. Each ring varies in power and is worn on a specific finger.
What makes this character offensive is his appearance in the comics. He’s basically made up of every Asian stereotype one could imagine. From squinty eyes to a Fu Manchu mustache and long fingernails, it’s unlikely that Marvel fans will see this character on the big screen again anytime soon.
Netflix recently pulled off what many considered impossible, creating an animated version of Devilman Crybaby that audiences would be satisfied with. However, the day that Mephisto takes the main stage isn’t quite here yet. Whereas Devilman fights for humanity and has a strong social message attached to it, Mephisto simply seeks to devour everything.
Known as one of Marvel’s scariest villains, the Lord of Lies enjoys stealing souls and torturing them. He was created by Stan Lee and first appears in The Silver Surfer #3. He is based off of the demon in the Faust Legends.
If Marvel was to bring this villain to the big screen, it would most likely work in animated form only. Not just for aesthetic purposes, but also in order to take the edge off for those who are fidgety about seeing “religious characters” in their comic book movies.
2 Marcus Immortus
If you’ve ever wondered how far comic book writers push the boundaries on social and cultural issues, then you've never met Marcus Immortus, who takes the cake when it comes to shock factor. Ms. Marvel is his mother in one dimension and his lover in another, and both characters know full well that they were mother and son.
It actually gets worse, though. Marcus Immortus brings his mother Ms. Marvel to his own dimension where he uses super science machines that eventually creates a child. If audiences were still confused about what was taking place, the title of the story should clear things up — because it’s called The V*olation of Ms. Marvel.
There will never be a day when this story hits movie screens, especially with Marvel and Disney’s names attached to it. However, the comic story still exists, proving that just because something is drawn, it can still be obscenely offensive.
What in the world was Marvel thinking? There is nothing wrong with creating evil and villainous characters, but how lazy and irresponsible of a writer do you have to be when you name a character "Holocaust." For starters, a great villain is one that audiences can relate to or understand on some level. Darth Vader is a perfect example of what an evil villain should look like.
Thus there is nothing about someone named Holocaust that you can make relatable to an audience. It’s the name of an evil act done by a truly evil man who really existed. Millions upon millions of innocent lives were snuffed out for no other reason than to “purify” the world.
Naming a comic book character after a historical event that should forever be mourned is plain stupid and insensitive. Shockingly, Marvel tried to change his name because the toy “Holocaust” wouldn’t sell.
Can you think of any other offensive Marvel characters who wouldn't be allowed in the MCU today that we missed? Sound off in the comments!