DC Comics is full of great, popular characters like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman who make it their life’s work to fight for justice and defend the innocent. On the other end of the spectrum are some lesser known, embarrassing characters who either fight for nothing or terrible causes.
Over time, it’s pretty easy to tell who is popular and acceptable and who is neglected and politically incorrect. There’s more than one way to be offensive, but when one looks at these characters, it’s pretty easy to see how someone can perceive them as offensive or crass.
There’s a long list of DC movies coming out soon to showcase their most popular characters, and the publisher is doing everything it can to make sure fans forget about certain offensive characters. A few of the characters on this list have undergone radical changes over the years to make them more palatable, but their dark histories are still out there. At the end of the day, some characters are better left tucked away on the shelf instead of being represented in DC’s comics or on the big screen.
With that said, come learn about 15 Offensive Characters DC Wants You to Forget About.
15. Egg Fu
Like Humpty Dumpty, Egg Fu is a giant, sentient egg. Unlike Humpty Dumpty, Egg Fu was depicted with stereotypical Chinese “traits.”
When the character was first introduced, he was a communist agent for the Chinese government. As silly as it may sound, he used his mustache as a whip that could constrain his enemies. He may be laughable, but in his first appearance he succeeded in killing both Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman, forcing Queen Hippolyta to search for their remains and bring them back to life.
Over the years, there have been a few different Egg Fus. Through it all, the character’s offensive Chinese caricature remains, no matter what else changes.
After Crisis on Infinite Earths, Fu was reintroduced to audiences as a super computer created with Apokoliptian technology. He’s made a few appearances in the New 52 and DC Rebirth in Harley Quinn, but he’s no longer a racial caricature.
In Spanish, “Extraño” literally translates to strange or odd. Gregorio de la Vega, a Peruvian man, was chosen by the Guardians of the Universe to take place in a special experiment focused on human evolution. Vega already had minor magical powers, so the procedure turned him into a bonafide warlock.
His powers are neat, but DC presented the character as full of homosexual stereotypes. There’s an argument to be made that he’s DC’s first gay superhero, but since he is depicted as wearing flamboyant, colorful clothing and speaking in a particular, drawn-out manner, Extrano was often presented as the comic relief of the team.
The character was finally reintroduced to the DC Universe in Midnighter and Apollo, written by Steve Orlando. Orlando, a gay author himself, did a great job of stripping away the character’s sillier, flamboyant traits and turning him into a suave, sophisticated character.
13. Rainbow Girl
Rainbow Girl is a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, but her powers are more manipulative than heroic. First appearing in 1963, Rainbow Girl has the ability to use pheromones to manipulate people’s emotional states.
The Legion of Superheroes was a bastion of diversity back in the 60s, but Rainbow Girl is an extremely stereotypical depiction of women in media. She uses her femininity to manipulate people into helping her achieve what she wants. In fact, she only joined the Legion in the hopes that it would boost her popularity and further her acting career.
The Green Hornet has Kato, so it’s fitting that the Crimson Avenger has Wing How to support him.
Wing started his career as Lee Travis’- the Crimson Avenger’s alter ego – official chauffeur. A Chinese immigrant who fled persecution from the Japanese before World War II, Wing decides to help Travis in his fight against crime.
At the beginning of their heroic career Wing never wore a costume, and yet no one ever realized that he was the person working with the Crimson Avenger. Later on, he officially dons a yellow costume with some Chinese characters on it and serves as the eight member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory.
11. Svhaughn Erin
Shvaughn Erin is a member of the Science Police – an intergalactic force that works alongside the Legion of Superheroes. While she works closely with numerous Legion members, she and Element Lad develop a close, romantic relationship.
Things became weird for Erin when, years later, it was revealed that she was actually a man. Erin had been taking a medication called “profem” to transform herself into a female in order to be with her male love. Element Lad didn’t care about gender, and the two of them still continued their relationship.
DC must have cared though, because after Zero-Hour the character’s transgender backstorywas wiped from her history. Shvaughn was presented as an adult female and Element Lad, her former lover ,was a teenager. Since the two of them did not develop a new relationship, her gender was never brought up again.
10. Tom Kalmaku a.k.a. Pieface
Tom Kalmaku is one of Hal Jordan’s oldest friends. A mechanic at Ferris Aircraft, the place that Jordan flies as a test pilot, Kalmaku is an incredibly gifted, hard worker. He is one of the few people to know Jordan’s secret, and he even kept a journal of some of the Green Lantern’s adventures.
Unfortunately, he was given the nickname of “Pieface” – a racial slur that referred to the roundness of his face. The name became an official title for the character, as seen in the comic strip above.
Kalmaku is still a close friend of Jordan’s and is often featured in stories that feature Green Lantern visiting Earth. In fact, Taika Waititi, the director of Thor:Ragnarok, played him when Green Lantern hit theaters in 2011. But now, he’s just referred to as Tom.
To properly describe how uniquely inappropriate Snowflame is, a quote is necessary: “I am Snowflame! Every cell of my being burns with white-hot ecstasy. Cocaine is my God — and I am the human instrument of its will!“ Yikes.
In Snowflame’s single comic book appearance, he was a foe of the New Guardians. A Colombian drug lord who is literally powered by drugs, just touching him is enough to give someone a contact high. Unfortunately, the drugs that he trafficked in and loved the most eventually led to his death.
Like many characters on this list, Codpiece only has one comic book appearance.
Codpiece, who was never given a real name, suffers from an inferiority complex about the size of his… codpiece. To feel better about himself, he creates a battle suit with a multi-use weapon in his pelvic region. Not only can he shoot missiles and sonic attacks, but he also has drills and scissors stowed away in there like a human Swiss-Army Knife.
Just like someone driving a Hummer, Codpiece hits the streets and shows off his new gear in the hopes that he feels better about himself.
7. Doctor Light
Doctor Light is one of the DC Universe’s most twisted villains. He has the ability to manipulate light and project energy blasts, making him a capable for to both the Teen Titans and the Justice League.
During Identity Crisis, Brad Meltzer turned the joke of a villain into a twisted, psychological monster. As the Justice League are away on a mission, Light teleports into the Watchtower and finds Sue Dibny, Elongated Man’s wife, all alone. He rapes the defenseless woman and tells the members of the JLA who find him that none of them are safe. As a result of that, he has his mind wiped and is turned into a joke among the superhero community.
In the New 52 and Rebirth timelines, Arthur Light has been retconned as a full-fledged hero and his dark past has been erased. He is a scientist for A.R.G.U.S. who eventually joins the Justice League during the Trinity War story line.
Cynthia Reynolds grew up in a safe, loving home, but once her brother was born, things started to sour. At the age of 14, Reynolds buys a one-way ticket to Detroit and decides to start a new life. Luckily, Reynolds has the ability to cast illusions and protective spells, something any 14 year old girl would need alone in Detroit.
She eventually decides to use her powers for good, adopting the name Gypsy and donning traditional Roma garb as her costume. There’s nothing really wrong with the character, but the term Gypsy is a ethnic slur.
In the New 52, she was no longer depicted as a member of the Justice League. Instead, it is revealed that she’s a captive of Amanda Waller’s because she is from an alternate dimension. As of now, she has not made any appearances in DC Rebirth.
Tyroc is one of DC’s first black superheroes. Unfortunately, he’s also pretty racist.
Jim Shooter, a legendary Legion of Superheroes writer, had wanted to introduce an African-American character for years to the team. In 1976, when he was finally allowed to bring a black character into the fold, he was forced to do it in an extremely stereotypical manner.
Instead of just introducing audiences to a new member of the team, Tyroc was brought into the fold as the leader of a segregationist island where all the residents were black. He even used his sound-based abilities to enforce racial separatism on the island and force people he didn’t want there to leave the island. He was eventually offered a position on the Legion of Superheroes, becoming the first black member.
4. Infectious Lass
Drura Sehpt, later known as Infectious Lass, is a member of the Legion of Superheroes from the planet Somahtur. Each inhabitant on Somahtur hosts millions of micro-organisms that can make humans and other species sick. Over the years, she became immune but that doesn’t mean the people she comes in contact with are.
She is incapable of controlling her powers, making her extremely dangerous. Luckily, she wants to be a hero, but she still ends up impacting everyone around her. Due to the fact that she is a danger to her teammates and everyone around her, writers have left this character on the shelf over the years.
3. Ebony White
The Spirit, created by Will Eisner, is one of the most iconic comic book character of all time. Originally published in Quality Comics, DC Comics bought the franchise and integrated all of the characters into their world.
One of those characters was Ebony White, Spirit’s teen sidekick, whose name is literally a racial pun. Similar to Jim in Huckleberry Finn, White has an informal, uneducated speech pattern that sets him apart from everyone else in the book.
He was a good sidekick, often helping the Spirit find clues he overlooked, as well as the Spirit’s unofficial taxi driver. He’s still in use sometimes, but now he is shown as a normal teenager who has a gift for detective work rather than a hodgepodge of racial stereotypes.
It may sound silly, but Hemo-Goblin is a vampire who was created to eliminate minorities for a white-supremacy group. Comic books, and fiction in general, are chock full of entertaining, complex vampires, but Hemo-Goblin sure isn’t one of them.
Like most vampires, he has limited immortality, superhuman strength and increased stamina. But, unlike most vampires, Hemo-Goblin has a unique ability with a deadly twist. In New Guardians issue 1, Hemo-Goblin infects some of the team members with HIV. He’s only had one comic book appearance, and he even died at the end of that issue, so it’s unlikely this AIDS spreading menace will return to the pages of DC Comics.
There’s never an instance of rape that isn’t offensive and a sign that someone is a terrible person. But, when the victim is Dick Grayson, one of the most loved characters in the DC Universe, then you’ve truly outraged fans everywhere.
Catalina Flores used to be an FBI agent, but she soon turned into a dark, extremist vigilante to fight corruption in Blüdhaven, going by the name Tarantula. After Blockbuster targeted Dick Grayson’s loved ones, Nightwing was at his breaking point. He chose to step aside and allow Flores to kill his enemy, a decision that put him in a nervous, catatonic state.
When he was incapacitated, Flores had her way with the hero. While she was still in the DC Universe for a while after that, the character has only had minimal appearances in DC Rebirth alongside Green Arrow.
What do you guys think of these offensive characters? Let us know who else should be on the list in the comment section!
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