In Marvel Comics, not all superpowers are created equal. Some heroes are blessed with the ability to control the weather or perhaps a chance encounter with cosmic radiation makes their body super-stretchy. Others are less fortunate: for every woman who can turn herself invisible, or billionaire genius encased in his own suit of high-tech armor, there’s a character whose superpowers are much less aesthetically pleasing. While these powers may still be technically super, they can be downright disgusting.
Marvel Comics is home to literally tens of thousands of characters, a large portion of whom are superhuman in one manner or another. The variety of these powers and their origins are just as varied as the individuals who wield them, and thus it’s inevitable in a sea of near-limitless possibilities that some of these powers are objectively disgusting. From the mildly repulsive to the downright vile, here are 15 Marvel superheroes, supervillains, and none of the above who can churn stomachs with their powers.
15 Marvel Boy
Don’t be fooled by Noh-Varr’s athletic body and boyish good-looks: the youthful hero harbors a disgusting secret. Marvel Boy is a Kree super-soldier from another reality, and like all Kree super-soldiers he’s been subjected to a hefty amount of genetic engineering. In Nov-Varr’s case, his “perfected” Kree genotype was also spliced with the most resilient of Earth creatures: the cockroach. Thankfully for Marvel Boy, his cockroach-related abilities aren’t overtly apparent (outside his manner for skittering along walls like Spider-Man). The part-roach young hero recently joined the Guardians in 2020’s Guardians of the Galaxy #1, where he informed Rocket Raccoon of another odd ability: his spit is a psychedelic drug.
Some mutant powers allow an individual to turn themselves into living ice or shoot energy from their eyes. Then there’s Glob, who was first introduced in 2001’s New X-Men #117. When Glob’s X-gene first activated, his body was transformed into a mass of translucent, living wax. The exception is Glob’s skeleton and most of his internal organs, which are clearly visible inside his bulbous, waxy body. The wax is flammable, and he can pull chunks off to throw at people. Glob’s horrifying appearance belies his true nature – while he looks like a monster pulled from 1950s science fiction, he’s an incredibly gentle soul. In his spare time, Glob enjoys solitude, cooking, and raising chickens.
13 Human Fly
Once a low-level criminal, Richard Deacon would be fatally wounded in a confrontation with Spider-Man and the NYPD. Mad science saved his life, as Deacon had his dying body’s genetic code spliced with that of a housefly. Human Fly has all the powers you’d expect: he can fly with a pair of buzzing wings, he possesses a pair of compound eyes, and he can regurgitate bits of acid to aid in digestion. Deacon’s fly-half slowly overrode his humanity, and by Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #86 he’d taken to eating literal garbage off of scows.
Angelo Espinosa is another mutant whose gifts are less than aesthetically pleasing. Skin’s “gift” comes in the form of more than six feet of loose, elastic skin dangling from his body that he can stretch, wrap, deform, expand, and compress. In time, Skin has learned how (through intense focus) to bring his epidermis to a “normal” tightness, as otherwise the loose flaps make him resemble a “melted candle.” Skin’s mutation is difficult to hide, a legitimate problem in a world where anti-mutant bigotry is very real. In Generation X #50, Skin came up with the perfect cover story: his folds of gray skin aren’t because he’s a mutant, it’s because he was bitten by a radioactive elephant.
Insect-themed characters are nothing new in Marvel – after all, two of the very first Avengers were Ant-Man and the Wasp. Buck Mitty, however, embraced his arthropodal affinity more than others. Much like Ant-Man, Humbug could communicate with insects and replicate various insect-derived sonic abilities through the usage of his exoskeletal suit. While utilizing the cockroaches of New York City as a spy network is gross enough to earn a spot on this list, in 2007’s Heroes For Hire Mitty solidified his legacy. Humbug would be transformed into a part-insect monstrosity to host Brood eggs inside his body. It was a nightmarish experience, and Shang-Chi mercifully ended Humbug’s life at his request.
Sarah Rushman’s mutant gift gives her mastery over her skeleton. As the X-Man Marrow, she can alter the shape, density, and growth of her bones. The rest of her body doesn’t accommodate this process outside a rapid healing factor, which means its usage causes her bones to violently erupt out of her body similar to a compound fracture. Gruesome as it is, Marrow’s power is versatile – her protrusions can be shaped into virtually anything, including plates of armor, claws, or knives she can snap off in a pinch. A testament to her power, in X-Force (2014) #5 Marrow managed to protect the team from a massive explosion by rapidly deploying an impenetrable wall of bone.
9 Toxie Doxie
Toxie Doxie once played the part of Scarlet Witch in the 2012 Dark Avengers series, but there’s nothing magical about her. Jun Covington’s powers originate from genetic experimentation she’s conducted on herself, which has left her oozing with toxic blood that is lethal to the touch. Her poisoned blood is only the tip of Toxie’s grotesque iceberg: her breath can melt flesh until it sloughs off the bone, she’s surgically implanted her own set of gills, she can dislocate her joints at will to contort unnaturally, and to protect herself from impacts she possesses soft, squishy bones.
8 Bride of Nine Spiders
Iron Fist is the champion of K’un-Lun, one of the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven. The 2006 Immortal Iron Fist series from Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, and artist David Aja introduced readers to the Immortal Weapons from the other six Cities, including the profoundly unsettling Bride of Nine Spiders. Like her fellow Immortal Weapons, the Bride is an expert martial artist, but the Chi flowing through her blood (reputed to be the “coldest imaginable”) fuels a disturbing power: she can unleash explosions of spiders from her chest and belch endless, skittering waves of arachnids from her mouth.
7 Skinless Man
The mutant Harry Pizer used to possess a stretchy super-epidermis much like that of Skin. In Uncanny X-Force (2010) #22, it was revealed that the Captain Britain Corps ordered Pizer to be flayed alive, removing all of his super-powered skin while leaving him in a horrific state with all of his flesh permanently exposed. This didn’t entirely rob Pizer of his mutant gifts, however. Without his skin to manipulate, the Skinless Man learned to use the next best thing: his bloody, dripping muscles. The Skinless Man can stretch and contract his muscles almost as well as he could his skin, often shaping them into grasping, fleshy tendrils.
Eros, aka Starfox, is the younger brother of Thanos and at first glance, his placement on this list may not be obvious. The Titanian Eternal possesses several abilities, but his most infamous is his ability to innately stimulate the centers of others’ brains relating to pleasure and attraction. With a bit of concentration, he can reinforce this sense of attraction to seduce and/or sedate others against their will, influencing them to engage in romantic or intimate activities they may not otherwise consent to. The 2006 She-Hulk series addressed this head-on when Jennifer Walters prosecuted Starfox for his potential sexual misconduct, though the truth of Eros’s usage of this ability has remained ambiguous.
5 Soft Serve
Soft Serve poops ice cream. Not just any ice cream, but any and all ice cream. If you can imagine the ice cream, Soft Serve can poop it out for you. Not only can she poop out any flavor of ice cream, but those brave enough to sample her derrière-sourced dairy are in for a delicious treat. Forge was one such soul, and in X-Men (2021) #8 his opinion of Soft Serve’s creamy delights was that they were “the best damn ice cream I’ve ever had.” Creator Bob Quinn has suggested that Soft Serve may not poop at all – her body is simply a portal to the ice cream dimension, and the entrance is very unfortunately placed.
4 Rat of 12 Plagues
The Rat of 12 Plagues is vile in every sense of the word. He was the second Chi-infused champion Daniel Rand faced during the Trial of the Seven Masters throughout Iron Fist (2017). As a boy, the future Rat hid himself from invading soldiers in a pile of corpses, subsisting on their rotting flesh. Here, he learned not to succumb to disease, but to become one with it. His touch alone can infect opponents with festering, nauseating diseases, and he commands a swarm of rats capable of spreading this same foulness. While the Rat of 12 Plagues’ diseases can cause rapid, agonizing death, he prefers victims still be alive as he devours them.
3 Venom (and other Symbiotes)
Venom is one part cosmic horror, one part body horror, and three parts disgusting. He’s never been shy about this fact and has even weaponized it to startling, often stomach-churning effect. The very nature of symbiotes bonding with their host is bad enough – they’re a sentient mass of sticky, ichorous bile that fully encapsulates those they bond with, influencing or even dominating their mind. Venom leans further into this: the slobbering anti-hero is outright fond of cannibalism (brains in particular) and he’s discharged his waste as a weapon. In 2003’s Venom series, Venom defeated the Thing by shoving his long, prehensile tongue down his throat to suffocate him while declaring, “It’s Slobberin’ Time!”.
The X-Man Maggot’s mutant gift is not for the squeamish. When Maggot’s X-gene first began to activate, what appeared to be cancerous masses grew in his abdomen, sapping his appetite and will to live. What erupted out was his mutant gift: his new digestive system, a pair of massive, sentient slugs. The slugs, named Eany and Meany, have to eat for him. To do this, they once again burst from his abdominal cavity, devour any kind of matter, and then seal themselves back inside Maggot. The entire process as relayed to Wolverine in X-Men (1991) #76 is excruciatingly painful. The slugs stay active, and Maggot can feel them “wriggling, squirming, their jaws snapping” inside him.
Despite what his codename might imply, Axel Cluney does not have a mutant power that allows him to innately place his finger on the pulse of society. Instead, Zeitgeist has the queasy-feelings-inducing ability to vomit copious amounts of impossibly corrosive, acidic bile with incredible force. Zeitgeist’s puke is so effective – it can dissolve virtually all known materials and can burn through steel beams in mere seconds – he has to take extreme measures to protect himself and others by wearing a protective mask. It’s not an unfounded fear: as told in X-Force #116, Zeitgeist’s powers first manifested while on a date. While Zeitgeist was kissing the girl, he drunkenly regurgitated and melted her face off. Thus began the career of the character with the most disgusting superpowers in the Marvel Universe.
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