The 15 Lamest Superhero Origin Stories

Some superhero origins are just lame. Not all heroes get bitten by radioactive spiders, were the last survivor on a destroyed planet, or survived a science experiment gone wrong to get crime-fighting, world-saving powers. Some heroes enter the vigilante game without any pizzazz, without a modicum of sense, or with a just plain lame origin story.

This list is a compilation of the lamest superhero origin stories of all time. Keep in mind, the focus is on lame origins, not necessarily lame heroes.

Many of these heroes would earn respect over time or be rebooted to become the greatest superheroes of all time. However, whenever these comic book heroes tell their origin story, they probably have a hard time not blushing.

  • Black Condor
    Photo: DC Comics

    First Appearance: Crack Comics #1 (May 1940)

    The Black Condor looks cool with his giant feathered wings and darker persona now, but his original origin was birdbrained. Richard Grey Jr. was raised by a condor as an infant. He learned how to fly by repeatedly leaping into the air and plummeting headfirst into the mountainside. No mutant powers, no shaman ritual, nothing.

    So remember, if you can't fly, just keep trying and physics will eventually cut you a break.
  • The Whizzer
    Photo: Marvel

    First Appearance: USA Comics #1 (August 1941)

    The Whizzer is your standard speed-based superhero, but has one of the most nonsensical origins on this list. Robert Frank was bitten by a poisonous cobra, so his father did the most sensible thing: inject mongoose blood into his son to counteract the poison.

    Not only did this work (for... reasons), but it also granted Robert super-speed. Later, some writer realized this didn't make sense and said the mongoose blood "triggered latent meta-human abilities" in Robert.
  • Bouncing Boy
    Photo: DC Comics

    First Appearance: Action Comics #276 (May 1961)

    Chuck Taine was a regular boy on Earth with no powers. Then he drank something he thought was soda, but was really a super-plastic formula. Instead of causing death or necessitating a call to poison control, this formula gave him the ability to inflate himself into a ball and, well, bounce.

    That's comics, folks.
  • Green Arrow (Oliver Queen)
    Photo: DC Comics

    First Appearance: More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941)

    A traumatic experience inspired Oliver Queen to fight injustice in his city... like Batman.
    He's a millionaire playboy philanthropist... like Batman.
    He had a car and a cave headquarters based off his persona's theme... like Batman.
    He even had a teenage boy sidekick like Batman!

    While his original origin was different from Batman's in that he had to teach himself high-level archery to survive while stranded on a deserted island, everything else felt like a Batman ripoff. Over the years, Green Arrow's personality and origin changed in order to distance himself from the Dark Knight, but even after all of that he still has to contend with being compared to the original avenging archer, Robin Hood.