When you think about it, comic books have some weird superhero origins. One guy gets bitten by a radioactive this while another falls into a vat of radioactive that. (It seems radiation is only dangerous in the real world.)
And there are more weird ways superheroes have picked up superpowers over the years. After all, there have been thousands of characters created since the early 1930s, and comics would be boring if origin stories were all the same. The superheroes listed below have some of the strangest origins in comics.
- Photo: Crack Comics
First Appearance: Crack Comics #1 (1940)
Weird Origin: Raised by wild birds.
Tarzan tells the story of a man who was raised by gorillas, which is how he learned to swing from vines, climb trees, and beat his chest. Similarly, The Jungle Book shows how a little boy could be raised by wolves, who teach him the importance of pack hunting, taking care of others in his group, and howling. For the Black Condor, a little boy named Richard Grey Jr. was raised by condors.
The difference between Grey and the previous examples is that he didn't just learn some traits of how condors operate; he gained the ability to levitate and fly. Somehow, he inexplicably picked up his condor family's ability to fly without bothering to turn his arms into wings and cover his entire body with feathers.
Black Condor is not just a superhero who can fly, though; he comes equipped with a "black ray" device he found while growing up with his condor pals. It can fire off whatever special ray he needs in the moment, making its ammunition something of a deus ex machina. As an adult, Richard returned to the world of men and stumbled upon the corpse of Senator Thomas Wright, whom he physically resembles. He took the senator's identity and became Black Condor - senator by day, and superhero by night.476Wait, seriously?
- Photo: DC Comics2
First Appearance: Action Comics # 276 (1961)
Weird Origin: Mistakenly drank science juice.
Charles "Chuck" Foster Tain was a normal guy until he came upon a drink he believed was soda, and downed the entire thing. It turned out to be a super-plastic formula, which altered his genetic makeup to turn him into a human bouncing boy. With his new powers, he gained the ability to inflate his body into a large spherical shape and bounce around.
Fortunately, that's not the only benefit from accidentally downing a strange scientific cocktail; Bouncing Boy is also invulnerable to harm, which can make him an incredibly dangerous combatant. If he is thrown or bounced into an enemy, he's basically a large cannonball. However, even with this utility, it took him four attempts to become a member of the Legion of Superheroes.364Wait, seriously?
- Photo: Dark Horse Books3
First Appearance: Visions #1 (1979)
Weird Origin: Read 5,000 comic books and went insane.
The origin of the Flaming Carrot is best described in his book, Flaming Carrot #7 from 1985, which says, "Having read 5,000 comics in a single sitting to win a bet, this poor man suffered brain damage and appeared directly thereafter as - the Flaming Carrot!"
Of course, if it were actually possible to go insane and develop superpowers from reading 5,000 comic books, there are plenty of readers out there who would have followed suit. Alas, that superpower is limited to the world of comic books.
Flaming Carrot uses serious abilities and gear in his fight against evil. He wears a mask that is continuously burning at the top but hides a nuclear-powered pogo stick within. He has a crimefighting utility belt, which is filled with Silly Putty, rubber bands, sneezing powder, playing cards, and a bunch of other items that don't aid in fighting crime of any sort.
He also carries a 9mm Radom side arm, which he uses against his enemies. Essentially, he's a nutcase who runs around firing at people while hopping around on a nuclear-powered pogo stick.358Wait, seriously?
- Photo: Lightning Comics4
Fatman, the Human Flying Saucer
First Appearance: Fatman, the Human Flying Saucer #1 (1967)
Weird Origin: He saved a flying saucer, drank something, and transformed.
Fatman, the Human Flying Saucer, comes from the now-defunct Lightning Comics, and he only appeared in three issues. It's not hard to see why. Van Crawford was a normal wealthy man when he stumbled upon a flying saucer in need of help. Being a nice guy, he opted to assist the saucer, which turned out to be a shapeshifting alien capable of transforming into a flying saucer.
Pleased that the nice Earthling aided him, the alien offered Crawford a nice chocolate drink. Upon drinking it, Crawford gained the ability to transform into a flying saucer. Seeing as he was wealthy and didn't need to work, he opted to spend his time using his newfound powers for good by fighting evil.262Wait, seriously?