Marvel Comics have produced some of the most famous characters in the history of comic books. From Iron Man to Captain America to Thor, it seems that everyone knows at least one Marvel Creation. Even weird characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy have become extremely popular. But what about the obscure superheroes and villains? Well a few weeks ago we set out to research some of the most obscure characters in comic books, and we realized very quickly that there were too many for one list. So we wrote one about DC’s weirdest characters, and now we have returned with some of Marvel’s most obscure characters.
Let’s get into them.
Santa Claus may be holding down the North Pole, but hidden under the ice of the South Pole lies the Savage Land, a place unaffected by time, where dinosaurs and animal-human hybrids roam free. This is where Ka-Zar the Savage lives. Ka-Zar is Kevin Plunder, the son of an adventurer, who after his father is killed, is raised by a sabertoothed-tiger and becomes king of the jungle land. He is essentially Marvel’s take on Tarzan. His first appearance was in X-Men comics (X-Men #10, 1965), but he’s crossed over with Spider-Man, and the Avengers several times. He is married to the equally “savage” Shanna the She-Devil, an adventurer and warrior who rules by his side as the Queen of the Savage Land.
One thing that you can always count on comic books to do is capitalize on popular trends, which is definitely how Rocket Racer came about. Robert Farrell is a young man from Brooklyn, New York who became responsible for his seven younger siblings after the death of his parents. Realizing he wouldn’t be able to support them with his day job, he decided to use his gifts as a scientist and engineer to create a rocket-powered skateboard and a weapon enhanced suit and start a life of crime. Eventually he crossed paths with Spider-Man, who eventually convinces Rocket Racer to reform and use his gifted intellect for good. Robert hasn’t been seen on the page for several years, leading to his obscure Marvel character status.
Marvel Comics has a thing for vampires. They’ve published Blade the vampire hunter, Morbius the living vampire, and Bessie the Hell-Cow. Alright that last one is way lesser known, and for good reason. Bessie was a cow on a farm in Switzerland who had the ability to produce more milk than the other cows. One night Dracula appeared, and after not being able to find a human host, drank the blood of Bessie. Her owner assumed she’d been killed by a wild animal and buried her, but she came back as Hell-Cow and terrorized the Swiss alps, killing farmers while searching for Dracula. Eventually Howard the Duck drives a stake through Bessie’s heart ending her reign of terror. She didn’t die however, and has seen a recent resurgence in the pages of Deadpool comics.
The 90’s were a weird time in general, from fashion to the movie Face-Off, it was all about the extreme, and extremely weird. Enter Maggot. Created in 1997 as a new addition to X-Men comics (Uncanny X-Men #345), Maggot is a South African teenager whose digestive system is actually just two large slugs who can eat anything in the world. They crawl out of his body and eat anything in their vicinity, then crawl back into him. Once inside of him, they provide him with nourishment, oh yeah and superpowers like invulnerability and super strength. It’s really no wonder he’s become not only one the weirdest characters ever created, but one of Marvel’s most obscure superheroes.
The name sort of says it all doesn’t it? Stilt Man is a name that has been used by a few characters in Marvel Comics, Stilt Man has always been a street level villain who wears a suit with telescopic stilts on the legs which allow him (and one ‘her’) to tower over the streets, which provides the benefit of faster movement…apparently? Stilt Man first appeared as a villain of the blind crime fighter, Daredevil (Daredevil #8, 1965). It was his ridiculousness that has kept him around in some comics, though he is typically included as a joking reference for fans in the know. Even with his obscure character status, he did make an appearance in the Daredevil television series on Netflix, where is telescopic legs can be seen in the background of a few scenes.
Bonus – Great Lakes Avengers
The Avengers are well known as a team of superheroes based in New York City, New York, and while they are international heroes, they mostly work inside of New York City. Thus other Avengers teams have appeared throughout the years, most well-known being the West Coast Avengers who are led by Hawkeye. These least known of these are the Great Lakes Avengers, who are essentially the rejects of other superhero teams. Let’s look at some of their most popular members individually.
Five points if you guessed what this guy’s powers are. He is Craig Hollis, a man who discovers he cannot be killed after attempting to commit suicide, and decides to use his abilities to fight crime. He puts out an ad in the local paper and builds the team based on the people who answer his call. He operates as the team leader of the GLA.
Clever naming aside, Dinah Soar is one of the least useless members of the GLA. Dinah hails from the Savage Land and it is never revealed if she is a mutant or alien. She looks like a pink human-pterodactyl hybrid, and her abilities include flight and razor sharp claws. She is the romantic partner of Mr. Immortal.
Ashley Crawford is a supermodel, who at will can manipulate her body mass to become the incredibly obese superhero, Big Bertha. When in her form as Big Bertha she is essentially invincible, and extremely strong. She turns back to her supermodel size by vomiting. The character has caused a lot of controversy as some have accused the character as misrepresenting eating disorders.
Val Ventura has the ability to stretch any part of his body that he chooses. There is one catch though, his body is inexplicably flat, so flat that he can become invisible if he stands at exactly the right angle.
Doorman is the resident teleporter for the GLA. His powers operate like a lot of the teleporters in Marvel Comics, he is able to transport others through another dimension, but his powers are significantly more limited. He can only teleport people from one room to the next room over.
This character doesn’t really deserve to be on this list of obscure Marvel characters. She is no longer obscure and has actually become a cult favorite hero in the Marvel Universe, but she was also one of the first members of the Great Lakes Avengers. Squirrel Girl is Doreen Green and she has several abilities like strong buck teeth, a large, furry, prehensile tail, increased leaping abilities, and she can also communicate with squirrels. She has been shown to be one of the strongest characters in Marvel Comics, having defeated Dr. Doom, Galactus, and even the Mad Titan Thanos.
Marvel Comics has created some very memorable characters who deserve all the attention they have received in recent years. But sometimes it is their weirdest characters that deserve to have some of the lime light. Time will tell if any of these obscure Marvel characters will make it into the MCU. Fingers crossed!