A new slew of superhero movies are about to open this summer, featuring everyone from Thor and Green Lantern to Captain America and the young X-Men.

When “The Green Hornet” was released in January (speculation was that it was too bad to make a go of it during the summer blockbuster season — in fact, it was just bad, period), I wrote about comic book characters that were tailor-made for silver-screen adaptation.

This month, I’m taking the opposite tack: comic book heroes that should never, ever be adapted for the movies. Or television. Or anything. In fact, they should never be used in comics again.

The Legion of Super-Heroes: Sure, they had Superboy in the roster. But they also had Bouncing Boy (he bounced), Matter-Eater Lad (able to eat his way out of any situation) and Arm Fall Off Boy (who — and I am not making this up — would take his arm off and beat people with it.)

The Wonder Twins: Originally conceived for the Saturday-morning cartoon show “Super Friends,” the Twins consisted of Jayna, who could shapeshift into any animal, and her brother Zan, who could turn into water. Because nothing strikes fear into the heart of a supervillain like a bucket of water.

Aquaman: Being able to breathe underwater and talk telepathically to animals are cool powers to have at sea. But what about on land, where 99.9 percent of all supervillain fights occur?

Joe Fixit: In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Marvel Comics tried to reboot its classic characters by giving them different costumes and identities. Captain America became The Captain, Spider-Man became a clone, and Iron Man became a teenager. But the biggest atrocity came when they transformed the Hulk into Joe Fixit, a gray-skinned, Las Vegas bouncer.

Gross X-Men: Apparently to prove that not all mutations make you a hot redhead with telepathy or a hunky guy with wings, Marvel began to introduce mutants with disgusting powers. There was Skin, who could wrap his yards of loose, gray skin around people; Marrow, who pulled bones from her own body and chucked them at adversaries; and Maggot, who had two giant, hungry slugs living inside his belly. And the Thing thought he had it bad.

Squirrel Girl: She has a squirrel’s tail. She talks to squirrels. That’s about it.

The Whizzer: It wasn’t bad enough that he had a name that would cause fourth-grade boys to snicker for generations. No, this guy also had one of the lamest origin stories of all time — he obtained super-speed by getting a transfusion of mongoose blood. He probably crapped on people’s heads too, but they never showed that.

The X-Babies: The X-Men as babies. Would you like to change the diapers of someone who could blow your head off by looking at you or freeze your hand off? I thought not.

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:

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