CATEGORIES Features

The best thing that can be said about this summer's biggest flop, the Warner Bros. comic book Western/fantasy 'Jonah Hex,' is that it seemed like a good idea at the time. After all, comic book movies like 2008's 'The Dark Knight' and 'Iron Man' were among the biggest box office hits of the past decade, while 'Iron Man 2' is this year's third highest grossing film to date with an impressive $616 million worldwide. And in Hollywood, that kind of money translates into one thing: more copycats trying to strike it rich with their own comic book films.

But these days it seems that for every record breaking adaptation like 'Spider-Man,' there are a half dozen disappointments like 'Kick-Ass' and 'Watchmen,' not to mention outright flops such as 'Elektra,' 'Catwoman' and, of course, this year's contribution to the bargain bin, 'Jonah Hex.' Apparently finding the next Batman or Iron Man isn't so easy after all.

As long as superhero franchises continue to dominate the box office, though, it's a certainty that Hollywood will continue to throw adaptations against the wall to see what sticks. And that brings up a truly terrifying thought: If Hollywood can mess up cool, fan-favorite characters like 'Jonah Hex,' 'Ghost Rider' and 'Fantastic Four 2's' Silver Surfer as badly as they have, what will happen when they start adapting comics that are actually bad to begin with?

With that in mind, then, here's a list of some of the comic book movies that, if the studios have any sense left in them, you won't be seeing any time soon ... we hope:
The best thing that can be said about this summer's biggest flop, the Warner Bros. comic book Western/fantasy 'Jonah Hex,' is that it seemed like a good idea at the time. After all, comic book movies like 2008's 'The Dark Knight' and 'Iron Man' were among the biggest box office hits of the past decade, while 'Iron Man 2' is this year's third highest grossing film to date with an impressive $616 million worldwide. And in Hollywood, that kind of money translates into one thing: more copycats trying to strike it rich with their own comic book films.

But these days it seems that for every record breaking adaptation like 'Spider-Man,' there are outright flops such as 'Elektra,' 'Catwoman' and, of course, this year's contribution to the bargain bin, 'Jonah Hex.' Apparently finding the next Batman or Iron Man isn't so easy after all.

As long as superhero franchises continue to dominate the box office, though, it's a certainty that Hollywood will continue to throw adaptations against the wall to see what sticks. And that brings up a truly terrifying thought: If Hollywood can mess up cool, fan-favorite characters like 'Jonah Hex,' 'Ghost Rider' and 'Fantastic Four 2's' Silver Surfer as badly as they have, what will happen when they start adapting comics that are actually bad to begin with?

With that in mind, then, here's a list of some of the comic book movies that, if the studios have any sense left in them, you won't be seeing any time soon ... we hope:


The Black Bomber
So bad that it was never actually published, this legendary misfire from DC Comics featured a white racist who, due to experimental chemicals he was exposed to in Vietnam, would turn into a black superhero during times of stress, complete with his own African-American girlfriend and a costume based on a basketball uniform. Wiser heads nixed the series during the production stage, a decision for which we are eternally grateful.

Kickers, Inc.

• When a group of NFL players secretly took performance enhancing drugs, they got more than they bargained for, as the resulting superpowers ended up getting them banned from the league. Their football days behind them, the ex-players had just one choice: To form a mercenary squad called Kickers, Inc. and roam the globe fighting crime using their incredible football skills. We have one piece of advice for Shawn Merriman: Start designing your costume now.

The Legion of Super-Pets

• Fans of Superman may recall his super-powered pooch Krypto, but the Man of Steel's best friend wasn't the only Super Pet flying around the cosmos: Streaky the Super Cat, Comet the Super Horse and Beppo the Super Monkey also fought crime in endearingly cute, non-human ways. Together with a blob of semi-sentient protoplasm from the distant future by the name of Proty, they formed the Legion of Super-Pets and frequently zoomed in to save the day on those occasions where Superman happened to be fighting a villain whose powers didn't work against animals. Thanks to Hollywood's current love of talking animal action movies (see: 'Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore') this is the entry on our list most likely to actually make it into a cineplex near you.

U. S. 1

• Back before Facebook or Twitter, the closest thing to social media in America was a little ol' thing called the C. B. radio. So when the C. B. craze hit in the late '70s, Marvel had the perfect answer: U. S. 1, the story of a truck-drivin' do-gooder who could receive C. B. signals through a steel plate in his head which, oh yeah, also allowed him to control his big rig telepathically. If you're too young to understand what that means, just trust us: It was a weird time to be alive.

Brother Power the Geek

• Stop us if you've heard this one: When a mannequin is struck by a magical lightning bolt, it gains incredible super powers and comes to life, becoming an undying champion of hippie flower power. Okay, we're guessing you haven't quite heard that one before, but that was the origin of Brother Power the Geek, who was written off the planet by DC Comics after just two issues by being launched into space on the orders of California Governor Ronald Reagan. A victory for conservatives and a terrible blow for hippies, geeks and mannequins across the nation.

Team America

No, we're not talking about Matt Parker and Trey Stone's classic puppet movie 'Team America: World Police.' Instead, we're talking about the original Team America, which hit comic book shelves back in 1982. Their story? Five motorcycle stuntmen -- evocatively named Honcho, Wolf, Reddy, Cowboy and Wrench -- discover they are mutants, but there are two catches: Their powers only work when all five of them are together, and those powers consist of summoning The Dark Rider, who is ... yet another motorcycle stuntman. Yeah, we don't get the point either. But whatever the reason for Team America's existence, we do know one thing: If this ever gets made into a film, there's going to be a role in it for Nic Cage.