10 Handicapped Comic Book Heroes Who Can Kick Ass - Mania.com

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10 Handicapped Comic Book Heroes Who Can Kick Ass

By Dirk Sonniksen     June 14, 2010

10 Handicapped Comic Book Heroes Who Can Kick Ass
© Bob Trate


Today we pay homage to those heroes that have overcome great adversity in their lives. These men and women, through various misfortunes, have suffered incredible physical obstacles, but have come back to kick ass and take names. We celebrate their gusto, ingenuity, and general badassness. For your enjoyment, we bring you ten handicapped heroes that kick ass!

Handicapped Superheroes

10. Misty Knight 

Misty Knight was once a cop with the NYPD, until a bomb attack ended her career. With her right arm amputated, Knight’s role seemed uncertain—that is, until Tony Stark stepped in to offer Misty a bionic arm that gave her super-strength. When her first bionic arm wore out, Stark constructed a new one made of Antarctic Vibranium and Diamond, components that make for serious crushing power. This new arm also seemed to mimic various aspects of Iron Man’s armor…and could control robots. Not bad for an arm.


Handicapped Superheroes

9. Calamity 

James Wa had big dreams of being a professional athlete until a drunk driver stole not only those dreams, but also his legs. As Wa was an engineering student, he knew a thing or two about a thing or two and created super-cool, super-fast, Calamity-Brand Cheetah Prosthetics limbs, giving him back his legs, only better…stronger…faster! Wa became a member of The Order, utilizing his super-speed to aid the group in various battles. Wa gets a nod for being the only double-amputee on our list, having really cool outfits, and in general, being known as a stand-up kind of guy. No pun intended. 


Handicapped Superheroes

8. Dr. Niles Caulder (The Chief) 

The leader of Doom Patrol, Dr. Niles Caulder is a paraplegic with a knack for inventions and innovations that made him a bundle. What landed The Chief in a wheelchair is a rather bizarre tale involving a guy name General Immortus, and…you guessed it, his quest for immortality. With Caulder able to create a concoction giving him everlasting life, Immortus plants a bomb inside Caulder (as insurance of sorts), a bomb that Caulder eventually removes, but which leaves him crippled. Seeing this as a plus (what an optimist!), Dr. Niles Caulder builds Doom Patrol out of folks that have a knack for turning tragedy into opportunity. The Chief makes our list for being the leader of a kick ass comic, and for looking like that guy in the Dos Equis commercials.


Handicapped Superheroes

7. Captain Marvel, Jr.

Freddie Freeman is a young man with various physical maladies, who eventually ends up being threatened by Captain Nazi, and then being saved by Captain Marvel from Captain Nazi. It looks like the end for Freddie, so Captain Marvel turns the young teen into Captain Marvel, Jr. This was a wise move for DC, who needed a spin-off to keep the whole Captain Marvel/Shazam thing going. Freddie was a “crippled” kid back when crippled kids were en vogue, but whose tortured little bodies would eventually be replaced by the likes of Cyborg and Cable, because frankly, having metal body parts is a far more interesting physical abnormality than, say, a club foot.


Handicapped Superheroes

6. Daredevil 

Matt Murdock saves a blind guy from getting squashed by a truck, and in return is blinded by radioactive goo. Coincidence? Of course not. It’s all in the cards, as Matt Murdock becomes “the man without fear,” also known as Daredevil. Though blind, Daredevil does have super-human senses, or “radar sense,” thus allowing him to kick serious bad guy ass, and wear red for extended periods of time. Daredevil is perhaps our favorite superhero on the list, not only for his ability to overcome adversity, but his uncanny sense of style.


Handicapped Superheroes

5. Oracle 

Barbara Gordon, daughter to Commissioner Gordon, oh, and she’s Batgirl…then Oracle. In 1988’s Batman: The Killing Joke, Barbara is shot by The Joker, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down, a pickle that would end the comic career of most, but not Barbara Gordon. Wheelchair-bound, Barbara becomes Oracle, kick ass computer wiz and intelligence guru. While The Killing Joke received a rather frigid reception from many readers, namely for the brutality shown toward Barbara, it did conjure up a new female comic hero, who would then found Birds of Prey, a team of female superheroes.


Handicapped Superheroes

4. Dr. Mid-Nite 

Dr. Mid-Nite is actually a collective hodgepodge of heroes that were all robbed of their sight, but still managed to kick ass in the face of adversity. Enter Charles McNider, blinded by a grenade blast and given superhero powers by his soon-to-be comrade in crime fighting, Hooty the owl. After McNider’s death, Beth Chapel took over as the new, and more correctly spelled, Dr. Midnight. Beth was also blind, and as fate would have it, she would also perish much like McNider. Chapel was replaced with the final Dr. Mid-Nite, Pieter Cross. Cross was…blind and much like McNider and Chapel, could only see in the dark. Like McNider, Cross would befriend an owl (Charlie), an appropriate sidekick for this nocturnal crime-fighter. Cross has the distinction of being the coolest of the Dr. Mid-Nite (Midnight) incarnations, and the only still among the here-and-now.


Handicapped Superheroes

3. Thor

Just to be a wiseass, Odin decides to teach his son some humility by placing him in the body of Donald Blake, a disabled medical student. In true crazy-origin fashion, Blake becomes a doctor and shortly thereafter sees some aliens, runs into a cave, finds a big hammer, and becomes Thor. Keeping with his father’s humility thing, Blake continues to treat sick folks, while bedding down with hottie Jane Foster, and continually fighting bad guys whose names are really hard to pronounce. With the exception of Charles Xavier, Thor is the most popular, hip, quasi-disabled guy on our list…in a really primal Norwegian sort of way. 


Handicapped Superheroes

2. Crazy Jane  

While Crazy Jane has no physical limitations to speak of, she does have one hell of a personality disorder. You see, the sixty-four personalities of Kay Challis (Crazy Jane is her dominant personality) are like a subway…literally. Each personality has a station where it sits when not in use and even  deeper levels of the station are where personalities go to kill themselves (choo choo). If you’re wondering how things could have gotten so bad for Crazy Jane, look no further then her really screwed up childhood (we’ll let you read up on that), and a “gene-bomb” which gives each of her personalities a super-power. From the twisted minds of Doom Patrol, Crazy Jane makes it to number two on our list for being seriously afflicted with multiple personality syndrome. Is she completely bat-shit? Yes! Do we love her anyway? Indeed.


Handicapped Superheroes

1. Charles Xavier – Professor X 

Lord/God of the mutants, Charles Xavier is a paraplegic with incredible powers, including reading and controlling the minds of humans and projecting his form into another dimension, known as the astral plane; if that doesn’t impress you, we’re not sure what will. Xavier had an altercation with alien scout Lucifer, which would rob him of his ability to walk, but keep his genius intact. Xavier would rebound from his injuries, forming a school for mutants and, in turn, the X-Men. Professor X tops our list of handicapped heroes, not only for his ability to come back fighting, but also by establishing one of the most celebrated teams in comic history

Take a look at some other Comic features: 5 Rules for Making THE AVENGERS Movie. Speaking of the Avengers, check out  8 Characters We Hope to See in Iron Man 2 and watch The Movie Maven Chase Tony Stark.  

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Miner49er 6/14/2010 1:04:01 AM

I keep hopin' for a Daredevil reboot.

Thorn 6/14/2010 3:55:53 AM

I would have placed Daredevil at #2, after Xavier... You also forgot Echo/Ronin (Maya Lopez), who is deaf.

Wiseguy 6/14/2010 6:29:17 AM

Agree with Thorn, Daredevil really needed to be number 2. Come on, Oracle over DD, that's lunacy

I wouldn't even put Thor nor Capt. Marvel jr. on the list since they basically become somebody else.



jfdavis 6/14/2010 6:34:27 AM

If anyone has a chance, you should google The Scrap City Pack Rats.  A team comprised of all disabled superheroes...

Rheul_home 6/14/2010 7:20:34 AM

Im with Wiseguy. Thor and CM Jr. really don't belong on this list. Silhouette from The New Warriors could take CM Jr.'s place on this list and Echo should bump Thor. I would also put DD at #1(him being #6 is ridiculous) over Xavier. Charlies handicap does not really interfere with his power at all. Professor X can use his powers effectively from the safety of the X-Mansion while DD blindness is something that cant really be negated... Then again his radar sense is better than sight so I guess I should shut up. DD is just cooler. Put him at #1.

Tevii 6/14/2010 7:53:48 AM

Daredevil should definitely be number 2 if not number one

FerretJohn 6/14/2010 9:14:31 AM

There's also Sillouette of the original New Warriors.  Paralized below the waist, she fights with leg braces and (high tech) crutches with her own mutant agility.  And I guess you could add the Hulk to the list if you're counting mental disorders, his powers are tied directly to Banner's MPD. 

Oh yeah, Sewer Urchin of The Tick (oh definitely definitely).

SelectiveRealism 6/14/2010 9:37:29 AM

 Slingshot from Nick Fury's Secret Warriors had her arms ripped off.  She now has the obligatory robotic prosthetics.

fft5305 6/14/2010 1:27:33 PM

How about NIck Fury himself? He's missing an eye!  I agree Thor doesn't belong on the list.  He doesn't have a disability. Donald Blake does. Big difference. I would have put DD higher, too. Probably at #2.

Ozymandas 6/14/2010 5:24:58 PM

Lots of the heroes have work-arounds to their handicaps. DD & Doctor Midnite have radar-sense & night vision. Thor, Calamity & Captain Marvel Jr have no problems with mobility when doing their thing. Misty Knight's cybernetic arm works better than the real thing. Not a beef with the article, just an observation.

Interesting pics of the Chief you picked there. In one he looks like he's hulking out & in the other he hardly looks like he's ready to kick ass, lol.

Among those mentioned above, Echo is the glaring omission, imho. Also, if Misty Knight gets on this list, how about Cyborg & Deathlock?

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