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Who are the 5 lamest superheroes ever?

By David Kaplan, Contributing writer
Published On: Aug 22 2011 12:47:38 AM CDT
Updated On: May 01 2014 09:12:11 AM CDT
Man dressed in superhero costume

iStock/RichVintage

With the summer blockbuster season in full swing, it's safe to say we'll be getting our fill of superhero movies this year.

No matter what the year, the summer movie season will always mean at least one or two superheroes fighting evil on the big screen.

Whether it's Superman, Spider-Man or Batman -- not to mention X-Men, Fantastic 4, Thor, Green Lantern, Captain America and more -- fans have flocked to their local theater year after year.

Sure, we've all got our favorite superheroes, but if you ask any comic book aficionado, they'll tell you that not all heroes are all that, well, super.

So we couldn't help but wonder: who are the five lamest superheroes of all time?

We start with a look at the man of steel. No, not that one, the other one ...

Steel comic book and movie image

No. 5: Steel as played by Shaquille O'Neal

OK, we admit it. We actually saw this stinker.

Hey, we remembered the character from our younger days when we would read DC Comics, and in the late '90s Shaquille O'Neal was big.

"Steel" is a 1997 movie based on the DC Comics character John Henry Irons, and starred O'Neal and Judd Nelson, which should tell you everything you need to know right there.

Steel is basically a guy, in this case a 7-foot-1-inch, 325 pound guy, in a suit of armor with fancy ray guns. Think the knights from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" meet the guns from the original "Battlestar Galactica."

That's right! Steel is a modern-day laser wielding knight out to take revenge on Nelson's character who stole weapons designed by Steel and used them to arm his crime gang. Had enough yet? So did everyone else who stayed away from this bomb.

But at least Steel was big and strong, unlike our next "hero" ...

Ant-Man from comic books

No. 4: Ant-Man

The name says it all.

This Marvel Comic hero had the power to reduce to the size of an ant. And that was pretty much it, other than the fact that he also could control ants, which we suppose is really helpful if his plan is to ruin Doctor Doom's picnic.

Perhaps what is most shocking about Ant-Man is that he survived not one, not two, but three incarnations. The original Ant-Man, Hank Pym who invented the shrinking methods and ant control, later handed off his powers a reformed thief.

The third and final Ant-Man was anything but "super" -- using his status to seduce women, and humiliate and torment others.

Want more? Well don't worry. Word is Hollywood is considering an Ant-Man movie if they can come up with a good script.

We just hope the movie ends up being better than the next entry on our list ...

Blankman movie image

No. 3: Blankman

While "Blankman" did not come from the pages of any comic book, and was clearly a superhero parody film; we just had to include the Damon Wayans character on our list.

A nerdy appliance repairman by day, Darryl Walker takes on the persona of Blankman by night to rid the streets of crime and fight political corruption. Armed with his bulletproof pajamas and an array of Batman-like gadgets, he saves the day, fights crime, and somehow gets the girl.

Frankly, we were rooting for the bad guys in this one.

Perhaps the best part about Blankman is he has a sidekick, Other Guy, who has no super powers or any discernable crime fighting skills at all. Had he had either of the two, we would have gladly added him to our list -- because let's be honest, it doesn't take much to be considered a superhero.

Kind of like our next entry ...

Cypher from X-Men comics

No. 2: Cypher

Ever wish you could read Japanese? Maybe dabble in Spanish and Sanskrit? Then Cypher is your superhero!

Armed with the ability to read any language, Cypher is the hero you call when you lose the instructions to your TV and all you have left is the Korean version.

Cypher could understand and translate any form of communication, be it written, spoken or non-verbal. This was regardless of whether the origin of the language was human, computer or even completely alien -- making him and the previously mentioned Ant-Men kindred spirits. One could control ants, and the other could tell the ants were getting annoyed.

Although the ability to understand computer can be helpful in this tech-savvy era, wouldn't you prefer any number of powers before you got to this one?

Suddenly Steel is looking good again, especially compared to our choice for lamest "superhero" ...

Wonder Twins Zan and Jayna

No. 1: Zan of The Wonder Twins

"Wonder Twins powers, activate. Form of tap-water!"

And that's about it ...

Zan and his twin sister Jayna had maybe the worst powers ever. In order to use them, the Twins would have to touch hands and then say what they wanted to turn into. While Jayna got the better end of the stick, and could transform into any animal she wanted, Zan's choices were limited to forms of water.

Yeah, water.

It could be any solid, liquid or gas versions of water, so he had some options at least. So if he wanted to be a wave, or a patch of ice, or maybe some mist, he was set.

To be fair, he could also turn into an ice cage or something similar, but let's be honest here; unless his plan is to give Sabertooth a bath, he's not much help, and is not our first choice for who we would bet on to save the world.