(Verily, yon maiden doth speak the truth. At our last editorial board meeting in January, Karen suggested this topic. She placed it in the queue on Sunday, and I added artwork, with her approval, to it on Tuesday. And then, "Doh!" if our brother Steve didn't ask the same question yesterday. The Bronze Age blogosphere is a small world... --Doug)
Karen: Comic fans love to ridicule Aquaman, to discuss how worthless his powers are. But in the grand scheme of things, the old King of the Seas really isn't that bad. He at least has some useful abilities: he can live underwater, control sea life, and has some level of super-human strength and toughness. Sure, he's specialized, but he's not really worthless.
You want worthless? How about Duo Damsel, aka Triplicate Girl? This Legionnaire has the amazing ability to create duplicate, non-super-powered versions of herself. That's right, instead of facing down one petite 16-year old girl, guys like Mordru or the Persuader have to contend with two, or even three, such threats!
The Legion was home to a number of semi-worthless characters. Matter-Eater Lad? Dream Girl?
Over at Marvel, I always thought the Angel seemed somewhat useless. He could fly, but then again, so could 50% of the super-hero community. At least DC's winged avenger, Hawkman, had a bunch of cool weapons, as well as a manly costume showing off his bare chest. Even the Wasp had her stingers.
Water-based heroes and shrinking heroes have specialized niches but some are more lame than others. I love Triton, but the guy isn't worth a darn outside of water. Even Stingray is a little more useful. As far as the shrinkers go, I liked the Atom's outfit, but other than hitching rides on electrons, he seems pretty worthless. I'd rather have Wildcat around, even old, washed-up Wildcat. Ant Man at least could order ants around, which is amusing if not valuable. No wonder the guy invented a growth formula.
Who is most worthless? Name the names, we won't hold it against you.