Attack of the Adorably Huggable Supervillains!


Perhaps you’ve heard of Marvel’s “Super Hero Squad” line of toys, and maybe you haven’t. It’s not a bad concept — a bunch of cartoony, kid-friendly action figures where the superheroes are free of comic book angst. They’ve had a comic or two about the characters, and there are plans to turn it into a cartoon series and even an MMO. The worst thing you can say about it is that it caused the cancellation of Chris Giarrusso’s impossibly cool “Mini Marvels” comic strips.

Anyway, one of my new co-workers got to go to Comic-Con in San Diego a couple weeks ago and came back with a stack of comic freebies that she left in our break room with an invitation for all of us to take anything we thought looked interesting. One of the few things to catch my eye was a poster featuring a ton of the Super Hero Squad characters.

(And I’ll apologize in advance for the wonky quality of my scans here — it was no easy feat to get a full-sized poster properly positioned on a scanner, and some of the images also suffer from some bleed-through from the images that were on the back of the poster.)

The main thing you notice about all these Super Hero Squad characters is that they’re all extremely adorable and cute, with big happy eyes and friendly smiles. This is bit jarring on characters like Wolverine and the Silver Surfer, who aren’t known for running around and grinning. But probably the cutest character they have is Hank “Beast” McCoy:


Holy spaghetti, that’s so cute, my teeth have already rotted right out of my skull. Is this the fabled missing link between comic books and lolcats?



But you wanna know what the freakiest thing about this is? The villains are just as happy and friendly and smiley as the heroes. For instance, there’s the Vulture and the Green Goblin.


Now the Goblin is one of the few Super Hero Squad characters who looks even slightly threatening, ’cause that smile legitimately brings the crazy. Still, even for a demented killer, he looks really cute and adorable. And check out the Vulture — in the comics, he’s a dour, bald, elderly man. Here, he’s young, smiling, happy, and handsome. He looks like Charlie Brown when he’s having a good day. Definitely not the typical look for him.

And then there’s Venom.


See what they did to make him look less scary? They gave him flat teeth, not fangs. They didn’t do anything to his claws or to his always-disturbing tongue. He may be less scary, but dangit, if I was ages 3 and up, he’d still be more than scary enough. Honestly, I’m not sure there’s any good way to de-scarify Venom. Maybe put him in blonde wig and a pretty pink party dress and rename him “Paris.” But no, no, I’m newly terrified of Venom now. Great work there, Scott.

Oh, and who’s that I see behind Venom and the Rhino down there?


Hey, it’s that wholesome and cute serial killing alien symbiote monster Carnage! OMG SO ADORABLEZ!

And finally, anyone looking for an adorably cute Nazi war criminal?


Oh, Red Skull, how could we ever stay mad at you?

No Comments

  1. Maxo Said,

    August 5, 2009 @ 9:43 am

    That Venom looks like it should be on a poster for Stranger Danger.

  2. Scott Slemmons Said,

    August 5, 2009 @ 11:02 am

    The picture of Bullseye (which I was never able to get a clear scan of) was even worse, just because he looked so wholesome and happy and sweet.

    “Don’t get in Bullseye’s car, kids! He may look like a nice man, but he’s going to stick a knife through your face!”