Every year, it seems like superhero movies become more and more serious. The stakes have gotten so high and the heroes so angst-ridden that you can’t help but wish that someone would slip on a banana peel and break up all the doom and gloom. If you’re looking for an alternative to all this sulking, look no further than the source material. Comics are brimming with characters who would rather disarm their enemies with the perfect quip than a well-placed gut punch. Here are five of the funniest comic book characters to help lighten the mood.


Matt Fraction’s recent run of Hawkeye is as hilarious as it is poignant. Hawkeye is a reluctant, self-conscious superhero who knows that being really good with a bow and arrow doesn’t quite stack up to being Thor, Son of Asgard or The Incredible Hulk. So what’s a guy to do? Well, mostly just troll around Los Angeles looking for the best hamburger or occasionally watching your friend’s cat while he’s off saving the universe. Fraction’s Hawkeye is truly a superhero for the rest of us.

Red Bee

Sometimes a character is intentionally hilarious, but sometimes it’s harder to tell if they, or their creators, are in on the joke. DC’s Red Bee is definitely in the latter category. Rick Raleigh is an assistant district attorney (or is it assistant to the district attorney?) by day and amateur beekeeper by night. His costume is best described as “blousy” and when the odds are stacked against him, Red Bee releases a swarm of bees from his belt, which looks about as silly as you’d imagine. It’s hard to tell if the bad guys are taken out by the all the stings or the awkward site of a full grown man releasing bees from his red-and-yellow striped pants. The whole mess recalls Ace and Gary’s catchphrase from SNL’s Ambiguously Gay Duo cartoons: “What is everyone looking at?”


The comic landscape is riddled with wise-cracking anthropomorphic ducks, but none are quite as strange as Rubberduck. A third-tier DC character from the ’80s, Rubberduck is the rubber-limbed alter ego of actor Byrd Rentals. If that pun makes you laugh, then you are in for a treat. Barely a sentence of dialogue goes by without at least three puns. When he isn’t signing autographs or fielding interviews with gossip columnists, Rubberduck spends his time lassoing purse snatchers or bouncing missiles back at some equally insane villain. The character was short-lived. Though with all the advancements in rubber technology, Rubberduck is probably due for a major comeback. I mean, think of all the pun-sibilities.

Batman (as portrayed by Adam West)

Part of the joy of watching the old 60’s Batman TV show is Adam West and his half-serious, half-winking portrayal of the caped crusader. No matter how serious the plot, West always lets a little smile form on the corner of his mouth, as if to say, “I know that what I’m saying is ridiculous, but we’re having a good time, right?”. The George Clooney-starring Batman and Robin tried to return some of the kitsch-factor to the movies, but they overshot the mark by a mile. It’s no surprise Chris Nolan steered the vehicle so hard in the direction of gravel-voiced seriousness, but even that move led to a bit of hilarity.


In the ’90s, the X-Men team seemed to grow with every turn of the page, and Jazz represents the Marvel machine finally gaining self awareness. He also answers the question, “Why aren’t there any mutants with useless powers?” Jazz’s power is, in fact, not a power. He is simply able to turn his skin blue. It serves absolutely no purpose, so Jazz spends most of his appearances sitting around, rapping terribly and flirting with female mutants. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if Eminem joined the Blue Man Group, Jazz is your guy.