Inferior 5 (DC)


The Lurker at the Keyboard
Apr 17, 2018
Behind you

I never really got into the superhero scene; I was much more interested in the Gold Key comics, like Magnus Robot Fighter and Space Family Robinson. However, it doesn't mean that I wasn't drawn to some super heroes -- specifically DC's Inferior Five.

Yes, it's real; look them up.

Created by E. Nelson Bridwell (writer) and Joe Orlando and Mike Esposito (artists), the Inferior Five (or I5) are a parody superhero team, which was intended to send up not only the Fantastic Four, but all of the superhero teams whose members individually had such tremendous powers that any one of them could have solved any of the crimes with which they dealt singlehandedly. The I5 had to work as a team because none of them could have fought crime on his or her own.

The characters were sons or daughters of the members of a superhero team known as the Freedom Brigade, which was a parody of the Justice League of America; and most of the I5 were take-offs of other popular DC characters.

Merryman ("the group's brilliant leader, who used to be a 97-pound weakling -- before he lost weight") wears a jester outfit because he decided that, if he were going to make a fool of himself, he might as well look the part. He is extremely intelligent, which means that he is the only team member who is thoroughly aware of the team's disadvantages. Although he was trained in martial arts, he is physically a weakling and lacks the ability to use such skills.

The Blimp ("he flies like a bird with the speed of a snail") is the obese son of Captain Swift (a parody of the Flash), who can fly like his father but, lacking his father's super speed, can do so only slowly.

Dumb Bunny ("stronger than an ox -- and almost as intelligent") is the stupid but super-strong daughter of Princess Power (a parody of Wonder Woman) and Steve Tremor (a parody of Wonder Woman's love-interest, Steve Trevor).

Awkwardman ("more powerful than a locomotive -- but always getting derailed") is the son of Mr Might (a parody of Superman) and the Mermaid (a parody of Aquaman). He is super-strong and able to live underwater, having inherited powers from both of his parents; but he is also very clumsy.

White Feather ("fearless, except when he's scared -- which is all the time") is the son of The Bowman (a parody of Green Arrow). He is a superb archer, but only when he thinks nobody is watching because people make him nervous. In fact, he is a snivelling coward.

As to why I love I5 … I suppose it's because they are powerful, but flawed; because they try, in spite of their obvious shortcomings; and because they succeed, even though they're rejects, because they work together and don't give up.