10 Criminally Overlooked Characters In Comics

There are some comic characters that have been criminally overlooked by both readers and creators.

Hellstorm Son of Satan
Marvel Comics

For every Superman, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man or Thor, there may be hundreds or even thousands of characters that are just as powerful but didn’t hold on to the reader’s attention as much as the “big names.” They might have been exceptional secondary characters, great team players, or even occasional villains, but they never managed to hold onto the spotlight.

In a few cases, some of these characters even headlined their own titles for many issues but changing creative teams or a changing readership dimmed the initial spark and these once shining lights fell back into semi-obscurity. With a few, they have been around since the earliest days of comics but their longevity has not afforded them the fame of equally long-lived characters like Batman and Namor.

The shocking thing is that one need only look at the powers and abilities of any one of these characters and see the endless potential for stories that may be told. These are some of the most powerful characters ever created. Their incredible abilities put them in the highest echelon of the most powerful beings in any universe. The fact that they are not world-famous characters and media stars is positively criminal.

10. Kevin Matchstick (Mage)

Hellstorm Son of Satan

Kevin Matchstick and the Mage series of comics is the “allegorical autobiography” creation of the incredible Matt Wagner. Kevin is a common if somewhat alienated man who met a strange homeless vagrant who turned out to be the powerful World-Wage named Mirth. Matchstick discovered that he was super strong and nigh-invulnerable, which came in handy because all manner of magical beasties began to plague his life. He eventually met a young woman with a magical bat named Edsel and they fought monsters like the Umbra Sprite

It was later revealed that Kevin is the Pendragon, an amalgamation of King Arthur and Gilgamesh, among other heroes. Mirth was Merlin, the Bat was Excalibur and Edsel was a modern-day incarnation of the Lady of the Lake. Matchstick would encounter many other modern avatars of classic heroes that were fighting supernatural evil forces such as Kirby Hero who was Hercules and Joe Phat who was a reincarnation of the Native American mythological being Coyote.

The fact that this continuation of the Arthurian legend is not more well-known is perhaps the most criminal of all. It takes an accessible Everyman hero and thrusts him into incredible situations. He's cynical, he's annoyed, and he is grumpy about everything. In essence, he is us. Kevin Matchstick is one of the most accessible characters ever created and he should be much more appreciated for it.

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John Wilson has been a comic book and pop culture fan his entire life. He has written for a number of websites on the subject over the years and is especially pleased to be at WhatCulture. John has written two comic books for Last Ember Press Studio and has recently self-published a children's book called "Blue." When not spending far too much time on the internet, John spends time with his lovely wife, Kim, their goofy dog, Tesla, and two very spoiled cats.