There has always been a stigma surrounding the handicapped in comics, cartoons and movies. It was if the things that made them different were somehow weaknesses, but we all know that sometimes a weakness can be turned into a strength and even the most physically or mentally challenged person can do wonders. It is with this thought in mind that I present to you my Top Ten Handicapable Heroes. They are presented in order of who could beat your ass the fastest.
10) Michaelangelo of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” – After he and his four turtle brothers were exposed to a secret ooze they were transformed into mutated teenage, human-sized turtles. Although all 4 had very distinct personalities they could tell there was something very wrong with Mikey. They figured he was just a goofy guy but it became apparent after his constant muttering of the word “pizza” that there was something else going on. Mikey was diagnosed with “Tourette’s Syndrome”. With medication he was able to keep his “ticks” to a minimum but he is still known to blurt a couple “pizzas” out here and there.
9) (TIE) Timmy and Jimmy from “South Park” – I could not give an edge to either character since their infamous battle ultimately ended in a stalemate. Timmy and Jimmy are two residents of the tiny little mountain town of South Park, Colorado. Both are unique in their own respects but share the fact that they have very obvious handicaps. Timmy is unable to move from his electric wheelchair and cannot utter anything besides his own name. Jimmy, once Timmy’s arch enemy, is able to move around with the aid of a pair of crutches but has a serious speech impediment that causes him to stutter uncontrollably usually at the most inopportune times. Both are strong in the face of their handicaps and prefer to be called “handicapable” than crippled. The reason they make this list and beat out a Ninja Turtle? Simple, if you saw the episode entitled “Cripple Fight” when Timmy and Jimmy duke it out, it is obvious they can both kick an awful lot of ass, reenacting the classic 20 minute brawl between Roddy Piper and David Keath from “They Live”.
8) Captain America – A trip to the movies proved life-changing for young Steve Rodgers. After watching a newsreel of the Nazi occupation of Europe at a local theater Steve attempted to enlist in the Army but was deemed too frail for active duty. His determination and refusal to be denied made him the perfect candidate for a secret program to create the ultimate super soldier known as “Operation : Rebirth”. The once gangly teen was born-again as Captain America through an injection of super-serum. Cap fought the Nazi’s, often going mano-a-mano with the Nazi’s supervillian Red Skull. After World War 2 was over Cap was frozen in the icy waters of the North Atlantic until he was unfrozen and struggled to find himself in an ever-changing world years later. Cap is the world’s biggest steroid abuser (next to A-Rod) but he has used his powers selflessly unlike professional athletes (A-ROD!!!).
7) Daredevil – Young Matt Murdock was not always sight challenged but was always a do-gooder. While walking home from school one day Murdock noticed a blind man about to get struck by a truck, Matt rushed to his aid but was splattered with the radioactive ooze that the truck was carrying. Although it stripped him of his sight his other senses became heightened to superhero proportions. He trained in the martial arts and helped his father “Battling” Jack Murdock overcome his obstacles and make it back to the top of the prize ring. Unfortunately Jack refused to go down in a fight he was supposed to lose and eventually was killed by “The Fixer’s” men. After this tragedy Matt decided it was best to go into the vigilante business and despite the lack of sight became a hero for the people, sighted and sightless.
6) Snake Eyes – G.I. Joe’s black clad ninja warrior led with his sword and not with his words. He was once a Vietnam vet who served in the army alongside of Storm Shadow (who would later become his mortal enemy), one day while on patrol the helicopter they were in was shot down and Snake Eyes was badly wounded. He suffered many injuries including a disfigured face and the loss of his voice. He later trained with Storm Shadow’s legendary uncles The Hard Master and The Soft Master until another disfigured Vietnam vet whose family was killed in a car crash with Snake Eyes’ family eyed Snake for revenge. Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes found themselves on opposites sides as Snake Eyes joined G.I. Joe and Storm Shadow joined Cobra but later revealed to Snake Eyes that he had done so to find out who murdered the Hard Master. Snake Eyes would fight many missions with the Joes and would even become engaged to one of his comrades, a little lady known as Scarlett.
5) Iron Man – Tony Stark, a weapons specialist was sent by the government to Vietnam to supervise a test for one of his special weapons. While there Stark stumbled upon a booby trap and a piece of shrapnel became lodged in his chest. Although gravely injured Stark was captured and kept prisoner but the evil Commie leader Wong-Chu (whose name describes his hobby). Wong told Stark that if the shrapnel was not removed within a week he would surely succumb to injury, however Wong would allow Stark to undergo life-saving surgery if he would build him a super-weapon. He agreed and was given the tools and a small lab in which to work on the weapon but instead fashioned himself a supersuit capable of sustaining his heart and life without the surgery. He was able to escape his captors and returned to American and later became the superhero know as Iron Man despite his heart condition. Later on in life the shrapnel was removed and his heart repaired but Stark went on to destroy his liver by becoming an alcoholic.
4) Ash of “Evil Dead 2” and “Army of Darkness”– After a group of 20-somethings find the Necronomicon, the Book of the Dead an evil spirit was awakened in the woods outside their cabin. Unfortunately all but one would meet their demise at the hands of the evil in that book, Ash would be the lone survivor but not without personal loss and tragedy. After his hand became infected with the evil Ash had no choice but to lop it off at the wrist becoming the world’s most ass kicking amputee. There was once a debate on South Park over if people could be made “crips” or had to be born “crips” well Ash puts all that noise to rest by becoming the King of Crips by replacing his severed hand with a chainsaw. Yes, Ash didn’t dwell on his handicap, he fashioned himself a chainsaw prosthesis and later a rockin’ metal hand.
3) The Hulk – When Bruce Banner gets peeved he turns olive green and wreaks havoc on anything in his path. Once a brilliant scientist Banner was struck with a gamma bomb which unleashed beast inside him. He has been in therapy for years to control his demons and his illness, Multiple Personality Disorder. Yes Bruce and the Hulk are two separate personas living and coexisting in the same body. Whenever Bruce is threatened, The Hulk persona takes over as a defense mechanism preventing the fragile psyche of Bruce Banner from irrevocable harm. Later his shrink was able to separate the Hulk and Banner into two separate beings but that proved to be nearly fatal and they were merged once again. In the aftermath a new gray-skinned Hulk showed up. Banner was now three separate entities, a man, a monster and a man-ster (gray Hulk) who could reason while kicking the shit out of anything in his path. Now Bruce is able to control his personas but with new ones popping up all the time it looks like Bruce is in for some huge psychiatric bills.
2) Yoda – Yes, Yoda is a midget but that is because of his race and since I am not an asshole he is not on this list for being a little person. Yoda made this Top 10 because he suffers from the speech disorder known as dyslexia. His illness may have hindered his ability to put together coherent sentences but his mastery and use of the Force has made him the numero uno Jedi Master. Although he is all powerful with the Light Side of the Force he was unable to see the ascension of the Dark Lord of the Sith, Emperor Palpatine and his apprentice Darth Vader. Together they destroyed the Jedi Council and scattered the two remaining Jedi, Obi-Wan and himself to the ends of the universe. On a swamp planet called Dagobah Yoda lived out the rest of his days waiting for Vader’s son Luke to come and seek him out so Yoda could school him in the ways of the Force. (Note : Other famous dyslexics are Tom Cruise, Leonardo DaVinci and Jay Leno but Yoda could kick their asses)
1) Professor X – It seems like all of the X-Men are handicapped in one way or another, Storm is part albino, Colossus has a rare skin disorder that turns his skin into steel and let’s not even get started on Cyclops’ vision. However it is Professor X who is the strongest of the mutants, although he is confined to a wheelchair. As a very young man Xavier was able to control people’s minds. While Yoda may also have a great control over objects, the Force’s vaunted Jedi Mind Tricks can only be used on the weak minded. No one is safe from Professor X’s telekinesis except if you have a very special helmet like Magneto. After college and a stint in the Army Xavier was crippled in an accident after defeating the telekinetic mutant bent on world destruction known as Amahl Farouk and meeting up with sometimes enemy / sometimes friend Eric Lehnsherr. He found his mission was clear, to bring man and mutantkind together and to protect each other from radicals of both species that would try and eliminate the other. Xavier founded the X-Men and the rest in history. Note : In the comics Xavier was later healed by a mutant named Xorn and was able to walk once again, then he was re-paralyzed.