Everyone has one. That character that just frustrates the hell out of you. That every appearance just leaves you rolling your eyes. This used to happen more when the whole one-off issue thing was a lot more common and you had lighter stories mixed in among the various storylines. But they exist and they are there.
Oh, how I hate the Impossible Man.
While Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created an immense wealth of characters over the years that have been fascinated to read and reinvent, there are a few clunkers in there as well. And The Impossible Man is seemingly one that we just can’t shake. The character, first appearing way back in Fantastic Four #11 in 1963, is pretty much the deal-breaker character for me when he appeared over the years, and characters like him that take you out of the storyline entirely. He’s a species called Poppupian and has the general ability to annoy as his real power, though he also has shapeshifting, teleportation and knows everything about Earth culture.
So yes, he’s that guy.
The character was introduced as a foil to the serious side of the Fantastic Four early on to give them something difficult to deal with that wasn’t exactly life-threatening in the way of a Doctor Doom. He is, basically, a prankster that thinks everyone loves him and doesn’t understand that they’re all trying to get rid of him. He’s had his own specials over the years and appeared in a number of ongoings as a gap filler of sorts. He’s even managed to survive into small parts in more recent titles, which makes me avoid it all the more.
Simply put, some characters take you out of the rules and dynamic of a title so badly that you just don’t want to see them. Remember the space alien in the Flintstones? That’s this guy.
This is how I feel every time I encountered him in a book – especially back in the days when you’d not have any advance notice and just grab books off the newsstand: