Believe it or not, a number of CinemaBlend writers are from the Garden State. But, you’re likely not interested in that. You read the headline. You want to know what superheroes are from New Jersey. The number certainly isn’t as great as the superheroes from New York (Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Captain America, the list goes on and on), there are a few characters from DC and Marvel who need to take a bus or a train ride if they want to hang with some of their superhero friends in NY.
Now, it makes sense that a lot of the Marvel Universe (and some of the DC universe, which often opted to create cities, like Metropolis and Gotham) was mostly in New York, as Stan Lee hailed from the Big Apple. But, did you know that current President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, spent most of his youth in Westfield, New Jersey? Hmm…Westfield, Westfield…that sounds a whole lot like Westview from WandaVision, doesn’t it? Well, anyway, enough gushing over my home state. Here are some great superheroes from New Jersey.
Ms. Marvel (From Jersey City, New Jersey)
Probably the current most famous New Jersey resident, Kamala Khan, a.k.a, Ms. Marvel, is technically an Inhuman since her stretchy abilities came from a Terrigen mist (Moon Girl, another popular character, was also exposed to the Terrigen mist). This mist pulled out Kamala Khan’s latent abilities, making her the polymorph that fans know and love her as today.
Kamala Khan, who is a Muslim, Pakistani-American teenager, is kind of a geek for superheroes, which makes her really relatable. She’s already pretty popular from the comics, but she’s likely going to get a whole lot more popular as she has a Disney+ show on the way, as well as a role in the upcoming movie, The Marvels. Look, I’m super excited and all for this new show, but can we get some establishing shots of Jersey City locations that I sometimes frequent? Is that too much to ask?
The Toxic Avenger (From Tromaville, New Jersey)
The Toxic Avenger (or, just Toxie to his fans), was repping New Jersey before it was cool. In fact, he was even referred to as “New Jersey’s first superhero” when he debuted in 1984. Born Melvin Ferd Junko III, a prank sent the relative weakling flying out the window into a barrel of toxic waste. It deformed him, sure, but it also gave him super strength. Three sequels, a comic book, a cartoon series, and even a musical later (And a remake!), and The Toxic Avenger is still going strong.
Okay, so yeah. Tromaville isn’t a real town in New Jersey. In fact, the studio behind The Toxic Avenger series, Troma, is actually where The Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy director, James Gunn, got his start. But, how cool is it that Troma is so ingrained in New Jersey that it wants to have its own town in the Garden State? Now that’s loyalty.
Wasp (From Cresskill, New Jersey)
When people think of Wasp, they typically think of Ant-Man. I mean, hello, Ant-Man and The Wasp. Of course they would. The two go together like peanut butter and … well, ants, if you’re on a picnic. Janet van Dyne (the first Wasp, played by Michelle Pfeiffer in the movies) is not just a partner, though. A founding member of The Avengers herself, she took on the role of Wasp to “avenge” (Eh? Eh?) her father’s death. In fact, it was Wasp who GAVE the Avengers their moniker in the first place. Not only that, but Wasp has actually been a leader of the team on multiple occasions, and a great one, at that.
Hailing from Cresskill, New Jersey, Janet van Dyne was a bit of a socialite before her father’s death, which would prompt her to team up with Hank Pym’s Ant-Man to avenge him. Cresskill is in Bergen County, which makes sense, because Bergen County is a pretty rich county. It’s also not too far away from New York, meaning she could get there easily when it came to team meetings. New Jersey; just a hop, skip, and a train ride away from New York! Gotta love it.
Speed (From Springfield, New Jersey)
Kind of like Ant-Man and Wasp, it’s a bit hard to think of Speed without also thinking of Wiccan. That’s because they’re long-lost brothers … sort of. In the House of M story arc Wanda sort of mentally willed the two boys to be brothers, and the story behind it all involves (I kid you not) Mephisto’s soul, which is why some fans keep expecting him to pop up in the MCU at some point. We’ll see. In the meantime, just know that Speed is really fast. Like Quicksilver. And he’s a part of the Young Avengers, which may or may not be coming to the MCU at some later date.
Speed, AKA, Thomas “Tommy” Shepherd, is from Springfield, New Jersey, which is in Union County. Union is often considered one of the most diverse counties in New Jersey, which is great when we’re talking about mutants like Speed. You might think that Wiccan is also from New Jersey, but no, he’s actually from New York. That’s because Speed and Wiccan are more brothers of the mind, rather than the body. Look, their brotherhood does involve Vision and Wanda, but it also involves a lot of other weird stuff, too. Not Weird New Jersey stuff. Just weird stuff. Very weird stuff.
The Human Fly (From Newark, New Jersey)
Okay, so I’m going to cheat with this one, because I don’t think The Human Fly will ever be mentioned on this website ever again, so I want to be the one to mention him. The Human Fly is actually two characters—one a villain (the one who’s from Newark, New Jersey), and the other a hero, who is Canadian. But, here’s the thing, both characters are relevant because Spider-Man even tried to take down the hero version of The Human Fly after he confused him with the villainous version. The villainous version eventually starts turning into a fly, so it’s pretty much like the Jeff Goldblum movie, The Fly, but with Spider-Man.
The crazy thing is that the hero is a real person. Yeah. He was based on the real life stuntman, Rick Rojatt, who once stood on a moving plane. The tagline for his character was even, “The Wildest Super-Hero Ever—Because He’s Real!” So, while the superhero version of The Human Fly is not from Newark, I just figured I had to stick him on here since the story behind him is so bizarre. And I’m just happy to shout out Newark. Big up to Newark. My old stomping grounds for college.
And, there you have it. Which New Jersey superhero is your favorite? Sound off in the poll below. For news on the best Marvel movies, make sure to stop by here often.
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Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.