The more powerful the superpower, the less time you lived.
Despite the perks of his powers, Spider-Man has always viewed them as a burden and responsibility, rather than a blessing, because of the bad guys who've been pulled toward his family and friends because of them, and the problems that have cropped up when he chooses not to use them. This only got worse when Spidey briefly had cosmic powers. The responsibility that comes with his normal powers is bad enough; the responsibility he felt when he had cosmic-level powers was crushing.
Bunnie Rabbit from the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series has a laser cannon and energy shield built into her bionic arm. Very useful, but completely drains her if overused.
Likewise, mutants (especially the X-Men) are Blessed with Suck, thanks to the outcast status that their power brings, even if they look and act completely normal. Besides the social issues, many mutants have little or no control over their powers, especially right after they first manifest. Force-fields that don't turn off, energy powers that lash out randomly, involuntary telepathy, etc.
Rogueis blessed with suck. Yes, technically the ability to copy other mutants' powers by touching them makes her very adaptable, but draining people's life energy whenever she touches them is about as sucky as it gets. And absorbing 'everything else about that person, including memories and personality traits. And she can't not do so, rendering her incapable of having any sort of intimate relationship. At the extreme end, she can essentially steal people's souls and hold on to them forever (happened with Ms. Marvel, but not quite intentionally and Ms. Marvel survived it). She recently got over this problem, though, so now she can copy other mutant powers without causing them harm and freely touch others with no drawback. It only took about 30 years. Let's see if it sticks.
In X-Men Forever, it gets better and worse for her at the same time... Thanks to The Plan by Mystique, she arranged for Rogue and Nightcrawler to swap powers. Rogue now is free to touch anyone she wants without fear, and Kurt has to cover up. However, now, Rogue looks like a fuzzy blue demon, giving her replacement Wangst.
Illyana Rasputin (Sister of Colossus) has a true double set. She was dreamed up as a mutant and a sorceress, specifically a demon sorceress. As a direct result of her plotlines, she was raised under and by a corruptive heartless bastard from age six to sixteen, at least one alternate team of X-Men has DIED trying to help her, she's blessed with dimension-spanning powers that threaten to erase her soul and let the Elder Gods loose, and she's already died twice.
Unus the Untouchable, a villain in the X-Men books, could repel objects. Beast built a gun to amplify it in order to defeat him, in an example similar to Midas. His powers eventually grew so strong they repelled air and he suffocated to death. Yet somehow he managed to father a child with similar powers beforehand...
Beast built the device so that its effects could be reversed — he was using it to blackmail Unus into surrendering in order to save his own life. Henry McCoy is fricking hardcore.
Unus is so Blessed with Suck, his powers manage to kill him twice. In the Son of M mini-series, starring Quicksilver, Unus showed up alive without explanation, but depowered. He & several other depowered mutants are exposed to the terrigen mists by the titular character, despite The Inhumans' warnings that exposing any non-Inhuman will end in tragedy. Everyone exposed has their powers returned, but to extreme levels, leading to madness, misery and (in Unus' case) death. Again.
And when his power manifested, he happened to be touching his father at the time, thus killing Dad and turning Wither permanently into an Emo Teen who tends to Wangst quite a lot.
He's also cursed with incompatibility. The one mutant at the school who has a crush on him, whose body is wholly, permanently liquid metal, and Wither doesn't care for her and was later arrested for killing his dad. Oh, and M-Day didn't work on either of them.
He was already in love with Wallflower, who wasn't immune to his powers. When he thought he was cured on M-Day, he grabbed her to show it, and crippled her hand in the process (way to test it first, dumbass). This, among other things, finally drove him to run away from the Institute. OTOH, it seems like he's finally met someone compatible... Selene, a millennia-old mutant sorceress with life draining powers, the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club and a recurring foe of the X-Men. Who turned him into a vampire. Kid can't get a break.
Surge from New Mutants is able to absorb and disperse electricity. The sucky part? She is always absorbing it because she can't fully control her powers. Because of this, she constantly has to discharge said electricity. If she doesn't, she can't arrange her own thoughts and her speech turns into babbling (at least in-universe; readers can understand her fine). Also, she can't touch water, which leads to the question as to how she drinks or bathes (while initially depicted as dirty, she was homeless then, and afterwards, she's clean, even though she compares her bathing to getting into a tub with a toaster). While she was homeless, she had to buy drugs to keep her powers under control (and they barely did that), to the point where Beast said she was addicted to them. Forge makes her a pair of gauntlets that she discharges into, but apparently didn't design them with style in mind, since she considers them ugly... even if readers don't.
Cyclops is another classic case, with his destructive optic beams that, again, don't turn off without special glasses or shutting his eyes. His brother Havok has sometimes also needed special equipment to control his own powers.
Chamber of Generation X has energy powers allowing him to gank anyone this side of Juggernaut. The catch? His powers first manifested themselves so violently, they blew his upper torso and lower jaw off, leaving a glowing maw of energy and burnt flesh. He gets better for a while, working as an undercover agent in the Weapon X program - they can at least give him back his face, and install a device that lets him control his powers better. But naturally, he gets screwed again on M-Day when his powers get permanently turned off, as the regulator device now has nothing to regulate, and promptly explodes, destroying his face and chest again. He doesn't fare much better in alternate realities: In the Age of Apocalypse universe, he had a hole drilled into his chest to allow his power to vent.
He later gets new powers courtesy of a blood transfusion with Apocalypse, who it turns out is his ancestor.
Which makes him look sort of like Apocalypse, blue with funny lips. He also had tech installed, which gives him sound powers that work like a Green Lantern Ring, which he's pleased with. So he finally lost the suck.
Fate was particularly cruel to Masque, a member of the Morlocks. Born hideously ugly, his mutant power let him reshape the flesh of others... But not his own. Being unable to use his power on himself to make him better-looking made him a bitter, sadistic creature, who delighted in using his powers to mar and deform the faces of others, making him one of the few truly malicious members of the Morlocks.
'Ultimate X-Men'' has a heart-breaking example: a child whose entire mutant power is the dissolution of all living tissue within a ridiculous distance of him. When he wakes up and discovers his power has activated, the first sight are the corpses of his family and friends. He kills 385 people the day he hits puberty. In order to prevent the spread of widescale panic and revelation of mutnats in such a way, Wolverine is sent to kill him. His regeneration powers protect him, but the whole ordeal is hreatbreaking as Wolverine is pretty much performing a Mercy Kill on him.
There was a mutant whose power was to evaporate into air. Which is another way of saying to die instantly. Lucky for him, House of M happened.
One is left to wonder how he knew what his power was, if he can only do it once...
Sally Floyd's baby had the "power" to age backwards until she died.
During New X-Men, Grant Morrison introduced a number of new mutants whose primary power was to look weird. Beak typifies the whole lot of them: he's a mutant who looks sort of like a humanoid chicken and has no other powers than looking like a chicken.
Jean Grey used to have great difficulty controlling her powers. Her telekinesis wasn't so bad, but her telepathy was a huge hassle because she couldn't shut it off. It went From Bad to Worse when she became the host of the Phoenix — she had even more power, but less control since the Phoenix isn't always content to stay in the passenger's seat.
Professor Xavier's son Legion has the ultimate example of Combo Platter Powers, seemingly being capable of accessing every single super-power it's possible to have. The suck side is that he can't control them consciously; as his codename suggests, his mind has fragmented into a thousand or more separate personalities, each of which has command over one (or a small group of) his powers. Of course, the "core" Legion personality is pretty nasty in its own right, what with being an extremely powerful Reality Warper... luckily, he rarely gets to come out to "play".
Gamesmaster reads minds. All minds. Everywhere. And he can't turn it off, so is constantly bombarded by the thoughts of billions of people throughout the world.
Peter Dawson is almost completely invulnerable due to an invisible shield that lines his skin and the inside of his lungs and stomach. The shield let things like oxygen through, but kept out anything toxic. However, because nothing can actually touch his skin, he's completely numb. He can, however, taste things, so he eats a lot and becomes very obese.note Wait, if the shield lines his stomach, how can he digest anything?! This disqualifies him from any law enforcement job where his power might be useful, and he ends up working a minimum wage job at a service station. He's killed by having a plastic bag duct-taped over his head while he's asleep. The killer knew he'd never feel it, and he quietly suffocated.
Chandra North's power was to be the most beautiful person in the world to whoever looked at her. Which meant they never actually saw her, just their own ideas of beauty. This apparently did a good number on her psyche, and probably did very little for her self-esteem (double points for that blow: her power first manifested in the middle of a high school class.)
Another character had the power to control any other specials, and later information revealed she was intended to lead them. The problem? She had to want to control others to use it, and was mousy... except when she was her Ax-Crazy alternate personality, who grew more dominant the more often she used this power.
The Incredible Hulk is another Marvel example (they really seem to love this trope). The difference here is that it might be more justified as a lot of people do hate and hound him (especially the army), and having multiple personalities is never fun. All that, and his wives keep on dying.
Considering Galactus is a being which used to be mortal and was born in the universe that existed previous to the current Marvel universe (and gained his powers through surviving the death of his universe and the big bang that created the current one), it stands to reason that Mr. Immortal would be a strong contender for becoming the Galactus of the universe that follows the eventual death of the current Marvel universe.
On the upside, the guy who was killing his friends was fired by Death. Now the guy in charge of the whole "prepare you for an eternity alone" bit is one of his closest friends. Yay?
One panel of him standing alone in a ruined landscape, surrounded by silhouettes of the corpses of his friends, is unusually bleak in a series that tends to play death for black humor.
Jukko Hamaleinen of Stormwatch: Team Achilles has powers which cause him nothing but pain - he can feel the pain of every being within a 4 mile radius. This includes the people he beats up himself, including a mostly depowered Midnighter at one point. There isn't really any upside.
Deadpool had terminal cancer so he turned to the Canadian government's Weapon X program for help. The good: He won't die of cancer. The bad: His cancer is now supercharged on Healing Factor and constantly destroys and rebuilds his entire body, including his brain, leaving him with a face that... has the consistency and appearance of a hamburger patty, and made him just plain crazy, and very, very funny. At least his fans love him. Moral of the story? Canadian healthcare ain't all it's made out to be.
While most of the Fantastic Four embraces their powers, the Thing genuinely believes that his superpower is a curse, and who can blame him? Even though he possesses super strength and near invulnerability, it doesn't change the fact that he's been turned into a hideous rock monster that scares the shit out of anybody who sees him, and destroys his chances of living a normal life. He was also forced to quit his job as a test pilot because he was too big and heavy to fit in a plane. Oh yeah, and did we mention that he was turned into a hideous rock monster?
He seems okay with it now. It did take a while...
As Reed said once, "He has his good days and his bad." Ben will never really be at peace with his monstrous form. For every writer who gives him a break from the angst, there's one who brings it back because it's so central to his character. Mark Waid's recent run is a good example of the latter.
It's also been suggested sometimes that Ben simply doesn't know how to turn his powers off or has some kind of mental block. Of the four, he's the only one that can't; so it's either mental or something physically different about him.
The Boulder (better known by others as Butterball), who made one appearance in Avengers: The Initiative (which, again, is a Marvel Comic, demonstrating just how much they are in love with this trope), has the superpower of total Invulnerability. He's impervious to harm, can't be worn out, and is otherwise invincible. Sounds great, until you realize he's forever stuck in the body of a slow, weak, overweight teen who's incapable of losing weight or getting any stronger, making him worthless as a superhero.
Oh, it gets worse. When one of his teammates offers to have sex with him, he tells her that there's no point - his invulnerability not only prevents him from feeling pain, but from feeling pleasure, too. Pretty damn rough when you consider that he's going to remain a teenager forever... To be fair, he's since landed a job with the Shadow Initiative and has a bright future ahead of him in search and rescue. And, come on. This is the guy who broke the Taskmaster.
An extra down side is that while nothing can hurt him, he's still vulnerable to all forms of telepathy, including mind control. But an extra bright side to him, when in fights, he's the perfect shield for his teammates.
Another character in Avengers: The Initiative who fits this trope is Trauma, who possesses both telepathic and metamorphic powers, and can therefore transform into whatever a person is most afraid of. Often, he will give this attack a nightmarish twist; if you're afraid of death, he'll morph into a mutilated corpse, if you're afraid of spiders, he'll turn into a spider about the size of a T. rex, and so forth. He started off with a horrible case of Power Incontinence, as his powers are triggered by strong emotion. If someone near him was upset or scared, he would spontaneously transform into something horrible. Unlike most people on this list, Trauma did eventually learn to control his powers — but the damage, sadly, had been done. A recent issue of Avengers: The Initiative revealed that his family does not want anything to do with him. Even worse, in the very first issue, we're told that his mother is in a mental institution...
During Secret Invasion, the guys with which he was fighting Skrulls with were so afraid that one of them could be Skrull, that their fear made him change into one. While his buddies beat on him, real Skrulls caught them. He's no teamplayer at all.
Trauma was recently revealed to be the son of a dream manipulating demon named Nightmare, thus explaining why he has his powers and why they suck so much.
His powers started to suck much more when he really wanted to scare someone who really pissed him off. Unlucky for him, it was a badass magician.
Yet another Marvel character who belongs here is Black Bolt, king of The Inhumans. This guy can produce a destructive force with his voice. If he so much as whispers, he'll destroy the landscape around him. Black Bolt has a bad case of Power Incontinence — and the only way he can avoid destroying everything around him is by not vocalizing (talking, laughing, crying, etc.). An old Fantastic Four comic revealed that Black Bolt had spent his childhood in an isolation chamber until he had learned the discipline to stay forever silent. And he killed his parents with an ill-timed utterance.
Also, the reason why Bolt's brother Maximus is an insane supervillain is that BB used his vocal powers too close to him once, and that shattered his sanity.
That is to say, it's the reason why he's an insane supervillain, and not the reason for the villainy itself. Maximus was already a dick. Incidentally, the aforementioned incident was Maximus collaborating with the Kree - the very aliens who were responsible for their existence - to attack Attilan, in a scheme to get Black Bolt in trouble, and for him to step out of his shadow. Black Bolt used his hyper-sonic scream to down their flagship, and Maximus just happened to be nearby when it happened. BB may feel guilt about it, especially because their parents were caught when the ship crashed into the parliament building but for Maximus, it really was just desserts.
And yet another Marvel character, Adam Warlock, whose Soul Gem gives him various spiritual powers, up to and including the ability to rip someone's soul from their body. As the souls taken then go to a miniature paradise dimension contained within the gem, this doesn't seem too bad... until you learn that the gem is sentient and has a nasty tendency to try and break free of his control to steal souls on its own. Also, during the soul stealing process, Warlock has to relive every single one of the victim's memories. Now think about the fact that at one point, the only way to save the universe was to soul steal about 10,000 or so enemy black knights at once.
An (apparently) rare DC example is the interpretation of The Flash given by the song The Ballad of Barry Allen, by Jim's Big Ego. In the song, it is explained that because The Flash's perception is so much faster than normal, he is isolated from the rest of humanity, unable to form true connections with other people and tormented by the continual boredom of the rest of the world being so slow. As the lyrics say, "And I'll be there before you know it, I'll be gone before you see me, And do you think you can imagine, Anything so lonely?"
So he's a superspeed version of Dr. Manhattan? He probably belongs here too, if not for the near-total indifference caused by his powers.
Speeding Bullet of the series Common Grounds is unable to enjoy movies because they were far too slow for him, essentially a series of still frames. He learned to lip-read so that he could fast-forward them with the sound off. That led to the problem of him having read every decent book and seen every film ever made to the point of boredom, and being unable to even enjoy sex due to it taking a subjective week or two for him if slowed down to human speed - and friction burns being involved for his partner if he actually allowed himself to move at a comfortable pace. Yeowch. The only thing that makes life worthwhile is the thought that as a superhero, he can improve the lives of others and make a lasting impression.
It's a canon interpretation for Marvel's Quicksilver, who once told a psychiatrist they would be short-tempered too if everyone else was like that one slow person in the checkout line.
It's not difficult to imagine that Tommy "Speed" Shepherd of the Young Avengers has this problem, seeing as Quicksilver's his uncle and he shares the same powers. It's incredibly easy to imagine, therefore, why he did the things that landed him in juvie in the first place, and why he's so distraught when the Young Avengers split up at the end of Children's Crusade - he's literally incapable of fitting into normal society because of his time perception.
The Marvel NOW!Young Avengers volume makes it even worse. It's established that when his body moves at super-speed, all of his forms of perception do as well. So while using his speed to assemble some cellphones at his civilian job, he claims that he essentially just wasted a week of his life in the span of a few seconds.
Wally West has often expressed similar sentiments, and Bart Allen's hyperaccelerated childhood made the "slow" world almost unbearable for him for years.
Implied in Kingdom Come, where Keystone City is one of the safest cities in the world, patrolled by a permanently-accelerated Wally West.
Prodigy of the Young Avengers possessed the ability to absorb the knowledge of those around him. After he lost his powers to Scarlet Witch after the House of M, the Stepford Cuckoos were able to help him compensate by unlocking the accumulated knowledge of everyone he'd ever been in contact with. While this makes him one of the smartest teens in the Marvel Universe, it also means he ended up with a ton of awkward, intimate stuff like Wolverine's bathroom habits or Cyclops and Emma Frost's sex life.
William "Billy" Kaplan, also of the Young Avengers, essentially won the Superpower Lottery and has power potentially on par with the gods. Great! Unfortunately, he doesn't have all that much control over his immense power. This means that when he screws up, the consequences are usually disastrous and potentially world-ending. That is not hyperbole. He also might be accidentally warping reality just by existing and wanting things, although considering thesourceofthat information, it's likely a lie. Billy's still worried about it, though. There's also the part where his power scares the crap out of some people — including his heroes, the Avengers, and himself — and he's viewed as Too Powerful to Live by Wolverine, leading to two attempts on his life. And there was an Eldritch Abomination that wanted to eat him to gain his power. And Loki tried to drive Billy to suicide to steal his power, which would have worked if Loki hadn't changed his mind and stopped Billy from pulling the trigger at the last possible second. After that, Loki still tried to manipulate Billy so that Loki could control said power by proxy. In short, Billy was a lot happier back when he thought his powers consisted of nothing but flight, electricity, and basic magic.
Post-Crisis, this is actually Superman's own viewpoint on his powers. Firstly, he's so immensely powerful that he has to constantly restrain himself, because he lives in fear of the massive death and destruction he could cause if he lost control. Secondly, as powerful as he is, he is not as god-like as many people believe him to be In-Universe, which means he lives with the constant guilt of not being able to help everyone as much as his help is wanted — his Clark Kenting, in fact, is actually to give himself a legitimate excuse to "be selfish" and take some private time, lest he undergo a mental breakdown from overwork and exhaustion. Finally, his Super Hearing means he's constantly able to hear people begging for his help... and even he cannot answer all of them.
Rita "Elasti-girl" Farr can grow or shrink to any size, and grow her limbs to be different sizes... but had zero control over it, wrecking her movie career.
Hotshot test-pilot Larry Trainor gets exposed to cosmic radiation, and has a cool double (the Negative Spirit) that can teleport out of his body and phase through anything but lead... but if it's out of his body for longer than 60 seconds, it'll kill him, and he has to have every centimeter of flesh wrapped in specially-treated bandages to keep himself from dosing others with fatal levels of radiation.
Cliff "Robotman" Steele was an extreme sports athlete, adventurer, and race car driver who got himself into a fatal car accident. His brain was put in a robot body which is stronger, faster, and tougher than any human one... but it locked him out of doing the things he loved because his new body disqualifies him from competition. Worse, he outlives all of his teammates several times over... the poor bastard frequently wonders if it would have been more merciful for him to die in the wreck.
It gets worse in the current continuity. Why is he a robot? A group of scientists (including Caulder) gave him an injection of nanites to protect his life, when they hired him to drive for them. When the superbike he was testing went out of control, the only thing they could think of to do to save him was to consume his still completely conscious body, and convert it into an indestructible robot.
Steve "Mento" Dayton enhances his telepathic and telekinetic abilities with a helmet of his own design... but between the loss of his wife and the helmet's unforeseen side effects, With Great Power Comes Great Insanity.
Karen "Bumblebee" Beecher started off as a Gadgeteer Genius who used a suit of Powered Armor, but her portrayal in the Teen Titans cartoon was so well-received that DC decided to make her shrinking abilities from the show canon in the comics. Sort of. She shrank alright, but she's unable to return to her normal size.
In one story Justice League story, Power Girl was dying and needed surgery to save her life. But doctors could not operate on her for a simple reason: Her bulletproof skin made it impossible. There was no scalpel or surgical laser they had that was capable of cutting through her skin. Fortunately the rest of the League thought of something: they had former Green Lantern Corps member Kilowog put together a helmet that let Superman focus his heat vision like a super-powered laser, which was able to do the job.
Superman himself had a similar problem. After his fatal fight with Doomsday, people kept trying to resuscitate him with zero luck: The Guardian tried mouth-to-mouth and realized his lungs were like trying to breathe into an iron lung, normal defibs did jack squat and a special set made by Professor Hamilton only blew Bibbo down the street when he tried to use it.
Vertigo example: in Fables, Bigby Wolf has to constantly smoke in order to keep his super-sensitive sense of smell from inhaling the millions of scents from all over Manhattan. Plus all the noise...
Another example from the third issue of the Spin-Off series Jack of Fables, in which Jack learns that his overbearing lust for adventure has cursed him with being the center of all stories, including the ''Sword in the Stone"- where he plays the stone, after getting Excalibur shoved through his chest.
In The Sandman, one story features a superheroine (a "real", albeit minor one) whose power is that her body can take on different elements in order to protect her (i.e. diamonds to deflect bullets, etc). However this power is (naturally) involuntary and now she desperately wants to die, but can't. Enter Death of the Endless....
To elaborate, the superheroine - Element Girl - looks utterly inhuman all the time, having a chalk-white face, green hair, and orange and purple arms. Despite being able to copy any chemical compound on Earth, she cannot morph into her former human form naturally because any attempts at forming human skin or flesh rot after use. As a result, she is forced to simulate it by wearing silicate masks.
Also, any attempts to commit suicide by poison? Utterly ineffective, because her body just metabolises them. She's quite The Woobie.
The title character in Empowered derives her powers from a hypermembrane that grants her superhuman strength, invulnerability, the ability to generate powerful energy blasts, various optical enhancements, and other abilities not yet shown. Unfortunately, it tears easily, at which point much of her power goes away. She's also incredibly self-conscious, and the hypermembrane doesn't work if she's wearing anything over it. Considering it fits like a coat of body paint (but thinner), this is a definite problem. And to top it all off, it's all but stated that the suit's faults and frailties are all her own creation, her poor self-image and chronic self-doubt sabotaging her powerhouse potential.
And to top it all off, she is the only one for whom the blasted thing works at all. A more selfish soul would ditch the thing in a heartbeat rather than deal with the problems it has, but all Emp ever wanted was to be a superhero...
Another character called Cinderblock is implied that his current form (a man with cinderblocks for his head and hands) doesn't have the normal bodily functions. His ability is to manipulate concrete and stone - but he doesn't like using it because of the massive collateral damage it causes.
Gwen Raiden (see Angel below) gets a mega-massive dose of this in Angel: After the Fall when having found a cure for her electrical...ness, she uses the opportunity to get close to another person for the first time. Then everything goes to Hell and the electrical doohickey keeping her powers suppressed breaks... and she deep-fries her new friend.
Rick Sheridan, from the 1990s Marvel Comics series Sleepwalker ends up having to share his head with the titular alien hero, who can only come out when Rick sleeps. Sleepy's presence causes no end of trouble for Rick in his social life, up to and including putting Rick in a coma when Sleepwalker tries to force his way out while Rick is still awake. At least Peter Parker got some cool powers to balance things out...
One of the few examples of this trope who is also a Badass Normal comes from Marvel Comics in the form of Michael Van Patrick, aka MVP. Long story short, he went through a diet and exercise regimen (starting from infancy it seems) devised by his grandfather who had worked on the Super Soldier program that created Captain America. On the plus side, it made MVP a human being whose physical abilities were on par with Captain America himself, without Super Serum. The downside? Hoo boy. When it was discovered that his grandfather worked on the project, school officials suspected that MVP's abilities weren't natural, so he got booted off his high school sports team. Then he got drafted by the Initiative because they also believed he had Super Serum in his veins. While he adjusted well enough, he and his fellow recruits took part in an ill-advised live fire exercise on their first day. End result? To quote the Sniper from Team Fortress 2, "Boom, Headshot."Itdidn'tendthere.
Jhiaxus in IDW's Transformers comics gains immortality as a result of being on the border between two universes, and so cannot die. This would be fine if it weren't for the hyperviolent Arcee using this to take her revenge against him. So she kills him again, and again, and again, and again...
However, this is karma paying him back tenfold. Arcee wasn't hyperviolent until Jhiaxus turned her into a her. Until he experimented on Arcee, she had no gender, just like the rest of the Transformers. He did it just to see what would happen, just because he could. So this is a bit less this, more him getting his just desserts.
Steve Rude and Mike Baron's hero Nexus is Horatio Hellpop, who has vast powers granted to him by a Sufficiently Advanced Alien. The problem is that he never asked for these powers, and said alien forces him to spend his life executing mass murderers, including his own father. Many of his targets are utter monsters who arguably deserve death, but others are penitents who just want to live a quiet life and put their sins behind them. Horatio is a good and decent man who hates being burdened with this task and frequently tries to escape it.
In Sleeper, the main character's power is kind of this way; he "absorbs" his pain without experiencing it, but also has most physical pleasures muted to little or nothing (I don't recall the details). However, the real Suck Stick Hammering got applied to his off-again love interest, Miss Misery. She gets physically ill from engaging in virtuous acts, and can only relieve her condition through sadism and sociopathy! Talk about being trapped in the villain role! She can't even get Wangsty about it; she has to be genuinely evil or she'll WITHER AND DIE. And as far as I know, there's no upside to this "power". So glad am I not to live in THAT universe....
Iron Man built his first armor to keep himself alive — the powers were just a bonus to help him escape his captors. Ever since, his dependence on the suit has been a recurring plot element. For a long time, it kept his heart running (he could never take off the chestplate, and running out of power was a deadly problem); then that was fixed, but Tony was shot and paralyzed below the waist, unable to walk without his armor; still later, the chip that cured Tony's paralysis went on to sabotage his nervous system, and he couldn't control his body at all without a special Iron Man suit. Most recently, Tony was nearly killed gaining the power of Extremis, which lets him control machines — this too is a power with serious downsides, as it makes him feel detached from humanity and allows smart enough enemies to attack his vital systems electronically. And now Extremis has been removed (or at least shut down) thanks to Skrulls, meaning his current armor can't be used anymore because it's far too complex for a normal human brain to use.
Ultimate Marvel's version is arguably worse off. On the one hand, he doesn't need the armor to support his heart like the mainstream Tony Stark does, and he has genuine Super Intelligence plus a Healing Factor because of having "undifferentiated neural tissue" scattered throughout his body. The downside of this? Pain. He's in perpetual agony; even when hovering on a blood alcohol level that would leave an ordinary man insensible and wearing a special bio-suit that was created to block out the pain, he's still constantly suffering.
Multi-Man has two super powers. One is a relatively normal super power like flight, or x-ray vision or what have you, but temporary and based around his second power. The other super power is of the suck variety: any time he dies is killed, he comes back to life with a new super power. This leads to him being killed repeatedly by both villains and "heroes" until he has a super power that fits their current needs. What makes it worse for him is that he's not really a supervillain, he's only being held in Arkham because of the potential of his Blessed with Suck and is considered a "model prisoner".
Played to comical effect in Joker's Last Laugh. Multi-Man is an integral part of the Joker's mass prison break scheme. There are almost two whole pages of the Joker's playing cards and engaging in other mundane activities while asking "Now?" over and over again, while various other henchmen murder Multi in the background, punctuated by an announcement of his new powers.
Parodied in Marvel's The Hood comics, when Parker offers his cousin a chance to try his flying shoes.
John:No fuckin' way! Who knows what makes that shit work, Parker. Those things'll probably steal your soul or? or give you nut cancer.
Since the artifacts allowed Dormammu to make The Hood his bitch, they did steal his soul.
In Marvel, the super-speedster Thunderbolt's super-fast metabolism caused him to die of old age about a week after getting his powers.
Melter II of the "Dark Young Avengers" has the ability to dissolve objects. However, he's had it since a very young age, and his control is weak, leading to him accidentally killing his parents, and later an old woman.
The adamantium that makes Wolverine's skeleton unbreakable and makes his claws even deadlier is also toxic. Wolverine would never have survived the adamantium infusion if it weren't for his Healing Factor. Another drawback is that his Healing Factor is weakened due to needing to work overtime to compensate for the adamantium poisoning. Having a metal skeleton also makes him a pretty poor opponent against on and off Big Bad Magneto. This was graphically demonstrated in the Fatal Attractions arc (specifically X-Men vol. 2 #25) when Magneto ripped off the adamantium from Wolverine's bones, nearly killing him. In Ultimate Marvel, Magneto did kill Wolverine this way in Ultimatum.
The adamantium poisoning thing is a recent Retcon, and leaves a significant Plot Hole in the form of Lady Deathstrike and Bullseye, both of whom have admantinum skeletons and lack Wolverine's healing factor. Earlier the problem was stated to be that as the metal covers his bones entirely, it interferes with the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow, and Wolverine's healing factor is constantly under stress compensating for that.
One could justify it in Deathstrike's case since she is also a full on cyborg with systems that could deal with the poisoning. As for Bullseye... And it's even worse in the case of Wolverine's old drill instructor Cyber. His original body did have a Healing Factor, but his new one doesn't and he still doesn't seem to have any issues with adamantium poisoning after lacing his skin with it. This happened long after the Retcon too.
Bullseye takes pills for it, when writers remember that property. Presumably, the other adamantium users that lack a healing factor do the same.
It also makes him much slower (as far as combat speed, reaction time and running speed) than he would otherwise be, due to its not-so-light weight. He tends to have difficulties going through airports and any other facility with metal detectors. And (theoretically speaking), it makes him easy to track for any being with sensitivities to metal (obvious candidates being Magneto & Polaris) and he is much more susceptible to attack via electricity. The additional weight would make swimming a bit more of a chore than it would be otherwise.
It wouldn't make him more susceptible to electricity. the electricity would travel along the easy metal path, keeping his heart and organs and tissue safe from the damage it could cause.
The metal would still attract the electricity far more easily (especially with claws out); with claws in, it would have to get through the natural barrier of the skin. Plus, the electricity would fry anything in direct contact with the metal-laced bone, including one or more of the dura membranes surrounding the brain note the brain itself has no pain receptors; healing all that would still hurt.
Also a retcon; originally, his claws had sheaths - back when they were artificial. Now that they're retconned as natural, they don't. Um, stop me if this starts to make sense... the first time he leaves them out for a few minutes, given his healing factor, they should form those sheaths anyway - like a pierced ear.
Shortly after Wolverine had his adamantium stolen, Jubilee asked if he still bleeds when he uses his claws. His reply is that he pops them in and out a few times every day, forming holes like pierced ears. But they still hurt.
Wolverine's Super Senses have the drawback of always being active. It's a wonder he doesn't pass out from sheer agony given the horrific injuries he suffers so often. This is arguably the case for anyone with Super Senses.
He has on occasion complained about being in public places such as airports due to the olfactory overload he receives from all the different kinds of b.o., deodorant, cologne, bad breath, etc.
Wolverine's Healing Factor is pretty awesome, but prior to M-Day (which gave Wolverine all of his memories back), it apparently helped him get over mental trauma — by giving him amnesia. Whether or not this is still the case — or indeed, if it ever really was — has not been confirmed. And yes, this means that all of Wolverine's powers are cases of Blessed with Suck.
The amnesia was recently revealed to be due to Weapon X "memory implants", which amount to nothing more than Weapon X doctors taking a cattle prod to his brain and allowing it to grow back, and then telling him some bullshit story about why he can't remember anything and who he "really" is.
The trigger scent falls into this as well. Laura is already an incredibly skilled and capable fighter by benefit of her instincts, heightened senses, and Training from Hell, but the trigger scent turns her into a whirling ball of unstoppable adamantium-bladed death. Unfortunately, it also induces an Unstoppable Rage over which she has no control and will pursue and attack anything, even those she cares about, that's been marked, and she will not stop until the target is either dead or the scent wears off.
Laura manages to avoid most of adamantium's Blessed with Suck traits Logan has to deal with, since only her claws are laced with it (though she still notes in her solo series that swimming is troublesome. She would also have the same problems getting through metal detectors or fighting someone like Magneto). However she also adds a unique one of her own that Wolverine doesn't have to worry about: Because her skeleton isn't reinforced with adamantium as well, it's entirely possible for her to strike something with her claws with so much force, that the combination of shock of impact, the target's resistance to being cut, and resulting vibrations could shatter or pulverize the bones in her hands and wrists, or feet and ankles.
The Darkness powers in The Darkness, which while making Jackie completely godly, only work in the dark and stop him from enjoying one of his favorite pastimes, casual sex (The Darkness is passed down from father to son, killing the father at the moment of conception process - which is how Jackie's father died).
This is somewhat subverted because Jackie has the ability to create women from the Darkness which he can sex all he likes.
But this usually goes horribly wrong.
Dungeons & Dragons In Issue #6 Drey describes that Adric suffers a curse...the curse of being clever. This means he can always see a way out when everything seems lost, but it also means he can't save everyone, no matter how much he wants to.
This was the motivation behind one-time X-Factor foe Josef Huber's attempt to orchestrate the extinction of mutants. Unlike others with this goal, he wasn't a deranged fanatic; he just had the ability to automatically copy the powers of every mutant on the planet, which resulted in him having telepathy so powerful that even the isolated arctic cave he lives in offers little refuge from the constant noise of thoughts from all over the world.
The protagonist of the Top Cow one-shot Murderer sees/hears the thoughts of everyone around him all the time. This results in him knowing things he'd rather not (like how much his grandmother secretly hates him) and being so overwhelmed by other people's thoughts that it's hard to focus on his own. He speaks in broken fragments full of pausesnote e.g. "Wife. Got sick. Lost job. No money. No food. Just want. Family okay." because he can't concentrate well enough to string together a whole sentence. The title comes from the fact that the only way for him to turn his power off (only for a few hours) is to be in someone's mind as they're dying.
Velcroman from a comic by German artist Walter Moers is about a superhero all covered in velcro (not a suit, but due to a biological-nuclear accident). In a world which is completely covered with fuzz, because of a biological-nuclear catastrophe.
Taskmaster from Marvel can perfectly memorize and copy the movements of other people. Fighting styles, sports, the works. Permanently. This comes with a heavy trade-off: All of the information that is involved with perfectly imitating so many people is too much for Taskmaster's brain. As a result, he constantly forgets things that aren't combat-related: people, places, even a conversation from last Monday. He reveals all of this to Avengers Academy member Finesse, who has similar abilities because she might be his daughter and might have the same problem down the road. He wants to fight her because memorizing her movements is the only way he won't forget her.From Bad to Worse in a recent mini that reveals just how much of his life he's forgotten. He used to be known as Tony Masters, a married S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and he forgot about his former vocation and his wife, who was also a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. He forgets all of this again at the end of the mini when he copies the skills of his attacker in order to save his wife. His wife is determined to keep reminding him though.
Note that everything above is a fairly recent and incredibly unpopular Retcon, that causes more problems than it solves. Before this, however, he did have to deal with the issue that his photographic reflexes did not include Required Secondary Powers - for example, as a young boy, he copied an Olympic diver... only to realize after he hit the water that he didn't know how to swim.
Gladstone Gander occasionally gets this treatment: one story dealt with him trying to solve the problem of his home being cluttered by all the things he's won, a few stories have other people showing disdain for him for being effectively a cheater or a freeloader who has everything fall into his lap without having to make any effort, and in Ultraheroes his superhero alter ego is massively unpopular, both with the fans of the team and his own teammates. It has long since been established that Scrooge has struck Gladstone from his will because he has zero respect for someone who avoids doing any real work at every possibility.
Since in the vast majority of stories he appears in he's not only a lazy freeloader, but also insufferably smug about it, most readers aren't inclined to feel pity for him.
Defied by Magica: she's trying to achieve Mida's Touch, the Trope Codifier of this (in fact it's even the trope image)... But it would come from an easily removed necklace, allowing her to deactivate it at will.
Then played painfully straight in the imaginary stories where she succeeds and becomes richer than Scrooge... Only to find out she's just not cut to deal with the downsides of being a billionaire.
Gorthan is one of the rare Evronians who achieved a full emotional spectrum and complete free will. As he's not a member of the Senate, that instantly made him a mortal danger for his society, and his fellow Evronians tried to kill him.
In Superman & Batman: Generations, Joel Kent, after years of living without Kryptonian superpowers due to being prenatally exposed to Gold Kryptonite radiation, receives a formula from the Ultra-Humanite (posing as Lex Luthor) which gives him back his powers. Unfortunately, after using those powers to kill his sister Kara, Joel found out that the formula that gave him back his powers ended up killing him after a few hours' use, despite Ultra's original claim of the contrary - which turns out to be just what Ultra was expecting Joel to believe.
Years later, though, Superman and his grandson Clark Wayne (Knightwing) discover that Ultra was able to come up with a formula that could restore Kryptonian powers without killing whoever drank it.
Avenger Black Knight had this in his magic sword, the Ebony Blade. On one hand, it could cut through nearly anything. On the other hand, it had a curse that took effect if it ever drew blood, which would do things like paralyze him, turn him into a statue, or drive him insane. These curses were generally pretty permanent, to the point even Doctor Strange had trouble removing them. Worse, even if someone else used the blade to draw blood, the curse would still affect Black Knight. It was no surprise when he eventually stopped using the damn thing.
More recently, it's just resorted to trying to drive him and turn him into a literal Blood Knight. As an expert on the Ebony Blade remarks, every single previous Black Knight has gone mad. Except him. So far...
Jessica Drew AKA Spider-Woman was one to get over this problem but initially, her powers caused accelerated aging, unwanted attraction due to pheromones and unjustified hatred because of those same pheromones.
Further Marvel examples: for a time, Rhino's suit was grafted to his skin. While this provided the permanent secondary powers for him to break through walls without pain, he had a lack of feeling and required a special flap for natural functions. Also, a side story mini-series from the perspective of Kitty Pryde as a new X-Man revolved around Wolverine running off with her in the middle of the night and telling her about some bank robbers he had fought while in Canada that wore adamantium suits. Unfortunately, the suits could not be removed; and one of them ended up with some disease. The man was left on life support for decades because the doctors weren't able to give him the single injection he needed, and the suit was of similar strength to Wolverine's claws. Wolverine took Kitty because he suddenly realized her powers would allow them to phase the needle past the suit, but he had died shortly before they arrived.
The Avengers Academy seems to be built on this. We have Veil who can turn into mist...yet her power is slowly killing her. Then we have Hazmat whose body produces deadly radiation, and has to be confined to a suit to protect others. Then there's Finesse, who is a super fighter but her brain can't handle all the information and in the future... it's revealed she's continually forgetting her daughter's name. Then there's Mettle, who was a champion surfer before his powers awakened, granting him Super Strength and Nigh-Invulnerability... but making him look like a metal version of Red Skull (he even yells once 'I'm not related to Red Skull, I'm Jewish'), and then there's Reptil who could only transform his body parts into dinosaurs before getting a future power-up.
The newish mutants from the Marvel Universe, Generation Hope, all have powers like this, or at least linked to this. You have Velocidad, who's a super-speedster who ages up with each use of his power as it just makes time move slower/faster/whichever would be relevant for him, Sadie (Transonic) who's trapped forever in some blue alien-looking body, some guy who got super-animal strength and senses... and the mind to go with them. Another one of them's walking Body Horror. Being one of the new generation of mutants sucks.
Idie is the one exception. Too bad her upbringing convinced her that just being a mutant was bad enough.
Arson from Shadowhawk and the short-lived Regulators is always on fire. He cannot turn it off. He does not get the Human Torch's advantages like flying, nor is he nearly as strong as the Human Torch, although certainly strong enough to burn anything he touches like food, clothing, furniture, or his teammates. Unlike the real unfortunates on this page, at least he does burn himself to death.
Sludge from The Ultraverse survived a murder attempt when conveniently close chemicals gave him a Healing Factor. They also combined with nearby sewage to make him a humanoid mass of slime and cancer, damaging his ability to think and speak. His touch melts and warps living creatures. He started working for a supervillain in return for a promise to kill him, since his healing factor will not let him die.
Tony Chu of Chew has cibopathy. This is a form of Psychic Powers where he can see things relating to the past of anything he tastes; he can also absorb skills and knowledge by eating flesh or drinking blood from other human beings. What makes this suck? First and foremost, he can't turn it off — and a lot of the visions he gets are pretty damn gross. Secondly, the only thing he can eat that doesn't trigger his cibopathy is beets... and he doesn't even like beets. Finally, his powers, combined with his jerkass boss, means he has to eat a lot of stuff that is inherently gross. Like corpses, dead animals, poop...
The Top Cow series Freshmen featured Green Thumb, a vegan whose powers allow him to hear the thoughts of plants. All thoughts of all plants. It got terrible very quickly.
Luke Cage is Nigh Invulnerable to the point that bullets can't pierce his skin. Which is pretty awesome until something manages to injure him badly enough that he needs intensive medical care. Then it becomes a problem that needles can't pierce his skin.
The Pantheon has to deal with this in The Wicked + The Divine: get godly powers, live like a rockstar, die within two years - yeah, it comes with a pretty hefty price. Then again, most of the members think that said godly powers are reason enough to enjoy this before it comes to an end.
Verity Willis, from the supporting cast of Loki: Agent of Asgard, can see through lies. All lies, every lie, up to invisibility powers and high level illusions. Unfortunately she can't turn it off so not even the small white lies that make daily life easier work on her. She can't even enjoy a book or a film because she lacks suspension of disbelief.
PS238 has Lyle. He can "see patterns in things", and so he can tell you everything about anything or anyone he looks at, making him effectively omniscient. The catch is that he can't turn it off, and can see these patterns everywhere. He spends most of his time in a featureless white room to keep his brain from overloading.
Comic 9 of Noob has the characters participate in one of their Fictional Video Game's battlegrounds. Each side of the battle gets a commander randomly selected among the players participating. Due to its duties, all other players have to protect that commander with their lives. Gaea, the cast Dirty Coward, is of course overjoyed when she gets chosen for the position. However, Decapitated Army also applies to these battlegrounds, so each side will dedicate part of its troops to a Straight for the Commander strategy. Gaea herself ends up having to protect her own life after the three strongest players of her faction effectively perform a Heroic Sacrifice in order to keep her alive a little longer.
Sure, Ben Grimm from Ultimate Fantastic Four is super-strong and durable, but he weighs a ton, meaning any furniture he sits on has to be reinforced. Not to mention he looks like he's made of rock, which makes going outside difficult.
Anyone infected with the Beauty Virus in Beauty becomes thin, beautiful, and literally radiant. They can eat as much as they want and all they feel is a slightly feverish feeling. Unfortunately, they live a year or two before they blow up.