Thursday, 24 December 2009

Top Ten Comic Characters

Wow, this was alot harder than I expected and it took me a few days to finalise this list which surprises even me by some of the characters included and omitted. I perused some encyclopedias and my accessible comics to make ensure I considered as wide a range as possible. I found that alot of the characters I liked were purely because of their costumes or I had liked them in the past but they're so messed up now, I've lost much of the fondness I have them.

Considered male characters included Booster Gold, the Marvel and DC Captain Marvels, Captain Britain, Cypher, Doc Samson, Dr Fate, Gambit, Guardian (from Alpha Flight), Havok, Jesse Custer (Preacher), Nighthawk and Wonder Man while females rejected included Chance Falconer, Power Girl, Rogue, Saturn Girl and Supergirl. While I read very little superhero stuff now, there was still no candidates from other fare I've enjoyed (such as Bone, A Distant Soil, Aldebaran/Betelgeuse, etc) so with no further ado, here's my personal top ten:

10: Hank Pym. While Marvel completely cocked up the character with that stupid spousal abuse crap in the early 80s, I always enjoyed Pym as Ant-Man, Goliath and especially Yellowjacket. His character has been rescued somewhat over the last decade and I wish he was allowed to show the potential he holds as a Richards/Stark/Banner-level intellect.

9: Nick Fury. I never liked war stories so Sgt Fury held no interest for me but as Marvel's premier spymaster, Fury has proven to be tough as nails and always one step ahead of the enemy.
8: Nova. I loved Nova as a kid (not realising for years that he was a basic Green Lantern/Peter Parker hybrid) and was really happy when he returned in the New Warriors. Despite his current success as Marvel's premier space hero, my favourite treatment of him was during the second year of New Warriors.
7: Rick Jones. Loyal and brave (but often flawed), Rick has moved beyond the eternal sidekick role (to Hulk, Cap, Cap Marvel and Rom) to shine as a character in his own right. The recent Peter David Captain Marvel series relied less on the title star than Rick, currently running around as the idiotic A-Bomb (will somebody please just stop Jeph Loeb?)
6: Pre-Crisis Superboy. Although I appreciate his art now, I hated Curt Swan's Superman stories as a kid as he seemed so fuddyduddy and old. Then I discovered Superboy: a younger, fresher take on the character who palled around with a bunch of cool pals in the future. The pre-Crisis version remains a fond favourite, despite me having no particular affection for his older counterpart.
5: Blue Beetle. I had picked up the first six or so issues of his DC revival but of course it wasn't until Giffen & DeMatteis worked their comedic magic that Blue Beetle (together with best pal Booster Gold) blossomed into a beloved fan favourite character. I can live with the horror of Countdown To Infinite Shite due to the unofficial fact that's running around alive after being rescued in a Booster Gold arc.

4: Donna Troy. There's many attractive heroines but as a kid, the New Teen Titans was one of the first superhero titles to really invest its characters with personalities and Donna Troy developed into a warm, independent person loved by everybody without ever being too sweet and saccharine. Afflicted with a confusing post-Crisis history, the character remains true to the personality created by Wolfman and Perez.

3: Jack Knight. I hold the Starman series as one of the best superhero series ever, a complete career of a reluctant hero running throughout its run, Jack developing from a slightly rebellious and selfish but likable character into a true hero, maturing to heal longstanding family wounds before retiring to start his own family. (I'm looking forward to the upcoming Starman#81 even if Jack's not in it!)
2: Wally West. First as Kid Flash and then as the first protege to officially take on their mentor's role (as the Flash), I grew up with Wally as he developed from something of a right wing hothead to a more laid back Lothario and into the assured family man that he is today. I always loved the Kid Flash and Flash costume though I'm not sure about the new post-Flash:Rebirth mask, but he remains a favourite character and the most interesting Flash.
1: Cyclops. I've banged on about why I like Cyke before so it's no surprise that he came in at #1, the only easy choice in the whole top ten.


Rol said...

Wally came close to making my list too, but I've lost interest in him in recent years since they messed up the Flash comic - along with most of the rest of the DCU.

Dan Slott's doing a damn fine job of making Hank Pym realise his true potential in Mighty Avengers.

Tone said...

No real surprises there considering your action figure collection (apart from Nick Fury), but I was expecting a Legion member or a super girl in a miniskirt...

Nige Lowrey said...

There were a few Legionnaires who nearly made it and I love the Supergirl image but there's been very little work of any interest done on her character.

Wally's got the short end of the stick a bit recently but at least they've not really cocked him up, just lumbered him with kids (always a mistake in ongoing superhero titles, Animal Man and the FF excepted...)