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Who are your Top Ten Superheroes?

Yes, another list thread. I just love them as I can see just how wrong some people are! :grin:

I’d like to keep this to superheroes only, rather than all comic characters. Otherwise everyone votes for Spider Jerusalem and we can call it a day. Oddly I think the top ten superhero list might be alot more personal than a top ten movie list.

My top ten and my reasoning.

  1. Blue Beetle. The proper one, not the new version DC forced down our throats a few years ago. Because he’s just a dude. He’s Batman without the dead parents and all that angst. He’s able to have fun, be goofy, and be very real. I think he’s a really great character that shined in JLI but never really found another creator who understood him.

  2. Rocket Raccoon. From the moment his resurgence began in Annihilation Starlord I was sold. He’s come a long way, from E list to almost replacing Wolverine, and of course Marvel are making a mess with him ad they whore him out to every creator, but he’s so much fun and he’s a character you can really put in any setting.

  3. Starlord. He’s Jim Kirk, Han Solo, Mal Reynolds - he’s a space cowboy womanizing fast talking bumbling heart of gold kind of guy. Chris Pratt really elevated him in the movie, made him just a little more piratey than the first GotG series, but he’s really great. No shocks so far for anyone who knows me.

  4. Hulk. I think he’s an amazing creation that only Peter David really understood. Marvel don’t know what to do with him, Planet Hulk and World War Hulk aren’t great stories. But Future Imperfect, that’s in the top ten all time Marvel trades. And that’s my Hulk, the most powerful man in the world who struggles to control his dark side in a way Superman doesn’t.

  5. Adam Warlock. How can you not love everything about Warlock? The hammy speech, the overly dramatic stories, traversing through space and time like it’s nothing. He’s the most over the top and least grounded character in Marvel, but it’s always fascinating to read about someone who is so different to the norm.

  6. Death’s Head. Nostalgia is pulling really hard here as he hasn’t done anything interesting in nearly 30 years. He should be Marvel’s Lobo, space jumping and getting into trouble while having no morals or ethics whatsoever. And he was funny too. Dammit Marvel, why do you mess up so much?

  7. Iron Fist. I’m a bit surprised by this, but Brubakers run transformed him in a way few characters have been elevated. I love his origin, I love all the mystical kung fu stuff. His costume is ultra cool, and I love that he’s kind of Hawkeye but not as much of a dogsbody, kind of Daredevil without the self flagellation, and he feels modern and cool in his latest iteration.

  8. Nightcrawler. I don’t think it’s possible to ready Clairemont X Men and Excalibur and not have Nightcrawler in your top ten. Just not possible.

  9. Thanos. Can’t have Adam Warlock without Thanos. He’s really suffering from overuse these days (shocker from Marvel I know), but around Infinity Gauntlet time he was amazing. He always seemed so above the rest of the characters, smarter and stronger, and yet that moment when it was pointed out that he’s always defeated himself it just poetry that I don’t think you find with Darkseid or Doom.

  10. Thor. I just can’t get enough viking superhero action. I love the world around him, that he has these mad adventures, that he feels epic in everything he appears in. Marvel have done a great job with him, and I like the movie version very much too.

Ok folks, tell me your top ten.

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If we’re talking “EXCLUSIVELY HEROES” then the list is:

Dr Strange: Since forever. Magic. Mysticism. A guy who lives in our world and myriad of other worlds all at the same time. Fighting beings and beasts that we couldn’t even begin to fathom. Harry Potter ain’t got shit on the Sorcerer Supreme.

Bishop: 'Cause you know that’s who Rogue really wants to be with (he totally saved her life too). Dude’s got power absorbing powers with seemingly no limits and is just a full-on badass.

Batman: The Detective. Proof that there is justice in the shadows. I’ve always been a fan of the only non-super-powered superhero in the Justice League and without whom the JLA couldn’t defeat Starro the Conqueror.

Iron Fist: Danny Rand, Kung-Fu badass. He’s a younger, cooler version of Roper from ENTER THE DRAGON.

Power Man: Luke Cage, Martial Arts badass. He’s an older, more world-weary version of Williams from ENTER THE DRAGON.

Blue Beetle: Ted Kord. He’s the kinda guy you wanna hang out at the end of a long day battling crime. And he’s the guy cracking jokes while the Grey Man is busy trying to take over the world. Plus he’s half of the legendary comedy duo that is Booster and Beetle.

Booster Gold: Michael Jon Carter. His entire life is a redemption story but at the same time he’s just a guy who wants to have fun. He’s a lot more layered than people give him credit for. Plus he’s half of the legendary comedy duo that is Booster and Beetle.

Reed Richards: Not the jerk from the recent comics; the smart family guy. The guy who aways tried to do the right thing. That guy. Love that guy.

Red Hood: Jason Todd. Back from the dead. All of the training that the Bat gave him and none of that silly moral objection to killing people. Oh and he’s carrying a grudge.

J’onn J’onzz: The last of his kind, the Martian Manhunter, is (at his best) the perfect hybrid of Superman and Batman. Cerebral and calculating while trying to understand the human condition…and in possession of the driest wit in the DC Universe (yup, even better than Alfred).

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Promethea
Batman
Jenny Sparks
Superman
Midnighter
The Engineer
Jean Grey
Charles Xavier
Wolverine
Starman (Jack Knight)

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Cool thread idea. Hmm, I’m not sure if I can think of ten that I love more than the rest but here goes:

  1. Superman - The first and the best. He’s an all-around great guy, and his optimism really shines bright in a world of ugly, compromised heroes and brutal killers.

  2. Spider-Man - My favourite as a kid. Peter Parker always felt real to me, like a guy you could actually meet in the world. Despite being thirteen and supposedly the younger target audience that Marvel made the story for, I hated One More Day like everybody else. I felt cheated that the Mary Jane marriage neger happened and that the guy I was reading about every month never felt the same again. The first time that ongoing continuity kicked me in the teeth. Then the Brand New Day story that had him working in a comic shop but dismissive of comics felt pretty out of character too. Poor Spidey.

  3. Batman - He’s a pretty big icon, but I find myself in love with the idea of him more than I love many of the stories. He probably has more great comics than any other character (maybe on a par with Daredevil), but more crappy ones too. Morrison’s reconstruction will forever be my favourite run. Batman is a powerful idea.

  4. Wolverine - Sure he’s been overused and then killed off in recent years but when he’s good, he’s great. Every team should have a Wolverine on it. Is it any wonder that he took over the movies?

  5. The Incredible Hulk - I agree with @JimOHara that he doesn’t have many great stories, but he’s such a strong concept that can be imagined in so many different ways. Whedon/Ruffalo’s Banner is such a great take that I wish he was in more of the movies. Why oh why did we never get the Del Toro Hulk tv show?

  6. Daredevil - He’s got a good chunk of Marvel’s best output ever, so many classic runs by revered creators. He’s Spider-Man for real, in the sense that in-universe Spidey never used to be a big world-famous hero and the Avengers shunned him, Daredevil is like that in our world. He’s awesome because of the comics (and I guess the Netflix show now, but I think that has a long way to go before he has worldwide appeal). He has the best costume too. Red on red just looks so cool.

  7. Flash (Barry Allen) - I like how he’s a good-natured good guy. When I read the Johns run (leading up to Flashpoint) it was 22-pages of bright, colourful superheroics that put a smile on my face. He has the best powers in comics too.

  8. Cyclops - The poor guy gets crapped on a lot but he’s the first member of the X-men and their natural leader. His stunted emotional growth and crippling self-doubt were factors I could relate to, as is the fact that he has to wear glasses. People hated that Wolverine movie for ruining Deadpool. I hated it for ruining Cyclops. He doesn’t have heat vision!

  9. Iron Man - Though Civil War ruined him for me, I enjoyed reading his classic stories as a kid. The Knauf run almost fixed him for me, but I never got into the Fraction atuff and fell out of touch with the character for a long time. The movies have fundamentally changed him too. Oh well.

  10. Wonder Woman - I never cared about her until the Azzarello/Chiang run but once I got into that, I fell in love. It was a great book and no matter what the purists say I think they kept her core. She’s rock-solid, confident that she can save those she cares about, she loves everyone and goes up against gods. That story ended a while ago but it’s one I’ll always revisit. Hopefully the character is undergoing a bit of a renaissance between the movie version, Morrison’s Earth One finally coming out, and Greg Rucka about to start his run on the main book (with two great artists). Just in time for her 75th anniversary!

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I’ll give it a try.

  1. Superman - He’s the first and the best. He stands for “Truth, Justice and the American Way”. By “American Way”, I mean “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” in their most hopeful and pragmatic forms. He does the right thing because it’s right not because of anything it gains him.

  2. Wolverine - He’s the ultimate lone wolf badass. He has a dark past, a gruff exterior but a heart of gold. I think he has lost a bit of his mystique and isn’t the same character that I enjoyed when I first started reading X-Men. I’m not sure how Marvel recaptures that.

  3. Cable - He’s the Terminator and Kyle Reese rolled into one and the third path between Professor X and Magneto. He’s also a time hopping man of mystery which is an X-Men staple.

  4. Colossus - He’s the X-Man with the hardest exterior but the softest heart. More than any other character, I think he is the rudder of the team. He projects their optimistic hopefulness and their pragmatic realism.

  5. Magneto - I like that he has ran the gamut from being a through and through villain to a noble hero. He’s a complicated character and much more interesting for it.

  6. Superior/Simon Pooni - This character represents something very dear to my heart. He’s essentially a Superman/Captain Marvel type character with a boy suffering from MS at his heart. I love that the story ended not with Simon being miraculously healed but with him making the decision to do the right thing and continuing to fight against a horrible disease. It’s the heroism I see in my wife everyday.

  7. Huck - He is another character that hits close to home for me. I grew up in a town that had a lot of developmentally disabled people due to a nearby mental health facility. They are amazing people and feel blessed because of it. Huck exemplifies the person who is often looked down on because of the perceived abilities that continues to do the right thing because it’s right.

  8. Daredevil - I’m not sure if I love the character or just like the opportunities he has presented over the years. He was at just a level, somewhere between B and C, that allowed creators the freedom to tell interesting stories with him without it being completely ignored.

  9. Batman - Probably the most resilient character in comics. I love what Frank Miller has said about him. You can use the character so many ways and it just works. Street level, cosmic, action oriented, procedural detective and many other types of stories work with him.

  10. Captain America - He toes the line between soldier and superhero, unquestioned loyalty and unrelenting morals. I think he’s best in @Mark_Millar hands with Ultimates and Civil War being the two character highlights for me.

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I honestly had that typed before your post appeared. Great minds think alike. :wink:

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Death’s Head is as much a super-hero as Spider Jerusalem or Miyamoto Usagi are.

My top 10, in no particular order.

Blink - cool powers, cool design and the perpetual outsider yet leader function she had in Exiles was solid. When she becomes assertive enough to overrule Sabretooth is a great progression.

Multiple Man - the perfect Peter David protagonist, I would say. Funny, bit of an arsehole, cool but not as cool as he’d like, fallable.

Booster Gold - the corporate sponsored hero for the 80s was a cool gimmick, but eventually dated badly. The “greatest hero history never knew” was a great replacement for it though.

Stingray - doesn’t need explaining, clearly.

Impulse - I find comics Flash to be pseudo-science filled junk for the most part, but Impulse sets all that aside and is just pure fun. Especially liked the pictographic thought bubbles he used to have.

Robin (Tim Drake) - the best Robin, hands down. He feels more naturally like the protege of Batman than an acrobat, a hoodlum and an 8 year old psycho. Best costume design as well.

Batman - such a strong concept, yet so versatile.

Spider-Man - the perfect everyman.

Songbird - awesome design and powers. Tremendous character development over the course of Thunderbolts.

Resurrection Man - the concept for his powers is cool and versatile. The design is low key but works. The mystery of his past built up in the first series was excellent, though went down too long a dead end at the end. He’s the ultimate odyssey hero in a way, taking that concept from the Hulk (the one crystallised in the Tv show at least) and improving on it.

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Batman The only logical “super-hero”. Anyone bullied in any manner generates revenge fantasies, and who better than The Bat?

The Midnighter The Bat without limits. An unfeedable rage. Don’t care if he’s gay, his sex life is not the issue. Somebody really screws with you, say starts a war, they meet the Midnighter. His buddy Jack Hawksmoor is close, but I live in a small town.

Dr. Strange From a case of walking hubris little Stevie became a true Defender, by the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth!

Judge Dredd And Walter, of course.

Superman One who always makes the right choice, regardless of damage to himself. Drop-kicks mountains as a hobby. All tweaked with human relationships. What’s not to like?

Professor Xavier The power of the mind embodied. Damned shame it cost him his legs.

Lockjaw Puppy!

Hit-Girl Millar’s Miss Mayhem. Never censor her!

Captain America The Best of the Greatest Generation.

Alfred Pennyworth Without Alfred, the Bat would last about thirty seconds.

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  1. Batman
  2. Spider-man
  3. Tim Drake, Robin (Pre-Flashpoint - the New52 version is an abomination)
  4. Linda Danvers, Supergirl (Peter David’s)
  5. Connor Hawke, Green Arrow
  6. Nightwing
  7. Iron Fist
  8. Jack Knight, Starman
  9. Bart Allen, Impulse (Pre-Geoff Johns)
  10. Wally West, Flash (Pre-Flashpoint - the New52 version is an abomination)

You can see why I’ve been so down on DC for a decade or more now, can’t you? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Writing this list has made me realise how few characters I actually have an inherent affection for. A lot comes down to the stories that have been told with them.

  1. Spider-Man. He is everything a superhero should be: relatable, endlessly sympathetic, powerful, fun, inspiring, with cool powers and a great costume. His endless reserves of inner strength and ability to do the right thing even when the cards are stacked against him have been genuinely inspiring to me at various times in my life. I got hooked on him at the age of four and he’s never been dethroned since.

  2. Daredevil. DD had a similar effect on me as I grew up a bit as Spidey did on me as a young kid. He feels like a ‘real’ character with a relatable adult outlook on life, despite all the superhero trappings. But more than anything else my love of him is probably about just how many great stories have been told about him. Miller, Nocenti, Bendis, Brubaker, Waid… any one of these runs would be standout high-points for many other characters.

  3. Batman. Possibly the most versatile superhero concept ever. I love that you can take the character from the campest, silliest end of the scale to the grimmest, most serious end and have the basic idea endure. It allows for almost infinite variation and reinvention, which is why I think he manages to retain his popularity and move with the times even when other heroes from the same era now look a bit old-hat. Plus, like DD, he’s been the subject of an uncannily high number of top-quality comics.

  4. The Incredibles. Pretty much the perfect all-ages superhero concept. I love the family dynamic, the way their powers reflect their character traits so perfectly, and the beautiful design of them and their world. There’s some irony to the fact that they narrowly beat…

  5. The Fantastic Four. Reading the Lee/Kirby era of this book is like mainlining pure imagination. Nothing else has ever quite reached the same heights, although at its core I still think it’s a really strong and enduring concept. The Incredibles owe them a huge debt: they’re like the FF reinvented perfectly for the modern day.

  6. Superman. I don’t love Superman but I like him a lot. More on a pure conceptual level than as a character in his own right, though: the idea of a perfect force for good is an attractive one, even if superheroes have largely evolved beyond such simplistic concepts today. He deserves a lot of credit for blazing the trail for others to follow, and still works well when good writers and artists hit upon the right formula.

  7. Swamp Thing. I love how a character who is as slow-moving and turgid as this can still be in so many thought-provoking and gripping stories. Moore’s reinvention was the point at which he started to become really interesting, but subsequent writers have built on that in their own way to create a character that’s a lot more complex and layered than his odd concept suggests.

  8. Hulk. What a great, primal concept. Somehow it resonates with everyone. Even if he hasn’t had many great stories, the key idea is just so good, and simple enough that even the youngest kids can understand and enjoy it (my son has loved him since the age of about two), and I think it’s a really good character for teaching young kids how to recognise anger and start to deal with it.

  9. Jessica Jones (Alias/comics version). A superhero concept that truly works on an adult level (rather than simply affecting ‘mature’ traits), dealing with issues of abuse, pain, regret, self-worth and all manner of other emotional baggage through a superhero lens. Possibly the best thing Bendis has ever done.

  10. Animal Man. Another good superhero for adults, although the basic concept works for kids too. Without Morrison’s run would he have ever been seen as anything special? Possibly not. But that run turned him into something unique and strange and interesting, while also giving him an emotional core of family relationships that still endures today.

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  1. Wolverine - As a kid, I had a lot of fear and anger and was scared of what that said about me, so a character who was constantly grappling with his darker feelings–and winning–really stood out to me. Claremont understands him best–he’s nothing without his friends. But he still needs to get away every once in a while.
  2. Batman - I don’t think any other superhero has as many really good to great stories written about them. Best when he is depicted as having processed his parents’ murder and is comfortable with who he is. Helps that Batman: TAS is one of the best TV shows of all time, too.
  3. Daredevil - The biggest fuck-up in comics. Easy to relate to (at least for a lot of people–including me!). Even though so many of his darkest moments come ultimately from the machinations of his foes, he still does a good amount of the legwork himself.
  4. Cyclops - He was my first favorite superhero. As a kid, I thought it was cool he fired lasers out of his eyes. As an adult, I like that he’s not the leader that Captain America or Superman or even his teammate Storm is; he’s had some pretty significant and embarrassing personal failures in front of his teammates, but they still see the good in him. I think he’s unique in this way among the superhero team leaders.
  5. Martian Manhunter - I love characters who are the heart and soul of their teams. That’s J’onn for the Justice League in a nutshell. Plus, he’s an alien who sees enough good in humanity that it outweighs the bad. That’s something that can be hard to see. And unlike Superman, who came here as a baby, J’onn comes to this conclusion as an adult, an outsider.
  6. Superman - Took me a while to come around to him, but Kingdom Come, then Moore and Morrison’s work on the character got me there. He’s one of the most powerful symbols we’ve come up with, which still shines through decades after his creation even though there aren’t as many great stories written about him as there are for other characters.
  7. Tom Strong - The most purely enjoyable title Moore has ever written. I love his world, his allies, his foes, the ideas that Moore and his collaborators explore. I go back to this series frequently (helps that it’s so short) and always have a blast.
  8. Black Panther - Smart, stealthy, cool. Finally getting to read the Priest run has boosted him into my Top Ten. Priest describes his approach to T’Challa as trying to write the most noble man in the world. It isn’t just Panther’s genius that makes him so cool–it’s that he stands as a shining example of goodness in a more complex world than most other superheroes; partly because he’s black and race often plays a role in his stories, partly because his stories usually grapple with statehood and global politics.
  9. Nightcrawler - Jim’s right, you can’t read Claremont’s X-Men run and not have him in your Top Ten. Love his friendship with Logan and his non-judgmental, highly personal approach to faith.
  10. Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) - It’s a real testament to G. Willow Wilson’s talent that I like this character so much, considering Kamala writes fan fiction, ships characters, basically does all the corny internet stuff I can’t stand in comics fandoms. But she is just such a life-affirming character. It’s tough to write a character who does good solely out of a desire to do good, to help people. Kamala is probably the best example of that type of hero in recent years.

Honorable mentions: Cliff Steele, Tim Drake, Storm, Emma Frost

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Kamala almost made it on my list as well. I really love that character.

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Historically

  1. WOLVERINE
  2. MIRACLEMAN (I never knew him as Marvelman)
  3. DR MANHATTAN
  4. PHANTOM STRANGER
  5. THE CROW
  6. Golden/Silver Age SHAZAM! (I really never knew him as Captain Marvel)
  7. INVISIBLE WOMAN
  8. GREEN LANTERN
  9. EDWARD HYDE (LOEG)
  10. HELLBOY

Should also mention that Peter David’s versions of Supergirl, Captain Marvel and Madrox are up there, too.

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Storm Fell in love with the character when I first saw her on Spider Man and His Amazing friends with that cape. When she went punk, I was sold.

Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) This is my Captain Marvel. I remember being near a magazine rack when I was a kid and I saw this woman with an afro and “wings” in an awesome costume. Then I learned she could fly in space (this was very important to me when I was little, I don’t know why), and that she was a Southerner like me. She became my Captain Marvel. I was very bitter when she was nearly fridged so Genis could take the mantle. Who am I fooling? I am still bitter.

Doctor Voodoo: Did not like him as Brother Voodoo, I love him as, in my opinion, a more “classical” spellslinger. If there is ever a Marvel Heroes Dr. Strange skin for him, I will play that game.

Midnighter: I just love him. I can’t help it. I don’t want to help it. I will never help it.

Black Vulcan: First black hero I was exposed to on television. Plus he had the most important powers my wee self coveted at the time: energy manipulation, flight, and flight through space. (Again, that was very important to me at the time).

Moleculad (Teen Force/Hanna Barbera): He’s terribly obscure, and the only black character in the Hanna Barbera space cartoon verse, but his very presence was something I looked forward to, even if I wanted his teammate Elektra’s powers.

Jenny Sparks: She just speaks to me. Probably because I found her as I was transitioning from my 20’s to my 30’s.

Rachel Summers: Rachel marked my move from Flight, Energy Manipulation, and Flight in Space to TELEKINESIS. I liked everything about her up through Excalibur. When she became Rachel Grey, she lost a lot of shine for me, but the 80’s are still with me. I hated Wolverine for a decade because he almost killed her for trying to kill Selene.

Wonder Woman, specifically the Post Perez Reboot. Prior to Crisis on Infinite Earths, my favorite Wonder was Donna. I felt Wonder Woman was too ill defined for me to get behind. Post Crisis WW appealed to me strongly, especially because she used weapons. Not that I was martially inclined, but I thought it was so damn cool. I still do.

The Silver Surfer: energy manipulation, can fly, can fly REEEAAAALLLY FAST through space. I wanted to be him when I was little.

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It’s weird the powers we latch onto in superheroes as little kids when that’s our main draw. For me, it was laser eyes and super speed (but only running).

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  1. Superman
  2. Batman
  3. Kitty Pryde
  4. Crazy Jane
  5. Daredevil
  6. Empowered
  7. Swamp Thing
  8. Zatanna
  9. Sue Storm
  10. Spider-Man
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batman, spiderman, cyclops, daredevil, gambit, mr fantastic, iron fist, luke cage, jean grey, rogue

Flash hulk and cap just outside

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Telekinesis, invisibility, time travel and multiple bodies were a few I always found interesting.

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If you could time travel you would automatically have multiple bodies;

If you were telekinetic likewise you could be invisible by bending light.

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Nowadays, teleportation seems the coolest to me. Not Nightcrawler-style, but like Void from the Wildcats. Somebody messes with you, teleport them into space.

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