Everyone has their own list of their favorite superheroes. You can’t swing a dead link on the internet without hitting a top list of superheroes. Even people who formerly wouldn’t admit to having favorite superheroes now have lists. I chalk this up to the recent successes in superhero and comic based movies. Suddenly it’s mainstream and hip to like comics and superheroes where once it was the realm of pasty-faced loners living in their mothers’ basements. So, since we are inflicted with their list of favorite superheroes I feel no compunction against sharing mine with you.
Spider-man has always been my favorite superhero. I got hooked on Spider-man as a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons. I think that my first exposure to Spider-man was watching Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. Spider-man teamed up with Iceman and Firestar to fight crime. They lived together, evidently in Aunt May’s house, and when needed one of them would trigger some knickknack and their hidden equipment would emerge from panels, etc in the walls. Evidently, Firestar was created for this show and then introduced into the comics later. Originally the Human Torch was going to be the third member of the group, but couldn’t because of licensing issues and so Firestar was created.
Spider-man is one of my favorite superheroes for several reasons. First, I identify with him because of his origin as a nerdy awkward guy. Even after gaining his superpowers he’s still the same nerdy, awkward guy. Peter Parker, Spider-man’s secret identity, wasn’t the most popular kid in school. He wasn’t a jock, did well in school, had a hard time talking to girls, wasn’t rich. He still had these problems even after becoming Spider-man. I am a nerd. I like video games, Dungeons & Dragons, did well in school, am shy and awkward (just ask my wife). I find myself draw to Spider-man because of our similarities.
Second, Spider-man always tries to do the right thing. Peter Parker could have used his superpowers to stop a simple theft, but he didn’t and his uncle Ben died as a result. That was when his uncle Ben’s lesson about great power and great responsibility really sunk in and he truly became a hero. Spider-man isn’t an antihero or even a reluctant hero. He fights crime because he has the ability to do so and to do otherwise would make him less a man and tarnish the memory of someone he loved.
Third, he has problems. That’s right, his life isn’t perfect. His life continued normally after gaining his powers. His life didn’t magically improve when he acquired his powers, if anything it deteriorated. Not only did he have to continue to deal with his personal life, now he had superpowered villains trying to kill him. As Peter Parker, he had to deal with school, work, social life, etc. Then he had to turn around and try not to die as Spider-man.
Captain America is the ultimate Boy Scout, not only is he a decent, honorable man, but he can kick your butt seven ways to Sunday. One of the main things about Captain America is that he embodies the values that all superheroes wish they possess. He is the superhero’s superhero. He isn’t the fastest or the strongest, but despite all that other superheroes wish they were Captain America. Spider-man looks up to Captain America, and he is the one person that Wolverine truly trusts. Why is that? Because he’s Captain America. He is brave, unselfish, honorable, decent, courteous, and more. He is the one hero that we can always count on to do the right thing all the time, every time. Captain America is heroic, not because he has powers. He is heroic because of who he is. The powers just help him. He would strive to be a hero no matter the circumstances, which is why he was chosen to be the first test subject in the super soldier program. He embodied all of the characteristics that they were looking for.
I was so pleased when I heard that Captain America was coming to the big screen. I was worried for a while that Hollywood would erase all that was decent and right with Captain America and turn him into what you would find in every other third-rate action movie. However, going against type, we got one of the best superhero movies ever.
Many people but Batman higher on their lists. I really like Batman. I remember watching reruns of the old Adam West/Burt Ward television series as a kid. I still remember watching Batman the Animated Series when it first came out. I have seen every Batman movie from the Tim Burton/Michael Keaton offerings to the Christopher Nolan/Christian Bale trilogy. Batman has always interested me and impressed me. He is smart, tough, and resourceful. He knows that Gotham City is corrupt and dangerous and he does everything in his power to clean it up and make it a safer place for normal people. The criminal element rightly fears him and his brutal and effective ways. And face it he is one of the coolest superheroes of all time. However, there are some things about Batman that push him further down my list.
Batman is almost an antihero. He’s dark and brooding. He doesn’t like anyone and very few people like him. He doesn’t kill his opponents, but he certainly isn’t afraid to maim them in horribly permanent ways. People will say that he has to be brutal in dealing with evil. He doesn’t have the advantage of superpowers. He has to put his opponents down quickly and make sure they don’t get up again or he’s toast. While that is substantially true, why doesn’t he invest in more tasers or knockout gas?
The next thing is his money. Don’t get me wrong. I would love to have as much money as Batman. The problem is that I can’t identify with him as well as I can with some of the more down-to-Earth superheroes. I have the same problem with Ironman. As Bruce Wayne, Batman has so much money. I just have no concept, no way to relate to the guy. His socioeconomic status an mine just don’t see eye to eye.
The last thing is the most annoying my opinion. Naturally, superheroes have to defeat the bad guys. We wouldn’t like them if they always lost. Why would we root for a superhero when we know he was going to lose every single time. However, Batman carries this to the extreme. Whenever anyone asks the question, “who would win” the answer is always rabidly Batman. Batman vs Superman? Batman. Batman vs Darksied? Batman. Batman vs Captain America? Batman. It has nothing to do with examining the characters’ powers, experience, and weaknesses. Batman wins because he is Batman. That is so much crap. Superman would smear Batman across the landscape if they were really going at it. The only reason that Batman won is because Superman really didn’t want to hurt him. In other words, he was holding back. Batman had to go all out and won, but it wouldn’t have mattered a bit if Superman hadn’t been holding himself back.
The Sovereign Seven
Now this in an obscure one. I came across the Sovereign Seven a number of years ago at the library. I have found the library to be an excellent resource for comics and the selection keeps improving. Anyway, the Sovereign Seven is a DC Comics offering featuring a team of seven individuals gathered by the team leader, Cascade. Each of the seven were of royal heritage, but were exiled because they would not submit to the Rapture. Indeed they were rebels seeking for a means to defeat the Rapture and take back their homeworlds.
The leader of the Sovereign Seven, Cascade, her story is a little different. Cascade is the daughter of Maitresse, an ally of Darksied. In fact Maitresse freed Darksied after he had been imprisoned on the Wall. Cascade’s mother was imprisoned on her homeworld where, like Darksied, she is absolute ruler and can reshape the planet according to her whim. Cascade isn’t trapped however, her power enables her to teleport herself and other through time and space, which is how she gathers her companions.
After gathering the others, Cruiser, Indigo, Rampart, Network, Reflex and Finale, the seven end up on Earth, courtesy of Big Barda and her Mother Box. They tangle with Lobo who was transporting Big Barda in a Tantalus Web. The effects of the web were to turn Big Barda into the ultimate object of male affection. She would morph to suit the tastes of whoever viewed her. For a time she became Czarnian just like Lobo.
The team consists of Network a telepath, Cascade who can teleport through time and space, Cruiser a powerful telekinetic, Rampart who can build shields of any configuration that protect against physical and psychic damage, Reflex – the largest of the seven is also the quickest – able to dodge most anything, Indigo a master escape artist and tactician who can blend in in any environment, and Finale is the weapon master of the seven. Together they fight various foes, Darksied’s Female Furies among them, from their base in the Crossroads restaurant on Earth.
The series wasn’t that popular and I’ve recently heard that there were problems with the series, at least problems from a fan perspective, but I very much enjoyed what I’ve read, but I don’t think that the Sovereign Seven lived up to its promise, which is too bad.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The next superheroes on my list are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I remember when the Turtles cartoon first came out. It was amazing. It hasn’t really aged well, but what can you do. That aside what isn’t there to like about the Turtles? They were reptiles, always cool, and they were ninjas, put the two together and you had a winning combination. Now, of the Ninja Turtles my favorite has always been Leonardo. First, I like swords. And second, my favorite color is blue. I realize that only applies to the movies and the cartoons. In the comics all the Turtles wore red. The comics, as I found out later, were also great. Now, back to Leonardo. Besides the weapon and color combination, Leonardo was always the most noble of the group. He was the one that really embodied the aspects that I look for in a superhero. He was honorable and decent. He made you want to be better yourself. He had the qualities that make a person heroic. The other Turtles were great and all, but Leo was better.
Interesting fact about the Ninja Turtle, they were created by the same accident that gave Daredevil his powers. However, since they aren’t Marvel creations they can’t actually claim it in the comics.
Deadpool makes this list for a variety of reasons. Sure, he is an antihero not a hero per se and he will back-stab and betray his allies, but every once in a while he comes through and saves the day. Now that isn’t why he makes the list. He makes the list mostly because in a world where superheroes take themselves too seriously, he doesn’t. He knows he’s in a comic book and he will talk to the audience as they read. Even in the Marvel vs Capcom 3 game, if you win as Deadpool he will harangue you for sitting on the sidelines while he does all the work. I am also glad that he was included in the Ultimate Alliance game. He provides some much needed comedy relief, shouting things like “I won, I won” or “And now I’m better at doing whatever it is Wolverine does!”. Deadpool was once a normal human being until he was diagnosed with cancer and volunteered for the Weapon X program. Yes, that program, the one that fused adamantium to Wolverine’s skeleton. In the Weapon X program Deadpool was given Wolverine’s healing factor which cured his cancer and irreparably disfigured his face. The process also had the added side-effect of unhinging him a bit, which is why he talks to himself and knows that he’s a comic book character.
Interesting fact about Deadpool, he’s “dating” Death. Thanos is in love with Death and is willing to destroy the universe for her, but evidently she would rather have Deadpool. Go figure.
There you go these are my top picks for my favorite superheroes. Let me know who your favorites are and why. What makes you prefer say Batman over Superman or any of the other hundreds of superheroes out there. Who would you like to see translated to the big screen, hopefully without the standard Hollywood must put its mark (read damage) on the character adaptation. You can let us know what you think by commenting on our Twitter account or comment here our blog or go to the forum. You can also email us at
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