Poll Position: Rogues Gallery

The question of the week this time is:

{democracy:52}

Discussion after the jump.

I started wondering about this as I was pondering how you balance out the good someone does with the evil that comes with them. Don’t ask why I was pondering that, let’s just say I was armed with a mattock and a field of stubborn tree weeds and let it go at that.

(Funny story aside here, I was talking to my sister once about political signs in our yard, and I joked that instead of putting out signs for my friends, I’d put one out for each of my enemies. She was very quiet for a second and then said “You’re gonna need a bigger yard.”)

Back on target here, the point is that you have to wonder how much good your preferred character could do, compared to the bad his enemies would perpetrate. With that in mind, I’ll run down my thoughts on each choice.

  • Superman: Obviously, Superman could do the greatest good of the five names on this list, as his power is truly epic in nature. The others might clean up a city, but Superman has the power to change the whole world. However, so do the villains in his rogues gallery. Lex Luthor hatches plots to take over whole countries, and has the kind of mind that could bring catastrophic changes to the world through technology. Brainiac has literally destroyed planets before, and you’re dealing with truly powerful potential evil no matter who you round the list out with. This choice is definitely fraught with both danger and potential.
  • Batman: Batman’s nemeses are also quite lethal. I don’t think there’s any doubt the Joker could put bin Laden’s body count to shame, and he’d definitely be a terror. However, Batman himself is a hero for a dark time, and might be able to inspire the kind of bare-knuckled, no-holds-barred defense we need.
  • Spider-Man: His opponents have always been city-wide in scope, so both his and their impact would be more localized. He’d sure be fun to have around your town, though.
  • Wolverine: This is a tough call, because most of Wolverine’s villains are actually part of the opposition for the entire X-Men. If you included Magneto in his set of five, that’s definitely a losing proposition for the real world, because Magneto’s a bad-ass. Logan doesn’t inspire the same kind of admiration as Batman, or the same fun as Spider-Man, so I’d have a hard time picking him.
  • Flash: Flash’s rogues gallery is too silly to get overly worked up about. Come on, is Captain Boomerang really a threat we need to be leery of? Gorilla Grodd, on the other hand, that’s a scary individual. So I think this one would depend on who exactly his top five are.

Having said all that, I think I’d probably go with Superman. His upside is so big, I think the risk of global annihilation is worth it. Let me know who’d you choose, and why, in the comments!

About Jeff Hebert

Jeff is a 44 year old city boy who has somehow found himself located in Colorado, fulfilling his lifetime dream of making a living drawing super-heroes all day.

9 Responses to Poll Position: Rogues Gallery

  1. Flash just so that Captain Boomerang became real and I could hit him in the back of the head and then make a better costume for him.

  2. DJ, that’s an awesome answer! I’d have to go with Spidey, I think. Yeah, Batman would fit the times, but I think we need the entertainment value Spider-Man would bring.

  3. I’de go with Superman, but not for his power level. Superman inspires regular people to strive for greater good more than any other hero on this list, and I think in this day in age, everyone is looking for a symbol of hope to put their trust in for a better tomorrow. And nobody fits that mold better than the Man of Steel himself!

  4. Totally Flash. Despite the fact that his rogue’s gallery is a bunch of knuckleheads in pansy costumes, more importantly, they impose the least amount of collateral damage of the others. You think I want my insurance rates to go up with an “Act of Darkseid” clause? C’mon now!

    little Johnny: “Look Daddy! Up in the sky! It’s Superman”
    Daddy: “…and there’s a Boom Tube opening up just behind him. *&^%ing brilliant! I just paid off this *&^%ing car!”

  5. John’s right– the issue isn’t which hero would benefit the world at large, but rather which 5 rouges could possibly level the planet and leave us with a staggering casualty toll. The Flash’s rouges seem mundane compared to what a Doomsday, Darkseid, or Brainiac could do on a global scale. Now granted, Batman’s gallery maybe the better choice, since it would seem likely that local/state law enforcement could contain- with a minimum of loss- The Joker’s or Two-Face’s serial killings to one metropolitan area. After that, who would you be concerned about? A man who has a fetish for birds or an obsessive who deals in puzzles? (…and by the way, that’s not an insult toward those characters as it is a sigh of relief if such persons were to exist in a post 9-11 world. Seriously, with their egos, I can’t imagine them not leaving some kind of trail of breadcrumbs right to themselves.)

  6. I went with Flash, for the same reason John did. Flash’s rogues are relatively harmless.

    But the question is, which Flash? Jay “fast enough to catch bullets but can’t always win a foot-race” Garrick? Barry “coming back to life doesn’t negate the sacrifice or people wouldn’t worship Jesus” Allen? Or Wally “now the slowest Flash alive!” West?

  7. This is a REALLY tough one. Gotta give you credit, you come up with some pretty intense braine teasers superhero-style. While I see everyone else’s point about not wanting Superman or some of the others because their villains are very intense and dangerous, I also think some people are missing the point that these heroes exist to and should inspire people. Likewise if there were some intense villains it might inspire more out of humanity and more progress too.

    After all, as much as we might not want to admit it, Wars and crisis over our years have brought about many significant changes and advancements to our world. All that said, I would still have to go with Superman because although the trade off of Luthor, Brainiac, Darkseid, and whomever else would be bad, I have full confidence that true to form Superman would protect and defend us and continue to inspire us and be the hero that our world needs in every way.

  8. Kryptkal, forgive me, but I can’t see the tradeoff. How many losses would be considered acceptable for Superman to be among us if it meant that some of the DCU’s greatest planetary threats accompany him? You say he would inspire. Yes, Superman would inspire…initially. But how many heroes (…real or otherwise.) have we hoisted on a pedestal only to grow weary of them and send them crashing down? Too many. Can you see it? Before long will come the OP/ED articles flying off the presses, denouncing this so-called “god” among men. Imagine the furor over civil rights, governmental or otherwise, because he can see through walls. You know someone would politicize it, and that right there would be the beginning of his and our problems. And the controversial truth is this, if Superman had to violate our cherished civil rights to save us, many of us would want to crucify him later for it. That’s the fate of many Messiahs, isn’t it? So sadly, Superman (…and I can’t believe I’m writing this part here) becomes part of the problem. He shouldn’t be, it’s almost inconceivable that he would be, but it wouldn’t surprise me in our day and age. Now one last issue: could Superman defend us if all five rouges decided to launch an offensive at once? Sorry, but he couldn’t. Look, Superman at any given moment is my favorite superhero (…sometimes that title is relinquished to Batman.). Who wouldn’t, even for a day, love to see him soar above us? Then to hear those immortal words, “Look, up in the sky-”. For him to give us a reassuring wink and let us know everything is alright in the world, it would be like Heaven. If only it was just him for that visit, but can’t take a chance if it brought over Darkseid or Brainiac. Thanks for your time.

  9. Batman all the way. While Ra’s might pose a problem this side of this little pond, the rest of his more prominent opponents are simply something that would make international news more interesting and (morbidly, in the case of the Joker) light-hearted. They are also likely to be handled by whichever city becomes the surrogate Gotham’s law enforcement, eventually.