This week, I will be letting you guys do most of the work. What I want to know is, who do you think are the best comic book characters of all time? Not just superhero comics, but war comics, crime comics, romance comics, comedy comics etc. etc.
Now you can answer in anyway you like, provided you give some explanation. You can give me a list, separate it out into genres, go male character/ female character/ alien character, I don't mind. However, it'd be nice to see someone other than Batman mentioned, so please, no Dark Knight (it'd be like reading a list of the greatest ever bands and seeing The Beatles at number 1, yes there's a reason that it's so damn obvious but it's so damn obvious).
Now, over to you.
I’d like to say it could be Superman because despite his predecessors that character became the template for all superheroes henceforth, but I don’t think so.
I could go with Deadpool for that character’s current ‘breaking the fourth wall’ versatility, but he isn’t the greatest to me.
I’m giving the vote to Dr. Strange because this one is the Deus Ex Machina of the Marvel Universe. Spider-Man is loved by everyone, but overall he isn’t the answer to universe-crushing storylines and neither is Wolverine.
I propose Dr. Strange.
Spider-Man – even better than Batman. Superman is the archetype for all things that eventually became corny. Spider-Man was like nothing done before, a hero with real problems. He is the template for any decently written hero story. All heroes before him got a revamp once he came out because they seemed to fake.
Since I’ve been removed from regular comic reading for some time, my choices are very dated. *Queues opening music to “Knight Rider.”*
Definitely Sandman just for the goth vibe. As Homer Simpson would say, “Mmmm…. goth chicks.”
Judge Dredd for the hilariously twisted dystopian society and his attitude. Marshall Law is in that same vein.
Sergeant Rock, though later issues were just really bizarre… more like “Creature Commandos.” They did the same thing to Jonah Hex.
Fathom from “The Elementals.” Don’t know why she still stands out.
All of the characters in “Alien Legion.” That comic was well-written. Supposedly, Jerry Bruckheimer is producing an upcoming movie.
The Micronauts… man, I am so old!
ROM the Space Knight.
Do the Transformers’ Dinobots qualify as comic characters?
Black Widow… though, I was somewhat disappointed with the movie version. She didn’t have an accent!
Rorshach from “The Watchmen.”
Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl… the tops of DC’s glamazons.
Spidey’s cool, but with all this talk of archetypes and hero stories, I’d like to add Hercules/Heracles to the list. He was a flawed superhero before “superhero” was even a word (ancient Greece). His mortal parents didn’t want him, his Olympic parents tried to kill him, his king sent him into exile to complete the impossible (slay a regenerating dragon, wrestle a giant lion, steal golden fruit–but he wound up holding up the Earth instead–clean up infinite horse dung, capture the hound of Hell, etc.). And he’s a hero in both the DC and Marvel Universes on top of that.
The best comic characters of ALL TIME? Gee, that’s a huge question I don’t think I can answer. I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to comics. I will say that I really enjoyed Jeff Smith’s Bone when I read it a few years ago. I found both the storytelling and the artwork fantastic, and when you consider that the same guy did both, it’s even more of an epic achievement. In many ways, Bone reminded me of The Lord of the Rings. Like LOTR, it’s not just a work of imagination, but a whole imaginative universe you can get lost in. It has both a grand, heroic story of the battle between good and evil, and loveable, ordinary characters you can relate to.
Spider-man. the first “regular guy” super-hero.
Hellboy. half jack kirby/half hp lovecraft/half indiana jones. thats right hes so cool he has 3 halfs!
There can be no one true answer. That much is evident from the comments above.
That being said, MY biased opinion is that Linus VanPelt is the best character in the existence of comics. EVER.
Raven, her destiny is to be a force of destruction, yet she wants to be good. It reminds oneself of the demon inside all of us and how it would be easier to let it out, but we contain it to be a better person. It also raises the question if we can truly change our destiny.
Still a big fan of indie comics. I mean I like Spider-Man, and I’m really getting into Aquaman, but for another take on things:
– Invincible. He’s kind of like having the powers of Superboy, but the day-to-day issues of Spider-Man. Add into it, his father was considered one of the premier superheroes of his world, but had a secret dark side that Invincible wasn’t told about while he was growing up.
– Scott Pilgrim. A kind of insanely good martial artist with cool martial arts powers, but he’s content with being a slacker who refuses to get a job and plays bass in an indie punk band. Scott becomes smitten with hipster delivery girl Ramona Flowers in the series, but in order to be allowed to continue to date her, he has to defeat Ramona’s League of Evil Exes (usually in combat). Scott’s kind of an idiot a lot of times, speaks without thinking, and tends to be forgetful, but he is also clever enough to outwit some of Ramona’s exes. Following his day-to-day life can be pretty funny.
Also, if you’ve watched the movie, it follows the same general story as the comic series, but the two are fairly different beasts, with Scott dealing with a lot more stuff in the comics.
-Atomic Robo. Still one of my favorite comic book characters. Atomic Robo is a robot (naturally) that was created by Nikola Tesla back in the 1920s, and has an AI that is more intelligent than any human being alive, which still isn’t enough to keep him out of trouble. Robo tends to find himself up against a wide rogues’ gallery including Nazis, giant ants, a walking pyramid, dimensional psychic vampires, the ghost of Thomas Edison, and Doctor Dinosaur (a hyper-intelligent but completely unhinged carnivorous dinosaur similar to a Velociraptor. Doctor Dinosaur claims he invented time travel, but Robo is convinced that he’s actually the result of genetic engineering). Atomic Robo has a sarcastic personality and a fairly dry sense of humor, but most of the funny stuff in the series comes from Robo trying to deal with the crazy stuff around him.
I agree that Raven’s ability to overcome her destiny makes her a fantastic hero, but my personal opinion is that Stephanie Brown (Spoiler/Robin IV/Batgirl III) is the ultimate superhero, not because of any of her successes, but because of all of her failures.
Steph came from a broken home. Her father was a wanted criminal with the name Cluemaster, her mother did drugs, she was molested as a child by one of her father’s friends, and she got pregnant as a teenager. However, these horrible things did not make her cynical or hateful. Instead, she wanted to help people so they would not have the same experiences she did. She became Spoiler, and eventually Robin.
However, when Batman fired her (for saving his ass, no less), she tried to help in the only way she knew how, and accidentally started a gang war that destroyed Gotham and nearly got herself killed. You would think that after that experience she would just give up, but instead, she was more dedicated than ever to fighting the bad guys and making Gotham a safer place for everyone.
She acknowledges her failures frequently, but she doesn’t let that hold her back from doing her duty and helping people. She even maintained a lovely sense of humor and a sharp wit throughout all of these traumatizing events. She took all of her pain and all of her hardships and made it into something amazing, which, in my eyes at least, makes her the ultimate hero.
The Ghost Who Walks, AKA the first masked character in spandex to appear in sequential art, the Phantom predated superhero comics and (despite the SyFy channel’s abomination) is still going strong all over the world. By longevity alone, he should be it.