Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Can You Top the Greatest Superheroes of All Time?

I tried out the Create Your Own Superhero page on Marvel's Web site today. It's a pretty fun time-waster! Here's the guy I created. His name is Thunderclap, named after the cheer that takes place at Marshall University football games. I thought about doing a VT-themed character, but let's face it — it's a little difficult to make Hokie Bird seem intimidating at all (though some of the Corps of Cadets graphics do an OK job of it). So, I based my character on a part man, part bison being. He is a sort of viking, I suppose, who can call thunder to his command, sort of like Thor — only Thor doesn't have a cool sword (way better than a hammer). Thor also doesn't have a tail, nor is he a member of the Thundering Herd. Yeah, this guy's sidekick would probably be Marco, MU's mascot. I based the green suit jacket on the ones worn by all true MU alumni, especially myself and my buddy Crazy Hawk. Think you can create a better superhero? Design one and post a comment about him or her with a link or something. Excelsior, true believers!

OK, so maybe Thunderclap isn't the greatest superhero of all time, but who would be your top five and why? Here are mine, and feel free to disagree in the comments:

The Top Five Greatest Superheroes of All Time

1. Wolverine — I know, I know. This is the most generic, expected number one probably. But I can't think of any reason he shouldn't be number one. I'm as tired as the next guy of seeing Wolvie exploited in every comic title, cartoon and movie possibility out there. It's almost as if he's becoming a cliché, but his agility, healing factor, super senses, fighting ability and overall edge is just unparalleled.

2. Batman — Normally, I'd never allow the mention of a DC character. However, Batman is truly one who has stood the test of time. He's gone from a goofy, boy-wonder watching, POW! WHAM! BANG! of a hero to a dark, complex character, much to the credit of Frank Miller. Sure, he doesn't have superpowers, but that's what makes him so amazing — his super wealth combined with his super intellect and excellent martial arts knowledge make him a worthy foe for any mutant or villain.

3. Spider-Man — This little guy has been beaten around so many times, yet he is always resilient and wins out in the end. His combination of speed, brain power, witty quips and perseverance make Spidey the one hero you can count on to never be defeated. He's tangled with the baddest of the bad, from The Punisher to Wolverine to villains such as Doc Ock, the Goblins and the ever-awesome symbiotes. Factor in his unique suits, all of which looked cool, throughout the years and the Mary Jane factor (Peter Parker's wife, not Shaggy's favorite pastime), and you've got a cool dude. Of course, I might be biased toward a journalist superhero.

4. The Punisher — Again, another guy who doesn't really have any powers. Frank Castle is just a man with a mission of punishment, and he is highly trained and capable of carrying out that mission. The Punisher has proven time and time again that he can go toe to toe with any superpowered dude or dudette out there, using his special military training and quick thinking under the most stressful conditions. And, his backstory is wonderfully tragic.

5. Jean Grey/The Phoenix/Marvel Girl/Dark Phoenix/White Phoenix — I had to put a lot of thought into who would just barely make it in the top five. By putting Jean in this spot, I'm leaving out a lot of good characters. You'll have that when you narrow to five. But the sheer raw power of the Phoenix Force mixed with the number of times Jean Grey has been resurrected and/or saved the X-Men, I think it'd be foolhardy not to put her in the top five greatest superheroes of all time.

Runners Up: Captain America, Iron Man

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Beamer said...

I can get down with your superhero list. A couple of revisions - First, I've never been a huge Wolvie guy. Yes, he kicks much ass, but I feel like they just keep working with him to maintain his reign over badassness. He also seems very one dimensional. Maybe that's cuz I don't read enough of the books. I go for creativity though. That's why I always go with...

Green Lantern. Yes, he's DC, but how fucking awesome is that power ring? You can make anything you want out of thin air? That's both practical for everyday uses (pooper scooper) and evil smashing uses. Plus, it requires much more creativity on behalf of the Lantern more than just which part of this dude I should stab.

I'm actually trying the 100 pushup deal. I'll let you know how it goes.

JD said...

I'll give you that the Green Lantern is pretty cool. When I took Comics as Literature in college, we studied the homosexual undertones in almost all DC comics. Take a look at some of the older Green Lantern stuff... when he uses the ring, it almost always involves a phallic splooge.

rdelaude said...

You forgot to mention that Wolverine should also be number one because he's hot (at least in the movies, anyway). Also, while I'm commenting, your links are my favorite. I don't always get time to comb the net at work, but I know you've always got some good ones posted. Isn't that how everyone is supposed to use news now? To read only the things they like/already agree with? :)

Crud, now I'm admitting to personally participating in the dumbing-down of society...just don't start quoting O'Reilly or anything, I'd be doomed.

JD said...

Perhaps I should take on a woman to help with the blogging because I miss things such as hot guy superheroes. Perhaps there should be a hottest guy and girl superhero list. Who knows... and thanks for the comments, I try to post good links whenever I come across them during my incessant Web crawling. Just a result of being on too many PR/journalism mailing lists and subscribing to way too many RSS feeds.

And no need to worry about me quoting O'Reilly... Coulter, sure, but not O'Reilly. Ha, just kidding, unless there's something REALLY fun to laugh about.

penguindredg said...

Top 5:

Silver Surfer
Iron Man
Captain America

In that order, son.

JD said...

I can give you all of those except Daredevil. His power is that he can do what every other person can already do. Anyone can be an expert martial artist and acrobat with enough practice. Echolocation? Again, that just allows him to "see," therefore putting him on the same level as anyone else who (A) has the ability to see, (B) is an acrobat and (C) knows martial arts. Know who that reminds me of? Robin, the boy wonder. That's right.

In all seriousness though, Frank Miller's stint was great, but before and after is a bit of a yawner to me.

penguindredg said...

Daredevil is like Batman perfected, sans all the funny little gadgets (Bat-Shark Repellant, come on).

Jon said...

My Greatest 5 Superheroes of All Time would be based on their abilities and overwhelming power. That said:

5- Rouge (Ms. Marvel Powers)
4- Superman
3- Black Adam
2- Jean Grey/Phoenix
1- Goku


I give Goku #1 since Wizard made the mock fight in-which he beat Superman (Not even in hhis highest Super Sayan form).