Monday, July 28, 2008

Top 10 Greenest Superheroes and Villains

There's no more popular trend today than going green. Well, maybe other than blogging. Corporations make attempts to greenwash in order to attract consumers, and as despicable as you may find it, you can't deny that you feel bad about yourself if you pick the product that doesn't promise to save the environment in some way. So, in an attempt to greenwash this blog, I've decided to come up with a fun and interesting blog post regarding the environment and a topic I know my readers enjoy. So far, my most popular blog post of all time didn't deal with my internship, journalism or public relations — it was about superheroes. This just goes to show that the people in my network and readers who stumble across the blog for the PR/journalism posts must all be somewhat nerdy. Of course, I've also defended these people in the past. Without further ado, here's my top 10 list of the greenest superheroes and villains gracing the pages of a comic book near you!

10. Green Goblin — His skin may be deceiving at first. Sure, using pumpkins as weapons is better than wasting valuable natural resources on more traditional weapons, but what about the 1,000+ volts of electricity he wastes when attacking with his micro-circuited gloves? The pumpkin vines that sprout up in New York City from missed attacks on Spider-Man may cancel that out, but there's no excuse for the carbon footprint of the Goblin Glider. What's that, the pumpkins are bombs? Sheesh...

9. The Incredible Hulk — He's pretty green, but only when he's angry. Seriously, though, Bruce Banner is a super-smart chemist, so surely he can put that to use in finding alternative fuel sources and other environmentally friendly discoveries. Unfortunately, the gamma ray radiation emanating from this superhero probably isn't so great for those around him, and the Hulk's smashing personality probably causes more destruction than conservation.

8. The Riddler — A genius in his own right. This villain is one of the few who can make Batman really think. Pretty much everything about E. Nigma is themed in green, making him a poster boy for the environmentalist movement. He often constructs well-engineered death traps that require little or no usage of fossil fuels. I've also heard rumor that he recycles the paradoxical notes he leaves Batman.

7. Captain Planet — This is probably the only hero ever created whose entire purpose is to save planet Earth from looting and polluting. Officially endorsed by Gaia, Planet had a one-up on Captain America, who is only endorsed by Uncle Sam. However, Planet doesn't rank very high on the list because without his precious Planeteers, he's useless (read: nonexistent). Once the Planeteers grew up, they tossed their rings into a fire and moved on with their lives, happy not to hear any more of Planet's cheesy one-liners. Kwame joined the NBA, Wheeler works for a nonprofit group, Linka became a computer programmer and part-time adult film star, Gi drowned in a tragic sea cow migration accident, and Ma-ti realized that "heart" isn't really a power and started an emo band.

6. Green Arrow — How can someone who parades around as Robin Hood not be good for the forest? Oliver Queen is a master archer, so he can obviously reuse arrows time and time again (he never loses one because he never misses). The only problem is with some of his less eco-friendly arrow concoctions such as the bomb arrow. He may not be the greenest hero, but he definitely helps out more than others in the comic book realm. The real question is, what if he had to face off against Marvel's Bullseye character from the Daredevil series? May the greener character win!

5. Green Lantern — Continuing the tradition of originality in superhero names in DC comics, Green Lantern is another character who is so green he has the word in both his name and his costume. His power ring uses absolutely no environmental resources because it runs completely off of will power. If only will power was a real superpower then perhaps Green Lantern could save the ozone layer, stop the ice caps from melting and move up higher than number five on the list.

4. Polaris — Lorna Dane, of X-Men fame, is also known by her superhero name of Polaris. She is thought to be the all-powerful Magneto's daughter, which of course means she too can control the Earth's magnetism. The ability to fly, coupled with control of the world's metals, provides Polaris with a strong connection to the environment that should prove useful in saving us from impending doom. Oh, and she has green hair.

3. Aquaman — His super strength and ability to communicate with all the creatures in the sea could prove very important in a battle to save our oceans. If only the dolphin-whispering merman could remain powerful for any extended period of time outside of the sea, he might have been green enough to secure the runner-up spot.

2. Poison Ivy — Batman may call her an ecoterrorist, but she may be our only hope in restoring our planet to its rightful state. Poison Ivy is obsessed with environmentalism and would turn the whole world into lush, green landscapes if she could. More plant than woman, there's only one hero or villain out there who is more in tune with nature than she.


1. Storm — More goddess than mutant, Storm can control every aspect of the weather, and she even has a knack for knowing what Mother Earth feels. Having such a connection with our planet combined with her ability to control virtually any ecological situation should provide Storm with the needed resources to do a lot of good for our environment. She's even sensed a dying tree on the grounds of the X-Mansion before. She may lose a point or two for creating acid rain in the past, but she's still the greenest superhero. Heck, she's even married to an animal.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this edition of my latest list of superheroes and villains. I'd like to give an honorable mention to Spider-Man, who never drives a car but always delivers pizzas (or punches to bad guys) via bike or web-slinging. I hear he's even friendly to arachnids (except Scorpion), but he also beats up on Rhino... and Vulture... OK, scratch that.

Disagree with the list? Think you know a greener superhero? Have other comments or suggestions? That's what the link at the bottom of the post is for!


Beamer said...

I'm glad to be greeted back after my trip with my kind of blog post here. Good group here, although Hulk Smash! might not be the best for efficient use of resources. Frankly you have to give points to any flying superhero. That's the fast track to a small carbon footprint.

JD said...

Hey, you should've known I would have something good when you came back to the blogosphere. Ha. Flying superheroes definitely help out, but I have to wonder about the emissions on Wonder Woman's invisible jet.

evanserge said...

I'm going to put on my nerd hat and suggest a couple more: Swamp Thing, who is essentially a part of nature itself, and Super-Skrull, because, well, he's green.

And are you sure Spider-Man's web fluid doesn't contain chemicals harmful to the environment?

JD said...

Oh man, I can't believe I left out Swamp Thing! He's actually one of my favorite characters. In my Comics as Literature class in college, we covered him heavily. There are actually a lot of really neat underlying themes when it comes to Swamp Thing. Yeah, I'd say he ties for second with Poison Ivy. I'd still give Storm 1st place though, as she kinda "owns" nature. Super Skrull is a good one too, as I was obviously going for characters who are green literally as well. Maybe I'll give those two a nod credited to you in an upcoming post (or, if you want, you can write a piece advocating for them and I'll post it here as a guest post).

JD said...

Oh, and I totally forgot to address your Spider-Man comment. I guess it depends on which continuity you go with. I believe in some comic continuities and the movies, he has natural web-making nodes just like a spider, so I guess that stuff is OK for the environment. In a lot of the comics, though, he made his own web canisters with a button in the palm to fire them. Not sure if it was ever said, or if I remember, what that stuff was made of. Anyone?