We've all made lists. Lists about what actor should play who, or what character we'd want to meet, or what super power we'd want to have (for me, I have to agree the Zack Morris time out is the best). However this list is going to be a hard one to nail down. How do I sort through 25 years of comic book collecting to find my top 5 characters? I can easily pick my number one, but the other 4 are another story. To make it easier for myself, I'm going to try this a slightly different way. I'm going to list my top 5 characters as writers have interpreted them.
5. Batman from The Dark Knight Returns
Truly this is a story for the ages. Well, maybe I'm overstating the importance of this book outside of comic-dom but this is one of the best stories ever. I've handed this to people who don't like Batman as well as people who don't read comics and they all love this book. It's an amazing take on a character who was goofy and campy and returned him to something more resembling what Bob Kane and Bill Finger originally created. He's tall, grizzled, broody, and sadistic here as an aged Bruce Wayne who lost his way. But the Bat isn't done with him yet. To paraphrase Rocky Balboa, there's something in the basement. Like the title implies, this is a darker version of the character and while he looks like the Batman the world recognizes, he's willing to go to extremes no other hero would. This is probably why I like this Batman so much. He doesn't work within the confines of a typical superhero definition.
I know, he was created by Alan Moore and that's pretty much the only interpretation there is of the character but it's not. I liked the idea of expanding the Watchmen universe, but I never enjoyed another writing walking in those slightly raised shoes.
3. Green Lantern from GL Rebirth
Hal never seemed so sure of himself as he did here. GL needs to slightly smarmy, with a cocksure swagger and he has both of that in spades here.
2. Ms. Marvel
No not Carol, but rather Kamala Khan. Now, I'm not Muslim, nor am I a woman so I can't exactly relate to this character on those terms. But I went through a similar period in my life where I felt trapped and unable to understand who I was so in that way, I can resonate with Kamala.
I know I'm going to cheat here but my favorite hero, from any comic, movie, TV show, video game, or board game is Superman. It doesn't matter who is writing or drawing. Since the age of 5 Superman has been my hero. I learned we shared the same first name (no not Clark or Kal-El rather Christopher) and something in my 5 year old mind said, "I've got something in common with Superman". I had bedsheet, PJ's, toys, drinking glasses, plates and bowls, posters...you name it I had it. And for nearly all of my life I never forgot that moment when the trumpets blare and that famous shield scorches the screen. And I'm not ashamed to admit, I cried when Christopher Reeve died. I cried because the 5 year old that still lives inside me lost his hero. For all these reasons and more, he is my hero. My favorite comic book character bar none.