I have to say that I was really challenged by the question of who my top five favorite comic book heroes were because I always knew who my top three were, I just never put much thought who fills slot four and five. But I'm glad I was given this opportunity to really delve deep into who these characters are that I love so much that they'd make my top 5.
What's interesting too, is that after I figured out who my top five were, I ended up re-listing my original top three. So I'm excited to finally put this out there as to who my favorites are.
I wanted honest sincerity whenever I was choosing my fifth most favorite superhero and I went back and forth a lot in my mind as to who it was that takes that position. Well, it came down to figuring out who I get most excited to read about whenever I hear news of their upcoming stories.
Now that I know, I'm going to list them off in order from least to greatest and describe why each one matters to me personally.
Here we go.
5. Green Lantern
Hal Jordan aka the Green Lantern has definitely made it onto my top five based on how awesome the stories he's been in have been. Stories that consist of The Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night, and everything Geoff Johns was doing in the beginning of the New 52.
But it's more than just the stories of the books that Green Lantern has been featured in, it's also how well the characters are written. I know Hal Jordan catches a lot of flack from fans who typically favor John Stewart (who I also like) but I think that Geoff Johns has written him in such a way that he's more than just a buffoon who has inexplicable powers at his finger tips (well really it's closer to his knuckles but you get the point); he's a man without fear, a man who puts on a facade of being the happy-go-lucky, smart-mouth that many of us comic book readers have seen him as in books like Justice League and in certain animated movies.
But he is so much more than what people see on the surface, he's a man with layers to his identity, to his personality, and to what he is capable of accomplishing.
Without a doubt too, Green Lantern is often overlooked by many in favor of other characters but not everyone seems to understand that Green Lantern is one of the most powerful characters in the DC universe. Let's take a look at what he's accomplished:
- He survived being possessed by Parallax and came out on top in that battle.
- He, with the help of few, took on a world of Black Lanterns, some of which were once top-grade superheroes.
- He led the Green Lantern Corps in a war against Sinestro's Yellow Lantern Corps.
- He (more recently) became the leader of the Green Lantern Corps.
Not to mention all the other more "minuscule" stuff that he accomplishes by doing his job as a Green Lantern and also as a member of the Justice League.
It is a shame though that he isn't given more cred in other media outlets beyond comics and a few straight-to-dvd animated films. A lot of that blame could be put on the 2011 Green Lantern movie.
This film left much to be desired and I'd hate to think that it's because of this movie that Green Lantern leaves a bad taste in everybody's mouth. He's still an awesome character and we can't allow one bad movie to ruin how awesome of a character Green Lantern really is. Nobody ignored Batman that way and he had many bad films (Batman & Robin, anyone?).
But I'm looking forward to the 2020 movie because it shows that Warner Bros aren't scared of jumping right back and doing things the right way and hopefully Green Lantern makes an appearance. I love this character and want to enjoy more of his awesomeness in other forms of media as well.
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I know the rules of the Top Five were to choose five characters but I can't really choose between any of the Turtles, they're all so amazing and at one point or another, each one of them have been my favorite. So, I took the liberty of including this one group as part of my top five favorite superheroes.
I have to say though that I was shocked that the Turtles made it on to my list. I know that seems odd but I just didn't realize how much I really do enjoy these Heroes in a Half-Shell.
But there's no denying it, I'm a huge Turtle fan and although they may not be considered as "mainstream" as heroes from DC or Marvel, but these four heroes together make an awesome, dynamic team and the stories that they put out, especially in the comics published by IDW, are some of the best I have ever read. There's no fluffing it for kids, they write these characters just as seriously as Scott Snyder writes Batman.
I've been a TMNT fan my whole life, probably before I was a true fan of anything else. I had several different versions of TMNT action figures,...
...I watched all the 1990s live-action movies and thoroughly enjoyed each of them (yes, even the third one),...
...I also enjoy the animated series that began in 2012 on Nickelodeon,...
...and lastly, despite all my grumblings about it before its release, I enjoyed the 2014 live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie (I don't care how crappy people think it was) and yeah, I'm excited about the sequel.
What's nice about being a Turtle fan is that there is a lot of different forms of entertainment from comics to movies to television shows that you can enjoy. I only wish that they had an awesome video game to complete the totally awesome Turtle takeover (fingers crossed that Rocksteady works on that after Arkham Knight).
Sadly, Superman got bumped to third on my top five list. I thought there was a tie with him and the character who is in first place or that he at least held second place, but when I thought about it long and hard, I figured out that as much as I love Superman, third was proper placement for him in not only my top five favorite superheroes but also in my top three.
But this isn't a bad thing at all to be in third, I mean, he's in my top five/three so that's still a huge honor...you know, if Superman were real and cared about who was on my top list of favorite superheroes.
What makes Superman so great to me? Well, first off, let me state that Superman is both overrated and underrated. He's overrated in that he is constantly being promoted through merchandise, people who aren't even that familiar with the character wear Superman apparel or dress up as Superman for Halloween, he's just constantly being pushed as a product to the general population. More than anything, I feel like they were just selling the symbol and the only reason so many people got into it was because the symbol is iconic of the very first superhero.
But you know what, Superman is also extremely underrated. I hear all the time from people who casually read comics or may cherry pick which ones they want to read, how Superman is over-powered and hard to related with to the readers. Many have said that Superman is hard to get right because it takes nothing short of an invasion almost to cause him to struggle in a fight.
But if you look at the stories that have been put it out, you can see that Superman is very easy to relate to in the sense that he is trying to figure out where he belongs as a younger character and even as an older, more mature character, he knows he isn't human. He's reminded of that every day, no matter how much he wishes he had a normal, human life, it can't happen. Then to top that off, he's got all that power that he knows he has to use for the good of humanity, even if humanity doesn't understand.
But beyond the fact that he's severely underrated, why is that I like him so much? Well, because he's inspiring. I think that's the one thing that people get wrong about Superman, he's not supposed to be the best of us, he's not supposed to be better than us in every way possible. He's got human emotions, he feels fear, anger, grief etc. But he's supposed to show us both the fictional population of Metropolis and the readers of reality, that no matter how hard things get, we can rise above them, we can overcome.
I think that that is one thing I appreciate about Superman, we live in a society that seems obsessed with the anti-hero, but Superman remains a true hero despite how many feel about his actions he's taken in things like the Man of Steel movie.
Originally my #3 on my top three list, I've decided that Spider-Man has in fact, taken the silver prize of being in my top list. It was really hard to solidify these facts when creating this list, but I knew in my heart of hearts, that Spider-Man was, without a doubt, my second favorite comic book character.
The reason I love Spider-Man so much might be a mixture of the same reason I love Superman (inspiring) and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (nostalgic). Spider-Man is the sole reason I ever got into comics.
But it didn't start with comics! No, it started with the 2002 Spider-Man movie.
I even used to day dream that I was Spider-Man while listening to Chad Kroeger (lead singer of Nickelback) sing the song "Hero" on MTV.
You see, I'm proof that superhero movies encourage kids to dig deeper into superhero comics because if it hadn't been for that movie, I probably would have missed the fact that marvel's official website had free digital comics available to read. Which comics were they? Well, of course they were the first digital issues of the Ultimate Spider-Man written by the amazing Brian Michael Bendis.
I was hooked the moment I flipped that first digital page. The story was of a much younger Peter Parker than what was being seen in the 616 universe at that time. It was a 15-year-old kid who was having his radioactive-spider-filled-origin retold in a much more modern way. Little did I know I was two years behind since the books came out in the year 2000 and served as a way to introduce heroes into the 21st Century.
I devoured these books (all in the form of trade paperbacks) and followed the story of the young Peter Parker from the moment that he was bit by the radioactive spider at Oscorp all the way till the epic dual between Spider-Man and Green Goblin in front of Peter Parker's house in Queens.
The reason I loved the stories so much is because I likened myself to Peter Parker, I always felt like that I experienced an equivalent amount of the problems that Peter did in Ultimate Spider-Man (of course, I was a dramatic kid). But either way, I found comfort in the escapism of reading the Ultimate Spider-Man books.
At the age of 21, it hurt to see that Peter Parker was once-and-for-all dead. But it was a good death, he saved his family and friends.
I guess to sum up why Spider-Man meant so much to me as a character is because I love becoming emotionally invested into characters. That's why I love movies and comics and games so much. But I don't think I've ever been as invested into a character as I have Spider-Man...
...that is until there was...
I can't say that I've been reading Batman comic books since I was a kid or even since I was a teenager. As a youngster I was all like: "MAKE MINE MARVEL!" and dissing on DC Comics all the time (never on Batman specifically though). But as time went on, I started having my interest in DC characters peaked, I started looking into Superman and Green Lantern books, but nothing caught my attention the way Batman did.
I remember in 2011 when the New 52 had just started, I was lucky enough to have heard about it a month before it started because I wouldn't have even known that DC was rebooting their entire universe.
I saw this at an opportune time because at this time, I was desperate to start reading something else since I had just read of the Death of Ultimate Spider-Man. There wasn't any other books that I was really into, so the New 52 was a welcome initiative as it gave me a motivation to start digging through more comics. Plus, I was able to keep up better with these since I wasn't going to wait to collect trades or hardbacks, I wanted the single issues every month. I wanted to start collecting.
The books I weaved through were some strange ones like Red Hood and the Outlaws, Grifter, Green Lantern New Guardians, and others. But it wasn't until I was a few months in that I started hearing about how awesome Batman was. So I went and bought the first few issues and realized what I had been missing in my comic book-reading life.
The story that Scott Snyder was telling was that of the Court of Owls which, to this day, is one of my favorite Batman stories.
From then on, I had to know if all of Batman's books were as great as this. I ransacked our libraries internet engine for anything Batman related. I was reading The Killing Joke, Batman: Under the Red Hood, The Dark Knight Returns, Battle for the Cowl, Batman: Year One and anything else that had Batman's name on it. They were all great.
I had decided then, that Batman was the greatest superhero because of how much his character could go through and survive, despite the fact that he didn't have any superpowers whatsoever.
Not only did Batman have the best comic books out of everything DC or Marvel; he also had the best films (in my own personal opinion). Everything that Christopher Nolan did to make Batman more grounded in reality, to convince the audience that Batman could, in fact, exist in our world was astonishing. Every film was a masterpiece (of course anything Nolan touches turns to gold).
He also had (has) the best video game series put by Rocksteady, commonly called the Arkham Series. The are the games that actually proved pretty revolutionary to the superhero genre as far as video games go. There is yet to be another game as amazing as those are (the last one comes out this year). But it all started with Batman: Arkham Asylum which allowed players to truly experience what it feels like to be Batman.
There's just so much Batman out there coming out too, it's awesome, we've got:
Batman: Arkham Knight due out Summer 2015
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice due out March 25, 2016
I just love Batman so much and while others complain of over-saturation, I just can't get enough. He's the most exciting part of any DC movie, game, or comic.
There you have it! My top five favorite comic book characters. I never had anything concrete put down before but after much meditation I have come to this conclusion and I am happy to know, even for myself, who sits on top of the rest.
I hope you enjoyed my list, feel free to share your top five favorites in the comments section below and don't forget to vote in the poll.