I am new to MOVIEPILOT as a creator, so I thought "What better way to introduce myself than by entering a contest on superheroes?" First of all, I have been involved in reading comics for 40 years, and steadily collecting for about 30 years. However, I am no expert in all things Marvel and DC. I simply like what I like. Here goes!
1. CAPTAIN AMERICA
I have always loved Captain America, but admittedly, I got out of comic books for quite some time. I am proud to say that since I have got back in to collecting, I have managed to finish my collection of Captain America starting with Tales of Suspense #58 all the way through the current issue of All-New Captain America. Why have I always liked Captain America, you may ask? It's because he is the embodiment of the American Dream. When times are tough for the regular humans in Marvel Comics, they have a symbol to look to for hope. And I feel that Cap's symbolism can transfer to the real world. What got me back into comics was Ed Brubaker's magnificent fifty-issue run of Captain America Vol. 5. I felt that he finally brought the spirit of Cap into the 21st Century. In the realm of the Marvel Universe, Cap has always battled fictionalized "real world problems" (Captain America v1, #172-175 for example), but in my opinion, no one has done it better than Brubaker, before or since.
2. The Winter Soldier
James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes. I was never much on teenage sidekicks, but all through my childhood I felt like I missed something big in comics. I have always had a soft spot for Bucky, but the Winter Soldier made that soft spot bigger. I like the Winter Soldier because I can relate to him. I'm a combat veteran, and I suffer from PTSD. It has been a long road of treatment, but things are a lot better than they once were for me. Still, the battle isn't over, and it may never be---which is the case for Bucky as well. When Brubaker introduced us to the Winter Soldier, he was almost as much a machine as his cybernetic arm. No emotion, and no thought about anything beyond the mission. When Cap used the Cosmic Cube to give him back his memories, it was a double-edged sword. He also regained every bit of his humanity, and he struggled with what he had done for the Soviets, even though he had no control over those actions. Like many of our men and women in uniform, Bucky's battles may never be over.
Growing up, I was NOT a fan of Batman---or any DC comics for that matter. I was always more mature than my chronological age, and I felt that DC Comics pandered to a more childish audience. Add to it that I grew up with the Batman 1966 TV Series (in reruns, of course) and the Superfriends Animated Series, and you can see why I may have felt the way I did (Before you judge me, I have regressed in my old age, and these are two shows which I enjoy very much now). But something changed for me in the early 1980s. I was introduced to the spectacular Marvel/DC crossover The Uncanny X-Men and The New Teen Titans. Starfire and Raven were incredible, I actually started to like Robin, Cyborg was amazing, and Deathstroke The Terminator completely blew my mind! A few more years down the road comes The Dark Knight Returns mini-series, and The Killing Joke one-shot. And I know what you're all thinking: "Everyone loves Batman-he's everyone's bandwagon hero...he's got all of the money and the toys." Well, I don't like Batman for those reasons. Bruce Wayne is a broken man hiding behind a mask, carrying the weight of a world on his shoulders-a world that he is trying to make a better place. He never quits. He never gives in. And, despite the fact that he could have killed The Joker thousands of times over, his moral code won't allow him to do it. To me, Batman's moral code is something to imitate. Also, he and The Joker are two sides of the same coin, both representing the two extreme sides of the spectrum between good and evil.
Despite his humble beginnings as a mercenary/assassin way back in The New Mutants #98, this guy has just exploded into the consciousness of so many people who may have otherwise never picked up a comic book---and I find that appealing. He's hilarious, and I get that humor (which probably doesn't say very much about me). He's also become such a fan favorite that there is a plethora of fan art to be found. Fans have crossed him over with the likes of Batman, Harley Quinn, and Boba Fett to name a few---and he fits! Even in the Marvel Universe, artists and writers can insert Deadpool ANYWHERE, and he fits. He's become Marvel's everyman. And fans have found no limit to where Deadpool can be applied.
Somewhere among my mother, and television shows such as Sesame Street and The Electric Company, I was reading far earlier than most kids. And Spider-Man was my first hero. My first introduction to him was in 1975 on the Spidey Super Stories segment of The Electric Company. Hell, those segments are some of my earliest vivid memories. Somewhere among The Amazing Spider-Man, Spidey Super Stories, and Marvel Team-Up (and the next year Peter Parker The Spectacular Spider-Man), I had enough titles to keep me occupied all month long, even at my beginning reading level. As I grew older, I began to understand Peter Parker a lot more. He didn't fit in at his high school, and neither did I. 'Ol Petey had the great fortune of being bitten by a radioactive spider, and even though HE didn't fit in, Spider-Man was on everyone's lips---whether positive or negative. He never asked for gratitude, and rarely did he receive any. He always let his actions speak for him, despite J. Jonah Jameson constantly ripping him in the press and trying to tell the world that Spidey was a "Menace." And he had to learn these lessons early in life. Spidey was no one's sidekick, he was a man in a child's body, whether he wanted to be or not; and he did it well.
There you have it. Matt Tallon's Five Favorite Comic Book Characters. I hope to be writing some more pieces on here for all of you very soon.