When considering my top 5 comic book characters of all time, I have to consider the feeling I got while reading their comics not just popularity. I have a couple that are popular and clique and some unconventional picks as well.
#5 Man Thing / Swamp Thing
This is kind of cheating right off the bat but it's a tie. Swamp Thing/Man Thing. I actually began reading Man-Thing in the early 70's as one of my first comics. It freaked me out. He is literally a force of nature that burns those who feared him. Is he good? Is he bad? No, he's just a thing. I have equal love for Swamp Thing. I began reading Swampy later in life but quickly fell in love with the series for the same reasons. It's freaky; Swamp Thing messes with the DC universe. He's like Man Thing only with a soul. I can't separate these two because of the weird factor that they brought to comics.
I'm not the biggest fan of overpowered heroes, and Superman is the most overpowered so it seems odd for him to be on my list. The simple reason that Superman fascinates me is because I can't help thinking of what kind of character it takes not to break Lex Luthor's legs off and then push him into a small crack in the sidewalk. Superman's struggle to not obliterate everyone is beyond interesting to me. It's the internal struggle not any physical threat that makes him Super.
#3 Captain Mar-Vel
The Captain with the power cosmic was one of my earliest comic book heroes. I loved Captain Mar-Vel he was so cool. Was, being the key word. HE DIED, dead. Of all things cancer got him. It was the first time I started seeing the human side of these characters. This was a hard choice because I also love Captain Marvel, you know SHAZAM. It was a toss-up, but Mar-Vel evoked more feelings from my comic book past.
At the deepest darkest corner of the Bat-Cave in my soul I want to be Bat-Man. No powers just a psychotic man who is bad ass enough to take on gods. His scars run all the way into his soul, and he is always on step of head of even the readers. Remember Kingdome Come, come on he fooled us all.
Most modern edgy comics owe Wolverine. His character kept the edge in comics. He was short, hairy, ugly and fought dirty. He was a good guy that would kill the bad guys and steal your woman all in the same issue. Wolverine made it cool to be a bad Super Hero. He was splattering blood back when it was in black ink. X-men 205, nuff said.
The main point that Hollywood is missing is that, YES! we do want to see our heroes running around in spandex an looking exactly like the comics. I swear if Fox would just just make Hugh Jackman put the goddamn mask on in the next Wolverine movie it would make a billion dollars. I think we are all sick of leather motorcyle suits, swat gear and wife beaters. Oh yeah, the new Fantastic Four movie can just go suck an egg. If you're not going to respect the source material, then go write your own freaking story and leave ours alone.
This was a tough list to write for me because I had so many comic book memories, so here are a few more.
#6 Spider-Man: Tod Mcfarlane era.
#7 Deadpool: Every issue.
#8 Shazam: Kingdome Come.
#9 Captain America: Civil War.
#10 Thor: Siege.