Comic Con is upon us and I got to thinking about super heroes. You know, of the comic book variety. I wasn’t the most voracious comic book reader as a kid, but I did dabble quite a bit. My uncle would give me his old comics after he had read them. We were Marvel fans back then. I remember being in third grade and getting Chicken Pox. I stayed in my room and read a stack of Spider-Man comics and tried not to itch.
Before anyone gets all bent out of shape over who is, or isn’t, on my top five, keep in mind that this is my list. These are my personal favorites, not yours. Feel free to create your own top five list.
5) Spider-Woman (aka Jessica Drew) – The Avengers was one of my favorite comics back in the day. Their roster would often change and they even had West Coast Avengers. I always liked when Spider-Woman was around. Given Spider-Woman’s backstory as a HYDRA agent (trying to assassinate Nick Fury), I would love to see her start off as the villain in a Black Widow film and eventually go over to the SHIELD side. What better way for Marvel to introduce her character to the cinematic universe? Something similar in style to Captain America: Winter Soldier with a little more espionage would be so good. I’m fighting not to throw my money at the screen!
Spider-Woman has super human strength, speed, and agility, is resistant to toxins and poisons, can secrete a fluid which allows her to cling to walls, and uses pheromones to attract men while repelling women. She has been an agent for HYDRA, SHIELD, and the Avengers. Marvel has recently resurrected this character (with a new look) and I couldn’t be happier. You can see the new Spider-Woman in a USA Today article, by Brian Truitt by clicking on this link.
4) Daredevil – The man without fear has always been one of my favorites, I don’t know if I should be pissed that Marvel didn’t think highly enough of the character to invest in a series of films starring him, or happy they chose to kick off their super hero television line with him. Ever a tortured soul, Matt Murdock fights for those who can’t. His bouts with villains like Kingpin and Bullseye are the stuff of legend. Frank Miller, Brian Michael Bendis, and Ed Brubaker have all had stellar runs penning Daredevil. Be forewarned, Daredevil is a gritty, and often dark comic that looks to peel back the layers on right and wrong. It often plays off of morality, what’s acceptable in today’s society, and how those choices affect Daredevil. Hopefully Daredevil finds his way from the small screen to the big screen in some capacity. I realize it’s unlikely he’ll star in his own film but hopefully he’ll make some guest appearances. Keep your fingers crossed.
3) Black Panther – Vibranium, what is it good for? If you live in Wakanda, it’s the source of pretty much all of your troubles. It’s Black Panther’s job to keep his nation’s Vibranium supply safe from the outside world, which isn’t always easy. It’s a good thing he is linked with a Panther God and has enhanced speed, strength, and agility. T’Challa has starred in his own comic and been featured in others like the Avengers. I said before I was a big Avengers fan and that’s where I first came into contact with Black Panther. I remember an issue where Captain America, Iron Man, and Black Panther had to travel to different countries to disarm three different bombs. After that, I was hooked. If you’ve read Marvel’s Zombies, you know how hard Black Panther was to kill. His fights with Doctor Doom are probably the most memorable, at least that I can remember. I’m so happy Black Panther will appear in the next Captain America film, as well as his own film later. Hopefully he’ll become a full fledged member of the Avengers on the big screen as well.
2) The Thing – It’s clobberin’ time! Fantastic Four was one of my favorites growing up and out of the founding members, Ben Grimm was my favorite. He’s a common man at heart, who often wears his heart on his sleeve. With his unmistakable orange rock-like exterior, The Thing is super strong and nearly immortal. What I like about The Thing is he’s not afraid to go up against anyone. He’s fought The Hulk, The Vision, and even Wolverine in the comics. During the Civil War era, The Thing ultimately chose to protect humanity over fighting other super heroes, proving he’s a man of the people. Time and time again, The Thing has proved he’s a hero you want on your side. For some reason, 20th Century Fox has had trouble bringing the Fantastic Four to the big screen. The newest version seems to follow the ultimate story line instead of the original and more traditional story line. What really sucks is they hold the rights to one of Marvel’s best villains in Doctor Doom. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how the movie looks when it releases on August 7th.
1) Spider-Man – I want to be clear about something up front, I’m not a fan of Peter Parker’s high-school days. I always liked him better post origin story. In fact, I like him better when he was battling The Lizard, Green Goblin, and The Shocker instead of trying to mack on the ladies. I also never read Myles Morales or Spider-Man 2099. And I guess that’s what happens when a character becomes immensely popular, they are over used. I mean how many different titles was Spider-Man appearing in? There was The Amazing Spider-Man, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man, and I’m sure I’m missing some. It got to be too much. What I loved best about the Spider-Man comics was his battles with various super villains. It always seemed like Spider-Man had the best villains, and thus, the best fights. And to me, that’s what kids who pick up comics want to see. We want epic showdowns with Doctor Octopus and later, Venom. We want to see the repercussions of those battles, see how they take a toll on our hero. We want to see your hero pushed to the limit and still find a way to come out on top, and all while still staying true to their character. We want to believe that the hero can win…but will have to pay a price. That’s what I always loved about Spider-Man. He would protect the city but have to leave his family, and life, to do it. Readers would get to see the consequences of him not being around for his loved ones. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, I’d say Spider-Man was one of Marvel’s most popular characters, if not the most popular character. People like Sam Raimi grew up with him and took a thrice failed attempt at bringing the character to the big screen and turned it into a success. His trilogy, while not perfect, paved the way for today’s line up of super hero films. I’m not sure where Spider-Man is headed on the big screen, but I’m always willing to give it a look.
I hope you got a kick out of my top five favorite comic book heroes. No, you didn’t see names like Batman, Superman, Wolverine, or The Hulk on my list. While Wolverine would make my top ten, I never got into DC comics when I was growing up. My sister loves Batman. I never did no matter how much I tried. Some of DC’s newer comics are quite good. Gail Simone’s Batgirl immediately comes to mind. Geoff Johns had a good run with The Flash too. I was the kid who liked the super hero teams more than individual heroes, teams like The Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men, and X-Force. It took me a good, long while to whittle down my list. I really like mutants like Cable, Storm, and Wolverine. I really like Avengers like Ms. Marvel, Captain America, and The Vision too. I even feel guilty for not mentioning someone like Hellboy or Spawn. But this was a top five list and I didn’t have room for them all. I’d be curious to know who you would put in your top five. Feel free to share in the comments below.
Be on the look out for my top five favorite comic book villains!