Hello everyone, hope you’ve all had a good weekend! Welcome once again to y blog, Nerd World Problems, and to my new Sunday feature. This will be landing on your devices every Sunday on top of whatever I’m doing at the time, and I will be discussing my “Top 5” of all sorts of comic related goodness. This week I’ve decided to kick things of with male superheroes. It’s worth noting that I’ve seperated out, and will be seperating for other installments, male and female characters so that I can essentially run a top ten without having to do a top ten all in one go, which would take a little too long. It’s also worth noting that this is strictly superheroes this week, lead characters from series that don’t involve superheroes will be done at some point, but again this allows me to talk about more characters in the long run. I’ll also be looking at writers, artists, series and all sorts of other stuff. Let the countdown begin!
5. The Flash (Barry Allen)
Don’t get me wrong, I love all incarnations of The Flash, I thought Wally West was absolutely amazing, especially in the Justice League animated show, but Barry Allen will always be my favourite. Hi back and forth and strong friendship with Hal is always nice when they team up, particularly with the Justice League. Barry also comes along with one of my favourite rogues gallery of all time. He doesn’t come across as arrogant or cocky at all, yes he is capable and he knows it, but the almost charming cockiness was more of a Wally West thing than it was Barry. He’s also an incredibly smart man, a forensic scientist by day but also the inventor of the cosmic treadmill, a device he could use to accurately travel through time. What a mind!
I think his values are what really sold me on him, he has an incredible level of loyalty to his friends, family, team mates and those who live in his city. It’s because of this that he’s so well liked by all the heroes he crosses paths with, becoming close friends with many and earning the respect of all, even the notoriously hard to please Batman, who has had many a kind word to say of Barry. His death in the 1985 event Crisis on Infinite Earths left Barry out of DC’s main continuity for a whopping 23 years before he was brought back during the Grant Morrison written Final Crisis, at which point Geoff Johns began the new series with The Flash: Rebirth, and I am so glad they did.
Barry’s series in the New 52 relaunch is widely regarded as one of the best, I have to agree, but with how much of a fan of Barry’s I am it would have taken something awful for me to not enjoy it. His relatively recent appearance in Arrow, played by Grant Gustin, was excellent and I am very much looking forward to the stand alone series he will (hopefully!) be getting over at the CW.
Barry Allen suited up as The Flash
4. Nightwing (Richard “Dick” Grayson)
Funnily enough, Dick Grayson is not my favourite Robin, that honour lies with Tim Drake, but when Dick freed himself from the shadow of the Bat and spread his wings as Nightwing, he really came into his own. He has a witty, smart arse attitude, particular when he is engaged in combat, but he takes his duty to protect those that need it very seriously. A founding memeber of the Teen Titans during his Robin days and later a leader of the Outsiders, his leadership skills and tactical mind make him the undisputed squad leader in most situations. That doesn’t mean he’s above taking on board advice and opinions from other heroes that are maybe more experienced in certain situations, far from it.
His acrobatic training training while an understudy and performer for the Flying Graysons is heavily incorporated into his fighting style, making him unpredictable to most adversaries and difficult to tag. The training he received from Batman during his Robin years will have helped this massively of course, and the death of his parents on the order of Tony Zucco is a huge driving force behind his desire to fight crime and protect Gotham and it’s citizens.
Much like Batman, thanks to all the training he’s received throughout his career, Nightwing can hold his own both along side and up against super powered individuals, sometimes it’s easy to forget that he is just an incredibly talented human being, capable of being injured and killed just like you and me. Let’s just hope that this Forever Evil event doesn’t go the way it’s looking it might and result in the death of Dick, I’m still not sure how I’d take it if they did but it’s been well known for some time that Dan Didio has wanted him dead.
Nightwing – he has a damn cool suit too
3. Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
I am staunch defender of The Superior Spider-Man, let’s get that right out there, I think Dan Slott has done a fantastic job of freshening things up in the Spider corner of the Marvelverse, but there is only one Spider-Man and I am ready for him to come back now. Peter Parker is such an easy to relate to character for so many people, especially those of us that are into comics and were as kids. People that never really fit in with anyone, check. People that had no idea what they wanted to do with their lives, check. Kids going through school, just joining college and feeling under intense pressure, check. People that no-one ever really seemed to give a damn about, check. That was really the whole point of Pete when he was first thought up, and all credit to Stan Lee and everyone that has worked on him since, the nail was well and truly hit on the head.
Thing is with Pete, you have a very determined young man who is far more intelligent than pretty much everyone, has an incredible amount of potential but doesn’t really go anywhere with it for a long time. His banter with his villains during battles is huge amounts of fun, and he provides some much needed levity during some of the darker goings on in New York. His selflessness is astounding at times, something that rubs off on the people around him frequently, and he’s someone shown to be a great inspiration to many of the younger generation of heroes that pop up.
So what we have here is an inspirational superhero that provides some great action, awesome villains and really funny one liners. I’m a big fan of the Andrew Garfield perfomance in The Amazing Spider-Man movie too, I thought he did a very good job in the role and I look forward to the sequel, due out very soon!
Wall crawling antics from the one and only Peter Parker
2. Superman (Clark Kent/Kal-El)
This dicision will no doubt surprise anyone that knows me, I am such a big fan of Superman. While our previous choice was a very inspirational character, someone that you felt you could almost follow on from, Superman is much more of an aspirational character. The New 52 incarnation, so far at least, seems to have skewed this somewhat with a more arrogant man well aware of his power and superiority of us mere humans, but before this big reboot happened Superman’s core values were what made him so special. There was no corrupting this man, no way he could be bent to the needs of whatver villain he’s facing down, he would always find a way to stop them from winning while making sure no one got hurt in the process. He always made the right choices, had strong moral values passed onto him by his adoptive parents and looked after everyone equally.
Let’s face it, Superman is the reason we have the comics we do today, he’s the character that kicked off the love of Superheroes over 75 years ago. He’s the most iconic, I don’t think there’s really any doubting that, the famous “S” a globally recognised symbol. When he’s handled by the right writer, he is a wonderful character, full of compassion and understanding but an unfathomable power that, if unleashed, could devastate an entire world in no time. He also has some of the coolest powers going, X-Ray/Super/Heat make for some pretty well tooled eyes, super strength, flight, super speed and the reactions to go with it, the ability to fly unshielded through space. All pretty damn cool stuff. I can see this guy going on for another 75 years, and another after that too. Here’s hoping!
Gary Frank drawn Superman – so bloody cool!
So who could possibly top my list over Superman?
1. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
I think this may partly come down to how much Hal based Green Lantern I’ve been reading recently, but right now Hal Jordan is my favourite superhero. He’s loyal, funny, arrogant yes, but in an amusing way and an extremely capable hero. He’s not known as the greatest Green Lantern of all time for no reason. He’s had his major downfall when he became Parallax, he’s been through death and he’s come back from it all stronger and more determined to protect his space secotr than ever before.
Not valuing his own life more than those he needs to protect, he made yet another huge sacrifice during the Blackest Night story arc when he allowed Parallax to take him as host again to help fight off Nekron and his forces, knowing full well how awful it was for him and that there was a chance he’d be taken out of the picture again. As it happens, it turns out alright for him this time, but the fact that he’d already gone through that terrible experience once but put himself back there for the greater good shows what a slefless hero he is.
As mentioned in the first entry on the list, his team ups with Barry Allen are always a blast, the two being very close friends. Another close friend of Hal’s is Oliver Queen, which makes for another great pairing when the opportunity arises. We even get a pretty close friendship with Batman, something we get to see spark up again once the initial animosity dies down upon Hal’s return during Green Lantern: Rebirth. It should also be noted that Hal has THE best line in the first issue of the New 52 Justice League, that being his reaction to Wonder Woman when she shows up during the fighting:
Classy as always, Mr Jordan
And so, that wraps up my first Top 5 list, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed compiling it. I can say that next week’s will be Top 5 Female Superheroes, who exactly this will include and what order they will be in is still up for internal debate at the moment. I’m open to any suggestions anyone has as to what else they’d like to see a Top 5 for, keep it within the confines of comcis for now though, I’m going to stick to that area until I can’t think of anything comic related to make lists about anymore. As usual, thanks for stopping by and don’t forget, it’s day 10 of the 31 Days challenge tomorrow!