May 07 2008

I have a question about loveable superheroes for you

Three questions, actually. Which is your favorite superhero and why? Finally, what are three things you associate with that hero?

Thanks a lot for your feedback; I’m writing an article on how to make superheroes loveable.

49 responses so far

49 Responses to “I have a question about loveable superheroes for you”

  1. B. Macon 03 May 2008 at 1:01 am

    1. Spiderman
    2. He is very blue collar– I think I can relate to that more than, say, someone who inherited a billion dollar enterprise like Bruce Wayne. And he’s a lot friendlier/saner than casual psychopaths like Wolverine or the not too casual Lobo. Also, I think it speaks well for him that he’s a controversial figure in his own world. I love media hate-figures!
    3. Geekiness, normality, New York. If I had to add a fourth, I’d go with religiosity.

  2. J. Mallowon 03 May 2008 at 1:23 am

    A lot of people love Spiderman. If you ask us why, I think the most popular explanation is some variation of “he’s the guy next door” rather than a completely unrelatable secret-agent ninja assassin or something. That explanation isn’t wrong, but I think it’s more precise to say that people like him because his life closely reflects the average guy’s superhero fantasy.

    More than Superhero or Batman, he seems to make SACRIFICES to be a superhero but doesn’t complain about it. He’s late for work and social gatherings, he puts his loved ones in danger, etc. In comparison, Bruce Wayne doesn’t really have loved ones and, because he owns his own company, his alternate-identity is never as hard as Peter Parker’s is.

    Finally, Spiderman has a more ordinary skill-set than most heroes. He doesn’t have incredible scientific skills, a gadget for every situation, familiarity with advanced weaponry and equipment, etc. This makes it much easier for us to put ourselves in his shoes as he’s going about his work.

    –Jacob

  3. Cadet Davison 03 May 2008 at 4:44 am

    Quoting Jacob above…

    I think it’s more precise to say that people like him (Spiderman) because his life closely reflects the average guy’s superhero fantasy.

    That’s funny. My favorite superhero is The Hood, precisely because his story feels like the opposite of what I imagine I would do if I had superpowers. That feels more exciting because I’m not 100% sure what the character’s capable of. By contrast, we kind of know how Spiderman will act in any given situation, which sometimes gets boring. (Also, the writing in TH is fantastic. It made great use of low-key cameos by minor characters like Electro and Vulture).

    As for three things I would associate with The Hood, I’d go with fate, the FBI, and Murphy’s Law. I notice that none of these are directly related to The Hood himself, but it’s probably fair to say that my affection for him is an extension of my affection for his world.

  4. B. Macon 03 May 2008 at 6:03 am

    In response to J.M., I think that that there’s an interesting parallel between Peter Parker’s blue-collar characteristics (which I mentioned) and his relatively unimpressive skillset (which I did not).

    Likewise, most his powers seem normal. Besides the spider-web and spider-sense, all of Spiderman’s superpowers are generic. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    In response to C.D.’s point about The Hood, I’d like to add that I like The Hood a lot, but I like the character independent of the character’s world. One, he’s refreshingly devoid of moral relativism. A terrorist recruiter (who is clearly meant to echo Al-Qaeda) gives him a slick sell and The Hood just beats the crap out of him. I think many readers might find the episode too reminiscent of Golden Era (WWII) Nazi-bashing and flag-waving, but I liked it because it shows that he has some principles that go deeper than mere self-interest. I should add that he didn’t gain anything from attacking the terrorist– in fact, he had an opportunity to grab the man’s silk suit but defiles it instead.

    By contrast, Captain America has a much more… nuanced view of terrorism that seems to equate acts of warfare like the Dresden firebombing with 9/11. (It’s amazing how much a 70 year old soldier sounds politically like a 30 year old comic book writer, right?) I think a similar example is if a white conservative were to create a black character who repeatedly denounces affirmative action. That character would probably feel like his author’s puppet. I think we’re far past that point for Captain America.

    (Writer’s tip: by no meansdo you have to write only stereotypical characters. There’s no reason that a black character has to agree that affirmative action is right, any more than a soldier must agree that Dresden was wrong. However, the problem comes when all of the quirky dispositions tend to make a character sound like he’s a proxy for you.

  5. P.G.on 03 May 2008 at 6:21 am

    My favorite hero is Superman.

  6. J. Mallowon 03 May 2008 at 9:24 am

    Why Superman?

  7. B. Macon 03 May 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Hey, better Superman than the Hulk.

  8. J. Mallowon 03 May 2008 at 3:02 pm

    What I don’t like about Superman is that he has it too easy. Kryptonians are apparently superior to humans in every way. We don’t even have an advantage at seeming human!

  9. B. Macon 04 May 2008 at 6:30 am

    I’ll add that Kryptonite is a pretty unsatisfying way to get around Superman being obviously overpowered.

  10. Anonymouson 04 May 2008 at 9:19 am

    B. Mac, you’ve posted on this thread at 1 am, 6 am, noon, and 6:30 am on the next day. Don’t you sleep?

  11. B. Macon 04 May 2008 at 9:20 am

    B. Mac, you’ve posted on this thread at 1 am, 6 am, noon, and 6:30 am on the next day. Don’t you sleep?

    Not really! Heh…

    I wouldn’t recommend reading too much into the time-stamps on Superhero Nation content, however. For example, I didn’t REALLY write this response to your comment one minute after you did. I just back-timed it so that it will be easier for readers to see which comment I’m referring to. (We sometimes alter the timing of guest comments to add clarity, as well).

    Thanks for wondering about my health, though.

  12. B. Macon 07 May 2008 at 5:29 am

    I think some iterations of Superman are very well-done. For example, I am a big fan of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, which was a 1990s sitcom that was more of a romantic comedy than a traditional superhero story. The writing was notable and Teri Hatcher did Lois Lane justice.

    That said, I think the Superman character just isn’t very interesting. He doesn’t have any flaws, endearing or otherwise, except for a few amazingly sappy ones about being over-virtuous. I think that his writers kind of botched his origin story, too. As it stands, the character is essentially a superpowered human. He is (supposedly) an alien, but he doesn’t have any distinctly alien traits, mannerisms or thoughts. I think it would be more interesting if they gave him at least a few details that kind of flesh him out more than just a superpowered human. (Or, alternatively, just make him a human born in Kansas who later develops superpowers).

  13. J. Mallowon 08 May 2008 at 8:42 am

    Ehh. Regarding B. Mac’s point that…

    “I think it would be more interesting if they gave him at least a few details that kind of flesh him out more than just a superpowered human. (Or, alternatively, just make him a human born in Kansas who later develops superpowers).”

    I disagree. Generally, nonhuman characters that are distinctly nonhuman seem very hard to read, which may explain why they’re so rare. Among heroes, I can only think of Martian Manhunter and I can only think of a few side-villains like Reptile, Komodo and Orca (who are humans-turned-animals).

    When I was writing the chapter “Everybody Dies,” I couldn’t escape the thought that Agent Orange is really weird. Maybe that works– I think a lot of his conversations with normal characters like Agent Black and (at times) Jacob Mallow are pretty hilarious. But I think that a book primarily about a character like Agent Orange would be so strange that it’d be extremely niche.

  14. B. Macon 10 May 2008 at 6:03 am

    But I think that a book primarily about a character like Agent Orange would be so strange that it’d be extremely niche.

    I think that it’s generally more mainstream to start with a human and turn him into a nonhuman than to use a character that’s never been human. For example, The Metamorphosis, Street Sharks, The Animorphs, were-wolf stories, and The Dragon and the George take human characters and turn them into nonhumans. We might also include the X-Men, mainly Beast.

    Non-human characters that have never been human are much rarer. I’d add the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Martian Manhunter, with the proviso that the TMNT have no distinctly turtle-like qualities.

    Why is that so rare? My initial instinct is that a human-turned-nonhuman is more relatable to readers and raises fewer plausibility issues. Additionally, in more serious fiction, like Metamorphosis and The Dragon and the George, the use of a H-T-N also evokes more of a sense of loss (or at least of something being distinctly amiss) than a character who’s always been nonhuman.

    And now, having committed a great sin of literary criticism by mentioning Street Sharks and the Animorphs in the same sentence as Kafka, I am going to take a long shower.

  15. Tyon 18 Oct 2008 at 3:29 am

    I think it’s hard to choose one Hero as my favourite, I like the anti-hero ones. But I will say Gambit.

    1. I always felt he was vague and mysterious, kind of an unknown.

    2. The accent and charm.

    3. He seemed to be the outcast of the group. (Wolverine too, but he had a more pivotal role then Gambit IMO)

    I just related to him more (I related to several other too, but Gambit was the one that I liked the most who I could relate to the most). Plus he had that awesome looking face mask thing, the extending bow, and the playing cards were great too.

  16. B. Macon 18 Oct 2008 at 10:47 am

    I agree! I find Gambit very likable; his powers are memorably cool and he would be much more fun to be around than casual psychopaths like Wolverine.

  17. Ragged Boyon 18 Oct 2008 at 3:04 pm

    I’d have to say Beast Boy.

    1) He can morph which is a favorite superpower of mine.

    2) He’s like me in that he is comical, and smiles all the time to cover up his pain like me. And he is often the butt of most people jokes

    3)And he’s with the Teen Titans (me and a group of my friends call ourselve the Teen Titans) who are the most awesome team ever.

  18. magic rhymeon 30 May 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Superman is my favorite (when he’s well written, which is about 1/3 of the time most years).

    Why? First and foremost, his greatest superpower in this tiresomely cynical age: his suite of genuine good intentions, intelligent optimism and hope, and sincere modesty (which sometimes fools others into thinking him naive when he is anything but!).

    Shoot people like The Punisher? Anyone can do that. Kill enemies or display a callous disregard for enemy life and limb like most modern superheroes? That happens all the time in this blindly angry age, from schoolyard bullies to vigilante racists to warmongers in the United States and abroad. A superhero who shows how tough he or she is by killing people or breaking their limbs or snapping coldblooded wisecracks may have physical superpowers but ethically is no better than some of the worst of humanity.

    But Superman genuinely cares more about helping people than he does about killing or breaking enemies, a rare quality in heroes today. He honestly believes that bad people can learn to be good people no matter how often other people and the stories of the mass media mock him for it — which is the sort of bravery you seldom find outside saints and messiahs. Superman has the powers of a god (actually, greater than some of the mortal gods of DC’s Greek pantheon) and yet he never lets mere physical power blind him to the equality of all sentient beings — he never gets full of himself regardless of how physically powerful he might be.

    Admittedly, Superman isn’t the only hero who cares about people, avoids needlessly harming even enemies, and recognizes his own flaws. Spider-Man does too, as well as some interpretations of The Batman. But other superhumans on Superman’s level — such as Marvel’s Thor or the Silver Surfer — are so full of themselves, bragging constantly like desperately insecure teenagers (admittedly mirroring some of the comic book reading demographic) whereas Superman has no such vanity. When he’s with The Batman, he doesn’t boast about his superpowers, he praises Batman’s detective skill with honest admiration; when he’s talking about The Flash, he refers to The Flash as the world’s fastest person even though he’s technically just as fast.

    Superman works best when he is written as a humble, hard-working man whose modesty remained intact even after he realized he is a physical god.

    This explains why Superman is an alien. If he were a magical creature, he would be a literal deity, like Zeus or Odin or the Dagda, and spiritually aloof over the rest of us. But he’s not spiritually or magically empowered — he is merely an alien, and therefore removed from any need for worship or spiritual elitism.

    As an alien, he is a more powerful version of ordinary humans at their best.

    Three things I associate with him?

    Excitement of the Big City. Power with purpose. A Protestant Christian modesty.

  19. Davidon 30 May 2009 at 6:46 pm

    My favorite superhero is Raven from Teen Titans.

    I love the Goth thing. She’s not hugely social. She deals with a lot without complaining and her powers are pretty cool.

    Here’s another question for you guys. Who’s your favorite character that someone else has created here?

    Mine is Showtime.

    –He is very cunning and clever.
    –His powers are pretty decent, although I’m not sure whether it is him or technology that gives him his powers.
    –I like his attitude. He stands up to anyone, even a demon.

    So I like him. What about the rest of you guys?

  20. Trollitradeon 30 May 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Adrian/Showtime from Ragged Boy’s comic sounds interesting to me so far, but I haven’t actually gotten to read the comic yet. But he sounds like he would be appealing – an actor with super powers with an upbeat attitude. I’ll have to read about him, though. I need to get to know everybody’s characters.

    I love the Teen Titans as a group, but I only know of the show, and not their original comic. I think they all interact very well as friends, feuding roommates, and a superhero team. xD I tend to favor the more outgoing characters – Beast Boy is my favorite because he’s silly and really enjoys his powers. They’re not only used for fighting baddies – he turns himself into dogs or kittens to get popular with the ladies, haha. And I love that he’s a vegetarian ’cause he’s BEEN most of those animals, whereas his good friend Cyborg is an avid meat-eater. xD Plus, Beast Boy has good flaws that make him interesting. He’s very enthusiastic and puts all of his effort into being a hero, but he can get too full of himself or feel challenged by people who might be a better hero than he is. He’s a little bit dense, so people like Mad Mod can hypnotize him repeatedly even when other characters can resist. So he has a fun, versatile power (transforming into any animal he wants), lots of humor, he’s upbeat and positive most of the time, and he’s got fun flaws. Beastboy rocks.

    I also like Batman. Not sure why… I think it was interesting how he used gadgets and high-tech stuff for his crimefighting instead of superpowers. But people like to dispute on whether he’s really a “hero” or just a reckless vigilante. I think he’s cool. But I’ve got more to say about Beastboy.

  21. Davidon 30 May 2009 at 7:05 pm

    If you wanna read a bit about Showtime have a look at this.

    Now, I will say that that Ragged Boy starts him off as one character and changes to another, but he does it rather smoothly. Anyway, have a read and see what you think of our characters in this RPG.

    I’m DMH and he is Ragged Boy.

  22. Ragged Boyon 30 May 2009 at 8:50 pm

    I don’t think the RP is the best example of Showtime’s personality. He’s not really in a setting where he can go all out personality-wise. Even though he does.

    Honestly, I haven’t worked much with Showtime the superhero. Issue #1 focuses mainly on Adrian and only switches to Showtime at the very end.

    I’d say the best way to show you Adrian would be to let me email you the script and let you read it. What’s your email? If you don’t mind, of course.

    Also, In the beginning Adrian gains water controling power by the tech is his suit. But once he’s injected with alien DNA he can create the water control pheromones at will. I’m glad Showtime is recieving a goor reception, I hope a publisher feel the same way about him.

  23. Tomon 31 May 2009 at 4:10 am

    Did someone say Teen Titans? I really can’t say enough how much I love the Teen Titans. I can pretty much safely say they’re what inspired me to make my own superhero. Admittedly I’ve never read the comic, just watched the show.

    But as for my favourite hero, yeah, I’m not going to be different or special, mine’s Spider-Man. Why? He’s so goddamn funny. When Spiderman fights, it’s like a comedy gig. He’s like a protagonist version of the Joker.

    And yeah, there’s all the other stuff, like him being relatable, young, confused, insecure etc. etc. And of course there’s the famous ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. Arguably it can apply to every single superhero ever made, but it was The Amazing Spider-Man that brought that phrase into the world.

    Three traits I’d define Spider-Man with? Quirky, funny, relatable.

    You might have noticed that I’ve tried to incorporate as much of Spider-Man’s humour as possible into my heroes. It can only make them better IMO.

    As for my favourite created character here? Good question. I’m tempted to say Guardian by RW, but I’ll be uber-cheezy and say I love everyone’s work.

  24. Ragged Boyon 31 May 2009 at 5:17 am

    I think more people should read the Teen Titans comic book. Most people only watch the show and that leads to a lack of information.For one, there are about four more Titans that live in the Tower (Kid Devil, Ravager, Kid Flash, and Donna Troy). But what annoys me most is that no one even knows that their main villain’s real alias is Deathstroke (my favorite villain), Slade Wilson.

    As for my favorite created character. Really, I never get to see people’s characters in action. Out of the ones I really know, I’d say Isaac, he seems like to cool guy to hang out with and he’s a bit of a dork, which makes him easier to like.

  25. Tomon 31 May 2009 at 6:38 am

    Despite having never read the comic, I’m slightly knowledgeable in a few things from it. For example I knew the whole ‘Deathstroke the Terminator’ thing (IMO it sounds like he’s compensating for something with a name like that but whatever).

    But I don’t read the comics because I don’t read any comics. I’ve been considering starting reading, but I’m afraid to dive into like 40 years of continuity with what little knowledge of the characters I have. Call it an extreme form of Archive Panic.

    So yeah, I’m a bit conflicted about starting to read comics. Also, I wouldn’t know which ones to read. Do I read Marvel? DC? Both? Then do I read Ultimate Marvel or normal Marvel? Which continuity do I follow? It’s a big turn-off for a new reader.

  26. Ragged Boyon 31 May 2009 at 6:51 am

    I agree. For example, I recently read Batman, Battle for the Cowl, but in order to understand that you have to have read Batman R.I.P. That was my argument for why I don’t like Marvel or DC that much anymore, although, I still like DC a litte. It’s mainly because I don’t like the superheroes, but it’s hard to keep up when they use characters from ages ago and throw us into the middle of a story. I’d say the easiest stories to follow are Spiderman and Batman. Other heroes deal too much with all these crossovers and many die and are reborn.

    That’s why were going to start the new comic book front. That way readers from our generation will be able to get into stories and start from the beginning.

    On a side note, I think the Terminator title was given to him. And I believe they discontinued that pert of the name after The Terminator series started. It’s just Deathstroke now.

  27. Tomon 31 May 2009 at 6:58 am

    Spider-Man, as much as I love the character, I wish to stay far away from after hearing about the One More Day (is that what it’s called?) storyline, with the cosmic retcon. If it wasn’t for that I’d consider jumping into the Spider-Man series (provided I was given a sufficient recap and told which version to read).

  28. B. Macon 31 May 2009 at 9:31 am

    “Do I read Marvel? DC? Both? Then do I read Ultimate Marvel or normal Marvel?” Hmm. It sort of depends what you want to prepare yourself for. For example, I wanted to prepare myself for a job interview with Marvel’s editorial department. I purchased a one-month subscription for $10 and read…

    –A series or two from Marvel’s top characters (Spiderman, the X-Men, Ironman and the Fantastic 4). Among others, I read Spectacular Spiderman, Ultimate Spiderman, Uncanny X-Men, Invincible Ironman and Ultimate Fantastic Four.

    –I read pretty much everything that they released in the last two years. I figure that’s most relevant to what they’re doing now. At the very least, I’d recommend having a basic familiarity with the major events of the past few years (Civil War, Secret Invasion, World War Hulk, etc).

    –I also focused on a few really small characters and series, like The Hood and Squirrel Girl and Runaways. Let’s face it… they won’t put an entry-level editorial assistant on an A-list series like Ultimate Spiderman. Knowing these smaller series will help the recruiter visualize me doing the work they have in mind for this position. Also, if they do have an opening on The Hood or a similar series, I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll be the only applicant to mention it in the interview.

    DC doesn’t sell online subscriptions, so following its comics is significantly more expensive. If you can’t afford its comics, I’d recommend focusing on its TV series and movies. In particular, I’d recommend looking at…

    –Justice League and JL Unlimited. Very popular and a great introduction to the DC universe.

    –Batman: The Animated Series. This excellent show was a great introduction to Batman.

    –Batman: The Brave and the Bold. It’s probably their most popular show right now. However, it’s not very good.

    –Smallville. It’s not very good, but it shows how to adapt a superhero story for a somewhat new audience (in this case women).

    –Teen Titans. Like Smallville, but for kids.

    –Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. In monetary terms, these are unquestionably the most successful DC ventures in the past few years.

  29. Tomon 31 May 2009 at 10:48 am

    Of the shows/movies you mentioned, I have seen every episode of Teen Titans and JLU, I have seen The Dark Knight and Batman Begins, some episodes of The Brave and the Bold and about 2 episodes of Smallville. I have every intention of watching Batman: The Animated Series this summer, since I was denied the chance to see it as a child and want to see it anyway.

    I’m not familiar with any of those events in Marvel’s recent history, with the exception of Civil War, which I have the vaguest knowledge of. Should I know them?

  30. Trollitradeon 31 May 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention “three things” that I associate with Beast Boy when I listed him as a favorite hero. Unfortunately, I can only speak of the animated cartoon show, but I’m sure he has a LOT more elements to him in the comic. But the three things that I like about him most are that…

    ++++++
    1) He loves his powers, and makes good use of them. I’ve never seen Beast Boy angst about his “dangerous”, “unruly”, or “social distancing” powers. He just loves what he’s doing, and appreciates his gift.

    ++++++
    2) He’s lively, optimistic, and comedic. These make him so much fun to watch, but they’re good traits as well as flaws. His liveliness annoys the other characters sometimes, and he occasionally plays bad pranks that get out of hand, or people tune him out because he’s a bragger.

    ++++++
    3) Although he’s silly half the time, I love that he can be serious when it’s important. Like when Robin was being overly intense and violent in his search for Slade during the “Apprentice” episode, BB stood up to Robin and called him out on his behavior. This almost result in a fight between them, and as perky and cheery as BB is, he wasn’t going to back down from it because Robin was even threatening innocent people in his search.

    +++++++
    So I like that he’s lively and happy with his powers. His silliness is both a strength and a flaw. And he’s brave enough to call people out when they’re getting out of hand.

  31. B. Macon 31 May 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Hmm. Tom, I think you’d get more out of watching Marvel cartoons than really getting into the comics. I think the details of the Marvel universe probably won’t affect your cartooning career all that much, unless you’re applying to work with Marvel.

    In particular, I’d recommend looking at these series.
    –X-Men Evolution. This was pretty popular. This series was a bit unusual because most of the characters were recast as high-schoolers. Cartoons generally rely on a much younger audience than comic books do, so that was a pretty shrewd adaptation.
    –Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes. It was more of a comedy than action. The drawing and animation were problematic and the comedy was not as good as Justice League, Kim Possible or Jackie Chan Adventures (all of which had a lot of action).
    –Iron-Man: Armored Adventures. I haven’t seen this. It recasts Tony Stark as a teen. Either way, I don’t think the character is very relatable to kids, so I fear this will be short-lived.
    –Wolverine and the X-Men. Another recent launch that I haven’t seen yet. Older X-Men. I’m not sure what the angle is.

  32. Tomon 31 May 2009 at 1:04 pm

    I’ve seen about 2 or 3 episodes of all of those shows. I kinda get what they’re about. Should I watch more?

    Also, did you deliberately leave The Spectacular Spider-Man off that list? Because that show’s brilliant. Seriously, it’s awesome.

  33. B. Macon 31 May 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I think it pays to be very well-versed in the competition and what makes a superhero cartoon successful or not. Corporations tend to be very risk-adverse, so you will probably go farther if you can say something like “this concept has proven successful in the past.”



    I left off Spectacular Spiderman because I couldn’t think of anything a cartoonist might learn from it. It’s bland and kind of forgettable. The writing has to be sharper and fresher. I’d also recommend playing the characters more strongly. Giving it a new angle would probably help. It doesn’t do “adolescent superhero” as well as X-Men Evolution or Kim Possible* or Teen Titans or probably even American Dragon.

    *KP might not be a superhero story, but the audience appeal is pretty similar.

  34. Ragged Boyon 31 May 2009 at 1:44 pm

    While we’re on the subject, what comics or stories would you recommend I read while working on Showtime? I’d like to portray my aliens and my main character as best as I can.

  35. B. Macon 31 May 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Hmm. Invincible is the only series I can think of that does aliens well. That’s probably a good place to start. Maybe Gigantic, too… it smoothly executes an unusual sci-fi premise and its alien villain is brilliant. However, I feel that Gigantic’s protagonist leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe Draft. I haven’t read it, but the premise sounds fun.

    In terms of the main character, I’m not sure how an editor will think of him. If he thinks the salient details are that Adrian is young and black, then I’d recommend looking at Static Shock and Blokhedz. However, those two series are not especially popular. As for young and vaguely relatable sci-fi protagonists, I’d recommend looking at Ultimate Spiderman and Invincible.

  36. Ragged Boyon 31 May 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Thanks for the advice!

    Don’t worry, It’s Adrian, I’m pretty sure young and black won’t be his two main traits.

  37. B. Macon 31 May 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Yeah, I figured that youthfulness and blackness wouldn’t be his major traits.

    I was just raising the possibility that a businessman might mismarket the work.

    For example, if you were marketing the Superhero Nation comic book, would you pitch it as a supernatural comedy (like Men in Black), an unlikely friends comedy (Calvin and Hobbes), or a national security thriller (24)? I think editors would probably lean towards describing it as a national security thriller– even though it’s not terribly accurate– because it’s a simple sell. “Superhero Nation is like GI Joe with an accountant!” Umm, not really, of course.

    Similarly, I don’t think that Adrian’s blackness is particularly crucial to the story, but I think that it will be a major part of how the book is marketed and sold to readers. That’s how the Animal Farm movie got marketed as though it were a cutesy talking-pig story like Babe. It does have talking animals, but it’s actually an allegory about totalitarianism. Oops.

  38. Ragged Boyon 31 May 2009 at 8:33 pm

    That’s true. I don’t remember the last time I saw a dominant black* superhero as the forefront of a story. If done right this could be groundbreaking.

    *I feel confident enough to say that Adrian isn’t ghetto black (Blokhedz) or black-only-by-color (Static Shock) so I think he’s a fresh black character.

  39. mrs marvelon 26 Jul 2009 at 8:55 pm

    i think wolviren (sorry cant spell well ) deadpool,raven,beastboy,black widow,catwomen and finally spiderman are cool because they can kick butt and can still be collected enough to make a smart remark and/or make a joke.

  40. mrs marvelon 26 Jul 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Tom i agree with you all the way that Teen Titans is awesome.(they inspired me to write to) But i forgot to mention gambit hes my fav cuz well hes causal and relateable. Like taylor kitch said (plays gamibit on wolverien origans) “he dosn’t need you” because he prefers to work alone but he still will try to save you. also deadpool is cool to because hes always telling a joke and practiclly indestructable . If you kill him you can grarantee he will come back with a gruge and the jokes to come with it. It bums me that hardly anybody really talks about him.

  41. S.V.T.on 26 Jul 2009 at 11:31 pm

    I would say my favorite hero would have to be The Thing (Ben Grimm) from the Fantastic Four, because:

    1) I just love the FF for having the superhero team appear like more of a family than a team. Sure, many other comics do that, but the Fantastic Four were the pioneers of that field.

    2) He is relatable in that he is mistaken for something. When people see him, they only see the big rock monster, not the heart of gold that beats within.

    3) “It’s clobberin’ time!”

    4) His powers are pretty cool. He’s the second most powerful member of the FF, behind Sue.
    But I think Stan Lee was wrong in the Marvel Strength Chart . He should have switched places with Iron Man in my opinion.

    My favorite nonpublished superhero from this site would have to be Ian from Wing’s writing. Just because he reminds me of myself from what I’ve read.

  42. B. Macon 27 Jul 2009 at 9:08 am

    I agree with you that Ben should probably be in the top-tier. Also, I think if this chart were put together today, I doubt that Marvel would place Wolverine at the bottom. Casting Wolverine in a negative light is tricky because he’s got the most unstoppable superpower: popularity.

    Also, I bet that a modern chart like this would feature fewer men wearing nothing but Speedos (Ben, Namor, Beast, etc). Even Ben got a workout suit.

  43. mrs marvelon 29 Jul 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Man..Dose anybody remember Harley Quinn? Shes the most funnies/fun-loving girl i’ve ever seen. Most of the girls in marvel are too motherly(jean gray) or a damsle in distress (MJ) Harley quinn has som cool moves like her gun and po-go stick and she loves the insane joker no matter what( even when he hits her. poor gal) Shes pretty good for someone with know powers like batman and joker.

  44. Nayanon 28 Oct 2012 at 3:26 am

    1. Who:-My most favourite superhero is Batman.

    2. Why:- I generally gravitate towards non-powered superheroes. Also, I like dark and comlex characters (not in real life though). Thats why my other favourite superheroes are- Wolvorine and Rorschach.

    3. Three things I associate with Batman- lack of superpower, liking for gadgets and black colour(although black is not actually a colour, its lack of colour.)

  45. Nayanon 29 Oct 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I think there will be a tough competition between Spiderman and Batman for the most popular superhero spot, but Spiderman will win by a small margin because of his guy next door personality. I think more marvel superheroes will feature in top 10 than DC.
    Whats your take, B. Mac?

  46. B. McKenzieon 30 Oct 2012 at 3:06 am

    I think it really depends on who is asked and how the question is phrased. For example, I would guess that Superman, Green Lantern, Deadpool, and Flash would probably fare better among comic fans than among, say, superhero movie fans. Among movie fans, I assume it’d probably be a Marvel landslide–of the top 20 superhero movies at the box office (not adjusted for inflation), 12 are from Marvel franchises, 6 are DC, and 2 (Incredibles and Hancock) are independent. Among comic book fans, I think it’d be a lot closer. I think the most popular characters over the last 10 years would be Batman, Wolverine and Spider-Man in no particular order.

    If I were asked something along the lines of “If companies stopped making superhero stories, which character would you miss most?”, my personal pick would probably be Batman:
    1) He offers much more flair and dramatic potential than any other relatively dark character. In contrast, there are enough relatively light characters with really clever writing (e.g. pretty much any of Marvel’s blockbusters) that no individual character feels as indispensable.

    2) He makes other characters vastly more interesting than they would be otherwise. At the risk of being a bit hyperbolic, he’s a great foil for pretty much everyone, almost to the point where he could have a memorable conversation with a potted plant. Hell, he can make Superman interesting. That’s as hard as winning the Kentucky Derby with a one-legged horse.

    3) I can’t think of any other character that holds up his/her publisher like Batman does. For example, DC’s franchises have had 12 films since 2000. The 3 Batman films took 38% of the total production budget ($585 million out of $1.545 billion) but generated 63% of the total box office sales ($2.451 billion out of $3.917 billion).

  47. Anonymouson 28 Dec 2012 at 1:59 pm

    In response to the discussion about Spider-Man being easy to follow:
    I read an article in the paper today about how they are going to make him and Doc Ock switch bodies.

  48. Andrewon 10 Jun 2016 at 2:35 am

    Tricky one. I’d have to say one of my favorite heroes would have to be Jessica Cruz, 6th Green Lantern of Earth

    1: She’s the most relatable/realistic Earth Lantern. From Hal to Kyle, Earth’s GLs have been known to be without fear and done some literal out of this world things. Hal was leader of the GLC, Guy defeated Atrocitus for control of the RLC, John is a fearless leader, Kyle became something close to a God. Jessica isn’t as fearless as her predecessors, she knows fear, she has anxeity problems, something that makes her more unique than the others, also making her more relatable to fans who may suffer anxeity like her

    2: Development. When she made her first full appearence after Forever Evil, she came off as a cowardly survialist that was doomed to wield the parasidic Earth-3 Power Ring. From a span of around 25 JL issues, you see her grow from a scared little girl to a protector of Earth. She’s had a great amount of development despite appearing in very few pages each issue

    3: She’s Earth’s first female Lantern. As far as the New 52 Earth goes anyway. Before her, the Green Lanterns of Earth were an instant boys only club. As far as diversity went with John Stewart and Simon Baz, they did a decent job. But I like that they included a Hispanic female into their ranks, it also makes her stand out from the rest

    I’m really looking foward to reading Green Lanterns and Justice League in the new Rebirth with her and Simon as Earth’s protectors

  49. Omegaon 26 Mar 2019 at 11:32 am

    I like captain America
    He is not overpowered
    He has internal conflicts
    He has good personality and he’s no doubt the most respectable member of avengers
    (cmon you dont easily get access to iron man’s armory and entry in wakanda)
    And his leadership and friendship we’ve seen..

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