Just for funsies, here are my top 10 superheroes and supervillains! (It’s only limited to DC and Marvel because I’ve got another list coming…) As with any favorites list, these are entirely subjective, and the explanatory notes are merely veiled iterations of “I just like ’em.” They’re on this list because when they appear in a story, I go “YES!” and want to read it!
Hey, I had to include Batman! A character of perennial interest, who I believe represents a perfect balance between simplicity of concept and variability of story.
2) Beta Ray Bill
This guy was, I believe, the first non-Thor personage to wield Thor’s Hammer for any length of time. He’s basically awesome, but what I really love about him is what I read in the writer’s explanation of him: There was an idea to create someone else worthy of wielding the hammer. The first thought would be another hunky blonde bro, but they chose to go a different route. They made Bill physically monstrous, but a virtuous and honorable person nonetheless.
3) Detective Chimp
Yeah… He is indeed an excellent detective, but he’s on this list because he’s adorable.
4) Lori Lemaris
An obscure love interest of Superman’s, way back in the day. She still appears occasionally in Aquaman-related media, and I feel like she should have her own series. Just sayin’. (Can I spoil a decades-old comic? —- She’s this random girl he meets as Clark Kent, but she turns out to be telepathic… And a mermaid.)
He’s my go-to example of a villain who really believes his own schtick. He has valid reasons for feeling the way he does, but he never seems to realize that his methods are only making the mutant/human situation worse instead of better.
6) Pied Piper
A minor Flash villain-turned-antihero. People always talk about Batman’s rogues gallery, but the Flash has some seriously undervalued gems… Pied Piper is also notable as one of the older gay characters in DC, and sometimes I wonder if that’s why he doesn’t get many appearances.
7) Saint Walker
The most-featured Blue Lantern, a bearer of the power of hope! I think he was one of the great successes coming out of the whole spectrum-of-lanterns event (along with Larfleeze, who was a close contender for this list). I feel like Saint Walker gives me the feeling he’s supposed to give people around him, that unwavering commitment to hope and feeling that everything will be okay.
8) Swamp Thing
I’ve never really had the experience of being asked to prove my geekdom, and sometimes I think that’s because I lead with “Oh, who’s my favorite character? Swamp Thing.” It’s true, though. I mentioned the other day that I came to comics via Alan Moore, so I read his run on Swamp Thing pretty early on, and that led me into my love of Swamp Thing in general.
Again hearkening back to that post about how I got into comics: After the first Avengers movie came out, with its glimpse of Thanos at the end, I went off and read everything I could get my hands on about the guy. He turned out to be a remarkably compelling character, a bloodthirsty tyrant who does what he does because he’s trying to win Death’s love. They gave a nod to that in the “it would be to court death…” line, but I’ll be interested to see if they keep that as a central part of his character!
10) Wonder Woman
A pretty new addition to my ranks of favorite characters, and almost entirely because of the old Lynda Carter series! (I also mentioned some good comic versions of her in my Strong Female Characters in Comics post.)
Honorable Mention: Alfred Pennyworth
Ah, Alfred, the unflaggingly understated gentleman, without whom I rarely enjoy a Batman story. Seriously, the ones without him are just not as much fun for me. 😉