Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Comic Book Heroes Never Get Old

But Who Will Watch the Watchmen?

My oldest son has a high school enrichment class titled, "The History of Comic Books." He says it was either that or "Football Video Analysis 101 for Football Players-You Bet." As a bruising offensive lineman, he'll probably have to take the latter class next. Yesterday, he got his first essay assignment. He was asked to discuss who would win a fight between Batman and The Punisher. He gets it. Batarang vs. Kalashnikovs and shotguns.

Got me to thinking about comic books. So here's the list. Not really a "tag" game since Google Analytics stats show most of you all are more into football and America's Got Talent right about now. So feel free to comment or craft your own list.

1. Best Comic Book Hero: Batman -Love the idea of a mortal without mutant gifts who does extraordinary things. Love the dark knight as avenger angle and all then personal tragedy and turmoil Bruce Wayne struggles with.

2. Best Comic Book Villain: Joker - Pervasive psychosis beats ego or hunger for power any time. Magneto comes close since he's on a kind of Machiavellian crusade, but for my money the unpredictability of Joker makes him more compelling.

3. Worst Comic Book Hero: Superman -Impervious to everything but a little green space rock. This doesn't make for very compelling story lines. You can probably name ten Batman villains, but beyond Lex Luthor and that silly General Zod I can't think of any villain of note.

4. Best Overlooked Comic Book Hero: Moon Knight - Girlfriend killed with a meat cleaver by his evil traitorous brother, yowza. Love me those angst-enriched characters. Just your average former boxer, Marine and CIA agent. I also dig all the ancient Egypt references. Kind of Marvel's take on the Batman mystique.

5. Hottest Comic Book Chika: Elektra - Ninja assassin descendent of ancient Greek warriors. Nice.

6. Worst Comic Book Chika: Wonder Woman - A friggin' Amazon warrior princess whose best weapons are a magic rope and bracelets? Pleeeze. How about Wonder Woman's background and bod melded with Elektra's personna? Now that's one smoking hot, ass kicking babe.

7. Best Comic Book Series - Tie, The Dark Knight Returns (Frank Miller) and The Watchmen (Alan Moore). Comic book heroes as regular folks-in tights. Both series were edgy and twisted before that was cool. Bruce Wayne is old and chubby and in retirement when he comes back to right a world gone horribly wrong. The Watchman is the only comic book to win a Hugo Award. And it's got a demented lead character named Rorschach who might not really be so demented after all...say no more.


PB said...

Batman rocks! He's one of the most honest "superheores" out there.

Frank Miller's treatise on the lore of Batman found in The Dark Knight Returns is a must read.

Chris said...

Batman would kick the Punisher's ass so quick his head would be spinning.

Best Hero: Batman
Best Villain: Joker
Worst Hero: Aquaman anyone?
Best Overlooked Hero: The Flash (always second fiddle to the big three)
Hottest Chika: Hard to argue with Elektra, although I'll throw in Black Canary for consideration.
Worst Chika: Jubilee
Best series: The Dark Knight Returns

CasonBlog said...

Aquaman with the hook for a hand is a little more edgy.