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CSBG Archive

Top Five Comic Book Beards

TOP FIVE WEEK CONTINUES (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far)!

Beards can look pretty cool in comics, and here are the top five beards in comics!

Enjoy!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Thor’s Beards

Thor has had two notable beards.

The first, in Walt Simonson’s run, was because Thor’s face was ravaged, so he grew a beard to cover the scars.

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You could tell this was not a cosmetic beard, as it looked pretty scraggly.

Later, Eric Masterson wore a beard when he was Thor.

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It was pretty darn cool looking, but loses cool points for being worn on a substitute Thor.

5. Odin

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Odin has a strong, imposing beard.

It is really, really cool.

However, you sort of get the idea that the beard is not really MEANT to look any certain way, and it is really more a matter of Odin just not caring enough to groom, which definitely takes points away on the coolness level.

4. Shvaughn Erin

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Shvaughn Erin was a member of the Science Police who was brought into the Legion of Superheroes title so that Element Lad had a lady to be with, which he needed for appearance’s sake, because he was obviously gay.

Later on, in a weird twist, Shvaughn turned out to be a man named Sean, who took a gender-changing drug because he thought it was the only way Element Lad would love him. Obviously, this was not the case, and they lived happily ever after…or until Zero Hour erased them from DC continuity. Whichever came first.

3. Cave Carson

Cave Carson is one of the most noted archaeologists in the DC Universe, and is definitely the most notable spelunker.

Amazingly enough, when he first showed up, he didn’t even HAVE a beard!

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Luckily for us, he realized how much cooler a beard is for an archaeologist/spelunker, and grew one by the time he became a member of the Forgotten Heroes.

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Later, he helped fight Eclipso with Amanda Waller, and luckily was able to avoid being among the heroes killed by Eclipso in that silly “mass slaughter” issue of Eclipso.

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Thanks to Adam Arnold for the Cave pictures!

2. Niles Caulder

Omar Karindu pointed out this gross oversight of one of the greatest comic book beards ever – that of Niles Caulder, the Chief of the Doom Patrol.

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His beard was so badass, he even managed to live beyond decapitation!!!

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1. Hercules

At first, Hercules had a Steve Reeves (who played Hercules in two notable late 50s motion pictures)-esque beard.

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This was a cool beard, but maybe Marvel artists thought it was a bit too dorky to have him look EXACTLY like Steve Reeves, so the beard developed until it reached its standard of coolness, which lasted for quite some time.

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Then, in a shocking turn of events, when placed on an Avengers team with ANOTHER bearded team member (Eric Masterson’s Thor turn), “Hercules” (I use quotes because it was most likely artist Steve Epting or writer Bob Harras making the decision) decided it didn’t look good to have TWO bearded Avengers, so he shaved the beard off.

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Next, they took away most of his powers.

Then, they changed his costume to basically a gym workout outfit with strange-looking kneepads.

By the time they were finished, Hercules was basically Sylvester Stallone.

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“Yo Adrian!”

Luckily, most of that stuff has been ignored, and during Civil War, Hercules basically completed his return to his old self, and here he is, back in his #1-rated beard in this upcoming World War Hulk cover.

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Coolness.

Well, that’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

47 Comments

Luckily, most of that stuff has been ignored, and during Civil War, Hercules basically completed his return to his old self

And the blogosphere still insists Civil War was a failure!

No!

Comics’ premier beard is clearly that of Niles Caulder, the Chief of the Doom Patrol — who else’s beard could be so formidable as to produce an otherwise impossible alliance between the Bearded Gentlemen’s Club and the Beard Hunter?

Also, a pox on you for failing to mention George Perez’s Wonder Woman villain Deimos and his beard of living snakes, Grant Morrison’s All-Beard from Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle, Ditko/Lee’s Looter, and the bemusing beard-dom of Steve Gerber’s Hellstorm nemesis Father Darklyte.

Obvously you’re of the conspiracy of the clean-shaven.

I remember Hercules being back to his old look right after the Onslaught Saga. He guest-appeared in one of the X-books.

Beards own face. I have a beard and its awesome; I guess it sorta looks like Cave Carson’s beard. Next you should do the top five best comic moustaches! I’ll even help ya out by giving you some top contenders – Lobo, Hogun the Grim, Sinestro, Forge (definitely number one).

No Oliver Queen? No Vandal Savage?

I’m sorry but this list is sorely lacking

Oliver Queen’s beard is silly. Just like Warlord’s.

Vandal Savage’s beard, though, probably deserved an honorable mention!

“Lame of the Gods”? How totally true.

(Yes, I realize it was probably intended to be read “Game”, but look at that costume. You know I’m right.)

I would have to include the Immortal, after all, he is Abraham Lincoln with superpowers.

I hope your going to do the same thing with moustaches.

Also, no love for Shazam?

Christopher Burton

May 30, 2007 at 4:15 am

I wonder if the Forgotten Heroes have an actual application process. Or does a hero wake up one morning, realize he’s a has-been and automatically end up on their contact list. I imagine the day they get that first call from Immortal Man pretty much sucks.

Shvaughn Erin: genius! Genius, I say!

Ok, Shvaughn being there made me laugh.

The Mad Monkey

May 30, 2007 at 6:58 am

If you didn’t put Niles Caulder on the list (and I’m glad you did), I would have had to hunt you down and force you to wear a beard (if you already don’t) in just the very same way that Grover Monster gave Kermit The Frog teeth in that classic Sesame Street skit.
So…YAY!!!

Shvaughn/Sean Erin only made it because of the transgender factor. Which in my book, does make it an automatic entry.
So…YAY…redux…

As soon as I saw the title of the post, I thought, “Niles Caulder!” I’m relieved Omar already corrected you. (Who’d you have in the Chief’s place?) Omar’s right about Deimos’s snake beard too, which at LEAST deserves an honorable mention. (Though I’d rank it.)

Also, Brian, you’re so very wrong about Ollie Queen’s whiskers being “silly.” Of course, it’s not really a full beard, just a very cool stylized goatee. And we all know how strangely half of the CSBG peeps feel about goatees …

How about anytime Clark Kent fuzzes over? He’s got a heck of a beard.
Or perhaps just about all the male Forever People in DC, with the full hippy thing going on.

And I have to give a mention to Elfquest as a whole, where beards have been a part of the Wolfriders from the start. At least, once they’re old enough to grow them.

SanctumSanctorumComix

May 30, 2007 at 8:16 am

I also vote that Ollie’s beard is cool.
But, it really IS just a goatee.

So… how about top 5 ghotee’s?

I’d submit…

Olliver Queen
Doctor Strange
Xandu (Spider-man & Doctor Strange villain)
—————-

BTW.. will this “beard” post tie in with Doom Patrol foe “Beard Hunter” (i think that was his name)?

—————–

OK… while he didn’t have it long, you can’t deny the inherent coolness of Doctor Strange’s beard during the Dark Dimension war.

(Issues # 71 – 73 of the 1970’s – 1980’s series)

If my scanner weren’t on the fritz…

Paul Smith really made it look good.
Sure, it wasn’t an ODIN beard, but still…

———–

OK. I’m done.

~P~
P-TOR

Bradley Curry

May 30, 2007 at 8:26 am

Am I the only one that loved when Jack Kirby would draw Reed Richards with a beard?

"O" the Humanatee!

May 30, 2007 at 8:26 am

Why you no love Doctor Faustus?

(Before I saw your entry on Shvaughn Erin, I was going to make a joke about the alternative meaning of “beard” – only my first thought was to nominate Clea.*)

* Yeah, yeah, I know Doc’s not gay – that’s why it’s a joke.

I always thought Thor looked better with a beard. It makes him look more mature and godly than the clean-shaved look.

Wrong!!!

The top one beard in comics has to be Alan Moore!
I mean he has appeared in comic books! And his beard is amazing! His beard is alive! His beard eats cats!
There should be a miniseries about Alan Moore’s beard.

Hrmph. I was screamin’ for the Chief love as soon as the post went up, but my reply never made it up. I am sad.

I do agree that Vandal Savage, Oliver Queen, and The Warlord all have funky beards…

How about the 5 Evilest Beards? Number One of course is Tony Stark’s goatee…

Alan Moore has appeared in comics he hasn’t even been ASSOCIATED with! If you see him, you’ll know him! Sometimes, I’ll be reading a comic, and there will be a homeless guy who gets a line, and I’ll go, “OMG, it’s Alan Moore!”

Why would it, in the 30th century, be socially unacceptable to be openly homosexual? I’m surprised there haven’t been MORE gay characters in the Legion.

I’m going to have to second the mighty beard of Alan Moore.

but… lame beards!
Lex Luthor’s red one, Rip Roar’s mane! Aquaman’s!

Including Shvaughn Erin in the list completely eliminated any chance of jokey nominations for Vicki Vale, Versper Fairchild, Silver St. Cloud, etc. Damn you and well played, sir.

The Mad Monkey

May 30, 2007 at 11:19 am

Correction to everyone who says “goatee”…
The proper term is “Van Dyke”.
A goatee is a beard WITHOUT the moustache.

And that’s one to grow on.

I don’t really have any thoughts on the matter of beards–I just wanted to point out how badassed that Kirby Thor cover was. Yes, “duh,” but I really feel strongly about this matter. That Gary Frank cover is pretty neat, too.

A hearty “Bwahahaha!” for covering multiple definitions of “beard.”

Andrew Collins

May 30, 2007 at 1:46 pm

I had not heard the other definition of “beard” before, but now I know, and knowing’s half the battle.

And kudos to Sanctum Sanctorum for remembering the awesome Beard Hunter issue of DP. Too bad Morrison hasn’t brought back the nefarious Bearded Gentlemen’s Club Of Metropolis. :)

“Why would it, in the 30th century, be socially unacceptable to be openly homosexual? I’m surprised there haven’t been MORE gay characters in the Legion.”

There have been a few.

“The Unique Properties of Condo Arlik” from Secret Origins #47(February 1990) implied that Chemical King and Invisible Kid I were lovers. We never saw CK with a girl(we seldom saw him, period) and Invisible Kid’s only romantic moment came in Superboy #203(August 1974), where he fell in love with a female ghost shortly before he died. Maybe he swung both ways.

Shrinking Violet and Light Lass were strongly hinted to be lovers in the “5 years later” continuity. Both were previously in heterosexual relationships(the former with Duplicate Boy, the latter with Timber Wolf), so I guess they were bisexual.

As for Element Lad and Shvaughn Erin, I figured that Element Lad truly loved Shvaughn and refused to leave her when he became a male. I guess that makes him bi as well.

Honorable mention goes to Substitute Heroes member Color Kid. “The Substitutes” episode of the LSH cartoon portrayed him as foppish. Then again, anybody who walks around with a rainbow on their costume…

Aw, no Ego the Living Planet? It’s a planet with a beard. How much more beard can you want?

More does not mean better!

Thank goodness I was not the only one who read that as ‘Lame of the Gods’. What an unfortunate font choice…

The Indestructible Man

May 30, 2007 at 4:07 pm

I love my Hercules beard — and apparantly so does everyone else…

Ollie’s beard makes all the difference–without it he’s geeky.

So I’d include him.

Then also Hercules and Thor.

Then, hmm-maybe Ben Grimm’s fake on when he impersonated Blackbeard.

The Kirbydotter

May 30, 2007 at 5:51 pm

Neal Adam’s Green Arrow’s goatee and mustache was the coolest beard ever!
It was so 60’s! Cool and jazzy!

Mike Grell’s Warlord is also cool but it’s just a white version of Green Arrow’S

Simonson drew a great beard on Thor and on Great Father (of the New Gods).

Baron Mordo’s (on Doctor Strange) has the best evil beard!

After your whole thing about G.I. Joe deaths in a previous entry, you overlook both Shipwreck AND Clutch’s beards??

Hypertime McMultiverse

May 30, 2007 at 9:38 pm

What about Zor?

“Liar! It’s a magnificent beard and I know you want one.”

a different Dan

May 31, 2007 at 2:03 am

Correction to everyone who says “goatee”…
The proper term is “Van Dyke”.
A goatee is a beard WITHOUT the moustache.

And that’s one to grow on.

Sorry to have to correct a correction, but it’s properly spelled “Van Dyck,” after the painter Anthony Van Dyck.

Two to grow on…

SanctumSanctorumComix

May 31, 2007 at 9:31 am

Oh, thank heavens SOMEONE in this day and age knows of the the van dyke (or van dyck).

I used to get into “disagreements” with many people because they never seemed to have HEARD of a “van dyke” and called everything that wasn’t a full-on beard a goatee.

After many years of banging my head against a wall, I just figured it wasn’t worth the hassle of trying to “educate” anyone in facial hair terminology (or “chin-spinach”, as I like to call it).

MAD MONKEY & “a different DAN” are both correct however.

While the spelling of van dyke (or van dyck) has been altered over time, so has the actual accepted definition of what constitutes a van dyck or goatee.

Used to be, if the mustache didn’t TOUCH the beard part, it was still a goatee (which was, traditionally, JUST the chin hair – like a GOAT, hence the name).

Now, it all makes no sense.

Do a quick search and no two sources agree.

Here’s the wiki.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goatee

GAH!

OH!
And to “O” the Humanatee!”… you escaped certain doom on that one.

When I saw the “beard” subject, I had wondered if:

a) ANYONE would know of or use that definition

or

b) anyone would try to “out” Dr. Strange.

I was happy to see that- Yes, they did know of that definition, and that- No, Doc wasn’t the target.

;-)

Also kudos to “The Kirbydotter”.
Baron Mordo’s beard IS evil.

~P~
P-TOR

I agree with those who complain about “Shvaughn Erin” being listed as I was preparing my own joke response with her in it:(

"O" the Humanatee!

May 31, 2007 at 12:55 pm

Really, I only made that joke because of my jealousy of Doctor Strange. Every time I hit on other-dimensional silver-haired sorceresses, I get rejected.

“I’ve never seen Reed so grim. So resolute. So unshaven.”

I think it’s worth remembering that languages do evolve and if enough people believe that goatee is a correct term for what you call a Van Whatsisface then at some point that will become the truth.

It’s hard to say whether that’s happened yet. I don’t know who makes that call.

As a Scandinavian-American, and an avid fan of the Norse culture, religion, history and all, I’ve always been anoyed that Marvel’s Thor didn’t ALWAYS have a beard, or that he always eventually shaves it off when some artist decides he needs it to look right. For some reason, the youth-oriented mentality of Marvel comics just can’t accept the idea of Thor having and keeping a beard! The funny thing is – in Norse culture, a man wasn’t respected as a man until he was old enough to grow one, and demonstrated that he was by doing just that. Norse men wouldn’t have been caught dead without a beard. Now – while nobody is going to tell Thor he’s not a man, and he is the perpetual son of his father, he is already way past puberty and supposed to be a man in all of his appearances in the mythology. Just put a beard on the guy and keep it that way dangit!!! We have enough clean-shaven, baby-faced, youth oriented heroes! Hooray for a hero who actually looks like a man and not a boy!!!

Good article… but your line up is a tad anemic. I like that you included Hercules and Thor but what about Aquaman, Namor and Alpha Flight’s Puck. Also infamous goatees worn by the likes of; Green Arrow, Iron man, Dr. Strange. It’s weird, because it has bothered me… moreso the older I’ve gotten that comic companies really push the clean shaven baby face look. It’s really an outdated concept. Granted not all comic heroes should wear them but you’d think we’d see alot more comic characters with beards and goatees. You also have cats like Gambit who don’t necessarily grow a beard but they atleast sport a large dose of stubble and am I the only one who thinks it’s strange that hairy guys like Wolverine and Sabretooth can’t grow mustaches & goatees let alone a full beard.

Others I neglected to mention… Warlord, Black Panther, Ras Ghul, Vandal Savage.

Marvel’s Hercules didn’t have the beard originally, and it was regularly on and off.

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