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CSBG Archive

Top 50 DC Characters #15-11

Here’s DC’s next group…

15. Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) – 370 points (6 first place votes)

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A Steve Ditko creation, Ted Kord was a student of the original Blue Beetle, Dan Garrett. When Garrett was killed, he asked Ted to carry on the name. The problem was, Ted did not have any powers.

However, Ted was so awesome – that when he needed to take over for a hero while not having any powers of himself, he went out and trained himself to becoming a World Class fighter, and he then spent his money (and his technological know-how) on building weapons to fight crime, including a giant flying bug ship.

Ted was an inaugural member of Justice League International, where he served for many years.

Ted had been mostly retired recently, until he discovered a sinister plot. None of the major heroes would take him seriously, so he investigated it himself, leading to his tragic murder at the hands of Maxwell Lord, a man Ted thought was his friend.

Since his death, now all the heroes who ignored him then are constantly talking about how awesome he was. It is kinda funny. I liked him a lot BEFORE they killed him off.

Here is why my pal Gene had him #1…

Ted Kord is the best Marvel character DC ever published. In a world where heroes represent a level of perfection that normal people could never attain, Ted always stood out because of his flaws. He was just a regular guy doing his best in the shadow of men of steel, dark detectives and Amazonian princesses. He was even third string as a millionaire when you compared him to Bruce Wayne or Lex Luthor. His personal life was always a mess, his company was always getting blown up and he was the guy Batman always told to stay behind on the ship when he was with the JLI. Ted could never catch a break. Out of every character DC has published, Ted Kord was the guy most similar to you and me, and he’s helped a lot of people view the DC Universe through a set of eyes they can relate to.

And while waiting for Gene’s, here’s why Alanna had him #1 on HER list…

Why is Blue Beetle so awesome?

He’s this guy, you know? He was accepted into Justice League without any powers, just on his smarts. He’s an everyman sort of character, who takes himself to the top. His last mission showed us all what a hero is: someone who doesn’t give up no matter what anyone says. He was dismissed by most of the Justice League, but he saw that something was wrong, and he followed it straight to the source alone. Not only were the readers reminded that this is what heroes do, but when he is killed after being dismissed, the other characters get a lesson in the dangers of ignoring what “c-list” characters have to say. And a reminder that you don’t have to be Superman to be a hero in the DC universe.

With no cool powers, the popularity of this character has to come straight from personality. And he had it in abundance. Ted showed us that not all characters have to be made from the same angst mold that so many of the iconic guys come from. Ted Kord was a character that readers could laugh with (and often at), from his kooky schemes beside his best friend Booster Gold (like Kooey Kooey Kooey), to driving the Martian Manhunter insane with witty banter and oreo thievery. Funny comic books seem so rare these days, that the books who do it, and do it successfully, can really pop out at us as something different and special.

Thanks Gene and Alanna!

14. Starman (Jack Knight) – 376 points (12 first place votes)

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Jack Knight was created by James Robinson and Tony Harris as the unlikely wielder of the name Starman and the famous cosmic rod of Starman.

When Ted Knight chose to retire, his son David was the clear choice. He WANTED to be a hero. Jack did not.

But when David was murdered, Jack had to step up and become the new Starman, which he acquitted himself mightily at for many years, before recently (upon becoming a father) deciding to retire and pass his cosmic rod on to a new wielder.

Here’s Jack Greene on why he had Jack Knight #1…

When they first introduced Jack Knight during Zero Hour back in 1994 I was actually pretty non-plussed by the character. If he was supposed to be a superhero, why didn’t he wear a costume? Also, he didn’t even really want to be a hero. As I’m older now, these qualities would probably make me more inclined to check out the character, but back when I was a teenager in 1994, I had never seen a comic book hero like that up to that point, one that was a reluctant hero. After reading the first few issues, it became apparent that these qualities were major strengths for the character and I really started to love Robinson’s Starman. I also loved the way that Robinson tied Jack Knight into the history of all of the Starman characters that DC had introduced prior to Jack Knight, and made him part of a cosmic brethren of sorts. Jack Knight was a brand new character, but Robinson enriched his book by giving him deep ties into DC’s past. The really great part was that he didn’t restrict these ties to just the Starman mythos, but that he also gave him ties to pretty much the entire DC universe. By making him the son of Ted Knight, you wind up with a vital ties to the Golden Age DC universe and the JSA. You have wonderful supporting characters in Ted Knight, the Mist and the Shade, with guest appearances from former JSAers. By sending Jack Knight into space, you got to see the great, but neglected sci-fi characters from 1950s & 60s DC books like Adam Strange, Space Cabbie and Space Ranger. Plus, Robinson was also able to make good use of the Omega Men, and tie Jack Knight into Superman’s origin. Another reason that I loved the Jack Knight version of Starman was Robinson’s creation of Opal City. Gotham City and Metropolis have been the staple fictional DC universe cities for decades, but Robinson was able to introduce Opal City to the book, give it an interesting history and make it a character in of itself. The addition of Opal City allowed for additional ties into the rest of the DC universe with connections to Scalphunter, the Balloon Buster, and Charity from the old Dark Mansions anthology.

Anyway, to summarize, here are the reasons on why Jack Knight is my favorite DC character.

1. Reluctant hero, no costume, his occupation as a collectibles dealer defined him as much as being a hero did.

2. Excellent use of past Starman stories gave Jack Knight a great connection to numerous parts of the DC universe, and actually made him somewhat of a central character in the DC universe mythos, even if he was somewhat of a minor hero.

3. Jack’s environs of Opal City were a brilliant creation and added immeasurably to the character.

4. Robinson’s creation of Jack Knight paved the way for the reintroduction of the JSA

13. The Question (Vic Sage) – 395 points (4 first place votes)

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Also a Steve Ditko original, Vic Sage was a reporter who , while doing an investigation, discovered a method of creating artificial skin. Sage used a model to make it appear as though his face was blank.

As the Question, he became a force for good in Hub City, as a believer in Objectivism, the Question was one of the more philosophical heroes.

When he came to DC Comics, writer Denny O’Neil took a shine to the character, and wrote a notable series (with Denys Cowan artwork) where Sage took a more Zen approach to life.

More recently, Sage fell ill, and died, passing on the Question mantle to Renee Montoya.

12. Booster Gold – 428 points (7 first place votes)

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Created by Dan Jurgens, Michael Jon Carter was living a dead-end life in the future when he decided to steal some artifacts from a museum he was working at and travel back in time to the 20th century to become a superhero.

Using the artifacts, Carter fashioned himself a superhero suit, complete with a force field, flight and laser beams. Originally meaning to name himself Goldstar, he accidentally answered his nickname Booster (from when he played football) and while trying to change it to Goldstar, instead got tagged with the name Booster Gold.

Booster was obsessed with wealth and fame, using his superhero powers to make him money.

He eventually joined Justice League International, where he became good friends with Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle. The two men had a number of money-making schemes.

Recently, when Kord was investigating some bad events, Booster went to help his friend, but was incapacitated, so was unable to be there when his friend, Ted, was murdered by Maxwell Lord, a man that Ted and Booster thought was their friend (and the organizer of Justice League International).

Even more recently, Booster helped Rip Hunter basically save the entire multiverse, but is now tasked with becoming a watchdog over famous superheroes, traveling through time to make sure that no bad guys kill heroes before they BECOME heroes. To do so, Booster must remain anonymous, so no one will know what he is doing (and thereby draw attention to it). As a result, Booster Gold – the man who loves fame, can tell no one that he is one of the greatest heroes on Earth.

Here is why Fred Berowski had Booster #1…

I guess my love for the character goes back to when I got back into comics (for the second time in my life). I am 30 years old and my first experience in comics ended just before Booster came on the scene. I didn’t pick up a comic again until about 4 or 5 years ago, when my eldest son got into comic books and superheroes.

The first one I picked up was the Death of Superman where Booster was one of the first heroes to race into action against the Doomsday. Shortly thereafter I saw the Booster Gold episode of Justice League Unlimited (ironically where Booster saved the world and nobody knew it) and largely because of those 2 appearances I really began developing a like of the character.

I read more on the history of Booster Gold and to me it seemed that he really had a troubled “everyman” type quality to him (albeit most of us don’t have flight rings, super suits and a little robotic sidekick). I mean who of us wouldn’t want the fame, fortune and adoration of millions that one would expect could come with being a superhero (if they really existed)? He wants all this but also has a good heart which most of his fellow heroes really never saw in him. It has also become quite clear especially in recent issues, that Booster comes from quite a dysfunctional family from his father (whom it appears Booster actually gambled/threw games to help) to his sister to his great- great- great (however many greats that is) grandfather Daniel. I mean, really who of us comes from a family with parents like Ma and Pa Kent?

I really like the conflict that seems to be going on inside him, especially as it was depicted in the OMAC Project and his interactions with Ted Kord.

Booster’s resurgence in the Infinite Crisis, 52 and his own new title have done more to foster my love of the character.

He is clearly fallible, and his banter with Skeets can be quite amusing. I just loved the most recent issue (Booster Gold #2) where he inadvertently lays the ground for the Sinestro Corps War!

My take on Booster is that he has developed into someone who is like all of us. He wants the fame, fortune, women and adoration of millions- he wants to be a celebrity- but he can’t achieve those things and still do what is necessary for him to be the hero he needs to be- he is in a catch -22- and that leads to lots of internal (and external) conflict (and some great banter with Skeets, and now, to an extent, with Rip Hunter). He is clearly fallible, but has a good heart, and he seems to usually try and do the right thing (although he is only human so even when his intentions are noble it ends up blowing up in his face sometimes). I also think its great to see how he ends up kicking himself for doing the right thing sometimes, instead of taking a path that seems to be the way to fame and glory.

Thanks, Fred!

11. Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz) – 438 points (5 first place votes)

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Created by Jack Miller and Joe Certa, J’onn J’onnz was brought to Earth by a scientist who was attempting to communicate with Mars. Tragically, the scientist died soon after J’onnz arrived here, so J’onnz was stranded on Earth. That was not THAT big of a deal, as J’onnz was actually the last survivor of his Martian race.

He quickly acclimated to Earth, and used his power of shapeshifting to appear as an Earthling. Going by the name John Jones, he became a detective. He would also shape shift into a form of his actual alien form (although more human in appearance) and use his other Martian powers (flight, telepathy, strength, heat vision and more) to help fight crime.

J’onnz, as the Martian Manhunter, co-founded the Justice League of America.

He took a good deal of time off from the League, but returned and was a stalwart member of the League, seeing it through the dissolution of Justice League of America and the formation of Justice League International.

More recently, J’onnz has become a bit more wary of Earthlings, and has taken a form that appears more alien-like.

I do not like the new form. It irritates me greatly (as it did a good deal of the voters, as I had more than a few “Before Infinite Crisis” votes for J’onn).

J’onn is currently a member of Batman’s Outsiders group.

Since no one else was willing to write one, here’s a bit by Gabriel Suiter, who has a Martian Manhunter-centered blog, giving us Five Reasons To Love the Manhunter from Mars:

He’s not the best. In an idealized universe like the one found at DC Comics, every major hero has to embody some conception of perfection. This is the American Way, as this nation adores winners, be they Ãœbermenschen or underdogs. J’Onn J’Onzz, despite often being described as “more powerful than Superman,” plainly isn’t. He’s been beaten through the overwhelming force of super-villains and fellow heroes, on to the most minor of thugs armed only with a matchbox. The character makes no pretense about being omnipotent, either. It’s refreshing to see a hero who’s constantly knocked down get right back up again and keep chugging along with the full knowledge he’ll be getting knocked right back down again and again. He’s heroic in a very European fashion, fully conscious of his faults and limitations, without the slightest hint of self-pity, and braced to take on whatever comes his way to the best of his abilities.

He’s not popular. Yeah, he made it to the 11th place in this year’s “Comics Should Be Good” ranking of DC characters, but the guy not only doesn’t have his own book, but often doesn’t appear in any book on a given month. He’s delightfully underexposed. You will never be forced to buy weekly installments of a Manhunter comic written by committee using often underwhelming “talent.” You will never be subjected to an obligatory, undercooked crossover event starring the Alien Atlas where he proves how great he is by making other characters seem comparatively lame. You will not be exposed to a silly live action television series centering on the adventures of the Martian Marvel when he was a mopey teenager, nor a series of overproduced but underwhelming feature films. You will rarely even meet anyone who knows that J’Onn J’Onzz ever had nicknames like “Martian Marvel” or “Alien Atlas.” Urban youths will not begin to carve the Martian “pie” into their hair, and you will never be cut off in traffic by some jerk with a Manhunter symbol bumper sticker. Writers can go places with J’Onn J’Onzz prohibited for “popular” characters, and artists need not cleave their representations of him to a rigid style guide. The Manhunter from Mars doesn’t belong to licensors and middling tastes, but to fans and creators.

He’s a geek. His “girlfriend” really wasn’t. He not only doesn’t get babes, but doesn’t even seem to want them. He’s way more into science, religion, and philosophy. He pays lip service to “normal” life, but he’s obviously all about his “campaigns,” even when hidden among the mundane. He’s awkward and freaky looking, prone to wearing ill-fitting and poorly considered costumes that too often expose parts of his body better kept under wraps. His kid sidekick was a naked toddler with antennae. You’ve never heard of his rogue’s gallery, but it consists of a mad scientist, a fat spy, and a knick-knack. While he’s worked with all the big names, he’s just as prone to spend time with the biggest losers in comics. He’s got a tons of squandered potential. He’s one. of. us.

He could be worse. He’s a telepath, but he had nothing to do with those League mindwipes, and wouldn’t even invade the sanctity of Maxwell Lord’s villainous mind to know there was a serpent in his midst. He can turn invisible and intangible, but still takes a beating in every battle so that other heroes can claim all the glory. He can stretch and assume the form of any object, but abstains so that guys like Elongated Man and Plastic Man aren’t rendered redundant as teammates. He can fire laser beams from his eyes, but will not kill a living soul, not even his worst enemy. J’Onn J’Onzz has so many powers, that every time he chooses not to abuse them, he’s all the more heroic in his restraint and respect for others.

He’s a Communist. Seriously, the guy believes that everyone is equal, and that they should work to the best of their ability while taking only what they need. If you’re a thieving fourteen-year-old runaway and you want to be a super-hero, he’ll let you join the Justice League of America. If you’re a murderous scheming running dog capitalist who pretends to have a change of heart and support super-heroes while really plotting against them, J’Onn will take your money and give you a say in defending the planet. If you’re his nemesis, a world-conquering tyrant who’d gleefully level cities while draped in the U.N. flag, but now want to become a young hero in training, J’Onn will take you under his wing. The Manhunter would prefer to work with dregs like Vibe than the self-aggrandizing Guy Gardner, who feels he’s better than other heroes and deserves more for his efforts. J’Onn J’Onzz does not discriminate according to age, race, faith, or any other distinction aside from those who wish to take more than they give or assume power over others. Most of all though, he gives of himself entirely, regardless of the consequences, for the common good. While he had a tragic circumstances tacked on to his origin in the late 80′s, his motivation isn’t based around any personal loss. While he didn’t choose to come to Earth, once here his choice was made clear from his very first appearance. “Earth is far behind Mars in many ways– but this is natural, since it’s a younger planet! But this evil they have– called crime… Mars once had crime– centuries ago! Until the Great Evolution, we had wicked men who preyed on the good. But our enlightened science made crime obsolete! There seems to be much crime here– so perhaps, while I am stranded on Earth, I can help the Earthlings by fighting this crime!” The Martian Manhunter isn’t out there fighting the good fight due to some obsessive fixation, but out of a sense of social justice and moral
obligation.

It’s textbook socialism of a type humans can’t muster because hey, we’re only human…

That’s it for today!

More on Monday!

46 Comments

428 first place votes! Go, Booster!

Yay! J’Onn placed!

Surprised Ted didn’t place higher given his recent upsurge in popularity. At least I’m surprised he didn’t place higher then Booster.

Really wish I hadn’t missed out on voting on this. Seen 5 of the 10 that would have been in my Top Ten DC characters so far. Guessing Barda and Kilowog are officially out now.

Martian Manhunter’s a solid well established heavy hitter- i think JLA, I always think of Martian Manhunter as he’s been in the majority of its incarnations.

The two characters from 52 though – The Question and Booster Gold are they there because of their established history and characterisation, or purely because of their prominence in the aforementioned weekly series?

Love the fact that Booster was originally called Goldstar.

I was surprised by Starman’s high placing although Jack’s reasons why he’s awesome have cleared that up.

Don’t a lot of these guys seem relativly obscure for being in the top 15? I mean, I’m not a huge DC fan, but I could, say, recognize all of the Green Lanterns. But while I’ve heard of all of these names, I have no freaking clue who Booster Gold or Starman are.

Hell yeah! Blue and Gold in the top 15!

“I have no freaking clue who Booster Gold or Starman are.”

Then you’re in for a treat, since Starman is one of the best comic series ever written. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

And I’m glad to see my man The Question place so highly. I was starting to fear him not showing up on the list at all.

Holy crap!

I had pretty much given up on Booster making the list, because I figured there was no way he’d make it this high!

Excellent. Not my #1 and #2 DC characters have made the list– Constantine and Booster.

I mean to say “NOW my #1 and #2…”

I’m sure there are a lot of people who voted for the Question and Booster after exposure to 52… however, there are also those of us who loved the Blue and Gold from reading JLI in the ’80s.

Does anyone remember Booster and Blue Beetle (along with Captain Atom) from the Extreme Justice series? If you haven’t read it try the comic.

Oh yeah… Blue and Gold were my #1 and 2 votes, respectively. I can’t believe I forgot that…

LOL! My #10(Booster) is ranked the highest thus far, with my #4(Kyle) and my #2(Impulse) ranking far lower.. I wonder if that means that I like DC characters in directly opposite fashion than most fans do in general lol….

Now this was a fun list.

And yes, plenty of us (fondly) remember the Question and Booster from the 80s. Not all the voters are 20-something.

This is the first batch to include characters on my list — Vic and J’Onn. I think they were both in the middle. Jack was in my 11-15 range and Ted and Booster were both in the 16-20 range. Starman is on my top five series lists, however. And it led me to put The Shade (now that it’s clearly too late for him to appear) at #2. (I’m starting to wonder about several folks on my list that I considered shoo-ins.)

I’m going to quibble with Vic’s origin, however. Without cheating with Wikipedia or my back issues (and thank goodness I never considered getting rid of the 80s series considering how popular he is now; people are probably even paying for L.A.W.), it was his older scientist friend (Tot?) who invented the plastic. And Vic had to start using it when he was ‘killed’ by mobsters – or whomever he was exposing – and dumped in the ocean. A la Jim Corrigan. To disguise the fact he survived the hit.

OK, only ten left to go. Who does that leave? Not necessarily in this order, I bet they are …

1. Batman
2. Superman
3. Wonder Woman
4. Green Lantern (Hal)
5. Flash (Wally)
6. Green Arrow (Ollie)
7. Oracle (Batgirl/Barbara)
8. Robin (Tim)
9. Nightwing
10. The Joker

Could there be anyone else in the Top Ten? I don’t think John Stewart’s gonna make it along with Hal. Hawkgirl’s a possibility, given her strong characterizations in both JSA and the JL cartoon.

Side note: I think almost all of my Top Ten picks made the list. I had a couple villains in there (not counting Catwoman as a villain), and of them, I’d say I had the most hope for The Riddler to rank, but that’s not gonna happen now. But all my heroes made it, or clearly will make it. (At least I think so. To be honest, I’d have to double-check my list … not sure where I put it, and its too early on a Saturday morning to fully recall my lower five choices.) If there were one character I wish I’d remember to have voted for, it’d be Amanda Waller. Who didn’t make the cut at all. Sorry, Wall.

Beyond the fun of figuring out who didn’t make the Top Fifty, the real fun now comes in handicapping the precise ranking of the remaining ten. How far up does the Joker go? Does Robin beat Nightwing? Does GL beat Flash? Does WW crack the Top Three? Place your bets, people!

Interesting that Ted and Vic seem more popular dead than alive. I think a few years ago, neither character would have charted so high. I think it would be interesting if a list like this was done annually, and the average ranks of chracters were taken into considration. Black Canary was my #2, but I am sure there are a few people who voted on her based on the wedding and her recent exposure, helping her rank higher.

About that Top Ten prediction: I remain (stubbornly?) hopeful that the tiresome Supergirl will not make the cut. Not only because she’s just a boring copycat character but especially because DC’s done such an ass-backward job of reinventing her. What a miserable character.

And, hey, Eric: I’m a big BC fan too (she was my #3), but I bet her ranking has more to do with Simone and the Birds of Prey than the recent wedding. Ten years ago I bet she wouldn’t have cracked the top half of the list. What would be really interesting — if this list becomes an annual thing — is to see if the Canary co-headlining a monthly (with her name in the title) pushes her even higher in a year or two. (If, of course, DC gets a decent writer on the thing. Oh Gail Simone, why can’t you write Dinah AND Diana?)

I’ll have to doublecheck but I’m pretty sure it was Joe Samachson, not Jack Miller, who co-created J’onn with Certa. Miller took over the scripting chores on the series early on but Samachson wrote the first few episodes.

Rebis, you list is probably the correct one, but I would love to see it go like this:

1. Batman
2. Superman
3. Wonder Woman
4. Green Lantern (Hal)
5. Flash (Wally)
6. The Blue Beetle (Jaime Rayes)
7. Static Shock
8. Robin (Tim)
9. Captain Boomerang (Owen Mercer)
10. The Joker

Ooh. That’s a fun batch. All 5 of these are, at their best, some of the most fascinating characters in fiction. Also, I think it’s a testament to DC (I really do) that so many of these “obscure” characters are loved by so many of the hardcore fans.

If you look at the Marvel installment this time, they’re all iconic characters who have appeared in movies and have name recognition to the general public. The DC list is made up of characters who have been handled so well by certain writers that they’ve become fan favorites.

Interesting that The Question and Rorschach both made the list.

You know, it really warms the heart to see Ted and Michael this close to each other on the list. It’s also pretty amusing to see them right behind J’onn, considering how aggravated he always got when they were around back in the JLI. Come to think of it, we’ve had most of the JLI mainstays on the list (Mister Miracle, Guy, Beetle, Booster, and J’onn). The only two missing are Fire and Ice. Sadly, I really don’t see either of them making the top ten (I know they weren’t even on my list).

I’m still holding out hope for The Wall.

Booster was my #1! Glad to see him rank so high. I’m a “20-something” but grew up reading the Booster Gold original series as a young kid (I think I was 5 or 6 when I bought the first issue). I don’t even get any DC books anymore and didn’t know he had recently had a big return. I’m very happy for his place.

Martian Manhunter was also on my list.

Well 2 more of my top ten have hit the list–
#2 Blue Beetle & #8 the Question. (That’s where I ranked them.)

But this installment of 5 is also the strongest one so far-I like all 5 characters, Booster & J’onn received strong consideration for my list. (And if it had been a top 15, they’d have been on it–for that matter if I’d done the list the day before or after–they may have been on it.)

I would surprised if more than 1 of the other 5 I voted for appear in the top 10, and very shocked if that 1 doesn’t.

We will be seeing Lobo in the top ten (not a fan, but I predict it).

I am surprised we haven’t seen Adam Strange (at least I don’t think we have).

I’m not a huge fan but I always gathered he had a bigger following.

My DC list is doing better than my Marvel one, with 7 people making it (J’onn, Aquaman, Rorshach, Animal Man and my “Vertigo 3″ Sandman, Constantine and Swampy).

Not hopeful about seeing Dr. Manhattan.

More optimistic about Batman (call me crazy).

That’s #15-11? They all seem like 2nd or 3rd tier characters to me.

But what caracters they are–they may not be Big Guns–but they have a way of endearing themselves to readers–and that’s a big part of what makes them deserving.

Six of my ten have hit now, and here I thought my list was pretty eclectic. I’d put money on Tommy Monoghan still showing up. I think Amanda Waller has a chance, but I fear Enemy Ace and Paul Kirk are history.

You really think Tommy might make it?

I wish I could share your optimism. I’ve been rereading Hitman, and I’m pretty certain it’s the best thing Ennis has ever done. Yes, I do mean better than Preacher.

I think on a list that includes Preacher, Question, Constantine, Rorschach and Ambush Bug, Tommy HAS to be there. I am surprised to see him so high up, though. It’s actually harder for me to imagine that characters like Supes, Bats, Robin and WW are anybody’s favorites. It’s the quirky and cultish things that tend to make the kind of emotional connection that leads to being THE favorite. I doubt Citizen Kane is many people’s all time favorite movie, but I know Caddyshack is. Superman may be on everybody’s list, but I bet Tommy is at #1 on dozens of them, and the way the points are awarded, I’m sure he’s comng soon.

This is the best grouping of characters we’ll see in this list. Had I voted, the Question would’ve been my #1, Beetle, J’onn and Jack Knight would’ve charted, and Booster would’ve just missed the cut.

I’m also very pleased that Constantine, the Spectre and Mister Miracle made the Top 50. It removes some of the sting from realizing that Sgt. Rock’s not going to make it.

Vincent Paul Bartilucci

September 22, 2007 at 4:35 pm

So far, five of my DC favorites have made the list and I suspect two more will make the Top Ten. That’s 70% percent of my favs in the Top Fifty – only slightly better than the 60% I predict for the Marvel list.

My longshots on the DC list were Sunboy, Vixen, and Ray Palmer (c’mon people!) If we’ve already seen Carter, I doubt we’ll see Ray place higher.

The JLI love still confounds me. Just as it did when the series was first published. Ah well, different strokes and all that …

Hmm, can’t see Connor, Roy or Mia making the list now. I am surprised by some of the earlier picks beating all three of them out (especially characters I hadn’t even heard of) but I always do tend to like the less popular characters.

“All 5 of these are, at their best, some of the most fascinating characters in fiction.”

This is hyperbole on your part, right?

Huh. I would never have guessed 12-15 would be this high. I mean the QUESTION?

(Who is awesome, sure. And I might have voted for him. But not ‘zactly a super high profile character.)

Guess this means Mon-el made the top ten. Cool.

Right?

Hello?

And while I’m here, let me just say that Booster Gold was the one JLI character that always left me cold.
And Starman? #14?
Come on Mon-el!

Paul – yes, I suppose it is hyperbole. But I think there are stories with all of them – Booster & Beetle in JLI, J’onn in the Ostrander series, Jack in his entire book, and the Question on JLU – where you can point to them and say “that’s what makes a great character”.

In the case of Booster & Beetle, a great comedy team, but a comedy team that often showed genuine emotion and heart between the jokes.

Huh, kind of a surprising batch to me, though perhaps it shouldn’t be. Three characters who are dead or essentially “defunct” at present. All but one of them have had high-profile exposure recently, though. Pleasantly surprised to see the continuing affection for Jack Knight, who *hasn’t* had much exposure of any sort lately, and has been gone for quite some time.

Bring on Mr. Mind into the top ten. I mean…he’s taken a bite out of all 52 worlds! And he’s got a voice box! And…and…oh bother.

Martian Manhunter is a near miss for me. He’d have very likely been in my top 11 to 20.

A decade later, Starman is still a terrific read– and Booster Gold’s popularity may be at an all-time high.

If you look at the Marvel installment this time, they’re all iconic characters who have appeared in movies and have name recognition to the general public. The DC list is made up of characters who have been handled so well by certain writers that they’ve become fan favorites.

True…then again, you have to consider what made the Marvel characters (save perhaps Nightcrawler) iconic in the first place. I’m guessing being handled well by certain writers is a pretty significant part of their backstories, too. At any rate, both lists show off a pleasantly high ratio of quality vs. pure lunchbox exposure. :)

What I am really liking about the DC list, though, is the high proportion of quirkiness. Marvel’s characters tend toward the operatic, angst-wise; clearly at least some of DC’s are more subtle, maybe a bit more sophisticated.

I really wish I’d have voted. My top 5 DC characters would have been:

1. Robin (Tim Drake)
2. Aquaman
3. John Constantine
4. Wildfire
5. Robin (Stephanie Brown)

Two of my picks have already been seen. And, I’m really not expecting any of the Legion to crack the top 10. I also don’t expect Stephanie to make the list. I swear, I thought I was the only person who liked her until she died and the internet movement to get her recognized as a fallen Robin started.

I still wonder how much of that is because people liked the character, and how much is because Steph was effectively Refrigeratored for a crappy story.

When I first started reading Shooter’s Legion, I loved Sun Boy but it was Wildfire and Timber Wolf who brought me back for more issues. I cringe when people today claim that Timber Wolf on the Legion animated show is “an obvious rip off of Wolverine.”

Anyway, I’m excited that my #1 faves for both Marvel and DC are almost certainly in the top 10, and I’m interested to see where they place.

Theno

I loved when Wolverine met Fang (Timber Wolf’s equivalent in the Imperial Guard), and ripped off his costume.

I can see Blue & Gold and the Question, and am glad too. Love em all.

Starman ? Very surprising. Great run, but we haven’t seen the character in a while and I’m really amazed he’s ranked at all let alone this highly.

Ok, I would’ve lost this bet for sure : Martian Manhunter at # 11 ?! Lower tier or maybe even middle tier, but # 11 ? That’s truly amazing. Another instance of a great supporting team character that can’t hold their own title, not unlike Nightcrawler, the Vision, Hawkeye, etc.

Anybody wanna bet on Batman being # 1 ?

I can’t believe this list….

Blue Beetle was #1 on my list and Booster wasn’t far behind. :D Here’s to my hope that Booster succeeds and Ted gets a second chance at life soon. MM has always been a favorite and I’ve always really liked Question. So bravo, and I’m glad for Starman too. :) My DC list is almost complete… just a couple outstanding at this point. Well, three, except I can’t remember if the third one ended up just out of my ten. …

Whoops, #2. I decided to boost another character. :) Just checked my list..

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