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2011 Top DC Characters #17-15

After nearly 1,400 ballots were cast, YOU the reader ranked your favorite comic book characters of all-time from 1-10. I assigned point totals to each ranking and then tabulated it all into a Top 50 list. We’re now revealing that list throughout September. Here is the master list of all the characters revealed so far. The countdown continues…

17. Superboy (Conner Kent) – 938 points (11 first place votes)

After the Death of Superman, four being showed up that people confused for being the return of Superman. One of those beings turned out to be the CLONE of Superman, only taken out of his development before maturation finished, so the clone was still a teenager. Eventually going by the name Superboy, this clone was a brasher version of Superman, with powers that worked more based on telekinesis than actual Kryptonian powers (the clone was cloned from half Superman DNA and half human DNA). After an impressive solo career on the island state of Hawaii, this young hero (who had long been given the Kryptonian name of Kon-El by Superman) moved to Smallville and began living with Superman’s adopted parents, the Kents. Here he adapted Kon-El to Conner Kent, and began wearing a new costume (originally he wore a leather jacket – now it was a black T-shirt with a Red S on it and blue jeans). He became a member of a newly reformed Teen Titans and developed a relationship with Wonder Girl. However, he soon discovered that the human half of his DNA was from Lex Luthor!!! Luthor then showed that he had put in some failsafes in Superboy’s DNA, and he was able to turn Superboy against his teammates. Superboy eventually fought this off. However, it was only in time to sacrifice himself to help save the world from an insane version of Superboy from another universe. Luckily, he was able to return to life in an adventure involving the Legion of Super-Heroes, and he returned to Smallville as a local hero (in the tradition of Superman as a teen hero named Superboy in Smallville). The New 52 has rebooted Superboy, and the new Superboy is once again a clone of Superman (half Superman/half human) who is developed by an evil organization called NOWHERE that want to use him as a living weapon – will this new Superboy be able to turn away from his creators? Find out (although I’m betting on “yes”)!

16. John Constantine – 953 points (17 first place votes)

Created by the classic Swamp Thing creative team of Alan Moore, John Totleben and Steve Bissette, John Constantine showed up in the pages of Swamp Thing to advise Swamp Thing on supernatural matters, but mostly, he was there to con Swamp Thing into doing stuff Constantine wanted to get done. Luckily for everyone on Earth, Constantine mostly wanted to do GOOD things.

He soon became so popular that he graduated into his own title, which is now the longest running title DC Comics has.

Constantine is basically a con man who uses magic to get his way. One of his most famous deals was when he sold his soul to three separate demons, so when he died, they had to let him return to Earth, less hell go to war over the three battling for his soul.

Constantine mostly does magic as a rush, but he does get a lot of good things done, too. All while usually wearing his trademark trench coat, white shirt and black tie.

After originally being part of the DC Universe proper, Constantine spent years as strictly a Vertigo character with little to no crossover with the “normal” DC Universe. This changed a few months ago at the end of the Brightest Day and continues with Justice League Dark, a brand-new comic book set in the DC Universe that co-stars Constantine as a member of a sort of magician version of the Justice League. It is written by Peter Milligan, who has been doing an excellent job as the writer of the Vertigo version of the character (the Vertigo Constantine will still be cut off from the DC Universe – this will be a “DC Universe” version of Constantine).

15. Lex Luthor – 966 points (2 first place votes)

Possibly the second most famous creation of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Lex Luthor has worn many hats in his years in the Superman titles (and not even to cover his bald head!).

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He’s been a criminal.

He’s been a SUPER criminal.

He’s been the head of an entire PLANET full of people!!

He’s been a battle suit wearing criminal.

He’s been an even BIGGER battle suit wearing criminal.

After Crisis, John Byrne and Marv Wolfman re-molded Luthor as a ruthless billionaire who only Superman knew was a criminal. This Luthor was used to being the biggest deal in Metropolis, so he was quite pissed when Superman took over.

He’s been a younger cloned version of himself.

He’s been President of the United States.

He’s been a crazy nutjob.

He’s been the head of a Society of Super-Villains.

Basically, Luthor has been it all. One of the smartest men on Earth, Luthor is disgusted at the attention people pay Superman, and has spent most of his adult life finding out ways to destroy Superman.

If only he used his genius for good…


He soon became so popular that he graduated into his own title, which is now the longest running title in DC history.

Hellblazer is definitely not the longest running title in DC history–Detective Comics has that distinction, not just for DC but for American comic books, and it would still have that distinction even if it was cancelled altogether–though I could believe that Hellblazer is the longest continuously running, never-renumbered title currently being published by DC. Which is crazy to think about.

“He soon became so popular that he graduated into his own title, which is now the longest running title in DC history.”

I think you mean the longest running of the series that DC currently publishes. I’m pretty sure quite a few series have run longer.

Hellblazer IsNt the Longest running in history

I just wish Superboy would stop being so damn lazy and get his ass a costume. There’s absolutely nothing visually appealing about a black t-shirt and jeans. I wear that every day and nobody thinks I’m cool for it.

Actually, I’m pretty sure I’m just not cool. I just made myself sad…

I’m not feeling too good about my #1 Plastic Man vote.

The Crazed Spruce

September 16, 2011 at 8:20 am

Well, two out of three of them are on my Top 10 list. Sweet!

The stores around here stopped carying DC Comics altogether around the same time Superboy took up the name Connor and he joined the Teen Titans, so I really only know him from the Death of Superman storyline and his time in Hawaii. I didn’t think it was fair to the character to judge him just on that, so I left him off my list. (If I had based it just on what I read, though, he might’ve made it to my Top 20, at least.)

John Constantine was #10 on my list (just edging out Superman!). Sure, he can be an a**hole at times (which is actually part of his charm), but when the nasty s*** goes down, you want him to have your back. (And I don’t care what anyone says, the movie wasn’t half bad, despite seriously miscasting Keanu Reeves as the lead.)

Lex Luthor was #3 on my list. No matter which version you prefer (personally, I favoured the ruthless businessman, with the Silver Age evil scientist a close second), he stood toe-to-toe with a man who could move planets with his pinkie, armed with nothing but his intellect. (And the high-tech weaponry he devised with that intellect, but that’s neither here nor there.) He’s DC’s best villain, and he totally earned that spot.

And out of the 7 left in my Top 10 list, one is a solid lock for the Top 5 (probably even #1), two will almost definitely squeeze into the Top 15 (likely even the Top 10), and the other four more than likely dropped out of the top 50 (including my #1). Can’t wait to see how the rest shapes up.

The Crazed Spruce

September 16, 2011 at 8:21 am

@Jackson J. Edge: I’m betting he does better than my #1 pick, Brainiac 5.

Yeah, I’m a little surprised Brainiac 5 didn’t make the top 50. Looks like Zatanna is my only top 10 pick to make the list.

Hellblazer is now the longest-running continuously numbered title DC has. Or the longest-running currently published title, presuming one counts all instances of renumbering as cancellation/new title, which is a not-entirely unreasonable way to count such things.

Sort of shocked that Luthor didn’t make the top 10. I wonder who will be the highest ranking villain between the two lists? Joker vs. Doom is my new most anticipated revelation left in the countdown.

C’mon, Wonder Tot! I have faith!

i’m shocked Constantine wasn’t in the top 10

Oh yeah, I’m shocked that at least 50 characters aren’t in the top 10.

Okay, so that’s Death, Constantine, Ted Kord, and Animal Man from my list. I’m doing pretty good so far, all things considered. Pretty much guaranteed spots for a couple of my other cotes (Kyle Rayner, Booster Gold, Wally West). I’m sure The Shade, Larfleeze and Count Vertigo won’t get on the list, but que sera sera, eh? I actually am slightly surprised Larfleeze didn”t make the Top 50 (I;m sure there’s not chance he made above 15).

Ronald Jay Kearschner

September 16, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I always thought it was strange that Lex Luthor had the double L of all Superman’s love interests. Now I find out they had a Superboy together. Clark being Superman is the SECOND biggest secret Lois can’t seem to uncover.

I didn’t even WANT to vote for Constantine as my number one, but I couldn’t help it. That’s how manipulative (and magic) he is.

As despicable as he can seem (the suffering he’s inflicted on poor Chaz and his family, not to mention umpteen people who’ve ended up in Hell by being his friend/ally) the guy is so compelling to read about, and you just can’t resist rooting for him as you wait to see how he vanquishes the seriously nasty evil he routinely faces.

I only just read the Mike Carey trades, which only cement my feelings that Hellblazer is just about the most consistently excellent series of the past few decades (plus it’s fun that there’s a series nearing its 300th issue that I was reading at the very beginning).

Speaking of morally challenging characters to like, glad to see Luthor. Love him especially as depicted by Morrison and in Cornell’s Action Comics issues.

Lex Luthor is also a pie thief.

And that’s terrible.

I sort of feel like Brian can maximize the tension by announcing 1,2, and 14 in the next announcement. I’m fairly certain who the top 14 are in some order, but those three are positions are the only ones I feel confident in the exact position.

Also, go Superboy. You’d be the posterboy for how not being dead helps your popularity, except that somebody else is coming.

JC was my #3, and Lex was one that barely didn’t make the cut.

Wait, the new Superboy comes from NOWHERE? He’s the “boy from NOWHERE”? Somebody’s a DMZ fan! Woo!

Constantine was my #3 an dLuthor was on my shortlist.

I can’t see the love for Superboy though

[…] in CBR poll of 2011… Posted on December 19, 2011 by Admin ComicBookResources puts Constantine and Lobo at numbers 16 and 77 in the reader-voted Top 100 DC & Marvel Characters […]

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