O Say Can You See: The Greatest Patriotic Super Heroes of All-Time
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!).
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…
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