Who's your favorite superhero and why?

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Q99
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Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Q99 » 2018-07-13 06:07pm

Simple question- there's a lot of heroes around, so I'm curious what various people's answers are.

Can be mainstream, obscure, etc..

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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-13 06:11pm

The one. The only. The God Damn Batman.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-07-13 06:55pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-13 06:11pm
The one. The only. The God Damn Batman.
Ironic that you're quoting one of the worst incarnations of the character there.

-

Still I shall stick with the conventional answers and go with Spider-Man. Why? Because I grew up with the Fox cartoon and bought the british re-prints oh his comic. Which is why I have a fondness for the Ben Reilly version of the character. It was the tail end of the clone saga when I started buying them.

That the Doylist reason. Watsonian, he's a great character. He has the shittiest luck and personal problems and bad press yet always come around doing the right thing, despite it often not being easy. Which is what heroism is all about.
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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-13 06:59pm

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-07-13 06:55pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-13 06:11pm
The one. The only. The God Damn Batman.
Ironic that you're quoting one of the worst incarnations of the character there.

-
Yeah, but its an iconic quote.

But I should probably state my favorite version, since there are so many. So... tie between DCAU Batman and the No Man's Land novelization's.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Majin Gojira » 2018-07-14 12:41am

My top 3 favorite characters can be classified as superheroes, and each represents what I look for in a story.

1) Godzilla - who embodies catharsis. So many times, his smashing things solves problems quickly and simply.
2) Nico Minoru - Who embodies creativity. Her power set is full of it and requires it.
3) Cassandra Cain - Who embodies compassion. "Nobody dies tonight" really says it all.

But all three have those qualities to one degree or another. Creativity, Compassion, Catharsis.
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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Bedlam » 2018-07-14 05:07am

Brainiac 5 from the Legion of Superheroes.

His 'superpower' is being smarter than people while also being a bit of an arse about it and also dating Supergirl.

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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Tribble » 2018-07-14 07:12pm

For me at the moment it's probably the Doctor, and his speech in "The Doctor Falls" is a pretty good summary of why I like the character:
"Winning? Is that what you think it's about? I'm not trying to win. I'm not doing this because I want to beat someone, or because I hate someone, or because I want to blame someone. It's not because it's fun. God knows it's not because it's easy. It's not even because it works because it hardly ever does.. I DO WHAT I DO BECAUSE IT'S RIGHT! Because it's decent! And above all, it's kind! It's just that.. Just kind. If I run away today, good people will die. If I stand and fight, some of them might live. Maybe not many, maybe not for long. Hey, you know, maybe there's no point to any of this at all. But it's the best I can do. So I'm going to do it. And I will stand here doing it until it kills me. And you're going to die too! Some day... And how will that be? Have you thought about it? What would you die for? Who I am is where I stand... Where I stand is where I fall. Stand with me. These people are terrified. Maybe we can help a little. Why not, just at the end, just be kind?"
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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-14 07:22pm

Though not usually thought of as such, the Doctor is a superhero by any meaningful definition (then again, "superhero" is very difficult to define- there is pretty much no single criteria that defines every character considered a superhero).

Although now that I think about it... if I had to pick a definition of a superhero, it might be "Someone who could say that speech, truthfully, and mean it." Or someone who could be accurately described by those words.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Raw Shark » 2018-07-28 08:10pm

Daredevil, the only comic I collected consistently as a kid. I was a (nominal) Catholic with a sensory disability named Matt. Sort of a no-brainer. And of course, he's The Man Without Fear, which I've always aspired to be.

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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Q99 » 2018-07-28 09:37pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-14 07:22pm
Though not usually thought of as such, the Doctor is a superhero by any meaningful definition (then again, "superhero" is very difficult to define- there is pretty much no single criteria that defines every character considered a superhero).

Although now that I think about it... if I had to pick a definition of a superhero, it might be "Someone who could say that speech, truthfully, and mean it." Or someone who could be accurately described by those words.
I saw a good argument that one of the things that separates a superhero from a character who is merely powerful and heroic (like, say Harry Dresden or most mythological figures and action heroes) is the presence of a heroic identity. It may or may not be secret, but it's not "Tony Stark, who wears power armor," it's "Tony Stark, Iron Man."

Someone who calls himself "The Doctor" and has no other ID is really straddling the line on that ^^ Like I think you could make the argument that in the early days, and depending on the Doctor, he wasn't, just a wandering do-gooder, but once he wields the name like a title, he's a lot more superhero-ish.

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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Civil War Man » 2018-07-30 12:44pm

I guess one question to bring up is how do you define favorite, because that can change the answer. In terms of concepts and themes, for example, I'd rank the Incredible Hulk pretty highly, but less so in terms of his implementation since he frequently falls victim to the same cliche as other many massively powerful characters in ensemble casts, where he's often the first one overpowered or incapacitated in order to either establish this new threat as serious or to keep him from trivially fixing the problem.

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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Starglider » 2018-07-30 01:19pm

Squirrel Girl, obviously

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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Jub » 2018-07-30 02:36pm

I was never that big of a comic fan growing up and while I did enjoy the cartoons, none of them ever hit me with the kind of cultural force needed to make an impact. Even later on with things like Teen Titans and now the MCU the traditional cap and spandex crowd just falls a little short. That said, lots of Anime/Manga characters fit the bill at least a little.

So top three heroes, two of which might not count, and one which totally does:

3) Train Heartnet - Black Cat - Uses an alias, is a supernaturally good shot with a custom gun, tragic backstory, raised by the bad guys, redeemed by a lady who later dies. He fits most of the tropes but doesn't really wear a costume and works within an organized system of bounty hunters rather than as a true vigilante.

2) Son Goku - Dragon Ball - Yeah, I know... I know. The thing is he's super, he's a hero, and most of the world has no idea he exists even though he's fought for them, died for them, and saved them on a number of occasions. Probably the furthest from your traditional superhero but if he wasn't from a manga he'd make a fine Avenger or Justice League member.

1) Izuku Midoriya - My Hero Academia - I don't want to spoil too much because the show and Manga are both still far from completing their runs but I will say this. Midoriya and the series itself love superheroes and have a ton of heart. It's very much a western idea filtered through a Japanese lens and it seems to pick the best parts of both worlds.

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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-30 03:26pm

Q99 wrote:
2018-07-28 09:37pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-14 07:22pm
Though not usually thought of as such, the Doctor is a superhero by any meaningful definition (then again, "superhero" is very difficult to define- there is pretty much no single criteria that defines every character considered a superhero).

Although now that I think about it... if I had to pick a definition of a superhero, it might be "Someone who could say that speech, truthfully, and mean it." Or someone who could be accurately described by those words.
I saw a good argument that one of the things that separates a superhero from a character who is merely powerful and heroic (like, say Harry Dresden or most mythological figures and action heroes) is the presence of a heroic identity. It may or may not be secret, but it's not "Tony Stark, who wears power armor," it's "Tony Stark, Iron Man."

Someone who calls himself "The Doctor" and has no other ID is really straddling the line on that ^^ Like I think you could make the argument that in the early days, and depending on the Doctor, he wasn't, just a wandering do-gooder, but once he wields the name like a title, he's a lot more superhero-ish.
That's actually a pretty good definition.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-07-30 05:41pm

Since Batman's my favorite, but there are others that deserve mention, I'm going to expand this to a top five list, plus reasons why:

So, tentatively:

1. As previously stated, Batman. Partly its the cool look, partly its that he's more "realistic" (or at least non-powered), partly its that I find Batman particularly good for exploring certain themes I find interesting, such as the question of when vigilantism is justified and where the line lies between a libertarian vs. authoritarian archetype. Partly its his strict adherence to the no-killing rule (which I consider absolutely integral to the character and the main thing that sets him apart from his villains and makes him a hero). And partly its just because Batman was the first superhero I really got into (thanks mainly to the Nolan films), and he really made an impression.

2. Superman. Superman is of course THE archetypal superhero, and I like the lighter, more idealistic characters. He's also an excellent foil for Batman (such as the lighter hero to Batman's dark anti-hero, the common man to Batman's billionaire from old money, and the embodiment of a more global vision of America as world savior and America as the land of immigrants vs. Batman's embodiment of a more locally-focused hero).

3. Captain America. Again, I like the lighter heroes. I also find Cap conceptually interesting- like most of the biggest superheroes, he embodies a particular concept, in this case a distinctly American one, but the conflict for Cap comes from his being a man out of time, and from how his personification of an idealized America clashes with the reality of what America actually is. I find that very compelling.

4. Wonder Woman. Partly because she is THE iconic female superhero, partly because she is actually more difficult for me to define than the previous three, and that makes her character interesting to try to figure out. And partly, if I'm being honest, because she's gorgeous, even if that's a fairly shallow reason.

5. Buffy Summers. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my all-time favorite shows, and I think Buffy qualifies as a superhero. She was partly inspired by the X-men according to Whedon, and Xander outright calls her a superhero in the second episode. She also fits Q 's definition, as she has the Slayer identity in addition to her "civilian" persona.

Honorable mentions: Skye/Mary Sue/Daisy/Quake (from Marvel's Agents of SHIELD), Batgirl/Oracle, and the Doctor (who as previously discussed, qualifies).

Another who I am reluctant to count as a Superhero, but who I think qualifies as a proto-superhero, is Sherlock Holmes. As a long-time fan and someone who's given a fair bit a thought to the matter (I've actually written a theatrical adaptation of a Sherlock Holmes short story), I think that Holmes exhibits a LOT of the characteristics that are typically associated with superheroes, including:

-Abilities beyond those possessed by normal people (his deductive, analytical, and observational skills).

-Combat prowess (often overlooked due to the focus on his intellect, but book Holmes was nearly as versatile in his skill set as the Batman, and was proficient with firearms and multiple forms of hand-to-hand combat).

-Willingness to act outside the law in pursuit of justice (Holmes commits acts of vigilantism in a number of stories, and will also frequently let a criminal go if he's sympathetic to them or to avert a scandal).

-An iconic costume (yes, I know the costume was an invention of illustrators more than the original text).

-An evil counterpart/evil genius arch-villain (seriously, Moriarty would not feel at all out-of-place to me as a Batman or Superman villain).

-A sidekick (Watson).

IIRC, its pretty well-known that Holmes was a direct influence on Batman, and I think its very fair to say that Holmes is a precursor, perhaps the most notable precursor, of the modern superhero genre.

Edit: I think a big part of what makes a good superhero is having a strong cast of supporting characters, villains, etc. By that criteria, I have to give first place to Batman and Buffy on this list.
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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by NeoGoomba » 2018-08-01 08:51am

It has always been Captain America, simply because he fought for "The Dream" instead of simply just America. That was something I had picked up early on, thankfully, and never bought into the more jingoistic interpretation that some writers and fans imposed on him.
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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Tribble » 2018-08-01 09:23am

Zorro would definitely be on the list for me too; the old black and white movies were among the first superhero movies I saw when growing up, not to mention the Antonio Banderas version. Bonus points for being a direct influence on Batman both in-universe and out, as well asbeing one of the first modern costumed super heroes with a dual identity.
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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Mr Bean » 2018-08-01 10:09am

Jub wrote:
2018-07-30 02:36pm


1) Izuku Midoriya - My Hero Academia - I don't want to spoil too much because the show and Manga are both still far from completing their runs but I will say this. Midoriya and the series itself love superheroes and have a ton of heart. It's very much a western idea filtered through a Japanese lens and it seems to pick the best parts of both worlds.
I second the madman Izuku Midoriya aka Deku because despite having the powers of that worlds Captain American/Superman he still thinks like a Batman type character as despite the fact he's likely the strongest person on the planet these days (Minus the fact that going 100% will utterly destroy his body because he can't control that power) he still thinks tacitly constantly because he is constantly thinking of how amazing his opponent's quirk is.

Something the anime has already demonstrated is our boy Deku never leaves ANYTHING on the table, he takes and learns from everyone. To give some comparison if he were teleported to the DC universe in Superman's body I'd say within the week he'd be asking Batman to train him in hand to hand (along with asking for an autograph the fanboy that he is) combat. He developed that analytical ability after fanboying over his favorite heroes and the fact he has great power has not dimmed that in the slightest.

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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Q99 » 2018-08-01 08:58pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-07-30 05:41pm
4. Wonder Woman. Partly because she is THE iconic female superhero, partly because she is actually more difficult for me to define than the previous three, and that makes her character interesting to try to figure out. And partly, if I'm being honest, because she's gorgeous, even if that's a fairly shallow reason.
I'm a huge Wonder Woman fan, and ultimately she boils down to, in my mind, truth and compassion. More than any other hero, she tries to rehabilitate villains- she fights for peace, but the 'for peace' is huge in her mind, and once she's stopped someone, she wants to talk to them and get them to change. Or talked to them while fighting often enough.


I'm less of a fan of the more grr warrior takes (... which almost every Elseworld dives into), yes she fights, and she enjoys it, but she doesn't fight to hurt as a goal, she simply enjoys the challenge, and IMO a sword should be a backup weapon mostly for robots and monsters, while her lasso should be the main weapon.


Also, some of the gold and silver-age weirdness of Paradise Island was great ^^

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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-08-02 02:23am

Hmm, favorite overall Superhero?

Probably Batman or Green Arrow, depending on the day. Green Arrow is more fun, and has the better attitude. If you're doing a Batman story, it should more than likely be a detective story, or as a strategy story. That's quite a spectrum to run in, so it gives Batman a lot of latitude in how the story is told. However, I prefer him when he is being the detective and figuring things out, or executing a long-term plan to deal with the problem. As opposed to blindly beating up muggers, only seeming to deal with the top layer. It's best for the character that since he is supposed to be a great tactical mind, that he isn't only dealing with the top layer, but with the causes as well. This is something some writers gloss over, which results in problematic interpretations.

Oddly, I want something different in my Green Arrow. I want him to be swashbuckling. He should feel like a 1930s serial hero at times, making quips, doing stunts, having a ball, while at the same time putting serious effort into reforming the city on both ends, as both a billionaire and a hero. Him pursuing a few muggers can be seen as him enjoying the moment, and I can enjoy that vicariously. What makes this different from Batman is that there doesn't seem to be any cruelty from his shooting a boxing glove arrow into a mugger's face while they're trying to rob an old lady. It also appeals to the romantic, in an intentionally retro vigilante is cleaning up the city while being vastly progressive in his efforts towards the downtrodden. This is why I don't mind him dealing with the top layer. Ollie isn't as brilliant as Bruce, but he is already working on the problem.

Superman is a personal favorite, because Clark is that nice. It's always good to have a paragon, someone to look up to, who you can see doing the right thing, because other's suffering eats at him. That, and his romance with Lois is very iconic and something that has always seemed to work. I also enjoy the part of his character that just loves to sit down, enjoy some food, and write, because that's his way of relaxing after working to save the city/world for hours. It's his way of staying sane after constantly helping everyone. It shows that while he is Superman, he does have mental limits, and just needs some time to himself occasionally.

The Rocketeer. Like Green Arrow, swashbuckling action is a draw for me. Whereas the other heroes are in the modern era, Rocketeer works best if they stay in the 1930s/1940s. Seeing a man with a rocket fighting Nazis in Hollywood while paling around with the likes of Groucho Marx always makes for fun reading.
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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2018-08-02 06:11am

Hugh Dawkins (alias "Tasmanian Devil").

As for why? My inaugural forum post provides a clue:
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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-08-02 06:59am

Since I've started reading her recently, I'll put a word in for the modern Ms.Marvel, Kamala Khan, who is a really fun optimistic take on the young hero dynamic.
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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-08-02 05:13pm

I've a soft spot for Green Lantern, but largely that's thanks to Geoff Johns. Other authors' interpretations have been distinctly lacking.

Mainstream Marvel: Captain America is up there. Though I have a certain regard for Iron Man as well. Spiderman has some good stories, but since he's pretty much the butt-monkey of the Marvel Universe, most of his stories tend to focus on how badly the universe can screw him in the long run, and that just gets kinda sadistic after awhile. I enjoyed the modern run of Nova that started in the mid or early 00s, the one with Richard Ryder. That went through some serious Cosmic Marvel events and was pretty good.

Mainstream DC: Superman is an easy one, but Swamp Thing is what really pulled me into the DC Universe. Maybe he's not a good fit for 'mainstream', but Moore's arc was pre-Vertigo (at least initially). Batman I tend to like on a story-by-story basis, some of his arcs are really good, others are mediocre. Likewise Superman.

Other comics: Sandman and Lucifer from Vertigo Comics are pretty darn near the top. Of course, one of the Endless and the literal Devil may not qualify as 'superheroes'. Sandman Mystery Theatre was also quite good. Most of the single issue stories from Planetary, though that's cheating as they weren't typical superheroes.

...mmm, I think the theme here is that I'm more interested in good writing than the characters themselves necessarily...
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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-08-02 05:54pm

Iron Man has a certain appeal for me, but that appeal derives mostly from Robert Downey Jr's performance. Since that was basically my introduction to the character, I don't know how it is for those who read the comics first, but basically, film Iron Man is an obsessive, arrogant, irresponsible ass. RDJ is just a good enough actor to make him also a sympathetic, entertaining ass.
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Re: Who's your favorite superhero and why?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-08-02 06:30pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-08-02 05:54pm
Iron Man has a certain appeal for me, but that appeal derives mostly from Robert Downey Jr's performance. Since that was basically my introduction to the character, I don't know how it is for those who read the comics first, but basically, film Iron Man is an obsessive, arrogant, irresponsible ass. RDJ is just a good enough actor to make him also a sympathetic, entertaining ass.
Again it's a matter of who's writing the character.

So, he's been all over the place with various authors. There are a few key points about Tony that remain consistent: he's wealthy as all fuck, he's really smart (but not always a supergenius-level intellect), he's handsome, and he has some fairly severe character flaws, most notably alcoholism. He's not entirely self-made-- it's a historic point that his father began his company-- but the Iron Man suit is pretty much entirely his baby. The modern incarnation of Iron Man is more or less an artifact of the late 90s-early 00s, pretty powerfully influenced by the Ultimate Universe version and the 4th run of Iron Man (which largely defined the modern look thanks to Adi Granov's artwork). That's where the "arrogant irresponsible ass" aspect of the character comes from, for the most part.

Honestly I'm more a fan of the older incarnations of Tony, pre-mid-90s or so. That version tended to have a little more responsibility, focused a little more on using his suit and technology to do good, and was okay being a part of the Avengers team rather than being a leading character. Other guys were stronger leaders and he was okay with that.

I suppose the real change that drove all this was Stark coming out with being Iron Man. Generally the fact that he was the superhero wasn't publicly known until he came out in the mid-late-90s or so IIRC, one of the first characters to prominently do so. Conveniently, he was insulated from most repercussions due to being rich and famous. After that, he tended to start driving his own things and trying to be more prominent in the superhero world.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

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