Alright, I’m not going to pretend that Wolverine is one of my favourite characters. But I it’s not that Logan is a bad character, let’s face it, this guy is awesome. Rather, I think it’s just a matter of Wolverine being too popular. This guy is everywhere, in every single X-Men movie and TV series, and shows up in a preposterous amount of comic book titles.
When this character died in the comics last year, I was so relieved. I just needed a break from Logan. When I see Wolverine, I want to be pumped and excited, not tired and annoyed. Because before I got sick of him, I did love this guy. Logan is the ultimate badass. He’s a deadly killer with a heart of gold.
What’s interesting about Logan, and why people like him, is because he’s kind of a combination of what’s good about the Hulk and Deadpool. Wolverine is a symbol of our own repressed fury and rage. Like the Hulk, he represents a lot of our own desires, our need to scream, drink, and fight. And like Deadpool, he gets some of the best lines in the story and is tormented by a dark and complex past.
And what a story of triumph over adversity. Like so many characters on this list, Wolverine fights against his own flaws and shortcomings to become one of the most true and morally grounded heroes in the Marvel Universe. It’s funny to think that one of the most aggressively violent characters in Marvel grew into this father figure and source of support among so many people in the X-Men, but that’s exactly what came to pass. And it never felt forced. After all the darkness and death, Logan managed to take his life and turn it into a force for good. And when you think about how he joined the Avengers and started the Jean Grey School, he’s actually one of Charles Xavier’s best students. I don’t think there’s another X-Man who has done as much as Logan for fulfilling Xavier’s dream of unity, and that’s pretty astounding considering the guy’s, um, murderous ways. I’m surprised he didn’t do better, to be honest. Wolverine really is one of the best.
Well I’m proud to say that the Flash takes the number four spot, and for most of you, this will probably be the last surprise on this list. It’s not so much surprising that the Flash did well with voting, but I was very impressed by just how well he did. I mean, he beat Wolverine. WOLVERINE!
It’s crazy, and just so awesome. The fact that Barry did so well is also a great sign for something that I think writers forget all too often. Barry has never been a character associated with a great deal of angst. Yes, Allen has had a tragic life just like pretty much every super hero. But through all the adversity he still strives to be a nice person and role model for the community.
He’s a powerful, competent hero, but one who doesn’t take himself so seriously. In any team or story, Barry stands out as a source of comedic relief, but also of morality and teamwork. I think a lot of people relate to this guy too. He’s not perfect, but he makes for an easy person to root for and see overcome whatever obstacle gets in his way. So I get why he’s so popular, but for somebody who has rarely appeared outside of comic books and the current TV show, it’s amazing that he did so well, and a true testament to why he’s such an appealing character.
Well, from here on out, the choices are going to be a little more predictable and a lot more obvious. Superman takes number three, and it seems pretty straightforward to me as to why. And I think his popularity owes to similar reasons as to why Captain America is great. These two are distinct characters, sure, but they represent a certain ideal within us all. Clark may be an alien but deep down he represents the best humanity has to offer and devotes his tremendous power to ensuring the safety of others. Superman represents a certain inner power and greatness that makes him a valuable character and one of the most important in the DC universe.
Plus he’s the classic example of a true super hero. A man with astounding power, there are few others quite as super as this one. Plus there are so many great moments with this character. When in the right creative hands, there really isn’t quite anything like reading a good Superman comic. He’s inescapably one of the greatest and most iconic characters of all time. Even outside of comics, Superman has had a profound impact on art, culture, language, and ideas. So yes, this guy is one of the best, and deserves his place at number three.
Well for those who are paying attention, Spider-Man’s spot at number two all but guarantees who is going to be number one. But taking this spot is no small feat, and I’m happy one of my favourite characters did so well. I always knew that this guy was going to rank and he was going to rank high, so it’s no surprise that he took this spot. Spider-Man is one of the best super heroes out there. He’s a relatable hero with some fun powers, a good personality, and has an appealing story almost everyone can relate to.
There’s no need to explain him, because everybody here knows Spider-Man. Everybody can empathize with his struggles and feel empathetic for his grief, and he’s got a great spirit amongst his peers, delivering fun quips or insightful comments. Few people out there actively dislike this character, and for good reason. The comics and collective media have showcased Peter through his early stages as a high school student turned amateur superhero, to a big time Avenger and champion of the people, and Spider-Man has made us fans at each step along the way.
There was so much love for Spider-Man. Some people just voted for this guy, and only this guy, because he is so many people’s obvious and only favourite superhero. He lives up to that title like the best of them, and it serves as a lesson to all of us about responsibility and helping others. But throughout the process of calculating the votes, it got close, but Spider-Man was never quite in the lead over number one. No, from start to finish, there was one clear, outright winner.
From the first to the final votes I counted, Batman never swayed from first place. The clear and overall favourite amongst our viewers is The Dark Knight himself. And you can’t really blame viewers. First place or not, Batman was more likely to show up in people’s list over anybody else. And it’s hard to dispute this. Batman is one of the coolest superheroes. His design, style, and philosophy allowed for the entire public to open up to the idea of superhero fiction not just being reserved for children. It was this character more than any other that taught us there’s more to superheroes than just selling products to kids. You can tell heartfelt and artistically valid stories, that can be taken seriously by readers of all ages, while also opting for genuine fun and action as well. I love Batman in all his flavours. Whether as a more amusing Silver Age hero with campy storylines and hilarious overtones or as a dark, brooding Avenger like in the best Barman graphic novels, it always works for me. It’s a great story, a great character, and one that resonates with the public more than any other hero.
And I think there’s some validity to Batman actually winning this. Yes, to a degree this list was just a popularity contest. That’s kind of the point. But I actually like the idea of Bruce Wayne, a man with no powers of any kind, wins the title of best hero. This isn’t a contest of who is the most powerful, or who the nicest person is; this is who makes for the best superhero. And Batman, a person handed a sad life, pursued a life of heroics instead of despair. He chose action over inaction, worked hard, and used his vast fortune not to live a selfish life but to help others. To ensure nobody would have to face what he did as a child. In a lot of ways, that does make him one of the best heroes. Sure, most superheroes choose a life of helping others, but for Batman it feels like much more of a choice. If you’re given powers, it seems natural to use them and wasteful to assume a civilian life. But Batman was never given anything. He earned his powers and the ability to call himself a superhero. So there is some justification in calling Batman the very best.
I’m not saying he’s my very favourite of all superheroes, but I get it. He’s cool and, according to our fans, the greatest hero of all time. And I like this sentiment, I really do.
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