Thank goodness Superman isn’t really the last son of Krypton. If that had been held to be unbendable, we never would have got to see various stories showcasing the Kryptonians, whether exploring their culture, history or just being there to challenge Superman.
Their whole back story may have varied over time, but the concept of a race of aliens not too dissimilar to humans but who gain incredible powers under our sun is a great one. With various others appearing over the years to prove that ‘ol Supes isn’t quite as alone as he thought, they always provide entertainment and can set up great drama – whether it’s a long lost cousin, an evil military commander from the Phantom Zone, or a whole lost city being restored. As a race therefore the Kryptonian people can be used to craft great stories, and you only have to look at Superman’s fairly recent run of story arcs involving the restored Kandorians to see how great Kryptonians are in the DC Universe.
Even if you take away the rest of the Kryptonians, you’re still left with Superman and alone he can be really compelling when handled right and worthy of carrying this selection alone.
Ok, I’ll admit this is me pretty much opting out of this choice since nobody really jumps to mind, even when I think a little bit about this. So I decided to go with mutants, despite them pretty much being human and all that jazz. Ah well.
So why are mutants pretty good? Despite being seen by critics as being the lazy way to give people powers and skip the origin story, they’ve been handled pretty well over the years and had their fair share of epic stories involving discrimination from humanity. Not to mention the lovely tagline – ‘humans fear what they don’t understand’, being behind the mass discrimination and hate violence. Without mutants those interesting stories like Days of Future Past and House of M wouldn’t have happened, not to mention we wouldn’t have Sentinels.
Perhaps this choice wasn’t that much of me opting out then after all…
Was fairly limited in scope with this choice I’m afraid, but listing through the few characters I had for this, none of them stood out quite like Fire.
I am fairly ignorant of her character history but whenever I’ve read anything that features her, she has erm, a lot of spirit. In Generation Lost she appears pretty bad ass and determined and I pity whoever decides to get on her wrong side. And in Formerly Known as the Justice League, she was just darn hilarious, with her snide comments and general nastiness over Mary Marvel who was just being damn sweet and innocent. Not to mention, she also had an interesting website called blazingfire.com where she made a lot of money without demeaning herself, conning all the pervs.
So yeah. What’s not to like? She’s definitely one who stands out.
The Human Torch
Going with the old school definition of elementalist here, being someone who controls at least one of the classic elements. This aside, there was then only one real choice for me. And that choice for me is Johnny Storm.
Basically, Johnny is a great character, who can provide humour alone – but especially when combined with his pal Ben Grimm. The relationship between the two is part of the great family dynamic of the Fantastic Four, and makes it a pleasure to read. Away from Ben, Johnny is a great character in his own right, developing over the years to gain greater majesty over his abilities and become more mature. Of course he’s still a hothead by nature so he can make some rash and less than wise choices still, which is why Johnny is always interesting to read about.
His impulsive nature is what makes him such a great character, and I hope he retains his youthful manner and sometimes rash outlook for years to come.
Yeah I do. I remember sitting there in the cinema stunned, not believing what I’d just seen lol.
And then the film turned into a mess. >
Compared to the Marvel choice, this one was simple. I’ve only played a few DC Comics games, and mostly they’ve been fairly naff. The two Justice League GBA games I had entertained me when I was younger, but going back to them they’re pretty poor really, whereas the Batman Begins game for the PS2 was mediocre really. Batman: Vengeance was the only one left I could think of – and then looking at it, I remembered it was pretty fun.
The game was based on Batman from the DCAU, so already; it’s got off to a good start. Add to that the voice cast from the Batman series and you’ve got something made of win already. Oh, and the plot with the Joker really allowed more time for him to shine, which is always awesome. If I can remember, the camera angles were a bit clunky from time to time, but it didn’t detract from the fun as playing as Batman – which you needed to do. This was because there were a variety of enemies which meant you couldn’t just brawl your way through, so you needed to use all your equipment. So yeah, it was a pretty good game.
Additional note: I had this for the Gamecube, but I couldn’t find a decent sized UK box art, so I had to go with the PS2 one lol.
Edit: Oh, haven’t played Batman: Arkham Asylum yet, which presumably will take this spot when(/if) I play it.
I’m actually surprised by the scope of games I had to pick between here. I thought this would be straight forward, but then I remembered Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Spider-Man 2 (the awesome movie one), Marvel vs Capcom 2 and The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. However, I’ve gone for the Spider-Man game for the PS1, arguably giving it the place due to the nostalgia value.
This was the game that really sealed my interest in comics (although I’ve never been that big of a Spider-Fan, which is strange thinking about it), alongside the 90s Marvel cartoons. I remember not actually owning a PS1 or the game but playing it round my minder, whose kids had it. The story was just fantastic, and kept me entertained. I wanted to progress and complete the game not just for the satisfaction of winning, but to find out what happens next. Web swinging, crawling and the combat were pretty darn cool too, and I enjoyed using the codes to unlock the extras on other playthroughs. To add to this, it had a great voice cast – including Stan Lee.
This game was so awesome, I had to get it for my Dreamcast (remember them?).
Justice League Unlimited
This was another difficult choice, because the Batman, Superman and Justice League series were all just as good. However I picked Justice League Unlimited for the variety it offered, meaning it gave the chance to showcase over members of the JLA who I wouldn’t have seen if not for this series. I have fond memories of the Booster Gold episode for instance.
So on top of the extra variety, the theme tune was just as epic and awesome as the one for Justice League, the only difference being the higher tempo, which reflected the change of direction for the cartoon. The story, whether being contained to one episode or being something more grand, was always entertaining and very well done.
JLU therefore, was great. It still allowed the 7 members from Justice League enough screen time to show why they were the elite, whilst allowing other, ‘lesser’ characters screen time, always doing them justice.
The Spectacular Spider-Man
Pretty darn difficult choice here, since there have been quite a few fantastic Marvel cartoons, with the 90s X-Men and Spider-Man series being the choice of many fans. However the most recent Spider-Man series, Spectacular just edges them both for me.
Originally I wasn’t too keen on the theme tune, but after watching a few episodes I appreciated just how great it was. I think this series really benefitted from the Ultimate universe, meaning it was able to adapt the best material and storylines from both 616 and Ultimate. The voice acting was pretty darn snazzy in this too, perhaps even rivalling the cast from the 90s series.
So yeah. Spectacular Spider-Man rocks. Damn it not getting renewed. I reckon there were still some awesome stories to come.
This was an easier choice than my Marvel selection. When you think Batman, besides him being badass and awesome, you think of all of his equipment and technology that he utilises to conduct his mission. The Batmobile is one of the most obvious tools of his trade and one that many people know, being referenced or parodied many a time.
The Batmobile is great because of how it has evolved over time. Like the character, the vehicle has developed, adjusting to the needs of the time and becoming more advanced in order for Batman to conduct his missions and tasks effectively. More than a simple ride, it has multiple uses and tools, with the most noticeable recent adjustment being the ability to hover as pictured above. The continual upgrading of the Batmobile is something that really suits the character of Batman, and this makes it pretty damn snazzy.
The Batmobile. Awesome just like Batman.
The Avengers Quinjet
Wasn’t quite sure what to pick for this, but I settled for the Avengers Quinjet. This is because it has been consistent throughout the numerous incarnations of the Avengers, appearing often to shepherd the team around through the ages.
So why is it my favourite method of transportation? It’s not that original, I’ll give you that, but the key aspect that makes it memorable for me is that has been staple to the Avengers, like Jarvis and the Mansion. Over the ages it developed becoming more high tech and there are now numerous versions easily adaptable for whatever situation they may face – whether deep space travel or submerging the depths of the oceans.
The Avengers Quinjet just screams classic Avengers to me, and that is why it’s my favourite method of transportation.
Superman: Red Son
Once again, I would have liked to have chosen the mainstream universe, but since I was told that it’s the easy choice, I ended up thinking through different worlds I’ve been exposed to. The main elseworlds story that jumped out at me was Superman: Red Son, which I read quite a while ago.
Basically it starts off as being what if Superman had landed in the USSR as opposed to the United States. I’ve seen a few critical reviews that it didn’t stick to this premise really, but from what I remembered, it was an entertaining twist on the Superman mythos and the DC Universe as a whole, with their being appearances by loads of well known characters. I particularly remember enjoying the conclusion to the story, which I won’t spoil for anyone who hasn’t read it.
Ah, the just reminds me that I really need to buy the tpb of this one day soon.
House of M
I was going to go and choose the regular universe for this, but after being criticised I decided I may as well give this some thought. As such, I came to the conclusion that I rather liked the idea of the House of M universe.
Reversing the roles of the traditional reality, this saw a world where mutants had surpassed humans as the norm, and as such were now the first class citizens. In addition to this, the world was run by the royal House of M, leader by Magneto. Having the read the main story and a few tie ins, this reality seemed like a good idea and something different to the countless What if tales since the stakes were much higher in this reality since it was an alteration of the standard universe.
Oh, and the ending to the story wasn’t half bad either.
The Death of Superman
Another choice which I’ve picked due to the scale of impact it had on the wider DC Universe as a whole. I believe it was originally planned to kill Clark off for good, but due to strong sales in the aftermath of the storyline with World Without a Superman it was decided to wrap up the major story arc with Clark’s return.
With developments such as the four replacements that stepped up in his absence, it really sparked much interest and made interesting read. In fact, the death itself was arguably the weakest part of the story arc, with the main story really taking off in Superman’s absence from the world. Overall then, the Death of Superman was really well done and led to lasting changes in the DC world.
The fallout of Superman’s death led to the rise of Steel and Superboy, whilst unleashing Cyborg Superman once more, who has become a major villain. But this was nothing compared to the destruction of Coast City, which changed the face of Green Lantern for years to come. What I love most about Superman’s death though, is that is really highlighted Superman’s importance to the world. And that is why I think the storyline is really memorable.
The Death of Captain America
I suppose this shouldn’t be up there with the likes of Jean Grey’s first death, since we always expected Steve Rogers to come back, but ah well. This was the first major death I thought of, so I guess it must be pretty memorable.
I think what makes this one so different to a lot of other comic deaths I’ve read is that it wasn’t a great hero falling in the line of duty, but Rogers at the mercy of his enemies after surrendering in the Civil War. This strikes me as just being something pretty different to the usual deaths. Additionally, the death itself was turned into a major storyline that stretched out for many issues and into Bucky Barnes adopting the mantle and becoming the new Captain America. I just thought this was really well handled, and made an entertaining and truly absorbing read.
Rogers may now be back, but this is one death that can still be appreciated with its impact on the entire Marvel Universe being clear to see.
Milo Ventimiglia as Kyle Rayner
I had to think quite a bit about this choice. Mainly because nobody particularly jumped out at me as being made for the role. However once Milo came to mind, there was only one person I could see him playing and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
Milo Ventimiglia is most well known for his role as Peter Petrelli in Heroes, whose character dreamed of having the power to be able to help people and do the right thing. In the first (and best) season, we saw Peter come to grips with his abilities, and the steep learning curve he went on whilst trying to save countless lives. He also had moments of self doubt in later seasons. This is not too dissimilar to Kyle Rayner then, who seemingly gained the Lantern ring through nothing but a twist of fate and very much questioned whether he was the right man for that power.
With this in mind, I reckon that Ventimiglia could easily fill the role of Kyle Rayner, with him being forced into a role he never expected or dreamed of having, but soon gaining great command and comfort in his abilities and accepting the greater responsibility. Anyway, I doubt we’ll see Rayner on the big screen any time soon.
Josh Holloway as Gambit
I’m pretty sure many will agree with me on this one. Before X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the rumour mill was running riot about apparent talks between the studio and Holloway over the role of Gambit in X-Men 3. Apparently these fell through due to his other commitments, and the part was removed from the third film. Thank goodness he wasn’t involved in that crap fest. He was involved in the other crap fest of Origins: Wolverine though. D’oh.
Anyway, I would have loved to have seen Holloway as the ragin’ Cajun. From what I saw of him as Sawyer during the first two seasons of Lost that I watched, he seemed perfect for the role. The character of Sawyer after all, was a shady and somewhat mysterious character, who you didn’t quite know where he stood. I know a lot of fan boys online wanted to see Holloway translate this and portray Remy on the big screen in the highly anticipated X-Men: The Last Stand. As it turned out, it wasn’t to be and the film was a shambles.
A real missed opportunity if you ask me. I wasn’t overly impressed with Taylor Kitsch’s portrayal in Origins: Wolverine. I mean all 5 minutes of him just weren’t that satisfying. I would have preferred the character not to be in that film at all. He wasn’t needed at all.
Sam Witwer as Davis Blume/Doomsday
Much harder choice, but I’ve picked Witwer as Blume/Doomsday more so for his story arc and characterisation than anything he did wrong. This is because in terms of his acting, he did exactly the job he was there to do and did it very well.
The main issue I have therefore is that I don’t think he should’ve been there at all. Firstly, because Doomsday should first appear well into Clark’s career once he’s become established as Superman, and secondly, I don’t think they should have gone with the angle they did. For some reason the creators decided to introduce Blume as a man struggling with the beast within. I don’t think that’s what Doomsday is about at all. He’s a monster, created out of rage and torment after countless lives of pain and suffering, and now is a force of destruction. By making Blume a victim holding the beast and giving Doomsday a human face, it changed what Doomsday is. Of course, the twist at the end showed Blume was just as much of a monster, but I don’t think the human side was needed at all. All it did was make him a rampant and evil version of the Hulk.
So yeah. Human side of Doomsday wasn’t needed at all really for me. It diluted what he should have been.
Julian McMahon as Doctor Doom
Had a hell of a lot more to choose from for this choice than the previous, which really shows how much of a geek I am. To be honest, anyone from the Fantastic Four films was in the frame for this.
So why McMahon’s portrayal of Victor von Doom? Because the Doom we got on the big screen wasn’t the Doom I know and love. Doom’s egotistical nature may mean he’s vain, but the Doom in these films adopted the iconic mask not due to facial disfigurement, but a little scar and losing some hair. Eh? On top of that, he wasn’t the Latverian monarch with a lovely accent and a need to prove he is Reed’s superior, but some dweeb with a fancy business who wanted Susan for himself.
His costume wasn’t right either. The 1994 god awful film got it done better – it’s full on armour with a tunic and a cape that screams badass. Not some dressing gown with a hood. Ergh. Oh, and what was with the force lightning?
Damn it all. They pretty much made all the wrong creative decisions with Victor von Doom for these two films, transforming him from a global threat and one of the greatest minds to someone with a petty grudge.
And don’t even get me started on the quality of the plot for the films…
Kevin Conroy as Batman
More of a difficult choice than the Marvel selection due to lack of films, so I decided to turn to the animated universe. There the answer was much easier to pick, being a choice between two. Mark Hamill’s Joker and Conroy’s Batman.
I picked Conroy as he is Batman’s voice for me. I don’t think I usually read many characters with different voices, but whenever I catch myself doing it, it’s Conroy voicing Batman. He just sounds so awesome and can you can hear great intensity in his voice, making it feel like you’re watching Batman in action. Also his scenes where Batman is intimidating a villain are just fun to watch – I can’t imagine anyone else doing them.
If you don’t believe me, just go and watch some scenes on Youtube.
Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark
Had to think a little bit about this one, but after going through the recent Marvel films that I have seen, Downey Jr’s portrayal of Tony Stark was one of the most memorable and enjoyable performances that I saw.
With a majority of the Super Hero films that are around, the audience is mostly anticipating the fight scenes and seeing the main character or characters suited up and in role. Iron Man was different though, as the enthusiasm and energy Downey Jr brought to the role of Stark made whatever scenes he was in really entertaining, and made you wanting to see more of the man in action.
So yeah, Robert Downey Jr was fantastic to watch in Iron Man. I really need Iron Man II to come out on DVD so I can watch him in that too.
I’ve been exposed to few Gods in the DC Universe, but out of those I’ve seen, none of them have struck me like the ultimate villain – Darkseid.
Admittedly in the recent years he’s been overused a tad, meaning his threat level has been somewhat diluted since overexposure obviously means his diabolical schemes can’t always be the greatest threat our heroes have ever faced. However when he’s used right, there is nobody better than Darkseid. Ruler of Apokolips, he seeks the Anti-Life Equation in order to remove free will from the universe and reshape it in his image, as Apokolips is. And the thing is, Darkseid has the power and resources to make this an achievable goal, not just another impossible dream.
This level threat and his character being pure badass, is what makes Darkseid such a compelling character when used effectively.
Technically this is like an hour into a new day, but meh.
From reading stuff with Thor in the Avengers and his solo titles, his character is balanced with being seemingly larger than life, yet when compared to the other Asgardians he seems to be relatively modest and accustomed to the ways of us mere mortals. Thor is awesome because of how he’s developed over the years. Thor’s loyalty to his friends and his Asgardian brothers is truly admirable, as is his commitment to whatever cause he’s pledged his support to.
Now with more responsibility than ever after his father’s death, Thor is truly the champion of Asgard and protector of Midgard, seeking to balance both duties and face each challenge with all of his might. Courageous and now blessed with more wisdom, Thor is always an entertaining character to read, and is a real powerhouse in the Avengers.
Right, here I went alongside a similar train of thought to the Marvel choice. Ok, barely. Again, I suppose the actual strongest being in the DC Universe is the Presence who is pretty much God like the One-Above-All is in the Marvel Universe.
So why Batman? First and foremost – he’s Batman. No explanation needed. Without any powers, he is one of the major heavyweights in the DC Universe, easily standing alongside powerhouses such as Superman and Wonder Woman. His intelligence and skills have made Wayne a truly fearsome force, who can take down Superman if he has a brief amount of time to prepare. And if the Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne miniseries is anything to go by, not even time can stop the Batman.
So yeah, he’s darn powerful. Not in the conventional sense of course, but I thought I’d make this selection into a ‘Batman is awesome’ post. Fun times.
Not quite sure what we’re supposed to do with this category. Technically the most powerful character by default is the One-Above-All, since well, he’s basically God in the Marvel Universe. But I didn’t want to choose him since that would be the proper choice, so I went for Jack Kirby.
So why Jack? Well he was in Marvel’s heaven/afterlife in Fantastic Four #511, where he not only allowed Ben to be restored to life whilst repowering him, but also used a pencil to erase the scar from Reed’s face. Oh, and he gave the family a sketch of them in the future with the words ‘To be continued…’ before sending them back to reality. He must be damn powerful to do all that and be able to see into the future. Pure awesome.
Kyle Rayner and Wally West
Not quite the same sort of rivalry as my Marvel choice, this one was about Kyle being the new kid on the block fitting in and gaining the acceptance of his peers. The Flash and Green Lantern have always been a great pairing, with Jay and Alan and Barry and Hal teaming up to be a force to be reckoned with on many occasions, as well as being great friends.
The latest generation though was different. This was because of how Wally and Kyle obtained their mantles – Wally progressed to it, stepping into his mentor’s shoes after years of experience whereas Kyle seemingly won a lottery to gain the ring. Because of this vast difference, Wally had a hard time initially accepting Kyle and Kyle thought Wally was stuck up.
This led to a great learning curve, where the pair gradually grew from constantly bickering and competing to becoming firm friends – like their predecessors. With their personalities initially rubbing each other up the wrong way, reading early stories with them paired up always provides entertainment and amusement, which is why I really enjoyed this rivalry before it developed into a friendship and another Flash and Green Lantern team.
Mr Fantastic and Doctor Doom
This is one of Marvel’s oldest and greatest rivalries, that is of course for Doom, so much more than that. The now somewhat clichéd former friends now turned arch rivals, this feud is the one that founded the cliché in comics for me. Doom feeling that Reed was responsible for stifling his brilliance, and causing the accident that led to his disfigurement was a great way to allow the sheer scale of Doom’s ego and vanity to blossom to new heights, seeing him turn his attentions to not just destroying Reed – but proving that he is his in every way his superior.
This relationship has led to some great moments down the years, and with Doom’s sense of morality and honour has created some real unique situations that writers have explored wonderfully down the years. Long may the rivalry continue.
Clark Kent and Lois Lane
Fairly standard choice I know, but they are after all, DC’s premier couple like Spider-Man and Mary Ja.. Wait a second…
Anyway, they are one of the more consistent relationships in comics, going from strength to strength. I mean, they recently adopted ‘Chris’ before his sacrifice. The pair are just so darn good together with Lois matching Clark in every way, and they are always entertaining to read together. It’s a good thing that Lois was made into a strong woman and reporter, as I can’t even begin to imagine them being anywhere near as good to read together if she was the old fashioned damsel in distress she used to be. *shudders*
So yeah. Clark and Lois. Lois and Clark. They are awesome together and the consistency in their relationship is one of the feel good stories in comics - where love usually ends up in betrayal, break up, or death.
The Vision and the Scarlet Witch
Had to think a little bit about this one, but decided I would opt for these two since when they were together I thought it was a really good idea, and I’ve enjoyed their relationship in classic issues I’ve read. They were two outcasts who felt alienated, finding solace with each other. The machine and the mutant girl. Over the years they had their fair share of trauma and tragedy, but stayed together battling against heartbreak throughout.
That was until the Avengers relaunch which saw Wonder Man come back, which led to what was by then already strained relationship breaking down romantically officially due to the question of whether Wanda loved the Vision for who he is, or who was based on. That was a good story. Anyway they remained good friends after this, and probably would still be or have got back together had Wanda not had a continuity error ridden emotional breakdown and caused the Vision’s death during Disassembled. Bah. The things that love do to you.
This choice is the biggest cop-out so far, but at least I put someone down, unlike a certain someone. *glances at AJ*.
My reason behind this choice is very weak, but basically it’s because whenever I’ve read anything featuring the character (which is little, I admit), he seems to be one hell of a stereotype. It just annoys me. Stereotyping shouldn’t be a prominent character trait.
So I probably dislike the writing more than the character himself, but I needed someone to chuck down, so meh.
Ergh. One of the many Marvel villains that are very forgettable, and just make you sit there and wonder who thought they were ever a good idea. And yet again, another one for Daredevil’s rogues gallery.
I mean seriously? Could you have come up with any more of a lame idea for a villain. This guy is actually just what he’s called. That’s right, he’s a goddamn Matador. Why would someone like this ever decide to try their hand at tackling superheroes. What’s worse is the fact that the Matador actually beat Daredevil in their first encounter. DD soon got the better hand on their second meeting, but I remember reading the story and all I could think was; ‘Really? You want me to believe this guy can take down Daredevil?’
So yeah. Not a fan.