1.) Spider-Man : This guy has been a favorite of mine since I could read. I had a reprint of Amazing Fantasies 15 when I was a very young kid and my dad told about his origin when I was very small. I just always thought the idea of being bitten by a spider and getting spider-like powers was awesome. I was so scared of spiders so it didn't make a lot of sense liking him so much? BUT I loved that he'd climb and stick to buildings, had the "proportionate strength" speed, agility, and a "spider-sense." He was also very smart and able to outwit his more powerful enemies. As I got older I realized how much alike Peter Parker and I were... not that I was good at science or a "bookworm"but I liked that he tried to do the right thing, no matter how many times it turned bad or good for him, he never lost the will to be a good person... a good guy. I loved the relationship he had w/ his Aunt May whose sweet, kind and loving nature reminded me on my grandmother. Peter always struck me as an introvert even before I understood what that word meant and I can relate, being a guy who enjoys a quiet re-change and doing the things I enjoy on my own. He like everyone also has his own insecurities that he struggles w/ day to day and that is why so many people love him. He is impossible not to relate to.
2.) Batman : Bats is a guy that is more than a man while still being just a man... He's has pushed himself beyond the normal man both physically and mentally. But that's not saying anything new. What I love about Bats his commitment to "strike fear into the hearts of criminals." He can't be bribed, bought or bargained w/... he has one job and it's to see the corrupts and unjust punished. He is the best example of what it means to be human... of what it means to be a man. When you commit to something you stick to it! No matter what. You never give up and never stop fighting for what you believe in. He has a code and he follows it to the letter and doesn't compromise. And he is always more prepared than you. You have to love that about Bats. You might think you thought of everything while you are planning your little crime spree, but Bats has thought about everything the criminal mind is capable of since the day his parents were senselessly killed in crime alley! An endless supply of cash, power, influence and the most capable brain in comics and its no wonder everybody loves Batman!
3.) Martian Man Hunter : He stands in the shadow of Bats, Supes and WW. But everyone knows he is the heart of the Justice league. ( or was before the New 52) He has most of the Same powers and abilities as Superman, but he has the most powerful psychic mind in the DC universe and can shape shift. But what you have to love about The Man Hunter is his humanity. He like Superman is the last son of his home world of Mars, but rather than cling to soley his Martian heritage he immerses himself in our world! He takes on several different human persona's and in many ways experiences more about being human than a human. He literally sees life through different eyes and experiences many skin colors. His empathy and compassion know no bounds in the world of heroes, and yet at the end of the day, he is a martian in a world full of intolerant humans! BUT he still chooses to love us and protect us.
4.) Superman: He is one of the first superheroes ever created and probably the most widely known. He can damn near do anything you can imagine. He is arguably the most powerful superhero in any universe. He literally could be a God in a world full of ants. He could run the world, he could be rich and have anything he wants, but instead he chooses to fight for truth, Justice and the "american way." Superman fights for the world... Not just america anymore... for everyone! It isn't his powers that make him super... it's his kindness and willingness to do whats right. It's the fact that he is literally better than us in every way, but chooses to live w/ us, be friends w/ us and love us. He doesn't have to look out for us, but he does and asks for nothing in return. That is what being a hero is all about!
5.) Captain America : You have to love this guy! Talk about a guy who never says die and will always lay it all on the line for a cause he believes in. Cap is hero I can truly relate to on a personal level. He is creative and draws comics, he tries to be the best person he can be and he grew up the skinniest kid in every possible situation. Let me tell you something about being skinny your whole life... It sucks! And here's the best part... fat people can make fun of you all day and say things like " you weigh as much as my leg," "you are so scrawny" and " try eating sometime." But if we say "man you're a fat ass" then all hell break loose and I am the cruel asshole. Skinny sucks because everyone always underestimates you and thinks you are weak. And sometimes are. You are never the strongest. So you learn to develop a "good personality" and start to truly understand terms like "it's what's inside that counts." See Steve Rogers is a little guy who ends up being one of the biggest bad asses on the planet... He knows what its like to feel weak and uncertain. He has the character and personality of a little guy in the body of an NFL quarterback. His heart is bigger than any other hero because it was huge when he was a nothing that everyone made fun of. He was given everything he always wanted and he respects that gift and values it...he does everything he can to be worthy of it. Every person he saves is a reminder of what he used to be... a guy all heart and no ass to back it up!
6.) Wolverine: I love Wolvie. He is a guy who is pissed off a lot. He says all the stuff we want to say. And the best part is that no matter how bad ass he is or how fast he can heal... he feels everything... literally... He knows what it feels like to be burned alive, beaten w/in an inch his life, stabbed in the face, but he still chooses to get up and fight the good fight. He is pound for pounds the toughest Superhero of all Superheroes. But what's really cool about Wolvies is that he basically is a murderer and assassin. He has spent most of his life killing people. He says it himself all the time... "I'm the best there is at what I do, but what I do isn't very nice." He is constantly trying to redeem himself for the things he has done. Who doesn't respect that? A dude trying to change the bad things about himself? He man trying to be a better man. That's one of the best things about his character. He is remorseful and he tries to avoid being "that guy" but sometimes he has to be and sometimes we need him to be!
7.) Daredevil : I grew up Catholic so I feel DDs pain. I used to tell someone "once a Catholic always a Catholic." I consider myself a spiritual person, but that "Catholic Guilt" is always sort of there telling that that I might go to hell, if I do this FUN thing that I was taught is a sin. That's why I relate to old "hornhead." He is always struggling w/ things he does largely due to his faith. He is a Lawyer by day that beats the shit out of bad guys by night. He has sworn an oath to the legal system, but will bend the law and beat people who slip through the cracks. You have to love that duality. He takes what Batman does a little further. And who can forget that he is also blind? This makes him such a unique and special hero. It's cool and smart that in DDs world Justice is truly blind! Plus, there's the fact that they call him "the man w/ out fear." The idea of not fearing anything is a pretty cool and inviting concept!
8.) Green Lantern : He fights bad guys w/ a ring that is controlled by his will! I think that is a pretty cool power. I mean I think that willpower is an important part of our everyday life. And face it most of us are weak and eat the donut when we know It won't help us get in the shape we want... Lanterns are the best example of human willpower. They can create anything they imagine if they will it to be true! This is a metaphor for life. Its the way we all should live our lives anyway. If you can dream it you can to it. But Like Hal Jordan and the rest of the Corp you must have the ability to overcome great fear. Again great motto for life. I also love the fact that there is a Green Lantern for everyone... Artists, test pilots, architects and jerks that have the will to weld the power of the Corp! It tells me that if I truly decide to do something and I the will to do it, then nothing can stop me... And that does for you 3 reading this too!
9.) Thor : You have to love the reinvention of an old idea. The God who walks w/ man. He likes us for some reason and keeps coming back to earth to help us out. He is also a bad ass who has fun fighting. Sure, I doubt Thor and me would be best buds or anything, (He's kind of a meat head) but I think that's why I like him so much. He is the alpha male on alpha steroids and yet becomes humbled and learns from us. He realizes everything isn't always about him... It's about being a good person( or god) and doing what's right. I also love the Hammer! I like that you have to be worthy to hold the Hammer of Thor! Although Cap could definitely pick it up if he wanted to.
10.) Invincible : I know... Who's Invincible right? He's the superhero that everyone should be reading about. He is part Peter Park and Clark Kent and he truly is the best parts of both worlds! I love Invincible because he is always learning. What I mean is that in superhero books the hero basically gets their powers and then starts fighting crime. sure they learn lessons and so... have tragedies. And it basically happens that was for Mark Grayson/Invincible too, but we watch him grow into his "tights." He is constantly drawing lines in the sand only to find out later that sometimes the line becomes more gray or wrong all together. And that sometimes easy solutions that seem wrong are right and harder drawn out solutions that seem right are wrong! His powers are constantly progressing and getting stronger and he comes from a race of aliens that are determined to live on! Above else he is a regular guy... Not super smart or dumb, but average. He learns from mistakes and has some really bad stuff happen to him, but at the end of the day he's just a hero trying to do the right thing!
Okay, that about does it for this list. I am sure I missed some of your favorites... Please keep in mind that I chose many of these heroes based on personal preference. I am sure that these might be too mainstream seeming for some of you, but I like reading about these guys, so screw you, Bub! (thanks for the guts Wolverine) So please share your opinions and comment away. Until next week... Be safe, be good and be kind!