So I’ve been away from my blog, here, for a while. I took a little bit of a dive with self confidence and I was unemployed which didn’t help but I’m back now and shall try to continue with weekly posts. Today, to kick things back off again I will be sharing with you favourite fifteen characters from across DC and Marvel; top ten is so mainstream. Most of them will be of no surprise to my friends but I’m sure a few will. I’ll also include a little about the characters and why they’re my favourites.
We’ll be starting at 15th place.
15th. Green Arrow.
Playboy. Survivalist. Archer.
Oliver Queen was a spoiled, thrill-seeking playboy, until he was left stranded on a deserted island for several years. There, he trained to become a master archer in order to survive. After his return home, he used his new-found skills and his wealth to became the costumed vigilante known as Green Arrow.
The skills he’d learned on his adventures, and ironically his time in the Boy Scouts as a child, enabled him to survive. After months alone, he realized he was happier alone on the island than he had ever been in his life. Hunting to survive and living on his own filled the void that he’d been trying to fill with thrill seeking, partying, and going from one woman to the next.When a plane came towards the island Ollie signaled it, only to have them opened fire. Using his bow Ollie managed to gain the upper hand and downed the plane. He was able to get off the island when some drug smugglers mutinied and took over a cargo ship. Using the vast wealth of his company he created gadgets, and various weapons including special arrows, and vehicles similar to that of Batman’s tech, gadgets and vehicles. Ollie also gave himself a suit upgrade which is bullet and knife proof.
Green Arrow is a master archer, considered by even the superhuman members of the Justice League to be the “greatest archer in the world.” Green Arrow himself states he never misses , and has shot at targets without directly looking at them. Black Canary once said she saw Oliver shoot 39 arrows in one minute. Oliver’s aim to so good that he has shown to be able to hit a drop of water coming out of a faucet. While he’s not such a great hand to hand fighter compared to the likes of Batman, Deathstroke, Wonder Woman etc he was trained by one of Deathstroke’s trainers and became a master of several martial arts, although he prefers to keep his distance. He’s got a natural talent for strategy, as well as being at peak human conditioning, a skilled acrobat, free runner, and pilot.
14th. Lex Luthor.
Arguably DC’s most iconic villain. Lex Luthor. Superman’s arch-nemesis.
Lex Luthor is the son of Lionel and Letitia Luthor, they have a thing for ‘L’ in the family. They were wealthy residents of Metropolis. As a teenager, he spent years in Smallville, with his Aunt Lena. There he encountered Clark Kent and first became jealous of Superman.
Lex Luthor is not a metahuman, but is an intellectual genius, one of the smartest people on the planet, often (usually by himself) said to be able to turn the world into a Utopia free of crime a sickness if not for his obsession with beating Superman. Lex however suffers from a self-obsessed and narcissistic personality that causes him to lack empathy with the rest of humanity. Lex blames Superman for the world not recognizing his status as the greatest person alive. He is however the smartest man on DC’s Earth. He has mastered seemingly every known form of science, including space travel, biochemistry, dimensional travel, biochemistry, cybernetics, synthetic polymers, communications, mutations, transportation, holography, energy generation, quantum mechanics, theoretical physics, nano chemistry and more. He’s a brilliant strategist and manipulator, as well as an unrivalled inventor; his creations revolutionise the world. He’s a villain but on several occasions has worked with the Man of Steel, Justice League, and recently has taken up the role of Superman due to augmented armour. He’s a brilliant enemy for Superman, and a key ingredient for DC comics’ success.
13th. Black Panther.
T’Challa. King of Wakanda. The Black Panther.
T’Challa aka Black Panther is one of the most intelligent and best martial artists in the world. He’s a distinguished Avenger, and a member of the Illuminati. He’s King of Wakanda, which is the most technologically advanced nation on the planet, thousands of years ago a huge meteorite crash landed in Wakanda, the first king of Wakanda, Black Panther Bashenga, harnessed the mineral and used it to nurture his nation. Thousands of years later, under the ruling of Black Panther T‘Chaka, Wakanda’s level of technological and economic achievements continued to excel far beyond those of the modern world. T’Challa’s father hid Wakanda from the outside world as so it would not be manipulated by outsiders, and his father was later assassinated by a scientist called Ulysses Klaw. T’Challa then defeated his uncle, King S’yan, in a once-a-year ritual that allowed anyone of Wakandan royalty to become king/queen by defeating the current ruler in hand-to-hand combat and became king. He later on became an Avenger after introducing himself to the world outside of Wakanda and then a member of the Illuminati along with Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Mr. Fantastic, Black Bolt, Professor X and Namor who formed a secret government team to make sure a world-wide invasion would never happen.
T’Challa is one of the five most intelligent people on Marvel’s Earth, he’s also one of the top five best martial artists. When he became king he also ate a Wakandian herb which significantly enhanced his strength, speed, stamina, senses, agility, reflexes, and healing factor. He’s also a master tactician, acrobat, marksman, hunter and tracker, inventor, and a natural leader.
12th. Swamp Thing.
Alec Holland. The Avatar of the Green. Protector of the Green.
Swamp Thing is somewhat of a hidden gem in DC comics. Alec Holland was a botanist working on secretive formula to convert deserts into forests, or at least make vegetation grow from desolate areas. He was almost murdered when a bomb planted by agents working for a competitor exploded his lab. He was splashed with burning chemicals in the fire and so, he sought to put it out into the swamp where his lab was, that he was studying and using for the formula and is found by a giant humanoid plant-creature who saves him by making him the Avatar of the Green and transforming him into The Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing is the protector of the Green, and the world’s plant life. As well as having his own series he is also a recurring character of the Justice League Dark; a Justice League that fight against supernatural foes that the normal JL struggle against.
Swamp Thing has complete mastery over all forms of plant life and can command vegetative matter to do his bidding. Through this power, he is in constant communication with the very essence of the Earth, and serves as the Plant Elemental for the entire planet. He also has superhuman strength that is tied to his connection to Earth, his strength is nearly incalculable, he has the ability to resurrect those when connected to the Green, flight, powerful chlorokinetic abilities and theoretically so long as there is some vestige of plant life on the planet Earth, Alec Holland will always have a vehicle through which to house his consciousness, thus rendering him effectively immortal. I’m a huge fan of the complex magic structure of the DC universe, I think it creates some of the most interesting characters.
11th. Wonder Woman.
Due to the film’s massive success and even before that, it’s hard to not know who Wonder Woman is. She’s an Amazon Princess with powers of a god, probably because she’s the daughter of Zeus. As one of the longest continually published comic book characters, Wonder Woman’s history has undergone some changes over the years, though a few elements remain consistent in all of her depictions. She is the princess of the Amazons, a race of women who live free of men on Paradise Island (later dubbed Themyscira). After growing up on this island, Wonder Woman (whom the Amazons named Diana) journeys to man’s world on a mission of diplomacy and peace.
Wonder Woman is a monument to passion, bravery, peace and an icon for women all over the world. She’s one of the fiercest warriors in DC and arguably the best hand to hand fighter – having been trained by some of the most brilliant warriors in all history. She’s also blessed with divine powers that grant her superhuman strength, speed, durability, stamina, and reflexes. She’s on par with Superman and one of the strongest heroes in DC. Wonder Woman has a healing factor, can fly, and has the Lasso of Truth which forces people in contact with it to tell the truth, Bracelets of Victory which are indestructible, and a royal tiara which when worn allows her to damage enemies with magic too. When faced with a larger threat, Diana will wear her Amazon battle armour for added protection as well as use martial weapons such as swords. Technically speaking as well, as re-imagined under the George Perez 1980s reboot, the iconic costume is in fact simply the breastplate of this armour. She will also additionally use a shield for added defence when she deems it necessary. Bad. Ass.
Anna-Marie. Mutant. Rogue.
Anna-Marie was born to an incredibly beautiful mother and her lover. They got married extremely quickly which damaged the relationship and tried to repair their relationship by Priscilla getting pregnant. Unfortunately the young couple was whisked into a nature-loving commune where they joined in an insane plan to reach “the Far Banks,” a dreamland from Native American mythology, where the rules of the physical world no longer applied. Owen had planned to sacrifice Priscilla to the spirits of the Far Banks, but she took control of them and closed the mystical place behind her as she vanished. Grief stricken, Owen pleaded with Priscilla’s sister Carrie to aid him in raising his daughter. Anna-Marie, who had been nicknamed Rogue, didn’t have a pleasant childhood with her aunt as Carrie used a rough education on her in an attempt to prevent her from making the same mistakes her mother made. Then on top of all of this, her powers manifested one night when she was with a love interest called Cody. If you don’t know what Rogue’s powers are then let me explain – she has the power to drain a living being’s essence upon physical contact. She absorbs their memories, personality traits, and if they have powers themselves; those too. Her powers manifested while she was kissing Cody who was left in a deep coma and she was chased by mutant haters into a swamp where she found Mystique. Rogue actually initially started off her time as a super-powered mutant as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, not the X-Men, which she joined afterwards and has since become a veteran of the X-Men, and has been a member of the Avengers too, with time and much training she now has vast control over her powers. Since gaining control of her powers she is able to touch people without hurting them or absorbing their powers.
Thor shouldn’t really need much explanation. God of Thunder, son of Odin and Gaea, he loves his hammer. You know the guy. He’s so interesting though and the writing behind his development has been so varied. Many know him from the Marvel Cinematic Universe but he’s so much more than that in the comics. After centuries of defending Asgard from its enemies, Thor became too proud and grew headstrong. It was because of this that he was banished to Midgard (Earth) by his father to teach him some needed humility. Made mortal and given the form of the handicapped human doctor Donald Blake, Thor learned what it was like to be small and frail and how to be humble and truly noble despite being mortal. After this he was deemed worthy again and became the God of Thunder once more.
Thor is one of the strongest physical powerhouses of Marvel but also a significant asset with magic. He is blessed with divine powers from his bloodline, so as well as his vast superhuman strength he also can manipulate and control the weather, fly, resurrect beings, create force-fields, manipulate matter, and absorb and project energy. Possibly his greatest asset though is Mjolnir which is one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. It is made from Uru metal which is said to be as strong and durable as adamantium, it has been shown to withstand temperatures as hot as the centre of the sun and withstand energy blasts that could have destroyed an entire galaxy. When in Thor’s hands, to say it would be capable of destroying mountains is an understatement. Thor has clashed with other immensely powerful beings such as Bor (Odin’s father), Hulk, the Midgard Serpent, and even Galactus (we’ll be getting to him later). Thor is also one of the original founding members of the Avengers. He is truly a fascinating character.
The Hellblazer. John Constantine is a con-man and sorcerer born in Liverpool, U.K. He is well-known for his scathing wit, endless cynicism, ruthless cunning and constant chain smoking. A roguish counterculture anti-hero, Constantine is also a strident humanist driven by a heartfelt desire to defend mankind from the forces of evil. John Constantine has not had what one would call a pleasant upbringing; he had a twin which he strangled in the womb, then his mother died in childbirth and his father blamed John for her death which caused great friction between the two of them for most of his early life. Constantine is a descendant from a long line of magic users. He was fascinated by the occult from a young age, and threw himself into learning magic to escape his unhappy family life. As well as just saying how it is, Constantine has the skills to match his claims. He is very much brains over brawn in style and while he does possess considerable skills as a sorcerer and vast magical knowledge, he would much rather outsmart an enemy; he even conning the devil himself. Some examples of the magic John has used are Divination, Demon Summoning, Cursing, Golemancy, Occlumency, Necromancy, Vivimancy, Illusion, and various stage magic tricks like hypnosis, sleight of hand, and escapology. John has also shown the ability to resurrect himself in Hellblazer: Pandemonium where he was killed and later came back by leaving the afterlife. He’s battled opponents as powerful as Trigon and Lucifer, ventured into the afterlife and hell, and then back again too. Constantine is a cunning strategist too, he’s led the Justice League Dark on several occasions. He’s witty, sarcastic, brutally honest and always has tricks up his sleeve. What’s not to love?
The dude literally eats planets, I mean, c’mon! Galactus is such an insane, interesting concept. He’s famed “Devourer of Worlds” – tell me you wouldn’t love to have a title like that. You’re lying if you said you wouldn’t. Also, get this, Galactus (who’s real name is Galan) is the sole survivor of the universe that existed before ours; before the big bang.
He was actually born billions of years ago on the planet Taa and was one of the planet’s chief scientists. Taa was a paradise world, the most technologically advanced in all the universe.
Galactus was born during the last years of his universe just as the Big Bang was approaching. Galan flew into the terminal point of the universe as a sort of last act of Heroism to his people and a vastly powerful cosmic being combined with him to create Galactus, Galactus learned to control his power and created a unique body suit to help regulate his immense energy levels. During a space war his ship was fired upon and he awoke after laying dormant for hundreds of years and with this incubation complete, he fed off the energy of the world below him but he also has the power to create so he reconstructed the world. When completed, it was enormous, planets orbited it as though it were a sun. The world-ship became Galactus’ home and he named it Taa II. It is believed that Galactus is the balance between Death and Eternity.
Galactus is empowered by the virtually limitless power of the Power Cosmic. This means that Galactus manifests a range of powers and abilities depending on his need and desire. The true form of Galactus is not known. He is perceived as the species of whoever is looking at him. To a human, he appears human. To an alien, he would appear the same as them. Galactus’s true form is a golden glowing humanoid body of energy; he is immensely powerful, one of the most powerful in the Marvel multiverse. He can manipulate matter, energy, creation and all universal sources and when he eats planets his power levels spike. I love him for the supremely awesome concept that is him, and that power.
6th. Black Adam.
Black Adam is without a doubt one of the coolest comic-book characters. He was once, thousands of years ago, enslaved as a gladiator for a Pharaoh known as ‘Mighty Adam’. Now a complex anti-villain with extremist Newdesigns to free the world of oppression known as ‘Black Adam’
While serving as high priest to Ramses II, the wizard Shazam sought a successor to his godly powers. Impressed with his virtue and martial heroism, he chose Adam. Having determined to make Adam his successor, Shazam’s intentions were altered by the intervention of his half-demonic daughter Blaze. Blaze struck a bargain with the god Set so that when Adam speaks the word “Shazam,” instead of becoming the avatar of the wizard’s deific patrons, he becomes the avatar of the Egyptian gods Shu, Heru, Amon, Zehuti, Aton and Mehen, while his counterpart and nemesis – Shazam aka Billy Batson, the other of two champions of The Wizard (who took the wizard’s chosen name) gains the powers of Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury. The chief distinction between the power of Billy and that of Adam is that Adam’s powers are provided by the Egyptian, rather than the Greek, pantheon. Black Adam is one of the most powerful characters in DC and a fearsome enemy for anyone, even supervillains such as Darkseid and Sinestro give him a wide birth for his ferocity. He has the full power of all those gods he becomes the avatar of. He has taken on the Justice League alone before as well as multiple Green Lanterns, Firestorm, Supergirl, Martian Manhunter, the Marvel family, the remaining Teen Titans, the JSA, and many others at the same time. Black Adam’s brutality and magical prowess makes him truly something to behold.
5th. Winter Soldier.
“Who the hell is Bucky?” Well I’ll tell you. James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes was Captain America’s partner, they served together in World War II and were part of the Invaders along with Namor and Jim Jammon; the original Human Torch. In the last days of WWII, Bucky hopped on a plane carrying a bomb and hoping to disarm it, Captain America’s body was frozen in a state of suspended animation for years but Bucky’s body was never found. This is because he had been found by the Soviets, experimented on, and brainwashed to return 50 years later as The Winter Soldier; a deadly assassin. Through conflict with none other than Captain America, Bucky’s brainwashing broke down and he turned to the side of good. He’s taken the mantle of Captain America, has been an Avenger and led them, and he’s made for an effective weapon and spy of S.H.I.E.L.D. Bucky didn’t take the serum like Captain America but he was enhanced by the Soviets as well as given a cybernetic left arm which could produce EMP’s and electric bolts. Due to his training with the S.A.S, United States Army, Captain America, and the Soviet Special Forces, Bucky is an experienced and deadly fighter, proficient in several types of armed and unarmed combat and very capable of mixing them to create a unique style. He’s also a master marksman, and has knowledge of almost every firearm known to man.
Bucky is shown to deal with mental health issues over the course of his career – PTSD and Depression especially. He has breakdowns and flashbacks of his time being ‘enhanced’ by the Soviets and he has struggled to deal with what he did while in their brainwashed state. I’ve always admired his character, his transition from evil to good and how he’s always very aware of what he was, but tries to be the best he can be to make up for it; he’s kind and caring, and protective. He battles inner demons and I too had PTSD after my dad died, Winter Soldier was one of the characters that, while I already loved, I grew to love even more.
Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke the Terminator is one of the most badass characters ever. One of the most feared assassins in the DC universe, a master tactician, and superb fighter. Deathstroke is a genetically engineered super-soldier with enhanced strength, speed, stamina, dexterity, durability, reflexes, senses and an accelerated healing factor. When you couple this with his combat efficiency and intellect, what you get is an insanely skilled soldier. Slade’s brain power is a factor of 9 times more powerful than a peak human which makes him a strategical genius, he has some incredible feats like injuring the Flash when he was running at near light-speed speeds, taking on the Teen Titans alone, battling gods such as Ares, and god-like beings such as Superman and Wonder Woman (without Kryptonite). Even before the super-soldier serum Slade was considered one of the best hand to hand fighters and since the serum and more training, he’s held his own against the likes of the League of Shadows, Wonder Woman, and Richard Dragon. Deathstroke has a healing factor but it isn’t anywhere near as strong as Wolverine’s or Deadpool’s which means he has to rely on his skill and efficiency in battle which he definitely does.
You can’t not love the guy. Fun-fact, you may have recognised the surname. Slade Wilson and Wade Wilson are not related, but Wade Wilson (Deadpool) was originally created as a parody of Deathstroke. I prefer Slade.
Into the top 3 now, so be prepared for incoming fanboying.
Batwoman aka Kathy Rebecca Kane. The very definition of badass. A gay icon in comics and a warrior by any standard. Batwoman doesn’t get enough credit or recognition in my books, her father was in the military and all her life she wished to join too. When her father was supposed to be deployed overseas, Kathy was abducted but her father came to rescue her which he succeeded in doing however Kathy’s sister and mother were killed during the rescue. She later joins the military herself, but is forced to release after it is discovered that she is in a relationship with another woman. Kate encounters Batman when he comes to her rescue and he inspires her to take up a vigilante role for herself. Her father helped her train in martial arts, unarmed and armed combat meaning she is quite the combatant and easily capable of holding herself against attackers. She developed her own weapons to fit her unique style of military-esque combat.
Batwoman is a testament to bravery, hard work, and capability, she’s my favourite member of the Bat-family and I love the times she teams up with Batman, he has said that he holds her as an equal which he doesn’t do that often.
Magneto is an alpha level mutant with the ability to manipulate the electromagnetic spectrum, he can perceive the magnetic forces of the Earth as well as the bio-electrical patterns of all living beings. He also has one of the, if not the most tragic back story. He is a survivor of the Holocaust where he also lost his parents and sister before his eyes, and was set in to clear the chambers after executions, and was ‘examined’ to explore the depths of his powers. The Holocaust is a parallel concept to how mutants are treated by homosapiens out of fear. Magneto fights to make mutant kind the dominant species for he fears that the humans will try to destroy them if not. He and Professor X are in-fact based on Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr who were two prominent leaders of the Civil Rights movement in America. I still believe to this day that Magneto is the best character in the X-Men mythos. When he first joined up with the X-Men it was with sincere motive to atone for his terrorist past. He also mentored the New Mutants for a while. Magneto is fiercely loyal and protective of his own kind, a fearsome leader, brilliant strategist and has been as much an enemy of the X-Men as a part of them. Magneto’s loyalty and protectiveness of his own is very similar to myself and he’s just such a superbly written character.
The main man. Arthur Curry, King of Atlantis. A key member of the Justice League and hugely underrated.
Aquaman is the son of two worlds, his mother was the Atlantian queen and his father was a lighthouse keeper. Aquaman is often written off as a character who can just ‘talk to fish’ or joked about being useless which is grossly inaccurate. Aquaman aka Arthur Curry is loosely based upon King Arthur – think about it for a little bit and I’m sure it’ll come to you. Both are King Arthur by name, both have indestructible weapons and are shrouded in magic, and mysterious pasts. As with most comic characters, he is based upon other things/people too but King Arthur of Camelot is to me the biggest inspiration. Aquaman has vast superhuman strength – he once lifted a 300,000 tonne cruise liner, and superhuman agility, dexterity, durability, senses, reflexes, stamina, and healing. He has marine telepathy (which is often the cause for jokes around him) but he is such an achieved telepath that he’s even used it to communicate with beings such as Steel, and Martian Manhunter. He’s a master combatant; having trained with Atlantian special forces and characters such as Wonder Woman and Batman. Plus he has an indestructible trident which he can use to summon lightning or ice storms, he’s a natural born leader and strategist and has often proven his bravery, loyalty, and proficiency in battle. He’s one of the most underrated and interesting characters in Marvel/DC for sure.
Not many of you know this I’m sure but I was born with a genetic predisposition called Klinefelter syndrome (feel free to look that up, it’s rare), otherwise known as ’47’, where males are born with one or more extra chromosome. Now I know I’m not half Atlantian or heir to some kick-ass magical throne but I’ve always related to that concept of being from two worlds – K.S/47 is so rare that I’ve never met anyone else who has it, and I’ve never not had it so there’s things to do with it that I really struggled to deal with while I grew up. Aquaman has always been the comic and character I’ve gone to when down in a tough spot. ON-TOP of that, when my dad died a few years back, Aquaman’s stories was one of the main elements that kept me going. It might sound silly to some but it’s crazy how far a work of fiction can go into keeping someone going. Aquaman’s father helped train him mentally and physically to prepare for the worst, and my dad heavily helped me with my K.S.
So there we have it, friends and strangers. Family too. My favourite fifteen Marvel/DC characters. I’ll try to be more regular again with my posts again; respect threads and favourite character arcs. I hope you enjoyed the read!