Sunday, November 24, 2013
Thanks to @AquamanShrine, I checked out IGN's The Top 25 Heroes of DC Comics article by Jesse Schedeen. As these things go, it's a pretty solid countdown, but also somewhat damning. Damian Wayne takes last place, despite being the most interesting character DC's created in the last decade or so. That said, he's also the fourth semi-permanent bearer of the Robin mantle (fifth if you count Stephanie Brown, and let's not even open the door to multiversal/interpretative variants.) Robin was the sensational character find of 1940, whereas Damian was just a more acerbic Jason Todd with a better pedigree of sperm + ovum. Damian is one of two Robins to make the list, plus two Green Lanterns and two Flashes. It's like seeing a countdown of the top ten soda brands and realizing a quarter of the list is simply the diet versions of the same drinks.
Ray Palmer came in at #24, with his scientific acumen, genre versatility, and troubled history highlighted. While I was happy the Atom didn't get shut out by someone like Lobo, he still occupies the "obligatory inclusion" realm. Ahead of him was Cyborg, the only non-Caucasian human on the list. Cyborg isn't even DC's best African-American hero, and he's spent the two years of New 52 comics as a glorified teleportational chauffeur/ doorman/ receptionist, but he's in the JLA and the list needed "a black one."
Hawkgirl was #22, having replaced Hawkman in the hearts of fandom through her appearances on the Justice League cartoon and by virtue of being defined as a saucy redhead instead of the dude who's angry all the time. But then she was beaten by Starfire because breasts and because the only version of Hawkgirl currently in print is an off-brand on Earth-2. Jonah Hex beat both the ladies despite being a Clint Eastwood western pastiche with a scar and a perpetually low selling book. Booster Gold is totes important as the materialistic fame seeker who got to cash in on remorse over his friend get capped in the head. With Time Travel! If I could be bothered with the effort, I'd work in a Doctor Who slam, but nope.
Excluding John Constantine at #16, the rest of the bottom ten are all handicapped by a lack of y-chromosome: Black Canary, Supergirl, and Batgirl. I'm kind of proud of Ray for being the official white guy thrown under the bus to help promote the women and minorities seated at the back of said bus. Let's just not bring up the Asian kid that got knifed so Ray could return as the Mighty Mite...