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10 Superheroes I Like As Concepts But Not Comics

by  in Comic News Comment
10 Superheroes I Like As Concepts But Not Comics

This list crap is really adictive. I can see why Cronin does it so much. Well, him and these guys. Beyond cheap content fodder, I mean.

So, anyway, here’s a list of comics heroes I want to like but can’t.

1. Iron Man
Why I Find the Hook So Appealing- So much fertile material! Billionaire with a past as an arms dealer who decides to try and change the world! A morally
conflicted futurist with a bad heart and an alcohol problem! Just pick one of the many things they’ve grafted on to him to make him less like Batman in shiny armor. Or just watch the movie. And also, yes, all the armor.

Why I Don’t Actually Like the Comics- Never read a great one, really. Even Matt Fraction couldn’t hold my interest in one for more than two issues. I like him more as a supporting character in books like Fraction and Kitson’s Order, Brubaker’s Captain America, and the Millar/Hitch Ultimates than I probably ever will as a headliner when Robert Downey Jr.’s not playing him.

2. Legion of Superheroes
Why I Find The Hook So Appealing- Super teenagers from the future!

Why I Don’t Actually Like the Comics- All the damn reboots, and I haven’t found one I really like that much, and I’m not sure I will. I’m not a big fan of the goofy Weissinger Superman aesthetic that spawned it as stories; as fodder for bloggers to mockcap, fine, so that’s out, and I can find similar bones to pick with every iteration of the concept. The only one I ever actively tried to get in to was Waid and Kitson’s run, and that lost me before the end of the first arc.

3. The Darkness
Why I Find the Hook So Appealing- This hilarious review aside, I liked the game a lot, even if I have yet to finish it.

Why I Don’t Actually Like the Comics- They’re published by Top Cow. I could go in to it more, but that covers it.

4. Witchblade
Why I Find the Hook So Appealing- Ancient weapon passed down by generation is such a generic concept that it could fitted on to pretty much anything.

Why I Don’t Actually Like the Comics- See above.

5. Justice Society of America
Why I Find the Hook So Appealing- The greatest heroes of the greatest generation. So much fertile ground for stories in that time period. Of course, my ideal version of JSA is basically Moore’s Minutemen in a non-blasphemous way, with all the sex, bickering, murders, and sleaze that would entail. The Golden Age by Robinson and Smith was close, but I’d love to see that approach in an ongoing.

Why I Don’t Actually Like the Comics- So, of course, they have to set them in the present day and star a bunch of octogenarians, Big Boobs McCipher, and a veritable cast of thousands of people tangentally related to every superhero ever. So, really, it’s that Roy Thomas wrote it in the ’70s and Geoff Johns slavishly immitates him to this day. And then they threw Kingdom Come Superman in there, just to really twist the Arctic Shit Knife in my ribs. If I keep using that, should I Pay Pal ADD royalties?

6. Wonder Woman
Why I Find the Hook So Appealing- All the conflict and contradiction inherent in an agent of peace who fights crime and a woman from a matriarchy as the ambassador to man’s world who’s in an otherwise all male superhero pantheon. Her backstory’s full of gold, in other words.

Why I Don’t Actually Like the Comics- This stuff is a big part of her backstory too. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just think the time and place is in Betty Page movies, not superhero comics.

Well, that and she’s usually just a generic superheroine with an occasional nasty case of PMS in a lot of the stuff she’s appeared in in my collection. I think the main problem with her is that there are so many contradictory directions to take her in that she gets mowed down being stuck in the middle of them. Although what I’ve read of Gail Simon’s run seemed interesting, and I hear good things about the George Perez run.

7. Deadman
Why I Find the Hook So Appealing- He’s a friggin’ ghost acrobat who talks to an Eastern Diety! And he’s so cool in guest appearances!

Why I Don’t Actually Like the Comics- He sucks as a solo character. Well, more accurately, I do not care for the scripts in his solo adventures contained here, and all the gorgeous re-coloring in the world can’t make Neal Adams aesthetic less boring. Really, it’s just that I foolishly bought this expensive book of so many of them.

8. The Avengers
Why I Find the Hook So Appealing- They’re Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!

Why I Don’t Actually Like the Comics- Not Stan and Jack’s best work, and often times collections of horribly lame characters the writer likes. I don’t apply that to Bendis’s run because I like all the characters in New Avengers right now, (well, barring Echo) he’s just completely unsuited for team books. Also, I hate most of the “classic” Avengers on some level. I’m not angry he killed Hawkeye and ruined Wanda; I’m mad he didn’t get Wasp, Ant Man, Wonder Man, and Quicksilver while he was at it. I do like that the new Vision is Iron Lad, so he climbed out of my pet hate pit of scorn, but I would have also enjoyed if Bendis had revived the old one just to destory him again. That’s just me.

9. Silver Surfer
Why I Find the Hook So Appealing- Cool character design, fertile dramatic material from his backstory, all of space as a setting, and he was in the MF Galactus Saga. That’s all you need.

Why I Don’t Actually Like the Comics- He’s so damn morose, at least in the Lee/Buscema days. Well, always, but with 40 pages a month, Stan had room to soliloquize that your Ron Marzes or Steve Englehearts didn’t. And did he ever. Surfer was basically an emo kid who could surf through space there, always bleating on about the human condition.He really needs a comedy sidekick. I propose Pip the Troll. Best buddy cop movie ever!

Also, space in his comics is like 5 miles long, since he runs in to the same five bad guys all the time. He really needs an Alan Moore type to make an ongoing work; someone who’s willing to role up his (or her) sleeves and really re-make him, or at least create a ton of weird and interesting aliens for him to interact with him.

10. Silver Sable
Why I Find the Hook So Appealing- Stone cold fox/ice queen and vaguely defined European nobility turned merc for hire with a roving band of loser superheroes/villains on retainer will totally wreck a villain’s shit for you for the right price. What is not to love? Also; became Spider-Man’s booty call in a What If? I read to pieces as a kid.

Why I Don’t Actually Like the Comics- She’s only had one ongoing and, well, no thank you there. With the right care, a Sable ongoing could be Marvel’s answer to Suicide Squad or Checkmate, or at least a really fun action comic. I’d write it if I weren’t so lazy.

Honorable Mentions:

Hawkman- He sucks. But he could maybe not suck I guess. I like the idea of Thanagar (mostly based on that Animal Man comic about the Thanagarian Martyr Artist) more than Hawkman, S&M Space Cop, really. He only works for me as a foil for characters who do not suck, like the next two guys.

Adam Strange- I sort of liked what I read of the Diggle mini years ago, but I never finished due to Infinite Crisis hijacking the ending. But I love his whole pulp hero aesthetic.

Green Arrow- I like the idea of a bleeding heart liberal superhero, even if I am no longer sharing his ideology so much. I just hate Denny O’Neil’s preachy ’70s crap and Judd Winnick’s dribbly modern crap. Maybe I’d like the Grell stuff that it sandwhiches, or Dixon, or one of the other runs. I mean, I really wanted to read Green Arrow/Black Canary when Cliff Chiang was drawing it but, you know, Winnick. Go back to Barry Ween and leave the DCU alone, man! Surely you’ve got enough money off that crap now?

Teen Titans- Nah, they just kinda suck except when Bob Haney’s writing them, I think. The modern equivalent (i.e. Adam Warren’s Gen 13) would be nice, though. I can’t handle them in a Wolfman/Perez-esque operatic superhero book, though, sorry.

Cloak and Dagger- When people freaked out over Valerie D’Orazio writing them because she wasn’t worthy, I lauged. Not just because of the sexism and what not, but because Cloak and Dagger are not worthy of her, or even existence, really, based on what I’ve read of them beyond their Runaways appearances. So, I’m interested to see what she does.

Green Lantern- This would have made the list, but I’ve liked a couple of GL-centirc comics (New Frontier and those Alan Moore back ups primarily), and think there are probably more out there (Mosaic, the non-pedo bits of Engleheart and Staton’s run). I just wish there was a monthly now that I could enjoy. Well, not too much; I already buy enough damn comics. But really, the concept of space cops of a various alien species with power rings that are limited only by their imagination (they didn’t break back the yellow weakness, did they?)? That’s probably my favorite superhero high concept ever. I’ve just never been blown away by the execution.

Spawn- Could work if he got an Anatomy Lesson style extreme makeover, a good artist, and I sprouted wings out of my anus. So, even odds, there.

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