After nearly 1,400 ballots were cast, YOU the reader ranked your favorite comic book characters from 1-10. I assigned point totals to each ranking and then tabulated it all into a Top 50 list. We’re now revealing that list throughout September. Here is the master list of all the characters revealed so far. The countdown continues…
20. Rorschach – 809 points (10 first place votes)
Rorschach was created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons in their classic mini-series, Watchmen. It is a clear sign of the greatness of their series that a character that only appeared in the twelve issues of Watchmen is popular enough to make this list.
Based on Steve Ditko’s The Question, Rorschach was a ruthless investigator who believed in absolutism and objectivism, and also was probably more than a little bit insane (in fact, his particular brand of insanity is so powerful that it practically destroys his prison psychologist). It is Rorschach who leads the drive of the murder mystery in Watchmen, as he attempts to discover who killed the former superhero, The Comedian. His absolutist ideas come into clear conflict with Ozymandias’ theories of how the world can be saved via the sacrifice of a few million people. As we eventually find out, Rorschach’s view of the world has become so absolute that he would rather die than to break from his views.
Rorschach is known for his mask, which is based on the Rorschach psychological test.
19. Black Canary – 835 points (10 first place votes)
Black Canary debuted during the Golden Age, created by Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino. Dinah Lance, like a lot of her soon-to-be Justice Society of America teammates, was basically just a brawler. When the Justice Society began showing up again in the 60s, and teaming up with the Justice League, Black Canary (Dinah Lance)’s husband was killed by the villain Aquarius. Distraught, Canary decided to leave Earth-2, where the Justice Society resided, and move to Earth-1, where the Justice League was.
While there initially an attraction between Dinah and Batman, she eventually began a long-term romantic relationship with Green Arrow. The two stayed in the Justice League for years, until Green Arrow quit the League, and Canary ultimately joined him.
Along the way, we learned that Canary had a superpower – the ability to emit a piercing sonic scream. We ALSO learned, through a pretty convoluted way, that Canary was actually in the body of the DAUGHTER of the first Canary. Yep, they moved her memories into the mind of her secret daughter no one knew about.
After Crisis, they just made it so that there were ALWAYS two Canaries. One was the mother, and she was in the JSA. The daughter had the superpower, and was in the JLA. Amusingly, Green Arrow went from being the May part of the relationship to being the December part!
After Dinah left the Jusrice league (shorty after the Justice League International version started), she was captured and tortured by some bad guys, leaving her without her sonic scream. After Green Arrow was presumed dead for awhile, Canary became an operative for Barbara Gordon, the former Batgirl. Dinah stayed with Barbara for quite awhile, even when Green Arrow returned. Eventually, though, Canary left Barbara to become a member (and then the chairwoman) of a newly re-formed Justice League of America.
Recently, she separated from Green Arrow and re-joined Barbara and the Birds of Prey.
With the “new 52” reboot drastically changing Green Arrow, it will be interesting to see what (if any) of Canary’s past relationship with Green Arrow will survive when the Birds of Prey re-launches this month.
18. Power Girl – 909 points (14 first place votes)
Kara Zor-L, created by Gerry Conway, is the cousin of the Earth-2 Superman. She traveled to Earth at the same time of her cousin, but her ship landed much later, as she had already grown to be a young woman.
Entering the hero scene, Kara quickly joined the Justice Society of America, where she stayed for a number of years until the Crisis on Infinite Earths. After the events of Crisis, Kara was misled into believing that she was not of Earth-2, something that she only recently learned was not the truth.
Kara was a member of the Justice League International for a number of years, and more recently became re-involved with the post-Crisis version of the Justice Society of America, where she eventually became the team chairwoman.
She then had her own ongoing series that brought together a lot of the Post-Crisis alterations to the character (her Karen Starr alter-ego had been in disuse for quite awhile, as had her pet cat). It was a really fun series. It ended with the “New 52” reboot, and time will tell where we will see Power Girl next.