After nearly 1,400 ballots were cast, YOU the reader ranked your favorite comic book characters of all-time 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…
11. Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) – 1495 (17 first place votes)
Created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp, millionaire Oliver Queen was basically like Batman-lite throughout the Golden Age. It was only during the Silver Age, when writer Denny O’Neil decided to change Arrow around that Queen became a standout creation.
O’Neil decided to strip Queen of his fortune, and make him a liberal “man of the people,” who would clash with his friend, Hal Jordan, who was cast as the more conservative of the pair. The two would travel America, trying to explore it and see its people from a way impossible when you are hanging out on the moon.
Around this time, Queen began a relationship with his fellow Justice Leaguer, Black Canary. The two remained together for many years, with some time apart.
In the late 80s, writer Mike Grell recast Queen as a more serious, older hero. Grell used Green Arrow to explore various political themes in a pretty mature manner for comics.
After Grell left the title in the mid-90s, Green Arrow was killed off and replaced by his illegitimate son, Connor Hawke, for a number of years. Later on, Queen returned, and took up the hero game again.
For a time, Queen was mayor of Star City. After that ended, he proposed to Black Canary and they married. Their marriage did not last long, though, as Star City was ravaged by the villainous Prometheus and Ollie’s granddaughter, Lian, died in the attacks. Green Arrow then murdered Prometheus to gain his own personal form of justice for his razed city and his dead granddaughter. Although he was cleared of murder charges, Black Canary could not accept his actions and the two separated.
A mysterious forest appeared in Star City and Ollie worked there for awhile before the DC reboot. Now, Oliver Queen is a younger man who fights crime with assistants and technology supplied from his company, Queen Industries.
10. Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle) – 1569 (20 first place votes)
Created by Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino, Barbara Gordon was the daughter of Police Commissioner James Gordon, but was also secretly the crimefighter, Batgirl. Barbara was brilliant, and eventually realized she could do more good in the world with her mind than by patrolling Gotham City at night, so she retired as Batgirl.
Tragically, soon after her retirement, Barbara was paralyzed when the villain Joker shot her, in an attempt to rattle Batman. Thanks to the efforts of writer Kim Yale and her husband, John Ostrander, Gordon was re-modeled as Oracle, the wheelchair bound computer genius of the DC Universe.
Chuck Dixon made Oracle a major player in the Batman books, as support for Batman and his fellow crimefighters. Eventually, Dixon created a title called Birds of Prey built around Oracle, who would employ superhero operatives to do missions for her. Her most prominent operative was Black Canary, and the two women became great friends. The Huntress was Oracle’s second major operative (not chronologically, as a number of heroines had preceded Black Canary).
Oracle was so important in the DC Universe that she even joined the Justice League!! Barbara continued running her Birds of Prey operation for years, all the while supplying superheroes with information if they need it, making Barbara one of the most prominent heroes in all of the DC Universe.
During the DC “New 52” relaunch, Barbara has now regained the ability to walk and has returned to crimefighting as Batgirl (like Ollie, she has been de-aged).
NOTE: For the record, most voters just called her “Barbara Gordon” on their ballots.
Check back tomorrow for Marvel’s #11 and 10!
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