2011 Top DC Characters #45-41

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...

45. Flash (Jay Garrick) – 374 points

Comic book characters just don't have origins like Jay Garrick anymore. Garrick was a college student working on a chemistry experiment on hard water (writer Gardner Fox certainly meant to say "heavy water" instead of hard) and knocked over the hard water...WHILE TAKING A CIGARETTE BREAK!! How awesome is that? Dude knocks over a bunch of chemicals while getting his cig on! Anyhow, the liquids mix to form a gas that gives Jay super speed. After graduation, he decides to go into action as the Flash. For whatever reason, Jay decides not to wear a mask, just a helmet with wings like Hermes. Do note that the helmet is never explained in any of the Golden Age Flash comics, so everyone was cool with the idea of Jay covering up his secret identity with just a winged helmet.

Jay went on to have a number of nifty adventures before his comic was canceled. When it was revived with a new Flash taking over, Jay eventually showed up, introducing the concept of Earth 1 and Earth 2. Jay has been an "elder statesman" ever since, and he has really excelled in the role of the father/grandfather/great-grandfather to characters like Barry Allen, Wally West and Bart Allen. He's also been one of only three members of the Justice Society of America that have lasted from the beginning of the group until its most recent configuration.

44. Deadshot – 378 points (4 first place votes)

Deadshot has to be the only character in comics to have become awesome just because of his cool-looking costume. Deadshot was a really lame 1950s Batman villain who Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers revived during their awesome Detective Comics run. During his revival, Rogers designed Deadshot a sweet-looking costume. Years later, when John Ostrander was picking members of the new Suicide Squad comic book, Deadshot made it based on his costume alone. Roughly five years later, Deadshot left the Suicide Squad as one of DC's coolest characters. Ostrander did such a great job with the character that he even got a spin-off series. Since Suicide Squad was never a top-selling comic book, the fact that it got a spin-off mini-series says a lot about the awesomeness of Deadshot. After the Squad ended, Deadshot was used sparingly for over a decade. In 2005, though, he had a sudden resurgence. First, Christos Gage wrote a cool mini-series starring Deadshot (that sadly introduced a new costume that was thankfully shortlived - why mess with success?) and that was almost directly followed by Gail Simone's Villains United, which introduced the Secret Six. Since then, Deadshot has been treated quite well by Simone. That's roughly a decade of really good comics starring Deadshot. Not bad for a character who was only saved from limbo because of his cool costume!

43. Supergirl – 381 points (7 first place votes)

How annoying must it have been for Supergirl when her cousin Superman first allowed her to be seen by the public? You see, when Supergirl first showed up on Earth, Superman said that she had to be hidden, for some vague reasons that did not make much sense. Then eventually he decided she could be publicly seen - and she was TOTALLY accepted and loved by the public. She must have thought, "THIS was what you were afraid of?" Anyhow, that version of Supergirl died in Crisis on Infinite Earths (and was then erased from continuity). Nearly two decades later, a new version of Supergirl showed up and after some growing pains, she has become a valued member of the superhero community. Now she is going to be re-made once again for the new 52. Hopefully all things go well!!

42. Question (Vic Sage) – 382 points (6 first place votes)

The Question is really an example of three very different characters that are all the same character.

Steve Ditko created the character for Charlton Comics. Vic Sage was a reporter who, while doing an investigation, discovered a method of creating artificial skin. Sage used a model to make it appear as though his face was blank. As the Question, he became a force for good in Hub City. Ditko, a believer in Objectivism, used the Question to espouse those beliefs. The title was quite a philosophical one.

When the character then came to DC Comics, writer Denny O'Neil took a shine to the character, and wrote a notable series (with Denys Cowan artwork) where Sage took a more Zen approach to life.

On the popular Justice League Unlimited series, the Question was a conspiracy theorist.

Recently, Sage was used more as a mentor to other heroes. He helped the Huntress and later he helped Renee Montoya, ultimately choosing her to be his successor once he discovered that he was dying. Upon his death, she took over as the new Question, carrying on the legacy of her mentor.

41. Jesse Custer – 393 points (7 first place votes)

Jesse Custer (created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon) was a small town Reverand who was possessed by "the word of God," the ability to tell people to do something (anything) and they would do it. He gained this by being basically possessed by a forbidden offspring of an angel and a demon.

Jesse goes off on a travel to find God, and make God answer for his actions. Along the way, Jesse is paired with Cassidy, an Irish vampire and Tulip, Jesse's former girlfriend who has now become an assassin.

Jesse is a big Western fan, carrying on conversations with John Wayne the way Clarence in True Romance talked to Elvis Presley.

Jesse's family upbringing was quite psychotic, so it is quite an impressive accomplishment that he turned out so honorable.

Come back tomorrow for Marvel's #45-41!!

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