I've spent enough time over the course of the first hundred IN YOUR FACE JAMs threatening to write this article, and now it's time to get way more personal than I ever have before. It's time to reveal my top ten comic book crushes. After ninety-nine JAMs of treating my taste as subtext, I want to make it text. I usually only reveal my taste in men as a self-deprecating and humorous deflection mechanism; my taste may seem contrarian, but it's one hundred percent genuine. I'm used to seeing guys like Nightwing and Gambit get all of the sexual adulation from fans -- and rightfully so, I'm not that contrarian -- and now I want to spread the love over to a few other super guys for once. Also, I can promise I will not use the phrase "spread the love" ever again.
There's another reason for this list. Like a few fantastic "sexiest men in comics" lists before it, I'm doing this because the discussion around sexy super dudes is crazy disproportionate to the discussion around sexy super dudettes. Not only are heroines ridiculously oversexed on comic book covers (it is improving, though), many of their Wiki pages feel the need to include where they rank on a "Sexiest Women in Comics" list right at the top of their page. If you visit Nightwing's Wiki page, you'll find no mention of the fact that he came in at #1 on Comics Alliance's "Sexiest Male Characters in Comics" list just last year. If people want to edit the following 10 characters' Wiki pages with their ranking on the incredibly official IN YOUR FACE JAM's Top 10 Hottest Comic Dudes list, well, I can't stop you.
Because I love comic book trading cards, every dude on the list has power rankings measuring my prioritized qualities. Bearditude measures the amount/impressiveness of a character's facial hair, including beards, sideburns, mustaches, etc. Spectacleness notes whether or not the character wears glasses (hint: glasses are a plus for me). Physique will likely confuse everyone who isn't me; this is basically how hot I find the dude's bod -- I told you this was going to be personal. Fave Level denotes how much I actually like the character, crushability aside. Lastly, Adorability measures their personality, fashion sense and personality quirks -- the random stuff that makes them adorable to me.
I've delayed as much as I can. Now it's time to reveal my Top 10 Hottest Comic Dudes list. It's time to get personal, and it's time to own my taste. Let's do this.
Full disclosure: I don't know who this guy is. Okay, I know that he was a supporting character during Peter David's "Incredible Hulk" run and that he's gay. I also know that his pin-up in one of the Marvel Illustrated Swimsuit Specials makes him look like a studious Ron Swanson in a Speedo, so, he gets on the list.
9. CAPTAIN AMERICA
Normally you'd expect this guy to be a lot higher, wouldn't you? Also, you probably wouldn't expect to see him reading the Constitution while wearing a belted swim brief, but that's what you get on my Hottest Comic Dudes list. Steve Rogers is pretty hot, usually because he's depicted as one of the beefier Avenger dudes -- thanks Coipel and Eaglesham. Plus, there's the bonus of knowing that Cap's a member of the Greatest Generation that would also be totally down with being the object of a gay man's affection. He's just a great guy.
8. DR. ZARKOV
Out of nowhere comes Dr. Zarkov, a supporting cast member in Dynamite's new "Flash Gordon" series. Being totally unfamiliar with Flash lore, I have no idea what to expect from Zarkov. So far, though, the guy's been cranky and sassy -- two traits that can only increase his Adorability. But let's get honest here: Evan Shaner is one of two artists that pretty much only draws guys that are my type. Choosing between Zarkov and Flash Gordon himself -- the perfect Chris Pratt meets Captain America hunk o' man -- was tough, but Zarkov's beard won out.
7. BATMAN '66
It's hard to deny Batman in general, am I right other-humans-that-are-attracted-to-humans-that-identify-as-male? I get the caped crusader's charm, but nothing tops that charm being channeled through Adam West. He makes a costume that's all silly looking silk and nylon imposing with his puffed-out stature, and then rocks an ascot in his leisure time. The man's pretty ridiculous, but that just makes him more adorable to me.
I tend to develop crushes on fictional guys that I develop a mix of sympathy, pity and empathy for. Yeah, that explains all of my Cliff Clavin tweets. Banshee has always been portrayed as older, less overtly handsome, and way more chill than pretty much every male member of the X-Men; if you're listing off classic X-Men, odds are he's the one you've forgotten. But that just makes me love him. He's got the best sideburns in the business (Wolverine's are just too much) and an open collar costume that draws your eyes to that impressive chest. Lastly, I gotta bring up just how dope Sean Cassidy's closet is. Plaid slacks, turtleneck sweaters, flat caps -- the guy's a snazzy dresser.
I -- yeah, oh yeah. Okay. So if every comic book fan has their hot demigod crush, I will take Hercules over Thor and Loki any day. I mean, I wrote an entire article about He-Man's pants and the ridiculous double standard that exists when it comes to revealing male and female costumes. Hercules is a big hairy guy that fights evil while shirtless in a mini-skirt. It should come as no surprise that I'm fine with that. He's also canonically bisexual, had a big bearish romance with Wolverine in an alternate dimension, and just comes across as the heartiest of chums.
4. BLUE BEETLEâ€¨Oh Ted, where do I even begin? I'll start by saying that Ted Kord is my favorite DC Comics character. Yeah, I've only read the "Justice League International" run, but the Ted on display there was just so positive, upbeat and adorable that I instantly crowned him king of my DC affections. Then there's the fact that the guy has been depicted as not being physically fit. I feel a bit weird for crushing on a character because of something he did not like about himself, but Ted Kord's nonconforming body type is incredibly important to me. I'm not fit, and I've easily put on thirty or forty pounds since college; seeing a super hero that looks like what I look like in select Halloween costumes makes me feel okay. Ted Kord, you are just so great.
3. DUM DUM DUGAN
Why yes, the big burly man with the mustache and bowler hat is one of my top three Hottest Comic Dudes. And yes, I am completely predictable. This man's not adorable at all, really, but that epic facial hair more than makes up for it. And -- okay, what else is there to say? If you've read everything up to this point, you know why I love Dum Dum Dugan.
Underneath all the fangs and blue fur lies easily the most handsome, larger-framed man in the Marvel Universe. Hank McCoy is a square-jawed, well-dressed, culture loving, joke-making, stocky dreamboat of a man, and he actually wears glasses. Spectacleness ranking goes off the charts! I could have also included Ben Grimm (a.k.a. The Thing) on this list, if only to point out that comics have a regrettable track record of taking bigger men and turning them into deformed super hero monsters. That's why guys like Dum Dum and Ted Kord catch my eye, and it's why I'm happy to have young Hank McCoy back in the Marvel Universe.
1. FOGGY NELSON
Duh. I mean, I wrote over a thousand words praising this guy's character earlier this year. Now it's time to turn to, yep, the hotness of Foggy Nelson. Chris Samnee is the other artist that consistently draws the hottest men in comics, as far as I'm concerned. That's because Samnee and Evan Shaner both create consistent and unique faces and body types for every guy they draw -- and they don't stick to the sharp cheekbones and six-pack abs design that most every comic dude has. Foggy's been a revelation for me; he's a pudgy guy that's not relegated to being a jokester! He wears three-piece suits and purple bow ties! He grew an ill-advised -- yet still adorable -- mustache in the '80s! Foggy's number one on this list because he's a comic book character that actually looks like the type of guy I crush on in real life. If Marvel Universe me wasn't in a committed and loving relationship with the MU version of my boyfriend, and if Foggy was retconned into being at least bisexual, then -- then -- okay, this hypothetical situation has too many qualifiers. Foggy's my number one, because of course he is.
Yep, this list got pretty personal. Let's see if I develop any new crushes by the time IN YOUR FACE JAM 200 rolls around.
Brett White is a comedian living in New York City. He co-hosts the podcast Matt & Brett Love Comics and is a writer for the comedy podcast Left Handed Radio. His opinions can be consumed in bite-sized morsels on Twitter (@brettwhite).