Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Ten-Superhero Universe




This started when I was thinking how most superhero universes are quite crowded.



I began to wonder: suppose I could put any established heroes into a comic book universe, but could use no more than ten, which ones would I choose.



Here's what I came up with:


The Ten-Superhero Universe



1) Superman

Still the template upon which all other superheroes are based. Any good universe needs somebody as the prime heroes are based.

Elements covered:

Ultimate power

Ultimate Goodness

Sci-fi

Alien



Batman

2) The first and biggest major deviation from the Superman mold. Dark where Superman is light, human where Superman is superhuman, he’s managed to eclipse the big guy and may do so for years to come.

Elements covered:

Non-Powered

Dark

Mystery Man

Vigilante

Gadgets

Big Brain



3) Wonder Woman

The natural female counterpart of Superman, with an added mythological angle, she’s a lesser but still indispensable part of a good mythos.

Elements Covered:

Female

Feminist

Mythological

Utopian



4) Spiderman

Belongs because he doesn’t belong. He’s arguably the first, and inarguably the best, misfit hero. His youth also adds a vital element.

Elements Covered:

Young

Witty

Angst-Ridden



5) Iron Man

Okay, He probably would not have made the list without that hit movie, but that’s enough to convince anyone he deserves a spot as the universe’s big brain/tech master, with a suit of armor to go with it. As a real playboy bachelor (as opposed to Bruce Wayne), he adds a unique personality as well.

Elements Covered:

Tech

Big Brain

Armor

Playboy

Businessman



6) Hulk

I considered categorizing him as a supervillain (or more appropriately, foe) of Superman, but his appeal is too big and primal to ignore. He can trade villains with Superman and several others, and his brainy alter ego is a true scientist, unlike Batman’s detective and Iron Man’s engineer.

Elements Covered:

Bruiser

Ultimate Power

Angry



7) Plastic-Man

Maybe no one will ever do him as well as Jack Cole, but his weirdness and humor is indispensible. While Spiderman seems too real a person to be a hero, Plastic Man seems too weird of a superhero to be real.

Elements:

Funny

Weird

Shape-Shifter



8) Zatanna

I really though this was going to be Dr. Strange, my favorite mystical hero, but basically any such character could fill this niche, and Zatanna adds a needed distaff element.

Elements Added:

Female

Light-hearted

Sexy



9) Wolverine

This is a character I honestly do not like very much, but he fills a vital modern niche and makes for good conflict with the “nice” superheroes.

Elements Added:

Mutant

Killer

Savage

International



10) Spawn

Finally, a bit of the macabre. Spawn is probably the best-known example of the surprisingly long list of heroes who got their start by dying (Deadman, The Spectre. Swampt-Thing, etc.) Grim humor, and a lonely quest will give him plenty to do.

Elements Added:

Grim

Supernatural

Pathos

Horror



(Ancillary characters like Supergirl, Robin, Doc Sampson, etc. could also be allowed. And I'd allow ten villains for each hero. But that's for another blog post...)

2 Comments:

At 6/11/11, 1:14 PM, Anonymous Boston Bill said...

Zatanna probably would be better at relating to the other standard heroes, and she's not over-powered like Doc. Like the Silver Surfer and the Phoenix, he became too powerful to write for on a regular basis.

Villains: Doctor Doom (scientific mastermind, despot); The Joker (powerless but deadly psychopath); Darkseid (a supremely powerful enemy of all of the Earth); Kingpin (crime boss who can also go toe to toe with the heroes); Solomon Grundy (mindless Brute with magic mixed in).

Still needed: a first class 'street level' villain, at least one female, a ray shooter, a reluctant villain (one who retains some kind of moral code).

 
At 6/11/11, 1:20 PM, Anonymous Boston Bill said...

And the Super Team would consist of: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, Plastic Man and Zatanna. The others being ill-suited to teamwork.

Wolverine really works best in a family oriented team like the X-Men. Apparently they've made him an Avenger while he's also a Secret Avenger and also a rolling member of X-Men, X-Force, X-Factor and American Idol. Talk about spreading things thin! Spider-Man is good at teaming up, but simply not a joiner. The Hulk only allies himself with heroes when it's convenient, and Spawn is just too damn weird and scary (although he too will find himself allied with the heroes often, they just won't trust him)

 

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