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Thursday, May 08, 2008

  Wizard's 200 Greatest Comic Characters of All Time

Vital Statistics:



1.Wolverine

2.Batman

3.Spider-Man

4.Superman

5.The Joker

6.Rorschach

7.Captain America

8.Hellboy

9.Magneto

10.John Constantine

Wolverine?  Over Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man?  What are you smokin’?  I know he’s the most popular character on the most prolific set of books around (seriously how many X-Books are there now, 57?), but c’mon!  He’s not even the best X-Man!  You may, may be able to argue your way into putting Magneto that high, but certainly not Logan.  Other oddities - Rorshach ranks #6 on the list but the Question (the character he was designed from) doesn’t even crack the top 200?  How lame is that?



11.The Thing

12.Snake-Eyes

13.Kitty Pryde

14.Jesse Custer

15.Wonder Woman

16.Lex Luthor

17.Morpheus

18.Doctor Doom

19.The Hulk

20.Miracleman

I don’t want to hate on G.I. Joe too bad, but seriously what the hell is Snake Eyes doing this high on the list?  And the second X-Man to make the list isn’t Cyclops, the Phoenix, or Professor X, it’s Kitty Pryde?  Are you freakin’ kidding me?!  Why not Jubilee?  She’s the top woman on this list!  She’s given a spot higher than Wonder Woman for cris’sakes!  Other oddities - Questionable call putting Lex Luthor ahead of Doctor Doom, and how does the Thing rank eight spots higher than the Hulk?  Nice inclusion of Alan Moore’s Marvelman/Miracleman.



21.Daredevil

22.Commissioner James Gordon

23.Yorick Brown

24.Marv

25.The Spirit

26.Cassidy

27.Green Goblin

28.Fone Bone

29.Ozymandias

30.Wally West

My main problem with this section of the list is placement.  The Spirit should be much higher on the list (the same could also be argued for Daredevil and the Green Goblin).  More Watchmen love gets two characters who only appear in one mini-series into the top thirty, yet still no appearance of the Charlton Comics characters they were created from?  Sigh!  And Wally West earns a spot but not Barry Allen?  How many Multiverses do you have to save to earn a spot on this list?



31.Tulip O’Hare

32.Green Arrow

33.Death

34.Luke Cage

35.Conan the Barbarian

36.Iron Man

37.Barbara Gordon

38.Spider Jerusalem

39.The Punisher

40.Thor

Just how many Preacher characters can you shove into the top 40?  How, in the name of all things holy, does Luke Cage beat out Iron Man?  Luke Cage had a run in the day, but he died with Disco.  I like Green Arrow a lot, but this is a pretty high spot for him considering others who haven’t made the list yet (namely Green Lantern).  Other oddities - Interesting that both Gordon’s make the top 40 (I’m not arguing this, just think it’s worth pointing out).  This is a little high, for me, to place both Punisher and Thor, though I’ve never been a big fan of either one.



41.Mr. Fantastic

42.Hal Jordan

43.Jimmy Corrigan

44.Jack Knight

45.Hawkeye

46.Jessica Jones

47.Silver Surfer

48.Professor X

49.Black Adam

50.Cobra Commander

Finally!  Green Lantern shows up, but why so low at 42, and how does the Silver Surfer not rank higher than 47?  The former herald of Galactus doesn’t rank higher than Jessica Jones and one of the many Starmen?  And what’s up with Hawkeye making the list at 45?  This added to Green Arrow’s high placement and I think somebody at Wizard has an archery fetish.  Other oddities - Black Adam makes it in at 49, but Captain Marvel has to wait six more spots before getting on the list?  Half of the Fantastic Four make in into the top 41.  And Professor X, arguably the most important X-Man, barely makes it into the top 50.



51.Tara Chace

52.Bullseye

53.Nightwing

54.Darkseid

55.Captain Marvel

56.J. Jonah Jameson

57.Usagi Yojimbo

58.Bucky Barnes

59.Madman

60.Spawn

Dick Grayson finally checks in at 53 just ahead of another former sidekick Bucky Barnes (now the new Captain America).  Sadly the World’s Mightiest Mortal can do no better than 55 on the list (to get beat out by Bullseye, Holey Moley the shame!).  Nice to see a bunny on the list with Usagi, personally I would have gone for Captain Carrot myself.  And the mighty merchandising machine of of one of Image Comics longest running characters just makes it into the top 60.  Also, nice inclusion of Tara Chace.



61.Herr Starr

62.The Red Skull

63.Cerebus

64.The Mist

65.Jason Todd

66.Two-Face

67.Katchoo

68.Robin

69.Emma Frost

70.Phoney Bone

We get our first bad, but still really hot, X-Babe with the inclusion of Emma Frost at 69 (but still no Jean Grey???).  Coming up just a few spots behind Dick Grayson are the other Robins - Jason Todd and Tim Drake.  The Joker was high on the list but it’s taken 60 spots to find another Bat-villain on the list with Two-Face (over the Riddler or Catwoman? hmm...).  Captain America’s #1 villain (who returns from the dead more often than Ra’s al Ghul) checks in at 62, and we get another animal on the list with the inclusion of Cerebus.  Not much to complain about here.



71.Black Canary

72.Deathstroke

73.Concrete

74.Enid Coleslaw

75.Milo Garret

76.Captain Cold

77.John Hartigan

78.Swamp Thing

79.Black Panther

80.Renee Montoya

Black Canary and her trademark fishnets stride onto the list at 71 (though far below that of her archer husband).  Hartigan makes it a pair of Sin City characters onto the list.  I like the inclusion of Captain Cold, though this might be a bit high for a member of the Rogues Gallery.  Other oddities - The inclusion of the second-rate character of Deathstroke, especially into the top 75 is a big disappointment.  The Black Panther shows up before his wife??  And Renee Montoya makes the list but no Vic Sage?  Just how that happened is a big Question.



81.Catwoman

82.Lono

83.Doctor Strange

84.Kingpin

85.Scott Pilgrim

86.Ultimate Nick Fury

87.Lois Lane

88.Namor the Sub-Mariner

89.Storm

90.The Human Torch

I’m a little disappointed with the inclusion of only the “Ultimate” Nick Fury.  What’s wrong with the original?  Storm, at times the most powerful of all the X-Men, finally makes it onto the list but behind Lois Lane?  Lois should make the list, don’t get me wrong, but Storm seems to have gotten the shaft here.  We get another Bat-villain with Catwoman and several B-list Marvel characters to round out this set of ten including Namor and Doctor Strange, plus the second 100 Bullets character in the last eight spots.  Nice spot for the Kingpin who has had both highs and lows over his long career of crime.



91.Hunter Rose

92.Elijah Snow

93.Hank Pym

94.Guy Gardner

95.Hopey & Maggie

96.Invincible

97.The Scarlet Witch

98.Venom

99.The Invisible Woman

100.Agent Graves

There’s a lot I like here.  I would have put Hunter Rose much higher, but I am glad he made the top 100.  And at the next spot you’ve got one of the coolest customers on the list with Elijah Snow.  I’m also happy to see Guy Gardner make the list, but 70 spots in front of Sinestro seems odd.  I wouldn’t have put Venom this high, but there are stretches where he’s carried the Spidey books.  Throw in two members of the Avengers (even if one is Ant-Man, sorry I’m just more of a Ray Palmer guy myself) and you’re looking good.  We round out the top 100 with another character from 100 Bullets, and the fourth and final member of the Fantastic Four.



101.The Crow

102.Eliot Ness

103.Blue Beetle

104.She-Hulk

105.Black Bolt

106.Cyclops

107.Grendel Prime

108.Ben Urich

109.Jinx

110.Blade

The second 100 gives us a couple of heroes with mediocre to bad films (and even worse television shows) with The Crow and Blade.  My favorite X-Man finally shows up at 106, and finally a Charlton Comics character makes an appearance at 103.  I’ve never been big on the Inhumans so Black Bolt doesn’t do much for me, but the one inclusion of this ten which is the most interesting to me is Ben Urich, the reporter who played a vital role in Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil and has made the rounds of the Marvel Universe ever since.  Nice inclusion.



111.Raphael

112.Rick Jones

113.Witchblade

114.Wesley Gibson

115.Nite Owl

116.The Savage Dragon

117.Rogue

118.Hawkman

119.Jean Grey

120.Cyborg

Speaking of heroes with bad television shows here’s Witchblade checking in at 113.  We just had the Blue Beetle and now twelve spots later we get Nite-Owl.  Jean Grey finally shows up at 119, though she is after yet another X-Man as Rogue earns a place two spots higher.  We finally get a Titan not trained by Batman, Hawkman flies into the list at 118 (not a bad placement considering his convoluted history), one of the longest running Image characters earns a spot at 116, and sidekick extraordinaire Rick Jones finds himself on the list as well.  Other than the low placement of Grey, not too shabby.  And I like the inclusion of a turtle, even if it’s not the right one.



121.Howard the Duck

122.The Goon

123.Bizarro

124.The Vision

125.Kabuki

126.Deena Pilgrim

127.Mary Jane Watson

128.Ted Knight

129.Galactus

130.Mitchell Hundred

Other than Mary Jane and Galactus here’s a group I’d just as soon forget.  Galactus is one of the greatest Marvel villains of all-time (and responsible for one of my fav’s - the Silver Surfer).  And MJ is a staple of Peter Parker’s life (no matter what “Brand New Day” has to say on the subject).  I’ve never been much of a fan of either the Vision or the old Starman (cursed with one of the worst costumes of all time).  And the sheer awfulness of the 1986 film should keep Howard from appearing on this list.  Interesting choices to include both the Goon and Ex Machina‘s mayor both in the same ten-some.



131.The Governor

132.Elektra

133.Nightcrawler

134.Miho

135.Groo the Wanderer

136.Buffy Summers

137.Mr. Miracle

138.Drinky the Crow

139.The Leader

140.Doop

Good section here.  Love her or hate her, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is here to stay.  Kinda’ cool that she earns a spot next to two other kick ass female martial artists Miho and Elektra.  Nice to see Mr. Miracle, one of the few good New God characters (and staple of Giffen’s Justice League) earn a spot as well.  The Leader may only be a fraction of his former self in the current Marvel Universe, but there was a time he was the Hulk’s greatest villain.  Groo deserves his spot, too.



141.Christian Walker

142.Alfred Pennyworth

143.Loki

144.The Atom

145.Francine Peters

146.Hitman

147.Aquaman

148.Jimmy Olsen

149.Moon Knight

150.The Watcher

Ray Palmer and Aquaman show up, though far down the list from their Marvel counterparts.  Christian Walker shows up 15 spots behind his Powers co-star.  Nice spot for Moon Knight, on of Marvel’s better B-characters.  Loki gets in on his body of work, but he hasn’t been a big player in the Marvel Universe for years.  Seriously, what the hell is Tommy Monaghan doing on this list?  Was Vigilante too busy to make an appearance?  I know Alfred is an important character, but is he one of the 200 greatest?  How about Jimmy Olsen?



151.Shade

152.Black Cat

153.Supergirl

154.Red Arrow

155.Captain Marv-Vell

156.Plastic Man

157.Agent 355

158.Grifter

159.Kyle Rayner

160.Elongated Man

Kara finally shows up on the list at 153, but comes in behind the Black Cat?  It’s also nice to see Speedy, sorry, Red Arrow, make the cut (though I would have put him higher, possibly swapping him with Cyborg’s spot at 120).  Mar-Vell, and his kick-ass costume, show up at 155.  Plastic Man and Elongated Man both show up four spots apart. Grifter makes the cut but Midnighter doesn’t??  And yes, I’m just going to completely ignore spot 159, much as I do the ill-conceived devil-spawned character.



161.Mage

162.Holden Carver

163.Orion

164.Deathlok

165.Sinestro

166.Wylie Times

167.The Invisible Man

168.The Spectre

169.King Leonidas of Sparta

170.Jim Rhodes

The Spectre is one of those characters that is either in the middle of everything or lost in the margins of the DCU.  Others from this ten - Matt Wagner’s other creation makes the cut at 161, the son of Darkseid makes an appearance at 163, and the greatest villain of the Green Lantern Corps finally shows up at 165.  Yet another appearance by a character from 100 Bullets at 166.  Also from this ten we get the only appearance from both The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Frank Miller’s 300.  Jim Rhodes makes the list but not John Stewart?  Interesting...



171.Dwight McCarthy

172.Uncle Gabby

173.Booster Gold

174.David Gold

175.Lobo

176.Black Widow

177.Hyperion

178.Cyborg Superman

179.Ultimate Doctor Octopus

180.Beast

The greatest hero the world has never known checks in at 173 (read more about Booster Gold here) along with a host of periphery characters.  Hyperion is an interesting choice, but, in my opinion, a poor man’s Supreme (who sadly didn’t make the list), Lobo, Black Widow, and the Beast all deserve spots.  Sin City grabs another spot with the inclusion of Dwight.  Cyborg Superman earns a spot mainly for a single story arc, and once again a regular character is cast aside in favor of the Ultimate version in the case of Doc Oc (did this version try to marry Aunt May?, C’mon people!).



181.Mirror Master

182.Deadpool

183.Sgt. Rock

184.Colossus

185.Cassandra Nova

186.Brainiac

187.The Tick

188.Juggernaut

189.Ultron

190.Ra’s Al Ghul

The Flash’s Rogues Gallery actually earns two spots on this list and Professor Zoom isn’t one of them?  How did Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams’ kick-ass Bat-villain end up so low on this list?  The Demon’s Head deserves better!  Robots are finally getting some respect here with the inclusion of both Brainiac and Ultron (but what about gorillas?  No love for Grodd, Congorilla, or the Ultra-Humanite?).  Three more X-Men characters join the list, including the Juggernaut (bitch!).



191.Timber Wolf

192.Beta Ray Bill

193.Sabretooth

194.Leo Patterson

195.Iron Fist

196.Superboy

197.Kid Miracleman

198.Twitch

199.Golden Age Sandman

200.Superman-Prime

The list rounds out with a pair of Superman characters including the completely psychotic Superman-Prime who should play an important role in the upcoming Final Crisis, the first (and best) Sandman - Wesley Dodds, and some “cute” choices including Twitch, Superboy, and Beta Ray Bill (but sadly no Zoo Crew).  Wolverine’s longtime nemesis just makes the cut as well.  There are certainly some real head-scratchers and glaring omissions on this list.


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