Author Topic: List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes  (Read 1564 times)

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Offline Johnny Unusual

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List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes
« on: May 28, 2017, 11:00:30 AM »
That's right, it's another goddamned reboot.  It feels like every year there's a new number one on the shelves.  Get back to legacy numbering, you jerks!

Anyway, the topic for this one is a favourite of mine: superheroes!  They are now more popular than ever, featured in popular TV show, movies, video games and occasionally in something called comic books.  But who even reads those any more.  A little under 10 years ago, the Rifftrax forum covered this topic.  But things are different now: we have new heroes, new forum members and, in general, tastes can change a LOT in that time.  So this is a topic I'm eager to revisit.

I've loved superheroes for a long time.  I remember being scared of comics for a long time as a kid, having seen some stuff that made me think it was all killing.  But a friend showed me the best seller X-Men #1 from '91 (the one with all of them Jim Lee covers) and I was into it pretty quick.  It's funny that I got into it at that point, because that's arguably an era when superhero comics were at their lowest point (maybe second to the 50's).  They were still popular but plagued by bad story ideas and continuity so think you could cut it with a chainsaw and some elbow grease.  But I didn't care, I loved them.  I feel like at first they were just fun colourful characters to me, but a series called Astro City, as well as the Batman and X-Men cartoon series, clued me into the ability to tap into more story telling potential beyond "super people punching each other is cool" (for the record, it is).

They can be powerful aspirational figures, or characters we can connect with (which is why I think diversity in superhero fiction is really important), or simply interesting superdudes.  Right now, I think a lot of people are feeling frustrated and powerless and that's when these characters might be most important.  Recently, I was reading the classic Superman comics and it was fascinating.  The character was kind of a bully, but one who would target other bullies who represented the social ills at the time (and, on occasion, chose some ill-advised targets).  But there's this core idea that there's someone who can do the things we can't that has staid with the genre.  Sometimes it bends back, examining corruption and abuse of power.  Sometimes it is truly inspirational, as you can find a lot of powerful stories online of people moved to improve their lives by, as Stan Lee once called them, the "long underwear crowd").  But this is a topic I feel very passionately about and hope you can join in on.

Now, for you first timers, here's how our very easy activity works:

HOW IT WORKS:

Create a list of your favorite superhero, each numbered from 1 to 25 like so:

1. Your favorite TV Show.
2. Your second favorite TV Show.
3. Your third most favorite TV Show.
And so on until you get to #25.

Once the list is complete, send it to me via Personal Message, not via this thread.

When all submissions are in, I'll score them. Your #1 choice gets 25 points, your #2 choice gets 24, all the way down to your #25 choice, which gets 1. I add up the points, and then rank the characters in a list here in this forum for your enjoyment. Should you submit a list of less than 25 items, then your points are reduced accordingly. A list with only 5 songs only gets 5 points for the number one choice, so the more you can think of, the better.

Qualifications:
1) It must be a superhero.  This is the tricky part, as superhero isn't a rigidly defined term.  There are quite a few pulp characters who existed before the term superhero that I would except like Zorro or the Lone Ranger.  They don't necessarily need powers, the don't necessarily need costumes and in some cases, they can even be evil.  Just don't mix up an evil superhero (Captain Hammer, the main character of Irredeemible) with straight on supervillains.  An "evil superhero" should probably be someone who is pretending to be good or has a certain public image).  But again, there's no 100% solid rubrik for this so follow your heart and if you want some advice, you can ask me or bring it up on this thread to hear peoples opinions.
2) No teams.  That should be its own thread.  This is just for individual characters.  Mostly.  I will accept some duos, but only if they are sort of a package deal.  No Batman & Robin as a single entry, but I will accept Menos Y Mas from the Teen Titans as a single entry.  Again, if you have a question about this one, don't hesitate to ask.
3)  They can be from any medium.  Comics, TV, Movies, Video Games.  But to simplify things, please don't differentiate to much.  I don't want a list that has the movie and TV versions of Superman as separate entries.  For my sake, please keep it simple, sunshine.

I think that covers everything, since this is a pretty easy topic.  Though I am expecting a WIDE range of shows and a lot of different entries.

The due date is June 10th!  That gives you almost TWO WEEKS.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask below.


Offline stethacantus

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Re: List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2017, 12:42:18 PM »
A few questions

Are sidekicks superheroes, or just annoying tagalong kids?

If a character changes it's superhero identity, does it count as separate superheroes? For example Hank Pym changing from Ant Man  to Giant Man.

If a superhero dies, is disabled or retires and someone else takes over with the same costume and identity, does it count as more than one superhero?

Are the different Night Riders different heroes, or the same hero because they were all possessed by the same demon?

Does a comic book character like Howard the Duck, who has no powers and only reluctantly ends up being a hero, count as  a superhero?

How about a  character that has powers but does not have a costume, superhero name,  or secret identity? For example, something like Clark Kent during the series Smallville, but in a comic or television show where the character never becomes a superhero.

Do Secret Agents fall into the category of Superhero? Or only when they have a costume?

Can animals be considered Superheroes?  For example, Krypto becoming Superdog.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 12:46:21 PM by stethacantus »


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2017, 01:03:23 PM »
Are sidekicks superheroes, or just annoying tagalong kids?
It depends on the sidekick.  For example, Robin is definitely a superhero.  Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen isn't (except when he was Elastic Lad, but most of the time, he isn't).  Plus, remember, not all sidekicks are kids.  For example, Stripesy was the adult sidekick to the Star-Spangled Kid, a teen superhero.

If a character changes it's superhero identity, does it count as separate superheroes? For example Hank Pym changing from Ant Man  to Giant Man.
I'm going to say no.  We can collect all Hank Pyms together into one entry.  So if you say Captain America, I'm going to default to Steve Rogers, even though Sam Wilson has been a damned fine Captain America.  So in some cases, you might want to be very clear (especially in the case of Robins).

If a superhero dies, is disabled or retires and someone else takes over with the same costume and identity, does it count as more than one superhero?
This one can be case by case.  Including the above rules, if the characters aren't that well known outside of those identities, such as the Phantom or Knight & Squire from DC Comics, I'm happy to collect them.  But for more upper tier names, please specify.

Are the different Night Riders different heroes, or the same hero because they were all possessed by the same demon?
Who are the Night Riders?  Man, Ghost Rider sounds like Ghost Rider should sue.  But I get you.  Again, I'm going to go case by case with characters who possess or are merged with other characters (though I believe SOME of those demons were different) depending on the Ghost Rider, if that is who you are talking about.

Quote
Does a comic book character like Howard the Duck, who has no powers and only reluctantly ends up being a hero, count as  a superhero?
Excellent question.  Like I said, it is hard, in some cases, to know who "counts" as a superhero.  I'll give Howard a pass, so if you want to include him, go nuts.

Quote
How about a  character that has powers but does not have a costume, superhero name,  or secret identity? For example, something like Clark Kent during the series Smallville, but in a comic or television show where the character never becomes a superhero.
Yep, but please, only include characters who cross media as one entry.  I don't want to have to count Smallville Superman as different from comic book or movie Superman.

Quote
Do Secret Agents fall into the category of Superhero? Or only when they have a costume?
Some.  Like the THUNDER Agents and Nick Fury.  But I personally wouldn't include James Bond.  Again, though, there are no hard and fast rules for the term superhero in my mind, so let your heart decide.
Quote
Can animals be considered Superheroes?  For example, Krypto becoming Superdog.
100% yes.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2017, 02:31:53 PM »
What about antiheroes that fall more on the side of vigilantism, like The Punisher.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2017, 02:46:12 PM »
That one, I'll leave up to you.


Offline stethacantus

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Re: List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2017, 03:07:43 PM »
Are sidekicks superheroes, or just annoying tagalong kids?
It depends on the sidekick.  For example, Robin is definitely a superhero.  Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen isn't (except when he was Elastic Lad, but most of the time, he isn't).  Plus, remember, not all sidekicks are kids.  For example, Stripesy was the adult sidekick to the Star-Spangled Kid, a teen superhero.

I was thinking more like costumed sidekicks with no powers, like Bucky. Also, didn't Marvin from Superfriends have a really crappy costume? Despite the JLA allowing Windy and Marvin to join them ( standards must have been really, really low that year ) do they really count as superheroes?

Are the different Night Riders different heroes, or the same hero because they were all possessed by the same demon?
Who are the Night Riders?  Man, Ghost Rider sounds like Ghost Rider should sue.  But I get you.  Again, I'm going to go case by case with characters who possess or are merged with other characters (though I believe SOME of those demons were different) depending on the Ghost Rider, if that is who you are talking about.

Your right. I meant Ghost Rider.

Quote
How about a  character that has powers but does not have a costume, superhero name,  or secret identity? For example, something like Clark Kent during the series Smallville, but in a comic or television show where the character never becomes a superhero.
Yep, but please, only include characters who cross media as one entry.  I don't want to have to count Smallville Superman as different from comic book or movie Superman.

I was thinking of characters like Popeye.

Quote
Do Secret Agents fall into the category of Superhero? Or only when they have a costume?
Some.  Like the THUNDER Agents and Nick Fury.  But I personally wouldn't include James Bond.  Again, though, there are no hard and fast rules for the term superhero in my mind, so let your heart decide.

I was thinking of characters like Reese from Person of Interest who 's agent training has given them almost super powers that allow them to take out a room of armed thugs
« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 03:10:15 PM by stethacantus »


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2017, 03:50:33 PM »
Could a certain incredible family be included as one entry?


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2017, 03:58:01 PM »
Are sidekicks superheroes, or just annoying tagalong kids?
It depends on the sidekick.  For example, Robin is definitely a superhero.  Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen isn't (except when he was Elastic Lad, but most of the time, he isn't).  Plus, remember, not all sidekicks are kids.  For example, Stripesy was the adult sidekick to the Star-Spangled Kid, a teen superhero.

I was thinking more like costumed sidekicks with no powers, like Bucky. Also, didn't Marvin from Superfriends have a really crappy costume? Despite the JLA allowing Windy and Marvin to join them ( standards must have been really, really low that year ) do they really count as superheroes?
I think those characters would count, despite the fact that I think Marvin and Wendy have no skills, powers... or even much of a personality, if I recall.  I actually think there are certainly superheroes (usually in the genre of comedy) that lack a lot of these things.


Quote
How about a  character that has powers but does not have a costume, superhero name,  or secret identity? For example, something like Clark Kent during the series Smallville, but in a comic or television show where the character never becomes a superhero.
Yep, but please, only include characters who cross media as one entry.  I don't want to have to count Smallville Superman as different from comic book or movie Superman.

I was thinking of characters like Popeye.
Again, this is were it gets tricky.  Characters like that could count.  Personally, though, I think of him as more of an adventure hero.  Like I said, there's no quick and easy way to discount a choice, but in my heart of heart, I can't think of him as a superhero.  That said, I think there are characters in a similar vein that I might totally feel belong in that camp.

Quote
Do Secret Agents fall into the category of Superhero? Or only when they have a costume?
Some.  Like the THUNDER Agents and Nick Fury.  But I personally wouldn't include James Bond.  Again, though, there are no hard and fast rules for the term superhero in my mind, so let your heart decide.

I was thinking of characters like Reese from Person of Interest who 's agent training has given them almost super powers that allow them to take out a room of armed thugs

Hmm... I haven't seen the show, but my take is that superpowers and altruism don't always equal superhero.  I can't at all think of Luke Skywalker as a superhero despite hitting a lot of the definition marks.  From your description, I think no BUT a) I'm going to let almost anything slip in simply because superhero is a bit of a nebulous word (there are certainly characters you could point to where I would have to confess "I don't know") and b) you know the show better than I do, dude.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2017, 04:01:16 PM »
Could a certain incredible family be included as one entry?

Nope.  That's a team.  I am only open to duos if they are practically inseparable.  Superhero teams will be its own list... someday.  Each member of that family has their own distinct personalities, wants, needs and though family is important, they are shown being in their own context.

Thanks for that great question about the family from Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2.


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2017, 04:10:53 PM »
OK, list sent.


Offline stethacantus

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Re: List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2017, 05:23:57 PM »
I was thinking of characters like Reese from Person of Interest who 's agent training has given them almost super powers that allow them to take out a room of armed thugs

Hmm... I haven't seen the show, but my take is that superpowers and altruism don't always equal superhero.  I can't at all think of Luke Skywalker as a superhero despite hitting a lot of the definition marks.  From your description, I think no BUT a) I'm going to let almost anything slip in simply because superhero is a bit of a nebulous word (there are certainly characters you could point to where I would have to confess "I don't know") and b) you know the show better than I do, dude.

I always though of Person of Interest as a superhero series in form. You had the hero that was a vigilante who skills allowed him to take out groups of villains and save that weeks victim. And since Reese often wore the same white dress suit while on missions, he became known to the police who were hunting the mysterious vigilante as "The Man in the Suit". It was almost as if it was his costume. But otherwise it was a crime/sci-fi show that just happened to be written just like a superhero show.  Still, there are plenty of heroes in the James Bond/Indiana Jones vein who are either very skilled or very lucky or maybe just both, and can pull things off just as good as a costumed Superhero. For me the grey area comes when you find such characters in comic books. Nick Fury is a prime example. He had neither super powers, nor ever really wore a costume, and was always identified by his real name. And there are plenty of others like Fury, especially within the Marvel universe. Such as Black Widow.


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Re: List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2017, 05:32:37 PM »
For me the grey area comes when you find such characters in comic books. Nick Fury is a prime example. He had neither super powers, nor ever really wore a costume, and was always identified by his real name. And there are plenty of others like Fury, especially within the Marvel universe. Such as Black Widow.

I completely agree about the grey area.  It's tricky with a lot of the characters, particularly when within a shared universe. they try to expand genre.  And I don't even think the character of Nick Fury would consider himself a superhero.  But often we don't get a say in what we are thought of as.  I used to not put a certain DC sorcerer in that ranking, but when he took over a Justice League team, it kind of changes one's view.


Offline Pak-Man

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Re: List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2017, 08:02:08 PM »
Speaking of Nick Fury, and my list is in, so this is all academic, is he one character or two?


Offline George-2.0

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Re: List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2017, 10:13:26 AM »
*George stands on soap box*

After that shameful display in the original list (only 4 women, and the most famous one of all was missing? …what the hell people!) I’m going to show a lot of support for the ladies. Don’t know if it’ll help, but we got to do right by these amazing women (a damn sight better than 4)

*George steps off soap box* ;)


Also, there are so, so many great superheroes out there that I’m not going to concern myself with too many of the gray areas.  (BTW, I have seen Person of Interest and  I wouldn't consider him a superhero)
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 10:25:19 AM by George-2.0 »


Offline Russoguru

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Re: List of Crap #103: Top 50 Superheroes
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2017, 04:04:16 PM »
I just turned in my list. I think I'm a lot happier with my choices here than I was in the last LOC.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 04:08:47 PM by Russoguru »