The Ten Most Interesting Superheroes
10. The Hulk
At first glance, Hulk may seem like a simple green beast who likes to smash things. But at Hulk’s best, he’s a complex character with some serious issues. Bruce Banner is constantly struggling for control over his rage-filled alter ego. Banner’s struggle has led The Hulk through some tough journeys on the comic page, but this struggle has also been well captured on the screen with the late 70s TV show.
9. Jean Grey
When it comes to having interesting superheroes, women kind of get ripped off. Yes, there are lots of female characters out there, but they’re usually not given very interesting personalities or storylines, at least not compared to their male counterparts. Jean Grey however has managed to make her mark. This mostly comes from being the central figure in one of Marvel’s most beloved storylines; the Dark Phoenix Saga. Jean’s potential for unbridled power makes her an extremely important player in the X-Men universe.
8. Iron Man
But isn’t Tony Stark just Marvel’s version of Bruce Wayne? On the outermost surface, yes. But Stark is very much his own man. Iron Man really is a different take on the usual superhero. He’s cocksure and arrogant in an oddly appealing way. He’s a tech genius and has powerful political influence, most recently seen int he Civil War storyline. Tony Stark is definitely an intriguing personality and a massive figure in the Marvel universe.
Not only is the idea of a blind superhero intriguing, but its more-so Daredevil’s conflicting nature and guilt-driven motives that make him one of Superherodom’s most interesting. Daredevil is a hero of many layers, from his own brand of vigilante justice to his strong Catholicism. He has carved out his own corner in the dankest parts of New York City and always plods on despite not getting the attention of his more notable Marvel counterparts.
Spider-Man is one of the most interesting of all superheroes because he is the everyman who happens to come across super powers. His wisecracking ways have made him one of the most beloved heroes in the world. I think that he is so well loved and recognized because he really is like us. He has girl troubles, he struggles to hold down a job, keep up his schoolwork, and make ends meet. Its just that on top of it all he puts on a suit and fights crime. I think we all see a bit of ourselves in Spider-Man, which is why people the world over find him so intriguing.
And no, its not just because he’s Canadian (though that does help his case ). Wolverine is an enigma. His past is a mystery which he has been piecing together bit by bit. His healing powers have made him a perfect test subject for the mysterious Weapon X project. So externally, he has some very interesting stuff going on.
Internally, Wolverine is also fascinating. He has both heroic and villainous qualities within him. He lives in the grey area of life and is constantly trying to counter his more animalistic, savage nature with the genuine sense of waht is right.
Rorschach is probably the most notable character from the celebrated graphic novel Watchmen. And he is also the most interesting out of a very interesting cast of characters. His ideas of morality and his uncompromising ideology. He is a tortured soul who makes for a strange hero. But his dedication to his principles is both admirable and mind-boggling at the same time.
3. John Constantine
Constantine is not your typical superhero. He’s a hard-nosed, foul-mouthed loner who happens to have powers of the occult. He’s a hero who, like all of them, wants to do good. But he also makes some really bad decisions despite his intent. His flaws are evident yet are deeply ingrained within the complexities of his personality. He is even the center of one of the most acclaimed comic book storylines where he actually has terminal lung cancer. An original superhero personality if ever there was one.
“Ian, what are you doing? Superman is bland! He’s a generic hero who has nothing to really offer.”
I would simply ask that you look closer.
Superman’s backstory is quite fascinating. He is the only survivor of a distant planet trying to find his place in human society. He has become so symbolic as a superhero, but his squeaky clean personality still has quite a bit of depth to it. As Tatarantino once pointed out through his Kill Bill movies, Superman is different from all other notable heroes because he is a true superhero who has to pretend to be a regular person. He is Kal-El, not Clark Kent. He is a stranger in a strange land.
The mythology of Superman is also fascinating. His Kryptonian background and origin story is famous worldwide. Sure they have done some really silly things with it in the past (Superdog anyone?), but the general core is really great stuff. There is a reason why Superman has lasted for over seventy years. There’s a lot of stuff going on underneath and around that clean, pristine image.
Batman has been through many phases throughout his comic career, from his humble beginnings in Detective Comics to his campy turn in the 60s to Gotham’s dark demeanor brought out through writers like Frank Miller and Jeph Lieb. He is a hero with no special powers but enough resources on his hands, and enough self-driven training, to turn himself into the caped crusader.
Batman’s psyche is one which comic book writers and film-makers can’t resist exploring. He has perhaps the most tumultuous of relationships with his secret identity of any other hero, balancing the respected billionaire with his dark knight alter ego. Batman can be unrelenting in his moral code and his sense of right and wrong, which can make him quite the fascist at times.
Batman also has some of the most interesting relationships with his villains, especially the Joker. They are the ying to his yang and though he fights them, we realize at times that he’s not so far removed from them. Batman has one of the strongest backstorys, one of the most intricate fictional worlds on the comic page, and perhaps the mostly deeply explored hero there has been.