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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Top 36 Heroes - Part 6/Conclusion

"It's been a long road,
Getting from there to here.
It's been a long time
But my time is finally here."

Don't worry, I'll stop there. So, who really thought that "Faith of the Heart" would make a good theme song for a Star Trek TV series? I'm just wondering, that's all. Anyway, here's the last part in the long, long list of my favorite fictional heroes. I could list them, but this post is already going to be long enough. So, here are some links on what you might have missed:
  • Part One - Popeye, Goku, Duncan McLeod, Billy Cranston, Jack Knight, and Sarah Connor
  • Part Two - Robin Hood, Goliath, Hercules, The Prince from Prince of Persia, Storm, and Captain America
  • Part Three - Angel, Teal'C, Vash the Stampede, Dick Grayson, Gandalf, and Harry Callahan 
  • Part Four - Atticus Finch, Admiral Adama, Wonder Woman, Solid Snake, the Hulk, and the Flash
  • Part Five - Sherlock Holmes, The Doctor, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,  Rocky Balboa, Spider-Man, and Luke Skywalker
With that out of the way, let's see who made into the top six spots.

6. Wolverine
He’s the best at what he does and what he does isn't really nice. Wolverine (Logan) is Marvel’s premier mutant. Born as James Howlett in the 1800’s, it’s fair to say that the character has been through a lot. He’s has adamantium claws that come out his hands, he has heighten senses, a ridiculous haircut, and he has a pretty overblown healing factor.  He’s virtually immortal… insert random Highlander joke here. Logan’s pretty popular with Marvel by being a leading X-Man and by being a part of the Avengers. He’s also the main guy in just about all of the X-Men movies.

So, what does make Logan a cool character? Is it the fact that he’s a killer, a loner, and somewhat of a douche? I think it’s some of those things, but there is more to the character than that.  If anything, he’s the best to me when he’s not most of those things I listed. While he can speak his mind a bit too much, he sometimes knows the right thing to say. He may be a loner, but the guy’s still a team person. He even mentors teenage girls on the side… well, someone has to! Lastly, he may be a killer, but even he knows when not to take a life. When it comes to movies and TV, Hugh Jackman and the 90’s animated show did it best.

5. Indiana Jones

Who knew history professors could lead such interesting lives? Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones Jr. is an archaeologist who travels the world looking for buried, long forgotten artifacts. He’s been in movies, TV, comics, and even video games. I think my favorite game of his was Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb. I like everything about the character. He’s funny, he’s courageous, he’s smart, and he really hates snakes and Nazis. He kind of has a thing for the ladies as well.

My favorite movie of his would be The Last Crusade. While the fourth movie is regarded as the worst movie, I thought it was still cool to see the character for one last go-around. Hey, at least Indiana was the best part of  the Crystal Skull. I haven't read any of the books or comics but I probably should one day. He's simply an awesome character who is an homage to those old adventure stories from "the day." It’s definitely Harrison Ford’s best role.

4. James Bond
His name’s Bond… James Bond. As Agent 007 of MI6, Bond has to keep the world safe from all sorts of villainous villains. In all of his incarnations over the years, the character has virtually remained the same. He’s a suave man who’ll kick butt on one night and then hook up with a fine woman on another night. Sometimes, he uses sweet high-tech gadgets to get out of messes. Other times, he uses some ingenuity to win the day. What makes Bond cool is pretty much all I have just said. Men want to be him and women want to be with him.

I've never read any of the books by Ian Fleming, but I did read the ending of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." I think I've seen about all of the movies at one time or another. I'm definitely a fan of the rebooted movies. Quantum of Solace was okay though. I think my favorite movies are "From Russia With Love", "On Her Majesty's Secret Service,"License to Kill," "Goldeneye," and "Casino Royale." My favorite actors in the role  the role of Bond are Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, and Pierce Brosnan. 

3. Captain James T. Kirk
Next up is James Tiberius Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise. I decided on only one character from Star Trek since there are so many cool characters from the franchise to include. He was captain all throughout the ship’s five-year mission. Even after that time, he and his main crew always gravitated back to that ship. Kirk is mostly known for the boisterous speeches, his flirtation with women, and his shoulder roll.  Unfortunately, he has a weakness towards actual bridges… yes, that was a horrible way to die. Lastly, he’s the only one who can keep Spock and McCoy on a leash.

To me, Kirk represents the best things about Star Trek. He’s an explorer who wants to go where no one has gone before. He’s a captain that I would definitely follow. I would keep him away from my woman though. I also like that Kirk doesn’t play by the rules at times. Even when that pesky “Prime Directive” gets in the way, Kirk will follow his gut and do what he can in saving innocents. William Shatner played the character well. While his acting was questionable at times, he was Jim Kirk. I do believe Chris Pine is doing a good job and I hope to see him in another Trek movie.

2. Batman
Batman. That’s all I need to say on the matter. Moving along...

Okay, I’ll say some more. Created in 1939 by Bob Kane AND Bill Finger, Batman is one of the most recognizable heroes in fiction. The story is that a young Bruce Wayne dedicated himself to fighting crime when his parents were gunned down right in front of him. Over the years, he trained himself physically and mentally to face the task. When he reached adulthood, he chose to use the bat as a symbol to strike fear into the hearts of men. As Batman, he’s made many allies as well as enemies in his war against evil. The character has been portrayed as being extremely cheesy or extremely grim during his time.

So, why is the character one of the best? I think it’s a lot of reasons. He’s a grim character who rarely smiles. He’s driven to the point of obsession. He also has the distinction of being a non-powered hero who basically stands alongside demigods. I will say that writers do overpower him a bit too much (*cough* Grant Morrison *cough*).  He’s got the best gadgets and the best rogues’ gallery. When it comes to TV and movies, that where it gets a little tough to choose. I will say that the Timm/Dini team has done much more for the character than any of the live-action franchises have done. When it comes to the live action versions, I’m kind of stuck between Michael Keaton and Christian Bale.

1. Superman
You should have known this was coming. Just see which hero has been blogged about the most over the years. Created in 1938 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman ended up becoming a cultural icon and he is still that after all these years. Sent to Earth as a baby, Kal-El grew up as Clark Kent and developed incredible abilities. When he reached adulthood, he decided to use those gifts to help mankind. At times, he’s known as mild-mannered reporter, Clark Kent. Other times, he’s also known as Superman: champion of the oppressed. He fights for truth, justice, and the American way (or the idealized one). Whether he’s a social crusader or an alien powerhouse, he’s just awesome.

So, what makes Superman the number one hero? Is it just his powers or is it something more? I say it’s all the above. Superman is the idealized hero. He does what he does so he can make the world a better place. He has all of the characteristics of a selfless hero. All of the things I described a hero as being is what makes Superman a hero to root for. He's willing to risk it all even when saving one life. Even without his powers (he has to lose his powers every lunar cycle it seems…), Superman tries to do his best in keeping the city safe. 

When it comes to TV and movies, it’s still tough to choose what versions are the best. There are just so many out there. When it comes to animation, the Timm/Dini team did it well with Superman: TAS and Justice League/JLU. I also like the Fleischer cartoons from the 1940’s. Those are still pretty entertaining. In live-action, Christopher Reeve was the perfect Superman. To some, he was Superman. I also thought Henry Cavill was pretty good as the character even though he isn’t the ideal Superman. Here’s hoping the Man of Steel 2/World’s Finest/Big Blue Boy Scout/”Say Jim Woooo!” is as good or better than its predecessor.

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And that ends the list. Now, I know that I missed a couple of heroes here and there, but that what happens when you only include 36 heroes on a list. So, who are your favorite fictional heroes? Is it anyone on this list or did they not make the list at all? Comment below. Well, I'm outta here. Peace and God Bless.

Now if I only had some awesome theme song to leave off with... Oooo.

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