My Top 30 Favourite Characters (from Marvel/DC)

It should be noted that there is a large difference between "favourite" and "best", so while someone like the Silver Surfer might be a great character, he's just not one of my favourites. Basically, just because a great character doesn't appear on this list, doesn't mean I'm knocking them, just that they're not one of my favourites. Also, the order will be a bit random, but as always, Batman is Number One. It's important to note that every DC character featured is their actual, good version, not the "LOLZ, I LIEK SHINY THINGS" New 52 Version. 

List items

  • See? Bruce Wayne has always been, and will always remain, my favourite character of all time. Batman was my favourite superhero when I was growing up, he's my favourite superhero now. Batman managed to achieve that incredibly difficult distinction of being a complex and riveting character, as well as just a cool one. He appeals to that element of shallowness in us that makes us gravitate toward characters who look or act badass, but beneath that, he's an incomparably deep and superb character. Quite simply, Batman rules, and I love him.

    --

    We love Batman because he's the greatest fictional character of all time. He's layered in ways other characters can only dream of. Aside from Clark Kent, he's just about the only character who needs an encyclopedia entry for both his identities. He is the Ultimate Human; the perfect survivor. And yet, he's mentally disturbed, psychological unstable and emotionally fragile. He has adopted 4 children, and yet can't hold down a relationship due to trust issues. Despite being an Omen of Eternal Darkness; he is a fierce protector of the Innocent. Unlike many other characters whose motivation for doing good are psychotic, guilt-ridden or adrenaline-seeking, Bruce solely wants to help people. He treasures all life; even the life of those who deserve none. He wouldn't fight guys like Darkseid if they weren't a threat to ordinary people. But he does, he stands before gods and looks them in the eye, armed with little more than explosive batarangs, a kevlar suit and the most ingeniusly cunning mind in the Universe. People who crush planets fear the Batman, and that's his primary motivator. Fear. He is the Dark Knight; a terrible creature of the night, and yet his entire purpose of being is to prevent the tragedy that happened to him ever appearing again.

    He is the Dr Jekyll who wanted to create a Mister Hyde.

    He is Frankenstein and his monster.

    He is a monster and a man; and he is both at the same time.

    Bruce Wayne willingly sacrificed his life; in order to help others. Clark Kent, Wally West, Barry Allen, Princess Diana, hell, even J'onn, can live a life apart from their superhero existence. Bruce does not have that luxury. He is devoted to his ideal of the perfect crime-fighter; Batman. He cannot allow himself to be happy, because his purpose, which is driven by tragedy and the evils everpresent within humans, will be diminished. He is a character that is complex, riveting and emotionally gripping. He is a being above and beneath the gods he works beside. Superman and Wonder Woman may be able to move mountains, but Batman is a legend; he is a Legacy.

    And that on top of a trillion other reasons I may one day elaborate on; is the reason we love Batman.

  • As much as I adore Batman, there has been one character that has occasionally crept up on his position as "Fade's Number One Superhero", and that is Peter Parker. Sure, occasionally Marvel goes overboard with Pete's bad luck, as in to the point where everyone he knows are arseholes for not worshipping him as the greatest person to ever live, but for the most part, Spider-Man is fantastic. He's just a lovable character in every way. He's fun, his stories are (for the most part) good, he gets a lot of time in the spotlight, but not so much that he wears you down. Spidey is just great. His villains are solid, his supporting cast (sans Aunt May) are awesome. Put simply, it is very, very difficult to hate Peter Parker. So I don't, I love him as my second favourite character.

  • For years, almost a decade, I hated Superman. I thought he was just an overpowered goon with a lame weakness and a stupider rogues gallery. Then I started to look deeper into the character, after I started reading comics religiously. It was then that I started to read into Clark Kent and what he represents.

    Awkward, bumbling and simple Clark Kent. The man with the glasses who says "swell" a lot. Some people say that Clark Kent doesn't suffer like other heroes; parents weren't killed in front of him, he hasn't had 10 years of his life erased, he doesn't shoot death beams out of his eyes without wearing special sunglasses. Clark Kent is married to the woman he loves, and he holds a steady job at the Daily Planet; one of the most profitable Newspaper on the planet, so what does Clark Kent have to complain about? Why should I care?

    First and foremost, Clark Kent is alone. He may have friends, he may have a wife, parents, and a dog; but at his core, he is alone. He is the Last Son of Krypton (at least he should be). He is the survivor of a doomed world, a man destined to carry on a legacy of the shining light in the Cosmos. Jimmy Olsen may be his pal, Bruce Wayne may share a mutual respect and admiration, and superheroes the world over look up to him, so how is he alone? Captain Marvel was given powers by the Greek god's themselves, Wonder Woman as well. Martian Manhunter is a green shape-shifter. These are the people Clark Kent can relate to. And only these people (and a few others, obviously) wouldn't have their hands broken if Clark were to shake them without concentrating. But in a world of superhumans, Kent should be able to adjust, right? Right, and he does. But still, inside, Clark Kent is a human. He may crush mountains with his bare hands, outfly Harriers at cruise speed, and blow the clouds away with a sneeze, but despite all this, he is more human than human. Clark Kent cannot fit into a world of gods, because he does not see himself as one. He cannot fit in with the people of Earth because he is more than an Earthling. He is an inspirational being. He is Hope incarnate. He is what all should strive to be. Clark Kent is the Superman. Superman is Clark Kent. And they are both one superbly brilliant character that I adore.

  • Before Geoff Johns and Dan Didio completely destroyed the Phantom Stranger, he was probably the most enigmatic character in comic book history. DC so cherished the character's mysterious origins that Alan Moore wrote an origin for the character, that was only possibly true. Alan Moore wrote an origin, and DC said that it was maybe the right one. The greatest comic book writer of all time wasn't even allowed to say definitively why and who the Phantom Stranger was. Anyway, in spite of Geoff Johns' unrivalled stupidity, the Phantom Stranger was an amazing character. He was ludicrously powerful, had a great reason for being that prevented him from becoming a Deus Ex Machine (see every mutant reality warper), and just had an epic design. All in all, wonderful character, and an easy entry into my Top 30.

  • Sue Storm, the matriarch of Marvel Comics. I really like the Invisible Woman, because outside of a few times when her powers are overdone, she's a pretty perfect character. She's good natured, badass, a terrific mother to her annoying plot-device children, and a loving wife and sibling. It's too bad she's stuck in a marriage with a work-sociopath that has been written well once (see Mark Waid's F4). Nevertheless, Sue rules and is probably the supreme example of a hot mother.

  • Selina Kyle, the great Femme Fatale of DC Comics (without the fatal part). Batman's great love and the best thief in DC, Selina is just awesome. Her interactions with Bruce are always entertaining and her sultry and seductive nature (while never really going all the way) make her a joy to read and definitely one of my favourites.

  • "You turned your back and I wrecked your world. I robbed your people of their powers, their hopes, their future, themselves. What will you do when your friends, your enemies, your lover, are all Darkseid? When there is one body. One mind. One will. One life that is Darkseid. Will you be the enemy of all existence, then? What irony that will be, Son of Krypton." - Final Crisis. Darkseid is the villain of comic books. He is evil incarnate and has the power to crush the cosmos. Of course he's forced to job a lot, because writers are idiots, but even then, Darkseid always makes an impact. Endlessly copied, often well, Darkseid is the quintessential dark god that all heroes have to fight, and he does it so damn well.

  • While I certainly consider Catwoman a thief who walks on the line between good and not quite so good, I've always felt Felicia was fundamentally good, and despite her thievery, she's a good guy. Which means I can ship her like a crazy person with the best guy ever, Peter Parker. Black Cat was my first comic book crush, mainly stemming from her unbelievably sexy role in Spider-Man: the Animated Series, voiced by Jennifer Hale. Felicia was sexy before I knew what sexy was.

  • Is it terribly arrogant to say that the most badass villain in Marvel is my spirit animal? It feels arrogant. But I guess arrogance is a big part of Doom's character, so I'm just proving my point. Anyway, Victor Von Doom is more than just a villain to a hero, he's become his own kind of monster. The Fantastic Four don't battle Doom, Doom battles them. It's his world, they're just living in it. And Doom's world is damn cool.

  • To me, the Joker is the best villain ever, yes, even more so than Doom or Darkseid. The Joker tests everything Batman believes in, and he does it every time the two meet. Oh sure, he's not the biggest physical threat, but he doesn't need to be. The Joker is anarchy to Batman's order, the cancer to Bruce's cure. Terrific villain, and my personal favourite. My favourite comic book ever? The Joker is at his best (Batman: RIP).

  • Black Bolt is the kind of King every nation wants. He's powerful, willing to fight on the front lines, a wise and noble ruler, and more than willing to make unpopular decisions in order to do the best for his people, even if they dislike him for it. Even though Black Bolt took the position because of his tremendous power, he has remained King because he is so good at the job. Far and beyond one of my favourite characters, and one I am proud to have taken (some of) my name from.

  • Bruce Banner is one of the very few alter-egos who can stand side by side with the "super" identity and came out looking more awesome. At least in my opinion. Hulk without Banner is like Spider-Man without Peter Parker. It doesn't work. You need the both of them, because they compliment each other well and bring out the best in each persona. Long story short, no would care about HULK SMASH, if Banner wasn't buried underneath the Hulk. It's Banner's trauma that makes Hulk interesting. It's Hulk ruthless aggression and dominance that makes Banner sympathetic. It's rare you find a dichotomy that works so well as Banner/Hulk.

  • Here is an example of a character without a secret identity, I mean sure, technically Robert Reynolds is the "secret identity", but at the end of the day, he' still the Sentry. And he's still responsible for the creation of the Void. Before Bendis destroyed him and even before that, Jenkins muddled him up, Sentry was an amazing character. He was genuinely good despite a mental illness that made existence for him virtually impossible, and it was a really inspirational story for anyone with similar problems. Sadly, the Sentry will now go down as just another psychopath thanks to the small-mindedness of just a few writers.

  • When I think of the Avengers, one name sticks out to me, and it's not Hulk, Cap, Thor or Iron Man. Nope, it's this guy; Hank Pym. The Ant-Man. He's had too many identities to be sane over the years, but Hank is still epic, no matter what the iteration. Take his short-lived but beautifully executed tenure as the Wasp for example. Leading the Avengers for the first time in decades, Hank really stepped up to the plate in Mighty Avengers and showed just why he is the Scientist Supreme and the most underrated comic book character of all time.

  • Followed very closely by this guy. Fans of the new Aquaman series swear that before Geoff Johns came along, Aquaman was lame. They are, of course, totally wrong. Aquaman was a badass long before Johns came along, he was handing White Martians their arse in JLA and showing just how powerful he could be under Veitch's pen. But then he was killed, due to poor sales, so Geoff decided to bring him back as the incredibly lame joke of the 50s, and then just use all those things that made him awesome, and show it to a new audience. And it worked. Nevertheless, Orin has been a favourite of mine for a long time, long before the New 52 made him "cool".

  • The best Flash, by a field. Wally West is one of those rare superheroes who just manages to click with his audience. His job wasn't too out of the ordinary or ridiculous, his girlfriend-cum-wife was a normal non-supermodel, he's just a regular guy with a personality and a great reason to be a hero. He has superpowers, was raised into a legacy, and wants to help people, not out of guilt, but because he just wants to do good. DC never realised just how special a character Wally West was, and replacing him with Barry Allen just removed an element of readership they'd long been lacking; the every-man.

  • I love Emma, despite Marvel's best efforts to destroy her and the next character on my list, I still love her. She may be going through one of the worst character arcs ever at the moment(AvX), but before that, she was brilliant. Witty, loyal (when she wanted to be) and always entertaining, Emma was the best villain-to-hero switch Marvel had done in decades.

  • When I think of the X-Men, mutants or anything Marvel other than Spider-Man, I think of one character; Scott Summers. As a kid, while all of my friends loved Wolverine, I thought Cyke was the man. He made the tough decisions that no one wanted to make, he was responsible, he looked out for his team and his power was epic. Today, the character has only improved, and my love for him grown. Unfortunately, that last sentence expired in 2010 when Marvel decided that the X-Men franchise was too popular and needed to be destroyed. Aside from his girlfriend, Emma Frost and the one other X-character that appears on this list at #28, no one has suffered at the hands of poor writing like Cyclops.

  • ULTIMATE REED RICHARDS was the Ultimate Universe's finest achievement. He took everything that was decent about 616 Reed, removed all of his douchey qualities, and made him interesting. Of course he was later completely destroyed in one of Bendis' trademark screw ups, but before that, ULTIMATE REED was a shining example of how the Ultimate Universe could improve on iconic characters from 616. Humble, awkward, immortal, ULTIMATE REED was a phenomenal character that deserved so much more.

  • Bullseye hates hippies. Nuff said.

  • To a young FadeToBlackBolt, Eddie Brock was the coolest villain imaginable. Not only did he kick the hero's arse when he was at his most invincible, he looked extremely badass doing it. Eddie's Venom was pretty much the most awesome looking villain ever when he was first introduced, and while he got considerably less menacing each time he appeared, that didn't keep Eddie down as a character. No, while Venom became lamer, Eddie got more interesting. He was finally rewarded with an ability to be a good guy when he became Anti-Venom, but sadly that wasn't to last, as a shoe-horned-in ending to a generic arc about giant-spiders meant that Eddie lost his biggest push forward in a decade.

  • I'll got out on a limb here and say that Karla Sofen is the most attractive comic book character of them all. But on top of that, she's wickedly evil and deliciously manipulative. Another victim of poor, misogynistic writing, Karla has suffered some, but she also has not been consumed by writer inequities like other characters. Nope, she's still as awesome, gorgeous and badass as ever, and no one can take that away from her.

  • I've said it before and I still hold it to be true, Daredevil is the most universally appealing character ever created for the comic book medium. He has a disability, street-level abilities and a job that puts food on the table, but little else. Matt Murdock is as lovable a character as you could possibly conceive. But then you add to the fact that when most writers have delivered their best superhero arcs, they've done it with Matt Murdock. Daredevil brings out the best in writers, fans, everyone. He's simply that good.

  • Ms Marvel, yes her name is Ms Marvel, not Captain f*cking Marvel is the supreme heroine of Marvel Comics. To me, alongside Sue Storm, Carol Danvers is the top lady in her Universe, and with good reason. She's just awesome. I think it's incredibly difficult to dislike MS MARVEL, she's just one of those universally appealing characters. She has a quirky costume, a good but not ridiculous powerset, and charming personality. All in all, it's not a question of why Ms Marvel is one of my favourites, but rather, how could she not be?

  • Not going to lie, I know jack about Drax pre-Annihilation. I know that he was a lot bigger, more powerful and was turned into a cosmic Hulk by Thanos' dad. And that's all I need to know. Drax is Kratos from God of War but with a more sympathetic backstory and a hatred for one of the bigger Villain-Sues in comics. Put simply, this green guerilla is just too freaking awesome to dislike. It took me about 2 issues of his mini-series to realise that Drax the Destroyer was my kind of guilty-pleasure character.

  • Scarred, dictatorial, hurts people who disagree with him, master tactician and all around badass, there's no way that I would like this guy. It's not like he's me in purple with an unfortunately ignorant upbringing. Helmut is a triumph of villainy in that he is a Legacy character (they usually suck), wears a sock on his head and is still one of the pre-eminent arsekickers in the Marvel Universe. Oh, and he's a Captain America villain that is not only superior to the Red Skull as a character, but also beats him in every other category. Red Skull may be a relic of WW2 Cap, but Helmut Zemo is the true great rival to the unfrozen Steve Rogers.

  • The only Thor rogue (aside from Loki) worth talking about, imo, but she dwarfs even him. Amora is a character that has been by and large treated very poorly, as that evil seductress who just wants Thor's power. This is, of course, total crap and anyone who knows anything knows that Amora loves Thor (which is why Fraction doesn't know it). Mind-numbingly sexy and deeply sympathetic, it's not hard to understand why Amora stands amongst my favourites.

  • Can I be blunt? Rogue's power sucks. Power absorption/mimicry is an ability that writers come up with when they want to make someone overpowered AND are incredibly lazy. But Rogue doesn't fit in with that group of super powerful, extremely dull characters, instead, she was given a handicap that humanised her and made her one of the most popular X-characters of all, and with good reason. Sure, writers have screwed her up as they have literally every X-Man the last few years, but Rogue is still a shining example of how to do powersets right. A fantastic character all round.

  • Some people hate him...those people are wrong. Even though we didn't see much of Damian (remember, the New 52 is not canon to anything good), he left an indelible impression on the DCU. Despite following the most popular Robin, Tim Drake, Damian managed to make the mantle his own, and became so good at it, he outshone the Batman he was working alongside, which had never been done before (granted Damian's parter was Dick, not the real Batman, but still). In short, an endlessly amusing, amoral and adorable character that is a welcome and very important addition to the Bat-mythos. It's just too bad they aren't still going.

  • HELENA BERTINELLI is a fine example of how to make a character appealing to men and women alike. She has a costume that is innately sexy, but also makes sense tactically. She is a superb fighter, but not so overdone that she has arcs written about her taking down the League while blind. There's not too much to say about Helena other than the fact she's DC's answer to a Punisher that actually evolved as a character. Frank's stayed the same for 30 years, Helena grew and for that alone, she would be one of my favourites. But she was also voiced by Amy Acker in JLU. Win.