High Five! Comics

High Five! Top Ten! – Heroes What Ain’t Got No Powers

Posted on: August 31, 2009

Before we get there, I know what complaints I’m gonna get. “Where’s Bruce Wayne? The Spirit? Tony Stark?” Well, not here. Batman and the Spirit are legends in their own right, big enough that I’d consider their legacy to be a power in and of itself. And Tony Stark has weird implants now. TOTALLY COUNTS. Also, he has the power to drink more than ten Winston Churchills.

seaguy-tpb10. Expert swordfighter, chess-player, and bull-dresser, Seaguy (apparently, also his real name?) wants nothing more that to actually be a superhero. Unfortunately, when you live in some Orwellian acid trip and all you have is a wetsuit and a sidekick like Chubby Da Choona (a floating, cigar-smoking tuna who is afraid of water), this is harder than it seems. Seaguy somehow deals with Xoo (“1/2 an animal on a stick!”), Egyptians on the moon, the Gondolier (aka: Death), and a bizarre parody of Walt Disney and his creations. If you couldn’t tell from that description, this is one of Grant Morrison’s fucking balls-out head trips. He’s written two of three volumes so far and, as weird as the book is, I’m eagerly awaiting the final arc. DA FUG!

onish9. Frank Castle watched his whole family get murdered by a mob in Central Park. In retaliation, he became the Punisher shot EVERYBODY EVER. Armed to the fucking teeth, this guy took on Bullseye, Spider-Man, and the unfuckwithable Kingpin. And what does he have to show for it? Three movies, all of which Marvel hopes you forget (and none of which where he’s played by Henry Rollins, what gives?). His Archie team up was better than all of his movies. Poor Guy.


buffy_xander8. I’ll let Maggie take this one, here she is: Xander is AWESOME. He is the world’s most adorable weenie, but he’s also the Nick Fury of the Buffyverse. And before I hear a word about Xander’s televised origins, he is in BUFFY SEASON EIGHT. Which is a comic. By Joss Whedon (and friends). The closest Xander ever came to really having powers was being able to remember random military shit from that one time he got turned into a Real Soldier on Halloween. He worked for Dracula. Hell, he was BFF with Count-fucking-Dracula for a minute. Xander can tame vengeance demons, rage-blind witches, and the Slayer herself. He lost his virginity to Faith (hot), and he decapitated the motherfucker who killed his most recent paramour. Do not. Fuck. With Xander.

cover167. Vic Sage and Renee Montoya are both totally underrated folks. Vic Sage was the Question for-fucking-ever and then Rucka took over. Vic died from lung cancer in Nanda Parbat while talking crazy at Renee Montoya. She ended up taking up the mantle from him and subsequently beat the shit out of the cult of Cain during Final Crisis and is now beating the shit out of inner city thugs while busting up a prostitution ring. Fuck yeah, the Questions. Most underappreciated heroes ever!

rorschach-john-cassaday6. Between his Twilight of the Superheroes pitch and Rorschach, it seemed like Alan Moore had it out to create the antithesis of the Question. At the start, Rorschach is the only active vigilante left in the Watchmen universe. Keeping in mind that this was written during the Cold War (AND the Reagan administration), Rorschach is intensely right-wing and anti-Communist. Despite being as mentally (and hygienically) fucked up as possible, he manages to do what none of the others would and (SPOILER) die for what he believes.

oracle-the-cure-1nightwing5. Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson get lumped together. I know, it’s cheating, but it is OK. She is Oracle, he is Robin or Nightwing or Batman or whatever. You already know all about them so whatever. And you know what? Maggie’s right. They need to freaking get it on already. Get on it, Morrison!

hellblazer2304. John Constantine almost seemed like an after thought. He was created by Alan Moore as a sort of guide for Swamp Thing when he was freaking out over his identity. What he ended up being was the DCU’s definitive Fox Mulder-style paranormal detective. Pick an author and it’s more than likely that John Constantine has been featured in one of their stories at some point. One of my favorite things about this character is that he ages in real time. Seriously, how much more human can you get than that?

GreenArrowCv603. Ollie has a hell of a story. Dude was a Bruce Wayne wannabe who crashes onto an island and learns to make and shoot bows and arrows. He eventually gets off the island, dons a Robin Hood-like costume, and becomes a super-liberal crime fighter. He also becomes mayor of Star City, starred in a weird political series with Green Lantern Hal Jordan (written by Dennis O’Neill), marries Black Canary (arguably one of the most sought after ladies of the DCU), and goes through absolute fucking Hell (both literally in Kevin Smith’s run and figuratively in Mike Grell’s excellent The Longbow Hunters). Here’s just an idea I’d like to throw around, though, DC. Queen in the White House in 2012. You KNOW that’d be awesome.

galeria52. Spider Jerusalem is essentially just Hunter S. Thompson if he’d have lived til the future. As much of a “gonzo journalist” as Hunter was, Spider roams around the City “monstering” with his “filthy assistants,” trying to expose the politicians for the dicks they are. He is not one to sell his soul and certainly not one to just roll over. He is as persistent in accomplishing his goals as some of the capes are and certainly willing to die to achieve them. I’m not usually a fan of Warren Ellis’ stuff (Iron Man: Extremis excluded) but his writing on this character is amazing. I’m eventually going to write an entry about the brilliance of Transmetropolitan once I re-read it (for, like, the fifth time).

430378-Nick Fury_Leinil Yu04var_large1. What? I’m putting a MARVEL character at number one? Damn straight I am… Motherfucking Nick Fury. Dude is pretty much in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D, an organization so powerful that it practically controls the Marvel Universe. Nick Fury has the greatest superpower of all, political power, and is able to pretty much get anything he wants done. Plus, the dude can keep HYDRA at bay, and in the Marvel Universe, that is pretty much the hardest thing EVER. Kudos, Mr. Fury. You win at being the bestest regular human EVER.

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8 Responses to "High Five! Top Ten! – Heroes What Ain’t Got No Powers"

Hmmm… While I appreciate a Marvel character at #1 (thanks for the token, jerks!) I have to call bullshit on Constantine. Dude uses magic. You might as well add Dr. Strange, Zatanna, etc.

Xander is a wuss. And a TV character.

Tulip O’Hare is CRIMINALLY omitted here, and Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead has been through an awful lot. The Goon is every bit the badass that Hellboy is, but he doesn’t have the benefit of being a demon (he’s just really big and mean.)

Even though all the 100 Bullets characters are so morally ambiguous as to basically disqualify them as “heroes” but I’d still think Wylie Times would have made that cut.

I love lists. Good job.

I’ll cop to some this. I’ve read one trade of Walking Dead. Rob hasn’t read any.

Constantine isn’t NEARLY as powered as Zatanna or Dr. Strange. Magic is more of a gadget, a tool, rather than his entire M.O.

I don’t think any of us have gotten to The Goon yet.

I stand by Xander 100%. Read Buffy Season 8 and STFUUUU!

100 Bullets folk didn’t make the cut because they exist in a world void of any actual powered heroes/villains, and we largely avoided listing the “real life” characters. If we started adding them, we’d have to add Tara Chace and Stetko too plus any number of other “real world’ heroes.

And your comment is PRECISELY why we need you on the team when you finish your damned thesis.

Okay…

1) You’re copping out on Constantine. He’s magical. He’s on a first name basis with the Devil He KNOWS all manner of sorcery even if he isn’t SHOWN to be using it constantly. Besides, he’s covered head to toe in sigil tattoos that are constantly running different wards and spells around him. This is his existence. He and Stephen Strange are NO different in how crucial the use of magic is in their lives, except for a trenchcoat.

2) Fair point with 100B, I was off-point there.

3) CONAN. How could I have forgotten Conan. His only powers are battle tactics and brutality (basically being the Cimmerian version of Nick Fury, except even angrier.) And he fights wizards and shit. Reall everybody.

I’d be happy to be the guy who reads books not published by DC. Soon. Not now. But soon.

Oh, wait- AND Spider Jerusalem doesn’t exist in a world with powered heroes/villains either. In fact, he has “enhanced” powers that are available in his day (like an anti-cancer trait.) SHENANIGANS!

I would say that there are some powered people in the “Transmet” world… What about those that became foglets and can essentially create anything out of thin air? That’s a pretty powerful trait, if you ask me…

Spider, with the money he has, could easily pay for those procedures, just as he could to become trans, etc. If we’re using the “standards of their setting” situation, you’re reaching…

I AM WIN AT ARGUING!

[…] High Five! Top Ten! – Heroes What Ain’t Got No Powers – Rob counts down the High Five! Top Ten not-so-super heroes. Disagree? Duke it out in the comments! […]

[…] going to have her own book! I’m curious as to how this will affect the Detective Comics Question second feature. Perhaps we’ll end up with TWO Question & Batwoman-heavy books? Hopefully […]

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