Sunday, October 30, 2011

Comics Should Be Good’s Top 100 DC and Marvel Characters 2011

The same month as I started this blog in 2007, Brian Cronin of CSBG announced the results of his Comic Book Resources reader poll for Top 50 (or so) characters at the DC and Marvel Comics Groups. Under one of my many aliases, I offered a contribution. "Since no one else was willing to write one, here’s a bit by Gabriel Suiter, who has a Martian Manhunter-centered blog, giving us Five Reasons To Love the Manhunter from Mars." J'Onn J'Onzz placed eleventh. To provide context, this was a few months after the end of the Coneheadhunter mini-series, a year before his death in Final Crisis, and a year since his departure from the Justice League of America after about 22 years of near continuous membership. The Alien Atlas' equal number at Marvel in rank was a pre-movie Iron Man, but in points as awarded by Cronin, he would be closer to Marvel's #17, Deadpool. J'Onn got 5 first place votes.

Five years after the creation of The Aquaman Shrine, the Sea King leapt from #30 (6 1st place) to #21 (16 1sts.)
Four years after the creation of Supergirl Comic Box Commentary, the Maid of Might soared from no placement whatsoever to #43 (7 1sts.)
Four years after the creation of BOO$TERRIFIC, Booster Gold held his value from #12 (7 1sts) to #13 (20 1sts.)

Four years after the creation of The Idol-Head of Diabolu, a blog for J'Onn J'Onzz, the Manhunter from Mars, the Sleuth from Outer Space has dropped in rank by 100% from #11 (5 1sts) to #22 (9 1sts.) In rank, his Marvel equal is now the Beast, who has never held his own solo title (subsisting outside team books on the occasional solo mini-series or anthology feature slot.) In points as awarded by Cronin, J'Onzz would have a decent lead over Marvel's #25, the Silver Surfer, but fall well behind one James Buchanan Barnes. That's right, he was beaten by Bucky.

I would like to take all the credit for the Manhunter from Mars' decline as a well regarded character among fans, but I suppose I must share the dishonor with DC Comics. After all, they're the ones who killed him, turned him into an evil zombie, offered him three new costumes, resurrected him, ran him as the second worst received feature in a broadly read anthology maxi-series, failed to give him a New 52 #1, retroactively discarded his status as a JLA founder (Cyborg skipped both lists BTW,) kept him out of the JLA for five years running, and currently have him as the only DC character on a Wildstorm transplant super-team headlined by Superman & Batman analogs. Occasional guest appearances in DC DTV animated movies and Young Justice don't seem to make up for the losses of Justice League Unlimited and Smallville, either.

I suppose I'll go commiserate with my fellow Brightest Day casualty blogs. Three years after the creation of Being Carter Hall, Hawkman plummeted from #21 (6 1sts) to #32 (4 1sts,) while two years after the creation of Firestorm Fan, the Nuclear Man managed a complete meltdown from #36 (4 1sts) to Chernobyl level obliteration. We're doing fine work fellows as the axis of character blogging evil. Shag called Hitler by helping spread false rumors that Gail Simone was walking off the new book, Luke's our Hirohito waiting in the wings, and I will continue my fascistic reign as the Mussolini of nitpicking bitchiness. As with my Atom and and Justice League Detroit blogs, I vow not to rest until I completely wipe the Alien Atlas off these lists! Mu-wah-ha-ha!*

50. Death – 343 points (2 first place votes)
49. Spider Jerusalem – 344 points (10 first place votes)
48. The Question (Renee Montoya) – 357 points (3 first place votes)
47. Lois Lane – 367 points (4 first place votes)
46. Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) – 376 points (6 first place votes)

45. Flash (Jay Garrick) – 377 points
44. Deadshot – 378 points (4 first place votes)
43. Supergirl (Kara Zor-El) – 381 points (7 first place votes)
42. Question (Vic Sage) – 382 points (6 first place votes)
41. Jesse Custer – 393 points (7 first place votes)

40. Huntress – 420 points (5 first place votes)
39. Animal Man – 422 points (7 first place votes)
38. Donna Troy – 464 points (5 first place votes)
37. Sinestro – 475 points (2 first place votes)
36. Impulse/Kid Flash – 545 points (6 first place votes)

35. Harley Quinn – 550 points (9 first place votes)
34. Batwoman – 562 points (5 first place votes)
33. Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) – 565 points (10 first place votes)
32. Hawkman – 567 points (4 first place votes)
31. Darkseid – 578 points (4 first place votes)

30. Starman (Jack Knight) – 580 points (17 first place votes)
29. Zatanna – 582 points (7 first place votes)
28. Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) – 602 points (15 first place votes)
27. Sandman (Dream/Morpheus) – 617 points (12 first place votes)
26. Catwoman (Selina Kyle) – 627 points (8 first place votes)

25. Swamp Thing – 661 points (12 first place votes)
24. Captain Marvel (Billy Batson) – 705 points (16 first place votes)
23. Green Lantern (Guy Gardner) – 718 points (7 first place votes)
22. Martian Manhunter – 738 points (9 first place votes)
21. Aquaman (Arthur Curry/Orin) – 747 points (16 first place votes)

20. Rorschach – 809 points (10 first place votes)
19. Black Canary – 835 points (10 first place votes)
18. Power Girl – 909 points (14 first place votes)

17. Superboy – 938 points (11 first place votes)
16. John Constantine – 953 points (17 first place votes)
15. Lex Luthor – 966 points (2 first place votes)

14. Robin (Damian Wayne) – 1011 points (6 first place votes)
13. Booster Gold– 1100 points (20 first place votes)
12. Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) – 1213 points (32 first place votes)

11. Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) – 1495 (17 first place votes)
10. Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle) – 1569 (20 first place votes)

9. Flash (Barry Allen) – 1604 points (27 first place votes)
8. Tim Drake (Robin/Red Robin) – 1708 points (30 first place votes)

7. Wonder Woman – 1780 points (42 first place votes)
6. Flash (Wally West) – 2471 points (67 first place votes)

5. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) –2549 points (74 first place votes)
4. Joker – 2667 points (18 first place votes)
3. Dick Grayson (Robin/Nightwing/Batman) – 3618 points (105 first place votes)
2. Superman – 4096 points (117 first place votes)
1. Batman (Bruce Wayne) – 6585 points (313 first place votes)

*Please ignore my Wonder Woman blog. The Amazing Amazon actually rose from #8 (13 1sts) in 2007 to #7 (42 1sts.) My influence just isn't all that great against the waves of Amazing Amazon love.


mathematicscore said...

Yeesh. Poorly played DC, poorly played.

Anj said...

Lists like these are always nutty.

If Supergirl ever ranked in 22 I would be ecstatic. But I was pretty happy with 43.

And DC should note that Wally West came in 6th ... ummm, where is he these days?

Diabolu Frank said...

Anj, on the one hand, I can respect this more than one of those editorially driven lists where five d00ds try to decide characters' greatness on a scale outstretching their grasp by leagues. On the other hand, these results were determined by people who visit CBR and actually bother to have a log-in for comment. Even for comics fandom, that strikes me as a narrow cross-section.

Meanwhile, I don't see Martian Manhunter themed floorboard covers at Auto Zone or keychains at Home Depot or t-shirts at Target, so I think Supergirl wins amongst the general public. Like Wonder Woman, her share of the few hundred thousand readers of American comic books does not represent the breadth and depth of her global awareness. She's A-list in my book, or at least a high B, whereas J'Onn J'Onzz is a B on his best day.

Anj said...

I'll admit I don't have a log-on so didn't vote. And there does seem to be more than your average number of voters here so it is more valid than a small group of fans compiling a list.

As for Supergirl, she is out there these days, more than ever before. And I think that's a good thing. But pink floor mats with an S-shield doesn't necessarily equal character recognition.

To be honest, I think the best thing that happened to both Supergirl and J'Onn recently was the JLU cartoon series.

will_in_chicago said...

I understand and share the frustration. I would like to say that J'Onn has a great and compelling story but has been badly abused by the writers at DC.

My hope is that J'Onn can achieve some prominence in Stormwatch, where I hope that he will not be in the shadow of the Wildstorm characters. I think that I should log into CBR and try to be active there --- as well as plug this site.

Diabolu Frank said...

Anj, I'm one of those guys that probably drives you nuts, but I like the pink, white and occasional black color schemes on Supergirl. I like her having that much more of a personal identity outside of Superman, and chicks dig it. I'm glad the SuperGrrl look from S:TAS didn't catch on, though. I'd like to see more Supergirl in animation, but I'd prefer something more canonical and science fictiony. In that respect, the DCnU may help, and I'll even take the nonsensical boots over the exposed midriff.

Will, I still like J'Onn in Stormwatch, but I'm frustrated by how little exposure that gets him on a monthly basis. It's hard not to resent the other players depriving J'Onn of screen time.

LissBirds said...

I agree with Anj, that somehow the cartoons seem to have a knack of getting things right. Even though J'onn has a cameo role in Young Justice, at least he's present. And I'm still pleasantly surprised by his JLI-era appearances on B:TB&TB.

Considering that I own a pair of pink S-shield flannels and I'm not even that into Supergirl, I'm living proof that branding outlives its character sometimes. Sometimes I want something with a pink S-shield on it or a purple Bat signal on it, you know?

I wish DC could take some lessons from their animation department. Maybe it's because their cartoons have to have a broader appeal and therefore the characters have to be simplified, but I find cartoon-watching a lot more pleasurable than comics-reading these days.

Fascistic nitpicking is the way to go. Hopefully you won't get hung upside-down, though, Frank.

Diabolu Frank said...

To date, I've only seen clips from Young Jusdtice, and only one or two B:TB&TBs. I've been happy with what I've seen, though. Anj has got the new Supergirl cartoon coming, which sounds terrific. As for my reign, I maintain multiple identities and a passport, so I'll always have Brazil, home of Ajax o Marciano...