I spent a great deal of my youth and quite a bit of my early adulthood reading comic books. I quickly found myself identifying with certain heroes (and even a few villains) and became attached to quite a few of them. I loved each character for different reasons and still love most of them to this day. Here's a short list of some of my favorite comic book heroes (and maybe a villain or two) and why I fell in love with each character. I hope you enjoy!
As I attend more and more science fiction and comic book conventions, I'm finding that Nightcrawler has a much larger fanbase than I was aware of. Growing up in a rural area, there weren't many people out there who shared my love of Kurt Wagner and his prehensile tail. While Nightcrawler wasn't my first favorite superhero, he has definitely developed into my favorite. I was first drawn to the character because he was dashing and extremely outgoing despite his physical appearance. These were qualities I longed for. I also wanted his power of teleportation, since it could be used to easily escape or to help others. As I grew older (and Nightcrawler developed even more), I converted to Catholicism and was surprised to find out that my favorite hero had actually become a priest in the comics. In my world, I was always considered one of the least likely people to become Catholic, and in Wagner's world, he was the most un-Christian looking person to become a priest. For his misfit qualities, Nightcrawler tops my list.
Very few of the heroes on this list are as cocky as Thor, but Hellboy is definitely a close second. He's a demon meant to destroy mankind who is raised as a do-gooder by his adopted father, Professor Broom. He spends his days as part of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense fighting apocalyptic bad guys and pretty much keeping the human realm safe from evil.
I think the primary reason that I like Hellboy so much is that he's such a hilarious character. He's a demon but is afraid of his father seeing him smoke cigars. He loves kittens. He thinks he's ugly because he's so different from everyone else. In short, he's a walking, talking oxymoron. Oh, and he's Catholic to boot!
After a very brief stint of not regularly reading comics in high school, the summer of 1994 (my first in college) found me reading Top Cow/Image Comics' brief series Codename: Strykeforce. Image was still a very young company and Marc Silvestri's Top Cow Productions released a number of titles that I enjoyed. Killrazor quickly became my favorite member of the Strykeforce team, simply because he was the most mysterious.
His power was strong and lethal, but also very painful. He could make blades portrude from any part of his body at any time. The blades grew as long as he wanted them to, but they also left his body scarred beyond belief. On top of this, he was a martial arts expert and hired hitman. Although Codename: Strykeforce didn't last very long, it made me a big fan of Killrazor.
A born leader, Cyclops is responsible for keeping the rest of the X-Men in line. For the most part, he does a pretty good job of it. I love the fact that Cyclops can blast the snot out of anyone with just a flick of his visor. I also love the fact that he isn't afraid to butt heads with good guys or bad guys, particularly Wolverine.
What did you think of this list?