What’s Your Type?

October 28th, 2008 by | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I was thinking about a few things this weekend, and I realized that I have a superhero Type.

I’m partial to speedsters. I like all the Flashes, though Wally is the best, and I’m cool with Quicksilver. I even like Doc Rocket over in Youngblood and Velocity in Cyberforce.

There’s just something about someone whose power is to run fast that appeals to me. I like running, though I don’t do it often enough, but I don’t think it’s a “I wish I could do that!” sort of thing. I think it’s more that speedsters tend to have cool visual appearances. Of course, pretty much all of them have lightning bolts or red in their design somewheres, but the running always looks graet. Some get afterimages, some get blurs, and the best appear in single panel more than once and carry on conversations that way. The best of the best have smoking shoes.

I was going to say that my other Type was archery-based characters, but that isn’t true at all. I actively dislike Green Arrow, Red Arrow is the dumbest, and Speedy is annoying and terrible. Connor Hawke is interesting, though kind of a cipher. No, the Type I like are marksmen.

Hawkeye, Shaft (from Youngblood), Deadshot, Bullseye, and I’m sure there are others. They’re awesome. Anything in their hands is a deadly weapon, and trick shots are the order of the day. I like seeing the creativity you have to use when writing these guys. It isn’t enough to go “Oh, boxing glove arrow!” nowadays. Everyone’s seen that. What’s next?

I wasn’t a Hawkeye fan until recently. Fabian Nicieza wrote a pretty good (and short-lived) series a few years back, and Bendis started using him in his Avengers titles. Somewhere along the line, though, I must’ve become a fan, because this scene from SI #7 got a rise out of me:

What’s your superhero type? Acrobatic wisecrackers? Brooding vigilantes?

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16 comments to “What’s Your Type?”

  1. that hawkeye bit was pretty badass, in a book full of badass parts.

    As far as types, i like the genius hero, but not Mr. Fantastic. stark and osborn are more my pace

  2. It’s 2AM and I’m overthinking this, but here goes:

    I’d probably say it’s a toss-up between the “street-level” heroes, and the clever ones, and if I wanted to go embarassingly into self-analysis, it’s probably some of that lingering childhood desire to be a hero, and what does a geeky dude best have a chance at being? The scrapper or the quipper. (Well, okay, there’s option three, Hank Pym, but my degree is psych, not any sort of amazing science I can invent shit with.)

    The Question is one of my favorites on the former and the latter side. How the hell not? A detective and a mask, and most of the latter-day incarnations adding a nice dry wit coming out from behind said disguise. What puts him/her so far above others in the field for me, though, is the sheer humanness involved. Name me a single incarnation of the character that didn’t have some sort of flaw, be it anger, pride, or a callous disregard of the lives of criminals with that black and white spectrum of things, and I’ll be shocked (and probably disappointed if I read said run/issue).

    It’s pretty easy to fuck either side up, too, though. I can’t fucking stand Deadpool with all the one-liners and metahumor and shit, and I’m certain there’s got to be a good example of screwing up the street-level concept, but it’s not coming to mind at this hour. Maybe some of the really terrible Batman stories, or I want to say the Creeper, but I may be off on that one.

    Anyway, you get the gist, I hope. This is way too many words for this early, damnit.

  3. deadpool.. ugh. cool character, worst fan base. At best he’s a fun gimmick and some clever jokess. At worst, he’s a horrible leftover from the nineties (Liefeld is a co-creator) and a completely misused waste.

  4. I like the lighthearted, fun superheroes. The guys/gals that are usually younger or more inexperienced.

    Blue Beetle (new) and Booster Gold are some of my favorites. I also really really always liked Iceman, though I never really read Marvel and I don’t know if he still fits into that mold anymore. The Runaways felt like it was written for my tastes, as you might imagine.

  5. I guess I’d have to identify my type as a fan of the “fun” characters, the guys who will always drop the corny lines in the middle of the tense situations, heroes who do their job but only seem to occasionally hit their worst.

    A big favorite of mine lately has been Guardians of the Galaxy for that very reason. Between Star-Lord, Drax, Rocket Racoon, and even Gamora, it is for the most part a team of this exact type of hero.

  6. Good question!

    The Intellect: folks like Batman (as detective, not vigilante), Mr. Terrific, Oracle: those who use their minds rather than their fists.

    The Activist: Green Arrow & the Question (give it up for Denny O’Neil!); more widely, Elijah Snow, Captain America, even Wonder Woman-as-ambassador*.

    The superspy: Nick Fury, Captain America, Checkmate & SHIELD

    * contra your previous entry

  7. @mack:

    I’d call those the Gadgeteer-type.

    I’m more along the great power but self control type, Green Lantern (all except Guy), Adam Warlock, that sort of thing.

  8. I didn’t think I’d come up with anything because I’m open to any good story, but I recognized a bit of a pattern in some of my all-time favorites. Spectre v3, Martian Manhunter, and Sandman Mystery Theatre. I think these are examples of successfully combining the DC and Marvel approaches to characterization, because the heroes all have their human doubts and conflicts, but they’re still in that mold of the hero who confronts evil. The Spectre was more than willing to stop his literal and metaphorical searches for God in order to dispense Old Testament justice. I dunno if I’m making my point, it’s just what I like to see, I don’t analyze it often enough to clarify it better.

  9. Hmmm…I like a little bit of everything. Street level. Cosmic. Gritty realistic types. The crazy Ditko / Kirby kinda characters. Wacky characters. Dark characters.

    Oh and ninjas. Lots and lots of ninjas.

  10. I like the super-science types. Reed and T’Challa and Doom. I don’t really care for the cosmic stories unless these guys are involved because they provide a link between the space opera stuff and a (relatively) more grounded, real-world perspective.

    And of course, I like the comedy characters, because I like my funnybooks to be funny. They also provide release from the serious-business, heavy-handed megaevents.

  11. I dig speedsters, among others. I’m also partial to “ice-casters” as I’ll call them for the next minute or so.

    Speed has always fascinated me and it can be employed in variety of ways, so it doesn’t HAVE to be boring after the first few scenes.

    I guess the same is true of ice-casters. Iceman can use his powers offensively or defensively. He can create art or make a tool.

    Coolness all around.

  12. +I’ve always liked the street level and/or martial artist types. So, Daredevil, Iron Fist, Any of Heroes for Hire really…

  13. It should come as no surprise that I go for speedsters…

  14. Looking at my favorite characters (Captain America, Batman, Daredevil, The Question, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold), I’d say my type is the unpowered, to go generally. Captain America and Daredevil are exceptions, but their powers of slightly enhanced strength/agility are not so out-there as to be completely ‘superhuman.’

    If you want to take this further, I guess a type I could use for this would be ‘The Outclassed.’ All of these characters have very limited powersets, if any, but make it a habit to take on bad guys that could, logically, wipe the floor with them (See: Captain America taking on Thanos in the Infinity Gauntlet, Batman fighting Superman in Dark Knight Returns, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle fighting…anyone). I like that in a hero.

  15. I’m partial to the pure, heroic type, particularly during the dark and gritty 90’s. There’s something special about a stalwart pure Captain Marvel or a naive Kyle Rayner who won’t kill during those days.

    Also, reluctant hero types such as Booster Gold, Jack Knight Starman, or Major Disaster in Joe Kelly’s JLA.

  16. I was thinking, and I came up with the characters I enjoy most are those who think their way out of things. Brainiac 5, Barbara Gordon/Oracle, Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), Batman (lots of B’s. Must be a smart people thing). Probably because I test really smart. I also like those practical heroes (Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle comes to mind. Really, all of the Blue Beetle cast). I also like the “secret” sort of heroes, like Booster Gold and Oracle (again). The types who will do hero work and let themselves be ridiculed for it or go mostly unacknowleged. Then, as an extension of the “secret” heroes; there’s the “heroes everyone thinks are useless”, or the “obsure” heroes. Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Matter-Eater Lad (does Cass Cain count)…

    Granted, I could be biased. My favorite books are Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Birds of Prey, and Legion of Superheroes.
    But those are just similarities I noticed.