I have to admit that I had a tough time coming up with this column because my attention keeps turning to the season finale of The Flash tomorrow night on The CW. Can’t wait!

Still, I’ve often said that Batman is my all-time favorite comics character. I’ve felt that way because if I could somehow collect enough money and work out enough, I might be able to turn into something similar to Bruce Wayne’s other identity. Notice I said might. Batman’s big right now, but he hasn’t always been this popular.

After Batman, I find myself drawn to heroes who aren’t in his league, if you’ll pardon the pun. Superman is great, but I will never be invulnerable. I also like the Flash, but if I get hit by lightning, I don’t think I’ll be able to run fast. If a radioactive spider bit me, I’d be happy just to end up in the hospital for a couple of months.

But there are several lower-tier folks I enjoy for various reasons. I often find that other comics readers, after he or she gets past their most-loved guy or gal, find themselves admiring people who may not be able to sell a monthly comic on their own.

See if you can relate to any of the heroes I’ve liked for years.

HAWKMAN

hawkman_from_dc_comics_by_jayc79-d5qr7hwI have always been drawn to characters who have wings or wear capes. I find this odd because I have a paralyzing fear of heights.

I’ve enjoyed Hawkman because, whether he resembles Adam Strange or Batman, he’s someone who doesn’t suffer from my fear. Instead, he makes things happen and is a hero who can travel both the “light” and the “dark” roads in comics well. I include everything from Tim Truman’s Hawkworld series to Geoff Johns’ more barbaric version to the guy who fought floating heads in that. They all have attributes that I find admirable and interesting to read about.

I keep hoping he’ll be back in a regular series, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. Still, he’s been in a Convergence title, and that’ll keep me smiling for now.

THE BLACK KNIGHT

DC Comics, Flash, Black Knight, Marvel, Hawkman, Stingray, Sunfire, The Owl, Bloodwynd, Dan Jurgens, Batman, Wolverine, J.T. Krul, detectives, I remember when the Black Knight turned from a villain fighting Iron Man to a hero who made a difference in the Avengers when they were challenged by the Grand Master.

I do recognize the weakness he has, though. He carries a sword, and that means he has to slice someone. It has to happen. He can use the flat of his blade, but it just doesn’t have the same ring to it. For a time, he was cursed so that if he drew any blood, he’d suffer intensely. That still didn’t work for me.

Then he became something of a Christian evangelist in a popular-at-the-time Black Panther series. He’d never been anything like this before, but he considered himself a hero of the Cross, as it were. I wish I could forget those issues, actually.

But I like his costume, his desire to redeem his name and the fact that he has some ties to the British Isles. I wish he’d appear more sometime soon!

OTHER HEROES I PULL FOR

I always like detectives. When they can solve difficult puzzles to catch the bad guys, I wish I could do that!

I miss the Elongated Man even though he was considered direct competition for Batman. He was married, and how different that was back in the comics that came out those days. I was also a fan of Bloodwynd, a creation of Dan Jurgens when he took over the Justice League comic. It was a real treat when he made an appearance in a recent comic.

As far as Marvel goes, I always bought the comics that had Stingray in them as well as Sunfire. I haven’t seen much of them in years, but I’d buy anything that had those heroes in them, you bet!

Dynamite not very long ago published a miniseries written by J.T. Krul about The Owl. I had bought the comics that featured this Batman-alike in the 1960s, and I also enjoyed it when they brought him back. Again, I’d love to see more of him, but that doesn’t appear too promising at this point. I hope I’m wrong about this one.

IT’S HARD TO PREDICT WHO I’LL LIKE

Some friends of mine are much more focused on the “main” characters in comics like Wolverine (who started out as a minor adversary for the Hulk), Spider-Man, the X-Men, and others. I respect those of you who do find things in them that resonate in you. You’re in the majority, I’m sure. Me, I miss the Green Hornet.

But if there are other characters you are drawn to who aren’t the biggest and best around, feel free to share them below. Maybe some comics company will pick upon the idea of bringing him or her back and will begin the process.

Me, I’ll just pull out my Black Knight statues and action figures, my Hawkman t-shirts, and my Vibe comics and imagine that I’ll see these folks in my local comics shop soon. I hope you have a similar dream, too!

The Author

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. Each episode also includes reviews, news and previews. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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3 Comments

  1. May 18, 2015 at 10:51 am — Reply

    I never really got that “identifying” with super hero as an argument of liking or disliking one. But apparently its a thing, at least I see it a lot in people arguing why, for example Superman isn’t “relatable” to them. Lets be honest, none of us will have even slightest chance to have physique, skill or resources even close to be Batman or even the most basic vigilante like Punisher either, so its a non-argument to me. I see super heroes more of an ideal, something we can aspire to be at the most principle level, it doesn’t have to be looking exactly like them, or having actual powers, thats a shallow mindset.

    Let me give an example what I mean: Everyone in Normandy at ´44 had the courage of Captain America, you dont need adamantium shield or spandex for that. Just give a little more than you take each day, thats what heroism is, its not necessarily ability to fly or lift a tank, those are only to make it entertaining to read or watch, not the point of it.

    Im drawn to characters who inspire others and strive to make a difference, no matter how small. Cynical, brooding, selfish anti-heroes, those were cool when i was in my teens, not so much anymore. The older I get, more I see myself drifting away from those even if that type seems to be the most popular. They are called super heroes for a reason, if you want nihilistic violence story, there are plenty of those in other genres.

    • Alisha
      May 18, 2015 at 11:39 am — Reply

      While I do like and enjoy plenty of characters I don’t exactly relate to, relating to some characters has been a source of inspiration for me at various times in my life. I’m a cancer survivor, I have some very odd health issues, I’m a lesbian, etc., and there have always been some characters that I felt were someone I could understand at one level or another. I knew what it was like to be hated for something beyond my control like the X-Men, I knew what it was like to have a weakness to something that didn’t bother other people like many superheroes, and so many other things.

      I didn’t always have someone real to turn to, so I found hope in reading about these characters that I felt would understand. I know it sounds ridiculous, but believing these characters weren’t so different than I helped me make it through some difficult times and helped shape who I am today.

      • May 18, 2015 at 12:10 pm — Reply

        It doesnt sound ridiculous at all, its exactly what I meant. Relating to someone, be it a fictional character or not has nothing to do if they have “unrealistic” powers or not, its completely beside the point of what super heroes represent to me.

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