Embracing my inner geek (comic book style)

Brian Golden

It’s been awhile since I “geeked-out,” as my dedicated co-worker Melissa Stagnaro would call it, here on my reporter blog. And considering it’s an absolutely beautiful spring day out there, well, I guess I could use something to take my mind off the fact that our Evening Sun crew is stranded here in the newsroom. I’m sure we’re all counting the minutes until we can shed our individual reporter personas and change into a pair of shorts and a T-shirt before making our way gleefully outside for some much-needed sunshine (at least that’s what I’m planning).

Therefore, I’ve decided to dive once more into the realm of the comic book – considering the recent release of Thor and the Green Lantern in theaters, as well as the upcoming X-Men, Captain America, Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, Batman and Superman pictures – and run through my top ten Marvel and DC comic book characters of all time. Here are my first five selections – in no particular order – to be continued tomorrow afternoon.

#10 – Daredevil (Marvel Comics)
My first and all-time favorite comic book hero, I was always fascinated by Stan Lee’s take on lawyer-by-day, vigilante-by-night Matt Murdock and his unique abilities as a blind man with radar-like capabilities which allow him to “see” as Hell’s Kitchen’s guardian angel, er, devil. My very first comic book was a John Romita-penned Daredevil (I later discovered the art of his son John Romita, Jr., which is also fantastic) that I’ve somehow managed to hang onto for over twenty years now.

#9 – Batman (DC Comics)
No top ten comic book list would be complete without including the World’s Greatest Detective, more commonly referred to as the Batman. I can’t remember when I first latched on to this book, except that my collection, at one point, numbered over 100 consecutive issues. Sadly, Bruce Wayne (as Batman) and Robin didn’t survive a certain high school relationship of mine, as my ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend way back when decided to torch each and every comic I’d been unable to retrieve at the time. In later years, however, I began grabbing up the occasional issue featuring everyone’s favorite Dark Knight, some of which are now worth a pretty penny.

#8 – Superman (DC Comics)
Where there’s a fan of Batman, there’s typically a Superman aficionado as well, and I’m no exception. The Man of Steel is just so fundamentally American (even if he is from Krypton) that it’s impossible not to love the guy. I have some really interesting runs of this book, including a year-long story-line which finds Superman abandoning earth for the deep reaches of space, definitely one of my favorites. It’s funny, but I can remember – as a kid – wondering what it would be like working as a reporter in the newsroom of The Daily Planet. In hindsight, that’s downright hilarious.

#7 – Spider-Man (Marvel Comics)
Stan Lee’s ultimate superhero creation, I’ve always loved Peter Parker’s witty sense of humor, not to mention one of the best back stories ever written for a comic book character. “With great power comes great responsibility,” according to Uncle Ben, a bit of wisdom more of those in power could use to learn in this day and age. When John Romita, Jr. lent his amazing talents to this book, let’s just say I grabbed-up every copy as soon as it hit the shelves. Following the attacks on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, Marvel released a “black issue” of the comic that featured some of the most incredible artwork I’ve ever seen.

#6 – Iron Man (Marvel Comics)
Billionaire Tony Stark, as Iron Man, was such a complete reversal from what every comic lover out there had come to expect when it comes to the superhero pantheon that I would’ve included him even if he weren’t one of my favorites. I mean, really, what’s not to like – billionaire playboy, wickedly cool set of red-and-gold armor (stocked with all sorts of nifty gadgets) and an entertaining supporting cast of characters (not to mention villains). When I first heard Robert Downey, Jr. had been cast as Stark for the Iron Man movies, I’ll admit I had my doubts. Obviously, I had nothing to worry about.

Check back tomorrow if you happen to be a fan of the Marvel and DC universes like myself, where I’ll finish-up my top ten favorite comic book characters. Same bat-time, same bat-channel!