Who Do You Want To Be Within DC?

Whilst catching up with my good buddy Jesse, we covered whatever recent comics we’d read. For me, it was all about James Robinson’s Shade miniseries, which I’d purchased as a collection and heartily enjoyed. Jesse, knowing I liked Starman, was still surprised to learn just how much I enjoyed the book, and was even more surprised to learn that the Shade was #2 on my list of DC characters I’d like to be. I realize this could potentially be a top 5 list, but I figured that Timmy would reject such a navel-gazing post, and believe it or not, I do have a larger point that I’ll get to after the listing is complete. So, within the confines of the DCU, here’s who I would most like to be:

I would even become a vegetarian. Scout's honor.

I would even become a vegetarian. Scout’s honor.

5. Buddy Baker

New 52 renaissance or not, I’ve always had a fondness for Animal Man. I suppose it comes with the territory of being a biologist. I also feel like, that as a person who knows an inordinate number of random facts about the animals that share our planet that I could really put his powers to use. Just see my posts of obscure animal heroes and villains for examples. I feel like finding the nearest bird for purposes of flight is a bit reductive. Since proximity is an issue, I always wondered why Buddy didn’t stack the deck in his favor. I know that an excess number of pouches is a 90’s trope, but if each pouch held an insect or other small animal that could be tapped when needed, then the potential powers at immediate disposal would be greatly increased. Perhaps there’s a column to be written about my ideal Animal Man utility belt, but suffice it to say that I think the acting/hero combination within the family man Buddy would be a good life for me.

Also, I never would have updated this look.

Also, I never would have updated this look.

4. Dick Grayson

He’d be higher on the list, if not for lacking in powers. If I get to take my pick from the entirety of the DCU, not having powers puts one at a serious disadvantage. At the same time, anyone who picks Batman is a mystery to me. Yes, both men witnessed horrible crimes leading to the deaths of their respective parents, but Bruce Wayne, as raised by Alfred Pennyworth, never seemed to be able to move past the trauma, whereas Dick Grayson, as raised by Bruce Wayne, did. It’s a nature vs. nurture cacophony I care not to explore in the moment, but by all accounts living life as a Grayson cum Wayne sounds pretty good. Money, abs, charm, and acrobatics are a potent combination, even when stacked against those with legit power sets.

I'd still probably use bike a lot.

I’d still probably use my bike a lot, running is hard, you guys.

3. The Flash

Any Flash will do, really. Given my druthers, I’d probably opt for Bart Allen, if only to get the photographic memory, but the life of a speedster seems pretty great. Lots of others like you to literally run around with, a power that, if taken to its logical conclusions, is nigh unstoppable, and a down-to-earth mentality often lacking in the scope of earth-shattering consequences make for my kind of hero. Plus, the people love him, which is all too rare in the page of superhero comics these days, but the kind of thing I would appreciate from the populace I was speeding around to serve.

I wear my sunglasses at night.

I wear my sunglasses at night.

2. The Shade

Hardly a shocker, eh? Richard Swift, at least as written by Mr. Robinson, is the kind of dude I can get behind. Immortal? Check. Powerful? Check. Clever? Check. I think it freaks people out a little bit when I get down to just how emphatically I would love to be immortal. It’s not some sort of power-grab, it’s more about just the accumulation of all that could be accomplished with an insanely long life. I’d like to learn a few other languages, read a few unread books, write a few as well, and it’d be very nice to know that I had the time to do so. But the real reason Shade is so high on the list is that he has all these things plus style, which very few in the world of comics possess. Its part confidence, part heritage, and part himself that gives him grace under pressure while rocking a top hat, sunglasses, and a cane; all black of course. I’m not, nor was I ever, a Goth, but if I could pull it off like that I might have considered it.

He even gets a dinosaur, it's just not fair.

He even gets a dinosaur, it’s just not fair.

1. Superman

Who else could really be at #1? I considered going with Shazam just to mix things up, but I don’t like the idea of having to turn your powers on and off. I don’t care if he’s the Big Blue Boy Scout (I’m an Eagle Scout too, after all), and I don’t think he’s boring, especially not if I had the powers he does. I know I couldn’t be hero Clark is, it is fiction after all, but his suite of abilities trumps just about anyone else out there. Plus he has a fortress of solitude, robots, and his own private zoo. There’s a lot of extra benefits that come with an already impressive package.

 

So what’s the issue here? I came up with this list while putzing around the house doing other things. Didn’t look at a single comic. And while I’m happy with what I came up with I can’t help but notice it’s 100% white men, with the most recently created being Animal Man in 1965. I am a white man, but I don’t think it’s about that for me. I chose these characters because their stories and power sets are the ones I think I’d have the most fun with or get the most utility out of. I don’t have any deep insight as to what problem this may or may not speak to within the world of comics. I do wish that there were more female and minority characters I found as appealing as these five, and maybe it should be incumbent upon me to seek out those stories as hungrily as possible. Oddly, I’m not even reading the books featuring the characters above, except Animal Man which I only just picked back up. The other option is that maybe those stories aren’t quite there, and that there is a legitimate issues with the best stories being told using old white dudes.

Here’s what I’d like from the commenters, in addition to the usual free-for-all and who you’d put on your list, I’d like to hear about some stories showcasing characters that aren’t white men, and that maybe use characters created more recently. I’ll do my best to actually follow-up and see if I can’t shift this list to something more inclusive and broad, assuming the stories are up to the task. Expand my horizons, iFanbase!

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Ryan Haupt, when not fantasizing about having superpowers, does a pretty good science podcast that you just might enjoy.

Comments

  1. IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

    My top 5: 5)Ghost Rider (Johnny B or Dan K, or maybe Alejandra), 4)Hellboy, 3) Black Panther, 2)The Flash, 1)Morpheus the Sandman.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      The 11 issue run of the Alejandra Ghost Rider is pretty good if youre a GR fan, it takes awhile to find it’s grove but its a nice change of pace. The Christopher Priest Black Panther run is fantastic IMO, though volume 1 is the one I prefer. Don’t know if youre familiar with Dwayne Mcduffy’s “Static” series, if not, get acquainted. Also, “New Ghostbusters” arc of IDW’s Ghostbusters series features a team of 3 women (1 Hispanic) and 1 white male (3/4s of the team are new creations). It’s also funny and great for GB fans.

      I think lately there’s more of a push for female or gay characters than Black or Latino. I don’t know why, my guess is those groups are not reading comics as much and others are pushing for their own groups. I think that’s sad, and hopefully untrue. If we trade a universe full of straight white men for one full of just white men and white women than that would be a big step back.

      Also; “Grayson cum Wayne”. I know that’s Latin or whatever but an odd turn of phrase nonetheless.

    • Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

      Yeah, “cum” is Latin for “with”. And while I think that I could handle the powers of anyone, the potential of Morpheus honestly scares the shit out of me!

    • sitara119 sitara119 says:

      Most of the characters u mentioned are not within DC. ;)

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      @Sitara119, you know I honestly forgot we had to stick to DC characters ;>). I just relate more to that list above, off the top of my head I don’t “relate” to DC characters the same way, because I’m kind of a unique personality.

      Ok, Ryan; here is my amended list: 5) the Atom (Ray Palmer or Ryan Choi), 4) the Phantom Stranger, 3) Plastic Man, 2) the Flash (Barry, Wally, or Bart), 1) Still Morpheus the Sandman. I’ll explain any of my choices on request.

  2. orlandor says:

    5) Earth 2 Dr. Fate, 4) Hal Jordan, 3) Green Arrow, 2) The Flash, 1) Martian Man hunter….and for fun my villain would be the Riddler

  3. Heroville Heroville says:

    Adam Strange
    Barry Allen
    Hal Jordan
    Clark Kent
    Michael Holt

  4. hanson724 hanson724 says:

    1– Guy Gardner
    2–Superman
    3–Aquaman
    4–Green Arrow
    5– The Flash( Barry Allen)

    • Yeay! Guy Gardner love! He is my no.5 on this list, but my no.1 Green Lantern character. I am extremely sad that Tomasi is not going to write him anymore. He elevated him to such a great level. I would argue that he is almost more important for the last decade of GL comics than Hal!

      Oh man, what would I give to see him, done right of course, in a movie version.

    • hanson724 hanson724 says:

      Hell yeah! love Guy gardner. and I agree about “Oh man, what would I give to see him, done right of course, in a movie version.” that would be hella cool.

  5. TheSandman TheSandman says:

    5. Swamp Thing 4. Dr. Midnight 3. The Shade 2. Batman 1. Sandman (Wesley Dodds)

  6. ghostmann ghostmann says:

    5. Swamp Thing – This would be “Written by Alan Moore” version from the 80′s. Swamp Thing could travel to hell and heaven and even space!

    4. Batman – But this would be the Dick Grayson version written by Grant Morrison and Scott Snyder during their “Batman & Robin” and “Detective Comics” runs, respectively. Some of the best “Batman” comics I’ve read.

    3. Wonder Woman – Yeah yeah I know, but hey it would be kinda fun…. right? ;)

    2. Superman – This would be the Grant Morrison version from “All-Star Superman” and not from his shitty “Action Comics” run.

    1. Jessie Custer (Preacher) – Garth Ennis created one of the most life like and heroic characters in Jeesie Custer. He never compromises his beliefs or backs down and stands up for what is right – and honestly how cool is his power “The Word”? Things I could do with that power…. hmmmm =)

  7. BaneofKings BaneofKings says:

    Green Arrow – Experienced wielder of Arrows, Playboy Millionaire, wealth of tech, unlimited amount of money – what more could you want?

    Superman – pretty much why others have already stated.

    Nightwing – This would be awesome. Acrobatics, fun, and some of the coolest weapons at DC at least in my opinion.

    Flash – I’d never need to catch a bus again.

    Shazam – Magic FTW!

  8. RedBaron504 RedBaron504 says:

    No particular order. DIAL H, dialer.- New powers every dial? Sounds fun to me. MR. MIRACLE- Flight, fisticuffs, immortal, and an uncanny ability to escape anything! DR FATE- Other then the mystical powers you get one of the most badass headquarters ever, the Tower of Fate. FLASH- The dudes untouchable. MARTIAN MANHUNTER- Just as smart and tragic as Batman and just as alien and powerful as Superman. And check out Miles Morales! If this was for marvel he would totally be on my list.

  9. EgonSpengler EgonSpengler says:

    my top 5…

    5. Carter Hall- most underrated badass in the DCU, in my opinion. plus he can fly, hes an alien, and hes indiana jones. big bucket of win right there.
    4. Michael Holt- T spheres, man. T spheres.
    3. Aquaman- i like the ocean, and who doesn’t want a trident?
    2. Oliver Queen (pre new 52)- all the money of Bruce Wayne, none of the emotional baggage.
    1. Wally West (before he had those weird looking kids)- my default answer to most “which power would you want” question is always super speed, plus wally has always been my favorite Flash.

  10. Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

    5. John Constantine – His knowledge of the occult and use of the sigil magic greatly interests me. Plus, who wouldn’t want to be an Alan Moore character!

    4. The Creeper – Cuz… Why Not?

    3. Swamp Thing – Manipulation of all plant-life, ability to travel to hell and back (literally) in an instant, and an adorable personality! And let’s not forget, ALAN MOORE! His run forever cemented the character’s place in my heart by making one of the coolest, misunderstood character living in the backwaters of the DCU… No offense to Louisianians…

    2. Flash – Flash Fact! Coolest costume in the DCU! Everything you said pretty sums up why I’d pick him.

    1. Dick Grayson – Let’s face it: He just IS the best character in the whole world! Raised by acrobats, therefore natural acrobatic talent; taken in by Batman (AWESOME) therefore master of martial arts, deduction, applied sciences, etc.. He is a born wise-ass, natural leader (Titans, JLA), the REAL playboy of the Bat-Family (Koriand’r!), and all around nicest guy ever! He is my number one.

  11. spaceghost15 spaceghost15 says:

    1- Zatara. As a magician my self it would be REALLY cool to do REAL magic.
    2- Flash. Unstoppable speedster
    3- Guy Gardner. Green Lantern powers with out having to be Sad Sack Hal
    4- Shazam. I want Superman like powers but don’t want to be superman.
    5- The Joker. In the new 52 he is CRAZY powerful.

    • Joker??? You would like to be a mass murdering monster, who wears his face as a mask?

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      If you think about it, him wearing the “Face Mask” is kind of dumb. Everyone knows who he is, his face is literally rotting every second, and why wouldn’t he just get it sewed back on? Hopefully next time we see him he does a face-lift (I thank you). I enjoyed it at the time, and it’s creepy as hell , but it can’t last forever.

    • Nightwing97 Nightwing97 says:

      @IthoSapien. I’ve been thinking about this myself. It worked for the story, but not as a lasting trademark. I’m thinking that someone could have Tommy Elliot could fix him up, while at the same time re-introducing Hush.

    • RedBaron504 RedBaron504 says:

      If you think of him as a counter to Batman it makes sense. Everyone kinda knows who Batman is (Batman Inc. No one actually believes Bruce Wayne is just the money man do they?) Also, the mask Joker is wearing is his real face. Thats a creepy mirror to Batman.

    • I really like dthe mask face, but it won’t be seen again, I think.
      What I even liked more was the Morrison redesign, with the big sewn up scars and the bullethole scar on his forehead.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      @RedBaron504, it’s a great mirror for Batman, but other that its kind of dumb. Him having his muscle tissue exposed like that all the time would definately cause an infection or leparsy or something. But if he’s wearing his face as a mask, than is it still a mask? A mask hides your identity, but everyone knows who the Joker is and he’s just wearing his regular face (which is the same thing as him before it was removable). Its a metaphor that doesn’t really work anymore. I’m curious to know what he did in the year(s) between when the Dollmaker removed his face and when DOTF began.

      @Shallbecomeabat; that was before DOTF and Dollmaker and even New 52 I think. But then he looked kinda different in the Black Mirror. Jeez where is Joker going for all these cosmetic treatments? Personnally, I’d like to see a “frowny” Joker next. Like from “Hush Returns” (terrible book I know, but I liked the Joker in that) or from “Batman #1″.

  12. Free Wally West.

    • WheelHands WheelHands says:

      Seconded.

      Sorry Ryan, but if anything needs a +1 right now, it is this.

    • boostergold4 says:

      Free the entire pre new 52 DCU.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      Ok I’ve gotta bring this up: Why bring back the old DCU? Conor told me a few months ago that before the reboot sales for DC sucked. Hard. Yes they’ve gone down from what their #1 issues sold at (because they were 52 of the things, all of them were $2.99 I believe, everything was new again) but that was inevitable. I’ve seen the numbers (or a projection of them) and DC’s sales are higher now than pre-reboot numbers. So why does everyone want that universe back if they weren’t buying it in the first place? Just saying.

    • WheelHands WheelHands says:

      It should be obvious that those of us longing for the old universe were buying the books.

      The New 52 was a financial success but a creative failure. It was rife with a potential that has largely been squandered. Exciting at first, and certainly profitable, but ultimately a disappointment for many longtime fans of DC.

      I don’t see anything wrong with missing our characters. And since numbers are all that really matters, the new universe is here to stay for the time being. But if you think DC can ignore the temptation to reboot the universe again someday, you’re kidding yourself. Look at the intervals between each crisis since COIE, and it’s clear that this company has an ongoing love affair with the reset button.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      @Wheelhands, I appreciate the logic and reasonableness(? is that a word?) in your response. Yes it was obivious that most who missed the old universe were supporting it by buying the old books.

      I disagree that the potential has been squandered(?), there have been a few (maybe a dozen IMO) missteps but its not over yet. Things could improve and those same missteps could be “fixed”.

      I get that people miss the old universe. I do. When the New 52 was announced I legitamately hated the idea of it. But I’ve come around to it. What I can’t stand is still hearing all these jokes and complaints 2 years later. At a certain point, I expect people to get over the past. And this is a personal pet peeve of mine thats lasted for years, so it’s not directed at comic fans or anything. I just can’t stand people that comlain all the time and live in the past. And I don’t expect the New 52 to be permanent. Its enevitable that it will be rebooted again and I’m sure many, many people will complain “ANOTHER reboot?!”. To be honest, i think DC needs it. I think they’ve got, what, 2 or 3,000 more characters than Marvel? That clutters up things, then they have to be in the same universe? Clusterfuck of the highest proportions. Marvel should be commended for going this long without a “reset” but to be honest of alot of their stuff feels tired and a little “long in the tooth”.

    • WheelHands WheelHands says:

      Five years ago, I would’ve laughed if I had heard myself say this, but the New 52 has shown me that Marvel has the right approach when it comes to continuity. They just keep rolling along, and the readers accept that the milestones are canon, and the silly stuff can be forgotten. Yeah, DC has more characters, and their dedication to the idea of legacy characters has cluttered up the universe, but I don’t think constant reboots are the answer.

      This is comics. Readers are aware of the fact that the universe is 70+ years old, and the willingness to suspend disbelief is greater among comic fans than any other medium. The smart thing to do would be to trust their readers, give the marketing and money grabs a rest, and just keep moving forward with quality storytelling. Recruit good talent, treat them well, and produce good work, and readers will shrug off the more muddy parts of continuity. The better the stories, the more willing fans will be to accept the changes.

    • IthoSapien IthoSapien says:

      You’re not wrong, constant reboots aren’t the answer and silly stuff can be swept under the rug.

      “The smart thing to do would be to trust their readers, give the marketing and money grabs a rest, and just keep moving forward with quality storytelling. Recruit good talent, treat them well, and produce good work, and readers will shrug off the more muddy parts of continuity.” Honestly I think Marvel could benefit from some of this too, particualry the cash grabs and muddy continuity.

      But the thing I was thinking about pre-New 52 was how many characters had died then been “brought back”. “Blackest Night” really brought that into focus for me: Green Arrow, Barry Allen Flash, Superman, Bart Allen Flash, Bruce Wayne Batman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter. Some parts of it were rediculous. Not saying a reboot was necessary but man. Then I’ll just bring this up again, New 52 numbers are up from before it started. Either DC wasn’t telling good stories before and/or didn’t have good talent available, or people were just sick of parts of it. I’m just spitballing here but I think either of those should be examined closely.

      I tell you what astounds me though, Marvel NOW! . Same basic thing DC did (renumbering a bunch of their titles, shifting teams, etc) and shipping books bi-monthly with alot of them priced $3.99. Oh, and theres the barriage or Train of events. And people still complain about the New 52! I mean I find the whole thing unreal. That’s just me though.

  13. What with the no white guys rule? You only list white dudes yourself in the article.
    Oh and I only do DC characters here, aince the article is about DC and not Marvel.

    5. Guy Gardner he is a good guy that gets underestimated. He has a heart of gold and I actually like the way he behaves most of the time, since he is a douchebag, but a funny douchebag, where all of his friends know that its only facade.

    4. Wally West pre new 52 of course. He has great powers, but a personality that makes him more likable than Barry.

    3. John Constantine, just because of his swagger and confidence. He can do so much with just words and cunning, which is inspiring. The only drawback is that his life turns to shit constantly, but his new 52 incarnation doesn’t have that many problems as the Hellblazer one, so thats fine.

    2. Clark Kent of course.

    1. Bruce Wayne (even if you said that pick a mistery to you, but let me explain why) because he is and was such an inspiration for me, in all stages of my life.
    I grew up as an orphan and Batman was the first comic character that I saw when I was small. The fact that he was an orphan made me love him from the get go (the awesome costume and ninja skills are a bonus of course).
    When I was in high school I loved stories (movies, comics, novels) more than everything. I was a very scrawny kid and had no interests in sport. That brought on the wrath of bullies.
    I was beaten regularly and I am not talking about wedgies here and there, I am talking about real beatdowns, by 5 or 6 kids at the same time, while the teacher was in the room and acted like he did not see anything (my best friend back then got it even worse). When I got home to my parents and told them about that they said its my fault and that I should just do what the other kids do and not stand out with my weird interests. So, yeah, I hated High School.
    What brought me through that was Batman. I loved that he had the darkest adventures of all the heroes, the baddest villains, and he overcame all of that, just by being the best he could be. That gave me so much strength, I cannot even put it into words.
    After I quit high school, he gave me the strength to reinvent myself on a physical level and through that I got confidence for the first time. The fact that Bruce could hang out with gods, just because he trained hard made me work hard on my fitness and after I got a job for getting my own place I went back to school and finished it. Now I am on my way to college, just a few years late, but better late than never. It might sound childish, but Bruce helped me a lot with that. I have such a strong bond with that fictional character, that I get really angry when somebody really hates on him, like hearing someone talking bad about ones parent :-)
    Apart from that he has a lot of flaws, which makes him relatable for me, especially because I share a few of them, like bottling up emotions, being a loner and things like that.
    So, yeah, I would want to be Bruce,because he is the best of us, he just has to work on expressing his feelings a bit.

  14. WheelHands WheelHands says:

    Reading Ryan’s list and the above comments, some folks seem to assume that you would have the life and personality that comes along with the character, not just the powers. Which makes this discussion a lot more interesting and subsequently more difficult. There isn’t a hero out there who doesn’t have some cross to bear, so assuming you inherit their life as well, we’re all gonna have something shitty to deal with in exchange. (It also makes it really strange to find yourself choosing a female character). That said, here’s the DC heroes whose powers I’ve most often fantasized about rocking:

    5. Zatanna – Almost limitless magical power without the hassle of spellcasting. Plus, she’s beloved by all (except maybe Batman, for a little while at least)

    4. Nightwing – I’ve always felt I had a lot in common with Dick (performing, cracking wise, and not too shabby with the women folk), so it’d be a relatively smooth transition. And if you’re gonna pick someone without superhuman abilities but who can still kick ass and get around (the city), you can’t go wrong with Grayson.

    3. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) – Who doesn’t wanna be absolutely fearless and bring to life anything you can imagine? Not to mention fly through space. And who needs an apartment, a job, or a vehicle? Not Hal Jordan is the answer. Plus, Carol’s my kinda girl.

    2. Flash (Wally West) – The power set is just too versatile to pass up, and for a while there, Wally had a pretty nice balance of family life (both immediate and extended) and heroic career. Though I think all of us selecting Flashes need to reconsider just how difficult that power would be to live with.

    1. Martian Manhunter – Beyond the ridiculous power set, J’onn is both a cunning warrior and a genuinely kind individual. Plus, you’re one of a kind! Literally!

    @Ryan: Are we gonna have a similar Marvel discussion? Or should we just dive into that now?

  15. sitara119 sitara119 says:

    5. Batman. Probably my favorite hero to read about, but I’d rather BE someone with superpowers. He still makes the list, though.
    4. Martian Manhunter
    3. Aquaman.
    2. Flash
    1. Superman. No-brainer

    Villains list:
    5. Joker. Nolan version. Like Batman, my favorite to read about, but I want powers.
    4. Brainiac
    3. Sinestro
    2. Black Adam
    1. Lobo. Who doesn’t want to be the main man. ;)

  16. pyynk pyynk says:

    To be honest, most of the characters I like the best are the ones who have had profoundly screwed up lives. All the Bat characters have lost family, Booster Gold has lost most of his family and his father abandoned him AND tried to kill him, and Jonah Hex … yikes.

    That said, there are some characters in the DC Universe that I wouldn’t mind being.

    5. The Flash. Pretty much everyone here has already stated the best, most pragmatic reasons why. I’ll toss in that I’d want to be Wally West because while he hasn’t appeared in the DCU that doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist which means his life is fairly angst free. Plus growing up in Blue Valley would have been pretty awesome.

    4. Hipster Cop. Specifically one of Scott Snyder’s hipster cops. Those guys go everywhere, can do anything, and can even travel between universes. Darkseid can’t even do that!

    3. Bat Lash. Look, being Jonah Hex would suck. Half your face burned off, blind in one eye, everyone who loves you dies a horrible death, and now being held in Arkham Asylum? Screw that noise! On the other hand, occasional Hex buddy Bat Lash has it pretty sweet. A card shark who is super popular with the ladies, he’s deadly in a gunfight (if he has to be), but prefers to talk his way out of trouble. For all intents and purposes, he’s Brett Maverick. Which means he’s as close to James Garner as you can be in the DCU.

    2. Vandal Savage. Since everyone seems to be tossing in a villain, I’m going with Vandal Savage for much the same reason that Ryan went with the Shade; living through history and accumulating vast amounts of knowledge. I’m ignoring the stories where he had to cannibalize descendants to maintain his youth though.

    1. The Vigilante (Greg Saunders). Master gunslinger, ace motorcycle rider, horseman of the first caliber, so-so actor, AND country music legend. Vigilante can’t fly or shoot electricity out of his ears, but he has the adulation of the masses, he’s extremely talented, and he’s every bit of wish fulfillment for an eight year old me. If Bat Lash is James Garner, Vigilante is John Wayne, Steve McQueen, Johnny Cash, and uhhh John Wayne rolled into one. And while he does lose a family member in his origin story, an uncle to be precise, let’s pretend that it’s the uncle who no one really likes that’s kind of weird. And what do you get for that loss? Amazing skills, wealth, AND being illustrated by Darwyn Cooke, featured in two JLU stories, and voiced by Nathan Fillion. Oh and you were on the big screen a year before Superman.

  17. JokersNuts JokersNuts says:

    I was just thinking the other night how I wish I had the powers of Mister Mxyzptlk. :-)

    Others in no particular order

    Superman
    ZATANNA!
    Captain Marvel
    Animal Man
    Mr. Miracle (Scott Free)
    Maxwell Lord

  18. Billington Billington says:

    5. Flash – Less for the super footspeed (although that is awesome), and more for the ability to process and perceive every moment in incredible fractions of seconds.

    4. Shade – for a lot of the same reasons as the author. One of the classiest characters in DC’s print, not to mention basically limitless power and immortality. I could use all that.

    3. Captain Comet – (Whoa! Look at me! I name obscure guys to seem cool!) But really – he’s the pinnacle of human evolution – the first mutant metahuman. Telekinesis. Not just telepathy, but the ability to control people’s minds. Genius level IQ. Super strength and stamina. Flight. Frequent trips to space. It’s like all the awesome of Martian Manhunter without having to be crippingly depressed because you’re the only one of your species left.

    2. Dr. Fate – Essentially the greatest sorcerer in the DC universe. The possibilities are endless. Plus, no requirement that you have to learn how to say everything backwards. (And no uncomfortable fishnets.)

    1. Aquaman – basically 3/4 of the world is your home turf, you’re a king, command over nearly all forms of life (not to mention all sorts of sea monsters we don’t even know about), you’re incredibly wealthy, and when you just don’t feel like dealing with all the crap on the surface world, you just go for a swim. Throw occasional dabbles in magic there too. (This combines like all forms of Aquaman, DCAU included.)

  19. player1 player1 says:

    5) Adam Strange – sci-fi superhero cosmic trip, Rann tech
    4) Hawkman – flight, strength, Thanagar tech, ancient/cosmic/scifi/fantasy trip
    3) The Flash – Wally West Where in the Multiverse Are You?
    2) Captain Marvel – it just looks fun there in Fawcett City
    1) Ultra-Boy – ultra-power-one-at-a-time-activate!

  20. Metamorphic Metamorphic says:

    Despite my name, Metamorpho actually didn’t make it into my top 5. And my top five would probably change depending on the day.

    But, in no particular order:

    1) The Creeper: There’s just something I really dig about the character: the pre-demon, pre-joker-related, pre-new 52 version, that is. Little kooky, Jekyll and Hyde thing going on.

    2) Aquaman: Always loved the character – and swimming. Plus: super beautiful redhead wife!

    3) Hawkman: It might be a confusing life, but I like the idea of being a flying badass who knows how to use the weapons of the past

    4) Black Lightning: Always dug the electric powers.

    5) Hourman: There’s just something oddly appealing about having powers for an hour at a time

    And the only reason I didn’t say Flash is ’cause there are so many Flashes listed already!

  21. Stealthwise Stealthwise says:

    I haven’t seen her anywhere in the comments above, but I’d like to be Batgirl for a night. Hot AND nerdy, strong AND angsty, flexible AND clumsy…maybe be her for a night and then with her for another night.

    And I’d like to be Harper Rowe…at the genesis of her (possible) superhero status…world full of excitement, adventure, discovery…respect from Batman still being hard-earned.

    And of course Catwoman is awesome, chaotic, sassy.

    Oddly, I don’t think superpowers appeal to me. Sure, flight, speed, strength, yadda yadda. Give me a woman with emotional edginess anytime…

  22. Herowatcher Herowatcher says:

    5) Blue Beetle (Ted Kord)
    4) Black Lightning
    3) Flash (Barry)
    2) Green Lantern (Hal)
    1) Superman

  23. DoctorDP DoctorDP says:

    5) Batman
    4) Deathstroke
    3) Martian Manhunter
    2) Flash
    1) Plastic Man

  24. filippod filippod (@filippodee) says:

    [5. Animal Man] Animals are amazing creatures, they have unbelievable capabilities. Yet we take them for granted. Being able to mimic the powers of any animal would be beyond cool.

    [4. Big Barda] Big, strong, protective: my kind of woman. And since I like to play games with a female character (female Shepard anyone?) this is a natural choice for me.

    [3. Kamandi] Young, resourceful, determined, making his way in an amazing new world. Adventure in its purest form.

    [2. Orion] As strong as Superman but angry as f#@ck. Superman represents an ideal. Orion is one of us.

    [1. Swamp Thing] Apparently I have a thing for … things that live in a swamp. Seems peaceful.

  25. Askanison Askanison says:

    5. Superman
    4. Etrigan
    3. Ras al Ghul
    2. Deadman
    1. Aquaman

  26. 5. Captain Cold — just cool, whether with hands or freeze-gun, and I’d never be cold again!
    4. Hawkman — I have the hairy chest, but nothing else…wings, mace, badass attitude…awesome!!
    3. Green Arrow — Just once I’d like to plug a gun barrel with an arrow…
    2. Green Lantern — Willpower! Plus, I wouldn’t have to go to the gym to stay in shape.
    1. The Flash — love Speed, could get a lot more done than I do now

  27. Flash923 Flash923 says:

    5.) Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny): Without all of the tragedy!!
    4.) Green Lantern (Hal Jordan): Classic Hal Jordan please any day!
    3.) Superman: For obvious reasons.
    2.) Batman: Billionaire alone is good enough for me, and just a well disiplined normal human; very atainable.
    1.) The Flash (Barry Allen): True blue good guy and I think he is everyones go to guy in the DCU for help and advice. Speed and Intelligance, I believe with the power he has with the speed force there is no one that he could not stop.

    Just off the top of my head.

    K