Welcome to the latest instalment of our most recent blog series Top Tens, which is posting every Sunday, Australian time. Last week I shared my top 10 must do activities to undertake in Australia; this week I will talk about my top 10 favourite superheroes.
We all love a good superhero action movie. The protagonist usually starts out as a misunderstood or rowdy kid, who doesn’t fit into any group of friends. He or she probably has loving parents, but then there’s an accident, and/or he/she has an epiphany or a drastic circumstance happen to them, and then he or she goes out to seek revenge as a vigilante, or save the world as a hero, or to carry out justice for one reason or another. And the antagonist probably used to be the protagonist’s friend or mentor; and after a while drifted apart, or betrayed them.
It also wouldn’t be a superhero film if there is no redemption for the villains, and also there’s a witty sidekick providing comic relief. It is these superheros in these films that help us make sense of our world, and the injustice and inequalities in our world. While we know superheros are not real, it gives us comfort that if people can look up to a larger than life character in a fictitious world, then maybe in the real world there is a saviour or hero out there willing to help us all in our troubles. A metaphor or a allegory sometimes for life; these films makes us think about someone bigger than ourselves, that would go to great lengths to save us and to hold us close to themselves. Who would that be? If that is the only question that arises from these superheroes then I think that these films have done their job in pondering the bigger questions in life.
So without further ado… let’s dive into my top 10 favourite movie superheroes (in reverse order)
Johnny Storm/The Human Torch– Reckless and the ‘immature’ person in the Fantastic 4 superhero group, Johnny can engulf his entire body in flames, can fly and control fire, with sheer will, making him a fundamental member of the team. Though at times questioning the authority of Reed Richards, he is diligent and has a good heart, which is why he is my favourite superhero of the four.
Peter Quill/Starlord– With The Guardians Of The Galaxy opening earlier in August, Quill embodies a hero that is tough, determined, and is loyal to his friends. Portrayed as a no-nonsense, sentimental and reliable leader, by Chris Pratt (he keeps his cassette tape that was given by his mother to him before she died); Quill’s dedication to his friends and his bravery (to keep the galaxy safe) is a quality that we all must strive for in all aspects of our life.
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow– A fierce, professional, accomplished and badass warrior/SHIELD agent, Romanoff is portrayed brilliantly by Scarlett Johansson and is willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, especially in Captain America 2 when she and Steve didn’t know who to trust. Reliable and loyal, the fact that Natasha doesn’t have any superpowers doesn’t hinder her skill sets, as she is very valuable to the Avengers team.
Peter Parker/Spiderman– Though Spiderman isn’t my favourite superhero (I’ll reserve those for the DC characters and the Marvel characters in the MCU); Peter Parker makes the list for his tenacity to dutifully shoulder the burden of Spiderman even if he didn’t want the burden placed on him. For those who don’t know, Peter was bitten by a spider on a school field trip; coupled with his awkward social personality and his shyness, and then we meet a character that grows as a person from the spider’s bite. It’s like the spider did Peter a favour in helping him become a man- and it makes us think what is the thing that will push us to be more of the men and women we want to be?
Oliver Queen/Green Arrow– Arrow was made into a TV series that airs on the CW, and is now in its 3rd season airing in October; but let me say this about Oliver Queen- he is both a vigilante and hero by night and a billionaire and business owner by day; and Oliver was rescued after spending 5 years stranded on an island like in the film Castaway. Coming back to town (Starling City) to right his father’s wrongs and fight crime with his mask, Oliver has to keep his identity secret from his sister, mother, ex-girlfriend and best friend. I’m not sure how I would handle a situation where I had to keep my identity a secret, but Oliver’s love for his friends and willingness to do whatever it takes to keep them safe makes me respect the character all the more (Can I respect a fictitious character?)
Logan/Wolverine– Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine for 14 years, and has embodied the Marvel comics character so much that sometimes I only see him in that role. Logan Wolverine is a mutant with metal claws genetically infused to his bone, and throughout the past 14 years, we have journeyed with the protagonist on 3 X Men films, an origins film, and a sequel film where Logan is in Japan. And it is through these films that we can empathise with Logan- we seem him lose two people that he loves, as well as him being betrayed by his brother. We also see him being tortured by William Stryker. Though Logan is a loner at the beginning of the series, and throughout the films we see him evolve into more of a team player; and it is this transformation that is most interesting and enjoyable to watch.
Steve Rogers/Captain America– Though a fish out of water at first, as Steve was cryogenically frozen and woken up in the 21st century, his knowledge of Hydra puts him firm as the man best placed to help the Avengers and Shield take them down. The first Avenger, in the sense that Steve lived throughout World War II and actively played a part in helping the Allied Forces; it is his durability and tenacity as a person; his ability to assess a situation and do the best for the team, even if it doesn’t benefit himself, that makes his qualities as a person and a leader admirable and worth applaud
Tony Stark/Iron Man– One of the first superheroes that I loved and actively followed, Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal of Iron Man utilises the comedy part, with Tony Stark’s dry and witty humour, and semi arrogance as a billionaire making the character multifaceted and interesting to watch. The leader of the Avengers; Tony’s dedication to Pepper Potts and Jarvis makes his sacrifices quite emotional and moving to watch, and Robert Downy Jr plays this iconic character to perfection, My favourite character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe; this character, who doesn’t have any natural superpowers but in fact manmade; reminds us that we don’t have to have x, y, and z to be special.
Clark Kent/Superman– There are many incarnations of Superman, with Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh, and now Henry Cavill coming to my mind, who played Clark Kent. Not to mention Tom Welling who starred as Clark during the 10 seasons of Smallville. Though I haven’t really followed Superman’s journey over the years, Man Of Steel blew me away last year, and it is the strength of that film alone, and the fact that the next film has Batman in there, that I am putting this DC Comics star near the top of my list.
Bruce Wayne/Batman– Need I say more? Christopher Nolan’s directing and Christian Bale’s acting are both superb and unparalleled to none, and the dark approach to Batman works. Bale’s tortured, complex, conflicted hero in Bruce Wayne has so many layers to him; and if anything, his acting makes the Batman character, which seemed so larger than life and cartoonish in the 90’s live action movies, a lot more real, relatable, and a man with problems, just like you and me. Bring on the Gotham TV show I say!
So there are my top ten favourite superheroes, what are yours? Let me know so that we can compare and have a healthy discussion…