Greetings friends & closet nerds, welcome back to another edition of Talk Nerdy to Me with AJ Speck & Shaun Curran – your go-to source for unfiltered opinions, on comics, news, video games, trailers and all the down and dirty about all things nerdy.
Thanks for taking a moment to click on over to our wonderful dorky world here. As you may have noticed, there’s a bit of a theme going on over here at The Tailgate Society – its Mount Rushmore Week! What does that mean exactly? Well, to celebrate the amazing natural landmark God made to honor the best Presidents (*this fact has not been verified as of the posting of this article*), the team TGS decided to do a special segment of “The Mount Rushmore of ____________”, celebrating the best and brightest of random categories that we saw fit enough to acknowledge.
Being the lemmings that we are over here at Talk Nerdy, we decided to follow suit and came up with our Mount Rushmore of Superheroes. So today we will take a moment to honor the 4 most iconic Champions of Comicbook history – those that paved the way for others to follow and set the stage for this great world of Heroes we know and love (SPOILER ALERT: Aquaman didn’t make the cut).
Love him or hate him, one thing is certain – Batman is arguably the single most iconic and recognizable Superhero in history. The Alpha and the Omega – Batman transcends the genre, having elevated from the pages of DC, to Silver Screen Superstar – to Pop Culture Icon. Never has that been more evident than with the unfortunate passing of the great Adam West, as the City of Los Angeles held a ceremony in his honor and lit the Bat Symbol into the California sky to pay homage to the man who helped elevate the character to its international status.
Why is he so popular? Besides being rich, charming, witty, and always right – he’s also a certified badass. The appeal is simple – he is a man that has overcome great adversities and tragedies, to become the best version of himself and a symbol of justice and perseverance. His superpower is Prep Time – and his weakness? He only has 24 hours in the day to fit in all his awesome. Seriously – he’s become the “Chuck Norris” of comics. I have on good authority that Chuck Norris wear Batman Pajamas. While it’s not always the most believable scenario, Batman can do anything and everything – except lose. And his moral compass doesn’t follow a true north or South – and the world is not Black and White – Batman operates in the Grey area. He breaks the law every night in order to fight those that break the law…it’s a vicious cycle, but it works. The only thing Batman loves is Justice…well that and Martha…
Oh, and he has the best villains in the industry, I don’t care what AJ says.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!
How could we do a Mt Rushmore of comic book icons without the very first superhero? The Man of Steel made his debut in Action Comics #1 in 1938 (not counting the 1933 run of Super-man where he was a bald villain) and is still carrying the torch as the most powerful hero in all of comics.
So what is it that makes Supes the icon that he is? Well for one he represents so much more than just being strong and hitting a bad guy. Superman is an alien that crash lands on Earth and yet, he’s everything that humans should hope to represent. He shows courage when all hope is thought to be lost, defends those who can’t defend themselves, annnnd he can carry entire galaxies through space.
Superman is the pinnacle of the modern superhero. He’s unarguably the most powerful hero in American comics, he has a terrifying collection of villains, faces the most dangerous situations with a smile, and respects his wife and mother. What more could you ask for?
How did a world terrified of spiders come to like a teenager with the abilities of an arachnid? Some damn good writing, that’s how. Your friendly neighborhood Spider-man was a creation of Stan Lee and has been a hit since his debut in Amazing Fantasy #15. Quick note: superheroes typically get their starts with some pretty awful costume designs, so it’s cool to see such an iconic suit from day one.
Now we all know Peter Parker’s story so we’ll skip that. What we won’t skip is what makes his character such a hit with his fans. Outside of super powers (I know, big detail), Peter is a normal teenager with normal problems. He takes pictures of himself in-costume to pay his bills, has never-ending relationship drama, and his family was torn apart by crime. There’s a certain comfort behind the idea that even a superhero can feel the weight of the world, and yet even without powers you can face the villains of everyday life.
Speaking of villains, Spidey may have the best in the biz. His rogue’s gallery has given us legendary characters like Venom, Doc Oc, Norman Osborn’s Green Goblin, Carnage, and so many more. It’s a fun debate, but Spider-man may have a better cast of evil-doing characters than even Batman. Yes Shaun, I said it.
Until 1974, Canada was nothing more than the US’ annoying little brother to the north know for exporting Moose and weird french like accents. That all changed when Marvel comics introduced a short, hairy, and very angry antagonist to The Incredible Hulk known simply as The Wolverine. With his retractable claws, superhuman strength and blatant Batman mask ripoff the Wolverine almost immediately became a fan favorite and shot to super-stardom. I mean how could you not love a cynical, asshole super-powered rage filled mutant that has indestructible adamantium encrusted bones, spends his time smoking cigars, picking bar fights, and calling people bub?!? It’s almost impossible not to be drawn to this guy.
Wolverine (aka James Howlett, aka Logan, aka Weapon X, Old Man Logan, aka Fox’s Money maker) has become the poster boy for Marvel badassery – being the go to cameo if you want your comic to sell. The guy’s about as busy as Bruce Wayne too – he’s a loner, that works closely with the X-men, the Avengers, X-Force, Weapon X – all while still finding time to father numerous super-powered just as angry mutant bastard children across various timelines AND time-travel somehow(I’m not really sure I understand Marvel comics anymore). And as far as movies go – he’s single handedly kept FOX studios in the Comicbook movie business, despite its best efforts to f*ck up every time line and bastardize everything you thought you loved about the X-Men by making Mystic the founder and leader (makes no damn sense). And they couldn’t have been more on point with Hugh Jackman – the guy embodies the character and owns the role in a way few other actors have been successfully able to do. That’s why he goes up there as one of the all time greats.
**Side note – Logan is a goddamned Masterpiece – the proverbial “The Dark Knight” of the X-Men Universe. I cried serious man tears, and I’m not ashamed to admit that**
Wonder Woman (Shaun)
We were going to put Wonder Woman up there, but let’s be honest – she doesn’t belong there. Comicbooks and Superheroes are a male dominated genre and someone like Diana Prince, with her incredible strength, unwavering moral compass, and ability to inspire like no other Superhero had before has no place on Mount Rushmore. She deserves her own damn Monument.. Over the years she set the stage for what a female Superhero could be, and along the way inspired generations of little girls (and boys) to stay true to their values, to themselves, and fight for fairness and equality everyday.
Oh, and she’s also single handedly saving the DCEU. Her movie is as amazing as she is.
So there you have it – the official Mount Rushmore of Comicbook Heroes (according to Shaun & AJ). I’m not saying that we should replace the President’s faces with the noble heroes – but if a petition from Change.org was circulating to do just that, we would most definitely sign it.
**Yes we realize that Mount Rushmore is an American Monument, and we just nominated an illegal Alien and a sneaky Canadian to helm half the mountain…and we should probably put American Heroes on the monument. But what you have to remember is we don’t really care if you think we’re wrong…oh and they’re fictional characters. **
What do you think? Were we right like we always are? Or are we way off base and you have a better idea of who’s pretty face deserves to be up on that rock? Let us know in the comments below – or angrily tweet at us @AJ_SpeckTGS or @TalkingNerdie and bestow upon us your wisdom!! Thanks for sticking around, have a great day, and God Bless Batman!!