First off, before we start this article. I just want to say
Now before I begin this top 7. I just want to point out a couple of things. First, when I was growing up, the first thing that I began to love that was comic superhero related, was the
YOU REALLY DO CARE =]
6. ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR
Ultimate Fantastic Four was already the first introduction I had to this new take and realizing it was a new take first hand. Hulk did have a new take, but the episodes I saw in the show were completely different from the comic. In the show of Fantastic Four though, it is mentioned of their origin a lot more and where they stood out as superheroes. This comic though was a lot different. Their origin made them look younger even though Reed was the oldest, here Reed was in his early 20's. The Thing had an enormous amount of strength, Sue Storm is even more annoying. The origin is completely different and a little like the movie where all 5 of them are all affected by the same experiment they were trying to achieve. This time it had Reed trying to transport an apple into the N-Zone where Doom recalculates everything assuming Reed brought up the wrong calculates. With that happening, the five of them are transformed through the N-Zone.
I wouldn't call it THE BEST
but it certainly wasn't horrible. I never liked the way Doom was handled, don't understand the need to give him goat legs nor did I like his personality. He seemed more like an asshole that liked to blame everybody else but himself. I also didn't care for the story after the first fight with Doom where he is firing rockets at the team because after that nothing really excitied me to go back and read more I never got a chance to read any of the 616 Fantastic Four comics till later on in high-school I read Fantastic Four The End. A one shot yes, but it does seem like a connection to the 616. Overall a very mixed opinion on this comic but nonetheless it wasn't terrible.
5. ASTONISHING X-MEN & ULTIMATE X-MEN
Now I ranked them both at the same time due to the fact that they are X-Men and growing up watching the shows than watching the movies knowing very well in advance they were different did show me that it did have its differences. Now the one comic that I actually felt deserved to be needed to be told into a movie was the stories of Astonishing X-Men. It was such a well made comic book. The art, the action and the story of the first 3 Volumes were on point. Especially using the cure for mutants in X3, it didn't do a good job in putting the story in a well balanced way since you also had the story of Dark Phoenix which had the Gifted storyline taking up the majority of the movie. I also loved the story to come after where the X-Men battle the Danger Room, a crazy story that I hope one that that movie does happen where they have to battle an enemy like that.
This comic Ultimate X-Men wasn't my cup of T. It was probably one of the first comics. I really disliked due to how weird it had gotten to the point where I almost forgot while doing this list. Now me and my brother caught this on Marvel.com where they had digital comics of the comic. So when it did pop up online. I read the one comic that weirded me out and kind of seemed like how unoriginal the comic was becoming and far out it was. Mind you, I was a young age and I became critical towards this which was Sabretooths 4 claws....yea...brilliant idea guys..what a way to show that Sabretooth can one up Wolverine. Cyclops is a jealous teenager, Jean Grey is sort of a slut. Everything is pretty much changed from what I knew from the show. Its decent though and was probably one of the last comics I read before moving to Florida from New Jersey.
4. WOLVERINE: ORIGINS
Probably one of my favorite or my top 10 favorites is the Wolverine Origin story. This story was the first time I ever became introduced to the idea of Wolverine having bone claws. To me this was a pivitol and but yet awesome moment to me the moment the bone claws came out. This was another comic that was released in digital format that I eventually picked up in Florida. It blew me away, not to mention how Wolverine teamed up with Captain America in World War II, or the depiction of the scene in the movie where Logan or James Howlett lets out the claws was pretty amazing too. Some of the characters are forgettable, like Dog & Rose which I pretty much showed no care in.
I really liked it growing up, because at the height of the X-Men movies even before than, I always felt that Wolverine was the coolest looking member of the group. His hair, his costume, the claws. Forget about who he is or anything like that. His style and the approach of the character is what drew me in, Origins was the one that really got me to understand Wolverine. The episodes I saw of X-Men never showed Wolverines healing ability that I remembered, nor did it show his past. So reading this comic pretty much showed a different side of Wolverine. Even though it was short since it was a miniseries, it was a worthy miniseries to me to own as a graphic novel when I moved to Florida. I liked Wolverine as a kid due to how he looked, but this comic made me love the character even more despite the notable differences from the movie.
3. SUPERMAN (ALMOST ALL OF THEM)
Superman. Superman was the one character growing up, that I kinda stopped caring about at one point and kind of gave up on than rekindled my love for him. He was a character that when watching the movies and watching the TV shows I felt had no type of character development that made me seem like can do no wrong as a kid, where as other heroes with conflicts building to the idea that they are a hero meant to me that they were a lot more interesting. Which is why I read Hulk, Spider-Man, X-Men and what not. Than I read Superman Birthright...than All Star Superman, than the Death of Superman, so many comics I read of him where it just rekindled the flame for me when it came to him. The most obvious reason to me on why sometimes I do not like him is that he is an over-powered character in all of comics where writers had to think of creative ways to create ridiculous scenarios where Superman can test his strength. At the core of it though which many Superman fans look at the feats he had accomplished and what he can do, they miss the core message and idea of him a lot more.
The message to me growing up was always Truth, Justice & The American Way, but in a lot of ways people always seem to think of him as this perfect being, where everyone constantly sometimes feels jealous of him (lets admit, Batman) or constantly look up to him. In spite of all that, he really is a guy that is conflicted with who he is on this planet. I mean the guy has no parents, he is practically brought on this Earth to find out years later his planet was destroyed and that he is an alien at such a young age. Than you get the idea that he is just someone who wants to do the right thing. I'm not going to mention Man of Steel here, but that is who I saw in Superman is a character that feels he was someone who wants to do the right thing even though he has above and beyond but sometimes doesn't feel like he has yet fulfilled what he has done. There is some comics I read where he thinks he can do better, Birthright was one of them where he just wanted to help and in a lot of ways I think a the core of that people mislead and go into misdirection when they think of Superman in that light. He is someone that just wants to be there in case the shit goes down or something goes terribly wrong, he wants to save us and in a lot of ways we got that Superman inside of us that hopes to be there to do the right thing. A subtle yet moral message I have heard all my life from my father was "Do the right thing"
so to me, Superman stood for that. Not because of his powers that are unbelievable, but really the core of who he is to me that is more important..Something my brother constantly always wants to leave for last when he talks about his love for Superman which he constantly brings up how extremely strong he is rather than the actual love of the character. I love and hate you Superman, I really do =]
2. BATMAN (ALL OF THEM)
He is one of my favorite superheroes of all time, probably my number one superhero but he isn't the number one comic book to me but probably one of the ones I read where I really just fell in love with. As a kid the movies I watched growing up was Batman Forever & Batman & Robin. As a kid I never thought much of it other than the fact that its Batman, Robin, Mr. Freeze, Batgirl, explosions, action I mean who gives a shit? Growing up of course my whole perspective of him changed once I saw Batman Begins. This was the movie I knew was going to be awesome, I had such high hopes, I skipped school, took the bus to watch it and ended up getting in trouble BUT WORTH IT! After Begins I started to read the comics when I moved to Florida. I read Batman Hush, which I thought was a great read and sometimes still read when I take a shit in the toilet (I know, TMI), Batman The Long Halloween, Batman: Venom, The Killing Joke, Batman & Superman and my favorite, Batman: Dark Victory.
I always felt the story of Robin was told an odd way in the movies compared to the TV show when I watched it. It is often retold in movies, comics and in TV including with All Star Batman, but I think was the one comic where I felt the origin and the necessity of him became clearer and clearer to me. I always felt that these comics just had better writing than a lot of other comics out there. Specifically my favorite was when Bruce talks to Dick about how his feelings towards his parents death. It was a great moment in the comic, and most importantly one of my favorites cause of how deep the whole conversation got, but when Dick begins to realize that him and Bruce are both orphans when Alfred tells him why is probably a moment that his it deep with the character as well. I always loved Batman because of the writing and all the different villains he had faced. You had a villain that Batman inadvertanly created, a villain who feels he is completely smarter than Batman, a villain who brought the idea of sympathetic to the table, I mean there is a lot of them that make them seem more than what they are. They are incredibly interesting, more interesting than villains like The Leader, Sabretooth, hell even Brainiac. I think that is one of the biggest reasons I loved so much about Batman but more importantly also is his character. I mean this is a guy that became an orphan but decided to use this rage, anger, and frustration and channel it through fighting crime. I mean he was one of the godfathers of having the origin of losing both your parents and probably the one that got it the worse since he witnessed it. His costume, his image and the symbol, its just iconic to me, not to mention he doesn't even have a super power which makes him the more interesting since he could die at any moment in his career. He ranks, as probably my favorite superhero, but the one hero I felt had the best comic books growing up....is....
1. ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN
THIS! Was just awesome growing up. Remember, I didn't grow up reading the comics first. I grew up watching the show, watching the movies and playing the games, specifically the Playstation One game. I loved him! He was just a great looking character, his name was just so easy to love as well, SPIDER-MAN!
It just had this ring to it that I recognized better and felt a little more connected to growing up. When the movie came out, I fell more in love with Spider-Man, he was just awesome in every way. When I moved to Florida, I saved up money to buy the Ultimate Spider-Man volume collection, to get a heads up in comics since thinking back than foolishly if you didn't read the comics, you didn't know jack-shit. Even though I knew the obvious deviations from the original, the movie and characters. The whole comic grew on to me. The volumes it came with went all the way up with Venom, but after readin it, I started buying them as regular comics.
All the villains and characters felt more modern and realistic or better yet made more sense than the 616. For example the re-telling of Venom was a lot better to me. Instead of being found during the Secret Wars, the symbiote was man-made by Peters father, Richard Parker and Eddie Brocks father (which in a hilarious way look a lot more like 616 Peter & Eddie), Rhino has a mech suit instead of being altered to the suit. Electro is written like a hit-man working for Kingpin, Nick Fury is introduced wanting to take Spider-Man into SHIELD, but can't cause of his age. Mary Jane was written better and the fact that she knew his identity and even bossed him around to be a superhero was quite funny, but even though it did have deviations, it was such a great read. Spider-Man was always a character I felt connected to growing up here in Florida. I was bullied, I was picked on or name-called and felt at times my high-school life had no purpose but to just study hard and do what I gotta do. Like Parker, a moment in my life changed everything where I had a big responsibility to take rather than just walk away from it, being a father. It was a hard moment in my life, but I always stood by the idea that I need to take responsibility seriously and believe it or not Spider-Man was that responsibility. So he kind of stuck with me as a teen and how I felt personally with him. As one stated, he is an everyman in such a big world and a lot of ways we are all that everyman who will one day take up a huge responsibility on par to what Spider-Man has. Not crazy like being bitten by a spider, but maybe its becoming a CEO, maybe its becoming a parental figure or hell a police officer.
As I grew up, as I stand at my age of being 21, I have stopped reading comics. Changes happen, comics get weirder or rebooted and I grow up. Than again, I never really grew up reading the comics. I had my love for superheroes because of their powers, their personality and their characteristics. You don't have to be an avid comic-reader to be in love with these characters which a lot of die-hard comic fans believe if you like the X-Men movies or the idea of Fantastic Four, I mean it you just really don't. I grew up with the characters a lot differently than most others and saw differently about them. I love superheroes for the different stories that have come out through the years; the different villains, the different alter-egos, love interests, all of it. It all resonated to me. We all have the beginning of what got us into comics, so I thought it would be cool to share this and to show that I was never a huge comic book reader like most of you have been, but it is a labor of love for superheroes in general that I have grown with since I was 5. I have read a bunch of comics, these were just the comic stories I did follow a lot. Some I remember fondly, some I do not, overall I am a fan.
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