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  • Writer's pictureKD Webster

Wait, do you prefer geek or nerd?

So, six blogs in and I think I've finally found my footing. I know the previous entries have ranged from politics to horror to my skits on Facebook. But a blog should be what you're passionate about, right?

I've always fancied myself a nice blend of an old soul and a kid at heart. How many of you are old enough to remember that Toys "R" Us commercial from back in the day?

"I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys "R" Us kid. They got a million toys at Toys "R" Us that I can play with."

I'm the guy who catches all the inside science and nerd/geek references on The Big bang Theory. The guy who would follow along with Jeopardy! to see if my score would be the champion. I cried when Stan "The Man" Lee passed away. I have an extensive comic book collection. Mint condition, of course. My passion? Pretty much all things nerd-speak. From anime to zombies. Cartoons, science fiction, fantasy, break out novels, and the like. From Star Trek to Star Wars to Star Gate.

"I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys "R" Us kid. They got the best for so much less, it'll really flip your lid."

So that's what my blogs will be about. All of the aforementioned. Today notwithstanding, my intent is to have a new blog entry every Monday and Friday. Kick off the work week, close out the work week. Each blog to be uploaded and ready to read no later than noon mountain time. Now, as current events warrant, there may be the occasional non-geek related blog posted with the intent to keep my readers informed. Hopefully, those will be few and far between.

"From bikes to trains to video games, it's the biggest toy store there is (gee whiz!)."

So I thought I'd kick off the first of my regular blog entries with comic book heroes. Now, since this is a topic I could go on and on (and on and on) about, I figure I'd dial it in and be a bit specific. So these are my top ten favorite comic book heroes. In no particular order other than Batman is my number one (and the only one who gets a gif). Now, I won't go all into origins or lore or anything. I'll save that for further discussion.

So let's dive in, shall we?

BATMAN (Bruce Wayne) - His mind and body at its peak. A high threshold for pain. Ultra-cool gadgets and toys. Always thinking two steps ahead. He took a childhood tragedy and bent it to his will. He's always thinking of contingency plans. He asks the uncomfortable "what-ifs" and comes up with an appropriate response. He has no powers, just skill and intellect, which makes Batman a symbol one could attain to. But to me, what makes him my number one, his sense of resolve. He will do whatever it takes (short of killing) to get the job done. He doesn't quit. If there is a way, he will find it. One of my favorite Justice League storylines is "The Tower of Babble". Batman had a plan to take down each member of the Justice League should the need arise. One of his enemies uncovered those plans and used it to ambush each team member. When it was all said and done and after the day was saved, Batman would get kicked out of the Justice League, albeit but for a brief time.

GAMBIT (Remy Lebeau) - Ah, the Ragin' Cajun. The Loveable Louse. The Gentleman Scoundrel. While not my number one superhero, he is my favorite X-man. He mixes style with a rogue's charm. A tragic past he tries to leave behind. A thief, not only of jewels, but of hearts. I've followed Gambit ever since his first appearance in X-Men #266 when he met Storm for the first time. Storm had been regressed to a teenager by Nanny, who then...well, we'll let that be a discussion for another time. One of my favorite storylines is "The Trial of Gambit". A long-running thread in the 90's comics was the rumor that Gambit was the future traitor of the X-Men (which of course, we now know who the traitor turned out to be). Although he wasn't the traitor, it was discovered that Gambit led the Marauders into the Morlock Tunnels (the cause of the Morlock Massacre storyline). There was a trail of sorts, and that's when the truth came out. He left the X-Men for a while. But like all mutants on the side of the angels, he eventually found his way back to 1407 Graymalkin Lane.

BLACK PANTHER (T'challa) - He's valued as much for his intellect as the suit he wears. A world hero who always puts the needs of the nation of Wakanda first. With the exception of his possessing enhanced abilities achieved through ancient Wakandan rituals of drinking the essence of the heart-shaped herb, the Black Panther could easily be compared to Batman in skill, physical training, access to wealth, and his sense of resolve. He has been a part of most major Avengers storylines. He was with the Avengers when Thor uttered those powerful seven words, "Ultron, we would have words with thee." He was a member of the Illuminati. He has stood in as a member of the Fantastic Four, as a guardian of Hell's Kitchen for Daredevil, and has led his own team of Avengers. One of my favorite quotes was during the "Infinity War" story arc. Black Panther while fighting Black Dwarf, "I am who you are looking for. I am the Black Panther. King of the dead. And soon to be your new lord."

Long live the King...

NIGHTWING (Richard Grayson) - Pretty much everything said about Batman could be copied and pasted here. The original Robin, Grayson was the first "sidekick" to come into his own identity and become Nightwing (a nod to Batman and Superman). He's led various teams, but most notably the Titans. He has cool toys like his mentor but relies more on his acrobatic skills and fighting sticks than anything else. What puts him on the list is, like Batman, he has an unwavering sense of resolve. He accepts that he's flawed, yet always finds a way to rise above.

ARCHANGEL (Warren Worthington III) - Another mutant on my top ten list. He's gone through quite a few changes over the years. However, my preference will always be for the blue-skinned metal wings bad boy version. Not only because of the power of those wings "gifted" to him by Apocalypse, but his quest to overcome the darkness consuming him. The wings give him the ability to project his metallic feathers (sometimes referred to as "flechettes") out at great speed and with tremendous force, enabling them to pierce even steel.

The feathers are laced with a neural inhibitor chemical, generated by Archangel's body, which induces temporary paralysis. The metallic wings allow him to fly at speeds much faster than his natural, feathered version. The edges of these metal wings are also razor-sharp, allowing them to be used as weapons.

DAREDEVIL (Matthew Murdock) - Hornhead. Devilman. DD. The Man Without Fear. Who knew a blind lawyer could do so much? He's the Guardian of Hell's Kitchen. What puts him on this list? His powers are sensory, neither offensive nor defensive. No outward powers. No laser beams or super strength. Just a willingness to do what's right. To right wrongs. To seek justice, even if it's outside the law. Like Batman, he studied, honed his body through rigorous training. He's a street-level hero. That guy who makes you believe he is one of us. He gets knocked down, he gets back up. He's had his share of hard knocks in life, had everything taken from him, lost his share of loved ones. Still, he stays in the fight. Daredevil makes you believe that no matter the obstacle, the only thing we have to fear is...nothing.

FALCON (Samuel Wilson) - I gotta admit, I didn't get into the Falcon until Marvel debuted their Ultimate line of comics. There, Sam was more than just a guy with exo-wings. He had the brains to go with it. I'm glad the Marvel Cinematic Universe went with this incarnation of Wilson when he joined Captain America. He felt more like a partner and Avenger than the sidekick he came across as during the 70's and 80's. He's a military man. As comfortable as a leader as he is a follower and team player. In the comics he even took over for Steve Rogers, filling in as Captain America for a stint.

Jean Grey - As you can see with this third entry, I have a thing for mutants and X-Men. In terms of sho'nuff power, this is it right here. Why be either telekinetic or telepathic when you can be both? Her powers have taken down Juggernaut and Hulk, and that was even before the Phoenix Force came to town. As an omega-level mutant, she is a power to be reckoned with. I just wish she would make up her mind as to if she'd rather be dead or alive.

Luke Cage - Like Daredevil, Luke is a street-level hero. Unlike Daredevil, Cage started on the opposite side of the law. In fact, he got his enhanced strength and bulletproof skin during an experiment he was a part of while in prison. He started out as "Hero for Hire, partnering with Daniel Rand (Iron Fist). Over the years his role in comics has evolved. He would eventually find lasting love with Jessica Jones (and hero in her own right) and joined the Avengers, even leading a version of the team for a time.

Captain America (Steve Rogers) - I would imagine Steve would be somewhere on just about everyone's list. The story of the local boy who just wanted to serve his country. He would do much more than serve as a result of the Super Soldier Serum. Like Batman, Captain America became more than just a hero, he became a symbol. A symbol of freedom, for leadership, and fighting not just for the world, but for the common man. His shield is every bit as symbolic as he is. He is an expert tactician and field commander. Every word out of Cap's mouth sounds like an inspirational speech. In fact, Twitter once had a thing asking who gives the best inspirational speeches - Captain America or Optimus Prime. My vote went to Rogers. Two things of note -

One: Although he has led the team on a number of occasions, Captain America was not a founding member of the Avengers. And he definitely was not the first Avenger.

Two: Aside from his slow aging and advanced healing, Captain America's powers are more considered to be the pinnacle of human potential, and operates at peak physical performance due to his enhancement via the Super Soldier Serum. Basically, his powerset (agility, strength, speed, stamina) is akin to just above Olympic level as opposed to being outright superhuman.

So these are my top ten. What are your top ten heroes? Let's discuss it!

"I don't wanna grow up, cause baby if I did, I couldn't be a Toys "R" Us kid."

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