Top 5: Comic Heroes 5. Batman Always prepared, constantly driven and stands amongst the world’s greatest heroes, despite only being human. Bruce Wayne encompasses what we are all capable of; if we had unlimited resources, a single-minded goal and lived in a world where anything is possible. Batman is consistently the smartest guy in the room, unafraid to show it and has a plan for every possible situation (even Bat-Shark-Repellent). Armed with a versatile assortment of weaponry for any foe, Batman is able to make boomerangs, smoke pellets and gliding appear like the most powerful weapons in the universe. The Dark Knight lives by a code that no one will die on his watch (lots of people do die though, like Jason Todd…don’t worry he got better) and watching him struggle with his conventions is a true enjoyment for fans. Instead of focusing on his vast wealth he is focused on the mission above all else. For Batman, the cape and cowl are his identity and the billionaire playboy is a façade that he shows the world. Writers who are able to balance Batman’s intelligence, arrogance and reliance on a supporting cast despite being a brooding loner are able to craft the best stories. 4. Flash Wally West is the one true Flash as far as I’m concerned. I was disappointed when he was replaced by Barry Allen after being the Scarlet Speedster for thirty years; this must be how Barry fans felt when the reverse occurred. After Barry Allen died (…don’t worry he got better), Wally West became the Flash for a new DC Universe. Wally discovered The Speed Force, which all speedsters tap into to gain their powers and did more with the power of super speed than anyone before him. Capable writers find unique ways to utilize his super speed in creative situations, such as speed reading a construction manual and building a bridge before he forgets what he read. Wally is a jovial hero who is able to balance the serious situations as well as humorous moments in his life. He consistently pushes himself further to do more and outrun the shadow of Allen’s legacy. Wally would go through multiple iterations throughout his career but is consistently the figurehead of the speedster family and a contributing member of the JLA. The Flash consistently faces some of the most dynamic and intriguing villains in the DCU; these guys aren’t out to conquer the world typically, just make a few dollars but Flash is always one step ahead of them. 3. Cyclops The first X-man, the leader of the team and the face of the mutant cause, Scott Summers. Throughout everything that happened to him in life he remains stoic, wise and always willing to see the good in people. Xavier founded the X-men, but Cyclops has always been the leader and soul of the team. His mutant ability is as much a curse as it is a power and through that burden Cyclops has only become stronger. In modern time, Cyclops is seen as a foil to Wolverine and a mutant-terrorist. Despite being branded a traitor and forgotten by his closest friends, Scott continues to do what is best for the mutant cause and those around him. Scott sacrificed himself by absorbing his body with Apocalypse’s psyche to prevent the tyrannical mutant from obtaining unlimited power (..don’t worry he got better). His powerset seems to vary in power depending on the writer/situation, sometimes he can bounce beams across the room, or push objects or punch a hole through a Sentinel. Cyclops is best as a team leader, on the forefront of the battlefield and the fight for mutant rights. 2. Dick Grayson Robin. Nightwing. Batman. No one character embodies the feeling of legacy and growth more so than Dick Grayson. Grayson has gone through multiple identities as he went from pixie-clad sidekick to wearing the cape and cowl when Bruce died (…don’t worry, he got better). Grayson experienced the same horrible tragedy as Bruce, but didn’t manage to have a chip on his shoulder. Grayson combines all of the abilities of Batman with impressive leadership skills and a positive outlook in every situation. What sets Grayson apart from his mentor is his ability to care about those around him and not just view them as soldiers in a never-ending war. Grayson proves himself as field commander of the Teen Titans, Outsiders, Justice League and the only member of the Bat-family willing to stand up to Bruce. Grayson is depicted as one of the more agile character and easily the most likeable in the DCU. The best stories with Grayson have him honoring the Batman legacy by continuing the fight but staying true to his own convictions. 1. Spider-man The working class hero, the everyman. The Fantastic Four will protect the Negative Zone and the Avengers will defeat Kang but one guy is constantly patrolling the streets and saving regular folks from purse snatchers. Peter Parker has the proportionate strength, agility and sense of a spider, but his greatest weapon is his determination. Never willing to give up, always challenging those more powerful or intelligent, Spidey stands up for everyone. And he does it all while being labelled a menace by the citizens he is trying to protect. Spider-Man is atoning for his original sin of not doing the right thing to save Uncle Ben and will never make up for that tragedy. Recently, Spidey’s psyche was taken over by Otto Octavius (..don’t worry, he got better) and now he is trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. This arc did an amazing job highlighting the fact that it takes more than intelligence and strength to be a superior hero, it takes heart. And no hero has more determination than your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Level Up, Friends!