Lake Charles, LA
Being a geek for the entirety of my life means that I’ve picked up quite a few favorite heroes and villains over the years. Heck, I’ve even looked at a lot of villains as heroes and a lot of heroes as villains as I’ve gotten older. For you, fine reader, I offer up a humble list of some of my favorite heroes and villains from science fiction, fantasy, and the pages of comic books. This list is in no way complete and, in fact, is always changing. A few of those listed here might move up and down my scale of adoration and others might be removed entirely tomorrow, but as of this writing, here are ten of my favorite heroes and villains in no particular order.
- Boba Fett – Who put the “man” in “Mandalorian” you ask? Why, Boba Fett, of course! Yes, his well-known and very laughable exit in Return of the Jedi would have booted any average famous villain off of everyone’s heroes and villains list, but the Fett is so cool throughout the rest of his brief existence in the Star Wars films that he wills people to love him. In fact, Boba Fett became so popular that Uncle George slapped some additional footage of him in the special editions of the original trilogy and fleshed out his backstory in the prequel trilogy. On top of that, Boba Fett became an unstoppable force in the Expanded Universe, managing to crawl out of the Sarlacc Pit and live to be awesome another day!
- Batman – If you don’t know who Batman is, you have been living under a rock forever. I’m a Marvel guy for the most part, but Batman is one of just a few saving graces for DC. Batman is the thinking man’s superhero. He has no super powers (unless being awesome is a super power), yet he has managed to throttle that lug called Superman a few times and has made numerous enemies hide in terror while he brings the pain. He uses his mind and his unlimited income to battle crime and, let’s face it, his Rogues Gallery features some of the greatest comic villains of all time such as The Joker, Two-Face, Clayface, and Mr. Freeze. As Bruce Wayne, he’s a humanitarian who gives to those in need. As Batman, he brings justice to those that deserve it!
- Nightcrawler – There aren’t many so-black-it’s-blue furry skinned heroes out there that have three-fingered hands and a tail, but Nightcrawler is definitely the best of the lot. In fact, he’s better than most average looking heroes as well. How many superheroes do you know actually joined the priesthood because of their strong Catholic faith? On top of that, how many heroes make swashbuckling look cool? Only one as far as I know, and that dude’s name is Nightcrawler! Kurt Wagner is a hero who doesn’t fit the typical hero mold. He’s deeply religious but looks like a demon. He can teleport (BAMF!) all over the place and he can be pretty mouthy when needed. I’ve always loved Nightcrawler and I always will. He’s my favorite Marvel character of all time.
- Doctor Leonard “Bones” McCoy – Most Star Trek fans (at least those who love the original series) always seem to pick Captain Kirk or Spock as their favorite character. Not me, though. Nope, my favorite Trek character is, was, and always will be Dr. McCoy. DeForest Kelley breathed life into the man that I always saw as the emotional center of TOS. Where Spock used logic to influence Kirk’s decisions, Bones was always there to give the emotional aspect of every move Kirk made. I saw Kirk as the truest unification of Spock and McCoy’s two sides of the coin. He took the best logical advice from Spock and coupled that with the unbridled passion (sometimes love, sometimes anger) of McCoy to make what he believed to be the best decision. Kirk looked to both of these men for advice, and it was always fun to see Spock and McCoy go toe-to-toe over actions that needed to take place. On top of all of this, McCoy was straight-up funny. I laughed more at his abuse of Spock than of any other humorous moments in the Trek’s entire run.
- Mr. Freeze – Yes, yes, I know that most people consider the Joker to be Batman’s greatest villain and I agree with them entirely, but the story of Mr. Freeze has always amazed me. He became a villain not to hurt others, but to get revenge against those who harmed his wife. He’s more of a lover than a fighter when you think about it, and I believe that’s why Batman has always seemed to go a bit easier on old Freezy than he has with other villains. The guy has a busted heart, and all he wants to do is take out his enemies and work on bringing the love of his life back into his arms. Can you really hate a guy for that?
- The Wolf Man – Lon Chaney, Jr. will always be one of my favorite actors. I’m a huge fan of the old Universal Monsters, but Chaney’s Wolf Man is my most beloved monster of them all. Cursed, longing to be freed of said curse, and terribly in love, the Wolf Man was a desperate character. There have been multiple versions of werewolves over the years and even a remake of the classic Chaney tale in recent years yet none of them can even come close to the brilliance of Lon Chaney, Jr. as Larry Talbot, my favorite werewolf!
- Doctor Octopus – Let’s be honest. There aren’t very many heroes or villains out there that are a bit on the pudgy side. Otto Octavius is one of a very small list of heroes and villains that fall into this category. As a person who has fought with his weight over his entire life, I was naturally drawn to Doc Ock because he was about the only cool villain that I could attempt to dress up as for Halloween or comic conventions. Doc is intelligent, evil, and has those sweet appendages of his that gives ol’ Spidey fits. What’s not to love?
- Beowulf – When I first read the epic tales of Beowulf, I was immediately drawn to Grendel, one of the primary villains. This was primarily due to the fact that my sister had a school project to do in which she was asked to draw a picture of the villain despite there being no real description of him in the stories. When she asked me to draw the character for her, I decided to read about the character and the hero on my own. I did this as a child of around eight years of age, so it wasn’t the easiest of tasks for me, but I eventually came to love the epicness of Beowulf. He’s one of the first great heroes that I ever loved who actually dies at the end of his story. Of course, he’ll always live on in my mind, but knowing that this guy took out a son and mother duo in which the mother was even badder than her offspring makes him a really cool guy. I’ve always been a fan of mythological heroes like Beowulf, and to this day I read books about the myths and legends of the Norse, the Greeks, the Romans, Native Americans, and other cultures. Beowulf started it all for me, and if you aren’t familiar with him, check him out.
- Captain America – Steve Rogers is one of those heroes that most folks can get behind. Sure, he’s not the strongest, fastest, or most intelligent, but when it comes to being a leader, few men can match the skill of ol’ Cap. He’s like the guy on the NFL squad that the commentators refer to as “the kid with a lot of heart.” He gives it his all on every outing even if he gets his backside handed to him. He’ll almost always need a little backup whether it comes in the form of Thor, Falcon, or Bucky, but he will not run from a fight. Plus, he’s got a heart of gold that is matched only by the likes of Superman. What makes him better than Superman, though, is the fact that Captain America knows that he is often not the best man in the fight. He has to use his mind (like Batman), his heart (like Superman), and weapons (like Iron Man), but on a much smaller scale. Ultimately, Cap believes that the good guys will win, even if he personally doesn’t survive the battle. You’ve got to appreciate a man like that.
- Doctor Who – Quite possibly my favorite sci-fi/fantasy hero of all time, the Doctor pre-dates Star Trek, Star Wars, and pretty much any and every hero created after the mid-1960’s. He has changed faces, attitudes, clothes, and companions over the years and has experienced quite the renaissance since coming back to television in 2005. It seems that most of the newer fans’ experience begins with Chris Eccleston’s Doctor and ends with the current incarnation, Peter Capaldi. That’s all well and good, but there is SO MUCH MORE to the Doctor than the new stuff! My personal favorite incarnation of the Doctor is Peter Davison, #5, and while I’ve been very impressed with some of the newer guys, particularly Matt Smith, Davison will always be my favorite. I loved how his Doctor made “decisions by committee” and how he brought a certain indecisiveness and deep emotions to the character. Of course, he could channel the smarty pantsness of the second Doctor or the grouchy tenacity of the first, but ultimately Peter Davison’s Doctor was a culmination of every Doctor before him locked in an internal struggle with a character realizing that he may not have all the answers all of the time. Davison brought humanity to the character more than any other Doctor before or after excepting David Tennant. That’s why I love his version of the character so much.
So, there you have it. A list of ten of my favorite heroes and villains. Who are your favorites? Be sure to list them in the comments below.
As always, thanks for reading!!!