Friday, October 21, 2016

Top 5 Fridays: Top 5 Old Timer Heroes in Comics

Welcome back to another exciting installment of Top 5 Fridays! This week we got another chapter of The Dark Knight: The Master Race and the first emotion filled trailer to Logan, the final Wolverine movie. It's stuff like this that make me think of how characters seem more badass with age. It always seems like the grayer the hero, the cooler he becomes. Think about it. When Steve Rogers was over 90, he didn't hesitate to put on a Captain America esque armor to defend the innocent White Skull from a group of evil Avengers or how Batman, age 60, took on the mutant leader while proclaiming he's a surgeon. Old men in fiction rock! That's why today we'll be covering my top 5 favorite old characters in DC, which means no real old-timers like Jim Werner and Eric Shea won't be included(I'm kidding, please don't kick me, guys). As always this is an opinion based list, meaning if you don't see one you like, I apologize. Enough talk! Let's dive into this list before we are chased off the picks' lawns!

5: Ganthet

In most underdog sports movies, the coach of the main character becomes a bit of a father figure. The same can apply to comics. The coach for the Green Lanterns of Earth may be Kilowog, but their Fatherly one has to be Ganthet, aka the only guardian of the universe we care about. He has guided nearly every earth Lantern to do what's right and stepped off his throne to help fight some of their bigger threats such as the corrupted lanterns and the Blackest Night. He is as much a hero as the lanterns he recruited. Not only is this guy the only guardian who had ever given a damn of the universe, but he is also a genuine badass, able to fight ARMIES with his power. In injustice, he was taking down the main Sinestro Corp force in his own, DISINTEGRATING most of them! Try having your grandpa do that!

4: Bruce Wayne(The Dark Knight Returns)
Is anyone really surprised this old timer is up on this list? I mean he is one of the most iconic versions of the Dark Knight and is a legitimate badass. The guy is practically a broken shell of a man after the loss of Robin, and he rises out of that grief to fight crime in Gotham once more. However, when it becomes clear that the entire world has been corrupted, he steps up even further and creates a tide to end it all. Now, nearly a decade since he first returned, he spits in the face of an army of crazed Kryptonians. The man is insane enough to do all these things in his mid-60's, while still proving why he is considered one of the most dangerous heroes the world has ever known. You can judge Miller on the quality of his stories, but let's give him credit for creating one of the darkest knights in comic book history.

3: Thomas Wayne(Flashpoint)
Another brutal Batman from another dark timeline, this one courtesy of the Flash. Just like number four, Thomas Wayne has grown accustomed to the corruption, and as such has grown to be more brutal in his approach, going so far as to murder criminals that get in his way.So what makes me like this brutal old bat over the other? Well, truthfully you can feel for Thomas Wayne over Bruce in TDKR. Losing Robin is hard; I'm not saying it isn't, but try comparing that to losing your family. He lost Bruce, but he also lost his wife to madness, becoming the Joker. You can see his shift from a guy who wanted to follow the law to a vigilante when he beat Joe Chill to death. In the end, though, he is still that parent and was ready to sacrifice himself and to give Bruce that chance to live. Whether you liked his methods or not, you need to salute him for the ultimate sacrifice he made to give his boy another chance.

2: Norman McCay
Okay, I might have to defend myself here, especially with so many great characters in Kingdom Come. First, take a step back and look at the three factions of the story. The Mankind Liberation Front was wrong by creating messes and blaming Superhumans for it. Superman's Justice League was wrong due to then unlawfully imprisoning anti-heroes and try to rehabilitate them against their will(guys, the gulag was in the shape of the Legion of Doom headquarters). Batman' Outsiders were also wrong to allow this conflict to boil for as long as it did, which lead to the final cataclysmic conflict. The fact is all the sides were wrong, and it created the Armageddon situation the Sandman saw at the beginning of the story. One man stopped it, by restoring what was lost: Hope. That man was Norman McCay. Norman McCay talked Superman's down from making the biggest mistake of his life and inspired other heroes to join him. That pastor who doubted his fair at the beginning ended up being the true hero of this story.

Marvel Mention: Old Man Logan
Probably our most brutal character on this list, but to his credit, his world is pretty damn brutal. To those who haven't read the original miniseries, I highly recommend it, especially if you want to watch the final Wolverine movie. Logan goes through a lot during his travels in the wasteland, transforming him from a pacifist who only wanted to be left alone with his family to the brutal killer we know him as. While his series is currently left up in the air, this badass version of an already amazing character has earned his spot on this list.

1: The Justice Society Founders
Have you noticed a pattern with this list? All the old men here are brutal badasses, teachers, or inspirational. And in a sense, Geoff Johns' 2007 run of the Justice Society of America's founders capture all three perfectly. Alan Scott is a beacon that other heroes to rise and join his cause. He's kind of like Superman in that way. As most recently seen on the Flash tv show, Jay Garrick is as intellectual as he is polite, making him a fantastic teacher to other speedsters. And as for Badasses? While all three can kick ass and take names, Wildcat has proven it the best with instances such as him fighting Vandal Savage with his son, ending it by throwing him at a bus. It's characters like these three that show what's great about the JSA as well as prove; You don't need to be young and spry to be a hero.

That's it for this week's Top 5 Friday! Who is your favorite old timer in the DCU? Leave a comment, and I'll see you next time!

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