The 10 (Fictional) Comic Book People of the Year

<i>by <a href=http://www.twitter.com/graemem>Graeme McMillan, Newsarama Contributor</a></i> <p>Today sees the announcement of Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2012, President Barack Obama. While he's a fine choice, considering his second term election against unlikely odds (and, let's be honest, an even more unlikely opponent), it's just a shame that Time didn't include fictional characters in its search for the newsmaker of the year. <p>Which comic book characters could have ended up in their universe's version of Time and how would they have been written up? Here are 10 possibilities. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p> <p>

SIMON BAZ

To most people, Dearborn, MI's Simon Baz isn't anyone special but what he's gone through this year speak to a lot of Americans' experience. <p>A Lebanese-American raised in the shadow of the 9/11 attacks and hit hard by the current financial climate, Baz was forced to turn to crime to make ends meet and provide for his family, revealing the dark underside of the American dream. Reports have linked Baz to terrorist activities, perhaps explaining his recent disappearance, but we hope that he's made of more fearless stuff than that would suggest perhaps the new Green Lantern seen in Dearborn in the last few months can shed some light over this blackest of nights.

TOYO HARADA

A tireless humanitarian and founder of both the Harbinger Foundation and the Harada Global Conglomerates, Toyo Harada is a symbol for the good that can come out of tragedy. <p>Despite being present at almost ground-zero of the Hiroshima atomic explosion, Harada has shown himself time and again to be the best humanity has to offer instead of, say, a superpowered egomaniac secretly collecting others with metahuman gifts to amass an army capable of controlling the world. Thankfully, as that latter option is as terrifying as it is ridiculous.

ALAN SCOTT

One of the most important and, until recently, most public figures in the media and communications industry, Scott's 2012 has been marked with mystery: Initially reported dead in the Chinese train explosion that killed his long-time companion Sam just prior to the appearance of the new Wonders and monstrous "Grundy" in Washington DC, Scott has since reappeared in Gotham a changed man, eschewing publicity for privacy and becoming a virtual hermit. <p>Will 2013 see one of the world's most well-known faces embrace life in a new way, and perhaps look into the identities of such figures as Hawkgirl, the Flash and Green Lantern?

BANDETTE

Those that say that crime doesn't pay have clearly never heard of Bandette. <p>One of the planet's most charismatic criminals, the masked thief known only as Bandette isn't just good at what she does, she's also surprisingly popular with the youth of today amassing a significant following online and rumored to control her very own band of "artful dodger" operatives ready and eager to help out on a moment's notice. <p>Stranger still are rumors that Bandette has also assisted authorities on occasion, although such reports have been dismissed by B.D. Belgique himself. A riddle wrapped in an enigma wearing a domino mask, Bandette remains both at large and one of crime's most charming characters.

SPIDER-MAN

2012 has been an unusually high-profile year for the wall-crawler who is more commonly associated with friendly neighborhoods. <p>After a period of serving with both the Avengers and the Future Foundation, Spider-Man was central to defeating the nefarious plans of Doctor Octopus this summer even as he fought alongside other heroes to deal with the Phoenix threat in the latter half of the year. <p>As 2013 beckons, he has started to exhibit a new attitude, describing himself as "superior" and promising to be a better super-hero. Will the new year see Spider-Man become a new man?

THE JOKER

Less an inspiration for us all as a chilling reminder of the darkness and insanity within our own psyches, 2012 saw the return of the Joker after too short an absence as the Clown Prince of Crime resumed his reign of terror in Gotham City, poisoning the water supply, kidnapping innocent civilians and even attacking the headquarters of the GCPD. <p>While his true motives remain as unknowable as ever, is it too much of a stretch to consider the presence of the Batman to be at least partially responsible?

CAPTAIN AMERICA (ULTIMATE UNIVERSE)

Few men have served their country to the extent that Steve Rogers better known to the world at large as "Captain America," or perhaps these days, just "Mr. President" has managed throughout his decades-long career. <p>Initially keeping the world safe by leading America's fight against the Nazi threat in World War II, Rogers has faced even greater threats since his re-awakening in modern times just a few years ago, protecting us against alien invasions, mutant-caused un-natural disasters and a growing superhuman arms race. <p>With this year's surprise election result demonstrating the country's faith in his ability to protect, lead and inspire the country, we can only wait to see where the Star-Spangled President takes us next.

JUDGE DREDD

Mega-City One's most-feared lawman has had a busy twelve months, managing to maintain law and order even as 87% of the city was killed as a result of Sov-Block action and the Chaos Bug, swiftly followed by an armed insurrection within the ranks of the Judges themselves led by the rogue Judge Bachmann that almost saw what was left of the city crushed by a flying "God City" launched from the Moon. <p>Quite how Dredd kept his legendary cool while all around him lost theirs, Grud only knows, but if there's one man that we're glad is on our side, it's Joseph Dredd. (<em>Mega-City One Cit of The Year</em> sponsored by Umpty Candy, the sweet that's too good to eat!)

CHARLES XAVIER

Although America has a tragic history of civil rights leaders cut down in their prime, perhaps none have been lost in such a senseless manner as Charles Xavier, who died this year. <p>For decades, Xavier has worked to further the mutant cause, whether behind closed doors in deals with the FBI or in public with his famed School for Gifted Children (once destroyed, the school re-opened recently under the new name of the "Jean Grey Institute of Higher Learning"). <p>Sadly, his career, and indeed his life, were cut short when a former student slaughtered him during the Phoenix threat. Xavier was survived by one son, David Haller, and the thanks of a grateful world.

CYCLOPS

For years a polarizing figure politically, 2012 may mark the year when Scott Summers a.k.a. "Cyclops," the one-time leader of the X-Men went from freedom fighter to terrorist in many people's eyes. <p>While many considered the former superhero's decision to secede from the United States and instead form the mutant haven "Utopia" to be a brave move in light of the race's unpopular position in the country, Summers' recent actions using the Phoenix Force to enslave humanity, slaughter his mentor Charles Xavier in cold blood and then go underground as the leader of a pro-mutant terrorist cell have demonstrated that both his motives and his methods speak less to Xavier's spirit of conciliation and co-existence, and more to his conspirator Magneto's terrifying idea of mutant supremacy. <p>Having been revealed as a dangerous and unpredictable zealot, it remains to be seen whether the authorities including his own brother, leading Captain America's latest team of Avengers have the wherewithal to bring him to justice in the months ahead.

The 10 (Fictional) Comic Book People of the Year

Date: 19 December 2012 Time: 09:00 PM ET