The heroes in their respective half shells
The day? March 17th. The topic? Green heroes. No, not Al Gore or Bono!
Characters that wear the color green on their very skin! I decided to
limit the list to comic characters (sorry, Kermit and Oscar), and then
to limit it again to heroes (sorry, Poison Ivy, Composite Superman, and
Brainiac). So, with all due respect to Kit Fisto and the GLC’s Green
Man . . . my favorite green heroes . . .
11: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Though I lean toward
Raphael, I really couldn’t pick just one. Instead, I place the quartet
and their inherent enjoyability at number 11.
10. Triton: Member of the Inhumans royal family and brother to
Karnak (my favorite Inhuman),. Triton is the guy in Attilan that you
call when you need . . . a guy to do stuff in water. Though frequently
limited by his dependence on water and/or his special suit, Triton got
an upgrade during Secret Invasion that enabled him to fight in space. Not bad!
9. Hulkling: The shapeshifting, super-strong Hulking is a
member of the Young Avengers and the son of Captain Mar-Vell and the
Skrull Princess Anelle (hence the green). Hulkling and his teammates
(which include his boyfriend, Wiccan) seem to always team up with the
Runaways during the bigger events of the Marvel Universe. Most
recently, Teddy was part of the Central Park battle with the Skrull
invaders at the close of Secret Invasion.
8. The Savage Dragon: Green, finny, and given to hanging out
occasionally with U.S. Presidents and God, the longevity of Savage
Dragon is a tribute to the dedication and (let’s face it, warped)
perspective of Erik Larsen.
Megan Fox would never to green body paint...
7. Fathom: Yes, Megan Fox-faithful, I know that that
Fathom isn’t green. However, my Fathom, the Fathom of The Elementals,
is. The other criminally uncollected/out-of-print early ‘80s
deconstructionist milestone in super-hero comics (next to Miracleman), The Elementals
remains a smart book that I enjoyed tremendously. And few of the
characters were as appealing as Fathom, the charming heart of the team.
6. Jade: For me, it was really close here between Fathom and
Jade. I give Jade the nod because her deep history in the DCU,
including her run with Infinity Inc., the fact that her father (Green
Lantern I and Obsidian) are members of the JSA, and her stint as a
Green Lantern herself. Currently dead, Jade could possibly get a career
boost from the pending Blackest Night.
Brainiac 5 on the cover of Legion of 3 Worlds #4
5. Brainiac 5: Though he’s been played a few different ways,
I’ll always cotton to arrogant and annoyed Brainy the best. One of my
favorite stories early in my long-life as a Legion reader was when the
team had to get Brainy out of the insane asylum to help the Subs defeat
the League of Super-Assassins. I remember reading that as a kid and
thinking, “Whoa! Super-heroes go insane?!” Indeed. And they can also be
smarter-than-thou pains in the ass. Which is why I love Brainiac 5.
4. Martian Manhunter: Oreos, man. His incredibly fun stint in
the JLI aside, J’onn gets a high nod from me because he’s always been,
to my mind, the heart of the JLA. Played to great effect in other
tales, like the JL animated series or The New Frontier, J’onn
remains that classic sci-fi conundrum: a character that wants to
understand humanity without realizing how humane he actually is.
3. She-Hulk: Why so high? She brings the funny. In the right
hands (Byrne in the day, Peter David, Dan Slott) there are few
characters that can be as out-loud hilarious as She-Hulk. The fact that
she likes being She-Hulk and enjoys kicking ass on top of it just makes
her that much better. Also, my wife thinks that she’s great.
Save the earth, hug a Swamp Thing
2. Swamp Thing: It’s hard to argue with this guy’s creative
pedigree. Swamp Thing certainly benefits by having been handled by some
magnificent writers. The Moore run is appropriately legendary; I’ve
always been partial to the whole “Shadow Creature That Menaced Heaven”
bit myself. By turns philosophical, involving, and occasionally, yes,
romantic, those classic Swamp Thing tales deserve to be discovered by
new audiences on an annual basis.
THE green hero
1. The Hulk: Okay, so it seems cliché, but really, I gotta give the guy his due. I was around five when the Bill/Lou show hit TV, and I never
missed it. Later, I was a huge fan of Peter David’s run, and later
still, I found a lot of enjoyment in the lengthy “Planet Hulk” arc. The
Hulk has many interesting character traits, but one of the things that
fascinates me is how kids react to the big guy. Kids LOVE the Hulk. MY
kids LOVE the Hulk. There’s something primal we experience with the
Hulk, a type of vicarious joy (particularly when we humans have to
“behave” so much of the time), when the Hulk starts wreaking stuff.
Kids love it because they would get in trouble for melting down and
breaking the house, and adults love it because they wish that they
could occasionally hit their co-workers with a VW on each hand. Gotta
love the Hulk, friends.
There you go . . .my favorite Martian and ten other green peeps. Anyone else you’d like to share?