Hello, Geeks, and welcome to a very special installment of Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot. I say it’s special because I’ve decided to get back to the spirit of what Top o’ the Lot was originally conceived to be, namely, the completely weird, slanted, and biased rundown of some trivially specific and arbitrary list of geek goodness. So, I’ve decided to do a series of comic book lists all revolving around characters and color, and what better way to spotlight all of the colors of the rainbow, and kill a Roy G. Biv’s worth of ToLs in a single day, then running down the colors in order? But just because we’re out of the rainbow doesn’t mean were done with the series. Oh, no! So, without further ado, we go monochrome, cut some great picks, and just have to add an extra one, in Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot Comic Book Characters by Color: Black!
Honorable Mention: Black Swan
No not that one, the Hickman’s Avengers one! Oh you don’t know the original Black Swan? Well, I didn’t either. The original Black Swan of Marvel Comics was a mutant created by Gail Simone for a Deadpool story, Deadpool #65. He was a circus acrobat of some sort or another, but it’s the other Black Swan that makes this Lot. Hickman’s universe-jumping, doom-bearing, Cabal-joining trouble-maker is a mystery wrapped in an enigma et al., but, man she’s got a certain attraction. And it’s not just the bod, either. Anyone who understands the multiverse on a level that the combined minds of Stark, Richards, and Banner cannot approach…yeah, that’s hot. New Avengers is better because of her, but she’s so new and disposable that she only gets an honorable mention. But this Lot of Black had so many good characters to choose to put at the Top, I had to pick an extra one.
6. Black Hand
Williams Hand may have been a Pre-Crisis bore, but he was THE catalyst for the biggest Green Lantern event in probably forever. The “physical embodiment of death”, Black Hand used his Black Battery, on the dead planet of Ryut, and a whole mess of Black Lantern Corp rings to reanimate the DC Universe’s long dead characters, in the mega-event known as Blackest Night. It was a really fun, comic book twist on the whole zombie genre, and I think it’s the best DC event in a decade. That puts Mr. Hand on this Top o’ the Lot.
5. Black Cat
Cat burglar, diva, and Spider-Man’s (not Peter Parker’s) main squeeze, Felicia Hardy may have debuted way back in 1979’s Amazing Spider-Man #194, but her true appeal as a heroine came in 2002’s The Evil that Men Do by Kevin Smith and Terry and Rachel Dodson as her sordid backstory involving a brutal sexual assault solidified Black Cat as a modern day heroine of epic proportions. With Felicity Jones starring as Felicia Hardy in the recent Amazing Spider-Man 2, how long until we get a Black Cat solo movie? Odds are we still get before we get a Wonder Woman flick.
4. Black Goliath
While he may be the second Giant-Man and the 4th Goliath, Dr. Bill Foster was a great hero, partly because of the way he came up, but mostly for the way he went down. Foster pulled himself up by his bootstraps, got out of the L.A. ghetto where he was born, and became lab assistant to one Hank Pym, where Foster quickly found some Pym Particles, becoming Black Goliath…eventually. He may have had a few personae on his way to becoming the hero we all knew and loved, but when the Thor clone Ragnorak blew a Mjolnir-sized hole in Foster’s chest, killing the giant man, it was the moment that really took the whole Civil War event into dark territory. I still miss the big guy.
3. Black Adam
DC Comics’ magical villain of choice, Black Adam really likes beating up on little kids. Well, little kids with the power of Shazam, that is. Created way back in 1945, Black Adam became a part of DC in 1973, and has been a lasting character for one simple reason: He’s just plain cool! His pre-New 52 antics are long and storied, but it’s Geoff Johns backup JL story and Forever Evil that show off Black Adam the way he should be. I wish he would have joined Luthor’s Justice League, but it just wasn’t in the cards.
There’s been a few of them, but we all know that the REAL Black Widow is Natasha Romanoff, the red-haired, hothead assassin turned S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. She’s partnered with everyone, is a current and longstanding member of the Avengers, and her current solo book is amazing. Her popular appeal, however, has grown quite a bit since the Avengers film and subsequent Cap sequel, and someday soon (like, any day now) we’re bound to get official word on a Black Widow movie. I just know it!
1. Black Panther
A Stan Lee/Jack Kirby original debuting in 1966; the King of Wakanda; Avenger; Defender; FF fill-in; husband to the X-Man Storm; and, most recently, member of The Illuminati, T’Challa makes the Top spot in this Lot because he’s currently THE most compelling character that also fits the category. If you aren’t reading Hickman’s run on the Avengers you are missing out on the single best interpretation of the power, responsibility, and royalty that is at the heart of T’Challa. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and there’s no crown heavier than the one Black Panther wears. His actions as part of The Illuminati have forced him to choose between his kingdom and his conscience, and the results have been some of the most compelling storytelling coming out of Marvel Comics in quite a long time.
See a mistake? Disagree with the choices? Tell us what you think about this installment of Top o’ Lot, join in the discussion and share your opinion.