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Voice Of The Fans: The Most Underrated Superhero

I was rolling around Amazon the other day, looking at the summaries for the books we’ve received this week when one of Amazon’s ‘active discussions in other forums’ threads caught my eye. It asked, simply, who is the most underrated superhero? Now that’s an interesting question. Some of the heroes mentioned where The Question and The Blue Beetle, among others.

Now, I’m not a huge comic fan so I know the big names and a few of the lesser ones, which means I’m not in a position to really answer that question. But I know we have some comic fans who can! But to make it more interesting, I’m going to break this question up a bit:

Who is the most underrated superhero from the big two comic shops, DC and Marvel? Who is the most underrated from the comic companies?

I’m really interested in seeing the answers.

About JP Frantz (2323 Articles)
Has nothing interesting to say so in the interest of time, will get on with not saying it.

20 Comments on Voice Of The Fans: The Most Underrated Superhero

  1. Paul NYC // April 9, 2010 at 5:29 am //

    I’ve always thought of the Martian Manhunter as being underrated. With elements of Batman and Superman in his persona, I always thought that he was ready made for both heroic and brooding characterizations within the context of “hard boiled” storylines.

  2. I don’t read too much DC and Marvel (too much continuity baggage) although I think Iron Man doesn’t seem to have the same width and breadth of story that Spiderman/Batman/Superman have received.

    As for Indie comics, Red 5’s Atomic Robo might be my favorite comic going. It’s half Hellboy, half steampunk, all hilarious.

    If you asked me one comic people weren’t reading but should it’s Atomic Robo.

  3. I love Nova.  I don’t know if I would consider him an underrated superhero, but that book is fantastic.

     

    I have a soft spot for a lot of Marvel’s D-listers: Speedball, Darkhawk, Sleepwalker.

  4. I could pick a superhero no one has ever heard of, like Steve Dikto’s “Mr. A” — a trenchcoated super hero who wears a sneering mask of cold metal whose only power was that he was pittiless and logical.

    But even a relatively famous hero can be under-rated if he is merely rated less than where he should be. I take as my yardstick of how highly rated a hero is by whether or not he has broken out of the confines of comic books and made it into toons, telly, and movies. By that yardstick, Superman is the top (The original radio program with Bud Collyer, the Max Fleischer cartoons, Kirk Alyn serials, George Reeves TV show, Filmation cartoons, Superfriends cartoons, Ruby-Spears cartoons, the Christopher Reeve movies, the Lois and Clark show starring Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher, a forgotten Superboy show starring John Hymes Newton and Stacy Haiduk, an unforgotten show starring Tom Welling and Kristin Kreuk, the great WB cartoons,the not-so-great  Brandon Routh movie — and this is not even half the list.) Batman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, and the Fantastic Four all have received their due in other media. Who has not?

    For my two cents worth, I think the most under-rated superhero from DC is Aquaman. He is one of the oldest and best recognized superheroes in the DC line-up, but everyone makes fun of how weak he is. Except for an old Rankin-Bass cartoon from the 1960’s, he’s never starred in his own TV show, never made it to the big screen. He’s the guy who talks to fish.

    The most under-rated super from Marvel is Doctor Strange. A Dikto creation, he has appeared both in his own on-again off-again comic, and in Defenders and New Avengers. He seems to occupy a world larger than most superheroes; where Spiderman fights the Green Goblin or the Kingpin, Dr. Strange fights Death and Eternity, Nightmare and Infinity, not to mention Marvel’s version of Cthulhu, Shuma-Gorath. For all this wonder and magic and majesty, the good doctor never recieved even as much attention as, let us say, Supergirl or Elektra, who at least got the big-screen treatment. He starred in one made-for-tv pilot back in the 1980’s. I do not even think he has his own title at the moment.

  5. Rorschach from DC’s The Watchmen series is one of the most interesting and ‘strange’ superheroes – the scene where he’s in the prison is amazing! It’s also only recently dawned on me that the name actually derives from Rorschach Blots – DOH!

  6. I’d have to go with either Daredevil or Iron Fist.  YMMV.

  7. My vote would go to Zatanna.

  8. The Blue Rajah!

  9. Nightwing (DC) (Dick Grayson, formerly Robin I)

    Robin III (DC) (Tim Drake)

    Darkhawk (Marvel)

    Ravage 2099 (Marvel)

    Jade (DC) (Daughter of the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott)

    She-Hulk (Marvel)

    Captain Marvel (DC – SHAZAM!)

    Captain Marvel (Marvel – Monica Rambeau)

    The Question (DC)

    ~P

  10. I would have to vote for Wally West. Wally was the first superhero I really started paying attention to, above and beyond even Superman and Batman; the first Flash comic I ever read was an issue shortly after the Invasion storyline, and Wally was penniless, scrounging on the street for something to eat. The fact that Wally was a superhero and was living on the streets hit me hard, and from that moment on I was hooked on anything that had Wally in it. I was horrified when he was gunned down by Vandal Savage, overjoyed when he came back from the brink, stood by him during the shock of ‘Barry’s return, cheering him on during Terminal Velocity… On and on, Wally has always been awesome. He’s the one superhero (in my opinion) that has always been firmly grounded and realistically human, not to mention that Linda Park and love is his greatest motivation. Wally will always be my favourite superhero, and the fact that he’s been shoved aside to bring back Barry (which I’m not complaining about, but I’m still getting over it) makes him, in my opinion, hugely underrated.

  11. I have to go for Mike Allred’s Madman.  Surreal, strange, and witty.  Great artwork too.

    For the Big Two, I have to go with Blue Devil at DC, who I think has vastly unexplored potential, and Deathlok from Marvel, who could have a lot more done with his back story and his place in the milieu..

  12. From Marvel, I think the Guthrie family is underrated. This one family has many mutants come from their gene pool. Cannonball, Husk, Icarus, Aero, and Jeb all are mutants from this peculiar family. With one family producing so many mutants you think there would be more attention brought to them, especially since Cannonball seems to be imortal.

  13. slothflyer // April 9, 2010 at 11:49 pm //

    Roge the homunculus.

  14. I loved the robotic Ghost Rider with the mind of a dead man uploaded into it in Ghost Rider 2020.  Far better than the original version if you ask me.  It’s a shame that comic didn’t last longer.

  15. Ghost Rider 2099, actually.  Don’t know where I got 2020.

  16. Luke Shea // April 11, 2010 at 3:21 am //

    Alan Moore’s take on Swamp Thing is one of the most artistic and literary things to happen in superhero comics in history.  Probably my favorite work of his.

  17. My all time favorite super-hero is one that fits this list: Moon Knight (Marvel). Sure, he started out as an ersatz Batman, but he has grown into so much more.

    As for DC, I have to agree with whoever said Martian Manhunter. He’s basically the soul of the JLA, but almost never gets the attention he deserves.

  18. Terentia // April 14, 2010 at 3:07 pm //

    I’m not familiar with many comic books either. My first thought on reading “the Blue Beetle” was Harry Dresdan’s Volkswagon.

  19. I’m going to say Bruce Banner. Not the Hulk, mind you, but Dr. Bruce Banner. He’s a genius on par with Reed Richards and Tony Stark but was detered from that by the incident that created the Hulk. In the current Hulk storyline he can’t “Hulk out” because the new mysterious Red Hulk has “cured” Banner but he is still running around going toe to toe with the big guys including the Hulk’s son Skaar, Red Hulk, Ares the God of War, etc. Super Genius Badass and very underrated due to the Hulk’s shadow.

  20. Captain Marvel. After tons of legal battles, he was just kind of lost in the comic world. At one point he outsold Superman, but now he is on the outerfringes of super-hero society. A lot of this probably has to do with the fact that his comic can only be legally called “Shazam!” I don’t see a lot of people rushing out to read about a superhero they think is named Shazam. It’s a shame. Captain Marvel has a lot of poential because of the fact that his alter ego is a child, causing him to face some interesting moral dilemmas. Plus Doctor Sivana, Mr. Mind, and Black Adam are great super-villains.

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