Last week Leigh Hart wrote a column about Antiheroes in comic books. She had some great characters on her list. And yes, everybody loves a hero who walks that tightrope of right and wrong. In the comments section Laura wrote “I think anti-heroes might just be a little more believable in some regards. The idea of the boy scout, Superman, is just too cut and dry and not as believable for a lot of people.”
I don’t think this is always the case. A clean-cut hero is something to look up to. A hero who personifies great ideals, who is also ethical, is a perfect role model for us all.
The “boy scout” hero may not always be the most popular, but they are some of the most respected heroes in comic books.
#5 – Mr. Fantastic
Mr. Fantastic is a boy scout. He’s also a scientist, astronaut, adventurer, genius and family man. There may have been times that Mr. Fantastic has had to make some tough decisions, but ultimately those decisions have been made for the safety and well-being of his team. Which is his family. If you look at the character, his defining characteristic is his loyalty to his family. At times his pursuit of knowledge has taken precedence over his family, but eventually he realizes that his family comes first.
#4 – Batman
This was a tough choice to have on my list. I thought about it for a couple of days before I added Batman to my list. I know many of you will think that Batman is a darker anti-hero, but after thinking about it I beg to differ. How does Batman defeat his enemies? Mostly by his intellect. Batman could easily pick up a gun, and dispatch his enemies like the Punisher does. If Batman had killed the Joker, he would never have to worry about the Joker returning again. Instead the Joker keeps coming back. Even though the Joker is truly evil and maniacal, Batman still respects his life and will not kill him. Another reason I consider Batman a boy scout hero is his “family” of sidekicks. Batman has taken in orphans and troubled kids to be a mentor for them. His compassion and loyalty to his family is truly admirable. Even though he’s been represented as a dark character, Batman is a boy scout and deserves a place on my list.
#3 – The Amazing Spider-Man
With great power, there must come great responsibility. Those are the words that Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man lives by. Peter is truly loyal to his family and friends. Unfortunately they are the ones who suffer, because he will run off to save a complete stranger, and be there for those closest to him when they need him. Peter Parker proves that he is a great boy scout hero because when Otto Octavius took over his body, Peter’s memories were able to change the villain’s behaviour, and Otto has now become the Superior Spider-Man. Peter’s drive and determination as a boy scout hero has him trying to regain control of his body in the pages of Superior Spider-Man.
#2 – Superman
You think Superman isn’t very popular? Try killing him off and see how the public reacts. Superman transcends being a boy scout superhero, and is an American icon. While some think that Superman represents the ideals of the past, he will always be important to popular culture. Superman stands for truth, justice and the American way. And as long as this boy scout is always there, the public can look towards him for inspiration.
#1 – Captain America
Captain America has killed a lot of nazis during wartime, but he has done it as a symbol for other soldiers to fight behind. Even today, Captain America is very popular with American soldiers. Captain America is a man displaced in time. He still fights for the ideals and beliefs of a simpler time. Having a uniform that represents the red, white and blue puts him #1 on my list. Like Superman, when he was killed off there was a huge backlash from the public that this icon was gone.
I think Robin is perhaps actually even a real “Boy Scout”.
Awesome Ed! This article totally helps outline what I was going for when I was talking about the handsome, brightly coloured, all good guy type hero.