Mount Rushmore — Super Edition

Guess what I know next-to-nothing about?  Super heroes.

Guess what I’m going to do a Mount Rushmore of this week?  Super heroes!

1. Superman

2. Spider-Man

3. Wolverine

4. Gambit

Why?  FUCK IF I KNOW!  Those four seem either important and/or cool.

No Batman?  No Iron Man?  Of course not.  They’re not super heroes.  There is nothing super about them.  They’re just rich dudes with fancy shit.  I’m not putting Richard Branson or Elon Musk on the list, so why would I put those guys?

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61 thoughts on “Mount Rushmore — Super Edition

  1. Superman is basically mandatory; I suspect that the term “Superhero” itself comes from the big blue boyscout himself.
    I submit that batman also required. He and superman together encapsulate the DC universe of superheroes, light to dark, powered to unpowered, dim to genius.
    With those two placed then it seems to me that the other two spots should lean towards Marvel characters. Wolverine seems like a no brainer due to his ubiquity yet I am not entheused at including him. Spider man is perhaps a better fit. Marvel’s universe and characters are fundamentally more complex and more human than DC heroes so I struggle to pick two that cover the gamut like S&B do for DC.

    I note with dismay that I haven’t included a woman superhero. I am afraid this probably accurately reflects the male-centredness of the genre.

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  2. Hmmm… Superman, Batman (the city and region in Turkey), Spider Man, and Mighty Mouse.

    I select these mostly because they’re the cartoons I watched when I was a kid. I don’t know much about the actual workings of the superhero universe outside of those cartoons and the more recent films.

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  3. So, upon further reflection, RE: Kazzy’s exclusion of Batman on grounds of simply being a rich dude with toys – is he onto something there? What makes Batman different from James Bond? For all we know, Bond has some tragic backstory too.

    Is it that Bats acts on his own, without (official) govt. sanction? But if a vigilante is automatically a superhero, then so is Zorro, and that can’t be right. Is it that some of his foes have superpowers?

    I think Iron Man can slide in on a technicality, in that he’s a cyborg (it’s not *just* the suit, his body is also powered by mechanical means). So he’s not *just* a rich dude with toys.

    But on the other hand, we can’t just go calling every guy with a souped-up pacemaker a superhero. That would be anarchy.

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    • Also – and I know only slightly more than Kazzy about superheroes so maybe this is my answer – but who the fish is Gambit* and why should he/she be on Mt. Rushmore?

      *I mean, OK, I looked him up – he can throw CARDS?! Way to strike terror into the hearts of cowardly, superstitious villains there, chief.

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      • OK, Kim, you’re the only other anime person on these boards as far as I know, so – who would you pick for an anime/manga Mount Rushmore of superheroes? My first thought is:
        Goku
        Lelouch
        Ichigo
        Gon Freecs

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      • Pinky,
        I think Will watches some too.
        But you’ve got WAY too many determinators on that list.

        Trigun
        Vampire Princess Miyu (Resident Mage!)
        Naoto Shirogane (Detectives are FUN!)
        Sana-chan (from Kodomo no Omocha — you always need a speedster).

        I badly want to put Panty and Stocking on this list, but… too little space.
        (Also, three out of four of those series’ you mention I haven’t seen yet. So little time… Must see Bleach at some point, though).

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      • Too many determinators? That’s because they’re iconic leads. There are other characters I like better, but this is Mount Rushmore (or, I guess, Fuji). I definitely like Vash for the list though.

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      • I just finished Gurren Lagann. The Paragon of Manliness, Kamina, will carve himself on the mountain with the power of his fighting spirit! That’s the Team Gurren Lagann way! Do you think you can stop him? Who the hell do you think he is?!

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    • I think Iron Man can slide in on a technicality, in that he’s a cyborg (it’s not *just* the suit, his body is also powered by mechanical means). So he’s not *just* a rich dude with toys

      The thing about Iron Man is that it is neither the suit nor the souped-up pacemaker that makes Tony Stark Iron Man. It is Tony Stark himself. Same way that it is not the toys which make Bruce Wayne Batman, it is Bruce Wayne himself. And that is what makes these guys more awesome than any muscle-bound alien from a destroyed planet.

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  4. 1. Batman – You’ve got to include at least one superhero that falls into the “perfection of a normal man” category. As absurd as some of the stuff he does is, and as ridiculous as Wayne’s wealth is, Batman falls into this category. He’s also got the “world’s greatest detective” thing going on, and he falls into the dark, tragic antihero category. You’ve also got the “who’s the real person and who’s the mask” debate going on there. And he has the best rogues’ gallery.

    2. Superman – Yeah, whatever. I guess you have to include him. I’ve always thought he was boring. Too perfect. Too indestructible. Too powerful. But I guess he’s pretty much the prototype.

    Those first two are easy. Here’s where it gets more difficult.

    3. Spider-Man – I think this fills the “give a normal guy super powers” category. You get the struggle of juggling super life and normal life, the impact on friends and family, and the difficult question of what, if anything, do you do with those powers. The “with great power comes great responsibility” line is a classic trope of comics, and Uncle Ben is one of the handful of characters that can never, ever be resurrected.

    4. The Hulk – The Hulk is basically the id, a giant rage-monster who is virtually indestructible. The struggle between Hulk and Bruce Banner is the same old “Jekyll and Hyde” story, although in this case Hyde is a hero of sorts, albeit one who sometimes has to be shot into space because he causes so much damage on earth.

    Honorable mentions: Captain America, for the whole “chosen to be a superhero because of his character” aspect; and Iron Man/Tony Stark, for the superhero as tech-geek aspect.

    No women? No, no women. The most noteworthy, high-profile female superhero is Wonder Woman, and I have just never found her particularly interesting. I’m not going to include a female superhero just to do so. My list is my list. If I were going to include a woman, it would be Captain Marvel, but I just like the above selections better.

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  5. Is the criteria based on iconicism or awesomeness?

    Iconicism:
    1. Superman
    2. Wonder Woman
    3. Spiderman
    4. Captain America

    Awesomeness:
    1. Spectre
    2. Captain Atom
    3. Martian Manhunter
    4. Geist the Twilight Man

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  6. Superman and Batman are givens.

    Spiderman is the top of the Marvel universe, so I guess he gets in. Marvel doesn’t do “iconic” the way DC does, although they do better characters.

    Wolverine is more of a newcomer. He could easily be on the list. I think Professor X is more iconic though. But for the fourth slot, I want Rorschach. The most iconic character from Watchman. The darkest of the dark, a great gimmick, and a quote-generator like no other. The strongest argument against him is that with Batman on Mount Rushmore, he’s almost redundant. If someone could talk me into Superman, Wonder Woman, and Spiderman, then Rorschach is perfect.

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    • Spiderman is the top of the Marvel universe…

      Growing up and saving my dimes back in the days when the Marvel crop of heroes were new, Spidey was cool, and I always had a soft spot for Daredevil, but Reed Richards’ Mr. Fantastic was the top dog that everyone deferred to.

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  7. 1. Greatest American Hero – It’s in the name
    2. Groo – Emobidies the American fighting spirit. Powerful, well-intentioned, and unconcerned that the outcome is worse than before they started.
    3. Dazzler – Flash over substance
    4. A giant brain, representing all super-geniuses. They have the ability to quickly create fantastic new inventions to solve the extraordinary problems, and are completely uninterested in tackling serious issues faced by the mundanes.

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  8. How the f**k do you have a Mt. Rushmore that doesn’t have Batman? Hell, I’d argue that Mt. Rushmore should just be Batman carved four different times.

    But since that is against the rules, I’ll go with the classics:

    1. Batman

    2. Superman

    3. Spiderman

    4. Spawn

    I almost went with WW for #4, but I feel like for most of her published life she was really dull. It feels like it’s only been in the past couple of decades that she’s been morphed into something more interesting.

    Supe gets in on iconic status alone, despite the fact that he might well be the dullest superhero ever.

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    • Nah, Superman’s really interesting. Like there was this one time when Lex Luthor used kryptonite, and no one expected that. and I think there was, oh, wait, that was kryptonite again…

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    • Respectful yellow card, My Todd, Spawn kills people (a lot of people- like a -LOT- of people*). At the very best he’s an antihero (arguable THE antihero) but he ain’t no superhero.

      *And not always bad people either.

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  9. Like Will, I distinguish between iconicness and awesomeness.

    I’m going with awesomness for my four. Iconicness is for suckers.

    Best Power Set to Have: The Silver Surfer
    * (way better than Superman)

    Most Badass: Grimjack
    * (take Bruce Wayne and put him in a child gladiator pit instead of growing up with Alfred and money)

    Most Fun Set of Powers to Have: Spiderman
    * (seriously)

    Best Antihero:
    * John Constantine

    Best Costume Award goes to a Villain so I don’t have to include him, but for reference:
    * Deathstroke

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  10. Kazzy has explicitly given permission to be quite personal and subjective, so here goes:

    1. Spiderman. This needs little justification. However, IIRC, Spiderman was created to be Superman, only better. So I’m leaving Supes off. Superman is boring, Spiderman is not.

    2. Rogue. Specifically the Rogue of the 90’s animated X-Men. She rocked it so hard. Where Storm is maybe more powerful, she is also aloof and remote. Jean Gray seemed plagued by doubt and insecurity, at least in that same series. But Rogue was out there and nearly unstoppable, having overcome some enormous personal obstacles. I love her to death.

    3. Goku, of Dragonball and Dragonball Z. This guy is so engaging and personable. He’s what Superman should have been. He once hit a villain so hard it knocked some moons out of orbit or something. And yet he could die, did die, and managed to make friends and influence people while dead, too. And it’s about him that the famous phrase “It’s over 9000!” was uttered. (Google it.) Besides, the idea of that hair on Mt. Rushmore really amuses me.

    4. I’m having a lot of trouble with this slot. I might put Batman, but the terms say that Batman doesn’t count. There are a lot of superheroes from one-shot works that I might put here – Buffy, River Tam of “Firefly”, Clair of “Heroes”, Li Mu Bai of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (if you can walk on water, I think we can call you a superhero) – but that seems non-Rushmore worthy. Screw it, I’m putting Batman here anyway.

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  11. 1. Wolverine…..mmmmm Wolverine
    2. Deadpool shhh my common sense is tingling
    3. Hit Girl Shows over motherfishers!
    4. and to muddy the waters Aquaman! with the power to annoy fish

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  12. I decided to go with the superheroes that had the greatest impact on my childhood. Damn you Kazzy for only allowing four, as poor Tiny was left out.

    1) Mark
    2) Keyop
    3) Princess
    4) Jason

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