Wayne’s Worlds: Loving Lower-Tier Characters!

I’ve often said that Batman is my all-time favorite comics character. I’ve felt that way because if I could somehow collect enough money and work out enough, I might be able to turn into something similar to Bruce Wayne’s other identity. Notice I said might. Batman’s big right now, but he hasn’t always been this popular.

After Batman, I find myself drawn to heroes who aren’t in his league, if you’ll pardon the pun. Superman is great, but I will never be invulnerable. I also like the Flash, but if I get hit by lightning, I don’t think I’ll be able to run fast. If a radioactive spider bit me, I’d be happy just to end up in the hospital for a couple of months.

But there are several lower-tier folks I enjoy for various reasons. I often find that other comics readers, after he or she gets past their most-loved guy or gal, find themselves admiring people who may not be able to sell a monthly comic on their own.

See if you can relate to any of the heroes I’ve liked for years.


HawkmanI have always been drawn to characters who have wings or wear capes. I find this odd because I have a paralyzing fear of heights.

I’ve enjoyed Hawkman because, whether he resembles Adam Strange or Batman, he’s someone who doesn’t suffer from my fear. Instead, he makes things happen and is a hero who can travel both the “light” and the “dark” roads in comics well. I include everything from Tim Truman’s Hawkworld series to Geoff Johns’ more barbaric version to the guy who fought floating heads in that. They all have attributes that I find admirable and interesting to read about.

Now that his regular title has been cancelled, I keep hoping he’ll be back in a regular series, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. I mean, I adored Mr. Venditti’s version of the character, and it will be hard to see anyone come close again anytime soon, but I remain hopeful!


Black KnightI remember when the Black Knight turned from a villain fighting Iron Man to a hero who made a difference in the Avengers when they were challenged by the Grand Master.

I do recognize the weakness he has, though. He carries a sword, and that means he has to slice someone. It has to happen. He can use the flat of his blade, but it just doesn’t have the same ring to it. For a time, he was cursed so that if he drew any blood, he’d suffer intensely. That still didn’t work for me.

Then he became something of a Christian evangelist in a popular-at-the-time Black Panther series. He’d never been anything like this before, but he considered himself a hero of the Cross, as it were. I wish I could forget those issues, actually.

But I like his costume, his desire to redeem his name and the fact that he has some ties to the British Isles. I wish he’d appear more sometime soon!


BloodwyndI always like detectives. When they can solve difficult puzzles to catch the bad guys, I wish I could do that!

I miss the Elongated Man even though he was considered direct competition for Batman. He was married, and how different that was back in the comics that came out those days. I was also a fan of Bloodwynd, a creation of Dan Jurgens when he took over the Justice League comic. It was a real treat when he made an appearance in a recent comic.

As far as Marvel goes, I always bought the comics that had Stingray in them as well as Sunfire. I haven’t seen much of them in years, but I’d buy anything that had those heroes in them, you bet!

Dynamite not very long ago published a miniseries written by J.T. Krul about The Owl. I had bought the comics that featured this Batman-alike in the 1960s, and I also enjoyed it when they brought him back. Again, I’d love to see more of him, but that doesn’t appear too promising at this point. I hope I’m wrong about this one.


Some friends of mine are much more focused on the “main” characters in comics like Wolverine (who started out as a minor adversary for the Hulk), Spider-Man, the X-Men, and others. I respect those of you who do find things in them that resonate in you. You’re in the majority, I’m sure. Me, I miss the Green Hornet.

But if there are other characters you are drawn to who aren’t the biggest and best around, feel free to share them below. Maybe some comics company will pick upon the idea of bringing him or her back and will begin the process.

Me, I’ll just pull out my Black Knight statues and action figures, my Hawkman t-shirts, and my Vibe comics and imagine that I’ll see these folks in my local comics shop soon. I hope you have a similar dream, too!

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