This is the last article in our Favorite Comic Book Characters series. Read on to see who makes the list.
A fearless Air Force fighter pilot is given a strange green ring by a dying alien that has crashed to Earth. This is no coincidence. The ring has chosen Hal Jordan to be the newest member of the Green Lantern Corps, a collection of beings acting as an intergalactic police force, sworn to protect their own sector of the universe. This power ring gives a Green Lantern the power of flight as well as the ability to construct anything of their imagination with sheer force of will.
Hal Jordan becomes the greatest Green Lantern, consistently proving himself against the greatest of odds. Whether he's creating a giant boxing glove to punch his enemies or a giant net to catch a falling victim, Hal always has the right construct at the right time, proving that any obstacle can be overcome with imagination and willpower.
Andrew Palmer, CGC Customer Service Representative
With all the guys and ghouls out there in comic land, trying to nail down just one is like taking a stab in the dark. But as I've always had a devilish taste for horror, I'm going to have to choose everyone's old pal, the Crypt-Keeper. Old Crypty began regaling us with his tales in EC's Crime Patrol issue #15. When EC Publishing changed over its titles and formats, he was given his own book The Crypt of Terror, which three issues later became Tales From the Crypt. The Crypt-Keeper also assisted in narrating EC's other horror titles the ,Vault of Horror and Haunt of Fear, and was given the lead role again in Three Dimensional Tales from the Crypt of Terror.
On occasion, the Crypt-Keeper would take the role of the character instead of the host and was given what could be considered an origin story as in Tales from the Crypt #33. Sadly though, like all good things, the Federal Government stepped in and in September 1954, after 27 issues EC cancelled Tales from the Crypt along with all their other horror titles. The final issue of Tales for February / March 1955 was allowed to be published having already been produced.
The Comics Code Authority was not the final nail in the coffin for Tales From the Crypt, and in the end it would be the Crypt-Keeper that got the final laugh. Tales From the Crypt has been reprinted numerous times from 1964 until the present. In 1972, Crypty made the jump from the pages to the silver screen in Tales From the Crypt, the movie. Interesting fact: This is considered the first movie with a post-credit movie scene. The Crypt-Keeper returned to the big screen three more times in Demon Knight (1995), Bordello of Blood (1996) and internationally in Ritual (2001, later released on DVD in the US), though none of the later three movies were based on EC stories. In 1989, HBO decided to pick up Crypty and bring the EC stories to life. Tales From the Crypt, the television show, remade stories from many of the EC titles and brought them into our living rooms weekly for seven seasons. And my, has society changed. In 1993, Tales From the Crypt, the Saturday morning cartoon, began airing and ran until 1997. None of the cartoons stories though were based on EC. Through all of his movies, TV shows and brief stint as a game show host, my favorite Crypt-Keeper will always be the original with all his pun-filled stories of terror. Thanks to Gemstone and now Dark Horse, we can all enjoy the original EC tales reprinted in nice hardcover volumes. So whether the Crypt-Keeper's tales scared you to death or showed you that you can't spell manslaughter without laughter, he always managed to leave the reader dying for more. Goodnight kiddies.
Tyler Gingery, CGC Quality Control
Frank Castle, aka Marvel's anti-hero the Punisher, first reared his ugly head in the always sought after Amazing Spider-Man #129 created by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru and John Romita, Sr. In the mid '70s, action / vigilante films were in their prime — the most popular being Death Wish, starring Charles Bronson. The concept of the Punisher, the antithesis of a colorful superhero in vibrant tights, subdues his enemies in a Paul Kersey fashion by means of extreme violence, often incapacitating or at times even killing those who opposed him.
The Punisher only appeared in cameos until a groundbreaking five-issue miniseries launched in 1986 featuring the impressive pencil work from Marvel workhorse Michael Zeck and gritty writing style of Stephen Grant. The success of the miniseries led to its own ongoing title that ran for 10+ years, and the character has been in hundreds of cameos and multiple reboots. The series explored dark topics such as terrorism, drug abuse, extortion, suicide, kidnapping and even cannibalism — all of which were a harsh reflection of the darker side of mainstream movies and television.
Michael Balent, CGC Signature Series Coordinator
I’d have to say that Rorschach from The Watchmen is probably my favorite comic character. Despite living in a world where masked vigilantes are outlawed, and all other crime fighters have retired, the scrawny Walter Kovacs becomes Rorschach and continues to wear his black and white morphing inkblot mask, which parallels his view of morality. Black and white. Good and evil. Right and wrong — with no shades of grey. His ruthlessly brutal tactics and nothing-to-lose attitude make him a loose cannon who doesn't work well with others and is a bit psychotic at times. Although he has no "superpowers," he is extremely skilled in street fighting and very resourceful, using objects around him to take out his enemies. He’s like the crime-fighting MacGyver of comics, using a can of hairspray and a match or something as simple as a jacket to defeat his opponents. His abusive and violent past are what fuel his inner demons and his insatiable need to correct the wrongs of the world. His tenacious appetite for punishing the evils of the world make him a serious force to be reckoned with.
Scott Davis, CGC Shipping / Receiving
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