Top Ten Comic Characters – 2-1
Here we are, down to the last two, but really they’re my last one. I couldn’t split between them. Both of these characters mean something special to me as a reader and as a writer. They’re shown me style, technique, dialogue, plotting, and how to be downright awesome. I find that comic characters are a special breed because they’re not just words on a page for you to decipher yourself, but they aren’t actors playing a role either. You get the visual and the written, but they remain only for you, kind of. It was very hard to make this list, and even harder to find the top one, but here they both are.
Matt Murdock – Daredevil
Matt Murdock has it all to be fascinating reading. He’s blind, but a superhero. He’s got red hair, but he still makes it work with the ladies. He’s a pragmatist, in the best possible light, and he’s also the most decent person that can be found, anywhere. He resolutely will not do the wrong thing, at least not on purpose, but again he is human, he is real, and so he is fallible. Recently he has made many grave mistakes, but you can’t help but get into his shoes and understand why it always happens. He’s God’s lonely man, but he’ll end up better than we expect. He’ll just never be perfect. Poor bastard. Murdock’s current, and generally most critically pleasing, characterisation is one where he’s the downtrodden man trying to do right in a real world where right can be elusive and not always apparent. Murdock may have started as just another Spidey clone, slinging taunts and bad puns at low-level baddies, but that sort of schtick wore thin very quickly. Murdock became a bi-monthly event until someone decided to make him a little sadder. I don’t always like the kid, but I have to admit that Frank Miller had it right. Listen to his interview on the awesome doco special on the Daredevil dvd, Men Without Fear. He talks about superheroes and how their lives and loves should be epic. They bring down buildings with their fights, it should be that way with everything else. Thus, Elektra was birthed into the four-colour world. Murdock as a sad figure, as an operatic and Greek tragic character totally worked. And still does. I love his voice, I love how people see him, and I love what he manages to do. It is one character, and title, that I’ll always want to keep in my weekly list.
Top Moment: Murdock has been having a rough time, his wife has been sent crazy, he couldn’t really catch the criminal involved in a satisfying way, and then his private PI (yeah, I get I doubled it) gets shot. So he helps her, straight into his bed. Just another awesome twist to screw up his life. This moment really felt real.
Favourite Quote: Matt Murdock has been outed to the press, and world, as Daredevil. He has reporters everywhere but he’s not afraid. He climbs up the light fixture and looks down without his mask on. “I am the man without fear.” Ballsy as all hell.
Yorick Brown – Y: The Last Man
Yorick is an awesome character, not just because he’s hilarious and full of pop culture references, but because over the years that he travels you see a definite change. Brian K Vaughan described it as the last boy on Earth’s journey to become the last man on Earth. Bloody great quote, but even more impressive is his work to express this through the story in question. Yorick is affected by things, changes his mind and acts differently as things go on. But he doesn’t stop dropping quotes and lines that resonate so well with someone of my age. He also gets to bag ‘other Beth’, a character which I’d rate as one of the most likable and strong females in comics. Yorick is the character I would most like to be, and if not, then I’d most like to write. I actually pity every person who has not read Y: The Last Man, but am also so bloody envious because they’ll get to read it for the first time, I never will.
Top Moment: There’s something about Yorick scoring with other Beth in the graveyard that just sings to me. I like the setting of the scene, and the lead up is well written and very cute between the two. They are both quirky and kind of annoyingly stupid in a cool way, and you know the two kind of deserve each other. I’d also put the entirety of issue 57 in as possibly the greatest single issue I have ever read. It just hits so many moments and has such a great structure. Not bad for one massive post-coital scene.
Favourite Quote: This quote summed up the series for me, and the journey that Yorick goes on. “You would have said no to the man, but yes to the last man.” That’s why Brian K Vaughan is who he is, and I’m some schmoe down under. Superb genius.
So that’s the list. I stand by my top choices completely. What are yours?
Posted on September 22nd, 2009 by ryan
Filed under: comics