It seems these Top Tens might become a weekly affair here for the foreseeable future or until we ‘jump the shark’ and do a Top Ten with something about ‘babes’ in comics. God, I’m dreading the day I ever do it, but we aren’t above making other, very important and very serious, Top Tens that are formed with an exacting science, applied to rigorous tests, and made from only the finest ingredients.
Keeping that in mind, we’ve decided to bring you the Top Ten Manliest Superheroes. Now what makes a superhero manly? I like to think a ‘manly’ man is best known for his lack of knowledge on fashion, his chauvinist attitude toward feelings (marked by a great emotional dysfunction), and his general willingness to fight at the drop of a hat. Taking this all into consideration, we give you the Top Ten Manliest Superheroes:
10. Captain America –
It should be noted that, along with Optimus Prime, Cap is a natural born leader who is able to lead other manly men just as easily as he is going it alone. He was once a chopper riding rebel (when he took on the identity of Nomad), and Cap’s only worried about feelings of camaraderie with his fellow soldiers. His women tend to be somewhat manly as well (we’re talking personality here), like his love affair with the attractive but deadly Agent 13, but note that he never commits to her. Partly cause he gets a little Atlantean on the side and partly cause a manly man can’t be tied down to dead weight ya hear?
9. Optimus Prime –
Ok, bear with me on this one, he’s the only Autobot who can fight worth a damn, being a true warrior and all. Plus, he’s a semi. He’s a truck, which can turn into a half truck, half robot that kicks Megatron ass and has a largely dysfunctional authoritarian complex. He’s a trucker! And everyone knows that all truckers are manly men right? So by all standards, Optimus Prime (with the deepest/coolest voice on this list I might add) is a manly man, er…robot-man…thingy.
8. Batman –
Some of you may be shocked by Batman’s placement in this list, but you should first consider some very telling signs that he may not be as ‘manly’ as he might first appear. For starters, he has to use all those gadgets and gizmos to get anything done, and while some may hail his utility belt as a wonderful piece of crime-fighting equipment, all I see is a glorified fanny pack. Batman, as Bruce Wayne, simply has way too easy of a life to be the manliest of men. He’s only Batman what, 70% of the time? That’s only 70% manliness while 30% of the time he’s the wussy Bruce Wayne who seems too able to match brown shoes with a brown belt to me, a real man doesn’t notice such color coordinating nuisances that keep him from wearing his favorite boots with his black and red plaid shirt. So while we like his dark nature, dysfunctional personality and propensity for violence, we don’t like the pansy routine (no matter how necessary to keep up appearances) or his general concern for others’ feelings.
7. Grifter –
Grifter is the crude and tough cowboy type from the WildC.A.T.S. He enjoys spending his days doing things like cleaning his guns, shooting his guns, cleaning his guns again, and then smoking while shooting his guns before retiring for a one night stand with some licentious lady who he’ll never call again. He did have a thing for Zealot, but that’s understandable because she was a badass herself, coming from a long line of Coda warriors that were born for battle. Grifter is also the first on the list known to drink excessively, a very manly quality if there ever was one.
6. The Punisher –
Let’s face it, The Punisher’s all black attire and skull symbol won’t win him any Fab Five Fashion awards, making him all the more manly, and he certainly fits the bill of emotionally dysfunctional (a problem that goes back to his time in Vietnam). The Punisher is excessively violent, and he has no qualms about picking a fight, or ending it with a shotgun either. He even only has sexual relations with equally dysfunctional women (as he did recently in Ennis’ Punisher run).
The Punisher is the type of masculine tiger that is probably a little too dysfunctional for society or at least the one he lives in. He simply isn’t appreciated in his time. If only he lived in the Dark Ages then his manliness would be hailed across the land and stories would be told to small children about the Punisher who’d chop their head off and spit down their neck if they didn’t do what they were told. What a wonderful time.
5. Gung-Ho –
A lot of the G.I. Joes could have made this list, but Gung-Ho stood out among the pack. His name alone brings to mind manly tendencies to barge ahead recklessly without thought or consideration for others' safety. He also wears no shirt under his vest, all the better to show off his large Marine tattoo, and Gung-Ho is always seen with his camo-pants, a manly thing to wear if you are actually in the Armed Forces and shooting people on a regular basis. Gung-Ho is a Cajun, but unlike that whiny baby Gambit who’s become whipped by Rogue, he’s a gumbo eating, trash talking, swamp rat who prefers chewing his food with his mouth open and farting in front of ladies (very manly things to do I’m told).
4. Hellboy –
These last four were all very hard to decide between because all three are loners, rebels, badmouthed cusses that all drink heavily and fight rough and dirty. Hellboy in particular is great at hitting the ‘big monster’ first and asking questions later. His giant stone fist is perfect for brawling with large bulbous demon creatures that look vaguely like butt-plugs. Besides, his rude behavior and general tough guy attitude are all what one would look for in a manly man. The only problem is that that tough guy attitude tends to cover up a big heart, not very manly. He’s also a bit attached to that gal, Liz Sherman, which owns his tail (so to speak), not very masculine at all, even if he does smoke a stogie while doing it.
3. Wolverine –
Ah, now we are coming down to the real cream of the crop here.
2. Lobo –
Sometime in the 90’s, Lobo was created as a backlash to all things ‘manly’ in superheroes. He was to be the ultimate parody of characters like Wolverine and Punisher with their ultra anti-hero manliness. But Lobo was SO manly, and just a badass in general, that he flipped off his creator and became the poster boy for modern manliness anyway. Prone to extreme violence, Lobo flies around on his 'hover' chopper-bike while smoking cigars and stealing candy from small girls. Lobo is the last of his race, the rest having died off from his own murderous drive to be the baddest mutha in the whole universe. Sometimes he takes on Superman, sometimes he kills Santa Klaus, but whatever he’s doing, he’s doing it with such ‘manitude’ (the attitude of manliness) that he often only needs to look at women and they immediately start ovulating. Then he hits them right in the ovaries.
1. Conan –
Oh, boy. This is the manliest man in comics today, or ever. He’ll just as soon knee you in the groin as he will kick you in the nuts, and that’s if he’s feeling nice and doesn’t elbow you in the nads. He’s every manly attribute I’ve talked about in this article so far including but not limited to womanizing, fighting, smoking, drinking, swearing, being arrogant, caring little for deep emotions or painful thinking and most importantly, he’s all of these things ALL of the time, and he's been doing it the longest by far. He never stops being the testosterone serving center that dishes it out one punch or ass slap at a time. He screws your girl, cuts your arm off, and tells you a crude joke all before eating your dinner with his bare hands. And you love him for it. He’s the crudest thing ever to pop out of a baby-maker whose taste for serving wenches, ale, and bar-room brawls is insatiable. He is the Manliest Superhero Ever!