This is the second segment of the new series here at the Art of Fatherhood. My oldest daughter, Lily and I will take a look at a topic in the world of Pop Culture and share our thoughts on it. If you missed the first one which was Five Books You Should Check Out, you can read the article here! This week we are sharing our thoughts on five underrated comic book characters. Feel free to share your underrated comic book characters in the comment section below.
Lily’s Top Five Underrated Comic Book Characters
1 – Lifeguard
The X-men are one of my favorite Marvel teams. So I will have multiple X-men characters below. Lifeguard is a mutant who has biomorphic abilities-meaning she can adapt to the environment around her by growing extra limbs, and such. Her powers are pretty amazing, since she can virtually become anything.
2 – Mystique
There are many forms of shapeshifting throughout any superhero comic book series-and then there’s Mystique. Not only can she look like any person, being, or android, but copy every specific detail: their fingerprints, voice pattern, and more. She’s so incredibly powerful in an unexpected way.
3 – Taskmaster
Knowing that some people haven’t seen Black Widow, I won’t spoil anything. Taskmaster can copy every opponent’s moves, just by watching them. They have a huge advantage, because they have access to infinite skill sets in combat.
4 – Peggy Carter
Founder of S.H.I.E.L.D and Captain America’s love interest, Peggy Carter is skilled with her wits, a gun, and deception, which makes her a proficient agent. We get to see her in action in Captain America: The First Avenger, and Agent Carter, and in Marvel’s new What If…? series premiering in August.
5 – Kitty Pryde
Kitty Pryde is a mutant gifted with intangibility. Being intangible is an underrated power-Kitty Pryde is basically immortal, because she can phase through things. Kitty Pryde can also easily sneak into a building, because she can just run through walls.
Art’s Top Five Underrated Comic Book Characters
1 – Blade
Many people who love the Marvel Cinematic Universe feel that it if it wasn’t for the Iron Man movie the MCU might not have succeeded. I do agree with that notion, but I feel that we need to give the Blade movies some well deserved love. Wesley Snipes did a fantastic job bringing the Marvel comic book character to the big screen. Blade came out in 1998. It was ten years before Iron Man came out. The character in the comic books was introduced in 1973 in Marvel Comics’ The Tomb of Dracula #10.
For those who don’t know Blade is a dhampir. Dhampir are creatures that are the result of a union between a vampire and a mortal human. Blade has devoted his life to ridding the world of all vampires. His unique physiology makes him the perfect vampire hunter. You should check out some of the back issues of Blade from Marvel to get ready as the MCU will bring Blade into that universe. In July 2019, Marvel announced Mahershala Ali had been cast as Blade. That is a great choice for Blade! When the new movie comes out I am guessing he won’t be an underrated character.
2 – Nightcrawler
One of the coolest looking characters in all of comic book history is Nightcrawler. He is a member of X-Men. His first appearance was in Giant Size X-Men #1 in May of 1975. Nightcrawler possesses superhuman agility, the ability to teleport, and adhesive hands and feet. His physical mutations include indigo-colored velvety fur which allows him to become nearly invisible in shadows, two-toed feet, and three-fingered hands, yellow eyes, pointed ears and a prehensile tail. Not only is he an intriguing character in comic book stories and in the X-Men films, Nightcrawler was a really fun character to play in the various video game series for the X-Men. In addition, he has one of the best sound effects in the all of comic books. When he teleports you see the word BAMF come to life on the comic book pages. It is right up there with THWIP and SNIKT.
3 – Cyborg
Before there was the Snyder Cut of The Justice League movie, those who didn’t follow Cyborg in the comics might not have known his origin story. Victor Stone had a tough childhood. His parents are scientists who used him as a test subject for various intelligence enhancement projects. While these treatments are ultimately successful and Victor’s IQ subsequently grows to genius levels, he grows to hate what he has become. As we tend to see in comic book tales these experiments go wrong and Stone becomes half-man and half-robot. Cyborg was introduced into the DC universe in DC Comics Presents #26 back in 1980. His affiliations are in Teen Titans, Justice League and S.T.A.R. Labs.
4 – Hobgoblin
It is really tough to follow one of Spider-Man’s iconic villains, the Green Goblin, but the Hobgoblin does a great job of it in the Marvel universe. The Hobgoblin was created by writer Roger Stern and artist John Romita Jr. for The Amazing Spider-Man #238 in March of 1983. I think the Hobgoblin is a cool sequel to the Green Goblin. The first person to take on the role of Hobgoblin was Roderick Kingsley. He is a billionaire fashion designer. He decided to create a life of crime by altering Norman Osborn’s Goblin formula and improve the Goblin costume. There are some really cool story arcs when Spidey goes up against him. I would start with the first appearance of him in the issue I mentioned earlier and then go from there!
5 – Dr. Aphra
Dr. Aphra is new to the Star Wars comic book universe. She debuted on March, 25th 2015 in the Star Wars: Darth Vader #3 comic book. Aphra is a criminal archaeologist with an expert knowledge of droid and weapons technologies. She has a particular interest in ancient weapons and Jedi artifacts. Aphra explores the universe in her trusty ship called the Ark Angel. She has been hired by Darth Vader to unearth artifacts and find out information that has been hidden from him. Aphra seems to play both sides. She does jobs for the Empire and Rebellion. Besides having her own comic book series there is a book written by Sarah Kuhn called Doctor Aphra.