Thursday, September 23, 2010

Who has the best origin story?

Among fiction’s greatest heroes we have some pretty awesome origin stories. Here’s my picks for the five best. Though if you asked me to rethink this list on a weekly basis, it would probably change a little each time.

5) Superman—last survivor of Krypton; while still an infant, shot in a small rocket to Earth by his father just before Krypton explodes; raised with a firm sense of right and justice by his adoptive small-town parents.

4) Spider Man—gets his powers by accident; uses them to make money and, because of one selfish moment, is responsible for getting the man who raised him killed. Dedicates himself to helping others. “With great power comes great responsibility.”

3) Batman—sees his parents gunned down when he’s only eight years old. Consciously decides to give up having a childhood to train himself mentally and physically to be the world’s greatest crime fighter. Dons a scary costume because “criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot.”

2) Lone Ranger—only survivor among six Texas Rangers (including his brother) who are ambushed by outlaws. Dons a mask made from his brother’s vest to hide his identity and fight for justice across the Old West. Uses a secret silver mine to fund his travels and make his trademark silver bullets. As noted in a recent post, has the coolest friends and allies ever.

1) The Phantom--in the 16th Century, a man survives a pirate attack that sadly takes his father’s life. Vows to fight piracy and evil in all forms. Establishes a secret base in the jungle. When he dies, his son takes over. No one knows that the Phantom is actually a ancestral line—he is reputed to be immoral. “The Ghost Who Walks.”

If I were to make this list again, I might change the order, or drop someone else to include Doc Savage, Scrooge McDuck, the Black Bat or Captain America. But for today, the above choices are my picks for best origins ever.

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