With the holidays all around us, it's time to look back on the year that was 2010 with an eye towards which superheroes are worthy of making their way onto Santa's list either naughty or nice.
At one point in time the Plutonian was the greatest superhero around, but he couldn't handle all the pressure or the expectations and he snapped. Now a group of heroes and villains are doing their best to figure out the Plutonian's weaknesses and take him out in the pages of Irredeemable. We've seen the whole “Superman-like character goes bad” story but never told this well which puts Plutonian firmly on the Naughty list and writer Mark Waid on the Nice one.
Superman began the year in pretty strong form hanging out with his rediscovered kinsmen on New Krypton, an artificially built planet filled with long thought lost people with Superman's same powers. All that was well and good until the entire planet was destroyed and Superman couldn't do anything to save his people. What does he decide to do after that to atone? Walk around the country and talk to people. Thrilling.
Sorry Rulk, even though your motives turned out to be somewhat altruistic, we can't offer you anything but coal this year for all the secrets you kept and lies your told. General Ross also schemed to have his cryogenically frozen and presumed dead daughter Betty turned into a red She Hulk. That's not really in the spirit of the holiday now is it? Extra negative points because you look like you should be jolly like Santa.
Not only did Daredevil take over the evil ninja organization called the Hand, but he also built a stronghold in New York City called Shadowland, killed Bullseye, hired crooks to take out fellow heroes like Moon Knight and had a general “you're either with us or against us” attitude. As it turned out he was really possessed by the Beast of the Hand, but still, dude's been playing it pretty fast and loose with the rules and morals for a while now and needs to get his horned head right.
We weren't sure whether to put Deadman on the naughty or nice list because he's been wasting a lot of time wandering around wearing one of the most potentially powerful weapons in the world on his finger—the mysterious White Lantern ring—and yet he keeps trying to pass it off to folks like Batman. He turned a bit of a corner recently, seemingly taking ownership of the responsibility that goes along with the ring, but it looks to us like Deadman wasted a good chunk of the year after being resurrected.
Of course readers knew Iron Patriot wasn't really a good guy from word one, but the deinzens of the Marvel Universe had no idea. Well, we've got a message for Norman Osborn: no matter how patriotic you make your costume look, it won't cover up your pure evilness. And, as we saw in Siege when Normy completely lost it and sent his heroes to try and kill the Norse gods, it clearly didn't make him a better person. Now he's behind bars where they don't even give coal to asshats like him.
Logan always seems to have a tough time of things whether he's got to kill a loved one or wade through waves and waves of cannon fodder to save someone, but this year might have been the worst because Wolverine actually went to hell. Sure, he came back, but that's got to mess with your head. We give him a lot of credit for continuing to don the tights and do what he does best even with all that going on.
True heroes never give up. Not when the odds are against them, not when the chips are down and not when they find themselves stumbling through time after getting zapped by Darkseid at the end of Final Crisis. Like Wolverine, Batman's been through a lot this year and yet when he got back into modern times he didn't take a vacation, instead he decided to essentially franchise the Batman idea across the world. Good for him for trying to help as many people as possible!
Who would have thought that anyone would care about an old pulp, radio and TV character like the Green Hornet who hasn't had any kind of notoriety since the 60s show? Well, thanks to the upcoming movie's buzz—both good and bad—and the efforts of Dynamite Comics, we're actually kind of excited to see what happens with the fedora-loving character. For that alone, GH makes the Nice list.
Much like Batman, Steve Rogers returned to the land of the living (or the not time displaced if you want to get technical) and not only starting fighting the good fight again, but also didn't take back the superhero identity assumed by his sidekick in his absence. Bucky has been doing a pretty good job as Cap, something Rogers noticed and appreciates. Instead of jumping back into the red white and blue chainmail, Rogers has been doing all kinds of good by bringing the Avengers back, heading up S..H.I.E.L.D. and even leading his own team the Secret Avengers. Not a bad year's work.
For a while, Hope was thought to be the only new mutant born after Scarlet Witch did her “No More Mutants” schtick. After hopping through time with Cable, Hope, now all grown up, made it back to the present where she's been helping find five more new mutants. For helping her people and keeping Cable alive Hope easily makes the Nice list.
Lots of heroes do good in their neighborhood, state or country, but Green Lantern Hal Jordan helps keep not only Earth safe, but the entire galaxy, often finding himself leading the troops in the middle of huge battles like Blackest Night earlier this year. Hal has even made at least temporary amends with some of his greatest enemies in an attempt to make the universe safer for everyone. If that doesn't get someone on the Nice list, we don't know what would.