From catching thieves to saving the city: the best of the best

"No guns. No killing."

“Give me your wallet!” he viciously yelled across the alleyway. The family of four, two kids, one dad, one mom,  stood, petrified, speechless. “Now!” he roared. Just as the father of the children was about to hand it over, a masked figure swooped from the rooftop above and pulls the thief into the shadows. An eerie silence follows. And the family sprints away…without turning a head. That might be what one experiences if he/she were saved by a superhero. He/she doesn’t know who’s under the mask, but soon enough, if not already, this person will have a name that the media has given him/her. But who are the best superheroes that comic books have presented us with? Through looking at these superheroes’ traits, like the choices that they make, and their overwhelming popularity, Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man have won the title of the three best superheroes comic books have presented us with.

The movies that Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man are in have given them great popularity. These superheroes have had a total of eighteen movies in the theater already, and next year three more movies with these characters come out. And these movies are consistently some of the most popular movies of the year. Famous stars such as Morgan Freeman, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Heath Ledger, and many more have played major roles in these movies. These heroes have had their big moments on the small screen as well. Shows like Smallville, Gotham, and The Ultimate Spider-Man are just three of the shows these characters have been in. These superheroes are household names across the country. Their identities are known by anyone not in their movies/comics.

Even their enemies are well known. From Lex Luthor, to the Joker and Green Goblin. The story of these characters has been extended so many times there isn’t a villain they haven’t faced. The stories that these men are in never repeat. There are so many versions of them because the fans always want more. There are even many video games representing these stories. From the games about their movies to the games in which they become lego characters. everything theyŕe in becomes a “must have/see.” The legend of these superheroes seems to never die, and the popularity has skyrocketed them to the top three spots on the list of greatest superheroes.

The choices that Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man make are the opposite of what someone in their situation might be expected to make. They don’t give in to the urge to do what could be considered “the easy path.” Batman is just an ordinary man. He made the choice to be a symbol against crime in the most dangerous city on earth, Gotham. Yet, in a city of murderers, he has chosen to never kill. He always puts the villains he catches in Arkham Asylum. Even when they prove that they can escape, he just sends them right back. Superman has chosen to make a different choice. The villains that he faces are too dangerous to be locked up because they are often powerful aliens. However, he does make a choice that many people in this world have trouble making, not using immense power for personal gain. When he learned of his powers he had two options, use them to protect the people of earth, or rule earth with an iron fist. The choice that separates him from everyone that he fights is that he chose the former. Spider-Man also made a choice that would define him as a true hero. He chose to change his ways and use his experience to push forward, not hold him back. After he received his powers, he witnessed his uncle die. He had to choose if he was going to let this stop him, or make sure nobody went through this again. He of course chose the to stop the villainy of New York, no matter how difficult it would be. And numerous families in New York are grateful that their families are still with them, because of Spider-Man.

     However, there are many people who might consider other superheroes to be the greatest ever. Captain America’s pure spirit made him able to become the greatest soldier in history. Also, the Green Lanterns get all of their power from their will. But these great characteristics do have some side effects. In Captain America’s case, his heart of gold has lead to him getting the chance to act without limitations, which many people found wrong. This conflict would lead to a “civil war” among his fellow heroes and his unfortunate demise. In addition, Captain America didn’t get movies or TV shows until 2011, Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man all received films at least a decade prior. For Green Lantern, he brought much pain to earth through his actions. Although he became a hero to protect earth, he also opened it up to new threats. With there also being red (rage), yellow (fear), and orange (avarice) lanterns, the earth now has to be prepared for. Green Lantern also didn’t receive a movie until 2011, and the movie’s poor gross along with mediocre reviews caused the franchise to be cancelled. Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man all had limits to what they were allowed to do. And Superman brought minimal threats to Earth from Krypton, and the ones he did were soon destroyed.

The hero watches as the family, too scared to thank him, ask why he did it, or who he is, but he knows how they feel, and that’s enough for him. What makes a hero great? Is it the amount of people they save, the children they inspire, or their public image? Maybe it is. But Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man fulfill all of the above. And they do everyday, what an ordinary man would consider in impossible.