Top 5 Legacy Heroes
In honor of the Fourth of July, the day we celebrate the great legacy our Fore Fathers made possible all those years ago, I’ve decided to do a breakdown of the top 5 Legacy Heroes in comic books!
Green Lantern comes in at #5. Originally, Alan Scott was the only Green Lantern and he had nothing to do with the Green Lantern Corp or the Guardian’s of Oa. His power comes from an object called the starheart and near the end of the old 52, it was revealed that he had no body, and was unconsciously creating one with his willpower. Since then there have been a lot of Green Lantern’s, but as heroes we will focus on just the Lanterns from Earth. Following Alan Scott we have the Greatest [insert corp color here] Lantern, Hal Jordan. After Hal we have Jon Stewart, the engineer, Kyle Rayner the artist, Guy Gardner the douche bag, and Simon Bahz the car thief. While the Green Lantern Corp has expanded ridiculously in the last ten years, that actually lowers the Green Lantern’s as Legacy heroes. Just because there are a lot of you, doesn’t mean you’re a legacy.
Another Legacy whose first iteration is represented on the Justice Society of America is the Flash. The first Flash, Jay Garrick has a particularly noteworthy costume, specifically the Hermes style hat. He is also the only Flash not connected to the speed force. After Jay, we have everybody’s favorite Flash, Barry Allen. Then Wally West and finally Bart Allen, who on top of being a speedster also has an eidetic memory. Most likely the most defining thing about this Legacy is their villains. The Flash has an incredible rogues gallery second only to Batman’s. With people constantly getting hit by lightning, who knows how many more Flash will pop up down the line?
Blue Beetle is an excellent example of a Legacy. Starting with Dan Garrett, the first Blue Beetle had gadgets and powers that seemed to come from a strange and mysterious Sapphire Scarab. His successor is a full on equipment based super hero inspired by his friend and mentor. Ted Kord was a beloved character for a long time until he was too good of a detective and stepped in it but good. During Infinite Crisis, the Scarab latched on to a teenage Mexican American by the name of Jaime Reyes. This Beetle is covered in an alien armor and has the capabilities to destroy the entire planet’s defense grid. I also feel like I should mention Peacekeeper. This motorcycle riding super vigilante has all of the knowledge of the Scarab, while Jaime gets to use the weapons and armor in the suit.
The Immortal Iron Fist is a Legacy, but one we don’t hear about being a Legacy very often. Since the comic has begun, Iron Fist has always been a man named Daniel Rand. Recently, in the Brubaker run of the Immortal Iron Fist, we are shown that Iron Fist is a title that has passed down through the generations. The most recent Iron Fist is a man named Orson Randall, but there are at least three more whose names elude me but they all get short stories in the Immortal Iron Fist series. This is an interesting way to create a Legacy without changing a beloved character.
I don’t personally care for Spiderman myself. I still, however think that everyone (else’s) friendly neighborhood web swinger fits the Legacy Hero bill. To fit, though, you have to go back quite a ways, all the way back to the Clone Saga. The hero had clones who took his place, the line of which Parker was the real Parker got very blurred, and there were quite a few Spider based heroes that showed up. Having one or two successor’s for a handful of years doesn’t necessarily make a Legacy. Then we come to Superior Spiderman. Parker has already had one villain try to take on his responsibilities, if you think back to Kraven’s Last Hunt, but none of them hijacked his body to do his job better. With Octavius playing the part of Spiderman, I feel that, while it isn’t orthodox, this makes Spiderman one of the newest members of the Legacy Hero scene. And since it was done in such a creative way, he deserves to be #1.
Honorable Mention: Justice Society of America.
This Honorable Mention comes courtesy of the special circumstances of the holiday and the particular article. The Justice Society in the pre 52 was an entire team of Legacy Heroes. What makes the team special, especially for the Fourth of July, that one of the founding members was Franklin Roosevelt and one of his ancestors is Magog, on of the series members.
So what do you think? Any Legacy heroes that should be on the list? Any of mine you don’t think qualify? Tell me in the comments below!