Well, it’s Hanukkah time. I know it’s not the most important Jewish holiday, but it’s somewhat a big holiday due to it being so close to Christmas. Now there are some Jewish comic characters, and some of them are REALLY good. So, here’s my top five favorite Jewish comic characters.
Arthur from the indie comic The Tick is probably the least heroic of all the folks on this list, but darn is he not great. He’s a great foil for The Tick’s off the wall antics. He’s just a regular guy who bought a suit off a yard sale, and it enables him to fly. He’s got no training, no real powers, and a huge lack of confidence. What does he have? A sensible apartment, and a lot of patience for The Tick.
Really, he’s just the straight guy to The Tick’s antics. He’s pretty much everything The Tick isn’t, and really The Tick wouldn’t have him any other way. He’s a loyal friend, and really is like an everyman. That’s why he’s my number five guy.
In the 90′s there was a comic imprint that had some really AWFUL comics, it was called Malibu. Malibu had the rights to a Street Fighter comic that was SO bad, that Capcom pulled the plug on it after 3 issues. Now they were circling the drain, so they did what any comic company would do: Scrap everything and start new. And this worked for them. They restarted a whole universe called The Ultraverse. And it’s flag ship title was to be a Superman like character, but had drama like a high schooler so readers could relate to him. This was Prime.
Really, the book was enjoyable. Young Kevin Green has the power to shift into his powerful other self: Prime. And he’s used this power to protect the world. Of course this also leads to him getting into situations his teenage mind just aren’t ready for. One time, he even goes to a bar, and a woman offers him a drink. He’s a kid, so he doesn’t even know what to get, so he just orders what his dad says he gets. He’s a good kid at heart, but still a kid. Really, the book was really fun. It’s a shame his imprint died, but maybe we’ll see him again. Marvel does own the rights to Prime.
Kitty Pryde. One of the X-men that actually talks religion at times. Kitty Pryde has done a lot in the world of comics. From a young age, she was training to be a ballerina, before Professor X found her. And the first day she meets the X-men? They get whalloped and imprisoned and she busts them out. After that? Well, she befriends Wolverine, and he teaches her a lot about combat, her best friend gets a soul sword, she falls in love with a man who becomes metal, she gets S.H.E.I.L.D. training, and she’s been to hell too!
Recently she’s sacrificed herself to phase a giant space bullet through the whole planet (yes, really). And she was hurtling through space, by her lonesome, until Magneto brought her back with his power, and his just plain Bad-Ass attitude. Now she’s stuck in phased form (not the first time it’s happened) but she’s back where she belongs. And she’s a great Jewish character. She doesn’t shy away from it, and it’s even brought up at times around Christmas, saying she loves the festivities of the Christmas holiday, even though she doesn’t follow the religion behind it.
Aunt Petunia’s blue eye’d boy Ben Grimm is a former Non-practicing Jew, who’s gotten back into his faith. Really, everyone pretty much knows The Thing. He’s the FF’s bruiser, and really a great heart under that rocky skin. He’s a solid man, who’s always out to do what is right, powers or no. Now his reveal of being Jewish is fairly recent (within the last 15 years) but really it’s a great build on an already great character.
And the number one Jewish Super Hero?
No, not really. Though, he’s pretty bad ass for having 8 flaming hands. But number one shouldn’t be a surprise to most comic fans.
Magneto flip flops between being a Hero and being a Villain all the time. Most recently, he’s with the X-men at Utopia, out to protect his species under the guidance of Scott Summers, but he’s doing it with pride. Magneto (aka Erik Lenshir, also aka Max Eisenhardt, long story) is a World War 2 survivor and his power blossomed late in his life, keeping him alive from the hunts.
His story is just so rich, and detailed, that each telling of it actually adds more to him. Infact, his latest origin retelling Magneto: Testament, by Greg Pak and Carmine Di Giandomenico really shows his simple upbringing, and some of the horror he had seen. It took years to make sure the research was thorough for this book, and Greg Pak really went all out on this book. It’s one of the best books on the market, and there’s next to no super hero content in it. It’s a rich and deep book, and it’s easily gotten.
But his story there is just a scratch in his life. Seeing the horrors of the camps, he’s very protective of his kind, swearing nothing like this will ever happen again in his watch. Magneto is one of the few characters, who’s religious history has had deep effects into him. This is why he’s the number one Jewish Superhero I can think of.