It's Top 5 Thursday, with a twist! Today we're featuring a guest post from Kimberley Newey, a "Canadian/British writer of comics, films and the occasional webisode". She's a huge geek, and I'm honored that she chose to contribute to this little blog of mine! Her guest post is a top 10 list of the coolest glasses-wearing comic book characters! Wanna know who she thinks makes the list? Read on to find out!
When I was growing up (in the 80s and 90s), glasses were seen as exclusively geeky and decidedly un-cool. These days with the influx of designer frames and celebrity’s donning many intricately created designer prescription glasses; they have emerged as a cool, chic and stylish accessory. As a result, many with an eye for fashion and style are choosing to wear glasses rather than contacts purely for the fashion statement a great pair of glasses can create.
In the world of comics however, glasses have always been seen as more than just an accessory or a sign of geekdom. Glasses, sunglasses, and variations in between have been used to define character attributes, maintain hidden identities, and cover up mutations or strange features.
Comic artists use glasses to demonstrate or emphasize aspects of a character, and this isn’t always down to whether a character is geeky, nerdy, or intelligent. The inclusion of glasses, sunglasses, or variations thereof on a character design can greatly effect how the character is interpreted and must be considered carefully by the artist.
Here in ascending order are the top ten “cool” comic book characters who wear glasses:
10. Kevin (Sin City)
This creepy cannibal psychopath should not really get any cool points except that he wore his glasses very well. His simple round frames have become iconic for their ominous implications. All of this earns him the bottom slot (and a good solid punch).
9. Thessaly (Sandman)
From Neil Gaiman’s magnificent epic comes this bespectacled bookish vixen, an ancient Greek witch who was once a lover to Sandman and, later, to one of the Endless, Dream. She is ruthless and proud, though not malicious. Her main focus is self-preservation and as such she would not hesitate to kill anyone who would seek to harm her. She is equally very passionate and has been known to have quite multifaceted emotions, which earns her cool points. She is a very interesting character. Just don’t get on her bad side.
8. Bruce Banner (The Hulk)
Bruce Banner is well known as a reserved and withdrawn physicist who unintentionally creates a rather large alter ego, The Hulk, with impulsive tendencies. Banner himself doesn’t embody much in the way of cool but for his deep capabilities of love. The Hulk is an incredibly heroic character who is an embodiment of the otherwise restrained aspects of Bruce’s personalities. With throwbacks to classics like Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, it’s hard not to give Bruce Banner and his glasses some quality cool points.
7. Matt Murdock (Daredevil)
This fearless vengeance seeking hero wears sunglasses by day and a mask by night. His blindness caused by a radioactive substance resulted in heightened senses and powers which aided him in becoming a hero. With his nickname “the man without fear” he has definitely earned himself some cool points (except when played by Ben Affleck).
6. The Corinthian (Sandman)
The Corinthian appears in a number of Sandman comics. Originally he was created by Dream as a nightmare. Unfortunately once created he goes rogue, failing to fulfil his design and becoming a true nightmare. He wears sunglasses due to the fact that he actually has no eyes; in their place are mouths with jagged teeth. He is most definitely not a good guy, but he is a very cool character and an impeccable dresser who is decidedly suave even at his most disturbing.
5. King Mob (The Invisibles)
From the brilliant mind of Grant Morrison, this character is named after a London “Situationist” group. He is the leader of a counter terrorist team, and a revolutionary ex horror writer. His complex personality, intelligence and unfortunate violent tendencies, which he himself is wary of, make him a very exciting and cool character.
4. Kitty Pryde (X-Men)
Probably one of the most interesting and understated female characters in the X-Men universe particularly in Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men series, Kitty Pryde will always have that element of mysterious cool down pat. She does not currently wear glasses but during the comic House of M, we find out that as a teenager Kitty went through serious headaches as part of her mutation. She wore glasses at this time. Despite not currently wearing glasses, she makes the list for being an incredibly cool and complex female character.
3. Clark Kent (Superman)
What list can include cool comic characters who wear glasses without mentioning Clark Kent? Clark’s magic glasses seemed to have the ability to disguise his true identity, while the silliness of such a claim is joked about to this day, the fact remains that Clark Kent is one of the most iconic glasses wearing comic book characters of all time.
2. Cyclops (X-Men)
Cyclops remains one of the most popular comic book characters for his loyalty, ethics, self-discipline and incredible leadership qualities. He wears a specially made visor which has changed shape and style over the years. He also wears ruby quartz sun glasses when not ‘on duty’.
1. Spider Jerusalem (Transmetropolitan)
Spider Jerusalem is the epitome of irreverent cool. Warren Ellis’ creation embodies a sleek cyberpunk style, following the life, battles, and misadventures of gonzo journalist (inspired by Hunter S. Thompson). Jerusalem is dedicated to fighting oppression, corruption, and abuse of power by the government in an attempt to prevent their world from becoming even more dystopian than it already is. Jerusalem is a flawlessly written character who is unquestionably cool and thus, he is undoubtedly the winner.