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I Just Don’t Get These Superhero Comics: What’s the Big Deal About Cyborg, Ghost Rider & X-Factor

I gotta say, I still love superhero comics. I enjoy checking out Spider-Man, Batman, and The Flash on a regular basis. I identify with these characters because they seem to grow as I’ve grown up. I can relate to the characters and understand why these books are still popular today.

I was thinking about that the other day and that got me thinking about characters that I just haven’t gotten into. Follow me on this journey, and maybe you can shed some much needed light on these characters for me.

DC's CyborgFor one reason or another, I’ve never been able to get in to Ghost Rider. It’s not been for lack of trying either. I’ve thumbed through a few issues and even read a trade or two, but the Ghost Rider bug just hasn’t bitten me. Sure, the guy (or gal) has a flaming skull and rides a badass chopper–I can get behind that because it’s awesome. I see the allure there, and understand Johnny Blaze’s motivations behind entering a deal with Mephisto, but beyond that, I just don’t get it.

I should dig the Spirit of Vengeance. I mean vengeance, that has much more catharsis than justice, right? I should be way more into Ghost Rider than I am into Batman. The reason why I’m not is still lost on me. Maybe it’s just because I have no interest in Hell. I’m not a fire and brimstone kind of guy. I don’t really relate to Johnny Blaze either. His character just doesn’t matter to me. That and I can’t scratch the image of Nicholas Cage out of my head whenever I try to crack an issue.

DC's CyborgI’m excited about the stuff they’re doing in Flashpoint, but I haven’t been able to shake the weird feeling that Cyborg is out of place. He’s a C character at best, and it seems like he’s been given the keys to the pre-relaunch kingdom.

His back story is typical of other superhero comics. His parents were scientists. He fell in with a bad crowd. He got injured, and his dad saved his life with cutting-edge technology. He’s had a hard time adjusting to how society treats those who are different. Cool, I get that. I just don’t understand why he’s still around. Also, why is he always teaming up with other people? Do his superpowers come with a severe need for belonging? Maybe it’s just because he can’t support a monthly title of his own. If you’re big on Cyborg, more power to you. I want to be there with you, but it just hasn’t happened yet.

X-FactorI love the X-Men. I love that the characters are so diverse and that they’re bonded by the fact that society hates and fears them. I dig that. I even enjoy its variations, like X-Force and Alpha Flight. I still find myself unable to get in on X-Factor, though.

I think my disdain for the book stems from the characters. I haven’t read the old X-Factor stuff, but I’m pretty friggin’ sure I’d read any superhero comics with the original team’s lineup of Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Iceman. But with the current lineup of Madrox the Multiple Man, Wolfsbane, Shatterstar, Richtor, Siryn, and Layla, I fail to see the appeal. Sure, I’m intrigued about what happened to the Madrox baby and all the fallout that probably happened as a result, but it hasn’t been enough to push me over the edge.

Do you love Ghost Rider, Cyborg or X-Factor? Good. I’m looking for a little education and maybe you can help. Have any recommendations for good stories to read starring any of these characters? I’m willing to do some required reading, all I need is a little guidance. Who knows, maybe this time next month, I’ll have one of these titles on my pull list. Please post your comments below. 🙂

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