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  • Writer's pictureJ J Hanna

J. J.'s Top Ten Heroes

What makes a good hero? Is it the cape? Is it strength? Is it an uncanny ability to thwart their villain? While I think these are all helpful when it comes to recognizing the hero, I don’t think they’re what make someone a hero.

A hero, according to, is "a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character." In the following examples of my favorite heroes, I’ll list their abilities and why I like them.

*Warning: This post contains some spoilers.*

Bucky Barnes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

Abilities: Has a really cool metal arm, and is an enhanced super soldier.

Why he made this list: He is loyal to a fault, and after everything Hydra did to him, the fact that he still fights to be good shows that he has a hero’s heart. When it comes down to it, he is not only a good soldier but also a good friend.

Peter Parker from the MCU

Abilities: Was bitten by a spider and gained all sorts of interesting abilities, such as climbing on walls, web shooting, and agility.

Why he made this list: One of the main reasons he’s on this list is that I think he’s hilarious. His general lack of understanding of how fights typically go, or the way he sticks criminals to walls when he catches them as if they’re a fly in a web just really get me to laugh. He was also one of the first heroes to interest me in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which opened the door to all sorts of other fun things. Not to mention that the concept of a man/spider hybrid is an interesting one.

Black Widow from the MCU

Abilities: Martial arts, slowed aging, Weapons master

Why she made this list: She is not only a resilient survivor of a life in which it was kill or be killed, but she follows her gut. She knows when it would be more moral not to follow orders than it would be to ignore her humanity and do what she’s told, even if that means killing relentlessly. Her fighting style resembles dancing, and she’s just reckless enough to be effective.

Dipper Pines from Gravity Falls

Abilities: Quick thinking and a good heart.

Why he made this list: No matter what he faces, his values stay put. He’s unshakeable, and he learns from his mistakes. Sure, he got desperate and let Bill into his mind once, but he learned from that and became even more wary against potential threats like that in the future. No matter what happened, he stuck with his family and friends and in the process saved the world.

Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians

Abilities: He has a magical shepherd’s crook that can spread joy and general winter excitement. He can also fly.

Why he made this list: He struggled with his options and after wrestling with giving up and letting Pitch Black win and believing the lies he was told, Jack decided that he wasn’t in it for fame or fortune. What mattered was that the kids stayed safe, and if that meant he had to fight Pitch, even though he was scared, he’d do it.

Oliver Queen from CW’s Arrow

Abilities: Immaculate ability with a bow or gun, strategic planning skills.

Why he made this list: He has proven over and over again that just because he is a vigilante he is not also a bad man. He loves and cares for his family and friends and has been more than willing many times to make the ultimate sacrifice if it meant they were safe: dying to protect the people he cares about. Time after time he saves the city he lives in and the people around him, and he does it all often without money and without enhanced abilities.

The Doctor from BBC’s Doctor Who

Abilities: Galactic Peacekeeper, has a sonic screwdriver and a time machine.

Why he made this list: Not only does the Doctor go around from time to time and planet to planet stopping bad guys who want to destroy the world, or making peaceful cooperation between species possible, but he also takes the seemingly insignificant people and tells them they are invaluable. He lets the girl who worked in a shop become the most powerful creature in the universe. He takes the ten-year-old and inspires her to explore. He takes a woman who has failed at or been kicked out of every job she’s had and convinces her that that’s not where her strength comes from. When one of his most quoted lines is, “900 years of time and space and I’ve never met anyone who isn’t important before,” you get a good idea of who this man is. He doesn’t want to be a warrior. He doesn’t want to be a hero if it means destroying the world. He’d rather be a coward anyday. That is what makes him a hero.

John Watson from BBC’s Sherlock

Abilities: Ex-military doctor, runs a blog

Why he made this list: It takes an impressive person to become a friend to someone like Sherlock Holmes. Sure, he’s one of the best detectives, possibly the best detective. But he’s useless when it comes to actually relating to people. John, on the other hand, is capable of relating to other humans and keeping up with Sherlock at the same time. It would take a saint to live with Sherlock Holmes as he is portrayed in the BBC show.

Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings

Abilities: Gardening, pep talks, being a good friend

Why he made this list: Of all the people in the Fellowship to be stubborn enough not to let Frodo go on alone, even if it meant he almost died, Samwise Gamgee was the one to do it. He was charged early on with taking care of Frodo, and he took that role very seriously. Between carrying his friend up a mountain, letting Frodo have all the food, and continuing on in the adventure even when it was the farthest from home he’d ever been, Sam was exactly the person Frodo needed with him to make sure the ring got destroyed.

Edmund Pevensie from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Abilities: Likes to stay inside, really enjoys Turkish delight

Why he made this list: I can hear what you’re saying now. “But J. J.! Wasn’t Edmund a villain? He worked with the White Witch, after all! Of all the siblings to pick, why Edmund? Why not Peter? Why not Aslan himself?” And my response to those questions is that of the children who went through the wardrobe, Edmund was the one who not only learned about himself but also came away stronger for it. Yes. He gave in to the White Witch’s temptation. But, he also learned from his mistake. He learns so much in his time in Narnia that he couldn’t possibly have stayed the same when he left, unlike Susan and Peter. If Edmund hadn’t learned the error of his ways when he sided with the White Witch, he wouldn’t have been able to defeat her in Prince Caspian. He was able to recognize the warning signs before it turned into anything too dangerous. This is why, when given the choice of all of the characters in the Narnia series, I picked Edmund.

Who are your favorite heroes? Why do you like them? Let me know in the Contact page or on social media. You’ll find the links below.

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J. J. Hanna is attending Taylor University for a degree in Professional Writing. She has published multiple devotions and book reviews and is a beginning comic artist. She published her first book Existence in 2015. Look for it on Amazon.

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