#39 – Rocket Raccoon

Rocket’s always been a fun character but until recently he’s always been a character that wasn’t necessarily a joke but almost too strange of a concept to work. Of course, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, James Gunn and Marvel Studios all helped to change that fact in recent years. There’s been two origins for Rocket cause in one he’s from a planet of anthropomorphic animals including a walrus named Wal-Russ and in the other he was a gentic experiment, which is the one we see in the films. I actually prefer the latter because it adds a bit of adversity to his character. He’s not someone who’s a perfect hero, instead he’s someone who’s overcome the challenges that were set before him.

Rocket’s actually a very sympathetic character due to the experimentation because just like he says to Drax in the first film “He didn’t ask to become this thing, to be put back together again and again.” It’s a great moment for someone who’s typically so hard-headed and ready to fight to have this rather emotional delivery of these lines that explain why he is the way he is.

Rocket really grew for me in the second film and I love that he ends up admitting that he loves the other Guardians because they’re his real family.

Rocket’s not only someone you’d want with you in a fight, he’s also just a good friend to have by your side.

#50 – The Court Of Owls

Starting us off is a recent character. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo started their run on the Batman title in 2011 and in their first year on the title they accomplished one of the most difficult feats of creating modern comics : Creating an interesting, lasting, dynamic villain.

The Court Of Owls are a force to be reckoned with. They are run by mysterious men and women wearing Owl masks that could be literally anybody and they command a nearly immortal army of assassins known as Talons. They use fear tactics to tell people what to do within Gotham and if they didn’t comply then they would send a Talon to kill them.

They target young recruits to be Talons, predominantly looking for orphans and runaways in Haly’s Circus. The Talons are trained to be deadly killers with special attributes as well as given a special serum that allows them an incredibly prolonged life.

In their first appearance in Batman, they’re angry that Bruce Wayne wants to build up parts of The Narrows, a run-down area of Gotham, and so they send him a few messages and ultimately send a Talon for him. Naturally, that doesn’t go well but then you begin to see that The Court isn’t like anything else Batman has ever faced. They truly have a grip on Gotham and it’s up to Batman to stop them.

Since then they’ve spread even further throughout DC, even forcing Nightwing to work for them and honestly that’s why they’re on this list : Because they’re so difficult to stop. They’ll never truly leave Gotham and that’s why the Bat family will always have to stop them.

The other reason The Court Of Owls is on my list is because they’re a new foe for Batman that will literally last for years. As a writer I’m already thinking of the Stories I could tell with them as the Villains. They’re terrifying, they make you think and they challenge our hero in a way that no other villain can and that’s what makes them compelling.