While comic-book message boards may be consumed with which characters are stronger — Superman or The Hulk? Giant Man or Colossal Boy? — BusinessWeek is more interested in who’s smarter.
“For many of the most popular characters, intellect is every bit as important as the ability to fly at the speed of sound or shoot flames from one’s eyes,” the magazine writes. “Creators of these comic book heroes understand that great power unfettered by intelligence can often have terrible consequences. Many of the most popular heroes have not only learned how to harness their powers intelligently but also to use their super gray cells to help them better fight the forces of evil.”
After a brief overview of some of the brainiest heroes in the Marvel and DC universes, BusinessWeek settles in for its list of “The 10 Smartest Comic Book Superheroes Ever” (I don’t think they’re necessarily in order):
- Reed Richards, Mister Fantastic
- Bruce Wayne, Batman
- Tony Stark, Iron Man
- Henry Pym, Yellowjacket
- Hank McCoy, Beast
- Bruce Banner, Hulk
- Barbara Gordon, Oracle
- Peter Parker, Spider-Man
- Charles Xavier, Professor X
- Ray Palmer, Atom
What, no Mister Terrific, Black Panther, Brainiac 5 or Kitty Pryde?