There is still some debate as to whether or not comic books can be considered works of art, or if they will forever be simple childish strife. To the naysayers out there, we'd like to refer you to a little book called Watchmen by the great Alan Moore. Or Kingdom Come by Mark Waid. Or The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. Not only do the aforementioned tales deal with mature subject matter and have intricate plots, but they are also hailed for their unique art style and dialogue.
Heck, Watchmen was ranked by TIME as one of the top 100 novels of all time! To that effect, comic books have given us some of the greatest quotes in modern literature. Sometimes they make us laugh. Sometimes they make us cry. Other times they might pump us up for the final battle or make us reflect on philosophical issues of life. Sometimes they come from the pages of a graphic novel, while other times they appear in films or animated shows. No matter their function or origin, the memorability and intricacies of these quotes are enough to cement the genre as a legitimate (albeit very different) sector of literature.
However, even the greatest quote in the world is useless without a character to utter it. Do you think you can remember who said some of the greatest quotes in comic book character history? Step right up and see if you can get 100%!
"With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility."
Unless you've been living under a rock for the last decade, chances are you know the famous quote from the Spider-Man series. "With great power comes great responsibility" not only instructs the wall-crawler on how to be a hero, but it gives us a life lesson that we can carry with us every day of our existence. But...who said the famous line? It varies depending on which iteration of the series you follow, but for this entry we are sticking to the live-action movies.
"You Were Made To Be Ruled. In The End, You Will Always Kneel."
Let's just say it- Whoever said this has to be one of Marvel's greatest villains. Surprisingly, the character was not a well-known one until just recently; they were one of the publisher's flagship villains, but it was in one of their lesser titles. This quote just oozes with the snide, evil charisma that goes along with this guy. Also, it really does make us step back and ponder some of the deeper insights of humanity as a whole and human nature in general.
"Peace Was Never An Option."
Always the optimist, this quote was said in X-Men: First Class by one of the main characters. This was the movie that revitalized the X-Men film franchise after the disasters that were X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (when the future of the series looked bleak). With the charismatic bromance of James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, First Class was able to show that the series could be successful with a good director and without that scruffy-looking Canadian that always took center stage.
"No More Mutants."
The legendary X-Men story "House of M" came out in 2005 and completely changed the game for Marvel's mutant family. In recent years the sheer number of characters featured in the title had gotten out of hand, and the publisher decided that it was time to hit the reset button. The tale features one of Marvel's most powerful characters attempting to alter the fabric of reality. At the climax of "House of M," this character utters the above words right before causing millions of mutants around the world to lose their powers.
"Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist."
Have you ever noticed how so many of our favorite comic book characters are filthy rich? Like seriously, if we had a dollar for every superhero or supervillain whose origin started with them inheriting some sort of fortune or losing their multi-billion dollar company, we'd be just as rich as they were! But then there are those (like the character who said this line) who have to take their bragging to the next level and point out all of their other positive qualities.
"We Both Looked Into the Abyss, But When It Looked Back at Us, You Blinked."
"Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths" is just about everything you could ask for in an animated DC film. The story focuses on the DC concept of the multiverse, where each reality has its own "Earth" that has its own variation on the publisher's greatest characters. This particular story dealt with the Crime Syndicate of America (an evil version of the Justice League) coming to our universe trying to track down Lex Luthor, who is a hero and their sworn enemy in their world.
"In the Brightest Day, in the Blackest Night, No Evil Will Escape My Sight..."
Any good DC fan should be able to get this one! It's literally the catchphrase of one of its flagship heroes that has been around since the Silver Age! This is the line taken as an oath at the beginning of this crime-fighter's career, vowing to defeat evil no matter where it may dwell. It has also been used time and time again as a rallying cry when all hope seemed lost. Here's a hint: MANY different characters have taken this oath over the years!
"There Is A Right And A Wrong In This Universe And That Distinction Is Not Hard To Make."
Kingdom Come is one of those one-off stories that took the DC Universe's established characters and elevated them to the next level. The story follows an aged group of superheroes led by the Man of Steel as they go up against their "replacements," a group of vigilantes who use more violent methods (such as killing and torture) to put an end to the evil in the world. This quote gets right down the the core of the conflict- Do the ends justify more extreme means?
"We Are The Walking Dead!"
Though it's not as popular as it once was, The Walking Dead is still one of the biggest shows on TV right now. What most people forget, however, is that it started off with humble beginnings in 2003 as a comic book series of the same name. The book had many of the same characters as the show, but there were stark differences in their fates and the way some of the storylines unfolded. This line was uttered in issue #24.
"Now, You Face The Mightiest Avenger Of All!"
The Avengers were Marvel's answer to DC's Justice League (yes, they came first!). In 1963 the original lineup of Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man, and Wasp took center stage as the publisher's "best of the best." A few issues later, Steve Rogers joined the fray. Not long after that, the team was shaken up again, adding the Maximoff twins and kicking many of the founders to the curb. The Avenger who said this quote must think awfully highly of himself...
"Deep Down, Clark's Essentially A Good Person...And Deep Down, I'm Not."
What is it with DC and turning Superman evil? It seems like whenever the company needs a new idea or wants to completely shake up the status quo, they turn Clark Kent into a vessel for darkness. In fact, we're fairly certain that every hero in the DC Universe has clashed with Kal-El at some point in time. This quote reminds us that, even when he is corrupted on the outside, Clark Kent is a shining beacon of hope and compassion on the inside.
"It's Clobberin' Time!"
This is one of Marvel's greatest catchphrases, having been around since the 1960s. The character associated with it is a force of brute strength in the universe; he is one of the characters that can go toe to toe with just about any other powerful character. A native to New York, he often delivers the line in a thick, impossible to miss Brooklyn accent. The character has been a part of the Avengers as well as a few other superhero teams.
"Life Doesn't Give Us Purpose. We Give Life Purpose."
In 2009's "Blackest Night" story line, an evil villain known as Nekron harnessed the power of the Black Lantern to resurrect every single dead hero and villain in the DC Universe to use in his army to fight against the side of good. What made this tale so unique was that it gave the writers a way to bring back long-dead characters in a way that didn't feel like a cop-out. Near the story's end, one of the heroes says these inspiring words.
"I Am The Law."
In a run-down city, this character lives his whole life by this catchphrase. He's one of comic books' more violent characters, murdering lawbreakers without a second thought in the most gruesome of ways. Of course, he is still a hero; he only makes sure to kill off those who have brazenly broken the law. This guy is also one of those characters that has grown to immense popularity despite appearing separate from Marvel and DC's heavy hitters. He has been in two feature films in the last 30 years.
"You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry..."
Anger is an emotion that has some severely negative connotations associated with it. Although we have all felt it on a consistent basis, it can lead us to be brash, hostile, and sometimes even violent towards the things that trigger us. Sometimes, the source of this anger is another person. And sometimes, we do our best to try and keep our cool in their presence. This comic book character cannot keep calm under pressure to save his life. But to be fair, he did warn you.
"...I'm Not Locked In Here With You. You're Locked In Here With Me!"
This is arguably the most epic line to ever be uttered by a superhero in comic book history! Of course it comes from Alan Moore's Watchmen. Is there anything about this book that isn't incredible? It completely turned the comic book industry on its head when it came out, and showed that the graphic novel could be more than just a book with pictures that had people punching onomatopoeias out of each others' faces. This quote is said when one of the titular characters ends up in prison with his greatest enemies.
"I Did It Thirty-Five Minutes Ago."
Possibly the most chilling plot twist in comic book history, this line comes at the climax of an incredible comic arc. After the heroes have fought their way through the gauntlet and are taking on their former friend-turned-foe, he reveals that they are too late to stop him. He smirks and informs them that he set up his bomb to go off thirty-five minutes ago and that there was no way he was going to gloat about his plan if there was any chance of it being stopped.
"I'm The Best There Is At What I Do. But What I Do Isn't Very Nice."
Like we said earlier in this quiz, comics nowadays are littered with violent anti-heroes and vigilantes who leave a large pile of bodies in their wake. Some, like Deadpool or Lobo, use this violence and gore to humorous effect. Others like Spawn or Rorschach use it to strike fear into the hearts of their enemies and to send the message that they must give up their vile ways or face the hero's wrath. This quote is attributed to one of the greatest anti-heroes to ever exist.
"I Accept The Fact That Tomorrow Will Come. And I Will Rise To Meet It."
The sun will come out, tomorrow...is the basic message behind this quote from one of DC's great superheroes. Tomorrow is never a given. However, every moment we live is one to be cherished, every day a new challenge. Sometimes these challenges are too much to handle. Sometimes, we taste the bitter throes of defeat. Thankfully we have inspirational quotes like this one to help lift our spirits; it reminds us that tomorrow is just another day and that we must always rise to meet its challenges.
"I'm Here To Fight For Truth, Justice, And The American Way."
Here's another one that should be ingrained in the heads of comic book fans everywhere. It may be a little on the nose for today's audiences (or even the ones back in the '60s and '70s!), but the catchphrase of this superhero encompasses him perfectly. He's a symbol of justice in a world filled with crime. A symbol of hope when disaster strikes. A symbol of the country that he was born and raised in. This was the saying that appeared before his old serials in the '40s and '50s.
"If I'm Going To Have A Past, I Prefer It To Be Multiple Choice!"
When you're as crazy as this guy, nothing you say can surprise people. As one of the more mysterious villains of the comic book world, the baddie who professed his desire for this scenario isn't saying that he can't remember his past at all...he's just saying that sometimes he remembers it one way, and other times he remembers it another way! Besides, what fun is it for the writers to have a character that's completely tied down by his backstory?
"When The Mob And The Press And The Whole World Tell You To Move, Your Job Is To Plant Yourself Like A Tree Next To The River Of Truth And Tell The Whole World, 'No, YOU Move."
Marvel's Civil War was an event the likes of which had never been seen before. Sure, superheroes fought each other all the time. However, the results of their battles never really had any sort of long-lasting consequences on their own titles or the larger universe. This story shook the foundations of every Marvel title to it's core: Cap ended up dead, Iron Man became an agent of the Government, Spider-Man was declared a fugitive, and long-standing teams like the Avengers and the X-Men were split up. During the conflict, this philosophical insight was delivered.
"The Future Is Worth It. All The Pain. All The Tears. The Future Is Worth The Fight."
Wait a minute...aren't most superhero comic books nowadays supposed to be dark and gritty? Or ridiculously over-the-top, ZOMG randomly humorous? What's this serious and inspirational quote about actually being hopeful of the future? One thing that most people forget about superheroes is that they truly are role models for the ones who grew up reading them. As much fun as the dark anti-hero is to read about, we'd much rather live in a world that was characterized by inspirations like this.
"Big Talk For A Guy With No Pants."
If you want to read something on the more surreal side, pick up one of the Hellboy comics from Dark Horse. The first tale was part of a Comic Con exclusive back in 1993, but fans instantly fell in love with the concept. The comics follow the investigations of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD), consisting of Hellboy (a demon literally from Hell) and his friends. The series is known for its beautifully unique art style as well as its dry, sometimes very dark humor.
"People Shouldn't Be Afraid Of Their Government. Governments Should Be Afraid Of Their People."
This quote has been the rallying cry of the people, even decades after its creation in the pages of the great Alan Moore's work. It's a fairly straightforward piece of philosophy; the character who said it is someone who believes in the power of the people and who thinks that their government has become much too oppressive. Although he is presented as one of the "heroes" of his tale, the techniques he uses sometimes make the reader question if they're rooting for the right guy.