I always approach lists like this with both interest and trepidation. Obviously lists like these are personal, even if obtained from a staff the size of IGN. Do they represent some sort of global consciousness? Who knows. I just know that when a list like this is made, I want my favorite heroes to get some sort of respect.
Supergirl came in at #94 and I have to say I was glad she made the top 100. That alone is a measure of how much she has risen in the comic world. That isn't damning with faint praise. I don't know if she would have made this list 3 or 4 years ago.
Moreover, I was thrilled with the explanation that IGN gave:
She’s stepped out of the shadow of her cousin and is slowly building a life that is her own." "Though treated with prejudice and absolute fear during the New Krypton saga, Kara continues to take the high road and try to show humanity their potential, even when she hasn’t fully realized her own.
It is clear that the person who wrote this blurb is a fan and has read the comic recently, understands the path Supergirl is on. It really is a nice narrative.
When Wizard Magazine did their top 200 list a few years back, Supergirl landed somewhere around 150 and the explanation was they liked her belly shirt and short skirt. So this is a clear step up.
Now how anyone could say that Ka-Zar is better than Supergirl, I'll never know. But I was pretty happy with this ... it's something. And I am being optimistic.
Even more surprising was the fact that Superman landed in the #1 slot. I can't remember the last list like this where Superman was top dog. It is almost always Batman or Spiderman. I have even seen Wolverine in the top spot (shivers). So this was a pleasant surprise. And again there was a nice short write-up about the Man of Steel.
Superman is the blueprint for the modern superhero. He’s arguably the single most important creation in the history of superhero comics. Superman is a hero that reflects the potential in all of us for greatness; a beacon of light in times that are grim and a glimmer of hope for the hopeless. He’s an archetype for us to project upon; whether you consider him a messiah or just a Big Blue Boyscout, Superman’s impact on the genre and pop culture is undeniable.
I was so happy to see Superman in that slot. He is the archetype of the super-hero. He is the inspiration for all the other heroes, the role model for what they (and we) should strive for. He should be #1. He is #1.
I also was surprised to see Superboy land at #83. The dichotomy of being both Superman and Lex Luthor is the reason why he lands so high; that friction of his inner self certainly is certainly a great basis for stories. I have said before I never really cared for Conner. But Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire have swayed me these last couple of years.
Anyways, my list would probably look very different than this list but I was still happy that the Superman Family was so well represented and that the writers had such good things to say.