Non-American Superheroes: Ranking 5 More

The World Still Needs Heroes

Now I’m calling on citizens from all over the world
This is Captain America calling
I bailed you out when you were down on your knees
So will you catch me now, I’m falling?”

Catch Me Now, I’m Falling” by The Kinks

America isn’t alone in the superhero biz. Nearly two hundred countries each have their own champions. We’ve ranked the top 5 before. So who are the next five? Let’s find out.

#5 Death’s Head

Country of Origin: England

Death’s Head:Bounty-hunter? Oh, you can have the gun, but I’d just like to point something out. I’m actually a freelance peacekeeping agent, yes? I hate being called a bounty-hunter, right? Makes me sort’a mad, yes?

Death’s Head #1 (1988)

Death’s Head debuted in The Transformers (UK) #113 in 1987. He was created by Simon Furman and Geoff Senior. The duo released a one-page comic featuring the character before his official debut to prevent Hasbro from automatically owning the rights.

Death’s Head is an infamous robotic bounty hunter. He was hired by Decepticons to capture a pair of Autobots, unaware that they planned to betray him once the deed was done. Who knew people called Decepticons were untrustworthy? Death’s Head helped the Autobots escape and rode off into the sunset looking for more adventures.

He quickly became a bridge between Marvel’s main universe and its UK imprint. Death’s Head was shrunk down to human size in Doctor Who and unceremoniously dumped on the Fantastic Four’s doorstep. He has since fought many heroes, including Iron Man, Dragon’s Claws, and The Hulk. Death’s Head was eventually killed and rebuilt into the more heroic Death’s Head 2.0.

#4 Non-American Superhero: Cybersix

Country of Origin: Argentina

Cybersix:I’m not like them. I don’t need a friend… do I? He’s in danger. I have to help, as he helped me.

Cybersix “Mysterious Shadow” (Season 1, Episode 1)

South American characters rarely catch on in North America. Luckily, Cybersix slipped through the cracks and starred in a cult classic cartoon of the same name.

A genetically engineered super-soldier named Cybersix escaped from a laboratory. She disguised herself as a male literature teacher named Adrien and secretly fought her creator’s mutant forces. Cybersix is supported by fellow teacher Lucas and Data-7, her brother whose brain was transplanted into a panther’s body.

Cybersix is hunted by Doctor Von Richter, the mad scientist who created her. Richter’s son Jose is his primary agent, despite being ineffectual, weak, and arrogant.

The original comic was much darker. Cybersix needed to vampirically feed on mutants to survive. Jose was a grown man in a child’s body and a serial rapist. He and Dr. Richter were explicitly Nazis, the latter heavily implied to be Josef Mengele. The cartoon obviously had to tone down that content, turning the story into a genderfluid version of The Shadow fighting a mad scientist and his bratty son.

#3 The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Country of Origin: Multicultural

Alan Quatermain:Nemo, what are we doing here?
Captain Nemo:Ha! Yes, it’s curious isn’t it? The great colonialist and the great colonial rebel. For my part, if I’m honest, I’m here because I wanted another adventure.”
Quatermain:Yes. It’s hard to stop, isn’t it? When we stop, we start to fall apart.”

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #2

Most non-American superheroes we’ve featured have been solo acts. They may have a sidekick, but are otherwise loners. Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill bring together a team of Victorian-era superheroes from around the world: the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

The British government recruits Dracula’s Mina Murray to lead a group of special agents. Her allies are drug-addled hunter Alan Quatermain, Captain Nemo, The Invisible Man, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and Mr. Edward Hyde. The dysfunctional League battles Professor Moriarty and Fu Manchu, but disbands after ending The War of the Worlds.

Subsequent Leagues included characters from many worlds, helped by existing on an Earth where all fiction exists, from Pollyanna to Godzilla. Italian sorcerer Prospero and French madman Fantomas served as enemies while new allies were found in John Carter of Mars, Carnacki the Ghost-Finder, and Sal Paradise.

Unfortunately, this superhero team had diminishing returns. Moore began using the characters as a mouthpiece against modern fiction, with a particular distaste for superheroes, spies, and pop characters. It’s hard to maintain interest when Harry Potter is turned into a magical school shooter and also the actual Antichrist who gets assassinated by Mary Poppins, who is God.

#2 Non-American Superhero: Ladybug and Chat Noir 

Country of Origin: France

Opening Narration: “In the daytime, I’m Marinette, just a normal girl with a normal life. But there’s something about me that no one knows yet, cause I have a secret…”

Miraculous Ladybug “Stormy Weather” (Season 1, Episode 1)

We’re once again cheating to put two characters in one spot, but this Parisian pair doesn’t go solo. These Non-American Superheroes star in Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Chat Noir, perhaps the most multicultural series on this list.

Marinette Dupain-Cheng is a middle-school student who found a pair of ladybug-themed earrings. Putting them on released the earrings’ spirit, Tikki, who explained that they were a magical relic called a Miraculous. Marinette had been chosen to become a superhero called Ladybug.

Ladybug was needed when an evil Miraculous-user called Hawk Moth appeared. He used butterflies called Akuma to transform emotionally vulnerable people into supervillains. Ladybug is quickly joined by a carefree cat-themed hero called Chat Noir. She reluctantly puts up with his flirtations, unaware that Chat Noir is her classmate and crush, Adrien Agreste.

Chat Noir has power over the concept of Destruction, which he channels into an attack called Cataclysm to destroy anything he touches. Ladybug embodies Creation and uses Lucky Charm to create an object that exploits weaknesses. She can sacrifice Lucky Charms to cast Miraculous Ladybug, a wave of energy that repairs all battle damage sustained by people and buildings.

#1 Kamen Rider

Country of Origin: Japan

Kamen Rider: Human life is more important than even peace and justice. Don’t worry, I swear I’ll bring Tatsuji back to you… on my name as the Kamen Rider!

Kamen Rider “Gel-SHOCKER: Enroll in Terror School!” (Season 4, Episode 11)

Japan’s superhero output rivals America’s. We’ve covered two popular Japanese franchises, Super Sentai and Ultraman, but it’s time to complete that tokusatsu trinity. Many masked motorcyclists have taken up the mantle, but who is the original Kamen Rider?

Takeshi Hongo was a college student who was kidnapped by a terrorist organization called SHOCKER. He was transformed into a grasshopper-themed cyborg, but escaped when his doctor had a change of heart. Hongo began fighting SHOCKER’s cyborgs, using his cybernetics to become the Kamen Rider.

Kamen Rider has superhuman strength, durability, and can leap great distances. A customized motorcycle called Cyclone allows him to reach disasters quickly. While lacking the varied powers and transformations of his successors, Kamen Rider is an expert martial artist and tactician. He ends fights with the series’ signature move, a jump followed by an explosion-inducing Rider Kick.

Who is your favorite non-American superhero? Is there one better than these? Tell us in the comments.

Image: Copyright © 2023 – The Awakening Production – SND

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