Corey Taylor’s Six Favorite Comic Book Characters

Would you buy back issues
from this man?
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

These days plenty of rockers and celebs have come out as comic book fans. Of course their true level of individual geekness depends on how deeply immersed into the format they are. Some merely pay lip service to the art form because it is cool — “Batman is awesome!” (uh-huh) — while others have a more refined pedigree.

Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor certainly knows his superheroes and supervillains, and the ones he adores are not all characters that outsiders will readily recognize. That in-depth diversity makes the list of favorite comic book characters that he relayed to A.D.D. that much cooler.

It’s always nice to talk shop with a true fan.

Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan — “He is like cyberpunk meets Hunter S. Thompson. That’s what I really love about him. But he is also so frenetic and out of his mind and so righteous that how could you not love that character? And just the fact that he is gross; they didn’t draw him as this lean, cut, musclebound asshole. He is just a guy with kind of a gut who smokes his ass off and does way too many drugs, and yet he is still coming from the standpoint that he believes in what he is saying and believes in right and wrong. Just all the crazy shit that happened to him…oh, so good, man.”

Jesse Custer from Preacher — “I could almost do a whole movie or book about all of the characters in the Preacher books. They’re so good. If I ever needed to find a good guy to help me in life, Jesse would be the guy that I really would try to find. He would be the archetype. He doesn’t take any shit, has got a very good sense of right and wrong and is not afraid to stand up and fight for his friends. That’s the guy I would want on my side when the shit hit the fan, almost like a Breaker Morant type. And the great thing about that comic book in general is that there are so many amazing quotes in it. They’re not very intricate at times, but there’s a quote that I say to my son to this day, and I’m really hoping it gets through to him. It’s just his dad talking to him, and he basically says you’ve got to be one of the good guys because there are way too many bad guys out there. I think that sums up Jesse Custer in essence. He knows he’s gotta be one of the good guys, and he’s not afraid of it.”

The Joker from Batman — “I’m a huge Batman fan, don’t get me wrong, but I think — and this is just something I’ve been thinking about recently — the reason I love Batman so much is because he is balanced by the Joker at the end of the day. Because as mad as Batman is, as insane as Batman is, he is still so ensconced in his morals and the lines that he won’t cross. He’ll go so close, but then he won’t cross them. With the Joker there are no lines. There are absolutely no lines, there are no boundaries, there are no rules. He’s really the quintessential anarchist, and to me, from his look to his laugh to his little non sequiturs that just come floating out of his mouth, he is just the ultimate bad guy. He’s up there with the Red Skull for me. He’s the eye of the storm, but he’s also the wind that wraps around it. He’s my favorite villain, and it was wonderful to see him actually played correctly by Heath Ledger. Finally. It was sad when he died, but what a performance, what a way to go.”

Apollo and Midnighter from The Authority — “I love the fact that it’s the wink-wink nudge-nudge version of Superman and Batman at the end of the day. They’re a gay couple who are also two of the most dangerous beings on the planet. They’re completely devoted to each other. Apollo is so obviously Superman it’s painful, and the Midnighter is so obviously Batman it’s not even right, but when they’re together they’re the sweetest people you’ve ever seen. Then they turn around to fight supervillains, and I mean brutally fight. It’s pretty wicked when you watch the Midnighter fly into some kind of interdimensional door, and he is basically flying an S-14 jet into a villain’s face. Now that’s just destructive as hell. They’re two of my favorite characters because they’re not afraid to go really, really dark, but at the end of the day they have each other to come back to. I think that’s a really good archetype for heroes, whether they’re homosexual or heterosexual. They’re not afraid to get their hands dirty and get the job done, but they also know that they have a righteous place to come back to.”

Spider-Man — “He’s the guy that’s been with me since I was a kid. I know he’s been through a lot of changes lately, but at the end of the day I always go back to the Spider-Man that I grew up with. He doesn’t look anything like the new movie that’s coming out. It’s like, what if Spider-Man were part of the Twilight people? I’m like, really? Is that necessary? So I find myself going back to the ’70s and ’80s archetype of Spider-Man and Peter Parker, the guy who I grew up with, the guy who always had his back against the wall and always was ready to do the right thing, but at the end of the day he almost always got screwed. But he always did his best to get it done, and I’m still glad that I had that to grow up with. I grew up without a dad, so I was desperately looking for a sense of good and bad. I found it in my comics, and I found it in Spider-Man.”

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