Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
Plastic-man, really? He was big twice for about 7.5 minutes each time, once was in the '40s and the other was in the '80s.

My grandmother can pick out Superman, she had the first issue (her mother threw it away while she was at camp - classic!), and probably Batman and Spider-man, but no way she'll be able to ID the Flash or any of those other costumed crimefighters. And here's the thing, it's not important who your grammy can identify with, she's not a target audience on this. It's parents and kids for the casual consumers and tweens to 30-somethings for the hardcore collectors. If I went to my 30-year-old sister (who is totally disinterested in superheroes) with pictures of all the characters mentioned here, I'm confident she could name:
Wonder Woman
Captain America
Fantastic Four

And that's the key, you can't say to them "which one is Green Lantern" because obviously they can say "oh, it's the green guy with the picture of a LANTERN ON HIS CHEST!!!", it's about recognizability of character, where that guy stands in popular culture and how likely that recognition will be to the potential consumer.
Yes, Plastic man. Everyone knows Plastic Man. Besides, when was the last time Thor was 'big.' Or Namor or even Captain America for that matter; aside from being recognizable for the iconic imagery he presents, I doubt you could find many non-comic readers who have even a vague inkling of what his story is or anything else about him other than what they can imagine based on his costume.

Aside from that...looks like you've completely missed my point. Your 30 year old sister is hardly the target audience here either, and yet you still figured it was worth mentioning; seems like we're not far off the same wavelength.
I'm confident that no one I know who wasn't at least slightly exposed to comics or Superheroes as cartoons anytime in the last twenty years would be able to recognize even the Fantastic 4 outside of obvious visual association before the movie came out (even then, I'm betting most would've picked them out as 'Rocky-guy' and 'Fire-guy' or 'Torcher' and 'Stretchy-Guy.' The giant number 4 on the chest would certainly help a lot more in naming the group as a whole than GL's lantern shaped chest emblem.) Either way, as I see it there are still far more recognizable individual DC heroes than individual Marvel heroes as far as the general public is concerned. Having had more recent films in theaters helps, but even more DC characters have had better recent exposure right there on basic cable. In fact, I think it's their existence as part of the cultural vernacular in spite of the very lack of there having ever been a solo Green Lantern, or Flash, or Aquaman movie that proves exactly how recognizable they are.