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My Top Ten Marvel Characters...And Why You Should Like Them,Too
I'm writing my top ten list of Marvel characters because I love lists and Marvel comics. This is also my test run Hub, so please bear with me. Please keep in mind that this list is fluid. While there are a few who never leave my top ten, their positions change, and others come and go, depending on what's going on with the character at any given time.I would love to hear all of your thoughts on my list, and what your favorites are. I also welcome any critiques on the Hub itself. I understand this is a learning experience.
Cyclops was my favorite Marvel as a kid, and he still is today. I went through phases of other characters of course, but Cyke never left my top 5. As a kid I liked him because we have the same name, and because he's the leader of my favorite team. Back then I was always the leader of my group of friends, including when we played being the X-Men, so naturally I had to be Cyclops. His power was of course also a big draw. The ability to make anything you look at go boom. . Now, as a more sophisticated comic geek, Summers is still my favorite, because I better understand who he is.Cyclops has perhaps one of the worst childhoods in comics. He has no control over a power than can bring down mountains. He's had a string of crazy and/or dead loves. He's spent years being the leader of the X-Men, which is a group of super heroes who are hated and feared by the very people they save; and Cyclops is resented for playing the role given him. And he's played it well. He's done more for mutants in the last 5 years than Xavier or Magneto did in the last 60.
You can't really be an X-Men fan, and not appreciate Cyclops. Without him there would be no X-Men. You can't say that about anyone else except Xavier. Cyclops is under-appreciated because he has been portrayed as the irritating authority figure so often. Someone had to be; and that is not all he is. The last few years have seen Cyclops finally come into what he always was, the necessary leader of a group of powerful people who resent needing a leader. The recent hard line stance of Cyclops has been seen as out of character, but I think it is the inevitable evolution of that character.
OK, this one's easy. Deadpool is awesome. He's the funniest thing in comic books. He lives in this serious world with all the other characters I like, but at the same time he is apart from it. He sees things that aren't really there, but also sees things that are there that no one else does. He's the wise lunatic. The crazy person who rants and raves, but every now and then says things that are uncannily lucid and perceptive. Like he sees beyond this reality, Deadpool does. He's known for years that he's a comic book character. He is a modern day shaman. The crazy man in the woods seeing things that don't exist, and yet who knows how to fix so many people's problems. But all seriousness aside, Deady is funny. He says and does things that don't always make sense, but that are always hilarious. Sometimes he says things we all secretly wish we could say, but more often things we would have never have thought of. He's the perfect mixture of get shit done bad-ass, and complete idiot. Reading him is like watching an action/comedy/kung fu/secret agent movie all in one.
This one probably most of you have never heard of.That's because he's the most under-appreciated/utilized characters in comics. He was made in the '90s. He was at the top of my list when I was an early teen. Because he wasn't much older than me. And he had even more problems than I did. His dad was killed in front of him his first day on the super-hero gig. After that, he has to deal with being the oldest sibling in a single parent family, that also happens to have numerous enemies.Because the mother is a DA, and his father was a cop who belonged to a secret cabal of vigilante cops, though he left them when they started to kill people. He also saw his father taking a bribe from an organized crime head, right before he was killed. This threw his whole sense of identity, in his father, and himself. He eventually found out things were not how they appeared to be. Darhawk's book dealt with drugs, class indifference, kidnapping, rape, terrorism. This book about a teen hero was more mature than most super-hero comics of it's day. And that's just his family life. On the super side of things, he had an amazingly diverse power-set. Strength, agility, endurance, flight, energy blasts and shields, and sort of healing factor, infrared and night vision, claws/grappling cable. The swiss-army knife of super-heroes. And he got all these powers by switching places with a robot body. For years he didn't know what it was, or why it was made. There was a constant sense of mystery in the book. From this to the robot's "true face". DH had more guest appearances than a rap album. He was a rookie hero in New York, so he had to have run-ins with all the other heroes and villains. He joined a few teams. Watching him meet this world through his eyes, was very much like seeing it through our own. He was a hero, and the every-man. Or kid. Then Marvel moved on and began to focus on it's core characters again instead of new ones, and DH was left to flutter. He made cameos and brief appearances here and there, but that was it. Recently he has become a cosmic level character. I like this turn, because it's an evolution of the character. He has become too powerful to just fight gangsters. I don't really like that his whole history has been unwritten and re-written, but I take what I can get. This guy deserves to have his own series, as much as anyone. At the least, he should be on the Avengers or something. He's a big part of the reason I became a Marvel fan.
Originally, Ironman was one of my favorites simply because of the tech cool factor. I liked the armor, didn't really care about the man inside. In fact, I often preferred James Rhodes to Tony. I could relate more to him. Recently, however, I've come to appreciate Tony Stark and move him up the list. After seeing his character from another angle in The Ultimates and the Movies, I can finally see why Stark himself is such an appealing character. I usually like people I can relate to, or at least those I would like to have as friends, but I couldn't really say either about Ironman. Now that I've got a better understanding of who he is, I've come to see that he is one of the best Marvels. The main reason for this is because he's human. He's not a mutant/super soldier/science accident/whatever. He's just a guy. An incredibly wealthy and intelligent guy, but just a man. Theoretically, any of us could be Ironman; with a few extra dollars and IQ points. That makes him one of the most relate-able "super" beings. He's just a guy who uses the only gift he has, his intellect, to try to make the world a better place. Granted it took a near death experience to get him to that point, but isn't that true of most of us? And instead of wallowing in self-pity about his terminal condition, he turns it into an opportunity to be more than he was, and to help the world be more as well.
Moon Knight has never been in a movie or cartoon series, so I may have to explain who he is. His name is Marc Spector. He was a mercenary who was killed in an Egyptian tomb, and chosen by the Egyptian god of vengeance, Konshu, to be his instrument of that vengeance. To bring the pain to those who's actions had brought it upon themselves. He's a particularly violent vigilante, though he rarely actually kills. He's been portrayed as a werewolf hunter, a lunatic, a fanatic, an attempt to Make a Marvel Batman. Most of these things are actually true, or were at some point. Every writer that gets hold of him changes him significantly. But that's actually part of the reason I like him. It adds to to his general air of confusion and madness. And the madness is his biggest attraction, I can't help but be fascinated by his split personalities, paranoia, and schizophrenia. The violence and madness in his stories is as great a release as it is in Grand Theft Auto, Crank, or any violent production. I like him for the same reasons I like the Joker, but I can actually root for Moon with a clear conscience. Through all the madness, Moon Knight still manages to keep his focus on stopping bad people from hurting innocent people. If you like brutal but justified beat-downs, you should like Moon Knight.
This one probably doesn't need much introduction or explanation. I'd still like to share why I personally like him. It's a combination of his powers and his character. I can relate to Peter's life and problems. His constant string of girl and money trouble is a very familiar story to me. I think that's why a lot of us like him. Because if you take away the powers and the super genius, you get a normal everyday geek. But about the powers....wow. To be able to swing around a city. Not fly. Flying is easy. You don't have the ground rushing up at you every few minutes. You don't die if you lose your grip.I would love to be able to fly, but I think webbing would be more of a rush. Add to that super strength, endurance, agility, danger sense. Few people have as diverse a power set. Yet he's still considered low on the power totem, after beings like Thor, Silver Surfer, Phoenix, Hulk, etc. That just makes the things he does that much more Amazing.
She-Hulk is one of the funniest, and sexiest, comic characters out there. She has almost as many jokes as Deadpool. She has most of the power of the Hulk, with none of the woe is me angst or loss of self-control. Plus, ten times the hotness. She is one of the few characters who know she's a comic character. We probably wouldn't have that concept for Deadpool if it hadn't been done with She-Hulk before. On top of that, she's a lawyer. So you get a lot of legal drama thrown into the mix of awesomeness. Shulkie is a party-girl. Not a moper, or a mother figure. If you like powerful women with a big sense of humor, look no further.
It's MFin' DOOM! There should be no further explanation for his greatness. His very name is synonymous with greatness. The man is the best Marvel villain ever. Period. He steals the show in every major crossover: Secret Wars, Infinity Gauntlet, Infinity War. If he's there, he's the big deal villain. This is against beings like Thanos, Galactus, Magneto, Kang, Loki, whoever. They all pale in comparison. And unlike most of them, and most superheroes, Doom is a self-made man. His abilities come from his own genius in technology and magic. The Fantastic Four were an accident. Doom is a self-fulfilling prophecy. That's a major problem I have with the movie and Ultimate versions of Doom. They make him another "oops" super-being. That undermines an essential part of what he is. He runs his own country. He went to hell to save his mom. He's fought aliens and cosmic beings and left most of them on the brink of death. And he does it all with none of the deluded moralizing of the so-called "heroes". Granted he loses a lot, but that's usually because he takes on overwhelming odds. Or his own momentous ego brings him down. But if you want the greatest foil in Marvel, look no further.
A perfect blend of power, beauty, and wisdom. The second best X-Men leader, after Cyclops. She has perhaps as much power as any other hero, yet she's very down to earth and compassionate. Storm is either the person you wish you could be, or someone you wish you knew. Everyone on her team has been in love with her at one point or another. There's a reason for that. It's because she embodies all the things all of us wish we could have. Her tragic childhood and claustrophobia just make her seem more human and a story of over-coming adversity. Now, as well as being an X-Man, she's also the Queen of Wakanda. She was the one woman the Black Panther wanted to marry, when he could have had almost anyone. She reigns over Wakanda with as much grace, compassion and care as she has the X-Men. But if you mess with any of her people, she will absolutely bring the thunder.
Ghost Rider is perhaps the least likely person to be a hero who does the job. He made a deal with the devil (Mephisto actually). He has a demon living inside of him. He looks like a burning skeleton. That's not the mix for a typical hero. It's the mix for a Rob Zombie movie. Yet, the Rider chooses to use all of that to protect people. To punish the wicked.There are acutally two Ghost Riders. The original, Johnny Blaze, and the 90s one Dan Ketch. I'm kind of torn who I like more. Blaze is the original and classic, but Ketch is the one I grew up with, the one who was Ghost Rider for most of my favorite Marvel supernatural cross-overs. But either way, you have a true badazz hero. Ghost Rider is a good guy, but he is not for kids. He's rated R. There isn't a better mix of the occult and graphic sci-fi than this character.