After over 1,200 ballots were cast, YOU the reader ranked your favorite comic book characters from 1-10. I assigned point totals to each ranking and then my friend Chris tabulated it all into a Top 50 list. We’re now revealing that list throughout the next few weeks. The countdown continues…
10. Cyclops – 1530 points (46 first place votes)
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Scott Summers was an original member of the X-Men. His ability to blast concussive beams from his eyes (controlled only by his ruby quartz glasses) made him a powerful force to be reckoned with.
Scott was the leader of the X-Men, and when the team was replaced by an All-New, All-Different group of X-Men, Scott stayed behind to be the leader and elder statesman, as it were, to the new group. He was great at this role. One of his best performances was when the X-Men had just been severely rattled during a fight with the powerful Proteus. Even Wolverine was practically shaking in his boots after the messed up things Proteus just did to him. So Cyclops has to step in…
Scott had been dating his teammate, Jean Grey, and the two stayed together even as she left the team. She soon returned, but (unknowing to Scott) soon was replaced by a cosmic being that looked like Jean. The cosmic being eventually went nuts, and killed itself rather than continuing to kill others. Scott was distraught, and left the X-Men.
The retired Cyclops met a woman who looked just like Jean, and the two married and had a child. However, when the REAL Jean returned, Scott quickly went to rejoin her. His wife was then revealed to be an evil clone of Jean.
Scott formed a new team called X-Factor, made up of the original X-Men. Eventually, X-Factor merged back into the X-Men, where Scott was once again leader of the X-Men. Scott and Jean married.
Over time, their marriage became more of a close friendship than anything, so when Emma Frost joined the X-Men, Scott was drawn to her, and the two began having a psychic affair. Jean found out about it and Scott broke it off, but when Jean was killed, he reunited with Emma. He and Emma became the co-headmasters of the Xavier Institute.
Recently, during the X-Men vs. Avengers storyline, Cyclops was possessed by the Phoenix force. While possessed, he killed Professor Xavier. Upon the Phoenix force going away, Cyclops was wanted for the crimes he committed while he was Phoenix. He went on the run and decided to form his own rogue team of X-Men, teaching new students how to be X-Men.
It is unclear what happened to him after Secret Wars.
9. Iron Man (Tony Stark) – 1547 points (15 first place votes)
Created by Stan Lee, Larry Leiber, Jack Kirby and Don Heck, billionaire Tony Stark was forced to help create a suit of armor when his heart was damaged on a visit to Asia. With the artificial pacemaker the only thing keeping him alive, Stark figured he might as well do some good with it, so made a more advanced suit of armor, which he used to fight crime.
Passing himself (Iron Man) as his own bodyguard, Stark kept on keeping on, even helping co-found the Avengers, where he served for many years.
One of the more memorable Iron Man storylines was when he decided to support a Superhero Registration Act, leading to the events that became known as “Civil War.”
Recently, Tony discovered that he was adopted. In his current ongoing series, he is seeking out his real parents.
The Incredible Hulk was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as the ultimate Jekyll and Hyde tale. Scientist Bruce Banner is caught in an explosion of the gamma bomb he created, resulting in Banner becoming a violent, destructive green-skinned monster called the Hulk when Banner is stressed or becomes angry. The Army wishes to capture the Hulk, so Banner becomes a fugitive.
That basically was the plot of the book for many years, changed only really when Banner gained control for a time, and then, when writer Peter David began a long run, having Hulk become an enforcer for a Casino boss and then later, merging the various Hulk personalities into one cohesive “Professor Hulk,” who joined a secret peacekeeping group called the Pantheon.
Ultimately, though, Hulk returns to, well, smashing. A few superheroes got tired of it, so they sent Hulk into outer space to settle on an uninhabited planet. That plan did not work, as the Hulk ended up on a warrior planet, which he eventually conquered. Finally content, the Hulk was married with a pregnant wife. Then the shuttle he was sent in exploded, killing his wife and most of the citizens of his capitol.
Now craving vengeance, the Hulk returned to Earth to avenge himself upon the heroes who sent him away. After the dust settled on THAT, a new Red Hulk was introduced that turned out to be Bruce’s former father-in-law, Thunderbolt Ross.
More recently, after Bruce was shot in the head, Tony Stark used Extremis to cure the injury, but inadvertently created an intelligent Hulk, who in turn sort of went temporarily nuts. It is unclear what Bruce Banner’s role will be in the Post-Secret Wars Marvel Universe. All we know is that there will be a NEW Hulk, Amadeus Cho (a young genius who was an ally of Banner for a time).
7. Thor (Odinson) – 1716 points (27 first place votes)
Created by Stan Lee, his brother Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby, Thor is the Norse god of thunder, who was banished to Earth by his father to teach him humility, trapped in the frail human form of Dr. Donald Blake (whose nurse, Jane Foster, was in love with him).
However, soon, Blake found an enchanted cane which allowed him to transform into Thor, and Thor was a hero on Earth, using his god-like powers and his powerful magic hammer, Mjolnir, to fight the good fight.
Thor often visited his home in Asgard, and had adventures there, as well, mostly due to his evil half-brother, Loki.
Thor was a founding member of the Avengers, where he served for many years, including bailing them out more than a few times when things get out of hand…
More recently, some secret of Thor’s past was revealed that suddenly made the Odinson unworthy of the name “Thor” and the power of Mjolnir. His old love, Jane Foster, has become the new Thor and the old Thor, now just calling himself Odinson, is using an axe he picked up from battle in Uncanny Avengers, instead. He also lost an arm in battle and has a fancy Asgardian prosthetic. We have yet to learn exactly WHY he became “unworthy.” I’m sure we’ll eventually find out during Jason Aaron’s run on Thor.
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