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…
6. Magneto – 1739 points (18 first place votes)
Appearing in the first issue of the X-Men, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Magneto was the opposite of Professor X.
While Professor X wanted to integrate mutants with humans, Magneto was just totally crazy, and wanted to, like, nuke the Earth or some crazy crap like that.
Eventually, when Chris Claremont took over the writing chores on X-Men, he made Magneto a LOT more sympathetic, and that’s basically the portrayal we see today (and in the X-Men films), where Magneto’s positions are shown as just a little more aggressive than Professor X’s, but not, like, totally insane.
In fact, at one point, Professor X even left Magneto in charge of his school! That did not turn out so well, but it is the thought that counts!
Magneto has gone back and forth over the last decade or so as a straight out villain versus an uneasy ally of the X-Men (for a time there, he was a key member of the X-Men, along with Cyclops, Emma Frost and Namor).
Soon, he will be leading his own team of X-Men, along with Sabretooth, Mystique, Psylocke and Archangel.
5. Dr. Doom – 1839 points (19 first place votes)
Doctor Doom, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, is that rare villain who is basically as much a part of the comic as any of the superheroes in the book. Doom is basically the fifth member of the Fantastic Four, only he’s super evil.
Victor Von Doom met Reed Richards in college, where the two were academic rivals, but Doom’s drive to be the best literally blew up in his face when his face was scarred by a faulty experiment he was working on.
Doom ended up wearing a metal mask to hide his scars (I like Byrne’s take on it, that the experiment only slightly scarred him, but it was wearing the mask before it cooled that REALLY scarred him), and soon took over Latveria, the Eastern European country where he was born.
Doom was a tyrant, but brought technology to the people and made Latveria one of the strongest countries in the world.
(I almost considered posting “Give me my money, honey” scene from Luke Cage: Hero for Hire, just for my pal, Iron Maiden, who I know loves that scene more than anyone, but I figured I’d lay off…)
However, Doom could not keep from trying to both A. Conquer the world and B. Show up Reed Richards, who he hates, like, a LOT.
It is funny – Doom is always trying to prove he is so smart. The dude invented a TIME MACHINE!!! How awesome is THAT?
Most recently, Doom took over the power of the Beyonders and has remade reality in Secret Wars. We know he survives the sitution, since he is now in Invincible Iron Man, seemingly healed of his disfigurement, but we won’t know HOW it happened for some time.
4. Daredevil – 2691 points (58 first place votes)
Created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett (with help from Jack Kirby), Daredevil made his debut in the pages of his own self-titled comic book in 1964. Matt Murdock was a successful attorney who was secretly the superhero Daredevil.
Matt was blind.
When Matt was a kid, he saved an old man from being hit by a truck, but the truck was carrying radioactive materials that splashed on to Matt, blinding him for life. However, the materials also ended up giving Matt a kind of superpower – all his senses were heightened, to the point where he could read newspapers just by reading the ink on the page with his finger. In addition, he gained a sort of Radar sense, like a Bat, only not sound-based, Matt just basically had a supernatural sense of where people were around him. It was how he was able to operate as a superhero, and how no one was able to connect him with blind attorney, Matt Murdock, because how could a blind guy do this?
Matt was a basic superhero for many years, during which time he was notably involved with his secretary, Karen Page, and the superhero Black Widow (they even shared his comic for awhile, as Daredevil and Black Widow). Matt’s law partner, and best friend, was Foggy Nelson.
This all changed with the arrival of Frank Miller as the writer of the book.
Miller introduced an old girlfriend of Matt’s called Elektra, who was a dangerous assassin. He also made Matt into a sort of a ninja, introducing a heretofore unknown sensei of Matt’s called Stick. Miller also made the Kingpin, a Spider-Man mob villain, into Daredevil’s arch-nemesis, while cementing the supervillain assassin, Bullseye, created a little while before Miller took over the book by Marv Wolfman, into a force to be reckoned with, even to the point of having Bullseye KILL Elektra.
Later on, Miller returned to the character, as Karen Page (who had left years ago to become an actress) was now a drug addict who sold Daredevil’s secret identity. It got to the Kingpin, who then proceeded to tear apart Matt’s life. In the end, though, Matt was too strong, and along with Karen, he began a new life.
Eventually, he even regained his law license.
Sadly, Bullseye struck again, this time killing KAREN, as well.
Reeling from her death, Matt was spiraling. He had his identity published in the papers and he even attempted to put HIMSELF in place as the new Kingpin of Hell’s Kitchen. During this period he married Milla Donovan,, who is also blind. Matt was able to recover from this period, and even was able to refute the identity issue (although everyone pretty much thinks he is Daredevil now).
Eventually, during an epic run by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee on the character, he was forced to give up on protecting his identity and was disbarred by the New York State Bar Association. He moved to San Francisco and sort of embraced his new public life (including a new costume). More recently, though, he has returned to New York and will be training a new hero in his upcoming ongoing series by Charles Soule and Ron Garney.
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