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 tabulated it all into a Top 50 list. We’re now revealing that list throughout the next few weeks. The countdown continues…
35. Mr. Fantastic – 456 points (6 first place votes)
Reed Richards (created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby) is quite possibly the smartest man in the universe, although it was a mistake of his that led to him becoming one of the most FAMOUS men in the universe, as Richards led his college friend, Ben Grimm, his girlfriend, Sue Storm and her little brother, Johnny Storm, into a hidden mission aboard a spacecraft he had designed for hyperspace, but the government would not allow him to launch. Their journey ended with the four being bombarded by cosmic rays aboard the spacecraft, and upon their return to Earth, the quartet were each given fantastic powers. Reed gained the ability to stretch and contort his body into various shapes.
Reed convinced the other three to band together as a force to help humanity (while also constantly searching for a way to cure Ben, who was affected the most mercilessly by the radiation, turning him into a rocky thing of a man).
Mark Waid had a clever explanation behind Mister Fantastic taking on such a grandiose name…
Reed was heavily involved with the various “Incursions” that led to Secret Wars. It is unclear what will happen to Reed after Secret Wars finishes.
34. Scarlet Witch – 499 points (8 first place votes)
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Scarlet Witch debuted as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, foes of the X-Men. However, she and her brother Quicksilver were clearly not fully bad and would often break from their evil leader, Magneto, when it came time to do something REALLY bad (like the times when Magneto wanted to, like, straight out murder everyone).
They eventually quit the team and then joined the Avengers as heroes. While with the Avengers, Wanda fell in love with her teammate, the artificial man known as the Vision. They got married and even had two children. However, both her husband and her children were torn from her life.
She eventually rebuilt herself, as well as her powers – when she started out, she just caused “hexes,” just altered probability. Over time, though, we see that she can tap into some powerful magic as a true “Scarlet Witch.” Perhaps no better illustration of this was in the opening arc of the third volume of the Avengers by Kurt Busiek and George Perez…
After she had lost her children, Wanda had a bit of a breakdown. Writer Brian Michael Bendis theorized that she never really got over this breakdown, and had her have a mental breakdown and attack the Avengers, disassembling the team and killing a few of her friends. Later, this would be retconned as being the result of a Doctor Doom plot to up her powers (and then marry her, so as to control her).
Now with her crimes retconned out, people have tentatively grown to accept her again as a hero. She rejoined the Avengers and she will be having her first ongoing series soon.
33. Beast – 502 points (7 first place votes)
Hank McCoy was an original member of the X-Men (so he was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby), and he was a classic case of not judging a book by its cover, as the gigantic, well, beast of a man was actually one of the smartest person anyone could know.
It was his smarts that led to Hank becoming the first X-Man to actually leave the nest, and take a job working as a scientist. Sadly, some evildoers messed with Hank, turning him into an even MORE of a beast, making him look blue and furry and ape-like.
Undeterred, Hank kept on keeping on, and even joined the Avengers, where suddenly he was no longer an outcast, allowing his jocular side to really take over. Here he was, a blue-skinned “freak,” but since he was a member of the Avengers, people loved him! He embraced this role for many years, until he took leave of the Avengers and tried out leading a superhero team – the Defenders.
It did not go so well, even though Hank enlisted two of his old friends, co-founding X-Men Angel and Iceman.
Later, he reunited with the other members of the original X-Men to form X-Factor, where Beast stayed a member of until the team rejoined the X-Men en masse.
Hank then further mutated, now looking more like a cat than an ape. He had trouble dealing with this, even considering taking a “cure” for being a mutant during Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men run…
Beast eventually split from the X-Men over his distaste with Cyclop’s leadership. He ended up joining the Secret Avengers before returning to the X-Men when Wolverine and a group of X-Men split from Cyclops to form a new school. Beast then ended up messing with time itself to bring the original X-Men from the past and stranded them in the present. Beast then mutated again, but instead of taking this opportunity to go to his iconic look, he now looks like…I dunno…something goofy looking, honestly. After Secret Wars, he is now involved with the Inhumans, investigating the dangers of the Terrigan Mists to mutants.
32. Loki – 504 points (4 first place votes)
Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby (well, the comic book version of Loki, at least. I think you get the picture), Loki has been involved in Thor comics since practically the first appearance of Thor! It is a great twist on the standard idea of brains versus brawn (similar to Superman and Lex Luthor), where the muscle bound Thor has to always find a way to stop the various schemes of his trickster half-brother.
Loki’s schemes often go awry, including when he got a bunch of heroes to fight the Hulk, only to see them join together as a group of heroes known as the Avengers.
Fairly recently, Loki joined forces with Norman Osborn, Doctor Doom and the Hood as part of an evil cabal designed to rule the world. As part of Loki’s plans, he helped convince Norman Osborn to invade Asgard. Asgard was destroyed in the battle and Loki sacrificed himself to help his fellow Asgardians (which, in and of itself, was a plot, as he knew he would be reborn).
He then returned in the form a young boy. Written by Kieron Gillen, this Loki was an awesome character. There is this great Christmas issue where he has a little of Helhounds he has to find homes or else he will be forced to kill them (as you can’t have Helhounds running around)….
So sweet. Sadly, that era did not end well for Loki, but then he became an older version and still had some great adventures under the pen of Al Ewing. I don’t know what the future holds for Loki post-Secret Wars.
31. Iron Fist – 517 points (3 first place votes)
Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Danny Rand was on a trip to the mystical city of K’un L’un as a boy when his parents were murdered. The orphan was taken in by YÃ¼-Ti, the ruler of K’un L’un, who trained Danny in the martial artists.
Eventually, Danny became the best of the best, and attempted to become the holder of “the Iron Fist.” He succeeded, and now possesses the fist, which allows him to focus his chi and enhance his natural abilities to far greater than a normal human, and since Danny is one of the world’s greatest martial artists withOUT said advantage, you can only imagine how helpful that is.
Danny eventually paired up with the hero Power Man, Luke Cage, as the two formed a hero partnership and a great friendship that lasts to this day, even though Danny was missing for a time, and Luke accused of murdering him!
Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction, along with artist David Aja, gave Iron Fist an awesome ongoing series called the Immortal Iron Fist, where we learn that K’un L’un is not the ONLY magical city out there!
Iron Fist later joined the Avengers and will be re-teaming with Luke in a new Power Man and Iron Fist ongoing series soon.
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