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2015 Top Marvel Characters 40-36

by  in Comic News Comment
2015 Top Marvel Characters 40-36

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…

40. Venom (Eddie Brock) – 396 points (4 first place votes)

Venom combined two popular Spider-Man plots from the mid-80s, the tale of the alien costume that Spider-Man got during Secret Wars (that turned out to be a symbiote that wanted to bond with Spidey) and the Death of Jean DeWolff (where the mysterious Sin-Eater killed Spider-Man’s cop friend, Jean DeWolff). During the Jean DeWolff storyline, a man confessed to being the Sin-Eater but it was all a hoax. Well, the reporter who reported it was Eddie Brock and he was ruined when Spider-Man discovered the REAL Sin-Eater. Now out of work, Brock discovered the alien costume and the pair bonded together to form a being who really hated Spider-Man. They called themselves Venom.

Now, to be frank, a GREAT deal of Venom’s appeal came in the way that Todd McFarlane drew him. Here is his intro…

And here is one of their fights…

McFarlane sure knew how to make Venom appear distinctive!

Venom believed that he/it/they was a good guy and Spider-Man was a jerk. So Venom had this whole thing about protecting “innocents.” This ultimately led to Spider-Man and Venom having a short-lived truce while Venom went across the country and was an anti-hero for awhile.

Eventually Venom returned to New York but Brock had developed cancer. The two split and the Venom symbiote has gone to on to bond with two other guys. Brock, meanwhile, first became a Venom-like creature named (that cured his cancer) called Anti-Venom. Later, he was forcibly bonded with the alien symbiote known as Toxin. So Eddie is now Toxin.

39. Invisible Woman – 401 points (4 first place votes)

Sue Storm, created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, was a great girlfriend to Reed Richards. She even agreed to go on an unauthorized space mission with him! And as a result, she and her brother were hit by cosmic rays and gained powers.

She joined the newly formed Fantastic Four along with her brother, Reed and Reed’s friend, Ben Grimm.

She now had the power to turn invisible, and over time, she developed the ability to make invisible force fields.

She married Reed, and the two had two children.

Originally, Sue was often taken hostage (she was taken hostage an embarrassing THIRTEEN times in the first 50 issues of the Fantastic Four), but as time passed and her powers got stronger, those days were long in the past. She even dropped the “Girl” part of her name (she was Invisible Girl waaay too long – she had a toddler and was still being called the Invisible Girl) and writers like Dwayne McDuffie made light of her hostage past, while showing how awesome she is now…

After the events of Secret Wars, it is unclear what Sue’s status is now.

38. Psylocke – 424 points (5 first place votes)

Created by Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe, Claremont seemed to have a bit of a hard time figuring out the direction he wanted to take Psylock.e She was a charter pilot/spy/supermodel. After taking over for her brother as Captain Britain temporarily, she promptly was blinded by Slaymaster. She was then brought over to the American Marvel Universe, where she got robot eyes from Mojo. During this time, she was rescued by the New Mutants. Soon Psylocke was a full-fledged member of the X-Men, who were so desperate for a telepath that they almost let Falcon’s bird, Redwing, join. Psylocke was with the X-Men when they faked their deaths and headed to Australia.

Here, the X-Men lost members to various maladies until the team consisted of just Psylocke, Havok, Dazzler and Colossus. So when Psylocke got a vision that they would all die if they returned home, she had no doubt that it was true, so she used her powers to trick the other three to go through the Siege Perilous with her. This ultimately resulted in Psylocke getting her mind placed into a new Asian ninja’s body. Originally forced to serve the Mandarin, Wolverine helped break her free of the Mandarin’s control.

So anyways, she rejoined the X-Men in her new form and eventually began a relationship with Archangel. Their joy was short-lived, as the mutant known as Sabretooth (who the X-Men were holding prisoner) broke free and proceeded to tear Betsy apart. She was saved through some mystical mumbo jumbo called the Crimson Dawn. She gained new powers and a nifty tattoo. Luckily, this was all dropped at some point over the years.

Psylocke eventually grew tired of Angel, so she switched to the sensational character find of 2000, Thunderbird II. She was then killed at the beginning of X-Treme X-Men. Luckily, Psylocke was returned to life through some plot involving her crazy brother Jamie. She re-joined the X-Men before then becoming a member of the New Exiles, a group of reality-jumping mutants. She returned to the X-Men and then served as a member of two different iterations of X-Force. She is soon to join a new team of X-Men that appears to be closer to an X-Force-style team than anything else.

37. Nova (Richard Rider) – 428 points (10 first place votes)

Richard Rider was created by Marv Wolfman and John Buscema to basically be the Spider-Man of the 70s. Like Peter, Richard was a sort of everyman, only Richard’s power came from the Nova Corps, where he was chosen (at random) to be Earth’s representative in a large intergalactic police force, much like the Green Lantern Corps.

Nova fought the good fight for a few years, until the Corps was disbanded. Years later, Richard’s powers were awakened by Night Thrasher, who recruited Richard to join the New Warriors, which is where he served for many years.

More recently, Nova rejoined with a newly reformed Nova Corps, just in time for the rest of the Nova Corps to be murdered during an attack by the forces of Annihilus. Richard was forced to absorb the “World Mind,” which was the basis for the Nova Corps’ power. He then became the most powerful member of the Nova Corps.

Nova used this power to lead the forces of good against Annihilus…

After Annihilation, he became basically a one-man Nova Corps as he set out to return the Nova Corps to their previous glory. Sadly, while protecting our universe from an invasion by an evil alternate cancerverse, Richard was killed.

36. Winter Soldier (Bucky Barnes – 436 points (7 first place votes)

Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Bucky was Captain America’s young partner during World War II.

Phased out for a short time after the war, when Cap made his return in the pages of Atlas Comics’ Captain America, Bucky was right back along with Cap, smashing commies.

When Marvel brought Cap back in the pages of the Avengers, however, it was sans Bucky. In one of the earlier retcons in Marvel history, Bucky now died back during World War II, in an explosion that left Captain America thought dead, as well.

Decades later, in the pages of the current Captain America series, writer Ed Brubaker revealed that Bucky had, in fact, survived and was revived by the Russians, who gave him cybernetic implants and brainwashed Bucky into becoming a killing machine for them. He also trained the operative, Black Widow, for the Russians.

They would send Bucky on a mission and then put him into suspended animation until he was needed again – this allowed Bucky to remain a mystery, as people looking for a young man in one year would not still be looking for a young man five years later, which is when he’d be unfrozen for his next mission. This is how he got the name the Winter Soldier, because they would basically just freeze him between missions.

Bucky eventually broke free of the brainwashing, due to the help of Captain America…

After the seeming death of Captain America, Bucky took over as Captain America temporarily, until his past actions as the Winter Soldier became public and he was forced to quit as Cap and return to being the Winter Soldier (this was also due to Bucky nearly being killed during Fear Itself). Most recently, Bucky discovered that Nick Fury had been secretly protecting Earth from outside alien invasions for decades. Bucky ended up taking Nick’s place as the new Guardian of Earth. I suspect he will be returning to Earth soon, though, especially with the new Captain America movie coming up soon (in which the Winter Soldier will feature prominently).

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