2011 Top Marvel Characters #11-10

After nearly 1,400 ballots were cast, YOU the reader ranked your favorite comic book characters of all-time 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 September. Here is the master list of all the characters revealed so far. The countdown continues...

11. The Thing (Ben Grimm) – 1526 points (43 first place votes)

Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Ben Grimm, the Thing, had his dialogue based on the popularity personality, Jimmy Durante, whose working class New York attitude fit the Thing’s attitude perfectly, right along with Thing’s battle cry, “It’s clobberin’ time!”

A college friend of Reed Richards, Grimm agreed to pilot an experimental spaceship that Richards had built. Along with Richards’ girlfriend and her brother, the quartet snuck into the launch site and took off. Sadly, the shields on the ship failed, and the four were bombarded with cosmic radiation, which, when they returned to Earth, resulted in the foursome gaining fantastic powers.

The problem was, though, that while all four of them gained powers, besides gaining super strength and super durability, Ben also was mutated into a rocky monstrous looking creature. As you might imagine, Ben was not pleased by this situation, but ever the trooper, he agreed to join the other three in the Fantastic Four, to use their powers for the good of mankind, while Richards would work on a cure for Ben’s condition.

Along the way, Ben began a relationship with the noted blind sculptress, Alicia Masters. She was able to accept the man inside the monstrous appearance, which did Ben a world of good.

Ben has a bit of a temper, so he clashed with the other members of the FF a number of times over the years, but for the most part, he continued as a stalwart member of the team for as long as the team was around. His longest absence came when, after an interplanetary battle called Secret Wars, Ben learned he could control his mutation on the planet. So he decided to stay on the planet for awhile, but eventually came back to Earth, and his monstrous fate.

He stayed with the Fantastic Four for many different adventures, even as the team re-branded themselves as the Future Foundation following the seeming death of the Human Torch (a loss that hit Ben especially hard). Recently, he also joined the New Avengers. MOST recently, he was transformed by one of the hammers of the evil Serpent during Fear Itself. While in his transformed state, Ben destroyed Yancy Street!! Only time will tell how Ben will recover from the devastation he caused while possessed.

Hawkeye (Kate Bishop) - 120 points

Oops, my bad...

10. Hawkeye (Clint Barton) – 1607 points (25 first place votes)

Created by Stan Lee and Don Heck, Hawkeye showed up originally a villain, but Clint Barton was basically an accidental villain, as he was so caught up in his love for the Russian spy, Black Widow, that he was in the dark that she was making him do some pretty bad things.

Luckily, Iron Man, who was Hawkeye’s foe, realized Hawkeye was really a good guy, and that he should use his archery skills for good, so he sponsored Hawkeye as a member of the Avengers.

Hawkeye served the team with distinction for many years (for a time, as the size-changing Goliath), as he went from having an antagonistic relationship with Captain America to a strong friendship with the man.

At one point, Hawkeye was even given the opportunity to head up a NEW team of Avengers, on the West Coast of the United States. It was around this time that Hawkeye married the heroine, Bobbi Morse, Mockingbird.

Sadly, after a number of years together with the West Coast Avengers, Bobbi was murdered by the villain Mephisto.

Hawkeye had some dark days after that, but he recovered, and returned to his normal self. Sadly, he was then killed during Avengers Disassembled. Luckily, he returned during House of M.

After returning from the dead (where he was killed AND resurrected by his former teammate, the Scarlet Witch), Clint had no interest in taking up the superhero game again, even though Iron Man almost convinced him to become the new Captain America. Instead, Clint joined up with a renegade group of Avengers, and took up the now available identity of Ronin.

Upon the return of Captain America, though, Clint once again took up the Hawkeye name and costume and is serving the Avengers well as a member of the team.

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