2011 Top Marvel Characters #7-6

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...

7. Iron Man (Tony Stark) – 2226 points (34 first place votes)

Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and likely some combination of Jack Kirby and Don Heck (with the famous gold and red armor designed by Steve Ditko), Iron Man came about when millionaire industrialist 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.

Tony was always a social drinker, but over time his drinking became a major problem. His alcoholism is just one of the many areas in his life where Tony displays obssesive behavior. He was sober for many years, but recently took to drinking again during Marvel's big Fear Itself crossover.

A few years back, Iron Man was infected with something called “The Extremis.” Now, Tony is basically PART of the suit. He is quite literally an “Iron Man” now.

In recent years, Tony has been framed a bit by his involvement in Marvel's "Civil War," where the government decided that superheroes needed to register with the government (including revealing their secret identities to the proper authorities). Iron Man was the face of the pro-Government side of things, and when the fracas ended (with Tony's old friend, Captain America, arrested as the head of the opposition - Tony almost fell to pieces when Cap was seemingly assassinated while in custody), Tony was given control of SHIELD.

During the events of Secret Invasion, the Skrull invaders took advantage of Tony's technology. Norman Osborn was able to take over control of SHIELD and brand Tony a coward and a criminal. Eventually, Tony cleared his name, although his company was now in ruins.

Recently, Tony has started a new Stark corporation, driven by cars powered by Tony's repulser technology. How Tony will recover from the events of Fear Itself, however, remains to be seen....

6. Daredevil – 2280 points (71 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.

The catch?

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, is 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 perio,d 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). When even Milla was taken away from him, though (as a villain drove her insane, leading to her being institutionalized and her family barring Matt from having contact with her), Matt began spiraling again, leaving him open to an offer from the Hand to take control of the organization. Matt felt that he could use it as a force for good (or at least less of a force for evil) but he unknowingly was sucked into the organization's demonic legacy as Matt was possessed. Now driven insane, Matt pretty much took over control of New York City, killing Bullseye in the process.

When the demon was excised, Matt gave up his Daredevil identity. Eventually he realized that he could not run away from the past and that he owed it to the world to try to make up for his misdeeds, so he has returned to New York and crimefighting. Currently, Matt is trying to keep an upbeat attitude, fearing that any slip might send him spiraling again. As a lawyer, he and Foggy are now concentrating on helping people represent themselves (as Matt's excellence as a lawyer is tempered by the fact that everyone still pretty much thinks he is Daredevil, making it difficult for his clients to receive a fair trial, as the defense brings up Matt's vigilante antics constantly, making cases about Matt, not the client).

Tomorrow, the top five begins!

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