2011 Top Marvel Characters #96-93

After nearly 1,400 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 100 list. We're now revealing that list throughout Christmas Eve. Here is the master list of all the characters revealed so far. The countdown continues anew...

96. Monica Rambeau – 133 points (1 first place vote)

Monica was a member of the Harbor Patrol in New Orleans when she received amazing energy powers. She took up the name Captain Marvel, not knowing that there was another character who used that name (he had recently died). Spider-Man helped her with her powers and she ultimately signed on with the Avengers as a probational member (a new concept Roger Stern came up with when he took over the book). She took extremely well to super-heroing and soon graduated to not only a full-time member of the Avengers but one of its most powerful and competent members. Eventually, when Wasp took a break from the Avengers, it was Monica who was chosen to replace her! However, the editor of the book wanted Steve Rogers as the leader of the comic and he also wanted Captain Marvel severely de-powered (as she WAS pretty darn powerful). Once she was drummed out as leader and had her powers significantly reduced, she basically became a fringe character for the 1990s and most of the 2000s. She had a reprieve when Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen brought her on as the leader of Nextwave, a collection of heroes off of the scrap heap. She was played more for laughs (as someone who constantly talks about the time she led the Avengers), but was still a serious threat and, most of all, she was in a comic book again! Since Nextwave ended, though, things have been sparse for her once again.

95. Songbird (Melissa Gold) – 141 points (2 first place votes)

Originally the supervillain known as Screaming Mimi, Melissa Gold was one of a group of supervillains who agreed to pretend to be superheroes to gain the public's trust (the better to take advantage of them). Eventually, however, she began to enjoy being a good guy and when it came down to brass tacks, Melissa and a few other teammates stood against their leader, Baron Zemo. Now on the run, branded as villains but wanting to be heroes, Melissa has striven to fight the good fight ever since, becoming more or less THE backbone of all the various Thunderbolt incarnations. She was shown to be an Avenger in one future timeline, but it remains to be seen if that will ever actually occur.

94. Black Knight (Dane Whitman) – 142 points (3 first place votes)

Dane Whitman's uncle was the villain known as the Black Knight. Their ancestor, though, was a hero known as the Black Knight (back in medieval times). Dane, a scientist, decided to redeem the good name of the Black Knight by also becoming a hero. He served two notable stints on the Avengers. In his first go-around, he was notable enough that he got the above cover when it came time to pick an Avenger to draw on Marvel's 25th Anniversary cover thing (granted, that probably had more to do with John Buscema just preferring to draw the Black Knight to the other Avengers). His second term was even more prominent, as he became the de facto leader of the Avengers during Bob Harras/Steve Epting's run, and even was the center of a love triangle between his two teammates, Sersi and Crystal. He left the Avengers and actually became a member of a superhero team in another universe, Ultraforce. Since then he has been more on the back burner, serving stints with Heroes for Hire and the British superhero team, MI-13 (where he got to be a Romeo again).

93. Shang-Chi – 148 points (1 first place vote)

Shang-Chi was created as a way to use the license Marvel acquired to Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu character. Shang-Chi learned that he was the son of the evil Fu Manchu and helped dedicate his life (and his mastery of the martial arts) to stopping his father's evil plans. His ongoing series, Master of Kung Fu, was notable fot its long run by writer Doug Moench, with long and stunning artistic runs by artists Paul Gulacy, Mike Zeck and the late, great Gene Day. Marvel eventually lost the Rohmer license, but Shang-Chi has remained, showing up here and there to help superheroes out when they need someone to kick some major ass. He recently showed up in Secret Avengers and as an aide to Spider-Man, teaching the webcrawler how to fight without using his powers (as Spider-Man would soon be thrown into a situation where EVERYone had his powers, so he had to be able to beat them through his superior fighting skills).

That's the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

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