A Very Big Question

Okay guys, I was thinking of doing a count down of my Top 10 Best Marvel Superheroes for my reviews profile on Deviantart as a way to celebrate the New Year, but I've run into a small problem. Who do I put on the list? There are some obvious ones; Spider-Man, Captain America, The Hulk, who have to be on it. There are some that you may not immediately think of who could qualify (Black Panther anyone? First black superhero, big deal) and then there are those who you'd never even consider, but still made a big impact on the Marvel universe (the original Human Torch or Ant-Man/ Giant Man). So, I've come up with a genius level solution. I'm going to let you guys tell me who to put on the list. Give me your list of the Top 10 Greatest Marvel Superheroes in the comments below, with your reasoning why they should be considered as one of the top 10 and their defining moment in the comics (it doesn't have to be their greatest triumph or what caused them to become a superhero, for example you could say that Spider-Man's defining moment was the death of Gwen Stacy because it was the first time that such a major character was killed off in the comics, or Iron Man's defining moment was when he became an alcoholic, because it made the super-rich, super-handsome, super-heroic Tony Stark more relatable as a normal human being).

So, over to you. Who are your Top 10 Marvel Superheroes (they don't have to be in any order if you want) and why?

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10 Responses to A Very Big Question

  1. Blunt Object says:

    I could come up with 8 Marvel Superheroes that were, in my opinion, a lock for the best Marvel heroes. I came up with an additional 4 or 5 that could possibly be in the top ten but weren’t shoe-ins. I only included the 8 that I felt were undeniably the best and they appear below in no particular order.
    1. Spiderman
    2. Captain America
    3. Iron Man
    4. Thor
    5. Hulk
    6. Wolverine
    7. Professor X
    8. Doctor Strange

  2. DiCicatriz says:

    In no particular order and sorry not sorry for the X-men bias 😛

    Thor – Mostly as a separate entity, not as an Avenger. His backstory and the whole Asgard mythos has always provided so much rich storytelling potential. And he’s arguably one of the Marvel U’s heaviest hitters, which doesn’t hurt.
    Defining moments, too many to count. This recent one as he fights Uriel (of the Apocalypse Twins) is one of my faves:

    Black Bolt – A silent king of a hidden civilization who could level mountains with a whisper. ‘Nuff said.
    Moment: One of my favorite moments of his is from Paul Jenkins ‘Inhumans’ miniseries. His nightly routine, so indicative of what kind of discipline it takes him to wield such power:

    Jean Grey – Despite her being the poster-child for superhero resurrection, she’s always been such a compelling character to me; just the idea that she literally ascended to godhood and had to cope with that (not always very well mind you).
    Moment: She’s got a lot of great moments, but this exchange when she confronted the U-Men (mutant hating fanatics) at her school is nice. (Plus she looked amaaaaaaazing in the whole black leather thing they had going on at the time):

    Vision – His awesome three-color costume, the whole ‘learning to be human’ thing, and his ultra unique powerset that isn’t just another copy of “I’m a robot so super-strength and lasers”. Plus he’s always the first in line to take the hit if it means the survival of everyone else. Poor guy’s been dismantled and put back together so many times.
    Moment: Let’s be honest. Vision’s family drama has always been the best family drama.

    Invisible Woman – Coming from her classic “Don’t speak unless spoken to” origins (thank you very much 1960s Mr. Fantastic), she’s surprisingly developed into one of the strongest women in the Marvel U. I adore the fact that she’s a loving mother, but she could crack open a Celestial’s brain pan if she wanted to.
    Moment: A more recent example of Celestial breaking (Thor couldn’t event dent these guys without a specially enchanted) http://imgur.com/VIP5wiW

    Colossus – My favorite X-man and maybe my favorite Marvel hero period. He’s invulnerable and could twist you apart with his hands, but he’s always been one of the most sensitive of the X-men. He cares about people, he’s an artist. Swoooon.
    Moment: Killing himself to cure the Legacy Virus. (if only he didn’t have to die with that stupid ponytail)

    Shadowcat – Not just because hers and Colossus’s love story is pretty much my favorite, but because she’s such a kickass lady. Awesome powers, all the courage in the world, and pretty much the conscience of the X-men.
    Moment: It’s pretty obvious what it was going to be. (context: That’s a GIANT BULLET she just PHASED THROUGH THE ENTIRE PLANET)

    Dr. Strange – One of the weirdest Marvel heroes, and arguably one of the most powerful. I love that unlike most masters of the mystic he’s not some hallowed sacrosanct ideal. He’s a talented guy who got REALLY good at magic, but he’s flawed. He’s arrogant, selfish, and altogether human.
    Moment: While I’m not the biggest fan of this whole incursion business that Hickman has going on with the Illuminati and the New Avengers, it did lead to one of Doc’s most badass (and most damning) moments, going all Cthulhu to destroy an alternate earth (with its Justice League rip offs) and save his universe:

    Northstar – One of the first openly LGBT Marvel characters. But he didn’t make my list for token-ness. I love that he’s an LGBT hero, but he’s also a big jerk. He’s not a shining perfect example, his sexuality is a natural (and defining at times, yes) part of him, but it’s not the only part. But in true heroic fashion, while he may be a bit of an a-hole, he’s always put himself on the line. And even after having been killed, resurrected, brainwashed and put through the ringer, he’s still fighting the good fight.
    Moment: You thought I was going to post the wedding, didn’t you? Here he is during his “not quite right in the head” days, handing the entire X-men roster their collective asses.

    Storm – Because she is literally the Beyonce of the Marvel Universe. Flawless. And even though she is one of the world’s most powerful mutants, she’s just as powerful without them. A capable leader and all around badass woman.
    Moment: I was going to post the moment she beat Cyclops in a one-on-one for leadership of the X-men, WITHOUT her powers, but I couldn’t find it. So instead here she is fighting Cyclops with her powers.

  3. Worf says:

    I’m WAY more of a DC guy, but my list would mirror Blunt Object’s one. I would add Reed Richards to it. I’d be hard pressed to finish the 10th place of the list though. All my other personal likes in the Marvel Universe are lesser characters that may not belong to a “10 Best” list. Names such as Shadowcat, Iron Fist, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Daredevil or Punisher. So, that’s my $0.02.

  4. CKnap says:

    I havnt read a whole lot of the comics but MY top ten list just from personal preference is:

    Spiderman: All around great hero, has had serious story growth and has had serious loss.

    Hulk: Has had a major amount of growth going from a monster to an intelligent monster to a unstoppable powerhouse.

    Captain America: Good for the sake of good, always fighting for the right thing.

    Venom/AntiVenom: From major villain to anti hero, he’s a really interesting and diverse character.

    Colossus: Hes big and strong!

    Iron Man: An ordinary human has made himself into a superpower to match some of the strongest.

    Deadpool: FUNNY!

    thats my list for the moment.

  5. Malfar says:

    Me, too, I’m more of a DC guy, but still I like Marvel comics so much that I can’t dodge this question. So, my top ten. In no particular order.

    1. Captain America. The whole “Just-Slightly-Above-Regular” guy. I like the idea. And he had a lot of very interesting adventures, too. Memorable, if not defining moment for me would be his disfigurement at the hands of Rob Liefeld XD

    2. Dr. Strange. He is the Sorceror Supreme, and it feels very weird for me, but I like him more then DC’s sorceror supreme aka Dr. Fate. Although to my shame I haven’t read many comics with Dr. Strange.

    3. Reed Richards. A Scientist Supreme, using not only his stretching body, but his genius mind, too. I have yet to read comics with him, but he is already great for me.

    4. Silver Surfer. He defied his master before it was mainstream. He looks stylish wearing absolutely nothing. He started a wave of joking and serious copycats (There was even a Character Design Contest here on this very site).

    5. The Beast. Part Avenger, part X-man and all soul. One of the most adorable avenging guys and definitely the most adorable x-dude. The defining moment will be his Avengers days. And especially that time when he sang with Wonderman. “Missus Brown, you’ve got a lovely daught-urrrr~~~”.

    6. The Incredible Hulk. The whole multiple personality disorder that is not unusual for the regular guys in our world…although with much less destruction involved. The memorable moment would be his Mr. Fixit period.

    7. Speedball/Penance. Everybody mentions this guy as a symbol of totally bad character and I like him. A goofy kid turning into a masochist emo with badass spikes protruding everywhere? That’s actually interesting.

    8. Carol Danvers. Hers is a story full of adventures and transformations. Once again, being a DC guy I didn’t read many comics with her, but her life did see some changes. From Ms. Marvel to Captain Marvel to some cosmic weird woman back to Ms. Marvel…it’s easy to get confused which I probably did.

    9. Rogue. A very interesting character who started as a baddie and transformed into one of my favorite X-Men and (if I understood some of the recent events correctly) Avengers.

    10. Iron Man. A hero. Sometimes a villain. An alcoholic and a work-a-holic. And the guy whose suits need a parking lot instead of a simple storage chest. His defining and totally memorable moment is the loss of his company.

  6. Arioch says:

    Wow. Hard one. In no particular order

    She’s just perfect. Incredibly charismatic, regal, a great leader, a great friend… My favorite x-wo-man.

    I just love marvel’s Thor, complete with pseudo-shakespearien accent.

    Dr Strange
    An oddball in a world of superhumans, the master of the mystic arts is both very powerful, and quite wimpy, being a normal human. And he’s got the best props this side of Mjolnir, including a mystical mansion and library.

    The charming rogue.

    Carol Danvers
    She went through a lot, yet came through as a hero in her own right

    A great character, and a free woman, who does as she pleases, including having sex for pleasure’s sake (something some people still have trouble accepting). Also, her series are often quite fun.

    Molly Hayes
    LOVED princess powerful.

    The fixer
    More of a gadgeeter than Iron Man, he’s kinda like Dr Strange, but with the tech.

    Loved Nathan Summers and his balance between soldier, psychic and mystic warrior.

  7. darkvatican says:

    Obviously everyone has their own opinions, and my own opinions in this area usually torque people off. Even though great characters often have abysmal writing/art, that is not necessarily the defining nature of those characters. Anyways, here’s my line-up in no particular:

    1. Captain America
    This character, like any major character in the Marvel U (whether they’re a good character or not), has had many defining points in his story lines. I would say that his ability to cope with waking up in a world he barely recognizes and that he was STILL able to define the role of a hero for that generation are clear examples of why he is one of Marvel’s greatest characters.

    2. Cyclops
    Like Captain America, Scott Summers has been through a lot. At almost every turn, SOMEONE has proven that he’s either not good enough to be the leader of the X-Men or that they’re better than he’ll ever be. Despite all of that, he has always managed to be the driving force for the X-Men, as a whole. He isn’t the greatest leader, but he’s more reliable than those who’ve shown themselves to be “better” leaders. He also isn’t the most powerful, but he’s still the one that the X-Men have always come back to. In many ways, Cyclops IS the X-Men, even more so than Professor X.

    3. The Incredible Hulk
    A character that crossed over from the genre of horror/fantasy and became a “superhero” more successfully than most any other. The eternal struggle of this character’s nature will forever make him one of the greats, in my opinion.

    4. Iron Man
    A very layered and multi-dimensional character, Tony Stark has had some of the BEST writing in the entire Marvel U. From the character’s humble origins (his origin was somewhat ho-hum, in my opinion), this character has become one of the Marvel U’s go-to people for brains, brawn, AND for his leadership. No other mega-brain in the Marvel U can make that claim, as far as I’m aware.

    5. Thor
    So many characters were made to counter DC’s Superman comic sales, but none had more traction than Thor. Thor was the first character Marvel made (certainly the best-known, if not the first) that dipped into the mythological realms to find a countering force for the pseudo-sci-fi nature of DC’s super-powerful humanoid alien powerhouse, Superman. Thor’s adventures were much more evocative for the average reader. The themes were accessible and relate-able for most all readers. Thor’s strength of moral character and his literal strengths as a hero have shown him to be one of Marvel’s greatest.

    6. Black Panther
    This character started out as a minor player, but he has morphed into one of Marvel’s iconic leader figures. The fact that he was chosen as one of the heads of the Illuminati serves as proof that he has transcended his original written role and become something much MUCH more. In this way, I think he has become one of Marvel’s greatest.

    7. Namor
    Very few characters can be at odds with EVERY part of their own comic universe and STILL be a leading character. Namor somehow manages to pull it off. As much as I love to hate the guy, he has remained relevant throughout the many years of his comics by morphing into something new and accessible for the majority of readers. And yet, through every metamorphosis, he’s still maintained that semi-hostile nature towards all other elements of the Marvel U. Add to the tenacity of the character that he is also one of the most powerful in the Marvel U, and you have a recipe for greatness.

    8. Vision
    Even though Vision has, at many times, been “dead”, he is still one of the Marvel u’s most iconic characters. He isn’t the first completely android superhero, but he has a quality to his character that made him undeniably “human” and yet he still pulled off the detached, AI-driven observer-of-mortals-type role that has so often been copied or attempted (and failed, more often than not). And nobody can pull off yellow, green, and red like the Vision, except possibly a traffic light. ;-]

    9. Human Torch
    Johnny Storm is another iconic character in the same design style as Silver Surfer. The image of Torch went beyond the idea of the brightly-colored superhero wreathed in flames, and instead he WAS the flame. That image has been copied a number of times since Torch’s debut, but the character has become much more than just another flame-thrower. Johnny Storm has matured through several stages from prankster and show-off into a solid, reliable character of immense power-potential. Although he isn’t specifically credited as a speedster, he’s supposed to be one of the Marvel U’s fastest flyers, to boot (last I checked, anyhow).

    10. Spider-Man
    My most despised favorite. One of Marvel’s two most over-written and overblown heroes. No-one can deny that Spider-Man’s status as a cash cow has led to the character being the leading man on more independent series, crossovers, and story arcs than any other character in the Marvel U. He’s been on seemingly ever major team of heroes, at one point or another. Spider-Man has had some of Marvel’s best every-man stories. He has arguably had the most tragedies of all Marvel’s heroes. He has been one of the most powerful beings in the universe, a giant bug, a hulk, he’s played iron-man dress-up, he’s been cloned, and he’s BEEN the clone, he’s been bad, he’s been possessed, he’s got more costumes for his one persona than MOST other heroes do. Usually though, he’s just a low-to-middling level hero who, wearing his classic costume, still deals with street thugs as often as he deals with super-powerful baddies. Peter Parker has been frustrating, enviable, pathetic, despicable, laudable, hateful, admirable, vengeful, blood-thirsty, panic-stricken, chicken, and just plain whiny more often than any other hero in the Marvel Universe. And yet, through it all, he’s still one of the most understandable characters for people to relate to. He has simple goals that are nearly always juuust out of reach. Without a doubt, he’s one of Marvel’s best characters.

  8. Sabrina says:

    Dude, this is hard. Let me sit and think about this one for a moment… Can I include all the Runaways as a single entity? No? Rats.

    In no particular order…

    1. Captain America. Because he kind of stands for a larger metaphor if you read too much into things. And that scene towards the end of Civil War where *SPOILER ALERT???* (better be safe than sorry) he’s lying dead on the table and Iron Man is kneeling next to him is pretty much the only powerful moment I’ve seen in modern-ish comics. I actually felt EMOTION at a character death. Considering how desensitized I’ve become to those, that was an impressive feat on Marvel’s part.

    2. Ms. Marvel. (The new Kamala Khan version.) I know she’s new to the Marvel family, but I feel like she started something awesome. For the most part, I’m not a big fan of Marvel redoing all their characters with a more “politically-correct” slant. I hate female Thor with a passion. I want an awesome female character, but I don’t want her to replace Thor. Thor is a dude. Give the new character some awesome name like Voltage if they want her to have lightning powers and let her be her own hero. But I’m getting off subject… I feel like Kamala started a new deal with Marvel where they started treating their female characters with more respect. They’ve tried in the past, but it’s only recently that a lot of female characters have become more than just a sex object and I feel that started with Kamala. There was a lot of positive feedback with her character and it seems that Marvel paid attention to the people who said they wanted female characters who weren’t either a) a sex object, b) overpowered to prove that “women are strong” or c) both. I can’t wait to see what happens with Kamala.

    3. Nico Minoru. Because I can’t count all the Runaways as a single character, I’m picking one of my favorites from that series. Plus she owned the shining moment of Avengers Arena, a comic book run that I’m not sure I really enjoyed but I felt oddly fascinated in reading. Apparently there were more than what I read, but I didn’t read past what I felt was the end.

    4. Hawkeye. I’m not sure I can really explain this one. He’s just always been the character I could relate to the most. While the other guys with superpowers took on giant aliens and robots, Hawkeye was in the background, doing his own thing. He was funny and arrogant and got me through some really boring issues. His new series is pretty great as well, though I’m way behind.

    5. Black Bolt. I confess that I don’t know much about him, but I’ve always thought his character is unique and fresh in a world of overused characters. I wish we could have more like him.

    6. Spider-Man. I almost didn’t put him on the list because he’s been force-fed down our throats so many times, but I loved him in the New Avengers series. He added the spirit to the team, so I like him for many of the same reasons that I love Hawkeye. Plus, I entertained myself by shouting at him for the first half of Civil War. I’m still mad at what they did with his character during that time, but he came around at the end.

    7. Gambit. Honestly, I don’t know too much about Gambit either, but you’ve got to admit that he’s got style. I’m looking for some good runs with him in it, if anyone has any suggestions.

    8. Falcon. Not Captain Falcon. Not FalCap. I mean the REAL Falcon, before some idiot decided that he wasn’t cool enough and he needed an upgrade to become Captain America. I liked Falcon just the way he was. He never felt like a shunted side character to me. But now I feel like the Marvel writers are saying that he wasn’t cool enough as himself. *sigh*

    9. Bucky Barnes. He counts as a hero, okay? I know he’s had his ups and downs, but that’s what makes him such an intriguing character. I love the character development he’s gone through. There could be an entire universe surrounding his character, much like they do with Spider-Man, and I wouldn’t get bored. Disney, stop shoving more Spider-Man cartoons down our throats and give the kids Bucky Barnes. Or perhaps that exceeds what Disney is willing to put in a kids’ cartoon… but I can dream, can’t I?

    10. Nova. (Sam Alexander) I have a soft spot for superheroes that are closer to my age. He’s rather new and I haven’t caught up with anything really recent, so there’s a chance I don’t really like him anymore. But I think he’s just the right amount of cocky to create a wonderful, dynamic character. I guess I’m just excited to see what they make of him.

    That was rather long winded. I apologize profusely for that. I could probably think of fifty more if I put my mind to it. Two characters that will never make a “Top Ten” list for me are Cyclops and Iron Man, due to both Avengers vs. X-Men and Civil War respectfully. But if you ignore recent developments, Cyclops used to be a pretty neat guy… I guess.

  9. TOOL says:

    You propose quite the conundrum. One may be able to think of a characters level of importance through when they appeared and how they affected the companies they came from and their fans. Then there’s always the argument of the character theirself and how powerful, cool looking, of popular they may be. As always Deadpool will be on the top of every one of my fan filled lists. I have always leaned more towards the darker heroes, or anti hero if you will. There are several great villains that are awsome characters but we are talking about the hero side of comics this time. If I had to pick 9 others at random on the spot that jump out to me personally I would say Punisher (War Journals), Wolverine (Stealth Version), Ghost Rider (Blue Flame), Hulk (Planet Hulk Version), Captain America (Played by Winter Soldier, or WW2 version), Spider man (noir, or scarlett), The highly powerful and vastly overlooked Sentry, Moon Kinght, and Vision. These characters pop up in my mind first off because of what they mean to mean and that they are just cool. I think that if they were a 10 man team then they would be pretty formidable.

  10. TOOL says:

    PS I love it when ever people ask Deadpool about his backstory/origin, theres one time he says something like I was a kid walking down a back alley when a truck spashed radioactive waste into a spiders eye that bit me and made me fall over a ledge into a gamma ray testing site. And so on, he is such a character at times that it is hard to tell when he is serious or just acting crazy, well lets face it he is crazy, its when he really does get serious though that people should watch out