The List: Top 10 Greatest Non-American Comic Book Characters

It's surprising how short of characters this poll was. Less than 20 characters to represent the 193 countries that aren't America. But I guess that's what happens when the largest publishers are all based in a single country and, as you would expect, focus primarily on characters from that country. However, we have got a list and there are some very notable names on it. So without further ado, let's get on to the list shall we.

Honourable Mentions: Captain Britain, Red Skull & Colossus

10. Deadpool (Canada)

This one actually surprised me. Not because I don't think Deadpool should be in the Top 10, but because I didn't know he was actually Canadian. But apparently he is, well, according to the man himself and that's not usually much to go on. Having possibly the worst start in life any character could have, being created by Rob Liefeld and being a straight rip-off of Deathstroke to the point of basically sharing the same name (Slade/ Wade Wilson), fortunately Deadpool managed to overcome such a severe handicap due to a combination of having no filter, breaking the fourth wall at every possible opportunity and being completely unable to shut up for even a nano-second. Oh and he can survive anything, even X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which is saying something.

9. John Constantine (U.K)

One of only 2 non-superpowered characters on this list and unfortunately the only Brit, John Constantine is a cynical, snarky, deapan con-man and occult detective from Liverpool, with an adrenaline and smoking addiction and a habit of being a "magnet for weirdness", as created by the legendary Alan Moore. He has been the star of some of the most highly regarded series in comic book history in The Saga Of The Swamp-Thing and Hellblazer, and a not so highly regarded film in Constantine, which should stand as proof against Americanizing great British characters.

8. Black Widow (Russia)

Created at the peck of the Cold War, Natasha Romonova is quite unique for her time, being a Russian character who was actually a hero. Ok, she started off as a foe for Iron Man, but she defected from the USSR very quickly and has been a mainstay of Marvel ever since, being pretty integral to the Avengers and being an equal partner in team ups with characters such as Daredevil, Hawkeye and Iron Man. Of course, she's most well known in the public eye for being Scarlet Johansen in the MCU, where she does a fantastic job of showing Natasha's spying skills, even managing to disguise her Russian accent to the point where you could swear it doesn't exist.

7. Magneto (Germany)

A classic character, one often referred to as one of the greatest villains in comics. The former Max Eisenhardt is a holocaust survivor, born to a Jewish family in Nazi Germany, and a mutant, and it was the prejudice he suffered for both of these things that led him to become a terrorist and mutant supremacist. One of the classic villains from the most fertile creative periods in Marvels history, he is unlikely to be going anywhere any time soon. Also, he's another one who mysteriously lost his accent when he made it to the big screen.

6. Storm (Kenya)

Yeah, accents aren't a thing in superhero films are they? Anyway, our next entry is quite literally a Goddess amongst mortals. At least that's what the people of a small village in Kenya would have you believe as that is what she was revered as before joining the X-Men. Born in Kenya to a tribal witch-princess and an American photojournalist, she was also raised in Harlem for a short time before her family moved to Egypts, where her parents were promptly killed. Fortunately, the young Ororo Monroe managed to find her way back to Kenya, where she would grow up as a Goddess. Quite how she managed to get from Egypt to Kenya is never explained, but she sure as hell didn't walk it, that isn't a short distance. She must have flown I guess, I mean, she can always ensure a favourable wind right?

5. Nightcrawler (Germany)

Hang on, an accent in a comic book movie? Well at least someone paid attention. Yes, next up we have the master of the bamf himself, Mr Kurt Wagner, aka the best X-Men character (and I will accept no arguments). The son of Mystique and the demon Azazel, Kurt was born in Germany and was raised there after his birth mother abandoned him. Putting his natural agility and freakish appearance to good use, he joined the circus before the townspeople turned on him and he was recruited into the X-Men.

4. Black Panther (Wakanda- Africa)

The first entry onto our list to come from a fictitious country, T'Challa is the kind of the small, but prosperous African nation of Wakanda. He was Marvel's first black superhero and the first black superhero of note for either of the big 2. As such he has benefitted from quite the high status within the Marvel Comics universe, featuring heavily in the Avengers (as well as some of the most politically charged stories of the 70's), in his first appearance he defeated the entire Fantastic Four single handily and is often in the midst of any large scale Marvel events (Civil War, Illuminati, Avengers Vs. X-Men). Oh and he's also the richest character in all of comics as well found out a couple of months ago.

3. Doctor Doom (Latveria- Europe)

Another fictitious country, another ruler. And another one of the greatest villains in comics, I mean, when you've got diplomatic immunity and an army of robotic doubles you can do that sort of thing. Doctor Doom actually led the list for most of the week, but lost out in the final few days, but when you see who beat him, it isn't all that surprising.

2. Wolverine (Canada)

Ah yes, Short, Angry and Popular (well, unless you're Hugh Jackman, in which case it's Tall, Grumpy and Popular). Beating out Doctor Doom by 4 votes, we have Mr Yellow Spandex himself, proudly representing the land of the Maple Leaf by being quiet, polite and reserved. Actually, none of that is true, but he is reping that free healthcare and an aggressive streak that would fit right at home on the hockey rink. Possibly the most over-exposed character on this list, thanks to Hugh Jackman, but still we can't deny that a lot of people know he's Canadian.

1. Wonder Woman (Themyscira- Europe)

And of course, the greatest non-American character in comic book history is the one with the star-spangled panties, the red white and blue and the huge eagle. But then again, DC have done a lot since the 80's to focus on the Greek heritage of Diana, delving into classic mythology for stories and villains, so I suppose that's something. Hailing from the island of Themyscira (which is probably somewhere in the Mediterranean), home to the mythological race of warrior women,  The Amazons, Diana was not the first Superheroine, but she was the first of note and the only one to have any longevity, still going strong today. An icon of the medium, we all expected her to come first on the list didn't we. Even if her attire screams AMERICA louder than watching a football game on the fourth of July whilst eating a hamburger and a slice of apple pie.

(And yes I do know that Wonder Woman wore the costume as a way to ingratiate herself with American society when she first arrived in "man's world" and she has a different costume now which is less overtly patriotic for a country she isn't from, but still... point stands).

So that's the list. What do you guys think? Who would you have had at number 1? Let us know in the comments below.

And with that

JR out.

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7 Responses to The List: Top 10 Greatest Non-American Comic Book Characters

  1. Herr D says:

    Anyone disagrees with WW about being the best foreign hero can try to say so with her lasso wrapped around them.

    Just out of curiosity, is Supes (and other impressive aliens) not on the list because he was granted honorary citizenship or because he was just too obvious or because we’re only counting Earthbound non-Americans?

  2. JR19759 says:

    @Herr D- We aren’t counting aliens.

  3. The Atomic Punk says:

    No surprise in the Top 3 and their order. Kind of a bummer that Captain Britain didn’t crack the Top 10. None of the others sport their nation’s colors. Where’s our John Bulls?

  4. Arioch says:

    Glad for WW.
    Would have put Storm higher (but then, I’m a huge Storm fan)

  5. nerd says:

    WW is a goddess. Or at the least a demigod. Her father is Zeus. So she shouldn’t be on the list. Or we could go the other way. Granted by Demeter, she draws strength from the earth, including every country, so she is a citizen, just not a legally. She is a citizen of every country. Plus she is just a female aquaman. Look at her powers.

  6. Lordgrimm01 says:

    Hey JR…hate to correct you but Storm is an American, she may have lived in Africa as a thief (Egypt) and been a “goddess” in Kenya
    but she was born in New York City to an American father and a Kenyan Mother

  7. Brons says:

    Um, JR…

    And yes I do know that Wonder Woman whore the costume

    That’s a really unfortunate typo. Any chance you could fix it?