Sunday, June 24, 2018 • Midnight Edition • "*the sound you hear when PAC-MAN dies*"

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 54

Written by Chris Mitchell on Wednesday, May 05 2010 and posted in Features
Three great great characters. {nomultithumb}

91. Atlas (31 points)

atlas.jpg"I love a good redemption story, and his is one of the great ones."

A Milwaukee Wisconsin native, Erik Josten was a mercenary who gained superhuman strength after exposing himself to ionic rays at the urging of The Enchantress. These were the same rays that gave Wonder Man his powers. He and The Enchantress partnered up for a short while. He took the name Power Man. Soon his partnership with The Enchantress would dissolve and his career as a professional super villain began. At first, he teamed up with the Black Widow and the Swordsman. Power Man: After finding out that Luke Cage had been calling himself Power Man, Erik Joston decided to find him and force him to stop using the name. Luke Cage won the battle leaving Erik without moniker. He would go on to join many other super villain groups such as several versions the Lethal Legion. Count Nefaria soon stole Josten's powers though, and left him to turn to solo crime. He became the Smuggler and well, smuggled things. In his only appearance as the Smuggler, Josten was defeated by Spider-Man, and then later assisted by him in fighting the Maggia.

Later on, Josten was given the ability to grow in size and strength from Pym Particles, administered by Dr. Karl Malus. Josten now called himself Goliath, and continued his solo villain career. He fought James Rhodes as Iron Man and the West Coast Avengers and the cosmically-powered Spider-Man. Josten even joined a team including Ultron, Man-Ape, Grim Reaper, and Nekra. After more failures, Josten joined the fourth coming of the Masters of Evil, led by Baron Zemo. During his time there, Josten helped capture the Avengers Mansion as Goliath. Josten would become Atlas after the founding of the Thunderbolts. After finding that being in the public image as a good guy, Josten decided to do away with his evil doings, even after his past was revealed to the public.

As Atlas, he soon absorbed an iconic bomb from Count Nefaria. He became an energy creature, and took refuge in the body of Dallas Riordan. This energy gave Dallas the ability to walk again. Dallas left with the energy, and Josten was once again powerless. The Fixer soon gave him a new round of Pym Particles to restore his powers. After an Avengers/Thunderbolts series, Josten had his Pym Particles taken from his body, but was able to reclaim the ionic energy from Dallas Riordan to become Atlas again.

90. Drax the Destroyer (32 points)

drax.jpg"Badass. Nuff said."


A simple family man takes his simple family on a simple vacation. As they return home they see a space craft fly over head the lonesome desert road they traveled on. The entity inside that ship (Thanos) doesn't want any witnesses that he's come to Earth so he blows up the car with the family inside.

The man, Arthur Douglas, and his wife are killed. The daughter is left for dead.

Meanwhile, Thanos' father, Mentor - the leader of the Titan Eternals, secretly observed what happened. He takes the young girl back to Titan (where she eventually becomes Moondragon). He also calls on his father (Chronus) and together they decide to create a being capable of taking on the ever growing threat of Thanos. Mentor captures the life essence of Arthur Douglas before it can pass on and instills it into a golem made from the soil. He gives this new creature a name... Drax - The Destroyer.

An insatiable hatred of all thing Thanos replaces Arthur's memories (again all thanks to Mentor). His body is immensely powerful and capable of interstellar flight.

Thanos escapes Drax the first time they meet (even with Iron Man assisting Drax). From there comes months in space seeking out Thanos. Thanos, for all his grandeur, most often sends others to stop Drax rather than face him himself.

Back on Earth, Thanos had acquired the Cosmic Cube and together with the Avengers Thanos is seemingly killed when Captain Marvel destroys the Cube.

Drax soon attempts to find and punish Captain Marvel (the man who robbed him of singular reason to exist). Instead they come to an understanding and the two end up teaming up on a number of occasions. In time though, Thanos returned to the land of the living and Drax's hunt would continue.

After Thanos is dead (again), Drax (again) has no purpose, so he heads of to roam the stars alone. During his time out there he runs into an alien who takes hold of his mind. He is rescued by his daughter Moondragon. Together they take off traveling the stars.

When they happen upon a world bathed in war, Moondragon uses her ability to end the war by mentally controlling the planet's peoples. Drax and the Avengers work together to stop her (which they do but not before Moondragon releases Arthur's life essence thereby killing him).

Many moons later, Thanos is alive again. Chronus decides it's time for Drax to live again as well, so he somehow links the life essence together with an even more powerful golem body. Unfortunately, Chronus wasn't very good with the mental game as Drax now has the intelligence of an idiot.

Drax joins Adam Warlock's Infinity Watch where he is reunited with his daughter, but Drax doesn't remember that she killed him so everything is good. So good in fact that Moondragon petitions Chronus to depower Drax so that he can be his old mental self (which doesn't last long as he begins to grow stupid again - but then that too is eventually reversed - but not before he is again killed by a Skrull.

And guess what - Drax comes back soon after, this time with full memories.

Drax isn't at his old power levels though and takes to using knives a lot. During the Annihilation he helps Nova control his newly gained powers and at a climatic part of the battle, Drax fulfills his special purpose by finally killing Thanos!

Drax later helps out against Ultron and the Phalanx. Afterwards he joins the Guardians of the Galaxy.
But then he's killed again (by Mentor, the fucker who started all of this no less).

And guess what - Drax comes back soon after.

Recently Thanos has come back as well. Drax fights him but it's unclear what happened to Drax. Look for the Thanos Imperative to supply some answers at a newsstand soon (or we can just assume Thanos killed him and he'll come back for the 7th time in a month).

89. Ben Reilly (32 points)

scarletspider.jpg"Yeah the Spidey clone. As much as it pains me I rather list him than the actual Peter Parker, given the later is dead to me as a character. Which Ben is too ironically enough, well until some writer brings him back somehow someway. But the reason he's here is due to the fact that when I returned to comics it was during when he was around and I really really did enjoy the character (Maximum Clonage withstanding). I really wish Marvel would bring him back though. He's the true answer to their questions of keeping Spidey married or single."

The clone of Peter Parker, who would later become Ben Reilly, was the 2nd successful clone created by The Jackal. The Jackal's first Spider-Man clone turned out deformed and was later dubbed " Kaine". The 1st successful clone was a clone of Gwen Stacy.

The Jackal kidnapped Spider-Man, when Spider-Man awoke in Shea Stadium, he found himself next to his clone and both are dressed in the Spider-Man costume. The two fought briefly before deciding to team up to save the Gwen clone. The Spider-Man clone seemed to have died while trying to save Gwen, and fearful of questions rising about a dead Peter Parker body, Spider-Man threw the "dead" clone into the smokestacks.

he clone was in fact, not dead and climbed out of the smokestack. He named himself Ben Reilly (Ben after his uncle's first name, and Reilly after his aunt's maiden name) and left New York deeply depressed. Ben was hit by influenza and met Seward Trainer (who was being black mailed by the Green Goblin to keep on eye on him). Trainer helped Ben back up on his feet and find a job, all while Kaine was hunting Ben believing Ben to be the real Peter Parker and hates his "brother" for it.

Three years have passed and Reilly has been working in Salt Lake City as a research and teaching assistant, thanks largely to Trainer's references. Reilly met Janine Godbe who at first did not want to be involved with Reilly, but later reveals that her name is actually Elizabeth Tyne and she is a child abuse victim, killed her abusive father, changed her name and ran away to escape her crime. Reilly accepted her and even trusted her enough to reveal to Tyne that Reilly was actually a clone of Spider-Man, Tyne also accepted Reilly for who he is.

When Kaine killed a corrupt policewoman named Louise Kennedy, the Police believed that Reilly was the murderer because Kaine has the exact same fingerprints. Reilly and Tyne were on the run together for a year until Kaine forced her to leave Reilly, dropping a dead clone of her off a bridge to make Reilly think she had died.

Two years later, Reilly received news that Aunt May had a stroke and was currently ill, he returned to New York. While trying to visit Aunt May he ran into Peter Parker, who was not happy to see that his clone was still alive. The two exchange blows, but Spider-Man would later be captured by Judas Traveller. Reilly came to save Peter and the two teamed up to defeat Traveler.

Reilly eventually donned the Spider-Man mantle when he found a sweater with the spider symbol on it. Combined with that and an extra pair of spandex, Ben Reilly went out and the newspapers began to dub him "The Scarlet Spider". Scarlet Spider fought various enemies during his time protecting New York from villains such as Venom, Carolyn Trainer (Lady Doctor Octopus) and Alistair Smythe.

When Seward Trainer revealed to the Parkers and Ben Reilly that Ben was in fact the original one, Peter became extremely depressed and moody. Peter would eventually ask Ben to take over as Spider-Man for New York while Peter and Mary Jane move to Portland to try and raise their baby in a normal life.

As Ben is now the only Spider-Man, he fights various villains, both new and old. He dons a new costume when guy named Joe Wade, who is infected with nanobots that are programmed to look like Scarlet Spider and destroy the real ones name. New costume looks more like the original costume but with bigger spider-symbol on it. In the Web of Carnage storyline, the Carnage symbiote escapes from Ravencroft in search of a stronger host. It eventually found and merged with Ben Reilly to become Spider-Carnage and he was forced to try and kill Peter Parker and other innocent people.

With the help of Dr. Ashley Kafka and John Jameson, they were able to remove the Carnage symbiote.

Ben became then involved with a girl named Jessica Carradine, who was the daughter of the burglar that killed Uncle Ben. When she discovered that Ben was Spider-Man, it became a problem because Jessica believed that Uncle Ben was the one with the gun (who accidentally shot himself in the stomach) and that Spider-Man had killed her father to keep the truth from surfacing. Jessica went as far as almost mailing a picture of Ben in the Spider-Man costume to the Daily Bugle. But she had a change of heart when she saw Spider-Man save many innocent lives.

It soon became clear that Ben's life was involved in a conspiracy when a skeleton of a Spider-Man clone was found in the same smokestack that he had once occupied, Seward Trainer disappeared, and Ben has his bank account frozen and his apartment's possessions stolen before finally the Grind (the place where he works) was burnt down and Ben was framed for arson. The Hobgoblin reveals that he is the man behind everything but it was later that the original Green Goblin, Norman Osborn, reveals that he is the true mastermind.

When Norman ,in his Green Goblin suit , was preparing to kill Peter with his glider ,Ben sacrificed himself .The glider implants in Ben's chest .Ben eventually dies . Right before he died, Ben tells Peter that, "clone or not, Peter is now Spider-Man and would have to carry on for Ben. When Ben died, his body decomposes rapidly, revealing Seward Trainer's hypothesis about clones to be true that when a clone dies, the body decomposes. Peter then says "Rest easy... brother".

Oh, then they did some BND murderer stuff. Lame.


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