Monday, May 21, 2018 • Evening Edition • "Outhouser?! We barely know her!"

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 61

Written by Chris Mitchell on Friday, May 07 2010 and posted in Features
The last group before the weekend.. {nomultithumb}

70. Ares (48 points)


Ares is the son of Zeus, monarch of the Olympian Gods, and his wife Hera. Ares was worshiped as the God of War in both ancient Greece and ancient Rome. After the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire, Zeus allowed the worship of the Olympians to die out, and Ares was no longer allowed to act as patron god of warriors. As a result over the ensuing centuries Ares grew increasingly dissatisfied with Zeus' rule. He has tried to conquer Olympus on several occasions sometimes in league with his uncle Pluto, god of the Olympian underworld. His half-brother Hercules has opposed his attempts at conquest almost every time sometimes with the help of his allies including Thor the Asgardian god of thunder, and the Avengers.

Ares has hated Hercules since Hercules killed Ares' monstrous Stymphalian birds during Hercules' original twelve labors. Ares has recently been recruited to the Mighty Avengers, the Initiative team of New York City. He has aided them in several battles and saved lives of millions during the Ultron attack, symbiote infestation, and the attack on Doctor Doom's palace.

Ares own mini-series starts with Ares contemplating his life, The gods of Olympus wished to have nothing do with him and he loathed what he had become. He decided to leave and live a relatively peaceful life on earth with his son, Alexander. Alexander knew nothing about his fathers former life as the god of war, nor did Ares want him to find out. But one day Hermes paid Ares a visit with a message from for him, they needed his help once again to fight off a new threat, Amatsu Mikaboshi, the Japanese god of evil. But Ares had not forgotten the treatment they gave him and refused to come to their aid. Zeus had Alexander kidnapped to force Ares to pick up his old ways and come to . After a furious outbreak on earth hurting some police officers. Achilles comes to him and tells him why they've done this, Asgard had been destroyed and would be to, they could not hold out for much longer.

For his son he agreed to return with Achilles but when arriving at the building where his son was kept in safety was destroyed and there was no sign of Ares son anywhere. Alexander was taken by Mikaboshi and showed him who his father truly was, and who he really was so he would fight for him.

Alexander's mind was poisoned somehow with a drink which him furious at his father. In the meantime Ares agreed to fight with Zeus against the invader but only to regain his son. At the walls of Olympus began their final battle. Ares fought valiantly side by side with the Olympians to secure the safety of and retrieve his son from the hands of Mikaboshi. While Zeus was leading his troops he spotted what seemed to be Alexander in the battlefield. He races towards him to protect him but he was tricked, it was not truly Alexander but it was Mikaboshi who pretended to be him. Mikaboshi managed to mortally wound Zeus and take him out of the battle. Enraged by this, the two brothers Ares and Hercules fought with Mikaboshi and managed to make him retreat. They returned to heal Zeus and are greeted by Inari, a messenger from the remaining gods of the east.

They will help him if they ask but Ares refuses to beg for help, the messenger asks for a bit of water to quench his thirst and then leaves. But in secret he goes to his gods and says that this water had been offered by whom requested their help. From here the story skips five years into the future where a large battle is being held at the Mammoths gate, the gates that guards Japan's hell and behind them, Mikaboshi. Ares finally faces his son Alexander, but his mind is clouded and attacks Ares ramming a sword into his fathers body. In the meantime Zeus and Apollo get wounded in battle which enrages Zeus seeing his three sons wounded. He shows a magnificent display of power but is mortally wounded once more by Mikaboshi. With one final act he lifts the spell of Alexander, seeing what he just did to his own father Alexander goes into a rage and attacks Mikaboshi for what he had done to him. In the meantime the gods of the east arrive on the battlefield to aid the Olympians. They wash away the evil with a giant wave while Alexander kills Mikaboshi. The evil army had been defeated and Alexander was once more Ares' son.

res remained a registered superhuman and accepted a place in Norman Osborn's Avengers alongside on of his teammates from the Mighty Avengers, Sentry. He did not understand why his former team leader, Carol Danvers ( Ms. Marvel) was against working for Osborn. He viewed his new alliance with the ex-villain simply as continuing the fight that the original Mighty Avengers had started on terrorist-level superhuman, and natural threats against America and even the entire planet. Ares now fights with the Dark Avengers headed by Norman Osborn. Ares views his alliance with the Dark Avengers as continuing the fight alongside the Mighty Avengers against superhuman and natural threats against the world.

The first mission of Ares and the rest of the Dark Avengers was to assist Doctor Doom and the rest of Latveria as they were under attack by Morgan Le Fay. As the Dark Avengers arrived in Latveria, they saw Victor knocked cold on the floor. They see Morgan and Osborn tells Sentry to go all out. Sentry easily rips off Morgan's head and the Dark Avengers seemed successful in their first mission. Sentry started to scream and there was a big explosion. After it cleared, Morgan Le Fay was seen back and Sentry was gone. Ares confronts Morgan and tells her that he is the God of War and son of Zeus and demands that she goes back to the time she came from. Morgan then casts a spell that turns Mac Gargan, Venom, crazy and he tries to eat Ares. Morgan's army and the Dark Avengers then begin battle. However, Ares is not eaten by Gargan although he is turned to stone shortly after.

After Morgan is defeated, Doctor Doom returns Ares to normal, commenting on how Morgan used a easily reversed spell because she probably feared the wrath of the gods. Upon returning to America, he intervenes in a somewhat childish argument between Bullseye and Venom, in which he backhands Bullseye for acting like a child, causing a grudge to form, he later returns to his home in the Bronx where he discovers his son missing, and multiple truancy notices in his room.

Ares is next seen in the X-Men/Avengers crossover event, Utopia, where he jumps in front of San Francisco City Hall in order to defend it from rioters, warning both sides to stay away, for coming too close will incur his wrath. Ares and Bullseye both begin to get angered by the Dark X-Men as they do all the work while the Dark Avengers just watch from the sidelines.

One morning, Ares wakes up his son, Phobos, and makes him get ready for school. Phobos questions his father about his decision to join and be a part of the Norman Osborn's Avengers. Phobos gets ready and is picked up by Quake, who is actually bringing Phobos to the meeting place of the Secret Warriors instead of school. Ares follows their scooter in his motorcycle and finds out where they are. Ares breaks in and is immediately confronted by member of the Secret Warriors, Hellfire. Ares easily dispatches of the young hero, though. He is then confronted by Nick Fury, who is leading the Secret Warriors, and he reveals to Ares that his son has been on his team for quite some time now. Ares doesn't fight anymore as he knows that it's his son's choice and if Phobos would be killed of harmed as a member of the Secret Warriors, Ares would get Phobos' grandfather, Zeus, to go after Fury.

Ares talks to Norman and he is informed by him that he is making a list. He's making a list of the things he needs to change in the world. The first thing on his list concerned the Avengers and Clint Barton. As Clint, Ronin, attempts to assassinate Norman Osborn, he takes down most of the Dark Avengers, but is eventually captured and arrested by Ares before he can kill Norman.

Osborn also tasks Ares with the task of training the agents of H.A.M.M.E.R. Are gives an impassioned speech about he is the god of war and the battle, winning, and death are the glories of a true win. After this he picks four of the agents who he will specially train as his team of "Shades". He puts them rigorous training procedures such as shooting, bombing, and attacking them. He also has them engage in bar brawls and drinking games. He is approached by his mother, Hera, informing him that his son has been hurt. Ares assuming she means Phobos, takes his "shades" to go and attack Nick Fury and his team of Secret Warriors. Upon the entrance to the hideout though, it is revealed that it is not in fact Phobos, but his other son. He had trap setup and while his shades managed to escape, Ares himself was captured. They ended up going back for him using the skills and training he had taught them, hiding in the entrails of a dead animal and attacking with all their fire power. In the end Ares was rescued and killed his son, however, all his agents had been killed in the subsequent fight. When Osborn tried to chide Ares he shot him down and remarked "you wanted me to teach them everything I know about War, they learned it."

Ares plays a major role in the Siege of Asgard, however after rallying Osborn's troops and beginning the invasion, a series of events is set in motion that leads to a confrontation with the Sentry. In a moment, the confrontation is over, The Sentry destroys Ares by quickly ripping him in two. Ares ultimate fate is yet to be reveled.

69. X-23 (49 points)

x23.jpg"Yeah one of another surprise. Maybe it's the fact that she has a damn tragic story. Maybe its also the fact that no matter how much she tries running her past come's back to bite her in the ass (namely Kimura). Regardless she's such a damn fascinating character."

Way to high, imo.

X-23 was the direct result of 22 failed attempts of a top secret program designed to clone the original Weapon X. Doctor Martin Sutter, who had hoped to create another mutant capable of surviving the intense adamantium bonding process, eventually hired the renowned mutant geneticist Doctor Sarah Kinney. Although she initially wanted to create a female clone of Wolverine due to the damaged Y chromosome of the genetic sample they had acquired, her request was denied, as Doctor Zander Rice, Sutters protégé, still desired the original mutant. Convinced that her option was the only viable solution, Kinney went ahead with the process of cloning Wolverine's X chromosome to create a female Weapon X, keeping it secret from her superiors. After 22 failed attempts, she was able to create a stable embryo. Upon revealing the results, both Sutter and Rice were angry, however Sutter decided to go ahead with the project, seeing this as an opportunity not to be thrown away. As punishment for her transgression, Dr. Kinney was forced to act as the surrogate mother of the embryo and for nine months, her every move was monitored until she finally gave birth to Laura.

Raised in captivity and officially labeled as X-23 (as she was the first viable embryo after 22 failures), the mutant was rigorously trained to be the perfect weapon. Although Kinney tried her best to help her surrogate daughter retain some of her humanity, her efforts were futile, for at the age of seven, X-23 was exposed to extreme levels of radiation in order to accelerate the onset of her mutant genes. Next, Rice had her claws forcibly removed and coated with adamantium before they were painfully put back in place. While continuing her training, Rice created a "trigger scent" that would cause X-23 to enter into a berserker rage that would send her on a murderous rampage once her heightened senses picked up the smell. In order to make sure the "trigger scent" worked, Rice used it on her Sensei because he was nice to her.

After knowing what a successful killing machine they had created, Rice sent X-23 on numerous assassination missions, selling her talents to the highest bidder and leaving her emotionally stunted in the process. Ultimately, the power hungry Rice sought to gain full control over the project and had X-23 kill Doctor Sutter and his family. Later, Doctor Kinney's niece, Megan, is abducted by a serial killer, causing her to secretly send X-23 to rescue Megan. When Kinney discovers numerous incubation pods containing more female clones, she has X-23 perform one last mission; kill Doctor Rice and destroy the other clones. Unfortunately, Rice managed to plant X-23's trigger sent on Doctor Kinney, forcing the mutant to savagely murder her mother. While dying, Kinney refers to X-23 as Laura before giving her a letter containing information on Wolverine, Charles Xavier, and the X-men.

While on the run, X-23 locates Dr. Kinney's sister, Debbie, and her daughter Megan, who she had secretly rescued earlier. Although she seemed to eventually learn to accept them as her family, Laura's peace was interrupted when Debbie's boyfriend turned out to be an agent for X-23's creators. He informs Laura's old field handler, Kimura, of her whereabouts, causing the abusive woman to lead a number agents in a mission to recapture X-23. After escaping to safety, Laura sends Megan and Debbie away where they will not be bothered before she tracks down Wolverine at the Xavier Institute. When she finally confronts the man she was designed to kill, she immediately attacks him and seems to actually gain the upper hand. Using her intimate knowledge of their shared healing factor, X devises an attack strategy where each attack is followed by a handful of dirt rubbed into the wound to retard Wolverine's healing abilities. Just as he seems to succumb to blood loss, Wolverine reveals he already knew of her existence thanks to a detailed note from her mother. Unfortunately, their talk is interrupted when X-23 is captured by Captain America and taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody due to her involvement in a number of brutal murders. Here she reveals her past and how she came to be a living weapon to her interrogators, Matt Murdock and Captain America. Although the blind lawyer is sympathetic to Laura's predicament (to the point where he appointed himself as her defense attorney), Captain America is still unsure of her innocence, although he eventually sets her free, so that she is not used as a weapon for a second time by S.H.I.E.L.D.

Before returning to Xavier's Institute, X-23 returns to New York City where she was taken in by a pimp named Zebra Daddy. Here she worked as a prostitute and began to cut herself with her own claws whenever she was in a precarious situation. Confused, and choosing to remain mute, Laura was unable to free herself from this lifestyle until she befriended fellow mutant Kiden Nixon, who had the ability to freeze time when in danger. After escaping from Zebra Daddy, X-23 kills him in order to save her friends. 

After taking a job as a waitress at a club in the district of Mutant Town, Laura protects Jade Parisi, daughter of a mob boss, by killing a gang of thugs who were harassing the young woman. Unfortunately this implicates Wolverine in the murders, forcing the X-Men to investigate. In this she runs into an X Men Squad complied of Storm, Cable, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler and Wolverine. On discovering Wolverine was present she swiftly took action to take him out. After slicing his eye, Nightcrawler is sent after her in an attempt to incapacitate her. While watching Logan and Laura fight once more, he comments on how similar X-23 looks to Wolverine. Marvel Girl knocks her out for a time, and when she awakens Logan calms her. After helping the X-Men to resolve the situation, Laura returns with Wolverine to the Xavier Institute. With little in the way of appropriate social skills, Laura has a difficult time adjusting to life with the X-Men. Initially she is over-protective of her new found guardian, Wolverine, going so far as to attack their teammate Bishop during a training session.

After helping Spider Man, Iron Man, and the Black Widow to save a young mutant from danger, X-23 tracks Wolverine while he investigates the Canadian Rockies. After being ambushed evolved by Suarians from the Savage Land, Laura works with Psylocke, who quickly befriends her, and Ka-Zar, in taking back the Savage Land while freeing Storm from the Saurians in the process.

During the Messiah Complex, X-23 is placed on a new X-Force team with Wolverine, Wolfsbane, Caliban, Warpath, and Hepzibah in order to track down the newborn mutant. During their pursuit of Cable, X-Force is pitted against Lady Deathstrike and her new Reavers. Laura quickly attacks Deathstrike out of revenge for previously injuring Hellion, but after suffering serious injuries of her own, her body goes limp and she stops attacking. Once Deathstrike closes in for the kill, Laura, who was only playing possum, severely damages her cybernetic systems and healing factor. After continuing their battle, X-23 appears to kill Deathstrike before traveling with the rest of the X-Men to Muir Island in order to face the Marauders where she also kills Scrambler in defense of Wolverine.

After the events of the Messiah Complex, a new X-Force was formed.

68. Guardian (49 points - 2 first place slots)

guardian.jpg"A great leader. A great character. A great design."

I already know which of you will bitch about this placement, but I do not really care. He was a badass. As was Alpha Flight. It was Guardian who put Banshee out of commission back in the day. Hell, he took on a few X-men (which included Wolverine) alone. The original team of Alpha Flight defeated the Byrne/Claremont X-men. I know people will say this team sucks because they are Canadian, but they didn't. Only reason why a team like Alpha Flight can work in Marvel, especially a modern day Marvel is because they do not exist in New York. Sure, the X-men do not live in NY either, but they have like 4 books to make up for it. Alpha Flight, MI:13, and all other books are doomed to fail. Which is sad.

This placement makes me so so so so so happy though.

James MacDonald Hudson was born in London, Ontario, Canada. He is a leading petrochemical engineer and scientist for the Am-Can Corporation developing a powered exoskeleton suit. When he learns that his work will be used for American military purposes, Hudson raids his workplace, steals the prototype suit and destroys the plans. He leaves the suit to be recovered (albeit without the vital control helmet, which he built before coming to the company) and fully expects to be sued and arrested for his actions.

However, Hudson's girlfriend, Heather MacNeil, uses political connections in the Canadian government to persuade Am-Can to waive the charges against him. As a result, Department H is formed, a secret branch of the Canadian Department of National Defense, and Hudson is named as head of operations. Inspired by the debut of the Fantastic Four, Hudson forms Alpha Flight as a superhero team for the Canadian government and develops his exoskeleton into a battle suit.

As Weapon Alpha, Hudson sought to capture Wolverine, who had left Canada and joined the X-Men. He accidentally injured Moira MacTaggert in the process. He then led Alpha Flight in battle against the X-Men to capture Wolverine. After they defeated the X-Men, Wolverine promptly escaped capture. How? Well, in the issue Wolverine just smirks and it really isn't revealed if I recall. I have to go back and look that up. I wonder of Heather let him go? Or did he cut a hole in the truck? Anywho. Hudson made no further attempts to forcibly return Wolverine to Canada.

With the cancellation of Department H and its funding, Alpha Flight is temporarily disbanded. Hudson laments this for a time, but then is called to action by the arrival of the Great Beast Tundra. He sets out alone, but Heather takes it upon herself to summon the rest of Alpha Flight, plus two recently "gold-striped" members. The team defeats Tundra, and then summarily decides to reform, albeit without direct Government support.

Hudson and Alpha Flight retain their security clearances, and status as RCMP Auxiliaries. They have a series of adventures, both as a team and as individuals. Early on, Hudson expresses a lack of confidence in himself, but slowly gains same over time. For example, his initial reaction to the imposing creature; the Wendigo, has him expressing fear. Nevertheless, he confronts the creature "like a super-hero borne".

Though Hudson and his wife initially struggle as any Canadian middle-class couple do, he is soon offered a plum job with Roxxon, in New York City. Hudson's tenure with Alpha Flight, however, is short-lived. Relocated to New York, Hudson is almost immediately trapped and set upon by the original (evil) incarnation of Omega Flight and an old foe: his old boss Jerry Jaxon. The battle is soon joined by the rest of Alpha Flight, though it does not end well for Hudson.

Although seemingly killed when his battle-suit explodes due to the strain of energizing a multiple teleportation matrix system (thanks to Jaxon), he is in fact transported to Jupiter's moon, Ganymede. There he meets an alien race known as the Qwrlln. In their attempts to heal Hudson, the Qwrlln integrate his battle suit into his body, fusing it to his biological and nervous systems. (This is originally posed as a ruse by Delphine Courtney to confuse and deceive Heather Hudson and the surviving members of Alpha Flight.)

Hudson eventually returns to Earth and takes the name Vindicator, leaving the title of Guardian (and position of leadership) with his wife, Heather. Again, Hudson's time with the team is cut short when the Qwrlln summon him (and a select group of heroes) to protect their planet against Galactus. As before, Hudson seemingly perishes when his suit detonates while transporting the heroes back home. However, during the explosion Hudson is transported to an alternate dimension. After some time, he eventually returns to Earth.

While again working for Department H, Hudson becomes caught up in the plans of its new director, General Jeremy Clarke. Scientists working for Clarke clone Hudson, steal his memories, and attempt to shoot his body into outer space. The plan does not succeed, though, as Hudson crash lands in Antarctica.

A seemingly de-aged Hudson reappears to the members of Alpha Flight. This is in fact the clone created by Department H. The original Hudson is eventually found by Sasquatch in Antarctica. After his return he once again becomes team leader while the clone becomes leader of Beta Flight. Later, both Hudsons are captured by AIM, and the clone is killed in the escape.

Along with several other members of Alpha Flight, Hudson attempts to return a clutch of Plodex eggs to their home-world. However, an accident brings temporal copies of most of the original Alpha Flight - from a time before Hudson's first "death" - to the present. This group, including James Hudson, takes up the role of Alpha Flight.

Alpha Flight (Sasquatch, Major Mapleleaf II, Puck Jr., and the time-displaced versions of Guardian, Vindicator, Shaman, and Puck) are brutally attacked by The Collective. Their bodies are left in the Yukon Territory as the Collective continues on to the United States. The time-displaced Guardian was later confirmed dead by Sasquatch, while the original Guardian is presumably still on the Plodex home world with the other members of Alpha Flight (in my mind he is, along with Puck and the rest. Hahahaha).

The Guardian suit was worn by Michael Pointer during his run in Omega Flight. However, he no longer wears it as a member of the Dark X-Men.


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