Thursday, April 19, 2018 • Evening Edition • "Where your childhood dreams don't have to die alone."

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 67

Written by Chris Mitchell on Tuesday, May 11 2010 and posted in Features
Here we go, the Top 50 starts here. Who made it? Who didn't? And if you are looking for the first name to come up in the TLC, look to the bottom. {nomultithumb}

52. Falcon (74 points - 2 first place slots)

falcon.jpg"Has a great and tainted origin. Sure wish he could sustain a monthly solo book."

Samuel Thomas Wilson was born in Harlem, New York City, to Darlene Wilson, and Paul Wilson, a prominent minister. Sam was his parents youngest child with older sister name Sarah Wilson -Casper and a older brother name Mister Gideon Wilson. Sam childhood started out happy and during it finds out he has a natural affinity for birds. He takes up training pigeons, and has the largest pigeon coop in Harlem. During his childhood he takes up training pigeons, and has the largest pigeon coop in Harlem. In his teens, however, encounters with racism leave him frustrated, jaded, and disappointed.

When he is 16, Wilson refuses go to church, believing his deeply religious parents faith could be wrong. To his surprise, rather than put up a fight, his parents provide him with books on different religions and comparative theology. The next night, however, Sam's father is killed trying to break up a neighborhood fight. Two years later, his mother is shot and killed by a mugger one block from their apartment. Consumed by grief and "angry at the world" Sam become a respected community volunteer and social worker to try to better his community.

On his way to Rio de Janeiro, his plane crashed and he was later found by the Red Skull. Using the Cosmic Cube, which gave Sam telepathic communication to birds and created his Snap persona (this is a RETCON and a bad one at that since he had that ability in his childhood way before he met the Red Skull), the Red Skull turned him into the ideal fighter to take on Captain America, but Cap was able to snap Sam out the Skull's control, and together they defeated the Red Skull.

Back in America, Steve helped Sam to be a superhero and they even teamed together on several occasions. Sam even took the identity and costume of Captain America. He worked hard to be a hero for the Harlem community, but a certain section of the African-American populace viewed him an "Uncle Tom". Even his soon-to-be girlfriend, Leila would call the Falcon "a yellowback", not knowing he was really Sam Wilson. When Falcon helped Black Panther, T'Challa rewarded him by giving him a costume with wings capable of flight. When Falcon found out that the Red Skull manipulated him and was the one that gave him powers, he joined up with SHIELD.

Sam took part in the "Defender for a Day", in which Nighthawk was trying to recruit new members.

Henry Gyrich recruited Falcon to the Avengers, so that the Avengers could be more "racially diverse", but Falcon didn't appreciate being the token minority and quit after a couple of missions.

During the 1970s and 80's he was a dedicated social worker in Harlem, New York. He personally saved President Reagan from an assassination plot that he uncovered. He ran for a congressional seat but was beaten when his earlier criminal history as "Snap Wilson" was revealed.

While working as a social worker, he often teamed-up with Sergeant Tork from the N.Y.P.D.

During the Avengers Disassembled storyline, wherein the Scarlet Witch went insane, she reverted Sam back into the "Snap" persona. While he still continue to team-up with Captain America, his attitude become more of a nuisance and eventually Cap and Sam parted ways. Later, Captain America saved Falcon from being killed by taking a bullet meant for his friend.

In the events of the Civil War, Falcon joined up with Captain America's Secret Avengers. When Cap was incapacitated during a fight between the Avengers and the Pro-Registration Heroes, Sam took charge while Steve recovered. When Cap was assassinated, Falcon was one of the pallbearers in his funeral. After that, S.H.I.E.L.D. has assigned both him and Sharon Carter to investigate the assassination by locating Bucky Barnes (who is still the Winter Soldier at the time) and tracking down the Red Skull (the primary suspect to the death of Captain America).

51, Punisher (76 points - 1 first place vote)

punisher.jpg"Have gun, will shoot."

"He's a hero. I know there are those that would disagree, but he's a hero. And beyond that, he's a hero that makes everyone else uncomfortable, which makes him a great character to use in books. He's Captain America for a new generation. Cap was a soldier in the one war, and on the one front of that war, that no one can deny was 100% necessary and right. Cap fought Nazis that wanted to take over the world and eradicate entire races of people. He is a hero that reflects that. Frank was a soldier in the most debated and divisive war the US has been a part of. A war with no clear right or wrong side, where terrible things happened to innocent people. And he reflects that. His methods are extreme and questionable, but in my eyes he's still a hero."

I am one of those guys that say he isn't a hero, but more along the lines of a serial killer. But what do I know, right?

The Punisher was originally meant to be a villainous anti hero of the long running Spider-Man title . He was a lethal hired assassin who was deadly in every field of combat known to man, and showed vigilante tendencies' even then. He was hired by Jackal to kill Spider-Man. Spider-Man was swinging through the city when his spider-sense went off warning him of nearby danger. He was almost caught in a sudden explosion, but managed to get away. Castle was watching Spider-Man's every move. Soon Spider-Man found his unknown adversary on top of a roof. The two engaged in a fight leaving Spider-Man as the victor. Jackal was enraged at Castle's failure and struck Spider-Man from behind, hitting the back of his head with his claws. Hours went by showing The Punisher and Jackal in their hideout. The Punisher back-handed Jackal for getting in his way when fighting Spider-Man. Jackal had tricked Castle into thinking Spider-Man was a killer. Another hour had went by as it showed Spider-Man in a store examining a dead body of a man. The man happened to be a friend of Castle's. The Punisher, thinking Spider-Man killed him, lashed out , kicking Spider-Man in the face, again the two fought, and yet again Spider-Man was victorious. Spider-Man told The Punisher about that he didn't kill his friend. He told Castle he had been duped. The Punisher vowed to get Jackal back for using him.

Gerry Conway, the writer who created the Punisher, was aiming mainly for him to be a villain for Spider-Man but as they went on with the development of his story (origin first revealed in Marvel preview #2) he turned out to be more of an anti- hero.

Born in New York to parents of Italian ancestry, Francis Castiglione is a former U.S. Marine Captain. Before Frank joined the Marines, he was studying to become a Catholic priest but changed his mind because he was unable to forgive those who did evil. Also prior to his enlistment, he married his wife Maria who was already pregnant with their first child. During his time in the United States Marine Corps (USMC), Castle graduated from Basic Training, then went on to Infantry School. Immediately following that, he went through the USMC's Reconnaissance, Force Reconnaissance, and Sniper Schools. Attaining dockets, Castle was permitted to go through U.S. Army Airborne School, and U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team training, becoming qualified as a Navy SEAL (Sea, Air and Land). He served in the Vietnam War in a special forces unit as a point man. For heroism in the line of duty, he was decorated with numerous medals, including the Purple Heart.

Shortly after a tour in Vietnam, Castle, his wife, Maria and their children were in New York's Central Park for an afternoon picnic when they witnessed a Mafia gangland execution; an informant had been hanged from a tree. Seeking to eliminate all witnesses, the Costa crime family murdered them on the spot. However, Castle survived. Even though Frank was able to identify all of the shooters the police were unable to help Castle in his quest for justice; they were tied in too deeply to the powerful Costa family. He decided that the only punishment criminals might receive is that of physical destruction. Shortly thereafter, he emblazoned his body armor with a symbol of a death's head, and exacted his revenge. Since then he has waged a one-man war upon crime, taking the name Punisher.

In his vigilante endeavors, Castle has crossed paths with several costumed crime fighters, most notably Spider-Man and Daredevil. These encounters have often resulted in his incarceration. While he is known to be significantly inferior to Daredevil in hand-to-hand combat skills, Punisher has been rated as one of the most dangerous criminals alive. When he was incarcerated in New York's Riker's Island Prison, though heavily outnumbered in gang-fights, Punisher has routinely killed armed, homicidal criminals with frightening ease, sustaining no injury. Due to his proficiency in fighting, he is rarely so accosted in prison environments. Adhering to his military philosophies, Punisher is constantly training whenever he is not out on actual maneuvers. He exercises fanatically to maintain his impressive physical conditioning and sticks to a balanced diet whenever possible.

50. Captain Britain (77 points - 2 first place votes)

captainbritain.jpg"All around cool guy with a hot sister who has purple hair. I really would like to see a Captain America v. Captain Britain fight."

"I found the character interesting for his original look and shtick, but it
was the Alan Moore stories that made me come to really like the character.
He was getting the hell kicked out of him, but came back, yet had powers! Captain America (in a sense) meets The Spirit with a sexy elf girlfriend."

"The man refuses to stay down. He's died a few times and been manipulated by Merlin and still rallies the troops. Not bad for a man who on several occasions wanted out of the hero business. His family is all sorts of messed up and honestly I can relate to that. He's at his best when what he needs to do conflicts with what he wants because it shows the true mark of a hero."

""When Captain America died, Americans heard it in an American way: through the media. When Captain Britain died, the British felt it in their chests." That's why I read Captain Britain. Also, this is the only character on my list that I prefer the current version to the version from when I first read them."

Born and raised in the quaint English town of Malden in Essex, Brian lived a quiet life with his parents, elder brother Jamie Braddock and twin sister, Betsy Braddock. However, after his parents death in what seemed to be a car accident, Brian went to study at the Thames University in London. During a University break Brian worked as an assistant at the Darkmoor Nuclear Research Facility.

When the facility is attacked by the Reaver, Brian went for help on his motorcycle but his bike runs off the road and he crashes down the side of a cliff. Fatally wounded Brian awakes to find himself faced by the image Merlyn and his daughter, Roma. They offer him the chance to save his life and he is given the choice to pick between the ' Amulet of Right' and the ' Sword of Might'. Since he was more a scholar than a warrior, he chose the amulet and the choice transformed him into Captain Britain and he was able to fight of The Reaver and his men to save the facility. By touching the amulet of right Brian could then after turn into Captain Britain instantly as his own choosing.

During his early career as Captain Britain, Brian juggled his university life studying physics with small scale crime fighting. After making a name for himself thwarting bank robberies he was named "Britain's first Super hero". This brought him to the attention of his first super villain, Hurricane. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts to stop the villain Brian managed to capture him. The police however where not fond of Captain Britain as the Chief of Police did not like the idea of having heroes in Britain. Soon after become Captain Britain, Brian discovered that his parents were not killed in a car accident, but rather by their sentient computer, Mastermind. Captain Britain later worked with Captain America, S.H.I.E.L.D. and the British equivalent STRIKE and battled such high class villains as the Red Skull. He ran into STRIKE, of which his sister was a member of it's psi-division, on many occasions during his early years. However, STRIKE harbored some anti-superhuman elements and was eventually disbanded due to its corruption. On one occasion when being treated by STRIKE for serious injuries Brian was transported to another realm by Merlyn. Here Merlyn transformed his staff into the star sceptre which had augmented powers. Keeping the ability to shoot powerful energy blasts and create force shields the star sceptre also allowed Captain Britain to fly. Brian also studied abroad at Empire State University, where he roomed with Peter Parker and both students tried to keep their heroic secret identities from one another.

On his way back from the USA Captain Britain was mentally attacked causing him to jump out a plane and disappear for some time. He reappeared when he was summoned by Merlyn but with some of his memories missing after the mental assault. Merlyn instructed him to defeat the Necromon, a machine that had killed all the superheroes in an entire dimension. He was aided in the fight by Black Knight and the elf Jackdaw and defended Otherworld. Shortly after Captain Britain was killed by the White Rider and his body was stolen. Merlyn and the Black Knight retrieved his body and his soul was restored to it along with all of his lost memories.

Merlyn again augmented Captain Britain's powers by merging the powers of the Star Sceptre and the amulet of right into a new uniform. This new uniform gave him a permanent full body force shield as well as the ability to sustain unaided flight. Brian soon found himself transported to a parallel Earth, Earth-238, where he fought to save the world from the reality warping powers of Mad Jim Jaspers who had succeeded in outlawing and killing all superheroes. Captain Britain failed in this task and was killed by the Fury, a super advanced robot created by Jaspers to kill superheroes. Merlyn transported Brian's body back to Earth-616 where he was resurrected again to fight this Earth's Mad Jim Jaspers. The new uniform and task of fighting Jaspers on Earth-238 had all been part of Merlyn's plan to prepare Braddock to fight the Jaspers of Earth-616. Brian witnessed the total destruction of the 238 Universe in an effort to stop Jaspers' reality warp from spreading across the multiverse. At this time he also discovered that he was one of many Captain Britain variations created by Merlyn to protect the multiverse and encountered members of the pan-dimensional Captain Britain Corps.

After winning an anti-superhero campaign and eventually becoming Prime Minister, Jaspers( 616) began his Warp on London. Captain Britain and his associates fought Jaspers but were losing. However, the Fury of 238, having sensed Brian's resurrection and adapted itself to travel across dimensions, arrived and attacked and killed the Mad Jim Jaspers of this Earth. The weakened Fury was then destroyed by the only Super hero to escape from Earth-238, the Captain Britain counterpart of that dimension, Captain UK.

In the aftermath of this event Brian continued his adventures as Captain Britain and protecting the UK. During this time he met his lover Meggan, a Shapshifter from another dimension. The two worked together fighting evil but the stresses of the fallout of the fight with Jasper made Brian decide to resign from superheroics and travel aboard where he and Meggan lived peacefully for some time.

When Brian left, R.C.X., the new organization that had replaced STRIKE, recruited Brian's sister Betsy Braddock to take up the mantle of Captain Britain. She was given her own Captain Britain suit that enhanced her strength and gave her the ability to fly. This coupled with her mutant psychic powers and training from R.C.X. made Betsy good at her new role as a superhero. She lasted as Captain Britain for some time and fought a number of Brian's foes including Vixen and Slaymaster. Slaymaster, however proved too much for her and she was blinded and nearly beaten to death by the villain. She only survived because she managed to telepathically call out to Brian who rushed to her rescue. Brian then took up the mantle of Captain Britain once again and his sister spent time abroad recuperating before joining the X-men. Brian continued his adventuring independently of the government feeling they could not be trusted, in part for the amount of danger they had put his sister in. Shortly after Brian discovered that Betsy had died whilst fighting with the X-men which caused him to become manically depressed and turn to drinking. (Betsy would later return to join the X-men as the powerful mutant Psylocke.)

Meggan contacted the X-men in an effort to help Brian off of his self destructive path which began Captain Britain's association with the X-Men and other mutants. In the wake of the death of the original X-men team other mutants banded together into new teams to carry on their work. Brian, as Captain Britain, along with Meggan, Nightcrawler, Phoenix ( Marvel Girl) , Shadowcat ( Kitty Pryde) and Lockheed formed Excalibur based in Great Britain under Brian's leadership. After some time with the team it was revealed that Merlyn had manipulated events in Brian's life to lead to the forming of the team. He did this as part of an attempt to merge the Omniverse in order to take control of the power created by such an event. Captain Britain and the team managed to stop this scheme and save all the realities, restoring them to their rightful places in the Omniverse. After this Captain Britain left the team and asked Meggan to marry him, a proposal which Meggan accepted immediately. Brian rejoined Excalibur to help Rachel Summers (Phoenix) save the future. Upon returning to their correct time Brian became lost in the time stream before he began to switch places with Phoenix who was from the future where Brian had been trapped. When he had reappeared in the correct time he stayed with Excalibur but his powers and attitude had changed. Taking the name Britainic instead of Captain Britain, Brian took on a number of darker, more sinister missions before defeating the Phalanx. It was revealed that they were the reason for Brian's altered personality and powers and once they had been defeated he returned to normal. He then left Excalibur again to take some time out from being a super hero and concentrate on more academic tasks.

Whilst he was taking time away from his roll as a super hero Brian infiltrated the London branch of the Hellfire Club of which his father had been a member of many years before. As the Black Rook Brian was able to discover their plans to take control of the United Kingdom and, calling in the aid of Excalibur, defeat them as Captain Britain once again. Brian stayed with the team again but only for a short time before he drained his powers fighting the Dragons of the Crimson Dawn. Powerless Brian again left the team only returning to marry Meggan. After the ceremony Excalibur disbands and Nightcrawler, Shadowcat and Lockhead return to America while Brian and Meggan stay in England.

Brian took a job in the research facility in the Darkmoor research facility where he had been working as an assistant on the day he became Captain Britain years before. Whilst conducting research on the equipment of the Black Knight the facility was attacked by warriors fighting on Roma's behalf. The Black Knight, Psylocke Meggan and Brian were able to fight off the attackers and follow them to Otherworld where they discover that Roma is attempting to find the Sword of Might in order to harness its power and the power of the Amulet of Right to recreate the cosmos. It is also revealed that Roma has destroyed the entire Captain Britain corps bar two survivors, Captain UK and Crusader X.

These two remaining members joined forces with Brian and his friends to help fight against Roma. Whilst searching for the sword Brian found a cave in which a computer system has been left by his father, James Braddock. On activation a holographic projection of James Braddock explains to Brian that he is the rightful heir to the thrown of Otherworld and the innate right to draw the sword Excalibur. Brian drew the sword and, with his new powers, defeated Roma. However, this entire sequence of events turned out to be a trick by Mastermind. Mastermind had disguised itself as Roma in order to obtain the Amulet of Right and the Sword of Might and become ruler of the Omniverse. After Mastermind's defeat the real Roma offered Brian the position of Guardian of the Omniverse and King of Otherworld which he accepted with Meggan as his Queen.

During Brian's time as king the evil sorcerer Morgan Le Fay attempted to kill Braddock as she believes that killing him would destroy Great Britain. Captain Britain appeared to Kelesy Leigh as she died protecting her children from the Wrecking crew. Having shown great courage Brian offered her the choice he had been given when he first became Captain Britain; The Amulet of Right or the Sword of Might. Kelesy chose the sword and became the heroine Lionheart. Having shared his powers with another severing his ties with the universe of 616 did not destroy Britain and Morgan Le Fay's plan failed.

Brian returned to earth from Otherworld in order to combat the reality shifting events of the House of M disaster that threatened to destroy all dimensions in the Omniverse. At the end of the

disaster Brian is unable to travel back to otherworld and cannot sense the Omniverse. Believing both Meggan to have perished during the event he retakes the mantle of Captain Britain and forms a new Excalibur team. The New Excalibur team consists of old members Kitty Pryde and Lockhead as well as new members Pete Wisdom, Juggernaut, Dazzler, Nocturne and Sage and were the main team involved in the cleanup of Britain in the aftermath of the House of M mutant power losses.

The team protected the country from villains who had slipped into the wrong dimension during the merging of the Omniverse. This included an evil version of the original X-Men team and Professor Xavier. The Professor Xavier from this dimension had been taken control of by the Shadow King and had manipulated his first students into following his orders, causing them to become a team of highly powerful evil mutants. The Shadow king was defeated by Psylocke whilst Brian fought the rest of the Excalibur team who had fallen under the Shadow King's control. Psylocke appeared to die during the confrontation and Brian was traumatized at having lost his sister once again. Excalibur also faced Albion, an alternate dimensional Captain Britain who had chosen the Sword of Might over the Amulet of Right when he was offered it by Merlyn and Roma in his dimension. Albion had formed his own Corps of Captains who had chosen the Sword over the amulet and started invading other universes throughout the Omniverse, killing Captain Britain's as he went. He came to Earth 616 to find and kill Braddock as he had discovered that he was the leader of the Captain Britain Corps and the true Guardian of the multiverse. Albion set about invading England and drew Brian into a final confrontation. New Excalibur teamed with the other-dimensional X-men who were now free of the Shadow King's control to take defeat Albion and his army. In the final confrontation Brian was able to distract him whilst Jean Gray used her telepathy to find a way of defeating the army and halting the invasion. This achieved Captain Britain and Excalibur were able to stop Albion.

Excalibur's next adventure was one that reunited Brian with his sister again. Psylocke had not died but had been working secretly with the Exiles. She came to see him and inform him that she was still alive and well but they were attacked by Rouge-Mort and a group of associates. Rouge-Mort then stabbed Captain Britain fatally wounding him. Excalibur and Psylocke fought back but were forced to retreat and teleport to Roma's Star Citadel where Sage managed to stabilize Brian. During this time Mad Jim Jaspers from Earth 616 had made a deal with Merlyn and the two attacked the Captain Britain Corps in an attempt to kill Roma. New Excalibur, the Exiles and the Corps fight back whilst Captain Britain is healing. Brian is revived in time to defeat Jaspers and his new Furys but Merlyn retreats with a fragment of the fury imbedded inside him after killing Roma. Captain Britain was then replaced as leader of the Captain Britain Corps by Albion who had helped Brian in the final battle against Jaspers. Brian was told to stay on his Earth as it was considered too dangerous to be left unwatched.

When the Secret Invasion of Earth by the Skrulls began Britain was targeted for it's greatest resource; magic. Captain Britain joined a government assembled team of superheroes known as MI:13 commanded by Pete Wisdom. Captain Britain, along with Wisdom, John and Spitfire, fought against the Skrull attack on Britain and the Siege Perilous, the source of magic and gateway to otherworld. During the battle to defend the gate and make contact with Tink, the fairy liaison between Otherworld and Earth, Captain Britain was destroyed along with the Siege Perilous.

Pete Wisdom managed to free Merlyn from his prison within Otherworld and banish the Skrull from Otherworld. Merlyn resurrected Brian as Captain Britain once more this time with totally new and enhanced powers. No longer powered by a magical item or suit Captain Britain's powers now draw directly from his willpower and the spirit of Britain itself. Brian, wielding the legendary sword Excalibur and his new powers was able to defeat the magically enhanced Super Skrull leading the British invasion and drive the Skrulls from the UK.

Defeating the Skrull had come at a large price though and with Merlyn had been released all the magical and paranormal evils that had been imprisoned alongside him. Captain Britain joined MI:13 to help protect Great Britain from these new threats and began to fight alongside them. In his most recent adventure fighting against Plokta, a duke of hell released along with Merlyn, Brian found that Meggan may still be alive somewhere between dimensions when Plokta showed him an image of Meggan in his dream corridor. Brian rushed in to save her but found that where he ended up was an illusion created by Plokta. Brian is still discovering the full extent of his new powers but it has been revealed that his strength is determined by his willpower and confidence and that his subconscious mind is strong enough to resist the strongest of illusions.

Now, are you curious to see the first name to appear on the TLC? I am really happy you all decided to play but someone has to won and someone has to come in last (which sucks goat scroat). So the first name too appear is:


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