Saturday, December 27, 2014 • Evening Edition • "Thoughtful analysis of important cultural issues."

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 68

Written by Chris Mitchell on Thursday, May 13 2010 and posted in Features
First batch of four, and wowzers!! {nomultithumb}



49. Spider-Woman (83 points)

spiderwoman.jpg"Nostalgia may have fueled her recent renaissance, but some of us loved Jessica from day one. She was a former terrorist turned outcast with a trippy origin and surrounded by utter freaks (both heroes and villains). Morgan le Fay, the Hangman, Daddy Longlegs, her two-bit crook boyfriend... Jessica was one of the most confused and directionless superheroes ever, and her 50-issue series was a fantastic ride."

"She was the first female character I got really hooked on. She was more then a female copy and had a whole different appeal. She never seemed to cave in, but kept going and I liked that. She's also looks so damn hawt."

Another I thought would be higher then she is because of the Bendis factor. Maybe she lost votes because of the motion comic? Who knows, but she didn't do good at all. But at least she beat Fury, right idiots?

Jessica Miriam Drew, daughter of Jonathan and Merriam Drew, was born in London, England. At a young age, Jessica was lethally poisoned by radiation while living near Mount Wundagore in Transia. In an attempt to save her life, her father injected her with an experimental serum based on irradiated spiders' blood. Because the serum did not have any apparent effect on her, the man who would come to be known as the High Evolutionary (Herbert Wyndham) placed her in a genetic accelerator. While in the accelerator, she aged at a decelerated rate. When she was finally released, decades later, Drew was only seventeen years old.

Jessica grew up on Mount Wundagore under the care of Lady Bova, one of the High Evolutionary's New Men. She was cared for and received the equivalent of a high school education. She eventually left when she did not appear to fit in. Her first few years were confusing as she adjusted to life among other humans. Eventually, HYDRA, under the control of Count Otto Vermis, found and recruited her as a HYDRA agent.

Through brainwashing and manipulation, she was convinced she was not human but actually an evolved spider. During this time, she went by the alias of Arachne. As a HYDRA agent, she battled Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D., until Jessica learned HYDRA's true nature. She quit HYDRA and turned on them, and was responsible for the fatal rash of HYDRA head Otto Vermis.

Her origin was retconned, removing the spider-blood serum and genetic accelerator elements of the character's previous origin story. Instead, Jessica's powers derive from her mother's womb being hit by a laser beam containing the DNA traits of several different species of spiders while she was carrying Jessica (the Drew's were trying to splice and harness spiders' environmental adaptive capabilities, in order to graft them into the human genome).

After Jessica's parents disappeared under mysterious circumstances, Jessica was recruited into HYDRA (under false pretenses), where she was made into a formidable fighter/assassin. She was trained and mentored by Taskmaster, who schooled her in many martial disciplines and more than seven different fighting styles out of his own "arsenal".

In this re-telling, Otto Vermis, who had originally recruited her into HYDRA, is rather an old, retired HYDRA agent who Jessica seduces in order to gain information that will lead her to her mother.

Going by the name Spider-Woman, Jessica used her new identity to track down her father's killer, starting her search in London. During this time, Jessica was recaptured by HYDRA and brainwashed into working for them again. This brought her into direct conflict with Ben Grimm. After HYDRA's brainwashing was reversed, she battled magical elements alongside the Thing and Mordred the Mystic.

Jessica battled Excalibur, agent of Morgan Le Fay, and then came into contact with Morgan's arch nemesis, the sorcerer Magnus. Magnus would become one of her strongest allies, and provided information that would lead Jessica to relocate with him to Los Angeles where she began her career as a costumed crime fighter. She encountered Morgan Le Fey's ghost. Jessica also tracked down her father's murderers.

Jessica was pursued at this time by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jerry Hunt, who followed her to Los Angeles to begin a romantic relationship with her.

In her early days as Spider-Woman, Jessica chose to keep her presence in Los Angeles a secret. She fought super-powered foes such as the Brothers Grimm, Hangman, the Enforcer, the Needle, Hammer and Anvil, Nekra, the Silver Samurai, Viper, Gypsy Moth, and the Waxman, and made allies such as Werewolf by Night and the Shroud.

Jessica also sought to discover the true nature of her pheromones, which appeared to produce a strong sexual attraction from men and repulsion from women. Her search led her to the Hatros Institute and her first true job. Working as a secretary, she was able to gain free medical treatment to suppress her pheromones so that she could move effectively among people without producing any unwanted side-effects. Alongside the Shroud, she battled the above mentioned Nekra and the cult of Kali, and learned of her pheromone secretions. The culmination of her time at the Hatros Institute led Jessica to her encounter with Nekra, and the loss of her job.

Unemployed, Jessica briefly considered stealing, but at the last moment decided against it. She came into contact with Spider-Man, who advised her to use her unique talents to help others in need. Jessica chose to heed his advice and became a bounty hunter. She worked closely with former FBI specialist, Scotty McDowell, who later became the Hornet. When their working relationship failed, Jessica moved with her best friend Lindsay McCabe to San Francisco where she set up a practice as a licensed private investigator. On her first assignment, she battled Siryn, Black Tom Cassidy, and the Juggernaut alongside the X-Men. She also battled Morgan Le Fey once again.

While working as a P.I., Jessica encountered the Viper and the Silver Samurai in a battle. Two main revelations came out of it. The first was that Lindsay McCabe finally learned that Spider-Woman and Jessica were one and the same (although Lindsay claimed that she had known all along). The other was Viper's claim to be Jessica's real mother, of which she tried to convince Jessica. Whether this meant she was actually Miriem Drew remains unknown, but the resemblance between the two was uncanny and even fooled other HYDRA agents. The Viper was shown to be a pawn of Chthon however, and ultimately betrayed Chthon rather than hurt Jessica. Jessica later encountered and battles the Viper again, although now the Viper believed Jessica had brainwashed her into believing that she was her mother. Not long after that, Jessica gave up her immunity powers to save Giant-Man.

Jessica traveled in astral form with Magnus to the Sixth Century England to free her friends' souls in a showdown with Morgan Le Fey in the 6th century. She managed to vanquish Morgan, but Jessica's human body died while her spirit was gone from it. Jessica was believed dead and the sorcerer, Magnus, placed a spell over humanity to remove all traces of Jessica's existence. However, this spell was faulty, and Tigra and the Shroud discovered Jessica's dead body and contacted the Avengers and Doctor Strange. It turned out that Jessica was in fact trapped on the astral plane, and was attempting to make contact with her body again. The Avengers and Strange traveled to the astral plane to battle Morgan Le Fay, who was also trapped on the astral plane. Morgan attempted to foil the Avengers' attempts to revive Jessica, bringing Morgan in direct conflict with both the Avengers and Dr. Strange. Eventually, Doctor Strange was able to reunite Jessica spirit with her human body and trap Morgan, but it was not without a cost: Jessica's bioelectric powers were eliminated and Magnus sacrificed his astral form to help restore her to life. Jessica was nevertheless grateful for returning to the land of the living, and abandoned her Spider-Woman identity. She continued her life simply as a private investigator in San Francisco, assisted by Lindsay McCabe and occasionally by Tigra, the Shroud and (during their brief time in the city) the X-Men.

Jessica Drew frequented Madripoor as a private investigator, partnered with Lindsay McCabe. During this time she had lost her ability to discharge bioelectricity, but found that her super powers were slowly returning. She still possessed superhuman strength and agility, and the ability to cling to walls. At one point, she became ensorcelled by the Black Blade and battled Wolverine. However, she became an ally and confidante of Patch (an alter-ego of Wolverine), and developed a friendship with pilot Archie Corrigan, who helped her return to San Francisco, where Jessica worked to sort out her life.

Jessica Drew's life settled down until Charlotte Witter, a villainess going by the name of Spider-Woman, stole her powers. After the theft, Jessica returned to her life as a private investigator and served as a teacher and mentor to Mattie Franklin, a young woman who had assumed the Spider-Woman identity. Jessica began to regain her powers at this time; while investigating two cases with Mattie, she made use of her restored superhuman strength and agility. Although she regained the bulk of her spider-powers, they were unstable. For example, her "venom blasts" worked efficiently in one fight, and then would fail her unexpectedly on another occasion.

When Mattie Franklin was drawn into a highly abusive and parasitic relationship with a New York-based drug dealer who cannibalized her tissue to make the "Mutant Growth Hormone" (commonly known as "MGH"), Jessica didn't hesitate to investigate (despite the instability of her powers). An initial misunderstanding with local P.I. Jessica Jones-who shared many surprising similarities to Drew-turned into an alliance when the women teamed up to rescue Mattie from her captors.

One day, a HYDRA agent known as Connely attacked her and offered her powers back as long as she rejoins S.H.I.E.L.D. and acts as a double agent. Knowing Connely would kill her if she said no, Jessica agreed and contacted Nick Fury, who confronted her securely and urged her to accept the offer as he will feed her limited info until S.H.I.E.L.D. can analyze the HYDRA cell and then use the info to take it down.

However when she went undercover to regain her lost powers, she was ambushed by the Skrulls and replaced by their current Queen Veranke, who takes her place in the New Avengers and assumes her role as Fury's spy, in preparation for the upcoming Invasion. 
In the aftermath of the Skrull Invasion, Jessica and the others are found on an orbiting Skrull ship by Iron Man. Sadly, Jessica's homecoming was rather cold, until her old friend Carol Danvers ( Ms. Marvel) ran up to her and gave her a hug. Unaware of the Skrull Queen's actions, Jessica asks why the other heroes have been giving her strange looks, to which Carol responds that "No one knows what to think."

In the aftermath of Secret Invasion, Jessica was invited by Wolverine to join the New Avengers, having nowhere else to go. She informed the other Avengers that S.H.I.E.L.D. no longer existed and later helped search for Luke and Jessica Jones's baby, Danielle. Along with Iron Fist, they attacked a HYDRA base to see if the Skrull Jarvis had contacted any Earth villains seeking a way to leave New York, possibly Earth. She also joined the Lady Liberators, who were trying to discover the identity of the Red Hulk.

Recently Spider-Woman returned to the city of her birth, London, and was approached by Agent Brand, who recruited her to become an agent of S.W.O.R.D. They provided her with a new mission -- to hunt down any remaining Skrulls from the Secret Invasion. Come the Heroic Age, she is once again defending the world as an Avenger


48. Blade (86 points - 1 first place slot)

blade.jpg"Loved this character, glad they started making him get involved with more Marvel Universe characters. He was amazing in the MI:13 book."

Fact

The man called Blade was born in a Soho Brothel, in Great Britain. Blade himself has revealed that the exact date of his birth was October 24, 1929 - also known as Black Thursday - as it was the day the stock market crash began. Blade said he is 72 years old but his vampire powers make him look much younger. Blade's mother, Tara Brooks; a prostitute at Madame Vanity's Brothel, experienced severe labor complications, and a doctor was summoned. The name of the "doctor" was Deacon Frost, in reality a bloodthirsty vampire. Frost feasted on Blade's mother during Blade's birth, killing her, and accidentally passing along certain enzymes in his own blood to the infant.

This resulted in Blade's superhuman abilities, such as immunity to being turned, ability to "smell" supernatural creatures, and greatly prolonged lifespan.

This also caused Blade's sensitivity to bright light. Frost was driven off by Blade's mother's coworkers before he could kill the infant as well. They raised him until he was nine years old. Though he lacked superhuman physical prowess, he trained himself to become an Olympic-level athlete and formidable hand-to-hand combatant. Most notably, he became an expert with edged weapons and especially knives and daggers. Walking home from school, Blade saw an old man being attacked by three bandits. Blade fought off the hoodlums, who turned out to be vampires, and rescued the old man. He learned that the old man was Jamal Afari, a jazz trumpeter and vampire hunter. Afari moved into Madame Vanity's brothel and trained the young Blade in both music and combat. Blade was soon able to defeat many of the weak, younger vampires that he and Afari found in abundance. However, Blade's victories made him cocky.

He soon joined a street gang, the Bloodshadows, which was headed by a much older and more powerful vampire than any Blade had met before: Lamia. Blade barely defeated Lamia, and, in doing so, lost his girlfriend Glory, a loss which caused him not only to accept his destiny as an enemy of the undead but also to swear to it forever. Afari himself later fell prey to the attack of the vampire Dracula, the first occurrence in an ongoing battle between him and Blade. Blade slew the vampire Afari and followed Dracula back to Europe.

Blade tracked Dracula throughout Europe and Asia Minor, then on into the far east, staking him many times, but never completely destroying him. In China, Blade joined Ogun Strong's vampire hunters which included Azu, Orji and Musenda. Together, they staked Dracula again.

Once more, Dracula survived, and taught Blade an object lesson by killing all of his new-found friends except Musenda (who eventually retired from vampire hunting). However, Orji created a lasting impression on Blade with his use of wooden daggers as a means to combat vampires. Sometime after Orji's death, Blade mastered the use of daggers and adopted the use of wooden daggers as his preferred method of combating vampires. Consumed by grief, Blade resumed his quest alone. It was decades before he again allowed himself to endanger another human.

When hunting down Dracula in Paris, Blade met up with a group of vampire hunters, being led by Quincy Harker. They have align with each other on various occasion, but Blade does officially join the team. After tracking down Dracula in London, he fought him, Morbius, and his minions. Back in America, Blade once again find himself joining Harker's team but with another ally, Dracula. Here they fight a more powerful villain, Doctor Sun. After the battle, Dracula fled, with Blade hot on his tracks. He then encountered Hannibal King, a private investigator who was turned into a vampire by Deacon Frost. They first team-up to defeat a Blade doppelganger, but when the doppelganger absorbed the real Blade, Hannibal called for Hellstorm, to exorcise Blade out of the fake one. Eventually Blade and Hannibal killed Deacon.

Blade, Hannibal and Doctor Strange formed the Borderline Investigations Inc. an investigative agency that battle supernatural beings, they battle Dracula and the Darkholders. But they briefly disbanded when King left and Blade was put in a mental hospital after a fight with a resurrected Dracula. Doctor Strange them reassembled the Borderline Investigations Inc and renamed it the Nightstalkers. When the demon Lilith tricked them to kill Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch) and Johnny Blaze. Then they all team up to defeat Lilith and Lilin. They also fought Hydra. In the story arc " Midnight Massacre", Blade becomes Switchblade by a page of the Darkhold. After a battle with Varnae, the team disbanded.

Blade once again find himself fighting a resurrected Deacon Frost and Dracula, but with the help of Hannibal King, Frost was killed yet again. he also defeated Morbius, who was being controlled by another vampire. After that he followed him to New York where Blade team-up with Spider-Man. When Morbius bit Blade, his vampire anatomy reacted to Morbius natural vampirism, that it granted him all the strengths of a vampire and eliminated his sensitivity to sunlight, which gave him the title, "Daywalker" by his enemies. Blade also had a run-in with S.H.I.E.L.D., who were retrieving his blood to create vampire operative. With the help of other vampire hunters, they were able to stop them. He then joined with other vampire hunters all over the world to prevent Dracula from becoming a god.

After this, Blade tracked down a resurrected Dracula to New York City, where he proceeded to beat both Dracula and a Vampire Spider-man. S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Howling Commando's arrived on the scene hours later to confiscate the body. Blade, however, sensed something wrong with the S.H.I.E.L.D. troops. He infiltrated their hellicarrier to find that it had a major vampire infestation. He proceeded to destroy the hellicarrier.

Weeks later, In Madison Square Garden, Blade was attacked by four Doombots - who were tasked with bringing Blade to Latveria for a meeting with Dr. Doom. Blade defeated the doom bots however; the battle gave him the motivation to make the trip of his own accord. Blade was informed that he was destined to save his mother from a vampire infested jail facility. Though not completely willing, Dr. Doom didn't take no for an answer and teleported Blade years into the past. Along with saving Dr. Dooms mother, he saved his own father, Lucas Cross, from rotting away, which would fulfill the first part of a prophecy his father had set in motion back in the present. In return, Dr. Doom gave Blade a formula that could cure an individual of their blood lust for vampires; Blade accepted the gift but didn't use it.

Blade then became one of America's most notorious after the police mistook his series of vampire killings as homicides and attempted to jail him. While on the run, Blade ran into a level 9 demon by the name of Animus. Blade defeated the demon and continued his run form the law.

He continued to Long Beach, California, where he ran into a long-time rival - Morbius. The two did battle before Morbius, who was revealed to be a registered superhuman, called in S.H.I.E.L.D. to capture Blade. Blade took out several agents before being taken down. In the office of Maria Hill it was revealed Blade was a part of a contingency plan to bring down Wolverine - seeing as the tacticians felt Blade was their best shot at taking him down. Though dismayed, a newly registered Blade went after Wolverine - after a drawn out fight where the two were on the verge of killing each other, Blade realized Wolverine had saved his life years ago and that he owed his very existence to him. Blade called off the fight and stormed into Maria's office claiming that if S.H.I.E.L.D. went after Wolverine, they would have him to deal with.

Several weeks later, Blade is captured by none other than Lucas Cross, as father and son meet for the first time. Blade, chained to a wall, is instructed by his father to feed upon a young girl - unbeknown to Blade this would fulfill the second part of the prophecy. Blade passes on the offer and chews off his own hand to escape confinement; he fights through the entire facility before escaping with the little girl.

He then travels to London where he encounters possibly one of his greatest enemies - The priest, Draconis. It is revealed that Draconis has been training for years to kill Blade, and that's precisely what he does. The newly handicapped Blade is no match for his mysterious new foe and is staked through the heart. Blade wakes up in the morgue to find a mystical amulet he had taken off a vampire thug earlier had saved him from death. Infuriated he calls upon the help of Hannibal King and with Hannibal at his back, Blade takes on Draconis once more. In order to defeat Draconis Blade feeds upon him to remove his enhanced abilities and then kills him. To his father's joy, Blade accidentally fulfilled the second part of the prophecy by feeding upon virgin blood.

Blade uses his S.H.I.E.L.D. resources to order himself a new hand - a gun hand, which he tests out on none other than England's Union Jack. After the two resolve their differences, Blade makes his way back to New York where everything started. He interrogates both Lucas Cross and Spiderman to find out that his long time mentor, Jamal Afari, was alive and kicking - on Dracula's side. He goes home and is abducted once again my his father who seeks to complete the third and final part of the prophecy. Blade, Hannibal King, and Lucas Cross travel to Dracula's Castle - now a tourist attraction - in order to attempt to complete a prophecy Lucas believes will give all vampires' back their souls. All it would require is Blade to shatter his newly acquired amulet and drop a piece of the stake he used to kill Dracula to the salted ground. Blade declines - and a furious Hannibal King attacks him. Blade makes short work of Hannibal King and his father's henchmen - however Dracula arrives on the scene with Jamal Afari in order to help Lucas to complete the prophecy. Dracula shatters the amulet and then attacks Blade; Jamal Afari breaks Dracula's control and attacks him, but is kicked to the ground. Enraged Blade charges at Dracula, yet knocks into his father who accidentally drops the vial containing the stake fragment that killed Dracula. It shatters on the ground, however they feel no different - save for a resurrected Hannibal King. They all realize Dracula had been manipulating Lucas Cross the entire time - not into giving vampires' back their souls - but into resurrecting every single vampire that had ever died. Blade and Hannibal part ways, leaving a broken Lucas Cross, but not before Blade gives Hannibal the serum Dr. Doom had made to cure a vampire of his or her blood lust.

Blade is then recruited to lead a secret government team of superheroes known as Vanguard. The team if comprised of, Micromax, Retcon, Dominic Fortune, and Yelena Belova. The original leader is murdered and they're tasked with finding the murderer, it is revealed that Stacy Dolan, the detective assigned the murder case, was in fact their leader murderer. However, she had been mind-controlled by an individual named Yoosef. After he manipulates The Thing into attacking their team, Blade shoots him in the head, and has the team wipe The Things memories and teleport him away.

Surprisingly, their original leader, Colonel America, the most powerful telekinetic on the planet, shows himself and it is revealed that not only was he never dead, the government wanted the team disbanded, seeing as Micromax had been captured and tortured by Al Qaeda on a mission and they now knew more about Vanguard than the president. - in other words killed. Thinking quickly, the team gives Colonel America the illusion that he killed them and port away. They then go into hiding. Unfortunately, Blade is captured and tortured, the rest were safe as Blade used a back-up story to explain why he was the only one who survived.

After this Blade made his way to England to serve in another secret organization - MI:13. Following the Skrull invasion of Britain, Blade joined MI:13 to aid with the resurgence of evil forces, resulting from the Skrulls defeat. Blade fails to integrate himself, however, when he attempts to kill fellow team member, and part-vampire, Spitfire.

His actions were tempered by the Hell-Lord, Plokta, in action at the moment, and his surprise at finding out about her Vampire nature. Coaching her on the extent of her new abilities he helped her to regenerate from the damage he had caused, before moving on. Blade was able to use his senses to track Plokta, using one of his special weapons, a paper katana made from Holy Texts, to harm the beast. Until he and the rest of the team were capture in the Dream Corridor, by their turn-coat teammate.

While in the Dream Corridor, Blade and his team-mates were forced to confront visions, and more of the Plokta's useless drones, though when Peter forced the Ebony Blade to free them they were able to once more confront the Hell Lord. Realizing that Blade's weapon was the only one that could hurt him, surprising considering Excalibur and the Ebony Blade were present, he used his hell fire to destroy it. Blade and his teammates were able to figure out how to defeat him, with Captain Britain dealing the finishing blow.

Blade was kept on the team at the insistence of Spitfire, much to Peter's and his own surprise. Once they returned to base, he confided in Lady J about his unease with working someplace he originally set out to assault. She allays his fears and also kisses him, making clear her intentions at starting something with him.

Next, came repercussions of his father's mistake. Dracula - along with Captain Fate, Lilith, and the new Baron Blood - launched an attack on an unsuspecting England in an attempt to transform the country into a haven for the world's vampires. Dracula's initial strike involved an attempt at taking out MI:13's heroes early, when this failed the agents rallied at base where they assessed the threat and realized Spitfire was missing. Blade never failed to remain calm despite rising tension between him and Union Jack. MI:13 used the captured Plokta to ensnare Dracula into the Dream Corridor where they watched Dracula's entire plan pan-out. They saw as each of them fell before the enormity of Dracula's army, and with Spitfire in command of his ground forces, Dracula took over England. In this dream Blade was the only survivor in England; after one of Lilith's blasts sent him flying from the battlefield he fled to the north.

However, Dracula realized the situation and broke free from the Dream Corridor, just as his plans began to fell apart. He lost control over Spitfire, and MI:13 began to tackle Dracula's forces directly. Captain Fate fell against The Black Knight, Lilith against Captain Britain, Dracula against Excalibur, and Baron Blood against Blade. Britain is saved and we see a glimpse of Blade and Spitfire exchanging a kiss as MI:13's adventures end.

Most recently, Blade, alongside a plethora of Marvel's magical characters, was possessed by Nightmare in an attempt at taking over the world. He, fighting alongside his MI:13 comrades, both Ghost Riders, a newly resurrected Dracula, and more, launched an assault on both Dr. Doom and Dr. Voodoo, who both managed to hold the assault back for days. Blade was seen among the many bodies strewn across the landscape after being defeated by Voodoo and Doom. Though, we know he returns because he is involved in the X-Vampires storyline. Weeeeeee...


47. Iceman (89 points - 1 first place slot)

iceman.jpg"I always loved Bobby Drake and thought he deserved a lot more respect than he received."

I could always relate with this guy. I was the youngest of all my friends, and a smart ass. I dunno, people never took me seriously and still don't to a degree. Anywho.

Robert Drake was born in Port Washington, Long Island, New York, to William Robert Drake and Madeline Beatrice Bass Drake. When he hit puberty, his powers first started to emerge, as Bobby always had a cold, until he learned to control it. His powers first manifest when Bobby is on a date with Judy Harmon, and a local bully by the name of Rocky Beasely tries to take Judy away for himself. Knowing Judy cannot put up a good fight, Bobby points his hand at Beasely and encases him in a block of ice. As a result, Judy ran away, since she couldn't stand to be with a mutant. Later, the local townspeople, having heard about what Bobby did, come looking for him in the form of an angry mob. The local sheriff has no choice but to put Bobby in jail for his own "protection." While Bobby sits in his cell at the sheriff station, the outer wall is blown open, and a man named Scott Summers ( Cyclops) walks in and offers to take Bobby with him. After Bobby turns him down, the two mutants get into a short battle, which is soon ended by Professor Charles Xavier. After Xavier has sat down and talked with Bobby and his parents, Bobby's parents suggest that he go with Professor Xavier to his "school for gifted youngsters." Bobby takes the suggestion and leaves with Professor Xavier and Cyclops to become the second member of the X-Men. He is later joined by Hank McCoy, Jean Grey, and Warren Worthington III as the charter members of the X-Men.

Iceman quickly befriends Hank McCoy (Beast), and the two serve as comic relief for the team. Drake, however, remains self-conscious regarding the fact that he is the youngest member of the group. Appearing in his original snow covered form, he first battles Magneto along with the rest of the team, and later the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Not long after, he takes on a new ice-covered form as his control as his mutant powers get better. He then teams with the Human Torch for the first time. With the X-Men, he visits the Savage Land and meets Ka-Zar. He then battles the Juggernaut, and is badly injured in his first battle against the Sentinels. He next battles Magneto by himself. Then, he and the Beast battle the Maha Yogi. During his original stint with the X-Men, Drake pursues a relationship with Lorna Dane, although the relationship does not last. Iceman is among the original X-Men captured by Krakoa, leading to a new incarnation of X-Men of which he is not a part. With most of the original team, he quits the X-Men.

Soon after Iceman relocates to California to attend UCLA and co-founds the super hero team The Champions of Los Angeles. The Champions soon dissolve however.

Iceman is then kidnapped by the Sentinel Master Mold. Drake gives up his life as a superhero to study in accounting. While in college, he briefly teams up the X-Men to rescue the captives of Arcade's henchman Miss Locke. Iceman is reunited with Beast, and encounters Cloud, and then returns as a full-time superhero in an incarnation of the Defenders alongside his former teammates, Angel and Beast. After the Defenders disband, Drake once again embarks on his career as an accountant.

A little while later, Iceman encounters Mirage, the "daughter" of Oblivion. Iceman goes back in time and actually meets his parents before he was born. He battles Oblivion and Mirage. He then achieves reconciliation with his parents.

The original X-Men, including Iceman, reunite to form the superhero team X-Factor. With this new team, he encounters Apocalypse for the first time. During his time with the team, the Asgardian trickster god Loki captures Bobby, hoping to use him to gain control over the Frost Giants. Loki enhances Bobby's powers and then extracts them to restore the size of the Frost Giants. Iceman is rescued by Thor. Loki's tampering increases Bobby's powers to such an extent that he is then forced to wear a power-dampening belt. Once able only to sheathe his own body in a protective coating of ice, Bobby finds he can encase the entirety of the Empire State Building. With time, Bobby gains sufficient control over his augmented powers that he is able to stop using the inhibitor belt. Believing he has achieved his full potential, Bobby does not attempt to develop his abilities further.

With X-Factor, Bobby then defeats Apocalypse's Horsemen. Iceman helps watch over many of the younger superheroes, something he once was. Most notably, he and Beast help Boom Boom gain a more normal life. For a brief while, he also helps supervise the New Mutants and their sister team, the X-Terminators. They, in turn, save him from the deadly kiss of Infectia.

Bobby also develops a romantic relationship with Opal Tanaka. After a session of ice sledding, she discovers threatening mail in her mailbox, a precursor to harassment by her cybernetically-enhanced relatives ( Cybersamurai)of the Tatsu Clan of the Yakuza. Bobby has to rescue her from them after they abduct her and try to force wed her to give her grandfather a heir. Bobby does battle with Hiro for her heart and comes out the winner thus saving her from the life of a yakuza wife. After the Muir Island Saga, Iceman rejoins the X-Men along with the rest of X-Factor.

Upon rejoining the X-Men, Iceman becomes a member of the Gold Squadron, under the leadership of Storm. For much of his time, he continues his role as the team's practical joker and comic relief. However, when Emma Frost, the former White Queen of the Hellfire Club, takes over his body and uses his powers at levels which he himself has previously been unable to reach, Iceman begins to suffer from depression and starts to reassess his life. The White Queen subsequently believes that Iceman has the potential to be one of the most powerful mutants on Earth. At one point, Iceman confronts Emma demanding that she show him how she was able to use his powers in such a manner. Although she first tells him to "figure it out himself," she later goads him into accessing the power all by himself.

Around this time, Iceman takes a road-trip with fellow X-Man Rogue. She becomes a danger to herself and others, forcing Iceman into the role of protector. Iceman leaves the X-Men shortly after the incident with the White Queen, only to take an uncharacteristic turn as a leader during Operation: Zero Tolerance.

Not long after the Twelve incident against Apocalypse, Iceman, Jean Grey, Mystique, and Juggernaut are summoned by the sentient spaceship Prosh who sends the make-shift team on a journey through time to uncover the keys to preserving human evolution. Their mission: save the human race from a threat that might not manifest itself for millions of years. During their trips through time, Iceman is allowed to experience his abilities at far greater levels than he has ever attempted before. These experiences force Iceman to come to the realization that he no longer needs to fear the evolution of his abilities, and he returns to the X-Men intent on exploring his mutant powers to the fullest.

While working with a team of X-Men some time later, Drake undergoes a secondary mutation that prevents him from transforming a damaged portion of his chest back to flesh. Upon encountering Azazel and his followers, Iceman's body is shattered from the neck down. Afterwards, he regains his entire ice form, but cannot change back to his human appearance. As a result, Bobby becomes both bitter and despondent because of this drastic change.

After Polaris breaks up with Havok, Iceman admits that he still has feelings for her. The two engage in mild flirtation, and a relationship between the two develops.

After the events of the House of M, Iceman finds himself to be flesh and blood again and believes himself to have lost his powers. Shortly after, while being held at gun point by the Leper Queen, Emma Frost "pushes" something in Bobby's mind that forces him to turn to ice. Further examination reveals that Drake had not lost his powers, but rather had unconsciously repressed them on his own. After this, Bobby is once again able to revert from ice to flesh.

Iceman joins Rogue's team after she tells him that she wants him as a member. Their first mission as a team is to fight a new threat, a powerful group known as the Children of the Vault. The team is successful and during this time, Bobby learns that he can be completely destroyed but then pull himself back together again. It was shown several times during the arc. Also during this arc Mystique kisses Bobby and he responds but it is unknown whether it was an actual kiss or if she was performing mouth-to-mouth.

The next mission for the team was to locate a man called Pandemic and defeat him. The team again were successful but Rogue was infected with a virus called Strain 88. Cable took the team, including Bobby, to his island so Rogue could get treatment.

While on Cable's Island the team and Iceman began working to defeat the Shi'ar weapon known as the Hecatomb. During the chaos, he shared a passionate kiss with Mystique. Even as he did so, he saved many lives by containing the explosion of the Conquistador, and, later, the Hecatomb itself.

As the team recovers from Hecatomb attack in Rogue's childhood home, it appears that Mystique and Iceman begin a romantic relationship. This was a front, however, as Mystique was using Iceman and the X-Men as a Marauders spy for Mr. Sinister. Marauders soon infiltrate the house, they attempt to gain access to the Destiny Diaries on the order of Mr. Sinister (who has been gathering information about the future from anybody and anything having ability to foretell the future). Shortly after, Mystique, showing her true allegiance to the Marauders, shoots Rogue in the chest. It has yet to be shown how her betrayal will affect Iceman's mental stability. Bobby and Cannonball escape from the Marauders in the X-Jet, with help from Emma Frost. They are pursued by Sunfire; they manage to get the better of him and take him prisoner, but not before he manages to cripple the jet. While Sunfire is unconscious, Iceman and Sam discuss the Mauraders' plan to eliminate all precognitive mutants and anyone with knowledge of the future as well as retrieving Destiny's Diaries before the Marauders can. It is revealed that Bobby has the power to prevent Shiro from using his powers on a sub-atomic level during Cannonball's interrogation of Shiro. Cannonball and Bobby, telepathically prompted by Emma Frost, attempt to recover the Destiny Diaries which are hidden in a dilapidated brewery. Mr. Sinister uses the reverse-engineered version Xavier's Cerebro to track the pair of X-Men to the brewery. The Marauders attack Cannonball and Bobby and overtake them. Bobby, while in his ice form, suffers a gunshot wound from Mystique which severs one of his arms above the elbow. Sinister, who takes Cannonball prisoner, attempts to telepathically erase his mind so that the X-Men will find him as an empty shell. Iceman attacks Sinister, distracting him, which allows both of the X-Men to escape.

When the New X-Men team decided to raid the headquarters of the Purifiers in Washington, D.C. but were forced to retreat. Pixie teleported them back to the mansion in a rush, but the entire team was scattered between D.C. and Westchester. Iceman, after recovering from his injuries, volunteered to go look for them and was given telepathic directions by Emma Frost. Iceman was successful in finding the New X-Men, most of them injured. On the way back, they found that the O*N*E* Sentinels guarding the Xavier Institute became infected by nano-Sentinels and attacked the school. Iceman and New X-Man, X-23 helped out in the battle with the O*N*E* Sentinels. With the help of Dust and X-23, the X-Men were able to survive this battle but the nano-Sentinel infected human escaped. Soon, Iceman participated in the final battle against the Marauders, the Acolytes, and Predator X. He was one of the X-Men who came running in to fight Predator X after it swallowed Wolverine whole. Unfortunately, he also witnessed his mentor, Professor Xavier, "killed" by Bishop's bullet that wasn't meant for him.


46. Wonder Man (92 points)

wonderman.jpg"Always loved his pairings with Beast. Pure hilarity."

I once said Wonder Man here is pretty much the Fall Guy without the truck and cool theme song. Do you agree? Discuss.

I always think he took a step backward when they got right of the Ionic form Busiek introduced. Anywho, after he teamed up with his brother in Dark Reign, I can see why he is pissed at the other Avengers, they kinda let him rot in jail if I recall. Or did they? I should finish their mini. Anywho, here is Amoebas.

Simon Williams has no idea how to run his fathers company but that's just what he has to do ever since his father died. He has the best of intentions but his decisions just don't work out. Worse yet, he listens to his weasel of a brother Eric, who convinces him to embezzle from his own company. Simon is caught and jailed (being the good brother he didn't blame his brother). He did however blame a certain Tony Stark whose company thrived while Williams failed.

Williams was bailed out by a woman he didn't know. Her beauty and guile had Simon eating out of the palm of her hand. She convinced him to take part in a procedure that would allow him to get back at Stark. Turns out the woman was the Asgardian Enchantress who was currently aligned with the Masters of Evil led by Baron Zemo.

Zemo experimented on Williams with an ionic energy that left Simon impossibly strong and resilient. Given a costume he took the name Wonder Man. His mission: destroy the Avengers. The plan was classic, infiltrate and betray. The first part worked as Wonder Man aided the Avengers and gained their trust and was offered limited membership. Once the time came from Zemo, Wonder Man enacted the second part of the plan and attacked his new ‘teammates'. Having a change of heart he opted to side with the avengers against the Masters of Evil. Zemo had prepared for this possibility though. In order to control Wonder Man, Zemo required Simon drink a potion that if he didn't drink it by a certain time, Wonder Man would die.

Knowing this didn't stop Simon doing what was right and true to Zemo's word, Simon died in the battle.

The Avengers took Simon's body and stored it in the hopes that some day they might revive him. They recorded his brain patterns and put his body on ice.

Much later, Simon's brother Eric has been obsessed with wanting revenge against those that killed his brother and is misguided to think it was the Avengers. He obtains a powerful scythe weapon and becomes the Grim Reaper and repeatedly attempts to destroy the Avengers.

Also around this same time, the recorded brain patterns of Simon Williams are secretly stolen from the Avengers faults (they would later be used as the template for the synthizoid Vision).

Years later Wonder Man is delivered to Avengers Mansion and he burst out ALIVE (but a little brain dead still). The Avengers subdue him and set about trying to resolve his resurrection. Their journey takes into a battle against Black Talon, zombies, the Grim Reaper again and the Living Laser. During this, Simon's mind would finally wake up. Being ‘dead' for so long, he stayed with the Avengers rather than try to pick up Simon Williams life.

Yet again, the Grim Reaper would strike and after capturing a number of Avengers, he staged a trial to find his brother. The Vision had Simon's brain pattern but Wonder Man had Simon's body. The debate was left unresolved to the Reaper's satisfaction when Wonder Man revealed that he wasn't human anymore.

When Simon ‘died' way back when, he didn't die so much as went into a long coma. The Ionic nature of Zemo's treatment had over the years converted Wonder Man into something new, a true Ionic Man. Physically he was Simon, but his inner composition was energy.

All of this left Simon confused and insecure. He was certainly one of the most powerful Avengers but that didn't matter as he became scared at the thought of ‘dying' again. He eventually got over this just seconds before he and the Avengers were killed by Korvac. (They got better). Throughout his troubled time he became a full Avenger and established a close friendship with Hank "Beast" McCoy.

In time the Simon looks to do more than just be an Avenger. He becomes a regular on a kids TV show, this path would eventually lead him to Hollywood where his powers made him an stunt man.

All ready in California, Wonder Man is asked to join Hawkeye's new Avengers West Coast. Simon joins and is their powerhouse member. In time, the Vision (who Simon accepts as his ‘brother' more than he does his own brother) is dismantled by an evil organization. The attempts to restore are halted as they need Simon's brain patterns. Simon refuses. No one understand why, but it's discovered that Simon has begun to fall in love with the Scarlet Witch and if the Vision is fully restored he wouldn't have the chance to be with her. His selfishness aside, he stays an Avenger and is instrumental to their success.

During a galactic battle, Simon powers are slightly altered and again later after a mishap in Space, Simon's body is converted fully to Ionic energy. Simon is killed shortly after while on a mission with the Kree.

Time goes on and the Scarlet Witch, over the Vision (who was eventually fully restored) she began to realize she did care for Simon and missed him. In times of dire need, she would think of him and he would appear as being of pure Ionic energy. In time her love for Simon would restore him back to his ionic life. The two become romantically involved for a time.

After the Avengers dissolved, Simon was blackmailed into being Pro Registration and later went on to publicly regret being a super-hero. This appeared to be short term thinking as there's little doubt that Wonder Man will be back.



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