Thursday, May 24, 2018 • Afternoon Edition • "The place to talk some shit."

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 70

Written by Chris Mitchell on Thursday, May 13 2010 and posted in Features
A group of four females in this batch, and remember to look at the bottom. {nomultithumb}

41. Black Widow (114 points - 2 first place slots)

blackwidow.jpg"A gorgeous, sexy killer super spy? I mean, really, there's not much more you need from that alone. But Natasha has it.

She's been a hero and a villain. A traitor to her own country. A double agent. She's a female James Bond, but like the Daniel Craig style, grounded James Bond. Not the eye-rolling horrible Die Another Day-Bond."

Born as Natalia Romanova in Stalingrad, to parents still unknown, during World War II, Natasha Romanoff had the building in which she lived in set on fire, and a woman, perhaps her mother, threw her into the arms of Ivan Petrovitch who was serving in the army. Ivan took care of her when she was growing up and became her chauffeur. Ivan protected Natasha, until in 1941, she was kidnapped by the Nazi Baron Strucker and was made an assassin for the Hand. However, she was taken back by Ivan, Captain America and Wolverine.

Natasha excelled greatly in school and proved to be an excellent athlete and became a ballerina. She later fell in love with and married Alexei Shostakov, but Alexei would die (apparently) soon afterward during the testing of an experimental rocket. Natasha was deeply upset, and wanted people to remember her as well as her husband. So she decided to honor his memory by achieving her husband's goal of becoming an intelligence operative, and soon joined the Red Room Academy where they would train her and many other women to become skilled operatives. Natasha would become an extremely talented operative, the KGB gave her the name Black Widow.

In reality the KGB had decided that the Shostakovs would make good agents for them. While Alexei Shostakov was on a mission, he was informed of this decision, and that he could not make contact with anybody he knew, even his own wife. During this time, Alexei was trained as the Red Guardian, intended to be the Russian equivalent of Captain America.

In the 2004 Black Widow mini-series, Natasha's origin was Retconned to fix the continuity of her lengthy life span and youth. In the series, Natasha was raised by the U.S.S.R.'s "Black Widow Ops" program her entire life. Natasha, along with other young female orphans, were trained in the program to become skilled operatives for espionage missions. During the training, all the girls were subjected to biological and psychological enhancements in the Red Room. This explains why Natasha lived from World War II until the present and but still appears quite youthful. The program subjected all the girls to brainwashing and implanted false memories in order to maintain their loyalty. Natasha eventually discovered that her memories were all false and were there because of brainwashing.

When Wolverine came back to America, Black Widow saved him from Hydra assassins and encountered him again when Thing and Ms. Marvel stole the Red Storm project from Russia. She pursued them, but was ordered to abort the mission. Her first assignment was to infiltrate Stark Industries with her partner Boris Turgenov in the assassination of Anton Vanko. The Black Widow however had her plans stopped by Iron Man. Natasha showed an attraction to Tony Stark, and decided to try and distract him so her partner could destroy Stark's plants. Soon after her partner Boris Turgenov and enemy Anton Vanko died, Natasha decided to stay in America and act as an undercover spy in order to regain the favor of the K.G.B. She began a romantic relationship with Tony Stark. However, her real plans were to steal his anti-gravity device. Natasha would be successful in stealing the device and used it to cause destruction. Eventually Iron Man would be able to take back his anti-gravity device, however was unsuccessful at capturing Natasha.

Natasha would soon run into Hawkeye, who was a wanted man by mistake. She would sometimes use Hawkeye as he was attracted to her, and he would help her in some of her missions. Natasha was able to trick Hawkeye into stealing plans from Tony Stark. Hawkeye agreed to her plan and would eventually run into Iron Man. The two fought each other while Natasha watched from far away. However, one of Hawkeye's arrows was reflected by Iron Man and it flew off and hit Natasha, knocking her unconscious. After she woke up, the K.G.B. gave her orders to stop attacking Stark Industries and gave her a new target, the Williams Innovations. Natasha would again convince Hawkeye somehow into attacking the company. However, Hawkeye would encounter Spider-Man, who convinced him that he was doing the wrong thing. However, Natasha would somehow convince Hawkeye again into stealing the Stark plans again. While Hawkeye was on the mission, the K.G.B. came and kidnapped Natasha, bringing her back to Russia. They designed a new costume for Natasha and new equipment. Natasha then returned to join Hawkeye in a battle against Iron Man. However, Iron Man would defeat them when he shocks Natasha with an electrical blast.

However, her attraction towards Hawkeye questioned her loyalty to Russia. Hawkeye refused to work with Black Widow, and joined the Avengers. The K.G.B. once again kidnapped Natasha, and brainwashed her into serving for them again. They ordered her to attack the Avengers, but she freed herself from their brainwashing, and reunited with Hawkeye. She became an ally of the Avengers, aiding them in many missions. However, she was not a full time member as she did not respect the Avenger's oath of non-killing.

Natasha later decided to join S.H.I.E.L.D. to be their double agent and operative against the K.G.B. During a mission for S.H.I.E.L.D., Natasha discovered that Alexi Shostakov was in fact still alive and had become the Red Guardian. She and the Avengers fought Red Guardian and he died in battle. Distraught, she declined the Avengers' offer to make her an official member, and abandoned her Black Widow alias for a while.

Black Widow's relationship with Hawkeye ended when Natasha resumed her identity as the Black Widow. She told him that she wanted to pursue a solo career and had to break it off with him. She became an all new Black Widow, changing her costume into an all black color. She became a vigilante and fought against common criminals in New York. Eventually Natasha would be reunited with Ivan when he comes to America, Ivan served as Natasha's chauffeur and would occasionally give her advice. While working in New York, Natasha would encounter Daredevil. The two quickly teamed up and eventually developed a romantic relationship. Natasha's relationship with Foggy Nelson, Matt partner, was never good, as he was brainwashed into prosecuting Natasha for the murder of the Scorpion. Natasha never forgave Foggy for that incident, even though she was proven innocent.

Eventually, Matt and Natasha's relationship would go so far to the point where Matt broke up with Karen Page. The new couple decided to move to San Francisco to start a new life there. They continued their duo vigilante careers in the streets of San Francisco. Natasha would pursue a career outside of crime fighting and would try to become a fashion designer. However, she failed at this endeavor. This did not help her relationship with Matt, which had become a bit shaky. Natasha and Daredevil would later aid the Avengers in a battle against Magneto, and the two were offered memberships to the Avengers which they accepted. However, Natasha soon realized that she was not a comfortable fit for a team while fighting the Lion God. Natasha quit the Avengers and reconciled with Matt. They continued their relationship for quite some time, but eventually Natasha would break up with Matt because she felt he did not treat her equally in the battle field. She would remain friends with Matt and continue to help him on occasion.

She remained on the West Coast and briefly joined and led the Champions of Los Angeles, all the while having a short-lived relationship with Hercules. The group was funded by Angel and achieved moderate success, but was eventually broken off due to bankruptcy, and Black Widow went solo for a while. Now solo again, Natasha was still widely known by the criminal underworld as one of Daredevil's lovers. With this knowledge, Bullseye kidnapped Natasha, wanting to use her as bait to lure Daredevil into a trap. Natasha was able to free herself and aided Daredevil in defeating Bullseye. Later, an enemy of Natasha's named Damon Dran captured Ivan in order to lure Black Widow into his trap. He had an army of female combatants. Damon Dran wanted to send a fake Black Widow to assassinate Nick Fury. Natasha defeated Dran's agents and told Fury about the attempted assassination saving Ivan before Dran's island was bombed by S.H.I.E.L.D.

Later, The Hand wanted to steal Kirgi, a dead master warrior. Black Widow thwarted their plans but they poisoned her and she died, only to be restore to life once again by Stone of the Chaste. She joined with Daredevil again and attempted to revive Elektra. Although Daredevil thought this attempt had failed, Natasha knew that Elektra had been successfully revived by Stone, but she kept this information from Daredevil for his own good.

Russian agents duped Natasha into doing their dirty work by building a model of Alexei Shostakov called a Life Model Decoy (LMD). They threatened to kill "Alexei" if she did not participate in their plans. When Natasha got what they needed, they revealed the truth and tried to kill her but she defeated them with Ivan's help. Natasha's brain was then reprogrammed into an agent called "Oktober" launching missiles to ignite World War III. Natasha was successful in launching the missiles. Iron Man however, stopped the missiles from detonating and helped her capture the K.G.B. agent responsible for the reprogramming.

Natasha returned to the Avengers and even though Black Knight was the leader on the field, she was leader in managing the team's plans. During this time, she was attracted to Captain America, but she ended up with Iron Man. Under her leadership of the team, they were all apparently killed in battle by Onslaught. She attempted to recruit new heroes, but failed and threatened legal action against her from Mary Stark Foundation and let go.

Natasha thought herself to be the last Avenger and embarked solo, hunting down the Avenger's enemies Grey Gargoyle and the Masters Of Evil. She came across Daredevil again who was concerned with her mental state, but this only complicated his life because he was rebuilding his relationship with Karen Page. Natasha wanted to reconcile their relationship, but she understood that Karen and Matt were trying to rebuild theirs, so left them their space. She even offered to help Karen when Mr. Fear framed her for murder. Later when the hero team the Thunderbolts were revealed to be the Masters of Evil in disguise, Natasha convinced them that other criminals had turned a new leaf and they managed to become real good guys.

The Avengers returned from the alternate Universe they had been shunted off to and Natasha would sometimes help on their missions, though she felt she was responsible for their break up. Natasha worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. and shut down Freedom's Light, a terrorist group and asked Iron Man's help in her infiltration of a forced-labor camp run by The Mandarin. Natasha then battled a man called Vindiktor, who claimed that he had diaries from her deceased mother and revealed that he was her brother. He died before he could confirm this, however.

When Daredevil believed that baby Karen was the Anti-Christ, Natasha protected the baby but was severely injured. In the end, Karen Page died protecting the child. Natasha revealed that she still loved Matt, though they were too far apart to become a couple again.

Natasha came into competition with another Black Widow named Yelena Belova. Yelena was also trained in the "Red Room" and became obsessed with being the only Black Widow. They encountered each other on a mission where while attempting to retrieve the Endless Fury bio weapon. The two would eventually fight, afterwards Natasha and Yelena traded appearances in order for Yelena to realize that her superiors did not care if she died or lived. Despite the other Black Widow, Natasha remains as one of the greatest S.H.I.E.L.D. agents alive.

After the incident with the New Warriors in Stamford Natasha was a supporter of the Superhuman Registration Act, and worked with Iron Man's group to capture rogue Super Heroes. After the death of Captain America, Natasha was assigned to transport Captain America's shield. However in doing so, she was attacked by Bucky Barnes. Bucky knocked Natasha unconscious and stole the shield. It was revealed that Natasha and Bucky had a romantic relationship back when she was still training to become an operative.

Natasha was then chosen to become a member of the Mighty Avengers and she helps the team defeat Ultron. She and the Falcon rescued Bucky from the Red Skull and brought him to S.H.I.E.L.D. There Bucky becomes the new Captain America, and she later helps him stop the Red Skull's plan to control America, in the process saving S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Sharon Carter. Natalia/Natasha then started to date James again. She was later order by S.H.I.E.L.D. to help capture Hercules, but let him go because of her respect for the Greek god.

Natasha joined the Mighty Avengers as they traveled to the Savage Land to take a look at a crashed Skrull ship and together with the New Avengers, fought off a group of Skrulls that looked like different superheroes dressed in their old costumes. She and the Avengers later joined the final Skrull battle in Central Park. After this she continued to date Captain America (James Barnes) and continued to be his partner, but no longer with the Mighty Avengers or with S.H.I.E.L.D. after it was shut down by Norman Osborn.

Natasha was revealed to have been posing as Yelena Belova on Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts team, secretly working for Nick Fury. She helps Songbird escape the Thunderbolts and reunite with former teammates Fixer and Abner Jenkins.

After helping Maria Hill and Pepper Potts save Tony Stark's life, the Black Widow has now embarked on a new solo career.

40. She-Hulk (122 points - 2 first place slots)

shehulk.jpg"She's one of those characters you don't have to take too seriously and that's what makes her fun. Even her name seems to be a tribute to the cheesy old sci-fi comics of the 50s, but she's in many ways a very modern character. She's a smart, independent and tough woman who can take a moment to laugh at herself."

"Just a fun character, intelligent, and independent."

"She-Hulk started out as a bland female derivation, but thankfully evolved into such an interesting perspective into superhero celebrity. Jen Walters has always believed becoming the She-Hulk was the best thing to happen to her, and has lived life to the fullest since becoming green and gamma-powered."

"I liked how she quickly evolved from a Hadrian to a playboy playmate with a sense of fun and super-powers. She's not dumb nor a slouch in power, but the silliness of her adventures made her not to like"

Jennifer Walters is the daughter of Sheriff Morris Walters. Jennifer is also Bruce Banner's cousin, A.K.A the Hulk. She was five years younger then Bruce, however, the two developed a close brother and sister relationship while they were growing up together. They eventually went their separate ways as they both pursued different careers. Jennifer began to pursue a career in Law and eventually became a Lawyer. She attended UCLA School of Law where she became one of the top legal scholars and earned her Junior Doctor Degree there. She would eventually earn her Masters degree at Harvard Law School. One day, Bruce decided to visit Jennifer and re-establish their once close relationship. Unfortunately on that very same day, Jennifer was shot and seriously wounded by Nicholas Trask's men, a crime boss who had once been an enemy of her father and also the enemy of one of Jennifer's client. To save her life, Bruce had to give her a blood transfusion since there were no other donors of her type available. Bruce's gamma-radiated blood caused Jennifer to transform into the Savage She-Hulk. Jennifer first transformed into the She-Hulk when Trask's men came to finish off Jennifer by posing as doctors. However, Jennifer quickly recognized them and the fear of them nearly killing her caused her to turn into a female Hulk.

At first, Jennifer was unable to control the She-Hulk similar to her cousin, the Hulk. At one point, Jennifer had a mental block on herself to keep her from changing into the Savage She-Hulk. However, she eventually was able to maintain her intelligence in She-Hulk form. She also began to come to terms with her dual personas as she loved the confidence she had in her She-Hulk form. There was also a point where she loved being the She-Hulk more then her normal form. Jennifer eventually comes to terms with both forms, feeling that she can offer society more with both her forms. After fighting solo for awhile, she joined the Avengers the same time that Hawkeye rejoined the Avengers. She continued to work with the Avengers up to the Secret Wars, where she returned as a temporary member of the Fantastic Four, replacing The Thing until his return. While on a mission with the Fantastic Four, Jennifer was able to prevent a radiation leak on a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. After a successful attempt of stopping the radiation, it appeared to Jennifer that she could not transform back to her normal body. However, Jennifer happily accepted this as she loved to be in her She-Hulk form more then her normal human body. Eventually, it would be revealed that the reason she could not change back to her normal body was because she was psychologically blocking that ability. Jennifer would eventually be able to transform back into her human body.

After the Thing returned to the Fantastic Four, Jennifer quit the team and rejoined the Avengers. She also got anew job on District Attorney Blake Tower's staff. Jennifer would eventually learn that one of the workers there was a former Golden Age super heroine named Blonde Phantom. Blonde Phantom was the reason that Jennifer gained a job on the District Attorney's staff. When the Scarlet Witch went insane and killed many of the Avengers, She-Hulk was used by the Scarlet Witch when she made She-Hulk go insane. She-Hulk went on a rampage similar to the Hulk and was unstoppable. She even rips Vision in half while she was uncontrollable.

Jennifer registered a under the Super-Human Registration Act and is pro-registration. However, Jennifer still gives legal advice for any side that needed it. Jennifer worked as a lawyer for a Superhuman Law firm and married John Jameson, son of Daily Bugle Publisher, J. Jonah Jameson. In order to gain Jonah's blessing, Jennifer came up with a plan that would help Jonah sue Peter Parker for fraud. However, she reveals that it was going to keep Jonah in a wild goose chase as she had no intentions of suing Spider-Man. Jennifer was also the lawyer for Robbie Baldwin (Speedball), who was the cause of the Superhuman Registration Act going into action. Eventually Jennifer discovers that her feelings toward John had been manipulated by Starfox, the Titan. She is currently separated from John. One of the ramifications of the SHRA is that She-Hulk has now been drafted as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and works on a squad dedicated to Hulk-Level threats. However, Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D. have been sending Jennifer and her team in a wild goose chase, telling them to "go after the Hulk" when they actually aren't. After sleeping with Iron Man, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier went crazy and all the technology began attacking everyone. She-Hulk had to go up against a bunch of Nick Fury LMDs that went insane. After everything calmed down, Jennifer was holding a severed head of the Fury LMD when it mentioned Bruce Banner. A curious She-Hulk decided to go to her old Superhuman Law Firm to see if anyone could decrypt the message. With Mr. Zix and some unknown outside help, Jennifer was able to discover that Tony Stark and the Illuminati shot her cousin Bruce out into space. An angered She-Hulk returns to the Helicarrier and engages against Iron Man. She-Hulk seemed to have the upper hand until Iron Man used an adamantium needle to inject nanotech, causing her to lose her ability to change into the Hulk.

Now, a powerless Jen can only continue her old life as a lawyer. Ben Grimm let her stay at his apartment for the night, and in the morning, Jen is still uncomfortable waking up in her human form. Jen heads to work at the Law Offices of Goodman to discover that Mallory is going to defend the Leader in his upcoming case. Mallory then slaps Jen with a subpoena, forcing her to testify about her radiation experience. On the day of the trial, Mallory calls up Jen to recall her emotions while she was in her She-Hulk form. Embarrassing her about how many men she's slept with, even with Juggernaut. Mallory continues with tough questions, determined to prove that the radiation forces people to do something they usually would not. Jen has begun realizing that she loved being in her She-Hulk form more then her human form. Eventually she would come to terms and be comfortable with her human form again. The next day, John comes back pleading to Jen not to annul their marriage. However, Jen wants to since their marriage meant nothing. Mr. Zix comes in and asks everyone to join him in the office. Zix reveals his true form as a robot and tells them that he only has a couple hours to complete his task. He needed to ask some questions to Jen about what she tried to do by trying to warn Hawkeye about his death. However, Jen finally learns that her plan worked, and Hawkeye is still alive.

Apparently, there was another Earth out there that is similar to real life, where comic characters live as regular everyday citizen and there were no superheroes at all. That Earth called themselves Earth A, (Earth A or Earth-712 was first seen in Fantastic Four #118) and they had discovered a way to interlope to other dimensions. The Jennifer Walters of Earth A decided to go on a vacation to Earth B (Earth-616, the main Marvel Universe), since Earth A decided to allow their civilians to use it as a vacation destination. Jennifer of Earth A gets transported to Earth B and is then able to turn into the She-Hulk. She begins battling and defeats the Rhino, however she eventually gets arrested for interloping dimensions, and is sent to a holding cell with other interlopers. Jen of Earth B (who is still powerless because of Tony Stark injecting nanites in her) comes and reveals that she is going to be her lawyer. Trouble came up right away, and Jen allows She-Hulk of Earth A go fight. Afterwards, Jen decides to use She-Hulk to help gather up other interlopers. When they brought an interloping Doctor Strange, Jen gets into an argument with Mr. Fantastic about the nanites, and how it is permanent and cannot be undone. Afterwards, Jen and She-Hulk of Earth A went out for the night to drink and talk. Eventually Jen of Earth B decides that She-Hulk should stay in Earth B and have Jen go live in Earth A since she no longer has any powers. It is decided and agreed, and even Reed Richards gives Jen his blessings. Jen goes through the transporter to head for Earth A, however, Reed realizes that he could reverse her direction which will cause her atoms to match the one with Jen from Earth A. Jen, now with her recovered powers, decides to stay in her own Earth, and the Jen from Earth A realized that she missed her old home, and decides to return.

Hulk has returned to Earth and he is very angry. Hulk has already defeated Black Bolt and is demanding Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Mr. Fantastic, and Professor X to come face him. He arrives in Manhattan and battles Iron Man, defeating him easily even when he is wearing his Hulk Buster version armor. The Avengers arrive and prepared to battle, and as Hercules charges at the Hulk, Jen stops him and tells them that she will try to talk to her cousin first. Jen tries to calm down the Hulk, but he stands his ground, forcing them to beat him if they want to stop him. Jen gets a couple of good shots in on the Hulk, but he overpowers her and slams her head first into the ground.

Jen, who now has her powers again, but no longer works for The Initiative, has already began her new career. She now works for the Freeman Bonding, Inc, and her job is to capture anyone who skips out on their court date, pretty much a bounty hunter. Jen works with a new partner now. The two of them tracks their target to Minnesota, eventually Jen gets impatient waiting for their target to come out, so Jen alerts her partner that she is going in. The two made a 20 dollar bet that Jen "couldn't do it without turning green." She goes inside and captures their target easily. However, a cat startles her and Absorbing Man (who was their target's cousin) grabbed her neck and snapped it in half. Absorbing Man then headed for the RV that they were traveling in, to encounter She-Hulk jumping out. The two battle each other across town. She-Hulk was then ambushed by a tiny Titania, who was shrunken by Hank Pym's particles. Titania invades She-Hulk's ears and begins causing havoc in there. Meanwhile, the Jen that got her neck snapped gets up while her neck was still out of joint. She captures their target and heads for She-Hulk. Eventually She-Hulk was able to defeat Absorbing Man and complete their mission. Later that night, as "Jen" was driving, She-Hulk comes up to the front to ride with her. It turns out that "Jen" was really a Skrull named Jazinda who was pretending to be Jen.

39. Molly Hayes (126 points - 4 first place slots)

mollyhayes.jpg"If you made a graph, and were trying to find the intersection of Awesome and Adorable, it would be Molly Hayes aka Princess Powerful aka Bruiser. Most young kids in comics are annoying. Teens seem to be the age where comic characters start thriving, and even Franklin and Valeria Richards have struggled as characters because of their age. But Molly Hayes, a member of the Runaways, a girl without parents, is the exception.

She may in fact be the closest thing superheroes have to a Bart Simpson."

"An unrelenting force for good in the hands of a child. That's powerful. PRINCESS POWERFUL!"

"Try not to die!" I'd love to see her on an X-Men team. She's funny and powerful and a good source of jokes."

Molly Hayes is the daughter of Alice Hayes and Gene Hayes, two evil, human hating mutants who were chosen to be part of the Pride. She ,like the other Runaways, did not know the true nature of their parents annual charity get-together. After the other kids witness their parents murder an innocent young girl they realize they all must escape their parents. The other Runaways meet at an observatory late that night and plan on rescuing Molly since she is too young to sneak out. The Pride actually becomes aware of their children's activities before they arrive at the Hayes home and plan to stop them. Molly is awoken by a scuffle between a few of the Runaways and her parents and seeing her mom under attack causes her powers to manifest for the first time. Molly being the most juvenile was the hardest to convince that her parents were evil and she should runaway with them. The team becomes motivated to make up for their parent evil deeds by fighting crime. Molly is very excited to fight crime because she thinks this will make her a super hero. Molly even made herself a costume, it was nothing spectacular it consisted of shorts a mask a shirt that said "SECURITY" and yellow kitchen gloves. She called herself "Princess Powerful" but the others often called her "Bruiser." Molly did not truly understand the gravity of her and her teams new role as runaway crime fighter until they stopped a robbery and took in another teen runaway. Their new team mate was not who they thought, the teen Topher was actually a century old vampire trying to feed on the group. Topher dies after ingesting Karolina's alien solar irradiated blood, Molly witnesses his demise this terrifies her and she cries for her mom because she realizes her new life is not a game.

Molly and the others discover what the Prides plans are and confront them in an attempt to disrupt their ritual that would cause the world to be recreated with the six most loyal Pride members as the overlords. During this battle Alex Wilder reveals himself to be a secret mole still loyal to his parents and the Pride, he planned on taking the six spots for himself, his parents and Nico and her family but Molly ruins the ritual by destroying the sacrifice for the Gibborim. The Gibborim become angered and destroy Alex and attack the Pride while the children escape. After the Pride is destroyed the children are separated and placed in foster homes, but Molly is sent to X-Corp. Of course they are not apart for very long, Molly escapes with the help of Gert then again runs away with her friends.

Though the original Pride has been destroyed they continue their adventures and remain distrustful of adults. Their adventures take a dangerous turn when they receive a warning about a super villain from a dying Gert from the future. The villain is actually Victor Mancha, a teen like the others, Molly and the others recruit him in order to prevent him from becoming evil. A new Pride emerges led by a young Geoffrey Wilder, the new members are led to believe the Runaways killed Alex and kidnapped Molly. She is saved but Gert is killed, Molly misses Gert dearly even asking their semi-sentient vehicle if Gert is in heaven, she even stays up late and "camps out" in front of a picture of Gert and talks to the picture. Their next adventure has them facing the Gibborim again, Chase had called upon them in an attempt to bring Gert back from the dead. They still require a sacrifice and Chase attempts to sacrifice himself but they try to take Nico but Molly and Victor stop them.

In an odd turn of event the young team ends up working for Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. They are tasked with stealing a device for an employer of Fisk's but they are attacked by the Punisher, an unnamed winged assailant and ninjas. The Punisher only tries stopping them because they are connected to the Kingpin but after grabbing Molly she punches him in the gut to get away. The warring forces lead to the discovery that the device belongs to the Stein family and it integrates with their team transport, the Leapfrog. The device ends up transporting the Runaways to 1907. While in 1907 they encounter gangs of "wonders" (who are people with powers or abilities) that are at war and a young girl that is Molly's age who needs help. Molly and the others are sucked into the conflict between the warring gangs but learn the Yorke's are pulling the strings and hold the key to returning to their own time. Molly and Karolina attempt to help a girl Molly's age named Klara Prast. Klara also has power but has a very different personality due to her life growing up in 1907. Molly convinces Klara to join them but after seeing Karolina interact with Xavin she runs away. Molly follows her trying to explain but she becomes upset and calls her a grown up and leaves her be. Shortly after the big battle between the rival gangs Klara returns beaten by her husband (yes, the girl was married to an abusive alcoholic grown man) and apologizes to Molly. Klara joins the group and they all to the present. Molly takes Klara under her wing to teach her about modern New York, she is really happy to have Klara on the team because they are both around twelve years old both are mutants.

Recently, she is once again paired up with the mutant Wolverine (last time they saw each other was when the team was helping Cloak but Molly stayed back at a church, there she was visited by Wolverine and several other X-Men, but after Logan annoyed her she punched him out of the church sending him several blocks away). He was her reluctant tour guide while she visited the X-Men's new facility in San Francisco. She was invited to live at the institute, given the rationale that she's one of the few hundred remaining mutants left on the planet. As Wolverine is taking her back to her friends (who at this time were hanging out with the rest of the X-students), they are attacked and captured by a mutant hating extremist who wanted revenge for the cruelty of her parents. Though Wolverine and Molly eventually escape and defeat the villain, Molly's faith of her parents' love for her is shaken by the stories told to her about her parents' evil deeds and hatred of humanity. Wolverine, in a rare moment of compassion and tenderness, then reassures her that if her parents raised such a good kid, then they couldn't have been all bad, and that they loved her as much as she thought they did.

38. Wasp (127 points - 2 first place slots)

wasp.jpg"I loved how she was treated when she was leader of the Avengers. Here is someone that went from being a sidekick and the token girl to a competent heroine and one of the best team leaders in superheroism. A power set that is continually underestimated by villains, comrades, and writers."

Janet Van Dyne found her father dead - murdered by an alien. Seeking help she phones a scientist friend of her dad's. Dr. Hank Pym investigates as the super-hero Ant-Man and realizes her story is true. Recognizing something within her, he trusts her with his secret identity and asks her if she would like to be his partner. She agrees and Dr. Pym subjects her to a battery of procedures. In short time she is able to shrink herself and sprout wings that enable her to fly and she becomes THE WASP.

Together they defeat the dimensional alien and she embarks on a heroic path with Ant-Man (although she would also prefer a 'partnership' between her and just plain old Hank Pym). Just weeks after she becomes the Wasp, she is involved in a battle against the Hulk. With Ant-Man she meets Thor and Iron Man during the battle. The battle won, the heroes decide to band together. Needing a name Janet supplies the answer - they shall be the Avengers!

The Wasp continued her best and when Hank became Giant-Man she encourage him (recognizing his self esteem was dropping when compared with the other power-houses on the team). This didn't stop her flirting with her new teammates in the effort to make Hank jealous. Nearly fatally injured in battle against Count Nefaria, Hank no longer held back his love for Janet and they began their personal relationship in full. Once recovered, the two left the Avengers together.

The two would later return to the Avengers and stay for an extended time. During this, Janet began to grow and become more than just a sidekick. When confronted by the new hero/villain Yellow Jacket, she realized it was really a mentally unstable Hank Pym. She got the other Avengers to play along for fear that revealing the truth to him would hurt him. In the end she saved Hank and married him at the same time. The two left the team again. From here they traveled and spent time in Hank's labs (which was easily affordable as Janet had inherited her father's millions). Shortly before a battle against Equinox, Hank had amplified her bio-sting incredibly. She was now a force to be reckoned with.

Returning to the Avengers yet again, Janet truly began to exhibit her heroic potential (Although still hiding it behind a never ending supply of costumes). When Hank began to show signs of a second mental collapse, she tried to intervene but was rebuked by Hank with the back of his hand. That was all it took. Janet knew he wasn't right and after she stopped Hanks plan to trick the Avengers into seeing him for the hero he wanted to be, she left him and eventually divorced him.

She stayed on and off with the Avengers for a bit and dated a number of men (Tony Stark and Paladin amongst others). As her Avengering grew, she was as surprised as anyone when she was named the team's chairperson. She took to the role and excelled. In time she found her way to the West Coast Avenger team and Hank (who had joined previously). Janet forgave him and the two began their relationship anew.

The two remained committed to each other for the next few years as they continued building their personal life and as Avengers but then shortly after the Avengers disassemble the two break up.

Hank is secretly replaced with a Skrull and gives Jan a new growth serum that allows he to grow. During a Skrull attack Janet begins to grow and grow and grow. Skrull/Pym's growth serum was really a bomb. Janet was going to explode but didn't Thor killed her in order to save her.

The real Hank had returned and took up his new identity of the Wasp in her honor.

Janet's gigantic body currently exists in Underspace. Hank Pym continues to find a way to bring her back.

Oh, and the next person to appear for the TLC is...




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