Saturday, June 23, 2018 • Morning Edition • "For when life fails you."

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 71

Written by Chris Mitchell on Friday, May 14 2010 and posted in Features
Back down to three characters. Sorry. {nomultithumb}

37. Black Panther (129 points - 3 first place slots)

blackpanther.jpg"At his best, he stands along side Doom and Namor -- Nothing else need be said."

"A character who has been featured in some of the best epic stories Marvel put out in the '70s and '80s, including "Panther's Rage" and "Panther's Quest.""

"Duds is bad. Smart, cunning and a great fighter."

"The smartest, smoothest, coolest leader in the Marvel Universe until Barack Obama."

First off, I really think BP here should be Top 25 and I am really shocked he isn't. Secondly, I hate the fact he is married to Storm. Ok, not quite true. I hate how they did it, it just came out of nowhere. It was kinda forced and stuff, so yeah, really really lame. Thirdly, I am not gonna do this write up. I found a piece written by Greg (well, in a thread I ask people to write quotes for some fav. characters why they like them, etc). So, I figured I use this Greg's write up. So yeah, take it away Greg.

Here's a positive black man who is king of his own country. He's regal, powerful, takes names and has nearly everything to back it all up. He is one of the deadliest people you'll ever meet and highly intelligent and if he were a villain he'd be insane, but due to the way he was raised, he grew to be fair and just. He believes in justice and will stop at nothing until justice is achieved, even if that means his own welfare. He'll put everything important to him aside if it means the well being of Wakanda in the end.

I love his determination and at times his determination of doing what is right and pointing out the right makes him come off as arrogant but all he does is tells it like it is. He's even able to analyze little tiny ticks that ends up being part of a whole big thing in the process. Despite all this, he is also very human. He has a kind side to him but when his patients and kindness is threatened and tested, he's quick to put you in place and while kicking you're butt he'll explain to you all you've done wrong and why you're on this insane receiving end. He also has his flaws. While he is in fact very intelligent and has been trained all his life to be steps ahead of all possible threats, this can push others away from him. He tends to have a habit of getting on his friend's bad-sides and while both sides are right in their arguments, T'Challa may seem like the winner of the argument, but to what extent? Was it all necessary? And there's also the fact that he's so damn hard-headed that he at times doesn't know when to quit. While that is very admirable, sometimes it can be used against his advantage as even his confidence can get the best of him and used against him.

I also love what I've read about Wakanda. And advanced African country that has not been on the receiving end of colonialism. They are highly passionate about their country and it just seems like a place I'd love to visit or even live in, train, etc. Reminds me of the Avatar movie. All that training to be this great warrior and becoming one with nature, etc. I feel like Wakanda has that about themselves and it's something I feel is very appealing. I also very much like the mythology of the Panther God and the bloodlines of the kings and the royal family.

36. Cannonball (137 2 first place slots)

cannonball.jpg"My favourite New Mutant. I was so happy when he graduated."

"His team ups with Iceman remind me that of Beast and Wonder Man. They need more of that."

Question: Is he still immortal?

Samuel Guthrie was born in Cumberland County, Kentucky, the eldest of eleven children to Lucinda and Thomas Guthrie, a coal mine worker.

After the death of his father, sixteen-year-old Samuel Guthrie became the man of the house to his large family, which included former X-Men characters Husk and Icarus. To help support his family, Guthrie decided to work in his father's occupational field as a coal miner. The dangerous nature of the occupation caught up with him one day when Sam found himself trapped in a collapsing mine shaft. While trying to rescue his fellow worker, a friend of his father's who had introduced him to the job, Sam subconsciously activated his mutant ability to propel himself at superhuman speeds and used it to escape the pair to safety.

his incident brought Samuel to the attention Donald Pierce, who hired him as a mercenary for the Hellfire Club. Pierce intended to use him in a plot to attack the X-Men junior team, the New Mutants. Sam's kind nature brought him to his senses and he eventually turned against Pierce. Professor Charles Xavier saw the good qualities inside Sam, citing Pierce's manipulation as the cause for his misdeeds, and asked him to join his New Mutants. Cannonball left his large farming family in Kentucky to join the team.

As part of the New Mutants, Sam formed close friendships with his fellow teammates Sunspot and Wolfsbane. Although initially a slow learner at using his mutant abilities, eventually Sam had an ongoing rivalry with Danielle Moonstar (then known as Psyche) as the two acted as the team co-leaders. He also supervised other teammates, including Magik, Karma, the late Cypher, and Magma, among others.

Early on in his career with the team, Cannonball visited Nova Roma and encountered his future teammate Magma. With the team, he soon met the New Mutant rivals, the Hellions, a team structured as the future of the Hellfire Club (the Hellions were also the anti-thesis of the New Mutants, with Jetstream his supposed equivalent ).

With the New Mutants, Cannonball also encountered the Gladiator, the Shadow King, Loki, the Enchantress, and other major villains. Sam also meets a young intergalactic rock star named Lila Cheney, with whom he eventually shared a romance. Guthrie also teamed up with Spider-Man and defeated the nefarious Incandescent Man.

he New Mutants found themselves under the guidance of Magneto at the behest of Professor Xavier. Magneto's heavy handed leadership did not sit well with the team, and Cannonball began to display a measure of independence and rebellion against authority. These traits would grow stronger as he matured. The ancient entity, the Beyonder, encounters the New Mutants, and in his curiosity, kills them. They are resurrected by the Beyonder soon after but this trauma leaves the team deeply shaken. For a time they go with Emma Frost, to her Massachusetts Academy to join the Hellions. They eventually recover from the trauma, especially after a fight with the Avengers, in which they are forced to rescue Warlock and Magneto. Over time with the New Mutants, Sam develops a brotherly affection for Rahne. He remains oblivious for some time that Rahne harbors much deeper feelings for him. They worked with the Power Pack when the latter group needed help dealing with a team of minor demons. Sam leads the group in chasing the Impossible Man around the world, who had gotten into a potentially deadly one-upmanship competition with Warlock. Sam even meets (and fights) his older self when an alternate future version of the team travels to his time. This adventure is erased out of his mind by the future version of his friend Karma. Sam meets with Lila again. A jealous admirer of Lila drugs Sam, intending to kill him. The resulting fight leads to the accidental release of the creature Bird-Brain who would join the team for a while. Unfortunately for the team, taking Bird-Brain back to his island home ends with the shooting death of Douglas Ramsey by the Ani-Mator, Bird Brain's creator. The team also battles Cameron Hodge and the Right. Defying Magneto, the team sneaks out to another Lila Cheney concert. They are swept up in a kidnapping of Lila and dealings with the powerful entity known as Gosamyr. In preventing Gosamyr's relatives from endangering innocent lives, Lila seemingly dies.

Returning to Earth, the team got caught in the events of Inferno. They team up with the X-Terminators who would eventually merge into their team. They help neutralize the demonic invasion plan by rescuing kidnapped infants high above New York City. One of the new members, Boom Boom, soon became a primary romantic interest. The New Mutants fight the Hellfire Club on the remains of the X-Mansion, formally rejecting Magneto's leadership.

Danielle's adventures in Asgard, most of which took place while Sam had been healing, involved her rescuing Brightwind, one of the horses ridden by the Valkyrie. Brightwind chose her as her new rider, granting her Valkyrie powers. This leads to the team being involved with the realm once again. The death goddess Hela managed to overwhelm all the Valkyries, including Danielle. With behind-the-scenes assistance from Doctor Strange, the team heads to Asgard yet again. Sam's feelings for Kindra get the team in trouble. When he sees her being threatened, he rashly rushes out to save her and all the New Mutants are captured by Hela's forces. The group is split up but Sam manages to lead his half safely through many dangers, later reuniting with his friends. They manage to save Odin, who was vulnerable, from a murder attempt.

Soon after returning to Earth, the team first encounters Cable. They then assist Cable in fighting the Mutant Liberation Front. Wolfsbane, Warlock, Rictor, and Tabitha are kidnapped from the grounds of the X-Mansion by Genoshan forces under the control of Cameron Hodge. Warlock soon perishes, murdered by Hodge in an attempt to get his powers. Sam joins the X-Men on a rescue mission and Genosha's government is toppled. Rahne stays behind to help the fellow victims of Genosha's regime.

Cannonball and the other New Mutants left the X-Men's supervision, and joined forces with the mysterious Cable to become the hard-edged X-Force. Cable named Cannonball Second-In-Command and field leader of the team. It was early during this time that Sam was impaled and killed by the mutant Sauron during a clash with an incarnation of the Brotherhood of Mutants. However, only a few minutes later, he had healed and returned to life. Cable revealed the he had chosen Sam to lead the New Mutants initially because he suspected Cannonball to be an External - a particularly rare type of mutant who is virtually immortal. Cable had come to train Sam to fight Apocalypse, another External who, in Cable's future time, had conquered the world. Many other Externals, such as Saul and Gideon, also came to believe Sam was one of them.

It was also around this time that Sam's sister, Husk, was revealed to have mutant powers. Cannonball's existence as an External was disputed by Selene, who once claimed that he was not an External. However, she is not a particularly trustworthy source and no alternate explanation has been given for his surviving the wounds Sauron had inflicted. His immortality was later brought up as the reason he survived 3 gunshot wounds to the chest. Sam's time in X-Force was not easy, as he was considered 'out of line' by the X-Men and X-Force were considered outright criminals by S.H.I.E.L.D. This even devolved into a fight between a S.H.I.E.L.D. team led by Nick Fury and supported by veteran superhero War Machine. Later, any rivalries were put aside as Sam was instrumental in helping the other X-Men, particularly Forge and Wolfsbane defeat the Phalanx.

In the mid 1990s, X-Force reestablished ties with the X-Men. Sam later officially accepts an invitation to join the X-Men. Initially, Sam is excited, this having been his dream since first arriving at Xavier's school. During this time, he was also a supporting character in Wolverine's own comic. During this time, Sam becomes unsure of himself and his abilities. He privately expresses doubts about his abilities to Iceman, causing the veteran X-Man much discomfort. Sam battles the head of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, Gladiator to a standstill, despite being overpowered, thus facing his doubts about his abilities, only to be left behind as the rest of the X-Men were taken into space to save the Shi'ar empire. This led Sam to again question his place on the X-Men. During his time with X-Men, Cannonball found his relationship with Tabitha strained. It was so strained she turned to Sam's best friend, Sunspot, for "support". Sam returned to the X-Men, for a brief period until he left the team to help his ailing mother. During his time with the X-Men, he also infiltrated the presidential campaign of anti-mutant candidate Graydon Creed, using the alias "Samson Guthry". Despite the rather transparent alias, Sam was able to remain undetected until Creed was assassinated on the eve of the election.

Sam was there when the mutant entity Onslaught erupted from Xavier's mind. The entity, before attacking, had enjoyed several minutes of tearing apart Sam psychologically.

Cannonball rejoined X-Force, now independent of Cable and operating in San Francisco. Cannonball eventually became team leader again, after the injuries sustained by Siryn. The team eventually found a new mentor, by the name of Pete Wisdom, who introduced the team to the world of espionage. During this time, Sam and Tabitha had gotten back together. After Wisdom's alleged death, Sam led the team again and attempted to continue Wisdom's crusade. Eventually, Sam and other members of X-Force have to fake their deaths.

Cannonball later served on Rogue's team of X-Men. The team was formed as a rapid response unit, sent to sudden and emergent threats. The team's unorthodox lineup, which included ex-villains like Mystique and Lady Mastermind, brought Samuel closer to fellow veteran X-Men Rogue and Iceman, both of whom he had been teamed with previously.

After defeating the Children of the Vault, Rogue announced the departure of her team from the mansion. Sam explained his personal feelings about leaving to Cyclops, saying that he felt he needed to leave the mansion as his former home had become a grave site for his brother Jay and the constant reminder became too much.

Following the defeat of a villain named Pandemic, the team then fought the alien mummudrai called Hecatomb. Coupled with injuries sustained against Pandemic, Rogue suffered a huge mental injury from Hetacomb, leading the team to rest in Rogue's childhood home in Mississippi. During this time, Mystique and Lady Mastermind betray the X-Men and join the Marauders in an attack and retrieval mission to acquire Destiny 's Diaries.

After the surprise blitz, Emma Frost, disabled by a neuro-toxin, uploaded everything she picked out of what was at the edges of the Marauders' psi-shielding into Sam's mind and takes limited possession over his body, causing him to unwillingly flee (along with Iceman) from the battle. Aboard the Blackbird, the two are engaged in midair by Sunfire, who cripples the jet. Cannonball manages to escape and battle Shiro, who reveals that he killed Cable. Cannonball shakes it off, explaining that it "wouldn't matter who told me that, ah'd still be sayin' 'show me the body.'" Sam and Iceman, telepathically prompted by Emma Frost, attempted to recover the Destiny Diaries which are hidden in a dilapidated brewery. The Marauder's master, Mister Sinister, used a reverse engineered version of Xavier's Cerebro to track the pair of X-Men to the brewery. The Marauders attacked Sam and Iceman and overtook them. After the battle, Sinister attempted to telepathically erase Sam's mind so that the X-Men would find him as an empty shell. This would serve as a lesson to them and to the Marauders as well. However, Sinister was distracted by Iceman, allowing Sam to activate his power to rocket his way out of the brewery and escape. Iceman was also able to escape, but it was revealed that Sam, who crashed through one of the brewery's walls, was seriously injured. It was discovered that his blast field, which protects him from concussive impact when he uses his power, was not working properly. As a result, Sam received compound fractures of the upper and lower legs, a broken collar bone, and other injuries. Sam lies unconscious in the X-Mansion's infirmary. Dr. Henry McCoy attends to his injuries and evaluates his condition. He notes that Sam's brain scan indicates sluggish and non-continuous activity. However, at the end of the issue, Sam is shown conscious, alert, and speaking clearly to Iceman. He quickly recovers and is capable of taking part in the final fight against the Marauders. It has yet to be seen if he has suffered any lingering mental effects from his ordeal at the hands of Mr. Sinister.

I think I will stop there, yes?

35. Kitty Pryde (155 points - 3 first place slots)

kittypryde.jpg"Kitty is the best Claremont creation. From a intelligent kid playing with the big guns to a strong confidant woman the kicks ass, Kitty provided a great journey for the reader to enjoy."

"Betty of the X-Men team, who's dating Moose."

" One of the very few characters that has been allowed to age and grow; once she was a frightened kid and now she's an independent woman and a wise leader."

"The everygirl heroine of the Marvel Universe, and along with DC's Supergirl, the archetype of girl teen hero."

Katherine "Kitty" Pryde was a 13½-year old Jewish girl whose genius level intellect allowed her to take college-level courses despite her young age. Kitty led a fairly normal life until she began suffering headaches of steadily increasing intensity, which were a result of her emerging mutant power.

Kitty herself was unaware that she was a mutant until the afternoon that Emma Frost, then White Queen of the Hellfire Club, arrived to speak to her parents about enrolling Kitty in her Massachusetts Academy. During the visit, Kitty suffered her worst headache yet and went upstairs to her room. When the headache stopped, Kitty was surprised to find she was on the floor of her living room. She had unknowingly used her power to phase through solid matter for the first time, passing through her bed and floor into the room below.

After Frost left, Professor Charles Xavier arrived with three of the X-Men, his own team of mutant students who fought for peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants. Following an attack by the Hellfire Club during which Kitty helped the team, the X-Man Phoenix telepathically coerced Kitty's parents into allowing her to join Xavier's school, and she became the newest and youngest member of the X-Men. Kitty originally called herself Sprite, but later adopted the codename Ariel. Xavier also arranged for Kitty to be enrolled in dance classes at the studio of instructor Stevie Hunter.

Kitty quickly became a valuable member of the X-Men, proving her worth one Christmas Eve by single-handedly defeating one of the demonic N'garai. Kitty formed a close friendship with both the X-Man Storm and the mutant sorceress Illyana Rasputin. The bond between Kitty and Illyana grew so strong that Kitty was eventually able to manifest the Soulsword, the ultimate expression of Illyana's magical nature.

Kitty also formed a romance with her teammate Piotr Rasputin (Colossus), and she gained a constant companion on an adventure in space in the form of a small alien dragon-like creature she named Lockheed. Kitty gained another close friend when she met Doug Ramsey, a fellow student in Stevie Hunter's dance class with whom she shared an affinity for computers. Doug's death on a mission with the New Mutants would prove to be the first of many personal losses Kitty would suffer.

After a visit to her recently divorced father, Carmen, Kitty learned that he had become involved with the Japanese Yakuza and followed him to Japan where she was captured and put under the mental control of Ogun, the martial arts master who had once been her teammate Wolverine's teacher. Using Kitty's body, Ogun attempted to kill Wolverine but failed. Wolverine then taught Kitty to become skilful enough in the martial arts to combat Ogun, and together they managed to exorcise Ogun's spirit. During the course of this adventure, Kitty took to calling herself Shadowcat.

While Colossus was away on Battleworld during what was to be called the Secret Wars, he became infatuated with an alien healer named Zsaji. Upon returning to Earth, he admitted his disloyalty to Kitty, severing their romance.

During the massacre of the underground community of mutants known as the Morlocks by the team of superhuman mutant assassins the Marauders, Kitty was injured by an energy spear hurled by the Marauder called Harpoon that adversely affected her powers. Unable to regain her solidity, Kitty was saved by the combined efforts of the European dictator Doctor Doom and his arch-rival, Reed Richards of the team of superhuman adventurers known as the Fantastic Four. However, she could now only maintain a solid form through concentration.

After witnessing the apparent death of the X-Men, Kitty helped form the British-based super-team Excalibur. During an inter-dimensional adventure, Kitty became separated from her teammates and, returning to her own Earth, she decided to give up the life of a costumed adventurer and attend college. However, unaccustomed as she was to the British educational system, Kitty was forced to enroll in St. Searle's School for Girls. After helping save the school from closure, Kitty rejoined her recently returned teammates.

Months later, Kitty learned that Illyana was dying from the deadly mutant-killing Legacy Virus, a disease that targeted mutants. Kitty was present when Illyana finally succumbed to the disease, unaware that the young mutant's death bonded the Soulsword to her. Eventually the arcane magic's of the sword began to corrupt Kitty, and she surrendered the weapon to her then teammate Daytripper who in turn gave it to her mother, the gypsy sorceress Margali Szardos.

Soon after, Excalibur was approached by the clandestine organization known as Black Air for assistance on a mission to the island nation of Genosha. They were assigned a liaison in Pete Wisdom, an uncouth British mutant who regularly clashed with the outspoken Kitty. The pair eventually overcame their initial impressions of one another and fell in love. Wisdom even resigned from Black Air and joined Excalibur to be with Kitty.

Later, Kitty was recruited by the international law enforcement agency S.H.I.E.L.D. to repair the computer system of their flying headquarters. Kitty discovered the problem was due to Ogun's spirit having infiltrated the computer system, and with the aid of Wolverine, she managed to purge Ogun's presence. During this time, Kitty was attracted to a S.H.I.E.L.D. intern her own age, and this made her begin to doubt her relationship with Wisdom. Soon after, she broke off their relationship.

Kitty remained a member of Excalibur until it disbanded whereupon she rejoined the X-Men. Soon after, an incident in Genosha caused Kitty to develop a rebellious attitude, reflected by her cutting her hair short, her more ferocious combat technique, and her taking to wielding one of Wolverine's broken bone claws in battle.

When Colossus sacrificed his life to release a cure for the Legacy Virus, his body was supposedly cremated, and Kitty scattered the ashes over his Russian farmland home. Mourning the loss of her old friend, and trying to live a normal life, Kitty left the X-men. She enrolled in the Robert A. Heinlein School for Engineering and Astrophysics in Chicago on a full scholarship, yet chose to live off campus and began working as a bartender for her neighbor at his establishment, the Belles of Hell. Kitty found herself unable to escape the ever-prevalent prejudice of humans, and she soon clashed with members of a student anti-mutant organization named Purity. Kitty was put on probation and was forced to attend mandatory counseling. During this time, Kitty faced her most difficult loss when she learned her father was amongst those killed in an attack on Genosha.

Kitty's battle against Purity continued after the organization attempted to frame her for the sabotage of a research experiment. A student meeting was called to debate the banning of either Purity or mutants from campus, but discussions were cut short by an attack by a new breed of mutant-hunting robotic Sentinels which were destroyed by Kitty with the help of former New Mutant Karma and Genoshan exchange student Shola Inkosi.

Kitty was later abducted by the mutant-hating Reverend Stryker to help expose the technological threat of the mutant retreat known as Mount Haven and its mysterious leader, Reverend Paul. Together, Stryker and Kitty discovered that Paul was an artificial intelligence who had killed the human townspeople and used microbial machines called nanites to transform the minds of the mutant residents from organic matter into cybernetic computers linked to his central consciousness. When Storm's team of X-Men arrived to find Kitty, Paul sought to transform them as well. Stryker attempted to use Kitty's power to disrupt electronics to destroy Paul, but he failed and Paul responded by transferring his consciousness into a global network. In an effort to safeguard his kind from Paul's threat, Stryker merged with him in an attempt to teach him about humanity, and the town of Haven was buried by a volcanic eruption. Soon after, Kitty assisted Storm's team against the threat of mutant predator Elias Bogan. After Bogan was defeated, Kitty accompanied the team back to the mansion and was asked to remain as a member of Cyclops' restructured X-Men. Peter Rasputin was discovered to be alive, his body secretly been stolen and resuscitated by Ord, an alien who had learned that an Earth mutant would be responsible for destroying his world. Kitty found Peter shortly before the X-Men's final battle with Ord, after which he rejoined the X-Men. After many years apart, Kitty and Peter reignited their romance.

Then something happened with giant silver bullet or something, which was lame. Then again, it involves Coors Light so you know it must be.


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