Saturday, April 21, 2018 • Afternoon Edition • "Where your childhood dreams don't have to die alone."

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 73

Written by Chris Mitchell on Friday, May 14 2010 and posted in Features
Three characters I honestly thought would make the Top 25, and I was wrong. Again. {nomultithumb}

31. Quicksilver (173 points - 5 first place slots)

quicksilver.jpg"I'm freaking QUICKSILVER!!! And you can eat my freaking dust!"

"tragedy, attitude, and craptastic relationships with your daughter, ex-wife, father, and fellow heroes are coo!"

"He's a dick. That's his defining characteristic, whether on the Avengers or X-Factor or on his own. He's not evil, he's just a jerk who will do anything he wants to if it helps him or his sister. I love speedsters, and I love heroes that are jerks. Pietro combines those two things into one awesome package. The son of one of the most despised villains in the Marvel U, he doesn't really care about changing the perception of him as much as he cares about just doing what he sees as right for himself. Probably my favorite character in PAD's awesome 90's run on X-Factor (although Multiple Man and Havok were right there with him), and that love of the character has stayed with me over the years."

"Another character who I first became fond of during those aforementioned PAD X-Factor days. Sure, Pietro can be a snob at times, but when you're right about what you're bragging about, does that really make you stuck-up? I happen to believe it does not."

"everyone who read it posts about Peter David's portrayal of Quicksilver. It was an excellent examination of his character. The tortured son of misunderstood mutant terrorist, a failed husband, a father whose daughter has no respect for him, an overprotective brother, and someone who has a difficult time being the perfect hero."

Really should've been Top 25.

I love this guy.

Pietro and his twin sister Wanda ( Scarlet Witch ) always assumed that they were the children of the gypsy couple that raised them, Django and Marya Maximoff. They did not know that they had been adopted. In fact, they were born on Wundagore Mountain to a woman only known as Magda, a woman on the run from her husband who had "become a monster". She appeared at the house of Bova, the midwife to the High Evolutionary, heavily pregnant and stayed for a few weeks until she gave birth. She then immediately fled into a raging blizzard and was never seen or heard from again. Given her weakened state following delivery, it is assumed that she perished. Whilst at Wundagore Mountain, they were also offered for adoption to the Whizzer when his wife died. He did not accept them, but thought that they were his children.

Poor but loved, the twins enjoyed a relatively happy childhood until their family was killed by local villagers angered at Django for stealing food. Using his new found powers, Pietro was able to rescue Wanda. Orphaned, the twins wandered Eastern Europe, constantly on the move as Wanda's uncontrollable hex powers would draw suspicion from the people around them. One day Wanda accidentally set a house on fire, spurring the locals to attack the twins. Despite his best efforts, Wanda and Pietro were trapped until rescued by Magneto.

Feeling that they owed him a debt, they reluctantly joined the Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants. Magneto played on their fear of outsiders and Wanda's gratitude, but neither twin was comfortable as a terrorist. Pietro always made his disapproval known and repeatedly stated that he stayed only for his sister's sake. Wanda was more compliant, feeling indebted to Magneto, but was deeply unhappy and often shocked by Magneto's callous behavior. Whilst in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, both Toad and Mastermind would often play for Scarlet Witch's feelings, and so Quicksilver would stand between her and them. Unconsciously however, both twins absorbed Magneto's attitude of mutant superiority, which would occasionally surface form time to time in their lives. When Magneto was taken from Earth by the Stranger, Pietro and Wanda ended their association with the Brotherhood and returned to Europe.

When they heard that the Avengers were accepting applicants, they rushed to join, wanting to atone for their past crimes. Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch served honorably with the Avengers for years, though Pietro's arrogant and distrusting demeanor often made him an outsider in the group, and he would often clash with Hawkeye over which one of them should replace Captain America as a leader. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch had to leave the Avengers for a while though, when they lost their powers for a short while, and return to their birthplace. Whilst at Wundagore Mountain, they were telepathically asked by Professor X to join the X-Men so that they could help them fight against Factor Three, but the two mutants declared that should they return to America, it would be as Avengers. Upon their return, Quicksilver's powers had somehow increased, as he could now fly for short distances by vibrating his feet at high speeds. Shortly after their return, Quicksilver willingly joined the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants after Scarlet Witch was hit by a bullet, shot by a "mere human". Unknown to Pietro and Wanda that the bullet was being controlled by Magneto. Eventually he calmed down and left the Brotherhood, but instead of rejoining the Avengers he, Wanda and Toad became traveling companions for a while. Since the bullet had erased Wanda's power somehow, the three companions went to Europe, and found a book of spells which they believed could restore Wanda's powers. Instead, the spell summoned Arkon, who wished for Wanda to be his bride. With the help of the Avengers, Wanda was saved, and as her powers had been restored by the dimensional jump between Earth and Arkon's planet, the twins rejoined the Avengers. During this stint with the Avengers, Pietro played a role in the Kree/Skrull War , and help against Ares. When Wanda fell in love with the android Vision, Pietro protested loudly, refusing to attend their wedding.

In the interim, Pietro perused a romantic relationship of his own. After battling Sentinels, Quicksilver was gravely wounded. He was nursed back to health by Crystal, one of the Inhumans. He fell deeply in love with her and the two were married. During the Korvac saga, Pietro still protested against Wanda's marriage until Moondragon telepathically erased Pietro's prejudice against the android that he accepted the relationship.

In an encounter with Django Maximoff, he revealed that Pietro and Wanda were adopted. They traveled to Wundegore Mountain to search for their roots. To their surprise they found Bova, who told them about their birth mother. Their father's identity, however, remained a mystery, for though Magda was obviously terrified of him, she had never spoken his name.

Pietro left the Avengers to live with his wife's family on the moon in the Inhuman city of Attilan. He served as an officer in their militia. Crystal and Pietro soon had a daughter, Luna, who turned out to be a normal human child. While the Scarlet Witch and the Vision were visiting the happy family on Attilan shortly after Luna's birth, Magneto arrived. Turned from his path of terrorism, he too had been on a quest to his past trying to retrace the last steps of his missing wife. Thinking him nothing more than an innocent traveler, Bova had also told Magneto Magda's story and unwittingly informed him that he was the father of the very youths he had manipulated and browbeaten in the Brotherhood. He had immediately rushed to Attilan to inform the twins who were shocked. While Wanda was confused and unsure, Pietro was appalled. He rejected Magneto outright. While Magneto was in his reform period, he earned Pietro's tentative respect, but not his acceptance. When Magneto returned to terrorism, Pietro hated him all the more.

Naturally arrogant, impatient, and of a jealous temperament, Pietro left Attilan when he discovered that Crystal had had an affair. He soon began behaving very irrationally, going insane to the point he tried to frame the Avengers for treason and proclaimed himself King of all the Mutants. When X-Factor finally captured him and returned him to Attilan, it was discovered that Pietro's insanity had been caused by the Inhuman Maximus The Mad. When Magneto attempted to manipulate the Scarlet Witch in her grief over the loss of her husband, Pietro was able to use this period of insanity as a cover to stay close by his sister's side. After helping to rescue her from both Magneto and Immortus, Pietro remained on earth.

Quicksilver would spend time working with the government sponsored mutant group X-Factor. Luna was kidnapped by Fabian Cortez, who wanted to use Luna as a symbol of Magneto's sovereignty and as a human shield. Rushing to her rescue, Pietro encountered Crystal and the Avengers. They were successful in rescuing their daughter, though Pietro almost sacrificed his life in a fight with Exodus in the process. Pietro left X-Factor and remained in close contact with the Avengers, though he refused to officially join until his romantic rival for Crystal's affection, The Black Knight, left. Pietro strove to reconcile with Crystal and the two were beginning to create a family again when Crystal was lost with many other heroes in a pocket universe in the events of Onslaught. Pietro remained in loose association with the X-Men for a time, his main concern to care for his daughter.

Upon hearing the Exodus and the Acolytes were planning an assault on the High Evolutionary's citadel, Pietro joined the Knight of Wundergore and he and Luna lived there for a time. While he was there, Pietro was exposed to Isotope E, a material with enhanced his powers of speed to a great degree.

Sending Luna to Crystal, Pietro joined Magneto's cabinet when the U.N. granted him rule over Genosha following the events of the Magneto War. Pietro still resented and distrusted Magneto a great deal, but felt he had to stay in order to ensure Magneto's polices did not become too tyrannical. Eventually, he rebelled and Magneto threw him out of the country. He snuck back in with Polaris to help the human underground, but was eventually caught and deported again.

Pietro was vacationing, "reading a book", when the Scarlet Witch went insane and attacked the Avengers, killing three of them including her husband. While the Avengers and X-Men met with Professor X and Doctor Strange to discuss Wanda's fate. Pietro became convinced that the assembled group was going to kill her and rushed to Genosha and begged for Magneto's aid. Defeated and out of options, Magneto could not think of what to do. Pietro then convinced the Scarlet Witch to remake the world into the House of M reality in which everyone had their fondest wishes granted. Most importantly their father, who received the global power he had long desired over a world in which the mutant population was the ascending majority. Pietro served his father as a loyal prince. When the deception was revealed, Magneto went into a terrible rage, beating Pietro to death. Wanda restored her brother to life, but then took his power away with 99% of the mutant population when she uttered the fatal phrase "No more mutants."

Depowered and suicidal, Crystal brought Pietro to Attilan to recover. After he did, Pietro snuck into the Terrigen Mists chamber to regain his powers. Instead, he received the ability to travel in time. He stole pieces of the Terrigen crystals and he exposed Luna to them repeatedly, granting her empathic abilities. He then proclaimed himself a "Savior" of mutant kind, setting up shop in Mutant Town and promising to restore the powers of the mutants who had lost theirs on M-Day. What he did not inform his clients however, was that the crystals did not restore mutant powers safely and many people died as a result of Pietro's "treatments". The Inhumans visited Quicksilver in order to reclaim the crystals, but Pietro revealed that he had worked with the crystals so much, they became embedded in his skin. At that time, Crystal told Quicksilver that their marriage was annulled. After several deaths, Rictor used his temporarily restored powers to eject the crystals from Pietro body, depowering him once again. Pietro later saved Layla Miller from drowning, because he planned on killing her himself, for being the cause of the their downfall in the House of M. Layla later escaped when Pietro became hesitant about killing her.

After his fight with Layla Miller, Pietro was found unconscious in Central Park. Not knowing who he was, the police threw Pietro in general lock up where he experienced a series of hallucinations: His sister, his father, his wife and child, and Layla Miller who explained that Pietro had hit rock bottom and hinted that he was still a mutant. From the windows of the prison Pietro observed a woman in the process of being pushed off a roof by her boyfriend. Using his super speed, broke out of prison and saved her, coming to terms with the his past villainous acts and looking forward to a better future.

After being taken prisoner by Mordred the Mystic, Quicksilver's body was offered up as a vessel to the demonic Elder God Chthon and has been completely overtaken by him. Thanks to the Scarlet Witch who was really Loki in disguise has released Chthon from Quicksilver's body. Pietro is a member of the Mighty Avengers. He is using the team to help find his sister Wanda and lied about ever being abducted by Skrulls.

Sneaky bastard.

Oh, he will be a teacher in Avengers Academy.

30. Ms. Marvel (186 points - 4 first place slots)

msmarvel.jpg"Talk about characters that have come into their own in recent years... Ms. Marvel has a rich history in the MU, being a part of some important events in Avengers and X-Men history. Throughout the nineties, however, Carol Danvers fell out of relevance and was basically a generic character who nobody could really identify with. Thanks to the work of Brian Reed in the Ms Marvel ongoing and Bendis in the event books and Avengers titles, Ms. Marvel has become the premiere female superhero in the Marvel U, and a relatable, human character again."

"I only recently became a fan of Carol Danvers, around Civil War, for her loyalty and genuine want to make the world a better place, even if she wasn't always sure of the best means to achieving that goal. I've been a fan ever since for those very same reasons, and will be sad when her book ends next month."

"give a writer who doesn't make her come across as a total bitch and split her personality and make doppelgangers....bleh. Let her be a heroine trying to be the best hero ever who has to deal with being a recovering alcoholic and being detached from her memories of family and home. She could mentor another recovering alcoholic through an AA program which could flesh out more of a personality for her. She could deal with the strained family relations since she remembers them but has no emotional connection to them since Rogue stole her life. Quit making her guest stars (Spider-Man) and supporting cast (machine man) and villains (Moonstone) more interesting than her. Explore her connections without losing sight of who she is."

Carol Danvers entered the Air Force upon graduating from high school to pursue her love of aircrafts and her dreams of flying. Carol was a top student at the Air Force Academy and enjoyed a rapid career advancement rising to the rank of Major. Because of her stellar performance, superb combat skills and natural intellect, Carol was recruited into the intelligence field. She ended up serving with the C.I.A., during which time she met and worked with Colonel Nick Fury. She was partnered with Colonel Michael Rossi and the two became lovers. Carol had a distinguished career in the C.I.A.

While on special assignment with Nick Fury, Carol met the Canadian agent called Logan. The two were eventually paired up and shared a number of adventures together. During one of their infamous escapades, they clashed with the brutal Sabretooth who was working for the Hellfire Club. During their time together, Logan and Carol became close friends, perhaps even lovers. Both have saved each other's lives numerous times.

When Carol was captured by the KGB and imprisoned at Lubyanka prison, Logan was among those who defied orders to save her. Following her affiliation with the C.I.A., Carol took a position with N.A.S.A. as the security director for Cape Canaveral. It was in this capacity that Carol first met Captain Marvel, the Kree warrior, Mar-Vell. In her official capacity, Carol was challenged with unraveling the mystery of this alien soldier. During her investigation, the two forged a unique bond, first as friends and then as lovers. It was this relationship that would change Carol forever.

Captain Marvel's mortal enemy, Colonel Yon-Rogg kidnapped Carol, using her as bait in his conflict with Mar-Vell. In the course of the battle, Carol and Mar-Vell were caught in the explosion of a Kree Psyche-Magneton device. The energy bombardment somehow caused Carol's genetic structure to be melded with Mar-Vell's. While Mar-Vell was apparently unaltered by the event, Carol was now a perfect hybrid of Kree and human genes. In addition, she possessed all of Mar-Vell's Kree knowledge and training. Through this transformation, Ms. Marvel was born.

Because of her failure to capture Captain Marvel, Carol lost her job at N.A.S.A. She recovered quickly, writing a successful novel about her experience in the space industry. This lead to her landing a position as the editor of WOMAN magazine, a subsidiary of the Daily Bugle. Carol's viewpoints as a staunch feminist created tensions with her boss J. Jonah Jameson, but made her the perfect choice to be WOMAN magazine's editor.

Just as Carol was beginning this new chapter of her life, the powers and persona of Ms. Marvel began to emerge. At first, Carol experienced blackouts triggered by Ms. Marvel's precognitive seventh sense and the two personas were very distinct, both mentally and physically. As time went on and Carol came to accept her new role as Ms. Marvel, the two personalities merged. A second exposure to the energies of a Kree Psyche-Magnetron also imbued Ms. Marvel with some of the properties which formally resided in her Kree uniform (namely flight and the ability to change into costume at will).

Carol fought many villains during her career as Ms. Marvel, including Deathbird, M.O.D.O.K., A.I.M., the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the Hellfire Club, and Mystique. She also joined the Avengers for a brief period, and it was this affiliation which drew Carol to the attention of Marcus. The son of Immortus, Marcus observed the Avengers from afar and became obsessed with Ms. Marvel. Marcus kidnapped Carol using Immortus' technology to manipulate her mind and seduce her into loving him. Marcus impregnated Carol with a child who would rapidly grow up into Marcus himself, enabling him to escape Limbo. He returned Carol to the Avengers, unaware of her time and seduction in Limbo. Carol was shocked when she learned that she was pregnant and devastated since she was completely unaware of the identity of the father. The pregnancy ran its course in a matter of days, leaving Carol shaken - both as a woman and a hero. The child grew within a day into a full-grown man, one who was determined to win his "mother's" love. Carol, still bewildered by the entire experience, agreed to accompany Marcus back to Limbo. The Avengers wished the pair well. In Limbo, Marcus continued to age rapidly and quickly died of old age, leaving Carol alone in Limbo and free of his mind control. Carol was sickened by Marcus' manipulations and felt betrayed by the Avengers who failed to question Marcus` actions or motives.

Carol mastered Immortus' technology and returned to Earth, choosing to settle in San Francisco instead of returning to the Avengers. Carol's return to Earth was sensed by the precognitive Destiny. Destiny had previously prophesied that Ms. Marvel would be involved in an event that would destroy the life of Mystique's foster daughter, Rogue. Mystique had vowed to destroy Ms. Marvel before this could happen and developed an obsessive hatred for Ms. Marvel. Rogue, overhearing Destiny's concerns and Mystique's ranting, decided to take the battle to Carol herself. Rogue attacked Carol in San Francisco and the pair fought atop the Golden Gate Bridge. When Rogue tried to use her power-absorbing abilities on Carol, something went terribly wrong, and she absorbed too much of Carol's persona, making the transferal permanent. Driven mad by Carol's thoughts and memories, Rogue threw Carol's body from the bridge. Amazingly, Carol was rescued by Spider-Woman. At the hospital, Carol was identified and diagnosed as a tabula rasa - a blank slate. Jessica Drew called in Professor Xavier of the X-Men, who was able to pull forth Carol's memories and personality from her subconscious. However, he was unable to restore her emotional connection to those memories and experiences. Carol and Jessica spent some time at the X-Mansion while Carol recovered from her ordeal.

During this time, a now-powerless Carol confronted the Avengers and vented her anger for their betrayal of her. Carol remained with the X-Men for a brief time, during which she often accompanied them on missions. One such mission led to Carol's capture by the alien Brood. Fascinated by her Kree/Human physiology, the Brood performed experiments on Carol's genetic structure. This unleashed the full potential of Carol's Kree/Human physiology transforming her into the cosmic-powered Binary. Carol now possessed more power than ever due to her link to a white hole.

Carol returned with the X-Men and was strongly considering joining them on a permanent basis when the desperately troubled Rogue came to Xavier for help. Upon seeing Rogue, Carol flew into a rage and punched her into orbit. The X-Men reluctantly informed Carol that Xavier had allowed Rogue to join the X-Men. Unable to accept this, Carol opted to join the space pirates known as the Starjammers and to leave her troubles on Earth behind. As Binary, Carol was a valued member of the Starjammers and fought alongside them to restore Lilandra to the Shi'ar throne. In space, Carol was able to escape her loss and rebuild her life. The stars were her escape and offered her a whole universe in which to escape the emptiness her former life represented. Carol remained with the Starjammers for a number of years. During this time, she lived out her lifelong dream of exploring the stars. She formed a close friendship with Raza Longknife, the sullen cyborg member of the Starjammers. Despite fighting the Shi'ar forces and her former enemy Deathbird, Carol found herself frustrated at the lack of challenge among the Starjammers' adversaries. When Earth's sun was threatened, Carol chose to abandon her mission for the Shi'ar Majestrix Lilandra Neramani and aid the Avenger Quasar in saving it. This effort left Carol in a depleted state, and she spent months recuperating at the Avengers Mansion. During this time, she reconciled with the Avengers. When the Starjammers came to Earth and into conflict with the Avengers, Carol helped resolve the conflict and decided to try and rebuild her life on Earth.

Recently, Carol rechristened herself Warbird and rejoined the Avengers, following a reality-warping conflict with Morgan Le Fay. She brought with her a whole new set of problems. First, her powers were slowly depleting, and she attempted to hide this fact from the Avengers, leading to a conflict with Captain America. Carol had also developed a drinking problem, which was immediately noticed by recovering alcoholic and fellow Avenger, Iron Man. Her drinking, coupled with her determination to prove herself a worthy addition to the Avengers and her secretiveness about her power loss, led to reckless grand-standing and sloppy teamwork. This eventually endangered the lives of her teammates and led to a formal court-martial before her fellow Avengers. Rather than face her problems and a forced demotion to reserve status, Carol quit the team. This all occurred amidst the Avengers' conflict with a rebel faction of Kree. Seeking to join the battle despite leaving the team, Carol realized that she no longer had the capability to reach escape velocity in order to join the battle on the Moon between the Avengers and the Kree Lunatic Legion.

Disheartened, Carol realized that she'd hit rock bottom, and moved to Seattle to work on rebuilding her career as a freelance writer and novelist. She started to make some progress in accepting her alcoholism but refused to accept that she had a serious problem for months. After her drinking almost led to disaster in a number of combat situations, Carol was hospitalized for alcohol poisoning. Carol's doctor warned that she had done considerable damage to her internal organs and that another drink might kill her. This diagnosis combined with the knowledge that she had nearly killed a plane full of people during a drunken rage have forced Carol to admit the severity of her drinking problem. Carol has now accepted that she is an alcoholic and has started attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on a regular basis. She has since been accepted into the ranks of the Avengers once more and taken the name "Ms. Marvel" once again.

When the Scarlet Witch warped reality, Carol was one of the few people who remembered the events when reality was restored, and she determined to prove her worth as a true hero, something she had experienced during the events. She told this to Captain America when he offered her membership in the new Avengers team, but she declined, feeling unready to join that august assemblage. Cap assured her that a place would always be available to her in the Avengers.

During the Civil War, Ms. Marvel decided to become pro-registration, out of loyalty to the U.S. government and also to her longtime friend Iron Man, who had offered to lead the pro-registration forces. She joined a team to help enforce the Super-Human Registration Act alongside Iron Man. She worked with Wonder Man and Arachne to help train new superheroes while also hunting down anti-registration heroes.

Carol soon learned that Arachne was a double agent who was using her position to secretly feed vital information to the anti-registration forces. Carol felt that she had no choice but to turn Arachne in. As Ms. Marvel, she hunted down Arachne, defeated her in front of Arachne's own daughter, and took her into custody. The friendship between the two women was destroyed by this encounter, and Carol had considerable regrets afterwards. Arachne eventually escaped custody, returned to her daughter, and moved to Canada to become a member of Omega Flight.

Later, Carol paid a visit to a young Hispanic super heroine named Araña to try and get her to register. Araña admired Ms. Marvel and registered, after which Carol trained Araña to be a superhero. Unfortunately Araña would become badly injured during a mission, causing Araña's father to forbid Carol from seeing Araña again.

Iron Man asked Ms. Marvel to lead a new government-sanctioned team of Avengers, which she accepted and the two picked a team together. During their first mission, the Mighty Avengers fought the new incarnation of Ultron. Ms. Marvel absorbed energies from Ultron during their battle, and after having SHIELD scientists examine the energies, she stopped missiles from hitting New York by diverting them upwards. She then used the energy she absorbed from the missiles to stop the Sentry when he went crazy.

When the Mighty Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. launched an attack on Doctor Doom, Ms. Marvel was again team leader, along with Iron Man. When the Sentry and Iron Man returned from the past, she flew to them, urging them to take cover before the place exploded. They survived the explosion and continued with the invasion. In the end, they prevailed and Doom was taken into custody.

On a mission to Japan (which Ms. Marvel did not participate in), the Avengers discovered that the heroine known as Elektra had been replaced by an agent of the shape-shifting alien race known as the Skrulls. They soon learned that many more Skrull agents, in disguise as other Earth heroes, were spearheading an imminent invasion of Earth by the Skrull Empire. It was nearly impossible to determine who might be a Skrull, resulting in Earth's heroes, already paranoid from the recent Civil War, viewing each other with great suspicion. Iron Man, despite being one of Carol's closest friends, revealed to SHIELD Agent Sum that he suspected that Ms. Marvel herself may have been recently killed or captured and replaced by a Skrull.

Back in New York, Ms. Marvel was still investigating AIM and was unaware that she had fallen under S.H.I.E.L.D. scrutiny. She performed a routine check-up, which yielded the location of a hidden AIM base. After a suspicious delivery truck with unknown cargo left the base, she decided to follow it rather than attack. It turned out that the truck contained a hostile alien life form, and after she intervened, she realized that it was a Super Skrull with the combined powers of several of the X-Men. The Skrull was too powerful for even Ms. Marvel to handle without backup, so after a quick battle she disengaged and went to see her friend William, who had urgently called her via cellphone. She found him dead on the floor of her own apartment, and as she checked his body, Agent Sum arrived, threatening to shoot her.

Realizing that she had been set up, Ms. Marvel thought fast and managed to escape Agent Sum, but was immediately confronted by more of her own S.H.I.E.L.D. colleagues, the super-powered agents Sleepwalker and Machine Man. Unable to convince them of the truth and not wanting to attack her own teammates, she flew away but was followed by Machine Man, who eventually forced her turn and fight. During their battle a duplicate Ms. Marvel appeared, resulting in much confusion. The elite S.H.I.E.L.D. unit known as Operation: Lightning Storm arrived and, unable to distinguish which Ms. Marvel was Carol Danvers and which was a Skrull agent, subdued both of them and took them into custody.

Carol, the true Ms. Marvel, was later freed from her cell by Agent Sum, but she sensed that something wasn't right and struck him down, believing him to be a Skrull. When he fell and didn't revert to Skrull form, she thought that she had made a mistake. But at that point the real Agent Sum entered the room, and the fallen "Agent Sum" reverted to his Skrull form -- the same X-Men-powered Super-Skrull that Ms. Marvel had fought earlier. Ms. Marvel, Agent Sum, and other SHIELD agents all attacked the Super-Skrull, eventually knocking him into the area where the second Ms. Marvel was being detained. That "Ms. Marvel" finally reverted to her true Skrull form, and revealed that William was still alive and that she had merely disguised herself as William's body in Carol's apartment in order to frame Carol. William later appeared and revealed that he was actually a Kree agent sent to Earth to investigate the recent activities of the Skrulls, as the two races were long-time mortal enemies.

In the core Secret Invasion storyline, Ms. Marvel flew with the Mighty Avengers to the Savage Land. Iron Man's armor became infected with a Skrull virus, so Ms. Marvel pulled Tony out of the armor and flew him away to the base where the fugitive New Avengers (composed entirely of non-registered heroes) were captured on their first mission. Tony told her to leave and return to the mainland, to gather the Initiative so they could be ready for the Skrull invasion. However, it was too late and the Initiative was scattered. Ms. Marvel, the only hero left in Manhattan to face the invasion, made the decision that no Skrull would get out of Manhattan alive. The battle ensued and Ms. Marvel fought the invading Skrull army harder than she ever fought a battle in her life and almost single-handedly prevented them from taking the city before their ultimate defeat at the hands of Earth's heroes.

Ms. Marvel resigned from the Avengers following the events of the Secret Invasion, after learning that Norman Osborn was in charge of the Avengers and had taken residence in Avengers Tower. She joined the renegade New Avengers and was elected the team's second-in-command. Only a short time later, while operating solo, she encountered an old enemy, the terrorist Ghazi Rashid, who had now gained super-powers with the aid of Norman Osborn. Though she was experiencing power burnout at the time, she managed to defeat the villain. In the process, however, she overloaded, and it seemed that the original Ms. Marvel was now dead.

Meanwhile, Osborn decided to hand-pick his own government-sanctioned team of Avengers, mostly choosing former Thunderbolts. This team has become known as the Dark Avengers, since it is both composed of and led by former super-villains in the guise of heroes. He placed Karla Sofen, formerly Moonstone, in the guise of Ms. Marvel. Osborn's Ms. Marvel is presently suited in the classic red and blue Kree-oriented costume, and is the version of Ms. Marvel that is exposed to the public eye. She has taken on a more brutal role of crime enforcer, killing rather than apprehending dangerous criminals. The public reaction to this new Ms. Marvel has been mixed.

Some time after the apparent demise of Carol Danvers, there were various world sightings of several brightly-colored feminine energy beings, seeking special genetically engineered creations of AIM. Wherever the beings appeared, they left death in the wake of their search. While this was happening, Karla Sofen, in the guise of Osborn's Ms. Marvel, used the weapon of an AIM splinter cell against itself. In the process, she rescued an assembly of multiple telepathic genetic fetuses, engineered from both the MODOC and Storyteller protocols. She discovered that both she and the energy beings sought the "babies," and ended up doing battle with one of them.

Later, when Wolverine, Spider-Man, and even Deadpool become involved in the fight for possession of the "babies," it was revealed that the energy beings were actually Carol Danvers, split into her various Kree energy patterns. After the New Avengers helped her assemble enough of the "babies" together, their power was used to fuse Carol back into a single being, paving the way for a fateful encounter between Carol Danvers and Karla Sofen.

Ms. Marvel arrived on the battlefield set up on the ruins of Asgard and helped Spider-Man to defeat Venom, but during the battle evil alien suit caught her and made her a brand new host to himself. Spider-Man helped Carol to take the suit off, so Venom assembled with Mac Gargan again and revealed to Peter Parker that Ms. Marvel has a secret affection to him that symbiote distinctly felt when was in connection with her. Carol sent Venom to a long flight with a car bumper and took Spider-Man to the Asgard battlefield.

29. Madrox (198 points - 3 first place slots)

madrox.jpg"Jamie is just pure fun, but with some very serious undertones."

"Perhaps the most psychologically complex character of the MU."

"He is his own best teammate."

In the town of Los Alamos, New Mexico, it was immediately apparent that Jamie Madrox was a mutant as soon as he was born. When the doctor performed the old-fashioned smack to encourage the baby to cry & breath, a twin baby suddenly appeared. However, it wasn't a twin, but a duplicate. James Arthur Madrox was a rarity amongst mutants, in that his mutation was clear from birth, instead of waiting to develop in his teenaged years. He would uncontrollably form a duplicate of himself upon physical impact. This was a shocking experience to the doctor and to his parents as well.

Professor X was an old friend of the Madrox family and upon his advise Jamie's family moved to a farm in the middle of Kansas. Jamie's father, Dr Daniel Madrox created a special suit for Jamie to wear that would inhibit his mutant power. When Jamie was in his mid-teens, his parents were killed in a tornado before he really knew the extent of his powers and reason for the suit. Jamie then spent many years on the farm as his only companion. The duplicates would work on the farm, but without anyone else around life was still lonely for him.

In his early 20s, his suit began to malfunction the surge in energy which started to drive him crazy. He found himself headed towards New York and fought against the Fantastic Four. Charles Xavier managed to arrive at the scene and settled the situation. Jamie's suit was repaired and Charles invited Jamie to accompany him back to Xavier's School for the Gifted. Jamie didn't want to be part of the school or the X-Men, and instead chose to travel with the Professor to Scotland and became an assistant to mutant researcher, Moira MacTaggert.

With his powers of duplication, Jamie was dubbed the Multiple Man. In a scientific facility the size of Muir Island, his ability to duplicate himself was ideal as he could work on several projects at the same time. His 'dupes' could be absorbed, and Multiple Man would retain all of the knowledge learnt by his dupes.

When Moira's son developed mutant powers, he quickly descended into madness and became the mutant Proteus. Proteus attacked, possessing people and draining them of their life force. When Proteus possessed one of Multiple Man's duplicates, it ended with the dupe's death. During this time Multiple Man discovered that he couldn't absorb dead duplicates. Multiple Man started to see how independent his duplicates could be. Unfortunately, Multiple Man immediately experienced psychic feedback and felt the agony of death.

While living on Muir Island Multiple Man met Siryn. She was the reformed criminal, and daughter of Banshee who was Moira's lover. There weren't many other occupants on Muir Island and since they were roughly the same age and living in a relatively confined space, they became a couple.

Together with Moira and Siryn, Multiple Man journeyed back to the United States to help search for a couple of runaway New Mutants. While at the bus station in New York, Multiple Man created several dozen duplicates. They were sent off around the city to search for Sunspot and Warlock. This began to cause trouble, as the longer his duplicates were independent from him, they began to develop their own sense of identity. Multiple Man and Siryn found Sunspot & Warlock, but they had joined a team of mutant runaways and thieves. Deciding that they wanted to keep a close eye on the New Mutants, Multiple Man and Siryn also joined the Fallen Angels. The team was sent out into the streets of New York to scavenge food. When one of Multiple Man's duplicates ran into the road (away from Boom-Boom's amorous advances) he was hit by a cyclist. The dupe's ribs were broken, but still refused to rejoin with Multiple Man claiming that it would be like death.

he team were later transported to an alien world called the Coconut Grove, where the inhabitants could no longer evolve. The Fallen Angels were treated like heroes, but the secret plan was to experiment on the mutants. Multiple Man continued to carry a portable Cerebro unit that Magneto had provided him with in order to locate Sunspot & Warlock. Even after they had located the runaway New Mutants, he continued to use the Cerebro and therefore discovered that the Fallen Angel's two founding members Ariel and Chance were also mutants. After revealing this information, the whole team was captured including Ariel & Chance. During a fight for freedom, another duplicate was killed in action. Both Multiple Man and his dupe with the broken ribs felt the agony of dying. When they were taken away to be experimented on, the injured dupe agreed to let Multiple Man duplicate himself several times before absorbing him; thereby reducing the injury of one dupe when all the dupes were absorbed.

Upon their return to Earth, Multiple Man and Siryn decided to stay with the Fallen Angels for a while longer. They recognized that the team wasn't really bad, and therefore wanted to stay & keep them on the straight & narrow.

However, upon their return to Muir Island they came under attack from various deadly X-Men foes. Polaris had escaped from the Savage Land without her magnetic powers. When she arrived on Muir Island, the inhabitants of the island became possessed by the psychic entity known as the Shadow King. Therefore Multiple Man, Moira, Siryn and the others were conscious of their actions while the Shadow King controlled them. They became darker and meaner when interacting with others from outside the Island.

he Shadow King used Polaris as a gateway form the Astral Plane into the physical world. Therefore she, Multiple Man and the others could not be freed until the X-Men and the original X-Factor joined forces to save them. Until the Shadow King was defeated, Multiple Man and the others were forced to battle their friends & allies. They managed to hide the fact that they were possessed on many occasions, including when the New Warriors & X-Force were after Harness and Piecemeal. It was obvious that there was something wrong with normally conservative people like Moira, but the heroes didn't have time to investigate what was wrong with Madrox & co. When they were saved, Multiple Man & Siryn parted ways and he traveled back to the United States.

Multiple Man soon joined the government sponsored incarnation of X-Factor. Multiple Man had new team-mates, and developed particularly strong friendships with Strong Guy & Wolfsbane. He also worked closely with Quicksilver (who was often the straight guy for their jokes), Havok and Polaris.

On the day that the team was announced to the general public, a mysterious assassin shot a Multiple Man duplicate. It transpired that the gunman was a rogue duplicate who had begun working for Mister Sinister. The dupe wanted to become the dominant figure, and conspired to capture the real Multiple Man. With the help of Ricochet the dupe convinced Multiple Man to let him absorb the original. However, Multiple Man defeated the dupe after absorption and uncovered Sinister's plot. Multiple Man then asserted his dominance and absorbed the rogue duplicate from inside.

Although the Multiple Man rarely battled giant cosmic entities like the Fantastic Four would, he did see his fair share of action. While with X-Factor, he battled a dark doppelganger of himself during the Infinity War. Later, he and Wolfsbane were kidnapped because of their religious beliefs by the Goddess during the Infinity Crusade.

When Stryfe shot Professor Xavier while disguised as Cable, X-Factor teamed up with the X-Men to arrest X-Force in an attempt to find Cable. However, Siryn was among the roster of the X-Force members and it was the first time they'd seen each other since they'd left Muir Island. She implored Multiple Man to listen to reason and remember everything they'd shared during their time as a couple. However, he walked away from her cell stating that it hadn't been him; he'd left a duplicate on Muir Island, and since he had absorbed that dupe then all the memories of Siryn were like an old dream.

During another early mission, Multiple Man and Quicksilver were sent to Maine to investigate a murder where the prime suspect was a young mutant woman. Rachel Argosy had been a music teacher, but she was fired soon after her skin began to turn blue and she earned the nickname Rhapsody. The man who dismissed her was the murder victim, but with anti-mutant sentiments flying high X-Factor wanted to be sure that she received a fair trial. Multiple Man & Quicksilver began to investigate, but Multiple Man was quickly enchanted by Rhapsody and her mutant powers. Whenever music was playing she could perform several super human feats, including flight, hypnosis and emotional manipulation. As such, she grew close to Multiple Man by creating a fantasy where they would cavort naked through fields. He began to fight for her innocence, but with Quicksilver's help he uncovered the truth; Rhapsody had killed the man. It was manslaughter, since she had been trying to seduce him into hiring her again. However, her powers over-excited his heart condition & accidentally killed him. She pleaded with Multiple Man to save her from prison, but in the end he had to walk away and let her face the judicial system.

During his stay with X-Factor, Multiple Man had to routinely be psychologically examined by Doc Samson. Multiple Man and Strong Guy shared a similar sense of humor and love for practical jokes. Doc Samson analyzed Multiple Man and disseminated that his overt sense of humor was a defense mechanism. Since Multiple Man had spent many years alone after he was orphaned, he developed a pathological desire for attention. Therefore he would become a prankster and use his dupes in humorous ways do anything so he would never have to be alone again.

Multiple Man enjoyed his time with is friends in X-Factor. However, on a mission to the island of Genosha Multiple Man contracted the Legacy Virus while trying to give an infected mutate CPR. He continued to serve as a member of X-Factor, and was even forced to kill Mellencamp by creating a duplicate in his mouth, thereby crushing his head instantly.

The virus began to ravage his body, but it seemed that there was hope of a cure. After the events of the X-Tinction Agenda, Wolfsbane had been trapped in her transitional human-lupine form, unable to return to a normal human girl without reverting to a brainwashed Genoshan mutate. A cult had sprung up around the apparent mutant known as Haven. She claimed that she could heal anyone who believed in her, and demonstrated this claim by freeing Wolfsbane from the Genoshan mutate slavery coding in her genetics. Wolfsbane encouraged Multiple Man to approach Haven. Tentative at first, Multiple Man asked Haven for help. However, instead of being cured he fell lifeless to the floor. The impact on the floor didn't create any duplicates as he'd been killed.

It was a few years before the revelation that Multiple Man was still alive was made public. It transpired that the dead man was another duplicate, and that the original Multiple Man had been suffering from amnesia. He also joined the European branch of X-Corporation, a search and rescue organization for mutants.

Later he sent out duplicates across the world to gather information and skills when he reabsorbed them. Retiring the name Multiple Man, he opted to go only by his surname, Madrox. He set himself up as a private eye in Mutant Town under the name XXX Investigations, which soon became X-Factor Investigations. Madrox was soon joined by his former X-Factor team-mates, Strong Guy & Wolfsbane.

Using his powers of multiplication and telepathic knowledge through other dupes, he entered the television game show 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?'. While Madrox was on the game show, his dupes were at home using the internet to find the answers and send the messages back to Madrox telepathically. Using the prize money of a million dollars, he bought the building that X-Factor Investigations has been trading from and paid his friends a wage. Soon after they were joined by M, Siryn, Rictor and Layla Miller.

However, at this point in his life his duplicates had already begun to show more signs of indolence. They would often display character traits that were deeply hidden from the main Madrox that he wasn't aware that he was capable of feeling or doing some of the things his dupes would do. As such, he would be more reluctant to use his powers in a desperate situation. When Rictor tried to commit suicide after losing his powers, Madrox picked a duplicate to talk to Rictor thinking that the dupe was optimistic. However, the dupe was really Madrox's unpredictable side, and pushed Rictor off the building (who was fortunately saved by M).

Although Madrox didn't rekindle his relationship with Siryn, he did show signs of loyalty and affection towards her. When a mysterious thug attacked Siryn in the middle of the night, beating her and abandoning her body in a side alley, she was thankfully rescued by Rictor. Madrox couldn't usually rely on his duplicates, but each & every dupe he made agreed on one thing; to intimidate the man responsible for Siryn's humiliating physical assault. The dupes created a large crowd that filled the park in Mutant Town, where they made it clear that should anything ever happen to her again that they would exact the same punishment against the man responsible.

After the birth of the first mutant baby after M-Day, Cyclops summoned Madrox to the Institute. Layla accompanied Madrox, and was already aware of what Cyclops had in store for her employer. Forge had detected that all but two of the possible future timelines had vanished. Madrox was to create two duplicates and send one into each future timeline. One went into a future where there were no more mutants. The other was selected to go in to a future where mutants continued to procreate, but were detained in camps. However, when the second dupe was about to jump into the future, Layla jumped to give him a giant bear hug and was also flung into he future. The main Madrox was furious and demanded that she be returned immediately. However, Forge informed him that the time travel was a one-way ticket, and that the dupes were meant to commit suicide in order to transfer their knowledge back to Madrox in the present. Therefore there was no way to retrieve Layla from the future. However, mysteriously, Madrox grew faint and collapsed into a coma. Forge strapped him into a medical bay bed from where he could monitor Madrox's life signs.

80-years in the future, the duplicate and Layla investigated the local libraries. However, all the newspapers referring to mutant activity had been edited and cut to hide the truth. Therefore the duplicate decided to hand himself over to the authorities and experience the life mutant of a mutant in the future. He was scanned and registered as a mutant (despite what Tryp had said to him earlier). Layla didn't originally register as a mutant on the scanners until she suggested that they scan her a second time. They were immediately arrested and separated. The duplicate and Layla each had to go through a process where their hair was shaved off, they were stripped, washed, and forced to undergo a tattooing process that instilled information into their faces. They were both scarred with a giant M across their right-eyes. The Madrox duplicate had a difficult time adjusting until he was reunited with young Layla. She then led him across the camp to meet a young black lad who lived in the camp. Madrox greeted and interviewed the young Lucas Bishop. Bishop was very distant and militant, despite his young age, and soon ran away from Madrox & Layla. Madrox had gathered all the information he needed, but wasn't aware of what Layla had been planning. She planted a grenade on his body, pulled the pin and ran away to a safe distance as it detonated.

In the present day, Madrox instantly awoke and cried out in agony. Forge was astounded to see that Madrox's face suddenly had the distinctive M tattooed on his face. He then provided the crucial information; the mutant baby was responsible for the branding and ghettoisation of the mutant race. Madrox had uncovered that Bishop was a traitor to the X-Men who was hunting Cable and the baby.

Due to a mix-up with his dupes, Madrox had intercourse with both M and Siryn. One drunk evening, he created a duplicate and spent the evening with both girls but in separate venues. He wasn't aware of what his dupe was doing until it was re-absorbed the next day. However, since he had been drunk when it happened, Madrox wasn't sure which girl had been with him, or with the duplicate. Naturally both girls were furious, and it created tension within the X-Factor Investigations team. However, Siryn had become pregnant.

Madrox was still disillusioned by the loss of Layla, and a heavily pregnant Siryn struggled to keep X-Factor together after a Skrull disguised as Longshot infiltrated the team.

As Siryn went in to labor, she proposed to Madrox. It was an emotional moment for them both, and so he accepted. Siryn gave birth to a baby boy and named him Sean in honor of her deceased father. Madrox was a little anxious at the prospect of fatherhood, but Siryn encouraged him to step forward and hold the baby. However, as soon as Jamie held his son, tragedy struck almost immediately.

Sean Madrox began to glow, and uncontrollably began to disappear inside Jamie Madrox. Siryn screamed and the others looked on in horror as the baby was slowly absorbed, despite Madrox's protests that he could do nothing to stop it. He reasoned that Siryn must have been impregnated by the drunken duplicate and therefore the baby was therefore another duplicate which was absorbed by it's already-absorbed father. When the baby had fully disappeared Siryn leapt on Madrox, tearing at his chest trying to reclaim her lost baby. In the struggle, she broke his fingers and told him to leave.

Exiles from X-Factor, Madrox sought out his independent dupe, John Maddox. As Madrox had not absorbed either John nor his son when he came into contact with them, he wanted to investigate. However, the two men ended up sharing their emotional confessions. When faced with the reality that the children of duplicates are also 'infant dupes', John Maddox confessed that he knew of his wife's infidelity. Therefore Madrox had not absorbed John Maddox's son because John Maddox wasn't the real father.

And the next person to appear on the TLC is...


Stephen "Marathon Poster" Day.

Sorry, pal.


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