Wednesday, January 24, 2018 • Morning Edition • "Trash eaters."

Your Top Marvel heroes part 75

Written by Chris Mitchell on Monday, May 17 2010 and posted in Features
Here we go, the Top 25 Heroes in the Marvel Universe voted by you. There will be shocks. There will be controversy. And possibly, the net breaking in half. Are you ready, True Believer? {nomultithumb}

25. Nova (212 points - 2 first place slots)

nova.jpg"I first read Nova in the New Warriors debut and instantly hated him. He was a bitter working class late teen that had lost his powers and, even when he got them back, he was a bitter late teen. By some reason I can't explain, Nova climb my read pile in at the time, to the point he was (for some time) one of my favorite Marvel Character. To this day I have no idea why I like this guy."

"a few years ago I had no idea who this was. Now Nova is my favorite Marvel comic by far and away. Just about every issue someone shows up, I have no clue who it is, but the story - and it's strong central character - get me right into it. Richard Rider is who Kyle Rayner should have been."

"For me, Nova was a fantastic hero. He was a buddy of Spidey's and he had started up when I was reading, so I felt more of a connection having been there from the start. So much like, yet so different then Spidey. The first of a line of teen male heroes in a similar mold of Spidey."

"He stopped Annihilus and saved the universe. Done Deal."

"Cosmic Marvel wouldn't be the same without him. He's possibly one of the most improved characters in the past few years."

"Again with the character development. I liked Nova in the New Warriors, but I love him as Marvel's number one cosmic hero."

"I have loved this character since I first stumbled upon him in the 90's. So much fun and his original costume is still one of my all time favorites."

"Richard Rider's had one of the best transitions from C-list joke among the New Warriors to a full-on galactic hero. Back in the 80s and 90s I never would have considered reading a page of Nova, but now it's a book that takes the top of my list every month."

I agree with all of these quotes, especially the one about Kyle. Nova is incredible, and I love what DnA have done with him. I so look forward to The Thanos Initiative.

The Nova Corps was a peace keeping force based on the planet Xandar. The planet was destroyed by the space pirate known as Zorr. When Rhomann Dey Nova Prime member was dying, he chose, at random, Richard Rider to receive his powers. This was a lot for the teenaged Rider but he started a superhero career with them. Rider would often team-up with Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. In fact Rider showed so much potential that Nick Fury recruited him to help Shield against the Yellow Claw. During this time in Rider's life he often fought Condor, Diamondhead, and the Sphinx. Even making an alliance with the villains to form The Champions of Xandar. When the Skrull Empire threatened Xandar, Rider and the Champions of Xandar went to give their aid. The Champions would lead forces of the Nova Corps against the Skrulls. The Skrull attack force was eventually defeated with a little help from the Fantastic Four and then from Rom the Spaceknight. Rider longed to return to Earth, so he agreed to give up his portion of the Nova force powers to be used on Xandar to live a normal life.

A few months later he was approached by Night Thrasher. Night Thrasher was starting a new superhero team and believed that Rider still contained the power inside him. To prove this, he threw Rider off of a rooftop. Luckily, he was right. They formed the New Warriors with other teenage superheroes and fought on many missions. Nova spent his time with the Warriors and on his own. During Rider's absence is when Nebula attacked Xandar and destroyed the remaining portion of the planet. Along with most of it's inhabitants.

After fighting Super-Nova, a Xandarian that had gained the rest of the Nova force and was driven mad, with the help of former Galactus' heralds, Firelord and Air-Walker, Nova became the Centurion Prime. He was to be the guardian of Earth's sector of space. The New Warriors broke up and reformed a few times. The last time they were stars of a reality TV show. They traveled across the country to small towns without superheroes and battle criminals on television.

Shortly before the horrible incident that resulted in the Warriors death and the start of the Superhero Registration Act, Nova was called back to Xandar to assist the Nova Corps in fighting the Annihilation Wave. The wave destroyed Xandar and the entire corps. Nova was the only survivor and inherited the entire Nova-Force. He also gained World Mind, the Xandarian living computer that contains the record of Xandar's history and helps Rider retain his sanity with the Nova-Force.

Later, Nova discovers Drax The Destroyer and Cammi on the surface of Xandar, the only other two apparent survivors of the onslaught. They escape the planet which has been knocked out of orbit of it's star, which between that and the damage it suffered from the Annihilation Wave is quickly becoming uninhabitable. Nova opens a gate to the planet Nycos Aristides, several light years away. The engines of their vessel cut out and they begin to fall into the atmosphere. They are saved by Quasar.

Quasar talks Nova into helping him evacuate the planet from the oncoming Annihilation Wave, despite Nova's fears of losing control of his power. They hold their own against the wave and even attempt to kill Annihilus himself, but Quasar is killed in the process and Nova barely escapes with his life. Nova heads up a resistance movement against the Annihilation Wave with Peter Quill (Starlord) as his second-in-command. After losing a major battle they decide to dissolve the resistance and form a small strike team to the end of one goal, to kill Annihilus.

As the final battle looms Nova is able to challenge Annihilus to single combat and as he looks like he's about to die at Annihilus' hands, Phyla-Vell manages to steal the Quantum-Bands Annihilus had taken upon killing Quasar, which turns the tide in Nova's favor, and he manages to kill Annihilus.

Following the events of Annihilation, Nova becomes overwhelmed with work rushing from one crisis to the next. World Mind cautions him of over work and eventually manages to convince Nova to return to Earth for a break. Upon arrival Nova is confronted by Iron Man and SHIELD, having identified him as a Class 12 threat. After telling Nova about the Initiative and the new hero registration laws, Nova is given 24 hours to decide whether he wants to register or not.

Whilst walking around his old neighborhood, Nova is attacked by his old foe Diamondhead, seeking revenge after years in prison. Nova easily shatters his hand, but this draws the attention of the Thunderbolts, who attempt to bring him in for being an unregistered hero, unaware that Nova still has time to decide. After the fight is called off by Iron Man, Nova returns home, where he has an argument with his parents about the fight with the Thunderbolts. Shortly after this, Nova meets up with his old friend Robbie Baldwin, now known as Penance. After seeing what's happened to him, Nova decides to leave Earth, since too much has happened since he was last there.

Eventually, when Nova's family start viewing him as a criminal due to the Stamford Disaster, Nova decides to return to space and lands right back into the middle of Annihilation Conquest and the Phalanx invasion. An event that he is ill prepared for at first.

Upon Worldmind informing Nova of hundreds of distress calls coming from the Kree home planet of Hala, Nova heads there, where he is attacked by Kree Sentries under the command of Gamora, who has become one of the Phalanx Select. After almost being infected by the sentries, Nova attempts to escape from Kree space, only to find that it's been encased in an energy field to prevent anyone escaping. When he tries to use a stargate to escape, Nova hits the energy field, and crash lands on Drez-Lar, burned nearly down to a skeleton.

A stranded Kree ship finds him and their commander Ko-Rel is given a portion of Nova's power in order to protect him. Unfortunately, whilst Ko-Rel is fighting the Phalanx that try to invade and capture Nova, Gamora sneaks into the bay where he is healing, and kisses Nova, infecting him with the Transmode Virus and making him a Phalanx Select.

As one of the Select he captures Drax The Destroyer for the Phalanx and helps to kill Ko-Rel. As a result a portion of his power is returned allowing him to hold off the Transmode Virus enough that he is in control of himself once more, although the Transmode Virus isn't destroyed. With the data gathered from when Nova was a Phalanx, Worldmind works out that Nova can escape from the energy field still surrounding Kree space by channeling the powers of a star into a stargate. However, Gamora and Drax manage to follow him, planning to either kill him or turn him into a Phalanx again, and as a result of his hasty stargate, Nova ends up in uncharted territory of the universe, where he finds Knowhere.

In Knowhere, Nova finds out that a space team called the Luminals, (described as the equivalent of the Avengers) have placed their greatest enemy, called Abyss in Knowhere in the hope of containing him forever. However, Abyss is escaping from the container he's in, and turning the residents of Knowhere into zombie-like creatures. Nova manages to seal Abyss back in his container by releasing a tiny amount of the Transmode Virus and using that to seal the container properly. Unfortunately, as a result of this Nova's resistance against the Transmode Virus is weakened, and he slowly begins to be taken over by it.

With the help of the residents of Knowhere, Nova is able to find Kvch, the home world of the Technarchy, who are the "parents" of the Phalanx. There, Nova encounters Warlock and his young ward, who both cure Nova of the Transmode Virus, as well as Drax The Destroyer and Gamora upon Nova requesting it. Nova then returns in time to assist in the liberation of Hala and defeat of Electron and his Phalanx horde.

Following the events of Conquest, Nova continues responding to urgent distress signals the first being a direct confrontation with Galactus and Silver Surfer. On planet Orbucen. While assisting in the evacuation Nova apprehends Harrow, a psychokinetic serial killer. Nova directly confronts Galactus trying to buy the people of Orbucen enough time to evacuate the planet, and forces a battle with Silver Surfer. Unfortunately during his battle with Silver Surfer, Harrow escapes forcing Nova to delay his own departure from the planet and becoming trapped as Galactus prepares to devour Orbucen.

Nova escapes to Galactus' ship where he soon finds Harrow has been hiding himself there all along. Before Nova could stop Harrow, the Silver Surfer arrived and made Galactus aware of the stowaways. Galactus instantly killed Harrow for his deception but spared Nova's life. Teleported away from the ship, the Surfer tells Nova that he has been spared by Galactus and that Galactus rarely spares someone twice and to not cross their paths again.

While responding a distress call, Nova was ambushed by a team of Skrulls. He managed to defeat them but was not prepared to face his old allied Kl'rt. Thanks to him, Nova learned of the Skrull Invasion in his home planet. He traveled to Earth and arrived to witness the Skrull siege of P.E.G.A.S.U.S. facilities. Aware that his brother was in P.E.G.A.S.U.S. Project, Nova launched himself against the hordes of Skrulls, managing to stop them for a few moments with the help of Darkhawk. But things got complicated with the invaders retaliation leaving the heroes between the sword and the wall. Miraculously, the scientist at P.E.G.A.S.U.S. were able to bring not only World Mind back online but Quasar as well. With no chance to win, the Skrulls decided to obliterate the facility with everyone inside. But it was Nova's lucky day because in that exact moment, the Skrull ships were completely destroyed. Finally, the Nova Corps arrived to defend Earth.

After the Invasion was over, Nova found out that while he was sleeping, World Mind decided to gather again the Corps to help him in his mission. These new members were Fraktur, Rael, Tercel, Morrow and Qubit who proved to be a wise choice by World Mind. Although Nova was pleased with these Corps, he was still reluctant to gather the whole Nova Corps again and made a deal with World Mind to wait a little bit more before accepting more Centurions. But World Mind decided that the wait time was over, and he recruited everyone inside PEGASUS, including Nova's brother, Robbie Rider. World Mind used the rest of the corps to search for a new host for him, they found it in Ego the living Planet. When Ego appeared right outside Earth Nova dispatched to the planet, only to find World Mind had surprised Ego the Living Planet and turned him into New Xandar.

World Mind wanted Nova to return the main reserves of the Nova Force. Nova went back to Earth but before he returned he was stopped by the Fantastic Four. He went back to return the rest of the Nova Force, but decided it wasn't right. World Mind sent the rest of the corps to restrain him but he was too strong. Then World Mind stripped Nova of his powers and sent him back to Earth.

Dying from overexposure to the full Nova-force, Richard asks Doctor Eve Necker from P.E.G.A.S.U.S. for help. With H.A.M.M.E.R. shutting down P.E.G.A.S.U.S., Dr. Necker tries to persuade Richard to accept help from A.I.M.. Richard refuses and walks away from her. Remorseful, Eve gives him the Quantum flask inhabited by Quasar's consciousness so it wouldn't fall into the wrong hands. Richard breaks the flask, and suddenly Quasar appears and offers Richard the Quantum bands, potentially saving his life until he can regain the Nova Force. With the power of the Quantum Bands at his disposal Richard traveled to confront Ego and get back his Nova Prime powers. Once there he saw that World Mind had been corrupted by Ego and attacked him. To save World Mind he was forced to lobotomize Ego, but the backlash caused severe damage to World Mind and he was shut down but was replaced by the mind of the deceased Nova Corps member Ko-Rel. Richard returned the Quantum Bands to Quasar and took back his role as Nova Prime.

One crisis was averted, but the problem of an inexperienced Nova Corps dealing with hardened soldiers still remained. Rider, as Nova Prime, immediately flew into battle to rescue as many recruits as he could. Upon finding out his brother, Robbie, was missing, he took a small force to his last known coordinates only to be attacked by Triton of the Inhumans and his forces. Trying to avoid a fight at all costs, Nova was spared from retaliating when a former comrade, Ra-Venn, recognized him. It was then Nova was taken to the sight where the soldiers of the cruel emperor Vulcan exterminated a countless amount of Nova Corps recruits - execution style. All that remained were their helmets. However disheartened Nova was to see what was left of the fallen Centurions, his mission to save his brother did not falter. Battling his way through the forces of Ravenous, Nova heard his brother's agonizing scream and feared the worst. Charging headfirst into what could have been his last battle, Nova confronted the immensely powerful Xenith and decisively defeated her, saving both the lives of Ravenous and his brother.

After the war ended, it left the universe in more danger than ever with the creation of The Fault - caused by a devastating weapon made by the Inhumans with the intention of obliterating the Shi'ar race. A Nova Corps starship, the Resolute Duty, which had been missing for thirty-five years, had suddenly resurfaced bringing with it a slew of new problems for the Corps. A Nova Centurian, Zan Philo, still with the ship had a dangerous prisoner on board. A deadly bounty hunter known as Monark Starstalker stowed away only to attempt to wrestle the prisoner away from Centurion Philo, so he can get paid. A catastrophic attack to Worldmind by Starstalker gave Ego the opening he needed to assert himself over the Xandarian supercomputer, and the criminal held in captivity was about to be liberated by those who followed him, the merciless Mindless Ones. If things couldn't get any worse, the Mindless Ones cut the main power to Philo's ship and freed their master. With three threats to contend with, Nova had his hands full. Philo worked to get power restored to the ship. Worldmind downloaded itself into the Resolute Duty. Starstalker was nearly killed, and Ego was out for blood. Nova decided to eliminate two birds with one stone, and with Worldmind and Starstalker's help, Nova's plan was a success. By transporting the Mindless Ones along with their leader into Ego's brain, Nova gave the Living Planet a more immediate threat to contend with than the Nova Corps. The danger having passed, Starstalker left to roam the universe, and Philo agreed to become a Drill Sergeant to train the rookies.

Escaping the perils of The Fault once did not mean Nova was free from its evil influence. While on a mission to find Darkhawk for his allegedly killing Lilandra Neramani, Nova came to a dying planet. Darkhawk wasn't about to be imprisoned for a crime he did not commit and tried to flee, but Nova just wanted to talk. In the midst of his pursuit, the planet exploded and both heroes were believed dead. In actuality, Nova and Darkhawk were ripped from their world and brought to a magically constructed creation of one of Nova's deadliest foes - the Sphinx. Other familiar faces such as Reed Richards and Namorita were also brought to this makeshift world for the purpose of helping the Sphinx defeat his younger self. The Sphinx of the past wanted to possess both Ka Stones, which was previously thought impossible to do, and he brought his own avatars to do his bidding. Pitting both groups of warriors against each other, the Sphinxes waged war, during which it was discovered the older version was dying. When all hope appeared to be lost for the older Sphinx, Darkhawk was the wild card that saved the day, but he was also the one hero that could be manipulated into giving the Sphinx what he wanted too. Either getting the idea from his younger self, or intending on the same thing all along, Sphinx forced Darkhawk to procure the second Ka Stone and surrender it to him. Now with the immense power of both stones, the Sphinx was restored and became a god. He literally devoured his younger self and cast the heroes aside as they were no more to him than dust motes. While learning to deal with the power of both Ka Stones, the Sphinx was finding a way to have the real world accept the impossibility of two stones existing at the same time. He would have succeeded if not for the power of Nova coupled with the calculating mind of Richards. Together, they figured out a way to expel the Sphinx from his imaginary world into actual reality before he adapted, and in doing so, the Sphinx ceased to exist. With the Sphinx gone, his creation was falling apart, and all who were brought there would be returned home. Nova couldn't bear the thought of losing Namorita again, so he embraced her one last time, not realizing he would pull her from The Fault into her future. Darkhawk told Nova this decision would come back to bite him, but Nova didn't care.

24. Storm (213 points - 4 first place slots)

storm.jpg"Ororo Munroe is an oddball in the mutant set. She's been a goddess and a queen, yet she's also lead the most ragtag bunch of misfit mutants (the Morlocks). She's beautiful and powerful, and beyond her claustrophobia, we have to wonder why life as a mutant is so bad for her. Yet the strength of her character has kept us interested for decades."

"Beauty, brains and body. What more could you ask for?"

"Mutant, goddess, leader, queen. The most popular woman and most popular African-American character in comics also happens to be the sexiest thing in the Marvel Universe."

"Is there a more powerful, both in the mutant power aspect and the character aspect woman in the Marvel roster? From a thief to a goddess to the leader of X-men to the leader of Morlocks and so on and so on..."

I have always been a Storm fan. I loved her leading the X-men, in fact, I loved the issue where her and Cyclops battled to see who took over leadership of the X-men. Without powers she beat him, and at the end of the issue I cheered and said "yes" at the same time Wolverine did. She has gone thru so many looks, all of which completely radical in nature but all suited her so well.

As someone stated in the quotes: A mutant, a Goddess, and a Queen.

Ororo Monroe is the descendant of an ancient line of African priestesses, all of whom have white hair, blue eyes, and the potential to wield magic. Her mother, N'dare, was an African princess who married American photojournalist David Monroe and moved with him to Manhattan, where Ororo was born. When Ororo was six months old, she and her parents moved to Cairo, Egypt. Five years later, during the Arab-Israeli conflict, a plane crashed into their home. Ororo's parents were killed, but she survived, buried under rubble near her mother's body. The resultant trauma left Ororo with severe claustrophobia that still affects her today.

Ororo managed to escape the rubble of her shattered home with nothing but the tattered clothes on her back and her mother's ancestral ruby. Homeless and orphaned, Ororo was found by a gang of street urchins who took her to their master, Achmed el-Gibar. Achmed trained Ororo in the arts of thievery and she soon became his prize pupil, excelling in picking both pockets and locks. During her time in Cairo, Ororo picked the pocket of an American tourist. The man proved no easy mark, however, as he was Charles Xavier, a powerful mutant telepath who used his abilities to stop the theft. At that moment, Xavier was psionically attacked by another mutant and Ororo used the opportunity to escape.

Years later, feeling a strong urge to wander south, Ororo left Cairo. During her travels, Ororo naïvely accepted a ride from a complete stranger and was almost raped by him. Forced to defend herself, Ororo killed the man. From that moment, she swore never to take another human life. Ororo wandered for thousands of miles, almost dying during her trek across the Sahara Desert. Her mutant ability to psionically control the weather emerged soon after, and she was able to use them to rescue T'Challa, a prince of the African nation of Wakanda, from his would-be kidnappers. The pair spent much time together however T'Challa's duties as a prince prevented them from further exploring their burgeoning mutual attraction.

Finally, Ororo reached her ancestors' homeland on the Serengeti Plain in Kenya. She was taken in by an elderly tribal woman named Ainet who taught her to be responsible with her powers. Ororo soon came to be the object of worship of the local tribes who believed her to be a goddess due to her gift.

Years later, Ororo was forced to battle the threat of a fellow mutant weather manipulator known as Deluge, who sought revenge against humanity. With the help of several members of the team of mutant heroes known as the X-Men, Deluge was seemingly destroyed and Ororo returned to her life amongst the tribal people. The X-Men subsequently told their founder, Professor Xavier, about Storm but he declined to contact her at this point, not wanting to shock the young woman with the true nature of her powers.

Months later, however, Xavier was left with no choice but to recruit Storm and other mutants from around the world into the X-Men in order to rescue his original students from the threat of the sentient island being known as Krakoa. Xavier explained to Ororo that she was not a "goddess", but a mutant, and as such she had a responsibility to use her abilities to help the world just as she had helped the local tribes. Curious, Ororo accepted Xavier's offer, and was given the codename "Storm".

Storm was initially very naïve when it came to the customs of the modern world, but her team mate Jean Grey helped educate her in the ways of society and the pair formed a lasting friendship. Jean was also one of the first X-Men to learn of Storm's claustrophobia after the two women chased a thief into the subway.

After serving with the team for many years, Storm was appointed leader of the team following the departure of former leader Cyclops after the apparent death of Jean. Storm was initially unsure about her new role, but with the support of her team mates she soon became a capable leader. When Cyclops eventually returned to the team, Storm found herself doubting her leadership abilities once more after a mission she led went wrong. However, she soon asserted her position, reminding Cyclops that she was now team leader.

Later, after the X-Men were captured and taken into space by the insectoid alien race known as the Brood, Storm fought back but her powers flared out of control. She discovered that she had been implanted with a Brood egg that would hatch and transform her into one of the aliens. Now wanting to unleash such an evil into the world, Storm attempted to commit suicide by channeling all of the surrounding stellar energy into her own body, destroying the Brood embryo but leaving her drifting unprotected in space. She would have died in the vacuum had it not been for a member of the Acanti, a race of space faring whale-like creatures that had been enslaved by the Brood. The Acanti that saved Storm was revealed to be the caretaker of the soul of his entire race who had lost his mother to the Brood and needed guidance. Storm agreed to let her consciousness guide the young Acanti whilst it healed her damaged body, and, after the Brood were defeated, a restored Storm returned home with the X-Men

Soon after, the X-Men encountered the underground community of mutants known as the Morlocks who had kidnapped one of their former members, Angel. To save her friends, Storm challenged the Morlock leader Callisto to a duel and bested her in hand-to-hand combat. As a result, Storm became leader of the Morlocks and she ordered them to cease their hostilities against the surface-dwelling humans.

When the X-Men later traveled to Japan to attend the wedding of their team member Wolverine, Storm first met the ninja named Yukio. A friend of Wolverine's, Yukio was the most care free spirit that Ororo had ever met and the two became fast friends. Yukio influenced a major rebellious change in Storm's attitude towards life, and she took to wearing leather and shaved her hair into a Mohawk.

Storm later had her powers accidentally neutralized by a gun invented by the mutant machinesmith named Forge, who took it upon himself to nurse Storm back to health. During her convalescence, Storm and Forge fell in love but their relationship was cut short after Storm learned Forge had created the device that stripped her of her powers.

Storm subsequently quit the X-Men and returned to Africa where she finally came to terms with losing her mutant ability. Returning to Cairo, Storm joined Xavier's newest team of young mutants, the New Mutants, in an adventure into the past during which Storm met one of her ancestors who helped the heroes return to their own time. Storm and the New Mutants were subsequently captured by the Asgardian trickster god Loki who sought to use Storm in one of his schemes to discredit his half-brother, the thunder god Thor, by restoring her abilities and brainwashing her into believing she was a goddess. With the aid of the X-Men, Storm was able to reject Loki's gifts, thus thwarting his plan.

Storm returned to the X-Men to find herself being challenged to a duel for leadership of the team by Cyclops. Despite her still being powerless, she won and Cyclops quit the team. Soon after, the X-Men and the Hellfire Club formed an alliance to combat the growing threats against mutants that saw Storm share the position of White King with a reformed Magneto. The alliance was to be short-lived, however, after Storm decided that in order to safeguard their friends and families from their many enemies, the X-Men must fake their deaths and become an underground proactive strike force. Soon Storm realized that she needed her powers restored and so she sought out Forge for his help. She found Forge's old mentor Nazé instead, who informed her that Forge had been corrupted by his nemesis, the Adversary, and was seeking to destroy the world. Unbeknownst to Storm, the Adversary had actually corrupted Nazé. When Storm finally located Forge, she found him atop a mountain seemingly opening a dimensional portal filled with demons. Storm struck Forge down, and only then realized he had been attempting to close the portal, not open it. The Adversary then trapped Storm and Forge in the other dimension and seized control of Dallas, warping time and space in order to foment chaos on Earth.

Storm and Forge spent a year on an alternate Earth, during which time they made peace and admitted their love for one another. Forge used components from his cybernetic leg to fashion a new device that restored Storm's powers which she then used to energize a portal back to their own world. They rejoined the X-Men in time to defeat the Adversary, imprisoning him at the cost of their own lives. However, the Omniversal Guardian named Roma restored the X-Men to life, freeing the Adversary under the notion that there could be no order without chaos.

Soon after, Storm was captured by the crazed scientist known as Nanny who sought to use Storm's abilities in her quest to liberate the world's super-powered children by making orphans of them. Nanny used her technology to de-age Storm to her pre-teens and strip her memories so as to better sway the mutant to her cause. However, Storm fought back and overloaded Nanny's device. Once more a child with no memories of her life as an X-Man, the young Storm returned to her life as a thief. On one caper, she found herself the target of the psychic being known as the Shadow King but was saved by a fellow mutant and thief named Gambit. The pair formed a partnership and, after Storm regained her memories, she took Gambit to meet the X-Men.

Storm was eventually restored to adulthood after the X-Men were captured by agents of the island nation of Genosha who used mutants as slaves. Storm underwent the mutate transformation process, however the Genoshan Genegineer and Chief Magistrate were members of a rebel faction. They restored Storm's body and mind, and the X-Men were able to defeat their aggressors.

Soon after, the X-Men were reformed into two separate strike teams, with Cyclops and Storm as co-leaders. Forge aided both teams as their resident technician, however this left little time for them to rekindle their relationship. Forge still asked Storm to marry him, but she hesitated on giving a reply. Forge was left thinking she did not truly love him and he left before she could respond with a "yes".

Months later, the eternal mutant Apocalypse made a bid for power by gathering together the Twelve, a group of mutants prophesied to usher in a golden age for their kind that counted Storm amongst their number. Apocalypse was defeated, but not before the ultimate extent of Storm's mutant power was revealed in an alternate future wherein she had evolved into a wholly elemental being.

Not long after, Storm and five of her team mates formed a splinter group of X-Men known as the X-Treme X-Men, cutting all ties with the rest of the team to search for the diaries of the blind mutant seer Destiny that mapped the future of mutants. During a mission in Australia, Storm was reunited with Gambit who sought to obtain her mother's ruby. It was revealed that the ruby was part of a set that, when empowered, could open a portal between dimensions. Several of the gems had already gone missing, and Gambit wished to ensure that Storm's ruby remained safe. At that moment, the other-dimensional warrior named Shaitan attacked, capturing Gambit and stealing the ruby. Shaitan used the gems and Gambit's mutant ability to empower them, thus opening a portal allowing the armies of his master, Khan, to pass through and invade Earth.

Storm's X-Men opposed the invaders, but she was seriously injured by Madripoor's ruling crime lord Viper and was subsequently taken prisoner by Khan himself. The warlord intended for Storm to be his queen, and commanded his physicians to heal her. Storm attempted to seduce Khan into calling off his invasion whilst her team mates fought to close the portal. Khan's other concubines grew jealous of Storm's advances and attempted to kill her. Despite her injuries, Storm prevailed and escaped, rejoining her team mates as they destroyed the portal.

During her subsequent recuperation, which required her to undertake physical therapy to heal her back and legs, Storm and her team were asked back to the mansion to rejoin the core X-Men team. Storm declined, however, believing that there was still work for her team to do. During a world summit to address the increasing hostilities between humans and mutants, Storm offered her X-Men team's services to the United Nations as a global mutant police force, the X-Treme Sanctions Executive.

Storm's first mission would be a solo one as she was charged with infiltrating and exposing an underground slave trading network that forced mutants to fight in gladiator-style arenas. Soon after, Storm and her team returned to Westchester to help rebuild the mansion following an attack by Magneto and stayed on to continue their new direction. With the XSE, Ororo and her teammates opposed such threats as the Weaponeers and the extradimensional Fury, as well as aiding the Hellfire Club against an attack by rogue member Donald Pierce. Ororo was captured by the saurian Hauk'ka who amplified her powers with the intent of creating a global hyper-storm to destroy human civilization, but she was freed by her teammate Rachel. Later, Ororo accompanied Havok's X-Men team to Africa to investigate animal mutations. Alongside the Black Panther, Ororo and the X-Men opposed Genoshan scientist Doctor Paine and the Russian criminal the Red Ghost, after which Ororo opted to leave the X-Men and remain in Africa.

Following the restoration of reality after it was warped by the Scarlet Witch, the majority of the world's mutants lost their powers and Ororo sought to safeguard those mutants remaining in Africa. During her efforts, Ororo was proposed to by the Black Panther. Returning to Wakanda with him, Ororo met his mother and, while contemplating T'Challa's proposal, learned that her uncle Shetani was responsible for the attacks on African mutants. After confronting him, Ororo met her maternal grandmother and learned more of her family's history. Subsequently, she accepted T'Challa's proposal and the pair were married in Wakanda. After their honeymoon, the royal couple embarked on a world tour, meeting with global leaders such as Doctor Doom and Namor the Sub-Mariner before deciding to form a global alliance to oppose the U.S. Superhuman Registration Act. Arriving in the U.S., T'Challa and Ororo sought a meeting with the President; however, Ororo was required to register as a superhuman before the meeting could proceed. Refusing, Ororo was subsequently targeted for arrest, and alongside her husband opposed Sentinels and Iron Man sent to apprehend her. After Iron Man stood down, Ororo and T'Challa opted to remain in the U.S. on a fact-finding mission prior to taking action against the Registration Act.

I could go on, but man, you would be reading forever.

23. Scarlet Witch (217 points - 1 first place slot)

scarletwitch.jpg"She is one of the most intriguing characters I have seen in my limited exposure to the Marvel Universe. Her powers in her origin are fascinating: to alter and affect probability. Such an amazing, creative power. however, it is easy to see how many writers cannot portray that well, therefore they go to the crutch that is "magic." She probably has more potential than any 5 other Marvel characters combined...but unfortunately seems doomed to poor writing to define her."

"The princess of the Avengers. The good girl with a shade of bad to her. I liked her in the early Avengers stories she was in, a mistaken for villain making good on her true drives and self. She always struck me as the first lady of the Avengers that earned it. Not to think poorly of the Wasp, but unlike The Wasp, she wasn't a founder and had to find and prove her place and did. It also seemed that all the male Avengers held a crush for her. She could be so sweet and innocent while showing a great inner strength and resolve that made her very respectable. It's hard to see the Avengers without her."

"have her overcome her insanity and become a stronger heroine for it. I love all of her connections to other characters, her power set, and her visual."

"If Hal Jordan can be saved then so can she....."

"tragic past (and tragic present actually), unconventional romance(s), unique power, ties to most of the Marvel Universe as a whole, daughter of Magneto, twin sister of Quicksilver, sister of Polaris, sister-in-law to Crystal of the Inhumans, ex-wife of Vision who was created by Ultron who was created by Hank Pym, former lover of Wonder Man, student of Agatha Harkness, alternate reality future lover of Nightcrawler, alternate reality future mother of Nocture, possible mother of Wiccan and Speed ....and she had several admirers including the Toad, Arkon, Namor, Hawkeye, Century,..."

Wouldn't it be funny if it was revealed that Scarlet Witch wasn't in control of her actions, it was a giant glowing red...I dunno...lobster? that possessed her and it takes the Avengers to help it extract it from her soul? They could do a mini called Scarlet Witch: Reborn. Yeah....this could work. And people would eat it up and not think its stupid at all!!

A beautiful woman flees from her husband whom she thinks is evil. Rightly so, as her husband is the man who will become the world's greatest terrorist, the mutant called Magneto. The woman, Magda is pregnant with twins and her running takes her to Transia and Mount Wundagore. There she meets the New Men, a race of artificially evolved animals that live there. Bova, a humanoid cow, takes care of Magda and acts as midwife as Magda gives birth to a son and daughter. While the birthing is happening, not far away, the High Evolutionary who created the New Men is locked in battle against Chthon. The dark Elder God is defeated, but as he was being banished he sent a portion of his essence into the newly born daughter of Magda. This energy would lay dormant for decades.

Magda, fearing her husband would find her, fled Wundagore abandoning her children. She died shortly after.

Later, an American couple, Bob and Madeline Frank visit Mt Wundagore. Madeline is pregnant and goes into labor. Bova again acts as midwife and for all her efforts the child is still born. Sadly, Madeline also dies from complications. Trying to make the best of the situation, Bova delivers the news to the new widower as well as the Magnus twins, presented them as though they were his. Bob Frank, who was the World War Two hero called the Whizzer, was so distraught over the news of his wife's passing that he ran from Transia and never returned. Again the babies were abandoned for a second time.

Bova talked the High Evolutionary into delivering the babes to a nearby gypsy village and gave them to Django Maximoff. He and his wife raised Pietro and Wanda as their own until the twins entered their teenage years when their latent mutant powers began to manifest. Feared by the speed and hex abilities the two displayed, the two had to flee their home. As they were making their escape, they were attacked and about to be killed when Magneto happened by and saved them. The two owed Magneto a debt and began their new life as members of Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil. Pietro becomes Quicksilver and Wanda the Scarlet Witch.

Under Magneto's tutelage (never once learning the truth of their heritage) Wanda and Pietro honed their abilities and in time were sent into combat against the X-Men. Reluctant but fulfilling their vow, they fought (though all the while wishing they didn't have to). This continued for a time until Magneto was taken by an alien being. Freed from their promise they were recruited by the Avengers and soon after were accepted as members.

Wanda took her first true steps to being one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. At first her hex abilities weren't very powerful and even a few zaps would exhaust her, but under the training from Captain America she quickly learned how to be more productive. Fellow teammate Hawkeye was attracted to Wanda but Pietro was always there to protect her virtues. Over the next many months and years, Wanda became a valued member.

One day the team encountered Magneto who was hell bent on taking the twins back into his fold. To get his way, he magnetically grabbed a bullet aimed for him and redirected it at Wanda. Magneto lied to Pietro saying that the police were gunning for her. Pietro bought it and grabbed Wanda and left with Magneto. It took time but Wanda recovered and again found herself working with the most evil man she ever met. It took a while, but Pietro finally learned the truth and the two left to rejoin the Avengers.

Back on the team, Wanda, she begins to have feelings for the new Avenger, the synthizoid called Vision. This would lead to trouble between her and her over-protective brother, but this is a new Wanda and she begins to assert herself with greater frequency.

Wanda and the Avengers again meet Magneto. This time Magneto captures Wanda and forces her to dance seductively for his pleasure (again neither knowing their father/daughter relationship).

Wanda wants to be a more useful member of the team and begins to tutor under the instruction of the witch Agatha Harkness. She learns slowly but she is on her way to being a ‘real' witch. Her new found stronger hexes will save the Earth a time or sixty in the future.

Bob Frank reappears in New York, finds Wanda and the Avengers. He tells her that he is her father and there is enough evidence that he is believed. Wanda would soon spend much time with her ‘father' and even takes Frank as her last name.

Meanwhile her relationship with the Vision blossoms. Regardless of his origins, she sees the beauty of the person he is and the two would wed shortly after.

After a honeymoon, she and Vision return the team just in time for Ultron to attack. Wanda uses her hex powers and almost two easily defeats the murdering robot. Ultron would from then on fear her over the likes of Thor or Iron Man.

Wanda is abducted, as well as Pietro, by the gypsy who raised them. While imprisoned she is possessed by the demon Chthon, the Edler God from her birth. Teeming with the evil from the ancient Darkhold, Wanda with the Avengers help will cast out and defeat Chthon. Wanda learns at this time that neither Django nor Bob Frank were her natural father.

Bob Frank would later die (still thinking and loving Wanda as his own). Wanda's loss is short lived as her brother and his wife would soon have a child. While celebrating this, an unwelcome visitor arrives... Magneto. Magneto, in the umpteenth attempt to locate his wife Magda came the proof that he was Wanda and Pietro's true father. His words are at first considered lies but in time the two accept it the travesty as fact.

Wanda & Vision take a leave of absence from the Avengers and Wanda soon discovers she is pregnant. It won't be discovered for quite a while that the pregnancy isn't real and that her ‘magic' made it happened, but nonetheless she gives birth to twins with Dr Strange there none the wiser.

In time, they move to LA and hook up with the West Coast Avengers. Vision is kidnapped and dismantled causes Wanda to cry for her husband's loss until Dr. Pym rebuilds him. One he is complete he still isn't himself as his ‘personality' is missing and only her teammate, Wonder Man, can help by giving Vision a copy of his brain wave patterns. Wonder Man refuses because he's fallen in love with Wanda.

With her husband now a cold emotionless robot, Wanda is alone to raise the twins, who disappear one day. As is discovered, the twins don't really exist and the machinations of Mephisto are discovered. Distraught, Wanda's memories of the kids are hidden by Agatha Harkness (who later reveals them).

As if this weren't enough, Magneto returns and manipulates Wanda into joining him again. Additionally, Wanda is likewise manipulated, pushed and poked by Immortus into a brief insanity. For the first time Wanda is a willful participant in Magneto's plans until Quicksilver, who had faked his willfulness, intercedes and Wanda is returned to normal.

She stays with the West Coast team for a while and between adventuring and coping with her losses she becomes a stronger person and hero. She eventually even leads an Avengers related team for the first time.

After a year away in some other silly place, Wanda and the rest of the world's heroes return back to their Earth where Wanda is kidnapped by Morganna Le Fay. Imprisoned as Le Fay alters Earth's reality, she calls out for the Avengers. Only the Avengers who share her strong belief in the team hear the call and together the team reunites and defeat's Le Fay. Additionally, Wanda slowly begins to draw a once thought dead Wonder Man back to the world of the living. It turns out Wanda has found her self falling in love with him after all. In time Simon is back and the two start a life together (until they break up).

Wanda later showed her great truly heroic nature by, against all odds and with putting herself at considerable risk, single handedly stopped a mountain of poisonous red dust from infecting an entire town.

Wanda later suffers a breakdown caused by her remembering her kids (which she always could do) and through Chaos magic (which somehow exists when it's not supposed to) she makes Hawkeye forget how to take his quiver off and other silliness with her powers and some kind of prism that nobody sees. She is stopped when Doctor Strange talks her into a coma. More silliness continues when Captain America just hands Wanda over to her homicidal father Magneto (who takes her away).

While in her terrorist father's care, her supposedly shut down mind wakes up (that's two strikes for Dr strange - 1 for not knowing the babies he delivered were magical fakes and 2 for not being very good at shutting minds down). Wanda then pulls a Morganna Le Fay and recreates the world so that the father she despises gets his hearts desire and becomes the ruler of the world. This reality is undone soon but not before Wanda depowers every mutant on Earth with the exception of the best selling ones. Wanda disappears after this.

Hawkeye finds her and discovers she has no memory of who she is (so he one night stands her).

The Beast later finds her and discovers she has no memory of who she is (so he leaves her dignity alone and doesn't sleep with her).

Where will Wanda next be seen and will she ever find redemption for the last few years? The Children's Crusade later this year may provide some answers.


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