Friday, May 25, 2018 • Morning Edition • "Thoughtful analysis of important cultural issues."

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 76

Written by Chris Mitchell on Monday, May 17 2010 and posted in Features
The Top 20 is here, who makes the cut? {nomultithumb}

22. Namor (223 points - 3 first place slots)

namor.jpg"Most heroes have their ups and downs in terms of story quality, but Namor never fails to entertain with his arrogance."

"The most neutral character in the MU, not because he doesn't take sides, but because he is his own side."

"He's the kind of guy we all have a little piece of in ourselves. Arrogant, unforgiving and has a penchant for blondes. He takes things a bit too far, but considering what's been done to his people, you can understand his rage. But he usually chooses the right side and respects those who stick to their ideals."

"Bringing smugness to heretofore unprecedented levels. There aren't many men who can look regal and physically dominating in a speedo. Namor makes it work. Hell, he rocks that look!"

"I love his arrogance, his power, the fact that he has terrible luck with women and his kingdom. He is often seen as a villain and I like the conflict he always brings to the table."

I like him. but I don't know if he is Top 25 worthy.

Namor's father, American seaman Leonard McKenzie, embarked on an expedition to Antarctica in 1920. McKenzie's ship was searching for the Lemurian city rumored to house the mythical Helmet of Power at the behest of one of his passengers, Paul Destine. However, McKenzie distrusted the uses to which Destiny would put the Helmet and caused an avalanche to bury the city. Making his way to safety, McKenzie set explosive charges to break up ice floes in the ship's path, unaware that Atlantis lay beneath the waters.

heavy damage, and Atlantean Emperor Thakorr commanded his daughter Fen to investigate the cause of the explosions. Startling McKenzie's crew, the blue-skinned princess wound up staying aboard the ship for several weeks. In a strange twist of fate, Fen and McKenzie quickly fell in love and were married. Thakorr, fearing his daughter had been kidnapped or killed, sent an Atlantean war party to search for her. Thinking her a captive, the Atlanteans slaughtered McKenzie's crew and apparently McKenzie himself. Afterwards, Fen returned with the War party to Atlantis. Nine months later, Namor was born the first known Homo sapien - Homo mermanus hybrid.

The young prince grew up with a short, nasty temper and a hostile attitude toward surface-dwellers, whom he blamed for the near-destruction of Atlantis. When Thakorr discovered men in diving suits near Atlantis, he assumed they were advance scouts for an invasion force causing the fiery Sub-Mariner to launch frequent pre-emptive attacks against humanity, causing untold destruction throughout New York City and leading him into confrontation with the original Human Torch. When Nazi troops attacked Atlantis, however, Namor joined the Allied cause alongside Captain America and his fellow Invaders.

Atlantis largely avoided the damage sustained by the surface world during World War II, but did fall prey to a series of severe earthquakes at war's end that destroyed much of the fabled city and Namor again was dispatched to New York, where he fell afoul of Paul Destiny, who had finally obtained the Helmet of Power and was causing the quakes. His power destroyed much of Atlantis, killing Thakorr and Fen. Under compulsion of the Helmet, Namor returned to New York with amnesia and became a wandering derelict.

Eventually, Johnny Storm, the second Human Torch, discovered Namor in the bowery. Burning away the extra hair and substantial beard Namor had grown, Storm dropped the Atlantean in the harbor. The immersion restored most of Namor's memory. Assuming humans had destroyed Atlantis, Namor rashly invaded New York to avenge the destruction of his homeland. Even after the survivors of the Atlantean civilization welcomed him as their rightful king, he stubbornly spent the next several years warring with the surface world, most often opposed by the Fantastic Four. In the midst of his campaign against humanity, Namor developed an attraction to Susan Storm, the Fantastic Four's Invisible Girl. In his regal arrogance, he has courted her for years, seemingly undeterred by Sue's relationship with Mister Fantastic. Though he later realized he couldn't have her, and focused his attentions instead upon his Dorma. Against the surface dwellers, Namor has teamed up with both Doctor Doom and Magneto, though both turned against him once they felt they had the upper hand. With the help of the Fantastic Four, Namor soon defeated both one-time partners.

Eventually, Namor realized he had to put aside his hatred for humanity for the good of his people and banned official acts of war against Homo sapiens. Namor even grudgingly began using his superhuman abilities to defense of the surface world. First and foremost, he was the monarch of Atlantis. As such, he was beholden only to his subjects. The Sub-Mariner was a founding member of the loosely knit group of heroes known as the Defenders, brought together with Doctor Strange and the Hulk when an ultimate computer called the Omegatron threatened Earth. However, a curse forced the original three Defenders and the Silver Surfer to part ways. The condemnation was lifted, but Namor did not return to the Defenders at that time. Even though they had saved the earth many times, Namor viewed his duties with this loose-knit band of Defenders a distraction at best. The team eventually disbanded, due to circumstances beyond their control. Later, the founding three Defenders and the Surfer were drawn together once again to battle the forces of evil. For several years Namor was part of Illuminati, a group of influential super heroes who met secretly to share information. The meetings were kept secret because demands made by Namor. The Illuminati were eventually disbanded after some serious disagreements including but not limited to the fact that Iron Man wanted the Illuminati to support the super hero registration act but most of the others, including Namor, disagreed.

After the events of Civil War, a story with a large explosion which wipes out entire city of Stamford in Kansas. Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D. immediately go to the location to find out what happened. Not long after they find a corpse nearby of a normal human man, however gills had been carved into his neck and traces of Atlantean DNA had been found. All blame pointed to the Atlanteans. In the meantime some of the Atlanteans question Namors allegiance because of his continuous affairs with the world above the sea. Iron Man decided to contact Namor about the attack, but Namor had no knowledge about it and told Iron Man to stay out of it and that he would find the perpetrators himself. Of course Iron Man did not agree, after much deliberation Iron Man decided to send a military force to Atlantis until the situation was resolved. But Namor needed to go the surface to find out what happened for himself, after giving command to his trusty general Argos Namor took of on his own. He managed to break through the lines after a short struggle with Iron Man and visited the blast site himself and there he found an Atlantean artifact.

He decided he needed help and went to the X-mansion to get it. Here he briefly fought with Wolverine, thinking Namor was a terrorist but was quickly interrupted by professor X. He helped Namor by locating the splinter cells located on American soil, 12 of which in control of him but one unknown to him. Namor asks Professor X to pin point their location, but after Xavier sees the splinter cells he was not aware of something and he decided not to help Namor further and send him away. As he left the mansion two sentinels awaited him which he quickly disposed off without taking any damage. In the meantime some Atlanteans in Atlantis were plotting to take over when Namor was away. But Namor's trusty general held guard for Namor's return. Venom had received orders to engage Namor, As Namor flew by he was shot in the back by a weapon and got into a fight with him.

It ended in Namor winning, but not without a cost, Venom had ripped of two ankle wings, so now he had difficulty flying. He went to Sue Richards (invisible woman) for help. When she came to him for the Civil War, Namor answered. Now it was time for her to do the same thing for him, yet she refused which led Namor to believe he had no more allies on the surface world. However, she did give him the Fantasticar to help him in his travel.

In the meantime the rogue splinter cell had set up a sort of bomb in a building in Seattle which caused the building to longer have air inside suffocating the humans inside. Namor raced towards it in an attempt to stop it, and for the first time he met the rogue splinter cell. In the meantime the coupe in Atlantis was in full progress. But Argos, Namors general, had found out about it and met them in battle. Namor had already engaged in battle with the splinter cell and found out one of them was his son, Kamar, from a former marriage who was out for revenge. Namor tried to explain to him that he banished him for his own safety, but he wouldn't listen. After Namor had defeated the splinter cell he took them down to Atlantis and was just in time to stop the coupe there and show who was responsible, his son Kamar. He had also found out that one of the Atlanteans from the splinter cell had siphoned Nitro's power, the man who killed Namorita in the Civil War. His city had been compromised and he had enough of the involvement with the humans, he decided to evacuate the city through old tunnels running through the ground, the civilians would live amongst the humans, not in one city anymore.

And his army would go with him to a remote location. He made the preparations for the destruction of Atlantis, he would use Nitro (whom was still in his jail) to blow up the entire city like a time bomb and chain his son to the crown to die with the Nitro and the city as punishment for his betrayal. The city was evacuated and afterwards blown up and completely destroyed only leaving some wreckage behind, the dead skeleton was still on his thrown. At first Iron Man believed this to be Namor but after further research it appeared to be his son. None other body was found in the destroyed city and they could only guess where they had gone to as they found the large tunnels. Atlantis was no more. But Namor and his army found refuge in Latveria. Dr. Dooms country. With him he would join the Dark Illuminati.

After the events of the destruction of Atlantis it became clear that Namor had joined the Dark Illuminati. Their intentions were clear, to rule the world with each member having their own motives, Namor being the world under the sea. The team consisted out of six members, Namor, Emma Frost, Dr. Doom, The Hood, Norman Osborne and Loki. It has recently been shown that Namor had a relationship with Emma Frost.

Namor joined the Dark X-Men at Frost's request. However, this was a ploy in order to free all of the mutants that Osborn & his Dark Avengers had arrested. At the same time, Cyclops put into action his plan to relocate the X-Men to Utopia, an island floating in San Francisco Bay. After Emma Frost betrayed Osborn, Namor followed her to live on Utopia, and fought alongside the X-Men against the Dark Avengers.

While living on Utopia, Osborn sent Namor's ex wife to kill him. However, his resurrected wife had been mutated into a hideous creature. With the help of the X-Men, Namor was able to destroy her. He has since formed a partnership with Magneto, working towards an Atlatean/Mutant joint haven. New Atlantis is currently being constructed beneath the island.

21. Cyclops (232 points - 16 first place slots)

cyclops.jpg"Scott Summers is one of the few X-Men whose character has actually gotten BETTER in recent years. For years and years we were told how Scott is such a great leader and how important he is to the X-Men, but it's been in the past decade, IMO, that we've really been shown why. Finally taking the X-Men beyond the Xavier's Dream mentality and into a more realistic view that takes aspects of both Xavier and Magneto's philosophies, Scott Summers has made the X-Men interesting again."

"Scott Summers, long suffering straight-man for the X-Men. He's the very embodiment of responsibility and duty... unless a redhead is involved."

"He's kinda become a douche in recent yrs or he'd be higher on the list. The original emo superhero. "I can't see normal, I cant take off my visor without blowing off someone's face, does Jean love Warren?""

"He started off as a shy teacher's pet and evolved into an amazingly flawed leader in the Marvel tradition. And if you look at Scott's past, it's not his powers that define him, but his drive. Whereas Wolverine relies too much on his adamantium claws and healing factor, Scott's optic blasts are only an offensive weapon, and don't protect him from the ever-present threat of death (especially at his back). Scott has turned himself into a general in the mutant army, but he's also proven he's one of their best foot soldiers, too."

"The best leader (second only to Cap) in comics, he's been doing it since he was a teenager. And what they're doing with him now is long overdue."

"Always kind of my favorite X-Man, and one of the few X-characters I still haven't learned to hate."

Look at that, over half of the points he racked up were first place slots. He was really really liked or just barely liked. Interesting eh? Another thing, people keep saying he is a great leader, but I don't think so. He always 2nd guesses himself, first with Xavier, then with Jean, and now with Emma. Seriously, he doesn't make up his own damn mind. Especially now, he really has become Emma's bitch. Those are my 2 cents.

Scott Summers was the first of two sons born to Major Christopher Summers, a test pilot for the U.S. Air Force, and his wife Katherine. Christopher was flying his family home from vacation when their plane was attacked by a spacecraft from the interstellar Shi'ar Empire. To save their lives, Katherine pushed Scott and his brother Alex out of the plane with the only available parachute. Scott suffered a head injury upon landing, thus forever preventing him from controlling his mutant power by himself.

With their parents presumed dead, the authorities separated the two boys. Alex was adopted, but Scott remained comatose in a hospital for a year. On recovering, he was placed in an orphanage in Omaha, Nebraska that was secretly controlled by his future enemy, the evil geneticist Mister Sinister.

As a teenager, Scott came into the foster care of Jack Winters, a mutant criminal known as the Jack O'Diamonds. After Scott began to suffer from severe headaches he was sent to a specialist who discovered that lenses made of ruby quartz corrected the problem. Soon after, Scott's mutant power first erupted from his eyes as an uncontrollable blast of optic force. The blast demolished a crane, causing it to drop its payload toward a terrified crowd. Scott saved lives by obliterating the object with another blast, but the bystanders believed that he had tried to kill them and rallied into an angry mob. Scott fled, escaping on a freight train.

Winters sought to use Scott's newfound talent in his crimes, and physically abused the young boy when he initially refused. However, Scott's display of power had attracted the attention of the mutant telepath Professor Charles Xavier, who teamed up with F.B.I. agent Fred Duncan in their mutual attempt to find Scott. Scott was rescued from Winters' clutches and was enlisted by Xavier as the first member of the X-Men, a team of young mutants who trained to use their powers in the fight for human/mutant equality.

As Cyclops, Scott became deputy leader of the X-Men. While he was a skilled tactician, his social skills were lacking. Scott had fallen in love with his teammate Jean Grey, but his reserved demeanor prevented him from expressing his feelings for her for years. When Xavier's other original recruits left the fold following an encounter with the sentient island-being Krakoa, Cyclops stayed on as deputy leader of the new team.

Shortly thereafter, the cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force took Jean's place. When it committed suicide, Scott believed the love of his life had died and he left the X-Men. During his time away from the team, Scott met fishing boat captain Lee Forrester who helped him work through his grief. Scott eventually returned to the X-Men whereupon he met Madelyne Pryor, a woman who bore an uncanny resemblance to Jean. Unaware that Madelyne was a clone of Jean created by Sinister, Scott fell in love with Madelyne and they were soon married. Madelyne fell pregnant and bore Scott a son named Nathan Christopher.

When the real Jean emerged from suspended animation, Scott abandoned his wife and son and rejoined the other original X-Men in establishing a new team, X-Factor. During a demonic invasion of New York City, X-Factor and the X-Men fought against a super-powered and insane Madelyne. The invasion was thwarted after Madelyne perished in combat with Jean.

Later, the mutant warlord named Apocalypse infected baby Nathan with a techno-organic virus. To save his son's life, Scott had to allow a member of the Clan Askani to transport Nathan two millennia into the future, where it had been foreseen that he would deliver the world from Apocalypse's clutches. X-Factor disbanded soon after, and its members returned to the ranks of the X-Men. Scott and his long-time love Jean were married, and whilst on their honeymoon their spirits were taken into the timestream by the Clan Askani's matriarch. Arriving in the future, they inhabited new bodies and raised Nathan for twelve years. When they returned to their own time and bodies, Nathan remained in the future and ultimately matured into his time's greatest hero: Cable.

Following Professor X's arrest for crimes committed as the evil psionic entity Onslaught, Scott assumed the role of leadership of the X-Men once more. Soon after, the government sponsored mutant-hunting operation known as "Zero Tolerance" took effect, and the villainous Bastion captured the X-Men. In his attempt to destroy mutant kind, Bastion placed a nanotech bomb inside Scott's body. The X-Men escaped, and the mutant doctor named Cecilia Reyes saved Scott's life. Scott and his wife soon took a leave of absence from the X-Men for a period of recuperation.

Not long after returning to the team, Scott and Jean soon found themselves embroiled in Apocalypse's bid for cosmic power by assembling "The Twelve" - a group of mutants who would determine the fate of their kind that included Scott, Jean, and Cable. They were wired to a machine that would channel their awesome energies into Apocalypse, allowing him to absorb the body of the time-tossed powerful mutant teenager known as X-Man. As his teammates fell around him, a powerless Scott saved X-Man and merged with the would-be conqueror to create a new evil entity. Jean detected Scott's psyche inside Apocalypse and prevented the X-Men from destroying him, however he was presumed dead by most of his teammates. Only Jean and Cable refused to believe Scott had perished.

Investigating rumors he was alive, the pair found him in the birthplace of Apocalypse in Akkaba, Egypt, struggling to reassert his mind over the villain's psyche. Ultimately, Jean was able to physically rip Apocalypse's essence from Scott's body using her mental powers, and Cable destroyed it with his own powers.

Scott left for a small period of recuperation, during which he met and reconciled with his father. Afterwards, Scott returned to the X-Men, but his association with Apocalypse had given him a grimmer, more serious personality than ever before. As a result, many of his relationships became strained, including his marriage to Jean. Scott sought the counsel of his teammate Emma Frost and the pair began a psychic affair. When Jean discovered Scott's betrayal, he left the X-Men in order to sort out the mess his life had become.

Following the outing of Professor X as a mutant to the world, his school was rechristened the Xavier Institute of Higher Learning and opened its doors to the mutant population at large, training and educating dozens of young new students to help them cope with their burgeoning abilities. After the death of his wife, Scott assumed the position of co-headmaster of the School alongside his new love, Emma.

Cyclops's world was further upset when a mysterious mutant attacked and brought him and Marvel Girl to a secret abandoned facility. Cyclops eventually discovered that the mutant was none other than his brother Gabriel, who had been a student of Moira's that Professor X had sent to rescue Scott from Krakoa. Scott had witnessed the apparent deaths of Gabriel and his teammates; Xavier had mind-wiped him to alleviate the psychic trauma of the event. Shaken to the core, Cyclops expelled the then powerless Xavier from the Institute.

In the Messiah Complex, Cyclops leads a team to Alaska to find the new mutant detected by Cerebra. When the team arrives, they find nearly every child in the town killed, dead Marauders and Purifiers, and the baby gone. He sends a team consisting of Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Angel, and Colossus to find former Acolytes for information on the Marauders. He argues with Xavier, who complains about not telling him about his team. Scott tells Xavier it's not his X-Men anymore and that he can do what he wants. Scott also calls in X-Factor to help with the situation, asks Rictor to infiltrate the Purifiers, and asks Madrox and Layla Miller to go see Forge. Upon discovering that Cable has kidnapped the new born mutant, Cyclops orders the reforming of X-Force with Wolverine leading the team. Their first mission is to hunt down Cable and retrieve the baby. Cyclops later breaks all ties with Professor X and asks him to leave the mansion, as Xavier continues to question Cyclops' judgment. Later on, Cyclops is seen with his own team and X-Factor, to help out Wolverine against the Reavers and to capture the baby from Cable. Cable eludes the X-Men.

After finding the Marauders' hideout on Muir Island, Cyclops dispatches X-Force and Bishop to go there and retrieve the baby. During the final battle, Cyclops sends the New X-Men against the Marauders, believing that Sinister's forces will be caught off guard by unfamiliar opponents. The students prove to be effective. Cyclops then confronts Cable demanding the baby. Cable, with a gun pointed at his father, begs Cyclops to let him escape into the future with the baby, however Cable gives the child to Cyclops, after Xavier points out that the future of all mutant kind is at stake and Cyclops, as leader of the X-Men, speaks for mutant kind. Cyclops holds the baby and, realizing that the child deserves the chance to make its own destiny, gives her back to Cable. Cable teleports to the future just as Bishop fires a round at the child. The shot misses her and hits Xavier in the head. Cyclops strikes Bishop with an optic blast, and Cyclops declares the X-Men disbanded.

But, revealed in the current storyline, Divided, Cyclops didn't really disband the X-Men, but rather just made everyone take a break. He is now vacationing in the Savage Land with his girlfriend, Emma Frost. They see Ka-Zar and Shanna there and spend some time with them, but are called to San Francisco by Angel. When they get there, they see that all of San Francisco has been submerged in some sort of psychic projection of the 60s. Emma uses her powers to help Cyclops and herself fit in. But, the " Goddess" senses their presence and sends the police after them. Luckily, Cyclops is saved from the bullets by Emma's diamond form, who jumps in front of him as they fire.

Soon after, the X-Men find themselves dealing with an anti-mutant group calling themselves the "Hellfire Cult", which is being lead by one of Emma's former pupils, Empath, and a mysterious red-headed dominatrix calling herself "The Red Queen". After an assault on the Hellfire Cult's base, Cyclops is seduced by Emma who is oddly enough wearing the same outfit as the Red Queen. When Scott later mentions this event to Emma at a Dazzler concert, Emma is confused. At that moment, Scott sees a familiar red-headed woman standing on the other side of the club. When Emma asks him what he saw, he cryptically tells her that he thinks his dead ex-wife Madelyne Pryor is actually alive.

Following the sighting of his ex-wife, Cyclops begins to behave more withdrawn and secretive. This behavior begins to worry Emma, along with the fact she has begun to notice the odd behavior of Wolverine and Archangel. When she confronts him about all this, he gives her permission to enter his mind. Inside, she finds a black box, which she is unable to open. Within the box, Cyclops claims are all the plans and secrets that he, as the X-Men's leader, has developed for their survival. Emma seems unconvinced, but lets the matter rest for the moment, when Karma arrives. She informs them that the news has footage of the massacre that occurred during the Messiah complex and that the mutant baby's birth has been linked as the cause.

As a result, a resurrected Graydon Creed and assorted other previously dead foes, begin pushing to outlaw mutant reproduction. The new anti-mutant propaganda has caused an explosion of hate crimes on mutants and former mutants. As a result, Cyclops has opened the doors of the new base to all those in need of protection and sanctuary.

Because of growing upheaval among mutants and investigation from Trask causes mass mutant riots to break out all over San-Francisco. The mayor demands that the mutant "leader," Cyclops, put a stop to this. Though Scott is not the actual leader of all mutants he takes much, if not all of the bad press. Unbeknown to Scott Emma is now apart of Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers. Scott sees Emma on television leading the Dark Avengers to stop the mutant riots. After seeing this he goes to see Norman at his base Alcatraz. Norman tells Cyclops to surrender to stop the mutant riots. Scott interrupts him telling him to surrender. While still in shock Norman ask Cyclops what he means. Cyclops tells him that he needs to get the mutants under control and make H.A.M.M.E.R. and the Dark Avengers leave San-Francisco. After Norman refuses Cyclops leaves telling Norman that he tried. Norman vows that he will personally kill Cyclops. Cyclops has had a plan up his sleeve the entire time, as he raises the former Asteroid M, making a Utopia for all Mutant kind. Emma returns to Scott's side and the two of them prepare to take on Osborn. That night, while in bed, the two try to assure that there will be no more secrets between the two, but it doesn't end well. Later Osborn arrives and battles Scott and appears ready to kill the leader of the X-Men, however with cameras all over he is forced to stop, leaving the Mutant Utopia.

Later on, Scott and Emma reconcile, sharing their secrets with one another. Scott's secrets with X-Force are revealed and they both realize that they may eventually be shunned by the entire Hero Community, but do not care as long as they are together.

Magneto arrived on Utopia, claiming he is very grateful for all that Cyclops has done for mutant kind, and that he wished to join with them. Cyclops accepted Magneto despite Xavier's advice to the contrary.

However, Cyclops accepted Xavier's help to free Emma Frost from the sliver of the Void which remained behind after she telepathically defeated Sentry. Xavier link Cyclops to Frost's mind. Inside her mind, he found a pure white room which appeared to be filed with many different diamond figures representing different aspects of Emma. Emma's main consciousness approached him, but as soon as they began discussing how to extract the Void all the other aspects of Emma began to attack him crying out that they didn't want to feel pain. Realizing that the attacking figures were not really a part of Emma's mind, Cyclops attacked back. He used a telepathic version of his optic blast to shoot through the vast whiteness inside Emma's mind. This acted as a beacon to the real Emma who found him again. However, while she was ejected out of the telepathic link back into the physical world (transformed out of her diamond form), Cyclops lay on the floor unconscious. She claimed that the Void had passed into Cyclops' mind inside his mind, Cyclops sat among the remains of the destroyed Mansion, with a black mass hidden among the rubble. Scott was confronted by shadowy female figures who ask him why he didn't save them and tell him he will never be the man he wants to be unless he lets the Void in. Emma appears on the scene and destroys the figures and together they attempts climb up some stairs, but the Void grabs Scott and separates him from Emma. In the "physical world", Scott screams in pain, and Professor X tells Psylock that if Cyclops wakes up before Emma, the Void has taken over him and Psylock must kill him. In the meantime, the Void is still trying to convince Scott to let it take control. Scott responds by shooting at it with his Optic Blast. He is then seen in a white room which Emma cannot enter. Since this is Scott's mind, anything he thinks about long enough is possible. He is thinking that Emma cannot enter this room, to Emma's dismay, he tells he to trust him and the door of the room closes in front of her, and she wakes up. Psylock was about to finish off Scott, but Emma tells her to give him a chance. Scott sits on the ground with a black box in front of him while the Void starts to engulf him. He holds up the box, and suddenly the Void disappears and is trapped inside the box. He tells the Void that as a teenager he dated a powerful telepath, referring to Jean Grey,, who helped him with certain provisions regarding mental attacks. He closes the door of the room leaving the box and the Void inside, repeating to himself that no one will ever open this door and if he says it, he believes it. Cyclops wakes up to a relieved Emma Frost. Beast then enters the room and has an argument with Cyclops and results in Beast leaving the island and The X-Men.

The scientists on the island reveal to Cyclops that the Predator X were a vehicle for the actual invasion. After killing the Predator X, a swarm of microscopic nanobots are released in the air, and are flooding the island and collecting data on its inhabitants. Cyclops sends Wolverine, Psylock and Colossus to discover the source.

During a meeting with senior staff on preventing the island from sinking, Magneto shows up and tells them that he already worked things out with Namor and they're building a support pillar that keeps the Island from sinking. This angers Cyclops, as he tells Erik that he didn't respect the "chain of command" and he didn't have any business doing this behind his back citing that's no way to earn his trust. Magneto then leaves the island and goes to Mt. Tamalpais to "meditate".

The next day, Scott and Emma go there to see what he's up to. However, they discover that Magneto has locked himself away from everyone, physically and mentally. The X-Men have discovered that five mutants were responsible for the invasion, working for John Sublime and seek to release the mutant plague HX-N1.

Ever since the end of Messiah CompleX, Scott has been doing his best to protect Cable and Hope from dangers while he awaits their return. Cyclops has been shown to have enormous faith in the fact that Hope will not only return, but be the savior of the Mutant Race. When he receives news that Hope may have returned, he sends his Alpha Team out, while he coordinates the movements of the teams in Utopia. When X-Force is outed he gets some backlash from Nightcrawler. As time goes on, his strategies are being tested, some appear to question Scott's leadership. With the injuries to many X-Men, as well as they death of two, including Nightcrawler, Scott comes under fire with people questioning if Hope is worth it.

20. The Hulk (239 points - 6 first place slots)

hulk.jpg"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the Atomic Age. A tragic product of the Cold War's race for nuclear supremacy, Banner became the Superpower at the cost of his humanity."

""Hulk is not Human, little Men! Hulk is Hulk!!"

"The green one. You know, the fact I have to clarify is rather sad."

"HULK SMASH! He's been my favorite character since I was 3 and my parents gave me a Hulk shirt, which my daughter wore once she was big enough and my younger kid will wear as well. He's one of the first heroes to wear the traditional villain colors of green and purple and on top of that he's given a monstrous appearance and a propensity to rage. Yet, despite that he's a guy that has saved the world a million times and saved individuals just as often. In fact, the very first thing Bruce Banner ever did was push Rick Jones out of the way, seemingly sacrificing his own life to save someone he didn't even know, which to me has always been his defining characteristic. All the heroes that look like villains, from Ghost Rider to Nightcrawler to Blue Devil and beyond, owe at least some of their creation to the Hulk. Of course, there's also the rage and over the years he's struggled to control the rage in his heart, but every time he gets it under control something new happens to release it again. My favorite thing about the Hulk is probably his flexibility. He's great in a comedic take, pure action, deeper psychological drama, and everything in between and his interactions with the rest of the Marvel U, especially the teams that he's been a part of or an antagonist for, is always fun. Oh and fuck you Loeb for writing such a shitty book that I can't buy it!"

For a while there he wasn't going to make the Top 30, then a few last minute votes pushed him to this position. I knew he wouldn't be Top 10, or even Top 15. And you know what? I may be killed for saying this, I am glad he isn't. He is a great character and all, but not Top 10 Hero worthy. Maybe Top 10 Comic Character worthy (which will be a list at some point in time that will encompass both heroes and villains, but that's another story. Just wanted to do a cheap plug).

Just saying.

Supervising the trial of an experimental gamma bomb for the U.S. Defense Department at a nuclear research facility in New Mexico, Dr. Robert Bruce Banner selflessly rushed to the rescue of an ignorant teenager who had wandered onto the testing field as the countdown ticked inexorably toward zero. After shoving young Rick Jones to safety in a nearby ditch, Banner was struck full-force by the bomb blast. He survived, but was irradiated by the deadly gamma energy.

At first, Banner would transform into the brutish gray Hulk only at sunset, and revert to human form at dawn. Eventually, his changes into the childlike green Hulk came to be triggered by the release of adrenaline when he was intensely excited, no matter what time of day. The green Hulk possesses little of Banner's memory and intelligence, and is easily enraged; making him a menace to society.

Since Banner's initial transformation into the Hulk, military forces commanded by the implacable General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross; father of his late wife, Betty -- have hunted him continually.

For a short time, Banner successfully treated his condition with radiation and was able to maintain enough of his own personality when he became the Hulk to control himself in that form. Subsequently, he helped found the Avengers and even received a presidential pardon. Ultimately, however, the Hulk reverted into a brutish menace.

Gamma-powered psychiatrist Leonard "Doc" Samson captured the Hulk and successfully separated Banner and his alter ego. Without Banner's psyche to restrain him, the Hulk became a greater danger than ever before. Realizing there was only one way to reign in the Hulk, Banner agreed to merge with the monster. But the stress of the re-integration fractured Banner's subconscious, creating the street-smart gray Hulk. During this time, he spent several years in Las Vegas, sometimes operating as an enforcer calling himself Mr. Fixit (or "Joe Fixit.") The smart-mouth Fixit was an ill-tempered, wise-cracking, thuggish brute whose personality resembled that of his father and the fraternity boys who surrounded him in college. It was also at this time that Joe Fixit began his a short-lived relationship with the future wife of Rick Jones, Marlo Chandler. In this state of the Hulk, Banner again found himself changing into the Hulk at night and into his human form in the light of the day.

Soon after, the swirling mess of persona and mentalities took their toll on the ever-flustered mind of Dr. Banner, and a battle for supremacy and control took place in Banner's subconscious. With assistance by the Ringmaster and his hypnotic abilities, Doc Samson tapped into the subconscious of Banner and reached his separate incarnations. Through this hypnosis, Banner, the green Hulk, and the grey Fixit all aligned to face their true inner demons-- Banner's unresolved issues with his abusive father and the murderer of his mother. With this realization, Banner was able to fuse these mentalities together, finding peace of mind. However, a green but intelligent version of the Hulk emerged. He had the mentality of Dr. Banner but the body and abilities of the Hulk.

It was during this time Banner became involved with a group called the Pantheon, a group determined to end war, famine and pestilence on the Earth. His exploits with the team ranged from pretending to be gangsters in Las Vegas, taking down individuals like the enigmatic Mr. Frost, to renewing old grudges with powerful foes such as Madman and forming new enemies as the amphibious android, Piecemeal, to battling enemies from beyond the stars. However, once it was discovered the immortal founder of the group betrayed them to an alien race called the Troyjans, the Pantheon became a thing of the past and Hulk was on his own once again.

Unfortunately Dr. Banner soon realized that he must once again keep his temper in check, as if he let his rage loose, the mentality of the savage green Hulk would soon take over, albeit in the form of Banner's human body. Without the strength of the Hulk and filled with the Green Goliath's rage and belief of his old abilities, he proved to be a great danger to himself. This was, however, not to last. During the assault of the being known as Onslaught, the Hulk asked Jean Grey to let the green Hulk loose from its mental prison in order to use his maximum potential and abilities to defeat the menace. In a strange twist, Banner became divided. The Banner physically went away to a parallel world created upon Onslaught's defeat, where he once again became the savage green Hulk. Remaining on Earth, was a cold, somewhat unfeeling but intelligible version of the jade monster. This version of the Hulk also found himself allied with Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur), who made Hulk into one of his Four Horsemen.

This surly version of the Hulk remained in this state, never changing until much later when the consciousness of Banner was awakened from a personal hell where he was trapped in his own subconscious and haunted by his memories of his father, his future self (the Maestro), the Leader, and his past Banner and Hulk incarnations. Banner's freedom and escape from this subconscious hell was only achieved through self-realization and the understanding that his true strength came from within, proving his redemption from his fears. Upon this realization, Banner was guided to consciousness though the visage of his true love, Betty. This revelation, however, did not mean Banner gave up his quest to rid himself of the Hulk, but his mettle was tested time and again when he was promised a cure by those who were only trying to gain the power for themselves. Such was the case when a former physics professor of Banner's used an invention of his own design to replicate Banner's genetic code and siphon off enough gamma radiation to become the creature called Ravage.

Though never a team player, the Hulk joined forces with the Dr. Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts, and Namor, the Atlantean Sub-Mariner, to defeat the techno-wizard Yandroth and his ultimate computer, the Omegatron. Thereafter, this loose-knit band of Defenders would unite periodically to oppose threats to humanity. The original Defenders reluctantly re-formed when Yandroth surfaced again to menace the world. Though the heroes defeated his plan, Yandroth used his sorcery to levy a deathbed curse upon their heads, binding them to come together in times of crisis.

After the events of the M-Day, Banner sought refuge and peace in Alaska, where he lived as a hermit loosely connected to the town community. He was eventually tracked down by Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D., who required his help in defeating the Hydra space weapon called the Godseye which could detonate all the nuclear bombs in the world. Sent up as the Hulk, he discovered that the Godseye was actually a rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. weapon that could match the strength of any enemy. In the ensuing battle, the Godseye found that though it could try, it could not match the increasing power of the Hulk, and it exploded.

A S.H.I.E.L.D. commissioned space shuttle was sent to retrieve the Hulk, or so he believed. Seizing the opportunity to be rid of the Hulk, a group of superheroes known as the Illuminati decided to jettison the shuttle into space, to a planet with no intelligent life forms. Unfortunately, there was a navigation error, and the Hulk landed on Planet Sakaar, a planet full of barbarian tribes, gladiator battles and ruled over by a corrupt empire. The planet was situated near a portal, which gave it access to several different cultures and technologies. Weakened by his travel, Hulk was taken captive and sold into slavery and sent to the Great Arena to die in the games. After overcoming the first challenge set before him, Hulk was given the opportunity to be pardoned by the Red King, but instead he chose to attack him and was knocked out by the Red King when he became distracted. The Hulk soon joined several others in a group that would have to learn to fight together and, in result, they became Warbound. The Hulk and his team of misfit warriors overcame the challenges set before them and became known as great warriors throughout the planet, inspiring many to rebel against the Red King.

Soon thereafter, Hulk and his team were forced to fight a captured Silver Surfer who struck them fiercely. Hulk, angered by Silver Surfer's betrayal, attacked the Surfer and inadvertently released him from the disc implant embedded within him. Freed of the implant disc that kept him prisoner, the Surfer destroyed the rest of the implant discs embedded in the rest of the warriors. The Hulk declined the Silver Surfer's offer of transportation back to his world so as to finish things on Planet Sakaar. Hulk then stood with his freed Warbound companions against the tyrannous Red King.

After several hard fought battles, the evolution of Miek, and finally gaining the confidence of Caiera the Oldstrong, Hulk and the Warbound confronted the Red King. With those few still loyal to him, the King in his Death's Head Armor did battle with Hulk. As he soon saw he was no match for the Green Scar, the Red King activated a rupture under the very surface of the planet. In an act of desperation, Hulk leaped into the molten earth and forced the splitting plates back to their proper assemblage, literally saving Sakaar. The Hulk gave the King a finishing blow, knocking him clear of the city walls. Finally, the Wildebots came upon the Red King and finished him off once and for all.

Hulk was proclaimed the Green King, and all those on Sakaar worshiped him and his Queen, Caiera. She told her king that she would bear him a child, and it seemed that the Hulk's life of running and fighting was over. However, the Hulk was not destined for a happy ending as the ship that brought him to that world soon exploded, killing his wife and unborn child sending Banner into a rage like no other. He and his Warbound journeyed to Earth seeking revenge on the planet's heroes for their part in Sakkar's destruction. Once they arrived, the Hulk crushed Black Bolt on Attilan and took the city of New York as his battleground. Iron Man, Mister Fantastic and Doctor Strange all fell before the Hulk and his Warbound too. Even old sparring partners such as the X-Men as well as new threats like the Gamma Corps couldn't even slow the Hulk's rampage.

Hulk fitted his defeated foes with Obedience Disks just like the ones he and the other gladiators on Sakaar were forced to wear and made them battle one another in order to experience the ordeal he was put through. It wasn't until the Hulk prevented Mister Fantastic from killing Tony Stark during one of the gladiator matches that he revealed his true intentions. Hulk claimed he came home for justice, not murder, but Hulk does not want the world to forget what he feels their heroes truly are: liars, traitors and killers. No matter how many times Stark or Richards try to explain they had nothing to do with the shuttle explosion that killed his adopted home world, the Hulk will not listen.

Soon a nearly insane Sentry arrives on the scene and a cataclysmic battle ensues between him and Hulk. Sentry unleashed forces that nearly destroyed what was left of New York, but ultimately, Hulk averted that disaster by defeating the Sentry. Having reverted back to the form of Bruce Banner, it seemed that World War Hulk had come to an end. However, Miek had other plans. Miek tried to injure Banner, so he would transform back to his gamma powered counterpart, but Rick Jones pushed Banner out of the way only to have Miek's spear thrust through his body. Miek got what he wanted, and Banner did turn back into the Hulk but it was only because he intended to destroy the Hive King for stabbing his friend. Miek continued to explain how it was really his plan to let Hulk think the heroes of Earth destroyed Sakaar as he watched men loyal to the Red King load an old warp core onto the Hulk's shuttle in hopes that it would kill him. Now faced with the truth, Hulk's anger was completely out of control, and as he told the heroes he would hate them forever because this would never have happened if not for their interference. He also told Tony Stark to stop him because he hated himself as well for his part in the destruction.

Stark called upon the combined power of various satellites to finally put an end to the Hulk's rampage. Banner was taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody and was placed three miles below the Mojave Desert. The Warbound was also placed in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, but they escaped after saving New York from being split in half by an expanding chasm the Hulk created.

While Banner was incarcerated at Gamma Base, a new mystery revealed itself when long-time Hulk foe, the Abomination, was found murdered in his homeland of Russia. A team comprised of Iron Man, General Ross, Samson, She-Hulk and Commander Maria Hill went to investigate only to determine the only suspect that could have done this was the Hulk. The perpetrator soon revealed himself on a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, and it was indeed a massive creature referring to itself as the Red Hulk. This new incarnation of the Hulk decimated the likes of She-Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and even Rick Jones in his new powered up identity of a creature named A-Bomb. Banner was set free when the clash between the Red Hulk and A-Bomb caused a big enough earthquake to damage his prison. The potential threat to Banner's life triggered his transformation into the Green Goliath, and the Hulk wasted no time in confronting his new nemesis. The Hulk, caught unprepared for the Red Hulk's fighting style, was defeated in their first meeting - suffering a broken arm in the process - but the outcome was much different during their second meeting. The Hulk found a potential weakness in the Red Hulk and exploited it. Once the Red Hulk was beaten, the Hulk left before he could find out the Red Hulk's true identity. However, Banner has been spending his time trying to track down the Red Hulk before he can do anymore damage. On his journey, Banner ended up in Las Vegas where the Hulk had to team up with Sentry, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight and even Brother Voodoo to quell a pack of Wendigos from devouring everyone inside a casino.

Sometime later, the Grandmaster came to Hulk with a proposition: if Hulk chose to participate in a game and won, Grandmaster would bring his love, Jarella, back to life. Hulk agreed and was told he could pick a group of allies to aid him in the game. Hulk chose his former teammates in the Defenders: Namor, Silver Surfer, and Doctor Strange. When the time came to meet their opponents, the Collector appeared with the Hulk's nemesis, the Red Hulk, and his team: Baron Mordo, Terrax and Tiger Shark - now known as the Offenders. With the game underway, each member of each team was paired up on separate battlefields. The power levels of each pair were too evenly matched, but in a wicked turn of events, the Red Hulk impaled the Hulk on a trident, killing him. The Hulk would eventually be resurrected by the Grandmaster to attend to an out of control Red Hulk, but the Hulk would still be left broken-hearted over the loss of his beloved Jarella - much to the satisfaction of the Red Hulk.

The events following the Defenders/Offenders War would be even more satisfying to the Hulk's new nemesis when Banner would become a captive of M.O.D.O.K. and A.I.M., and a quartet of heroes attempted to infiltrate the underground base. At the end of Hulk's war with the heroes of Earth, the satellites Stark used to end the Hulk's rampage were hacked into by M.O.D.O.K. for the sole purpose of interfacing with Banner's irradiated cells. With this information, and the help of a seemingly traitorous General Ross, A.I.M. intended to create an army of gamma-powered soldiers. What they did create was Doc Samson's evil split personality, the monstrous A-Bomb, and the Red Hulk. When Doc Samson turned on his group and attacked She-Hulk, leaving Ben Urich and his photographer-by-day, superhero-by-night, Spider-Man to fend for themselves against the Red Hulk, an enraged Banner released his alter-ego to save them. The battle between the Hulks left the base in ruins, but it appeared it would be the last time these behemoths would ever clash again. The Red Hulk used his power to absorb radiation to drain Hulk dry, leaving Banner unable to ever transform into the Green Goliath again.

Banner was rescued by A-Bomb, and the two of them fled to the place where Rick used to cage Hulk for the night when Banner was first affected by the gamma bomb that changed his life forever. While in hiding, Norman Osborn got word of Banner's predicament and sent Ares to find out if the claims were true. Between A-Bomb's strength and Banner's brain, Ares was defeated. Bruce and Rick went their separate ways, leaving Bruce to start a new life without the burden of being the Hulk. His first stop: New York to trick Reed Richards and retrieve the Hulk's personal belongings when he was the Green Scar. Next on his agenda was to give those items to Skaar and begin his training should the Hulk return. Banner decided Skaar needed to learn all the things his savage childhood denied him. Aspects like teamwork, developing friendships, resisting temptation and so forth, and to this end, Banner pit his son against the likes of Juggernaut, Daken, Tyrannus and an impromptu battle against the new Harpy - Marlo Chandler.

Despite being rid of his monstrous alter-ego, Banner is still considered a dangerous man because of his superior intellect, and it was quite apparent how uncomfortable he made the attendees of General Ross' memorial service when he showed his face to deliver a farewell speech. Still, Banner was allowed to say his peace and leave without incident, but a secret meeting with his new ally, the Red Hulk, gave the appearance Banner may have been behind the general's death all along. Banner was holding his cards close to the chest, without even his closest allies knowing his plan in its entirety, but when the Red Hulk came to him with news of a group called the Intelligencia, Banner had no choice but to act. Banner seemed to know his enemies' moves before they made them, including an attack on the Avengers by a Red She-Hulk and supposedly manipulating his daughter, Lyra, into joining them. He also knew better than to completely trust Red Hulk who was only now siding with him since the Intelligencia betrayed him. The one crucial thing Banner did know about this group of evil geniuses was that they were holding his one true love, Betty, and he would do anything to save her. He assembled a team to infiltrate their main base, the Hellcarrier, as Amadeus Cho attempted to liberate Betty. Just as Banner was about to free several kidnapped heroes, all possessing superior intellects, he was captured by the Intelligencia who appeared to be predicting his movements as well.


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