Saturday, April 21, 2018 • Morning Edition • "Manufacturing outrage since 2006."

Your Top Marvel Heroes part 80

Written by Chris Mitchell on Friday, May 21 2010 and posted in Features
Welcome to the Top 10, everyone. This is what you have been waiting for, two weeks (or has it been 3, I have lost count) of character after character you all voted. Were there disappointments? Yes. Were there surprises? Yes. Will there be more of both? Possibly. So, should I keep on rambling or get on with it? I vote get on with it. {nomultithumb}

10. Beast (431 points - 13 first place slots)

beast.jpg"My favorite X-Man, mainly b/c I loved him more as an Avenger. Funny, furry, and full of cool, Hank brings the smarts and the smart-aleck, and provides a great addition to any team, be it the Avengers, Defenders, X-Men or whatever."

"Probably the most genuinely likable character in the Marvel Universe."

"He's the rocking-est nerd on the planet. Hank is a fun, smart, talented guy who will quote classics while playing Wii and still is thinking about how to solve problems. He's approachable and helpful, but doesn't seem to get much combat action in since everybody has to have a long distance power anymore. I miss the days of the gorilla look, but love that they went into how he has struggled to adjust to his added mutation. He plays a good Merlin to Cyclops's King Arthur and only recently decided "enough is enough" which shows that he'll give the benefit of the doubt at times but will eventually have to cut long time friends off if it comes to it. How many good friends tell you "no" when you need to hear it?"

"The best hero a leader can ask for on a team. Self directed, brilliant, badass and not afraid to disagree. Bring on the Avengers!"

"The Bouncing, Bubbling, Beast, Boychick -- Who's in like Flynn with a great big grin! "

"Tears of a clown."

"The Beast joined the Avengers the same time I started collecting comics. The fun he had being an Avengers carried over to my fun reading about it. To me he's infinitely a better Avenger than an X-Man."

"He makes a good X-Man, but a great Avenger. He and Wonder Man make for one of the best buddy teams in all of comics."

"Intellectual and dignified in a world where that seemingly has no place."

"Exemplifies the duality typical of most X-Men. Articulate, erudite, and compassionate in the body of a savage, furry animal."

First off, I couldn't find a good pick of the Beast of how I remembered him so I got this scan of a card. You know, I have this whole set lol Yeah, I am awesome. Secondly, I love Beast but I will still say that the wrong blue mutant made the Top 10. I know, I will get some flack saying this but that's how I feel.

Hank McCoy's father was exposed to radiation when working at the nuclear power plant. Because of this, it seems to be the reason why Hank had unusually large feet and hands and a high I.Q. Because of his irregular proportions, his schoolmates teased him and gave him the nickname of "Magilla Gorilla" and "Beast". Hank only started to come out of his shell when he started tutoring Jennifer Nyles. She started to see the real Hank McCoy, and on the night of the prom she turned up at his place with a rented tuxedo and told him he was taking her to the prom. When some people started to tease them, Jennifer knocked out the leader of the saunters with one punch. After that Hank and Jennifer were inseparable, and in love with each other, but still not going out.

During Hank's teen years, his mutant abilities started to show themselves and allowed him to become a super sports star and excel in the academic side of school. Hank ended up joining the football team after the coach asked him to kick a football and he kicked the skin off it. However, this caused jealously amongst his classmates. Sadly, Hank and Jennifer went their separate ways; she traveled to London to study genetics whilst Hank stayed in the U.S. One day, three masked men robbed the stadium and tried to escape across it. Luckily, Hank was nearby and he managed to knock out all three men. This made it to the news. The villain known only as the Conquistador decided that he could use Hank as a weapon after seeing this report. The Conquistador successfully managed to kidnap Hank and his parents, and told him that he would release them when he stole an experimental nuclear device. When Hank returned, the Conquistador revealed that he would actually keep Hank's parents prisoners indefinitely, until Hank was of no more use to him. Hank tried to escape and was almost killed if it wasn't for Professor Charles Xavier, Cyclops, Iceman and Angel saving Hank, before offering a spot for him in Xavier's school ( Xavier Institute for Higher Learning). The school was a haven for mutants and also the headquarters of the mutant team, the X-Men. Hank took advantage of the offer, mainly in order to further his academic intelligence and ended up completing his doctorate in biophysics at Xavier's. There, he received the codename "Beast."

After an occasion when Beast saved a falling child, he quit the X-Men, as he was sick of protecting a world that hated and feared him. He started a career as a wrestler, still calling himself the Beast. But one of Hank's opponents was none other than Unus the Untouchable, who was also a mutant. Hank realized that his place was still with the X-Men, and built a device to increase Unus's powers to the point where he couldn't control them. He only decreased them to their original level after Unus vowed not to join the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. With that done, Hank rejoined the X-Men. He also started dating a librarian called Vera Cantor thanks to Iceman's girlfriend setting him up with a blind date. Unfortunately, their first meeting was interrupted by Vera's ex-boyfriend, Calvin Rankin. Calvin was a mutant who could copy the powers of other mutants, and he was at first a villain, but later joined the X-Men for a short while.

Over time, Xavier granted the X-Men new costumes as a reward for proving themselves time after time. Hank received a new blue-and-red costume which was similar to his training costume. Not much later after that, Kraven the Hunter appeared, who wanted to test his skill against Beast. Kraven poisoned the X-Men's house guest, Avia, and would only give the antidote if he was allowed to fight Beast without interruption. Kraven wasn't the type to play fairly, and he had traps all around the house to try and stop Beast. Hank couldn't dodge them all and was hit by some drugged darts. The darts had been meant to slow down the blood flow to Beast's brain, thus slowing his reflexes, but had a side-effect. With Hank's higher-brain functions inhibited, it made him revert to a frenzied rage, and would have killed Kraven if the X-Men hadn't stopped him. After this fight, Beast held back in action in case another incident like this occurred.

Hank went on to work as a genetic researcher at a corporation called "Brand Corporation." At Brand Corporation Hank met his assistant, Linda Donaldson, and his bitter superior, Carl Maddicks. Hank successfully managed to create the hormonal extract that creates mutations in organic beings, but when he rushed to tell Carl Maddicks about it he overheard him discussing a plan to steal some government records. Hank took his extract to disguise himself and increase his power. Unfortunately, Hank had the extract in him for too long, therefore leaving him permanently transformed. This enhanced his agility, stamina and strength. Other side effects were the growth of fangs, pointed ears, claws, enhanced senses, a healing factor and blue (originally gray) fur that covered his entire body. Hank then completed his doctorate in genetics and is one of the world's experts on mutations and human biology. As a result of the failure, Linda Donaldson shot Carl Maddicks, since she was actually a spy for Secret Empire.

Hank knew that he couldn't walk around looking like a gorilla, so he spent all night reading up on latex masks and disguises before making gloves and a rubber face mask that he could wear over his own. Hank's posture was also like that of a gorilla, and he had to use a special harness to help him walk and stand like an ordinary man. When Tony Stark visited Brand, a crisis required him and Hank to go to the rescue as superheroes. Iron Man mistook Beast for a villain, and fought with him. The X-Men's old foe Mastermind watched from a distance and created the illusion in Hank's mind of him having killed Iron Man. Hank was then easily tricked into joining the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but he managed to overcome the illusion and leave.

Since Beast had been seen around Brand Corporation a lot, the Pentagon sent Buzz Baxter and his wife Patsy Walker to investigate. Ironically, Beast turned up at Patsy's house after a near defeat from Quasimodo. Patsy helped heal Hank, and for some reason his fur turned from gray to bluish-black. Patsy also learned Beast's real identity, since he had been talking in his dreams. She agreed not to reveal his secret, but didn't tell Hank what she wanted in return. Shortly after wards, Hank was captured by Linda Donaldson, and delivered to the Secret Empire. Along with some of his old teammates, Hank was helping captive until he was freed by Captain America, Falcon, Jean Grey and Cyclops.

Beast couldn't return to Brand Corporation after being captured by Linda Donaldson. Hank decided to try being a superhero with another group after he saw an ad for new members on TV. Beast and Moondragon were accepted as probationary members, mere minutes before the Stranger attacked the Avengers (actually Toad in disguise). "The Stranger" filled a stadium with floating mines, which the other Avengers were defeated by, but Beast's agility let him get through the mines whilst Moondragon's mental powers stopped their foe. Whilst a member of the Avengers, Beast became good friends with Wonder Man.

With Beast a member of the Avengers, it was only a matter of time before Patsy Walker returned. It turned out that the deal she had made with Beast in return for not revealing his identity was that she was to become a superhero, since she was bored of being a housewife. Beast had already revealed his alternate identity to the rest of the Avengers, though, so she had nothing to hold over him. Even so, Beast let Patsy accompany them on one mission to repay her for not revealing his identity. Whilst raiding Roxxon Oil, the Avengers came across the old gear of the Cat (who didn't need it now that she was Tigra). Patsy used the equipment to become Hellcat, which meant she got her wish to become a superhero after all. Moondragon and Hellcat both left the Avengers when they restarted their roster, but Beast was more than happy to stay on. One of the many bonuses of being an Avenger was that Beast was no longer hated or feared as a mutant.

Sometimes Beast would leave to help with the X-Men when they were in need of help and to make space for new recruits. One time that he temporarily left was when he hadn't heard from the X-Men in a while, and went to the mansion to check up on them. For some reason, the mansion was abandoned. Beast went looking for the X-Men with Cerebro and found them performing as freaks in a carnival. It turned out that the carnival was run by Mesmero, but shortly after the X-Men were broken free from his hypnosis, Magneto captured the X-Men and took them to his secret base in Antarctica, which was hidden beneath an active volcano. After a fight with Magneto, Beast and Phoenix were seemingly the only ones able to escape, and since they thought the X-Men were dead, they returned to New York, Beast continuing his time with the Avengers. One problem that they Avengers had was that Henry Peter Gyrich of the National Security Agency limited the members of the Avengers allowed. Whilst Beast was on this team, Wonder Man unfortunately was not, and so Beast's best friend on the Avengers had to leave. Shortly after Hank found out that the X-Men were still alive after the events in Antarctica, Henry Gyrich continued to plague the Avengers, this time trying to get rid of their government clearance. The Avengers had a trial in court, and it was not going well, but when reports of a rampaging monster were heard, Beast suggested that Gyrich should fight the monster himself. Gyrich had to admit that the heroes were needed, and so the Avengers got back their security clearances. Shortly after wards, Falcon quit the team, and Wonder Man was called back to replace him.

One night, when Hank was on duty by himself, he received a message that the X-Men were on a rampage in the Hellfire Club. Torn between friends and responsibility, Hank decided to aid the X-Men. Beast witnessed Jean Grey's transformation to Dark Phoenix, a fight between the X-Men and the Shi'ar Imperial Guard on the Moon, Jean's suicide, and her funeral before he returned to the Avengers. Beast met his old girlfriend Vera Cantor in a bar by complete chance, and the two talked all night. Beast took her back to Avenger's mansion, but upon drinking some tea Jarvis provided, Vera fell into a coma. "Jarvis" was actually a Skrull who had poisoned Vera so that she could be used as blackmail. He told the Avengers that he would only provide Vera with a cure to her coma if the Avengers got a rare artifact called the Resurrection Stone for him. The team used the Fantastic Four's time travel device to acquire the item in the past for the Skrull, but Hank destroyed it before they handed it to him, since it was too powerful to trust the Skrull with. The best the Avengers could do for Vera was to give her to Reed Richards in the hope that he could find a cure for her coma.

Despite that they had been glad that Henry Gyrich was not longer bugging them, the Avengers realized there were some things he had done that made sense. For example, the current team had 10 members, and was too unorganized. After a talk with Wonder Man, Beast began to realize if he really did just want to be a joking superhero. Beast then quit the Avengers.

Beast went to Doctor Strange, looking for his help to save Vera Cantor's life. With Hellstorm and Reed Richards, they were able to destroy the Resurrection Stone once and for all, and Hellstorm was able to cure Vera. To repay the favor to Doctor Strange, Beast helped him find his missing teammates, who had been captured by the Secret Empire, and joined the Defenders.. Beast opened up to Vera his insecurities about being a superhero, and she tried to help Beast by pushing him into a relationship. Because Beast was silent, Vera mistook this for agreement, when it was actually insecurity.

Beast eventually realized that super heroing was what he's good at, but still didn't like the Defenders' status as a non-team. Beast reorganized the Defenders, adding his old teammates Iceman and Angel to it, as well as Gargoyle, Valkyrie and Moondragon. With Nick Fury's help, the new team got government clearance, but there was a problem when both Beast and Valkyrie applied to be the leader of the team. After an argument between the two, they realized that they didn't need an actual leader, but someone to run headquarters, deal with the authorities and other such things. The person they appointed for this was Candy Southern. Whilst a Defender, Beast wrote a letter to Vera Cantor, apologizing, and when they next met, it was as friends, even though their mutual attraction was still there. Unfortunately, Moondragon and Gargoyle were both taken over by a mystical enemy called the Dragon of the Moon. An Eternal called the Interloper was able to defeat the Dragon of the Moon, but only if some people sacrificed themselves. With the exception of the three former X-Men, all of the Defenders sacrificed themselves. With this event, the Defenders disbanded.

A few weeks later, the Avengers found a mysterious cocoon at the bottom of Jamaica Bay. They sent it to Reed Richards to examine, and when he cut it open Jean Grey came out. Shocked at the state of mutant affairs in the world, Jean wanted to do something about it, but not as an X-Man, since the X-Men were being led by Magneto. Jean, Beast, Iceman, Angel and Cyclops all rejoined and they formed the group called X-Factor. On their second mission, Hank was kidnapped by Carl Maddicks, who was apparently alive, for experimentation to find a "cure" for his son Artie's mutation. This turned Beast back into a human form. Hank also met with Vera Cantor more, who had a change of appearance. She now wore her hair half shaved and wore flashier clothing. After Vera was interviewed by Trish Trilby, a reporter hot on X-Factor's trail, Vera and Hank stopped seeing each other, as their lives had gone in different directions.

During a fight with Apocalypse's Horsemen, Beast was touched by Pestilence, whose virus causes a deadly sickness. Instead of Hank becoming sick, it reacted with Hank's recent change so that every time he used his superhuman strength, Beast's intelligence would drop. Hank's intelligence dropped for weeks and he opened up to Trish Trilby, not realizing that she would use the information on TV. Out of respect for Hank, Trish did tell the world that one of X-Factor's members was losing his intelligence, but didn't say which. When Iceman was almost kissed by Infectia, who could mutate people into monsters by touch, Beast intercepted the kiss. This made him change between his furry form and human form, until he finally stayed in his furred form, with his usual intelligence and strength. The next time Hank met Trish, she was having trouble accepting Hank's new furry form. Hank and Trish realized they had missed each other after a mission in space, and started dating.

Trish's duties as a news reporter caused some trouble with their relationship, since she had to make look mutants look bad. During one of Trish's assignments in India, Hank came over to say goodbye to her, only to see her kissing her ex-husband, Paul. Seeing this, Hank left without saying bye to Trish. One day, Hank was invited to attend the International Symposium on Mutant Research in Belgium. Hank wanted to take this very seriously, as his old girlfriend Jennifer Nyles would be attending the conference and a cyborg tried to kill the mail woman who was delivering the letter to tell him that he would be invited. Whilst at the conference, Hank uncovered a plot involving cyborgs and genetic programming. The leader of this conspiracy, Commander Courage, was going to infect world leaders with techno-organic implants and take over the world. Jennifer Nyles was unknowingly working on this, since when Xavier had mind wiped her all those years ago, she knew something precious in her mind had gone, and devoted her life to getting it back. After meeting Beast, Jennifer's memories came back and she helped stop Commander Courage.

It was later discovered that Shadow King had taken over the minds of almost everyone on Muir Island. Since that included most of the X-Men, Professor X enlisted the help of SHIELD and X-Factor to stop Shadow King. After the battle, X-Factor merged with the X-Men, and the team was split into a Gold Strike team and a Blue Strike team. Beast was on the Blue strike team.

I'm going to leave it there. Why? Because then I start treading into the bad X-years and the coming of Morrison. Good things are coming though, he is going to be on the Secret Avengers again. Back to Avengers folks!! Weeeee!

9. Daredevil (459 points - 11 first place slots)

daredevil.jpg"The blind man shall lead them."

"This is what happens when you mix a radioactive isotope with Catholic Guilt. Daredevil proves you don't need eyesight to be a hero or to leave a score of personal and professional tragedies in your wake."

"He's a ninja with a law degree. What's not to like? He also is a typical Marvel type of character, being disabled, traumatized at an early age and struggling with his own demons, but still doing the most with his abilities to make Hell's Kitchen a little bit better."

"My favorite of Marvel's core characters. From Frank Miller to Ann Niocetti to Kevin Smith to Brian Bendis to Ed Brubaker to Andy Diggle, I don't think there's a character that has had so many high points from so many creators. I'll always have a soft spot for Marvel's noir hero."

"The toughest spot on this list. The top 7 were locked in from the moment this list was announced, but the last three spots were split between many many characters and the last spot was really tough. I think what finally pushed this spot in favor of the blind lawyer from Hell's Kitchen was his relationship with #9 on my list, which is one of my favorite hero/hero dynamics in all of comics. If you put The Punisher and Daredevil in a book together and fail to make a good comic, you should never be allowed to write a comic ever again. No character at Marvel or DC has been put through more shit over the last 20+ years. Starting with Miller's amazing run, writers have done some great work with this character, but in the process have made his life a living hell. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed almost all of it, I just wish someone would let him smile again some day. Once upon a time, he was one of the heroes that would make jokes and swash buckle with the best of them, but now he just broods and waits for the other shoe to drop."

"Matt's the most emo hero ever. If that's good or bad is really up to you. He's definitely always interesting."

"Sometimes it feels like your worse day, would still be Matt's best day. Historically, Daredevil has been a balancing act of swashbuckling adventures and dark noir, with the noir winning out. But it wins out for a reason. Every universe needs balance. Where there is Yin, there is Yang. Where we have Spider-Man, we need Daredevil.

Matt is a reminder of just how awful life would really be if you could be a hero. If you could challenge the criminal elements of life. He's a Martin Scorsese movie in force-colored panel form at his darkest, and a he taps into the same cultural vein that thrives on Zorro theatrics at his lightest."

"My favorite character in all of comics for as long as I can remember, Matthew Michael Murdock is a flawed individual who since childhood has had a bad habit of letting his emotions get in the way of his principles. But this character flaw--one I think nearly everyone shares, by the way--doesn't make him any less a hero. Rather, while living up to his father's dream of his son someday becoming a successful lawyer, Matt also struggles with having gone against his father's wishes, putting his own life in harm's way night in and night out just for the sake of making his city a better place.

What's more, Matt's strength doesn't lie merely in his abilities, but arguably more so in his will to overcome the odds. Almost always outmatched by his adversaries in terms of both physical attributes and sheer numbers, Daredevil is Marvel's consummate underdog, constantly beaten down again and again, only to rise to newer heights just when he seems to be at his lowest.

A complicated man, Matthew Michael Murdock can be self-involved at times, but in the end he always comes through for his friends. Though on the surface he may often seem otherwise, Matt is a selfless hero who's been through Hell and back time after time, yet still puts his own livelihood, mental state, and conscious on the line every night, all to help make his small corner of the world a safer place to live. He may not be the strongest, or the fastest, or even the most righteous, but Daredevil's never-say-die attitude and strive for his own betterment are qualities I'm constantly trying to apply to my own life, and for that, he remains to me one of the greatest heroes in not just comics, but in all of fiction."

"While I get tired of seeing writers beat on him and beat on him, and miss the days of the more swashbuckling lawyer-by-day, crime-fighter by night version, it is Matt Murdock's refusal to fold in the face of all his adversity that makes him such a great character. Blessed with great run after great run, the blind lawyer with the billy club has shone as one of Marvel's brightest lights for a long time now."

You know, I caught on to the wonders of DD very late. So, I am asking you this, give me some suggestions on trades and such I should read. I read the everything from Bendis and beyond. I have read some Kevin Smith, what else is there? I have some of the old JRJR issues which I found a bit a go with Bullet and such. Tell me more stories, I want some more stories dammit!!

Matt Murdock was an ordinary kid...getting into all types of mischief. His transition into Daredevil is fitting to his behavior as a child. In his Man without Fear opening he was shown wearing a ski mask and being chased by a cop on his skateboard. Matt's father, Battlin' Jack Murdock was one of the greatest local boxers of his time but he was also into some shady dealings with some dangerous people. Matt's mother, Maggie had left them and caused Jack to become a bit of an alcoholic, trying to fill the void and ease the pain. Some nights Matt would have to help him into to bed because he was too drunk to move on his own. Although Jack was a great boxer he didn't earn much money for his fights and couldn't adequately provide for Matt. Knowing this, a man named the Fixer sent his goons after Murdock to offer him a proposition. If Jack would be the new muscle and collect debts of the people who owed the him, The Fixer would pay him handily. At first he didn't accept and the Fixer's goons did a number on him with Matt looking on in hiding.

Jack didn't have much of a choice. He had to do what ever it took to provide for his son so he finally took the offer. Now beating men to a pulp in the ring and on the streets, he began to realize that the life he leads may mean bad things for his son. He didn't want Matt being anything like him. He told him that he wanted him to go to school and get a good education so he can make something of himself and he also told him to refrain from engaging in violent behavior. Sadly Matt was a runt, he was smaller and weaker than the other kids and they picked on him constantly, calling him "daredevil" out of irony. One day he had, had enough and he stood up for himself. He came home later with the news for his father that he had fought someone who was picking on him and his father's reaction was the exact opposite of what he thought it would be.

Unhappy that Matt had done the opposite of what he had asked, Jack struck him. Matt had the utmost respect for his father but didn't take what happened lightly. His father was wrong. Hitting him was wrong. This day was the day that Matt decided he would study law. "The only way to stop people from being bad is to make rules and laws" is what his said. (Man Without Fear #1).

The name Daredevil which Matt would make his second identity was the name neighborhood kids game him sarcastically because he seemed to be more cowardly than daring. More and more as Matt studied he as picked on. They would call out to him from outside his window day after day. He chose not to bring any violence among his peers but he took his pinned up anger to Fogwell's Gym where he would practice his moves at the bag for hours. The Gym had become his favorite place aside from home.

At this point he had been observed by Stick without his knowledge. Little did Stick know that he would later have more in common with Matt that he imagined. Their relationship would go from watcher and subject to master and student shortly. One night on his way home from the gym Matt saw a blind old man crossing the street and it was certain he would be hit by the on-coming truck. Matt put his life on the line and pushed the man out of the way and in the accident radioactive waste got into his eyes. Later at the hospital he and his father would learn that he is blind and will never see again. At this point we first meet Mother Maggie Murdock, Matt's mother, now a nun would come see him in the hospital.

Once Matt left the hospital he became aware that his senses had heightened, most notably his hearing and sense of smell. Stick being blind himself felt he could take Matt as his student and teach him the way he was taught to use his new found senses and ultimately "see better than people who CAN see". His first attempts at gymnastics and combat were pathetic at best...but eventually he caught on. Stick had trained him well. Trained him to know where things are, trained him to use the staff and other similar weapons, and also trained him in archery and acrobatics.

The Fixer ordered his new employee, Jack Murdock to throw his next fight. Being the better fighter he knew he could easily beat this guy with his arms ties behind his back. So he did. He beat him and paid the price for it with his life.

This is where Matt becomes a vigilante. With his father killed he vowed to get revenge on the men who had been responsible for his father's death. With his senses heightened and now being a student of Stick, Matt easily lays waste to The Fixer's men. Although he did not kill them he did kill someone that night. In his haste to get away he was attacked by some women he had fallen in on. One of which he accidentally launched out of a window. When this happened Matt was seen as a failure to the Chaste (Stick's Clan) they didn't want to use him because of his sloppiness.

Matt later goes off to college which in those years he would meet his best friend Foggy Nelson and Elektra Natchios, an assassin who would later become his girlfriend and accomplice. The Fixer whom Matt had yet to take revenge on had been killed and replaced by the Kingpin. By this time Matt was a full blown street vigilante taking out thugs at every turn. Little did he know that the Kingpin would be the one who would later hire Elektra to kill him as Daredevil.

Daredevil's first appears as a playful trickster of a character. Without much fighting skill we see him usually using his acrobatic ability to thwart enemies. While taking out bad guys as Daredevil, Matt still studied hard in college along with his roommate, best friend and future District Attorney, Foggy Nelson. He often had to lie and trick Foggy when he had been missing for long periods of time. Those said lies and tricks had come easy seeing as how nobody would suspect a blind man to be the Daredevil. Matt later graduates with a PhD in law at the top of his class through all the madness. Daredevil's time spent at the gym helped him hone his skills in the areas of Boxing and Wrestling which became key for him along with his acrobatic ability against lager crowds or groups of thugs which he frequently had to go head to head with. It was also at this time that Daredevil's incredible accuracy was developed with the use of his signature weapon, the Billy Club. He is also shown using a tire as a sling shot with a car engine as ammo which he used to stop a truck. Also his ability to use his acrobatic maneuvers to dodge bullets was discovered along with his increased reflexes allowing him to react fast enough to swat bullets with his weapon.

Matt Murdock's first major break as a lawyer comes when the Fantastic Four asks for his help. They had legal issues regarding their lease on the Baxter Building and patents regarding Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic's inventions.

At this point in his career Daredevil moved away from common street thugs and began to develop a Rouge Gallery with such villains as, Purple Man, The Owl, Electro, The Fellowship of Fear and Matador. Daredevil #6 where Daredevil faces the Fellowship of Fear is the last time in continuity you will see the yellow costume.

In the arcs following Daredevil yellow he began wearing his famous red costume. The name Scarlet Swashbuckler comes from Stan Lee's narration of his early books. The name appears to come from the level and style of the adventures he had become involved with at this point. Daredevil stepped away from the street level a bit and began to go on full blown adventures. He even found himself in the savage land a few times. His first issues in the red costume (Daredevil #7), he faces the Prince of Atlantis, Namor.

Daredevil soon meets one of his greatest allies, Spider-Man. It started off as a misunderstanding. They had a light scuffle which led to Spider-Man trying to find who was under the mask. When his spider-sense led him to the law offices of Nelson\Murdock he took out his frustrations on Foggy Nelson whom he believed to be Daredevil. He totally disregarded Matt because he was blind. That became Daredevil's angle. For years he would go out as the Daredevil and nobody ever suspected him even when he would randomly disappear from the area when there is danger. Nobody ever suspected a blind lawyer. It would be quite some time before Spider-Man discovered that Matt Murdock was Daredevil or vice versa but they would team up for the first time against the Masked Marauder.

In this era it seemed that Daredevil's books were villain based. Everything that would happen in the book seemed to be driven by the villain that would be appearing in the book that week. There was either a new incredible trap or plan set up by some mastermind or a new hardened villain or criminal popping up in every issue. New rouges like Gladiator, Frog-Man, Stunt-Master, Jester, The Ani-Men, Tri-Man, Stilt-Man, Mr. Hyde, and the Trapster were added to the gallery.

Getting closer to the modern era, Matt's problems had become personal. He was exposed as Daredevil by the Jester and later framed by the Jester for his death. Several times Spider-Man and Black Panther had to dress up as Daredevil so that he can be seen in a place opposite Matt Murdock. He used this tactic once more in the Brubaker era when he was exposed. Iron Fist was his cowl and costume while he was in jail.

In the 70's Matt Murdock moved to San Francisco where he met the beautiful Russian mistress, Natasha Romanova whom he would later come to know as the Black Widow and his accomplice. Matt's more womanizing traits start to come out around this time. He had already been romantically linked to Karen Page who would be his off and on girlfriend and would continue on...a long list after Black Widow.

Matt's relationship with Natasha would see many wrong turns and problems but most notable was a visit from Hawkeye (Natasha's ex-boyfriend). Daredevil defeated Hawkeye in combat but Natasha had no intention of being with Hawkeye had the outcome been opposite. The partnership of these two heroes would later be acknowledged by Marvel when the title of the book went from "Man Without Fear--Daredevil" to "Daredevil and the Black Widow". The two defeated many foes together, the most formidable of which was the Dark Messiah but they parted ways when Matt moved back to Hell's Kitchen and the comics name was changed back. Shortly after they became reacquainted, changing the comic's title again.

In Daredevil #132, his greatest foe would appear; Bullseye. He would defeat Daredevil several times in combat before Daredevil returned the favor. Bullseye's attack on Black Widow was the last straw for him. This cycle of Bullseye trying or killing off Daredevil's girlfriends would continue throughout his career.

It wasn't until Frank Miller took over that Daredevil's fighting prowess was really explored. Daredevil's pass bouts with foes had been based on his ability to out think them rather than out fighting them. His showings and combat where almost all displays of power. He was able to cause physical harm to just about anyone he attacked regardless of their physical standing. Daredevil once fought Death when he was severely injured and in that state he took his boxing chops to another level. Death in disguise as Daredevil Yellow was defeated by Matt Murdock.

So much I could write about, but I am going to stop there. I just want to say this, you all better pick up Shadowland mini. You don't have to pick up the tie-ins, but pick up the damn mini. Its going to be fucking stellar.

8. Wolverine (467 points - 14 first place slots)

wolverine.jpg"The best there is at what he does."

"Wolverine's character has been diluted in recent years, with many of the elements that made him what he was taken away, such as his inner conflicts of nature and his missing memories. However, he perseveres as one of the greatest characters Marvel created, as evidenced by his success not only in comics, but in shows like Wolverine and the X-Men and his own movie."

"He's Canadian and was at a time when all we had was Captain Canuck. He was gritty and grim, but showed what it meant to be loyal no matter what to your friends. Also, I loved the enigma that he was for so very long."

"I hated Wolverine as a teenager but in the past 5 years, lots of great writers (Millar, Aaron, Bendis, Wheadon) have shown me why he's the best."

"The penultimate bad ass. Love him or hate him, you have to admit he's become a cornerstone of the Marvel Universe. He battles with his own inner demons, but also acts as a hero, an activist and a mentor. And when he shows up to a fight, you know he's all business."

"Snikt. Snikt. Snikt. Bub."

"Sorry, I still like him"

"I don't care if there's a Wolverine overload in Marvel today, Logan was great in the beginning, he was great when he joined the X-men, he was great in his solo series and minis, he was great when he was crucified, and if the villains ever win, he will still be great."

Over exposed? Maybe. But he helped define a generation of characters, the same way Batman and Superman have. You cannot deny that. He is one of the few characters who have transcended the comic pages.

I am not going to start at the beginning of his origin, I am going to start where I remember liking him. Sound good? n the serialized story "Weapon X", Barry Windsor-Smith created the back story for the man who would become Wolverine.

Logan is kidnapped by agents of the Weapon X Program. The man known only as the "Professor," Dr. Abraham Cornelius, and Carol Hines begin to examine Logan. After performing many tests, the Professor learns Logan is a mutant and will thus make the perfect weapon. Logan's bones and claws are bonded with the indestructible metal known as adamantium. This adamantium bonding process was stolen by the Weapon X Program from the Japanese scientist known as Lord Dark Wind.

Logan proves too difficult for the Weapon X Program to control and shortly thereafter, Wolverine escapes the facility with the help of Winter Soldier, killing nearly everyone except for Professor Cornelius, Hines, and Malcolm Colcord.

Driven into a feral-like state by the experiment, Logan wanders the forests of the Canadian Rockies for months. It is during this feral period that he first encounters the Hunter in Darkness. Logan is eventually discovered by James and Heather Hudson, who help him recover his humanity. Following his recovery, Logan, this time under the supervision of Department H, once again works for Canadian Intelligence.

Logan becomes Wolverine, one of Canada's first superheroes. In his first mission, he is dispatched to stop the destruction caused by a brawl between the Hulk and the Wendigo.

Another documented Department H mission is Wolverine's involvement in a hostage situation in Iraq. Iraqi militants and a group of hired mercenaries seized an American embassy in Iraq and took hostages, giving various ransom demands. Because there are Canadian hostages in the embassy, Wolverine is dispatched to handle the situation, along with an American/Canadian Delta Force. The reclaiming of the embassy is successful. However, following the battle, Wolverine finds a Canadian nun dying from a bullet wound she received in the crossfire. She tells him about how the hired American mercenaries had harassed her daily and subjected her to extreme psychological torture. Wolverine promises the nun he would avenge the suffering, and years later he hunts down the mercenaries in North America and kills them.

James Hudson soon creates Alpha Flight and recruits Logan with the intention of making him team leader.

Professor X recruits Wolverine to a new team of X-Men. Disillusioned with his Canadian intelligence work and intrigued by Xavier's offer, Logan resigns from Department H. Professor X gathers a new team of X-Men to free Cyclops' team from the mutant island known as Krakoa. Logan and the other new X-Men successfully rescue the previous team, marking the beginning of a new period in Logan's life. Logan forms an immediate friendship with Nightcrawler and a strong attraction to Jean Grey, which causes frequent clashes between him and Cyclops.

James Hudson eventually finds Wolverine and tries to force him to return him to Department H, but is defeated quickly. Later, in Japan, Wolverine encounters lady Mariko Yashida, heir to an extremely powerful Yakuza family in Tokyo. During an intimate scene in a garden Wolverine begins to tell Mariko his name but is interrupted by Mandroids and Moses Magnum. After the battle and before leaving Japan, he finally tells Mariko his name is "Logan" and presents her with a white chrysanthemum. It is the first time he reveals the name he calls himself. As time passes, he falls for Mariko, as Jean Grey is attached.

Vindicator returns as the leader of Canada's first superhero team Alpha Flight. With his new team, he attempts to capture Wolverine. Not long after the X-Men defeat Alpha Flight, Jean Grey, possessed by Phoenix, dies. Cyclops leaves the team in grief, and Storm takes up the mantle of the X-Men's leader. Kitty Pryde joins the team and eventually becomes one of Wolverine's closest friends.

Wolverine, donning his brown and tan outfit for the first time, travels to Canada with Nightcrawler in tow to make peace with Alpha Flight by helping them take down the Wendigo once more. During this adventure, Wolverine's teammates finally learn his name.

In his first solo limited series, written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Frank Miller, Wolverine seemingly overcomes his feral nature in order to win the love and respect of Mariko Yashida. The two are engaged after Wolverine kills Lord Shingen Harada. However, the wedding is broken off by Viper and the Silver Samurai, as well as the manipulations of the villain Mastermind.

In another story, Wolverine rescues and takes it upon himself to watch over Amiko Kobayashi (sometimes written Akiko), daughter of a woman killed in the aftermath of a fight between the X-Men and a giant dragon over Tokyo. In subsequent stories Logan continues to visit Amiko, although she is now under the care of his close friend and sometime lover Yukio.

Wolverine later travels with Kitty Pryde to Japan to confront his former mentor Ogun, who had been killed years earlier. Ogun possesses Kitty and makes her his assassin, but Logan helps her overcome him and force him from her body. During a savage battle with Ogun, Wolverine realizes that his feral side will always be there and that it is something that he must always fight to keep under control. Afterwards, Logan and Kitty become very close friends, and she becomes like a daughter to him.

When Storm's powers are lost and she leaves the X-Men for a time, Wolverine briefly becomes leader of the X-Men. His team consists of Havok, Colossus, Rogue, Psylocke, Dazzler, and Longshot. This team is mainly featured in the crossover events The Fall of the Mutants and Inferno. After the events of Fall of the Mutants, the X-Men, who sacrifice their lives, are reborn in the Australian Outback. There, runaway mutant Jubilee saves Wolverine's life from an attack by Lady Deathstrike and crucifixion by the Reavers. She eventually becomes, as Kitty and Amiko did before her, another surrogate daughter. Wolverine also returns to Madripoor during this time and re-assumes alias 'Patch.'

Apocalypse tricks Wolverine into journeying to the Savage Land. While there, Wolverine sleeps with the female chieftain, Gahck, of an indigenous tribe. He discovers an insane robot duplicate of Apocalypse, which he destroys, putting an end to Apocalypse's experiments on the tribe. He unknowingly sires a son with Gahck, whom she names " Erista."

Wolverine later renews his feud with Cable, but then assists Cable and the New Mutants against Stryfe and his Mutant Liberation Front. Wolverine's filial relationship with Sabretooth is revealed to have been a memory implant, and he then returns to his original costume. After the X-Men return to America, Wolverine returns to the Weapon X base in Canada. There, he learns many of his memories are implants and his personality becomes much darker. He also fights the robot Shiva for the first time.

Wolverine travels back to Japan and reunites with Mariko, though she refuses to rekindle their love until her clan ceases all illegal activities. However, she is soon poisoned by a Yakuza assassin working for Matsuo Tsurayaba, who bears a grudge against Wolverine. Mariko asks Wolverine to end her life quickly, and he reluctantly complies. This changes Wolverine's character significantly, making him even more disciplined and emotionally distant. Wolverine vows to Matsu'o that on each anniversary of Mariko's death he will visit him and slice off a body part until there is nothing of him left.

Shortly after Mariko's death, Wolverine is shocked to learn that Silver Fox is still alive. The two former lovers rejoin their former Team X teammates Sabretooth, Maverick, John Wraith, and Mastodon, with Jubilee and Caroline Hines of the Weapon X Program in tow, in hunting down Aldo Ferro aka "Psi-Borg," a powerful psychic who brainwashed many of them for Weapon X. Ferro kills Hines and then forces Sabretooth to kill Silver Fox before dying himself.

Wolverine suffers a mental breakdown after the deaths of Mariko and Silver Fox. Thinking he is on a prior Team X mission to assassinate someone named "Terry Adams", Wolverine breaks into a Russian space program facility and encounters Epsilon Red, a genetically-engineered cosmonaut with powerful psychic abilities. Red, the "Terry Adams" Wolverine is after, breaks down many of the mental blocks in Wolverine's mind in return for help escaping the facility. With this greater knowledge of which memories are true and which are false, Wolverine is finally able to pick up the pieces of his shattered life.

This happiness is short-lived, for at the end of the Fatal Attractions crossover, the adamantium is ripped from Wolverine's skeleton by Magneto. This act injures Wolverine so severely his mutant healing factor burns itself out in order to keep him alive. In fact, most of Wolverine's other natural abilities including his heightened senses, strength, stamina, agility, and reflexes are weakened as well.

Unwilling to accept his severely weakened state, Wolverine begins training in the Danger Room. In a fit of rage and frustration, his claws, now bone, extrude. Furthermore, each time he extrudes them, they pierce the skin of his hands and cause severe tissue damage and blood loss. Feeling useless, Logan embarks on a series of solo adventures, leaving a note with Jubilee to explain his views on the matter.

During these adventures, he encounters some past enemies, such as the adamantium-skinned Cyber, the Reaver known as Cylla, and the vampiric Bloodscream. Cyber ends up being the first to break Wolverine's newly discovered bone claws. While traveling alone, Wolverine stops for a training session with Generation X and encounters his Weapon X ally Maverick and his X-Men teammate Gambit in Madripoor, before learning Sabretooth is staying at Xavier's. Wolverine returns and defeats Sabretooth in battle while the X-Men are away. The battle ends with Wolverine puncturing Sabretooth's brain, temporarily altering Sabretooth's vicious personality until the injury is fully healed.

Later, tests and studies jointly conducted by Professor Charles Xavier, Beast, and Heather Hudson show the mutation endowing Wolverine with his powers is an ongoing process. Unlike most mutants, he continues to mutate slowly over the course of his life. As a result, Wolverine's powers, particularly his heightened senses and accelerated healing, slowly increase. However, after Wolverine's skeleton was bonded with adamantium by the Weapon X Program, this mutation was slowed, his powers beyond any other point in his life. It is also revealed during this time that Wolverine's mutation process will eventually cause him to degenerate physically into a more primitive, bestial state. Ultimately this would turn him into a being more akin to animal, than man. The studies also reveal, aside from suppressing his ongoing mutation, the presence of adamantium also slowed his mutant healing factor. The adamantium laced to his skeleton is treated as a foreign substance by his healing factor, which constantly devotes a great deal of effort attempting to remove the metal, causing him to heal slower from other injuries. After Magneto ripped the adamantium from Wolverine's skeleton, and his body completely healed from the injuries, the mutation resumed, at a greatly accelerated rate. The studies show accelerated mutation has increased and so did his healing factor.

Some time later, the villain known as Genesis, who is the son of Wolverine's ally Cable, kidnaps Wolverine and attempts to re-bond adamantium to his skeleton in an attempt to transform Wolverine into a Horseman of Apocalypse. The attempt is unsuccessful, and the process pushes Wolverine so far to the edge that he becomes purely feral. Enraged, Wolverine stalks the Dark Riders in their headquarters and eventually kills them all before fleeing. With the help of Elektra and Stick, he is able to regain his humanity and reverse the bulk of his feral regression, though his increased powers remain.

And that's where I am ending this...

Oh, and the next person eliminated from the TLC?


Sorry, buddy.


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