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CSBG Archive

2011 Top Marvel Characters #100-97

After nearly 1,400 ballots were cast, YOU the reader ranked your favorite comic book characters from 1-10. I assigned point totals to each ranking and then tabulated it all into a Top 100 list. We’re now revealing that list throughout Christmas Eve. Here is the master list of all the characters revealed so far. The countdown continues anew…

100. The Kingpin (Wilson Fisk) – 125 points

Originally a Spider-Man villain, Wilson Fisk, the so-called “Kingpin of Crime,” eventually came into even greater conflict with Matt Murdock, the hero known as Daredevil. Fisk and Murdock would become completely linked to each other after Frank Miller’s work with the Kingpin firmly established Kingpin as Daredevil’s main nemesis, and Daredevil as the bane of Fisk’s existence.

99. War Machine (James Rhodes) – 127 points (1 first place vote)

Originally Tony Stark’s personal pilot (and closest friend), James Rhodes was forced to take over as Iron Man for awhile when Tony Stark was in a drunken spiral. Eventually, Tony reclaimed the armor. Rhodes was forced to take the armor again after Stark seemingly died. It turned out to all be a ruse. However, the new armor that Tony had made before he died was always meant for Rhodes. Rhodes took a new name from the armor (which was called the “War Machine” armor) and became a solo hero, even becoming a member of the Avengers’ West Coast branch. He retired for awhile but has been brought back on countless occasions. Recently, Stark improved Rhodes’ armor immeasurably, making him, in effect Iron Man 2.0.

98. Hellcat (Patsy Walker) – 130 points (1 first place vote)

Originally a comedic character like Archie Andrews, Patsy Walker was one of Marvel’s most successful characters for two decades before her titles were all replaced with superhero titles. In a clever move, Steve Englehart introduced a now adult Patsy Walker into the pages of his Beast feature in Amazing Adventures. Patsy married her high school sweetheart, but life was not how she imagined it. After splitting with her husband, she ended up blackmailing the Beast into helping her become a superhero. Taking the now un-used outfit of The Cat (who had been mutated into Tigra, so she no longer needed her superpowered costume), Patsy became Hellcat! She hung out with the Avengers for a time before becoming a longtime member of the Defenders, where she met and married Damion Hellstrom, the Son of Satan. Things did not work out and she ended up dying. She was brought back to life and she has been living the superhero life again ever since.

97. Quasar (Wendell Vaughn) – 132 points (5 first place votes)

Wendell Vaughn was a SHIELD agent working security at the research complex, Project: Pegasus, who was forced to use a pair of Quantum Bands being studied there when bad guys attacked. The bands allowed him to create energy constructs (basically like a Green Lantern ring). He was then recruited as the Protector of the Universe, and he became one of the most prominent cosmic characters in the Marvel Universe (while also a member of the Avengers). Eventually, he died in battle against Annihilus, but was able to survive as a being of energy until he eventually regained his human form. Currently, he battles alongside some of the most powerful beings in the universe in the galactic defense squad the Annihilators.

Come back tomorrow for DC’s #100-97!


surprised to see both war machine and king pin rank at the very end of the list thought both would be in the top

“In his All New and Final Costume”. LOL

Wow, I love Marvel (it was my favorite when I was a kid, so I can’t help it), but how much does it say about how ridiculous it has become that in the first four entries we’ve already had TWO characters who have come back from the dead? And one of the other entries mentioned a character who had a death hoax. Jesus, Marvel.

Dang, I wish I’d saved my list somewhere. Now I REALLY don’t remember what I voted for, I guess that’s the advantage of email voting, rather than hidden comments–at least those are somewhere in my outbox.

I keep all the votes, so if people really need to know who they voted for, I have ‘em.

I’m definitely curious, but I’d hate to put you to the trouble.

All I know is if the freaking Kingpin is #100, I’m sure most of my picks (whoever they were) still didn’t make it. It doesn’t give me much hope for American Eagle or the Ameridroid, anyway.

The Crazed Spruce

December 2, 2011 at 3:09 pm

It’s awesome that you’re revealing the rest of the top character lists, Brian. Can’t wait to see how the rest of it turns out.

Don’t remember off-hand, but I’m pretty sure that Rhodey landed in the low teens on my list (I’m thinking around 13), Kingpin and Quasar just missed the cut, and as great a concept as it was to bring her back as a wannabe superhero, Patsy Walker wasn’t even a blip on my radar.

i just clicked on the Xmas advent calendar & it brought me here!

The Crazed Spruce

December 2, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Yeah, I double-checked. Jim Rhodes was definitely #13 on my list.

Did I vote? If I did, that Hellcat #1 was probably me. :)

@TJCoolguy: I assume you’re talking about Hellcat and Quasar (since dying and coming back is mentioned in their descriptions) but Rhodey also died and came back during Secret Wars – Dr. Doom briefly becomes omnipotent and kills all the heroes, then gets tricked into bringing them back to life. And Daredevil died (along with literally half the living creatures in the Marvel Universe) and came back during the Infinity Gauntlet.

But just looking at characters who’ve died for significant periods of time then came back (i.e., Marvel “killed them off for real” then backtracked a while later) it makes sense that those characters are going to cluster on the back and front ends of the list. At the back end, you’ll have the characters who were unpopular enough to be considered expendable and/or whose popularity waned while they were dead, but who were just popular or likeable or interesting enough that someone wanted to use them again later; at the front end, you have the people whose deaths are “shocking events” that we all knew would be reversed the moment they happened, like Captain America. The ones who died long ago and stayed dead will be few and far between on the list at all.

But it’s not like DCs any better on that count. It was an actual plot point during Blackest Night that a large chunk of DC’s heroes have died and come back. Heck, during the JLA’s Obsidian Age plotline, the League actually pulls off a plan that STARTS with “first we get ourselves killed…”

Actually, just talking out my backside without any research to back it up, I’d say DCs a little worse. Pretty much all of DCs A-Listers have been killed off for extended periods of time and later brought back, but while Marvel’s also killed and revived all of their A-Listers, they tend to get revived right away as part of the same plotline. In other words, Marvel does a “Spider-Man dies and comes back stronger” plotline, where DC does a “Super man dies” plotline and a “Superman comes back” plotline, with months of “life without Superman” stories in between. Captain America and Thor are the only Marvel A-Lister I can think of who were “really dead, we mean it!” for a stretch of time long enough for new plotlines to take place in their absence.

Yeah, ZZZ, I totally agree. I actually originally was going to write “how ridiculous COMICS have become”, but I edited it to just Marvel since that’s what the article was about. Thanks for pointing out that there were more death/rebirths involving these characters besides those mentioned specifically in the article.

I guess one of my personal pet peeves in comics is “Comic Book Death”. I think it cheapens the storytelling in a genre that I love, especially now that the big two have both brought back their “unresurrectable character” (Marvel: Bucky, DC: Jason Todd).

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