Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
Now it’s Marvel’s turn!
30. Storm – 209 points (3 first place votes)
Ororo Munroe (created by Dave Cockrum and Len Wein), the mutant named Storm, was one of the new X-Men to join the team in Giant-Size X-Men #1.
She stayed with the team for many years, taking over as the group’s leader upon Cyclops’ departure following the Dark Phoenix Saga.
Along with her ability to control the weather, Storm is an accomplished pickpocket, from her youth as an orphan in Africa, forced to survive as a thief.
Storm went through many different phases as an X-Man, including losing her powers for a time, but still staying with the team.
More recently, Storm married her childhood sweetheart, Black Panther, thereby becoming Queen of the African kingdom of Wakanda.
Together with her husband, Storm has temporarily joined the Fantastic Four in place of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman.
Here is why Wayne Vermeire had her #1 on his list…
Storm was always my favorite leader of the X-Men. Whether she was in her “all life is precious” phase or her mohawk kick-ass and take names phase, she was the one you can trust to lead with a sound mind, a strong hand, and a more than kind heart. She always has a way of overcoming tough situations, like being powerless or regressed in age or bitten by Dracula (I love that story). I hope, with Black Panter at her side, she will have a bigger role to play in the MU.
29. Nick Fury – 221 points (2 first place votes)
Nick Fury, as created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, was the head of the Howling Commandos, a crack fighting team during World War II.
After the war, kept young by a special formula, Fury was put in charge of the spy organization, SHIELD, where he has basically stayed with until this day, although currently, he is on the outs from both SHIELD and most of the superhero community for his actions awhile back, where he recruited some superheroes for a secret mission, then wiped their minds of the events.
But you can’t keep Nick Fury out of SHIELD for long!!
Everyone’s pal, A. David Lewis gives his reason for giving Nick Fury top marks…
He’s a soldier.
He’s a loner.
He’s a leader.
He’s a spy.
He’s a lover /and /a fighter.
He can stand-off against world dictators, or he can hang with superheroes. He’s alternately the most despised, manipulative man on the planet or a good-old, New York-born last hope of humanity.
In short, Nick Fury’s a survivor. In fact, that’s his only “superpower:” To keep on living (thanks, in no small part, to the Infinity Formula). From his time leading the WWII Howling Commandos to battling HYDRA as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s leader, Nick Fury has been a hero for all seasons. Who else can believably be James Bond one moment, Flash Gordon the next; first Eliot Ness, soon followed by General Patton? Nick’s both the tough-talkin’, cigar-chompin’ Everyman and, when the chips are down, the Ultimate Man.
And he’s got shades of gray. He’s forced to play ball with the world’s governments, he has to do the dirty work, and, as /Secret War/ helped to show, he sometimes has to blur the line on morality. Captain America may represent an idealized U.S., but Fury embodies a complex, conflicting, globalized America. Cap may be dead, but it was Nick’s going underground that unleashed the /Civil War/, /World War Hulk/, and whatever is left to come. Nick’s the linchpin, the coolest, truest figure standing between the forces of order and chaos.
28. Sub-Mariner (Namor McKenzie) – 222 points (2 first place votes)
Namor, the Sub-Mariner, was created by Bill Everett, and sold to Marvel (nee Timely) Comics, soon becoming one of their “Big Three,” along with Captain America and the Human Torch.
Namor was from the lost city of Atlantis, son of a human and an Atlantean, and was one of the comic world’s first anti-hero, as he was not exactly definitely on “our” side, although that changed with World War II, where Namor supporting the Allies against the Axis.
After the war, Namor eventually pretty much vanished, only to return in the pages of the Fantastic Four, where he decided to declare war on humans (although, at the same time, he did like one human – Sue Storm, the Invisible Girl).
Over the years, Namor has swung from villain to hero to villain to hero to villain to hero (even joining the Avengers!) that you really have to keep a scorecard. John Byrne came up with a cool solution to the problem, arguing that Namor’s half-human/half-Atlantean chemistry often threw Namor off if he had not gotten enough water (or, alternatively, enough air), which resulted in violent mood swings.
Namor sided against the United States in the recent Civil War, revealing that he had planted a number of sleeper cells on American soil. The repercussions from this act are still left to be revealed.
Here is why Kaylon Cochran had him tops on his list:
Whenever Namor he shows up, you know things are about to get interesting. He’s one of the most multi-faceted characters marvel has in their library. I know a lot of people think he’s just the angry guy who shouts “Surface Dwellers!!!” all the time, and that’s certainly a a part of his personality, but this guy just doesn’t have time to screw around. He’s royalty, so he demands respect, and he is incredibly (i.e. savagely) honest. I love characters that will say what everyone else is thinking, or perhaps what they should be thinking. He’s the guy in the room who will you tell you, “That’s stupid, here’s why, and you’re stupid for even thinking that….. you ass. Also I slept with your wife.”
The Sub-Marnier is the first anti-hero, and he’ll do whatever it takes to defend his kingdom, but he is ultimately altruistic and loyal. He fought the Nazis with Captain America and Human Torch, for crying out loud. On a slightly geekier note, Namor is one tough son of a bitch. He’s knocked the Hulk out, and not many characters in the marvel universe have come close.
Namor is a monarch, an orphan, a WW2 Vet, an Invader, an Avenger, a Defender, a star crossed lover, a divorcee and widower, a ceo, a mutant, an 80+ year old that looks 30, a swordsman, an environmentalist, a gigantic pain in the ass, and one of the most important, yet often overlooked comic book characters of all time. Also he’s got crazy ass little wings on his ankles , that’s too weird not to love.
27. Nova – 222 points (6 first place votes)
Richard Rider was created by Marv Wolfman and John Buscema to basically be the Spider-Man of the 70s. Like Peter, Richard was a sort of everyman, only Richard’s power came from the Nova Corps, where he was chosen (at random) to be Earth’s representative in a large intergalactic police force, much like the Green Lantern Corps.
Nova fought the good fight for a few years, until the Corps was disbanded. Years later, Richard’s powers were awakened by Night Thrasher, who recruited Richard to join the New Warriors, which is where he served for many years.
More recently, Nova rejoined with a newly reformed Nova Corps, just in time for the rest of the Nova Corps to be murdered during an attack by the forces of Annihilus. Richard was forced to absorb the “World Mind,” which was the basis for the Nova Corps’ power. He is now the most powerful member of the Nova Corps.
Nova used this power to lead the forces of good against Annihilus, and is now currently a one-man Nova Corps.
Here is why Lou Romano had Nova #1…
Nova was how I got into comics. From the moment I grabbed issue #1 I was hooked. The costume design caught my eye at first and is what lead me to pick up the issue. Here was a character who was chosen by complete random to harness this power. Similar to Green Lantern – I know – but then their were the differences.
Rich Rider loved being a hero. It was the only thing he felt he was good at even though he was constantly outmatched and defeated numerous times but never gave up. After his inital series with battles against Black Condor, Diamondhead and the Sphinx, he went off to war for the planet that gave him his power against the Skrulls.
At the end of the war, returned to Earth depowered (or so he thought), growing older but really not making something of himself. Bitter and angry for having been able to touch the stars and now having that denied him.
When he returned to the Marvel Universe in the New Warriors, his progression seemed natural. No longer the wide eyed teenager. He had an edge. A bitter, cynical edge but also one garnerd his time in war.
Unlike so many characters in the Marvel Universe – when there is a gap in time on their continuity – they seem to ‘reset’ themselves when relaunched in order to bring them up to date. Nova seemed to grow naturally in response to his events and his growth and development seem more coherent that most 2nd level characters.
So as the New Warriors progressed – so did the character. And in a lot of ways, he could be related too. We all have that one aspect of our life where we can find some success usually at the cost of other aspects of our life. The anger, bitterness and frustration in trying to suceed and failing we have all felt and yes, even at times, acted like a jerk and even lashing out at those we care about.
Even now, in his current series – the progression continues and seems almost natural. With the increase of power. Further scars of war and a tendancy to be more brutal as a result of it.
Sometimes a favorite character is not because of a costume or powers or super villians. Sometimes it’s based on a character that we can relate to, sympathize with and maybe even understand what they are feeling that draws us to them. The costume captured my eye, the character and it’s growth as an individual inspired the rest.
26. Ultimate Spider-Man – 261 points (12 first place votes)
Ultimate Spider-Man is basically just like the Peter Parker and Spider-Man that we all know and dig, except that he has been in high school for over one hundred issues!
Ultimate Spider-Man is Brian Michael Bendis re-writing Spider-Man’s history without all the continuity baggage that comes with the 40 years of Spider-Man continuity.
Characters are revamped, new relationships are formed, but basically, it is the same Spider-Man concept as Steve Ditko and Stan Lee came up with many decades earlier.
Here is Dave on why he had Ultimate Spider-Man numero uno…
Okay, just so you know, I’ve never seen an episode of Dawson’s Creek, Everwood, One Tree Hill, or the O.C. Sorry, I’m not a real big fan of the whole current teen coming-of-age genre. For me, The Breakfast Club, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Porky’s probably covered all that. I do watch Smallville, though. What does that have to do with why I like Ultimate Spider-Man?
I’ve read most of the classic Spider-man stories in reprint collections. The first were in three pocket paperbacks collecting the first issues of The Amazing Spider-Man. I’ve seen a lot of the covers to classic Spider-Man issues – like the first appearance of The Punisher – but never really owned them. The first Spider-Man comic I bought was part of a three-pack at the A & P that had Spider-Man fighting the Tarantula, and being thrown off the bridge in chains. I like Ultimate Spider-Man, because it starts all over fresh from the beginning. Peter Parker hasn’t graduated from high school, hasn’t finished college, and isn’t a married teacher (Is the divorce official now?).
The cool thing about Spider-Man is that when Peter Parker puts on his costume, he dumps all of the baggage he carries around and anything can happen, and usually does. And I can pretty much do the same thing. I can forget about my homework, my chores, my crappy day at work, and everything else, and pretty much wisecrack my way through kicking the Green Goblin’s or Doc Ock’s @$$.
And life is good.
That’s it for today! More tomorrow!
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