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Top Five Characters Who Debuted in Tales of Suspense!

Top Five Month (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far) continues with a look at the top characters to have debuted in the pages of Tales of Suspense, including a brutal choice at #5 (if I had not sworn off ever using ties at #5, I would have gone with a tie).




Goom was introduced in a weird story, as a scientist’s call into outer space brings Goom to Earth where he causes a big stink. The scientist, though, is sure that any civilization that could hear his message HAD to be a good civilization (pretty big leap, no?), so he figures Goom must be a criminal. So he sends out a SECOND signal – he gets arrested for betraying Earth to an outright invasion, but it turns out he is completely correct.


Googam is awesome – he’s not the brightest monster in the world. He eventually became a member of Fin Fang Four, which is spectacular!!!


Elektro is one of the coolest members of Fin Fang Four

It, the Living Colossus

This character has been used an inordinate amount of times for such an obscure character. Heck, he just showed up a couple of months ago in some title (was it Deadpool Team-Up? What was it?).


He debuted in the previous issue, but #94 is his first cover appearance.

Edwin Jarvis

Not a cover appearance, but Jarvis does appear in this issue!! And if this list weren’t so packed, he’d be a definite top five contender.

Sharon Carter and Batroc, The Leaper

Two of the toughest omissions on the list. They debuted together in Tales of Suspense #75 (I show the cover of the next issue because they weren’t on the cover of 75).

Sharon Carter is an AWEsome character. Even better than Batroc. Ed Brubaker has done wonders with her, as did Mark Waid. But I dunno, I think that…

5. Pepper Potts (plus Happy Hogan)

probably ekes out Carter, especially following the Iron Man movies. It’s a really close call, though. They’re both great.

4. Mandarin

Iron Man’s #1 enemy definitely deserves a spot on the list.

3. Black Widow

Heck, a few more years and more cool Black Widow issues and maybe she can beat out…

2. Hawkeye

But probably not, as Hawkeye is awesome. Just ask Joe Rice. He will tell you how great Hawkeye is!

1. The Unicorn

This Communist villain was a wonderful addition to Iron Man’s Rogues Gallery.

Oh yeah, wait, I forgot…

1. Iron Man

Yeah, he deserves to be #1.

That’s the list! Are you a Pepper pusher or a Sharon supporter? Let me know!


I dunno, I have an embarrassing fondness for Fu Manchu clones, but the Mandarin bumping Batroc ze Leaper? Mais non!!

But the Mandarin hath ten rings! Ten rings I say he hath! (Boy, Stan sure loved to use “hath.”)

When did Black Widow’s hair go from black to red? Wasn’t it red by the time she appeared in Daredevil?

Wait a second, the Unicorn gets placed higher than Hawkeye!?! Uhm….

Where’s Foghorn Leghorn when you need him?

“It’s a joke, son. I’m too fast for yuh.”

But wait one ding-dong second! Mandarin over Batroc I have problems with, obviously, but Pepper Potts over MODOK? Nary a mention of MODOK? You realize of course this means war.

Mark – it was a joke, I do believe. C’mon now…

Also, “Pepper Pusher”? I think Tony invented that move for the Updated Kama Sutra! But anyway, I do think she deserves a slightly-higher rating than Sharon, even though Ms. Carter’s probably my favorite supporting female character, if only because of her two huge movie appearances and the fact her character is a superheroine in her own right at the moment.

I also love the hype plastered all-over those covers, especially Hawkeye’s. WE LOVE THIS GUY! YOU LOVE THIS GUY! LOOK AT THE PICTURES! HE’S EVERYWHERE! LLLLLOOOOOOVVVVVEEEE UUUUUSSSSS!!!!

buttler’s right, ya know…

MODOK, this day in age, should have/could have been exchanged for Mandarin; many purists would cry foul perhaps but the character is kind of enjoying a surge of recognition lately.

It’s a Malicious Omission Designed Only for Kontempt.

It’s because it’s a conspicuously Iron Man-centric list. Brian hates Captain America, and by extension hates America.

Apparently the Civil War still isn’t over. Razzin’ frazzin’ pro-reg types.

And pardon the prolific posting, but stuff keeps occurring to me. What about Jarvis?

Rassafrassa Hawkeye. I hate “archer characters.” Such a dumb “archetype.” But I have to say, Bendis won me over. I like his Hawkeye.

Aw c’mon, Joe. Every super-team needs an archer. Also a druid, a thief and a bard.

Even before I clicked on this column, the number one choice seemed so obvious, so yes, I was shocked to see the Unicorn. (But I realised it wasa joke very quickly.) But it seems to me if you wanted a joke winner on this list, Doctor Strange would’ve been a much better choice (it was a different guy with the same name– as far as I know he only appeared the one time).

The first time I ever saw Batroc, he was fighting Hawkeye. So it’s cool to see them both on the list.

I’ve never heard of Fin Fang Four, but it sounds like a cool idea.

The top three were a no-brainer (who doesn’t love Unicorn) but I kind of wish Batroc kicked Pepper out of the no. 5 slot.

Anyone that can use a complex bow-and-arrow weapon of any kind with expert proficiency is already, in my opinion, of higher stength and ability than a normal person, let alone that weapon with trick arrows capable of whatever the writer’s imagination can think-up.

Take a bow-and-arrow of the most basic level, and try using it without training. It’s really, really, REALLY hard. Now imagine shooting those arrows in repetition, accurately, while jumping, rolling, and cracking wise.

Hawkeye is THE MAN, he’s always been THE MAN, and has been since long before BMB made him another Luke Cage-type project. The only part of him that’s an “archetype” is that he shoots arrows; the character’s always been worthy, for real and fo’ shizzle…whichever you prefer.

What about Jarvis?

Oh yeah, Jarvis – damn, he needs to be mentioned (thanks for the reminder!), but he just makes that 5th spot even CRAZIER, as I don’t think he beats Pepper, either.

I remember thinking how odd it was when I found out that Jarvis’ first appearance was not in Avengers, but a Tales of Suspense issue. And then I read the first three volumes of Essential Avengers, and was even more surprised that Jarvis hardly appeared in the book at all for the first three or four years. And he didn’t even become a major character until the introduction of Ultron in Avengers #54, when poor Jarvis was brainwashed into betraying the Avengers and becoming the Crimson Cowl. I didn’t start reading comic books until the mid-1980s, and so many flashbacks in Avengers books depicted Jarvis as the key figure who had kept the team up & running behind the scenes from Day One, so I automatically assumed he was in those old issues. Once I finally was able to read the Essentials collections, it was quite a surprise to find out he was hardly around, and that part of his history with the team was something of a retcon.

Wow, you really, really like Pepper Potts. I don’t really see it, as she’s always seemed to me like the Jane Foster or Betty Brant of Iron Man supporting characters in terms of disappearing for long stretches of time, but I guess she’s popped into the spotlight a little more recently. I look forward to your Top Five Pepper Potts stories!

Yeah, gotta go with both MODOK and Jarvis over Mandarin and Pepper.

And not to suggest that i did not get the Unicorn joke, but I should just add that I’ve read that particular issue in the last few years, and I remember neither the ‘never-to-be forgotten’ battle, nor the new insights into IM’s character!

Really shocked that Hawkeye is ahead of Black Widow.

Sharon Carter is a major part of Brubaker’s run. Pepper Potts? Was that movie such a huge deal for her?

I haven’t seen the second movie yet, but Pepper wasn’t really a big part of the first. She did, however, get to do cool stuff in a recent arc in the Iron Man arc, which was nice to see. It was the first time I’d seen her get any real props, but most of my Iron Man reading was in the ’70s and ’80s when she wasn’t around much.

In the Iron Man comic, I mean, not the Iron Man arc.

MODOK for Number One!

I’d put Jarvis up at number four, personally. WHO’S WITH ME?!

Wow, Black Widow sure has come a long way, huh? It’s almost an entirely different character now: semi-villainous Brunette Femme Fatale wearing fur -> Heroic Red Haired Action Girl in catsuit.) And let’s not mention the whole “Anastasia” angle they tried to give her…

That was a very effective surprise ending! It was a great example of the “an obvious absurdity played straight” gag :D

Good idea for a list. As the number of honourable mentions shows, it could’ve easily gone to “top ten”. Good selections, too.

The Unicorn story that leaps to my mind as one of the best was the Michelinie/Layton one where he walks into the ocean. Unless my memory is tricking me, he stayed dead after that, too.

I miss Happy Hogan. (“What do you mean? I AM smiling”) The Knaufs gave him some of his best scenes in years before killing him, though, so I can’t be too mad at them.

Interesting the Fin Fang Four gets attention, as one of the best Mandarin stories ever told was the Dragon Seed Saga, featuring Fin Fang Foom :)

I much preferred Pepper pre-Rescue. As mentioned in the Batman/’Tec Top 5 list, there’s a tendency to eventually give pretty much all supporting characters powers. I read a Michelinie inteview where he mentions the key idea of creating Cassie Lang was for a hero to have a perfectly normal daughter to look after. Now SHE has powers too!

Sharon over Pepper, absolutely.

I’m with Scott: Jarvis should at least be in the top 5, not just “honorably mentioned.” Meanwhile, Pepper Potts placing higher than Batroc and MODOK as well? What’s that all about?

Matt Fraction wrote a hell of a Pepper in The Order. That, for me, justifies the placing.

You won’t believe this but just as I was clicking on the link, I thought “What would be a good joke No.1, oh yeah someone like the Unicorn”. Little did I know……

But wait, if you had to choose between Pepper Potts and Sharon Carter based only on their names wouldn’t you choose Pepper? She sounds more comick-y and…. spicy. Sharon Carter sounds like my aunt.

I’ve never read an Iron Man comic in my life so I only know Pepper from the movies and I also haven’t read a Captain America comic in my life, but there’s no movie yet! so I have no clue on who Sharon Carter is, but she sounds like a blonde for some reason. I’m saying this to acknowledge the fact that I don’t have anything worthwhile to add to the discussion, having commented only to share a lame joke.


I only knew It, The Living Colossus from the Marvel Superheroes RPG that I ran in middle school. He was in a handbook and I used him all the time, mostly because I liked to deeply intone “IT…the Living…COLOSSUS!!!”

sharon vs pepper would make a great comic!

I’m gonna throw some love on the Batroc pile.

All hail Batroc.

Goom looks a lot like the third girl I ever managed to kiss, only a little cuter. Ah, memories.

“Aw c’mon, Joe. Every super-team needs an archer. Also a druid, a thief and a bard.”

Well played.

Anyone else see 85% Thanos in that Batroc cover?

Redhead > blond

Pepper Potts > Sharon Carter

Plus, Pepper’s got cool comic book alliteration in her name. Sharon Carter could be anyone, but Pepper Potts, you know that’s a comic book character!

See, when I hear “Pepper Potts,” all I think is Daleks.

Leroy Harts comments on the bow and arrow user reminds me of the archer(Yeoman) from the wild card series, and if you ever get a chance to read that series, the baddest, most competent person in the entire series was Yeoman.

No way is Pepper over Sharon, sorry but Sharon is a much cooler character, an extremely competent spy from pretty much her creation, and has ran shield in her time, vs pepper who is basically a secretary and not much else until about two years ago. Sharon has a much more detailed history.

Of course the lack of respect for Modok and Batroc was also somewhat sad(and there is no way Jarvis isn’t top five—-clearly over Pepper and it’s not even close there, I just can’t see how Pepper manages to surpass Jarvis, Modok, Batroc, Sharon, and even It the living colossus, if you base it entirely on the history of Marvel comics, yes she wins if it’s based on the last two years or so, but a list like this shouldn’t be based solely upon recent events)

it, the living collosus was in deadpool team-up #895

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