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CSBG Archive

2011 Top Marvel Characters #45-41

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 50 list. We’re now revealing that list throughout September. Here is the master list of all the characters revealed so far. The countdown continues…

I’ll do write-ups later, but for now, here are the results!

45. Loki– 423 points (6 first place votes)

Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby (well, the comic book version of Loki, at least. I think you get the picture), Loki has been involved in Thor comics since practically the first appearance of Thor! It is a great twist on the standard idea of brains versus brawn (similar to Superman and Lex Luthor), where the muscle bound Thor has to always find a way to stop the various schemes of his trickster half-brother.

Loki’s schemes often go awry, including when he got a bunch of heroes to fight the Hulk, only to see them join together as a group of heroes known as the Avengers.

Fairly recently, Loki joined forces with Norman Osborn, Doctor Doom and the Hood as part of an evil cabal designed to rule the world. As part of Loki’s plans, he helped convince Norman Osborn to invade Asgard. Asgard was destroyed in the battle and Loki sacrificed himself to help his fellow Asgardians (which, in and of itself, was a plot, as he knew he would be reborn).

He has returned in the form a young boy. This new version of Loki has all of the wiles of the adult evil version of Loki, but he does not seem to be working from the same level of evil. Instead, writer Kieron Gillen has given us a character who seems to be moved more by familial bonds to Thor than anything else, using his schemes seemingly for good so far. Loki is awesome in Journey into Mystery.

44. Thanos – 424 points (3 first place votes)

Jim Starlin created Thanos as basically DC’s answer to Jack Kirby’s Darkseid, and he lived up to the billing, as Starlin used the villainous alien creature in a number of great cosmic stories.

Thanos was obsessed with Death (who was later interested in him enough to come to him, personified as a woman), so he would do anything to please her, so he devoted his life to, well, death.

He clashed many times with both Captain Marvel and Adam Warlock, with his battles with the latter leading to Thanos’ demise.

When you’re friendly with Death, death is not permanent, and Thanos was soon loose, and this time looking for the Infinity Gauntlet, which he used to wipe out HALF the universe!

Ultimately, though, Thanos’ plans were thwarted. Since then, Thanos has been a bit less willing to do all the murder stuff – he got a lot more laid back. This was just in time for Drax the Destroyer, a creature designed for the sole purpose of killing Thanos, to do the deed.

Thanos eventually returned from the dead (as is his wont) which naturally enraged him (as he was quite happy to stay with Death). The Guardians of the Galaxy enlisted his help in fighting an other-dimensional threat from an alternate universe known as the “Cancerverse,” where nothing could die. Only Thanos, the personification of death, could stop them. He succeeded in destroying all the inhabitants of the Cancerverse (and causing the universe itself to implode), but discovered that Death did not want him back. Outraged, he vowed to destroy the universe. Nova and Star-Lord sacrificed themselves to trap Thanos within the Cancerverse as it ceased to exist.

43. Human Torch (Johnny Storm) – 426 points (6 first place votes)

Johnny Storm, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, liked to hang around his big sister. He was even willing to follow her on an unauthorized space mission with her boyfriend.

The end result was that Johnny gained the power to turn his body into flames. He used said power to make himself fly, as well as shoot flames.

Calling himself the Human Torch, Johnny joined the newly formed Fantastic Four, where he has served with ever since, becoming probably THE most consistent member of the entire team, never really taking any substantial leaves of absences.

Story continues below

That is until recently, when Johnny seemingly sacrificed himself to protect his nephew, his best friend, Ben Grimm, and a group of young children from an invasion from the Negative Zone.

42. Colossus – 428 points (6 first place votes)

Piotr Rasputin was a farmer on his family’s farm in Russia when Professor Charles Xavier recruited him to join the X-Men (like most of the other new X-Men, he was created by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum).

Known as Colossus for his ability to grow in size and strength (and turn into metal), Rasputin became a longtime, and valued, member of the X-Men. He entered into a relationship with his teammate, Kitty Pryde, which Piotr sorta screwed up by falling for an alien lady during Secret Wars.

Piotr is a sensitive, artist-type, which is a cool irony with his powers, which are basically aggressive ones. After serving with the X-Men for many years, Colossus, distraught that his sister, Illyana Rasputin, was killed by a mutant virus, Colossus actually left the X-Men to join Magneto!

After awhile, Colossus realized that that was silly, and ended up joining up with Excalibur, and when that team disbanded, he re-joined the X-Men, staying with them until he seemingly perished in an attempt (a successful one, at that) to cure the virus that killed his sister.

Recently, he has returned to life, and once again began a relationship with Kitty Pryde.

More recently, Colossus has taken on the role of the Juggernaut when Cain Marko became one of the Serpent’s hammer-wielding Worthy.

41. Iceman – 432 points (6 first place votes)

Bobby Drake was the youngest of the original X-Men, and was the goofball of the group. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Bobby had the ability to freeze the moisture in the air around him and turn himself to ice (although at first, he looked mostly like a snowman).

Bobby was a valuable member of the X-Men for years. Once the original team disbanded, Bobby enrolled in college in California, where he became a founding member of the superhero team, The Champions, alongside his friend and fellow original X-Man, Warren Worthington (The Angel).

After the Champions disbanded, Bobby returned to school and earned a degree in accounting. However, another of his former X-Men teammates, Hank McCoy (the Beast) roped Bobby and Warren into joining yet ANOTHER superhero group, the Defenders.

After THAT team disbanded, Bobby began his career as an accountant. However, that was short-lived, as he was roped into yet another reunion, this time in X-Factor, which was made up of the original members of the X-Men.

Bobby stayed with the team for awhile, until the members of X-Factor merged with the X-Men to form one BIG X-Men team.

Bobby served on the X-Men on and off for a number of years, but a few years ago, he devoted himself more fully to the X-Men, and has been on the team for probably the longest continuous tenure since his run on the original X-Men.

Now a little older, Bobby is a veteran member of the team, and has begun to use his powers in more and more creative ways.

Come back tomorrow for DC’s #41-40!!


Ok, practically no point difference within this group. But Loki and Thanos above Sue? Have they joined X-Men while I wasn’t looking or what?


September 5, 2011 at 4:26 am

I would love to hear how Loki is someone’s favourite character out the entire Marvel universe.
Seriously – I’ve just not seen any appearances that even come close to making him a fave.
(Same with Iceman, really. Is it ironic?)

In Loki’s case I think the current Journey Into Mystery series is the reason. It’s very good and Gillen writes a very entertaining Loki.

The Crazed Spruce

September 5, 2011 at 5:01 am

Still haven’t cracked my Marvel Top 10, but I had Johnny Storm at #19 overall. (What can I say? I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for a good smartass.)

While I appreciate both Loki and Thanos as fine characters in their own right, neither of them made my list. Same goes for Colossus and Iceman, really. (In fact, only two X-Men made my top 25, and neither of them was in my Top 10.)

Loki has a fan base???

Is Loki throwing up the loser sign? I figured he woulda graduated Asgard High by now…

Loki? Reallly???

September 5, 2011 at 7:40 am

Wow journey into mystery must be flat out amazing….never wouldve dreamed LOKI would be in here.

Be interesting to see how much higher than Thanos Darksied ends up.

I would imaging that a great deal of Loki’s popularity right now is because of the movie. (And incidentally, Tom Hiddleston is fantastic as Loki; really nailed it.) I would bet that Thor’s ranking will be higher than previous polls as well. Likewise, I would expect both Captain America and the Red Skull to rank higher than previously.

I’m disappointed in all of you Loki doubters. Clearly, you’ve not read much THOR. Go read Simonson’s run. Read the end of Jurgens’ run. Read JMS’ run. Read Rodi’s LOKI miniseries. Gillen’s recent work with him is following in their footsteps. Loki is sly, always scheming. He is conflicted, torn between his love and hate for Thor/Odin/Asgard. He revels in mischief and is one of the few characters who consistently has fun. Who else enjoys the MU as much as Loki? He’s by far the most interesting character in THOR, including the God of Thunder himself.

Wow, villains ranked above members of the FF. And two of my all-time favorite X-Men (Iceman and Colossus) way out of the top 25.

I guess if you don’t have a healing factor or carry guns, or if you don’t have ill-defined powers and/or hail from an alternate future, you must not be that interesting.

Loki is Boss


in that order

Loki is one of the best and most complex characters in comics. You kids should read Simonson’s Thor run, JMS’s run, the current Journey Into Mystery and the various Loki miniseries throughout recent years.

In my opinion both Loki and Thanos are top ten material. Grey area characters like those (along with Doom and Magneto) are incredible fun to read.

As overused as he is, I’ve always really loved Thanos. None of these were in my Top 10, but out of them the other one i like best would have to be, yes, Loki. He’s had some great, great stories over the years, but I could see how someone who knew him only from, say, Bendis-driven crossovers would think he’s just some punk. Loki’s never quite approached my personal Top 10, but I find him approximately 30 times as interesting as Norman Osborn (and maybe 500 times as interesting as any other Hobgobin/Green Gobin type). Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

The others I like fine too, but it wouldn’t have occurred to me to vote for them. Johnny’s my least favorite classic FF member, and Bobby & Piotr are perfectly nice always-in-the-background types, solid minor members of whatever team they’re on. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

interesting choices. once again surprise most of the ff is low on the list. thought would be higher in the top tiers. plus thanos only ranks in the forties would have had him way up like top ten.

I thought Johnny would get a boost from his death, like Nightcrawler

lol whoops

Loki is awesome and definitely deserves a spot. Not just for the current awesomeness of Gillen’s run, but Simonson’s run, and JMS’ devilish woman period. I think he’s one of those great shades of grey characters, you never really know which side he’s on.

I kinda expected Johnny Storm to be higher due to his death, like Nightcrawler, but he did beat his sister! I like Johnny well enough, especially in Waid/Wieringo’s run and whenever Dan Slott gets a hold of him. He can be immature and stupid at times, but he really does love his family and had a pretty badass sacrifice(even though all signs point to his return >_>). Third favorite member of the FF.

I really like Colossus, even though I think writers have been struggling with his character ever since the Muir Island Saga. Claremont wrote him over a decade, giving him all kinds of romances, adventures, and character development, then finally gave him a happy ending in UXM #259. The editors brought him back because they were so focused on bringing back the “classic X-men” so they can put them on lunchboxes and s***, and since then I think he’s kinda just been there, until he eventually died. He came back and was fun to read during Astonishing X-men(even though it regressed Kitty Pryde back about two decades!), but after that he kinda just…stood around again, maybe a Fastball Special here or there. Colossunaut looks STUPID, but at least they’re doing something with his character again. Regardless of his pointlessness in most X-men stories, I think Colossus is a great character, an awesome visual, and has had a lot of wonderful moments, like that time he came back from a coma for 25 issues and make his heroic return in style


Loki is the first person that was on either of my lists. I figured it would be close for him and am happy to see he made it.

I really enjoyed his interactions with Thor (& less frequently, Odin) under pens such as Stan Lee and Walt Simonson. Not to mention his own mini.

The Loki hate is odd to me. I’m not his biggest fan but I find him much more interesting than a lot of the other villains because he’s so unpredictable. The majority of his choices are made based on was amuses him most. I have to agree with the other Loki supporters and say check out Simonson’s run if your a doubter. Everything about that run is awesome especially Loki.

Loki’s much better when he’s depicted as a trickster, as a God of Mischief rather than the “God of Evil” he’s cast as sometimes. The current Fraction/Gillen incarnation shows that really well. I’m surprised to see him on this list too, but then I’m also surprised to see that Journey Into Mystery has maintained its place on my really rather selective pull list, with no sign of dropping out anytime soon.

I gotta go along with the Loki love. If you haven’t been reading Journey Into Mystery, you’ve been missing out on one of Marvel’s better books – and certainly the best ASGARDIAN title they’re publishing these days. Thor is a sullen brick over in his own title, while li’l Loki is shamelessly, ruthlessly and hilariously scamming everyone – on a quest to PROTECT Thor.

I’m with Zolton and Trey – characters like Doom, Magneto and Loki, who have evolved from their Stan Lee days of bad-guy for bad-guy’s-sake are incredibly fun to read.

And yeah, Loki standing atop Surtur and giving the “Loser!” sign is frickin’ hilarious.

Ok I can finally tick off one from my list on the Marvel Side….Iceman…. So much untapped potential but still a X-Men character who actually loved his powers and using them….

Okay: Thanos is the first on my Marvel list to appear.

did they just google the name to find pictures for each character, lol @ Iceman

I guess I have to keep my eyes open for that Journey into Mystery…my experience of Loki was from Simonson’s Thor and occasional appearances elsewhere and while not without interest, he didn’t really grab my attention above the generic nasty schemer guy role. And I hadn’t really heard that much buzz about him anyway…ok, more books to check out.

I have to say I am amazed at Loki and Human Torch being anywhere on this list. They would both make my bottom 10 marvel characters. Ugh. oh well guess that’s why they make different characters :)

Simonson had a great moment for Loki: Thor, Odin, and Loki facing down Surtur. They each have their own battle cry:

Thor: For Odin!
Odin! For Asgard!
Loki: For me!

Sez it all…

I actually like Loki. He usually gets the best lines in the better Thor comics. Thanos is a great villain when Starlin uses him. A few other writers have been able to write him well, but he’s Starlin’s signature MU character.

Iceman, Colossus, Human Torch… well, they look cool, certainly. I’ve read a lot of FF and maybe three good Human Torch stories. Someone mentioned Iceman’s potential; he’s had almost 50 years to reach his potential and still hasn’t. I like Colossus well enough, but he often gets rendered useless in X-Men comics. He even commented on it in one issue! At least he beat Proteus. I’m surprised to see them so high on the list, but different strokes for different folks.

If Loki and Darksei….I mean Thanos has already shown up, then there is little reason for me to hope my vote for Batroc or even Taskmaster is going to get included in this list…:(

Two of mine – Vision and Colossus (and I’m almost sure I voted for Loki too).

what’s with all of the Loki haters? he just likes to screw with people (usually in the most convoluted way possible) just to see what happens. Even if he knows that things are going to turn out badly for him, he just can’t help himself. I’m not saying that you have to like him, I just can’t understanf how you don’t.

Ronald Jay Kearschner

September 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm

The only time I liked Loki was in the THOR movie, but I haven’t read the stories praised here.

I really, really, really liked the LOKI limited series that came out earlier this year. It was much closer to traditional Norse mythology than the canonical Marvel take on the old myths, but still managed to work in why Sif has black hair in Marvel stories.

Loki was especially well done, less the grand supervillain from his prime under Simonson, but more dignified than his mythological portrayal in Gaiman’s Sandman stories, even though that was a different publisher, and technically a different character altogether.

Thanos ! Yay, my #2 Marvel character after Pip, the Troll.
I can’t stand the Human Torch, if a bully in any high school would treat others like Johnny treats Ben he’d be carted off to prison. Seriously, Human Torch, greatest a-hole in comics ever.

How high do you guys think Spidey will rank? Seriously.

He’ll most probably rank as #1 this time too.

The Crazed Spruce

September 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Just wondering, am I the only one who keeps checking back, waiting for the writeups?

Ronald Jay Kearschner

September 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm

To The Crazed Spruce: no.

Never really got all the Iceman-bashing. He’s one of the more fun X-Men, which isn’t saying much sometimes, but still – when he’s written well he’s a good, fun character who appreciates his powers and lightens the mood. His relationship with Beast is probably the closest the X-Men have had to the sort of fun double act he had with Wonder Man in the Avengers, too. Just because there isn’t a range of Iceman merchandise a la Wolverine doesn’t make him lame.

I HATED Tom Hiddleston as Loki. Hopefully Whedon will do better with him in the Avengers. That said, I’m fine with the character’s placement, even if I’m not a huge fan.

Shocked at the low placement of the Storms. You’d think Hickman would have gotten the FF a little more love. Reed was last placed of the four last time around; do you think we’ll be seeing him, or has Hickman’s run elevated him above his teammates?

Ronald Jay Kearschner

September 8, 2011 at 7:56 pm

All the comic stories I’ve read portray Loki as a coward and a weakling; not much of a challenge for Thor. The movie made me at least sympathetic to him. Odin of course prefers Thor and then to find out you were kidnapped? I would have preferred to see more of the Trickster at the end.

@Crazed spruce
no you are not alone

I want write-ups

The Crazed Spruce

October 1, 2011 at 10:41 am

Write-ups! Yay! :)

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