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2011 Top Marvel Characters #30-26

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…

Write-ups later, results now!

30. Mister Fantastic – 565 points (13 first place votes)

29. Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) – 587 points (6 first place votes)

28. Nick Fury – 619 points (7 first place votes)

27. Luke Cage – 633 points (3 first place votes)

26. She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters) – 716 points (14 first place votes)


The Crazed Spruce

September 11, 2011 at 2:35 am

Wow. Went from barely grazing my list to hitting it willy-nilly.

Mr.Fantastic was part of my five-way tie for 21st. When written correctly, he can be a great character, but a lot of the time, he can be a bit of a tool. He’s still one of the smartest men in either universe (second only to my #1 DC), so that deserves some respect.

I actually had Ms. Marvel on my short list for a while, but wound up edging her out. To be fair, though, I mainly know her from the Busiek/Perez run on The Avengers. Maybe if I read more of her current series, she’d have stayed on my list.

Nick Fury was #14 on my list. He’s basicaly the Marvel Universe’s answer to James Bond, and being a superspy in a superhero universe just cranks the coolness up to 11 and yanks off the knob.

I had Luke Cage at #16. Power Man and Iron Fist was one of my favourite comics in my early teens, and Luke was a big part of that. He’s also managed to evolve with the times, which makes for a great character.

She-Hulk was #5 on my list. (Yay! Finally cracked my Top 10!) She’s smart, strong, sassy, and immensely entertaining. One of my all-time favourite Avengers.

luke is the man

I’ve done some vague trend analysis for Marvel, and there isn’t that much interesting happening compared to DC. The biggest effect is a slight X-surge, but that just means mutants tend to pop up 5-10 spots compared to the last poll.

There’s a few characters who might go up a lot (Bucky Barnes, maybe?) or down a lot (Hawkeye, maybe?) based on how much they’ve appeared in comics in the last few years. But the top 25 for DC strikes me as more interesting.

Oh my God, this is a wonderful bunch of characters and I want to take them all home with me.

Luke and Jen were both on my list, I think.

When are they going to give Luke a costume? You can’t market a black t-shirt!

@the Mutt: they should put him in the masculine version of the Jewel costume. “He-Jewel.” I think that, along with Hank Pym becoming the Wasp, would be a good step towards balancing out how many of Marvel’s main female characters are directly derivative of male characters.

That was quite a leap for Mr. Fantastic if you consider that his wife and in-law seemed to drop in the rankings.


I except Bucky will take an even bigger one though.

Great to see Reed show up, so along with Namor, Johnny Storm and Susan Storm-Richards that’s a sure bet that Ben will make it on the list too. My memory is fuzzy but I think I voted for Nick Fury, mostly from the strength of those Steranko issues from decade ago.

But most of all, I am glad to see that some voters have disregarded (or maybe passed up) some of the poor recent outings for Mr Fantastic. I had to roll my eyes at this month’s X-Men #17 where writer Victor Gischler had Doctor Nemesis lecturing Reed about dimensional gateways. Yeah, like Reed, the guy who created the Negative Zone portal and who along with Doom got the heroes back from Franklin’s pocket dimension wouldn’t know anything about that.

Oh wow, Reed Richards is pretty low on that list.

I abstained from voting, but did make a Marvel list for my own amusement. The only sure placement for me was She-Hulk at #1 and Ms. Marvel at #2 (and Unus the Untouchable somewhere in the top ten). Good to see I’m not alone. 14 first place votes for Shulkie! Didn’t she only have something like three first place votes last time?

Reed is my favourite Marvel hero, but since I’m more of a villain guy, he’d rank like 8th or something.



Had I voted, Shulkie would have been a contender for my #1 spot too. Yeah, always entertaining.

Nick Fury is on my list. I love his sarcasm in the early marvel stories. Like when Captain America and Sharon Carter are reunited he quips that he need to get a crying towel.

I’ll be interested to see how Samuel Jackson plays Fury in the Avengers. Up until now we haven’t seen him for more than a few minutes in any of the marvel movies.

interesting results. for though luke cage and mr fanstic and maybe she hulk would squek into the top ten . miss marvel had at number thirty

This is a terrific batch of characters. Unlike the equivelent stretch of DC, there is only one derivative character in the batch.

30. Reed Richards: He is exhibit #1 in the virtures of the team focused universe building that Marve did during the Silver Age. Reed Richards is a close cousin to scientist-adventurers, like Barry Allen and Ray Palmer. However, Reed was not carrying the FF on his own. He was free to be a little bit unlikable. Those moments of being a tool gave him some depth. Reed has never done anything “shocking”, like using his powers to torture someone, but Hickman has been able to draw on his history to make him him feel unpredictable.

29. Ms. Marvel: Carol Danvers has such an odd history. On the one hand, she was the focal point of one of the most misogynist stories in comic history (AVENGERS #200). On the other hand, that story put her on the roster of The Avengers at exactly the right moment. The years right around 1980 were the taste making moment for the current generation of fans and creators. Over the past decade, everything has seemed to get revised with an eye toward that period (e.g. – Patty Spivot !?!). It earned her a solid spot on the B-list and another shot at the A-list. That is pretty terrific for a character derived from a pretty forgettable copyright character.

28. Nick Fury: My personal introduction to the Marvel Universe was through the early TPBs. “Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.” was the coolest thing in SONS OF ORIGINS. By the time I was buying Marvel floppies that strip was long gone. In that sense, he was analogous to the Golden Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl for me. They both borrowed from a film genre that was readily available on TV. The Hawks were plainly inspired by the Universal Monster films. Nick Fury was a play on Bond, Matt Helm and the rest of the Spy Fi heroes. Both have far more awesome adventures in my head than I have ever actually read. That effect is compounded by their association major comic artists.

27. Luke Cage: He is another poster character for “1980 syndrome”. It is really striking how differently DC and Marvel approached the black characters that they introduced. Like Black Panther, Luke Cage was a fully formed superhero. He had his own distinctive base of operations (i.e. the movie theatre), his own modus operandi (i.e. hero for hire) and with his team-up with Iron Fist he acquired his own fairly deep supporting cast (i.e. Danny Rand, Colleen Wing and Misty Knight). The only thing missing is his own Rogues Gallery.

26. She-Hulk: I am sure that Shulkie is not the first example of a major creator turning a D-lister into their pet character, but it has to be one the most successful. John Byrne took a pretty silly copyright character and gave her one of the most distinctve personalities in comics.

“This is a terrific batch of characters. Unlike the equivelent stretch of DC, there is only one derivative character in the batch.”

Uhh … you may want to count again.

@Dean Hacker said: 30. Reed Richards: He is exhibit #1 in the virtures of the team focused universe building that Marve did during the Silver Age. Reed Richards is a close cousin to scientist-adventurers, like Barry Allen and Ray Palmer.

Try Doc Savage as the inspiration, and you would be close to the truth. Remember Stan and Jack were both fans of the pulp era series. Notice how beefed up Reed gets in the heart of the FF run as compared to the string bean guy in the earlier issue.

Ms. Marvel….really? Above most of the Fantastic four?
Boring character.

there is only one derivative character in the batch.

Two right? Shulkie and Mrs. Marvel, the latter being a Captain Marvel derivative.

@ Thok:

I stand corrected.

Ronald Jay Kearschner

September 11, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Nick Fury was my # 3, most likely the highest pick I’ll get in, but I’ve still got a couple of Avengers left on my list.

Ms. Marvel was my #1 this time around. I’m pleased to see her garner a pretty nice spot. Though I was guessing she might have even made the Top 25. (She probably would have a couple of years ago when her solo series was still active.)

Ms.M’s been through a lot and I’m glad to see a woman born of the 70’s still steaming along. Can’t wait to see her in character on TV in the Avengers EMH series soon. I quite enjoyed the push she got from Marvel in the 00’s.

Iron Maiden – What are you doing reading that silly Victor Gischler X-Men comic? There are plenty of great X-books around these days; no reason to buy the crappy ones, it just gives Marvel a reason to keep putting them out.



Mr. Fantastic is probably the most “Fantastic Four-y” of the four, right? Like, for all the strengths of his character, it’s the hardest to picture him out on his own like you can Thing, Torch (and to a lesser extent) Sue. Or is it a chicken/egg thing, where, because the other three have had prolonged absences or solo titles, we view Mr. Fantastic that way?

Like a lot of people, I imagine, Ms. Marvel has grown on me in recent years. Great, great costume design.

I’m still amazed Nick Fury’s ongoing titles are so stop/start; it seems like “superspy w/super heroes” is a concept that could keep an ongoing running forever.

Like Ms. Marvel (a fellow “of a time” character), Luke Cage has grown on me lately.

She-Hulk is probably the most iconic of the “derivative” characters, isn’t she? Loved the Slott series. Still miss it.

re: derivative characters, this list has Doc Savage crossed with Plastic Man, the female Captain Marvel, the American James Bond, SuperShaft, and the female Hulk. It’s quite a derivative industry.

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