How Lee & Kirby's "Fantastic Four" Birthed the Marvel Universe, Part 1
After nearly 1,400 ballots were cast, YOU the reader ranked your favorite comic book characters of all-time 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…
17. The White Queen (Emma Frost) – 1004 points (16 first place votes)
Created by John Byrne and Chris Claremont, Emma Frost was a member of the Hellfire Club, an ancient organization who had nefarious plans for the X-Men.
Frost was a telepath, and clashed with the X-Men a number of times. Frost had started up her OWN school for mutants, and she sought to bring Kitty Pryde to her school. She failed.
Later on, when Xavier added a new group of young mutants to his school, the group clashed often with Frost’s group of young mutants, known as the Hellions.
Sadly, in a vicious attack, most of Frost’s Hellions were murdered by a sneak attack by the evil Trevor Fitzroy. Frost was put into a coma in the same attack.
When she recovered, she was naturally distraught over the deaths of her charges, and basically turned over a new lead, agreeing to be the co-head of a new Xavier school, which would be based at the site of her old school.
This group of students (known affectionately as Generation X) were taught by Emma and Sean Cassidy (Banshee). Eventually, though, the students tired of Emma and Cassidy (who were both going through significant trauma in their lives), and all left the school.
Emma ended up traveling to the mutant nation of Genosha, which was at one time greatly suffering from the Legacy virus, but once it was cured, became a thriving mutant community. Frost began teaching there, until the evil Cassandra Nova led a Sentinel attack upon the nation of 16 million, killing almost every single mutant on the island.
It was at this time that Frost developed a secondary mutation – the ability to form her body into a sort of diamond form.
With her second group of students murdered, Frost decided to join the X-Men to help her revenge herself upon Nova. She grew comfortable there, as finally she was somewhere where all the students didn’t die on her.
After carrying out an affair with the X-Man, Cyclops, Emma was shocked to find she was actually in LOVE with Cyclops, and after the death of Cyclops’ wife, Jean Grey, the two began a relationship, and also took over as co-heads of Xavier’s school, which was now much smaller due to the events of Decimation, where Scarlet Witch wiped out almost all mutants on Earth.
Emma and Scott brought the X-Men first to San Francisco and later to their own island “nation” called Utopia. Emma and Scott continue to lead the X-Men together, but a schism is forming and we will soon see who will stay loyal to Scott and Emma!
16. Iron Fist – 1123 points (17 first place votes)
Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Danny Rand was on a trip to the mystical city of K’un L’un as a boy when his parents were murdered. The orphan was taken in by Yu-Ti, the ruler of K’un L’un, who trained Danny in the martial artists.
Eventually, Danny became the best of the best, and attempted to become the holder of “the Iron Fist.” He succeeded, and now possesses the fist, which allows him to focus his chi and enhance his natural abilities to far greater than a normal human, and since Danny is one of the world’s greatest martial artists withOUT said advantage, you can only imagine how helpful that is.
Danny eventually paired up with the hero Power Man, Luke Cage, as the two formed a hero partnership and a great friendship that lasts to this day, even though Danny was missing for a time, and Luke accused of murdering him!
During an acclaimed ongoing series called the Immortal Iron Fist, Danny learns that K’un L’un is just one of Seven Cities of Heaven, each of which has their own version of Iron Fist. Danny has since brought these warriors to Earth with him.
Currently, Danny is a member of the New Avengers alongside his best friend, Luke. He also appears to be getting ready for a significant new role after Fear Itself.
15. Deadpool – 1207 points (28 first place votes)
Created by Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza in one of the last issues of New Mutants before the book became X-Force, Wade Wilson, Deadpool, is known as “the merc with a mouth,” as he is a highly sought-after mercenary who, well, talks a lot.
Deadpool is a funny guy, and thanks to Joe Kelly, he had one of the funniest comics of the late 90s, especially the issue where Kelly had Deadpool go back in time to an early issue of Amazing Spider-Man, leaving Deadpool to mock the characters, MST3K-style. Classic stuff.
After his initial series ended, Deadpool began a forced partnership with Cable and shared an ongoing series with Cable until the latter character seemingly died, leaving Deadpool at a bit of a crossroads.
In stepped Daniel Way, who developed a new take on Deadpool in the pages of Wolverine: Origins, including the use of multiple voices in Deadpool’s head. This new take on the character led to a new ongoing series (written by Way) which began a bonanza of Deadpool titles, including the brilliant Deadpool MAX series by David Lapham and Kyle Baker.
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