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CSBG Archive

2011 Top Marvel Characters #9-8

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…

9. Cyclops – 1736 points (37 first place votes)

Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Scott Summers was an original member of the X-Men. His ability to blast concussive beams from his eyes (controlled only by his ruby quartz glasses) made him a powerful force to be reckoned with.

Scott was the leader of the X-Men, and when the team was replaced by an All-New, All-Different group of X-Men, Scott stayed behind to be the leader and elder statesman, as it were, to the new group.

Scott had been dating his teammate, Jean Grey, and the two stayed together even as she left the team. She soon returned, but (unknowing to Scott) soon was replaced by a cosmic being that looked like Jean. The cosmic being eventually went nuts, and killed itself rather than continuing to kill others. Scott was distraught, and left the X-Men.

The retired Cyclops met a woman who looked just like Jean, and the two married and had a child. However, when the REAL Jean returned, Scott quickly went to rejoin her. His wife was then revealed to be an evil clone of Jean.

Scott formed a new team called X-Factor, made up of the original X-Men. Eventually, X-Factor merged back into the X-Men, where Scott was once again leader of the X-Men. Scott and Jean married.

Over time, their marriage became more of a close friendship than anything, so when Emma Frost joined the X-Men, Scott was drawn to her, and the two began having a psychic affair. Jean found out about it and Scott broke it off, but when Jean was killed, he reunited with Emma, in a more conventional relationship.

Eventually, after the Xavier Institute was destroyed one too many times by bad guys, Scott and Emma decided to move the X-Men to San Francisco. And when THAT didn’t work, either, Scott established a mutant island nation, of sorts, called Utopia. It became the home of not just the X-Men but pretty much any mutant who wants sanctuary. This has been the home base of the X-Men’s operations ever since.

Recently, though, there have been those, most notably Wolverine, who have had issues with Cyclops’ leadership style and this appears ready to turn the united X-Men into, well, a fractured group of mutants.

8. Doctor Doom – 1808 points (23 first place votes)

Doctor Doom, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, is that rare villain who is basically as much a part of the comic as any of the superheroes in the book. Doom is basically the fifth member of the Fantastic Four, only he’s super evil.

Victor Von Doom met Reed Richards in college, where the two were academic rivals, but Doom’s drive to be the best literally blew up in his face when his face was scarred by a faulty experiment he was working on.

Doom ended up wearing a metal mask to hide his scars (I like Byrne’s take on it, that the experiment only slightly scarred him, but it was wearing the mask before it cooled that REALLY scarred him), and soon took over Latveria, the Eastern European country where he was born.

Doom was a tyrant, but brought technology to the people and made Latveria one of the strongest countries in the world.

However, Doom could not keep from trying to both A. Conquer the world and B. Show up Reed Richards, who he hates, like, a LOT.

It is funny – Doom is always trying to prove he is so smart. The dude invented a TIME MACHINE!!! How awesome is THAT? Did Reed ever invent a time machine? Nope.

Anyhow, for awhile, Doom even tried using magic against the Fantastic Four (even wearing the skin of his true love for awhile – creeeeeepy), but he eventually returned to his “normal” armored self.

Most recently, Doom has formed an uneasy alliance with his hated foe, Reed Richards (through the machinations of Reed’s genius young daughter, Valeria and his father, Nathaniel Richards) and has become a member of the Future Foundation.


Doom pic shows for both characters

Thanks, Jeff! Fixed it.

figured both doom and cyclops would crack the top though though doom would be closer to the top five.

These polls seem to be the one place where Doom always beats the FF. Easily of the best villians in any universe

Scott was my #2, I think.

Doom, like, I LIKE Doom, but I don’t really get his top ten placement. I guess I should read John Byrne’s run.

The Crazed Spruce

September 23, 2011 at 7:28 am

I appreciate Scott as a character and all, but he always came across to me as the team’s straigh man, and I never really warmed up to him. I get why so many people voted for him, but I left him off of my list.

Doom, however, is easily the greatest comic book villain ever created, so I had him as #4 on my list. He’s such a great character, even casting a pretty-boy actor (who couldn’t even be bothered to wear the frikkin’ mask for 90% of the movie!) to play him couldn’t ruin him.

I don’t even remember if I voted for Cyclops, but early in my comics reading, he was one of my favorite characters and I would vote him top 10.

I know the last time Doom placed even higher, at #4 IIRC but I am expecting Norman Osborn’s current popularity to be reflected by the push he got from Dark Reign, etc.

But Brian, it wasn’t Doom’s drive to be best that caused the accident in college. It was only vaguely mentioned by Reed in FF #5 that he was doing forbidden experiments. Later stories expand on that by detailing how his mother’s soul was damned for making a bad bargain with Mephisto. Reed had very little to do with it other than Victor being angry about him snooping through his papers.

Wow! Marvel’s 7 core solo books are going to make up the Top 7. I figured Hawkeye, Thing and Doom would creep in ahead of one or two of them but nope, 7 for 7. Good for them!

Guess that shows having a movie gives a pretty nice bump.

Can’t wait to see how the order plays out.

Wow, I’m stunned by Cyclops’s high placement, though I guess I knew he had his fans.

I’d have expected Doom a teensy bit higher, but at least he placed higher than Richards.

Wow, I can’t believe Sleepwalker and Ravage 2099 are gonna make it into the Top 7!

Scott was #10 on my list. Today I would put him way higher. I guess I made my list right after reading some particularly good stories with other characters.

Guess that shows having a movie gives a pretty nice bump.

Unless that movie is Ghost Rider. Looks like he won’t make the top 50.

Pretty obvious what the top 7 will be at this point

1) Squirrel Girl
2) Forbush Man
3) The Brick (Spider-man’s arch nemesis :)
4) Stiltman
5) Rocket Racer
6) Fin Fang Foom
7) Great Lake Avengers (Brian will break the rules and allow them to be counted as one)

Nuff said

What issue established that it was the mask that scarred Doom? I have all of Byrne’s issues up to 270, and some of the later ones, but not this one. The same origin is given in Triumph and Torment by Roger Stern and Mignola, but I didn’t know it had originated with Byrne.
Looking at the synopses, I guess it has to be #278. His run up until #258 are some of my favorite comics ever, and #267’s great, but most of the later ones are so lackluster I’ve been hesitant to finish up the whole run. And that Malice thing just looks so terrible. I have #s274,275,291 and 292. Any of the other ones worth getting?

“Wow, I’m stunned by Cyclops’s high placement, though I guess I knew he had his fans.”
He’s a tactical genius with nuclear bombs for eyes. Cyclops has a reputation for being a bit of a boy scout, and kind of a pussy. But he’s a total bad-ass.

“I’d have expected Doom a teensy bit higher, but at least he placed higher than Richards.”

I’d make a joke about these being the two highest ranking Marvel villains, but Iron Man and the Hulk haven’t show up yet.

Nice to see Cyclops getting some love and/or respect.

Anybody know who that ordinary looking guy is on Doctor Doom’s shoulder? Is it his conscience?

Ronald Jay Kearschner

September 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Lufio, I think that’s Wyatt Wingfoot, Johnny’s college roommate.

Cyclops never appealled to me: writers kept telling me how great he was, but never showed it. Actually Prof. X (who doesn’t look like he’ll make the list) seems to have picked him because his low self esteem made him easier to manipulate. Angel (also not on the list) is more charismatic.. Beast is smarter. Iceman more idealistic.

Prof. X picked him because Cyclops is the level-headed one. Particularly clear in the context of the early stories, when all the X-Men were not only teens, but teens in Silver Age Marvel, meaning they’d spend more time arguing and grandstanding than fighting bad guys, if someone like Cyclops weren’t there to remind them of what they were supposed to be doing. Cyclops is also the only one without a family originally. So he’d be more ready to dedicate his life to the team.

(And Charles could manipulate each and everyone of them just as easily, the tricky bastard).

Dan : What issue established that it was the mask that scarred Doom? I have all of Byrne’s issues up to 270, and some of the later ones, but not this one. The same origin is given in Triumph and Torment by Roger Stern and Mignola, but I didn’t know it had originated with Byrne.

Yes, it was Byrne’s FF #278 “True Lies” that recaps Doom’s life pre-FF as the Doombots initiate an overlay of Doom’s mind into young Kristoff”s. If you’ve been reading Hickman’s FF, he made use of this to have Doom’s brain damage remedied.

Byrne has said the reason he did this was because around this time Jack Kirby was appearing at comic cons and giving interviews where he stated that Doom only had a small scar after the accident but he is such a perfectionist that he could not bear to have the world see evidence of his flaw. Yet Doom paid a visit to the Marvel offices in FF #10 (drawn of course by Kirby), Kirby himself is seen cowering in horror from the sight of an unmasked Doom in FF #10. For his part, Stan always went with the badly scarred scenario. So Byrne tried to reconcile both versions with his story in FF#278.

By the way, here’s a neat link to Kirby Museum where they have an old video of Kirby actually drawing the sketch of Doom unmasked and with the small scar…


The Crazed Spruce

September 24, 2011 at 12:04 am

@Gary: You forgot Frog-Man, The White Rabbit, Microchip, and, of course, the immortal NFL SuperPro. :)

Ronald Jay, I don’t see your point. It’s not like people around Cyclops is great, but he never does anything. He’s lead several teams, developed strategies, been a field commander, etc. Also, giant optic blasts.

You can just find him lacking and be done with it, but I think there’s good evidence stating he is what people think he is.

Also, just because you’re smarter does not necessarily make you a good leader. Intelligence is not just book smarts.

I’ve always liked Cyclops. Secret Wars was my first exposure to the character, and seeing him in the planning room with Richards and Rogers cemented, for me, his talents as a tactitian. I hated the treatment of him in the 90s, post-Claremont, where he became such an ineffective whiner.

I also loved his recent confrontation with Osborne during the Dark Avengers crossover. Where he flew in on a jetpack, offered Osborne the chance to surrender, and then left to enact – not his plan to oppose Osborne’s group, but the back-up plan for the plan that was already in motion to bring down Osborne.

I think a lot of people confused about Cyclops just haven’t read the X-Books in the last five years. It’s as simple as that. Sort of armchair commentators or whatever. He is Jetpack Cyclops now and he is awesome.

Cyclops didn’t end things with Emma once Jean found out. He ran away. Then Jean died before he had a chance to declare his feelings one way or the other.

Its good to see that creators and fans alike hold cyclops in high regard. Growing up in the 90’s comics were all about style over substance and I think back then gambit was more popular than cyclops. Gambit still feels like hes tied to that era, kind of like if Luke Cage were still wearing the tiara.

I can completely understand why cyclops rates so high. He is an excellent leader and can make the tough calls when needed. Look at him in xmen schism! Even wolverine has respect for the guy which is extremley hard to earn. Then like a boss he isn’ t afraid to take wolverine on. Though in retrospect not a good time.

And ofcourse i can see why Dr.Doom owns. He’ s my fav villian. In Master of Doom he lives for billions of years out of pure hatred after being torn apart by magtharadons, kills a watcher, And gets what he wants in the end.

Cyclops abandoned his pregnant wife to go back to his girlfriend, then cheated on said girlfriend with at least two other women.

Cyclops formed a mutant death squad, basically wiping his #$% with all of those lofty X-ideals the team followed for so long.

The character is permanently damaged in my opinion. I can’t understand why the X-Men (or the readers) still follow him. I can respect that many people can put him in the top ten, but I certainly can’t understand or agree with it.

I don’t think many heroes at this point are still squeaky-clean boyscouts by this point, and as an adult I enjoy characters who are not goody-goody.

I’m okay with flawed heroes, it just makes them human. For me, it’s more about the degree of the transgression.

Cheating on his wife/wives? Sure. Happens all the time. But completely abandoning his wife and child? That’s a little much. Making morally repulsive decisions in a position of political leadership? Par for the course in a politician. Forming an out and out assassination death squad, though? That’s going way too far in my opinion, to still be considered one of the “heroes”.

And I read comics to read about the heroes, and how they handle the villains. Not how they become one themselves, but don’t get called on it.

I’d have a hard time not activating X-force after seeing stuff like mutants being massacred in the hundreds of thousands as Sentinels massacred people in Genosha. There are too many instances to count when wicked groups and individuals have murdered mutants. For me, you can’t shuffle your feet on that.

Cyclops did abandon his wife and son, but a) what a wicked manipulation it is to have a clone replace your dead love and b) Cyclops ends up eventually saving his son from death, and as Cable they developed a good relationship.

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