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CSBG Archive

2011 Top Marvel Characters #7-6

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…

7. Iron Man (Tony Stark) – 2226 points (34 first place votes)

Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and likely some combination of Jack Kirby and Don Heck (with the famous gold and red armor designed by Steve Ditko), Iron Man came about when millionaire industrialist Tony Stark was forced to help create a suit of armor when his heart was damaged on a visit to Asia. With the artificial pacemaker the only thing keeping him alive, Stark figured he might as well do some good with it, so made a more advanced suit of armor, which he used to fight crime.

Passing himself (Iron Man) as his own bodyguard, Stark kept on keeping on, even helping co-found the Avengers, where he served for many years.

Tony was always a social drinker, but over time his drinking became a major problem. His alcoholism is just one of the many areas in his life where Tony displays obssesive behavior. He was sober for many years, but recently took to drinking again during Marvel’s big Fear Itself crossover.

A few years back, Iron Man was infected with something called “The Extremis.” Now, Tony is basically PART of the suit. He is quite literally an “Iron Man” now.

In recent years, Tony has been framed a bit by his involvement in Marvel’s “Civil War,” where the government decided that superheroes needed to register with the government (including revealing their secret identities to the proper authorities). Iron Man was the face of the pro-Government side of things, and when the fracas ended (with Tony’s old friend, Captain America, arrested as the head of the opposition – Tony almost fell to pieces when Cap was seemingly assassinated while in custody), Tony was given control of SHIELD.

During the events of Secret Invasion, the Skrull invaders took advantage of Tony’s technology. Norman Osborn was able to take over control of SHIELD and brand Tony a coward and a criminal. Eventually, Tony cleared his name, although his company was now in ruins.

Recently, Tony has started a new Stark corporation, driven by cars powered by Tony’s repulser technology. How Tony will recover from the events of Fear Itself, however, remains to be seen….

6. Daredevil – 2280 points (71 first place votes)

Created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett (with help from Jack Kirby), Daredevil made his debut in the pages of his own self-titled comic book in 1964. Matt Murdock was a successful attorney who was secretly the superhero Daredevil.

The catch?

Matt was blind.

When Matt was a kid, he saved an old man from being hit by a truck, but the truck was carrying radioactive materials that splashed on to Matt, blinding him for life. However, the materials also ended up giving Matt a kind of superpower – all his senses were heightened, to the point where he could read newspapers just by reading the ink on the page with his finger. In addition, he gained a sort of Radar sense, like a Bat, only not sound-based, Matt just basically had a supernatural sense of where people were around him. It was how he was able to operate as a superhero, and how no one was able to connect him with blind attorney, Matt Murdock, because how could a blind guy do this?

Matt was a basic superhero for many years, during which time he was notably involved with his secretary, Karen Page, and the superhero Black Widow (they even shared his comic for awhile, as Daredevil and Black Widow). Matt’s law partner, and best friend, is Foggy Nelson.

This all changed with the arrival of Frank Miller as the writer of the book.

Miller introduced an old girlfriend of Matt’s called Elektra, who was a dangerous assassin. He also made Matt into a sort of a ninja, introducing a heretofore unknown sensei of Matt’s called Stick. Miller also made the Kingpin, a Spider-Man mob villain, into Daredevil’s arch-nemesis, while cementing the supervillain assassin, Bullseye, created a little while before Miller took over the book by Marv Wolfman, into a force to be reckoned with, even to the point of having Bullseye KILL Elektra.

Story continues below

Later on, Miller returned to the character, as Karen Page (who had left years ago to become an actress) was now a drug addict who sold Daredevil’s secret identity. It got to the Kingpin, who then proceeded to tear apart Matt’s life. In the end, though, Matt was too strong, and along with Karen, he began a new life.

Eventually, he even regained his law license.

Sadly, Bullseye struck again, this time killing KAREN, as well.

Reeling from her death, Matt was spiraling. He had his identity published in the papers and he even attempted to put HIMSELF in place as the new Kingpin of Hell’s Kitchen. During this perio,d he married Milla Donovan,, who is also blind. Matt was able to recover from this period, and even was able to refute the identity issue (although everyone pretty much thinks he is Daredevil now). When even Milla was taken away from him, though (as a villain drove her insane, leading to her being institutionalized and her family barring Matt from having contact with her), Matt began spiraling again, leaving him open to an offer from the Hand to take control of the organization. Matt felt that he could use it as a force for good (or at least less of a force for evil) but he unknowingly was sucked into the organization’s demonic legacy as Matt was possessed. Now driven insane, Matt pretty much took over control of New York City, killing Bullseye in the process.

When the demon was excised, Matt gave up his Daredevil identity. Eventually he realized that he could not run away from the past and that he owed it to the world to try to make up for his misdeeds, so he has returned to New York and crimefighting. Currently, Matt is trying to keep an upbeat attitude, fearing that any slip might send him spiraling again. As a lawyer, he and Foggy are now concentrating on helping people represent themselves (as Matt’s excellence as a lawyer is tempered by the fact that everyone still pretty much thinks he is Daredevil, making it difficult for his clients to receive a fair trial, as the defense brings up Matt’s vigilante antics constantly, making cases about Matt, not the client).

Tomorrow, the top five begins!


I say again Wow! at these results.

Iron Man is kind of predictable but I didn’t see that drop for Daredevil coming (he was #3 last time, right?).

So Wolverine, Thor and Hulk have all jumped up in the top 5? Most surprised at Hulk, who I think was barely in the Top Ten last time and hasn’t had a movie in the last couple of years to jog people’s interest.

Anyway, I’m one of the first place votes for DD, who’s book has been great under so many creative teams for decades.

Yay, DD!

For what it is worth, DD missed out on the top five by SIX points, so it is essentially a tie when you talk about such a small difference in such big point totals.

#3 and #4 in the Marvel countdown are also separated by very few points. Eight points between the two!

Wow. DD much higher than I expected. Good for him.

Looks like there’s more room between the entries on the DC side in general. Bet that will continue for the top 5 too.

The Crazed Spruce

September 25, 2011 at 9:19 am

Two great characters who I completely left off of my list.

At his height, Iron Man was one of my favourite characters, but it kinda went off the rails for me around the same time he turned out to be controlled by Kang, then was replaced by a teenaged version of himself. He’s started to build himself back up, but then Civil War happened, and he was such a tool in that series I really couldn’t bring myself to vote for him.

Leaving Daredevil off of my list, however, was kind of a brain fart on my part. (Though, to be fair, I haven’t read the recent Bendis and Mack runs, which I hear were pretty good, so I wouldn’t feel right judging him without taking those issues into account.) Either way, he probably wouldn’t have cracked my Top 10.

(Oddly enough, though, a key supporting player for each of ‘em (Jim Rhodes and Ben Urich), did make my list. Not my Top 10, though.)

Wish I would have been here when the poll was active. Still its great to see some of my favorite characters reaching these heights with everyone else too.

Hawkeye, Daredevil and Captain America are my favorite Marvel characters. In a list such as this, I would have expected Hawkeye to fall much further back in the crowd than he did, and Daredevil hitting number six leads me to ask the question, ‘Why hasn’t Marvel made his title one we can subscribe to?!’

Can’t wait to see where the real Captain America hits the line up. He’d have been my number one. Really glad they took Bucky out of the uniform, he was maybe good enough to polish the shield, but there is only one man who should ever sling it, and that’s Steve Rogers.

So it might be Wolverine, Thor, Hulk, Captain America (Steve Rogers) and Professor X as 1 through five? Predictions? Here is my hopes;

#5. Professor X
#4. Hulk
#3. Thor
#2. Wolverine
#1. Captain America (Steve Rogers)

Professor X

You’ve misspelled Spider-man very, very, badly.

I would guess
5. Thor
4. Hulk
3. Wolverine
2. Captain America (Steve Rogers)
1. Spider-man (Peter Parker)

where I’m 99.99% certain of 1 and 2, 75% certain of 5, and 3/4 is a toss-up.

Eh, Thor just had the movie and a bunch of good comics recently. If Cap makes #2 it will be on the strength of his movie.

5) Hulk
4) Thor
3) Captain America (Steve Rogers)
2) Wolverine
1) Spider-Man (Peter Parker)

0) Squirrel Girl

“0) Squirrel Girl”

Yeah, I was half expecting a ballot-stuffing movement from some far corner of the internet to result in a landslide victory for Squirrel Girl, but maybe the poll was just not visible enough for that. Maybe in 4 years! I hope we get to see 100-51, where I suspect Squirrel Girl and other popular “oddball” choices like Howard the Duck reside. (I’ll admit both were in my top 10, mostly because characters like that make me love the fictional Marvel Universe that much more for being large enough to include them).

Surprised that Daredevil is not higher! And I didn’t expect Hulk to make it this far, so I’ll be really surprised if he’s any higher than 5. Then again, I guess it depends on which side the Wolverine fatigue/backlash errs. At its worst I could have imagined enough people leaving him off that he landed closer to 10 (“EVERYONE’S gonna vote for Wolverine!”) or not taking it into account I could see him being number 1. That’s not gonna happen, though!

One of the great things about this poll, Will, is that there were so many votes cast that “movements” were not really able to swing things too much. So if, say, a bunch of Character X fans tried to get Character X into the list, it would be a hard thing to do, ya know?

figured given all the changes daredevil would just crack the top five. though thought iron man would be up in the top five like maybe one of the three first slots.

#1 has to be Spider-Man. Your argument is invalid. ;)

Daredevil was my number one choice. Best superhero ever, for reals.

Does Daredevil have the highest ratio of good stories vs bad ones of any big two character? His enduring popularity has been aided by having decades of great comics. Even when he hits a rough spot like Shadowland, he’ll bounce right back with the current awesome Waid/Rivera/Martin run. That is what Matt Murdock does, after all; when life puts him down, he just gets back up and keeps on swinging. Its nice that he’s getting to smile a bit now.

Well, we’ve now seen 6 of my top 10, and 3 more are certainly coming–I only missed with Bullseye. Irony!

So, my #1 votes end at #6. Interesting.

I like the 71 1st palce votes for DD. Makes me feel like the seventy-first. It’s clear now, though, that the New Mutants I voted for won’t be making the list. Too bad. When I started reading comics, It was Spider-man and X-factor from the 7/11 down the street, but then my friend introduced me to the New Mutants. Those stories were great! Cypher, Wolfsbane, Magick, Warlock, Cannonball…. Ah, those were the days!

7 and 6? Can you drag this out any longer?

Looks like there’s a good chance my top 3 will be the top 3 on the list. Here’s hoping

I can’t believe Hercules isn’t even going to crack the top 50. I’ve always liked the character, but Pak and Van Lente’s work with him the last several years catapulted him to my Top 10. I would’ve thought he’d make the list somewhere.

The Crazed Spruce

September 25, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Spidey and Cap are both in my Top 10 list, but the rest of ‘em (Jessica Jones, J. Jonah Jameson, The Warriors Three, Damage Control, and Aunt May) are definitely droppng out. My DC list is doing a bit better, though, with only Batman left to come, and only four dropouts (Brainiac 5, Ambush Bug, Firestorm, and Captain Boomerang).

Go into my full Top 25, though, and the scales kinda tip the other way. Between slots 11 and 25, I’ve got six Marvels left (Rhodey, Speedball (pre-Penance), Galactus, Ben Urich, Jack Monroe, and Jarvis), with a whopping 10 DCs to go (with Matter-Eater Lad, Jimmy Olsen, the Metal Men, Tommy Monaghan, the earth-born angel version of Supergirl, Alfred, the Phantom Stranger, Amanda Waller, and Harvey Bullock all missing the list, and only Superman due to turn up in the Top 5.)

Iron man gains 4 spots and Doom drops 4? I’m still surprised that Daredevil and the Thing rate so high.

I’m kind of disgusted that Iron Man wasn’t in the top 5. I understand just because I ranked him #1 doesn’t mean he’d have been that high, but the guy has been a consistently intriguing character and the current writing for him has been some of the best in comics, he shold at leat have been in the top 5 with Spidey, Cap, Hulk/Thor, and Wolverine

The drop for Daredevil doesn’t surprise me at all. I have to think that Shadowland cost the character a great deal of support.

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