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CSBG Archive

2011 Top Marvel Characters #5

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…

5. Hulk (Bruce Banner) – 2286 points (41 first place votes)

The Incredible Hulk was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as the ultimate Jekyll and Hyde tale. Scientist Bruce Banner is caught in an explosion of the gamma bomb he created, resulting in Banner becoming a violent, destructive green-skinned monster called the Hulk when Banner is stressed or becomes angry. The Army wishes to capture the Hulk, so Banner becomes a fugitive.

That basically was the plot of the book for many years, changed only really when Banner gained control for a time, and then, when writer Peter David began a long run, having Hulk become an enforcer for a Casino boss and then later, merging the various Hulk personalities into one cohesive “Professor Hulk,” who joined a secret peacekeeping group called the Pantheon.

Ultimately, though, Hulk returns to, well, smashing. A few superheroes got tired of it, so they sent Hulk into outer space to settle on an uninhabited planet (this was the beginning of Greg Pak’s long and acclaimed run on the title). That plan did not work, as the Hulk’s rocket ship was hit by space debris and ended up on a warrior planet, which he eventually conquered. Finally content, the Hulk was married with a pregnant wife. Then the shuttle he was sent in exploded, killing his wife and most of the citizens of his capitol. Now craving vengeance, the Hulk returned to Earth to avenge himself upon the heroes who sent him away. After conquering New York City, the Hulk discovered that it was not the heroes who exploded the ship but one of Hulk’s own supposed allies! Following a devastating battle against the powerful Sentry, Bruce Banner gave himself up to government custody.

After a new Red Hulk showed up (in a new Hulk series by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness), Bruce was freed to stop this new, even more destructive (well, at least more calculated in his destruction) Hulk. Bruce also encountered his wife, Betty Banner, who he thought to be dead. Betty had been revived by being turned into a Red She-Hulk! Things got even MORE complicated when the son of the Hulk (from the previously mentioned alien planet – he had been born after Hulk thought his alien wife had been killed) showed up to get revenge on his father. Eventually, Hulk developed a sort of ersatz group of Hulks, led by Bruce.

More recently, though, the Hulk was possessed by one of the Hammers of the evil Serpent during Fear Itself. Betty has become one of the select group of superheroes designed to stop these possessed warriors. When this is all over, Hulk is getting a new book, with Hulk and Bruce Banner being separated from each other! Written by Jason Aaron, it will be interesting to see what directions this new series will go!


Personally, I can’t stand the Hulk, but I’m not surprised by his ranking. I wonder what the results would be in a Least Favorite Character poll? I have a feeling they would be eerily similar to the Favorite Character poll.

That would be an interesting poll and you’re probably right. I’m sure Wolverine will be in the Top 4, and I’d bet that he would place pretty high on a Least Favorite Character poll too, because of his overexposure.

I also imagine someone like Deadpool would be in the top positions (not that I hate the character, but reading some comics blogs, I get the impression that he’s not very well liked).

I think especially the top 10 or 20 would be about the same in a Least favorite and Most favorite.

I had Hulk as my #4. I used to find him a pretty boring character, but then I picked up one of the Essential volumes for cheap and thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’ve been a fan since. Didn’t hurt that the Hardcover to Planet Hulk came out short after that, which led into the past 5 years or so of really interesting Hulk storylines.

I think Hulk was number 2 on my ballot. Almost completely because of PAD.

The Hulk is my least favorite Marvel character, followed by the Silver Surfer and then Thor. Even PAD couldn’t redeem him for me.

I have no strong feelings on The Hulk. There aren’t a lot of Marvel characters I really dislike (some of the X-Men). There are just a bunch I’m ambivalent towards–Hulk, Fantastic Four, a bunch of second-string Avengers.

Bruce wasn’t on my list, but PAD is awesome and the Hulk is easily worthy of the top 10 spot overall.

Kinda interesting that Hulk was only like 6 points ahead of DD, but DD got nearly twice as many first-place votes. There must be a lot of people who like the Hulk., but he’s not their favorite.

Hulk awesome. (See what I did there.) Although, I liked the last Hulk movie I didn’t really get into the Hulk until I started reading the comics from the beginning. Now he’s one of my favorite characters. He has a Jekyll and Hyde/Frankenstein thing going on. His stories are surprisingly emotional. There is also a lot of comedy, I will never cease to be amused by how the Hulk speaks. I also love when he comes up with names for people, like when he calls NightHawk bird-nose, or Man-Thing carrot nose.

Useless trivia:

It looks like the Top 13 on this list, with the exception of Daredevil, will be made up of characters who were a part of Secret Wars!

No wonder that series sold so well!

(and really, DD should have been a part of that, not for his powers but just for his status as one of Marvel’s core characters…he’s high on this list, after all!).

The top 20 Most Reviled Characters might be similar as there are some popular characters who just tick people off for one reason or another. And there could be way more villains than heroes in a poll like that. But there’s no way Batman and Spider-man would be the least liked on those lists. They win almost every single character poll/tournament on the site. But we’ll never know unless an equally popular blog would run the poll because I don’t think Brian would allow anything that negative on this blog.

i would eat up a listing of the top 100 worst characters from Marvel & DC.

i love comics, but there are some characters that i’ve always hated, or grown to hate.

i didn’t vote for the Hulk, as i’ve never liked the character outside of PAD, although there have been other runs that i’ve mildly enjoyed. i’ve never really been a fan of the tragic characters. To each his own….

The Crazed Spruce

September 27, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Not a huge Hulk fan, though I did like the character. Just not well enough to vote for him.

I only like two Hulks: Stupid Hulk (Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2; loved those Hulk-us) and the Hulk of Moderate Intelligence (Avenger: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes). I can do without Silent Cave-man Hulk, Pure Rage Hulk, Emperor Hulk, etc.

Not a fan of the recent story-lines. Planet Hulk was to Gladiator what Avatar was to Dances with Wolves. Red Hulk was a lazy creation (he looks JUST like the Hulk, but with a different colour palette and the word ‘Red’ stuck in there for anyone with red-green colour blindness. They didn’t even let the guy keep his moustache!). At least when Wolverine gets kockoffs they get original names and character designs (Sabertooth, Lady Deathstrike, Daken, X-23, etc.). Also, ‘Rulk’ sounds stupid. How about ‘Rampage’, ‘Red Rampage’, ‘The Gigas’, ‘General “Irony” Ross’, ‘Red Bolt’, ‘Lazy Character Creation #56′, or simply ‘Big Red’? Seriously, someone get on that.

Bah, forget all those sucker Hulks. Only Hulk is Hulk.

well put, buttler

If Red Hulk mated with Green She-Hulk or vice versa, what color would their children be?

I’d love a Worst Characters poll, but I vaguely remember Brian nixing the idea of doing a negative poll.

I really must get round to reading Greg Pak’s run

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