Top Ten Marvel Comics Characters

Longbox Graveyard #16

A month ago I posted my Top Ten DC Comics Characters list, and today I weigh in with my favorite Marvel characters. That DC post ended up being one of the most popular entries here at Longbox Graveyard, with a nice little nerd skirmish breaking out in the comments section — hopefully this entry will provoke even more Geek Rage!

Thanks to Brian Cronin’s “Comics Should Be Good” column at Comic Book Resources for the survey that inspired these entries (and those CBR results are in now if you want to check them out).

Marvel Comics Top Ten

I had a hard time coming up with ten characters for my DC list, but as a “Marvel guy” I had the opposite problem this week. I could easily list two or three times as many characters than those mentioned here, but rather than resort to trickery like the scoundrel who runs the otherwise-excellent Mars Will Send No More blog, I’ve knuckled down and made the hard choices, holding myself to just ten Marvel characters! Agony! Pain!


You Might Also Like: Top 10 DC Comics Characters


#10 Black Panther

When I filled out my list for CBR’s survey, I was fresh back from San Diego Comic-Con with a stack of Jungle Action back issues and all hot for the Black Panther. I could have picked any number of characters for this #10 slot, but with that pile of books on my nightstand, Panther got the nod.

Since then, I’ve read those books, and found them a little … overwrought.

above scan snagged from the aptly-named (and recommended) Diversions of a Groovy Kind blog

The “Panthers Rage” saga from Jungle Action #6-18 is regarded as a minor classic, and even holds some claim to being the field’s first graphic novel. The run is certainly a cut above for 1970s-era Marvel, with inventive layouts and a storyline set entirely in Africa that was largely bereft of the usual superhero action. My problem with the series was that I thought Don McGregor’s script just didn’t flow. I found the books over-written, and presented in a kind of fractured syntax that I couldn’t quite grok.

“and the words lose their meaning,” indeed

Even if I found the series a disappointment, it only slightly dented my enthusiasm for the character, who is intriguing on a lot of levels. He’s the king of a hidden African kingdom, heir to the mystical powers of a panther cult, and his country is a weird mix of tribal tradition and sci-fi high technology thanks to the wealth afforded by Wakanda’s stock of the precious metal, Vibranium. Panther’s powers aren’t much (he’s just a guy who jumps around in a cat suit), but I respond to the character’s nobility, and in the 1970s it was a rare thing when a black Marvel hero wasn’t shouting “Christmas!” to remind us how “street” he was (sorry, Luke Cage). After struggling through those Jungle Action books I am a bit less attached but no less intrigued by the character, so maybe I’ll fast forward a bit and try the Christopher Priest run from the 1990s (which I sampled and remember as being too clever by half).

#9 Warlock

Like Black Panther, Warlock was born from Jack Kirby‘s pencil, and like the Panther, Warlock definitely had his best days on another author’s watch. Jim Starlin is one of my favorite comics creators (for all that I graded down his Captain Marvel), and of his Marvel work, I think his run on Warlock is his best.

Warlock himself is kind of a pain in the ass … he swans about the space lanes, swinging wildly between ennui and rage, stumbling into allegorical adventures against a weird gallery of villains (including his own future self). He’s a limited, doom-driven character in the mold of Michael Moorcock’s Elric. There are probably fewer than a dozen of his books that are genuinely worth reading. But as a tormented teen I identified with him … and he’s just so damn glam with that blonde perm and the SKULL clasping his cape to signal how he’s — you know — all grim and deep and stuff.

I could totally see myself walking around a Los Angeles airport hotel for a 1977 science fiction convention wearing that outfit.

#8 Hulk

One of the reasons I prefer Marvel to DC is because of Marvel’s many anti-heroes, with the Hulk being the best-known of the bunch. Hulk was the first comic character I ever knew about (probably thanks to those crappy 1960s cartoons), and purchase of a Hulk Aurora model kit got me started buying comic books stuff (followed shortly by actual comic books) in the first place.

aside from being unpainted, with gaps where the parts didn’t fit, and covered with glue thumb-prints, the Hulk kit I made in 1974 looked EXACTLY like this pro build!

I love the idea of the Hulk — the Jekyll/Hyde rage thing, the Hulkbusters out in the desert, the radiation-saturated villains, purple pants, “Hulk Smash!”, the works. Unfortunately, as I found when sorting through my Accumulation, I don’t own a lot of worthwhile Hulk comics. I came to comics too late for the Roy Thomas run, and was out of comics entirely during the Peter David era. I still have a pile of really bad Hulk books, though, which means I kept buying the comic, month after month, even though I knew it would be terrible.

What a damn idiot.

#7 Daredevil

Sure, Daredevil is really just Spider-Man with his eyes closed, but Spidey never grabbed me, while I found myself collecting Daredevil books even before Frank Miller came along and made his magic. With his dark, street-level villains, and his subtle powers based on elevated senses of everything except sight, Daredevil seemed a more down-to-earth hero than Spider-Man (who blasphemously does not make my Top Ten).

I want to attribute some of my affection to Gene Colan’s flowing pencils …

… but the truth is I came to the book during Bob Brown’s less-than-memorable 1970s run. Memory is a funny thing, I could have sworn I had a bunch of Gene Colan Daredevils … guess I will have to knock over a bank so I can own those Silver Age classics. (And in the meantime I still have Colan’s run on Tomb of Dracula — one of my favorite Marvel books, though Drac himself doesn’t rate for today’s list).

#6 Red Skull

I won’t even try to suggest that the Red Skull is the best villain in a comic line that is home to Doctor Doom, Magneto, and Galactus … but he is my favorite, in all his two-dimensional glory. The Red Skull benefits by drafting behind Captain America, who (SPOILER!) heads this list, but the Skull is here mostly for punching above his weight.

The Red Skull doesn’t have a battlesuit, or magnetic powers, or a colossal physique letting him eat whole planets. Nope, he’s just a rage-filled bell-boy armed with a Luger, fear gas, and the impossible-to-satisfy expectations of Adolph Hitler.

With those scant powers, the Skull has gone on to battle Captain America to a standstill for three quarters of a century. And while most every other Marvel villain has had an issue or two where they seemed vaguely sympathetic, the Skull remains an unreconstructed Nazi bastard. I love to hate the Skull! That’s why I have a Funko Red Skull Bobblehead on my desk at work (one of only two bits of superhero swag I keep in my workplace).

#5 Thor

To understand my affection for Thor, look no further than my recent columns (parts one and two) on Walt Simonson’s take on the character … but I loved the character from the moment I discovered his book in 1974, a decade prior to Simonson’s brilliant run.

That first Thor book blew my twelve-year-old mind. It had ancient mythological gods, in a space ship, fighting an insane living planet, told as a superhero story. Crazy, man. It scratched my interest for fantasy in a safe superhero setting (it would be a few years before I’d get into Conan), and it immediately broadened my mind to what a comic book could be. The Marvel Universe wasn’t just Spider-Man swinging around Manhattan — it was an actual universe, a wide-ranging cosmos of gods and men! That idea thrilled me.

Still does.

#4 Sub-Mariner

An outright dick.

Seriously, Subby is a dick, and I love him for it. Perpetually pissed-off, trying to steal Reed Richards’ wife, leading sea monster invasions of New York City … and that’s when he’s a good guy. When Sub-Mariner is batting for the other team — as in the so-bad-it’s-good Super-Villain Team-Up — Subby emerges as Marvel’s greatest anti-hero, putting even the Hulk in the shade. I mean, Hulk is a moron, and not really responsible for his actions. But the Sub-Mariner? Guilty!

Sub-Mariner is ancient even by comic book standards, dating to World War II-era comic strips by creator Bill Everett. Originally re-introduced to the Marvel Universe as a quasi-villain in the pages of Fantastic Four, Subby has been like a professional wrestler, by turns a good guy and a bad guy as the story and audience demanded.

Subby was extra-cranky during his fashion disaster Pimp Suit era

During the war, Subby put aside his differences with surface-dwellers to battle Hitler, but he was still a prickly ally. When Ed Brubaker took over Captain America, he caught the soul of Sub-Mariner in this 21st century Christmas Eve exchange between Subby and the Winter Soldier (himself a resurrected wartime Bucky Barnes):

I love the concept of this character — the superpowered fishman, king of Atlantis, acting out his rage against everything that lives on the other 30% of the Earth’s surface. But here’s a crazy thing — for all that I rank this character #4 on my list, I don’t think I own more than a single Sub-Mariner comic book. I love him as a guest star, or a bad guy, or a crappy team-mate in the Defenders or the Invaders, but I never got into his solo books.

If the group wisdom of my readership would like to suggest a half-dozen best Subby stories, I’d sure like to read them. Give a shout in comments.

#3 The Thing

I have enormous affection for this character, the rocky elemental from the Fantastic Four that is the archetypal tough guy with the soul of a pussy cat. Defined by powers he regards as a curse, the Thing wears his heart on his sleeve and is the warmest, most approachable, and most heartbreaking of Marvel’s epic-scaled characters.

He reminds me of my Dad, and my old pal Bear Peters from Arizona, of my video game colleague Jeff Brown, my buddy Sarge at Appy, and of all the craggy, larger-than-life characters I’ve known through the years. In his long, slow coming to terms with his monstrous appearance, the Thing makes a powerful statement for diversity and identity. One of the best-developed characters in the Marvel line, it feels strange to call him “The Thing” — he’s a character that has evolved beyond his powers and his form. It’s much more natural to call him Ben Grimm.

Of all the characters on this list, he’s the guy with whom you’d most like to share a beer.

#2 Conan

Maybe this is a cheat, because Conan isn’t even published by Marvel any more, but the classic 1970s run for this character was a Marvel production through-and-through.

in the 1970s, Conan was one of Marvel’s biggest books, garnering a cover feature of Marvel’s in-house fanzine, Foom

I’ve already enthused about the Barry Windsor-Smith era on this book, and the truth is I could write about Conan every week, but my sad devotion to Robert E. Howard’s barbarian already led me to waste fifty bones on that dreadful 3D movie earlier this year, so I shouldn’t push my luck by further trying the patience of a readership that’s already soldiered through two Conan blogs in the first ten issues of Longbox Graveyard. Suffice to say that Conan has virtue enough strictly as a comic character to rate highly on this list, even if he is a rapidly-diminishing part of Marvel’s history. Like Thor, Conan was a genre-stretching book that changed what comics could be.

(And in December, I’ll write about him again!)

#1 Captain America

Even if I didn’t telegraph my number one choice when talking about Red Skull, it should come as no surprise to Longbox Graveyard readers that Captain America tops my list, given that I’ve already devoted columns to writing about the character, both old and new. Another character that I’ve stuck with since childhood, Cap’s always been my favorite, owing to his iconic nature, spectacular costume, and his connection with another great fascination of my life — World War II.

As living legend, leader of the Avengers, and the most badass guy in any room full of costumes, Captain America is the hero that other heroes find heroic — the superhero’s superhero, and unchallenged champion of my Top Ten list of Marvel Comics characters!

All right, for better or worse, that’s my list … the comments section is open for you to tell me how I got it wrong!

NEXT WEEK: #17 Supergods



About Paul O'Connor

Revelations and retro-reviews from a world where it is always 1978, published every now and then at!

Posted on October 5, 2011, in Lists! and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 62 Comments.

  1. Nice list, Paul. I have a particular affinity for Daredevil myself. Daredevil #208 where he’s trapped in a house filled with booby-traps is one of those “can read a zillion times” issues for me. I also went to the same high school as Frank Miller, so you know, local here and all that. (Though #208 was not a Miller DD).


    • Thanks for reading, Tim … that Daredevil you mention sure sounds familiar. Is it a Gene Colan issue? Thought I had it but I think it’s part of my acquired memory that’s convinced I have a bunch of Gene Colan Daredevils when in fact I don’t have any. I did pull my 1975 edition of “Son of Origins of Marvel Comics” off the shelf this morning wondering if it had that story, but instead found it had … Brother Take My Hand, the issue cover that I used for this blog! So there’s THAT mystery solved, I did kind of have Daredevil #47 after all, which explains why I gravitated toward that cover when I did my Daredevil entry.

      In rescuing DD books from The Accumulation I found I had a near-complete Miller run, which I’ve filled in with back issue purchases, so they should be in the rotation for a review, maybe early next year. The rest will probably get eBayed — the fifty-odd inconsequential issues I’d be willing to sell might net me one or two Gene Colan Silver Age classics.

      They Must Be Mine.


      • That issue (208) was actually written (or co-written) by Writers Harlan Ellison. I started collecting DD at, around, issue 285 and then started picking up the back issues. I found most DD from Miller’s run to be decent stories.


        • Thanks for reminding me about DD #208 — that gives me an excuse to hunt it up on my Marvel Digital sub. I will also be blogging about some (more recent) Daredevil runs in early 2013 (if not sooner!)


  2. Namor IS a dick! But you’d be too if you had millions of people creating streams of toxic waste and islands of plastic trash in your home. Just sayin’.

    We like the 1979 Tales to Astonish series that reprints (in issues 1-8) the Roy Thomas+John Buscema issues of Submariner from 1968. They’re usually available for a buck or two a piece. Best classic Subby on a budget.


    • But wasn’t Subby as eco-warrior an idea of the 1960s & 70s? When he’s reintroduced in FF #4 he’s pissed off that Atlantis has been wrecked by some kind of atomic testing but he’s willing to forgive and forget when he gets a load of Sue Storm.

      I think the original Bill Everett Sub-Mariner was just an enraged dick — Full Stop — but we excused it because he mostly vented his anger against the Nazis and Imperial Japan.

      But I’m far from an expert on this character. Thanks for that pointer on the Tales to Astonish reprints. I’ll track ’em down.


      • Whoops – almost read that as ON Sue Storm. Yes!

        Ok – seriously. You raise an interesting question about Namor as eco-warrior. We have a reprint of Timely’s Marvel Comics #1 October 1939. This is Namor’s very first appearance. Submariner: “Vergeltungswaffel” by Everett, Schultz, & Williamson.

        In the second panel, Namor’s emperor shows him some Nazis on the underwater TV. Subby says, “BAH! If only they would simply destroy themselves! But they’ll trample the entire world to dust before shifting their eyes beyond their endless blood feuds and territorial disputes. My emperor, let them drive themselves to extinction and we’re all the better for it!”

        Emperor then explains, “Hitler’s lackeys build and test experimental weapons from a hidden base on an island in the tropical south seas. The fragile, irreplaceable coral architecture which rings the island is to them nothing more than a convenient proving ground!”

        Subby storms off as he says, “Their arrogance is beyond belief! Let them do what they will to their dry, barren continents — When they defile so much as a drop of the sacred oceans, they answer to Namor!”

        So you see, even from the legendary Marvel Comics #1 of 1939, The Sub-Mariner was hacked off at the surface dwellers over some ecology. CORAL REEFS! Sacred oceans!


        • Game, Set, and Match, Mars — can’t do better than a citation from Marvel Comics #1! Although it looks like the character backed into being a champion of the environment. This exchange is pretty clearly framing a reason for our undersea champion to hate Hitler — look, Hitler threatens the seas, too! Only later would what was originally a casus belli against Nazi Germany be reinterpreted as a beef with anyone threatening the hydrosphere (but that is a deft bit of continuity none-the-less).

          Also good to know Subby has his priorities in order … annex Austria, no problem. Swallow Czechoslovakia, sure, why not? Invade Poland? Meh. But threaten a coral reef and it’s ON, baby!


  3. Hello, Paul.

    A couple things about your list stick out:

    (1) No Spider-Man; and
    (2) No mutants.

    But, since these are your favorites, you can’t be wrong.

    Let’s see:

    (10) Black Panther – Love this character. Love the costume. Love his “powers”. I love how he hears noises before anyone else does. He’s also extremely dignified and chivalrous. Just a cool customer. When the Grim Reaper put the Vison and Wonder Man on “trial” in Avengers #160, he designated the Black Panther as counsel for the defense. Respect, baby.

    (9) Warlock – I like the guy. Don’t love him. This is probably a function of me not getting into comics until 1976. I only really know him from a few books: Marvel Team-Up #55 (which I love); and the classic two-parter in Avengers Annual #7 and Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2.

    (8) Hulk – Jade Jaws better be on this list or HE WILL SMASH!

    (7) Daredevil – Great super hero. Great character.

    (6) The Red Skull – Cap’s nemesis. One of the greatest super-villians. “Hail, Hydra!”

    (5) Thor – Heimdall’s eyes! The God of Thunder doth make this list!

    (4) Sub-Mariner – I like Subby. Don’t love him. Maybe it was my early impressions from Super-Villian Team-Up that did it?

    (3) The Thing – Hell, yes! A hero with a big heart. The guy’s been in countless great stories. Aunt Petunia should be proud.

    (2) Conan – I wasn’t a serious collector of Conan back in the day. Still, his image is burned into my psyche thanks to some of the medium’s greatest illustrators. Barry Smith’s cover to Conan #1 – awesome. Frazetta’s paintings of Conan – OFF THE CHAIN AMAZING. And, I LOVE that cover to Foom #14 by ‘”Big” John Buscema you posted.

    (1) Captain America – How can one not love the Living Legend of World War II? CAP FOR PRESIDENT!


    • Hey, Horace!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Yes, of course, if this was a list of the Most Important or Most Significant or Best Selling Marvel characters, then Spider-Man and the mutants (notably Wolverine) would be at the top of the list. This list is my favorites, though, and I should have made that more clear … it exactly corresponds with the list I submitted over at CBR, which really was kind of just dashed-off, without a lot of ruminating (which is one of the reasons Conan ranks so high).

      But it’s my list and I’m sticking with it.

      Not sure why I don’t like Spidey and the X-Men better than I do. To borrow from your comments, I like them, but don’t love them. It might be sheer cussedness on my behalf, a refusal to follow the herd to the most popular characters in the Marvel stable, but even in 1974 (when I got into comics) Spidey didn’t do much for me, and in the late 70s, when X-Men exploded, I liked the books and bought them and read them when they didn’t sell out, but I didn’t go head-over-heels for them the way so many did. From that era I still like Tomb of Dracula and Iron Fist and Master of Kung Fu better than X-Men (and none of those characters made my list, either … while I went with Namor and the Thing, great characters from books I’m not crazy about; “favorite characters” are a funny thing).

      Anyway, Warlock, Black Panther, Red Skull, and Conan are all affectations on this list, but that’s what makes lists fun. You can sub Spidey, Wolverine, Doctor Doom, and Magneto for those characters and the list will go straight down Main Street. Everyone else here clearly belongs, though you can quibble about the order.

      Finally … no mutants? I’ve missed the last quarter-century of Marvel continuity, but wasn’t there some marketing-driven declaration that Namor was the “First Mutant?” Doesn’t let me off the hook for keeping all the X-Men off my list but it’s all I’ve got.

      (And that MTU/Avengers Annual wrap-up to the Warlock saga will get some digital ink here at Longbox Graveyard when I publish my Warlock review in a month or so … that was a fun saga, even if it was a bizarre end to a bizarre book in Warlock).

      Thanks again for reading and posting, always great to hear from you.


  4. Well, you mentioned my favorite Marvel character, and he even showed up in a few of these panels, but you failed to include in your list ….

    1) Victor von Doom, President-for-Life of the Grand Republic of Latveria. In my mind, Namor and Black Panther are nothing but second-rate Dr. Doom’s — all three are rulers of sovereign lands, and alhough Namor’s is the largest (don’t even think: “that what Sue Storm said”), Doom has made the most of his reign and rule.


    • Doom and Spider-Man should team up to burn the secret worldwide headquarters of Longbox Graveyard to the ground for omitting them from this list!

      Or maybe Doom is so superior that to put him on a list is an insult? After all, including him on a list would indicate there are others that approach his exulted rank.


  5. “Sure, Daredevil is really just Spider-Man with his eyes closed…” i nominate this for best description of a character ever.


    • It’s not an original sentiment but I found it true. Wish I could remember where I first read that criticism so I could credit it. The comparison was especially apt in the character’s earliest days, where Daredevil cracked wise like a second-rate Spidey. Over time DD has developed his own distinctive personality but initially he was a gimmick character.


  6. I just finished watching both Iron man movies back to back with my kid. He has never really taken any interest in comics and sadly my interest died out around 1990. But he has seen the Avengers movie (I have not) and now Iron Man, and I found myself explaining Nick Fury to him which led me here because I got caught up.

    Your list is great and I am impressed Black Panther (T’Challa) made it. He would make my list as well. Prince Namor probably not although once upon a time when i was young and did’t know better and let my mom give away my comics I had the first issue of Sub Mariner (which i later saw destroyed on the floor of a friend of the families) But Black Panther, Dare Devil, Nick Fury, and Capt, America would certainly all be on my short list of favorite heroes. from any universe.


    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Mike, and maybe this is the start of a long road back into comics. You’re not the only one who’s interest died out in 1990 (a particularly dire era) … and you’re not the only one who finds they have kids expressing interest in comics movies if not comics themselves.

      The movie continuity Nick Fury is based on the Marvel Ultimates line (where Nick Fury, himself, is based on Samuel L. Jackson, now there’s a fine bit of life imitating art for you). I wasn’t much of a Fury fan back in my own youth but since starting this blog I’ve become more a fan of the classic character, particularly as seen in the Jack Kirby issues of Strange Tales (and later, of course, in those ground-breaking Steranko books). There’s all sorts of Nick Fury content here at Longbox Graveyard.

      I’ve quite enjoyed the Marvel movies (including Avengers), and while I wish my kids would extend their interest to comics as well I will take what I can get. And with more Avengers movies in the offing my fingers are crossed that we’ll see Black Panther on the screen in due time (and Ant Man, and Ultron, and the Vision, and …)


  7. Interesting list. Of these, Black Panther, Thor, the Thing, and perhaps Captain America, would make my top 10 Marvel list. I don’t know who the others would be, aside from the Silver Surfer.


    • That’s the problem with selecting ten characters out of dozens to be your favorites … this list was kind of thrown-together, but it has sparked some good conversation, and to be honest that’s half the reason I did it in the first place. I expect the list would be different if I did it today, maybe I will revisit a hundred issues later with Longbox Graveyard #116!


  8. What? No Ravage 2099?

    Great list, Paul. You’ve inspired me to put together my own. Plugs, they are a’comin’!


  9. jeffmcclelland

    Please create another list where the Thing is #s 1-10. Also known as “the correct list”.


  10. spencerfsu15

    Killing me with this list! No Spider-Man, no Iron Man? Those are two of the most iconic superheroes in all of Superdom! Maybe I’m just looking at it from a movie universe point of view, which, I know is different from the comics.


    • I deserve your scorn. In my defense I will offer that I made this list in the formative days of my blog, when Longbox Graveyard was less of a general site and my own idiosyncratic views were the main event — as the blog has evolved, this list seems more and more out of step. So it goes!

      I will offer this, as well — this list represents my trapped-in-the-seventies point of view, and let me tell you, in 1974-76 or so, neither Iron Man nor Spider-Man were especially good books, and the big X-Men reboot hadn’t happened yet. So, there’s that.


  11. I can agree with your #1 choice although he isn’t mine (he’s my #2).
    Of course: Steve Rodgers, the “superhero’s superhero.” It’s a no brainer why Natasha (Romanov) fell/falls in love with him. Technically, in a way, the Marvel universe Literally revolves around him, which makes him kind of a bug deal.

    A reason I love Marvel and prefer it to DC is that they make their characters, have *real* problems and they tie into the real world somehow.

    Matt Murdock! Yes. I agree with that. The lawyer by day and vigilante by night. I only recently FINALLY saw the movie for the first time. And i read a snippet of some comics/ a comic of him. I really like him and find him an interesting character with an interesting story-line. I believe the ‘Elecktra’s Death’ one was like 2OO something pages

    I have feels for Ben Grimm. Like you said, he’s a huge teddy bear 😀 ❤ 🙂

    I personally would've had Erik/Magnus/Magneto on there, as he is one of my favorites and Loki. They've both gone through a crap-load and I guess, in a way, (especially with Loki) they're still trying to find out who they are. Yeah, Erik wants mutant rights and such but he isn't always a villain. It is Ironic. How, in the first X-Men movie he says something along the lines of "People getting treated differently just because they were born different" because he was a survivor of the Holocaust and the same thing, Hitler murdering innocent people, he is now doing to others. Anyway, i just really love those two characters.

    Red Skull. Even though I'm super pissed off at him, he is a hell of a great villain. *Hail Hydra* Spoil-ish Alert, but not really, it's been years: I'm currently mad at him because he "won." I barely read up on how he ASSASSINATED Steve/Cap and he died died. For good </3. And then, SOMEHOW, he bred and his freaking daughter KILLED the NEW Captain America (Bucky)! Yeah, that really upset me to see characters I love die, but, oh whaleeee. But coming from that side, Red Skull is a great villain and leader.

    Not sure if I would be biased or anything if i said Bucky Barnes/ Winter Soldier. I don't know as much about him, but he's an awesome character and he's freaking hot. :p

    Anyway, I like your list and sorry for ranting; hey, do you watch Agents of Shield ? 😀

    P.S. Hail Hydra!



    • Hail Hydra!

      Welcome to the blog, Red, and thanks for posting!

      It’s important to remember my assessments are through the lens of 1978 or so, which means that the new X-Men (and their vastly more interesting Magneto) were just taking off, and guys like Ben Grimm were A-listers. Bucky was still dead, and Loki hadn’t had his big-screen movie star moment … all of which may help explain why you and I differ on a few points.

      But! Good choices! I hope you will track down some Daredevil comics, as they are laps better than the film. The character has enjoyed several rich eras — the Lee/Colan Silver Age stories lay down a good foundation, but Frank Miller’s run is still definitive. Later, Kevin Smith and (especially) Brian Michael Bendis would build on Miller to good effect. Daredevil’s current adventures under Mark Waid are also well worth reading, harkening back to the Silver Age take on the character and pushing a lot of that Miller/Bendis darkness into the background. You can’t go far wrong with any of them, but you could do worse than to read them call, starting with the Lee/Colan years! (DD’s origin story by lee and Bill Everett is also one of the better Marvel origin issues of the era).



  12. Awesome list! DD is my favorite! Have a bunch of the Colan issues (including #47!) that I need to collect and re-bag since many of my longboxes suffered some water damage a few years back. Also, that Prince Namor cover is epic! I don’t think I own any of those. May need to track some down.


    • Daredevil is perhaps unique among Marvel characters in that he has has so many good and distinctive eras. Just off the top of my head I can think of the early Wally Wood run, the Gene Colan years, Frank Miller (of course), the Kevin Smith run, the Bendis and Brubaker years, and now Mark Waid’s very successful era, just coming to an end. There’s a Daredevil for everyone. Not bad for a second-tier character (arguably now an A-Lister, thanks to the TV show).

      Liked by 1 person

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