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My Top Ten Favorite Marvel Characters and Their Comics

Welcome back heroes! Today I thought I would regale you with yet another Top 10 list. Since I am on vacation next week and plan on making it a writing staycation, I thought that I would create a post that was a little fun. Because of the fact that a whole generation of fans only know Marvel from the movies and cartoons, I thought I would give you all the list of my favorite characters as they were in the heyday of comics; the 1980's and 90's.

If you follow any of the ComicTubers or any of the comics gate people, you will often hear them lament about how the stories are just not as good as they used to be. Certainly the films are not even close, and overall, I would have to say I agree with them. This list isn't a list of the best Marvel movies, but rather a list of the characters the way I came to love them, through the comic books of my childhood. This list is comprised of Characters I loved from my comic days and it is a bit different from the ones I have come to love in the era of the MCU. I hope you enjoy this list as much as I enjoyed making it. As always, please leave a comment and let me know what your favorites are.

  1. Spiderman 1990

Honestly, Spiderman is my favorite character of all time. I collected every comic that he appeared in. Those of you who grew up the same time I did, know that was quite a few titles. You had The Amazing Spiderman, Web of Spiderman, The Spectacular Spiderman and miniseries such as The Deadly Foes of Spiderman and the Sinister Six. Then in 1990 we got Spiderman #1. When this comic came out it changed the game for both the story of Peter parker and the art. Todd McFarlane set the tone and look of Spiderman. He was the first to draw him in the famous spider poses that have come to be synonymous with Peter Parker and Spiderman. I loved every story and every comic. Yes even the awful Scarlet Spider series. For me this was the comic and the character and it always will be.

2. Cyclops: X-Men 1991

Ok, so I know that Wolverine is pretty much everyone from my generations favorite X-Man, but not mine. My favorite was Cyclops. No it wasn't just because I had a crush on Jean Grey, but I was the leader of my group of friends and I Identified with him. I used to run around and pretend I could shoot energy blasts from my eyes. I even bought red tinted sunglasses in order to look like him. I loved Uncanny X-Men and in 1991 when X-Men #1 dropped I bought every variant cover. If you put them side by side they made a complete picture of the X-Men fighting Magneto. If you want to really understand the X-Men and Cyclops read the comics from this time period. They are far superior to the Fox Movies and you will see why he was my favorite.

3. Cable and X-Force 1991

Gritty and slightly darker than the other mutant related series, X-Force introduced us to a new super team of mutants. Cable, the soldier from the future took the New Mutants and turned them into a crack fighting team. I went to great links, such as mowing lawns, taking back bottles and sifting through garbage to get enough coinage to buy this comic every month. I never missed an issue. Even if Rob Liefeld couldn't draw feet. Cable, the tuff as nails leader of the group came to be one of my favorite characters of all time. Just like me, he was older then his team, when I went grey at 28, I seriously wanted to cosplay as him. I know that Bishop became the most well known time traveler for a lot of fans, but for me, Cable who was the first will always take first place in my heart. Though I love Josh Brolin, I feel we still haven't had a good on screen adaption of this character. Perhaps in the future we will.

4. Archangel: X-Factor 1988

Ok, so just like X-Force this team has gone through a lot of variations. If I remember correctly in this series we have the original X-Men as the team. Here we are introduced to the first appearance of Archangel. Apocalypse ripped off Angel's wings and replaced them with bio organic ones that were razor sharp and could be shot as projectiles. For a period of time he acted as Death of the Four Horsemen, but eventually he broke free of Apocalypses control and returned to the X-Men. I was never really an Angel fan, but Archangel, he was something else entirely. Angry and tuff he had to fight to control his wings and his internal rage, and that struggle, as well as the obvious, drew me to him as a character. Sadly, he eventually got his normal wings back, but for the period he was Archangel, Warren Worthington was my favorite X-Men even surpassing Cyclops.

5. Venom The Lethal Protector 1993

Ok, so this particular comic came out right at the end of my comic collecting career. I graduated high school this year and went to college from the fall of 1993 to the spring of 1995. Where as I did collect a few comics during this time, it was when I started to move away from comics and into novels. I did, however, love Venom and followed this comic for about a year. From the origin of Venom as Spiderman's nemesis to his gradual evolution to antihero, Venom was and still is my favorite Spiderman villain and side character. I know Carnage is usually king, but not for me. Venom was and always will be at the top of the symbiote ladder. Even though I do love Tom Hardy's portrayal of him, it isn't comic accurate and someday I would love to see a dark and dangerous Venom on screen. So far, none of the live action incarnations have done him justice.

6. Nova and The New Warriors 1990

Ok, so these guys have pretty much been relegated to cannon fodder over the years, but I loved them when I was a teen. Marvel even used them to set off Civil War by causing them to fail to stop the Villain Nitro who exploded and killed a lot of people including the current team. All except Speedball who survived and bore the brunt of the worlds ire. For me, they were Marvel's Teen Titans. A group of young heroes who were fighting bad guys while learning to use their powers. Also, Fire Star had been in one of my favorite cartoons from when I was a kid, Spiderman and His Amazing Friends. This is where I came to know and love Nova who would be the only character from this team that would stick. I chose him because he was my favorite from the New Warriors, but only by a small margin. I truly loved them all.

7. Wolverine 1982

Ok, just because I am partial to Cyclops and Archangel doesn't mean I don't like old Wolvie. I collected every X-Men title including Wolverine. In the late 80's and early 90's Wolverine the comic was one of my favorites. It was dark and gritty and tackled themes and subjects that a lot of other comics didn't . The 90's was when comics grew up and Wolverine was one of the best at being more adult. Plus, Logan is just a darn good character, even if he constantly tangoed with my boy Cyclops. Personally I think Scott could take him if he unleashed his full power on him, but it really depends on the version of Logan. He became over powered when he could pretty much regenerate from anything. Still some of the best stories from this period involved Wolverine. From the Days of Future Past to Weapon X Wolverine was always in the mix and still is. Hugh Jackman's portrayal was masterful, but if you really want some good Wolverine stories, read the comics.

8. Dark Hawk 1993

So this is probably a character very few people have heard of. He didn't have a long run, but I remember picking up the first issue of this comic and instantly being enthralled. A teenager who finds a strange amulet that allows him to switch bodies with an alien. Yes, it was a little bit like Blue Beatle over at DC, but better. I loved the concept and how he had no idea what was happening to him. Could he unravel the mystery of the alien he switched bodies with? Honestly, I never found out, since I stopped collecting comics shortly after I started reading this. Even though I never followed the story through to the end, I still love this character. He holds a place in my heart similar to Spiderman 2099. I would love to see a live action version of this character, but I am not holding my breath. Just like the New Warriors, Dark Hawk will probably never again be brought out of the marvel vaults.

9. War Machine: Avengers West Coast 1989

So, I was not much of an Avengers fan growing up. I did, however love Avengers West Coast. Why you ask, because I loved War Machine. I also loved US Agent, Hawkeye, Mocking Bird, Black Night, Wonder Man and Hercules, but I read the book for war machine. Until RDJ's portrayal of Tony Stark in the movies the only Iron Man I loved was Rhodie. I still love his character even though they kind of did him dirty in the MCU. Yes, Tony is awesome in the movies, but he was kind of a jerk in the comics. James Rhodes, on the other hand, was honorable and good. More like Captain America than Iron Man and that is why I loved him. Also, he had a huge cannon on his shoulder! Come on, what red blooded American boy wouldn't love that? Even though I liked him in the movies, I feel he was underutilized. There is far more to the character and you can read it all here.

10. Blade: Night Stalkers

So, given what I write, you could probably guess that I was into the Night Stalkers. Blade was one of my favorite characters growing up and I loved this comic. Sure, I read Blade, but I read the Night Stalkers more. No, I don't really remember the Midnight Sons storyline, but I do remember this comic and the Darkhold. I remember that it was dark and gritty and one of my other favorite Marvel anti-heroes Ghost Rider often guest appeared in it. There was a version of this team in Blade 3 and over all it wasn't a terrible rendition, but the comics, as always, are better. This team really didn't make it through the 90's from what I can see, but Blade was and still is a staple of marvel's supernatural line up. I really do kind of like Ghost Rider better, but I never actually read Ghost Rider, but I did read this comic and I loved it.

So that was my list. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you are from this era like me, found it nostalgic. Certainly over the years I have come to like Characters such as Captain America more than I did when I was a kid. Thanks to the MCU, Netflix and other such mediums we have been introduced to so many good stories and characters from marvel. Because of those films and shows, I have grown to love the traditional Avengers as much as Spiderman and Dark hawk. During my youth, however, this list of characters was where my heart lay. Of course, I could have mentioned many others such as Sabretooth, Apocalypse, Ghost Rider, Green Goblin, Rogue and many many more. Perhaps I will leave them for another time. As always God Bless.


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