by Jeremy DeFatta
Good day, everyone! Today, I want to offer all of you the first half of my top ten favorite Marvel characters. Let’s jump right in with numbers 1-5!
1. Captain America – What can I say? It’s just not the Avengers without him. He is good and kind and those are his greatest strengths, even beyond being a super soldier. There have been a lot of rough patches in his characterization over the years (he’s a few years shy of being as old as Superman and Batman, after all), but recent writers have made him a compassionate advocate for civil rights and all forms of justice. Regardless of your feelings about the character or even the United States in real life, Steve Rogers is now used to demonstrate what is best about us rather than focusing on negative things.
2. Thor – I’ll admit I have a soft spot for Norse myths, but there is more to it than that. It is reasonable to say that Jack Kirby likely decided to include an established pagan god in the Avengers in order to lend weight to his construction of superheroes as a modern American body of mythology. In this interconnected way, Marvel superheroes and Thor sort of endlessly make each other interesting to me. I strongly recommend checking out the current run of Thor: God of Thunder by Jason Aaron. It is well worth it.
3. Daredevil – I’m a big fan of Matt Murdock and have read a lot of different versions of him. Frank Miller, Kevin Smith, David Mack, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, and Mark Waid have all left very different marks on the character but each succeeds in making him interesting and compelling. Check out my Top Marvel Stories Since 2000 post to see more of my thoughts on the character.
4. Luke Cage – Luke Cage is a fairly straightforward, but anomalous, character. His origins seem tossed together and his early adventures in the 70s are painfully corny. That said, Brian Michael Bendis made him a stand-out character to root for during his run on New Avengers. Bendis has a bit of a knack for making C-list characters great, and Luke Cage is now a beloved and recognizable superhero.
5. Dr. Strange – Stephen Strange was a mild-mannered, middle-aged surgeon until tragedy befell him and a career-ending injury sent him in search of new ways to heal himself. Now, Dr. Strange is the most powerful magic-using character in the Marvel Universe and has been involved in every major event of the past decade. He is currently one of the main characters in Jonathan Hickman’s run on New Avengers, which I highly recommend.
And that’s the first half of my list. What do you guys think so far? Who are some of your favorite characters from Marvel? Let me know your thoughts below. Don’t forget to support your local comic shops. I guarantee you can find a lot of stories featuring these characters and many, many others in those sacred spaces. Tweet me @quaintjeremy.
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