By Natacha Gray
Marvel, a multi-billion dollar company with over fifteen thousand characters and a multitude universes to explore through, it seems impossible to wind down a long list down to just ten.
In this article, I will be doing just that, as I breakdown my top ten favourite Marvel characters.
1) Captain America; Steve Rogers.
Steve Rogers first appeared in ‘Captain America – The comics #1’ in March 1941, later on, he made his first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captian America; The First Avenger in 2011.
Steve Rogers has always been an intriguing character for me because he’s unlike the common character. Steve Rogers embodies hope and courage, teaches us that we should always aim to do the right thing. Steve Rogers also teaches us that we should always attempt to witness the good in people and to try and support other people as much as people. As the world continuously goes to war amongst themselves, these messages are important in today’s society to try as much to conquer the negativity with positivity as much as possible.
Yet perhaps it’s Steve Rogers relatable background that allows us to admire Steve as quickly as we do. Like most of us, Steve’s story is relatable. Growing up in Brooklyn, Steve Rogers was faced with various health ailments that tried to prevent him from joining the army. This aspect of Steve’s character allows people to effortlessly relate to him. Within our lifetime, we all face challenges that push us to our limits, and usually, we look to others to see how they conquered their issue. Steve Rogers is a prime example to never take no for an answer when something or someone tries to restrict you.
Lastly, it’s important to pick on Steve’s friendship with James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes. Steve and Bucky’s friendship, displays a testament to their loyalty to each other. It doesn’t matter what either of them goes through both of them remain there for each other. When Bucky was turned into the Winter Soldier by Hydra, it would have been easy for Steve to turn his back on Bucky. Yet Steve was determined to help his oldest friend, which gives testament to the kind of man that Steve is.
Shuri’s first appeared in ‘Black Panther #2’ in May 2005, later on, she made her first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Black Panther in 2018.
Shuri has always been an impressive character due to several aspects of her characteristics, for example; her genius-level intellect, she has proven to rival the likes of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. Being a Master Engineer and a Master Scientist, she oversees and builds all of the tech we see in Wakanda. In-fact Shuri has been responsible for creating T’Challa’s Panther Habit and Bucky Barnes vibranium arm. Shuri is dedicated to creating and improving a better world. Unlike many of her fellow Genius, Shuri doesn’t have a Superhero alter ego. So she’s able to spend her time dedicated to help the world rather than destroying cities to save the world.
Secondly, another reason why Shuri is so likeable is her ability to deter away stereotypes. Despite being a Princess and a technical Wizard, Shuri doesn’t take herself particularly seriously. Instead, she chooses to be a fun and outgoing person who strives to make those around her happy. In Black Panther, we witness her ability to make T’Challa laugh. The key feature of Shuri’s personality is her humanity. She’s not afraid to show and display her emotions, and despite her many titles, she makes the decisions on who she wants to be.
Lastly, it’s essential to note Shuri’s strength. As the media continues to catch up on inclusivity. Shuri stands out as a character because she is respected for her unique skill set and is comfortable speaking her mind. Shuri is viewed as a highly-skilled remember of the Black Panther team and not someone who margins in the action. With her confidence and strength, Shuri has been seen on several occasions to fight in combat whenever she needs to.
3) Sam Wilson
Sam Wilson’s first appeared in ‘Captian America #117’ in September 1969, later on, he made his first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America; The Winter Soldier in 2014
Sam’s loyalty has always been an integral part of his character. As seen in Captain America; the Winter Soldier, when Steve Rogers asks Sam for his help in finding his longtime friend Bucky Barnes whom he’s just discovered is alive. Despite the dangers that present themselves when going after the Winter Soldier, Sam never considers the consequences. Sam is solely focused on protecting his friends. It does not matter the sacrifices that Sam himself might have to make as long as they achieve the primary target and the ones that Sam considers close to him as safe, that’s all that seems to motivate him.
Secondly, another reason to like Sam Wilson is he has no immediate connections to any Government Agency. Unlike Captian America, Sam Wilson appears in a time where S.H.I.E.L.D do not have the best reputation or standing. With that, Sam can make decisions purely on his own conscious and mind. S.H.I.E.L.D cannot force him to do anything he doesn’t want to. Therefore, the decisions that Sam can make are those that he believes are best. He doesn’t have to answer to anyone who perhaps is trying to sway him into making the wrong decision.
Lastly, Sam’s loyalty allows him to become an influential essential remember of the team. Sam can play well with others and will help anyone that requires it. Sam can become a leader in situations as well as help out from the side. Sam doesn’t care who needs help even if they’ve done wrong to him in the past. Sam’s calmer personality aids in his ability to take time to assess the situation. He’s able to make less emotional decisions which allow him to make the right decisions. Which is going to prove pivotal as we continue to explore Sam’s journey.
4) Scarlet Witch; Wanda Maximoff
Scarlet Witch’s first appeared in X-Men #4 in March 1964, later on, she made her first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America; The Winter Soldier in 2014.
Scarlet Witch has been through many trials and tribulations throughout her life. She’s dealt with the deaths of her twin brother, Pietro Maxminoff as well as her boyfriend Vision. The death of those dearest two her could have been detrimental to her, however, she manages to bounce back every time. Scarlet Witch also faced by fearful of her powers. After witnessing the destruction that she is capable of. There is a period where she refuses to use her powers and get involved. Despite this, she refuses to allow these difficulties to defeat her. Instead, she allows those times of hardships to form a stronger version of herself.
Secondly, throughout Infinity War (2018), and Endgame (2019), there were countless times where Thanos underestimated Scarlet Witch. Despite this, Scarlet Witch refused to allow it knock her down. All of those trials and tribulations have to lead up to this point. However, towards Endgame, Scarlet Witch becomes despite for revenge. When she finally comes face to face, Thanos she becomes determined to display her strength. Which both shocks Thanos, it that moment she proves to herself primarily why she’s a valuable member of the team.
Lastly, another reason the Scarlet Witch is a favourite character is the strength of her emotions. Scarlet Witch’s emotions in the past have been the reason for her powers to be out of control. However, the more we’ve seen her in the MCU, the further she’s been able to control and heighten her emotions to work in her favour.
5)IronMan; Tony Stark
Ironman’s first appeared in Tales Of Suspense in March 1963, later on, he made his first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Ironman in 2008.
Tony has always been an interesting character because he was where it all began. Tony has always been a character with more than one layer to him. Tony has dealt with illness in the past, having shrapnel lodged in his chest after being close to an explosion, but he was able to use his genius-level intellect to create a device to elongate his life. Tony’s mental health has also been affected in dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as anxiety. Illnesses that everyday people are constantly affected by, Tony’s character has provided people with someone who they could relate to.
Secondly, Tony is very much human. He was never a product of an experiment or wasn’t born with any Superhero powers. Tony decided to become one. He decided to create his armour and technology, to have a better world. However, while he’s becoming a Superhero, Tony Stark still has very human characteristics; for example, flaws, insecurities, vulnerabilities and weak spots. Throughout our encounters, with him, you see how being Ironman impacted him. He transforms into a better man, a better friend, a better husband, a better Father than his own.
Lastly, Tony’s love of humour and sarcasm brings light to a character who’s experienced such darkness. While discovering later that Tony’s love and usage of humour are used as a shield. It’s often comical and quick as he can almost reply instinctively in sarcasm.
6) Storm; Ororo Munroe
Storm’s first appeared in Giant-Size X-Men #1 in May 1975, later on, she made her first appearance in 20th Century Fox Studio’s in X-Men in 2000.
A key reason why Storm is one of my favourite characters is the struggles she feels in her early life. After observing her parent’s death in a horrendous fire (caused by an attack on the Suez Crisis in Egypt) a young Storm was buried alive underneath her dead parents. Later on, it caused her to deal with a severe case of claustrophobia. From that moment onwards her life was complicated. Unlike others, Storm didn’t have a mentor to show her the right path. Instead, she became a pickpocket and a thief as she stole to get buy. Eventually, she crossed paths with Charles Xavier who taught her how to harness her powers.
Unlike many other Superhero’s we’ve not been able to witness’s Storm at full strength yet. Storm is considered to be one of the numerous powerful women in the Marvel Universe however, we’ve only been able to witness glimpses of the power she’s been capable of. Being aware of this creates a curiously as to why we’ve been unable to witness this yet in a cinematic performance. With Storm being a tribal Priestess and Goddess, it creates an interesting aspect to her character.
Lastly, Storm brings representation as a strong independent woman who despite her issues in the past, conquering them. She’s able to be strong and ruthless, however sweet and caring to the younger members of the X-Men. She is also respected among her peers and considered a respected member of the X-Men.
7) Deadpool; Wade Wilson
Deadpool’s first appeared in The New Mutants #98 in February 1991, later on, he made his first appearance in 20th Century Fox Studio’s in Deadpool in 2016.
Wade Wilson is one of Marvel’s legendary creations. Often appearing to be a league of his own, and one of my favourite things about Wade Wilson is he doesn’t discriminate. Wade Wilson is not a good guy or a bad guy, he’s the perfect anti-hero. Wade Wilson is a guy who loves to kill people and get paid for it. Never joining with other fractions, Wade Wilson makes his own decisions and determines his version of right and wrong. As a result, makes him a very intriguing character.
Secondly, Wade Wilson is one of the only characters in the Marvel Universe that is fearless. Everyone tends to fear something. However, Wade Wilson appears to fear nothing, not even the Avengers. Wade Wilson’s fearlessness allows to place him in some pretty dangerous situations however, it also allows I’m to do some pretty remarkable things.
Lastly, despite Wade Wilson always ending in some dangerous situations. He never lets it affect him. Before Wade Wilson went through the experimental treatment, Wade held a childlike, hyperawareness sense of humour. Managing to keep that after the experiments, Wade Wilson carries that through and often jokes in some work dark situations. For example; walking on in a homicide.
Gamora first appeared in Strange Tales #180 in June 1975, later on, she made her first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014.
Firstly, Gamora is one of the first fighters within the Marvel Universe. Not only is she skilled in mixed Martial Arts, but she’s also capable of defending opponents with Super Strength, speed and rapid healing ability. Growing up with Thanos as an adopted Father meant a lot of extensive training, meant that unlike many others, she’s been trained in many different fighting techniques.
Secondly, she’s a true born leader and a team member. When she first joins the Guardians of Galaxy, she’s very shut off from the others. However, over time she was able to warm up to the others and become a valuable member of the team. She’s able to show a softer side to her that wasn’t immediately naturally to her after living with Thanos for as long as she did.
Lastly, she’s dynamic with Thanos has always been intriguing. With Thanos being one of the Marvel Cienmatic’s Universe mightiest villains that we’ve seen thus far, Thanos always appeared conflicted whenever he had to encounter Gamora with the Avengers. She was probably the only one who was able to understand Thanos in depth. Which ultimately helped the Avengers in defeated Thanos.
9) Erik Killmonger
Erik Killmonger’s first appeared in ‘Jungle Action #6’ in September 1973, later on, he made his first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Black Panther in 2018.
Despite Erik Killmonger being a villain, his backstory has been different from many others. He wasn’t born evil or raised to hate the people of Wakanda. After being, kidnapped and made a slave on top of the death of his Father. Erik’s early life was filled with struggles and heartache. It was only when hate and vengeance consumed him did he become the villain.
Despite being the villain of the story, Erik Killmonger is not completely heartless. A he looks at T’Challa, he witnesses everything that he could have had. Which fuels his anger and his jealously, to go ahead and seek the retribution for his Father’s death.
Lastly, his attitude to carry himself, Erik Killmonger appears to not care about anyone apart from himself and his Father. He’s able to make good arguments and be able to back them up. Without necessarily resulting it to get into a fight, this shows that he believes what he’s doing is the right thing to do.
10) Captain Marvel; Carol Danvers
Captain Marvel first appeared in ‘Marvel Superhero’s #12’ in January 1967, later on, she made her first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain Marvel in 2019.
Carol Danvers is a strong yet fun character. She proves that there can be a balance within a character that can be kind but also loving. She’s a strong character that stands up for the underdogs as she was once like them, not being able to believe in themselves.
Secondly, she’s also facing problems that can’t be solved with her fists. As she struggles with small betrayals, we get to witness the person that she is. Learning to grow as a person rather than always relying on her powers to solve the situation.
Lastly, Carol Danvers sends a message to the audience about always getting up when you’re knocked down. Despite situations not going her way, she’s determined to finish out whatever the mission she’s currently focusing on. Which in today’s society is an important message to be spreading, it also proves people with someone to look up to when they’re struggling in difficult times.
So that was my top 10 Marvel characters, if you made it through the article, I thank you for completing it. Let us know who your favourite Marvel character is.