The world needs heroes, now more than ever. Luckily, Marvel comics has been printing stories of heroes for decades, people who want to save the world and do the right thing at all times. These heroes set the example for the rest of humanity, showing that people can be really great and they can strive to do no good, no matter what the situation. Everyone has their favorites, but what makes a hero truly great? What are the qualities inherent in heroes that make them stand out in such a crowded field?
Well, for one thing, a great hero always puts the needs of others before their own. On top of that, a real hero never looks for fame or glory. They simply want to save the world and make sure the people in it are safe. Finally, a real hero never stops fighting, they do everything they can to win the day for the forces of good, even if it means that they have to put their own lives on the line. Marvel's heroes have often displayed these traits, and Stan Lee always wanted to make sure that his heroes weren't just fighting for the good of mankind, but also that they were relatable. These were not people who had their chests puffed out and a sense of superiority. Many of them were just normal people thrust into situations where they had to grow and become better.
Take a look at these heroes and decide what you would rate them. Then, we'll try to guess which one is your absolute favorite!
Back in the day, Tony Stark was just another billionaire. He was the kind of guy who made things that just caused the world to become worse, but he never really cared. That is, until he was taken by some bad people and forced to build himself a battery to keep shrapnel out of his heart. This moment made Tony realize that he had been doing the wrong thing his whole life, so he turned things around, built a suit, and became Iron Man.
Once a mercenary for hire, Wade Wilson was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. After he undergoes a mysterious treatment by some less than reputable people, Wade finds that he has been given healing capabilities similar to Wolverine's (although his healing takes much longer). Wade became the "hero" known as Deadpool, whose actions are sometimes questionable, but he always delivers on getting the bad guys. He also seems acutely aware that he is a comic book character, and regularly breaks the fourth wall.
Sometimes having a member of the team who can be a possible liability is not great. Then again, having the Hulk as a teammate would definitely be handy. Bruce Banner was just an average scientist until his experimentation with gamma rays led to a huge change in his genetic coding. Now, whenever Banner gets too angry, he turns into the Hulk, a massive, green force of pure strength and destruction. Sure, he can be hard to control sometimes, but Hulk knows what is right and always tries to help.
There were many different heroes who took on the name Captain Marvel, but the most popular of all of them might just be Carol Danvers. As a test pilot for the Air Force, Danvers encountered the alien Mar-Vell, whose alien DNA was bonded with her own in a powerful explosion during the testing of new military technology. Danvers acquired immense amounts of power, including flight, super strength, and the ability to fire proton beams from her hands. She can also survive in the vacuum of space.
When a team of superheroes needs to find against forces beyond reason, ones whose strength would intimidate nearly anyone, it's good to know that the God of thunder is on their side. Thor came to Earth after he was banished from Asgard. However, he proved himself a hero and eventually joined forces with the Avengers. He has had plenty of his own adventures, mostly dealing with his troublesome brother Loki, but Thor always comes back to save Earth when he is needed.
Steve Rogers was nothing more than a scrawny kid from Brooklyn back in the 1940s. However, he wanted nothing more than the chance to defend and fight for his country and everything he believed in. He was given the chance to take part in an experiment which turned him into a super soldier, with superhuman strength and agility. He became the hero known as Captain America, and after being frozen in Arctic ice, he was brought back to life in the 21st century.
No one has ever displayed the difficulty in being a hero and trying to lead a normal life more than Peter Parker, also known as the amazing Spider-Man. Peter was bitten by a radioactive spider during a visit to a lab. The bite granted him incredible powers like the ability to cling to walls, super strength, agility, and his helpful spider-sense. He used his scientific knowledge to build web shooters, and after experiencing a painful loss, he dedicated himself to fighting crime.
He might just be one of the most popular Marvel heroes out there, and for good reason. Wolverine, also sometimes known as Logan, is the no-nonsense, rough-and-tumble member of the X-Men that most comic book fans admire. It could be his attitude, his incredible self-healing powers, or it could be his strong adamantium claws. Whatever it is, Wolverine has captured people's imaginations, and there's no telling what the future holds for such a complicated character. On film, he had his swan song in Logan.
Every team needs a leader. The Avengers have Steve Rogers, and the Guardians of the Galaxy have Star-Lord (also known as Peter Quill, who really has a hard time getting people to call him Star-Lord). As a kid, Quill was taken from Earth by the Ravagers, who raised him as one of their own, rather than turn him over to his father, Ego, the living planet. Quill is an incredibly skilled fighter and pilot, and just a little bit of a rapscallion.
It's not often that a hero is also a king, but that is the case with the ruler of Wakanda himself, King T'Challa. The power of the Black Panther is passed down through the generations of the nation's royal family, and it imbues them with enhanced strength and agility. Of course, it also helps to have incredible technology and scientific minds. Since Wakanda sits on top of the world's supply of vibranium, the nation is actually far more advanced than anywhere else in the world.
Scott Lang was just an average criminal, often getting into trouble because he and his partners would commit various robberies. OF course, Scott tried to go straight but ended up breaking into the home of Hank Pym and stealing the Ant-Man suit. Seeing Scott's talents, Hank began training him to be the new Ant-Man. Scott is able to shrink himself to an incredibly small size, but he can also grow into a giant. However, becoming a giant takes a huge amount of energy.
When Peter Parker was joined with an alien symbiote, he thought that it was the greatest thing that could happen to him. Unfortunately, the alien parasite was changing Peter in ways he did not like, so he separated from it. The symbiote, still feeling a powerful grudge against the hero, joined up with Eddie Brock, and turned him into the villain known as Venom. Eventually, though, Venom was able to (mostly) change his ways, and he became something of an antihero.
Stephen Strange was the kind of guy who knew he was pretty amazing. He was a star surgeon, and that success went right to his head. however, after an accident left him unable to use his hands effectively anymore, he had to seek out a remedy. After getting some advice from a former patient, Strange finds himself in Kamar-Taj, studying the mystic arts under the tutelage of the Ancient One. He uses these powers (As well as the Eye of Agamotto) for the good of Earth.
What would the Guardians of the Galaxy be without the individual talents of all of its members? That, of course, includes walking, talking tree creature Groot. Groot is a bit of a mystery. No one really seems to know where he came from, but one thing is for sure: he really wants people to know that he is Groot. After all, it is the only thing he can say. Somehow, though, there are people who can understand what he is saying.
When Thanos was wreaking all sorts of havoc across the galaxy in order to bring order and uncover the locations of the infinity stones, one of the stops he made was to the home planet of Drax, a mighty warrior who was born and raised to fight. Drax's family was taken from him by Thanos, and he swore revenge. However, he forgave Gamora, Thanos's daughter when he joined a ragtag group of "heroes," who came together in order to save the galaxy.
Saving the world from a massive alien invasion was definitely a job that was going to require some superpowered individuals. Even still, Black Widow, a normal human, with no superpowers to speak of, held her own against the invasion alongside the rest of the Avengers. Black Widow, also known as Natasha Romanoff, is an indispensable member of the team. Trained in counterintelligence as well as several forms of physical combat, Natasha has shown that she can fight alongside the best of them.
When Steve Rogers was brought back into the world in the present day, it was hard for him to adjust. Too much had changed, and there just wasn't enough time to take it all in. Sam Wilson, a former soldier, helps Steve out by inviting him to a group for returning veterans. Of course, as it turns out, Sam Wilson has some experience with experimental technology, and his talents using a winged flight suit. Calling himself Falcon, Sam Wilson helps the Avengers in all their endeavors.
Time travel has always been a huge part of the X-Men universe, and one of the heroes who came back from the future is Cable. He may be best known as the metal-armed soldier with telekinetic abilities, but the truth about Cable is that he is actually the son of Cyclops, Scott Summers. Cable looks pretty intimidating, but he always fights for the right side, lending his strength and expertise to the X-Men in order to prevent problems that arise in the future.
As a child, Matt Murdock lost his sight in an accident involving experimental chemicals. Though he went blind, Matt's other senses were heightened to superhuman levels. Not knowing what to do with these abilities and left orphaned after his father was taken out by criminals. Matt was mentored by a man named Stick with similar abilities, and he eventually went off on his own to become the crimefighter known as Daredevil. Using his heightened senses, Daredevil is able to fight the bad guys even without being able to see.
When Thanos arrived on her homeworld, GHamora was just a child. She did not know what was going to happen to the rest of her people, but the Mad Titan saw something in her that connected with him. He taught her everything he knew about strength, which admittedly turned Gamora into a pretty jaded person. Eventually, she turned against her adoptive father figure and set out on her own in order to take her down. She was always the favorite, much to the chagrin of Nebula.
As a young man, Scott summers discovered his powers very early on. Fueled by the energy of the sun, Scott is able to fire powerful laser beams out of his eyes. He eventually went to Xavier's school for the gifted and became the leader of the X-Men. Cyclops is brave, strong, and has a romantic rivalry with Wolverine over Jean Grey. What makes Scott's powers more interesting is the fact that his eyes actually act as portals to another dimension.
Johnny Blaze was an average stuntman, not that it's the kind of job where a person can really be considered just "average." After a close friend of his was diagnosed with cancer, Johnny offered to sell his soul to the demon Mephisto to save him. However, after the friend lost his life anyway, Johnny reneged on the deal and was bonded with a demon that turned him into the Ghost Rider, a spectral figure with a flaming skull who punished the wicked.
Certain members of the X-Men have shown numerous times that they are some of the strongest people in the world. That is definitely true of Colossus, whose real name is Peter Rasputin. Hailing from Russia, Peter joined the X-Men to better utilize and learn how to control his mutant power. Colossus is able to turn all of his skin into an impenetrable metal, which really comes in handy when the X-Men are facing off against some of their more dangerous enemies.
One of the strangest members of the Guardians of the Galaxy is not a giant tree or even a green-skinned woman. The one member that captured people's interest right away was none other than Rocket Raccoon. Rocket was the subject of various scientific experiments, However, he escaped from the lab where he was being held and went into business with Groot as a bounty hunter and thief. Rocket is one of the more gruff members of the group, and it is hard for him to get close to anyone.
What would the Fantastic Four be without its hot-headed youngest member, Johnny Storm? During the cosmic storm that gave the team its amazing powers, Johnny was given the ability to cover his entire body in flames, thus taking on the name, the Human Torch. In addition to being able to create fire and heat himself to immense levels, Johnny is also capable of flight. Fun fact: the Human Torch was actually the very first hero ever created by Marvel Comics!
Since there's already been mention of teams needing leaders, then it must be time to talk about the stalwart leader of the Fantastic four, Mister Fantastic himself. Reed Richards, a brilliant scientist, and his crew were on a mission to explore the deepest reaches of space. While on the mission, they were bombarded with cosmic rays, giving each of them individual superpowers. Reed gained the ability to stretch his body in ways that no human ever could, no matter how much yoga they do.
Natasha Romanoff doesn't have any superpowers, and yet she fights right alongside the Avengers anywhere they go. The same goes for Hawkeye, a man whose talent for firing a bow and arrow with an alarming degree of accuracy would seem quaint in the modern world, and yet it has come in handy in more situations than one. Hawkeye, also known as Clint Barton, is also a master tactician and a solid soldier. He's the kind of guy anyone would want watching over them.
During the 1960s, Marvel went through a phase of creating a lot of cosmic storylines, stretching their heroic universe far beyond the Earth and exploring other realms and planets throughout the galaxy. This is the era that brought the Silver Surfer into the world. Originally the inhabitant of a far-away planet, Norrin Radd offered his services to Galactus, the devourer of planets, in order to spare his home. He was given the power cosmic and tasked with finding new worlds for Galactus to absorb.
Among the four astronauts who were hit with cosmic rays during a voyage into space was Sue Storm, sister to Johnny Storm and fiancee to one Reed Richards. After the event, Sue was endowed with the power to turn herself invisible. In addition to this amazing power, Sue can also create forcefields to shield herself and others from harm. She is a tough, tenacious, and intelligent hero, and a key member of the Fantastic Four. The team just wouldn't be the same without her.
When the time came for Netflix to make its own Marvel shows, it set its sights on heroes that were more of the street-level type. That included Iron Fist, also known as Danny Rand. When Danny was a kid, he was lost after a plane crash, but found his way to the hidden city of K'un-Lun. There, Danny was trained in martial arts and sent to fight a powerful dragon. After defeating the dragon, Danny was granted the power of the Iron Fist.
One of the most powerful X-Men ever is not always the one that comes to mind for casual fans. Introduced in the original team and continuing to join them in their fights is Jean Grey, a powerful telepath who also possesses powers of telekinesis. Jean is far more powerful than some people realize, which is why she eventually becomes one with the Phoenix Force. This allows her to unlock all of her power, but it also takes her down a darker path.
No one ever really talks about the kinds of problems that superheroes would have. Sure, they can always save the day, but what kind of toll does all that crimefighting take on their psyche? Jessica Jones is the perfect case study for this question. She may have super strength and limited flying abilities, but she can't get over some of the bad things she did while under the mind control of a villain named Kilgrave. She works as a PI and tries to move on from it.
Every group of heroes needs someone to bring them together, a voice of cool authority and strength that can stand up against anything. For the Avengers, that person was Nick Fury, the director of SHIELD. Fury is recognizable by his signature eyepatch, and he is never one to back down from a fight. In his early days as a SHIELD agent, Fury came across the person who would inspire him to seek out superpowered individuals: Carol Danvers, also known as Captain Marvel.
Another of the street level heroes who got their own Netflix show was none other than Power Man himself, Luke Cage. Once a respected police officer, Luke was sent to jail for a crime he did not commit. After he was made the subject of a strange experiment, Luke was imbued with super strength and impenetrable skin. Luke Cage returned to his home in Harlem, New York, in order to protect the community. In the comics, he regularly works with Iron Fist.
The final member of the Fantastic four is Ben Grimm, a musclebound guy who was supposed to be keeping the rest of the members safe from any harm. After being subjected to the space storm that gave the team superpowers, Ben Grimm wound up undergoing the most drastic transformation. His skin was transformed into craggly orange rock, completely altering his appearance. He began going by the name the Thing, but was sensitive about the way he looked. He is known for his catchphrase, "it's clobberin' time!"
The X-Men are a team that is made up of diverse and interesting members, each with their own set of specific abilities owing to their mutations. Among them is Beast, also known by his real name, Dr. Hank McCoy. Hank is a brilliant scientist, and although he has the appearance of a ferocious animal, he is well-spoken, intelligent, and often quite gentle. Of course, when he has to get into battle, he can be just as dangerous as any other mutant.
A mutant power that can come in really handy is the ability to look like anyone in the world. Of course, this is a power possessed by former X-Men member Mystique. She is most recognizable by the fact that her skin is blue and scaly in her normal form. However, she is able to change her appearance at will. she can manipulate her body to look like anyone. Another part of her powers is that she can change her voice as well.
Bucky Barnes was Steve Rogers's best friend back in the 1940s, often standing up for him when he couldn't fight back against bullies, due to his size. However, during a mission in the war, Bucky was lost and presumed gone forever. Decades later, while Steve was working as an operative for SHIELD, he encountered a new enemy known as the Winter Soldier. This turned out to be Bucky, who had been brainwashed and cryogenically frozen to use as an assassin.
While Gamora was always the favorite daughter of Thanos, she had to continually prove her worth by fighting her adoptive sister, a Kree woman named Nebula. Nebula would always lose to Gamora, causing Thanos to try and make her better by augmenting her with cybernetic technology. Nebula had a huge grudge against her sister, and would fight against her at any chance. However, they eventually were able to put their differences aside, and Nebula became the newest member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Not every hero is born into this world as a human. Sometimes, heroes come from unlikely places, and Vision is no exception. Originally designed as a vessel for the mind of Ultron, Vision was instead given the mind of JARVIS, the artificial intelligence that Tony Stark created. Vision is the kind of her who sees beyond the shortsightedness of villains like Ultron. He knows that ultimately, humanity is worth saving, even if people sometimes aren't their best. He has many different superpowers, and is powered by the mind stone.
It always seems that a superpower people really want is teleportation. After all, who wouldn't want the ability to be able to appear right where they need to be at any time? Of course, every power comes at a price, and for Nightcrawler, that price is having an unchangeable mutant appearance. While he can teleport at will, Nightcrawler also has blue skin, three fingers on each hand, and a long, pointed tail. He is an indispensable member of the X-Men, and one of their most popular members.
When he was young, Charles Xavier had a vision for the future of humanity. He knew that there were mutants in the world, and that they would face challenges form non-mutants. In order to make things better, Xavier dedicated his life to training mutants in how to control and use their powers for good. Xavier himself is a powerful telepath, and is actually one of the most powerful mutants in the world. Using a machine called Cerebro, Xavier is able to locate mutants anywhere in the world.
Some superheroes may not have superpowers, but they inherit their skills, attitudes, and identities from their parents. That was the case with Hope Van Dyne, who eventually became the Wasp. Her father, Hank Pym, and mother, Janet Van Dyne, were the original Ant-Man and Wasp, and together, they tried to save the world. However, Janet was lost in the quantum realm after she shrank to a size smaller than an atom. Hope became the new Wasp and works with the new Ant-Man, Scott Lang.
Some heroes choose to uphold the law and do what is right, acting as an example for people everywhere. Then there's someone like Frank Castle, who would prefer not to be referred to as a hero at all. Frank lost his family when they were taken out by vindictive mobsters. Seeing that the justice system was not going to actually hold these men responsible, Frank used his military training to become the Punisher, a vigilante who plays by his own rules.
As a child, Ororo Munroe was worshipped in her village. The people there thought she was a powerful God because of the way she could manipulate the weather. Of course, she was actually just a mutant, and as a child she was taken in by Charles Xavier, who taught her how to better control her powers and use them for good. Naming herself Storm, Munroe became one of the strongest members of the X-Men team, and her formidable powers have come in handy many times.
Sometimes a team needs a member whose powers are just kind of a mystery to them. For the Avengers, that hero comes in the form of Scarlet Witch. In the comics, Scarlet Witch is a mutant, but in the MCU, she was actually a regular person who was given superpowers through the use of an infinity stone. She is able to get inside the minds of people and manipulate their thoughts, but she can also control solid objects using a power similar to telekinesis.
In the comics, the X-Men have a variety of different members that never really showed up in the films. One of those characters is Gambit, who was created in the 90s as a sort of "cooler" X-man. Gambit's powers, admittedly, are pretty cool. He is able to charge any object in his hands with kinetic energy, making it explosive. The objects he chooses to use the most are playing cards, which he can throw with a huge degree of accuracy. He also utilizes a bow staff in combat.
Though he is one of the lesser-known Marvel heroes, Moon Knight is quickly becoming more popular in mainstream circles, and fans are eager to see him be featured in a film. Moon Knight is a complicated character. Originally named Mark Spector, Moon Knight was just a normal man who was eventually given a second chance at life if he became a defender for the God Khonshu. Spector created many other identities and started to lose himself in the mix. Moon Knight is a much darker hero than most.
Many people might think that Aquaman is the only underwater superhero. Who could blame them? Aquaman was just the star of a huge motion picture. However, Aquaman is actually just a pale imitation of a much more interesting nautical hero: Namor, the Submariner. Much like Aquaman, Namor is part of an underwater race of beings, and was actually their prince. However, in the original stories, he fought alongside Captain America in World War II. He is not always happy with humans, but he does his best to protect the Earth.
Adam Warlock is probably not a character that most MCU fans are familiar with. At least, not yet. After all, Adam Warlock was teased in one of the post-credits scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Adam Warlock is a powerful being, created as a perfect specimen by scientists. Eventually, he leaves his homeworld and travels through space, where he encounters various other Marvel characters like Thanos, Gamora, and even the Avengers. Adam Warlock is pivotal in the Infinity War storyline.