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Take 10

Take 10: Bad Boys

Rating the rogues and rebels who have scored a special place in our hearts

Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas.

A bad boy's not something easily defined.

It can be a charming rogue, a violent wildcard or a loner with a secret. They don't generally play well with others, and yet they number among Marvel's most popular characters.

With several gentlemen of questionable morale character yet undeniable charisma currently playing key roles across the Marvel Universe, the Secret Cabal felt now might be a good time to share their personal picks for the best of the bad.

For each character you get the quick rundown as well as a special spotlight comic courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.

As always, these picks reflect the personal choices of the Secret Cabal, not the official opinion of Marvel or Marvel.com, and can be considered subjective at best. Enjoy!


First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #266 (1990)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: Each new decade has bred a new handsome stranger with questionable motivations among the X-Men, and since 1990, Gambit has fit the bill. He's suave and charming with that accent and smile, plus he's got cool powers and knows how to fight, but Remy LeBeau is a thief through and through, be it of valuables or girl's hearts. He's not easy to trust, but Gambit has proven one of the more beloved of Marvel's many mutants to come along in quite some time.
Spotlight Comic: GAMBIT #10 (2005)-Remy attempts a daring heist from right under his X-Men teammates' noses!

9. GHOST RIDER (Johnny Blaze)
First Appearance: MARVEL SPOTLIGHT #5 (1972)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: With his leather jacket, sweet motorcycle, ever-present razor stubble and of course that flaming skull, there's really no question Johnny Blaze is a bad boy. For all his rebel trappings though, Ghost Rider's origins sprang out of a romantic, as Johnny gave up his soul hoping to protect those he cared about, from his girlfriend Roxanne to her father and his mentor, Crash. Though he's hesitant to show it, there's a lot more to GR than just vengeance.
Spotlight Comic: GHOST RIDER #20 (2008)-Johnny Blaze hits the road for vengeance!

First Appearance: RUNAWAYS #1 (2003)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: Marvel's youngest rebel with or without a cause, Chase looks out for his fellow Runaways with fierce loyalty, but also hides a dark history and often shady motives beneath his ego and wit. That he fell for the caustic Gert shows Chase has more layers to him than would appear immediately evident, but the tragic end to their relationship has only provided more opportunities for the tech-savvy teen to behave badly, even if his actions are often motivated by the best of intentions.
Spotlight Comic: RUNAWAYS #10 (2005)-A trip to New York City reveals secrets from Chase's past!

First Appearance: EXCALIBUR #86 (1995)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: Pete Wisdom can lay claim to being a top notch spy, a former member of Excalibur and the driving force behind MI: 13, but there's a large group of both fans and characters who will always remember him as the guy who helped Kitty Pryde lose her innocence. Sure Shadowcat had already been through more than her share of growing pains by the time she hooked up with Wisdom, but no doubt the odd but endearing romance between the X-Men's one-time ingénue and the cynical Brit changed both irrevocably and forged Pete a lasting place in the Marvel Universe.
Spotlight Comic: CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI: 13 #1-Pete Wisdom pulls together MI: 13!

First Appearance: X-MEN #4 (1964)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: It's somewhat surprising that Pietro Maximoff has been a member of so many teams-the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, the Avengers, X-Factor and even the Inhumans to a degree-given that he can hardly be in a room with another person and not drive them practically insane with rage. Quicksilver's arrogance and impatience rarely fails to rub others the wrong way, but his maintenance of these qualities of the face of being a dedicated hero-with periods of villainy checked along the way-have cemented the speedster as a unique member of the Marvel pantheon.
Spotlight Comic: X-FACTOR: THE QUICK AND THE DEAD #1-The rebirth of Quicksilver!

First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #129 (1974)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: At the heart of Frank Castle's crusade lies a man with a good heart doing what he feels is necessary to make the world safe and avenger the murder of his family by wiping out crime in all its forms. However, The Punisher's definition of "necessary" certainly can't be seen as anything less to than sociopathic to a healthy person, yet unquestionably enviable in its simplicity. The Punisher probably shouldn't be a revered or romantic figure, but in a world where black and white are muddied by so many shades of grey, there's no denying he has become one.
Spotlight Comic: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #577-The Punisher must work with Spider-Man in a team-up neither wants!

First Appearance: DAREDEVIL #1 (1964)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: Matt Murdock may have started his career as a costumed crimefighter with a zest for life and knack for witty banter second only to Spider-Man, but the years have hardly been kind to the Man Without Fear, hardening Hell's Kitchen's guardian with each personal tragedy. These days, Daredevil seems more unraveled than ever, having taken control of the demonic Hand and recently murdered his archfoe, Bullseye, but even so, friends and foes alike still find themselves drawn into his irresistible orbit. DD's struggle to keep his idealism in the face of impossible odds and the dark side such a battle has given him make for a compelling figure.
Spotlight Comic: DAREDEVIL #37 (1968)-The Man Without Fear takes on Doctor Doom!

First Appearance: TALES OF SUSPENSE #57 (1964)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: There are few people in the Marvel Universe who dare stand up to Steve Rogers on a regular basis, but during his early days with the Avengers, Clint Barton practically made a career out of it. Indeed, Hawkeye has earned the respect of every major hero from Captain America to Iron Man by not being afraid to question their decisions and let them know when they need an attitude adjustment. The Battling Bowman himself, of course, refuses to alter his own outlook as far as being a rabble rouser, but he's also grown into a strong leader and even responsible spouse over the years, proving even bad boys can settle down...a bit.
Spotlight Comic: THE PULSE #10-The Avenging Archer enters the House of M!

First Appearance: INCREDIBLE HULK #180 (1974)
Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: On a team filled with straight-arrow leaders, gentle strongmen and swashbuckling elves, Wolverine managed to stand out among the All-New, All-Different X-Men with his gruff attitude and penchant for violence. As years passed, readers as well as Logan's teammates learned there was much more to the pint-sized Canadian, including a deep-rooted sense of honor and strong paternal instinct when it came to young charges like Kitty Pryde of Jubilee. Though it seemed like prim and proper Jean Grey would be unable to resist the romantic overtures of the ol' Canucklehead, she ultimately chose Cyclops, showing that the bad boy doesn't always get the girl. Nonetheless, for decades we've been vicariously popping the claws and getting in our bosses' faces thanks to Wolverine.
Spotlight Comic: WOLVERINE: MANIFEST DESTINY #1-Logan tears it up in Chinatown!

Learn More About Him...here
Why He Makes the List: The Savage Sub-Mariner was Marvel's original bad boy. Yes, he fought Nazis alongside the Invaders, but he also tried to conquer New York City on more than one occasion and caused massive property damage in his battles with the original Human Torch. Later on, Namor would flip between ally and enemy of the Fantastic Four and Avengers, and even today has a hair trigger temper that can cause him to forget his X-Men membership status at the drop of a ruby quartz visor. However, Namor's more human side, be it his weakness for pretty blondes like Sue Richards and Emma Frost or his respectful friendship with Steve Rogers, adds depth to an already awesome character who's got the cajones to fly around in a green Speedo and punch people in the face.
Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS/INVADERS #3-The Sub-Mariner meets his match in his younger self!


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How is Deadpool not on this list?


Gambit, Wolverine, Punisher, and Daredevil rock. But Deadpool should be #1


The Punisher should be number 1 on the list. Hes the most bad @@#&@* character ever


Great list, everyone likes the badboys!