Take 10

Take 10: International Heroes

Take a spin around the globe with the Secret Cabal as they select the greatest Marvel heroes from beyond the U.S.

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By Ben Morse Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas. Secret Invasion comes to England's shores this week in CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI: 13 #1 by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk, giving the Secret Cabal cause to take a little world tour and name their favorite stars of the Marvel Universe from outside the United States. For each candidate, you also get 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!

10. PETE WISDOM Home Country: England First Appearance: EXCALIBUR v1 #86 (1995) Learn More About Him… here Why He Makes The List: "A British spy with a razor-sharp tongue and quick wits, Pete Wisdom also has the mutant ability to absorb solar radiation and expel the energy in a number of ways, most often as 'hot knives' that he throws at suckers foolish enough to step to him. Not good enough? He's also been a member of Excalibur and leader to X-Force. So yeah, an international man of mystery who basically throws the sun at you? He's awesome." – Secret Cabal member Agent M Spotlight Comic: NEW EXCALIBUR #1—In the wake of M-Day, Pete Wisdom makes his move to revive Excalibur!

9. NORTHSTAR Home Country: Canada First Appearance: X-MEN v1 #120 (1979) Learn More About Him… here Why He Makes The List: "This former Olympic downhill skier has had more than his share of issues to deal with. In addition to coming to terms with his sexual orientation, Jean-Paul Beaubier was forced out of winning medals for his native homeland of Canada when he was outted as a mutant and recruited into their superhuman team, Alpha Flight, where he protected the Great White North in nearly every one its incarnations." – Secret Cabal member RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: ALPHA FLIGHT v1 #1—Northstar and the rest of Alpha Flight star in their first solo adventure!

8. WOLFSBANE Home Country: Scotland First Appearance: MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL #4 (1982) Learn More About Her… here Why She Makes The List: "A Scottish mutant with a werewolf-like mutation, Rahne Sinclair's always been torn between her devout religious beliefs, her personal desires and her sense of duty towards her friends, family and mutantkind. That struggle has helped make her character, beginning with her tenure on the New Mutants, through her stints with X-Factor and now as a member of the black-ops X-Force, one of the more compelling later-generation Children of the Atom. The ferocious werewolf-ness and cool Scottish dialogue don't hurt, either." – Agent M Spotlight Comic: X-FACTOR v1 #76—When Wolfsbane loses control in her lupine form, it's up to X-Factor to bring their teammate down!

7. UNION JACK Home Country: England First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA v1 #253 (1980) Learn More About Him… here Why He Makes The List: "While other more boastful heroes may get the recognition as the 'official' champion of England, Joseph Chapman carries on the legacy of Union Jack and in the process represents the working class of Britain. Up front about his nationalism with both his name and costume, Union Jack stands tall as a true man of the people who has the enthusiastic support of those whose lives he safeguards. He's a feel good hero you can't help but like regardless of where you have your own roots." – Secret Cabal member Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: NEW INVADERS #4—Union Jack must safeguard Spitfire from the eternal legacy of his most dangerous opponent: Baron Blood!

6. THE BLACK PANTHER Home Country: Wakanda First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR v1 #52 (1966) Learn More About Him… here Why He Makes The List: "The Black Panther doesn't just live in a secluded, super-advanced, impervious-to-invasion nation in the heart of Africa, he rules the damn place! The best Black Panther stories have always weaved the rich history of Wakanda and the impressive legacy T'Challa has assumed into the heart of the tale. The regal demeanor and fierce need to protect one's people that can come only with being a king make Black Panther one of Marvel's coolest characters." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: BLACK PANTHER v3 #1—Learn the history of Wakanda as the Black Panther prepares to defend her borders from a deadly foreign threat!

5. NIGHTCRAWLER Home Country: Germany First Appearance: GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1 (1975) Learn More About Him… here Why He Makes The List: "Most mutants are beautiful, with super model good looks that ensure they'd be liked by a lot of people, but Kurt Wagner was born looking like a demon. Hunted by those who hated and feared him for his appearance, Wagner met Charles Xavier and found peace on American shores as a member of the X-Men. Nightcrawler's story is that of many an immigrant who come to America and not only embrace the American Dream, but give back to the country with all their heart, demonstrating how diversity can positively affect change. Not one to be bound by borders, the hero has also been a member of foreign teams such as Excalibur and defended other nations, making him a true hero of the world." – Secret Cabal member OneManDynasty Spotlight Comic: NIGHTCRAWLER #7—The dark secrets of Nightcrawler's past come to the surface as he faces death along the Winding Way!

4. COLOSSUS Home Country: Russia First Appearance: GIANT-SIZE X-MEN (1975) Learn More About Him… here Why He Makes The List: "With a body of steel and the heart of a fighter but the soul of a farmer and artist, Peter Rasputin can be seen as a living representation of the contradictions within his homeland's history. While Russia has always been a strong and powerful nation, at its core lays a people who would like nothing more than to disengage from world politics and focus on creating art or working from the land. Colossus' down-to-earth naïveté and 'stranger in a strange land' routine has long made him one of the most endearing X-Men." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: X-MEN v1 #124—Transformed into the mad Proletarian, Colossus finds himself pitted against his friends in the X-Men!

3. CAPTAIN BRITAIN Home Country: England First Appearance: CAPTAIN BRITAIN #1 (1976) Learn More About Him… here Why He Makes The List: "Brian Braddock stands out in the Marvel Universe as a major power player on the level of just about any Avenger or X-Man who not only doesn't make his home in the U.S., but touts that fact. The living avatar of proud England, Captain Britain combines mysticism, technology and brute force to provide his isle with a champion of whom they can be proud. Like Captain America, Brian wears his nationality on his chest—literally—and can hold his own against whatever the forces of evil throw against him, but his British quirks, from his manners to his dry humor, make him unique." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: EXCALIBUR v1 #1—Captain Britain gathers an elite group to protect the United Kingdom, bringing together Excalibur for the first time!

2. STORM Home Country: Kenya First Appearance: GIANT-SIZE X-MEN (1975) Learn More About Her… here Why She Makes The List: "Once hailed as a goddess, Marvel's most recognizable female hero is not African by birth, but spent the majority of her youth as a pickpocket in Cairo, Egypt, and was then worshipped in the Serengeti. Now, through her marriage to Black Panther, she is the Queen of Wakanda, sealing her place as the premiere example of Marvel Royalty." – RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: STORM #1—Flash back to Storm's childhood in Kenya and learn more about her deep connection with T'Challa, the future Black Panther.

1. WOLVERINE Home Country: Canada First Appearance: INCREDIBLE HULK v1 #180 (1974) Learn More About Him… here Why He Makes The List: "Other members of the Cabal may balk at this number one, but they're simply jealous that the greatest fictional Canadian and greatest X-Man is also Marvel's greatest international hero. On the surface, it's easy to understand his appeal as a modern James Dean-esque character, embodying everything we associate with 'manliness' and the definition of 'cool.' Look a bit deeper and you'll find Wolverine to be a wonderful collection of contradictions, a testament to all that is fascinating about the human condition and a permanently flawed hero. No matter what happens, Wolverine can't atone for his sins, he can't be complete and he can't forget the pain he's suffered. As a Canadian, he's probably done more for heroes north of the U.S. border than anyone else—would we have ever met the truly awesome Alpha Flight without his membership in the X-Men?" – OneManDynasty Spotlight Comic: X-MEN v1 #120—Wolverine returns to his homeland to confront his former allies among Canada's foremost super team, Alpha Flight!

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