Heroism in the Marvel Universe doesn't end at the boundaries of the United States—and neither does villainy.
Whether they hail from fictional lands such as Wakanda and Latveria or real exotic locales ranging from Japan to the UK, some of Marvel's greatest stalwarts have emanated from way outside of Manhattan.
We asked some of the extended Marvel family—including England's Paul Cornell and Mike Perkins, Mexico's Humberto Ramos and Spain's Rafa Sandoval—for their most beloved characters from across the world.
It's Friday, so kick back, relax and enjoy.
PHIL JIMENEZ (artist of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN):
Marvel has a veritable "Global Guardians" in the pages of its Handbooks. I love international characters—do the [Chris] Claremont/[John] Byrne X-Men count?—Storm and Nightcrawler were my favorites—but any of those characters
introduced in CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS—Peregrine, Shamrock, the Collective Man, Sabra; several members of Alpha and Omega Flight—Snowbird, Talisman, Northstar and Aurora, etc.; the Transians—Scarlet Witch and High Evolutionary; the Nova Romans—Selene and Magma; even Doctor Doom and the Arabian Knight are favorites when they're played well! I'm dying to do a book focusing on a team of Marvel's international heroes!
DAVID MICHELINIE (former writer of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN):
Is there really any other choice? I mean, who doesn't get a chill skipping down their spine whenever they hear that fearsome battle cry, "Eet ees I, Batroc zee leep-air!" Well, okay, maybe not. I guess my favorite international character would have to be one I created years ago but never really got a chance to develop: Solo. He was a man who hid his origins, gave up any claim to nationality so that he would be free to fight terrorists. Enemies could never take retribution against his homeland if he didn't have one. This made him literally a man without a country, a foreigner wherever he went. And probably the loneliest man in the Marvel Universe.
WILLIAM MESSNER-LOEB (former writer of THOR):
Actually, I like Dr. Doom. I've always enjoyed those rare occasions where Doom was forced by events to get along with everyone. And save the world. And that the more sanctimonious heroes
had to admit that they owed their lives to Von Doom.
MIKE PERKINS (upcoming artist of THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS):
I think everyone is aware of my Captain Britain love, but the truth is...I actually prefer Union Jack. It must be the similar background we share—except for the part where I draw super heroes and he is
one. I've got a great idea in my head for a Union Jack 12-issue series and I'm positive that it will get done eventually. Plus: he has one of the greatest costumes in comics.
RAFA SANDOVAL (artist of INCREDIBLE HERCULES):
My favorite character is Nightcrawler. [Ever] since I "met" him in EXCALIBUR by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis he has always been my favorite character. I wait [to] someday to be able to draw [him].
KEVIN GREVIOUX (writer of NEW WARRIORS):
My favorite international character has to be Sabra, the Israeli hero. She has a cool combination of super strength and [a] hard edge. And being part of the Mossad amidst the politics of the
Middle East makes her really interesting.
JEFF PARKER (upcoming writer of AGENTS OF ATLAS):
Well, I'm sure everyone is going to say him but how could we not praise BATROC ZE LEAPAIR?!?! I mean, he is, how you say, French! And he bounces around kicking Captain America while laughing "Oh ho ho!"
And for more pure entertainment value, Banshee. He's essentially a drunk leprechaun who hangs with the X-Men. Sure and you don't need more than that, laddie.
TOM DEFALCO (writer of AMAZING SPIDER-GIRL):
I've always had a thing for Silver Sable. Not only does she have a unique perspective on the hero biz, her entire country's economy is based on her work—that's quite a responsibility!
PAUL CORNELL (writer of CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND MI: 13):
My favorite non-American Marvel character is obviously Brian Braddock, Captain Britain. His earliest appearances, in CAPTAIN BRITAIN WEEKLY, are a cracking attempt to merge the Marvel ethos with the conventions of the weekly British comic, and are perhaps Herb
Trimpe's best work. He effortlessly represents Britain here, as a more modern 'young lion of London' in the Peter Parker mode. He has a nice line in dry wit that sounds genuinely British. Later on, he becomes the focus for conflict over ideas of Britishness, and Alan Moore begins his deconstruction of the super hero with Brian, but still he manages, uniquely for a foreign character, to be a highly visible presence in Marvel's ranks.
FRED VAN LENTE (upcoming writer of MARVEL ZOMBIES 3):
Aw-haw-haw-haw! How cannot I not say Batroc Zee Leaper?
CHRISTOS GAGE (co-writer of AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE):
Union Jack! I've liked the character ever since reading CAPTAIN AMERICA v1 #253-254 as a kid, and I had a blast writing his adventures with Mike Perkins contributing such amazing art. He takes on super-villains and vampires with nothing but a dagger and a World War I era pistol—how cool is that?
HUMBERTO RAMOS (upcoming artist of RUNAWAYS):
Wolverine of course. You know, one of the coolest tings about the X-Men is their various nationalities. That is great.
RALPH MACCHIO (Marvel Senior Editor):
Hey, being born outside the U.S. in the Marvel U means guys like Galactus, the Surfer, Thor, etc. Heh.
One outside the U.S. character I really like is Nightcrawler. Everything about him is interesting: His look, his powers, his background in the circus. This is a mutant I really do have a great deal of sympathy for because he is barely human-looking and has been the victim of much prejudice and violence. When I think about the phrase "Hated and feared by the world," it's Nightcrawler's face that comes to mind.