Take 10

Take 10: The Replacements

The Secret Cabal selects the men and women who shined brightest in shoes not their own

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Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas. This week in IRON MAN: DIRECTOR OF S.H.I.E.L.D. #33, James Rhodes, aka War Machine, steps out of Tony Stark's shadow and into the fray of Secret Invasion in the first of a three-part mini-epic leading into the WAR MACHINE ongoing series by Greg Pak and Leonardo Manco this December. But it's not the first time Rhodey has taken center stage. The Marvel Universe has the greatest heroes and vilest villains of them all, but even they need a break every so often, be it due to stress, a demon in a bottle or a mild case of death. That's when the James Rhodes' of the world step up and fill the shoes, helmets, shields and gliders of the big guns. This week, the Secret Cabal picks their 10 favorite surrogates, substitutes and succesors in Marvel history. For each character, you 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. ARACHNE First Appearance: MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS #6 (1984) Learn More…here Who She Replaced: Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman Tenure of Replacement: MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS #6 (1984)-SPIDER-WOMAN v2 #1 (1999) Why She Makes The List: "Making her debut during the Secret Wars, Julia Carpenter was originally called Spider-Woman, having taken up the name when Jessica Drew walked away from super-heroing temporarily. After a few bad turns early in her career, Julia found her true calling as a full-fledged hero and Avenger, becoming a cornerstone of the team's West Coast branch. Two interesting facts about Julia: it was her costume that inspired Spider-Man's black costume and at one point she was voted the most popular Avenger in a fan poll conducted through the AVENGERS WEST COAST letters page!" – Secret Cabal member RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: MS. MARVEL v2 #14—The former Spider-Woman goes head-to-head with Ms. Marvel!

9. BARON HELMUT ZEMO First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA #168 (1973) Learn More…here Who He Replaced: Baron Heinrich Zemo Tenure of Replacement: CAPTAIN AMERICA #275 (1982)-present Why He Makes The List: "When your dad already—supposedly—offed Captain America's sidekick, he leaves a pretty tough ugly purple hood to fill, but that hasn't stopped Helmut Zemo from being all he could be in the worst possible way. He gathered the largest, most successful Masters of Evil group ever, far eclipsing his dad's paltry squad, and dealt the Avengers perhaps their harshest defeat, destroying their home and crippling their beloved butler. For a second act, he formed the Thunderbolts and nearly got the entire world to believe he was the hero they needed...and he may yet be." – Secret Cabal member Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: ZEMO: BORN BETTER #1—Helmut Zemo tumbles through time, reliving his family's sordid history!

8. GENIS-VELL First Appearance: SILVER SURFER ANNUAL #6 (1993) Learn More…here Who He Replaced: Mar-Vell, aka Captain Marvel Tenure of Replacement: AVENGERS FOREVER #12 (1999)-NEW THUNDERBOLTS #3 (2005) Why He Makes The List: "Mar-Vell was a universally beloved hero with few if any apparent flaws, an impossible ideal to live up to...which is why it was always so fun watching his son Genis try in futility. Bouncing like a cosmic ping pong ball between aloof and insane, the second member of the Vell clan to gain cosmic awareness taught us a lot about finding your place in a universe that expects things of you that you can never give." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: CAPTAIN MARVEL v2 #1—Genis blasts off into his father's legacy!

7. U.S.AGENT First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA #323 (1986) Learn More…here Who He Replaced: Steve Rogers, aka Captain America Tenure of Replacement: CAPTAIN AMERICA #333 (1987)-CAPTAIN AMERICA #350 (1989) Why He Makes The List: "Captain America is the definition of good, however what if someone else fought the good fight with the best intentions—but he was a complete jerk? Meet John Walker, the one-time replacement for Steve Rogers who had plenty of American pride, but lacked the tact of his predecessor to say the least. Though he may seem like just 'Angry Captain America' to some, Walker is a brilliant examination of the fine line one walks between patriotism and nationalism, while also representing the conservative point of view. His methods were often controversial, but he got results—did that make him right? He clashed with the more liberal members of his team—but was he always wrong? These questions made readers think and are a big part of why U.S.Agent has remained very popular with fans." – Secret Cabal member OneManDynasty Spotlight Comic: OMEGA FLIGHT #1—U.S.Agent goes north of the border!

6. DANNY KETCH First Appearance: GHOST RIDER v3 #1 (1990) Learn More…here Who He Replaced: Johnny Blaze, aka Ghost Rider Tenure of Replacement: GHOST RIDER v3 #1 (1990)-PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN #93 (1998) Why He Makes The List: "Forget Cable, Danny Ketch was the ultimate '90s badass! Unwittingly stumbling upon a motorcycle which housed the Spirit of Vengeance, Danny had to learn how to be a hero the hard way, without anyone there at the beginning to lend him a helping hand. And just to prove you can't keep a good character down, Danny managed to come back from death not once, but twice over the course of his career, something few others can claim on their resumes." – Secret Cabal member SparkleMotion515 Spotlight Comic: GHOST RIDER SAGA—Learn the full story on the legacy of the Ghost Rider!

5. BEN REILLY First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #149 (1975) Learn More…here Who He Replaced: Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man Tenure of Replacement: SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN #0 (1996)-SPIDER-MAN #75 (1996) Why He Makes The List: "The most controversial character in Marvel history? Quite possibly, but Ben Reilly was a welcome addition to the Spider-Man mythos, at least to this fan, because he added an air of uncertainty and brought a needed energy to the books at the time. Reilly also allowed for compelling stories about identity, the definition of a hero and what made Peter Parker so special as Spider-Man. He gave us the Scarlet Spider, a cool new Spider-Man costume and someone Peter could relate to—even if it was his clone. Experiencing a much different life while being very similar to Peter made Ben an interesting look at what Peter could've been and reminded us how far he'd come." – OneManDynasty Spotlight Comic: SPIDER-GIRL #44—Mayday Parker learns about her own "Uncle Ben"!

4. ORSON RANDALL First Appearance: IMMORTAL IRON FIST #1 (2006) Learn More…here Who He Replaced: Bei Bang Wen, aka Iron Fist Tenure of Replacement: unknown-IMMORTAL IRON FIST #6 (2007) Why He Makes The List: "Orson Randall, the Iron Fist who came before Danny Rand, epitomizes all that's awesome about noir, pulp and super hero stories. While the equally awesome Rand uses his powers to create fists of fury, Orson channels his chi into guns to create, as he caled it, 'lightning from God.' And he's got a super hero costume that makes sense with plenty of military accessories! Orson may not be gracing the pages of IMMORTAL IRON FIST these days, but his role as a reluctant hero makes him stand out from the rest of his noble line." – OneManDynasty Spotlight Comic: IMMORTAL IRON FIST ANNUAL #1—Danny Rand opens the diary of Orson Randall!

3. HARRY OSBORN First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN v1 #31 (1965) Learn More…here Who He Replaced: Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin Tenure of Replacement: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #136 (1974)-SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #200 (1993) Why He Makes The List: "With one of the strangest and most recognizable hairdos in comics, Harry Osborn inherited not only his father's coif, but his penchant for madness. After a history of extreme instability and inadequacy issues, Harry took up the role of the Green Goblin to avenge his father's apparent death seemingly caused by Spider-Man. The one problem: Spider-Man was also his best friend: Peter Parker. Harry also appeared to die but has recently resurfaced and whether or not he came to town on a jet plane or Goblin Glider has yet to be determined..." – RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #136—The mysterious new Green Goblin makes his presence felt in Spider-Man's life!

2. WAR MACHINE First Appearance: IRON MAN #118 (1979) Learn More…here Who He Replaced: Tony Stark, aka Iron Man Tenures of Replacement: IRON MAN #170 (1983)-IRON MAN #200 (1985); IRON MAN #282 (1992)-IRON MAN #289 (1993) Why He Makes The List: "James Rhodes has taken over the Iron Man mantle more than once, given it back every time he took it over and continues his own heroic legacy. Rhodey and Tony have remained equals and friends for years, and this aspect to their relationship means that they can disagree with one another and even sever ties—at least until the War Machine armor needs repairs. It also allows Rhodey to have his own style and methods separate from those of Tony Stark. Finally, giving up outdated Iron Man armor in order to get to the tricked out, more heavy duty War Machine armor: total win." – Secret Cabal member LiterateNitz18 Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #2—War Machine leads the Avengers of the future into battle!

1. BUCKY BARNES First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1 (1941) Learn More…here Who He Replaced: Steve Rogers, aka Captain America Tenure of Replacement: CAPTAIN AMERICA v5 #34 (2008)-present Why He Makes The List: "Steve Rogers was a great character, but Ed Brubaker has managed to create an equally awesome Captain America in the form of Bucky. Watching Cap's former sidekick as he struggles to live up to his mentor's legend has made CAPTAIN AMERICA one of the most consistently riveting series out there today. He's still got a lot to learn, but we predict that when all's said and done, Bucky-Cap will stand side-by-side with Steve Rogers in the hallowed halls of Marvel history." – SparkleMotion515 Spotlight Comic: CAPTAIN AMERICA v5 #27—Bucky goes after the men responsible for the death of his mentor! Marvel Twitter Survey results for last week's Take 10 tie-in survey: Which Avengers roster is your favorite? 1) New-New Avengers 2) three-way tie: Heroes Return/Kooky Quartet/Original Follow Marvel on Twitter to vote in the Take 10 Marvel Twitter survey!

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