Best of 2010

Top Ten Heroes of 2010

The greatest good guys in the Marvel Universe over the last year

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By Ben Morse

So we’ve talked teams, we’ve talked fights, and we’ve talked villains, but let’s face facts: At the end of the day, it’s the heroes that make the Marvel Universe.

After a harrowing Dark Reign, the good guys came back in a major way in 2010, taking down Norman Osborn and ushering in a new Heroic Age. From New York to San Francisco, from Wakanda to the Savage Land, and into the far reaches of the cosmos, heroism shined like a beacon over the past year.

Of course a Marvel hero’s job never really ends and these guys and girls already have their plates fearfully full for 2011—get it: fearfully—but let’s take a moment and celebrate their accolades.

10. IRON MAN

2010 Opponents: Norman Osborn, The Ghost, the Hammer Girls

Year in Review: Poor Tony Stark spent the first part of the year brain dead after sacrificing his magnificent mind to keep its secrets out of Norman Osborn’s hands, but Iron Man would rally to play a key role in Siege as well as bringing the Avengers back together. Closer to home, Shellhead formed a new company—Stark Resilient—and exposed would-be armored “hero” Detroit Steel for the Hammer-backed fraud he turned out to be.

Digital Comics Spotlight: INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #25

More info available here

9. LUKE CAGE

2010 Opponents: The Hood, the Dark Avengers, Lionfang

Year in Review: Having led the Avengers through tough times in the absence of the “big guns,” Luke Cage got to enjoy some well-deserved blowing off of steam once Steve Rogers and company came back on the scene, kicking ass and taking names during Siege and then finally putting the kibosh on that pesky Hood. Now the former Power Man directs the New Avengers against the hidden threats the main team might miss, and also attempts to reform villains in the Thunderbolts. Sweet Christmas!

Digital Comics Spotlight: NEW AVENGERS: LUKE CAGE #1

More info available here

8. THOR

2010 Opponents: Doctor Doom, the Dark Avengers, Ragnarok

Year in Review: The greatest champions rise in the most trying of times, an axiom Thor proved true this year. When Norman Osborn and his army invaded Asgard in an attempt to bring down the Golden Realm, the Thunderer stood alone against overwhelming odds, buying his homeland time until his Avengers allies could arrive. He fended off his mad clone, Ragnarok, and even played peacemaker between his friends Tony Stark and Steve Rogers for the good of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Digital Comics Spotlight: THOR #607

More info available here

7. THE HULK

2010 Opponents: The Intelligencia, Hiro-Kala

Year in Review: The Intelligencia, in their near-infinite wisdom, seemed to account for everything in their complex plan to bring about the fall of the Hulks, but could not predict the heroism at the heart of Bruce Banner. Despite seeming to have shed his longtime curse once and for all, Banner stepped back into the breach, becoming The Hulk once again in order to bring down his enemies and defeat his crimson counterpart. Not long after, the Green Goliath led a charge against his own son, the deranged Hiro-Kala, and regretfully allowed his kin to be imprisoned in order to save Earth from his wrath—hard choices for a true hero.

Digital Comics Spotlight: INCREDIBLE HULK #608

More info available here

6. THE BLACK PANTHER

2010 Opponents: Doctor Doom

Year in Review: T’Challa found himself in the unenviable position of being the first monarch of Wakanda to let the nation be conquered under his watch when Doctor Doom took over the African kingdom and pilfered its valuable Vibranium. The only mistake Doom: underestimating his foe’s willingness to sacrifice anything for victory and the greater good, including giving up the love of his people to stop a villain by rendering that Vibranium inert. Now the Panther labors on the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, unafraid to work at regaining the status he gave up and always looking out for the cause of justice.

Digital Comics Spotlight: DOOMWAR #1

More info available here

5. SPIDER-MAN

2010 Opponents: Electro, The Sandman, Mysterio, The Vulture, The Lizard, the Kraven Family, Doctor Octopus, Mister Negative

Year in Review: This could probably be said just about every year, but in 2010, nobody had a tougher time of it than Spider-Man. The Webslinger endured a grueling gauntlet arranged by the Kraven family that saw him face his oldest foes up one after the other, from a juiced up Electro to a more savage than ever Lizard to finally a resurrected Kraven himself. Spidey somehow survived the onslaught, and despite taking his lumps, ultimately saved himself and New York City. He would cap it all off by rescuing his best friend Harry Osborn’s child from the clutches of Doctor Octopus, proving all’s well that ends well—though it never ends for Spider-Man.

Digital Comics Spotlight: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #625

More info available here

4. CYCLOPS

2010 Opponents: Bastion, Xarus

Year in Review: Another year of leading the X-Men meant another year of crushing responsibilities and impossible choices for Cyclops, but as always, Scott Summers bore his burden and safeguarded his people. When Bastion laid waste to Utopia, Cyclops remained calm in the face of madness, tuning out the screams of those around him and guiding the forces following to him to a victory even Steve Rogers commended. Later, when Xarus and his vampire hordes attempted a similar invasion, the X-Men’s general organizing a clever battle plan with his very own “Trojan Horse” and repelled more would-be conquerors of mutantkind.

Digital Comics Spotlight: X-MEN: SECOND COMING #1

More info available here

3. HOPE SUMMERS

2010 Opponents: Bishop, Bastion

Year in Review: Telling a young girl she’s the “mutant messiah” and placing the destiny of an entire race on her shoulders already means you’re asking a lot, but to then place said young lady up against a killer robot from the future set on destroying her and anybody like her seriously seems like you’re pushing it. Yet when Hope Summers found herself in this situation, she rose to the occasion and saved the X-Men as well as all of Utopia from Bastion and his Sentinels. Hope honored the sacrifices of Nightcrawler as well as her “father,” Cable, and continues to do the best she can as she seeks out and leads a new generation of mutants. Not bad for a kid who can’t even drive yet (not that she’d want to—she flies a jet).

Digital Comics Spotlight: CABLE #24

More info available here

2. HERCULES

2010 Opponents: Typhon, The Chaos King

Year in Review: In the past, Hercules has been accused of being cocky, brusque and even foolhardy—and he remains all those things, but this year he also saved all of reality more than once! The Prince of Power led an assemblage of Avengers against his mother, Hera, and the mad Typhon, sacrificing his life to prevent them from overwriting existence. When Amadeus Cho resurrected his buddy later on with nigh-omnipotent power, the Lion of Olympus immediately took the offensive against the nihilistic Chaos King, stepping up when the villain eliminated nearly all of Earth’s heroes. He may like to party and flirt, but our boy Herc’s also a fierce warrior and natural leader who has earned the right to be called the God of Heroes.

Digital Comics Spotlight: INCREDIBLE HERCULES #140

More info available here

1. STEVE ROGERS

2010 Opponents: The Red Skull, Norman Osborn, Machinesmith

Year in Review: Most would contend the truly dark days for the Marvel Universe began with the “death” of Steve Rogers, thus it’s only fitting that it took the return of the original Captain America to bring them to an end. Battling back after being stranded in the timestream, Rogers defeated his archenemy the Red Skull yet again, then barely rested and rediscovered the world he left behind before heeding the call, picking up his shield, and heading off to Asgard to bring down Norman Osborn. Under the erstwhile Super-Soldier, the Avengers managed to take out their dark counterparts and re-establish themselves as the world’s premiere fighting force for good. The world without Steve Rogers versus the world with him seems like night and day.

Digital Comics Spotlight: CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHO WILL WIELD THE SHIELD?

More info available here

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Comments

47 comments
JD1203
JD1203

hell ya!!! Steve Rogers should be number1 cause he is the greatest marvel hero that ever been created and his heart of a patriot and superman put together

rustyrob
rustyrob

what has iron man done that makes you think he should be number1? hercules saved the world twice this year

Sp1d3rm2n
Sp1d3rm2n plus member

Poor Nightcrawler! Sacrificing your life for the savior of Mutantkind is nothing compared to fighting the bad guys again.

PindaddyDaver
PindaddyDaver

oh yeah. can anyone tell me what happened to Ultimate X?

PindaddyDaver
PindaddyDaver

Captain America #1? Really? I don't even agree with hope being on the list at all, let alone #3. The only 3 that I'm super psyched about to be on the list was Luke Cage, Cyclops & Spidey. I really think that Wolverine should have been on the list. I can't wait to see what 2011 will bring for Daken and x-23.

tylontrix
tylontrix

WOLVERINE CAN GO SUCK ONE!!! AND WHY THE HELL-O IS HOPE ON THIS LIST...SHE HAS YET TO DO ANYTHING OF NOTE TO BE EVEN CONSIDERED FOR THIS KIND OF HONOR (GLAD TO SHE A FEMALE MADE THE LIST BUT HOPE?)..DAMN HOPE BRING BACK JEAN GREY NOW!!!!

MarvelGeek24
MarvelGeek24

Iron man, Spider-Man, and Steve Rogers is there, Nice and thats all I wanted!

goodie128
goodie128

they Forgot Hawkeye,or Ronin(Clint Barron)

tigress2012
tigress2012

WHERE THE HECK IS WOLVRINE??!!!!!!!!!

tigress2012
tigress2012

WHERE THE HECK IS WOLVERINE!!!!!??????

And1ballar34
And1ballar34

whoever dosent know of hope summers needs to step their comic game up

sarwor248
sarwor248

What happened to the "Year of Women"? Just putting out a couple of mini-series featuring women while the main universe is all about the men doesn't really help. FYI, EVERY year should be a year celebrating women.

Iron_Man_089
Iron_Man_089

This was obviously done by a brainless moron, because there is no way in hell Iron Man ranked dead last in the top ten. He should have been first, Hercules shouldn't even have been in it, and Thor should have been second. Plus, who the hell is Hope Summers?

Super_Shania
Super_Shania member

I think the spots were deserved, especially Cyclops and Hope Summers. To the rest of you I ask, you mad bro?

thorbeatsall
thorbeatsall

WHAT????!!!! How can the Hulk rank above Thor??!! Who the heck wrote this junk??!! And CYCLOPS above Thor??!! Has this dork ever actually READ the Thor series?! Thor is #1. This is a load of bull.

Hercman
Hercman

Herc can be the number one

marcelob
marcelob

Nova and Starlord should be the first and second!This is the worst list!

twinklepants
twinklepants

STARLORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!should be number one, but the cosmic books get no love. if cap is #1 for dying and coming back, and herc gets points for same, what would a woman of the year have to do? die?that's counterproductive. here's our great woman's achievement: we killed her!maybe we should thank hope for not being jean grey?

rustyrob
rustyrob

any1 that says hercules an cyclopes dont belong on the list dont know ****

RLAAMJR.
RLAAMJR.

I can't believe Storm isn't in the top 10.

Bailee
Bailee

Oh yeah! Steve Rogers is by far the best chose. What Iron man did is what started this mess, and the second Steve is back the world is right again.

Kasidee
Kasidee

Shouldn't Iron-Man be #1?

spideyman300
spideyman300

I think that cyclops should have at least been 3 because he went thorugh the whole utopia and dark X-Men so i gotta give him props

Z3RO180
Z3RO180

come on spidey is a head of thor what the $@# cmon switch the round..

Jacory_Williams
Jacory_Williams

I'm actually satisfied with this list. It's not exactly who I'd pick, but it's good none-the-less.

TheAvenger95
TheAvenger95

I agree with gentega, this list is in reverse. Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Captain America, The Black Panther, Deadpool, Wolverine, Human Torch (R.I.P), Black Widow, Ant-Man. IN THAT ORDER! Hercules and Cyclops... seriously? WHY HAS EVERY THING GONE SO WRONG!!!

gentega
gentega

Good list, in reverse, how do you argue with Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, and the Hulk as the top Marvel Heroes? Not sure about the typo that put Luke Cage ahead of Thor, and c'mon, Steve Rogers is white-knuckle anxious to get out of the tough but fair school teacher role back into the Captain America that is the inspiration for the Marvel Universe, but 2010 or not -- the Big Four is the Big FOur! And wiht Spidey its the BIg 5!

Bane
Bane

Maybe this year it will be Johnny Storm as the top hero of the year. Considering they just kill them off and then make them top of the list.Captain America should be at the top though. He is best of the best.

rustyluck
rustyluck

Where's Mr. Fantastic? And Deadpool? And Black widow?

killjoy71
killjoy71

Deadpool should have made the list!!

Winter_So1dier
Winter_So1dier

Hope Summers and Luke Cage should not be on that list. Nova and Cable should be somewhere there.

alliterate
alliterate

So of your top 10 heroes for a year Marvel dedicated to women in comics, both as creators and as characters, a grand total of one hero is female. Well, thanks for the lip service, I guess.

nardvoris
nardvoris

yeah, I agree. Nova and Starlord should be number one. They did save the universe. Come on marvel. i think Deadpool and Daredevil should have made the list too.

drh75
drh75

First off, Hera is Herc's step-mother. Alcmene is his mother. Second, the Black Panther doesn't deserve to be on this list. He might have saved his kingdom, but he couldn't save his own title from cancellation. Then again, marrying into the X-Men family couldn't save T'Challa's title. Back on topic, I can't think of a more deserving hero for Number One. The Marvel Universe was a dark place without Steve Rogers. He really is a bright, shining beacon of hope, and his return from the "dead" proved it.

harley360
harley360

Why the hell isn't Nova and Starlord on the list, They should be joint Number 1.

greenlucario
greenlucario

And where is Nightcrawler on this list? Oh so that noble sacrifice was for nothing? He is the only reason that there are any mutants especially Hope left on the planet. And Spidey, at least a 3. And what is Luke Cage even doing on this list? He was laid up with a heart attack for like half the year and possessed for almost the other half. I mean if we're celebrating mediocrity let's put Moon Knight on there even though all he did was join the Secret Avengers and stick it to Norman Osborn while Cage, Cap, Thor, and Iron Man were all sitting on the side lines. He was the first hero to take it to Osborn and start the ball rolling towards the Heroic Age. No respect for Moon Knight.

msmkureha
msmkureha

Seriously, Marvel? We just had the Women of Marvel Year and you're only putting one woman in this list? What's up with that?

OlorinGrayhame
OlorinGrayhame

Daredevil had a huge event all to himself this year. Of course, it was botched so badly he couldn't make the list....

Elflore
Elflore

Nine dudes and one woman? Wasn't last year supposed to celebrate the "Women of Marvel"? In 2010...Mockingbird ran her own spy agency and laid her past with the Phantom Rider to rest.Rescue was reborn with shiny new armor, then let her own heart be temporarily stopped to give Tony time to beat the Hammers.Firestar came back to superheroics after beating breast cancer and co-founded a new team.So where are they? Where are Black Widow, Layla Miller, Monet St. Croix, Spider-Woman, Rogue, Storm, Sif, Spitfire, the Black Cat...