As ever, the Marvel Universe proved a dangerous place to be a good guy in 2013, but the champions of Earth and beyond rose to the challenge. From policing galactic wars to braving other dimensions to protecting entire races, the Marvel heroes stepped up on every level.
To send last year out with a bang, Marvel.com will be counting down our top 25 heroes of 2013, as selected by staffers and freelancers. Got your own thoughts on the matter? We’d love to hear them, so send them our way on Twitter @Marvel, using the hashtag #Marvel2013!
THE INVISIBLE WOMAN
First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #1
Where She Appeared in 2013: AGE OF ULTRON, FANTASTIC FOUR
Why She’s #15: “Since the Fantastic Four’s inception, Susan Storm—later Richards—has always held the center of Marvel’s First Family, and she continued to do so this past year, getting answers for the group’s interstellar ‘vacation’ from her secretive husband and then keeping the calm once the truth stood revealed. However, the Invisible Woman also stepped up on a bigger scale, electing herself Wolverine’s conscience as he went back in time to attempt to thwart Ultron, and ultimately helping make the hard choices necessary. Her super power may be disappearing from sight, but when the going gets tough, you’ll see Sue front and center.” – Ben Morse
Digital Comic Spotlight: FANTASTIC FOUR #5AU
First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #1
Where She Appeared in 2013: ALL-NEW X-MEN
Why She’s #14: “Young Jean Grey—star pupil and the reluctant object of much affection at Xavier’s academy—knows the pressures of a prodigy. Thrust forward to a point in time beyond her tragic death, to a world she was never meant to see, Jean felt like she crashed her own funeral. At an age when choice and direction toggle between far too narrow and all too overwhelming, Jean uncovered her future wedding invitations to a boy she hardly knew. She ran, pursued by countless agents of her past, present, and a future she could barely claim as her own. She stared down an iteration of herself from a nightmarish tomorrow, shunting fear and regret for youthful abandon. For hope. Everyone thought they knew Jean Grey and what she’s meant to be, but by 2013’s end, she defined a new course, intent on striving or stumbling on her own terms.” – Paul Montgomery
Digital Comic Spotlight: ALL-NEW X-MEN #5
First Appearance: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #85
Where He Appeared in 2013: YOUNG AVENGERS
Why He’s #13: “The Norse god of mischief had a very successful year—if you count these things in terms of trouble stirred up, which he probably does. In his seemingly innocent and unassuming guise as Kid Loki he brought together the Young Avengers for a reality-hopping adventure against the terrifying extra-dimensional entity known as Mother, and all to serve his own nefarious ends. What did he get out of it? A teen heartthrob makeover and his own ongoing series in 2014. Sure, he felt more than a twinge of guilt when the curtain dropped, but all in all, nice work, Kid Loki.” – Andrew Wheeler
Digital Comic Spotlight: YOUNG AVENGERS (2013) #2
First Appearance: INCREDIBLE HULK (1962) #1
Where He Appeared in 2013: AVENGERS, INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK
Why He’s #12: “It’s strange to think of a year that started with a stroll through New York City naked as a ‘good’ one, but then, Hulk has always done things a bit differently. To wit: Bruce Banner accepting the destructive power of his rage-ful green id and offering it up for exploitation to S.H.I.E.L.D. allowed him voyages under the sea and multiple trips through an often rapidly degenerating timeline and, more importantly, his first chance at proving his brilliance in years. By leaning into the reality of his situation, Banner created opportunities for himself like never before. Then, the entire Marvel Universe turned to him, not Tony Stark or Reed Richards, as the only scientist to solve the Inhumanity crisis. Not a bad for a year that started with a walk of shame.” – Tim Stevens
Digital Comic Spotlight: INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #6
First Appearance: TALES OF SUSPENSE #57
Where He Appeared in 2013: AVENGERS, HAWKEYE
Why He’s #11: “Somewhere in the tough streets of New York City, there's a real hero at work. He takes on the jobs that need to get done, and he does it with quiet and unwavering determination. He doesn't ask for your thanks or your recognition; he just asks for a few delicious treats and an occasional belly rub. I'm referring, of course, to Pizza Dog, one of the breakout stars of 2013. His buddy Hawkeye? Pretty cool too. Some of that stuff also applies to Hawkeye. Mainly the belly rubs.” – Andrew Wheeler
Digital Comic Spotlight: HAWKEYE (2012) #8
The countdown continues tomorrow right here on Marvel.com, but in the meantime, share your thoughts on Twitter with us @Marvel using the hashtag #Marvel2013!