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!
First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #54
Where He Appeared in 2013: UNCANNY AVENGERS
Why He’s #10: “Alex Summers' rise to prominence would surprise those that think of him merely as mutantkind's most well known little sibling, but this Avenger deserves every accolade he gets. As Captain America's choice for leader of the Avengers Unity Squad, Havok embodies the recently departed Charles Xavier's long held dream for peace between mutants and humans. As the brother of the man who murdered Xavier, Havok has seen firsthand just how being the face of peace can lead to violence and corruption, and he's forging ahead anyway. With every adversary he faces in his new position as Avengers team leader, from an all-powerful Red Skull to the catastrophic might of the Apocalypse Twins, Havok does so in the name of unity.” – Brett White
Digital Comic Spotlight: UNCANNY AVENGERS #7
First Appearance: AVENGERS (1963) #57
Where He Appeared in 2013: AVENGERS A.I.
Why He’s #9: “Despite starting 2013 as Ultron’s unwilling spokesperson, Vision survived his experience all the better for it, stronger and with his artificial intelligence substantially upgraded. He now finds himself as a role model and leader of many A.I.s. In fact, Vision maintains hope to broker peace between humanity and this new society. As for his powers, thanks to his newly gained nanite capabilities, he can be several thousand places at once. Far from being naïve, our android hero utilized the lessons learned from his rich past to be a diverse, impressive force for good in the present.” – Tim O’Shea
Digital Comic Spotlight: AVENGERS A.I. #1
First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #45
Where He Appeared in 2013: INFINITY, NEW AVENGERS
Why He’s #8: “It's always the quiet ones you have to watch. Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans, will always be a man who favors action over words, and in 2013 he took major action to prevent a massacre of his people by the Mad Titan Thanos. He blew up the floating city of Attilan and sparked the dormant Inhuman gene in the Earth's population. And then he dropped the mic. When you've gone toe-to-toe with Thanos and secured the future of your race, what’s left to say?” – Andrew Wheeler
Digital Comic Spotlight: NEW AVENGERS (2013) #8
First Appearance: TALES TO ASTONISH #27
Where He Appeared in 2013: AVENGERS A.I.
Why He’s #7: “For years, Hank Pym has been defined by his unreliable mental health and his tragic mistakes in A.I. and 2013 started out looking like it might be more of the same. This time though, Pym rolled with his situation and when he encountered setbacks, he solved them rather than deflating. He saved Daredevil from Dr. Doom’s senses destroying machinations, rescued the world from total machine dominance, and organized a team to stop Dimitrios, the unintended consequence of what it took to save humanity. And he did it all while dealing with the realities of being an individual with bipolar disorder.” – Tim Stevens
Digital Comic Spotlight: AGE OF ULTRON: A.I. #10
HAWKEYE (Kate Bishop)
First Appearance: YOUNG AVENGERS (2005) #1
Where She Appeared in 2013: HAWKEYE, YOUNG AVENGERS
Why She’s #6: “Kate Bishop’s year ran the gamut at such a breakneck pace, it’s incredible she did not end up with whiplash. From the very real horrors of natural disasters to the personal heartbreaks of a disappointing teacher and a boyfriend who likes, but does not love you, to the ‘only in the Marvel Universe’ threat of an inter-dimensional monster who looks like your friend’s mom, Bishop took on all comers. But she did not blink. A hero of unhesitating resolve, she cut loose from her mentor and her parents to taste independence, she rejected Marvel Boy and all his disappointments, and she stuck with her friends through thick and thin. A year does not get much more heroic than that.” – Tim Stevens
Digital Comic Spotlight: HAWKEYE (2012) #5
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!