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Take 10

Take 10: Wild Kingdom

The Secret Cabal monkeys around to celebrate MARVEL APES #1 by choosing the finest animal-themed characters of them all

Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas. It's a jungle out there when it comes to the Marvel Universe. Where else can you find lizards, scorpions, vultures and octopi all scrapping for a piece of the same spider? This week the House of Ideas takes it one step further and goes bananas with the release of MARVEL APES #1, by Karl Kesel and Ramon Bachs. To mark the occasion-and their territory-the Secret Cabal took a virtual tour of the Marvel Zoo and selected the 10 animal-themed characters they deem masters of their domain. For each character you get the quick rundown as well as 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. HOWARD THE DUCK First Appearance: ADVENTURE INTO FEAR #19 (1973) Learn More About Him...here Why He Makes The List: "He's a crotchety, stogie-chomping, satirically-minded talking duck. What's not to love? One of the late, great Steve Gerber's most notorious creations, Howard's not only one of the coolest characters in the Marvel U., but with villains like Doctor Bong and Band of the Bland he's also got one of the best rogues galleries around. Sure, he might not be the cuddliest of Marvel's animal kingdom, but he's certainly the most rambunctious." - Secret Cabal member SparkleMotion515 Spotlight Comic: HOWARD THE DUCK #1-At long last: Howard the Duck in his own book!

9. TIGRA First Appearance: THE CAT #1 (1972) Learn More About Her...here Why She Makes The List: "She's a cat person who kicks ass, takes names and has no problems defending her often controversial positions-i.e.: killing in the name of justice. She also rocks the hottest bikini in the Marvel U.-fur or no fur-and gave even Hank Pym a chance. How cool is that?" - Secret Cabal member OneManDynasty Spotlight Comic: MS. MARVEL v2 #19-Tigra tangles with Ms. Marvel in a down and dirty cat fight!

8. THE FALCON First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA v1 #117 (1969) Learn More About Him...here Why He Makes The List: "With a great, nuanced origin story that really resonates to this day, Falcon has a redemptive arc that's fascinating and never forgotten-there's something deeply authentic about the character. While he's gained powers over the years, his true abilities come from his resolve and dedication to fighting the good fight, which is why Sam Wilson is one of the few that Captain America took under his wing. Plus, that's an awesome costume, eh?" - OneManDynasty Spotlight Comic: CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE FALCON #1-When Falcon is framed for a crime he did not commit, he finds himself pursued by his best friend and former partner: Captain America!

7. THE VULTURE First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN v1 #2 (1963) Learn More About Him...here Why He Makes The List: "At their heart, comics are generally about celebrating the wonder of youth, either for kids experiencing it or adults looking back fondly. For this reason, more than a few great comic book villains have been crotchety old men, but not many fly above the pack like the Vulture. The fact that he's essentially just a geriatric who can fly means Adrian Toomes should have hit a tailspin years ago, but he's too crafty, resourceful and just damn ornery. He's that guy who yelled at you to get off his lawn, but with wings and homicidal tendencies." - Secret Cabal member Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: DAREDEVIL #225-The Vulture dukes it out with Daredevil high over New York City!

6. LOCKJAW First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR v1 #45 (1965) Learn More About Him...here Why He Makes The List: "There's been some debate over whether Lockjaw's really just a dog who was granted powers by accidental exposure to the Terrigen Mists or if he was originally a humanoid inhuman who became a dog after going through Terrigenesis. Ya know what? I. Don't. Care. Look at him. He's a giant bulldog with a pitchfork on his head who can teleport anywhere he wants. Without a doubt, Lockjaw is one of the coolest, most insanely adorable comic book creations of all time. To hell with talking ducks and snarky raccoons-make mine Lockjaw!" - Secret Cabal member Agent M Spotlight Comic: FANTASTIC FOUR v1 #45-Lockjaw and the rest of the Inhumans debut!

5. ROCKET RACCOON First Appearance: MARVEL PREVIEW #7 (1976) Learn More About Him...here Why He Makes The List: "For years, Rocket Raccoon was just a quirky answer to a trivia question, but his reinvention at the hands of Keith Giffen and later Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning over the last few years has elevated him to one of the most consistently entertaining characters in the Marvel cosmos, animal or otherwise. There's no question that Rocket makes for a great visual-an adorable furball toting gigantic guns and a sadistic smirk is tough to beat-but his snarky attitude and manic-obsessive quirks elevate this Guardians of the Galaxy member to another level." - Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST - STAR-LORD #2-Rocket Raccoon and the rest of Star-Lord's ragtag band embark on a suicide mission to thwart the Phalanx!

4. THE BLACK CAT First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #194 (1979) Learn More About Her...here Why She Makes The List: "MEEEE-OW! When this leather-clad, fur-trimmed bad girl first crossed paths with a certain web-slinger, it changed Peter Parker's luck forever-and often, not for the better Much like her namesake, this is one kitty you don't want walking near you. A thief of precious gems, she also tried to steal Spider-Man's heart, but in one of the more interesting character traits ever, found herself only wanting to purr in his costumed identity's ear, and bored by down-on-his-luck everyman Peter. Best advice: if you see Felicia Hardy coming down the street, run-after you do a double take at her costume..." - Secret Cabal member RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #226-The Black Cat crosses Spider-Man's path again!

3. THE LIZARD First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN v1 #6 (1963) Learn More About Him...here Why He Makes The List: "Curt Connors just wanted to regenerate his lost arm, so why not experiment with some reptilian DNA? Of course, things didn't turn out so well, and ever since the poor doctor's been cursed to intermittently transform into the frighteningly powerful-and mindless-Lizard. Sure, he's not the first guy you would think of when it comes to Marvel's most dangerous villains, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere near him when he starts swinging that tail around. Plus, he gets major nostalgia points for being the first villain Spidey fought on his '90s animated TV show." - SparkleMotion515 Spotlight Comic: EXILES #17-The Exiles frantically search for Curt Connors in a world overrun by Lizards!

2. THE BLACK PANTHER First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR v1 #52 (1966) Learn More About Him...here Why He Makes The List: "The awesome costume is enough to rank him highly, but from Christopher Priest's seminal run on the character, to Reggie Hudlin & John Romita Jr.'s current series launch and the latest Jason Aaron epic, there's no other character in Marvel who defines 'badass' like Black Panther. Smart? Check. Rich? Check. Tough as nails? Check. Wonderfully unique character unlike any other super hero ever invented? Check. Groundbreaking as the first prominent African native superhero? Check." - OneManDynasty Spotlight Comic: BLACK PANTHER v2 #36-Four titanic tales of T'Challa, the Black Panther!

1. SPIDER-MAN First Appearance: AMAZING FANTASY v1 #15 (1962) Learn More About Him...here Why He Makes The List: "Has anybody done more for the image of spiders than Peter Parker-aka the ever-Amazing Spider-Man-and the bevy of talented creators from Stan Lee and Steve Ditko on down who have brought him to life? Outside of Spidey, those furry, eight-legged arachnids are greeted with nothing but disdain, but thanks to the world-wide popularity of the wall-crawler, the poor little dudes have gained some respite and a healthy degree of coolness. Picking one of the creepiest creatures in the animal kingdom as a blueprint for a new super hero may have seemed a bit risky in 1962, but it paid off in the form of one of comics' most beloved and successful characters!" - Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN v1 #20-Spidey tackles another amazing arachnid when he meets the Scorpion! Marvel Twitter Survey results for last week's Take 10 tie-in survey: Your favorite Hulk friend/family member? 1. She-Hulk, 2. Doc Samson, 3. Amadeus Cho. Follow Marvel on Twitter to vote in the Take 10 Marvel Twitter survey!

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