Take 10

Take 10: Scrooges

Just in time for the holidays, the Secret Cabal looks at some Marvel heroes who can be less than heroic...



Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas. We like to think the holiday season brings the best out of everybody, but for some denizens of the Marvel Universe, they're Scrooges all year round. Now we're not talking villains here—they're just jerks—but rather the heroes who've got a less than heroic exterior surrounding those hearts of gold. These guys may spend their days saving the world, but they could stand to learn some manners. With the holidays around the corner, the Secret Cabal picked the 10 Marvel heroes who behave badly, but they love nonetheless. 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. MARIA HILL First Appearance: NEW AVENGERS #4 (2005) Chief Offenses: During her time at S.H.I.E.L.D., Maria Hill displayed a lack of diplomacy and unwillingness to trust or work with the super hero community, rubbing many the wrong way. Why She Makes the List: "From the minute Maria Hill first made the scene, we didn't like her because she wasn't Nick Fury. However, she quickly gave us plenty more reasons to regard her with disdain, including—but not limited to—her immature insistence that she could handle any situation, her petty refusal to accept any help from the Avengers, and when she kidnapped Spider-Man and subjected him to a messy telepathic probe. She proved herself a capable second-in-command under Tony Stark and a hero during Secret Invasion, but you never get a second chance to make a first impression." –Secret Cabal member Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: NEW AVENGERS #18—Maria Hill makes a bad situation between the Avengers and the Collective even worse!

9. PROFESSOR X First Appearance: X-MEN v1 #1 (1963) Learn More About Him…here Chief Offenses: Lacking a degree of trust in those around him and possessing something of a god complex, Charles Xavier is not above lying and manipulating for what he sees as the greater good. Why He Makes the List: "It's so hard to like Charles Xavier. He's kind of a monster, what with the mind manipulating, mind wiping, betrayals, lies and that whole Onslaught thing. Yet, in spite of all his craptasticness, he remains lovable. Kind of like that weird uncle you only see once a year—he may run over grandma's cat, but next year he brings everyone bags of money, hugs and free tickets to the petting zoo. Chuck gives the X-Men hope and purpose. Even if he pisses 'em off to no end." –Secret Cabal Agent_M Spotlight Comic: X-MEN: DEADLY GENESIS #4—The dark secrets of Professor X!

8. NORTHSTAR First Appearance: X-MEN v1 #120 (1979) Learn More About Him…here Chief Offenses: Afforded fame and popularity due to his success as an Olympic skier, Northstar belittles most around him and is overprotective of his sister, Aurora, perhaps to a fault. Why He Makes the List: "In Northstar's defense, he didn't have the easiest time of it as a kid, what with his parents—and then his adoptive parents—both dying. And the guy means well, even if he sometimes comes off as a little brash. He's really just a bundle of neuroses looking for any excuse to explode, and woe to whoever happens to be in his way when that occurs. But for all this, he still engenders a great deal of loyalty and respect." –Secret Cabal member SparkleMotion515 Spotlight Comic: ALPHA FLIGHT v1 #8—Having left Alpha Flight already, Northstar manages to estrange his sister as well!

7. SUNFIRE First Appearance: X-MEN v1 #64 (1970) Learn More About Him…here Chief Offenses: Temperamental with a short fuse, Sunfire lacks loyalty to anybody but the government of Japan and will lash out at anybody unable to live up to his high expectations. Why He Makes the List: "A man who definitely lives up to his hot-headed name and flame-based mutant powers, this arrogant son of a UN ambassador could learn a thing or two from his diplomat father. As part of the 'All-New, All-Different' X-Men, Shiro Yashida's arrogance led him to resign from the new team before he was even offered an official membership. Fine, they didn't want you anyway!" –Secret Cabal member RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1—Sunfire joins the X-Men for about five minutes.

6. MONET First Appearance: GENERATION X #1 (1994) Learn More About Her…here Chief Offenses: Raised with a silver spoon in her mouth and given every advantage in life, Monet considers herself above pretty much everybody. Why She Makes the List: "Of course she's a bit of a jerk—she's better than you. Stronger, faster, smarter, betting looking and just all around awesome. That'd go to anyone's head, wouldn't it?" –Secret Cabal member OneManDynasty Spotlight Comic: X-FACTOR v2 #1—Monet joins Jamie Madrox's X-Factor Investigations and displays her trademark tact and kindness.

5. U.S.AGENT First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA #323 (1986) Learn More About Him…here Chief Offenses: Overzealous in his patriotism and belief in his own inherent rightness, U.S.Agent refuses to consider the opinions of others and thinks only he can make leadership decisions. Why He Makes the List: "Okay, so maybe he loves his country a bit too much, turning into more of a nationalist than patriot, but his motivation is sound. He was inspired by his brother, who was KIA, to defend his country from all threats. Sometimes John Walker may take it too seriously, but underneath all the rude language and the rough exterior, he just wants to make your world safe. Just ask him." –OneManDynasty Spotlight Comic: OMEGA FLIGHT #2—U.S.Agent relocates to Canada and finds a whole new population to offend!

4. EMMA FROST First Appearance: X-MEN v1 #129 (1979) Learn More About Her…here Chief Offenses: A "reformed" bad girl, Emma Frost still has a penchant for manipulation, cattiness, pettiness and over-appreciation of material possessions. Why She Makes the List: "Sure, Emma can be a bit hard to swallow sometimes, but her biting sarcasm's just too amusing for me to hate her too much. And really, it's not so much that she's a Scrooge—she just has very high standards that only a handful of people in the world can meet. If everyone in the world tried harder to meet them, maybe she wouldn't hate so many people." –SparkleMotion515 Spotlight Comic: NEW X-MEN #116—Emma Frost joins the X-Men and pisses off half the team in the process!

3. QUICKSILVER First Appearance: X-MEN v1 #4 (1964) Learn More About Him…here Chief Offenses: Quicksilver inherited arrogance and an air of superiority from his father, Magneto. His mutant power of super speed also makes him impatient and impolite. Why He Makes the List: "Saying 'Quicksilver has a superiority complex' is kind of like pointing out that Spider-Man has some pretty crappy luck—it's just a fact of life. In fact, beyond the super speed, being a jerk could very well be Pietro's not-so-secret second super power. After all, living in a world that moves at the relative pace of a snail would test anyone's patience. When his back's to the wall, though, he always does what's right. Or at least, what he thinks is right." –SparkleMotion515 Spotlight Comic: SON OF M #1—In the wake of the House of M debacle, Quicksilver must pay for his sins!

2. HENRY PETER GYRICH First Appearance: AVENGERS #168 (1977) Learn More About Him…here Chief Offenses: Spent years making life difficult for the Avengers as their government liaison with his ego and rigid policies. Has also expressed bigoted views towards mutants. Why He Makes the List: "Henry Peter Gyrich gave a bad name to government men well before anyone in the Marvel U thought about targeting our heroes. After a forced takeover of the Avengers, he broke apart the team and eventually forced Steve Rogers to resign. I'd even go so far as to say, he gave all red-headed men in the Marvel U a bad name—have you really seen one rise to power since Gyrich? No? Now you know who to blame!" –RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS #168—Henry Peter Gyrich makes himself a nuisance to the Avengers in his very first appearance!

1. NAMOR First Appearance: MARVEL COMICS #1 (1939) Learn More About Him…here Chief Offenses: Ill-tempered and bull-headed, Namor has attempted to conquer the surface world as many times as he has saved it. He also continues to hit on Susan Richards despite her being married. Why He Makes the List: "Namor, unlike the rest of the Scrooges on this list, kind of gets a free pass to be a jerk. Dude's a king, a ruler of about 70% of the planet. With that kinda power and weight on his shoulders, he probably can't help being a bit of a grouch. And honestly, Subby's pomposity has become one of his most recognizable and endearing traits. Aside from his kickassedness, ya know." –Agent_M Spotlight Comic: FANTASTIC FOUR v1 #4—Namor repays the Human Torch curing him of his amnesia by trying to kidnap the Invisible Girl and make her his unwilling queen! Check out the official Marvel Shop for the best mighty Marvel merchandise!

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