Take 10

Take 10: Black History Month

A celebration of Marvel's finest heroes of color



Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas. Heroes come in every shape, size, creed, color and nationality in the Marvel Universe. This week, in celebration of Black History month, the Secret Cabal recognizes some of Marvel's greatest heroes of color. 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. PATRIOT First Appearance: YOUNG AVENGERS #1 (2005) Learn More About Him…here Why He Makes the List: "As the grandson of Isaiah Bradley, the first man to ever call himself Captain America, Elijah Bradley has an incredibly daunting legacy to live up to, but as Patriot, he has always striven to prove he belongs in the family business. While he can be brash and even rude, there's no denying Patriot possesses impressive leadership skills and the drive that keeps the Young Avengers going through hard times. He has faced his inner demons, initially taking Mutant Growth Hormone to simulate powers he didn't have, but came out the other side stronger and a true hero." –Secret Cabal member Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: YOUNG AVENGERS PRESENTS #1—Patriot learns about his hidden heritage from the new Captain America!

9. BISHOP First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #282 (1991) Learn More About Him…here Why He Makes the List: "A true product of his time—in this case, the far future—Bishop has long been an enigmatic man, and one who has managed to stick to his rather large guns, even when making controversial decisions. Whether he's targeting Gambit as a traitor or going after the Messiah Baby during 'Messiah CompleX,' Lucas Bishop always has the future of mutantkind at the top of his priorities—and he's not afraid to turn friends into enemies to do what he thinks is right." –Secret Cabal member RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: DISTRICT X #1—Bishop hits the beat in Mutant Town!

8. MONICA RAMBEAU First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #16 (1982) Learn More About Her…here Why He Makes the List: "Be it Captain Marvel, Photon, Pulsar—call her what you will, but know that Monica Rambeau can whip your butt faster than the speed of light. From the moment she burst onto the scene, she quickly rose from New Orleans cop to Chairman of the Avengers. She has developed her powers over the years, kept busy leading Nextwave and aiding the Black Panther, and passed on her various names to the younger generation. After all, it's not the name that makes a hero, it's the actions." –RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: NEXTWAVE: AGENTS OF H.A.T.E. #1—Monica Rambeau leads the Nextwave team into action!

7. BLADE First Appearance: TOMB OF DRACULA v1 #10 (1973) Learn More About Him…here Why He Makes the List: "Few heroes will ultimately vanquish their villains but when you cross Blade, you leave in ashes. As his mother was sired during childbirth, Blade is a unique brand of vampire, blessed with all of their strengths but none of their weaknesses. The undead fear the Daywalker as he will not stop until all vampires are destroyed, from the mighty Dracula to Deacon Frost, the vampire who killed his mother. Blade will never let up in his fight to destroy the occult world that has taken so much from him." –Secret Cabal member GarbageHands333 Spotlight Comic: BLADE #5 (2006)—Blade goes after Wolverine!

6. THE FALCON First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA v1 #117 (1969) Learn More About Him…here Why He Makes the List: "It takes a unique individual to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with an icon like Captain America, but since 1969, Sam Wilson—aka the Falcon—has proven more than up to the task. Throughout their partnership, Falcon has forced Cap to question his world and face the difficult realities around him, but he's also worked hard to improve himself to live up to the standards expected from the Sentinel of Liberty. Captain America has made Sam Wilson a better hero, but the Falcon also helped make Steve Rogers a better man." –Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: CAPTAIN AMERICA #173 (1968)—The Falcon teams with Captain America and the original X-Men!

5. WAR MACHINE First Appearance: IRON MAN v1 #118 (1979) Learn More About Him…here Why He Makes the List: A brilliant but sheltered genius like Tony Stark needs a guy like James Rhodes in his life: a hardnosed moral compass who has the guts and convictions to make the tough choices. Rhodey has brought a much-needed grounding perspective and solid work ethic to Iron Man's world since his introduction at the tail end of the 70's, serving as a great foil to his billionaire boss and creating one of Marvel's best buddy teams. Besides all that, the War Machine armor is just cool as all heck. Currently standing apart from Iron Man, War Machine is tackling the problems that give other heroes shivers head-on." –Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: WAR MACHINE (2008)—James Rhodes blasts out of Secret Invasion and into his own ongoing series!

4. ULTIMATE NICK FURY First Appearance: ULTIMATE MARVEL TEAM-UP #5 (2001) Learn More About Him…here Why He Makes the List: "When Ultimate Fury debuted, fans flipped their lids! This new Nick Fury was…black?! Fast forward about seven years and not only have fans embraced the Ultimate U version of Fury for his bull-headedness, determination, super-spy badassery and sheer cool factor, he's become the Nick Fury to the greater public. That's in large part thanks to Samuel L. Jackson's portrayal of Fury in 'Iron Man,' but if Ultimate Fury weren't so irascible yet lovable, he wouldn't make the list." –Secret Cabal member Agent_M Spotlight Comic: ULTIMATES #2—Nick Fury assembles the Ultimates!

3. LUKE CAGE First Appearance: HERO FOR HIRE #1 (1972) Learn More About Him…here Why He Makes the List: "Was Luke Cage an easy way to cash in on the '70s Blaxploitation craze? Maybe, but he's since smashed through the stereotypes and clichés to become not just a well-rounded Marvel character, but also a marquee hero. Family man? Check. A hero of integrity and honor? Check. A leader who'll battle gods to protect his friends, family and teammates? Check. Sweet Christmas, Luke Cage rules." –Agent_M Spotlight Comic: NEW AVENGERS #2—Luke Cage joins the Avengers!

2. THE BLACK PANTHER First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR v1 #52 (1966) Learn More About Him…here Why He Makes the List: "Marvel's first truly prominent black hero, the Black Panther balances being royalty with being a royal ass-kicker. In his day job as king of Wakanda, T'Challa possesses grace, poise and elegance that would make the smoothest of operators jealous, but he also knows when to toss diplomacy aside and break out the cat suit. Everything about the Panther screams 'damn cool,' from his sleek ebony costume, to his formidable fighting skills, to his smoking hot queen. Able to think or kick his way out of any fix, the Black Panther just rocks." –Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: BLACK PANTHER #1 (2005)—T'Challa defends Wakanda and his legacy as the Black Panther from his archenemy, Klaw!

1. STORM First Appearance: GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1 (1975) Learn More About Her…here Why She Makes the List: "Quite possibly the most recognizable female hero at Marvel, Storm is also the only character who can claim to being a thief, a goddess, a queen and even a punk. She can rock the Mohawk like nobody else. I pity the fool that tries—yeah, Mr. T, I'm looking at you. She's led the X-Men as well as the nation of Wakanda, and she may just be the new Black Panther. Regardless of gender, nationality, or creed, Storm is certainly a force to be reckoned with and deserves to be at the top of this list!" –RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: ORORO: BEFORE THE STORM #1—Follow the story of Storm from the beginning! Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes! Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution" now on iTunes!

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