Top 45 Most Popular Marvel Comic Superheroes

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45 Marvel Comic Superheroes
Marvel Superheroes (Credits: Marvel Comics)

There are honestly very few if any, human beings on the earth that are not yet acquainted with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is quite impressive how a collection of comic books was released all the way back in 1939 as Timely Comics has risen to become one of the biggest brand names known to the world.

Timely Comics was initially started by Martin Goodman and has gone through multiple rebranding until finally becoming Marvel in 1961 when writers such as Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and many others joined in on the journey. Throughout these 84 years of activity, Marvel has released over 25,000 comics and has an aggregate of over 70,000 characters.

Top Marvel Comic Superheroes

Most of us who grew up being exposed to Western media can relate when reminiscing about superheroes from our childhood as being one of Marvel’s creations. And my bet’s on Spider-Man; he is the fan favorite. 

Quite normally, Marvel has a lot more superheroes to offer than the ones we are already aware of from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here I list the top 45 Marvel Comic Superheroes; prior apologize if I miss out on your favorite, but the list of superheroes is inexhaustive, unlike me (pun intended). 

1. Iron Man

It is exciting to know that this superhero is based on an actual human being, but only some of his life events are similar to that of Iron Man. Howard Hughes was a highly influential multi-billionaire of his time. 

He was a philanthropist, inventor, and engineer and contributed a lot to the aviation industry. Even though he is considered one of the most influential people to live, he severely struggled with OCD for a long time in his life. 

Tony Stark in the Iron Man suit
Iron Man (Credits: Marvel)

Anthony “Tony” Edward Stark is portrayed as a very intelligent child who finds it difficult to relate to others of his age. Eventually, he grows up to inherit his father’s manufacturing company and is quite selfish in his actions. His behavior seemed to change drastically after being kidnapped by terrorists. He builds the Iron Man suit and pledges to fight against injustice as The Invincible Iron Man.

  • Debut comic: Tales of Suspense #39 (1963)
  • Physiology: Human
  • Creators: Stan Lee, John Kirby, Don Heck, Larry Lieber
  • Powers: Electricity Control, Intellect, Heat Generation, Holographic Projections, Sub-Mariner, Technopathy, Radar Sense

2. Spider-Man

Spider-Man is the most popular superhero in the world, and most Gen-Z and Millennials are familiar with how he came to be. Still, there’s a minor recap, Spider-Man’s name is actually Peter Benjamin Parker; his parents were both part of the CIA and had died when he was too young.

Spider-Man (Credits: Marvel)

Peter went on to live with his aunt and uncle. He was bitten by a radioactive spider and then showed signs of mutation and ultimately became the first teenage superhero with his Spidey senses. 

His only known weakness is ethyl chloride pesticides, and according to the comics, his first love was Betty Brant and not Gwen Stacy. Unsurprisingly, Spider-Man is also the favorite superhero of the former president of the United States, Barack Obama. 

  • Debut comic: Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962)
  • Physiology: Human
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
  • Powers: Agility, Wall Clinging, Stamina, Super Speed, Super Strength, Webslinger, Danger Sense.

3. Wolverine

One of the most applauded X-men, the Wolverine, is a mutant with physiological advancements, both practical and creative. As we know, his most impressive superpower is the ability to heal himself insanely fast, which makes him almost indestructible. His real name is James Howett, but he mostly goes by the alias Logan. 

Wolverine (Credits: Marvel)

James Howett is Canadian by birth and was initially introduced into the comics as a villain. He has been around for both world wars and is a part of multiple operatives such as X-men, Fantastic Four, and the Avengers

Recently, Wolverine’s healing power has been seen fluctuating with the introduction of a virus from the Microverse. We are yet to know more about this plot point.

  • Debut comic: The Incredible Hulk #180 (1974)
  • Physiology: Mutant
  • Creators: Len Wein, Roy Thomas, and John Romita
  • Powers: Animal Control, Healing, Invulnerability

4. Thor

Thor is one of the most powerful characters in the multiverse. However, his origin in the comics is a bit different than what we know from the MCU. In his debut comic, he is seen as Donald Blake, an American doctor visiting Norway. He is not physically fit and needs to carry a cane. 

Thor (Credits: Marvel)

In Norway, he encounters a spaceship with weird-looking men, presumably from Saturn. Later, he finds a stick lying around the same spot, and upon picking it up for further examination, he transforms into Thor. The stick was his hammer, Mjolnir, in a guise.

Thor Odinson has his cultural significance rooted in Norse mythology; he is the son of Odin Borson and Goddess Gaea. He has an adoptive brother named Loki.

  • Debut comic: Venus #11 (1950)
  • Physiology: God/ Celestial Being
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Powers: Astral Projection, Dimensional Manipulation, Hypnosis, Cosmic Awareness, Necromancy, Sense Death

5. Hulk

The physical traits of the Hulk were inspired by that of Frankenstein, and his personality was developed from the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The Hulk came to be after Bruce was exposed to a large amount of gamma radiation.

Robert Bruce Banner had an extremely traumatizing childhood; he even witnessed his abusive father murdering his mother. He was an intelligent child and later went on to become a scientist in the field of nuclear physics. 

Hulk (Credits: Marvel)

Banner had a scheduled test planned for his Gamma Bomb, which is where he was subjected to high levels of radiation due to an unforeseeable event. While in observation after the event, he transformed into a huge gray monster and was dubbed “The Hulk.” 

The original storyline of the Hulk was discontinued, but it was revived in 1964. Hulk also has a female counterpart, She-Hulk, who was accidentally created by a blood transfusion. 

  • Debut comic: The Incredible Hulk #1 (1962)
  • Physiology: Human Mutate
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Powers: Astral Projection, Unarmed Combat, Radiation, Berserker Strength, Reality Manipulation, Immortal

6. Captain America

His origin dates back to World War II; Steve Grant Rogers was a HYDRA agent who had been attempting to join the army as an American. He was rejected due to his malnutrition physique and lack of strength. 

Captain America (Credits: Marvel)

Later he caught the eye of Dr. Abraham Erskine, who was in search of a test subject for his experiment to try and alter the human body physically and transform them into Super-Soldiers. As a result of the experiment, Steve gained multiple superhuman abilities, giving rise to Captain America.

The comic book version of Captain America is more interesting than the MCU’s version; for instance, in the comics, Captain America is the first man to land on the moon. His birthday is the 4th of July. He is also capable of lifting Thor’s hammer, which, as most fans are aware, is a sign of supreme celestial power. 

  • Debut comic: Captain America Comics #1 (1941)
  • Physiology: Human Mutate
  • Creators: Jack Kirby, Joe Simon
  • Powers: Energy Shield, Marksmanship, Super Strength, Tracking, Wall Clinger, Stamina, Leadership, Healing

7. Daredevil

Permanently blinded by radioactive waste but with heightened performance in all other sense organs, the “Man without Fear” or Daredevil was born on December 23, 1983. He was raised by his father, Jack Murdock, who was a boxer and encouraged Matt to study better so that he does not have to end up like his father in the ring. 

Daredevil (Credits: Marvel)

Growing up, Matt did well at school and also trained with his father’s equipment in secret. Jack was murdered by the Fixer when he refused to play along in a fixed match in the boxing ring. After gaining his superhero stance, he avenges his father.

According to the comics, he senses the world around him with a version of radar sense within him. This sense is claimed to be even better than Spider-Man’s. He gets his vision back after being blind for most of his life when injected with Extremis, but the effects wear off. 

  • Debut comic: Daredevil #1 – The Origin of Daredevil (1964)
  • Physiology: Human
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Bill Everett
  • Powers: Agility, Super Sense, Radar Sense, Wall Clinger, Dander Sense, Stealth

8. Punisher

Born Francis Castiglione in Queens to Mario and Luisa, Francis had a normal life for the most part until tragedy struck. Francis had served in the US Army during the Vietnam War and was highly respected among his peers. 

Punisher (Credits: Marvel)

He later resigned from his post and became an instructor at a Special Forces branch in New York. He was very close to his two children, Lisa and Francis, and also to his wife, Maria. One day they went out for a picnic as a family and accidentally came across some illegal activities. The people of the mod opened fire at them, killing everyone except Francis.

Losing all he had, Francis decided to avenge his children and wife. He emerged as the Punisher with the signature body armor that flaunts a large skull on the chest. Since then, he has been combating criminals mostly on his own, as he does not seem to have much interaction with the other superheroes.

  • Debut comic: The Amazing Spider-Man #129 (1974)
  • Physiology: Human
  • Creators: Ross Andru, John Romita, Gerry Conway
  • Powers: Escape Artist, Marksmanship, Tracking

9. Deadpool

Deadpool, in his initial years, cannot be considered a conventional hero, though throughout the years of character development, he is seen to be working towards the status. Wade Winston Wilson was a very normal kid growing up; he left home when he was a teenager and wandered across the country for years.

Deadpool (Credits: Marvel)

During these years, he was trained under multiple military groups, but he finally decided to lead his life as a mercenary. He ran off to Canada when some job of his went awry. He signed up for the Weapon-X program after realizing he had brain cancer. This program was designed to inject humans with the healing factor of Wolverine as an experiment. The experiment was a success, and Wade took on the name Deadpool. 

Following the experiment, Deadpool became severely unstable mentally and showed signs of schizophrenia, suicidal tendencies, and more. Before being associated with the X-Force, he was portrayed as a serious and professional assassin. 

  • Debut comic: The New Mutants #98 (1991)
  • Physiology: Human Mutate
  • Creators: Fabian Nicieza, Rob Liefeld
  • Powers: Claws, Controlled Bone Growth, Cosmic Awareness, Dimensional Manipulation, Teleport, Time Manipulation

10. Silver Surfer

Unlike most superheroes on this list, Silver Surfer does not belong to planet Earth. He comes from Zenn-La, which is a part of the Milky Way Galaxy. It is quite similar to Earth, minus the hardships, disease, and the like. His birth name was Norrin Radd, and both his parents had killed themselves before Silver Surfer came to be. 

Silver Surfer (Credits: Marvel)

Silver Surfer derives his powers from Galactus, who is this celestial being that needs to consume worlds in order to maintain his astronomical capabilities. Galactus wanted to devour Zenn-La, but Norrin willingly gave himself up to save his planet. 

Galactus granted Norrin cosmic powers and his legendary silver board in exchange for him to find Galactus more planets to consume. Silver Surfer did as he was told for years until he could no longer bear the burden. As a punishment, Galactus trapped Silver Surfer on the Earth. Amongst multiple other superpowers, Silver Surfer can regenerate any part of himself or his board.

  • Debut comic: Fantastic Four #98 (1966)
  • Physiology: Alien
  • Creators: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee
  • Powers: Telekinesis, Shape Shifter, Flight, Gravity Control, Cosmic Awareness, Siphon Abilities, Time Travel

11. Gambit

Remy LeBeau is a mutant, abandoned by his family as a baby because of his unusual physical traits. His eyes were completely red with black centers, giving the baby a satanic look. Remy grew up without any family but was under the supervision of a street gang known as Fagan’s Mob.

Gambit (Credits: Marvel)

Later on, he was welcomed into another gang called the Thieves Guild by their leader Jean-Luc LeBeau. He became one of the best thieves ever under Jean’s guidance. Gambit was not considered a hero for the most part; he gained the status when Storm encouraged him to join the X-Men. 

Besides having the power to convert energies, Gambit also has psychic abilities. He is one of the very few superheroes to ever beat Wolverine. In an installment of the comics where Remy is transformed into a kid, we see him obsessing over Harry Potter and the Wizarding World. He is more powerful than what he is credited for like the time he helped destroy Galactus.

  • Debut comic: The Uncanny X-Men #266 (1990)
  • Physiology: Human Mutant
  • Creators: Chris Claremont, Jim Lee
  • Powers: Energy Manipulation, Energy-Enhanced Strike, Hypnosis, Gadgets, Super Speed

12. Cyclops

Scott Summers’s father was a test pilot, and his mother was Katherine Anne; he also had a younger brother named Alex. While returning home from vacation, their plane was attacked by a spacecraft, which resulted in the survival of only one parachute. 

Cyclops (Credits: Marvel)

Katherine asked 12-year-old Scott to wear the parachute and carry his baby brother to safety. The plane then burst, leaving Scott and Alex orphans. During the fall is when his mutant optic blasts came to manifest themselves. He was abused throughout his teen years until finally being brought under Charles Xavier. 

With the evolution of his optic blasts came headaches and issues with his eyesight; that is when it was discovered that ruby quartz was the only element that could help him. This is how the iconic ruby quartz sunglasses were introduced. He was the first X-Men.

  • Debut Comic: The X-Men #1 (1963)
  • Physiology: Mutant
  • Creators: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee
  • Powers: Blast Power, Enhance Mutant, Leadership, Intellect

13. Mr. Fantastic

Reed Richards was an extremely intelligent child and was already enrolled in college at 14. He earned multiple degrees in the fields of chemistry and aerospace engineering and a Ph.D. in physics by the age of 22. After completing his education, Reed started working on an independent spacecraft project funded by his inheritance. 

Mr. Fantastic (Credits: Marvel)

On completion, his permission to test the spacecraft was officially denied by the government, so he started sneaking behind their backs with the project. In association with Sue, Ben, and Johnny, Reed took the spacecraft to outer space, but some miscalculations occurred.

Due to high cosmic radiation, the fundamental biological aspects of all four of the passengers were permanently altered. After the spacecraft crashed back to Earth, it was figured that Reed could stretch his body to an inhuman capacity, like that of an elastic band. Therefore, he was the founder of the Fantastic Four and went on to have two children with Sue. 

  • Debut comic: Fantastic Four #1 (1961)
  • Physiology: Human Mutate
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Powers: Agility, Chameleon, Size Manipulation, Elasticity

14. Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler, or Kurt Wagner, was born as the son of mutants, his mother was Mystique, and his father was the warlord Azazel. He had a very unusual appearance which resulted in Mystique trying to drown him after birth, but Azazel came to the rescue.

Nightcrawler (Credits: Marvel)

Azazel asked Margali to raise Kurt as her own. Due to his agility, he started working at a circus as an acrobat. He later joined the X-Men. Even though Cyclops is considered the leader of the X-Men, Kurt has also been seen to step up to lead on multiple occasions. 

He was also the occasional leader for Excalibur, the British branch of X-Men. Doctor Strange also has some contribution to Kurt’s existence. After killing Stefan, Margali wanted Kurt dead, but Doctor Strange helped prove him innocent.

Nightcrawler has also been dead and resurrected due to some altercations with Azazel and his wishes to destroy heaven.

  • Debut comic: Giant-Size X-Men #1 (1975)
  • Physiology: Mutant
  • Creators: Dave Cockrum, Len Wein
  • Powers: Shadowmeld, Stealth, Super Sight, Teleport, Wall Clinger, Leadership

15. Nick Fury

Nicholas “Nick” Joseph Fury joined the US Army during World War II at the age of 20. He quickly progressed through the ranks and became Sergeant Fury. He founded the Howling Commandos, formed of all the highest-ranking soldiers in the army.

Nick Fury (Credits: Marvel)

Nick does not have a distinct superhero arc, but he has been acquainted with a few of the superheroes we encountered earlier. Like, he and his Howling Commandos have fought alongside Captain America and also had a meeting with Logan, also known as Wolverine. 

He is seen to wear an eye patch after an eye injury caused by a grenade. Besides the military training, his superpower is slowed aging, which was brought about when he injected himself with Infinity Formula. The newer versions of Nick portray him as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. 

  • Debut comic: Sgt. Fury #1 (1963)
  • Physiology: Human Mutate
  • Creators: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee
  • Powers: Intellect, Leadership, Longevity, Marksmanship

16. Human Torch

Jonathan Lowell Spencer Storm is the brother of Susan Storm, born to Franklin Storm and Mary. Their mother died in a car accident, leaving behind a mentally struggling Johnny. Sue and Johnny went on to live with their aunt. 

Human Torch (Credits: Marvel)

As described earlier in more detail under “Mr. Fantastic,” Johnny transitioned to Human Torch after being subjected to high levels of cosmic radiation in his journey to outer space. After their spacecraft crashed back to Earth, Johnny realized he could take flight, and once he did, he burst into flames that did not harm him but obeyed his commands.

Johnny is known throughout the Marvel Universe as a hothead, and people tend to be cautious around him, given his superpowers. He has the ability to go “nova,” which means he can basically cause a massive explosion of fire with the heat rising to a million Fahrenheit. Nonetheless, he is one of the original members of the iconic Fantastic Four.

  • Debut comic: Fantastic Four #1 (1961)
  • Physiology: Human Mutate/ Radiation
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Powers: Blast Power, Fire Control, Heat Vision, Flame Breath, Radiation, Super Speed, Wind Bursts, Flight

17. Iceman

Robert Louis Drake was a mutant, not mutate. The origin of his powers does not seem to be clear from the comics, but his powers seemingly manifested when he was at a pool. As a baby, he was always shivering, and doctors could not really point out the reason for it. 

Iceman (Credits: Marvel)

His parents were successful in keeping his powers a secret until, on his 16th birthday, he used them on a bully out of desperation. He was locked up in a cell and soon after visited by Cyclops, who was asked by Xavier to rescue Bobby and make him a part of the X-Men. 

Iceman is the youngest original member of the X-Men and an omega-level mutant, which is the highest rank of mutants in the Marvel Universe. He learned that he could change the physical state of his body with the help of Emma Frost. In newer issues of the comics, we see Iceman come out as gay, even though, according to Stan Lee, that was not the initial intent.

  • Debut comic: The X-Men #1 (1963)
  • Physiology: Human Mutant
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Powers: Blast Power, Duplication, Ice Breath, Shape Shifter, Psionic, Blood Control, Teleport

18. Professor X

Charles Francis Xavier or Professor X’s character traits are based on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and his physical appearance is drawn from actor Yul Brenner. Not much of his origin is known, other than that he was the mutant son of nuclear scientist Brian Xavier and his mother was Sharon Xavier. 

Professor X (Credits: Marvel)

He is the creator of the original X-Men, with the vision to make mutants more aware of their powers, learn to control them, and also fix the mutual distrust between humans and themselves. 

He is quite an interesting character and is often seen to make weird decisions that no one seems to predict, for instance, his marriage to Mystique. He is considered one of the most powerful mutants, combined with his planning skills make him a deadly mastermind. Cassandra Nova is his twin sister that is often raging against him. 

  • Debut comic: The X-Men #1 (1963)
  • Physiology: Mutant
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Powers: Astral Projection, Psychic Abilities, Telepathy, Psionic, Illusion Casting, Hypnosis, Possession

19. Colossus

Piotr Nicolaevich Rasputin, along with his older brother Mikhail and sister Illyana are all mutants born and raised on a farm in Russia. Even though there is a stark similarity between the names, Piotr’s family was in no way related to Grigori Efimovich Rasputin.

Colossus (Credits: Marvel)

Colossus is seen joining X-Men under the supervision of Xavier. His body is made up of organic steel and can stand against almost all weapons; even his eyes are said to be bulletproof. Only elements like adamantium and vibranium seem to cause him substantial damage. 

Colossus has had it rough throughout the years, from being betrayed by his sister to being possessed by Phoenix, sacrificing his life for his family, then ultimately being resurrected and treated as a lab rat by Ord for ages. Colossus is an underrated superhero and is often lost in the popularity race.

  • Debut comic: Aventures Fiction #21 (1971)
  • Physiology: Human Mutant
  • Creators: Len Wein, Dave Cockrum
  • Powers: Agility, Berserker Strength, Shape Shifter, Stamina

20. Bucky Barnes

James Buchanan Barnes Junior was orphaned during World War II and taken into Camp Lehigh. He was naturally talented and completed special military training in both America and Britain. Bucky caught Captain America’s eye, and they worked together, with Bucky performing tasks that Cap could not do due to military protocols. 

Bucky Barnes (Credits: Marvel)

He joined the Invaders later on. In the last days of the war, while on a mission, a bomb detonated, causing substantial damage to both Captain and Bucky. Bucky’s body was never retrieved; we later know that he was kidnapped by the Soviets. They brainwashed him and made him a weapon against his own country. 

He took the name The Winter Soldier. Captain America then, in an effort to bring back Bucky’s memory, used the Cosmic Cube on him. It worked but wrecked Bucky even more when he realized all he had done.  

  • Debut comic: Captain America Comics #1 (1941)
  • Physiology: Human
  • Creators: Jack Kirby, Joe Simon 
  • Powers: Electricity Control, Escape Artist, Gadgets, Implants, Leadership, Super Strength, Unarmed Combat

21. Doctor Strange

In recent years this superhero has become very popular in mainstream media, thanks to MCU and Benedict Cumberbatch. Stephen Vincent Strange had an inclination towards the art of treating people ever since he was a child.

Doctor Strange (Credits: Marvel)

He grew up to be a very successful neurosurgeon at a relatively young age and also had extreme natural talent in what he did. His life was destined to be normal, well, at least as normal as a billionaire doctor’s life can get. The whole trajectory of his life changed when he damaged his dominant hand in an accident.

Not ready to give up his life, he searched for years to permanently fix the issue. Finally, he came across the Ancient One. The Ancient One refused to help him, but Strange was witness to a clash between the Ancient One and Baron Mordo. He had a change of heart and decided to learn sorcery to help the Ancient One.

  • Debut comic: Strange Tales #110 (1963)
  • Physiology: Human
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
  • Powers: Cosmic Awareness, Astral Projection, Necromancy, Force Field, Time Manipulation, Telekinesis, Psychic

22. Storm

Considered one of the most enchanted-looking female characters in Marvel, Ororo Munroe is a sorceress from a very ancient royal line with white hair and icy blue eyes. Her kingdom is situated in the Great Rift Valley of Africa. She, too, is an omega-level mutant, thanks to her lineage. 

Storm (Credits: Marvel)

Her parents were killed while in Cairo, and Storm was buried under the debris long before she was rescued, resulting in her claustrophobia. Despite being powerful, Storm has not gone back to her people as Shetani continues to threaten her.  

She is an important member of the history of X-Men. When Professor X went to space for a prolonged period of time, Storm stepped up to the role of leader and guided the team through critical events like Inferno and the Mutant Massacre. Most recently, she has developed a leadership role in Wakanda and has married Black Panther. 

  • Debut comic: Giant-Size X-Men #1 (1975)
  • Physiology: Mutant
  • Creators: Len Wein, Dave Cockrum
  • Powers: Magic, Weather Control, Magnetism, Invincible, Ice Control, Wind Bursts, Flight, Electricity Control

23. Jean Grey

Jean Elaine Grey is a mutant whose powers did not manifest until a certain traumatic incident. Before Jean was a teenager, she witnessed her friend Annie’s death in a car accident. The mental trauma from this incident made Jean aware of her telepathic powers, which in turn also led her to live through Annie’s accident firsthand. 

Jean Grey (Credits: Marvel)

Jean was mentally unstable for a few years after this until her parents brought her to Professor X, who convinced her to attend Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Under Professor’s guidance, she went on to join the X-Men and became one of the original five members.  

Jean’s powers were initially decided to be only telekinesis, and she was introduced as Marvel Girl but later were upgraded to telepathy to match up with her male counterparts. Throughout the issues, she is seen to struggle heavily with the Phoenix.  

  • Debut comic: The X-Men #1 (1963)
  • Physiology: Mutant
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Powers: Telekinesis, Telepathy, Psychic, Unarmed Combat, Psionic, Heat Generation, Flight, Emotion Control

24. Rogue

Her origin story has been altered, but we will be referring to the initial story as published in the comics. Rogue was named Anne Marie at birth, and her parents had a rocky relationship even before she was born. Anne’s parents had set out with a community to go to “ the Far Banks”, a mythological place.

Rogue (Credits: Marvel)

On arrival, Anne’s mother betrayed her father and prevented him from entering “the Far Banks.” She was raised by her father and abusive aunt from then on. Anne was aware of her powers when she accidentally put Cody in a coma. This enraged the town folks, and they set off to kill her.

Anne’s father asked her to run into the woods and hide; that is where she was temporarily defended by Cable and left unconscious in the woods. She was found and adopted by Mystique and was a part of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants before joining the X-Men. 

  • Debut comic: The Avengers Annual #10 (1981)
  • Physiology: Mutant
  • Creators: Chris Claremont, Michael Golden
  • Powers: Energy Absorption, Invulnerability, Power Mimicry, Siphon Lifeforce, Death Touch

25. Elektra

Elektra Natchios does not have a distinct backstory, and it changes quite often depending on the writers’ intentions. Here is what we do know – her mother died soon after she was born, and she and her father were held hostage when she was 20. The terrorists’ ended up murdering her father. 

Elektra (right) (Credits: Marvel)

She moved to China to master martial arts and avenge her father. She was trained by Stick and joined a group of ninja assassins called the Hand. She eventually left the group and operated solo, harboring the status of the most lethal assassin in the world.

She was romantically involved with Daredevil even before becoming an assassin, but later the two became sworn enemies. Even though on this list, Elektra’s behavior in the past always seemed to juggle between hero and anti-hero. Her interesting character drew in a new flood of female readers to the point where she was granted her own miniseries.  

  • Debut comic: Daredevil #168 (1981)
  • Physiology: Human
  • Creator: Frank Miller
  • Powers: Adaptive, Agility, Danger Sense, Escape Artist, Tracking, Unarmed Combat, Weapon Master

26. Emma Frost

Emma Grace Frost is a mutant born into a very wealthy family. Her powers manifested when she was repeatedly pressured by her abusive father to succeed. On seeing Emma’s potential, her father offered her a place in his business, but she promptly refused. 

Emma Frost (Credits: Marvel)

Emma left home, took on the name the White Queen, and joined the Hellfire Club. She was a great threat and a supervillain to the X-Men during her time in Hellfire Club. Later on, she joins the X-Men. Her powers include telepathy and changing herself into a diamond.

With her skills and charm, she established Frost International, a multibillion-dollar company that specializes in futuristic technology and transport. After joining X-Men, she was romantically involved with Cyclops, was the co-leader of the team, and still continues to play an important part in the mutant group. 

  • Debut comic: The X-Men #129 (1980)
  • Physiology: Mutant
  • Creator: Chris Claremont
  • Powers: Emotional Control, Empathy, Hypnosis, Omni-Lingual, Psychic, Psionic, Tracking, Telepathy

27. Thing

Benjamin Jacob Grimm had a tough childhood. His family was extremely poor, and Ben and his older brother had associations with a youngster-dominated street gang. While maturing, Ben’s older brother died in a gang-related incident, and soon later, the death of the rest of his family followed. 

Thing (Credits: Marvel)

Ben was put under his uncle, Jake Grimm’s supervision. After recovering from the trauma, Ben did really well at school and went on to attend Empire State University after being awarded an athletic scholarship in football. It is here that he met Reed Richards, later known as Mr. Fantastic. 

He joined the US Air Force and became an excellent pilot. His flying skills also landed him a position at NASA. He became Thing after being exposed to high levels of cosmic radiation while on a secret mission with Reed and two others. He has rock-like skin coupled with superhuman strength. 

  • Debut comic: Fantastic Four #1 (1961)
  • Physiology: Human Mutate
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Powers: Berserker Strength, Longevity, Vibration Wave, Unarmed Combat, Super Strength

28. Black Bolt

Blackagar Boltagon is one the most powerful mutants in the Marvel Universe. He is the son of Rynda and Agon. While still an embryo, Black was brought in contact with mutagenic Terrigen Mists, which resulted in him being born with strange abilities. 

Black Bolt (Credits: Marvel)

As a baby, he accidentally demonstrated the destruction he was capable of with his quasi-sonic voice. For the safety of the world, he was kept and brought up inside a sound-proofed chamber armored with an energy-harnessing suit. He was trained by his father, Agon.

When it was time for Black Bolt to be free and back into society, his younger brother, Maximus, was spiteful and continuously worked against him. Maximus tried to collaborate with the enemy aliens, Kree, and when Black Bolt was made aware of the situation, things took a dark turn.

In an attempt to stop Kree, he used his quasi-sonic power to destroy their spaceship, which crashed down on Earth, killing both his parents. Maximus was also lost to insanity. At 20, Black Bolt finally decided to join the Inhumans. 

  • Debut comic: Fantastic Four #45 (1965)
  • Physiology: Mutant
  • Creators: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee
  • Powers: Cosmic Awareness, Sonic Scream, Longevity, Psionic, Energy-Enhanced Strike, Flight, Gadgets

29. She-Hulk

Jennifer Walters did not have any connection to the superhero realm for the majority of her life. She was a normal high school student whose father was a cop. She went on to study at the University of California, Los Angeles, and then to Harvard Law School to earn a Master’s degree. 

She-Hulk (Credits: Marvel)

Jennifer is Bruce Banner or The Incredible Hulk’s cousin. They were close as kids. In a twist of events, her journey to becoming She-Hulk was an accident. Bruce was scheduled to visit Jennifer, but upon arrival, he found her badly injured and losing a lot of blood. Bruce volunteered as a blood donor for his cousin as no one else was present of her blood type.

The gamma-radiated blood altered Jennifer into becoming She-Hulk, even though she did not show signs immediately. While hospitalized, the men of the initial assailant posed as doctors to try killing her again. Out of fear and panic, her powers manifested, and she transformed into She-Hulk and took anyone down. Through the years, she has been a constant member of different superhero squads, like the Fantastic Four, and even led A-Force. 

  • Debut comic: The Savage She-Hulk #1 (1980)
  • Physiology: Human Mutate/ Radiation
  • Creators: John Buscema, Stan Lee
  • Powers: Berserker Strength, Immortal, Unarmed Combat, Shape Shifter

30. Invisible Woman

Susan Storm had an average childhood until her mother died, and soon after, her father followed suit and was convicted of murder. She has a younger brother named Johnny, who we know as Human Torch from the Fantastic Four.

Invisible Woman (Credits: Marvel)

After losing both her parents, she rose to the position of a sister and a guardian for her younger brother, who was not doing great after the loss. The siblings went to live with their aunt in her boarding house, where they met Reed Richards. The two lost contact but rekindled their affection years later when they met in California.

She became Invisible Woman when the spaceship containing herself, Reed, and two others was severely hit with cosmic radiation in outer space. In earlier issues, she was more of a damsel than an actual superhero, but with time her personality and powers both seem to have improved. She also dated Spider-Man one time before being engaged to Reed Richards.

  • Debut comic: Fantastic Four #1 (1961)
  • Physiology: Human Mutate
  • Creators: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee
  • Powers: Energy Based Constructs, Energy-Enhanced Strike, Force Field, Willpower-Based Constructs, Telekinesis

31. Namor

Namor is a hybrid between a human and an Atlantean Princess, often dubbed the Sub-Mariner. His birth occurred after a number of tragic events. His mother, Princess Fen, was captured by his father, Captain Leonard McKenzie. 

Namor (Credits: Marvel)

They fell in love and got married on the ship, but before Namor was born, his grandfather had sent his men to attack and kill people that were on the ship, in turn killing Namor’s father. 

Princess Fen was brought back to Atlantis, and Namor was born under the surface. Namor returned to land and joined Captain America against the Nazis. Tragedy struck once again when he was attacked and tortured by Destiny, causing him to lose his memory and spend his life as a madman.

Later, Johnny Storm helps Namor regain his memories. Namor is often seen walking the line between hero and villain with his actions throughout the issues. He was also very persistent with his affection towards Invisible Woman, even though she was engaged to Mr. Fantastic. 

  • Debut comic: Motion Pictures Funnies Weekly #1 (1939)
  • Physiology: Mutant
  • Creators: Bill Everett
  • Powers: Electricity Control, Super Sight, Sub-Mariner, Super Speed, Flight, Weather Control, Water Control

32. Black Panther

His real name is T’Challa, son of T’Chaka. Many years ago, a meteor of a rare mineral called vibranium was found in Wakanda. The then-ruler harvested the power of this mineral and used it to make Wakanda a highly developed nation. When T’Chaka inherited Wakanda, he made the nation even better than the world around it, but it was kept a secret for fear of evasion.

Black Panther (Credits: Marvel)

A Dutch scientist called Klaw managed to get into Wakanda and kill T’Chaka with a weapon made up of vibranium. T’Challa used the technological advancements of Wakanda to his favor and caused substantial damage to Klaw’s right hand. This made him flee the nation, but he exposed Wakanda to the world and planned one day to have his revenge.

T’Challa became Black Panther after defeating his uncle and gained superhuman abilities like stealth, healing, stamina, and more after ingesting the Heart-shaped Herb of Wakanda. Black Panther was one of the very first black superheroes introduced by Marvel. He was married to Storm and, in an alternate universe, has a son with her named Azari.

  • Debut comic: Fantastic Four #52 (1966)
  • Physiology: Human 
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Powers: Claws, Escape Artist, Force Field, Gadgets, Healing, Heat Vision, Power Suit, Teleport, Tracking

33. Kitty Pryde

Katherine Anne Pryde’s powers started making themselves known when she was only 13 years old. She had terrible headaches since she did not yet know how to control her powers. She was approached by the Hellfire Club, led by Emma Frost and Professor X himself. She chose to collaborate with Professor X over Hellfire Club because she did not find Emma trustworthy enough. 

Kitty Pryde (Credits: Marvel)

Emma then launched an attack on X-Men while Kitty was with the group. The X-Men defeated the opponent but were frozen by Emma Frost’s powers. Kitty somehow managed to flee the scene and contacted other members of the X-Men, and together they managed to rescue the others. Jean Grey helped Kitty join Professor X by altering the memories of Kitty’s parents. 

Kitty is also known as Shadowcat, and her abilities enable her to alter her physical form and pass through solid objects. She was one of the youngest to join the X-Men and currently holds the status of leader of the X-Men. 

  • Debut comic: The X-Men #129 (1980)
  • Physiology: Mutant
  • Creators: Chris Claremont, John Bryne
  • Powers: Electronic Disruption, Escape Artist, Phasing/ Ghost, Weapon Master

34. Scarlet Witch

Wanda Maximoff was initially introduced with the intention of creating a supervillain alongside her twin brother Quicksilver or Pietro. The identity of their father has been under speculation for ages, and new theories are seen to be brought to light every few issues. 

Scarlet Witch (Credits: Marvel)

Wanda’s father was believed to be Magneto, and her mother, Magda. When Magda was aware of Magneto being a mutant, she ran away to Mt Wundagore and stayed there with a humanoid cow named Bova. She died soon after, and the baby twins were taken care of by Bova before they were adopted by Django and Marya Maximoff. 

Scarlet Witch is considered one of the most powerful superheroes in the multiverse; it is said that once it took a collective effort from Doctor Strange and Professor X to stop her mind. It is revealed that the twins were not mutant at birth, while under the care of the Maximoffs, they were taken away and experimented on. When the experiment failed, the High Evolutionary returned them, and it took years before their powers manifested. She is the ex-wife of Vision.

  • Debut comic: The X-Men #4 (1964)
  • Physiology: Human Mutate
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Powers: Darkforce Manipulation, Divine Powers, Duplication, Earth Manipulation, Matter Absorption, Mesmerize, Necromancy, Plant Control

35. X-23

Laura Kinney has an interesting but tragic origin story. She was the result of an experiment headed by geneticist Sarah Kinney. The experiment was dubbed Weapon X, and Laura was created on the 23rd trial. Thus, her name was X-23. The motive was to create a clone of Wolverine, but Sarah made some changes when it was discovered that the samples collected were damaged.

X-23 (Laura) (Credits: Marvel)

Despite being a lab experiment, Sarah actually carried Laura for 9months before she was born. From a very young age, Laura was taught martial arts and subjected to physical abuse in the lab, with the view to make her more like the original Wolverine. Her claws manifested when she was put through radiation, and by 11, she was a trained assassin.

Rice was a member of the faculty responsible for Weapon X, and he had Laura murder his employer in order to have full control of the faculty. When Laura opens up to Sarah about this incident, Sarah orders Laura to destroy and faculty and everything within. Unfortunately, Rice suspected this and used the Trigger Scent on Sarah, which resulted in Laura killing Sarah before she could escape the faculty. While on the ground dying, Sarah names X-23 Laura and admits to being her mother. X-23 is one of the few mutants that did not lose their power under the Scarlet Witch’s spell.

  • Debut comic: NYX #3 (2004)
  • Physiology: Mutant
  • Creators: Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost
  • Powers: Claws, Escape Artist, Feral, Super Smell, Implants

36. Black Widow

Natasha Alinova Romanova was born in Russia and orphaned at a young age when her house was attacked by Nazi soldiers. She grew up under the care of a Russian soldier named Ivan Petrovich Bezukhov and later joined the Soviets’ Red Room branch, where her mental and physical traits were enhanced to make her into a spy, famously known as Black Widow

Black Widow (Credits: Marvel)

She was also working under the Winter Soldier during her time in the Soviet Government. Initially, she was introduced as a villain, but after she got involved with Haweye, she switched teams and joined the SHIELD. She was a killer since childhood, but not much is known about her victims or endeavors. 

Ever since her descent to SHIELD, she has been an active member of the Avengers. She also shut down the Red Room and Black Room faculty multiple times. Natasha isn’t the only Black Widow; there are multiple other Black Widow from Marvel and even from other brands. 

  • Debut comic: Tales of Suspense #52 (1964)
  • Physiology: Human
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Don Rico, Don Heck
  • Powers: Agility, Longevity, Marksmanship, Stamina

37. Black Cat

Felicia Hardy had a normal upbringing. She was mostly raised by her mother, as her father was always busy on business trips abroad. At school, she was into cheerleading and gymnastics. When Felicia was a teenager, she was informed that her father had died in a plane crash, only to later figure out that he was a well-known cat burglar.  

Black Cat (Credits: Marvel)

As she grew older, she decided she wanted to be like her father and joined martial arts classes where she was taught Goju Ryu by Migayi. She enrolled at Empire State University but was raped by her boyfriend. Disgusted and fuming with anger, she decided to kill him. She became hyper-focused on training herself to take on the challenge and trained for months before she was ready.

By that point, her ex-boyfriend had already died while driving under the influence. Not getting the satisfaction of killing her ex-boyfriend, she decided to become the next Black Cat. She made her costume and acquired the power to curse people with bad luck. She was originally introduced as the evil counterpart of Spider-Woman. 

  • Debut comic: The Amazing Spider-Man #194 (1979)
  • Physiology: Human
  • Creators: Marv Wolfman, Keith Pollard, Dave Cockrum
  • Powers: Claws, Duplications, Electricity Control, Feral, Probability Manipulation, Wall Clinger, Webslinger

38. Beast

Henry Philip McCoy was born a mutant with abnormally large hands and feet. It is presumed that the cause for the mutation was because of his father being exposed to radiation long before Hank was conceived.

Beast (Credits: Marvel)

He had a high IQ and was always curious about how things functioned and the world in general. Due to his appearance, he was constantly bullied in school until a girl named Jennifer stood up for him, and the two were instantly in love with each other. 

Hank had intervened in a robbery that made it to the news and was since targeted by a villain called Conquistador. Conquistador had kidnapped his family and promised to release them only if Hank managed to get him a specific nuclear device. Even after holding up his end of the bargain, Conquistador refused to leave his parents and wanted Hank to work for him from then on.

Hank and his family were rescued by Professor X and his students and granted a place at the Xavier Institute, where he got a doctorate in biophysics. In his full mutant form, he is seen to have blue fur and a beast-like appearance. He is an important member of the X-Force.

  • Debut comic: The X-Men #1 (1963)
  • Physiology: Mutant
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
  • Powers: Super Hearing, Super Sight, Super Smell, Pheromone Control, Feral, Unarmed Combat, Claws

39. Sentry

Not much of Sentry’s backstory is known, even when referred to in the comics. He was created when Robert Reynolds consumed a type of super-soldier serum. Sentry was born, but so was his dark twin, the Void within Robert’s mind itself. 

Sentry (Credits: Marvel)

 After the Void seemingly got too powerful to control, Robert erased the memory of Sentry and Void from everyone’s mind, including himself. One day in 2008, he suddenly revived the memory and started announcing it to the world. Sentry visited superheroes like Spider-Man, Hulk, and Mr. Fantastic, urging them to remember his existence. Eventually, the whole world recalls the good he has done.

On a mission to understand why all the memories were erased, Reynolds discovers that Void was none other than himself. The serum had somehow damaged vital parts of his mind, which made him switch between Sentry and the Void unpredictably. 

Sentry wanted what was best for the world, and thus he chose to follow the same line of action as before, to erase everyone’s memory alongside himself in order to save the world from the Void.

  • Debut comic: Sentry #1 (2000)
  • Physiology: Radiation
  • Creators: Paul Jenkins, Jae Lee
  • Powers: Death Touch, Immortal, Light Manipulation, Levitation, Empathy, Reality Manipulator, Shape Shifter

40. Hawkeye

Clinton Francis Barton and his older brother Barney had a rough childhood. Their father was an abusive drunkard, and their mother couldn’t care less. As fate would have it, their parents died in a car accident because their father was driving under the influence.

Clint and Barney escaped from an orphanage and joined the circus, doing casual labor for the performers to earn a living. Clint caught the eye of Swordsman and Trickshot, who taught him archery, acrobatics, and knife throwing. Clint admired his mentors and had immense respect for the two. 

Hawkeye (Credits: Marvel)

His world fell to pieces when he learned that Swordsman had stolen a huge amount of cash from the circus manager. Swordsman offered to pay Clint handsomely if he forgot about the incident; when Clint refused, he was badly beaten up and left the circus for a bit.

Barney convinced him to rejoin as an archery performer, but Clint felt like he did not belong there. He eventually got inspired by Iron Man and decided to fight crime with his bow and arrow. He is currently a member of the Avengers.

  • Debut comic: Tales of Suspense #57 (1964)
  • Physiology: Human
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Don Heck
  • Powers: Escape Artist, Size Manipulation, Weapon Master, Power Suit, Marksmanship, Gadgets, Tracking

41. Luke Cage

Carl Lucas was born in the poorer sections of New York. He and his friend Stryker were a part of The Rivals, and both the children committed petty crimes while in the gang. Luke was brought into juvenile prison and eventually decided to change his ways of living. 

Luke Cage (Credits: Marvel)

He joined the New York Police Department as an adult. His friend Stryker was still a part of the criminal world, and Luke did his best to keep him out of trouble. When Luke and Stryker’s ex-girlfriend start seeing each other, Stryker lashes out and plants drugs in Luke’s apartment and informs the police himself.  

Luke is arrested and placed in prison once again. While in prison, he was part of an experiment, which seemingly failed but ended up granting Luke extreme strength and hard rock-like skin. He is best friends with Iron Fist and has joined the Fantastic Four as a replacement for The Thing. He was married to Jessica Jones and also had a daughter with her. 

  • Debut comic: Hero for Hire #1 (1972)
  • Physiology: Human 
  • Creators: Archie Goodwin, Roy Thomas, John Romita, George Tuska
  • Powers: Leadership, Stamina, Super Strength, Unarmed Combat, Healing

42. Iron Fist

Daniel Thomas Rand-K’ai has a vast cultural history about his existence. His tale is laced with equal parts mythology and betrayal. Daniel’s father, Wendell Rand, had become the ruler of K’un-Lun, a kingdom founded by aliens and ruled by aliens and powerful individuals called the Dragon Kings.

Iron Fist (Credits: Marvel)

The kingdom used to appear in the Himalayas every ten years. Wendell had married while he was a ruler and also had a daughter. His wife was killed when attacked by Yu-Ti’s army, and Wendell decided to return back to Earth. He started a new life as a successful businessman, got married, and had Daniel. 

The new family decided to return to K’un-Lun when Daniel was nine years old. In an unfortunate turn of events, only Daniel made it to K’un-Lun, and both his parents died on the way. He started learning martial arts and became close friends with his half-sister Miranda. His powers came from the heart of a dragon called Shao-Lao. At 19, Daniel gained his power as the next Iron Fist and also a dragon-shaped symbol on his chest from Shao-Lao. 

  • Debut comic: Marvel Premiere #15 (1974)
  • Physiology: Human
  • Creators: Gil Kane, Roy Thomas
  • Powers: Energy-Enhanced Strike, Inertia Absorption, Weapon Master, Siphon Lifeforce, Healing, Swordsmanship

43. Cable

Nathan Christopher Charles Summers is the son of Scott Summers, also known as Cyclops, and Madelyne Pryor. His life has been anything but easy; while still a baby, he was injected with a techno-organic virus and showed signs of extremely declining health. His parents, therefore, thought it was fit to send him to the future where a cure may exist.

Cable (Credits: Marvel)

He did not have an “upbringing” at all. Mr. Sinister, a villain from the X-Men universe, kidnaps baby Cable and uses Deadpool’s healing factor on him, which results in him becoming a full-grown adult within a few minutes. Cable does, however, defeat Mr. Sinister and escape with Deadpool.

When Cable time-traveled back, he wasn’t just older than both his parents but also stronger than them. He became an omega-level mutant and established groups like the X-Force. He was also a member of the Avengers. His mother, who was a clone of Jean Grey, had also tried to sacrifice him as a baby. 

  • Debut comic: The Uncanny X-Men #201 (1986)
  • Physiology: Human Mutate
  • Creators: Rob Liefeld, Louise Jones Simonson
  • Powers: Blast Power, Darkforce Manipulation, Electronic Disruption, Matter Absorption, Power Mimicry, Precognition

44. Hercules

Everyone is familiar with this iconic name from Greco-Roman Mythology, and even though Marvel made a lot of changes in his character strengths, the origin remains the same. Hercules was not born with all the powers he is associated with; in fact, his mother was a mortal, making him a demigod. 

Hercules (Credits: Marvel)

His father was Zeus, and Athena had tricked Hera, Zeus’s immortal wife and Queen of the Olympians, into breastfeeding baby Hercules which in turn made him invulnerable. Even though Hercules was powerful enough to defend the Olympian Gods and mankind, he was still a demi-god; Marvel switched this fact and made him a God.

In the Marvel universe, we see Hercules teaming up with multiple other superheroes. He was one of the original members of the Champions and also played an important role in the Civil War on Captain America’s side. He is often addressed as the leader of Gods.

  • Debut comic: Young Allies Comics #16 (1945)
  • Physiology: God
  • Creators: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee
  • Powers: Divine Powers, Immortal, Power Items, Marksmanship

45. Hank Pym

Henry “Hank” Christopher Pym is a prolific scientist in the new age of the Avengers and is beloved in the MCU, but despite the creators’ efforts, his reputation in comic books is still under some dispute.

Hank Pym (Credits: Marvel)

Growing up, Hank’s family was not supportive of his inclination towards science; the only support he ever got was from his grandma. He became a biochemist at a young age and married a woman named Maria. He had an average life before Maria was killed while traveling. This incident was a catalyst for his declining mental health, and he soon developed bipolar disorder. Some years later, he recovered and decided to use science to defeat crime.

He discovered a new particle that could change the size of humans and was named Pym Particles. Hank has been an important member of the Marvel Universe. He was the first Ant-Man and the creator of the suit. His reputation took a blow when he was going through a breakdown and physically abused his second wife, Janet.  

  • Debut comic: Tales to Astonish #27 (1962)
  • Physiology: Human
  • Creators: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber
  • Powers: Animal Control, Blast Power, Intellect, Tracking, Unarmed Combat

Read More: Avengers vs. X-Men: Who Is The Strongest Team In The Marvel Movie Universe?

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