Hello everyone, I’m Liam McCoy, a new writer at Best-Comic-Books.com! These are my picks for 10 must read comics!
I probably can’t stress how much I love this book. Half of the entire issue is spent entangled in a battle for supremacy. The Vulture, who’s been previously bested by Spider-man already, is back with an unbreakable will to destroy the spider. So he goes all out, and these two duke it out like certified studs, Spidey often losing key exchanges, the fight eventually ending in a draw if ever there were a draw.
The comic-to-film trend isn’t going to end anytime soon. Hollywood now sees the comic book world as a previously untapped gold mine, and they’re going to milk it for all its worth. I say let them milk it! I’ve been a reader of comic books since 1992, and there are enough stunning and mystifying story arcs and comic characters out there to produce another 50 top notch pictures. In fact, that’s what we’re hoping the future brings us: more riveting transfers of legendary tales.
Everyone wants a piece of Spider-Man. He’s a skinny little fellow with a big mouth and an absurd ability to make foes four times his size look like bumbling fools. He’s basically every high school nerd’s dream come true, on paper. That may in fact be a huge part of the appeal of the Spider. Everyone who’s ever been picked on by a much bigger, aggressive jock bully, has had a desire to mop the floor with that bully. Spider-Man makes that happen, just about every time he’s forced to tangle with a bad guy, and he’s done so to men as mean as the following…
10 Kraven the Hunter
As far back as I can remember, Kraven never had a very valid reason to beef with Puny Peter Parker. As I recall, the encounters of this nature generally stem from Kraven’s desire to overcome his most formidable prey. In other words, it’s just a form of competition for the infamous big game hunter. But as history has shown us, the Spider tends to out-duel the hulking and crafty Kraven.
Doctor Conners was once a decent guy. Then he had a big brain fart in his laboratory and injected himself with that bad-news-all-over-it lizard serum. The result? A massive, agile lizard capable of basically controlling all different sorts of reptiles and bashing skulls with that tremendous tail of his. Naturally, the Lizard stands out a bit, and that means many a collision with Spider-Man is guaranteed business.
Electro is just a disgruntled dude, and who can blame the guy? He was just a hard-working guy who happened to have a terrible injury on the job. This, naturally made Maxwell Dillon eager to throw a few lightning bolts and let off some steam (Bennett… sorry, it was too easy), and well… Spider-Man can’t let that insanity happen in such a booming metropolis. Hence the many battles these two have had. Electro has some very dangerous abilities, but he comes up just a bit short in the brains department, which has enabled the Spider to get the upper hand time and again.
Adrian Toomes has always been one of Spider-Man’s most compelling and interesting villains. The man has true brainpower on his side, being am inventor with ingenuity in his blood he’s always seemed to have the potential to defeat Spider-Man. All that said, while Vulture may have the creativity to come up big in a showdown with the wall-crawler, he lacks the heart and seems to fold when things don’t go his way. Never a good thing when you’re fighting a youngster with a heart as big as Texas.
Cletus Kasady ran into a symbiote that changed existence as he knew it. It also connected him to Venom forever. But Carnage didn’t exactly live in Venom’s shadow. No. This nasty wreaks his own havoc where he can when he can. While Carnage may be considered the “spawn of Venom,” he can actually do a few things that Venom can’t, like form his black and bloody gooeyness into sharp or serrated blades. We’re talking about a whole new challenge for Parker. But, as is the case with Venom, Kasady doesn’t always know when to quit while ahead. Spidey’s just too smart for this kind of villain.
Flint Marko rocks. Not because he’s a great guy or anything, but because he was shapeshifting and manipulating the elements in unique ways longer than just about every nemesis on this list. The first time we see that sand mold itself into a giant hand, and the Sandman bellows “Okay Spider-Man! Now it’s just you ‘n me! Once I finish you off, nobody’ll be able to stop me,” we know that this is a foe who can create very interesting problems for the Web Head. I’m still aching to see an outstanding filmmaker bring the Sandman to the big screen in a way that does him true justice (sorry, Raimi, there was quite a bit left to be desired by Spider-Man 3).
Venom was the first major villain born into the Marvel universe during my time. I missed the introduction of other greats included in this lineup, but I was here and collecting in 1988, when this uber intimidating alien symbiote with the power to completely brainwash its host while bulking up to epic proportions was introduced by David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane. Although we didn’t see much of the true Venom in The Amazing Spider-Man #299, he does have one of the most memorable cameos in history. It’s hard to shake that image of Venom in the shadows, his grin stretching to grotesque dimensions as he welcomes Mary Jane home, “Hi, Honey…” That sums up the creepiness and control of Venom, perfectly.
2 Doc Ock
Another one of Spider-Man’s oldest rivals, Doctor Otto Octavius scared the urine out of me as a child. I can’t recall which issue of Amazing Spider-Man I was reading, but I remember I hadn’t been reading long when my parents picked up a random issue. That issue featured Ock and boy did that haunt my dreams for a while. The thing is, Dock Ock is still frightening. He’s edgier in his more recent appearances and Alfred Molina did the character beautiful justice in Sam Raimi’s second franchise film. This is a multi-layered character that has been as savage as imaginable and as sympathetic as a child who’s lost his way home. Amazing villain, and no doubt one of the finest antagonists ever created in the comic world.
1 Green Goblin
If Spider-Man has a legitimate arch nemesis, it’s Green Goblin. This guy framed Parker for murder. This guy tortured Spidey in a bid to turn him to the dark side. He worked up an elaborate clone saga. This guy just about completely ruined Parker’s life when he played a very direct role in the death of one of Peter Parker’s first true loves, Gwen Stacy. Parker has taken a lot of “Ls” at the hands of the Green Goblin, and if anyone had the resolve and grit to kill the iconic character, it would no doubt be the green one. Where the future will take us – with any rendition of Green Goblin – remains to be seen, but you’ve got to expect the Green Goblin to cause more turmoil down the line, one way or another.
Superheroes have held the attention of the young and old alike for decades. Comic books – the primary channel in which superheroes appear – have given us that avenue to escape reality, even if only for a short period of time. Who hasn’t read a Batman book and thought, I wish I could rid the streets of my city like that, looking sleek in that black suit! Most comic book lovers have always been able to relate to the human side of heroes while admiring their otherworldly gifts. Those are natural responses. We love heroes. We love what they typically stand for. We love the fact that heroes can do what we can’t. That’s why we admire them. That’s why we admire the following 25 superheroes, because there’s humanity and courage in every last one of them.
Massive, amnesiac green dude equipped with a head fin. Did we mention he’s a cop? Still going strong after well over 200 issues, this is one dude you simply don’t want to tangle with. Kudos to creator Erik Larsen for creating a genuinely fresh superhero.
Namor is so overlooked it’s really quite heartbreaking. Maybe Marvel should pull his tail out of the depths and let the company’s first official mutant actually get some shine! All the options on the table… all swept away by the sea.
Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
Okay, so Green Lantern went through a few sketchy times. Who doesn’t nearly destroy masses when possessed by some weirdo? What matters is that Hal got his head clear and his mojo back. This dude is game for any showdown. Big or small, fast or slow – line ‘em up and Green Lantern will handle his business.
Peter Parker’s become much trendier over the last few decades. In fact, read just about any Spidey title on the shelves and you’ll note that he’s now become something of a cool cat. He’s still got jokes, though, and that’s a big relief. He’s also got an assortment of enemies to throttle that is rivaled only by the great Batman.
It feels like Aquaman doesn’t kick ass with as much flare of some of his fellow DC heroes. That’s probably because everything moves in slow motion once fully submerged. While that may never change, there are options to transform this noble stud. I mean, really, why not a modern day crossover that pits Aquaman and Namor? That would be awesome!
Be honest with yourselves: You love Captain Marvel. He’s a little pipsqueak kid with big dreams, a big heart and the ability to transform into a hulking crime fighting machine, just by using a silly childlike word: SHAZAM!
The Flash (Barry Allen)
I’m not going to lie to you, I’m a fan of every man to ever embrace the Flash moniker. Jay Garrick, Wally West, Bart Allen and of course, Barry Allen. Regardless of who donned the suit, these guys were amazing. Using their brains to contact outrageous inventions in labs, speeding through the city to prevent a mugging, speeding right back to the other side of the city to ensure Captain Cold gets a dose of warmth before he ruins some unsuspecting soul’s meal. The Flash is amazing, and Barry may be the man who has done him most justice over the years.
I recall reading an ancient copy of Fantastic Four, and while little of the details stick out to me (I read the book back in 1988/1989 and it was already an older issue), I still haven’t let go of this minor tirade that Johnny Storm launches into, pissing and moaning about the challenges his super-powers bring about. As I recall, Thing put him in his place. But, to get that self-loathing from a guy who enjoys putting up a cocky front was great. It was a rare moment spent looking at the real Human Torch, who, as it turns out, has just as many inhibitions as you and I.
Martial Manhunter should, theoretically, be the baddest hero in existence. He should, realistically, have a half dozen monthly titles dedicated to him. He’s like Superman multiplied by 100, with telepathy, invisibility, telekinesis and the ability to shape-shift (I feel like I’m missing a few of his other powers). And that should pretty much guarantee the Manhunter can and will win every battle he ever engages in. Unfortunately, despite his tremendous skill set, Martian Manhunter often goes overlooked by fans. My theory? You’re all a bunch of racists, unwilling to give a green man a fair shake.
The first deeply mature and refined pupil of Professor X, Cyclops always has his head on straight, always looks out for his fellow X-mates and never hesitates when it’s time to react. He’s one of the leaders of the X-Men for a myriad of reasons. And to his credit, he’s found himself in some very precarious situations. And he always stagger emerges from the dust and rubble. To top it all off, he’s been engaged in some great feuds, each vying for Jean Grey’s love. Guess who put a ring on it?
Nick Fury is basically a super spy extraordinaire with the skills to treat the Avengers like simple puppets. Although Nick holds those powerful strings, he can also be a threat in good old fashioned hand-to-hand combat. Need another reason we love Fury so much? He makes every man on earth want to wear an eyepatch. You gotta be a special son-of-a-gun to make the eye patch cool.
A socially conscious and heavily opinionated gent, Oliver Queen is gnarly in the best of ways. He’s equipped with all kinds of tricky gadgets although that bow and arrow function as the true trademark. I’ve also got to praise Arrow’s ruthlessness when it comes to the villainess type. This man has no mercy and he believes in severe punishment. Respect to you, Mr. Arrow!
Hellboy might be the greatest superhero not related to Marvel or DC. Mike Mignola’s creation is loaded with sharp humor but he’s all business when it comes time to take down demonic beasts from hell. Hellboy is awesome, flat out, and the fact that he’s red doesn’t hurt his cause!
Charles Xavier is kind of like the Godfather of superheroes. If not for this gentleman would we even have characters like Jean Grey, Cyclops, Wolverine, etc., etc.? Probably not. This man earns huge points on his accomplishments alone, but when he really opens his mind, he’s fully capable of tearing the bad guys apart. No one wants to lose a fight to a guy in a wheelchair.
The Thing is a brute. But you know what? He’s also kind of a nice guy. He tends to bicker with his fiery ally, but it’s typically in good fun. If it wasn’t, you can guarantee that Johnny Storm would find himself one with the pavement. It’s the Thing’s charisma and gentle heart that ultimately land him on this list. He’s just a good guy, and he’s always got the backs of his fellow Fantastic Four members.
A major player of classic mythology, Thor has now become synonymous with a long haired blonde gent capable of taking a building down with a single swing of the hammer. Thor can come off as a little arrogant from time to time, but you would too, if you were a god… right? The fact that the man earns respect from measly humans as well as nobles from other worlds is a reminder that he’s one to follow.
One of the founding members of the X-Men, Jean Grey is arguably the most powerful telepath on the planet. She also seems to struggle with her identity a bit. Is She Jean Grey? Is she the Phoenix? Is she dead, or alive? Who knows… who cares, her influence on the X-Men is still unwavering. Plus, she’s uber hot!
Those who only watch Iron Man films and avoid reading the comments may not realize it, but Tony Stark is something of a ticking time bomb. All the money in the world doesn’t change his well disguised death wish. He’s always pushing the borders of his suit, and there’s a very human reason for that. In some ways, Iron Man is the most complex character on the Marvel roster. Regardless of any mental issues the man has, we love him. And his armor.
Do we really need to dive into this one? Daredevil is badder than bad. The dude literally destroys villains… and he’s blind. HE’S BLIND!! ‘Nuff said.
When Bruce Banner rages, the world feels that rage. Sometimes the good guys feel it too, as Hulk kind of… loses himself from time to time. All the same, Bruce is a great guy with a brilliant mind, and the Hulk is a wrecking ball that no villain would voluntarily tangle with. I’m always up to see the big green man in purple pants tear a few buildings down.
Captain America is like Marvel’s father figure. He’s an amazing guy, pure in intentions, always respectful and capable of dismantling just about everyone. This is the first true Avenger and his counterparts treat him as such. There’s no shortage of respect for the man who always acts as an upstanding citizen. He’s quite literally the prototypical All American Good Guy. Cap rocks!
Somehow Wonder Woman can whip a villain with ease with that Lasso of Truth, all the while maintaining her purity and connection to the peaceful side of life. That sentence feels like a whole bunch of oxymoron’s battling each other in just a few words. But that’s what Wonder Woman does. And she represents female empowerment like none other in the comic world. Sexy, dangerous and influential, Wonder Woman was an obvious pick for this list. Who doesn’t love the Amazonian?
There’s a reason Wolverine is such a beloved character; he’s as human as you and I. Of course he does indeed have some nifty super powers, but he’s a haunted human being. Like so many of us, he battles his own demons on a regular basis. He’s lost a lot of what he once loved about life. That too, eats at him. In short, Wolverine is a sad story… a haunted soul in unending pain, and that’s something that a lot of us can truly relate to. 40 years ago no one would believe you if you told them a mutant with nasty claws that burst from his flesh would prove to be an insanely relatable and human character, but that’s exactly who and what Logan is.
Gotham’s wealthiest detective moonlights in a stunning suit designed to prevent any bodily damage. How’s that sound? Sounds accurate! Batman and Wolverine share a lot of similarities. Both have lost individuals that they deeply love. Both are constantly troubled by their own pasts. And both have a major desire to rid the world of the scum that wanders freely, looking for the vulnerable, hoping to snatch some cash, or murder for no reason. Every bit as haunted as Wolvie, Bruce Wayne is a sympathetic character whose only fault is his obsession with cleaning up the streets of Gotham.
Kal-el isn’t human. But he sure does behave as though he is. Well, at least when he’s disguised as Clark Kent. When the spectacles are removed and the suit is peeled away, Kent becomes Superman, the archetypical superhero. The superhero that other superheroes wish they could be. But Superman’s near-limitless abilities have never once gone to Superman’s head. He was raised (by Jonathan and Martha Kent) to be a respectful, responsible and decent man. The Kent’s did a brilliant job. The last thing Superman wants to do is see an unsuspecting pedestrian hurt (unless you base your opinion of the man on Zach Snyder’s miserable flick, Man of Steel, in which case you see Superman as a superhero who doesn’t give a rat’s tail about the well-being of anyone other than himself; there’s a building crumbling and it’s going to crush a lot of civilians! Eh, who cares, I’m in the middle of a fight Zod!), and he always goes far out of his way to protect humanity. Outside of Snyder’s crappy movie, Superman has always been selfless, and he’s always commanded a respect that few, if any, other superheroes will ever know.
Deadpool is hired by a strange lot of kind-of-humans – members of the One World Church – to break into a major pharmaceutical manufacturer and snag a drug their developing. The drug, in the wrong hands, could put the world as we know it at riskl; in the right hands it could be a miracle drug. Either way, the One World Church wants it, and they’re willing to pay big bucks to ensure they get it.
Sounds like a perfect deal for the loud-mouthed merc, right? Right… all the way up to the point where Wade crosses paths with Cable, who’s got similar motivation for his appearance. Unfortunately, issue one reaches a close before we see these two use each other as punching bags before inevitably becoming best buds.
The positive? I’ve got ever issue of this book, so I’ll be bringing you up to speed soon!
Right now expect a strong, silly story from Fabian Nicieza and some damn slick artwork from the talented Shane Law of Udon. These gents work quite well together, and this is a match made in Marvel Heaven.
How long will these two anti-heroes tangle before realizing they’re essentially fighting for the same cause? How many wicked verbal barbs can Wade get out of his mouth before Cable puts a beatin’ on the man? And just how will this particular arc come to an end? Are these One World Church folks legit, or is there something shady goin on?
We’ll see soon!