Top 10 Fantastic Four Villains

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The Fantastic Four are well-renowned for being the first family of Marvel Comics; it was the title that started the Marvel universe as we know it, and the first to show some major aspects of the Marvel U, such as Subteranea (home of the Mole Man and his Atlas/Timely-era monsters), Atlantis, the Negative Zone, Latveria, Wakanda, the blue area of the moon (where the Watcher lives), and Attilan (home of the Inhumans). The book has always gotten credit, especially from the Lee/Kirby era, for exploring new areas of the universe. But what it doesn’t often get credit for is the great villains it has introduced. Sure, everyone knows Dr. Doom, but there are a ton of great FF villains that don’t normally get their due. It was actually difficult to reduce the list to ten, but here are my votes for the ten greatest FF adversaries.

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Top 50 Moments from “Events”

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Both Marvel and DC (and really most publishers) from time to time will throw a lot of their characters (sometimes nearly all) together for a really big story. These have been dubbed ‘event’ titles. Books like Final Crisis, Blackest Night, Metal, Civil War, Spider-Verse, and many, many others have their fans and detractors, but you can’t deny that they provide some of the coolest, most intense, most unforgettable moments in comics history.

Everyone has their favorites, but here are 50 of the best moments (in no particular order). If you have any favorites that we neglected to include, sound off in the comments.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

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Top 25 X-Men

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The X-Men have had a lot of members over the years. A LOT. Especially when you consider all of the spin-off teams, like the New Mutants, X-Factor, X-Force, and Excalibur. There have to be around 100, maybe more. But if you aren’t overly versed in X-Men history, how are you to know your Josephs from your Rogues? Your Skins from your Storms? Well, I’ll help you out a bit and give you the 25 best members of the X-Men and their ancillary teams.

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Top 20 Walking Dead Characters

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The Walking Dead is a phenomenon. The AMC television show is a juggernaut, and seemingly gets better and better as it goes on. The comic book has been around for more than ten years (!!) and shows no signs of slowing down. There are video games, mobile apps, and merchandise, merchandise, merchandise as far as the eye can see.

Why is it so universally beloved? It’s not the zombies, although they are always awesome. It’s the characters. Whether the originals from the comic, or their counterparts on the tv show, or the new characters created for said tv show or any of the video games, the Walking Dead delivers interesting, relatable characters you love to love and hate.

Spoilers ahead!

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Top 15 Alternate/Possible Marvel/DC Realities

 

One thing super hero comics seem to do very well is to depict alternate realities and alternate versions of their characters. Wonder what would happen if the X-Men failed to stop the advancement of Sentinel technology, or if Apocalypse succeeded in taking over the world? There are stories you can read for that. Want to know one of the possible futures for the Hulk, or Superman? There’s stories for that, too. Dating back to X-Men: Days of Future Past (which even predates the Terminator films!), comics have continuously used the possible future outcomes as a way of depicting the stakes for our heroes if they lose, and as a way to show how one change in the timeline, no matter how seemingly small, can cause massive ripples in what we think of as reality.

They are also used as a way to show your favorite characters in new situations and surroundings without messing with the core character and material, a la the Age of Apocalypse.

Here are my picks for the 15 best alternate realities/timelines from Marvel and DC comics:

 

15. Teen Titans: The Future Is Now

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Geoff Johns is the most accomplished, and probably most popular, writer for DC Comics. He is well known for titles like Action Comics, the Flash, Green Lantern, JLA, JSA, 52, Infinite Crisis, Forever Evil, and Flashpoint. But the title that typically slips between the cracks is his awesome run on Teen Titans, and the best arc was “The Future is Now”.

After teaming up with the Legion of Super Heroes, the Titans are trying to get back to their own time, but arrive a few years later than they would have liked. They try to go back to their HQ, but are surprised to find that it is occupied by the Justice League, which is made up of adult versions of themselves!

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Top 10 Marvel Events

Over the last few years in particular but really going back all the way to Secret Wars, Marvel has made a habit of telling huge, earth-shattering crossovers. Some are great, and some are… not so great (looking at you Secret Wars II!). However, when they’re good, they’re GOOD. Here is a list of my 10 favorite Marvel events.

 

10. Fear Itself

fear itselfProbably one of the less popular on the list, but you have to admit that Fear Itself really swings for the fences.

The story centers on the return of The Serpent, the Asgardian God of Fear and Odin’s older brother (and by Asgardian law the true All-Father). This dude feeds off of fear, so the more afraid people are in general the stronger he gets. Not such a great combination when you see how he goes about spreading fear.

He is resurrected by the Red Skull (not Schmidt, but his daughter, Sin, the ‘new’ Red Skull), who finds an ancient Asgardian hammer that was created by the Serpent ages ago. When she grabs the hammer she is transformed into an avatar of the Serprent, and gets crazy, Thor level strong. Her awakening frees the Serpent, and a bunch more hammers drop to Earth, and are eventually grabbed by Atuma, the Absorbing Man, Titania, the Grey Gargoyle, the Thing, the Juggernaut, and the fucking Hulk! Each one of them loses their personalities in the hammers and basically do whatever they can to spread fear around the world, mostly by destroying every damn thing in sight.

The Avengers respond, and spread themselves perilously thin to combat the menaces. The Red Hulk is trounced by the Thing; Hawkeye, Spider-Woman, the Protector, and Ms. Marvel BARELY survive the Hulk, and just manage to save some people from him before he jumps away; the Grey Gargoyle turns every person in Paris into a statue and beats the holy living shit out of Iron Man; Titania and the Absorbing Man throw down with War Machine, Iron First, and the Immortal Weapons; Dr. Strange and Namor confront Atuma; and the X-Men are only able to ‘defeat’ the Juggernaut when Colossus agrees to become the new Juggernaut when he meets the demon Cytorrak (who grants the Juggernaut his powers pre-hammer)! Finally the Red Skull leads and army of her Hydra bastards to Washington, DC where they lay siege to the city, and she claims her greatest victory when she stabs Captain America (at the time Bucky Barnes) through the chest!

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Poor Bucky just can’t stop ‘dying’.

The destruction they cause spreads panic and fear everywhere, especially when Avengers Tower falls. This makes the Serpent strong and young again, and he basically takes over the Earth.

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Top 10 Spider-Man Villains

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As I argued in the first Not-So-Great Debate, Spider-Man has the greatest rogue’s gallery in all of comics. This menagerie of maniacs, aliens, and general all-around freaks is top-to-bottom awesome. That said, there is definitely a cream of the freakshow crop when it comes to the ol’ webhead’s villains, and with that in mind, here are my top ten:

 

1. Dr. Octopus

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Old bowl cut is one seriously nasty bastard. One of Spidey’s first villains, Doc Ock has been a staple of the rogue’s gallery for over 50 years now. But what puts him at the top of the list? Well, for one, he was responsible for the death of Captain George Stacy, so there’s that. He’s also extremely dangerous, and crazy smart. He formed the Sinister Six, and has led many of their incarnations against Spider-Man. He once held NY hostage with the threat of nuclear annihilation, and didn’t even bother asking for a ransom until AFTER he had armed the bomb and set the timer. He even tried to marry Aunt May (ew) in order to obtain access to an island she had inherited that had a nuclear reactor on it.

More recently, and perhaps most famously, he discovered the beatings he’s taken over the years were killing him, and used his last few months to try to imprint his consciousness into every machine in New York, and used his Sinister Six to essentially hold the whole world hostage before, in his last few days, transferring his consciousness into Spider-Man’s body, leaving Peter Parker to actually die in his nasty old body while he took over the body of Spider-Man!

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After upgrading some tech, and hiring a bunch of henchmen to do his bidding, Ock spent a good bit running around as the “Superior Spider-Man”, wrecking the crap out of Peter’s personal life before eventually giving Peter his body back to do what he couldn’t, which is deal with the next goon on the list. It is his time in Peter’s body, combined with the fact that he actually pulled the switch off and the total bastard way he did it that earns Ock the top spot on the list.

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