The 100 Greatest Marvel Comic Book Movie Characters of All Time

There have been a lot of Marvel comic book movies over the past 14 years. With an abundance of comic book movies comes an abundance of CBM characters. Join me as I count down my favorites! Will you agree with my picks? Hit the jump to find out!

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By BobbyDrakeApproaches - 7/15/2013
Are you a big fan of Marvel comics? Are you a big fan of movies? If you answered “yes” to both of those questions, then we have a lot in common. I am particularly fascinated by individual characters, their powers, their personalities, their backstories, and how they fit into the overall story.

Due to my obsession, I decided to create an extensive list of the greatest Marvel movie characters. I would like to point out this is completely my opinion, and none of my picks are stone-cold fact. Keep in mind there are spoilers for almost twenty movies on this list, but if you are on a website called comicbookmovie.com, reading an article called “The 100 Greatest Marvel Comic Book Movie Characters of All Time”, you have probably seen most these movies already.

Now that the introduction is finished, we will start with number 100!


100. Senator Kelly
Played by: Bruce Davison
Appears in: X-Men

Senator Kelly is a jerk, but he is a very determined jerk, and he is played well by Bruce Davison. He is supposed to represent every form of bigotry and prejudice. However, the man may have a point. If someone has the ability to move buildings with his mind, it would be nice to know about it. Nevertheless, Kelly is a fitting representation of everything the X-Men are against. Plus, he has one of the coolest death scenes I have ever seen.


99. Joseph "Robbie" Robertson
Played by: Bill Nunn
Appears in: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

In the comic books, Robertson has always represented the small portion of the population of New York that actually believes in Spider-Man. He does not play this role in the movies, and one might argue it would be unnecessary, since there is a scene in every film of the original trilogy where the population symbolically embraces Spidey. However, just like in the comics, Robbie plays devil's advocate (and I realize how bizarre that term sounds in this situation) to J. Jonah Jameson's unwarranted hatred of our favorite web slinger. Plus, the scene where Robbie holds Spider-Man's mask in his hands after Peter quits is quite touching.


98. Emma Frost
Played by: January Jones
Appears in: X-Men: First Class

Ah, where to begin with the White Queen of the Hellfire Club? I've always preferred Frost as a villain rather than a hero. It seems to better fit her personality. So I was excited to learn she would be a member of the Hellfire Club in X-Men: First Class. However, when I saw the movie, I was disappointed, as she was little more than Shaw's henchwoman, and fairly boring. In the comics, she was menacing, powerful, and she always made her attacks seem personal. January Jones did not bring any of this to her performance. The only pluses to her character were she looked just like she did in the comics, and her diamond scenes were always cool.

97. Darcy Lewis
Played by: Kat Dennings
Appears in: Thor

Some people find Darcy to be annoying. One fan even went so far as to say she was the "Jar Jar Binks" of Thor. I heartily disagree. I thought Darcy was cute, funny, and she helped keep the story down to earth, even if she was not that interesting. I sincerely hope she has a large role in Thor: The Dark World!


96. Cyclops
Played by: James Marsden
Appears in: X-Men, X-2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand

Cyclops leaves me conflicted. On the one hand, I like James Marsden's portrayal of the character, the special effects the filmmakers used to portray his optic blasts, and the design of his visor. On the other hand, I do not like the minimal screen time his character receives, the way he always plays second fiddle to Wolverine, and I hated his disgusting death scene. Unfortunately, the pros are outweighed by the cons. What a waste of a great character.


95. Franklin “Foggy” Nelson
Played by: Jon Favreau
Appears in: Daredevil

Admittedly, I have not read that many comics with Daredevil’s best friend and longtime partner, so I can’t tell you if the movie version is faithful to the comics. But I can tell you he is a funny and interesting character, despite being in only a few scenes. Jon Favreau can do far better, both on screen and off.


94. Kingpin
Played by: Michael Clarke Duncan
Appears in: Daredevil

Michael Clarke Duncan was a good actor (may he rest in peace), but I did not care for his portrayal of the Kingpin. Of course, this was not completely his fault. The writing is more to blame than he is. He was not nearly as scary or menacing as the comic book character, mostly due to his secret identity. Everyone should know Fisk is the Kingpin, and all should fear him. On the bright side, he certainly looked the part (with the exception of his complexion), and he certainly seemed like a formidable foe for this version of Daredevil.


93. Agent Zero
Played by: Daniel Henney
Appears in: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Surprisingly the first character from the extremely underwhelming X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Agent Zero is a horrible person. He kills an elderly couple in cold blood for no reason except to get on Wolverine’s nerves. However, his powers are extremely cool, and that is why he appears on this list.


92. Colossus
Played by: Daniel Cudmore
Appears in: X-2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand

One of my favorite X-Men in the comics, Colossus was not particularly impressive in the movies. He was visually magnificent, but his personality is completely underwhelming. He has a small, but awesome role in X-2: X-Men United as one of Xavier’s students. He only turns to steel in one scene, but that scene is breathtaking. He finally makes the team in X-Men: The Last Stand, but in that movie he has only one line. One single, solitary line. Ratner tries to make up for this with two fastball specials, but it just is not enough. Will Colossus find redemption in X-Men: Days of Future Past? Only time will tell.


91. Willie Lumpkin
Played by: Stan Lee
Appears in: Fantastic Four

This one is only a cameo, but it is a great cameo. Fantastic Four was the first Marvel film I saw as a kid, and as a young Fantastic Four fan, I was delighted by this scene. They were honoring the original comics with not only a cameo by the FF’s creator, but a cameo by their mailman as well! This is still my favorite Stan Lee cameo.


90. Elektra
Played by: Jennifer Garner
Appears in: Daredevil

I am aware that this Elektra is significantly different than the one in the comics. The Elektra in the comics was a shady character, an assassin willing to work for both the bad guys and the good guys. She was also Matt Murdock’s college sweetheart, who came back into his life after becoming a killer. In the movie, she is a merely a wealthy woman who is really good at martial arts. She meets Murdock and falls in love with him, despite knowing him for only three days, at the most. While that may sound silly, she also has a very cool, if somewhat brutal fight with Bullseye. This leads to one of the most comic book faithful deaths ever. You may wonder why I have not mentioned her spinoff, but the answer is simple. I choose to believe that movie does not exist.


89. Lady Deathstrike
Played by: Kelly Hu
Appears in: X-2: X-Men United

The truth is that Lady Deathstrike has absolutely no personality, but she has a good excuse. She is under mind control the entire movie. However, what she lacks in character she makes up for in coolness. She has six inch blades coming from each fingertip! How cool is that? Add her healing factor and an unsavory past with William Stryker, and she is basically a female Wolverine.


88: Howard Stark
Played by: Dominic Cooper
Appears in: Captain America: The First Avenger

Howard Stark may not be nearly as charming or funny as his son, but he is arguably just as brilliant. Okay, maybe he is not as smart as the man who invented the Iron Man armor, JARVIS, and a clean, renewable source of energy, but he is very intelligent nonetheless. Stark is also a good friend, and a courageous ally to his son’s future teammate, Captain America.


87. Deadpool
Played by: Ryan Reynolds
Appears in: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

A lot of fans were dissatisfied with this version of Deadpool, and I cannot say I blame them. Near the beginning of the film, Reynolds’ portrayal of Wade Wilson was funny and very much like the comic book character. However, once they start calling him Deadpool, all bets are off, this guy is almost an entirely different character. This does not really bother me, though, because I am not a big fan of the comic book character, and I thought this teleporting, optic blasting, adamantium sword wielding mercenary was pretty cool.


86. Flash Thompson
Played by: Chris Zylka
Appears in: The Amazing Spider-Man

Flash Thompson is a bully. In both the 2002 and 2012 versions, Flash has been a total jerk to Peter for no good reason. The difference is, in The Amazing Spider-Man, Flash is actually sympathetic to Peter after his uncle dies. He even appears to befriend Peter by the end of the movie. This is not exactly what happens in the comics, but it is similar. Flash and Peter became good friends after high school, and I hope this happens in the upcoming sequels. Plus, that basketball scene was a lot of fun.


85. Red Skull
Played by: Hugo Weaving
Appears in: Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America’s arch enemy brought to the big screen in all of his bald, red, Nazi glory. What could possibly go wrong? For starters, there was not much depth to his character. He was just evil, evil, evil, at all times. Of course, there were things about Schmidt that I liked. The film did a good job showing that he was essentially Cap’s polar opposite. He was played convincingly by Hugo Weaving, and the makeup used to bring him to life was just perfect. The Red Skull’s death (assuming that really killed him) was probably the best part, as Schmidt was eventually undone by his own mad quest for power.


84. Kayla Silverfox
Played by: Lynn Collins
Appears in: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

One of the few highlights of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Silverfox was likable, believable, and the only woman to die twice in the same movie. So what, her teenage sister is Emma Frost, who was an adult 15 years ago? When you are kind, interesting, and you have the ability to convince Wolverine you are dead, your family does not need to make chronological sense!


83. Daredevil
Played by: Ben Affleck
Appears in: Daredevil

Some people say that Ben Affleck was miscast in the titular role, and I would have to agree with them. Affleck is not horrible, he just seems so bland. I think a more talented or experienced actor could have made Daredevil a far more interesting character. The truth is, Affleck has improved as an actor over the years, and he might do a much better job if played the character today. On the plus side, Daredevil has a great costume, very faithful to the comics. I would like to add that his fight scenes with Bullseye and Kingpin were very entertaining, and that should count for something.


82. Raza
Played by: Faran Tahir
Appears in: Iron Man

Though not a comic book character (unless you count the alien with the facial scars who hangs out with the Starjammers as the same character), Raza plays a major role in Iron Man’s origin story. With only a few minutes of screen time, Faran Tahir crafts a formidable villain for ol’ shellhead. He survived until the end of the movie, so I am a little disappointed he does not return for any of the sequels.


81. Erik Selvig
Played by: Stellan Skarsgard
Appears in: Thor, The Avengers

Another character who does not appear in the comics, but he is a major part of Thor, and a minor part of the Avengers. How awesome would it be to meet Thor, work for SHIELD, and become Loki’s personal flying monkey? No matter what, Skarsgard makes a convincing doubting Thomas, before he realizes the truth and becomes one of Thor’s biggest supporters.


80. Sebastian Shaw
Played by: Kevin Bacon
Appears in: X-Men: First Class

Sebastian Shaw suffers from the same affliction as the Red Skull. He is completely, totally evil, with no real depth. He also has a problem many of the characters on this list have- he has absolutely nothing in common with the comic book counter-point. On the plus side, his super powers are spectacular, and Kevin Bacon delivers a fine performance. Shaw also has a dastardly scheme to kill all the humans in the world, and a really awesome death scene.


79. Happy Hogan
Played by: Jon Favreau
Appears in: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3

Despite doing double duty on the first two Iron Man films, playing one of the characters, and also directing, Jon Favreau delivers a fine performance. His character, Happy, is a major part of Iron Man mythology. In Iron Man 2, he is involved in two major action scenes, getting to hit Whiplash with his car, and beating up a security guard. He is also a source of emotional vulnerability for Tony in Iron Man 3, becoming seriously injured by the Extremis soldiers, and setting the plot in motion. My only problem with this version of Happy is that he smiles a couple of times, something he rarely did in the comics.


78. Lizard
Played by: Rhys Ifans
Appears in: The Amazing Spider-Man

The Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man was disappointing for two reasons. Number one, he was not sympathetic. The Lizard of the comics was one of Spidey’s most likable villains, because Curt Connors was good man, who occasionally turned into a giant, murderous, super-powered lizard. In the comics, he had a wife and a son, which kept the character sympathetic and grounded. It was a mistake to leave them out of the film. Number two, the Lizard is far too similar to the Green Goblin. When Dr. Connors hears an evil voice in his head, I was flabbergasted. I did like the CGI the filmmakers used for the creature, and he had some really cool fight scenes. I really hope Electro and the Rhino are a significant improvement in the sequel!


77. Riptide
Played by: Alex Gonzalez
Appears in: X-Men: First Class

To say Riptide does not have much of a personality is an understatement. He never has any lines during the entire movie. What he does have is a really cool set of super powers. When you think about, that is really the most important thing in life. That scene where he turns into a tornado and makes the X-Jet crash? Epic.


76. Hogun
Played by: Tadanobu Asano
Appears in: Thor

In the movie Thor, Hogun is both funny and cool, but not all that interesting. Like the rest of the Warriors Three, he has plenty of screen time, but little character development. I am not saying I did not like seeing him slay frost giants with his signature mace, I was just hoping for more. Perhaps he will become more prominent in Thor: The Dark World, but I doubt it.


75. Dum Dum Dugan
Played by: Neal MdDonough
Appears in: Captain America: The First Avenger

When I first saw Dum Dum Dugan onscreen, in all of his mustachioed, bowler hat glory, I was thrilled. Admittedly, he doesn’t do much besides shoot a few baddies and say a few cool lines (“You know, someday I’ll have a stick of my own”). That doesn’t matter, though, since it is great to see an icon on the big screen no matter what. I hope he survived to present day in a somewhat youthful state, though I have no idea how. The comics never even explain that. Nevertheless, I would love to see Dugan as Fury’s right hand man in either Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Agents of SHIELD.


74. Havok
Played by: Lucas Till
Appears in: X-Men: First Class

Who is Havok, anyway, in relation to Cyclops? Are they brothers, like in the comics? If that is true, there is a huge age gap. Is Havok the father of Cyclops? That would make more sense, but it would also mean that Corsair would be replaced. I think it makes more sense for Havok to be his uncle. As for the character, he is likable, even if he can be a jerk to Beast. I like the way they portrayed his cosmic super powers, though I would have preferred that they were blue. Lucas Till was spotted on the set of X-Men: Days of Future Past, will he be in the inbetwequel? I guess we will find out May 2014!


73. John Wraith
Played by: Will.i.am
Appears in: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

An impressive acting debut in a less than impressive movie, Will.i.am plays the mutant teleporter John Wraith. I will admit I do not entirely understand his character’s motivations. He spends several years traveling with a group of ruthless mutant mercenaries, and then he is willing to sacrifice his life so Wolverine can have his revenge? It does not fully make sense to me, but his character is interesting nonetheless. Unlike Sabretooth, I do not find Wraith to be predictable.


72. Betty Ross
Played by: Jennifer Connelly
Appears in: Hulk

This is the only entry on this list from the 2003 Hulk, mainly because I consider it to be the worst comic book movie I have seen. I do not blame Connelly, I blame the director, Ang Lee, (who has made better films, watch Life of Pi instead), the star, Eric Bana, (who has starred in better movies, watch Star Trek instead) and a really weird villain, Nick Nolte (he plays the Absorbing Dad, it make you wonder what they were thinking). Jennifer Connelly is the only thing that makes this movie remotely watchable. Betty is beautiful, intelligent, kind, likable and interesting. I did like Liv Tyler’s portrayal of the character, but I preferred Connelly’s version.


71. Fandral
Played by: Josh Dallas
Appears in: Thor

Fandral does not make that much of an impression in the movie, as he has to share the screen with his fellow Warriors Three members, and the Lady Sif. He does have his moments, however, like ducking between a frost giant’s legs before killing him. Fandral’s crowning achievement is probably being impaled through the heart, and still surviving. (Asgardians are much tougher than us mortals) Seeing as he will be played by Zachary Levi, expect more screen time for Fandral the Dashing in the sequel.


70. Toad
Played by: Ray Park
Appears in: X-Men

Toad is a weirdo. He is not as weird in the comics, but he is a total freak in the movie. It is interesting how the original X-Men tells us throughout the movie that mutants are just normal, everyday people, with hopes, dreams and goals, just like you and me. Then there are some of them who eat birds and spit super mucus. Toad is played by Ray Park, who also plays Darth Maul and Snake Eyes. Clearly, the man knows how to play strange, but awesome, characters. He deserves to be on this list just for the line, “Don’t you people ever die?”


69. Gambit
Played by: Taylor Kitsch
Appears in: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

In the comics, Gambit is something of a fan favorite, so many X-Men fans were disappointed by his portrayal in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I have never been a big fan of the character, but I liked him in the movie. He had cool superpowers, a great fight with Wolverine, and I like how he came back to rescue Logan in the end. I only wish he would have thrown more cards.


68. Alicia Masters
Played by: Kerry Washington
Appears in: Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Admittedly, Alicia Masters’ personality is completely different than it was in the comics. This is something I have no problem with, though, because she was something of a boring character in the comics. The most important aspects of her character are her blindness, and her attraction to Ben Grimm. One more thing that was relevant to the comics is her familial relation to the Puppet Master, which was referenced in Fantastic Four: Extended Edition, and that was good enough for me. Washington brings a lot of spunk and charisma to the Thing’s girlfriend, and my only problem with the character was that she was not involved in convincing the Silver Surfer to switch sides.


67. JARVIS
Played by: Paul Bettany
Appears in: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3

Probably the most drastically changed character from comic book to film, JARVIS is an acronym for Just A Rather Very Intelligent System, created by Tony Stark and used to operate the Iron Man armor. In the comics, Edwin Jarvis was Stark’s butler, and he eventually became the Avengers’ butler. He was changed to avoid comparisons to Batman’s Alfred and it is a big change, but I think it works. JARVIS is a very cool character, and I hope he has a significant role in the sequel to the Avengers.


66. General “Thunderbolt” Ross
Played by: William Hurt
Appears in: The Incredible Hulk

General Ross is not a nice man. He is chasing Bruce Banner, because he believes he is the property of the United States military. He has a good reason, though. Both him, and his daughter, were almost killed by the monster Bruce becomes. Ross may act villainous at times, but his motives are pure, and it is hard to call him a bad guy. His scene with Tony Stark is now a classic, even though it no longer leads into The Avengers, like it was supposed to.


65. Bucky
Played by: Sebastion Stan
Appears in: Captain America: The First Avenger

Bucky was Captain America’s sidekick in the comics, almost as good at beating up Nazis as Cap was. In the movies, however, Bucky is Steve’s longtime friend, and he is only an ordinary soldier. He has a somewhat anti-climactic death, but now that we know what the sequel is called, it makes sense. Bucky was Cap’s best friend, sidekick, comrade, and in the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier, his worst enemy.


64. Callisto
Played by: Dania Ramirez
Appears in: X-Men: The Last Stand

Despite having nothing to do with her comic book character besides her name and her tendency to get in fights with Storm, Callisto is a cool character in X-Men: The Last Stand. She has very useful powers, assisting Magneto in finding Mystique, and she is able to kick Storm’s butt in a fight. At least until Storm fries her. Until then, Callisto remains an entertaining, if somewhat bizarre, character.


63. Captain Stacy
Played by: Denis Leary
Appears in: The Amazing Spider-Man

The Captain Stacy we got in The Amazing Spider-Man was very different from the one in the source material. This version was hunting Spider-Man down, believing he was a masked menace. He was basically this movie’s J. Jonah Jameson. In the comics, Stacy was one of the few officers who believed in Spidey. Both versions die heroically, with comic book Stacy telling Spider-Man to “Take care of Gwen” with his final breath, revealing to Peter for the first time that he knows his secret identity. The movie Stacy basically tells Peter to stay away from his daughter, which is far less poetic. I tip my hat to Marc Webb for being brave enough to kill a Stacy in the first movie of the series. One down, one to go.


62. Jane Foster
Played by: Natalie Portman
Appears in: Thor

Smart, gorgeous, sweet, and determined, there is no question why Thor is attracted to this woman. What many fans do question, including myself, is why the romantic subplot was so underdeveloped. Perhaps this will be better developed in Thor: The Dark World. As for Jane herself, I thought she was a very interesting character, and I enjoyed watching her and her colleagues just as much as I enjoyed watching the Asgardians.


61. Volstagg
Played by: Ray Stevenson
Appears in: Thor

Volstagg is by far my favorite member of the Warriors Three. In a movie where he and his teammates were mostly comic relief, he was still the funniest, and that is the way it should be. (“Do not mistake my appetite for apathy!”) I hope he has even more shenanigans and battles in Thor: The Dark World!


60. Darwin
Played by: Edi Gathegi
Appears in: X-Men: First Class

Arguably the most heroic character in X-Men First Class, Darwin sacrifices himself in an attempt to save a woman who does not even care. He has neat super powers, even though he has a less than stellar name, and I would have liked to have seen more of the character. Alas, Sebastian Shaw put a stop to that.


59. Rogue
Played by: Anna Paquin
Appears in: X-Men, X-2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand

Rogue displays quite a bit of heroics in X-2. She saves the police from Pyro’s little temper tantrum, and she rescues the rest of the X-Men by flying the X-Jet even when she has no experience. Most of the time, Rogue is not portrayed as a hero, but as sort of the everywoman of the X-Men movies. She has extreme difficulty coping with her powers, running away from home as the result. She wants to be able to kiss and touch her boyfriend, but her powers make that very difficult. When she is given the opportunity to be cured of her mutant abilities, she takes it. That may not be the heroic choice, but it is the most realistic choice, and probably the same decision most people would make.


58. Invisible Woman
Played by: Jessica Alba
Appears in: Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

I do not think most people would argue when I say that Jessica Alba has delivered some less than impressive performances. (If you value your time, do not watch Spy Kids: All the Time in the World) Surprisingly, I thought she was fairly good as Sue Storm. Alba convincingly conveyed the emotions of a woman learning how to deal with a new “sickness”, and who was frustrated by Reed’s lack of decisiveness (which was nothing like the comic book character, but we will get to that later). I thought she was even better in the sequel, we saw some expansion of her powers, and we watched her successfully convince the Silver Surfer to save our world, instead of destroying it.


57. Yinsen
Played by: Shaun Toub
Appears in: Iron Man, Iron Man 3

Yinsen is actually a Vietnamese name, and it would be fairly strange for an Afghani man to have this name. However, that is the name the character had in the original comics, and I am glad they kept it, as a nice reference to Iron Man’s origin story. Shaun Toub does a great job with the character, making Yinsen intelligent, amusing, likable, and heroic, all in a short amount of screen time. His final conversation with Tony is very touching. “Don’t waste it, Stark, don’t waste it.”


56. Kitty Pryde
Played by: Ellen Page
Appears in: X-Men: The Last Stand

After a cameo is both of the previous films, a different actress playing her every time, it was nice to see Kitty join the team in X-Men: The Last Stand. Ellen Page does a fine job with the role, even though it would have been nice to hear her called Shadowcat at some point. It also seems a little bizarre the filmmakers chose to have Kitty as part of a love triangle with Iceman and Rogue, instead of dating Colossus. I am excited to see Kitty return in X-Men: Days of Future Past, and I hope she has a more integral role.


55. Doctor Abraham Erskine
Played by: Stanley Tucci
Appears in: Captain America: The First Avenger

Like Shaun Toub as Yinsen, Stanley Tucci makes the most of his limited screen time as the doomed doctor. His Abraham Erskine is brilliant, funny, and touching. It is a shame he dies so early in the movie, it would have been nice to learn more about this character.


54. Uncle Ben
Played by: Cliff Robertson
Appears in: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

Delivering a fine performance with little screen time seems to have become a trend with the last couple of entries, but no one does it better than Cliff Robertson, may he rest in peace. His Uncle Ben is compassionate, caring, likable and wise. We all knew he had to go, but it was sad nonetheless.


53. Lady Sif
Played by: Jaimie Alexander
Appears in: Thor

Fierce, proud, noble and brave, Lady Sif is Thor’s loyal ally, and in the comics, his love interest as well. While a romance between these two was not included in the original, perhaps it will be in the sequel, forming a love triangle with Jane Foster. I liked Sif in the movie, but I wish she could have had a little more character development. She probably will be more fleshed out in Thor: The Dark World, and most likely will kill quite a few dark elves in the process!


52. Agent Coulson
Played by: Clark Gregg
Appears in: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, The Avengers

Ah, the son of Coul. Originally a character designed purely for exposition in Iron Man, he brought was back for multiple films, and he eventually became a fan favorite. From a throw-away character to becoming the Avenger’s motivation for saving the world, to becoming the star of a prime time TV show, Coulson has been through a lot. Some feel it cheapens his death to have him return from the grave, but I disagree. Comic book characters always die and then come back to life, it would be tough to find a character that never has, and it would also be a shame to keep such a great character down for so long. #coulsonlives


51. Thanos
Played by: Damion Poitier
Appears in: The Avengers

Few beings have threatened the entire Marvel universe. Thanos is one of those few beings, in the comics at least. Thanos’ role is nothing but a cameo, but like Willie Lumpkin in Fantastic Four, it is a spectacular cameo. I knew there was going to be a new villain introduced at the end of The Avengers, but I was not sure who it would be. However, when the Other said that line, “To challenge them is to court death,” I knew it could only be one character. Then we see the mad titan grin. The entire scene is just perfect.


50. Justin Hammer
Played by: Sam Rockwell
Appears in: Iron Man 2

I know I do not say this enough, but Sam Rockwell is the man. He is funny in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, likable in Cowboys and Aliens, and gut-busting hilarious in Galaxy Quest. Who cares Hammer was a serious character in the comics? If Sam Rockwell is playing him, he needs to be funny. Justin Hammer is just that, and more. He is the ultimate Tony Stark wannabe, going as far as to hire a psycho-murderer in an attempt to beat his corporate rival. Shockingly, the psycho murderer double-crossed him, and Hammer ended going to jail. I bet it is difficult to do that funny little dance in a cell.


49. Jean Grey
Played by: Famke Janssen
Appears in: X-Men, X-2: X-Men United

I always found Jean Grey to be a boring character in the comics. Sure, once she became Phoenix, her powers were interesting, but her personality was always so bland. So I tip my hat to Bryan Singer and Famke Janssen for making the character a lot more interesting in the movies. Whether briefly (and unsuccessfully) fighting Toad, flirting with Wolverine, or slowly losing control of her abilities, Jean was always a fun character. Her heroic sacrifice was one of the best finales of any superhero movie. It sure is a shame the Dark Phoenix we got in the sequel was horrible, but I consider that to be a different character entirely.


48. Azazel
Played by: Jason Flemyng
Appears in: X-Men: First Class

Azazel in X-Men: First Class has little to do with the character from the comics, which is just fine with me. I prefer my X-Men movies to be devoid of demons. Azazel has very little character development, but dang, he is so cool. All of his fight scenes are awesome, especially when he is squaring off against Beast. I suppose the reason I like this baddie so much is because he reminds me of Nightcrawler, but that certainly is not a bad thing. Speaking of the elf, I hope Azazel and Mystique get together sometime in the near future (past).


47. Whiplash
Played by: Mickey Rourke
Appears in: Iron Man 2

When I first saw Iron Man 2, I was impressed with the film, but not the primary antagonist. I thought he was boring and cliché. Upon re-watching, I changed my mind. I realized he had an interesting story, two awesome suits of armor, and Mickey Rourke plays the character perfectly. Vanko really drives the story, without him there would be no Iron Man 2. It is a shame such a great character dies in such an anti-climactic way.


46. Sandman
Played by: Thomas Haden Church
Appears in: Spider-Man 3

It was a bizarre decision to have Sandman become Uncle Ben’s killer, somewhat retconning Spider-Man’s origin story and his source of guilt for three movies. Sandman is one of my favorite comic book characters, because I liked that he was nothing but a stupid crook, and of course I loved his super powers. In Spider-Man 3, he still has cool powers, but his personality is completely different. Even though I question the character from a story standpoint, I cannot question the awesomeness of his fight scenes.


45. Gwen Stacy
Played by: Emma Stone
Appears in: The Amazing Spider-Man


I believe Bryce Dallas Howard’s version of the character in Spider-Man 3 was actually more faithful to the comics. She was entirely uninteresting, and I could not wait for her to die (I was sorely disappointed). When it comes to movie characters, Emma Stone’s version is definitely superior. She is bubbly, cute, smart, charismatic and funny. I still hope to see her version of Gwen die, but only at the hands of the Green Goblin. This version is too good to waste on any lesser villain.


44. Laufey
Played by: Colm Feore
Appears in: Thor

Laufey is both creepy and cool, played terrifically by Colm Feore. Whoever did the makeup to bring this character to life did a great job, he looks fantastic. He is extremely menacing, plus he is blue, and I like blue people. I wish Loki had not killed Laufey. It would have been nice to see him again in a sequel. Colm Feore will be in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, rumored to be playing the Vulture. I think they have the right man for the job.


43. Venom
Played by: Topher Grace
Appears in: Spider-Man 3

Many fans were disappointed in Venom’s portrayal in Spider-Man 3. I have never been a big fan of the comic book character, so I was not at all annoyed by Topher Grace’s performance. It is true that he has limited screen time, but Raimi makes the most of it. Eddie Brock is very similar to Peter, (he is a photographer, he is hopelessly in love with a girl that barely knows him) but without the moral compass. It is fitting that he gains the same super powers. Maybe with Webb’s version of the franchise, we will get a more comics faithful version of the character. I will not be holding my breath.


42. Aunt May
Played by: Rosemary Harris
Appears in: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

Rosemary Harris played a very faithful version of the comic book character, looking nearly identical to the source material. The only major difference was she was not constantly knocking on death’s door. Aunt May has her biggest role in the original film, having to deal with the loss of her husband. Aunt May is at her best in the quiet, one-on-one scenes where she is giving Peter advice.


41. Pyro
Played by: Aaron Stanford
Appears in: X-2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand

Pyro goes through a major change between X-2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand. In the former, Pyro is a mean, arrogant, and conflicted young mutant. In the latter, he is still mean and arrogant, but no longer nearly as conflicted. Some people say he has been turned into nothing but a mercenary in X-Men: The Last Stand, but I disagree. He is simply an example of a young man completely brainwashed into Magneto’s beliefs of mutant superiority. I personally prefer Pyro in X-2: X-Men United, as he is a far more complex character in that film.


40. Colonel Chester Phillips
Played by: Tommy Lee Jones
Appears in: Captain America: The First Avenger

Admittedly, Tommy Lee Jones hardly breaks type as the sarcastic colonel. Nevertheless, in the words of another character on this list, he is the best at what he does. No one plays the gruff authority figure as well as Jones, and he is hilarious in this movie. There is no way he is still alive in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so this is sadly the last time we will see Jones play this character (unless there are flashbacks, of course). Oh well, we will always have the Men in Black movies.


39. Juggernaut
Played by: Vinnie Jones
Appears in: X-Men: The Last Stand

It is a little puzzling that the filmmakers choose to ignore the familial connection between ol’ Juggie and Professor X. Many fans disliked the character for this, but I did not mind. The Juggernaut I remembered was a moronic, hulking brute of a man, which is exactly what he was in the movie. He has neat fight scenes, a couple of funny lines, and I like the design of his helmet. Not exactly a well-developed character, but likable nonetheless.


38. Banshee
Played by: Caleb Landry Jones
Appears in: X-Men: First Class

This version of Banshee has little in common with his comic book counterpart, but honestly, he has never been one of my favorite X-Men. I thought he was cool, but nothing to scream about. Nevertheless, he is quite charming and amusing in this movie. His flying scenes are always fun, especially the first one. I would like to see him again in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but sadly it does not appear that he will be in it.


37. Bullseye
Played by: Colin Farrel
Appears in: Daredevil

Bulleye is an absolutely horrible person. He is a psychopathic murderer, and I cannot condone any of his actions. With that said, Colin Farrel’s portrayal of the character was definitely the highlight of the movie. He was completely insane, completely evil, and extremely deadly with his hands, just like in the comics. He could make me laugh and cringe in the same scene. Bullseye is the only reason I am sorry Daredevil never had a sequel.


36. Sabretooth
Played by: Liev Schreiber
Appears in: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Even though he does not physically resemble the character as much as Tyler Mane does, Schreiber delivers a far superior performance. His Sabretooth is both menacing and frightening, and the only character that improves in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. While it was a poor decision on the filmmaker’s part to have him be Wolverine’s stepbrother, it was downright baffling to have Sabretooth turn “good” in the end, and help his brother fight Deadpool. That does not bother me, though, because he was mean, he was vicious, and he was finally the Sabretooth we deserved.


35. Harry Osborn
Played by: James Franco
Appears in: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

Similar to Liev Schreiber’s Sabretooth, Harry was the only character that actually improves in Spider-Man 3, with the exception of an insanely stupid moniker that is used in the credits but never in the movie. (I refuse to call him “the New Goblin”) In this movie alone, Harry goes from Peter’s enemy, to his friend, to his enemy again, and finally such a good friend, he is willing to die for Peter. Now that is a good pal.


34. J. Jonah Jameson
Played by: J.K. Simmons
Appears in: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

Some fans say J. Jonah Jameson is the most faithful character adapted from the comic books, and I am not sure I would disagree. Simmons as J.J.J. is funny, cruel, arrogant, hot tempered, and should definitely have been in The Amazing Spider-Man. Jameson distrusts any masked vigilante, especially Spider-Man. Little does he know he employs Spidey’s alter ego, Peter Parker. J.J.J. never learns the truth in the movies, but if he did, I bet it would be a hoot. Mr. Webb, if you are listening, please put Mr. Simmons in your next movie.


33. Bruce Banner
Played by: Edward Norton
Appears in: The Incredible Hulk

Though many prefer Mark Ruffalo’s portrayal of the character, I like Norton’s version better. The Bruce Banner I remember hated the Hulk, and was willing to do whatever he could to rid himself of the monster. I believed Norton realistically represented this on screen. He was a man desperate to eliminate a deadly disease- deadly to everyone else, that is. Plus, he had great chemistry with Liv Tyler. Rest assured, I consider Banner and the Hulk to be separate characters, and the other guy will pop up later on this list.


32. Iron Monger
Played by: Jeff Bridges
Appears in: Iron Man

Jeff Bridges delivers a fine performance as Iron Man’s first super villain. In less than two hours, we watch Obadiah Stane go from being Tony’s friend and supporter to his worst enemy. While his motives are never made fully clear, and his climactic battle with Iron Man is less than impressive, that does not really matter. Iron Monger has a spectacular suit (he is one of my favorite action figures), and Bridges is suitably manipulative and menacing.


31. Mary Jane Watson
Played by: Kirsten Dunst
Appears in: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

Some fans complain that Kirsten Dunst is not pretty enough to play gorgeous Mary Jane Watson. I say they are idiots. These people are so shallow they think a real woman is not as attractive as a drawing. With that said, I think we hit the jackpot with this character. Dunst is great as Peter Parker’s long time love, and she is perhaps the most developed woman in comic book movies. She leaves both a rich guy and an astronaut just to be with Peter, and then leaves Peter in order to save his life. Peter and MJ’s romance was one of the few dangling threads left by Spider-Man 3, I will always wonder if they got married. You might call me a hopeless romantic, but I am not the one who was in love with the same girl since I was six years old.


30. Odin
Played by: Anthony Hopkins
Appears in: Thor

Marvel was lucky to get a great Shakespearean actor like Hopkins to play such a pivotal role in Thor. He gives the character, and the film, gravitas, heart, and a regality that simply would not have existed had a lesser actor inhabited the role. Who else would you rather hear utter the phrase, “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”? He deserves to make this list solely for the scene where he explains to Loki about his true parentage.


29. Abomination
Played by: Tim Roth
Appears in: The Incredible Hulk

Emil Blonsky is a very interesting character. He is a soldier, but not for his love of country, or wanting to make his daddy proud, or anything like that. Blonsky is a soldier because he loves to fight. His fighting abilities are his livelihood, and he realizes they are slowly being taken away from him. In his quest to become more powerful, he takes the super soldier serum (which is actually not a bad idea in this universe, there do not appear to be any adverse side effects, except some funny bumps on your back. I wonder why every soldier in the U.S. army is not given this stuff). In his greedy quest for even more power, he eventually becomes an Abomination. There is nothing for me to complain about, though, because his ensuing fight with the Hulk is probably the best super-powered brawl in cinema history.


28. Black Widow
Played by: Scarlett Johansson
Appears in: Iron Man 2, The Avengers

In Iron Man 2, Black Widow is not a very interesting character. Sure, she gets to look pretty, be intimidating, and she has one impressive action scene, but she has little in the way of character development. I cannot say she was a particularly memorable character. That all changed in The Avengers. I heard someone say she has more personality in her first scene in The Avengers than the entirety of Iron Man 2, and I am inclined to agree. We learn part of her backstory, and we meet the only man she truly cares about (in a platonic way, at least she claims). Not only that, but we see her kill a lot of Chitauri.


27. William Stryker
Played by: Brian Cox
Appears in: X-2: X-Men United

As the villain in X-Men, Magneto was a tough act to follow. I am happy to see this did not appear to bother Brian Cox. His William Stryker is completely, over the top evil, but at the same time compelling and believable. We have no trouble believing this is a man who would kill every mutant on the planet, but we also know why he is doing this. Still hurting from his wife’s suicide which was brought about by his son’s mutant powers, Stryker is angry at the world, and he is not afraid to make all mutants pay for it. He also has a backstory that involves Wolverine, and taunts him throughout the film with hints of his past. He dies a fitting death for such an evil man, left to die by the very people he tried to murder. Danny Huston was a fine job with the role in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but he is nowhere near as good as Brian Cox.


26. Mister Fantastic
Played by: Ioan Gruffud
Appears in: Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Sufer

In the comics, Reed Richards is the luckiest man in the world. He has unique super powers, He leads a world famous superhero team, he is married to a beautiful woman, he is the smartest man alive, he has the sweetest ride imaginable, and he has the coolest arch-enemy ever. By the end of the second FF movie, he has all of that, with the exception of the cool arch-enemy (there is a reason Doctor Doom does not appear on this list). At the beginning of Fantastic Four, Reed is not quite the Mister Fantastic we all know and love, even after he goes through the cosmic rays. He starts out as something of a nerd, but we watch him grow into the confident, assertive, commanding man he was born to be.


25. Pepper Potts
Played by: Gwyneth Paltrow
Appears in: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3

Pepper Potts has gone through more drastic changes than any other comic book character. Over the course of four movies, she goes from being Tony Stark’s meek secretary, to Stark Industries’ CEO, to the love of Tony’s life, to a super-powered Extremis soldier. That is a lot for one woman to go through, even if she is Iron Man’s girlfriend. Through it all, Gwyneth Paltrow is likable and believable in the role. Will she ever truly become Rescue? Will she eventually marry Tony? These are questions that can only be answered by Iron Man 4, and who knows how long it will be until that comes.


24. Mystique
Played by: Jennifer Lawrence
Appears in: X-Men: First Class

Rebecca Romijn-Stamos’s portrayal of the character is probably more comics-faithful than Lawrence’s version. However, if we are looking for interesting, well-developed characters, Jennifer Lawrence definitely is superior. Her Mystique is vulnerable, believable, and confused about her own identity. She feels more like a real person than an over-the-top comic book character. She is not particularly heroic in this movie, besides saving Beast’s life at one point. I hope she gets to be truly evil, while remaining truly human, in X-Men: Days of Future Past.


23. Iceman
Played by: Shawn Ashmore
Appears in: X-Men, X-2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand

Though he has little in common with his comic book counter-part, Ashmore’s Bobby Drake is still pretty cool. Less a goofy prankster than a sympathetic everyman, this version of Iceman is one of the more grounded characters in the X-Men trilogy. Given the chance to run for his life or return and help Wolverine, he chooses the latter (with some convincing from Rogue). Given the choice to dump his girlfriend and go out with a girl he can actually have physical contact with, he chooses to remain faithful to Rogue. He has an awesome battle with Pyro, and at the end of it comes the big moment we have all been waiting for. Iceman finally ices up, and he does not disappoint. I hope he gets a lot more screen time in his ice form in X-Men: Days of Future Past!


22. Human Torch
Played by: Chris Evans
Appears in: Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

I am aware of the irony of having Iceman and the Human Torch back-to-back, but forget about that for now. Brought to life with roguish charm by Chris Evans, and marvelous visual effects, Johnny Storm is an interesting character to say the least. Not the same carefree teenager he was in the comics, this Torch is more of a wisecracking, womanizing jerk. Despite all this, Evans still manages to be likable. Over the course of the two movies, we see some real character growth, as Johnny learns that life is not always about him. Plus, the scenes where he escapes the missile, chases the Silver Surfer, and goes Super Skrull to defeat Doctor Doom are all breathtaking.


21. Heimdall
Played by: Idris Elba
Appears in: Thor

I know he is not actually royalty, but no one seems as majestic as Heimdall, and I have to give most of the credit to Idris Elba. There was some controversy over casting a black man to play an Asgardian, but that never bothered me. However, even I will admit I did not expect him to have such a major role in the movie, nor did I expect him to be so awesome. From his somber voice, to his magnificent study, to backwards decapitation of a frost giant, there is no Asgardian cooler, with the exception of Thor (and Loki, but he does not really count). Will he have as large a role in Thor: The Dark World? I doubt it, but as I do not possess the seeing powers of the gatekeeper, I have no way of knowing for sure.


20. Peggy Carter
Played by: Hayley Atwell
Appears in: Captain America: The First Avenger

My favorite love interest of any super hero film, Hayley Atwell delivers a fine performance as Steve Roger’s object of affection. Peggy is kind, smart, beautiful, brave, and always ready for a fight. She is clearly interested in Steve, even when he is a 98-pound weakling, and she believes in him when no one else does. She never attempts to date him, though, since this is the 40’s, and they are both fairly busy fighting a war. Their final scene together is one of the most tragic scenes in comic book movie history. Personally, I cannot wait for the Agent Carter One-Shot that will be on the Iron Man 3 blu-ray.


19. Nick Fury
Played by: Samuel L. Jackson
Appears in: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers

Nick Fury is the very definition of a boss, and I am not just saying that because he gives the orders to agents Coulson, Hill, Barton, and Romanoff. How many men in their sixties can wear an eye patch, fire a bazooka at a plane, and say lines like, “Yeah, you say "peace," I kind of think you mean the other thing” while still looking awesome? Jackson is great as Fury, bringing humor, heart, and general boss-ness to a role he was born to play. Jackson says we will learn more of his backstory in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Does that mean he will be fighting with the Howling Commando’s in WWII? I for one cannot wait to find out!


18. Hawkeye
Played by: Jeremy Renner
Appears in: Thor, The Avengers

Only slightly cooler than his boss, this version is more like his Ultimate incarnation than the 616 Avenger, but he is still awesome. Jeremy Renner makes the most of his limited screen time. His Hawkeye is brooding, lethal and darkly humorous. I knew going into the movie that this was going to be the Ultimate Hawkeye, but I was hoping he would at least have some trick arrows. I was not disappointed. The dark purple on his uniform is a nice touch. I hope he will have a larger role in the sequel to The Avengers.


17. Green Goblin
Played by: Willem Dafoe
Appears in: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

Many fans disliked the Green Goblin’s costume, but I am not one of them. I thought his costume is actually an improvement over what the comic book character wore, now he is fully green, with no more distracting purple. As for Willem Dafoe’s performance, he does a great job. He is completely believable whether he is acting fully sane or completely out of his mind. Anyone who does not like his cackling, evil voice is crazier than the goblin himself.


16. Loki
Played by: Tom Hiddleston
Appears in: Thor, The Avengers

Ah, the puny god of evil. Tom Hiddleston is excellent in the role of Thor’s lunatic brother. I really liked him in Thor, since Hiddleston did a great job fleshing out a fairly two-dimensional comic book villain. We see Loki’s pain, and we finally know the reason he turned against his family (it is not a good reason, mind you, but he is the bad guy). Much of this character development goes out the window in The Avengers, but Hiddleston delivers an arguably stronger performance. In that film, he portrays someone who is completely evil and insane, just like Loki in the source material.


15. Professor X
Played by: James McAvoy
Appears in: X-Men: First Class

Sure to be one of the more controversial picks on this list, I prefer McAvoy’s performance to Patrick Stewart’s. I will admit, Stewart’s portrayal of the character was more faithful to the source material in some ways, most notably his looks and his saintly nature. However, in X-Men: First Class, Xavier displays a characteristic missing from the previous films- that of a teacher. Sure, we see Stewart in a classroom, but it is only in the prequel that we see him teaching young mutants how to use their powers. The early years of the X-Men comic book, when Professor X was teaching the inexperienced original X-Men, was my favorite period of time for the character. As a bonus, this version of the professor says lines like, “One of the many spectacular things my mutation allows me to do is that I can read your mind.” Professor X should always be this cool.


14. War Machine
Played by: Don Cheadle
Appears in: Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3

War Machine, or Iron Patriot, or just Rhodey, or whatever you want to call him, was completely wasted as a character in Iron Man 3. However, this does not detract from his awesomeness in Iron Man 2. Terrence Howard does a fine job with the role in the first Iron Man, but I prefer Cheadle, mainly because he has a lot more to do. He is a caring and compassionate friend to Tony, unafraid to tell him point blank when he is out of line. Plus, that suit is extremely awesome. The scene where he is side-by-side with Iron Man, fighting Hammer’s drones, is sixty seconds of mesmerizing robo-carnage. If only there were more scenes like this in Iron Man 3.


13. Beast
Played by: Kelsey Grammer
Appears in: X-Men: The Last Stand

“Oh my stars and garters!” Kelsey Grammer made for a near perfect Beast. He is funny, likable, intelligent, and blue (did I mention I like blue people?). Even the most avid hater of X-Men: The Last Stand must admit they like Grammer’s Beast (and if they do not, what is wrong with them?). Nicholas Hoult does a fine job with the role in X-Men: First Class, but he has nothing on the wit and charisma of the older Hank McCoy. Plus, all of his fighting scenes are amazing. “Oh, you get the idea!”


12. Hulk
Played by: Mark Ruffalo
Appears in: The Avengers

I told you the big green guy would be on this list! Bana’s Hulk looked cool, but was unimpressive in the action scenes, and Norton’s Hulk was a significant improvement, but Mark Ruffalo was the guy who finally made the Hulk fun. From chasing the Black Widow, to brawling with Thor, to tearing apart an aircraft while standing on it, to destroying a Leviathan with one punch, to teaming up with Thor in order to smash as many Chitauri as possible, this version of Hulk was just awesome. The scene where he throttled Loki was the best in the movie. Do not even try to deny it.


11. Doctor Octopus
Played by: Alfred Molina
Appears in: Spider-Man 2

Affectionately referred to as Doc Ock, this guy is Spider-Man’s all-time greatest screen villain. He has a tragic story, a good man and a brilliant scientist who loses his wife, and is driven insane by the tentacles attached to his body in a freak accident. Even though he lost everything, he refuses to give up his life’s work, that of inventing a clean, renewable source of energy (he could take a few pointers from Tony Stark). In order to accomplish this, he engages Spider-Man in some of the greatest super hero fights ever put on screen. In the end, the wall-crawler convinces him his invention is far too dangerous, and Doc Ock decides to destroy it, sacrificing himself in the process. He chooses not to die a monster, and even though he made for a fantastic villain, he died a hero. I would not suggest involving a new version of Doctor Octopus in one of The Amazing Spider-Man sequels, because there is no way they can top this.


10. Magneto
Played by: Ian McKellen
Appears in: X-Men, X-2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand

Nobody does arrogance like Magneto. While it is true that he is one of the most powerful mutants alive, he believes he is mutantkind’s savior, and that is going way too far. He is willing to do whatever it takes to preserve his species, including sacrifice the rest of humanity. In his own way, Magneto is a great leader, whether rallying the troops, recruiting (“You are a god among insects. Never let anyone tell you different”), or coming up with dastardly plots (how crazy is that his plan in the first X-Men would have actually worked if it did not kill the world leaders?). Played terrifically by Ian McKellen, he is majestic, heartless, powerful, and witty. Plus, he has so many spectacular metal manipulating scenes (the escape from the plastic prison, moving the Golden Gate Bridge) it would be difficult to mention them all in this list.


9. Storm
Played by: Halle Berry
Appears in: X-Men, X-2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand

Halle Berry as Storm was kind of sad in the first X-Men. She had little screen time, little character development, and she had a mediocre accent. She dropped the accent in the latter films, and with each sequel, her screen time and character development improved. A good example of a comic book character who vastly improves from film to film, Berry’s Storm was nevertheless significantly different from the source material. Like her comic book equivalent, Storm had long, white hair (at least in the first two), and a rebellious, defiant manner (at least in the third). So what, she may not have the same fascinating backstory as a “goddess” in Kenya, or the same moral qualms about killing, or even her claustrophobia. What she does have is excellent chemistry with Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, and Professor X, and she has great scenes with all of them. In addition, the special effects that are used to bring her weather powers to life are amazing. Her fights with Toad, Jason Stryker, and Callisto are not to be missed.


8. Silver Surfer
Played by: Doug Jones (body movements) and Laurence Fishburne (voice)
Appears in: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

The Silver Surfer is probably the coolest looking CGI animated creature of all time. He looks almost identical to the comic book character. As for his personality, he has a sense of majesty, dignity, and power rivaled by none other. He does not speak that often, but you get the sense that when he does, it means something. No frivolous small talk for this alien. A lot of the Surfer’s flying scenes are amazing, especially when he is chased by the Human Torch, or his final confrontation with Galactus. This guy was so cool he outshined the Fantastic Four in their own movie! Even though Fox announced a spin-off for the Silver Surfer, it is clear this movie will never actually be made. That is unfortunate, because it would be great to see this character again, especially if they incorporate some of his tragic backstory from the comics into the film.


7. Thor
Played by: Chris Hemsworth
Appears in: Thor, The Avengers

Chris Hemsworth was the perfect choice to play the mighty Thor. At the beginning of his own movie, he is arrogant, reckless, and still likable. After a fantastic battle scene, Thor is separated from his hammer and banished to earth. It is in this realm that Thor meets Jane Foster, and learns the true meaning of nobility. By the end of the film, Thor has transformed into the noble and heroic character we all know and love. In The Avengers, Thor goes through an arguably greater trial, as he has to endure the realization that his beloved brother is completely gone. I cannot wait to see where they take this character next, and I do not have to wait long. Thor: The Dark World is in theaters this November!


6. Wolverine
Played by: Hugh Jackman
Appears in: X-Men, X-2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Hugh Jackman is currently tied with Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Downey Jr. for the record of appearing as the same character in the most comic book movies. All three actors currently have five, but Jackman will reclaim his lead this July. Four out of five of those appearances were major roles, so you can tell Jackman’s devotion to the character just by looking at his filmography. His Wolverine is heroic at times, vicious at others, and even occasionally heartbreakingly sincere. Admittedly, his life kind of sucks, especially his love life. Logan has only loved two women (that we know of), and he has to watch both them die, twice (he even has to kill one of them himself). However, his life is not all bad. He may not have a girlfriend, and he cannot remember his past, he still has a future. He may be a loner by nature, but the X-Men are where he belongs. As a bonus, Wolverine has the best fight scenes of the trilogy, clashing with Mystique, Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, and Juggernaut. I am highly anticipating The Wolverine, as I cannot wait to witness the next chapter in the ol’ canucklehead’s life.


5. Iron Man
Played by: Robert Downey Jr.
Appears in: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3

Simply put, the movies are the best thing that ever happened to Iron Man. In the source material, I have never found him to be a particularly compelling character. In the movies, however, Robert Downey Jr. gives him a depth not seen before, in addition to a believable relationship with Pepper Potts, and a wicked sense of humor. Special credit should be given to Jon Favreau, who directed the first two films, and Industrial Light and Magic, who built that incredible suit. Most of his battle scenes have been awesome, from taking on the Ten Rings in the desert, to both bouts with Whiplash, to the entire end battle in The Avengers. Even the extremely disappointing Iron Man 3 cannot detract from my attachment to the character. Robert Downey Jr. has already signed a contract for two sequels to The Avengers. I am very happy about this. They need him, more than they know.


4. Captain America
Played by: Chris Evans
Appears in: Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers

Chris Evans is great as Captain America. He completely embraces Cap’s do good, boy scout attitude, and makes him very interesting along the way. Plus, his action scenes are always amazing. There is something extremely satisfying about watching the star-spangled Avenger mow down baddies with his shield. Tony Stark tells him, “Everything special about you came from a bottle” but the audience, as well as Doctor Erskine, know this is not true. Steve is special not because he is the perfect soldier, but because he is a good man. He may have lost his entire family, but he does not seem particularly somber, wanting nothing but the chance to serve his country. He certainly gets his chance, in a series of epic battles that culminates with Cap thwarting the Red Skull’s evil plans. Along the way, he loses his best friend, and ends up missing a date by about 70 years. When he wakes up in the present day, he is the same man, but the world has changed completely. Not only does he have to grapple with the issues of being a man out of time, he also has to stop an alien invasion. Captain America has had a really rough life, and it is not about to get easier. His next challenge? The Winter Soldier.


3. Spider-Man
Played by: Tobey Maguire
Appears in: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3

My favorite comic book superhero of all time, and I know I am not alone (though not my favorite comic book movie character, you will get to the duo that beat him in a moment). Tobey Maguire is likeable, heroic, and has a goofy sense of charm as the web-slinger. His first two films are still two of the best in the genre today. While the third one was slightly disappointing, I still wanted a Spider-Man 4, if only to see if Peter and Mary Jane got married. I enjoyed Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of the character, but he is nowhere near as good as Tobey. Peter Parker feels like a real person, he has problems, worries, and troubles with girls (especially certain redheads). At the same time, he is an amazing hero, driven only by guilt and the belief that he can make a difference. Aunt May says she believes there is a hero in all of us, if she is right, I hope the hero inside of me is just like Spider-Man.


2. Thing
Played by: Michael Chiklis
Appears in: Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

I realize many people hated the Fantastic Four films, but no one will ever convince me that Michael Chiklis was anything but fantastic as the ever-lovin’ blue eyed thing. It was a wise idea to have him wear a latex suit, if the Thing were a fully CGI character, it would rob him of much of his humanity (I am talking about you, Hulk). In the movies, Ben Grimm is established early on as having a pretty good life. He is a top-notch astronaut, he has a beautiful fiancée, and he has a pretty cool best friend. Then he turns into the Thing, and his life turns upside down. Chiklis brilliantly conveys the pain Ben must be going through, a man trapped in a monster’s body. At first, Ben wants nothing more than to be rid of his affliction. Yet when he is given the chance to remain normal, he does not take it, instead choosing to become the Thing again. Only when his friends are in danger does he realize how necessary his talents really are. Minutes later, he shouts, “It’s clobberin’ time!” before punching Doctor Doom, in the face, and it is one of the greatest comic book movie moments ever. In the sequel, the Thing has become used to his own rocky hide, and no longer wants Reed to cure him. Perhaps I am reading too much into this, but Ben Grimm could be seen as a parable of how everyone should realize their self-worth, and be comfortable living in their own skin (even if it is orange and rocky). There is only one character I like better…


1. Nightcrawler
Played by: Alan Cumming
Appears in: X-2: X-Men United

You may be asking, out of all the characters, in all the Marvel comic book movies, why Nightcrawler? The truth is that I have many, many reasons. Nightcrawler is my favorite X-Man of all time in both the comics and the films, played brilliantly by Alan Cumming in X-2: X-Men United. He is blue (I believe I have mentioned I like blue people), he is a Christian, he has a sense of humor, he has awesome super powers, he has a great action scene, he has a great rescue scene, he has a tail (tails are awesome), and his overall outlook on life is fascinating. Out of all the mutants we see in the X-Men films, he is possibly the freakiest, in terms of looks (brought to life with fantastic make-up effects), making him something of an outcast. You might expect him to fear, or even hate a world that has rejected him. However, Nightcrawler takes the high road, pitying them instead. He explains this to Storm while they are inside the X-Jet, in one of my favorite comic book movie scenes ever. I really wish we could see Kurt Wagner once more in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but it does not look like that is going to happen. I cannot say this is heartbreaking, though, because we will always have Alan Cumming’s uncanny performance in the first X-Men sequel.

So we have come to the end of my list! Do you agree with any of my choices? Do you have any favorites of your own? Make sure to let me know in the comments!
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Forthas - 7/15/2013, 12:38 PM
Great list. I don't think my list would be much different however I thought Sam Elliot played the better General “Thunderbolt” Ross. Also I would have added somewhere in the top 100 Peter Fonda's Mephistopheles in Ghost Rider and Thomas Jane's Frank Castle from Punisher.
BobbyDrakeApproaches - 7/15/2013, 12:45 PM
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback! I have not seen Ghost Rider or The Punisher, that is why they are not included on this list.
highflyer - 7/15/2013, 12:55 PM
This is a really cool list! Must have taken a while to write
BobbyDrakeApproaches - 7/15/2013, 1:08 PM
@Levitikuz, let me just say it is an honor to have you comment on my first article! I'm not being sarcastic, you are like comicbookmovie.com royalty. As for MCD as the Kingpin, I did not really like his performance. His demeanor was not nearly as frightening as I would have liked. I also thought it was a really poor choice to give him a secret identity, but that was more the director's fault than Duncan's. Nevertheless, I respect your opinion, this entire article is just my opinion after all.
BobbyDrakeApproaches - 7/15/2013, 1:09 PM
@highflyer, thank you so much! You are correct, it took me more than a week to write this. Hopefully it takes significantly less time to read.
Andrew >>>>> Toby and Norton >>>>>> Ruffalo. Some of your picks seem strange to me, but still descent.
BobbyDrakeApproaches - 7/15/2013, 1:25 PM
@MexicanSuperman were you surprised that I chose James McAvoy over Patrick Stewart? That is the one I thought my fellow fans would disagree with.
NBAfanaddict - 7/15/2013, 1:35 PM
Really impressed that not only did you list 100, but you gave detailed explanations as to why. Thumbs up!



My top 5 is similar to yours, subtracting Nightcralwer and inserting Wolvie or someone. Michael Chiklis is definetly underated as CBM roles go. He was great,
RLYHYPERGUY - 7/15/2013, 1:41 PM
Nice list! You have no idea how glad I am to find someone else who prefers Maguire over Garfield. You get major props for that!
MildGoose - 7/15/2013, 1:42 PM
Overall a well written piece. But...

I must be shallow because, yes, Kirsten Dunce, is not attractive enough to play the number one character on your list, never mind a beautiful actress/model. Was Melissa McCarthy too busy or Maggie Gyllenhall? And yes I did not spell Dunce's name correctly because I am too shallow to scroll up far enough to see her actual name but only because I might have to see her face again.

jojofmd - 7/15/2013, 1:51 PM
I could nitpick but it's a great list and I absolutely LOVE! LOVE your Top 5. Nightcrawler was AMAZING in X2 and one of, if not my, favorite comicbook character. They really did justice to his character and especially his morals. Great list!
BobbyDrakeApproaches - 7/15/2013, 1:54 PM
@NBAfanaddict, thanks for the positive feedback! I agree with you about Chiklis one hundred percent. His portrayal of the Thing was amazing, he deserves more respect from CBM fans.
BobbyDrakeApproaches - 7/15/2013, 1:56 PM
@RLYHYPERGUY, Thanks, both you and Levitikus are correct about the cinematic Spider-Man, at least in my opinion.
BobbyDrakeApproaches - 7/15/2013, 2:02 PM
@jojofmd, thank you, I am glad you liked the top five, and I'm happy you agree about Nightcrawler. Alan Cumming did such a great job, it is a real shame we haven't seen him in any of the other sequels.
Jollem - 7/15/2013, 2:18 PM
hey, nightcrawler's first. you have good taste :)
tvor03 - 7/15/2013, 2:47 PM
Blade?
breakneckbeck - 7/15/2013, 2:55 PM
Wow gotta admit this list has reminded me how many downright horrible characters marvel movies had put out. A lot of great ones, but damn, some really bad ones
pesmerga44 - 7/15/2013, 3:07 PM
Ya Michael Chiklis was fantastic in Fantastic Four along with Chris Evans for all the things they got wrong in those movies I really felt they got Human Torch and Thing's relationship and personalities right. I am really surprised to see J. Jonah Jamenson so low as you said many believe, me included, he is the most faithful comic book character adapted to the main screen. J.K. Simmons does such an amazing job with him and it would be a crime for Webb to have anyone other then Simmons play old JJ.
tonytony - 7/15/2013, 3:09 PM
this thread is pathetic its most propably because batman and superman came out on top in the poll of 100 greatest superheroes of all time from SFX magazine.
Marvel fanboys are insecure.



superbatspiderman - 7/15/2013, 3:27 PM
I would have had J.K Simmons as number 1 because he is the best cast Marvel character of all time. I mean he cannot be replaced and anyone who tries to replace will fail miserably. I would actually love it if he came back in Amazing Spider-Man 2.
MrCBM56 - 7/15/2013, 3:37 PM
Love the list! Night crawler is defiantly # 1 for me too!

Although I'm surprised no Loki...he is with out a doubt at least one of the most intriguing charecters in the MCU.
MrCBM56 - 7/15/2013, 3:38 PM
Lol nevermind, just saw Loki. Don't know how I missed that.

Great list though ;)
Lindsey35 - 7/15/2013, 3:39 PM
Meh. An alright list. Not a fan of Night Crawler, and when I saw Pepper I was like "WTF?!?!" She's so annoying.
marvel72 - 7/15/2013, 4:08 PM
juggernaunt higher than red skull. (scratching head)
MrCameron - 7/15/2013, 4:25 PM
First of all, major props for effort.

Secondly, gotta disagree with you on Tobey. The problem with him, for me, was that he came across as too much of a saint of a kid and cried waaaaaaaaay too much. Plus, I don't think it would be fair to write Garfield off just yet seeing how he's only been in one movie and we've yet to see him develop more and complete his journey.

Good job mate!
MrCameron - 7/15/2013, 5:34 PM
Somewhere, deep down inside, LeviDouche secretly has a hard-on for TASM and only shits on it constantly shoving it down out throats because he wants to look cool and be a hipster, you know, praising the old and dissing the new.
TheAbaryMan369 - 7/15/2013, 6:10 PM
I just skipped to the last 5.
SnapperCarr - 7/15/2013, 6:12 PM
How do you not have Howard the Duck? It was duck who picked up bitches!
SnapperCarr - 7/15/2013, 6:17 PM
@Lindsey35 Pepper had great chemistry with Tony in every movie.
TheLoveDoc - 7/15/2013, 7:11 PM
Don't necessarily agree with all of you're choices, but this is a truly great write up for your first article. Keep up this kind of work, the site could definitely use more of it!
NovaCorpsFan - 7/15/2013, 8:05 PM
WHOO Silver Surfer got in at 8!!!!!!

Tainted87 - 7/15/2013, 9:11 PM
Props for making a list of 100, but like a bunch have said - a LOT of these picks are just so arbitrarily thrown into the mix. I mean Thanos had not ONE line of dialogue, not even a grunt - and you have him up on #51?

I understand personal preferences, different tastes, etc.... I myself love listening to Antonio Banderas and Sarah Brightman do Phantom of the Opera at random times.... but that's a bit out of sorts.

My top 3...

1. Magneto
Ian McKellen completely understood this character, and his role in both the story and production - all throughout the trilogy. He gave an arrogant if not mysterious portrayal in the first, a vengeful and impatient portrayal in the second, and a downright hammy portrayal in the third. He's so loaded that you just can't imagine another actor filling his shoes in any way, and fans all around were willing to accept digital effects to make him look younger in a solo prequel - because it's Ian McKellen. As it happened, Michael Fassbender took the reins for a bit and gave a seriously emotional performance in four different languages, filling Magneto with a forbidden passion.

2. J Jonah Jameson
J.K. Simmons is just hilarious. He's got the fast-talking, hot-headed zealot down to a science, and one has to wonder just how much of his dialogue is improvised, and how much is in the script. Either way, he is a treat to watch as he mocks, insults, shamelessly ignores, and takes full advantage of his staff at the Daily Bugle. He's arguably the most faithful adaption of any comic book character you can get.

3. Iron Man
I'd call this one a no-brainer, but that'd be lazy. Robert Downey Jr, Jack Nicholson, Clint Eastwood, Samuel L Jackson... they all have something very much in common with one another. They practically play themselves (no, not their real life identities) in just about every movie they appear in. Here, it's a perfect match. Tony Stark was an animated character before he got the shrapnel stuck in his chest, and it seems the electromagnet didn't do anything at all to hold him back. This guy has an ego that no house or structure is strong enough or large enough to shelter. It overflows into his work, into his fun, into his friends, into his enemies even. This man offered Loki, knowing EXACTLY who he was, a drink. Concerns about Marvel attempting to find a new "Iron Man" type in the next wave of movies aren't unfounded - no one can live up to his reputation, his flash, his flare.
FOOM - 7/15/2013, 11:39 PM
Interesting list but almost every CBM character is pretty far removed from their source material. Hugh Jackman's Wolverine is too touchy feely,handsome and tall and yearns to be loved. Chris Hemsworth's Thor and Ioan Gufford's Mr Fantastic lack the awe inspiring presence, seriousness and supreme confidence of their comic book incarnations. Renner's Hawkeye is supremely dull.
Still, some thoughtful and unexpected inclusions in the list. Michael Chiklis as Thing and Cliff Robertson as Uncle Ben come to mind. Nice. Wish I could say the same about Halle Berry. Don't know what you were smoking there but whatever it was it should be illegal.Her dull unengaging feeble portayal was nothing less than criminal.
SageMode - 7/15/2013, 11:48 PM
What a "weird" list.............. -_-
Deathlok - 7/16/2013, 12:08 AM
I don't know why, but it seems like a lot of the character descriptions on this list begin something like... "A lot of people were unhappy with the portrayal/look of this character but I didn't mind because I didn't like that character anyway." Dude, do you even read comic books or do you just watch the movies?
RaKita - 7/16/2013, 12:14 AM
Correction to Deadpool...Wade was portrayed Ryan Reynolds, but Deadpool was actually Scott Adkins.
Equivocal - 7/16/2013, 12:23 AM
my #1 would've been

Doctor Ock

from spiderman 2

he's AWESOME !!!!!!!!!!!
SpaceGhost - 7/16/2013, 1:18 AM
i stopped reading when i saw Cyclops at #96.....

Total Bullshit
Pending - 7/16/2013, 1:27 AM
This is pretty freakin impressive

Nightcrawler, Spider-Man and MacAvoy Xavier are prob my top 3.

Tobey Spider-Man feels more relatable to me. The new Spider-Man...meh he's just a jackass pretending to be shit he's not, he's a very very shallow representation of the character.
FOOM - 7/16/2013, 2:08 AM
@BeanzReilly

Totally agree re. Garfield Spider Man. Tobey may have been a bit too weepy at times but at least he comes across more or less as Lee/Ditko/Romita envisioned.The TASM lovers focus too much on how 'shit should look and being cool and hip and stuff' while missing the essence of the comic.
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