We Rank Your Favorite Superhero… Or Villain
Mary Jo Duffy
April 7, 1981
In our short-story of love, passion, destruction and extinction, we begin with Uatu in the Earth-616 universe. To begin,the Watcher ponders the Phoenix's journey with the X-Men. In his musings, he contemplates an alternate reality... Here, Phoenix did not die! Instead, the X-Men lost their battle against the Shi'ar and the Phoenix Force was psychically lobotomized from Jean Grey. But in reality, this was further from the truth. On a fateful day, the X-Men were called into battle by Lilandra. On the alien planet Arama, our children of the atom were to face Galactus trying to consume the planet... and his herald Terrax! A fierce battle followed during which Terrax struck down the X-Men, even threatening Cyclops. At that moment, we realized that the Phoenix had been laying dormant. Violently, she emerged and removed the Power Cosmic from Terrax. Then, she valiantly engaged Galactus in combat. Soon, she defeated him and repelled his invasion. However, Jean is overwhelmed by the fury and the passion of the Phoenix. A cosmic fiery bird of death and rebirth, Phoenix destroyed asteroids and consumed a star. Eventually, the X-Men returned to Earth. When Shadowcat berated Jean for losing control, the telepath killed her. Soon, Dark Phoenix destroyed the X-Men one by one. Finally, the death of her lover, Cyclops, was the last straw. In a fit of rage, folly and cosmic madness, the fiery bird consumed Earth, then the galaxy, and finally, the universe and beyond. Here ends the story of the Phoenix which should serve as a cautionary tale to not let this fiery cosmic bird to reign unimpeded in the cosmos.
In Avengers vs X-Men (2012) #2, the Phoenix returns to Earth for Hope Summers. At the White House, Iron Man and Captain America brief the President. In a recent event, Nova crash landed on Earth. In fact, he came to warn the Avengers that the Phoenix was returning to Earth. That same day, there is a Phoenix sighting.
At Utopia, Cyclops is training Hope Summers harder than ever for Phoenix’s arrival. When Cyclops pushes her to her limits, Hope manifests the Phoenix. Later that day, Captain America and the Avengers come to take Hope into protective custody. But, Cyclops refuses. In one optic blast, the Avengers vs X-Men fight is on!
Really, Cyclops and Captain America are the two best leaders on Marvel Earth. Generally, they are alpha males that command attention. When they met head-to-head, energy projection was the main factor in Avengers vs X-Men (2012) #2. Without a doubt, the Alpha-Mutant vs the Super-Soldier. Indeed, Cyclops’ optic blasts proved devastating. Though, Cap proved more than capable of handling them. In Civil War: X-Men (2006) #4, Iron Man measured Cyclops’ power output to 2 Gigawatts. Enough to level a city block!
In their match-up, Colossus and Red Hulk seemed evenly matched! Colossus’ organic steel can dish out a Planetary-Level punishment. Just ask the Juggernaut! However, Red Hulk simply is in a league of his own in terms of super strength. In our Marvel Universe Strength Hierarchy, we ranked Red Hulk’s most notorious feat: Punching out Uatu the Watcher! Certainly, it was a Galaxy-Level feat! Definitely, we look forward to these two powerhouses duking out some more.
Among the X-Men and Avengers, Emma Frost and Iron Man are among the most dangerous. In addition, they are also the most resourceful in terms of energy projection. Particularly, Emma Frost is an Omega-Class Telepath. During their encounter, Iron Man recognized the threat. Incredibly, he hit Emma with 17,000 Microscopic Telepathic Tasers. Ouch! In response, White Queen switched to diamond form and punched Iron Man in the abdomen. Soon, the fight ended with Magneto’s intervention. Though, Emma Frost proved to be more than a match for Iron Man’s hi-tech.
In their family reunion, Magneto and Quicksilver were outmatched in super speed. Indeed, Quicksilver proved superior combat speed landing a punch. At the same time, Magneto’s EM Sight allows him to perceive electromagnetic forces and energies on Earth. In part, it explains Magneto’s enhanced perception and his ability to track speedsters. In Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1982) #4, Magneto is able to show heightened reflexes. Reactively, he erects a force field as Quicksilver charges at him at high speed. Though, Quicksilver beats him in raw power speedwise. Nevertheless, both Magneto and Quicksilver are in the same Speed Class.
In the Marvel Universe, if Namor gets respect, Thing continues to be underrated. With these two, super strength is all that matters. Bombastically, Namor has tangled with Hulk, Hercules and Luke Cage over the years. In fact, Namor’s overwhelming super strength and brutality always seem to come out on top or draw. For his part, Thing once withstood and pushed back a hydraulo press that could press a planet. Together, these two powerhouses have super strength on a planetary scale. In the super strength department, they are evenly matched.
Avengers vs X-Men.
X-Men, Avengers, Nova, Scarlet Witch.
Phoenix Force, Mr. Sinister.
Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman, Olivier Coipel.
‘Avengers vs X-Men’ #1-12.
In ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ (2012) #1, the Avengers come into world-wide conflict with the X-Men. To begin, Nova crashes into the Empire State Building in New York City. Critically injured, he states “it’s coming” before falling into a coma. Later, at a White House, Captain America and Iron Man brief the President on recent events. Briefly, Iron Man has analyzed the energy signature on Nova’s uniform. Sinisterly, it points to the Phoenix coming to Earth. Importantly, it is locking for a host in order to potentially lay waste to Earth.
Suddenly, Tony’s programs signal a Phoenix flare on Earth. Soon, Captain America meets Wolverine at the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning. Despite his resistance, Cap recruits Wolverine. Indeed, he intends to convince Scott Summers to stop the Phoenix threat. Previously, Cyclops and Hope Summers are training for the Phoenix’s arrival. As Cyclops pushes Hope to her limits, the young mutant manifests the Phoenix Force. Later, Captain America comes to Utopia to take Hope Summers into protective custody.
In ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ (2012) #2, it is all-out war between the Avengers and the X-Men. Meanwhile, Hope is locked safely in a room with the Lights. When neither side has the upper hand, Wolverine and Spider-Man seek out Hope. There, they find Hope having dealt with the Lights. However, before Wolverine can gut her, Hope blasts him and Spider-Man. Then, she makes her escape.
In ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ (2012) #3, Wolverine comes to an hour later. Quickly, he realizes Cyclops’ surrender is a ruse. In fact, Magik has created the illusion that she is Doctor Strange transporting herself. Before he can act, the X-Men teleport to Long Beach to hunt down Hope. At Avengers Tower, Marvel Girl tells Wolverine they have traced Hope’s energy signature to five different locations.
Soon, Captain America divides the Avengers into five teams sent to the five locations: Wundagore Mountain, Tabula Rasa, Wakanda, Latveria and Savage Land. In ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ (2012) #4, Hope recruits Wolverine on a mission to the moon. There, she hopes to bond with the Phoenix. On site, Wolverine betrays Hope and gives her location to the Avengers.
At the same time, Emma Frost intercepts Cap’s transmission. Soon, the X-Men meet the Avengers in the Blue Area of the moon. In ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ (2012) #5, the X-Men battle the Avengers. In an explosive battle, Hope rejects the Phoenix. At the same time, Iron Man’s Phoenix-Killer Armor detonates the Phoenix splitting it. As the smoke disappears, the Phoenix Five rise from the ashes. Mysteriously, they depart with Hope.
In ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ (2012) #6, the Phoenix Five begin world-building. Cyclops rebuilds Utopia, Magik ends war, Emma Frost destroys the Sentinels, Colossus destroys nuclear misssiles and King Namor removes nuclear submarines. Certainly, the Phoenix Five seem unstoppable. However, Captain America and the Avengers question their new-found omnipotence. Seeing the Phoenix Five as a threat, they commandeer a tactical mission to retrieve Hope Summers.
When Utopia is under attack, Scott’s adoptive granddaughter changes sides with the Avengers. Decisively, it turns the battle and shatters Cyclops’ humanity. On the Blue Area of the moon, Scott consults with Jean Grey created out of moon dust. From there, he decides to rid the world of the Avengers. Earlier, Scarlet Witch had a grim vision where the Phoenix Five annihilated the Avengers. Soon, that vision may come to pass.
In ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ (2012) #12, occurs the final battle. Finally, Cyclops has attained the full power of the Phoenix while the other Phoenix Four have been depowered. In a titanic battle, Cyclops is omnipresent on Earth across time and space. Earlier, Tony reveals that the reason the Phoenix has been defeated by Scarlet Witch. Really, the Phoenix and Scarlet Witch’s Chaos Magic are like yin and yang. In fact, when Wanda said “no more mutants”, Phoenix said “more mutants.”1
During the battle, Hope and Scarlet Witch go toe-to-toe with Cyclops. In a final Iron Fist punch, Hope fells Cyclops. With Cyclops defeated, Hope claims the Phoenix. Sensing the urgency, Wanda helps her extinguish the Phoenix flame. At the same time, the Phoenix is used to recreate the mutant population on Earth. In the end, though homo superior survives, it is at great cost. Indeed, Professor X is dead, Cyclops is in custody, and the X-Men are divided among themselves. Visiting Scott in prison, Cap acknowledges his responsibility. Over the years, he did not work sufficiently for mutants’ civil rights and plans to set up the Uncanny Avengers.
|Avengers vs. X-Men Vol 1 5 in Marvel Database.|
Avengers vs. X-Men Vol 1 1 in Marvel Database.
Avengers vs. X-Men Vol 1 2 in Marvel Database.
Avengers vs. X-Men Vol 1 3 in Marvel Database.
Avengers vs. X-Men Vol 1 4 in Marvel Database.
Avengers vs. X-Men Vol 1 6 in Marvel Database.
Avengers vs. X-Men Vol 1 12 in Marvel Database.
Avengers Unity Division (Earth-616) in Marvel Database.
In ‘Doomwar’ (2010) #1, T’Challa and Shuri, the Black Panther, has lost his royal title and is a fugitive from Wakanda. The Desturi have seized Wakanda’s government and have sentenced the Queen, Storm of the X-Men, to death. T’Challa has fled Wakanda to seek help from the mutant nation of Utopia.
In Utopia, T’Challa arrives with Shuri and the Dora Milaje to explain the circumstances of recent events. In the past year, T’Challa had been tracking rumors of a dissident group called the Desturi. They are a fundamentalist and xenophobic group that had infiltrated all levels of government.
T’Challa found they had access to surveillance but had no leads. Until he was lured into a trap by the mastermind of the coup d’etat, Doctor Doom, who nearly killed him. Later, T’Challa found Doom had infiltrated the palace food and water supplies with nanites swarms. Fearing that everyone he cared for could have been turned into living spy cameras, T’Challa fled Wakanda with Shuri and the Dora Milaje.
White Queen questions about Doctor Doom’s purpose of the revolution. T’Challa responds that its purpose is to obtain the Vibranium supply of Wakanda to upgrade his armor and become the most powerful force on Earth. Cyclops as Head of Utopia, cannot sanction an open war with Wakanda. However, some X-Men willingly volunteer.
In ‘Doomwar’ (2010) #2, T’Challa and his army attack Wakanda. Wakanda is the most advanced nation on Earth. T’Challa’s army arrive on Wakandan soil and are greeted by the army and the head of the Desturi. Asking the Desturi government to surrender, T’Challa and his army declare themselves to be Wakanda. Suddenly, Nightcrawler teleports T’Challa and Black Panther into the Palace. Despite Nightcrawler’s opposition, Black Panther massacres the people in the Palace.
At the Wakandan border, the X-Men and the Dora Milaje take on the Wakandan army. Back at the Palace, Doctor Doom has given Storm a 10 minute ultimatum to lock-pick the Vibranium Vault otherwise, he will shoot the members of the Royal Family. Nightcrawler attempts to teleport T’Challa to the Vibranium Vault with no success since Doctor Doom has placed a mystical barrier. T’Challa needs the Dora Milaje to hold the Wakandan army for one hour so he can massacre the hundreds of guards at the Royal Palace in order to reach the Vibranium Vault.
T’Challa arrives at the Vibranium Vault and finds Queen Ororo bound in fetters by Doctor Doom. Doctor Doom gives T’Challa five seconds to give him the key to the final lock or else he will kill Storm. He has to choose between saving the Vibranium and saving Storm. T’Challa does not hesitate and decides to protect the Vibranium.
The countdown ends and Doctor Doom relishing the game, does not kill Ororo. Doom teleports in a flash of lightning. Entering the Vault, T’Challa finds out that all of the Vibranium is gone. Checkmate!
In ‘Doomwar’ (2010) #3, Doctor Doom wages his “Doomwar” using Vibranium. In order to unlock the final lock, Doctor Doom had to face Bast, God of Egypt and Panther God of Wakanda. Bast scrutinizes Doctor Doom’s spi; and asks him his motivations for taking Vibranium. The test is purity and if Doctor Doom lies, Bast will devour him.
Doctor Doom tells Bast that though his methods are cruel and villainous, he has purity of intention. Doctor Doom claims mankind is a predator species and that according to his purity, he is a saint. He has gazed into thousand futures, a hundred thousand futures and found that the only future where humanity survives extinction and is at peace is under Doctor Doom‘s rule on Doomworld. Bast, though he finds Doctor Doom’s methods abhorrent, passes Doctor Doom and let’s him have the Vibranium.
In ‘Doomwar’ (2010) #4, the “Doomwar” over Vibranium begins on a global scale. T’Challa has recruited the Fantastic Four to assist him. Using Vibranium trackers, T’Challa has tracked locations of Vibranium supply at Doombases over the world. Shuri, the Dora Milaje, Invisible Woman, Thing, Human Torch and the X-Men are on the frontlines. When they arrive at the first Doombase, they are unable to destroy the Vibranium-enhanced Doombots. Then, arming themselves with Vibranium-enhanced armors and weapons, T’Challa’s army begins to take down Doombots.
However, there are enormous casualties on both sides. In ‘Doomwar’ (2010) #5, T’Challa and his army suffer great casualties with one third of the Dora Milaje having fallen. However, they have managed to take down only eight percent of the Doombases. T’Challa recognizes that Doom has learnt everything about Vibranium technology and his people is facing extinction. In order to eliminate the threat, he turns to shadow physics. T’Challa invented the discipline to unite quantum science with alchemy. T’Challa’s plan is to send Deadpool and the Midnight Angels to Latveria in order to assassinate Doctor Doom.
Later, Shuri’s team has located one of Doom’s computers. Hacking into the system, they divert all his funding to humanitarian causes.
The Broker who has been running the Doomwar, realizes this and fears Doom will kill him.
In ‘Doomwar’ (2010) #6, T’Challa finally outsmarts Doctor Doom by rendering all processed Vibranium inert. In a communication with Black Panther, T’Challa informs her that he has sanction a shadow attack of Latveria by the Midnight Angels which cannot be traced. She does not approve T’Challa bypassing her authority and reminds him that Wakanda does not start wars. Doctor Doom’s armor upgrade is finally online and he is able to sense and to tap all the Vibranium which is present everywhere on Earth.
T’Challa is in communication with other scientific and mystical leaders on Earth: Beast, Hank Pym, Tony Stark, Charles Xavier, Doctor Strange and Doctor Voodoo. They inform T’Challa that all Vibranium objects on Earth have come to life. Since the act leads back to Wakanda, and the threat of a nuclear war looms, they refuse to help T’Challa. Deadpool and the Midnight Angels attack in Latveria but they are no match for Doom. In diplomatic mission to Symkaria, Shuri invites Doctor Doom to come face T’Challa’s army to settle the matter.
The final battle begins. T’Challa’s army is overwhelmed by Doom’s army. During the battle, T’Challa is seemingly defeated by Victor. However, T’Challa finally outsmarts Doctor Doom. He activates a trigger that uses shadow physics to render all the processed Vibranium on Earth inert.
Shuri who had wanted to kill Doom, relents. She promises that she will hunt over the Earth and kill him if he steps foot on Wakandan soil. In the end, Black Panther and Storm watch as the superhero community helps them re-build Wakanda.
In ‘Hero For Hire’ (1972) #2 , the origin story of Lucas Cage is told.
Having reached adulthood, Luke Cage sought to better himself by finding legitimate employment. He maintained former gang ties and when one of his friends, Stryker, a criminal was hit by the Maggia, Luke saved him. This created a rift with another former gang member Reva who turned to Lucas and broke up with Stryker. Learning this, Stryker planted heroin stolen from Cottonmouth’s place and tipped off the cops. Lucas got arrested for a crime he did not commit and was sentenced to prison.
In prison, Luke was filled with rage over his friend’s betrayal and the supposed loss of his father. He got into brawls and his violent behavior got him transferred to Seagate Prison, one of the toughest prisons.
At Seagate Prison, Dr. Burnstein was doing medical research on cellular regeneration based on a variant of the Super-Soldier serum. He selected Lucas as a volunteer.
He immersed Lucas in the “Electro-Biochemical System“, a device that contained an electrical field conducted by an organic chemical compound. When he left equipment unattended, Rackham tampered with the controls, hoping to kill Lucas. However, the treatment was accelerated past its intended purpose causing mutagenic change throughout Lucas’ body, fortifying his cells giving him superhuman strength and durability. Lucas used his new-found powers to escape the prison and make his way back to Harlem. A chance encounter with criminals inspired him to use his new powers for profit.– Luke Cage (Earth-616)
The Burnstein Process granted Luke Cage superhuman abilities, even greater than Captain America such as superhuman strength (he is able to lift up to 50 tons), a healing factor, nigh-invulnerability and superhuman stamina.
Burstein Process: Luke Cage possesses various superhuman physical enhancements after undergoing a Super-Soldier experiment known as the Burstein Process, which was designed to increase his body’s cellular regeneration rate.– Luke Cage (Earth-616)
Let’s look at some examples of Luke Cage’s Burnstein Process super power in battles.
In ‘Uncanny X-Men’ (2012) #12, the Avengers and the X-Men are searching for Hope at Tabula Rasa.
Cyclops sends Sunspot, Namor and Hepzibah to Tabula Rasa, while the Avengers send Thing, Luke Cage and She-Hulk.
The Avengers stumble upon a cave, investigate and are attacked by creatures. Meanwhile, the X-Men and the Queen also investigate. Then, Namor discovers Luke Cage and a battle ensues.
Namor attacks Luke Cage with an airborne piledriver then tosses Luke into the river. Using the Burnstein Process, Luke Cage holds his breath underwater. Noting that Luke can’t breathe nor speak, Namor says Luke Cage is weakening. Then, Luke Cage draws a punch. Namor exclaims “Imperius Rex” and responds with a devastating punch that creates a wave out of the water.1
Then, Namor knocks out both She-Hulk and Luke Cage by using Luke Cage as a bludgeon.
Power Man arrives at Danny Rand’s apartment looking for Misty Knight but instead finds Colleen Wing. Luke Cage attacks Colleen who calls Danny and Misty for help. Danny arrives and a fight follows between Luke Cage and Danny Rand. Using his Burnstein Process super power, Power Man uses superior strength and holds Iron Fist in a choke hold that nearly kills him.
Not wanting to be a killer, Power Man stops himself.
|Power Man and Iron Fist Vol 3 4 in Marvel Database.|
Hero for Hire Vol 1 2 in Marvel Database.
Luke Cage (Earth-616) in Marvel Database.
Uncanny X-Men Vol 2 12 in Marvel Database.
Power Man Vol 1 48 in Marvel Database.
Cage #20 in Comic Vine.
|CYCLOPS (SCOTT SUMMERS)|
In ‘Avengers vs X-Men’ (2012) #1, titled “Avengers vs. X-Men (Part One)”, Cyclops performs an energy projection feat. Captain America arrives on Utopia to take Hope Summers into protective custody over her being the Phoenix’s new host. Initiating the fight, Cyclops knocks back Captain America with an optic blast.
How much energy projection does it take for Cyclops to knock back Captain America with an optic blast?
For our database entries of Marvel Power Levels, visit the Marvel page!
|CYCLOPS (SCOTT SUMMERS)|
In ‘Uncanny X-Men’ (1978) #115, titled “Visions of Death!”, Cyclops performs an energy projection feat. The human-pteranodon hybrid super-villain named Sauron puts Wolverine under hypnotic control to attack Cyclops and Nightcrawler while Storm lies on the floor unconscious. During the fight, Cyclops knocks out Wolverine with an optic blast.
How much energy projection does it take for Cyclops to knock out Wolverine with an optic blast?
For our database entries of Marvel Power Levels, visit the Marvel page!
|NAME: NATHAN SUMMERS|
RELATIVES: SCOTT SUMMERS, JEAN GREY
BASE OF OPERATIONS: HELL’S KITCHEN, NEW YORK
AFFILIATION: AVENGERS, X-MEN, X-FORCE
HEIGHT: 6’8 (2.03 M)
WEIGHT: 350 LBS (158.76 KG)
Cable is Scott Summers and Jean Grey’s mutant son. Geneticist Mr. Sinister conceived of Cable by the realization that the child of Scott Summers and Jean Grey would be a powerful mutant. His goal was to create a powerful mutant he could control in order to defeat the immortal mutant.
Cable was born from the union between Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor. Madelyne Pryor was a clone of Jean Grey. She was given life from a spark of the Phoenix Force that granted her a life force and Jean Grey’s memories as Jean Grey laid in a cocoon in Jamaica Bay recovering from radiation poison.
Mr. Sinister fabricated Madelyne’s past and arranged for Scott Summers to meet her. Scott immediately fell in love with her and the two had a child. They named him Nathan Christopher Charles Summers.
Cable has been classified as an Alpha-Level Telepath and an Alpha-Level and Omega-Level Telekinetic.
Nathan was infected by a Techno-Organic virus as an infant which he had to consciously keep in check from consuming his body.