Top 100 Comic Book Characters: #100-#91

To see how the points were generated to determine these metrics, check out the Ranking The Top 100 Comic Book Characters link here. For the non-numbers geeks, just read on.

#100 – Wonder Man

Simon Williams was the heir to a successful company, only to see it go bankrupt due to the success of Tony (Iron Man) Stark’s Stark Industries. He vowed to gain revenge on Tony Stark and agreed to be given superpowers by the Avengers’ enemies in order to infiltrate and betray the team. When the time came however, Simon agreed to stay loyal to the team. He was brought back to life a couple of times to fight against the Avengers, but stayed “mostly dead” until the mid-1970s when we was restored to life and became a member of various versions of the Avengers. Wonder Man is a sort of “brother” to teammate Vision, since it was his brainwaves that were used as a model for the Vision’s robotic brain and he is currently dating the Scarlet Witch, who used to be married to the Vision.

A look at the ten characters he’s appeared the most with show that he’s primarilly seen with his comrades in Avengers-related comic books:

The only comic book that he regularly appeared in was Avengers Volume 1; where he appeared in 103 issues between 1964 and 2018.

#99 Captain Britain

Created in the mid-1970s for Marvel’s U.K.-specific “Marvel U.K.” line, Brian Braddock with the son of a poor aristocrat who nearly died in a motorcycle accident, only to be revived by Merlin and Merlin’s daughter Roma and given the responsibility of defending his homeland. Throughout the rest of the 1970s and early 1980s, he was a British-specific hero; but he then became part of the broader Marvel Universe. He was a charter member of the UK-based Excalibur team from the late 1980s into the late 1990s and then served as a member of the British goverment’s MI-13 agency before joining the Avengers in the early 2010s.

Aside from his sister Elizabeth “Psylocke” Braddock, he most frequently appeared with other members of the Excalibur team (Meggan, Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde and Rachel Summers), the Avengers (Captain America, Iron Man):

The only comic book that he appeared in more than 50 issues was in the aforementioned Excalibur series, where he appeared in 111 issues between 1988 and 1998.

#98) Catwoman

Created in 1940 as a femme fatale for Batman, Catwoman is different from virtually every other Batman villain by the fact that she has never killed anybody (except for a few retconned stories in the 1970s). She’s a jewel thief/acroboat/martial artist with few peers with a variety of backgrounds. The Golden Age (Earth-Two) version of the character, says that she was a wife in a loveless marriage who had to steal her own jewelry from her husband’s vault; which triggered a fascination for stealing. This version of Catwoman would go on to marry her Earth’s version of Batman and was the mother of the first incarnation of the Huntress. After the DC Universe was recreated following the 1986 Crisis on Infinite Earths series, she was portrayed as an ex-prostitute who decided to leave that life. In the most recent New 52 reboot, she was an orphan who was told how to steal by her guardian. No matter her background, all of them share a tenuous relationship with Gotham’s criminal underground and a love of Bruce Wayne. After a time, in all these reboots, she learns Batman’s secret identity and in 2018 was due to marry Bruce Wayne, but she stands him up at the alter knowing that if he married her, he would no longer be effective as Batman which the world needs more than they need each other. She has been portrayed by Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt in the 1960s Batman TV series, by Camren Bicondova in the Gotham TV Series and in the movies by Michelle Pheiffer, Halle Barry and Anne Hathaway.

She most frequently appeared with members of the Batman family, sometimes as an enemy, sometimes as an ally and often a bit of both. This includes joint appearances with the villians and antiheroes such as Joker, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn:

Aside from being the titular character in three Catwoman series (Volume 2 had 95 issues between 1993 and 2001, Volume 3 had 83 issues between 2002 and 2010 and Volume 4 had 53 issues between 2011 and 2016), she has appeared in 112 issues of Batman Volume 1 between her 1940 debut and 2011.

#97) Cable

The son of X-Men Scott Summers (Cyclops) and a clone of Jean Grey, Nathan Summers was quickly separated from his parents after his birth after he was infected by a “techno-organic virus” he was brought into a distant future where his life could be saved, and his vast psionic powers could be used by rebels in their fight against Apocalypse. He later returns to the 20th Century and helps form the group X-Factor out of the former New Mutants. He led that team (as well as hosted his own series) in the early 90s, and even after his stint with X-Force ended, he continued on in his own series, in various incarnations of the X-men and in a partnership with Deadpool. He recently was killed by a younger version of himself in 2018’s Extermination series, but this being comic books, who knows how long this death will last. He was portrayed by James Brolin in Deadpool 2.

His most frequent collaborator list is entirely composed of his fellow mutants, led by his father Cyclops and his step-mother Jean Grey:

The two series that he appeared in most was 118 issues of his titular book which ran between 1993 and 2018 as well as in 55 issues of X-Force Volume 1 between 1991 and 2000.

#96) Silver Surfer

Norrin Radd is from the planet Zenn-La and, in order to save his planet from the planet-eating Galactus, agrees to serve the latter as a planet-finder/herald. Years into his service, he detects the planet Earth and summons his master. While waiting, he is befriended by the Fantastic Four and is convinced to support them. Galactus, in turn, exiles the Silver Surfer to Earth, where he spends the next years helping to defend it against (largely) interstellar threats. He later gains the ability to head back into space and finds that his home was no longer what it once was and he feels estranged from the place he came from. He subsequently gets involved in multiple interstellar threats and even spent some time in the transplanted Asgard before returning to the stars. in 2005’s Fanatastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer; Doug Jones did the motion capture work while Laurence Fishburne did the vocals.

He most frequently appeared with members of the Fantastic Four (Thing, Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Girl), the Defenders (Hulk, Dr. Strange) as well as his former master, Galactus:

While the Silver Surfer headlined several series and appeared in several versions of the Defenders; the only series he appeared in with more than 50 appearances was Silver Surfer Vol 3, which ran for 146 issues between 1987 and 1998.

#95) Iron Fist

Created by Marvel to take advantage of the surging interest in Martial Arts during the early 70s, Daniel Rand was introduced as a man who trained in the distant land of K’un-L’un in the martial arts. He leaves there as a young man to track down the murderer of his father and remains to fight crime. Shortly thereafter, he befriends Luke Cage (a.k.a. Power-Man) and the two team up as Heroes-for-Hire, which ran from the late 70s to the mid-80s. When that series ended (and it was assumed that Rand had been killed, although it later turned out to be someone else), Rand reappeared in a couple of storylines in the early 1990s, before the Heroes for Hire series was relaunched in the early 2000s. In the mid-2000s he got his own book again, joined the Avengers and later the Defenders before getting another series with Power Man. He was represented in the Netflix / Marvel universe by Finn Jones.

He most frequently appears with his longtime Heroes-for-Hire partner Luke Cage, and with various members of the Avengers from his time with that team:

As for long-running series, he appeared in 70 issues of the longrunning Power Man and Iron Fist series from the late 1970s and early 1980s.

#94) Spider-Woman

Bioengineered by her own father, Jessica Drew was raised in an environment of “Evolved animals” and eventually left to be with humanity. At first, she was taken in by the villainous Hydra but eventually became one of the good guys. Curiously enough, she was created by Marvel comics simply as a way to protect the trademark name before some other company created a character with her name. She had her own series in the late 1970s/early 1980s, briefly appeared with Wolverine at the end of the 80s and then pretty much languished into obscurity until she became part of the New Avengers since 2009. Since then, she’s been in a series of Avengers titles, as well as a big part of the Spider-Verse/Spider-Geddon storylines. Lately, she’s become a mother and is settling down with her boyfriend (the ex-villain Porcupine).

She most frequently appeared with fellow web-slinger/Avenger Peter Parker and her teammates from the Avengers:

Her longest appearance in any one series was her initial Spider-Woman series, which lasted for 50 issues between 1978 and 1983.

#93) Beast Boy

Given an experimental medical treatment after contracting a rare African disease, Garfield Logan turned green, gained the ability to shapeshift into animals, watched his parents die, placed into custody of an evil court-appointed guardian briefly found happiness as the junior member of the Doom Patrol team only to find out that they died on a mission that he wasn’t allowed to go on; all before his 16th birthday. He subsequently joined the Teen Titans and has been a core member of that team since the early 1980s. Despite his tragic background, he usually acts as the most carefree member of the team and has even acted as the leader for one version of the team. To young fans, he’s one of the main characters of the Teen Titans Go! cartoon franchise and is portrayed by Ryan Potter in the live action TV series Titans.

The characters that have appeared with him the most are (aside from the standard Batman and Superman entries) are fellow members of the Teen Titans.

As for long-running series, Beast Boy has appeared in over 50 issues in both the late-1980s/early-1990s New Titans Vol 1 series and the comedic Teen Titans Go series from the mid-2000s.

#92) Joker

Batman’s greatest nemesis, the Crown Prince of Crime, ranks as the 92nd most important Comic Book character. He was modeled on a Conrad Veidt character from a 1928 German expressionist silent movie and first appeared in 1940. He’s fought against (or very occasionally with) Batman 948 times. Unlike most supervillains, he doesn’t want money or power, rather he is a true agent of chaos and just wants to watch the world burn. He has been seemingly killed numerous times, but always manages to resurface. He’s been portrayed by a who’s who of actors: Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto and even Mark Hamill (in multiple animated episodes). The one thing you can count on is that as long as there’s a Batman, there will be a Joker around to create trouble.

As Batman’s oldest/most established foe (he appeared in the same issue, but a different story as #98 Catwoman, but she hasn’t always been portrayed as a villain; whereas the Joker always has), it’s no surprise to see the “Bat-Family” and other “Bat-Villains” topping the list of characters he has appeared the most with:

As for his long-running series, he appeared in 139 issues of Batman Volume 1 between 1940 and the series end/renumbering in 2010 and in 80 issues of Detective Comis between 1940 and 2018.

#91) The Atom – Ray Palmer

Ray Palmer was a New England physicist/college professor who found how to shrink himself down to a miniature (and later microscopic and then sub-microscopic size). After a series of solo-adventures in the early 1960s, he went on to become a mainstay of the original incarnation of the Justice League of America. In the mid-1980s, with his marriage to Jean Loring falling apart, he relocated himself to the jungles of South America and became a hero to a group of 6-inch tall humanoids and becomes a sword-wielding hero. Once loggers destroyed the society he was protecting, he came back to America and does a little bit of work for the Suicide Squad. During the Zero Hour crisis, he is reverted to a teenage state and becomes a leader of a new version of the Teen Titans. He then regains his original age rejoins the Justice League before giving up the heroic life and serving as a mentor to Ryan Choi, who assumed the identity of the Atom. In the rebuilt DC “Prime” Universe, his identity as the crime-fighting Atom was reestablished, but since then, he has once again given the Atom identity to Ryan. A (very altered) version of Ray Palmer is portrayed by Brandon Routh in CW’s Arrowverse.

He most frequently appears with other members of the Justice League, which he joined in 1962

The Justice League is also the only series where Ray Palmer’s Atom has appeared in more that 50 issues. He saw action in 156 issues between 1962 and 1985.

Written by David Curewitz

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