Here you’ll find the various heroes and villains of MARVEL Comics; their stories, and links to the comic books and movies we’ve covered on New to Comics:
— Captain America — The Fantastic Four — Hulk — Spider-Man (Parker) — Thor — Iron Man — Doctor Strange — The Avengers — The X-Men — Daredevil — Black Widow — Hawkeye — Black Panther — Captain Marvel — Falcon — Blade — Wolverine — Ant-Man — Deadpool — The Guardians of the Galaxy — Spider-Man (Morales) —
Real Name: Steven Grant Rogers
Affiliation: The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D.
First Appearance: Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941)
As it became obvious America was destined to join the war that had consumed the world in the late 1930s, Steve Rogers became determined to do his part for the war effort. Continuously rejected due to his sickly stature, Steve was eventually found by Dr Abraham Erskine, and enlisted into the army under ‘Project: Rebirth’. Injected with a serum of Erskine’s own design, Steve was transformed into a super-soldier; his body and mind enhanced to the peak of human potential. But tragedy struck, as Erskine was assassinated, leaving Steve the first and only in the proposed wave of super-soldiers. Fighting on the front lines as Captain America alongside his sidekick Bucky Barnes, Steve was eventually lost at sea, and frozen for several decades. Eventually awakening in the modern era, Captain America returned to the spotlight as a symbol of hope and American power; his new mission – to protect both America and the world, from any and all threats as the leader of the Mighty Avengers!
Comics: AVENGERS: Avengers World, The Last White Event, Infinity, Adapt or Die!, Infinite Avengers, Time Runs Out, CAPTAIN AMERICA: Not My Captain America, CIVIL WAR, DAREDEVIL: Born Again, INFINITY GAUNTLET, NEW AVENGERS: Everything Dies, SPIDER-MAN: Straight Out of Brooklyn, THE ULTIMATES: Super-Human
Film & TV: The First Avenger, Avengers Assemble, The Winter Soldier, Civil War, Infinity War, Endgame.
Founding Members: Mr Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch & the Thing
Base of Operations: New York City, USA
First Appearance: The Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961)
Determined to explore the unknown, scientist Reed Richards took his girlfriend Susan Storm, his best friend Ben Grimm and Sue’s kid brother Johnny Storm on a trip in his experimental shuttle to explore the stars! However, on their maiden voyage, the group was struck with cosmic rays and plummeted to Earth forever changed. Reed’s body gained incredible elasticity, Susan could cast force-fields and turn invisible, Johnny could throw fire and set himself aflame, while Ben was transformed into a rock-hided, monstrous ‘Thing’. Though Ben’s new form initially created some animosity amongst the old friends, the four decided to band together as the Fantastic Four; the ‘first family’ of superheroes. While the team would devote themselves to saving lives from the likes of Reed’s rival Doctor Doom and alien threats such as the Skrulls, they also strive to explore the wonders of the universe, paving the way for a better tomorrow through their scientific discoveries. In time, Reed and Susan would marry and have children, making the Fantastic Four the beginning of the most fantastical family around!
Real Name: Robert Bruce Banner
Affiliation: The Avengers, The Defenders
First Appearance: Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962)
Dr Robert Bruce Banner was one of the world’s foremost experts on nuclear physics, and his vast knowledge and prowess in his field taking him into the employ of the United States military, in the hopes he would gain funding for his other, more humanitarian projects, in turn. There, Banner was stationed under Airforce General Thaddeus ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross, who had him work on an experimental Gamma Bomb. During this time, Bruce met and fell in love with Ross’ daughter, Betty Ross, starting a relationship that would endure despite Bruce’s dark future. When the day came about to test his new bomb, Banner was horrified to see a young man, Rick Jones, had broken onto the testing grounds. Sacrificing himself to save Rick, Banner rushed onto the grounds and pushed Rick into cover, but was caught in the explosion. His cells irradiated by the Gamma radiation, Bruce was cursed with a monstrous, dim-witted alter-ego with God-like strength; becoming an anti-hero of sorts, ‘the strongest one there is’… the ‘Incredible’ Hulk!
Comics: AVENGERS: Avengers World, The Last White Event, Infinity, Adapt or Die!, Time Runs Out, INFINITY GAUNTLET, NEW AVENGERS: A Perfect World, THE ULTIMATES: Super-Human
Film & TV: The Incredible Hulk, Avengers Assemble, Ragnarok, Infinity War, Endgame
Real Name: Peter Benjamin Parker
Affiliation: The Avengers, The Fantastic Four
First Appearance: Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)
A teenage science prodigy bit by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker initially used his powers (strength, speed, agility, wall-crawling and an intuitive ‘spider-sense’) as a showman. However, after he neglected his responsibility to stop a criminal, that same criminal killed his Uncle Ben, teaching Peter that he must always use his powers for the good of others. Juggling adventures with caring for his elderly Aunt May, an on-again, off-again relationship with Mary-Jane Watson and trying to hold down a job, Peter strives to take his bad luck in stride to become one of the most prolific heroes in New York, using his years of experience, self-made gadgets and spectacular abilities as the amazing Spider-Man! Although a horde of villains and hard times plague him at every turn, Peter refuses to give up his web-swinging ways, in the hopes that he can honour his Uncle and live up to the mantra that “With great power, there must also come great responsibility”.
Comics: AVENGERS: Avengers World, Time Runs Out, CIVIL WAR, INFINITY GAUNTLET, SECRET WARS, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN: Power & Responsibility
Film & TV: Civil War, Homecoming, Infinity War, Into the Spider-Verse, Endgame, Far From Home
Real Name: Thor Odinson
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Journey Into Mystery #83 (August 1962)
Before Captain America, Spider-Man, or the Fantastic Four – the world had a different type of hero, the mighty Thor! Son of the almighty All-Father Odin and sworn enemy of his own half-brother, Loki, Thor – the Norse ‘God of Thunder’ – hailed from the Golden City of Asgard, and would often come to Earth seeking adventure and glorious combat. But when his arrogance proved too much, Thor was stripped of his power and his enchanted Uru hammer Mjölnir and cast down to Earth under the mortal guise of the handicapped doctor, Donald Blake. There, he was forced to learn humility, which he did with the help of his love Jane Foster, and in turn, reclaimed his Godhood and thunder-casting weapon, becoming one of the greatest and most powerful heroes in the universe.
Comics: THOR: Reborn, AVENGERS: Avengers World, The Last White Event, Infinity, Adapt or Die!, Infinite Avengers, Time Runs Out, INFINITY GAUNTLET, THE ULTIMATES: Super-Human
Film & TV: Thor, Avengers Assemble, The Dark World, Ragnarok, Infinity War, Endgame
Real Name: Anthony Edward Stark
Affiliation: The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D.
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963)
Genius. Billionaire. Playboy. Philanthropist. Former weapons designer Tony Stark often found himself at the centre of all heated conflicts across the globe, providing munitions to the military and more covert organisations like S.H.I.E.L.D., alike. But when that heat proved too extreme, and Stark was mortally wounded and kidnapped by terrorists, he teamed with fellow captive Dr Ho Yinsen and used his genius to build himself a suit of armour that would keep him alive, and allow him to escape captivity. Returning to the western world a changed man, Tony Stark, aided by his butler Jarvis, his assistant Pepper Potts and his chauffeur Happy Hogan, started continually upgrading his armour, forgoing his former bloody path as an arms dealer, instead hoping to make the world a better place as the invincible Iron Man.
Comics: IRON MAN: Extremis, AVENGERS: Avengers World, The Last White Event, Infinity, Adapt or Die!, Infinite Avengers, Time Runs Out, CIVIL WAR, NEW AVENGERS: Everything Dies, Other Worlds, A Perfect World, THE ULTIMATES: Super-Human
Film & TV: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Avengers Assemble, Civil War, Homecoming, Infinity War, Endgame.
Real Name: Stephen Vincent Strange
Affiliation: The Defenders, The Avengers
First Appearance: Strange Tales #110 (July 1963)
Once one of the most preeminent surgeons on the planet, Doctor Stephen Strange lived a life of luxury; one afforded to him by cherry-picking only the richest clients to bestow his healing talents upon. However, his life was forever changed when the egotistical doctor was caught in a devastating car crash that completely ruined his hands. Now unable to perform surgery, Strange began desperately searching for a way to restore himself to his former glory, and his search leads him to a great mystic called the Ancient One. This Sorcerer Supreme refuses to heal Strange’s hands but does offer to teach him the mystic arts instead. Strange reluctantly accepts after learning the Ancient One’s other pupil, Baron Mordo, plans to kill his master and curses Strange not to reveal his treachery. Driven by this surprisingly altruistic desire to stop Mordo, Strange grows to become one of the wisest and most powerful sorcerers on the planet. Returning to the United States, Strange took up residence in his Sanctum Sanctorum in Greenwich Village, where, along with his loyal friend and personal assistant Wong, he protects reality from the insanity of monsters and demons such as Dormammu, Nightmare and Shuma-Gorath.
Founding Members: Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, Wasp & the Hulk
Base of Operations: New York City, USA First Appearance: The Avengers #1 (September 1963)
In a ploy to defeat his brother, the trickster God Loki hoped to pit Thor against the rampaging behemoth known as the Hulk. However, the two heroes, assisted by Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp, instead banded together to defeat Loki and in doing so, formed the Avengers. Funded by the billionaire alter-ego of Iron Man, Tony Stark, and based out of his New York City mansion, the Avengers are ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ and the world’s premiere super-team. With close ties to the likes of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Fantastic Four, and the majority of the Earth’s heroes, the Avengers have time and again stood up to threats that are terrestrial (such as Ultron), extraterrestrial (such as Thanos), and even foes from out of time (Kang the Conqueror). Their unity was cemented after the recovery of the long lost World War II super-soldier Captain America, but the Captain would be only the first in a long line of superheroes to join the team, with their roster ever-growing and always prepared to defend the Earth when the call is put out – “Avengers, Assemble!”
Comics: AVENGERS: Avengers World, The Last White Event, Infinity, Adapt or Die!, Infinite Avengers, Time Runs Out, CIVIL WAR, INFINITY GAUNTLET, THE ULTIMATES: Super-Human
Film & TV: Avengers Assemble, Civil War, Infinity War, Endgame.
Founding Members: Professor X, Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Iceman & Angel
Base of Operations: The Island Nation of Krakoa
First Appearance: The X-Men #1 (September 1963)
Born with extraordinary powers that make them hated and feared by the general public, mutants are the next stage in human evolution. In the hopes of fostering peace between Mutant-kind and their lesser evolved cousins, Professor Charles Xavier founded Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters, where he could protect the younger members of his species, train them to use their powers, and send them out to conduct peace-keeping missions as his taskforce of X-Men. Although initially his school only harboured five students, future-leader Cyclops, telepath Jean Grey, furry scientist Beast, winged Angel and ice-controlling Iceman, in time it would grow to be home to hundreds of new mutants. With heroes like the weather-controlling Storm and clawed killer Wolverine amongst them, they in-turn would bulk up the ranks of the X-Men, transforming them from a bunch of school children to a sovereign nation. However, while Xavier has often envisioned a world where humans and mutants can live in harmony, others, like his old friend, the metal-controlling Magneto, do not share his optimism, and thus the X-Men must often protect humanity from their own kind. However, whenever a threat arises that threatens all mutant-kind, they will not hesitate to enlist those they once fought against in the name of the greater good.
Real Name: Matthew Michael Murdock
Affiliation: The Defenders
First Appearance: Daredevil #1 (April 1964)
Even in the early years, Matt Murdock was on the path to becoming an upstanding member of society. His father, Jonathan Murdock – a boxer – was adamant that Matt wouldn’t follow in his footsteps, and pushed him towards a better job, forcing Matthew to study as hard as he could so he could transcend their lowly lifestyle. However, after saving a blind man from a careening truck full of radioactive waste, Matt himself was blinded will his other senses grew exponentially. This was the start of a long list of tragedies in Matt’s life, as his father was later murdered for refusing to throw a fight. Now alone, Matt strove to commemorate Jonathan by becoming a lawyer, while also honing his fighting skills under the tutelage of another blind warrior named Stick. Becoming the masked vigilante known as Daredevil, Matt would fight for justice in the courts by day, while avenging those who the system failed at night.
Comics: DAREDEVIL: Born Again
Film & TV: N/A
Real Name: Natalia Alianovna Romanova
Affiliation: The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D.
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #52 (April 1964)
In the early 1900s, the young Natasha Romanoff was taken to a covert operation called the ‘Red Room’. Here, the young girl would spend her childhood being brainwashed by the KGB, and trained to become a merciless killer by Russian operatives like the Winter Soldier. In this ‘Red Room’, Natasha had her biology enhanced, making her stronger and faster than the average human, while also extending her lifespan. Graduating from the ‘Red Room’ as one of their top agents, Natasha joined the KGB and was later assigned to infiltrate and bring down Stark Industries, which of course led her to clash with the American superhero Iron Man. Black Widow’s continued clashes with Iron Man would lead her to team up with a partner in crime; an archer named Hawkeye – whose love would lead her to fight off her brainwashing, and defect to the U.S.A. There, she was hired by Nick Fury as an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., forging romantic entanglements with heroes such as Iron Man and Daredevil, as well as long-lasting friendships with heroes such as Captain America and Wolverine. However, for all her good intentions, her dark past his never far behind.
Comics: BLACK WIDOW: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Most Wanted, AVENGERS: Avengers World, The Last White Event, Infinity, Infinite Avengers, Time Runs Out
Film & TV: Iron Man 2, Avengers Assemble, Winter Soldier, Civil War, Infinity War, Endgame.
Real Name: Clinton Francis Barton
Affiliation: The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D.
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense #57 (September 1964)
After the death of their parents, Clint Barton and his brother Barney Barton ran away from their new foster home to experience a happier life by joining a travelling circus. There, Clint apprenticed under two ‘acts’ known as the Swordsman and Trick Shot. After discovering both men to be criminals, Clint also fell into a life of crime as Trick Shot’s brief partner, and later became the new partner of Black Widow. After clashing with Iron Man numerous times, Clint hoped to turn over a new leaf, and defected to the Avengers, confessing his crimes and asking for redemption. Armed with numerous trick arrows, unmatched skill in archery and a rebellious and determined nature, Clint became the stalwart Avenger Hawkeye. In later years, he would form strong bonds with his teammates, experience a doomed marriage to Mockingbird, and become a mentor figure to the younger Hawkeye, Kate Bishop.
Real Name: T’Challa
Affiliation: The Avengers, The Fantastic Four
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966)
Hidden away in Africa lies the isolationist nation of Wakanda. Kissed by a meteor filled with Vibranium, Wakanda became the only source for the valuable, durable metal, and used this gift to become one of the most technologically advanced nations on Earth. At their head sits their King, the Black Panther, and after the murder of the reigning King T’Chaka by the outsider Ulysses Klaw, that mantle was passed down to his son and heir, T’Challa. Having consumed the heart-shaped herb, T’Challa is forever linked to the Panther Goddess Bast who grants him a superhuman physique. Now, as the Black Panther, T’Challa is usually prepared for any threat. His resources vast and his Kingdom nigh-impenetrable, T’Challa has always harboured a strong distrust for those from the outside world, but after a chance encounter with the Fantastic Four, the Black Panther has made efforts to open both himself and his nation up to the world, revealing their hidden glory and becoming one of the most popular superheroes on the planet.
Real Name: Carol Susan Jane Danvers
Affiliation: The Avengers, Alpha Flight
First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (March 1968)
A headstrong go-getter from a young age, Carol Danvers always dreamed of flying among the stars. Her drive compelled her to advance quickly, and despite the men around her putting her down, she went on to become a successful Air Force pilot, before transferring to work in Intelligence. After she accepted a promotion to Head of Security at NASA she became deeply immersed in the adventures of the alien Kree hero Captain Mar-Vell. During one of Mar-Vell’s battles with his nemesis Yon-Rogg, Carol was caught in the blast of an exploding ‘Kree Wishing Machine’ called the Psyche-Magnatron, which imbued her with explosive energy manipulating powers. With these new powers, she became Ms Marvel, a powerhouse hero whose refusal to ever back down has taken her down a rough path that has brought her into conflict her fellow superheroes (such as Iron Man in the second Superhuman ‘Civil War’, and the X-Men), alcoholism and identity crises. But after becoming the new Captain Marvel, she takes it all in stride as she hopes to prove herself as ‘Earth’s Mightiest Hero’.
Real Name: Samuel Thomas Wilson
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Captain America #117 (September 1969)
One of the first modern-day African-American superheroes, Samuel Wilson‘s life was forever changed when he crash-landed on a remote island in the Caribbean. Unbeknownst to him, this was the location of Captain America and the Red Skull‘s latest battle, and the Skull used his Cosmic Cube to manipulate Sam into doing his bidding. Giving him the power to communicate with birds such as his pet falcon Redwing, the Skull pitted Wilson against Captain America, who managed to free him from his brainwashing. Together, the pair defeated the Skull and returned to the United States, where Sam became Cap’s new partner, utilising a flight suit created by the Black Panther to become the high-flying Falcon! A trusted member of the Avengers and dedicated social worker, Sam has worked to better the world in any way he can, including, for a time, taking on the mantle of Captain America while Steve Rogers was depowered.
Comics: CAPTAIN AMERICA: Not My Captain America, AVENGERS: Avengers World, The Last White Event, Infinity, Adapt or Die!, Time Runs Out, CIVIL WAR
Film & TV: The Winter Soldier, Civil War, Infinity War, Endgame
Real Name: Eric Brooks
Affiliation: MI-13, The Avengers
First Appearance: Tomb of Dracula #10 (July 1973)
Born in 1929 London during a tumultuous birth, Eric Brooks’ destiny was forcibly changed when his mother was bitten by a vampire named Deacon Frost during his delivery. This resulted in Brooks becoming half-vampire; gaining all of the dark creatures strengths, yet possessing none of their weaknesses, bar a hunger for blood. Overcome with hatred for the creatures who stole his mother from him, Brooks began training to become a vampire-hunter, tutored by a man named Jamal Afari. Eventually, Brooks departed from London and began hunting vampires across the globe, before eventually settling in the United States. Armed to the teeth with swords, stakes, guns and various other weapons, Brooks became infamous amongst the monster community for his brutal efficiency. Over the years, Blade has left few adversaries alive but does have some recurring foes in the form of Morbius and the lord of vampires himself, Dracula. One of the most experienced specialists on the planet, whenever vampires threaten the human world, heroes know there’s only one man to call: the daywalker, Blade.
Film & TV: N/A
Real Name: James Howlett
Affiliation: The X-Men, The Avengers
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk #181 (November 1974)
Heir to the wealthy Jonathan and Elizabeth Howlett, James was born in Canada in the 1880s to a life of luxury. After allegations of an affair between Elizabeth and the groundskeeper Thomas, James’ manifested the mutant abilities of a healing factor, heightened senses, animalistic tendencies and retractable bone claws which he used to kill his true father. Fleeing into the night, James took on the name ‘Logan’ and began using his new skills and instincts in many roles – soldier, mercenary, criminal, spy and samurai – over the next century. Eventually, he was abducted by the Weapon X Project, who bonded the unbreakable metal adamantium to his bones, and wiped his memory, turning him into the perfect killing machine. In time, Logan would escape and try and form a new life, finding a heroic path as a member of the X-Men, and even regaining his lost memories. However, with such a long, blood-soaked life behind him, the Wolverine is never short on enemies, such as his merciless animalistic rival Sabretooth.
Real Name: Scott Edward Harris Lang
Affiliation: The Avengers, The Fantastic Four
First Appearance: Avengers #181 (March 1979)
A perpetual screw-up, ex-convict Scott Lang was thrust into a whole new world after being employed by Tony Stark. Working at the Avengers Mansion, Scott was able to gain access to some very high profile technology, and after his daughter fell sick, he used his former thieving skills to ‘borrow’ Hank Pym’s superhero gear. However, this supposed customed criminal had altruistic intentions and used his new shrinking powers to save a kidnapped doctor who could help his daughter recover. Having been aware of the whole ordeal, Pym allowed Scott to keep the suit, and continue adventuring as the new Ant-Man. A very capable man, Scott’s superhero career has seen him become a prominent member of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. His daughter, Cassie has followed in his footsteps, becoming a teen hero all her own. However, his predisposition to make the wrong choice means Scott is often in rather questionable positions and in need of (another) second chance.
Real Name: Wade Winston Wilson
First Appearance: New Mutants #98 (February 1991)
Great at killing, but terrible at following orders, Wade Wilson was regarded as a continual failure. First expelled from the army, then booted from a mercenary group, Wade eventually tried to seek out a better life, falling in love with a young mutant girl called Vanessa and hoping to start afresh. Instead, Wade discovered he had cancer but was offered an experimental treatment in exchange for his services. In a facility associated with the Weapon X Project, Wilson was experimented on, and given the healing factor of Wolverine. Despite being seemingly unkillable, Wade was left heavily scarred and in continuous pain due to the fact his tumours had also gained the ability to rapidly heal. Seemingly driven mad by the whole ordeal, Wade adopted a carefree attitude, falling in love with the embodiment of Death, realising he was a comic book character and dealing out hits while doling out incessant, foul-mouthed banter as Deadpool, the ‘Merc with a Mouth’.
Founding Members: Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Adam Warlock, Quasar
Base of Operations: Knowhere Space-Station
First Appearance: Annihilation: Conquest #6 (April 2008)
In the wake of a universe-wide attack by the cosmic despot known as Annihilus, former Avengers foe and the robotic creation of Hank Pym, Ultron, stepped up to make his move. With the universe in chaos and the intergalactic police force known as the Nova Corp destroyed, the safety of the Galaxy was left in the hands of a band of criminals, led by the washed-up space-faring hero Peter Quill, better known as Star-Lord. He and his team of criminals managed to prevail against the robotic would-be conqueror, and in the wake of his attempted takeover, Quill decided to round up a band of ‘heroes’ to make sure a similar fate could never befall the galaxy again. But instead of heroes, Quill found himself united with the daughter of Thanos and deadliest woman in the Galaxy, Gamora, the brutish ‘destroyer’ Drax, trigger-happy mercenary Rocket Raccoon, a sapling of the monstrous Groot, the enigmatic spell-caster Adam Warlock, and the reluctant ‘protector of the Universe’ and daughter of the original Captain Marvel, Quasar. Though their number would change as the years went by, this crew of scoundrels time and again find themselves at the centre of intergalactic disasters, struggling to hold back the tide – at least, when they’re not up to no good.
Real Name: Miles Gonzalo Morales
Affiliation: The Champions, The Avengers
First Appearance: Ultimate Comics Fallout #4 (October 2011)
In another universe, teenager Miles Morales was bitten by a genetically engineered spider accidentally stolen from Norman Osborn by his cat-burglar uncle Aaron Davis a.k.a. The Prowler. Undergoing strange changes, Miles conferred with his best friend Ganke Lee, and the two concluded he had gained, with the addition of invisibility and an energy blast, powers similar to Spider-Man! However, shunning heroics, Miles instead decided to keep his powers secret and was wracked with guilt after witnessing the death of the original Spider-Man, Peter Parker. Deciding the continue Parker’s legacy, Miles became the all-new ‘Ultimate’ Spider-Man, protecting New York and the World as the new web-slinger. However, through the machinations of Mysterio, Miles came to meet another Peter Parker, of Earth-616, and later, during a reality breaking crisis, found his friends and family transported to this Peter Parker’s reconstructed world after his own universe was destroyed. Now, in a world full of superheroes, Miles fights the good fight alongside the adult Spider-Man and a growing number of teen Champions.
NAMOR, THE SUB-MARINER
Real Name: Namor McKenzie
Affiliation: The Defenders, The X-Men
First Appearance: Marvel Comics #1 (October 1939)
One of the first modern-day superheroes, Namor was the son of lost American explorer Leonard McKenzie and the Atlantean Princess Fen, born in 1915. After his father was cast out of Atlantis, Namor was raised in the lost underwater city as the future prince and grew weary of the surface-dwellers. Some decades later, Namor’s wariness drew him to the surface when Nazis threatened the safety of Atlantis, forcing him to join forces with other heroes such as Captain America, Bucky and the original Human Torch to form the Invaders and help win World War II. However, Namor’s time on the surface was tumultuous, and after the war, he became a derelict amnesiac, squatting in New York until he was discovered by the new Human Torch of the Fantastic Four, and returned to the water, restoring him to his true self. Blessed with a mixture of Atlantean physiology and mutant powers that allowed him to live underwater, fly and demonstrate superhuman strength, Namor has since been both an ally to the surface world, as well as an enemy; stepping in whenever the Earth is in danger, but otherwise spending his time protecting his homeland against any and all who may threaten it.
Real Name: Wilson Grant Fisk
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1967)
Starting out in life as a poor, obese child, Wilson Fisk was always destined for a life of crime. Teaching himself to fight and building muscle mass on top of his already sizeable physique to fight back against his bullies, Fisk soon found himself in a job as a bodyguard. From there, he was employed by the crime-lord Don Rigoletto and used his cunning and incredible strength to rise through the ranks. Through his criminal enterprises, Fisk developed a sizeable wealth, which he put into legitimate businesses, allowing him to have a public persona alongside his secret dealings as the up-and-coming Kingpin of Crime. With his wife Vanessa Mariana at his side, Kingpin slowly took over all of New York, dominating the underworld and the public sector alike. His crimes would bring him into conflict with superheroes such as Spider-Man and Daredevil, but due to his many connections, any charges levelled against him rarely stick.
Real Name: Thanos
Affiliation: The Black Order
First Appearance: The Invincible Iron Man #55 (February 1973)
Born into the Eternals, Thanos was one of a race of Godlike beings that hailed from Titan, one of the moons of Saturn. However, unlike his godlike seeming brethren, Thanos was born with a deviant gene, giving him a look so monstrous that his own mother was driven insane at the sight of him. Alienated from his people, Thanos gave himself to the pursuit of knowledge and power, sharing his findings and psychopathic tendencies only with a mysterious young girl he had befriended. In time, Thanos would learn that that girl was the embodiment of Death, and became enamoured with Death’s personification, devoting his extreme acts of violence to her, in the hopes that one day she would return his affections. Destroying the society from whence he came, Thanos has since set out into the stars in pursuit of artefacts like the Infinity Gauntlet and the Cosmic Cube, enacting slaughter on a universal scale all to please his one true love. Now known as the Mad Titan, Thanos is feared by every being in the cosmos that know his name and is considered one of the most dangerous beings in existence.
Real Name: Edward Charles Allan Brock
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #299 (April 1988)
After being transported into space to fight for the Beyonder‘s amusement on the far off Battleworld, Spider-Man returned to Earth adorned in a new, sleek black alien costume. However, after discovering the costume’s intent to bond with him, Spider-Man tore it off. Vengeful, this symbiote found a new host in the form of disgruntled reporter Eddie Brock, who also had a festering hatred of both Spider-Man and his alter-ego, rival photographer Peter Parker. Now gifted with all the symbiotes abilities, as well as the knowledge and powers it had adapted from Spider-Man, Eddie became a monstrous slathering man-beast out for revenge. Despite being stronger and more dangerous than Spider-Man, Eddie could never find a way to defeat him, and eventually gave up their quest for vengeance in favour of using his powers for good. In time, the symbiote passed on to various other hosts but in the end, it always returns to Eddie Brock, and together, they are Venom.
Film & TV: Venom