If there is one thing of which the world has in abundance, it is superheroes and villains. Many of us have grown up loving Marvel and DC comics, yet not enough of us are familiar with more than 10 or 15 of their main characters. However, there are many fans who have managed to fill their brains with an extensive amount of characters. Even they have trouble memorizing every single last one.
Marvel was started in 1939, and has since then released thousands of heroes and villains. Funny enough, even they are unsure about the exact amount of characters their library holds. When it comes to DC Comics, which was invented in 1934, they have estimated their count to be up to 15,000 characters. So all in all, it is basically impossible to put a number to the copious amounts of fictional characters these two companies hold.
In the end, it all comes down to a popularity contest, and it has been proven that some heroes and villains receive more play than others. The Marvel and DC world is like a high school of characters in which only some get to sit at the “cool” table. Whether you enjoy watching superhero movies or not, it is extremely rare for someone to be able to name over 20 heroes off the top of their heads and, 9 times out of 1o, they will start by naming cliche heroes like Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Thor, Daredevil, The Hulk and the list goes on. So if you consider yourself a true comic fan, take a look at this list and see how many characters you can recognize.
When a villain called Ultron decided to create a synthetic humanoid named the Vision, he had planned to use him as a weapon against The Avengers. Unfortunately for him, things did not go as planned despite his manny efforts. When Ultron was nearly finished building his humanoid, he implanted a control crystal into his brain to make sure he could control his actions. After being sent off to lure The Avengers into a deathtrap, Vision quickly learned that he would be defeated and therefore betrayed his programming in order to change sides and help The Avengers destroy his creator.
He eventually took on the alias Victor Shade, and he faithfully served The Avengers for a number of years. Sadly, the Vision has been known to switch from good to evil due to Ultron’s everlasting influence. The Vision has the ability to manipulate his own density and size, and he can also emanate a great amount of radiation from his forehead.
14. Moon Knight
Moon Knight is a Marvel superhero who has often dabbled in different types of businesses. Formally known as Marc Spector, this character started off his training as a U.S. marine, and then became a CIA operative. Marc’s brother, Randall, soon joined him at the CIA but later betrayed the agency by selling weapons to both sides of the war. One day, Marc’s lover Lisa overheard Randall talking about his plans and so he murdered her in cold blood to cover up his tracks. Marc eventually found his brother and beat him into insanity. After many more betrayals, Marc left the CIA and found work as a hired gun.
Marc eventually became known as Moon Knight and fought alongside the Secret Avengers, the Defenders, and his longtime best-friend Frenchie. Moon Knight is a skilled boxer, martial artist, acrobat and gymnast, but he gains super strength, endurance and reflexes at night. His powers are at their prime when there is a full moon, and he also tends to get visions.
When Gambit was born, he was immediately abandoned because of his glowing red eyes. One night, baby Gambit was kidnapped by members of the New Orleans Thieves Guild because they believed that he was the prophesied child “le diable blanc,” which translated to “the white devil.” Gambit was raised as a thief, but was one day adopted by a man named Jean-Luc LeBeau, after attempting to pick-pocket him. Gambit was then given the name of Remy LeBeau, but was later banished from New Orleans as punishment for killing his betrothed’s brother.
Gambit eventually chose cards as his go-to weapon and went through a series of life-changing events before finding his way in the X-Men mansion, where he was eventually kicked out of. Gambit is a mutant with the ability to tap into energy, project it onto an item, and transform it into kinetic energy. He can also shield his mind from telepaths and majorly influence people’s decisions.
Phoebus Apollo is a superhero that is well known for being the son that Zeus never intended to make. Born alongside his twin Artemis, he was cast aside as an infant child because of his father’s wife’s, Hera’s, jealousy. Hera banished Apollo’s mother Leto from giving birth on Mount Olympus and sent them to live on Earth. From a young age, Apollo and his twin trained to become archers and they battled many demonic creatures together. Some of which were sent by Hera to kill their mother.
Apollo has been known to go by many different names, and so you might know him as Paul Belvedere, Renee Andre, or even Marvin Klee which he has impersonated. Apollo has fought alongside the Olympians, and has saved many people by using his skills and powers. Apollo has superhuman strength, speed, fast healing, energy manipulation, and because of his Greek God routes, he is also immortal.
Namor Mckenzie is the first homo sapien/homo mermanus in the Marvel universe. His father was a mortal who had the misfortune of falling in love with a blue-skinned princess named Fen from Atlantis. Namor’s father was eventually killed by Fen’s people, but not before they could consummate their marriage. Nine months later, a little prince named Namor was born. Namor grew up hating the human race because they threatened to discover and destroy Atlantis. However, he eventually teamed up with Captain America to save his hometown, which proved to be unsuccessful.
After the destruction of Atlantis, Namor wandered around New York City before he was eventually discovered. Since then, he has fought alongside the X-Men, the Defenders, the Avengers, and the Invaders. Namor has superhuman strength, stamina, durability, speed and reflexes. Due to his Atlantean heritage, Namor is most powerful when surrounded by water and possesses the ability to telepathically communicate with aquatic life.
10. Martian Manhunter
When hearing the name Martian Manhunter, some would be surprised to find out that this character is in fact a superhero and not a villain. Also known as John Jones, this character came to planet Earth by means of an accident caused by scientist Saul Erdel. Martian Manhunter was nearly driven mad after losing his wife and daughter in a Martian holocaust that rendered him the last surviving member of his species.
Martian Manhunter was adopted into Earth’s society, and has since then gained love and respect for his new home. In attempt to blend in with the Earthlings, Martian Manhunter has taken up post as a strict police officer, happily bringing forth justice upon the world. Martian Manhunter has been a member of the Justice League of America and has used his many epic powers to fight off evil. This superhero has super strength, speed, flight, shapeshifting abilities, intangibility and telepathy.
9. Shanna The She-Devil
Shanna The She-Devil is not a name that many people have heard, yet she is a superhero who has fought alongside Spider-Man, Wolverine, Daredevil and Black Widow in many epic battles. Shanna was born in the Republic of Congo to a wealthy diamond miner. When she was 6-years-old, she witnessed her father accidentally shoot her mother, and has since then hated all firearms and technologies. After the murder, she moved to New York City where she went to school to become a veterinarian and eventually started working at the New York Central Park Zoo. When her favourite leopard died, Shanna quit and took its two baby cubs back to Africa.
Although Shanna The She-Devil does not have any supernatural powers, she does have a range of impressive abilities. She is an olympic-class athlete with an immense amount of agility. She has hunting, foraging, healing, and fighting skills. She also has the skill to work with wild animals. Shanna The She-Devil is the protector of the Savage Lands and she fights to keep it free from technology pollution and firearms.
Nova was not born with any abilities, instead he received them in a rather random way. Before he became Nova, this superhero was merely a teenage boy named Richard Rider. One day, Rider was chosen by the dying Xandarian Rohmann Day to become the new host of his Nova Corps powers. Rider quickly transformed into his superhero role and battled many foes. Nova and several others were eventually kidnapped and brought to planet Xandar, where they were meant to help save the planet from the Galadorian Spaceknight. Nova soon became homesick and traded in his powers for the next spaceship back to Earth.
Later on, Rider regained his powers when he was thrown off a roof top, which caused adrenaline to reawaken his powers in order to save himself from an untimely death. Nova has fought alongside the Secret Avengers, United Front, New Warriors and Secret Defenders. He has the power of flight, super strength, speed, and durability.
Hawkman is not the easiest superhero to describe because of his extremely complex origins. This character has been known to have over seven different versions of himself, so it can be difficult to describe him. Hawkman is a winged superhero who has a love for justice and crime fighting. Also known as Carter Hall, this vigilante studied to be an archaeologist and has worked as a museum curator. Hawkman is the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian prince named Khufu and fights evil while using magic weaponry. Hawkman has been involved in on-and-off relationships with fellow superhero Hawkgirl. So, yeah, it’s complicated.
Hawkman has a string of many powers and abilities, however his ability to fly with the use of his large wings is where his superhero name originates. On top of that, Hawkman has super strength, sight, hearing, and agility. He is also a weapon master who can create large amounts of wind bursts.
Before Damage became a superhero he was your everyday average teenage boy. Born with the name Grant Emerson, this character has been remembered for his incredible explosive powers. Emerson discovered that he had abilities during the Zero Hour crisis, and it was his powers that sparked life out of a hopeless situation. Although Damage saved his world, he could not control his powers and later ended up blowing up half of downtown Atlanta. He became a fugitive, was banned from his hometown, and was eventually brutally beaten by a villain named Zoom, who disfigured his face and left him for dead.
Damage has fought alongside the Freedom Fighters, Young Justice, Teen Titans, and many more. He can absorb, build up, project and produce biochemical energy and also has superhuman strength, durability and reflexes. Damage also has the ability to surge himself with energy and detonate himself like a bomb. This trait has proven to be dangerous, especially since it ties in with his emotions.
Before Micheal Twoyoungmen became the Shaman, he was a simple and happy man who loved his wife and daughter dearly. One day, his grandfather asked him to take over his magical gifts and become his apprentice but Twoyoungmen refused to believe in magic and declined his offer. Suddenly, his wife became terminally ill and died shortly after, despite Twoyoungmen’s efforts to find a cure. Twoyoungmen left to live a life of solitude because he was unable to keep his promise to his daughter and save her mother. Eventually, Twoyoungmen began to dabble in mystical forces and medicine and transformed himself into the powerful Shaman.
Shaman is an exceptional doctor who has the ability to pull out any physical and mystical objects from his medicine bag. He can beseech the afterlife with his spirit staff and can levitate and manipulate mystical energy. This spiritual doctor has fought alongside the X-Men, however, in those versions he goes by a different name and origin.
4. Black Canary
The Black Canary, aka Dinah Laurel Lance, was born with the need to protect and serve. Her father was a police officer and her mother was actually the first and original Black Canary. At the age of 19, Lance chose to follow in her mother’s footsteps and fight crime. Although her mother did not agree, Lance took her identity and started training alongside a hero named Wildcat. After being deemed fit to fight, Lance became one of the founding members of the Justice League of America and quickly fell in love with Oliver Queen, who is also known as the Green Arrow. After many years of fighting crime, the couple decided to head to Star City and fight crime together.
The Black Canary is known for wearing a black leather leotard accompanied by black fish net stockings. She rides a motorcycle and has also worked with the Birds of Prey, Justice League International, and Team Arrow. She fights off her adversaries with her potent sonic attack, which can shatter metal. She can also mimic sounds and is highly trained in acrobatics, martial arts, and boxing.
3. Multiple Man
Multiple Man is a mutant who has the ability to create duplicates of himself. His real name is Jamie Madrox and although it would take him two decades to learn about his abilities, his parents were aware of them since day one. When Madrox was born, the doctor attempted to slap the life into him, but ended up slapping a duplicate out of him. His parents instantly quit their jobs, moved to a farm in Kansas, and created a special suit that would contain their son’s abilities until he was old enough to learn about them. Unfortunately, Madrox’ parents never got the opportunity to tell him about his powers because they were killed in a freak tornado when he was 15-years-old.
Madrox moved to New York City at the age of 21 and soon learned about his powers after his magical suit started to fail him, exhibiting strange electrical side effects. Multiple Man soon began to clash with the Fantastic Four, and was later took in by Professor Xavier. His suit was soon repaired by the professor and his temporary insanity cured. Despite Professor X’s many attempts to recruit him, Madrox refused, and ended up moving to Muir Island. Multiple Man can create duplicates who feel, act, and think in their own manner, and can even can absorb their thoughts and powers.
2. Blue Beetle
The Blue Beetle has had three different hosts, but today we will focus on the original origin of the blue superhero. Daniel Garret was the first Blue Beetle, and he was born in New York City back in 1916. His father was a police officer and all was right in the world until Garret’s mother caught a flu and died when he was only 4-years-old. Raised by his father, Garret grew up a good-hearted boy and also dreamed of becoming a cop. He attended college despite his father’s wishes and became a boxer. During his senior year, his father was murdered and Garret became the Blue Beetle to seek vengeance.
At first, the Blue Beetle had no powers whatsoever. He simply had a blue chainmail amor as protection. Later on in life, Garret sought the expertise of Dr. Franz and became superhuman thanks to a drug called Vitamin 2x. This pill gave him super strength, dexterity, invulnerability, super healing, and the ability to stay up for days at a time. Although no longer needed, Garret kept his amor and fought crime as the Blue Beetle.
1. Big Bertha
When people see Big Bertha they are often repulsed by her huge size and unappealing attire. However, what many people do no know, is that she was actually considered one of the most beautiful women in the marvel universe. Born in Wisconsin as Ashely Crawford, this superhero quickly learned that she was gifted with a mutant ability. Crawford could distort her body’s adipose tissue and change her size. Crawford eventually became a supermodel and was one of the highest paid and most famous models of her time. Yet, she found that she felt best when stretched out to her maximum weight and height.
Crawford’s normal height is 6’1” and her weight is 120 pounds, but when she uses her mutant powers she can grow up to 7’4” and weigh 750 pounds. She eventually took on the name of Big Bertha and traded in her modeling career for a crime fighting one. Big Bertha has fought alongside the Great Lakes Avengers while using her superhuman strength, durability, and leaping skills.