Marvel has created one of the most iconic and wide-ranging casts of characters to date. From heroes to villains, the company knows what keeps us entertained. Tales of redemption, downfalls, and heroics have held on to our attention for seventy-nine years. This leads us through long complicated storylines that intertwine and unravel over time. This can either go in a good direction where the pieces fall into place or you end up with a jumbled mess that leaves us all scratching our heads. While it must be hard to keep up with decades of plot, with over eight-thousand characters to keep in mind, this is the path Marvel chose.
It's safe to say that Marvel has had their fair share of flubs; for every ridiculous character, there are ten or more great ones. With the likes of The Avengers, how can you argue otherwise? If you're a casual fan that watches the movies you'll probably have very few mishaps to report. For those of us that have gone down the Marvel rabbit hole and dived into their endless supply of comics, we all know a few letdowns. The movies are Marvel's highlight reel of sorts; all the flash with very little downtime.
Marvel's real issue is they have set the bar pretty high for themselves, so when they fail it magnifies the issue. When you create an escape from daily life, people don't want that world messed with. Some of the characters on this list do just that, either by an action or just being their terrible selves.
30 Hurt: The 3-D Man
3-D Man was the result of a test flight gone wrong. Charles Chandler had been abducted by an alien species while working for NASA. Managing to escape, Charles destroyed the alien spacecraft causing an explosion. That explosion lead to his disintegration... or so they thought. The bright flash imprinted his being onto his brother's glasses.
When Hal concentrated, he could make Charles appear but as a 3-D costumed hero. When the figure appeared, both brothers would be conscious inside him, with one controlling the actual body. This is obviously a rushed hero.
29 Saved: War Machine
War Machine became the best example of a side character that made a lasting imprint on the masses. Iron Man's semi-sidekick is one of a few people that he actually listens to through his wall of genius. Creating a much-needed equalizer for his impulsive mind. He's one of the only people to keep up with Stark in a banter match.
War Machine pulls off the subtle balance between being overly critical and giving some sometimes urgent advice that keeps him grounded. Besides, he sports one of the best suits out there.
28 Hurt: Morlun
While Morlun isn't the worst character, he certainly throws a lot of wrenches into the Marvel universe. The supernatural vampire wanders through dimensions searching for his animal totems to consume.
This, of course, includes our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
He also alters the origin story, changing the plot and bringing with it a complicated rule system that interrupts the entire universe. Why couldn't you just leave us in our simple world? This made no sense at all in the comics.
27 Saved: Magneto
Magneto is usually seen as the villain in the films. They finally started to flesh out his character a little in the latest trilogy.
Those who read the comics will know that though he had deep flaws that lead to the wrong conclusions, he also ended up helping the X-Men for a long time.
Eventually, he took over for Charles Xavier in leading the school for a time. Magneto is the man doing all the wrong things for all the right reasons. The protector of the mutants at the expense of humans.
26 Hurt: Typeface
Starting with a fairly good backstory, Typeface turns into one of the strangest and seemingly least effective villains around. After having a loss in his brother who perished in the war, his wife and child leave him shortly after. Dealing from what can only be described as a mental breakdown, he started writing letters on his face.
Slowly graduating to using letters as weapons, he eventually faced Spider-Man... and won.
One of the greatest superheroes of all time was taken down by a mentally unstable man who uses his face as a chalkboard.
25 Saved: Thor
Many of these come as no shock to anybody, but their greatness is undeniable. He came in as the legendary golden boy of The Avengers.
Who's really a match for a god of thunder with a magical hammer?
He'd come in on his high horse and pull of an epic maneuver that everybody loved. The real test was when he lost his hammer and managed to lose an eye, leaving the golden boy a little more bronze. Thor had to move forward with a leader's mindset and refocus on helping his people.
24 Hurt: Frog-Man
You can guess by the name exactly where this is going. Eugene found a frog suit that belonged to his father in the house, his father was the failed villain Leap Frog. Quickly quitting his ill-advised criminal lifestyle, he had stashed the suit in his closet. Eugene found this and decided to turn the suit's luck around and use it for good.
Actually managing to defeat the villain Speed Demon, even if it was by accident, he then let it get to his head a little and tried to join the defenders among other organizations to no luck.
23 Saved: The Punisher
One of the darker characters in the comic universe, The Punisher gives us a heavy dose of how dark and gritty the real world can be. Unlike other Marvel characters where you're taken away from reality, The Punisher grabs ahold and slams you right back down to Earth.
His family being ended by a gang, he has promised to dedicate his life to cleaning out the scum. The main appeal of The Punisher is that he's able to handle his own despite no special gifts or powers; the dozens of guns sure do help though.
22 Hurt: The Trapster
Being the least impressive villain on the list is a hard feat to do, yet here we are. The Trapster was a research villain in New York City that invented a highly adhesive paste, thus making him very rich. As we all know with money tends to follow more greed, and so is the story of our villain.
Turning to a life of crime armed with a large glue gun, he made his living robbing banks. If that's not enough to make you laugh, he actually managed to give some of the superheroes some trouble.
21 Saved: The Hulk
The loss of control and the journey to learning to control it. That's what The Hulk represents. Everyone at some point in their life knows the feeling; you get a little too angry and slam a door or punch a wall.
If so many know the feeling, then a soft spot opens up for a man who destroys everything in his path. What he really has to face is how to protect those closest to him from the beast within. Does he stay and risk all their lives or isolate himself to save the rest? A dark question that haunts our lovable monster.
20 Hurt: Stacy X
So many great powers have come out of the Marvel universe, unfortunately, there are a few duds. She can control other people's pheromones. While this power may be useful in some situations, if you have any kind of long-range power, she's basically useless.
Her shining skill is the ability to attract side characters and manage to pull off the snake look convincingly. While being able to take herself from wicked path to X-Men assistant is inspiring, it's not quite enough to make a good character.
19 Saved: Spider-Man
This one was inevitable. There's not many who wouldn't put him in the top 5, let alone top 15. Easily the most popular superhero to come out of Marvel, everyone loves Spidey. What's not to love? He's the classic bullied kid rising up trope.
Small and meek high-schooler who ends up becoming a superhero, growing up with us along the way. One of the most relatable heroes ever made, nothing particularly special about him and getting thrown into a world of chaos. You can really imagine yourself in the position when the character has close to no idea what's going on.
18 Hurt: Michael Van Patrick (MVP)
Using the same Serum that turned the Cap into the hero he is today, Michael Van Patrick was raised and fed his entire life to become of the greatest athletes the country had ever known. Earning scholarships to many universities, Michael was living the life.
Until it was released that his grandfather was, in fact, the scientist that created the now famous Cap. He was looked down upon and put under the proverbial magnifying glass and lost all his scholarships in the process. This is essentially what would have happened if nothing particularly exciting happened to Cap.
17 Saved: Deadpool
A character that flew way under the radar to all but the hardcore fans for a long time. Deadpool has now become a massive hit with the big screen debut.
The real version of Deadpool is a little darker than the movies portray.
His sorted past being a mercenary has aided in his twisted sense of humor. With his twisted mind also brings a lot of mental health problems that have to be dealt with. Though the movies have all the humor involved, Deadpool is much more than a court jester with a gun.
16 Hurt: Flag-Smasher
The name basically gives it away. Flag-Smasher was the son of a diplomat who had to watch his father trampled in a riot. While that's enough to make anyone question a few things, one of those things usually isn't to put on an odd suit and brandish a mace.
Now, while he does have considerable fighting talent, there's nothing enhanced about Flag-Smasher. He's basically an under budget Batman that isn't a big fan of nationalism. He even took a run at Cap, a huge plot twist seeing as he's basically a walking flag.
15 Saved: Hawkeye
People often mock how a man with a bow and arrow who adds up to an expert huntsman hangs around with superheroes. How can a man with a few loose arrows take down the likes of Ultron or protect himself against The Hulk?
He brings the world back to its beginnings, helping the regular citizen.
While this does seem a little far-fetched, he also acts as a grounding tool for the rest of our heroes who often live in the clouds. Who will stop the bank robbers if all your heroes are fighting an inter-dimensional entity looking to destroy the world?
14 Hurt: Doctor Bong
Being down on his luck from a very young age, his's childhood was not a pretty one. Bullied over and over again, his mother instilled the hair-brained idea that he was a good writer, with no actual proof of this.
Leading him down an ill-advised path as a journalist, where he was questioned for his ethics, writing exaggerated stories and generally making more out of the stories than there actually was. All this culminating in him losing an arm and, for no explainable reason, gaining a massive knowledge of genetics and sonics.
13 Saved: She-Hulk
While he is one of the most popular characters in the Marvel Universe, it's not the best time being The Hulk. The same goes for his female counterpart.
They have the most chaotic power, and so, the most responsibility.
The Hulk might be the most alpha male, aggressive character to grace the comics. We now get the chance to see that power in a female form and she does an awful lot with it. From joining The Avengers to facing a lot of issues that weren't previously brought up in the comics.
12 Hurt: Blue Streak
He's a man with a pair of roller skates. Do I need to say anymore? What makes it even worse is that they don't go that fast. I mean for a pair of skates, they're the Ferrari's but when you put them up against Quicksilver, it's no competition.
What could make him any worse? He's a lying traitor.
He infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. and got caught, so he's not even good at it. The roller skates don't even operate for very long. They run on gas.
11 Saved: Wolverine
Much like Deadpool, Wolverine has a dark past. Unfortunately for him, humor didn't make its way into his psyche. The ever healing character is the face of the X-Men and probably the most famous anti-hero in Marvel.
Instead, we got a brooding fighter with an anger problem.
Wolverine makes for the perfect experiment for Xavier in taking this mess of a man and making him into a semi-functional hero. It's really the best redemption story, that anger never leaves though. Wolverine now lives in the minds of every child in this generation.
10 Hurt: Pietro Maximoff
This one gets a little confusing. The character Quicksilver has appeared in both comic book and movie form. The movies have taken the character and basically done a tug of war over the parts of the character either X-Men can use, or the Avengers.
While The Avengers is obviously the bigger franchise and has taken the most of the backstory along with it, they've had to completely change the character and his sister's origin of power. They're not even allowed to be called mutants in The Avengers. This is one battle that the X-Men won handily.
9 Saved: Storm
One of the integral parts of the X-Men, even growing to a point of leading the entire team. She's been a part of the majority of major events with the team and been a shining example for all of them.
She's also been in many noted relationships with the most important characters in the series. Even becoming queen in the African nation of Wakanda by way of the Black Panther. One of the strongest female examples, she has claimed her spot among the best characters. She also holds the power of the weather, so good luck fighting that.
8 Hurt: Bird Brain
Created by a mad scientist called the Ani-mator, Bird Brain was created in an effort to create slaves for the humans. All of these "ani-mates" were growing sick and tired of being experimented on. When he eventually managed to escape the lab, he was quickly captured and put on display for entertainment. He was eventually freed and taken to the legendary school for gifted youngsters.
It might be the most ridiculous design for a character I've ever seen. Looking like a cross between Big Bird and a deranged Cruella Deville, Bird Brain makes Remiped look like Wolverine.
7 Saved: Black Panther
Though it's hard to beat Tony Stark in the way of riches, Black Panther has him beat handily. The clawed hero is king of a nation that sits on a huge reserve of the most precious metal going, Vibranium. Yes, the metal that Cap's shield is made out of, or his very own suit.
This would have all been news to most people two short years ago, but since the release of the movie Black Panther has exploded in popularity. Overtaking most of the long-held household names we all know and love. He's become a cultural icon.
6 Hurt: Menace
Even those of us who don't read the comic books and are strictly big screen fans will know the Green Goblin. His son becomes the Hobgoblin. A pretty good inheritance as far as birthrights go. One that we could accept and get behind when there's the emotional connection of Spider-Man ending his father.
The problem happens when they start to spread the goblin kingdom a little too far.
Menace happens to be the last of the line and so gets the beating. Effectively jumping the shark and tarring the great legacy left behind by the original.
5 Saved: The Thing
Would you sacrifice any semblance of a normal life to gain super strength? Ol' Ben Grimm sure wouldn't. Unfortunately, he has no choice and he's paid the price for it. Cursed to look like a boulder with legs for the rest of his life, Ben lost his family in the process.
He has always hated what the radiation had done to his appearance, hence naming himself The Thing. You'd have to be pretty cold not to feel for the guy. There have been times where hope was given to Ben, only for it to be cruelly ripped out of his hands.
4 Hurt: Remiped
Even though he didn't have a huge part in the Marvel universe, Remiped really was scraping the bottom of the idea barrel as far as mutations go. Maybe they were trying to go for a more realistic approach with this one?
Remiped essentially has seal flippers instead of limbs... that's all.
Belonging to a proud group of mutants that called themselves the freaks, who I might add spent the majority of their time on land.
3 Saved: Silver Surfer
Despite being one of the slickest designs, the Silver Surfer has some of the most versatile powers out there. Starting as a young man in a Utopian society, Norrin Radd soon became restless in his perfect life. Seeking knowledge and achievement above all else, life took a turn for him when the being Galactus invaded his homeworld.
This lead to him scouting planets for Galactus to consume. In exchange, he gained cosmic powers and a new set of shiny skin. One of the most virtuous characters in the universe, Silver Surfer remains one of the most important characters in the universe.
2 Hurt: Tral
Ah Tral, the one hit wonder of our list. He barely made it out of the editing room it seems. Looking like a cross between Megamind and a catfish, Tral's power is mind control. The power one of the most powerful and important characters in the Marvel universe, Charles Xavier. Unfortunately for Tral, greatness just wasn't in the cards for him.
He made an attempt to ambush Adam Devine and his group with a nomad tribe he was controlling. For having a brain that large, it might not be the best move to attack an immortal being.
1 Saved: The Winter Soldier
Cap's long lost friend comes back to the modern age as a soviet life-taker. Bucky comes back and causes a massive issue for the Avengers.
You then see the Captain wrestle with the memory of his former friend and what he has become.
The real story begins when he snaps to and realizes all the crimes he has committed. You see a broken man living in the guilt of his past actions, trying to put his life together piece by piece. There's nothing more compelling to people than a good redemption story as we've seen with our other heroes.