It takes a lot to make a great hero. They need courage, strength, an unshakable moral code, and a resolve few mortal humans possess. Sometimes it can even take more than that, and the lightning ingredient needed to truly make a great hero is a surprising one: compassion.
Many of Marvel’s greatest champions, like Captain America, Ben Grimm, or Storm, take this notion to heart and represent the very best humanity has to offer, whether they have the proportionate strength of a spider, a super-soldier serum, or the power of a god. Thy may not be the most powerful heroes in the Marvel universe, but their compassion more than makes up for it.
10/10 The X-Men’s Beast Fights Evil On The Battlefield And In Politics
Hank McCoy is one of the founding five members of the X-Men, and has remained a steady ally and friend through the decades. Despite his animalistic appearance earning him the nickname Beast, Hank has a genius-level intellect and also fights against anti-mutant groups as a political activist.
Hank has been through a lot over the years, thanks in no small part to his ever-changing looks. Yet his warm-hearted nature and quick-wit have endeared him to his fellow X-Men and many other Marvel heroes alike. Put simply, the Beast is one of the good guys.
9/10 Ben Grimm Is Ever-Lovin’ Through And Through
Ben Grimm, the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed Thing, has been a staple of the Fantastic Four for decades, and can certainly identity with Hank McCoy when it comes to looks. While Ben would never be accused of being a genius, his rocky-exterior hides a true heart of gold.
Ben has often held Marvel’s first family together in times of crisis, as well as being the Godfather to the children of Reed Richards and Susan Storm-Richards. His compassion comes at a personal cost, however, when he ultimately left his wife-to-be at the altar out of fear for her safety as the wife of a superhero.
8/10 The King Of Wakanda Doesn’t Let Power Go To His Head
King T’Challa, the leader of the advanced nation of Wakanda, has a lot on his plate. Not only does he have the responsibility of looking after his kingdom and his people, but he also has to fight for their safety and that of Earth itself as the Black Panther.
T’Challa never lets his immense duties get the better of him, though, and he knows that his actions are to better serve the people of his country. He doesn’t view himself as better than anyone else, and will do what he must to protect his fellow man, be they friend, family, or perhaps even enemy.
7/10 Storm Is Very Humble For A Borderline Goddess
T’Challa wasn’t always alone in his royal duties, however, and for a time he was lucky enough to be married to Ororo Munroe, better known to most as the X-Man Storm. She has the unbelievable ability to control the weather, leading many to believe she was in fact a goddess as opposed to a mutant.
Despite her immense power and the impact it can have on the world, and the fact she can literally fly, Ororo is as down to Earth as anyone can be. She’s kind, loving, humble and when the need calls for it, can become someone’s worst nightmare if that’s what it takes to save the day.
6/10 For A Grump, Wolverine Is Surprisingly Heartfelt
For well over a hundred years, the mysterious mutant Wolverine has been keeping a massive secret. He’s actually a big softy at heart. Otherwise known as Logan, the pint-sized Canadian occasionally lets his guard down and allows others in, forming genuine friendships and romances across the decades.
Not only that, but Logan can’t seem to help himself but mentor other younger mutants who need his help, whether he likes it or not. He certainly isn’t someone you want to cross, as many have tried and not lived to see another day, but get on his good side and Logan could be just the friend you need.
5/10 Steve Rogers Is Much More Than A Man With A Shield
Steve Rogers is one of the greatest heroes in the Marvel Universe and that’s even without his super-soldier serum. As Captain America, he fought in World War II and seemingly gave his life in order to win the day, only to reawaken decades later to fight alongside the Avengers.
Despite his great strength, his unbreakable shield, and the countless battles he has fought, Steve has remained as good a man as he always was. He’s someone that even other heroes look up to for inspiration, and will follow into battle without hesitation. A huge part of his unwavering resolve is his compassion for all those around him.
4/10 Jean Grey’s Omega-Level Status Isn’t Her Best Quality
Few Marvel heroes have been through as much as Jean Grey. Another founding member of the X-Men, Jean has not only faced and returned from death numerous times, but has even been host to one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe: the Phoenix Force.
Despite everything she has endured, Jean remains as one of Earth’s greatest heroes thanks to her unshakable spirit. This has allowed her to contend with and even harness the power of the Phoenix for good, although not without consequences. Like Steve Rogers, many other heroes look up to Jean as a beacon for hope.
3/10 The Silver Surfer Turned Against His Master For The Greater Good
While Jean could be a beacon of hope to look up to, the lost soul known as Norrin Radd represented something much darker when looked upon from below. An alien from the planet Zenn-La, Norrin accepted the mantle of the Silver Surfer in order to save his home world from the nightmarish hunger of Galactus.
Norrin would travel from planet to planet, signaling its imminent destruction at the hands of the devourer. While the Surfer would do his best to find worlds barren of life, everything changed when he encountered Earth and humanity. The Silver Surfer turned against his creator thanks to his inherit compassion and helped fellow heroes repel the monster.
2/10 Susan Storm-Richards Is Loved, Respected And Feared In Equal Measures
Hero, adventurer, wife, and above all else, a mother. Susan Storm-Richards is the last person whose kids you should kidnap and try to steal powers from. As a member of the Fantastic Four, Sue has battled every kind of threat you can imagine, but none of her victories hold a candle to her abilities as a loving parent.
Her time as a mother has been challenging to say the least, thanks to her children being immensely powerful in their own right and becoming the targets of numerous villains across the universe. Too bad for those villains that she happens to have a lot more skills than simply turning herself invisible.
1/10 Peter Parker’s Spirit Is Unbreakable
Only a handful of other heroes have been through the ringer as much as Peter Parker, and perhaps none of them have come out swinging (literally and figuratively) like him. Through all the tragedy, the heartbreak and the infamous “Parker luck,” nothing ever stops Spider-Man from triumphing over evil.
His unwavering compassion guides Peter through every battle and has endeared him to not only countless other heroes and friends, but also millions of readers across the globe. Peter Parker represents the best of us, and he does so by being the best he can be for those around him. After all, with great power comes great responsibility.
NEXT: 8 Marvel Heroes Who Got Their Powers From Someone Else