Being a superhero isn’t about the glory, but for many of Marvel’s mightiest, it is certainly an added bonus. The publisher is noted for its human characters, each hero boasting personality traits positive and negative. For some of these characters, healthy competition is a major driving force.
In a world of gods and monsters, there are plenty of opportunities for superheroes to test their mettle. While most of Marvel’s competitive heroes only see this element of themselves as a side of their crime-fighting abilities, there are others whose thirst for competition can never truly be quenched. From young mutants to otherworldly princes, Marvel’s heroes love a good contest.
10/10 The Human Torch Is Good-Naturedly Competitive
Johnny Storm, AKA the Human Torch, is the happy-go-lucky flamethrower of the Fantastic Four. The Torch definitely has the most fun with his powers, using them to write in the sky, fly lightning-fast through the skyscrapers of New York, and play light-hearted pranks on his teammate, the Thing.
Johnny Storm also loves some good-natured competition. Storm loves to race, using both vehicles and his powers to compete with others. He also has a friendly rivalry with Iceman, an oppositely-powered hero whom Storm loves to test his fire’s power. Though Storm is not competitive enough for it to be his defining trait, he’ll never pass up the opportunity for a friendly race.
9/10 Doctor Strange Has To Be Competitive As The Sorcerer Supreme
To take the title of Sorcerer Supreme, one must be pretty confident in one’s abilities. Steven Strange absolutely has that confidence, using it to fend off challengers like Baron Mordo and Loki. Strange is miffed when other characters have claimed the title, showing his competitive attitude regarding his magic prowess.
Even before Doctor Strange was a sorcerer, he was a competitive individual. Strange’s time as a surgeon was notable for his success, with the Doctor continually challenging himself even when others’ lives were at stake. Though his training with the Ancient One made him somewhat more grounded, Steven Strange remains a competitive man.
8/10 Dani Moonstar Quickly Forms Rivalries
One of the original recruits for the New Mutants, Dani Moonstar is a Cheyenne mutant with the power to create illusions of the hopes, dreams, and nightmares of others. Over the course of the New Mutants, Moonstar became ever-confident in her abilities as she led the team through trial after trial.
Moonstar is not competitive regarding any one specific thing; rather, she quickly forms rivalries. As co-leader of the team, she helped start the rivalry with their counterparts, the Hellions, while her relationship with her teammate Sunspot was defined by their competition with each other.
7/10 Sunspot Loves The Game
Sunspot, like Moonstar, is a founding member of the New Mutants. Also like Moonstar, Roberto DeCosta’s competitive nature is a defining feature of who he is. Readers first met Sunspot as a skilled teenage soccer player and followed him as he grew into a skilled superhero, leader, and businessperson.
DaCosta’s competitive nature was encouraged by his father, a cutthroat businessman who pursued wealth without rest. Though Sunspot has since developed a healthier relationship with money, power, and competition, old habits die hard, and Sunspot continually pushes himself in the realms of business and superheroics.
6/10 Quicksilver Wants To Go Fast
Though his speed typically pales in comparison to that of the Flash, Quicksilver is one of the fastest beings in the Marvel Universe. Quicksilver perceives time much more quickly than the majority of his compatriots, meaning the sometime-Avenger is often annoyed at his teammates and their inability to move as fast as he can.
That said, Quicksilver is always eager to test his speed against anyone else. Most notably, Pietro Maximoff did beat Wally West in a footrace, though the race was in the Marvel Universe, where the Speed Force is not present. Frustrated and fast, Quicksilver’s quick temper makes him eager to race.
5/10 Namor Has A Major Superiority Complex
Not so much competitive as he is arrogant, Namor McKenzie, Prince of Atlantis, will never turn down a challenge. The leader of Atlantis is noted for his prickliness; he’s easy to affront and hard to earn forgiveness of.
As a skilled fighter, Namor quickly developed a rivalry with Hercules when the two were on the Avengers together. Similarly, Namor views Reed Richards as a vastly inferior partner to Sue Storm when compared to himself, and he continually seeks to prove to the Invisible Woman the truth of his belief. Not a contest-seeker, Namor nevertheless sees himself as better than everyone else.
4/10 Thor Loves To Test His Prowess
Marvel’s Prince of Thunder comes from golden Asgard, a land full of as much magic and mirth as it is friendly competition. The Son of Odin loves a good competition and has pit himself against gods, giants, and monsters to prove his worth. In one story adapted from classical mythology to the comics, Thor drank enough of the ocean to increase the beach size in a drinking contest.
Thor also has one particular element of competition he enjoys: letting other people try to lift his hammer. Few can, and the God of Thunder takes great enjoyment in continually winning his hammer-lifting competition.
3/10 Hulk Is The Strongest There Is
Bruce Banner is an intelligent, mild-mannered scientist who just seeks to improve the world. Not so for the Hulk. While Banner’s jade-jawed alter ego typically seeks peace and quiet, his massive strength and monstrous appearance have continually brought him into conflict with super-powered beings.
Once the Hulk is angry, he only gets stronger and angrier. Oftentimes, those challenging the Hulk will be rebuffed, then the unintentional starters of a rampage. Hulk proclaims himself “the strongest there is.” Once Hulk gets started down this path, nothing can stop him until he has successfully proven his dominance in this arena.
2/10 Wolverine’s Catchphrase Says It All
You don’t call yourself “the best there is at what you do” if you don’t have a competitive streak. James “Logan” Howlett has led a long and varied life, but the ol’ Canucklehead has made a continual point of telling heroes, villains, and just about anyone who will listen about how great he is.
Logan is competitive in how he sees himself as a warrior. Although Logan doesn’t go around starting fights just for the sake of beating people, his samurai honor code means he won’t take insults to his prowess lightly. The Wolverine is a warrior born and bred, believing himself capable of beating anyone in a fight.
1/10 Hercules Will Compete In Anything
Whereas Namor is proud but not competitive, Hercules is competitive but not proud. At least, the Greek demigod isn’t afraid to get dirty when the situation calls for it. Contests of strength, drinking contests, even attempts to lift various Avengers bases: Hercules will never turn down a competition.
Hercules’s competitive nature borders on the dangerous. When Hercules first met Wonder Man, he punched him through a brick wall because he had heard his strength was similar to Thor’s and wanted to test his mettle. Hercules loves competition of all sorts and seeks it everywhere he goes. Though strong himself, Herc’s love of competition has gotten him in trouble many times.
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