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 411mania » Movies » Columns

Alternate Takes: Top 7 Cosmic Marvel Characters
Posted by Shawn S. Lealos on 08.16.2014

Welcome to Week 313 of Alternate Takes, my name is Shawn S. Lealos and you have entered my world.

And with this, we start my 7th year writing Alternate Takes

Top 15 Marvel Cosmic Characters

Last Week's Picks:
15. Grandmaster
14. Ego, The Living Planet
13. The Collector
12. The Watcher
11. Quasar
10. High Evolutionary
9. Nova
8. Eternity

and not for the rest...

7. The Beyonder

Wow, this character went from one of my favorite villains as a kid to a joke in my eyes, but honestly, he is still pretty bad ass when he isn't dressing like 80s era Don Johnson. Basically, when I was a kid, the biggest events to ever happen in comic book history was DC Comics' Crisis on Infinite Earths and Marvel Comics' Secret Wars. Crisis was the same as the recent Flashpoint with it ending with a major reboot of DC Comics history (exact same as the New 52, but 25 years earlier I can't imagine what the Internet would have looked like then probably the same as now).

But, Secret Wars was kind of awesome. All the Earth's heroes were kidnapped and then reappeared one month later with major changes. She Hulk was now in the Fantastic Four and The Thing was on a foreign planet. Spider-Man had a new black costume that was alive. Many things changed in the Marvel Universe in the time frame of one month (kind of like the Heroic Age about 30 years later later) and Secret Wars is the book that explained how things happened.

That was all because of The Beyonder. He is easily one of the most powerful beings in the Universe, originally created as one of the oldest beings in the Universe, someone who was all-powerful. Later, that was retconned and he turned out to be an Inhuman, and then later a mutant and an Inhuman. Regardless, no one could beat him even the "One Above All" (who didn't make my countdown) couldn't beat him. He can control anyone's mind, make himself into anything and do anything he wants even though he really doesn't know what he wants. At the end of the day, Secret Wars was one of the most influential comic book events of my childhood from Marvel.

6. The Phoenix Force

Most people think of Jean Grey when they think of The Phoenix, although people who read Avengers v. X-Men knows that it is much more than that. The Phoenix Force is an immortal and the prime universal force of life. It is very similar to Galactus, in that it is simple a force of nature and cannot really be stopped. The entire purpose of the Phoenix Force is to control the development of the universe, destroying any parts of it that it deems obsolete and replacing it with something new.

The first time Marvel introduced the Phoenix Force, it was replicating the body of Jean Grey and then destroyed an entire universe, making it look like Jean Grey was the biggest mass murderer in history. However, that is just what the Phoenix Force does. It purges and re-creates. It also possessed Rachel Summers, and it was at this time that we learned that if the Phoenix Force dies, the entire Universe will cease to exist and no life can exist without it. Most recently, it possessed many of the X-Men and made Scott Summers a mutant martyr.

5. Living Tribunal

The job of the Living Tribunal is to protect the multiverse and all the worlds in it. This has often brought him at odds with Earth, because in the grand scheme of things, Earth is just a very small, insignificant part of the universe. It is his job to balance everything and he is more important and powerful than even Death and Eternity. He was given his power and role by once again The One Above All. He also represents the Trinity vengeance, necessity and equity.

So, how powerful and important is the Living Tribunal? He was around during the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, so one has to wonder if he will play into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was the man who determined that not one person should ever possess all the Infinity Gems and he is also the only being that was not affected by Thanos when he put them all together.

4. Captain Mar-Vell

Up next is Captain Marvel, the original Mar-Vell. When I started reading comics as a kid, there wasn't really much in the way of graphic novels and the one that really started the entire craze was The Death of Captain Marvel. Mar-Vell was a captain for the Kree military but rebelled against them and chose to defend Earth and eventually designated himself as the Protector of the Universe.

While Mar-Vell had some big adventures over the years, it was his death that really sent shockwaves through the Marvel Universe. There had been death in comics, Jean Grey dying as The Phoenix was really the biggest, but when Captain Marvel died, it was something very different. Mar-Vell did not die in battle with a super villain or sacrifice himself to save the world. Captain Mar-Vell died of cancer

3. Galactus

The Devourer of Worlds and my all-time favorite Cosmic Marvel character is Galactus. His first appearance, in the pages of The Fantastic Four, remains one of comic's most beloved stories, as his herald at that time The Silver Surfer, teamed with the Fantastic Four to stop Galactus from eating Earth. Basically, Galactus is not so much a villain but a force of nature, the only survivor of the Big Bang that created the Universe.

Galactus actually appeared alongside Death and Eternity as the three all-powerful yet necessary beings in the universe. He could destroy worlds, by feeding on them, but also had powers to create worlds. While he only fed on uninhabited worlds at first, he eventually grew to such a state of hunger that he chose any world he came upon, inhabited or not. It is said that Galactus serves as the balance between Death and Eternity. While Galactus has killed numerous beings while feeding, he feels he is above reproach and will one day give back more than he ever took.

2. Thanos

Next up is the Marvel Cosmic being that most of the movie world will soon know very well. He first appeared in the movies in the post-credits of The Avengers as the being who gave Loki the alien army to attack Earth. He also was who Ronan was working for before rebelling in Guardians of the Galaxy. He should, for all purposes, be who the villain is in The Avengers 3 as well.

Thanos is best known for the Infinity Gauntlet, something introduced in most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies (the first Captain America, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World and Guardians of the Galaxy). Basically, Thanos is the son of two Eternals who was subjected to the Deviant gene at birth and is one of the most powerful beings in our universe. He also has an unquenchable thirst for power and sought out the Infinity Gauntlet to allow him the power to take over the entire Universe, often with his mistress Death by his side.

1. Adam Warlock

While Thanos is being set up as a villain worthy of The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, his biggest nemesis was always Adam Warlock. Fans with a keen eye saw the Easter eggs for Warlock in the post-credits of Thor: The Dark World (the cocoon in Collector's collection) and Guardians of the Galaxy (the broken open cocoon). Warlock is the man who was best known for helping stop Thanos in the Infinity Gauntlet story.

Adam Warlock was an artificial being created by humans to be a perfect and ideal human being. However, he turned on his creators and became Adam Warlock (named Adam by the High Evolutionary for being the first of his kind). The High Evolutionary also gave Warlock the Soul Gem to protect, which is what changed him forever. As for that cocoon, whenever Adam Warlock "dies," he simply creates a cocoon to shelter him from harm and then reforms.

Early in his existence, Adam Warlock began by fighting his evil counterpart Magus and the evil Thanos, while befriending Thano's adopted daughter Gamora of the Guardians of the Galaxy. After Thanos kills Adam Warlock, he returns in another cocoon later and it is learned that he has existed for a very long time and the humans who thought they created him just found him in a cocoon following earlier adventures.

Adam Warlock then returned for his most legendary adventure when Thanos returned and forged the Infinity Gauntlet. After Thanos killed half the population of the universe and then took on the most powerful Cosmic characters (Galactus, Living Tribunal and Eternity and more), Adam Warlock raced back to battle Thanos once again and finally took control of the Infinity Gauntlet and eventually became part of the Infinity Watch, beings who separately hold the gems to keep them apart.


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