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  1. #1
    Fantastic Member chicago_bastard's Avatar
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    Default Who are Marvel's A-listers right now?

    I'd be interested in your opinions on which Marvel characters currently qualify as A-listers and who belongs to the B-list.
    Tolstoy will live forever. Some people do. But that's not enough. It's not the length of a life that matters, just the depth of it. The chances we take. The paths we choose. How we go on when our hearts break. Hearts always break and so we bend with our hearts. And we sway. But in the end what matters is that we loved... and lived.

  2. #2
    Fantastic Member Grapeweasel's Avatar
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    Wanda. Vision. Falcon. Winter Soldier. Black Widow. Shang-Chi. The Eternals.

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    Cosmic Curmudgeon JudicatorPrime's Avatar
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    Is it possible to be at one ranking in the MCU, but on another in the comics? Thor is "A list" in both mediums, but I'm not 100% sure that someone like, say, the Falcon is.

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    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Yeah, in the comics, the big guns are X-Men, Avengers, Spider-Man, Hulk, and Fantastic Four. In the movies, Avengers is done for the time being, X-Men and FF have yet to debut, and Hulk can't have solo material due to rights issues. The MCU is very much in a transitional position right now, as Avengers appears to be done for the time being, with them instead focusing on universe expansion and the concept of legacy.
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  5. #5
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    Does A-list refer to In-Universe Importance, Publishing history or the MCU

  6. #6
    Fantastic Member chicago_bastard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tofali View Post
    Does A-list refer to In-Universe Importance, Publishing history or the MCU
    Guess everyone has his own definition, that's why I was curious to hear some opinions.

    I myself would go with a mix of the criteria you mention.

    Quote Originally Posted by JudicatorPrime View Post
    Is it possible to be at one ranking in the MCU, but on another in the comics? Thor is "A list" in both mediums, but I'm not 100% sure that someone like, say, the Falcon is.
    I wouldn't call Sam an A-lister in the comics and in the MCU likewise. At this point the Disney+ shows are reserved for the secondary characters, so being a co-lead there doesn't make him A-list imo. Maybe when he gets his Cap movie things will change, although then one could ask if it's the mantle of Captain America that has the A-list status or is it Sam Wilson by himself who earned that status?

    Scott Lang would be a better example imo. He has starred in two movies (soon a trilogy) and was an integral part of the last big team-up movie (whereas Sam never had an important role in the Avengers movies), so one could call him an A-lister in the MCU (although the low box office numbers of his movies could be an argument against it) but in the comics it's a different story.
    Tolstoy will live forever. Some people do. But that's not enough. It's not the length of a life that matters, just the depth of it. The chances we take. The paths we choose. How we go on when our hearts break. Hearts always break and so we bend with our hearts. And we sway. But in the end what matters is that we loved... and lived.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicago_bastard View Post
    Guess everyone has his own definition, that's why I was curious to hear some opinions.

    I myself would go with a mix of the criteria you mention.



    I wouldn't call Sam an A-lister in the comics and in the MCU likewise. At this point the Disney+ shows are reserved for the secondary characters, so being a co-lead there doesn't make him A-list imo. Maybe when he gets his Cap movie things will change, although then one could ask if it's the mantle of Captain America that has the A-list status or is it Sam Wilson by himself who earned that status?

    Scott Lang would be a better example imo. He has starred in two movies (soon a trilogy) and was an integral part of the last big team-up movie (whereas Sam never had an important role in the Avengers movies), so one could call him an A-lister in the MCU (although the low box office numbers of his movies could be an argument against it) but in the comics it's a different story.
    I agree with all this.Sam will be one when the Cap movie drops.Of corse it's a cap movie and not a falcon one so the line is blurry but it is good enough.
    Spider-man is perhaps the biggest A-lister.He has had 3 series of movies including MCU and decades worth of good comics

  8. #8
    Extraordinary Member Holt's Avatar
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    A-list in comics and broader media are two different things, IMO. As I'm sure someone has already pointed out, the X-Men tend to historically sell the pants off the Avengers in the world of comics, but the Avengers are undoubtedly the bigger deal in the mainstream right now. The MCU has shifted things in a pretty enormous way in terms of who once would've been considered "popular" in the 90s and the general audience is now taking to heroes who at best would've been called in for a team-up just a few years ago. It's gonna be absolutely surreal in a few months when I walk into a local Target and see Eternals action figures when they were so D-list until relatively recently that Marvel killed them all off in Aaron's Avengers and no one gave a shit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Digifiend View Post
    In the movies, Avengers is done for the time being
    The initial roster from the first 4 movies? Yes. The Avengers as a franchise? Doubtful. I'd be positively shocked if there is not a New Avengers-type movie after Phase 4 when so many of the new characters being introduced in the upcoming movies and TV shows are heroes who have been Avengers in the comics.
    Last edited by Holt; 05-16-2021 at 08:29 PM.

  9. #9
    Invincible Member Digifiend's Avatar
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    Phase 4 isn't scheduled to have an Avengers film - all indications are that Fantastic Four will wrap it up, and that's far enough away that it doesn't even a release date yet. 2020 to 2024 is a long break, I don't think saying "done for the time being" is wrong - I didn't mean that it was done permanently.
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  10. #10
    Spectacular Member Doom'nGloom's Avatar
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    I don't know how box office affects to the overall revenue but in terms of merchandise sale Spider-man is the undisputed king to my knowledge.

  11. #11
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    I rank "A-list" differently between comics and wider media. But I tend to categorize things by how much revenue they pull in and how well known the property is. If I show a picture of a character to some random grandmother in Korea, and that old lady can tell me who the hero is and some details about them, the character is A-list. If that old lady can only tell me the hero's name and nothing else, it's B-list. Generally speaking, anyway, there's really no hard and fast rules for this sorta thing that I'm aware of.

    Spidey rules them all in either group though; as soon as the next movie drops (next year?) he will have had three film trilogies, solid roles in the last two Avengers films, plus Into the Spider-Verse and it's upcoming sequel, countless cartoons, and a mountain of video games, toys, and every other possible form of merchandise and entertainment you can think of. In comics he always sells decently and always has multiple books, especially if you include Spiders that aren't Peter like Gwen and Miles. Spidey's known around the world and no matter what metric you measure things by, Spider-Man is A-list and then some.

    In comics, historically it's the X-Men and the FF enjoying A-list status, but I don't know what sales look like these days. Far as I know the Avengers like Tony and Steve aren't really pulling more sales than they used to. But I find that who ranks among the A-list in comics is becoming less and less pertinent; when franchises like Ant-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy can become household names due to the films, cartoons, etc., but can't carry a comic....what does being "A-list" in the comics actually mean? All it shows me is that we're a insulated bunch who won't start buying a comic we haven't already been reading for decades.

    In wider media, the Marvel A-list is, I think, becoming less about individual heroes and more about the Avengers as a group/brand. Certainly Tony, Steve, and Thor (and Parker, obvs) are A-list in wider media but the Avengers brand has grown to the point where those characters aren't necessary; when secondary characters like Sam and Wanda can hold top-ranking streaming shows, it tells us that for Marvel, it's less about a single character and more about who is counted among the Avengers.

    For example, the most profitable superheroes on earth (last I knew) are, in order, Spidey, Batman, the Avengers, and Superman. On their own, Steve, Tony, Thor, Hulk, none of those guys pull a ton of revenue, but as a collective whole they're #3 in profit.
    "We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe."

    ~ Black Panther.

  12. #12
    BANNED Killerbee911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ascended View Post
    In comics, historically it's the X-Men and the FF enjoying A-list status, but I don't know what sales look like these days. Far as I know the Avengers like Tony and Steve aren't really pulling more sales than they used to. But I find that who ranks among the A-list in comics is becoming less and less pertinent; when franchises like Ant-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy can become household names due to the films, cartoons, etc., but can't carry a comic....what does being "A-list" in the comics actually mean? All it shows me is that we're a insulated bunch who won't start buying a comic we haven't already been reading for decades.
    I glad you hit on that point, When you said the phase "can't carry a comic" all I could think about is floppies is a horrible format that appeal to loyal but shrinking fanbase. Invincible two weeks ago was like 7 spots on the best selling graphic novel list for Amazon and bunch of them are still currently in top ten. I don't even know what carries a comic means anymore, It makes you wonder what a world where floppies are digital, and trades/graphic novels are primary source income for the companies would look like because I think a bunch of things would reach bigger audience if it wasn't package as you got to collect this every month.

    But for the topic I guess A-list is combination of being able to sell in 50 comics( if supported by good creative team) and has wide presence beyond comics and very marketable

    Old A-list
    Teams: Avengers, X-men and FF
    Characters: Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Daredevil, Punisher

    New A-List
    Teams: Avengers, X-men, GotG
    Characters: Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther, Venom, Deadpool, Captain Marvel, Mile Morales, Storm, Magneto
    Really Close: Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Luke Cage, Hawkeye, Antman, Kamala Khan, Daredevil, Punisher, Dr. Strange, Jean Grey, Cyclops

    I think Daredevil, Punisher and FF have fall just slightly enough where they aren't sure fire A-listers but I think the next media push for any of them will put them right back on it. I think Black Panther, Venom, Deadpool, Captain Marvel, Mile Morales, Storm and Magneto supported properly would produce products that could sell with in the top 50 and they are well known outside of comics.

    Edit- I think Eternals, Shang Chi, basically anything MCU will creep into the really close list. One of the characters could sneak into a A-list with a strong performance.
    Last edited by Killerbee911; 05-18-2021 at 03:27 AM.

  13. #13
    Breaker of Worlds Immortal Hulk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killerbee911 View Post
    I glad you hit on that point, When you said the phase "can't carry a comic" all I could think about is floppies is a horrible format that appeal to loyal but shrinking fanbase. Invincible two weeks ago was like 7 spots on the best selling graphic novel list for Amazon and bunch of them are still currently in top ten. I don't even know what carries a comic means anymore, It makes you wonder what a world where floppies are digital, and trades/graphic novels are primary source income for the companies would look like because I think a bunch of things would reach bigger audience if it wasn't package as you got to collect this every month.

    But for the topic I guess A-list is combination of being able to sell in 50 comics( if supported by good creative team) and has wide presence beyond comics and very marketable

    Old A-list
    Teams: Avengers, X-men and FF
    Characters: Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Daredevil, Punisher

    New A-List
    Teams: Avengers, X-men, GotG
    Characters: Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther, Venom, Deadpool, Captain Marvel, Mile Morales, Storm, Magneto
    Really Close: Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Luke Cage, Hawkeye, Antman, Kamala Khan, Daredevil, Punisher, Dr. Strange, Jean Grey, Cyclops

    I think Daredevil, Punisher and FF have fall just slightly enough where they aren't sure fire A-listers but I think the next media push for any of them will put them right back on it. I think Black Panther, Venom, Deadpool, Captain Marvel, Mile Morales, Storm and Magneto supported properly would produce products that could sell with in the top 50 and they are well known outside of comics.

    Edit- I think Eternals, Shang Chi, basically anything MCU will creep into the really close list. One of them could sneak into a A-list with a strong performance.
    I couldn't agree more with your list.

  14. #14
    Fantastic Member chicago_bastard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killerbee911 View Post
    I glad you hit on that point, When you said the phase "can't carry a comic" all I could think about is floppies is a horrible format that appeal to loyal but shrinking fanbase. Invincible two weeks ago was like 7 spots on the best selling graphic novel list for Amazon and bunch of them are still currently in top ten. I don't even know what carries a comic means anymore, It makes you wonder what a world where floppies are digital, and trades/graphic novels are primary source income for the companies would look like because I think a bunch of things would reach bigger audience if it wasn't package as you got to collect this every month.

    But for the topic I guess A-list is combination of being able to sell in 50 comics( if supported by good creative team) and has wide presence beyond comics and very marketable

    Old A-list
    Teams: Avengers, X-men and FF
    Characters: Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Daredevil, Punisher

    New A-List
    Teams: Avengers, X-men, GotG
    Characters: Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther, Venom, Deadpool, Captain Marvel, Mile Morales, Storm, Magneto
    Really Close: Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Luke Cage, Hawkeye, Antman, Kamala Khan, Daredevil, Punisher, Dr. Strange, Jean Grey, Cyclops

    I think Daredevil, Punisher and FF have fall just slightly enough where they aren't sure fire A-listers but I think the next media push for any of them will put them right back on it. I think Black Panther, Venom, Deadpool, Captain Marvel, Mile Morales, Storm and Magneto supported properly would produce products that could sell with in the top 50 and they are well known outside of comics.

    Edit- I think Eternals, Shang Chi, basically anything MCU will creep into the really close list. One of the characters could sneak into a A-list with a strong performance.
    I'm curious what made you include Storm among the A-listers as a character on her own and not a team member? IIRC she had one solo series and its sales were atrocious even for the already low standards female solo books at Marvel set.
    Tolstoy will live forever. Some people do. But that's not enough. It's not the length of a life that matters, just the depth of it. The chances we take. The paths we choose. How we go on when our hearts break. Hearts always break and so we bend with our hearts. And we sway. But in the end what matters is that we loved... and lived.

  15. #15
    BANNED Killerbee911's Avatar
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    I knew I forgot something, Thanos is most definitely A-Tier villain now

    Old: Magneto, Green Goblin, Dr. Doom, Galactus, Apocalypse, Sabertooth

    New: Thanos, Dr. Doom

    Quote Originally Posted by chicago_bastard View Post
    I'm curious what made you include Storm among the A-listers as a character on her own and not a team member? IIRC she had one solo series and its sales were atrocious even for the already low standards female solo books at Marvel set.
    Her popularity outside of comics and in observing Marvel practices makes me believe they don't know how to market to audience to reach the fans who would pick up the books plus I think different format than singles issue would do better. Also Storm IMO would have stable selling book like Captain Marvel if they had push her the same. And when I say push I mean "restart" book before it reaches cancelation level allow a book to grow an audience.
    Last edited by Killerbee911; 05-18-2021 at 04:29 AM.

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