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How many Marvel Tiers are there??

How many tiers does it take to stuff 5000+ into a coherent pecking order?  

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  1. 1. How many tiers does it take to stuff 5000+ into a coherent pecking order?

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Theres a poll about which tier Aquaman falls into: 1st, 2nd or 3rd. One of the answers referred to Dr Strange as a 2nd tier character. This got me thinking: Marvel has 5000+ characters. How many tiers would that be? How far down the list can you classify all these recurring and starring heroes and villains?

 

How many tiers does it take to stuff 5000+ into a coherent pecking order?

 

 

 

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5000+ characters is just marketing hype Avi Arad likes to throw out...they've only got a few dozen that are worth a darn. The short list of marketable characters is on their web site: http://www.marvel.com/bios/index.htm . There are decent characters not on that list, but I wouldn't put the notable list too far above 100.

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While 5000 sounds way high,100 is way low. The Avengers, in all their incarnations-East,West,Great Lakes- have easily had 100 characters involved as members, guests,hangers-on,and villians.I'd say about ten tiers,the top containing a few and the last containing about 80-90 of the 5,000 figure.Would you place the X-men as a team and not list the members or list both.

The sum is greater than the parts.

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The Avengers, in all their incarnations-East,West,Great Lakes- have easily had 100 characters involved as members, guests,hangers-on,and villians.

 

No offense to you personally, but sleeping.gif

 

 

Would you place the X-men as a team and not list the members or list both.

The sum is greater than the parts.

 

Compare teams to teams and individual characters to individual characters

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5000+ characters is just marketing hype Avi Arad likes to throw out...they've only got a few dozen that are worth a darn. The short list of marketable characters is on their web site: http://www.marvel.com/bios/index.htm . There are decent characters not on that list, but I wouldn't put the notable list too far above 100.

 

Avi may be exaggerating, but his estimate is proabaly close to the mark. He says characters, not heroes. If you counted every single characters that ever appeared in a marvel character, how many do you think it would number. I am talking heroes, villains, and supporting characters. 893scratchchin-thumb.gif

 

While Avi throws the number around like they have 5000 marketable characters, the actual marketable number is probably less than 50. Beyond that then you would get into b-level characters, like sleepwalker. sleeping.gif

 

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Yea I agree. Marvel has always been great about trying to provide a library of comics for their authors to read to keep the continuity straight, and I bet they've created a software database of characters for them to reference. Somebody probably did a count of the character records and found the number was around 5000 and Marvel's management started tossing it around.

 

A lot of the Marvel staff has appeared in the comics...I bet they've got Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Jim Shooter, Joe Quesada, etc, etc in that 5000 count. blush.gif

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FF, I really doubt this is true. closest Marvel has come to putting this info together would be the Official Marvel Universe books of the 80s. Beyond that kind of project (which was done for profit, remember - - Marvel would never spend time or money on an inhouse research project...) they have always relied on resident zombie memory: Mark Gruenwald, and other editors who just KNOW too much stuff and can be counted on to relate continuity issues and character appearances.

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well, thats my point --- Marvel has never done an exhaustive study of their number of characters and always relied on their editors, a few of whom have ridiculously deep memories of Marvel lore. Todays resident expert is Tom Brevoort.

 

So I guess Avi did make up a guesstimate. But it does seem doable with all the characters they have created.

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To the question at hand. I believe there's a series of 4 tiers..

Tier 1: Major players, most popular sellers, instant name recognition.. like Spider-man, FF

Tier 2: Long running characters, fairly well known by the public.. i.e. Captain America and Iron Man

Tier 3: Fairly long running characters, less well known publicly and move in and out of a self-titled book... i.e. Silver Surfer, Thor (in some cases), and Nick Fury

Tier 4: Not so long running characters, beginning to make a name for themselves, well written niche characters, not necessarily in a title currently or recently.. i.e. Blade, Dracula, Werewolf By Night, Iron Fist

It could even be argued there could be another tier for group/team-up books. But I won't include one.

You could also even argue a new tier called a "movie tier" has been created by the wave of comic films. Which would include characters that don't fall into one of the above tiers, but will be coming to the big screen. Again, I won't include one. smile.gif

 

Brian

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To the question at hand. I believe there's a series of 4 tiers..

Tier 1: Major players, most popular sellers, instant name recognition.. like Spider-man, FF

Tier 2: Long running characters, fairly well known by the public.. i.e. Captain America and Iron Man

Tier 3: Fairly long running characters, less well known publicly and move in and out of a self-titled book... i.e. Silver Surfer, Thor (in some cases), and Nick Fury

Tier 4: Not so long running characters, beginning to make a name for themselves, well written niche characters, not necessarily in a title currently or recently.. i.e. Blade, Dracula, Werewolf By Night, Iron Fist

It could even be argued there could be another tier for group/team-up books. But I won't include one.

You could also even argue a new tier called a "movie tier" has been created by the wave of comic films. Which would include characters that don't fall into one of the above tiers, but will be coming to the big screen. Again, I won't include one. smile.gif

 

Brian

 

The way I see the characters tiers is like this IMO:

 

1st Tier: Major Names (i.e. Spider-man, Wolverine, Punisher, Superman, Batman)

criteria: multiple titles same time, known outside hobby

 

2nd Tier: Emerging Names (i.e. Doctor Strange, Namor, Hawkeye, Flash, Green Lantern)

criteria: more than one title, crossover app., part of a major super group

 

3rd Tier: Known Names (i.e. Deathlok cloud9.gif,Sleepwalker, Nova, Warlord)

criteria: has had own title

 

4th Tier: Uncommon Names: (i.e. Beta Ray Bill, Moondragon, Zatanna, Firebird)

criteria: has not had own title, usually supporting other hero(s)

 

5th Tier: Ordinary People: (i.e. Aunt May, Misty Knight, Jarvis, Lois Lane, Alfred)

criteria: supports (intrinsic) to other above characters. No other value

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Tier 1: Only 2 individuals I can think of that stay at the top are Spiderman and Wolverine. Tier 1 Teams being Avengers and X-Men. Hulk, Capitan America and the Fantastic 4 spend most of their time as tier 1, but depends on how they are being written at the time.

 

Tier 2: Iron Man, Thor, Silver Surfer, Punisher and individual F4 members (heavy hitters but not top sellers).

 

Tier 3: Most individual team members of X-Men and Avengers (excluding those already listed). Doc Strange, Dare Devil, Ghost Rider

 

Tier 4: The spin-off teams and most of their members like Avengers West Coast, New Warriors and whatever new X team is formed at the time. Individuals like Iron Fist, Luke Cage, War Machine, and Blade.

 

Tier 5: The jokes or characters/teams not taken seriously. Man-Thing, Howard Duck, Morloks, Salt Lake Avengers (what they were called?), Infinity Watch

 

Tier 6: All the non-powered people that were trained by Capitan America and whatever Marvel sidekicks that came along. Bucky, Blaze, Rick...(Hulks buddy...forget his last name).

 

Tier 7: Non-powered support Characters like J.J. and Mary Jane.

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Sorry Freiherr, but this wasn't thought out enough.

 

Tier 1: Only 2 individuals I can think of that stay at the top are Spiderman and Wolverine. Tier 1 Teams being Avengers and X-Men. Hulk, Capitan America and the Fantastic 4 spend most of their time as tier 1, but depends on how they are being written at the time.

Why would it depends how they were written? If written badly the would not be top level characters? I think you misjudge top level characters.

Tier 2: Iron Man, Thor, Silver Surfer, Punisher and individual F4 members (heavy hitters but not top sellers).

Punisher not a top seller. He has had more title series' than Wolverine has, without belonging to a top superteam, and without special abilities.

Tier 3: Most individual team members of X-Men and Avengers (excluding those already listed). Doc Strange, Dare Devil, Ghost Rider

Tier 4: The spin-off teams and most of their members like Avengers West Coast, New Warriors and whatever new X team is formed at the time. Individuals like Iron Fist, Luke Cage, War Machine, and Blade.

What is the difference between these two tiers? Would X-factor be in tier 3 or 4? How about Hawkeye, he was in both the Avengers and Avengers West Coast, as well as Thunderbolts.

Tier 5: The jokes or characters/teams not taken seriously. Man-Thing, Howard Duck, Morloks, Salt Lake Avengers (what they were called?), Infinity Watch

I can only say to this tier, it was Great Lakes Avengers. 27_laughing.gif

Tier 6: All the non-powered people that were trained by Capitan America and whatever Marvel sidekicks that came along. Bucky, Blaze, Rick...(Hulks buddy...forget his last name).

Rick Jones. Why do they have to be trained by C.A. to have their own category?

Tier 7: Non-powered support Characters like J.J. and Mary Jane.

these should always be at the bottow of every list

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Then technically people Spider-man saves from falling debris could fall into one of the tiers. 893scratchchin-thumb.gif

 

Brian

 

not according to my criteria for being a "character." Those people would be background, which I don't consider to be recurring characters.

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You're equating background to film extras. The way I would define them would be background characters that have no impact upon other characters outside of the issue they appear in. They must also have a function to another character, hence my criteria for being intrinsic.

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