We've all got them: the characters we can't stand and that everyone else seems to love. Moreover, you just really don't get their popularity at all. Here are my top five.
5. Dr. Doom
Who: Purportedly Marvel's greatest villain, with the second most brilliant scientific mind and second most advanced knowledge in the Dark Arts.
Why: The thing with this is that I DO get Doom; I just have never really felt the sense of awe and majesty I should be getting from purportedly the Marvel Universe's greatest villain. Admittedly, he should've been treated better in the Fantastic Four movies, but I really find it hard to buy into the hype. This is probably because you're only as good as your greatest enemy, and his greatest enemy happens to be my number four.
4. Mr. Fantastic
Who: The most scientifically advanced mind in the Marvel Universe, and the leader of the Fantastic Four.
Why: I don't think Reed is universally loved; he's most certainly the least-well-known character in this bunch. Still, I can't, for the life of me, understand why they place him as Doom's number one enemy. Since Doom is the number one villain in the Marvel Universe, and he considers Reed his greatest enemy, logically, that should put Reed in the running for world's greatest hero. But he's just so lame, has a power that doesn't match his personality, and neglects his wife to no end. I can almost say with certainty that if anything has ever stopped me from buying a Fantastic Four book, it's Reed Richards.
3. Iron Man
Who: Tony Stark, arms dealer and creator of a suit that keeps his heart beating.
Why: I don't agree with his politics, and, when it comes to his politics, he's just really a dick. In addition to that, he's got a suit of armor, and I just don't see why that puts him in the same league as the world's greatest heroes. He's smart, but he's a jerk, and his powers are lame.
And he has a mustache. I honestly don't understand a world where Iron Man is considered cool and Superman is not. Just the idealist in me, I guess.
2. Darth Vader
Who: Luke Skywalker's father, and pretty much the main bad guy in the original Star Wars trilogy
Why: Oh, so many reasons, not the least of them which is that I just don't get Star Wars at all. It's a bunch of people in bathrobes fighting with flashlights.
But Vader's a rip-off of Dr. Doom, right down to the scene with the banquet with the heroes. He also moves incredibly stiffly, and without any of the grace or majesty you expect from someone of his stature. And, moreover, the guy is a lackey. He takes orders and doesn't really have a fully-formed character. Why people love this guy is beyond me.
1. The Incredible Hulk
Who: Scientist loses temper, turns into strong, green man without brain.
Why: You can make the Jekyll and Hyde case all you want, but that only goes so far and still doesn't explain to me the Hulk's incredible popularity. Marvel Movies loves him, too. In Ultimate Avengers, Hulk saves the day (and kicks Thor's ass in the process), despite his not being an Avenger. In Next Avengers, they do it again, despite his not being an Avenger. In Hulk vs Thor, he beats Thor soundly, and Thor has been well-established in the comics as being at least Hulk's equal. The Mighty Marvel Marketing Machine is so hard behind Hulk, and I don't get it because he's a big green guy who smashes shit. There may be depth to the character of Bruce Banner, but NO ONE CARES about the character of Bruce Banner. There is no depth to the character of the Hulk in his most popular incarnation (brainless and savage) - he's big, green, and smashes shit. Isn't that concept rather limited? And if it is, why in the world does it serve him so well and so long?