ByZane E Sanders, writer at
Writer, movie lover, with a Marvel focus. Podcast "The Gospel According to Marvel" on iTunes. Follow me on twitter: @zaneEsanders
Zane E Sanders

In Marvel's comic world, many heroes have the benefit of being an alien, having powers, or both; however, there are more than a handful of heroes that have proved themselves just as heroic as any superpowered individual on the battlefield. While many of them you may recognize from the movies (Black Widow, Hawkeye, Iron Man, etc.), we're also going to take a look at heroes that are not so well-known. I've split this into two articles, due to the surprisingly large amount of civilian superheroes, so be sure to check out Part 1 if you haven't already.

Nick Fury

Legendary World War II hero turned director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fury is a seasoned combat expert, formerly a heavyweight boxer in the Army, and holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do as well as a brown belt in Jiu Jitsu. He is portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson in the MCU (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Avengers: Age of Ultron).

Night Thrasher

Believing his rich parents were gunned down by criminals, Dwayne Taylor grew up and trained to be Night Thrasher. As an excellent martial artist, possessing advanced body armor and gadgets, Taylor began the New Warriors and was one of the heroes to die in the incident at Stamford, CT.


With Spider-Man's stolen, bulletproof armor that was retrofitted to give superhuman strength, durability and the ability to fly limited distances, Ritchie Gilmore was first a member of Black Marvel's team, named Slingers. He became known as the first victim of the Superhuman Registration Act, eventually signing the act because he was fed up with being in jail.


Hobie Brown was a window cleaner and young inventor who was caught in a battle between Stilt-Man and Spider-Man. After being rescued by Spider-Man, Brown was inspired by the Stilt-Man suit enough to make his own secret identity. Prowler eventually joined Silver Sable’s Wild Pack and, later, the Outlaws.

The Punisher

Frank Castle is a U.S. marine, marksman, demolitions expert, master fighter, and survivalist who became a vigilante after seeing his wife and children killed for unintentionally observing a hit from the Mafia. This changed him and set him on the path of destroying organized crime wherever he found it through any means necessary. Despite often coming into conflict with other heroes over his way of dealing with crime, The Punisher will still aid heroes in their quests. He will be portrayed by Jon Bernthal in the MCU (Daredevil, season 2).


Shang was raised to become a deadly assassin by his father, the immortal crime lord and sorcerer Fu Manchu. But when Shang Chi became aware of his father's evil and faked his death after his first assignment, he went on to become the Master of Kung Fu.

Silver Sable

Unaware that her father was a Nazi hunter, the young Silver Sablinova grew up only aware that her father wasn't around and that her mother was an abusive alcoholic. Letting out her anger through fights at school, Silver eventually grew into a cold-hearted adult. On her father's death bed, he explained why he hadn't been in her life. Silver had her father's associates train her to be like her father. She went on to be a part of the Intruders, Wild Pack, and the Outlaws.

Tony Stark

Genius, billionaire, philanthropist, weapons designer; Iron Man is one of the most widely known superheroes in the world. With his "high-tech prosthesis," Iron Man battles any force or person who threatens the security of America and the world. Portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. in the MCU (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron).

Union Jack

While visiting his friend, Joseph Chapman learned of the Union Jack legacy and was forced to don the costume in order to save his friend and fight the vampire army of Baron Blood. A spy, fighter, and gunman, Chapman primarily works alone as the third iteration of Union Jack, though he makes himself available to MI5 when needed and other friends and allies like Captain America.

Michael Van Patrick

During Dr. Abraham Erskine's research into what would become the super-soldier serum, the good doctor outlined a revolutionary Brazilian diet combined with an exercise regime that he theorized would create similar effects to the super-soldier they were aiming for. However, because the combined exercise/diet theory required a lifetime of adherence in order to produce the desired results, the research was quickly rejected by the US government. After Erskine was assassinated, this theory was passed down through his family until it ended up in the hands of his grandson, Mr. Van Patrick. He used the research to develop a successful organic foods business and, when his son Michael was born, decided to test out the diet and exercise regime on the boy to see if Dr. Erskine's theories were right. As it happened, he was, and within twenty years, Michael Van Patrick became one of the prominent athletes in the country.

This extensive list of civilian heroes, in a world of aliens, super soldiers, and Hulks, gives us hope that we don't need to be bitten by a radioactive spider or go through the process of terrigenesis in order to prove ourselves ascourageous and heroic.


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