Another Jack Kirby creation—the second so far on this list if you’re reading from 100 on down (it’s okay to cheat and skip ahead to #1 if you want), Etrigan is one of those characters who I rarely think about but I’m always glad to see.  I don’t fully understand his deal, his power-set, or why he speaks in rhyme, but he amuses the hell out of me (no pun intended).  He’s appeared in all kinds of DC and Vertigo books, always popping up where you least expect him: In Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series; in Grant Morrison’s Batman run; he had a great shot (pun intended) in Garth Ennis’ Hitman book; and even appeared in a Kevin Smith Green Arrow story.

Etrigan is also one of the new 52, headlining a book called “Demon Knights.”  We’ll see how it holds up…

Recommended reading:

  • The Demon by Jack Kirby (1972)
  • Batman: The Widening Gyre
  • The Demon (1987 miniseries by Matt Wagner)


I will be the first to admit that I prefer my Volstagg voluminous to valiant, but I’ll take him however I can get him.  It’s probably a reach to list him as one of the most important comic book heroes of all time, but I’m sticking him here, low on my list, because of what he added to the Thor Universe.  Not just humor, but a sense of size—not just fat, size.  Enormity.  Every panel with Volstagg seems important.  Every Volstagg moment is precious.  He’s easily one of the best supporting characters in history—and he became more important still when he became the indirect cause of Siege, starting the ball rolling the way Nitro kickstarted the Civil War.  I daresay his important role in that “event” underscores that Marvel agrees with me: Volstagg matters.

Recommended reading:

  • Walt Simonson’s Thor Omnibus
  • Siege

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