Our judges have adjudicated; our readers have voted. We’re proud to present to you the character most in need of a solo book in 2016 — and four great runners up.

  • Runner Up: Emma Frost

    Emma Frost’s arguably been the character best served by the last 15 years of X-Men creative teams, since Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely gave the cast a much-needed shot in the arm; Emma’s moral ambiguity, leadership role for mutantkind, romantic relationship with Cyclops, and portrayal within the context of the larger Marvel Universe have all come together to make her one of the most fascinating characters on the X-Men. After years of starring in ensemble books, it’s high time that the diamond-transforming, ex-headmistress of the many Gifted Youth academies got her own starring title.

    Get Kieron Gillen and Kris Anka or Noelle Stevenson and Kris Anka or Brian Michael Bendis and Kris Anka (seriously, Kris Anka would be perfect and we know he’d love to do it) to do a series focusing on her doing what she does best: teaching the mutant youth of tomorrow while making morally dubious decisions and manipulating people while wearing fashionable (and impractical) outfits. [Ziah Grace]

  • Runner Up: Shazam

    I can't claim to be a long-time fan of DC's Captain Marvel. In a universe that already has a Superman, he always felt like a slightly goofy spare to me. But in the past twelve months, I've read two comics that changed my mind: Multiversity's Thunderworld Adventures and Convergence: Shazam. The artists on each series — Cameron Stewart and Evan 'Doc' Shaner — offer up different but equally simple takes on the character, all square-jawed heroism and joyously improbable strongman muscles. The Shazam series — easily the best thing to come out of Convergence — played up the simple bright appeal of the characters even further, by contrasting the incredibly crisp reds and yellows of Jordie Bellaire's colours with the darkness of Gotham by Gaslight.

    So now I'd love to see a Shazam series drawn by Shaner, one that goes to the bright, silly places that modern Superman comics often fear to tread, ideally with Mr Mind as the recurring big bad. I mean, a psychic mastermind caterpillar — what's not to like? [Alex Spencer]

  • Runner Up: Jessica Jones

    Marvel has always been happy to stick within the style and goals of the Silver Age of comics, where things were sillier, brighter, and more inspirational that idealistic. However, that’s meant that Marvel's mature-reader comics have taken a huge hit over the years. With the Icon line essentially dead, and MAX/Marvel Knights AWOL, there’s no way to connect the immensely popular Netflix shows with the current comics product. Which is weird, because that’s what Marvel is all about!

    Jessica Jones is now one of the most best known Marvel characters — and certainly one of the best-known not appearing anywhere. Her story went from center stage to background in the comics as her stories were toned down from her original sweary appearances into generic Marvel Universe participation, but there’s still room for her. If 2016 doesn’t see Jessica pick up a new series, or at least a main role somewhere, then what is Marvel even doing? Give her back her swears, and let’s get back to business. [Steve Morris]

  • Runner Up: Kate Bishop

    At first I actually asked myself, “But Kate has had a solo book.” That would have been a very bad blurb to write, not least because it isn’t true. It probably speaks to Kate’s strengths as a character, and how she connects with audiences, that it’s easy to just assume, over her career as a Young Avenger and unaffiliated Hawkeye, that she’s also starred in a book by herself. However, it hasn’t happened, and it should.

    A big part of Kate’s appeal is how, as a legacy character, she can stand up to her mentor and co-Hawkeye, Clint Barton. In fact, the premise of Jeff Lemire, Ramon Perez and Ian Herring’s current All New Hawkeye series is the interplay as equals between the two. Just as Kate bumps up against what it means to be a co-Hawkeye in the series, she’s also bumping up against the limits of sharing a book. Her solo arc on Matt Fraction, Annie Wu and Matt Hollingsworth’s Hawkeye series showed she can do it solo, and Marvel should give her the shot, for real. [James Leask]

  • Winner: America Chavez

    Ms. America Chavez is everything I want out of a Marvel superhero. She’s aggressive and quick-tempered, without ever letting you doubt her intelligence. She’s a gorgeous hard femme Latina lesbian who absolutely notices the way that “straight” girl looks at her. She’s so strong she can kick holes in reality itself. She was amazing in Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Young Avengers, and then she didn’t appear for a year, despite her growing popularity online.

    Now she’s in The Ultimates, which is a good book that doesn’t seem well placed to give her the spotlight she deserves. With a plethora of Ms. America cosplayers at every convention, how could Marvel not give this breakout star a solo book? The publisher has been touting its diversity even as it's under steady fire for a lack of prominent queer heroes, so why wouldn't it give this gay Latina a shot? In a comics climate where fun superhero adventures have come back into vogue, how can Marvel say no to the adventures of this dimension-hopping hero? In an America that can use all the heroes it can get, who could pass up an America Chavez title? [Elle Collins]


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