It was no surprise to see female comic book characters often appearing in barely there clothing in original prints (Wonder Woman anyone?) but there is still no denying that a great comic should perfectly balance sex appeal with a damn good story.
The latest Marvel movies based upon their comic book counterparts is no different. So to celebrate the release of the hotly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy (in UK cinemas from Thursday 31st August), starring the hunky delights of Chris Pratt as Peter Quill AKA Star Lord, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket and Vin Diesel as the voice Groot, we have put together just some of our hottest ever men of Marvel. (Cold shower afterwards, optional).
- Chris Hemsworth - Thor
Perhaps one of the most obvious pick of all, women and men all over the world had wondered just where Chris Hemsworth had been hiding all this time when he landed the titular role in Kenneth Branagh’s Thor.
Interestingly, Chris and younger brother Liam (also rather easy on the eyes) were the frontrunners for the role before it eventually went to Chris.
One of a few men who can pull off a ponytail, those golden locks and baby blues make him totally believable as a God.
- Robert Downey Jr - Iron Man / Tony Stark
Just one of the many Hollywood actors who have had a turbulent career, RDJ proves that it really is never too late to bring it all back.
His casting as Iron Man by director, Jon Favreau raised many eyebrows and just how he managed to get studio execs to agree to it is another matter entirely but we are of the firm belief that it was simply because RDJ played Tony Stark as the badass he is.
Lacking the muscles and rugged good looks of Chris Hemsworth, RDJ’s portrayal of Stark just knocks on the door of being unlikeable without ever having crossing the threshold. We defy you to find anyone who doesn’t have a soft spot for a bad boy like this one.
- Tom Hiddleston - Loki
It is not often you find a hero’s nemesis to garner a following as large as Tom Hiddleston has managed with Loki.
Hiddleston, who originally auditioned for the role of Thor was asked to read for Loki and landed the part. Bringing a depth and layers aplenty to Loki that actors rarely bring to antagonist of a film, Hiddleston’s Loki has become a huge fan-favourite as well as with critics.
If you like a tortured bad boy, the casting directors for Thor sure did find you one!
- Chris Evans - Captain America / Steve Rogers
It seems Chris Evans has a thing for playing superheroes. Some may remember him as fun-loving ladies man Johnny Storm / Human Torch.
Nowadays he is mainly recognized for his role as Captain America. The shield baring, muscled up pretty boy has become one of the biggest of the Marvel superheroes in the last few years. We can’t seem to decide if prefer him with the suit on or off. Choices, choices!
- Andrew Garfield - Spider Man / Peter Parker
Though it can be argued that Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man movies sparked the incredible and continued market for superheroes way back in 2002, generating huge revenue at the time, one can’t help but feel that Maguire was always more Peter Parker than he was Spider Man.
The decision to cast Brit, Andrew Garfield in the revamped The Amazing Spider Man series, however has been an almost perfect one.
Garfield perfectly captures the loveable and nerdy personality of Peter whilst at the same time bringing the cheeky and heroic side of Spider Man and all of the freedom the suit affords him to do so.
- Idris Elba - Heimdall
It was rather unfortunate when some fans reacted negatively to Idris Elba’s casting as Heimdall in the very first Thor simply because he looked totally different to the Nordic God in the comics.
Critics of the decision were quickly silenced however after his turn in Thor was widely praised. Elba is said to have made a multi-picture commitment with Marvel Studios which just makes things even more exciting when you think about it!
- Micheal Fassbender - Magneto / Erik Lensherr
It seems Micheal Fassbender has been everywhere in the last couple of years which is not in any way a complaint at all. Far from it, we are now of the opinion that this actor can literally play anyone in anything.
When the decision was made to begin production on a prequel of the super successful X-Men (baring in mind the studio also had The Wolverine in the pipeline but we’ll get to that later) it was always considered to be a huge risk.
It turns out the risk paid off with some very clever casting decisions which included Fassbender taking on Ian McKellen’s (pre-Magneto) role of Erik Lensherr.
A cool mix of tortured relationships, divided loyalties, Fassbender brings a little bit of everything to this role and makes you feel it with him.
- Daniel Cudmore - Colossus / Peter Rasputin
An unsung hero of the Marvel films as far as we are concerned. Daniel Cudmore’s Colossus doesn’t say much in the X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, or X-Men: Days of Future Past (yes, he really was in all of them) but he makes a definite impression.
Visually, Colossus is absolutely stunning when he turns to steel, making for some seriously breathtaking scenes.
It’s sort of a bummer he is as underused as he is in the films but that really does not take anything away from the impact he has.
- Hugh Jackman - Wolverine
And rounding off our hottest men of Marvel is, of course, Hugh Jackman. Without a doubt the most famous and successful of all the superheroes Marvel Studios has produced, Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine for over 15 years and still manages to delight critics and fans alike with his layered portrayal of Wolverine.
A career-making role, Jackman originally replaced actor Dougray Scott after filming for Mission Impossible II ran over-schedule and had to undergo intense training to bulk up for the role. We’re not complaining!
- Chris Pratt - Star Lord / Peter Quill
A transformation that is so far out there it really is brilliant. Fans of TV shows Everwood and The O.C. will remember the scruffy all-American dude Chris Pratt once was.
Just a few years on and he has turned into a seriously (seriously!) buff hunk playing an unlikely superhero in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy playing Peter Quill / Star Lord. Put us in first in line for when this film hits cinemas, we’ll see you there!
You can catch Chris Pratt as Peter Quill and Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy which hits cinemas Thursday 31 July.