You would think a character becoming iconic would be a cut and dry process. Like, make a few seminal stories, a few really good runs by famous creators, and of course, make sure those comics are properly advertised, and bing bang boom, you got yourself a character everyone knows.
Well, if that were the case, Blue Beetle wouldn't keep getting cancelled, would he?
Obviously things are a little more complicated than that. Sure, Chris Claremont did a lot to put the X-Men on the map, as did Walt Simonson with his Thor series. But just as often, a character will become one of their company's most iconic characters without any initial direct input from that company. Whether it's because of another series they appear in, or getting a cool TV show/movie that boosts their popularity, comic characters can become iconic completely out of the blue.
However, when that happens, it sometimes means that fans who've discovered these characters in a different medium are left disappointed when they go hunting for their comics. There are genuinely comic characters that are iconic, despite lacking the seminal runs and stories that they rightly deserve. Here are the biggest of all...