It’s been a spectacular year for stout-hearted males on planet earth, and whittling down the finest this virile crop has to offer is like trying to identify the sexiest Victoria’s Secret model­­—a daunting task to say the least.

AskMen, however, has done the heavy lifting for us. They compiled the 49 most commendable lads and the list will surprise you.

Sure, there are the usual suspects, the LeBron James’s, Ryan Gosling’s , and Kanye’s of the world, but there are also some unexpected names tousling the list, like astrophysicist and Twitter star Neil deGrasse Tyson, The Avengers creator Joss Whedon, fictional characters like Christian Grey (of 50 Shades of Grey), and, most questionably, the NFL Replacement Refs (hmmm …).

Check out who AskMen decided were the most important and admirable men of 2012.