Top 10 Worst Moments in Marvel Comics


Marvel Comics is responsible for a complete revitalization of the comic book industry in the 60s, some of the greatest and most beloved characters and superhero stories in history, and helping to convince the mainstream that comic books are a legitimate art form. Their power and greatness cannot be denied.

But, it also cannot be denied that every now and then Marvel has dropped the ball and released terrible comics. This is not a condemnation of Marvel comics or their characters. Instead, it is a condemnation of the bad storytellers, the bad artists, and the bad writers who betrayed the public’s trust by abusing the characters and creations that Marvel fans hold so dear.

In chronological order, here are ten of the all time worst moments in the history of Marvel Comics:

10. Rape of Ms. Marvel (October 1980)

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Avengers Vol. 1 #200

By the end of the 70s, Carol Danvers, aka Ms. Marvel, had become one of Marvel’s flagship female characters. And all it took was one issue of The Avengers to ruin both her standing as a strong female character and her reputation. To make a long (and overly complicated) story short, Ms. Marvel became mysteriously pregnant and gave birth to a full term baby three days later. Then, the baby, named Marcus, mysteriously grew up almost instantly, and revealed that he had “seduced” his mother and impregnated her. And by “seduced” I mean “raped.” And what became of Ms. Marvels incestuous rape child? He grew up to be…Marcus! That’s right, he had gone back in time to impregnate his mother with himself. But the worst part of this travesty was that not only was Ms. Marvel, one of Marvel’s leading female characters, raped, she revealed that she enjoyed it and decided to stay with him afterwards. Hooray for feminism!

 9. Clone Saga (October 1994 – December 1996)

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Web of Spider-Man #117–129, Sensational Spider-Man #0–11, Amazing Spider-Man #394–418, Spider-Man #51–75, Spectacular Spider-Man #217–240, Spider-Man Unlimited (Vol. 1) #7–14

If you peruse this list, you may be surprised to find that many of the entries are related to the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The first one to make an appearance is the dreadfully convoluted and stupidly executed Clone Saga, a storyline that ran through all of the Spider-Man titles for two years. It all started with a storyline back in the 70s where the villain named the Jackal cloned Peter Parker and his deceased girlfriend Gwen Stacy. Spidey fought his clone, won, and went off none the wiser. Decades later, this storyline was brought back to life when it was revealed that not only had the clone survived his encounter with Spidey, but that the clone, now known as the Scarlet Spider, was the real Peter Parker and that the Peter Parker that the comics had followed for decades was the clone! Needless to say, this angered most, if not all, of Spider-Man’s fans.

So, what was supposed to be a short arc that only lasted a few issues ran for two long, painful years as Marvel tried to backtrack and restore the status quo. Along the way, it was revealed that, surprise-surprise, the Scarlet Spider WAS the clone and Peter Parker WAS the original. Throw in the clumsy resurrection of Aunt May after she had previously died (THAT Aunt May was ALSO another clone); a couple hundred more Spider-Man clones that Jackal just happened to have in his basement; and the revelation that the entire thing had been orchestrated by Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, who was believed to have died decades ago- and you have one of the most infuriating stories ever told in the entire history of the comic book medium. And the kicker? Afterwards, everybody acted like nothing had happened and the plot line was never mentioned again. Marvel had literally wasted two years of their readers’ lives with nothing to show for it.

 8. Iron Man: The Crossing (September 1995 – February 1996)

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Avengers #390-395; Avengers: The Crossing #1; Force Works #16-20; Iron Man #320-325; War Machine #20-23; Avengers: Timeslide #1; Age of Innocence: The Rebirth of Iron Man #1

Retcon (retroactive continuity) is a literary device used to change previously established facts in fiction and is commonly used in comic book series with long histories because “the plurality of writers who contribute stories can often create situations that demand clarification or revision” (wikipedia). As a general rule of thumb, whenever Marvel retcons bad things happen…as in bad comics are released upon unsuspecting fans. So, in the mid-90s when Marvel decided to reveal that Iron Man was a traitor who had worked as a sleeper agent for Kang The Conqueror for years, you can bet that there would be problems. First, he goes on a killing spree, killing the female Yellowjacket, Amanda Chaney, and Marilla, the nanny of Quicksilver’s daughter. The Avengers decide that the best thing to do is recruit a teen-age Tony Stark from another timeline, have him steal the Iron Man suit, and fight the now evil Tony Stark. In the ensuing fight, the real Tony Stark sacrifices himself to stop Kang. For a while, the teenage Tony Stark was the official Iron Man… and what a fiasco THAT was. The new Tony looked ridiculous with an atrocious new set of armor. But what really alienated fans was the idea that Tony Stark, a character that they had come to know and love for decades, was a traitor. In fact, this was a blatant slap in the face to his fans. Thankfully, the entire debacle was completely retconned, replacing Teen Tony with Good Tony. Unfortunately, in order to do so, they had to rely on the event that takes the next spot on this list.

7. Heroes Reborn (1996 – 1997)

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Fantastic Four Vol. 2 #1-12, Avengers Vol. 2 #1-12, Captain America Vol. 2 #1-12, Iron Man Vol. 2 #1-12 

The 90s were a dark, dark time for comic books. Gone were the days of cheerful heroes helping innocent bystanders and fighting giant monsters. In the 90s, everybody was a dark, brooding anti-hero. Comics became grim, dark, and ultraviolent.

It was in the midst of this creative quagmire that Marvel, in the face of bankruptcy, decided to reboot their entire universe in the Heroes Reborn crossover series that ran from 1996 to 1997. Essentially, Marvel trapped four of their most famous properties, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, Captain America, and Iron Man, in a pocket dimension after their apparent deaths at the hands of the psionic entity Onslaught. This allowed their writers to go back and tell brand new stories with these characters that they wouldn’t have been able to within mainstream Marvel continuity.

It was a decent idea. However, they decided to outsource these stories to former employees Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld who turned them into over-the-top, shameless parodies of themselves. The series were beset by bad stories and some of the worst art to ever disgrace the medium. It was so bad that Marvel essentially had to reboot their universe AGAIN just so they could restore everything to the status quo that was enjoyed before Heroes Reborn began. The silver lining to this abomination was that it succeeded in restoring Marvel’s sales and saved the company from a financial meltdown. All it took was a year of pure pain and agony on the part of the fans.

6. Chuck Austen’s X-Men (2002-2004)

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Uncanny X-Men #410-441

Yes, ALL of Chuck Austen’s X-Men run. It is literally impossible to pick just one thing that was wrong with it. Where do we begin? How about the horrific characterizations? How about the blatant misogyny? How about the fact that it followed one of the greatest X-Men runs of all time (Grant Morrison) with stories that were designed to retcon it all? How about when Jubilee and a bunch of other X-Men were CRUCIFIED by a group of radicals who wanted to discredit the Catholic church by making Nightcrawler the Pope and killing people with disintegrating communion wafers? Or, sticking with Nightcrawler, how about the time when it was revealed that he was literally the son of a demon named Azazel who gave birth to him so he could teleport him to earth?

No, I’ve got it! It would have to be the revelation concerning Xorn, a supporting cast member from Morrison’s run who had healing powers fueled by literally having a star in his head. For those who haven’t read Morrison’s run (and you all should), it was revealed that Xorn was none other than Magneto who was trying to infiltrate the school! In the end, Magneto kills Phoenix (for the umpteenth time) and gets his head lopped off by Wolverine. Marvel, horrified at the idea of losing one of their central villains, retconned it all. How? They said that Xorn (who remember, wasn’t real but a disguise used by Magneto) had a twin brother who infiltrated the X-Men DISGUISED as Magneto. So, in summation, we have the twin of a person who never existed in the first place infiltrate the X-Men disguised as Magneto disguised as… his real identity… Make sense? No? Don’t worry. Nobody else can figure it out, either. At least Marvel got Magneto back for several more decades of milking.

5. Sins Past (August 2004 – January 2005)

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The Amazing Spider-Man #509-514

Oh, Spider-Man fans… Why must Marvel continue to abuse you? Gwen Stacy, one of Spider-Man’s first girlfriends, was a fan favorite for decades. Her murder at the hands of the Green Goblin is said to have single-handedly ended the Silver Age of Comics. It was a tragic scene that helped define Spider-Man for a new generation. Even after Spidey hooked up with Mary Jane, there was still a massive amount of care and sympathy for Gwen, solidifying her status as one of the most-loved characters in the entire Marvel Universe. So, of course, Marvel decided that the best thing to do was to rewrite her past so that Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, had slept with her. Oh, but he just didn’t sleep with her…he knocked her up with TWINS that she gave birth to in France. After deciding to come clean with Peter and raise the kids with him, Norman killed her. Why? So he could raise them himself! Because of Norman’s bizarre blood, the kids aged faster than normal so that they were full-grown adults before they reached 10 years old! What does Norman do with them? He makes them attack Spider-Man!

Sins Past single-handedly ruined the character of Gwen Stacy for untold numbers of fans. Her tragic and emotional death was cheapened for pure shock value. But this would not be the only time that Marvel would intentionally ruin or disgrace one of Spidey’s relationships with a loved one. We’ll get to THAT horrible story in a bit. Image from

 4. Civil War (June 2006 – January 2007)

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Civil War #1-7

It started as a relatively good idea: a schism occurs in the superhero community when a group of heroes accidentally blow up a large part of Stamford, Connecticut during a fight, killing over 600 civilians, including 60 children. Heroes were faced with a daunting option: register their identities with the government and become federal employees in order to prevent such a calamity from happening again or face prosecution. Half of the community, led by Iron Man, advocated registration, believing it to be the moral and responsible solution. The other half, led by Captain America, believed that forced registration was a violation of their civil liberties and revealing their identities could put their friends and families at risk. It was a difficult and emotional issue for everybody involved.

There was no easy answer or solution to the problem… at least… there wasn’t until Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic created a robotic Thor clone which attacked the anti-registration camp, killing the superhero Goliath in the process. And then, instead of trying to persuade and convince the anti-registration people to register, Iron Man and his followers hunted them down like animals, arrested them, and threw them in an unbreakable prison in another dimension without a fair trial or due process. Not to mention that the pro-registration camp convinced Spider-Man to reveal his identity as Peter Parker publicly, leading to his Aunt May getting shot (which subsequently leads to the next entry on this list). As the icing on the cake, after Captain America heroically surrenders to prevent any more violence or bloodshed, he is shot and killed on the steps of a courthouse.

I can’t emphasize enough how badly Civil War was received and how it almost irrevocably damaged Marvel Comics. To this day, there are people who refuse to forgive Iron Man for his betrayal. What should have been an even-sided, philosophical, and heart-stirring storyline became mean-spirited, dark, and had characters that people had known and loved for decades turn on each other. The Marvel staff completely isolated their fans by taking Iron Man’s pro-registration side during the debate, alienating thousands of readers. For many, Civil War is also considered to be a turning point in Marvel’s history…and not a good one at that.

3. One More Day (November 2007 – January 2008)

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The Amazing Spider-Man #544, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #24, The Sensational Spider-Man (vol. 2) #41, Amazing Spider- Man #545.

If I ranked this list in order of the most hated, most ill conceived, most badly written, and poorly received moment in Marvel history, One More Day would be on the top. There is NO competition. For those of you who don’t read comics, let me try and break this down for you. Anyone who has seen the Spider-Man movies knows that Spider-Man’s true love was Mary Jane Watson. It’s been that way for almost 4 decades. She was among the most beloved members of the Marvel universe for her personality, spunk, and everlasting devotion to her husband Peter Parker. The two had weathered countless storms together, yet had always come out stronger as a result. Their wedding was one of the biggest Marvel events in history. For years, Peter Parker and Mary Jane were THE comic book couple, probably only rivaled in popularity by Superman and Lois Lane in DC Comics.

One day, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada decided that he didn’t like the idea of Spider-Man being married. He believed that being single was essential to Spider-Man’s character (never mind the fact that he had been married to Mary Jane for almost TWENTY YEARS). So what did he do? He made Spider-Man make a deal with the Devil to trade his marriage to save the life of Aunt May who had been shot in the aftermath of Civil War. Let me say that again in case you didn’t grasp the infuriating implications of that last sentence. Spider-Man, one of the ultimate paragons of personal responsibility and righteousness in ALL of comics, made a deal… with the DEVIL! The deal was to sacrifice his MARRIAGE all so that he could save the life of his ELDERLY Aunt May. (Side Note: He had previously contacted Aunt May in the spirit world who told him to let her go since she was old, had a good life, and wanted Peter to be happy.)

It was almost universally panned by critics. The fan backlash was the stuff of legends. Joe Quesada became one of the most hated people in the industry, even getting booed off the stage at conventions. But one of the worst things about One More Day was that it was a key example of a disturbing trend among comic book companies: editors using their positions to ghostwrite their favorite comics. In fact, many of the entries on this list were the result of editorial mandates. Among them, One More Day reigns supreme. No comic company is perfect. Even their rival company, DC Comics, has their fair share of terrible moments (but that’s a list for another day…). But no matter what they do, they can take comfort in the fact that they didn’t put out One More Day. One More Day is the ultimate bad comic book moment.

 2. Ultimates 3 (2008)

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The Ultimates 3 #1-5

The Ultimate Marvel imprint, started in 2000, was intended to be a brand new Marvel Universe free from decades of comic continuity. It was designed as a starting point for new comic book readers who didn’t want to be bogged down or confused with story and character histories. Their main series included Ultimate versions of the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and Spider-Man (easily the most popular and successful title from the Ultimate line). But the Ultimate Universe also had their own version of the Avengers known as the Ultimates. The Ultimates were the subjects of three short stand-alone series, creatively titled The Ultimates, The Ultimates 2, and The Ultimates 3. The first two were wild, run-away successes, reinventing their characters for a new generation and creating some of the most iconic moments of the new millennium (“Does this “A” look like it stands for France?). And then Ultimates 3 came along.

In an incredibly convoluted and confusing plot, the Scarlet Witch was assassinated, the Ultimates squared off with android duplicates of themselves, and Quicksilver was supposedly killed (more on that in the next entry). Oh… and somehow Doctor Doom was the genius behind it all. Sound cool? It isn’t. The entire series is plagued with horrible art, terrible writing, abysmal dialogue, and grotesque characterizations. Many people think of the Ultimates 3 as being the start of the downfall of the Ultimate Universe. But it would take our number one spot to finish the job.

1. Ultimatum (November 2008 – July 2009)

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Ultimatum #1-5

This is it, folks. This is widely considered to be THE event that killed the Ultimate Universe line. Think about that for a second…these five comics ended a ten year long comic book line. How? Let’s break it down:

Many of the Ultimates most beloved characters are killed off panel.

  • Half of the characters in the Ultimate Universe were killed, including, but not limited to: Daredevil, Cyclops, Doctor Doom, Doctor Strange, Emma Frost, Hank Pym, Juggernaut, Magneto, Professor X, Thor, Wasp, and Wolverine.
  • Over-the-top and offensive violence: the Wasp was cannibalized by the Blob, Magneto snaps Professor X’s neck, Madrox creates clones which he turns into suicide bombers, Wolverine has the adamantium stripped from his bones.
  • Scientific inaccuracies: Magneto reverses the Earth’s magnetic poles… no wait… the planet’s axis… no wait… the magnetic poles…. no wait… who cares? They’re the same thing, right?

Image result for Ultimatum comic Wasp was cannibalized by the Blob

The less you know about this insult of a comic, the better. The only thing you need to know is that Magneto tries to destroy the world in revenge for the deaths of his kids, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. But wait! Quicksilver is revealed to be alive! But the real question is…who cares! Writer Jeph Loeb destroyed almost everything that people loved about the Ultimates Universe. The damage was so massive that they had to RE- LAUNCH the Ultimate Universe. This comic has left fans scratching and banging their heads against the wall, wondering why Marvel would ever print this abominable excuse for a story.

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  1. IndyAndyJones on

    I deny everything you claimed cannot be denied, just to prove you wrong.

  2. The worst thing about the rape of ms. Marvel was the avengers behaviour ! They were very callous to carol. They actually showed sympathy to the rapist.

  3. Still pretty bitter about “Sin’s Past”, and “One More Day” made me jump ship to DC. Now DC is sucking hard, both Marvel and DC are shit shows. Their stories have become so convoluted and unbelievable! (Snyder’s awful Endgame, Gordan as a new Batman, Spidey now the head of X-Men…) It’s strange how tv/movie verse is now a thousand times better than comics.

  4. I would replace Civil War with the Superior Spider-Man.

    Plot holes galore, dumbing down the entire Marvel Universe, insulting the intelligence of longtime readers, and how NOBODY BUT JOE QUESADA’S DAUGHTER AVATAR (Carlie Cooper), AND NORMAN OSBORN CAN FIGURE OUT IT IS DOC OCK!? Even though:

    1. Kaine, a clone of Peter with all his memories up to his college years, FOUGHT AND KILLED DOC OCK! To top it off, Ock ALL BUT ADMITS “I AM DOC OCK!” In said fight.

    2. Wolverine, access to dozens of telepaths (this is even addressed in a spinoff story in Avenging Spider-Man) doesn’t call a telepath to Avengers Tower when they “scan” him in Issue 7?


    4. Why in Issue 7 DID THEY GET THE SCIENTIFICALLY RETARDED AVENGERS to scan “Peter?” when not 17 issues ago (back then comics came out bi-weekly, so not even 7 months of publication had passed) when Peter made Alpha by accident, Reed Richards, Hank Pym, Hank McCoy, T’Challa, and Tony Stark ALL CAME OUT TO SCAN HIM!? So wait, they will take time to scan a little shit brat, but not PETER PARKER!? The guy ON EVERY SINGLE MARVEL TEAM AND THEIR DOG!?

    5. Mary Jane. She has been kidnapped MORE TIMES THAN ANY OTHER GIRLFRIEND BY DOC OCK. How does she NOT recognize his speech pattern, especially when she is an ACTRESS? Speech and dialect is a learned skill in that department!

    6. Aunt May was ENGAGED to Doc Ock, which means Ock spent time with her to get to one another (which they selectively ALLUDE TO!) AND she RAISED Peter! So wait, she DOES NOT RECOGNIZE NOT ONLY PETER OUT OF CHARACTER, BUT SHE CAN’T RECOGNIZE OCK’S SPEECH PATTERN!?

    7. Spidey takes over a supervillain prison, blackmails Jonah, destroys Shadowland, employs known criminals and it takes NEW YORK UNDER SIEGE FROM THE GREEN GOBLIN FOR THE AVENGERS TO GET INVOLVED!?

    8. Venom Symbiote. Nuff said. That story was REALLLLY stretching it.

    9. Selective continuity. Slott is a little bitch both in real life and in comics apparently because he will address bits of continuity that HELP his story, but ignore the dozen or so more stories of not just Spidey but THE ENTIRE MARVEL UNIVERSE to suit it. EVEN HIS OWN WRITING! He wrote “Ends of the Earth” and IN that Spidey story, which was only 25 issues prior to SSM by the way, Ock wants to slaughter 6 BILLION people on Earth, and wants to be bigger than Hitler, Stalin, and Polpot! NO! You don’t suddenly get to flip the script!

    10. Spidey murders and tortures people for science. The Avengers are aware of BOTH of these things and don’t think that is odd? Apparently not. Oh and two sentences from Black Widow isn’t a justification!

    11. It turns Black Cat into a low grade supervillain, EVEN THOUGH SHE TOO FOUGHT OCK MANY TIMES AND SHE DOESN’T RECOGNIZE HIM EVEN THOUGH HE USES THE SPIDER TENTACLES AND TOTALLY FIGHTS LIKE OCK IN SAID FIGHT!? Oh and when Peter returned and he told her, she didn’t believe it UNTIL he pretended to be Ock to prove a point, and yet she STILL went supervillain and STILL didn’t believe he was Ock, even though not 20 panels of comics ago SHE JUST SAID “OH! IT IS DOC OCK! IN SPIDER’S BODY! NO!”

    12. Mary Jane again, along with the rest of Marvel except Captain America (a guy who consistently suspected Peter was NOT Peter yet kept shrugging it off as “meh”) believe INSTANTLY that Doc Ock was in Peter’s body. BULL. THAT IS TAWDRY AT BEST!

    13. Instead of Peter’s return and being introspective of his loss, he gets chucked into a bad sitcom where we have a Mary Sue arrive in the form of Silk, he’s dating a midget, his broad of a business partner is trying to oust him, and despite being back, head of a company, and a grown ass man even in Danny Boy’s writings, he gets emasculated over 3 women who have more issues than Action Comics! BULL!

    14. Spider-Verse feels less like a big Spider-Man fiesta celebrating what made Spider-Man special and have Peter as the hero, but more another excuse for Dan Slott to give Silk a rug munch over Spider-Girl (a fan favourite and the longest continuous comic series starring a female heroine without breaks or reboots) and the Inferior Spider-Shit over Peter to the point where even WHEN Peter punches the living shit out of Ock for the upteenth time, you don’t really care!

    15. Every other member of the Sinister Six doesn’t recognize Ock’s speech patterns either even though THEY ALL WORKED WITH HIM FOR YEARS AND YEARS AND HE EVEN RECRUITED THEM FOR HIS SPIDER TEAM!?

    THE ONLY THING that is worse than this abortion of a story (that somehow fans lapped up and ate shit along the lines of Clone Saga (which people seem to like in hindsight thanks to Ben Reilly…) is One More Day. The ULTIMATE Spider-Man abortion (no pun intended) because that too bastardizes Peter as a character, refuses to acknowledge his growth, dumbs him down, and ignores the Back in Black subplot of “LET ME DIE! YOU ARE MORE IMPORTANT!” Since you already said enough about this piece of shit though, I will leave it beyond the fact that all they have done is constantly tease readers whenever Mary Jane shows up and go:

    “See that? See that? There she is! Want her! Go get her!”

    *yanks the football away last second*

    Yeah, even Dan Slott made the Lucy and the Football reference, and that jerk needs to get shot. Or liposuction. Either or, the dude’s extremely horrendous professional attitude towards fans concerning his work (getting people thrown out of cons, banned from forums, attacked on twitter, tumblr, and beyond) even if they SLIGHTLY made a negative comment. He was the ultimate troll and masturbated on the idea of pissing long time readers off, which he did and still is doing. Did he FORGET the only people READING comics ARE LONG TIME READERS!? YOU IDIOT!!!! Especially when he used the vaunted sales argument: “Well sales are up so I did something right…”

    Yeah, you realize that Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace made a TON of money, yet to fans it didn’t make it “good” because all they remember from it was Jar Jar and Jake Lloyd. ARRRRRRRRRRRRGHH!

  5. this list is complete garbage. Readers loved spidey getting buffed in one more day. people loved civil war, hence why its getting a movie. I think you put a couple of these in there just for shock factor because everyone knows the crossing and clone saga are the top two worst for marvel.

  6. I agree with your list except Civil War and also I will add Hickman’s run and incursion which is biggest BS on Xorn or teen Iron-man level. Because it just doesn’t make sense :D.

  7. I came hear mostly to confirm that my most hated, ‘one more day’ was on the list. That storyline was really bad. We already know Mephisto has a love of taking souls, making people his slaves, etc….but he’s willing to let Aunt May live just so he can get some jollies out of Peter never falling in love with MJ. wtf? why not take spider mans soul, or make him do your dirty work? The dialog while he’s explaining the rationale for it is cringe inducing, a bunch of ‘power of love’ type garbage that nobody would believe. It really really bothered me because i had just started collecting spidey again after a few years off, and the stories were getting really good. ‘brand new day’ and the ensuing reboot was awful, with dumb new villians and more traditional spidey stories.
    I will say i don’t think Civil War belongs on here. I really liked it. It wasn’t perfect but it was entertaining. I really didn’t think it was much of a stretch to think Tony would do something like that, and behave in that matter. I think we need a little gray area in our stories sometimes…its not all good vs evil. I do feel however, that the whole spider man unmasking was just a tool to get them to where they wanted to be so they could do the spidey reboot they wanted.

  8. I can accept them unmasking Peter if they knew it was not going to be permanent but their reason for doing it was character growth and story potential. But that is not why they did it. The only reason was that it was one of their stepping stone to undoing the marriage. They weren’t interested in exploring the ramifications of it because they didn’t do anything with it. Peter David (and maybe Roberto Aguiera-Sacasa) was the only one that tried to write some stories that dealt with it, but those stories were ignored by the main book because Amazing was all about getting Peter to the point where he would make a deal with Satan to undo his marriage to save his 90-year-old aunt.

    The death of Billy Connors is terrible, but it loses out a bit on “worst moment” because all of Shed is just awful. There is nothing redeeming about that story. Ugh.

  9. I would say, for myself, that one of the worst aspects of Peter’s unmasking was that, with a bare few exceptions, we saw no positives to this – only negatives. Yes, the villains were going to come after his family, but except for Peter David’s book, the possible good was never even explored.

    Another point against all of Civil War was inconsistent scenes between issues like : Tony telling Peter in Peter’s book that the imprisoned were there for life, while in the main CW issue, he told him they were just there till they registered.

    • That’s because they never intended him unmasking to be a permanent thing. They have admitted that the only reason they did it was to put him in the position where he would have to make the deal with Satan (i.e. Mephisto) to reverse it and the marriage. Quesada was hellbent on fixing a problem that didn’t exist.

      • I get that, about Quesada’s antics. I just meant that, even as a temporary plot twist – and no one anywhere I think believed that it was permanent – it was poorly utilized. Again, except for PAD’s work, and maybe Peter getting to tell hypocrite Liz Osborn off, the good in this move was completely overwhelmed by an utterly predictable villain attack storyline. This also has the extra effect of making Tony and Reed look even dumber or viler for not taking surveillance on everyone from Aunt May to Peter’s oddball roommates from the JMS Team-Up days–and don’t tell me they were concerned for their privacy.

        They really should have unmasked Peter a year before the War, as part of the build-up. The storyline was strangled by coinciding with the CW. Linkara said it : You can’t shift the status quo when no storyline is around long enough to become rooted.

        As a worst moment, I’m going to give special mention to the hideous pointless death of Billy Connors. I hope he is reborn on an Earth with Lian Harper as his little sister. If they ever want to hard reset anything else, have it turn out the entire Connors family has been in cryo since Calypso’s Lizard attack in Todd Mcfarlane’s day, and the ones we’ve seen tormented and die were voodoo clones. That one, I would support.

  10. Wow just wow. As a comic book fan from the early 90’s it’s really sad when you realize the types of idiotic decisions that were made with storyline, dialogue, and art.
    Also I can’t believe “Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil that Men Do” didn’t make the cut. 🙂

    • The first issues of TETMD were pretty good. Then Smith took a 3 (?) year break and when he came back he decided to make Black Cat a rape victim because hey, comics right? Any female superhero has to have endured a sexual assault because that’s how male writers write female characters. Ugh.

      • Don’t be too hard on the poor writer, he’s just trying to bring something forward that most people would rather not think about. Unfortunately he fails to understand that this is one of the subjects people read comics to get away from.

        It probably didn’t make the list because many readers had given up entirely on Spider-Man, a title that thrived on the melodrama/romance that writers seem unable or unwilling to include these days. It’s all action, action, and more action now. In other words, not that many read it.

        • Smith took a 3 (?) year break in the middle of the mini-series, that’s just unprofessional. If you can’t complete a 6 (?) issue mini-series, then don’t start it.

          And there was no need to make Black Cat a rape victim. Oh, that’s why she became a costumed character. No, we already got her origin years ago from Marv Wolfman and Roger Stern. But thanks for making a strong female character have a sexual assault in her past. This is a crutch that male comic book writers do to female characters all the time because they think it will give them character and motivation. It just shows that they can’t come up with anything original to writer about the character so “I might as well make her a rape victim, that happens to women!”

  11. The Aunt May that died wasn’t a clone, she was a “genetically-modified actress”. And it didn’t happen in the Clone Saga, it happened in The Gathering of Five/The Final Chapter right before the reboot. At this point the clone sage was still fresh in Marvel’s memory and they didn’t want to mention any clones in Spidey comics, so they had the Goblin say that he had found an elderly actress and genetically altered her to replace Aunt May.

  12. Poor writing decisions, such as the Spiderman Clone saga, can be forgiven, or at least hopefully forgotten; but the overall downward spiral of the culture of comics, and marvel in particular, can not be.

    The last couple decades have seen a definite and severe moral decline. Comics are no longer about heroes, they now feature super-powered MMA fighters at the best and thugs at the worst. Title characters have forgone interesting back-stories and complex personalities for one-line yell matches and anything goes lifestyles. “Old fashioned” values like truth and justice have to make way for “whatever gets the job done,” and the job itself usually involves beating someone to a pulp because it would make an interesting battle for the reader.

    How many marvel story arcs have you noticed involve heroes fighting one another? Most villains now play a back seat if they are featured at all. It’s far easier for the lazy writer to slap a titillating title of hero-vs-hero together. What have all the big arcs been about in recent years? Civil War, Avengers vs X-men, Hulk vs Everyone. When you have a new generation of writers who adhere to amoral nonsense and don’t believe in the mocked simplicity of good versus evil, then this is where you end up.

    While violence has always been a part of comics, as fighting bad guys will always necessitate combat; the gratuitous and vulgar level of violence has reached a point that even those desensitized to it are still disgusted. This ridiculous level of attempted shock value is what happens when you have no true ideas as a writer. The trend of high death tolls isn’t a creative endeavor, it’s an infantile attempt to grab attention when storytelling is just too hard to accomplish.

    Lastly, the obvious assault on any normality or any positive relationships is the final straw. What do new writers and editors do when they encounter characters who have wholesome relationships or might be positive role models? They demolish those relationships in an attempt to “modernize” the character. A married Spiderman? Can’t have that. The same with happily married DC Dibnys, that relationship needs to go in the most brutal way possible. Storm marrying Black Panther? Of course it is temporary. Kitty and Colossus finally finding happiness? HAH, as if we would let that happen. It’s like one unending bad episode of the latest skanky reality TV show.

    Like much of Hollywood today, instead of comics trying to shine the bright possibilities of humanity to their readers; the industry instead reflects the most base and vile components of society and uses the excuse “this is what people want.” Well, they can tell themselves that little lie to make themselves feel better about peddling their trash, but if I wanted to see filth I would watch the evening news. I used to pick up a comic book to have my inner child dazzled with wonder. Now when I read one all I think about is how new readers are missing out on the good comics of yesteryear.

    • I’m with you there, Daniel, about the shock value preference of writers today. Although Stan Lee used to joke about boring his audience while pausing the main story to focus on back story and character development, it was treating those characters like real people and the development of more realistic relationships between them that helped distinguish Marvel from the competition.

      For 12 years Marvel evolved and defined their world. And once Lee decided he had things just perfect, he decided to expand his horizons beyond comics. So he laid down the rule of illusion of change, denying future writers the freedom to totally choose how character develop, and moved to Hollywood.

      Well, I know that’s a gross oversimplification. But in all the years since, have any relationships come about that tugged the heart the way Peter and Gwen’s did? And why don’t the Avengers feel more like a family after all this time, with cliques of devoted friends and lovers growing closer, then apart? For that matter, why did the New Avengers feel so much like the Defenders, and Wolverine and Cage still don’t come across as really being Avengers at all when they’ve been with the group for so long?

      Because Marvel doesn’t care about any of that stuff. Frankly, it might as well be television.

      Then again, heroes have always fought each other in Marvel comics. It was part of the more realistic approach to characterization.

      DC’s heroes all knew each other’s identities, as if wearing a mask and cape meant a person could be trusted implicitly. But Lee and Kirby both knew that real people often conflict, the more serious the stakes the greater the conflict.

      But yeah, still doing that constantly after more than 50 years doesn’t make sense either.

  13. Killed this bitches super-girls fo good on

    I hated the wasp all the time since she was created by Stan Lee, glad they did it

    • Thor was unreadable at first, just a second-rate Superman, until Lee took over completely as the writer.

      Just saying, he may have exercised some mega-poor judgment in his dealings with Kirby, but the dude could write. Without him there would be no Marvel to complain about today.

  14. Loeb did a great job of turning a new, great thing into the old thing. The ultimates was one of the best comics and had nothing to do with the avengers, yet he (and his team) managed to turn everyone into their 616 versions, suits and all. Avengers mansion? Iron man’s armor? Thor’s persona, suit and hammer? Wasp not Asian? The guy should at least have read Ultimates 1 and 2 before going in, he clearly didn’t and, ignorant to what it was about, wrote the avengers.

    Ultimates 3 and ultimat drove me away from comics. The sentry and everything revolving around it have kept me well away.

  15. Civil war rakes place over 187 issues. For whatever reason a lot of review sites only read the 7 issues of the main mini-series. When the entire run is read (although the heroes for hire issues can be left out) you get quite and epic story, ranking high with some of the best stories marvel has produced.

    Not to mention the massive buildup it had over the past 3 decades. (There are issues of west coast avengers that talk about proposing a super human registration act). In the years just before civil war, the events of avengers dissambled, house of m, wolverine enemy of the state, and about 20 other story lines all lead up logically to civil war.

    It was an event that needed to happened and was very well written out.

    Of course, if you only judge it on 7 out of 187 issues, discard its decades long buildup and come in with a hateful attitude of all things post avengers dissambled then you will not enjoy it.

    • Aunt may being a dna-altered actress stretches credulity to the breaking point just to avoid using the clone idea, though. Pete actually never noticed that the woman he’d known his entire life was an actress? Riiight.

      Ever get the feeling your writer suffers from an imagination deficiency? Peter lives in a world that has Reed Richards, for cryin’ out loud! Surely reality can be made to hiccup a time or two in these cases.

      And for those who feel that Civil War was good if you only bought every last title Marvel was putting out at the time, I just want to point out that the title comic for the event shouldn’t really give one a false impression of what’s happening. That’s just poor planning. And this comes from one who cares not one way or another what happened in “Avengers Disassembled”. Don’t care for Finch’s art, so I didn’t get it.

      CW itself was only 7 issues. Those 7 issues made it look like everyone just begins attacking each other at the first whisper of trouble, certainly long before a democratic government has time to enact any kind of legislation. It made no sense, and even a title which is just part of a bigger whole needs to make some kind of sense.

      THAT is why Civil War was Marvel’s biggest mistake of all time, big enough that only in the past year or so have things settled down. It shook up the entire comics industry. Disillusioned fans have left in droves, leaving only the relatively new readers who don’t really understand what all the fuss is about.

      Granted, some, such as myself, waited until well after World War Hulk to leave. I was just hoping things would get better, eventually coming to the conclusion that the Marvel Comics I used to love was just gone forever.

  16. I quite liked Civil War… Of course I have quite the flair for dramatics and Civil War was totally my kind of thing. Though, Steve Rogers is my favorite character, so the end of that was a bust.

    If it were up to me honestly I’d put Sins Past as number one on the list just because of how… Entirely WRONG that whole thing was. Of course, I never read Ultimatum or The Ultimates 3, just Ultimates 1 and 2, so Ultimatum could definitely be worse than Sins Past.

  17. Quesada didn’t all the sudden decide he didn’t like Peter Parker being married. Some of the worst storylines in Marvel history, including the clone saga on your list, were created to try to get Spider-Man back to being single. The scarlet spider was going to be the real Spider-Man, and single, while the clone would go off and live happily ever after with Mary-Jane

    • Richard Bottoms on

      I’ve seen this plot before. Only then it was called ‘The Stolen Earth’ and ‘Journey’ End” on a little know TV show called Doctor Who.

  18. Alexander Klarfeld on

    First of all, I completely agree with every single entry on this list, ESPECIALLY Civil War, One More Day and Ultimatum. All of them stunk and should never have been published. All ten of them. Granted, there have been others that are comparably bad, such as Avengers Disassembled and House Of M, and, more recently, the blatant middle finger of an ending in Amazing Spider-Man 700, but in any event, here is my two cents on each moment.

    10. Jim Shooter should never have been allowed to be a writer in Marvel Comics. Avengers 200 and the rape of poor Carol Danvers therein alone is proof of that, and there’s plenty of other bad stuff Shooter pulled both before and after that, both in the comic book world and towards others. There were a lot of creators he alienated and characters he contaminated, to say nothing of lousy stories he wrote. far too many to go into here. If he’s reading this, I hope I’ve offended him, because he deserves it, seeing as how he’s offended so many and is known for having been the Nixon Of Comics.

    9. Ah, the Clone Saga. An ever so infamous moment in Spider-Man history, and possibly the start of the repeated instances in which Spider-Man fans(myself included)have been tortured. What’s ironic is, Ben Reilly as a character wasn’t half bad, but I hated(like many did)the Clone Saga story and the way that it led to Spider-Man thinking he was the clone for a time. And that’s not even getting into the stuff that made it reek. Clones in general are a bad idea, and especially when a storyline about them is handled so poorly. It was sad to see Ben Reilly die at Green Goblin’s hands, but at least it put everything having to do with the Clone Saga the heck away and made it clear the original Peter Parker was the true, real Peter Parker and thus the true Spider-Man. Unfortunately, not only did it, as mentioned in the list, leave the door open to make it turn out Aunt May hadn’t died after all when her time had clearly come, but Marvel apparently didn’t learn a thing, as they later cloned Magneto in the form of the ill-fated and soon to die, ironically at Magneto’s hands, Joseph.

    8. Rectons are rarely a good thing, and what The Crossing did to Iron Man was inexcusable as much as atrocious and abominable. It was his worst pre-Civil War character derailment(though when I get to that, I’ll be emphatic about just how much worse it was)and it stained his character and who he was in the worst way. That Teen Tony took his place as Iron Man only added fuel to the fire. Besides how this was indeed a middle finger to Iron Man fans and they knew, deep down, that there was no way in heck Iron Man was actually a traitor and these were creators being jerks of the worst kind, the very fact it was retconned out of existence and thankfully undone in full with Iron Man being back to what he truly was and the whole thing of The Crossing never having happened shows just how much it blew and just how true it was that the creative team behind it was forced to admit they had done something dreadful and needed to undo their mistake.

    7. OOOOOH, did Heroes Reborn ever fall flat! Certainly not a good way to try and start things up again, and although the 90’s were a good time for a lot of types of entertainment, comic books were a major exception to this. I really don’t get why heroes went from friendly to gritty come the 90’s, and I frankly never will. But in any event, I’m not the least bit surprised that it got retconned out of existence like it did. I wasn’t when it happened, and I’m not now. Frankly, there was nothing that could possibly happen to make it so that Heroes Reborn would last. Not with what it meant and everything it did to ruin what made the Marvel Universe great. Ironically, if the idea had been handled better and in a way that actually did something good for new stories, then it might have been a defining moment or a milestone. But not so. And with the way it had to be rebooted so that it never actually happened, it can only be looked at as one of the worst times of comics in the 90’s, although there were plenty of those, especially when that anathema who is Onslaught was involved, but still.

    6. I would like to make it very clear indeed that not only is it 100% accurate and astute to say that Chuck Austen’s X-Men were horrendous, but here is the thing. Never mind the fact he makes the X-Men and sometimes their villains out to be things they’re not, plus make things happen with them that simply are not true and are fundamentally disconnected from them. Chuck Austen made no attempt whatsoever to hide his contempt for the audience he wrote comic books for, and let’s face it. He was nothing but a selfish, obnoxious, rotten, pompous, greedy, character ruining waste of life who did his job for little more than a paycheck and a way to find an excuse to tick people off. His treatment of Nightcrawler in storylines like the awful “Holy War” and the even worse “The Draco” in particular sticks out in terms of his bad writing. Between that and how his writing of The Avengers was almost as bad, not to mention how his ineptitude was coupled with his unlikable personality, which he would project into almost any character he wrote about and therefore make them rotten and unlikable, too, it’s not hard to understand why I’m baffled anyone would hire a lowlife hack such as that.

    5. Okay, first thing’s first. The majority of Spider-Man comics that JMS wrote(I’m not even going to bother writing his full name, since you know who I’m talking about and he doesn’t deserve the respect of having his full name written anyway, hack that he is)were pretty bad. But this one was definitely in the worst of the worst of them. There is no way whatsoever Gwen Stacy would get in bed with Norman Osborn. She is not a dumb blonde. Yes, she’s blonde, and yes, she’s beautiful, but she’s not stupid and she isn’t a flirt! Unfortunately, she was made out to be just that in this storyline which is a retcon that flies in the face of one of the most powerful, heart-rending, famous and tragic stories in all of Spider-Man history. That Gwen was a loyal, honest, lovable, kind and innocent girl as well as an attractive one further signifies, since she was with Peter Parker at the time she was kidnapped, that she would never sleep with another person, let alone the one who’d become her abductor and eventually her killer! Though the title, Sins Past, is certainly correct, because this was one of JMS’s top worst sins even though it’s in the past! Trashing the memory of a sweet, innocent, lovable and unfairly dead character, for shame! Anyone who likes this piece of garbage seriously has to have their head examined.

    4. As I’ve already mentioned, one of the moments on this list I especially hated was Civil War. First of all, there was the way that literally EVERYONE in the story was portrayed out of character in the worst possible way. Second of all, there were racist moments aplenty, most notably Clor killing poor Goliath and later attempting to do the same to Storm and Black Panther. But more than this, and the way Iron Man was turned into such a monster(when really he’s not like that at all)he had to have five years of his memory erased to become a hero again, let’s not be forgetting this. Having villains like BULLSEYE and TASKMASTER helping your side is not what heroes do, yet it happened in this story. There were more villains who were chosen by the pro-reg side, of course, but the point is, that was as out of character for the ones who did it as it was blatantly forced by that pretentious, selfish hack Mark Millar. And that’s before you go into how numerous people stopped reading comics because of this story(and for good reason)and had gotten to hate everyone on the pro-reg side despite liking them previously. Character derailments of the worst kind were done to everyone in this story, in one form or the other, and I’d like to mention additionally that it ham-fistedly, ineptly and pathetically tried to draw political parallels to superheroes and 9/11 and the war on terror, which makes it all the more of a hideous, disgusting and god-awful comic book. The creators who made it are all scum, and that they would have it so anti-reg heroes were imprisoned without even a trial and often tortured in the negative zone, as well as have it so Captain America got tackled by 9/11 World Trade Center heroes as a way of saying “He must be wrong despite being the symbol of America and Sentinel Of Liberty, if the World Trade Center heroes agree with registration despite how obviously wrong it is” by Millar is as obscene as it is offensive to those most affected by the hellish tragedy that is 9/11. That Civil War led to One More Day in Spider-Man’s case only multiplies the badness by a factor of at least five. Now, here is the thing. Besides the way that anyone who likes this disgraceful excuse for a comic book is a brainless fool and moron blind to how bad it is who is NOT a true Marvel fan, and those who dislike it(there are a great many, of course)do so for good reason, I want to state something having to do with that worthless, selfish, greedy, pompous and pretentious hack writer and waste of human life who is the less subtle than an H-Bomb Mark Millar(especially since Civil War, while among his worst stories, is far from the first time he’s made characters fully unlikable and/or written a story with racism and/or intent to anger fans and be obnoxious in it). Back in 2006, Mark Millar paused writing Civil War because he’s caught Crohn’s disease. Well deserved, given what a bad person he was and is. He recovered and went on to finish Civil War(which, lest any of us forget, involved promise breaking, as he promised along with the rest of Marvel that both sides would be presented equally but then made the pro-reg side out to be evil and whatnot, therefore of course making it so they lied to trick the fans and treacherously lure them in to their true intents), right down to making Cap surrender. Easily one of the top worst parts of the story, if not the worst. Tragically and sadly enough, five years later, in 2011, Dwayne McDuffie, a good, kind, giving man who usually did a good job with his work and was a great person in general, plus had gotten the raw deal at DC by Dan Didio(another poor excuse for a comic book creator, but he’s not part of this, so I digress) in 2009, was unfortunate enough to pass away during surgery. A heartbreaking and lament-worthy moment indeed. Well, I wish that it had happened a much different way. As in, I wish that Mark Millar, that lying drunk of an arrogant, unlikable, comic book ruining and fan angering scumbag had died of his crohn’s disease somehow or other, and that Dwayne McDuffie had survived his surgery and got back to being as good as new. Had it happened that way, we’d still have a great, likable, nice and generous man like Dwayne McDuffie around, and we’d have one less stain on this world to do everything in his power to anger comic book fans and in general be a self-centered lowlife, as we’d be without Mark Millar and get to say good riddance to the SOB. Unfortunately, this was not to be, but it would have been wonderful if it had been, especially since it would also mean Civil War would have been unable to be finished and most likely be cancelled. All of this would make us a lot better off, and I can see no downside to it. If I’ve offended Millar and hurt his feelings in saying this, then good, because the guy had it coming.

    3. Okay, this is DEFINITELY the top worst moment in not only all of Marvel Comics, but also all of comic books in general, and possibly all of entertainment, really. Never mind the fact that Spider-Man is nothing like he was portrayed in One More Day, and especially at the end of it, and how we Spider-Man fans have been tortured by hack creators before, but never on this level. There’s also the way that, besides how Aunt May made it clear her time had come and Peter should let her go, there is no way that someone like Mephisto would be in any way interested in a guy like Spider-Man to make a deal. They’re in two different leagues, on two different levels and they barely know about one another. Mephisto could never warp reality until One More Day, which shows how forced that part was, and Spider-Man’s integrity, honestly, steadfast heroicness and, of course, his responsibility, makes it so that he would NEVER make a deal with the devil of all things, and most especially one to erase his marriage, save the life of an aunt who’d lived her life and wanted to die so he could be happy with the woman he loved, Mary Jane, and move on, and in a way so that twenty years of Spidey continuity and therefore his life were erased! Mary Jane is also much stronger and more spirited than she was portrayed in OMD, with a far stronger will, just like Spidey’s will is far above what OMD made it out to be. Resurrections of characters who should have stayed dead coming from it only made it worse, and that it was part of what butchered Marvel Comics continuity well beyond repair in every way further signifies how unspeakably terrible it is. How did a guy like Joe Quesada ever get placed into a position of authority, especially knowing he’d do anything to break up Peter and MJ? OMD was most assuredly his deliberate middle finger to the fans and he’s pretentiously acted like the fans who hate it don’t get Spider-Man, even though, if there is anyone who doesn’t get Spider-Man, it’s Quesada! He well deserved being booed off stage like he was and all the hatred he gets to this day for OMD, and I don’t blame the universal decrying by the fans for the storyline. That it came out of Civil War, and that it led to things like One Moment In Time and the 699th and 700th issues of ASM, as well as the abysmal Superior Spider-Man(more like inferior and forced by scummy creators Spider-Man)magnifies how horrid it is. Also compounding how disgraceful it is, I might add, is the fact that Joe Quesada knew how much he’d be hated for it and how it would destroy the continuity of both Spider-Man and Marvel in general beyond any hope of repair, as well as how it was selfish and only something he wanted to happen, and yet he went right ahead and did it, anyway. I’m just glad that numerous people’s reactions to and talks about the OMD storyline have roasted Quesada like the pig that he is. Don’t know if he’s come across any professional roasters or not, but either way, the roasters he’s gotten for OMD do so for good reason and it is a well deserved roasting of that turkey named Joe Q. Of course, OMD is far from the first time he’s pulled a rotten stunt in comic books of some sort, as evidenced by Chuck Austen’s X-Men, Sins Past and Civil War(which is the top worst of those particular 3, IMO)but OMD is most assuredly the worst of the worst when it comes to Quesada’s wrongdoings and trashing of comic books and the characters thereof. Really, if there’s anyone out there who likes OMD, they must be so dumb and brainless that they make the likes of Jessica Simpson and Sarah Palin look like utter intellectuals. I was not the least bit surprised when this abomination of an atrocious storyline alienated readers galore.

    2. While all of the volumes of Ultimate Marvel titled “The Ultimates” were pretty bombastic and filled with obnoxious, unlikable characters despite their popularity and success(which comes as no surprise, seeing as how that rotten piece of slime Mark Millar wrote them), Jeph Loeb’s Ultimates 3 was indeed, undeniably and irrefutably the worst of them. Since Jeph Leob is just as bad, if not worse, a writer than Millar(and that is TRULY saying something, to be sure), this isn’t surprising. But even still, one could hardly expect that such dreadful writing, horrendous artwork and inexcusably bad work could be found in any comic book. Leob proved that wrong, though, and while this sure did BEGIN the end for the Ultimate Marvel universe, Ultimates or otherwise(though you’d be hard pressed to find anything involving characters who were the least bit likable in any Ultimate Marvel comic book, but still), it paled in comparison to what will be mentioned next here and if Ultimates 3 was bad, then what I’m about to write about and the last of these moments mentioned is surely in a league of its own when it comes to being reprehensible.

    1. Ultimatium wasn’t JUST what saw to it the Ultimate Marvel universe was destroyed and so was what was good about it, even if that was in a sea of bad things and/or flaws, despite a lot of people not seeing said downsides, but it was the numero uno horrific Ultimate Marvel comic book of all time. Never mind the disgusting ways in which characters are killed, the lack of logic and how, at the end, it’s not really an end and it’s more like some kind of…convoluted revelation that opens a lot of questions after a horrific letdown of a comic book. It’s unbelievable that even Loeb would write such a piece of trash pile of garbage, and it comes as no shocker to me whatsoever that the Ultimate Marvel universe needed a major reboot after the Ultimatium storyline. I mean, five simple issues destroying everything with ease after several years? That alone should make it clear how bad it was, but that’s before you get into how much worse every characterization has become and how it is nothing more than an insulting imitation of a comic book. Frankly, an infant could write a better comic book story than this. Heck, a maggot could. How Leob got hired to write for any comic book company confuses me to no end, the way he would write trash such as this so shamelessly. If you never read a single issue of this story, then you’ve done yourself a favor and made it so that at least in one way, the world is made a bit better. If you like Ultimatum despite how it is everything I have just described, as well as overall universally loathed(and for good reason), then I’m sorry, but there is something seriously wrong with you and you have SERIOUS issues. To say nothing of how you’re an idiot if you like something so disgustingly dreadful.

    Anyway, sorry for how long this was, but I had a lot to cover about each of these abominable and abysmal atrocities that undeserving of their job creators had the nerve to inflict on the comic book world and the fans thereof. Excellent list, Nathanael Hood, and you did an excellent job, especially since I couldn’t agree with you more, and thoroughly so. I’m betting that anyone who likes any of these at all has ignored what makes them bad along with having the less than favorable traits I mentioned. I also saw your Top 10 Worst Moments In DC Comics list, and that was very nicely done, too, along with something I agree with. You do this sort of thing quite well, and I hope you will continue to do such a good job as this with Top 10 Lists on this site.

  19. Honestly, If this list were newer I wouldn’t be shocked to see Superior Spider-man on the list. Given that it’s a Knightfall clone marketed by trolling I don’t have a lot of respect for it.

  20. I think a lot of the worst ideas listed and discussed here fall under the old piece of wisdom which goes : Just because you can do something, that doesn’t always mean you should. Also, I don’t know that Hank’s accidental backhanding was a low point in and of itself. It was meaningful at the time, and let all remember, Jan very promptly divorced him after, so no years of taking it in silence – in fact I think she started a run as Avengers Chair after as well. Has it been horribly mishandled and retconned so you would think there is no sunlight between Hank-616 and Ultimate Hank? Hell Yes.

    The list :

    10 – Carol actually got better treatment from Rogue.

    9 – The Clone Saga proper went on for two years ; Due to endless special issues, mini-series and stoopid efforts to make the readers want Ben to be the real one (Liked Ben, but not as Real Pete) made it go on more like four years, and five if you count the pain that was the Byrne reboot. A lot of you are down on JMS – but what came just prior made everything except Sins Past seem like mountain air. Not to mention the angst-grimfest that preceded it all with the phony parents.

    8 – The Crossing – If everything we know is wrong, then there is something wrong with those that first told us what we know, and certainly with those telling it now.

    7 – Reborn – I’d still like a Cap/Bucky figure set from that era. And that is all. Also, they should have used it to restore Johnny/Crystal.

    6 – I’m gonna say that CA’s run was just the distillation with the problem of modern X-Men : How long can your Mutant Armageddon clock stay at 11:59:59 PM? Sorry. off-topic, I know.

    5 – Sins Past – Note : THIS ONE, they wouldn’t let OMD override. Hey, JQ? Having kids does not make Peter old – hating the idea makes you–Joe Quesada.

    4 – Civil War – What does it say when the plot of the Video Game adaptation is massively better liked than the original?

    3 – OMD – The most frightening thing about OMD is the near cult-like hold the idea of destroying Peter/MJ had on every creative source in comics’ existence. Its like not one of them liked the marriage, and they spoke with nearly one voice on getting rid of it, whereas fans were split, either liking it or not seeing the dire need to get rid of it. And even those that hated the marriage hated OMD. Again, and forgive the refrain : What new-great stories have been told since that could not have been told with MJ around?

    2 – Ultimates 3 – Stupid Flanderization!

    1 – Ultimatum – Once more : Just because you can….

  21. Akil Prowell on

    Okay, I haven’t read some comic before the Spiderman movie. since than movie I been a huge Spderman fan for a decade. I do agree on something but you guys are forget one more thing. and is Superior Spiderman. The writers make Norman Osborn come back to life somehow. They confuse readers with the clone saga thing. And the writer the relationship between Peter Parker and mary Jane. BUT THEY HAS GONE WAY TOO FAR WITH IT. These idiots thought it would be a great idea to kill him in the last issue of the amazing spiderman even thought they kill in the ultimate version. and now Doc Ock is Peter’s body and Peter is dead. The writers better make peter back because he have to deal with Doc ock’s mess. Peter will maybe get fied again, he’ll be broke again, and things will turn bad for him again. The writers want Peter to go broke. Marvel, you are reading this need to stop RIGHT NOW! STOP IT! STOPIT! STOP ITTTTTTTTTTT!

  22. I gotta agree with daha on the final issue of amazing spiderman. Marvel took one of their most popular heros, if not their most popular hero, and killed him off. But it couldn’t be tasteful like in the ultimate series. Nope, they filled his head with the mind of doc ock. I officially stopped buying anything spiderman related after that week.

    • I don’t blame you. They make it look like killing off Ultimate Spider Man was a test of some kind. That worked, you gave them money for it by continuing to buy the book after Peter was replaced, so what’s your reward for your loyalty? They kill off the “real” Peter.

      Every get the feeling you shouldn’t encourage someone?

  23. Civil War are you made one of the most successful, most grounded, most epic comic book event of all time? What it doing on this list?

  24. I disagree with you on why “One More Day” is terrible. Although it is terrible. For me, Peter Parker’s choices are the only ones that make sense. He is giving up his own happiness to save the life of someone else, that is totally in character.

    However, he first asks a number of people to help save Aunt May’s life – many of whom should be able to do so – and they all refuse. Why?

    And what, exactly, does Mephisto get out of the whole arrangement? Particularly when the deal is expanded to “everyone forgets that Peter is Spiderman too so that Peter is happy”?

    That’s a whole lot of reality alteration for very little gain.

    • AvX had a plot, the problem is the plot was based around Scott Summers paranoia and martyr complex and they tried to make it seem like both sides were to blame when really it was just Cyclops being a giant sack of crazy.

      So instead of making it clear that the problem was Cyclops being insane, they pretended there was an actual difference in the goals and beliefs of both sides. There wasn’t, cyclops was the guy who complained about living in “a world that hates and fears us” right after getting the presidential medal of freedom and a parade in his honor, and most people pretty clearly saw there was no difference or reason for sane people to fight.

      • George Rogers on

        No Cyclops was right. All he was guilty of is being a man who can’t be bought.

        • Dan LaLande on

          The marvel world had stopped hating and fearing mutants, thanks to cyclops paranoia he pursued a course that has once again made the mutants targets of hate. Cyclops’ arrogance and distrust sabotaged the dream of coexistence.

          Just because things worked out for the mutants in the end doesn’t mean Cyclops was right. Cyclops original plan, in which he ostracized the scarlet witch and tried to get hope to be the host of a full-strength phoenix without training, would have killed millions of humans. It was reckless and stupid.

        • TheSpacePope on

          The only reason the world stopped fearing mutants was because 99.9% of them were eliminated by M-Day. And even with their vastly reduced number, they were still feared. Since M-Day, they’ve had to deal with new sentinels created by O*N*E to police them, the Reavers and the Hellfire club trying to eliminate the last remaining mutants and a full scale attack on their headquarters by Bastion and his human cronies that resulted in more mutant deaths. What was Cyclops to do? Sit back and watch as their enemies cut down their numbers one by one. His actions were ones of a desperate man trying to protect his people. Sure, his actions were rash but I didn’t see the Avengers trying to help them. Cyclop’s actions are no different than Truman and the atomic bomb. He weighed his options and took the one that could help now. nd in the end, he was right. He saved mutantkind. It’s funny how everyone is up in arms because he killed Xavier but wasn’t it worth it to ensure mutantkind ‘s survival?

        • Dan LaLande on

          And after the attack by Bastion, he was given a medal by the president, supported by the avengers and the people of San Francisco, and treated as a hero.

          He responded by throwing the medal into the sea and whining more and more about how everyone hates him. Rather than make ANY effort to expand on those good feelings and integrate more, he isolated further and further.

          And then when the avengers DID come to help, he shot Captain America with eye beams and started ranting about how all his enemies were trying to kill everyone. His paranoia and distrust of non-mutants – the very bigotry he claims to fight against – is what started the war. Humans don’t hate and fear mutants, Cyclops hates and fears humans.

          Most importantly, Cyclops’ plan didn’t save mutants. Tony Stark’s plan did.

          Hope was barely able to control a weakened phoenix with training and help from the scarlet witch, if Cyclops had his way a million people would have died, project: Wideawake would have been activated, mutants would have been herded into camps and branded, and everything would have been so much worse. That’s not speculation – that’s the alternate future Bishop is from.

          Cyclops turned from a bland, arrogant kid into a paranoid madman. I’m so glad he’s not in charge anymore, about time.

    • On top of what dan said, cyclops is now leading a mutant revolution, and we all saw how that worked out with magneto

  25. At this point in time, Civil War is more on the money then ever. Weapon registration due to the killing of a lot of children, sound familiar…

    That being said, it was a comic that I (still) like to read, but I never LIKED it…

    Like many of the big company crossovers, the idea is solid, but the execution (and subsequent milking of said crossover…) got from bad to worse.

    The cloning of Thor and killing of Goliath was clearly a vehicle to turn Tony Stark and his pro-registration gang in the bad light, clearly to pander the majority of the fans because they choose Cap’s side. Now instead of a comic that showed us both sides, they just made in into the usual good vs bad thing. And the worst part was that the “bad” guys won, in an extremely unsatisfying ending.

    Civil War is kind of like the worst dump you have ever taken. You don’t want to remember it, but it’s always there in the back of your mind, when you are on the crapper.

    I also agree with most entries. Heroes reborn was terrible, the same crap Image made was now ruining Marvel icons. I never stopped hating Jim Lee and, especially, Rob Liefeld after that. Ultimates 3 was a let-down, relying mostly on an artist that is clearly over his peak. Clone Saga was a big joke, shame to see them still milking it with the new Scarlet Spider series. And One More Day? Let’s just say I won’t forgive the Marvel staff for messing with the most lovable character in comics, Spider-Man…

    I actually liked Ultimatum. It was bad, but it was very “Ultimate”! The Ultimate universe was getting in a rut, and Ultimatum actually tried to shake things up. Killing off lots of big characters was a stupid move though, especially Wolverine. The Ultimate reboot is however a joke, every single issue since Ultimatum has been a let-down.

    All in all, Marvel is still the house of ideas. It’s just that most of those ideas are crap nowadays…

  26. 10. Yeah, the Danvers birth was bad, but it was just another bad story amidst 2 decades of bad stories. The Avengers haven’t lived up to their potential since the last time Gene Colan was the regular artist. Since the 1980s, that is.

    9. Spider Man was long since dead as a concept when this came out. The Clone saga was an attempt to remind fans of his glory days while cashing in on this over-the-top reprise. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t well done.

    8.Same here about 2 decades of bad comics. In fact, it was so bad that I personally avoided every single one of these titles like the plague, and stand here vindicated for it.

    7. Heroes Reborn wasn’t that bad. I’m sorry, but compared to all the rest of the crap Marvel was putting out in the 90s, this stuff was actually decent. We all knew it would be undone in the end, and meantime it was entertaining. You’re right, the 90s were a dark time for Marvel, but this was one of the bright spots.

    6. The X-Men have been dead to me since Chris Claremont killed the entire team off, replaced them with a new cast, and nothing changed. The tone and feel of the book remained the same. I applaud Claremont for making the team a sensation, but his time was done and I was gone, so nothing Austen did could hurt me.

    5. Lets trash the memory of Gwen Stacy.
    Hey y’know what? Let’s not and say we did.
    The very idea of this story is offensive to me. I think Mephisto made a deal with Osborn for this to happen, but Peter isn’t the intended victim. We are.

    4. Yes, Civil War was an ill-conceived notion. All the more so since the idea seemed to be to make the entire Marvel universe seem more like the world of the X-Men, with the rest of the heroes hunted and feared like the mutants have always been. And since I don’t like X-titles, I especially hated it. The artwork was good, though.

    3. Okay, bringing Mephisto into Spidey’s life at this late date seems like a dumb idea. Having read the story, I know it for a fact. If you carry it further, though, the devil’s influence would explain a few things, such as: Why Gwen is suddenly shown acting like Peter means nothing to her. Also why MJ goes from being the girl who ignored her boyfriend Harry to deal alone with his overdose while his mind was snapping, the girl who played head games with her soon-to-be husband, telling Flash they were split up so she could sleep with him, to the perfect, loyal wife. In fact, during their entire marriage she seemed more like Gwen Stacy than Mary Jane. The perfect marriage? Never mind. As a concept, Spider Man was the only title that couldn’t survive the retirement of Stan Lee as a writer.
    But I still think Osborn made a pact. MJ and GW must have traded places, switched from just before marriage and death, so that Mephisto really was taunting Peter with the truth when he said MJ was his true love. How deceptive he can be in his honesty.

    2. If you avoid bad artwork like I do, then Ultimates 3 is no problem. I gave it a few issues, then dropped the title when it failed to deliver. Ultimate Avengers was better, though the offhand way Spider-Man was killed off in its pages put me forever off on Bendis as a writer. That, and many, many Avengers stories that amounted to nothing. Yeah, I know he didn’t write Ultimate Avengers, but it was clearly his idea to kill off Ultimate Parker this way.

    1. Ultimatum, yyyeeah. Couldnâ??t agree more. Actually, I can. Because you forgot to mention how they turned Ultimate Reed Richards into a mass murderer, beginning with the murder of his own parents. The same parents he once built the Ultimate Fantasticar to visit, a gesture that further endeared Ultimate Susan Storm toward him. Does anyone really think THAT Reed Richards was capable of parricide or mass murder? Neither do I.

    I suggest that instead of the Danvers story and Heroes Reborn, Demon In A Bottle and Secret Wars make a better fit and, by extension, and also because of the truly bad artwork, Secret Wars II. Turning Iron Man into an alcoholic might make sense, but it was too abrupt and too poorly executed. And Secret Wars had to have been the absolute worst idea ever to cross Jim Shooter’s mind, and his mind being in charge of Marvel in the 80s is what led to the creative wasteland of the 90s. That’s why he was fired as Marvel’s sole editor-in-chief.

    Another better fit would also come from the dark depths of Shooter’s reign: the Fall of Hank Pym. I guess poor old Hank wasn’t selling comics well enough. Not surprising, given the quality of artist usually assigned to him. So what did they do? They turned this founding Avenger into a wife beater. Frankly, I have no clue what purpose this served. This isn’t something that happens to just anyone. This shows a weakness of character that is nothing less than despicable. They took a perfectly good hero and trashed his name forever in order to sell comics, and since the comic was so poorly done they didn’t even manage to do that right. Way to go, guys.

      • Sorry, I was reading between the lines. At the very least she seemed to want Peter to wonder if she had. This was long ago, maybe not far from the time of Betty and Ned’s wedding.

        Flash told Pete nothing happened, but MJ had told Flash a lie about her and Pete splitting up, so it always seemed strange to me that Pete just took Flash’s word for it and that was it.

        Is it wrong of me to think that playing with Peter’s emotions like that is as bad as actually sleeping with another guy? Probably. But we all know that Peter is basically honest, other than this huge secret he was keeping. Which is why I never warmed up to the girl that became Mrs. Parker.
        Today it seems to be the belief that she knew his secret and that that was what was really behind her behavior. But if that was so, why didn’t she confront him about it long before she did?
        Ahh, never mind. I’ve been up and down this with others, and I’ve come to the conclusion that MJ can be forgiven, all things considered. That situation with Gwen’s clone alone would freak anyone out, so it should be no surprise if she tried to back out or sabotage the relationship.

  27. Overall, I agree with most of it. My opinion in Civil War was that it was a sound concept, and had some good parts, but overall was handled poorly. I do agree with an earlier comment that World War Hulk should have been on the list. In addition, if you plan to make a worst moments in DC, look no further then when they tried to retcon the source of the Flash’s powers. Introducing a random wizard who claims to have given him his powers was stupid. The fact that this retcon was NEVER mentioned agein is evidence enough.

  28. Austin Langley on

    I don’t think Civil war was entirely terrible in concept. The problem is the execution that had the pro-registration side winning despite being villified and the majority of the fanbase hating him winning. At the end of it I saw Tony as a smug snake kind if Douche. That woman who yelled at him was full of crap. Nitro was the one responcible not the New Warriors. I honestly feel One More Day should be #1 as it crapped over years of continuity and had Spider-Man go against taking responsibility.

  29. I are switch most of the list but Civil War and Sins Past should not be on here. There are much worse stories

    World War Hulk
    Secret Wars II
    Fear Itself
    The First X-Men
    Anytime JeanGrey Returns from te Dead
    Avengers Dissasembled
    New Avengers
    The Heroic Age
    Black Panther: Man Without Fear

    • sorry but sins past should definetly be there, they ruined a character for shock value and a great majority of spidey fans and even the writer wants to retcon that crappy story, sorry but sins past is a horrible story that should never have happened

      • Really hoping a writer gets up and just does it. So bloody stupid that someone actually made that to begin with.

  30. I have not read Ultimatum but really want to considering all these characters die and in such a violent way. No offense to anyway but are we 6 years old, I have been reading comics for about 25 years now, i am in my early 30’s and i am just flat out tired of the same bad books. Every month its the same thing super hero or hero’s face off in a unrealistic manner and save the day unharmed and the villain is either unharmed and gets away or unharmed and is captured. Its getting tired for me. I love the unrealistic stuff that’s the point its a fantasy, however all this fighting and never a causality. In my opinion marvels best series ever was the 95 Age of Apocalypse where so many characters where different and killed off, ultimately they all died except for a handful. If the Ultimate universe was supposed to end why not end it in a fashion that truly ends the series by killing off villains and heroes. no one lives happily ever after, but like i said i haven’t read it so maybe it was bad writing, maybe it could have been written a little different with the same outcome and everyone would have loved it. But hey that;s just me

  31. One More Day and Civil War just killed Marvel off for me. I haven’t read a Spider-Man comic or anything by Marvel since then really.

    Reading about Ultimatum it looks like i did well to leave when I did. Such a shame about Jeph Loeb, as some of my favourite story lines are written by him – Long Halloween, Hush, Spider-Man Blue, Daredevil: Yellow. Is he really that despised now?

    Just found out he wrote Lost. Ignore me.

  32. Sir Christopher on

    Going off here

    Civil War…. Cap America Just giving up with the reason that to many people were getting hurt/killed? Isn’t that the reason why he was created and Fought in World War II? Also the Idea he just gives up is very unlike him. Still confused on why Iron Man and other power-suited heroes were forced to register but I don’t recall martial artists (AKA Electra, Shang-chi, The Punisher, etc) were forced to register. Martial Artists don’t have have “Super Powers”, (except Iron Fist) just a real good training. As was pointed out in the Avengers movie: you take away Iron Man’s suit and what do you have?

    I was surprised the the Zombie series was not on the list. Never got into reading the story so my comments are from 3rd party info. A group of zombies kill and eat Galactus? That is like saying a group of ants eat a human that has a flames thrower hooked to a gas tanker. Possible but not very probable. Mr Fantastic infected the FF on purpose with the virus? Still trying to figure out how someone in a power-suit could get effected. Guess I assumed that the Oxygen supple system would have filtered out the virus. Not sure how wolverine’s healing ability can reject a brood implanted egg but not fight of a virus. Trying to confused how Zombies or a virus would be a threat to Cloak of Cloak & Dagger fame.

    I would have liked to have seen the series be where the power suited heroes/villians team together and take over the heli-carrier as their mobile base. Would also have been neat to have them team-up with the Vampires. Perhaps looking at it as the lesser of 2 evils. Dr Doom would have made a interesting Hero/villian on the team that no one would trust but had to tolerate. They also could have brought back some one shot/minor characters(AKA Spider Boy, Forbish-man, Destiny, Leech, etc) as the Zombies would not look at them as any kind of threat or they just were able to avoid them. They also could have had the Atlantians, Skrulls, Kree, Asgardians and even possibly the Inhumans be immune to the virus and then after the Zombies were controlled/defeated the other races try to take over the world.

    Sigh, Such potential all gone to waste with a badly written store.

  33. I would like to point out that both Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum were both penned by Jeph Loeb. My point being that he brought down the entire Ultimate Marvel Universe, which had at least a plethora of great books and characters and was starting to develop it’s own rich cannon.

    What was Jeph Loeb’s punishment for this heinous act? He’s been promoted to Executive Vice President and Head of Television at Marvel! I equate this to having some guy marry my sister, only to watch him murder her in cold blood, before deciding that he really should be married to both of my other sisters at the same time, because history never repeats it’s self.

    I don’t know why Jeph Loeb hates Marvel comics, the fans, the characters, himself, or me personally, but under his watch I have seen no less than 5 of my favorite titles ruined, and 3 excellent tv series cancelled (Spectacular Spider Man, Wolverine and the X-Men, Avengers, EMH,) only to be replaced by brutally mediocre programming (Ultimate Spider-Man and the forthcoming Avengers Assemble, trust me,) if at all.

    Idea for the creative team; The Worst Comic Creators of All Time. Easy picks include Chuck Austen, Dan Didio and Jeph Loeb.

    In the meantime, I urge all fans of Marvel comics to not watch any Marvel animated series, or read any books penned by Loeb until he is finally fired for his crimes.

  34. Civil War wasn’t really that bad. It suffers from the same problems “AvsX” does (pointless fighting and crashingly unsubtle), in in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t so bad.

    I would replace that one for the Bendis-penned Avengers Dissambled and/or House of M (Given that he managed to ruin both the Avengers line and the X-men line of comics with these books, I’m suprised his name doesn’t pop up more often.)

    Oh and a big “Ugh!” for the “Sins Past” caption that has Gwen in a state of “ecstacy” followed by a panel of Norman’s greasy grinning mug. The shot of Blob eating Wasp was more appealing.

  35. I literally cried because of One More Day, not because of the drama or the loss of Aunt May, but for how much this issue shat on my image of many of the marvel heroes. Forget Peter being a selfish ass for making the deal! How is it that ALL of the greatest minds of the Marvel Universe have no idea how to heal a gunshot wound! I was expecting a retcon of the identity reveal. That was a given. But the deal with Mephesto. I face palm at the thought of it. I have to admit though, I did like “The Other” saga. Yes it was another “spidey’s back from the dead with new powers” angle, but it also explored the “spider” side of spider-man. Which is something I’d never object to really.

    • Yeah, Iiked “The Other” as well, for exactly that reason. And hated One More Day, my personal least-favourite retcon. So stupid.

  36. TheSpacePope on

    I know it’s included in Chuck Austen’s X-Men but “The Draco” is the definitively worst moment in Marvel Comics ever. It can be argued that good things came out of these events (Yes, even Ultimatum) but nothing, nothing coming out of that story arc was good. It was all just awful, awful stuff.

  37. I have been a diehard Marvel fan for quite some years now and i have to tell you, alot of the stories you have listed I quite enjoyed, despite how they came to be, retcon or otherwise. To me it sounds like you personaly dont like change. You know, if there wern’t some radical ideas being thrown around, ill concieved or not, Marvel probably wouldn’t exist today, as you yourself stated in #7 Heroes Reborn. If they had kept the same overall outlook on every character, people would have been tired of the predictable plot lines and repetitive ambiace of the stories. Now, i agree there have been some displeasing issues and arcs created by some ill advised (home wrecking, bastard) writers, but those stories just pave the way and make room for amazing breakthroughs in character developement and outstanding literary concepts If put in the right hands. We all have our own opinion on the subject and thats something that no one can take away from us, so i respect your criticism. If you would like to discuss further on Marvel and maby some issues that you found you enjoyed I’d love to hear from you, till then, I’ll catchya on the flip side!

  38. Wow, the last paragraph of the Civil War entry…

    You made up everything in this parapragh…

    1- Badly received? It was generally critically acclaimed and seen as one of Marvel’s best stories in any other top 10 thingy.

    2- Damaged Marvel Comics? It was THE Marvel story of the 2000s

    3- People refuse to forgive Iron Man for his betrayal…? What? The current Iron Man series is one Marvel’s most successful.

    4- Marvel staff taking Iron Man’s side? So he’s portrayed as the villain (see #3)… but the writers took his side? What?

    Dude, I get you didn’t like it, it’s your opinion. But don’t make up things just to force your point.

    If it alienated you, then it alienated you, not « thousands of readers ».

    • TheSpacePope on

      3) The way Marvel made Tony Stark likable post-Civil War was to completely dismantle the Tony Stark we saw in Civil War, first by thoroughly kicking his ass (“World’s Most Wanted”) and then undoing everything he did during CW through loss of memory (” Stark: Disassembled”). Essentially, he was made popular only by erasing everything he did during CW. I think that alone says a lot about CW.

      • They also did a bang up job with both the writing and the art on Invincible Iron Man after CW, so that even if you hated Stark at that point, as I did, you couldn’t really turn it down. Salvador Larroca’s art is just phenomenal. It’s not simply that Stark was put through hell, it’s that he was put through well-written, QUALITY hell.

  39. Why the hell “seduced=raped”?

    Is there any actual evidence of Miss Marvel being raped? It seems the text arbitrarily labels it that way even though the story does not present it as such.

    And even if she was raped, why would that be necessarily bad for feminism? “Oh, you’re raped? Sorry, you can’t be a feminist icon anymore, only the pure ones can”.

    Perhaps its because she eventually decided to stay with her son/father of her child/himself, assuming it was a rape?

    • No, it’s because she was mind controlled and unwilling to go along, and later after she was freed very clearly stated it was rape and the other Avengers were horrible for letting it happen.

      Although really, it was the writer who should be blamed.

      • I was a very young kid when I read those events with Ms. Marvel referenced in a few panels in another comic and I was like WTF why is she staying with this monster??? I could not have been over 12, and my natural reaction was that it made no sense for her to stay with him. You are quite right that the (male?) writer is to blame.

      • Rape is sex without consent, and you cannot consent if you are “mind controlled.” So when she stayed with him it made no sense to my 10-12 year old brain.

  40. No the earth’s axis and the magnetic poles are NOT the same. Please take fifth grade science over.

  41. My own opinion is that those who don’t appreciate Civil War need some help. I don’t know if close reading is the issue or if moral quagmires aren’t their cup of tea but my own opinion is that Civil War is Marvel at its very best. In fact, I’m wondering what the writer considers the *best* Marvel has to offer? So, yeah, my opinion on Civil War and I know I’m late to the party.

    What I haven’t seen argued is what cannot *be* argued: the number one spot. Lord, what an awful mess that was. Weak writing, weak drawing and while I don’t mind over-the-top violence there has to be a point, right? What on earth was the point of Ultimatum? What message was being sent? What part of that was supposed to fun and/or informative? A horrific reading experience that I would recommend to no one in this or any plane of existence.

    I really enjoyed reading this list, by the by. Any more like it?

    • “but my own opinion is that Civil War is Marvel at its very best.”

      um..what? i agree with the author. CW is pretty bad. is it top 10 bad? im not sure i can say that. it doesn’t make a lot of grievous mistakes (aside from the heinous treatment of Bill Foster) and has a good start, but everything else felt terribly shoehorned. characterizations went right out the window in order to advance the plot. i know a lot of people getting back into Marvel (or those starting it for the first time) start with CW and end up loving it.

      this gets me back to your quote. best at what exactly? even CW fans have to admit the execution was terrible, especially at the end. even the best parts of CW have been done as well if not better in other events. you really cannot think of a better event? heck there was a great event that ran parallel to it at the time: DnA’s Annhiliation! Marvel Cosmic completely wiped the floor with anything Bendis or Millar were writing at that time.

      • TheSpacePope on

        Yeah, DnA’s cosmic saga was Marvel at its best. When it comes to CW, it wasn’t terrible but it was far from great. I don’t buy for a second that a sane Tony Stark and Reed Richards would ever desecrate a then dead Thor by creating a cyborg version of him. And Peter unmasking? After what happened to Gwen, I doubt he would openly reveal his identity to the world.

        • i found it amusing when RR Nova comes back to find the world a$$ backwards and heads back into space because he doesn’t want to deal with the mess especially after seeing Robbie. summed things up perfectly and solidified the new Rider for me.

        • Okay, you two (TheSpacePope and nu), we’ll agree to disagree on CW. I am, however, very intrigued by the DnA stuff you’re both talking about. So, from a relative rookie to the genre, forgive my ignorance–what is DnA an acronym for? Let me know and my next stop is to the local library.

        • TheSpacePope on

          DnA is an acronym for Dan (Abnett) and Andy (Lanning) the architects of what was Marvel’s space faring comics or “cosmic comics” which includes Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy, a few Inhuman minis, some Darkhawk minis and some event minis like Annihilation: Conquest, War of Kings and Realm of Kings. It’s all in trades now. Here’s the names of the trades just so you know which ones to look for. I listed them in their approximate reading order, although they may read a little off as they tend to when collected in trades. Enjoy.

          – Annihilation, Vol. 1

          – Annihilation, Vol. 2

          – Annihilation, Vol. 3

          – Annihilation: Conquest – Volume One

          – Nova, Vol. 1: Annihilation – Conquest

          – Annihilation: Conquest – Volume Two

          – Nova, Vol. 2: Knowhere

          – Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: Legacy

          – Nova, Vol. 3: Secret Invasion

          – Nova, 4: Nova Corps

          – War of Kings: Road to War of Kings

          – Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: War of Kings – Book 1

          – Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3: War of Kings – Book 2

          – Nova, Vol. 5: War of Kings

          – War of Kings: Ascension

          – War of Kings

          – Realm of Kings

          – Nova, Vol. 6: Realm of Kings

          – Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 4: Realm of Kings

          – The Thanos Imperative

          – Annihilators

          – Annihilators: Earthfall

  42. Was a good list, but Civil War is one of the greatest even in comics of all time. soooooo…super fail. good job.

    • TheSpacePope on

      To me, Civil War was a great concept with a rushed executiont, at least the main series. It’s more of a problem with the limited space to tell such a huge story. I think many, like me, think the concept was great but the story itself not so much. Add the lack of foresight by Marvel and its pretty clear why some of us think Civil War isn’t as great as it seems.

  43. *The lead ups to Civil War were pretty bad. Marvel pitched “a fair and balanced” divide between the heroes and then turned Iron man into Marvel-nazi before the event even started. One issue of Spidey leading up to the event featured Stark paying Titanium Man to attack Congress to fear monger the SHRA into law. There were some great moments in Civil War, and some great followups (wolverine refusing to fight ,opting instead to track down the New Warriors Killer, Moon Knight not wanted by either side, The first class whupping Thor gave Iron man on his return). I’d certainly place it higher than Secret Invasion….where a Skrull posing as Elektra INSTANTLY turns all heroes against each other because if the skrulls can pose as a Z list human assassin, they can pose as anyone. Especially magic undetectable skrulls who only care about discrediting hank pym for the umpteenth time and making Spider-Woman cry. And double poop on bendis for once again, selling a pitch instead of crafting a story.

    *Shadowland aka, The event that destroyed all the goodwill on Daredevil

    *Marvel Divas. Sex and City storytelling suddenly meets the all new best of friends super ladies, somehow alienating all forms of “potential new readers” at once.

    *Marvel once turned the Punisher black in the 90’s, so he could team up with Luke Cage.

    * JMS on Spider-Man. As fugly as the books were before him, Sins Past,the Other,Spider-Totem, and One More Day all managed to make me hate marvel’s flagship character. JMS then claims editorial tomfoolery, washes his hands of One More Day and repeats the process across town on Superman and Wonder Woman. go go good team.

    *Jeph Loeb is the lifetime achivement award of horrible books.

    • Secret Invasion was stupid because the premise let you believe that an Alist Hero could be turned but that NEVER happened…WTF. Also the Wolverine story in Civil War was by far the best one… Not only because an explosion widdles him down to his bare adamantium skeleton and you see him regenerate in the next 3 panels but he was going after the real issue… The killer. Why blame every superhero for ones careless mistake it’s times like these Wolverines cynicism pays off.

      • TheSpacePope on

        It’s because of events like Secret Invasion, Dark Reign and Siege that made Civil War bad. The whole thing interfered with Bendis’s plans so everything afterwards became a huge cleanup job to return everything to the “heroic age”. What really irks me about Secret invasion was that it was the perfect opportunity to create a compelling story using a character that was going through similar changes at the time, Spider-Man. Revealing Peter as a Skrull would have been a better fix than OMD, and it could lead to terrific stories like coming to terms with Aunt May’s death, his relationship with MJ, and tons of other stuff that happened in his absence. Peter becomes a man who has to cope with the actions that his Skrull impostor took and wakes up to the fact that his worst enemy is now the most powerful person on earth. They want Peter and MJ to break up? Have MJ be put off by the realization that she’s been living with an impostor creating a rift between her and a Peter Parker who is having a hard time processing everything that has happened. Peter becomes a bachelor again and continuity is preserved. The only good things that came out of Secret Invasion were the Dark Avengers and Secret Warriors.

        • Good God, I never thought of that. I was just glad it didn’t suck as bad as Civil War, but you’re right. In fact, only a very few characters actually had much fallout to deal with, especially Iron Man, who very quickly found a reason to erase his recent memories. Too convenient, that. Also missed was the chance to redeem Hank’s good name, if not literally then at least provide a little focus to flesh his feelings out amidst the grief, maybe clear the air out with his compatriots. Instead, look out! His insanity is yet again put in question when he takes the name Wasp for his own, something any idiot would know better than to do. The thing is, Marvel’s been doing a great job at action and suspense in the new mellenium, and the art has never been better (as much as I hated Civil War, the art was top notch, as I’m sure you’d all agree). It’s the interpersonal stuff that is sorely lacking.

        • I think they were correct to let Hank have the slap but I wish they wouldn’t treat it like he beat the woman. It also makes Wasp sound like she was a defenseless woman……..but no one talks about all the times men get slapped by women for doing something stupid as opposed to something violent.

          Though I did love his Wasp outfit.

  44. I agree with everything, but i would put the Gwen thing and one more day in 1st and 2nd place, with 3rd being ultimatum, these people singlehandedly ruined spiderman for me, my absolute favorite superhero since forever, i was so freakin disappinted with all of those storylines that i honestly cant enjoy spiderman comics anymore, and on another note i seriously hope they dont bring that Gwen bull to these new spiderman movies and i’m waiting impatiently for Marvel to finally retcon all of the Bull**** they have been putting in the comics

  45. I completely disagree with Civil War. It was actually one of the better summer-crossover stories in recent years, and raised a lot of interesting questions and ideas. I do think that the pacing of the story felt a little rushed. Had they taken a little more time to iron-out some of the kinks in the story it would rank as one of the all time greats in Marvel’s history. Since they didn’t then it obviously fell short of that, but it was still enjoyable and no where near worst of all time.

    In fact, Civil War is the only questionable inclusion on this list. Replace Civil War with Jeph Loebs “Rulk” and it may well be a definitive”worst of” list.

      • TheSpacePope on

        I thought so too, that’s why I stuck with it past World War Hulks and frankly, I’m glad I did. Who knew that a simple writing change from Loeb to Jeff Parker would make such a difference. Thanks to Parker, we got stories like “Hulk of Arabia” and “Circle of Four”. Red Hulk, like any other chatacter, can be great in the right hands.

  46. I’m a Spidey Fan first and foremost, but he has had a lot of stinkers. Sins Past was written okay, it was just pointless, and trashed an important character for no reason at all. I can name several stories worse, heck the 90s had all sorts of crap worse ( Rob Liefeld anyone?” but nothing with as much impact as One More Day, and Civil War.

  47. I agree about one more day! Worst story ever. Made me stop reading marvel altogether. Ruined spiderman forever. Now reading DC. The new 52 not so bad.

  48. Pastor Mike on

    Hmmmm… gotta go with the others who said “Civil War” was too good a story to be included on this list. The guy who sais “Secret Wars” was out to lunch too. It was a classic and responsible for Venom. “Secret Wars II” on the other hand, now that was a real stinker. The other notable omission on the list was the “Cage” many series. It was a racist depiction of a character that had long developed past the caricature stage. I know it was pretty much summarily ignored, but I believe it WAS considered in continuity. It was worse than bad art and horrific writing…the depiction actually made me angry.

  49. Since when Jim Lee makes bad art? You’re crazy! But I agree with the most of this list, specially all about spidey…

  50. Pretty interesting list and I can understand these feelings, because nowadays, Marvel is destroying all the characters I love. Hulk killed Bruce Banner (!)(Bravo, huge accomplishment) Cain Marko is just a human at the moment, Nightcrawler is dead, Deadpool is an average, healed human and the list could go on. Hope they will restart the whole thing soon, cause I can’t accept all this anymore. Because years ago, I loved Marvel. Now, I’m like: Oh, please, don’t make anything worse, please, you’ve done enough damage already, please, it’s enough.

  51. hardbodyGOD on

    civil war???

    thats more of a personal choice than the actual story being awful.

    i (and a gaggle of other marvel fans) enjoyed the hell out of civil war.

    so….yeah……… take that off and replace it to what led to the godawful “heroes reborn” storyline.

    that deserves to be there.

    def not civil war though. that was a awesome series. stark’s always been a douche. if he ever gets obsessed with a humanoid alien he would be marvels lex luthor.

  52. hardbodyGOD on

    civil war on here? really??
    come on….your really reaching. civil war was a great marvel story.

  53. Good list. A little suprised you didn’t have some kind of honorable mention i and how writers involving the Juggernaut and how every writer has belittled the character further and further over the years. Even cyclops beat him singlehandidly in a four part mini series. Just something I’ve noticed.

  54. I have to agree with ultimatum it basically destroyed the Ultimate comics line. Also hated ultimate xmen absolute power. Absolutely.

    • People don’t understand… The whole reason Ultimatum was written was to disband/get-rid-of the ultimate universe that is the sole reason it exists.

      • TheSpacePope on

        Many of us do but still agree that it was handled terribly and Jeph Loeb was definitely the absolute worst choice to handle something of that magnitude. What he did ruined the Ultimate U ( except Ult. Spider-Man, of course) for years with the titles just recovering with Jonathan Hickman’s short run on Ultimates. I think we can all agree that it was an abomination and Ultimate X sucks.

  55. Phoenixxenergy on

    I think this list needs to be updated and add “Death of Spider-Man” storyline to the top of this list.
    You kill off your top selling character in the ultimate line c’mon marvel what were you thinking.
    Side note I do agree with one more day being here made me stop reading Spider-man in the regular continuity.

    • I think most people would strongly disagree with you. I feel it was one of the strongest stories and also the issues resulting from it were also very well received. Honestly it was how Spider-man should have died.

  56. If you really want to know Tony’s real motivation behind Civil War, you have to read Civil War: Frontline #11. Tony never intended to keep the Superhuman Registration Act alive. It was a ploy to keep the heat off of the superheroes community by giving the public the belief that superheroes would now be policed. What he was really doing was manipulating events so that he could get enough funding from the government to create the Negative Zone prison 42 under the guise of using it to lock up heroes who refused to register which he did for a time to put doubts to rest. He then put his next step into play by creating a fake conflict with Atlantis that he believed would reunite the heroes at which point he would hand out amnesty to all the imprisoned heroes like it was going out of style while keeping his large interdimensional prison in which to permanently house the world’s super villains preventing another Stamford from happening. But since no one bothered to read Front Line, the whole thing was forgotten and Tony ended up looking like a huge jerk.

  57. Ultimatum definitely needed to be on this list. It would be in my top ten to. But…your reasoning is somewhat Bizzare…you do know that the series was created to end the ultimate line since the titles were already in a sales slump. It didnt some how magically come along and ruin the ultimate universe. It was literally put into motion to kill of many of the characters so that it would have a fresh start. Now with Cival War. It cant be among the worst storylines as its been one of the most well received book of the 2000’s. Okay so sales dont really matter however…I lived in America and I now live in the UK. That book is constantly sold out in comic book stores or regular book stores over here. Its very much in Demand as a popular story even in an international country. Not to mention that Marvel Ultimate Alliance was based on the Civil War series. The video game follows the series almost page for page. Marvel Would NEVER make a game based on an unpopular book or a negatively received book. It’s quite the opposite. But asides from Civil War everything else deserves to be on this list.

  58. Marvel Secret Wars from the 80’s is not here? Should have at least been top five. That was the biggest pile of garbage ever conceived and delivered by Marvel. I don’t think I ever bought another Marvel book after that, or very few.

    • Secret Wars I was okay, throwaway entertainment with fantastic art.
      Secret Wars II was a publisher in melt down mode, with Al Milgrom (!?!?) art.

      • To elaborate, in Secret Wars I, Doom SLAYS Kang, the Lizard slashes Enchantress, Molecule Man drops a mountain range on nearly every Marvel hero like it’s nothing, almost killing them all. Doom becomes omnipotent, the alien costume (1/2 of Venom) is introduced, the Beyonder is introduced, Magneto gets it on with the Wasp, Spider-Man fights and defeats ALL the X-Men solo (he gets mind-smacked by Professor X, but not before humiliating both Nightcrawler and Wolverine like they aren’t even on his level), and Galactus actually deigns to commuinicate with Mr. Fantastic and explains their roles in the universe (this is like you having a conversation with a mosquito). This is all from memory BTW. Totally awesome series even if it was originally designed to sell toys. It was far the biggest crossover event of its time.

        Secret Wars II was also great, but for very different reasons. It tackled the very meaning of life, the universe and everything, and what it would really mean to be omnipotent (inhuman). Several major Marvel heroes (and some villians) weigh in about what life means to them and why they do what they do. It really makes you think. Even the near-omnipotent Molecule Man just wanted to be left along with Volcana – they were so happy together. What a cool take on a villian/villainess relationship. The Beyonder’s haircut really was hideous though.

        I really cannot say enough good things about pre-1992 Marvel. After that though, you are on your own.

        • The last film I can remember seeing by the Asylum had everything a zombie flick out to have, but that didn’t make it a good movie. Acting was great, special effects too. But none of that matters if you refuse to hire a decent writer, so it was a waste of celluloid.

          Point is, it doesn’t matter what happened in Secret Wars because the writing was terrible. That’s why the artist, having fulfilled his commitment on the first series, didn’t stick around for the second, and why Shooter had to resort to the worst, but most reliable, artist in the bullpen. No one else would touch it. Even Al Milgrom had cause to regret it before the fiasco that was Secret Wars II was over.

  59. I agree with 8 out of 10.

    Sins Past wasn’t a terrible story. It wasn’t amazing, but it did hold my interest, and reminded me that nobody is a saint. And it explained a big leftover hole in the story.

    And Civil War was really enjoyable. It single-handedly brought me and a few friends back into Marvel comics. Was it perfect? Nah, but it was pretty darn exciting, and had a lot of solid philosophical debate.

    For me, the worst is Xorn. C’mon people, at least have stuff vaguely make sense.

  60. Hey .. I actually liked sins past.. It was kind of shocking.. liked gwen a lot myself.. but yeah it was ok.. does not deserve to be ranked here..

  61. Thank you for writing this article. I’ve never agreed so strongly with a article about comics. I agree with every one of your choices but I would put the Spider-Clone Saga as number 1. Please do a DC list. I’ve given a lot of thought and can recommend The Death of Superman, Knightfall, Emerald Twilight, Millenium, The Trial of Barry Allen, Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis and Batman R.I.P. Dishonorable mention to the long haired Superman and the Blue Energy Superman. I recently posted a list of the worst Batman stories of all time on if you want to consult that.

  62. Great article. I agree 100% — everyone of the storylines you mentioned was both a creative and logical abomination.

    Regrettably, since the creative titans who were responsible for establishing the Marvel Universe in the first place (primarily, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Bill Everett, Roy Thomas, and Steve Ditko) have retired or otherwise diminished their input, there has been precious little creative talent to replace them. Some exceptions include Len Wein, Jim Starlin, Walt Simonson, Frank Miller, Chris Claremont, and John Byrne, and probably a handful of others who don’t immediately spring to mind.

    Consequently, nearly every change of course that has occurred since the late 1970s has been a bad idea. Again, I think you did an excellent job identifying the most egregious examples. A couple more general ones to consider:

    1. The frighteningly sexist notion that woman who gain great power are wholly incapable of weilding it without cracking up or melting down; for example, Jean Grey and the Scarlet Witch.

    2. The deification of the Hulk. For the 1st 25 years or so of the Hulk’s existence, he was a little bigger than the Thing, and, at the top of his rage, appeared to be somewhat, but not hugely, stronger than Thor and Hercules (who were clearly equals). The results of fights among the Hulk, a hammerless Thor, and Hercules were always inconclusive. Since then, lesser creative talendts have decided to increase the Hulk’s strength so much that now he is virtually unbeatable and thus totally tedious and uninteresting. He has also lost all the charm that resulted from his earlier fundamental kindness and desire to be left alone.

    3. The imasculation of the Fantastic Four: Once upon a time, the FF was Marvel’s #2 title. Mr. Fantastic was not only a brilliant scientist but also a highly capable leader, strategist, and field general. The Thing was almost as strong as the Hulk, Thor, and Hercules (and about even with the Sub-Mariner); thus, he was generally portrayed as being among Marvel’s most powerful heroes, which combined with his spirit and determination, made him a highly-compelling character. For some reason, Marvel made the decision to reduce Mr. Fantastic to a scientist only, introducing numerous storylines questioning not only his leadership skills but his mental toughness as well. Even as a scientist, he had to take a back-seat to Victor Von Doom and Tony Stark. It also introduced numerous, frequently un-intersting, characters who were stronger than the Thing. Thus, in contrast to the 60s and 70, the FF now has a 2nd-rate, weak leader and a 3rd-rate strongman, along with a couple hangers on who rarely do much of anything. So, why are they relevant?

    4. The diminshment of Daredevil. What a great idea to have a superhero who brought criminals to justice and then, in his civilian identity, work to ensure those same criminals received due process of law! That was a totally unique concept that made Daredevil something special. Once he lost the Matt Murdock, criminal defense attorney, aspect of his character, he became just another Batman knock-off.

    I could go on, but I’m sure you could have too. Keep up the good work.

    • “The frighteningly sexist notion that woman who gain great power are wholly incapable of weilding it without cracking up or melting down; for example, Jean Grey and the Scarlet Witch. ”

      Storm has always had incredibly high power levels. Likewise Rachel Grey has managed for quite a while without going insane.

      It’s more an idea of the concept of power corrupting in general. Have you forgotten Professor X going off the deep end and creating Onslaught? Or the insanity of Korvac?

      • First, neither Storm nor Rachel Grey ever possessed anything close to the power that Phoenix and the Scarlet Witch came to possess. Second, I didn’t propose that no male Marvel character was ever overwhelmed by power. I’m sure there are many relevant examples of that were it relevant, which it is not, though I question the 2 you came up with: If I recall rightly, Korvac was already insane by the time he acquired all that power, and the Professor X/Onslaught storyline was just a single arc, after which the Professor went about his business without suffering any lingering effect.

    • TheSpacePope on

      You obviously haven’t been reading Waid’s Daredevil. It did away with all the dark stuff, making way for a fun and entertaining DD once again.

    • Most of the points you made are valid. I do think that the idea that most of the changes of in marvel since the late 70s are bad ones and there were no decent creators after that era ( the exception you noted were all from that time) is flawed. I do think that comics just as any ongoing creative form does evolve. In the eighties and nineties as well as in the 21st century, we have seen writers and artists take comics to new audiences with solid storytelling. Peter Davids Hulk of the 80’s and early 1990s spring to mind as well as Louise Simonsons work on teenage superheroes in the 80s, something that even the great Chris Claremont couldnt pull off.
      I started reading comics as a child in the 70s and though I dont read as much as before I still appreciate the work I see from a younger generation of creative talent. Good work is still being done.

      That being said, Jeph Loebs work on the Ultimate universe was terrible.

  63. I want to add in, DO THE DC TOP 10 WORST MOMENTS :D! I hope my comment can spur the heads of toptenz

  64. Okay, I am going to take a moment out from my Civil War rants to state that this was a great list. Part of what I liked about it was how you also added an item from the 1980 as well. It shows that bad comics were not invented in the nineties. 😀

    I would love to see you do a worst of DC list, but you might have to wait a year to see how bad their September reboot really is to see just how high or low it belongs on such a list.

    • I’ve literally been checking the comments every day to see if people wanted me to do a DC list.

      I’ve seriously considered it.

      However…it’s up to the fine folks at Top Tenz to give me the go-ahead.

      I’d be willing to write it, of course.

  65. Thanks for a GREAT list.

    How do I know it’s great? Because you took a subject that I have no interest in and made it interesting and engaging. Well-written and sourced, you obviously know your stuff, and your passion for the subject comes through. Very nicely done.

  66. You’re VERY wrong about the art in Ultimates 3, but you’re VERY right about the writing. What did Jeph Loeb do in the 80’s that made him so beloved that he is still gets work while being the worst writer in comic books…?

    • Agree 100%. …Loeb’s stories always fall flat with unimaginative and uninspiring “twists” to wrap up the wonky plotlines everyone was trusting would make sense eventually. Every comic he’s written in the past 10 years makes me feel I’ve wasted my time by the end. I just keep hoping!

      And Yes, Joe Maduira is an incredible artist. He’s widely known as one of the industry’s best for his understanding of anatomy, appeal and distinct style, light, perspective, composition, and acting. …and yep, illustrators are in fact actors at the end of the day… Nathanael you dropped the ball on that point.

      • At least Loeb can’t be blamed for the failure of Heroes, even if he did do the last minute s2 finale rewrite on the eve of the writer’s strike that copied “Who Shot JR?” Jeph was already out of the loop by the time s3 started going every which way but loose and the actors refusal to shoot scenes, demanding the writers come down and pay attention to continuity like they had.

    • I will disagree. I found the art in Ultimate 3 to be unforgivable. The art overall was very muddle. It looked like digital art and that wasn’t working. The main problem was really that so far the entire Ultimate universe had a certain type of art style. Then Ultimates 3 comes in with characters with overdeveloped physiques. This did not work. You can’t just up and change art styles like that.

      My main beef was the ignorance of established costumes. Everyone just looked like their 616 counterparts. It took all the originality established and in combo with the writing, just ignored it.

      The Ultimate line has spent all this time reversing the damage.

      But the art was trash for the series.

      • I’m with you here, Storyteller. Ultimates 3 had art which might have been alright, but for the fact that it followed Ultimates 1 and 2. You can’t follow up Bryan Hitch with the likes of Joe Mad and expect approval from readers who know they’ve been screwed. But it happens all the time.

  67. The Thor clone was out of control, and Tony Stark seriously regretted that Goliath had died. Which is why he bought the entire plot of land so they could bury Goliathâ??s gigantic body.

    • And then Tony went and used Clor again, who tried to kill Storm and Black Panther.

      Think about this; Tony took the DNA of what was supposed to be one of his best friends and created a cyborg killing machine…and after it already killed someone, he decided to use it again, because this time he was sure all the bugs had been worked out. Sure, Skrull Pym helped, but I reiterate: he used Clor again after he had already killed someone!

      There is a reason Marvel had to wipe out five years of Tony’s memory to make him likeable again. They essentially had to do a Heroes Reborn on him all over again because fans had grown to dislike him so much, and had to find some way to get guys like Thor to work with him again.

      • Frankly, everyone was stupid during civil war, Tony was stupid, Steve was stupid, you keep harping on the fact that Tony used clone Thor again yet nobody seems to ever question that when Tony actually asked for Steve to listen and try to convince him to get a compromise and Steve agreed to a truce, he betrayed Tony by shorting out his armor and starting another fight – Steve was no better than Tony, he only came out of this better because Captain America is an image of perfect virtue and paragon of goodness and american freedom so he’s always gonna be the good guy and people are always gonna side with him without ever questioning how he was just as selfish and was about his own hurt and agenda —- and anyways, whatever happened after, Tony paid for his mistakes more than enough with what the skrulls did to him and him essentially killing himself to save everyone else from Osborne — the others call themselves heroes, they pride themselves on being the good guys and not like the evil bad Tony Stark, yet they seem just as well forgotten that Tony saved their lives more than a few times and when he was in trouble, when he was hunted by Osborne of all people, none of the supposed good guys did anything – you can’t run around calling yourself a hero when a bad guy is hunting down someone you know is innocent and you let him get beaten down just because you’re holding a grudge – then you’re no better than the bad guys, you’re even worse, you’re a hypocrite — Tony Stark has never said he was perfect and he more than owned up to the shit he did during civil war, but nobody else has

        • Sorry, but Tony’s actions in Civil War put him on the list of Spider-Man’s greatest villains, the villains that have done the most damage to him and betrayed him the most.

  68. I could easily go on about several of these fiascos, and likely have. We could dither and dicker about what goes where, but that’s just playing with pennies.

    There’s one event that isn’t on this list that I think sorely deserves to be – The Bitchslap Heard Round the World.

    While in the middle of a psychotic episode, Hank (Ant Man et al) Pym backhands his wife Janet (The Wasp), and she goes down like a sack of batteries. By accident. Jim Shooter, who wrote the story, has stated that clearly. It was never supposed to be more than that, something he would regret when he came out of it, and not anything indicative of an abusive personality.

    But from then on it has been the central characteristic of the guy. No matter how many times they try to make him into a major player, some writer’s gotta do a story where someone throws it in his face, and we’re down the road to penitence and hand-wringing again.

    Dan Slott’s done a great job of rehabilitating him, while still leaving the part where he’s a broken guy with episodes of psychosis. But I read the books with hunched shoulders, just waiting for someone to call him a wife-beater.

    • True…but that HAS led to some decent stories and character development…the other entries on this list…not so much…

      Thanks for checking in, Vinnie!

      • “True…but that HAS led to some decent stories and character development…the other entries on this list…not so much…”

        One More Day led to Brand New Day and, in turn, Big Time, both of which have been received exceptionally well by critics.

        Civil War brought us Avengers: The initiative and in due course Avengers Academy, both phenomenally well reviewed series.

        Ultimatum, awful as it was, did revolutionize the Ultimate line by letting it finally seperate itself from 616 standards by basically upending the entire concept. Now the Ultimate line is getting some of the best writing and reviews it’s had since the days it all started out.

        • How are you defining interesting? Pym hasn’t actually gone in any direction he wasn’t already headed in. He just does it without Jan now. And I don’t believe for a second that Shooter didn’t have this in mind from the beginning. It has his fingerprints all over it.

          As for the Avengers Initiative, I just want to point out that nearly every superhero is now an Avenger, including a number of villains. Okay. How is that interesting? Do we really need X-Men on the team? I guess we’ll see soon enough.

          Yeah, they shook up the Ultimate universe, but what good did it do? They could have explored new directions without trashing everything they’d built up to that point. What good are reviews if the fans they betrayed to get them are no longer reading?

    • Dan LaLande on

      And yet, no one brings up the time Spiderman hit his wife. You know, before he sold his marriage to the devil.

      Just finished reading the Age of Ultron AI book, and I am really encouraged by how it treats Pym. For too long, people have been treating Pym as a science superhero who has mental breakdowns. However, when you really look at his career, Pym has ALWAYS been crazy, doing experiments and actions with next to no thought or testing. He’s a mad scientist working on the side of the angels.

  69. This was confusing but good! Where I’m from (australia) comics aren’t big. Infact I’ve never even seen a comic aside from in newspapers on Sunday’s =p
    Thank you!!

    • Oh darling you are so wrong. Im Australian too and I can mention about .. four comic book stores in Melbourne alone. Also there is oz Comic con starting this year and Armageddon and supanova are also comic book related cons. Comics are just as big here as anywhere, your just not into them enough to find them is all.

  70. I was fully with this list, and even enjoying and agreeing with it, until I came to your entry about Civil War. You’ve got to be kidding me. Here’s a couple starting points toward my disagreement.

    1. The Thor clone was out of control, and Tony Stark seriously regretted that Goliath had died. Which is why he bought the entire plot of land so they could bury Goliath’s gigantic body.

    2. Tony Stark DID try to negotiate with the anti-registration forces, and what happened? Captain America shorted out his armor and bashed him with his shield, which lead to a huge fight.

    Aside from that, it was a great storyline exhibiting the personal beliefs of superpowered characters when their freedom itself is threatened. Tony behaved like he normally does in an extreme situation, where the ends justify the means in his mind. It was dark and violent because it was dealing with politics and basic freedoms, and some people will defend that accordingly.

    Aside from that, what is this “irrevocable damage” it did to Marvel?

    Was it because it was the highest selling comic of 2006? That’s gotta be a killer for the entire company.

    Civil War being on this list just makes no sense.

    • Well…I’m sorry that you disagree. But there are multitudes of comic book fans who hated that crossover. And just because something sells well doesn’t mean that it’s good.

      I hope that you enjoyed the rest of the list, though.

    • Man, I have got to disagree with you in regards to Civil War. After Clor killed Giant Man, Stark used him again and he went after Black Panther and Storm in other comics. Guess Clor is a racist android or something.

      And let’s not forget that Tony augmented his side by using super villains enslaved with nanites that would produce tremendous pain or nerve damage if they got out of line. Used them against other heroes.

      The writing was sloppy, which is typical of Millar. Why, exactly, did Maria Hill attack Captain America again? The Act hadn’t even gone into effect yet. Oh yeah, because Millar needed some reason for Cap to join the other side.

      And you skipped over the whole imprisoning super heroes without due process part.

      The icing on the cake was when Captain America gets tackled by the World Trade Center heroes. That was just so over the top. Millar is the antithesis of subtle.

      And just because something sells well does not mean it is good. Look at the Transformers movies.

      Finally, I think Mighty God King summed up how most people felt about Civil War with his parodies:

    • Ah, come on, Civil War was terrible, it’s just that Millar put enough of his “kewl sh*t ™” to make you think it isn’t; but analyse it for a bit and you’ll see. Almost everyone’s out of character, they just behave that way to take the story from A to B to C, Spider-Man acts like an idiot (“Tony is right, I have to expose my identity! Oh wait, they shot Aunt May! I didn’t see that one coming! Tony is wrong!”), even when the story tries to be clever it does it in the stupidest and most obvious way possible (Daredevil handing the coin to Tony when he’s captured. “Cause he’s like Judas, eh? Get it? Eh?”), the very notion of a Thor cyborg murderclone being a major plot point is stupid, and sort of pulled out of thin air. The “political alegory” that a lot of fans of the series defend (because that’s what makes Marvel comics good: Political allegory) is ham-fisted at best, and even then, any allegory goes to hell the moment that the story goes “then they resolved it by punching”. Also, am I to understand that the series ends because Captain effin’ America just gives up? That’s terrible beyond words.

      Yes, it sold lots, so what? That doesn’t make it good. By that logic, everything popular is automatically the best and something less so is by definition the worst. By that logic, Michael Bay is better than, say, David Lynch. That’s shorthand thinking. No, I’d rather be critical.

      • Don’t forget they had to explain how Sue left Reed at least twice, and there was also a scene where Peter and Tony have a “discussion” about how Peter’s broken arm mysteriously healed in about two hours’ comic time, and then they turn and look directly at the reader for a panel, which even Wizard pointed out as a “You satisfied with that, fans??” moment.

        It started out good and was an interesting twist to the Marvel Universe that hadn’t been explored since the 80s X-Men run: Are Superhumans/Mutants living weapons and should they be registered? Too bad it got mired in that British wrieter Millar’s personal anti-American views.

    • I also deeply resented Stark for his actions in the Civil War. Hunting down his old buddies because what they were doing was “illegal”. Jaywalking is illegal, you shouldn’t be killed or thrown in a max jail in another dimension for it. And of course, this embracing of totalitarian gov’t allowed Osborne to take over Shield.

      I can’t believe you can forgive the death of Goliath because Stark “bought the entire parcel of land” to bury his body. Well I guess That makes it all better. Firstly you know that he’s a billionaire for whom buying a 60′ x 20′ patch of dirt would not be a problem. Secondly, I remember that scene, and I really don’t remember them saying anything like “hey don’t worry, Tony bought the site”. Are you sure that actually happened?

      • That bit about Stark buying an oversize plot for Goliath just registered on my logic circuits. Why in Hell would he do that? Because he died as a giant? Both Pym and Richards have the means to return his body to normal size. Another example of the writer not thinking things through, and Millar did enough of this throughout the entire series to lead one the conclusion that yes, he does think that superhero fans are idiots.

        • As a Spider-Man reader, it became apparent to me that the ONLY reason for Civil War was to unmask Spidey as part of their multi-part plan to get rid of the marriage. They knew they were doing a reboot on the marriage but they needed something big enough to justify it. Peter unmasking and getting Aunt May shot was the answer. Otherwise there is no logical explanation for Peter’s actions in that story based on 50 years of character development.

        • It wasn’t the only reason for Civil War, but it clearly was the reason for Peter’s actions during it. He never would have been on Stark’s side.

    • I just want to clear that the irreparable damage caused by Civil War was very real and Marvel is surely still having to deal with the fallout.

      It soured things so badly that even now, with stellar artwork all around (unheard of, and for years I raged about the mismanagement of art assignments) I refuse to get more than a trickle of titles from them. In fact, last year I very nearly quit comic collecting altogether, that’s how discouraged I was. And that’s something I’d never even considered before, not in 40 years of collecting.

      And some of this stuff I refuse to get is drawn by artists- John Cassaday, for instance- whose work I have always made a point of buying regardless of writer or title.

    • If you look at this list, which I pretty much agree with (and believe that there are more that could be added to the list) the majority of the entries on this list are from the late 90’s and beyond. Marvel Comics DIED in the early 90’s. Their comics have sucked since the late 80’s / early 90’s and the hacks that have been at Marvel since then have destroyed the great comic characters and plot lines created by the real talent that came before them. Terrible stories, terrible art, – the comics of today are not imaginative, not intelligent, not dramatic, and worst of all – not fun – which is what they are supposed to be all about. – THAT IS WHY NO ONE READS THEM ANYMORE. There are not talented writers that know how to write a dramatic story. THAT IS WHY EVERYTHING HAS TO BE DRASTIC – KILL OFF THIS ONE, RESURRECT THAT ONE, SECRET WAR THIS, THEN TIME TRAVEL, FLIP FLOP GOOD GUYS AND BAD GUYS, DESTROY THE UNIVERSE, MORE TIME TRAVEL, ADD IN STUPID POLITICS WHICH DON’T BELONG – MAKE EVERYTHING TOTALLY UNREALISTIC THEN — THE ULTIMATE MOVE FOR TALENTLESS HACKS —REBOOT—REBOOT—AND REBOOT AGAIN—- ALL THAT IS LEFT AT MARVEL IS SCAVENGERS CREATING TERRIBLE STORIES FROM ONCE CLASSIC HEROES OR COPIES OF HEROES FROM THE CARCASSES OF ONCE GREAT CHARACTERS BECAUSE NONE OF THEM HAVE THE TALENT TO COME UP WITH AN ORIGINAL IDEA THAT ANYONE WOULD BE INTERESTED IN READING. Every month when I went to the drugstore I was able to buy one comic book that contained a logical, dramatic, entertaining, COMPLETE (FUN) story. There were continuing stories, but there were an equal amount of single issue stories – no 5 part stories, no stories that were continued in 6 different titles over 6 months. Apparently, there is no one intelligent enough to write a story that can be contained in a single book. I WOULD PAY TODAY’S OUTRAGEOUS PRICES FOR THE COMICS I BOUGHT FOR 25, 30 , AND 35 CENTS. I WOULDN’T PAY 35 CENTS FOR THE GARBAGE THEY PUT OUT TODAY. – p.s. CIVIL WAR SUCKED. The whole concept was an example of how bad MARVEL has become. Heroes willingly give up their secret identities? For what, to be stooges of the government? Heroes fighting each other instead of being heroes? There are basic rules of what comics should be, and this story (and MARVEL, for years) has sh*t on those rules. I can write volumes about the unintelligent flaws. Basically, comics are escapist fantasy and the overabundance of statistically defying coincidences / over activity – more accurately defined as chaos & anarchy slopped on a page in a terrible story.