Top 10 Worst Moments in Marvel Comics

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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 http://www.weeklycrisis.com/

 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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159 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!”

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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?

    3. IN Issue 7, HE OUTRIGHT ATTACKS THE AVENGERS AND SPEAKS AS A FULL SUPERVILLAIN! Something Peter IS NOT KNOWN FOR OUTSIDE OF CIVIL WAR.

    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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. IndyAndyJones on

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