Marvel is undeniably popular, which is pretty impressive given the amount of stinkers they’ve put out over the years. There have been some undeniably bad Marvel stories out there, with lows that can be pretty surprising. Captain America, Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, and basically every Marvel character out there has had multiple stories that no fan should have ever had to read.
However, even the worst story can have some redeeming qualities. They may rarely be anyone’s favorite comics, but they have one thing that makes them worth suffering through for some fans. Sometimes, they’re as simple as great art, but they’re often more complicated.
10/10 Secret Invasion Is Boring And Long-Winded But The Art Is Phenomenal
Secret Invasion‘s upcoming Disney+ adaptation has fans in a tizzy, but that could easily change if they went back and read the comic. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Leinil Yu, it pits the heroes of the Marvel Universe against the Skrull, who had secretly positioned themselves all over the Marvel Universe. That’s a great premise, but it’s not a great book.
Like many Bendis-written events, it’s very boring and badly paced. The beginning of the story is super slow and by the time the pace quickens, readers have been bored to tears by Bendis’s wordy style. However, Yu’s art is fantastic throughout. Everything he draws looks amazing and is a treat for the eyes.
9/10 Death Of Wolverine Explores Wolverine’s History Even If The Book Is Lackluster
Death of Wolverine, by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven, stole the show upon release. Killing off Marvel’s most popular mutant was a huge move, and fans had a lot of expectations for the story. Unfortunately for them, what they got was a rather lackluster book that didn’t really feel like a Wolverine story beyond the set dressing.
However, that set dressing was very good. From his fight with Nuke, a fellow member of Weapon X, to his trip to Madripoor to battling Ogun to his final confrontation with Dr. Cornelius, the book definitely played with the character’s history. This was the main bright spot in what is otherwise an underwhelming story.
8/10 Chuck Austen’s X-Men Run Was Anchored By The Best Portrayal Of Juggernaut Ever
Writer Chuck Austen’s time writing Uncanny X-Men and X-Men is widely considered the worst run on the titles by anyone. A number of his stories are considered worst of all time stories, but there is at least one bright spot in his entire run. He made Juggernaut a member of the team and it was awesome.
The relationship between Juggernaut and Sammy the Fish, a young mutant student at the Xavier Institute, was touching and fun. Austen was able to capture Juggernaut’s desire to finally do good in his life and made him into a surprisingly multidimensional character. It’s a shame he didn’t write any other character that well.
7/10 X Of Swords Brought Arakko Into The X-Men Books
Some Marvel titles overstayed their welcome, with fans rebelling against them for a variety of reasons. X of Swords literally stayed too long, as the twenty-two part story was very long and very badly paced. It’s a comic that’s not really worth a re-read at all, but it wasn’t completely without merit, as it introduced Arakko and its mutants to the Krakoa Era.
Arakko was once part of Okkara, the living mutant continent. Split in two when the hordes of Amenth attacked the Earth, Arakko was pulled into Otherworld with the most powerful mutants to fight Amenth. They eventually became a part of the demonic empire, but Apocalypse and the Krakoans were able to free them and bring them home. Eventually, they would be given the terraformed Mars as a home.
6/10 Wolverine: Evolution Has Beautiful Art
There are some bad Wolverine stories out there, with Wolverine: Evolution being legendary among fans. Written by Jeph Loeb with art by Simone Bianchi, the story followed Wolverine and mutants similar to him, including Sabretooth, Feral, Thornn, and Wolfsbane along with Sasquatch, as they investigated new clues to their origin. It introduced Romulus and ended in the “death” of Sabretooth.
It also introduced readers to the Lupine, a type of mutant that evolved from canines. It’s a laughably bad idea and the story is roundly panned. However, Bianchi’s art is gorgeous. Marvel even put out black and white editions of the issues when it was coming out, just to show off how amazing Bianchi’s art looked before it was colored.
5/10 Sins Past Reminded Fans That Gwen Stacy Isn’t A Saint
Spider-Man has often been betrayed, but none hurt so much as learning about Gwen Stacy’s betrayal in The Amazing Spider-Man: Sins Past, by writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Mike Deodato. Spider-Man ends up fighting against mysterious twins with powers similar to his own. He eventually learns they’re the children of Gwen Stacy and Norman Osborn.
Marvel has spent years canonizing Gwen Stacy. She’s a perfect saint in Spider-Man’s life and the only relationship Peter Parker had that mattered. Sins Past reminds readers she’s fallible. She could do things that hurt Peter. She was human and not a perfect saint, which Sins Past outlines.
4/10 X-Men (Vol. 6) Had Some Amazing Art By Pepe Larraz
Comics fans get used to disappointment, something that X-Men fans had to experience when Marvel launched the Gerry Duggan written X-Men (Vol. 6) in 2021. The book is as shallow as a puddle. It’s an action heavy comic in an era of X-Men comics that have found ways to combine action with intelligent plots and character work.
The humor is bad, the characterization is off, and none of the plots are interesting. However, artist Pepe Larraz draws seven of the first 12 issues and the art is amazing. He brings the action to life, taking a book with no merit and making it worthwhile.
3/10 Joe Madureira Returned For The Ultimates 3
The Ultimates 3 is infamous among fans of Marvel. Written by Jeph Loeb with art by Joe Madureira, the book pit the Ultimates against a plot created by Doctor Doom involving Ultron robots. The plot is terrible, and the book is barely worth reading for a lot of reasons.
However, it also marks the return of 90s Marvel legend Joe Madureira. The artist’s anime infused style became a hallmark of post-Image founder exodus Marvel, and his time on Uncanny X-Men is fondly remembered by fans. He left comics to do art for video games and his return in Ultimates 3 showed he was a better artist than ever. The story is still completely terrible, but his art is lovely.
2/10 Spider-Man’s Clone Saga Introduced Ben Reilly
Many Marvel stories have been gamechangers, but not all of them are beloved. The Clone Saga is the best example of that. For over two years, Spider-Man fans had to deal with a story that got worse and worse. However, as bad as things got, the story does have one great thing.
Ben Reilly may not have had a beloved tenure as Spider-Man, but he was a character that many fans loved. The Scarlet Spider became a beloved part of the Spider-Man mythos. His recent return was loved his fans, which is why so many fans were angry when ti ended and he became the villain Chasm.
1/10 House Of M Gave Readers Layla Miller
Many Marvel crossovers threw changes at readers, with House of M, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Olivier Coipel, changing the X-Men’s status quo for years. However, House of M is another textbook example of a Bendis written event. It’s slow paced and boring.
However, there’s one bright spot to the long plodding middle of the book, and that’s Layla Miller. Like Wolverine, she also remembers the old universe and her powers allow her to return the others’ memories. She’s such a wonderful character, a sassy teenager with an acid tongue, and would go on to join the cast of X-Factor.
NEXT: 10 Greatest Marvel Heroes Of 2022