Marvel is the comic book industry’s sales leader and one of the biggest names in pop culture. From its humble origins in the Golden Age of comics, Marvel has grown into a juggernaut, rising above its distinguished competition and making its brand something special. Even though it’s blossomed into a multimedia phenomenon, Marvel’s heart has always been comics.
Over the years, Marvel has created some incredible superhero comics, which have had a huge effect on the company and the comic book industry. The best of them redefined Marvel, making the company better than it was before and changing the way readers looked at it.
ten The Incredible Hulk #181 introduced Wolverine to the world
Wolverine is one of Marvel’s most popular characters. Its very existence changed Marvel and the way it produced superheroes forever, and it all started with The Incredible Hulk #181, by writer Len Wein and artist Herb Trimpe. Wolverine’s debut was a sea change for the Marvel Universe, as it heralded the rise of a new generation of stars.
The Marvel Universe, as fans currently know it, would be very different without Wolverine. Although he had changed a lot since his debut, there were plenty of building blocks that would go on to become one of Marvel’s biggest stars.
9 Ultimate Spider-Man #1 started the Ultimate Universe and was Brian Michael Bendis’ first major Marvel book
The Ultimate Spider-Man #1, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mark Bagley, was one of the biggest comics of 2000. Its influence on Marvel is multifold. He began the successful Ultimate Universe imprint, which would lead the sales charts and form the building blocks of the MCU. It became one of the most influential Spider-Man books of all time and led to the debut of Miles Morales.
Beyond that, it was writer Brian Michael Bendis’ first major Marvel work. Bendis would become Marvel’s chief architect throughout the 2000s, helping the publisher achieve ever greater success and redefining the line.
8 Infinity Gauntlet has brought Marvel’s summer blockbuster back
It’s hard to think of a time when Marvel didn’t release multiple event books a year, but there was a time when there wasn’t even an annual Marvel event book. The failure of Secret Wars II killed off the nascent event book movement at Marvel and it wouldn’t be until 1991 Infinity Gauntlet, by writer Jim Starlin and artists George Perez and Ron Lim, things were about to change.
Infinity Gauntlet took the event book formula that Marvel had abandoned for years and put it to good use. It brought Thanos and cosmic Marvel back to the forefront of the Marvel Universe and inspired the MCU decades later.
7 Avengers Disassembled sets the course for the Marvel Universe for years to come
disassembled avengers is one of the most important Marvel stories of the 2000s. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Finch, the story ended the Avengers as fans knew them. This lead to New Avengers, a book that would set the tone for the Marvel Universe for years to come, setting up the publisher’s big events.
It’s also one of Scarlet Witch’s most iconic stories, leading to almost every other Wanda-focused story that came later. Bendis truly became Marvel’s greatest writer because of this story and it changed the face of the Marvel Universe.
6 Civil War Changed the Dynamics of the Marvel Universe
Civil war was one of the biggest Marvel stories of the 2000s. Written by Mark Millar with art by Steve McNiven, its ideological battle between Captain America and Iron Man changed the face of the Marvel Universe for the rest of the 2000s. The Marvel Universe became a very different place after Civil war.
From the splitting up of the Avengers to the superhero initiative to An extra day to the possible takeover of the whole by Norman Osborn, Civil war recast the Marvel Universe in a new way. Fans were treated to new stories, characters placed in different situations, and it led to a period of dynamic growth for Marvel.
5 House Of X/Powers Of X Made The X-Men Marvel’s Greatest Comics Again
Marvel did its best to kill off the X-Men before reclaiming their movie rights. Once parent company Disney did, Marvel released House of X/Powers of X, by writer Jonathan Hickman and artists Pepe Larraz and RB Silva. These two books that were one changed the X-Men forever and launched the Krakoa era. The X-Men comics have once again become the greatest books in the country.
Marvel may have been the sales leader before HoX/PoX but that was almost irrelevant. The books gave the publisher a massive buzz like they hadn’t had in years and sales to match. The X-Men are once again Marvel’s best-selling comics.
4 Amazing Fantasy #15 Was the Beginning of Marvel’s Greatest Hero
Spider-Man has changed a lot since his debut, but there’s no denying that this is one of the most important Marvel comics of all time. Incredible Fantasy #15, by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, introduced the Wall-Crawler and created the legendary hero that would truly set Marvel apart from its distinguished competitors.
Marvel Was Just Publishing Old Superhero/Sci-Fi Comics Before Incredible Fantasy #15. Spider-Man was unlike any Marvel character that came before him, and codified the publisher’s approach of creating more realistic heroes with feet of clay, ones that readers could relate to and see themselves.
3 Avengers (1963) #16 debuted Cap’s Kooky Quartet and changed Marvel teams forever
The Avengers are Marvel’s greatest team, and their stories have played a huge role in shaping the Marvel Universe. One Avengers comic that changed Marvel in years to come was Avengers (1963) #16, by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. This issue was the team’s first major roster shakeup and introduced Cap’s Kooky Quartet, bringing some reformed villains into the group.
It was the first time that villains reformed and joined a big-name superteam. It made stars of Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch and opened the floodgates for reformed villains to join Marvel’s biggest teams.
2 Giant-Size X-Men #1 Saved The X-Men And Led To Marvel Domination In The 80s And 90s
It’s hard to believe now, but there was a time when the X-Men weren’t even close to being popular. Then 1974 Giant Size X-Men #1, by writer Len Wein and artist Dave Cockrum, dropped and the X-Men suddenly became a hot ticket. The introduction of the All-New, All-Different team led to the revitalization of the X-Men.
This in turn led to writer Chris Claremont taking over X Men. The book will soon be renamed Weird X-Men and become a sales juggernaut, which would see Marvel become the dominant comics company and the most popular team in X-Men comics.
1 Avengers (1963) #4 brought Captain America back to the Marvel Universe
Captain America was Marvel’s biggest Golden Age character, but he was nowhere to be found in the publisher’s Silver Age reboot. Avengers (1963) #4, by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, changed all that, bringing Cap back into the limelight and putting him on the Avengers. This led to him becoming one of the team’s greatest leaders and Marvel’s main hero.
Cap’s presence in the Marvel Universe changed him for years to come. He was different from other heroes and his leadership role took things to the next level. Cap’s adventures in the modern era have eclipsed his earlier ones. Many fan-favorite characters and storylines stem from Cap’s return.
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