Marvel has no shortage of great comic book characters and stories over their many years of publishing. Some of the stories have redefined characters in a new way and some have really browned the reader’s mind. So, here we are going to pick 10 of the best marvel comics storylines that your favorite comic book publisher has ever written.
10 Greatest Marvel Comics Stories of All-time!
Like our list of top 10 DC Stories, we are going to leave out all the major crossover events like Civil War, Annihilation, Infinity Gauntlet just to focus on stories that are contained within a single title. With that being said, let’s jump right in.
10. Avengers: Under Siege
Leading off at number ten is Avengers: Under Siege that ran from Avengers #273 to Avengers #277 in 1986.
Written by Roger Stern, here we find that Baron Zemo’s son is driven by revenge and reassembles a group of villains called the Masters of Evil to take down the Earth’s mightiest heroes.
The group nearly succeeded as the Avenger’s mansion was raided and destroyed. Several Avengers including Hercules were nearly beaten to death, A brainwashed blackout trapped Captain Marvel in the dark dimension, and Captain America is taken hostage.
At one point we even see Baron Zemo wielding Captain America’s shield. In the end, The Avengers managed to defeat Zemo and the Masters of Evil, but at a great cost.
Under Siege is a great classic Marvel story that is a lot of fun to read and it has set a bigger change to the team in the upcoming issues for good.
9. Iron Man: Extremis
At number nine is the best Iron Man story ever told in Marvel Comics.
It also introduced the updated origin of Tony Stark’s character that MCU drew most from for Robert Downey Jr.’s persona.
Yes, I’m talking about Iron man: Extremis. Written by Warren Ellis between 2004 and 2006.
The Extremis plays out over six issues and pretty much gives you everything. An awesome concept, great writing, amazing artwork, and a nanotech virus that allows Tony Stark to control the Iron Man armor.
Just thinking about the story makes me all excited but the action in this comic is so good that it created a new jumping-on point for new Iron Man readers. If you are an Iron Man fan, this is the story to read.
8. Fantastic Four: Galactus Trilogy
Coming up at number eight we have Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s Galactus Trilogy. Published in Fantastic Four #48 through #50 in 1966.
With this three-part story arc, the legendary duo put together one of Marvel’s all-time best multi-issue stories. This is the story that introduced two brand new characters who would later be one of the major parts of Marvel comics, Galactus and Silver Surfer.
It should go without saying that this story heavily influenced the entire Marvel universe going forward. The Galactus trilogy is an absolute classic and a really fun read. If you haven’t read it already, grab it now.
7. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Many would agree that the X-Men probably have the largest number of must-read marvel stories. So, it should be no surprise that at number seven we have X-Men: Days of Future Past.
This epic 1981 story, found in the Uncanny X-Men #141 and #142 is one of the best X-Men stories by writer Chris Claremont. In it, we jump back and forth between 1980 and a dystopian future in 2013, where robot sentinels have taken over North America and wiped out all mutants.
So, Kitty Pryde with the help of other X-Men attempts to prevent a future holocaust by altering the past. This concept of mutants traveling through time to affect the future has been copied numerous times since Days of Future Past was published which led to several timelines in the X-Men universe.
This iconic story was adapted into a live-action movie in 2014 but the comic book story still remained a classic.
6. Captain America: Winter Soldier
At number six is my favorite Captain America story that was also brought to the silver screen in 2014.
Yes, I’m talking about the Winter Soldier, written by Ed Brubaker between 2005 and 2009.
It’s really more of a saga than a story arc as the narrative really unfolded over the course of a couple of different story arcs. But it’s without a doubt the largest defining story for Captain America in the modern era.
The story reintroduced us to Cap’s long lost friend Bucky Barns as a brainwashed Soviet super-assassin and laid the foundation for Marvel’s Civil War crossover event.
The genius storytelling, crazy twist, deep characters, and overall impact on Cap’s sentiment easily make this Marvel’s all-time best.
5. Planet Hulk & World War Hulk
Smashing at number five is the coolest hulk concept, the story along with battle royal is Planet Hulk and World War Hulk.
Although technically Planet Hulk and World War Hulk are two different story arcs, they tie so much together that World War Hulk is just a continuation of the Planet Hulk story. So, we are counting them as one for this list.
This epic story was written by Greg Pak from 2006 to 2008. It follows the Hulk after he is banished from Earth by the Illuminati just to land on Planet Sekar. It’s where he battles his way through to become the king, gets married, and is about to have a child.
As tragedy strikes, he loses everything and blames the heroes of the earth for his pain which leads to World War Hulk.
This story is compelling, suspenseful, brutal, violent, and overall beautiful. It also had several sequels and we had a glimpse of the Gladiator Hulk in the MCU’s Thor: Ragnarok.
4. Daredevil: Born Again
The story that is widely considered as the best and most influential work of Frank Miller’s career is Daredevil: Born Again storyline.
Considering some of his other works include The Dark Knight Returns, 300, Sin City, and Batman: Year One, this 1986 story is quite a statement.
Born Again is the quintessential Daredevil story that seriously influenced the darker trend in comics that started in the late 80s.
In the series, Daredevil starts out as righteous and is slowly torn apart by Kingpin, situation by situation until he no longer recognizes himself.
If that sounds familiar that’s because Born Again was used as the primary inspiration for Marvel’s Daredevil TV series on Netflix. Bottom line, this is a must-read and easily takes the number four spot on this list.
3. Kraven’s Last Hunt
Coming up at number three is without a doubt one of the most memorable Spider-Man stories ever told. Kraven’s Last Hunt was written by J M DeMatteis and Mike Zeck in 1987.
The complete story was initially told across three different Spider-Man books, Web of Spider-Man #31 & #32, The Amazing Spider-Man #293 & #294, and Spectacular Spider-Man #131 & #132.
Ironically this Spider-Man story is much more about the villain Kraven the Hunter than it is about the webhead himself. It explores the concept of what would happen to a villain if he achieved his greatest goal by killing the hero.
I wouldn’t go deep into the story so it’s not ruined for you if you haven’t read it yet but it’s without a doubt one of the darkest and most thought-provoking Marvel stories to date. Especially for your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
2. The Dark Phoenix Saga
A runner up is another X-Men classic from Chris Claremont and John Byrne. And that is the Dark Phoenix Saga in Uncanny X-Men #129 and #130 in 1930.
I probably don’t need to go deep into the story as it’s one of the most well-known and covered comic book stores, period. The story was portrayed in multiple animated cartoon series, the X-Men Animated series, X-Men: Last Stand movie in 2006, as well as the Dark Phoenix movie in 2019.
The Dark Phoenix saga focuses on the unleashing of the phoenix through the corruption of Jean Grey. It deals with love, loss, pain, and sacrifice in a way that very few comics ever attempted.
It’s just a brilliantly made story that will likely continue to be retold across all forms of media for a long time.
1. The Night Gwen Stacy Died
Taking the top spot at number one is none other than the night Gwen Stacy died, written by Jerry Conway and Gil Kane in Amazing Spider-Man #121 & #122 in 1973.
This story doesn’t really need any introduction as it is widely regarded as one of the most important stories in comic book history. The death of Peter Parker’s first love during the battle between Spider-Man and Green Goblin has marked the end of innocence in comics in a way.
This was the beginning of the greedier and more violent bronze age, where no characters were off-limits. Not to mention the question left in Spider-Man’s mind over whether it was Gwen’s fall from the bridge or the sudden stop caused by the webbing that while trying to save her that broke her neck.
In a way, Gwen Stacy’s death in the story played an even bigger role in Peter Parker’s life than Uncle Ben’s. It’s what changed our favorite friendly neighborhood forever and it’s what brings it the title of the greatest marvel stories of all time.
So, here you are folks. Our pick for the best marvel comics storylines of all time. In no particular order, we also wanna point out some worthy opponents and honorable mentions who didn’t quite make it to our coolest marvel stories list.
Feel free to drop your picks of the best marvel comics story, and what do you think should be on this top 10 list? I would really love to know!