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Most Disappointing Story Lines: Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics has put out some great stories but not all of them have been winners.

Recently, I went over some of the most disappointing DC story lines I've read, and I couldn't stop there because above everything else, there is one story line that disappointed me above everything else I've ever read, and it comes from Marvel comics. No company is safe from producing less-than-stellar stories. Not every book can be a home run. Occasionally, you're going to have some major stinkers.

Last time, I had a good set of rules for this list, and this time around, I've gotten a bit more lenient. Every story arc has to come from post House of M, and on top of that, it doesn't even have to be a single story line. It can be multiple, consecutive runs of story lines. I really just made this rule so I could fit in my least favorite run in all of comics that used to be great.

Spider-Man: One More Day

What Was Going on Before this Storyline?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN took some great risks in story telling. Prior to One More Day, Spider-Man revealed his identity to the world in the Civil War story line, which surprisingly enough, was a great tie-in. Because of Peter revealing his identity, the Kingpin has a sniper to shoot Aunt May. While May is in a coma, Peter puts on the black outfit and goes on a rampage and realizes he's become a criminal in order to fight them.

What Was One More Day?

Essentially, it was a giant reset button. In order to save Aunt May's life, Peter went to everyone he could think of, and no one would help until he met Mephisto. Mephisto offered Aunt May's life in exchange for his marriage to Mary Jane: including another deal where everyone forgets he is Spider-Man. Peter would also forget about everything from his marriage.

Why Was it so Disappointing?

One of the rumors on the net was that they (the powers that be) just wanted Spider-Man to be single. If that's the case, just give him a divorce. There was tons of great character development and world development prior to this story line, and they (the powers that be) threw it all away and reset everything. It was and still is a complete bummer. Plus, why does Mephisto give a flying poop about Peter's marriage? All-in-all it's an incredibly sloppy story.

Worst Moment:

That everything cool done in the Spider-Man books has been completely undone, and on top of that how bored is Mephisto?

Oh... He's THAT bored.

Every Other Young Avengers Title

What Was Going on Before this Storyline?

The Young Avengers are awesome. I'm not going to beat around the bush here. If Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung are involved, Young Avengers are amazing. The first YOUNG AVENGERS series was awesome and nothing like anyone expected. Essentially, the team comes together, we find out that Iron Lad is actually Kang, and if he doesn't become Kang, existence goes kaput! Overall, it was one of my favorite Marvel mini-series, and this team became one of my favorites as well.

What is every other Young Avengers title?

Every other Young Avengers title is a tie-in by a random creative team. There are three mini-series to choose from: Dark Reign: Young Avengers, Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways, and Secret Invasion: Runaways/Young Avengers. All the books deal with how these heroes would react in each major event. They really don't have a major part in the overall event, so this was a "what are they up to" bunch of mini-series.

Why Was it so Disappointing?

Because it took a great team, a great story, and flushed it down the toilet by luring people in and fans realize that each mini-series was either terrible or "just ok" at best. The Dark Reign tie-in was probably my least favorite of the bunch, which is pretty weird considering that I'm a big fan of Paul Cornell, who wrote this series. The Dark Reign mini-series focused on the Young Avengers and a new group of heroish people. Frankly, it was way too many people, and like every Young Avengers tie-in, the artist and writers didn't capture these characters anywhere near the way Heinberg and Cheung did.

Worst Moment:

The team being ruined for me. When Avengers: Children's Crusade came out, I almost didn't buy it. I was so bummed about past mini-series that I felt like it just wasn't worth it. Overall, the worst moment is just the idea that Marvel used these characters just to bring in some quick cash.

I feel just as sad about these tie-ins as these characters look.

Exiles Issues 90-End

What Was Going on Before this Storyline?

EXILES was a beast. It was my favorite comic during that period and my favorite team. For those who don't know, the Exiles are a team of Marvel characters from different universes who have to come together to save other universes... It's Sliders in the Marvel Universe. Right before this disappointment happened, the Exiles went on a tour of many different and familiar Marvel universes, including New Universe and 2099. Tony Bedard's wonderful run comes to a close, and issue 89 goes back into the team's past and the reader gets to relive some past memories with Thunderbird, who died earlier in the series.

What Was the end of this series about?

It was 100% about Psylocke and Chris Claremont reshaping the team in his image. Claremont, at one time, was a go to guy for writing any X-book, so adding him to this series seemed right. During his 10 issue run, Claremont explores relationships between team mates and fights between bad guys. There's nothing within his run really worth mentioning, sadly. He feels like a fill-in writer that lasted for 10 issues.

Why Was it so Disappointing?

Out of any disappointing moment I've mentioned in either articles, this takes the cake, eats it, then poops it out of my front lawn. Claremont shifted the focus of this book and made it less about a team trying to make it home and work together, and he made it into the Psylocke show. On top of that, dialogue became rigid and over-explanatory. Overall story arcs were disappointing and pointless. The best part of his run was when it ended, even though the series ended with him.

Worst Moment:

Now, I can't say that Claremont jumping on was the worst moment, but I can say two issues in that I knew he was a terrible fit for this book. It was tough to realize that Judd Winick is never coming back to this book.

I guess the worst moment is believing that one man killed the book so hard that not even Jeff Parker's second volume could save it... If they only listened to Morph...

There you have it! My most disappointing moments in Marvel story lines. What are your most disappointing story lines or even runs of Marvel books?

Follow Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring on what the kids call the twitter: @inferiorego

144 Comments
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Posted by FoxxFireArt

@Superguy0009e said:

You guys forgot the BIGGEST most disappointing storyline, when Gwen Stacy sleeps with Green Goblin....I HATE that story

That wasn't disappointing as much as it was creepy and disgusting as hell.

I had heard that Quesada had wanted to bring back Gwen Stacy, along with everyone else; but he faced push back against many others who strongly disagreed with that idea.

Posted by ReVamp

@FoxxFireArt said:

@Superguy0009e said:

You guys forgot the BIGGEST most disappointing storyline, when Gwen Stacy sleeps with Green Goblin....I HATE that story

That wasn't disappointing as much as it was creepy and disgusting as hell.

I had heard that Quesada had wanted to bring back Gwen Stacy, along with everyone else; but he faced push back against many others who strongly disagreed with that idea.

It was both. For sure.

Posted by XevenMoons

What ended the series for me was the death of Mimic. I honestly started reading the series just for him. I was looking in the a comic shop, scrolling for series, ( I just started getting into comics at that point) when I came across an Exile issue,with Mimic on the front cover, pointing his wolverine claws, colossus skin, and Cyclopes's optic power.

Edited by _Cain_

Oh God, One More Day and O.M.I.T.

SUUUUUUUCKS!!!!

Posted by onyxwave

@inferiorego said:

@FadeToBlackBolt said:

t's like going to see a Michael Bay film. You know what you're getting into.

BEST QUOTE OF THE YEAR IF NOT THE DECADE! lol, cuz Michael Ba totally crapped on the Transformers. Worst storytelling ever for that franchise. HASBRO should have given the job to same guy that did G.I. Joe...at least that guy knew how to focus on the main characters and didn't include a bunch of worthless scenes and dialogue.

Posted by jaredbright

@TheWholeDamnShow:

Yeah, that was pretty bad. I remember reading the first issue and not buying into the premise or the characters. Then the second issue came around and I knew they didn't actually care about doing a story about everyone finding out who Spider-man really was. Think of all the issues they could of sold if they had put effort into it, done it right, and it was about traditional Spider-man who wasn't magic or whatever he was supposed to be. All of a sudden Cap's fighting the government and Iron man is this big bad new guy. People are just wandering around switching sides occasingly and fighting and I found it strange they were surprised when somebody died. You're fighting a 'war'. people die in a war. I actually reread the six (out of seven) issues I have thinking it wasn't as bad as I thought. It was actually worse. The people at Marvel who concieved this mess seemed totally incompable of producing this series. Really sad.

Posted by tonis

I pretty much 100% agree on the One More Day fiasco, it could have been handled much better if that's alls they really wanted was a single Spidey.

Remind me to send you some poop bags so you can get that lawn cleaned up :D

Posted by jaredbright

I'd say everything from Sins Past, The bizare Other story, Civil War/unmasking, OMD and perhaps even going back to the premise of a magical Spider-man itself was the worst comic book stuff I'll ever read. It's just awful and insulting. They had no plan for this and if they did, it makes it seem worse.

There's absolutely nothing to do in Spider-man now. I've read it a few times since and I don't even know who this guy is. He doesn't have the same soul anymore as the guy from the 90s or 80s or before that. I read Avenging because I wanted to see Joe Mad do something and fun as it was I found Spider-man mostly blank as a character. OMD ruined the credibility of the book, character, and perhaps the industry itself. When you get a story on CNN and potential new readers go to read this story about everyone knowing who Spider-man is, and people try to read this trash that leads up to OMD. How could they have made it any worse?

Posted by odysseyuwrf

Totally agree with the Exiles stuff. What an amazing book, and the at the end it just went to pot super fast. No good. Win nick really started a great read, and Claremont just trashed it.

Posted by Inverno

@ReVamp said:

@FoxxFireArt said:

@Superguy0009e said:

You guys forgot the BIGGEST most disappointing storyline, when Gwen Stacy sleeps with Green Goblin....I HATE that story

That wasn't disappointing as much as it was creepy and disgusting as hell.

I had heard that Quesada had wanted to bring back Gwen Stacy, along with everyone else; but he faced push back against many others who strongly disagreed with that idea.

It was both. For sure.

God I tried to block that out of my memory. I can't believe that storyline happened. I hate retcons.

Posted by Wowlock

@Tauros said:

@Trodorne said:

QUEEEEEEEEEEEEESAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Allow me to 1-up you:

Pretty much summs it up for me ...

Posted by Mega_spidey01

hate the dark reign arc

Posted by TheWholeDamnShow

@jaredbright said:

@TheWholeDamnShow:

Yeah, that was pretty bad. I remember reading the first issue and not buying into the premise or the characters. Then the second issue came around and I knew they didn't actually care about doing a story about everyone finding out who Spider-man really was. Think of all the issues they could of sold if they had put effort into it, done it right, and it was about traditional Spider-man who wasn't magic or whatever he was supposed to be. All of a sudden Cap's fighting the government and Iron man is this big bad new guy. People are just wandering around switching sides occasingly and fighting and I found it strange they were surprised when somebody died. You're fighting a 'war'. people die in a war. I actually reread the six (out of seven) issues I have thinking it wasn't as bad as I thought. It was actually worse. The people at Marvel who concieved this mess seemed totally incompable of producing this series. Really sad.

Dude I read almost every tie in to Civil War. Worst investment ever.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

I've been out of the comic loop for a couple of decades. What's the in-joke with Quesada?

Also, I'm gonna vote in any Secret Wars beyond the first. That being said, I wouldn't mind a new Secret Wars every decade or so pushing the characters they've been trying to establish as new blood.

Posted by aaunderoath

OMIT should be on here .. it even changed how OMD worked .. as annoying as OMD was at least i understood how it worked .. but then OMIT came along and made it confusing

Posted by frogjitsu

I didn't mind CC's run on exiles that much. I picked it up for Psylocke, who at that time, recently departed Uncanny with CC, so the major focus on Psylocke was a plus :P Nevertheless, it was clear that CC dropped the ball with everyone else though. It was lame how Miguel ended up falling in love with a Gwen, and an MJ if I remember correctly, as if he was Peter. To tell you the truth, I got bored when they relaunched it and dropped the title. Looking back, the only arc I really enjoyed was the one where Invisible Woman was Madame Hydra.

OMD was lame, but BND was awesome. The worst part was that most of the BND stories really didn't exploit his singleness, so what was the point of axing the marriage?

Posted by JonesDeini

@TheWholeDamnShow said:

Civil War. I dont care what anyone says.

I made my entry back into comics with that event...and swiftly made my exit again.

Posted by TheWholeDamnShow

@JonesDeini said:

@TheWholeDamnShow said:

Civil War. I dont care what anyone says.

I made my entry back into comics with that event...and swiftly made my exit again.

I too made my entry into comics with that event. Wish I had the dignity to say I left afterwords :/

Posted by kingoftheworld

Thats it????????????

Posted by bingbangboom

I think sometimes these disappointing stories are done for better stories down the road. That's how I feel about OMD. Spider-Man was in a funk and I am not sure if it was the marriage that was dragging him down but the stories after it were really good. Some were a little silly but Spidey got his groove back. His relationship with people changed and we saw single Peter become not so single... then single again. Also I feel the way him and MaryJane deal with one another is more dynamic.

They are exes, but you know they still love and care for one another. Could they give it another shot? Sure but I sort of like the fact that they havn't went down that road yet. We are also starting to see some of the things done in OMD being broken like Spider-Man's identity being not so protected. I am sort of surprised that this whole thing didn't bring back Gwen Stacy. I think that will be something that could be interesting and fun even if fans hate it. I mean everyone else has come back from the dead already, Bucky TWICE!

Exiles was a great fun book and hope they bring it back too. Was thinking of maybe having it slightly different this time with instead of jumping through different universes, just gather heroes that are now in the 616 but are from different timelines/universes.

The Young Avenger spin-offs were never really good. I think the best was the one with Runaways but for both books, the spin-offs were throw aways and never as good as the real things.

Posted by EvilAndy

The thing about OMD is that it’s still with us today, sinking up the joint 4-plus years later. Other bad stories eventually end and you can get on telling better stories but as good as the writing on ASM might be now there is always the reminder of OMD and what a piece of crap it was. Not only seeing Pete and MJ apart, or that Aunt May has forgotten Peter is Spider-Man but you always have to try to keep straight what may or may not have happened. Some comments on this story seem to think that OMD erased the Sins Past story (it didn’t). Did Pete and MJ have a baby that died? (Who knows)

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

One More Day was the most disappointing. I hated it because I am a big MJ and Peter fan. I still think that whole story arc was a mistake

Posted by LoggerRythm

I know for me that I loved the new Avengers title and I was never an Avengers person until they did that series. The team was fresh to some degree and awesome new heroes that I like way more than the old Avengers, up until Civil War happened and fucked all that up. You almost had a new Avengers fan out of me Marvel and just like most of your books you fuck it up. Thx.

Posted by dr.x

Ok I hate to say "I told you so." , but I did told you so things have gone down hill after the mouse took over , because let's face it I used to be a big Marvel fan,back in the day when Stan The Man Lee & Jack The King Kurby all the way up to when even took over Malbu comics (R.I.P) :( I even have all the Black September issues(they were fun) and the Thunder Bolts from day one,but I could not take another retelling of Mutain Reg Act part 2 aka Civil War ,because to my mind it was Marvel being lazy and thought it would be cool to put spin on a old story while other comic book company try doing something off the wall like the 1st 52 or Project Super Power just to name a few , so in closing I do hope Marvel gets there act togetherand start writing more new arcs so they can help regain thoughs fan they have lost .

Posted by John Valentine

You're so wrong about Young Avengers. The first twelve issues, Young Avengers: Presents and Avengers Crusade have been great.

Posted by AirDave817

Ultimatum has to be an addition. I only read it from the Ultimate Spider-Man issues...it just sounded awful...the carnage (not to be confused with Carnage) was just ridiculous.

Posted by Joe_Amazing

Pretty much every event in the last 8 years has been pretty disappointing. What a coincidence, all under Joe Q's tenure as EIC

Posted by King Quisling

Fear Itself, The Siege, Doom War, That Hercules event, Anything to do with Dark Reign. Seriously OMD was better than all of these. IMO the best thing to happened to Spider-Man in twenty years. A practical reboot of a character who got ridiculous. Did we really wanna see Spidey with no secret identity constantly dealing with press and villains tracking down him/his family members every issue? It would have gotten boring fast and I'm sure everyone would have complained eventually.

Posted by King Quisling

Also OMIT explained that nothing really changed too much. He and MJ just never got married. If you didn't know this PP and MJ weren't going get married. She originally said no then the next writer pick up ASM and made them get married. This is how comics work: One creator either respects or totally craps on the writer before. It's been like 6 years, stop complaining about OMD and just read some freaking Spider-Man. OR don't. It'll still sell even if you're too cynical to read it.

Posted by EvilAndy

I keep hearing the argument that OMD was necessary since Peter revealed his identity. The one and only reason OMD happened was to undo the marriage, that’ it. The power that be at Marvel would never have done a story where he revealed his identity or had Aunt May get shot if they weren’t planning to have Mephisto magic it all away. It was lazy, cheap and gutless.

Posted by tenebyss

Pretty good list

Posted by Dark Noldor

HAven't read Spider-Man for a long time, the exception of Civil War and right afterwards (OMD) when Quesada decided to change everything and it was very bad - I don't consider the Young Avengers a bad series, in fact I enjoyed a lot Heinberg and Cheung on the title - regarding the Exiles, I only read to issue 50 or so and Claremont was already losing it - I believe there's a lot of bad storylines such as Chaos War, Dark Reign, Heroic Age, Necrosha, Five Lights, Generation Hope and so many others - this article was more personal than objective, biased at least

Posted by CrimsonTempest
@KainScion said:

marvel hatters and dc fanboys attack. i'm NOT going to be suprised if there isnt going to be a "Most disappointing Story Lines: DC Comics".

Um, there is. Long time ago.
Posted by Meteorite

I wouldn't say they're the most terrible stories I've read, but Secret Invasion, Siege, Chaos War, Shadowland, and Fear Itself all felt very anticlimatic. They started out with good ideas and could have worked really well, but all just ended up with a very lackluster fight at the end which didn't feel dramatic in the slightest.

Posted by inferiorego

@John Valentine said:

You're so wrong about Young Avengers. The first twelve issues, Young Avengers: Presents and Avengers Crusade have been great.

That's what I said in the article..... What I wrote was that all the mini-series tie-ins are awful.

Staff
Posted by John Valentine

@inferiorego said:

@John Valentine said:

You're so wrong about Young Avengers. The first twelve issues, Young Avengers: Presents and Avengers Crusade have been great.

That's what I said in the article..... What I wrote was that all the mini-series tie-ins are awful.

Ah, fair shout. Skim read the bottle of the article!

Posted by inferiorego

@John Valentine said:

@inferiorego said:

@John Valentine said:

You're so wrong about Young Avengers. The first twelve issues, Young Avengers: Presents and Avengers Crusade have been great.

That's what I said in the article..... What I wrote was that all the mini-series tie-ins are awful.

Ah, fair shout. Skim read the bottle of the article!

lol... you're definitely not the first person to do that.

Staff
Posted by turtletrekker

I was confused by the same thing as John Valentine. You didn't mention the 6-issue Young Avengers Presents mini, six one-shots, four good ones all by random teams, including a really good Patriot story by Ed Brubaker guest starring Bucky. As for Mephisto wanting to erase the marriage, I think it all comes down to eliminating the greatest hero the marvel universe will ever know-- Mayday Pparker.

Posted by iaconpoint

OMD proved Quesada doesn't know anything about Spider-Man lore nor does he have a love of the character. I can't put into words how badly he screwed the proverbial pooch on this story. Spider-Man is my absolute, all-time favorite character, so I'm trying not to devolve into hyperbole here, but no other character has ever been ruined so much and so badly as OMD. It's like Bruce Wayne finding out his parents have been alive all this time and living in secret in Europe. Aunt May should never have been resurrected after ASM #400 anyway, but this just pushed the whole thing out into the abyss.

I can't go on. No funeral...

Posted by perry_411

Spider Island didnt make the list? The only plot development was the end of anti venom

Posted by IronSpidy-Rooney

In my opinion Shadowland was soo disappointing for me. When I first read it I thought it was ok but was really lacking especially since the story focused on Daredevil, he deserved more that what it gave him right? but recently I've been reading Bendis' run on the comic and there was a scene where Luke Cage, Spider-man, Doctor Strange etc meet with Matt to convince him hes gone too far and I'm there thinking... haven't I read this scene before,,,

Posted by krilling

OMD and Fall of the Hulks are the most awful stories i've read in the last few years.

Posted by AoS

Chaos War WORST EVER

Posted by Doctor!!!!!

Secret Invasion anyone, just the Skrulls winning at something is an Epic Fail.... Quesada, I blame a lot a things on you, but its your fault for it.