Marvel Comics have been around for decades, and have told countless stories over the years featuring some of our favorite superhero characters. However, given the demand for new comics and characters, there is a constant push for bigger and better heroes with origin stories that bring something new to the table.
Considering that simplistic origin stories like "teen bit by radioactive spider" or "rich orphan wears leather for vengeance" have been done in all variations, writers find themselves reaching when it comes to creating new characters. This has left places like the Marvel Universe full of convoluted and confusing origin stories, which we are going to take a closer look at today.
10 CAPTAIN MARVEL
While most fans these days know of Captain Marvel as Carol Danvers, high-flying Avenger, the truth is the character had a much different origin, one that technically didn't even start at Marvel Comics. The "Captain Marvel" name was first used by Fawcett Comics in 1939 for their hero, who is better known these days as Shazam.
Following the end of Fawcett Comics publication of the character, Marvel Comics created the Kree hero Mar-Vell to take advantage of the free Captain Marvel name. Eventually, Mar-Vell was killed by cancer, and he was replaced by a few other characters like his genetically-grown son Genis-Vell or the human hero Monica Rambeau before Carol Danvers finally stepped into the role.
9 MOON KNIGHT
Moon Knight is one of Marvel's most interesting characters for a number of reasons, not the least of which is his crazy and sometimes confusing origin story. Marc Spector was a mercenary in Egypt who was betrayed by his partner and left to die at the site of an ancient dig, one that unearthed the shrine of Khonshu, Egyptian God of Vengeance.
Spector would be resurrected by Khonshu and forced to serve as his avatar known as Moon Knight. However, Spector's psyche was damaged, and he had multiple personalities he used in his fight against crime. Steven Grant, Jake Lockley, Marc Spector, and Moon Knight all worked together to serve Khonshu, though his existence remains a lingering question behind Moon Knight's origins.
8 RACHEL GREY
You'll notice that a lot of the more confusing origins from Marvel happen within the X-Men line of comics. This could be due to the large roster of characters in the books or the overall popularity of the franchise, but they definitely have some of the more convoluted origin stories in all of comics.
A good example is Rachel Grey, who first appeared simply as Rachel in the iconic "Days of Future Past" storyline. Rachel was eventually revealed to be the future daughter of Scott Summers and Jean Grey and she would be sent back to her past/X-Men's present by the Phoenix Force, which would later bond with her as it had her mother.
Betsy Braddock was first introduced in the pages of Captain Britain as the twin sister of Brian Braddock, defender of the Omniverse and the costumed adventurer known as Captain Britain. While Betsy was initially just a supporting character with some limited precognition (later telepathy) who occasionally filled in for her brother as Captain Britain, though that would soon change.
After Betsy was blinded in the pages of Captain Britain, she was taken by the alternate-reality media monster known as Mojo, and outfitted with recording devices in place of her eyes. She is taken in by the X-Men, who she joins during their time in the Outback. Following that, Betsy's mind was placed inside of a Japanese ninja's body, resulting in the Psylocke of the X-Men we know today.
6 WONDER MAN
Simon Williams has a confusing origin due to the fact that he originally started his career as a villain to the Avengers before eventually joining them as a long-time member. Willaims first appeared in Avengers #9 as Wonder Man, powered by ionic energy in order to infiltrate the Avengers for Baron Zemo, though this mission would lead to his death.
It would later be revealed that the Avengers had kept a digital copy of his brain patterns, which would be used by Ultron to create his Vision. Simon's body would also be used by other villains a few times before he finally returned to life and joined the Avengers. He would die and be reborn a few times over the years thanks to his ionic abilities which are continually being reinvented.
The character of Xorn was first introduced by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly in New X-Men Annual #1 as a mysterious masked mutant with a "star for a brain." His various powers were all seemingly explained by this star, which was also the reason for the skull-like mask that always conveniently remained over his head.
At the close of Morrison's run, it was revealed that Xorn was actually Magneto, who then killed a ton of people in New York and Jean Grey before being decapitated by Wolverine. Except, it was quickly retconned that Magneto was never Xorn and that there were actually two Xorn brothers, one of whom was turned into a duplicate of Magneto by his daughter, Wanda... for some reason.
Following the birth of Nathan Summers by Madelyne Pryor (a whole different long story), he would go to live with his father Cyclops and Jean Grey for a bit before being used in a scheme by Apocalypse. Nathan would be infected by a techno-organic virus by Apocalypse, though he was saved by a warrior from the future, sent by his aged sister Rachel who led the religious Askani.
Nathan would grow up two-thousand years in the future with the Askani, living a full life and becoming the great warrior known as Cable. Eventually, he would return to his home timeline and join the X-Men, reuniting with his father, a young man still compared to his war-ravaged militaristic son.
Monet St. Croix is not one of the most well-known mutants to have ever joined the X-Men, but she does have one of the strangest origins around. First appearing in the pages of Generation X, Monet joined the team as M and they fought against her older brother, the emotional vampire known as Emplate, who had a slave with diamond-hard skin known as Penance.
Penance was eventually revealed to be the real Monet, while the M who had joined Generation X was then revealed to actually be the combined forms of her younger twin sisters, Nicole and Claudette. Monet was eventually freed from the Penance form, though her twin sisters were forced to take her place as Penance while M went on to work with the X-Men for years.
2 KANG THE CONQUEROR
When time travel is involved, things are practically guaranteed to be confusing. When Kang the Conqueror first appeared in The Avengers #8, it was as a time-traveling warlord intent on taking over the past. However, over the years the revelations about Kang's past, present, and future have created quite the mess. Kang is actually Nathaniel Richards from the 31st century, who discovers Doctor Doom's time-travel technology and travels back to ancient Egypt to rule it as Pharoah Rama-Tut, who was actually first seen in Fantastic Four.
Rama-Tut would later become the armored Scarlet Centurion, who would then later become Kang the Conqueror, and eventually the Lord of Time, Immortus. Oh, and an even younger Nathaniel Richards would go back in time to become Iron Lad, a founding member of the Young Avengers. And we can't forget Kang's time as Victor Timely, Mayor of a quiet 1910 town where the time-conquering villain likes to relax. Time travel is fun.
With both characters hailing from the Mojoverse and sharing a similar look, the connection between the luck-manipulating Longshot and the warrior swordsman Shatterstar remained a mystery for years. It was eventually revealed that Shatterstar (who was raised 100 years in the future) was "cloned" to create Longshot, though it gets much, much weirder.
Longshot grew up and fell in love with Dazzler, who eventually gave birth to baby Shatterstar. however, their memories of having a child were then erased by the adult Shatterstar, who then took his younger self to the future to be raised, fulfilling this crazy time-looped version of "I'm My Own Grandpa." So Longshot is the clone/"son" of Shatterstar, and Shatterstar is the son of Longshot, but also his father. Right?