Comic books have always been full of all-sorts of dramatic twists and turns. Not only does this allow for things like reboots, but it also opens the door for writers to explore all-new elements of the characters. However, some of these dramatic reveals have certainly paid off better than others.
In fact, some of these reveals over the years have even left fans offended. Within the Marvel Universe especially, all sorts of reveals have been made that dramatically change the course of the narrative for some characters. Looking into some of those shifts, here is our list of 10 Marvel reveals that disappointed fans, and 5 that paid off.
10 Deadly Genesis (Disappointed)
Any major fan of the X-Men knows that Giant Size X-Men #1 is easily one of the most celebrated single issues in all of X-Men history. Not only does the issue introduce a few new characters, but it is also the first time Wolverine is seen on the team. Essentially, after the original team of X-Men finds themselves trapped on Krakoa, Charles Xavier decides to form a new team of X-Men to save them.
For how important and popular this single issue has been over the years, it would make sense that fans would be a little disappointed to find out that this was actually the second team of rescuers assembled by Xavier. After the first team failed, resulting in many of their deaths, Xavier wiped Cyclops’ mind and simply put him on a new team. After everything that had been built from that point onward, fans have every right to feel betrayed by such a drastic revelation.
9 Tony Stark’s Parents (Paid Off)
A few years ago, it was revealed that Tony Stark was actually adopted by the Starks, instead of being directly related to them. Surprisingly, fans were actually okay with the outcome of this reveal. For a time, Tony’s birth mother even stepped into the scene.
Furthermore, she continued to play a role in the Invincible Iron Man title while Riri Williams filled in during Tony’s absence. While this reveal isn’t the most celebrated Marvel twist ever, fans were still comfortable with what came from it.
8 Hydra Cap (Disappointed)
Shortly after Captain America’s youth was restored to him by the Cosmic Cube, it was also revealed that Steve Rogers had been an agent of Hydra from the very beginning. As one can imagine, taking one of the most important comic book heroes and turning him into the thing that he has fought against for decades didn’t exactly sit well with some fans. For quite some time, Captain America would be posing as himself, while secretly enacting his own malicious plot in the name of Hydra.
Though it was eventually revealed that the Cosmic Cube had rewritten the heroes' memories, the overall payout of the story was rather disappointing as well. The entire plot of Secret Empire just wasn’t good enough to justify such a dramatic plot twist for the character.
7 Jane Foster Thor (Paid Off)
After the events of Original Sin, Thor was no longer worthy of Mjolnir. Therefore, when a mysterious new female Thor showed up wielding the mighty hammer, many were curious as to her identity. Shortly after making her debut, it was revealed that Jane Foster was actually the new Thor.
Jane would actually remain as Thor for several years, over several reboots until Odinson was finally restored to the mantle as part of the War of the Realms event. Despite the change in the lead character, author Jason Aaron managed to keep the quality of the book at an incredibly high level throughout.
6 Ms. Marvel (Disappointed)
While editorial wasn’t trying to offend anyone at the time, Avengers #200 remains one of the most shocking mishandlings of a social issue in comics. After Ms. Marvel suddenly finds herself pregnant, she is unable to recall who the father is. It is later revealed that her son, Marcus, has actually trapped her in another dimension, and forcibly impregnated her with his essence, as he was trying to find a way into the main dimension.
Now, what was intended to be an important milestone in Avenger’s history is easily one of the lowest points in Marvel history. Likewise, considering how this issue is still relevant today, it is easy to see how some fans would be a bit more than disappointed by this reveal.
5 Norman Osborn is the Green Goblin (Paid Off)
One of the biggest surprises that Spider-Man fans first witnessed was the reveal of the Green Goblin’s identity. For several issues, the true identity of the villain remained a mystery. Finally, when John Romita Sr. took over art duties on the book, Norman Osborn was finally revealed as the man behind the mask.
Considering how Harry Osborn was Peter Parker’s best friend, learning that his father was an incredibly threatening supervillain came as a huge shock to readers at the time. Furthermore, Green Goblin would quickly become Spider-Man’s all-time greatest enemy, meaning that this was the first time the two truly became locked in their constant feud.
4 Gwen Stacy’s Children (Disappointed)
Gwen Stacy has continued to hold a lasting impact in Peter Parker’s life, despite her unfortunate death. The love the two had for each other was always admirable and helped make the Spider-Man character into the hero he is today. Therefore, it was incredibly shocking to learn that Gwen Stacy had actually had twins with none other than Norman Osborn, Spider-Man’s worst enemy.
For starters, a lot of things didn’t really make sense about this story. Considering Gwen’s personality, it would seem unlikely that she would simply give up her two children. Secondly, the fact that they were artificially aged into adults didn’t really make much sense either. Though there was certainly some interference in the story from editorial, this reveal remains one of the most shocking reveals in all of Spider-Man’s history.
3 Hank Pym Beat His Wife (Paid Off)
While fans were certainly surprised to see Hank Pym beat his wife, it is still a reveal that ended up paying off in the end. At the time, the character was starting down a darker path and eventually became a full-blown villain for a time. In being a founding member of the Avengers, this dramatic turn actually did a lot for Pym’s character.
To this day, this mistake continues to haunt him. Likewise, unlike the rape of Ms. Marvel, Hank Pym beating his wife was always intended to be a negative impact on the character. While fans definitely don’t celebrate this part of the character’s history, it is still a reveal that paid off in the end, reflecting themes that show the deterioration and hardships that heroism can have on individuals.
2 The Clone Saga (Disappointed)
One of the most hated reveals in all of comics is the end of The Clone Saga. For such a long event in the Spider-Man title, The Clone Saga featured many different takes on Peter Parker. Towards the end of the series, however, it was revealed that Ben Reilly was actually the original Peter and that the main Peter Parker had been the clone all along.
Though this was eventually ret-conned, it is still an incredibly bold move. The reveal practically invalidated years worth of Spider-Man history, making it easy to see why it didn’t sit well with fans. While Ben Reilly still has a fair number of fans, most people tend to overlook the outcome of the story in general.
1 Death of Ultimate Spider-Man (Paid Off)
When Marvel announced that Ultimate Peter Parker would be meeting an unfortunate end, many were surprised, considering the title was the biggest seller in their Ultimate line. While the event itself certainly pulls at the heartstrings, Peter’s death did manage to come to a rather satisfying conclusion leading Miles Morales to take Pete's legacy.
Especially recently, Miles Morales has become one of Marvel’s biggest characters. Not only is he relatable and compelling, but his younger nature provides readers with a sense of innocence to him. With Miles now in the main Marvel Universe, it is easy to see how this is one of the biggest and best reveals that Marvel has ever done.