Marvel has gone through a lot of ups and downs in the last decade. While many readers have been turned off by the publisher's event-based storytelling, they have kept their position as the number one publisher and turned out a lot of great stories these last ten years.
This list is going to spotlight the most important Marvel stories of the 2010s. That doesn't mean they are the best stories, but they are the ones that have brought the most change to the Marvel Universe, for better or for worse. Narrowing it down to just ten was difficult, but here's the list.
10 The Return Of Wolverine
In 2014, Marvel killed off one of their most popular characters of all time, Wolverine. This series, well, was about his return, like the title says. There was a one-shot and four mini-series leading up to it, hyping readers up for it.
Unfortunately, the book itself was kind of lackluster, with writers ignoring writer Charles Soule addition of hot claws to Wolverine. The book was supposed to be drawn by Steve McNiven, but due to blown deadlines, he was only able to draw the first and last issues, with Declan Shalvey doing the middle issues. Even with all of these problems, it was still one of the most important Marvel books of the decade.
9 The Death Of Peter Parker
Ultimate Spider-Man was the flagship book of the Ultimate Universe. Creators Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley had been on the book since the beginning, and in 2011, they made a huge move- they killed Peter Parker. In a battle with the Green Goblin, Peter Parker dies defending his family. It's a poignant moment.
Killing Peter Parker in any universe is a big deal, but this version of the character was readers' first experience of the Ultimate Universe. Bendis would go on to introduce a new Spider-Man, Miles Morales, who would become extremely popular, but the death of Peter Parker would change the Ultimate Universe forever.
Wolverine and Cyclops had always been at odds with each other. Wolverine was the wild man of the X-Men, and Cyclops was the straight-laced leader of the team. The butted heads over tactics and the love of Jean Grey. However, after the Decimation, the two of them worked together, putting aside their differences to save mutant-kind.
All of that changed in Schism. The two clashed over Cyclops ordering Oya to kill a bunch of Hellfire Club grunts. This action split the remaining mutant population in two. Some would stay on the island Utopia under Cyclops's leadership, while others would go back to Westchester with Wolverine and rebuild the Xavier Mansion.
7 Avengers Vs. X-Men
After Schism, Cyclops became more extreme about ensuring mutant survival and become convinced that the returning Phoenix Force would enable mutants to come back from the Decimation. Wolverine went to his Avengers allies and warned them about Cyclops. The two teams would come to blows.
Cyclops would be proven right, but before mutants would be restored by Hope Summers and Scarlet Witch, the Phoenix Force would be split among five mutants, and they would be driven progressively crazier by the power. Cyclops would go full Dark Phoenix and kill his mentor Charles Xavier before being stopped. The Marvel NOW! initiative would spin out of this series, full of new directions for multiple books.
Jonathan Hickman would take over the Avengers books during Marvel NOW! and Infinity would be his first event book. As the Avengers traveled the universe, uniting alien races against the threat of the Builders, Thanos would attack the Earth.
Two big things would come out of this story- Thanos's Black Order, who would go on to have a role in the Infinity War and Endgame, and the Inhumans detonating a Terrigen mist bomb, awakening multiple Inhumans the world over, including Kamala Khan. The mists would also hurt mutant-kind, setting the tone of the next few years of X-Men books.
5 The Death Of Wolverine
Wolverine had become a linchpin of the Marvel Universe, uniting the X-Men and the Avengers. He had relationships spanning the entire superhero community, and he was easily one of the most popular characters Marvel had in its roster. Killing him was a huge deal, and this series by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven did the deed.
Soule took readers on a journey through Wolverine's life on the way to his death as he dealt with Weapon Plus, went to Madripoor and Japan, and stopped Doctor Cornelius, the man who made him into Weapon X, from doing the same thing done to him to innocent people.
4 Dying Wish
Marvel didn't just kill of Wolverine in the 2010s; they also killed off their other most popular character- Peter Parker in "Dying Wish." This three-part story, from Amazing Spider-Man #698-700, was the culmination of years worth of Dan Slott's plots, as a dying Doctor Octopus is able to take over Spider-Man's body, casting Parker's spirit into the void.
Doc Ock would go on to become the Superior Spider-Man, in a book of the same name, and learn what it was like to actually be a hero. The fact that Marvel was willing to lose it's biggest hero was huge, and fans loved the new direction. It was a breath of fresh air for readers, changing both Doc Ock and Peter Parker forever.
3 Secret Empire
Marvel dropped a bombshell on fans in 2016, revealing Captain America was an agent of Hydra. Secret Empire was the culmination of that plotline. Written by Nick Spencer, with art by Rod Reid, Daniel Acuna, Steve McNiven, and Andrea Sorrentino, it was a decisive series, plagued by deadlines, and ultimately was not overly loved by fans.
However, that doesn't lessen the impact it had. Taking the character that is one of the flagship characters of their line and revealing he had been working for his hated enemies was a big move, even if it came from and would be ended by reality-altering shenanigans. It was a bold move that didn't pay off, but it still ranks as one of the most important stories of the decade.
2 House Of X/Powers Of X
The X-Men were in trouble throughout the 2010s. Be it through editorial edict, reader apathy, or the creators; the X-Men weren't flying nearly as high as they were before. Once, they had been the flagship of the company, but that had changed and even when Marvel would try to change that, nothing would come of it. Then Jonathan Hickman came back to Marvel.
House Of X and Powers Of X changed all of that. Hickman brought his flavor of gonzo sci-fi ideas to the book and tweaked a few things that would completely change the franchise. Gone were the days of mutants scrabbling for survival; now they were a world power. A whole slew of new books were released, and the X-Men are riding high again.
1 Secret Wars
The culmination of Jonathan Hickman's work on Fantastic Four and Avengers/New Avengers, Secret Wars would open with the Earths of the main Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe destroying each other. And it would only get bigger from there, as the Doctor Doom used godlike powers he had gained to save all of creation.
Many thought this would be Marvel's version of Crisis On Infinite Earths. It didn't reset the continuity, but it ended the Ultimate Universe, brought fan favorites like Miles Morales and Old Man Logan to the Marvel Universe proper, and would set the publisher in a whole new direction.