Marvel: 10 Events That Had The Longest-Lasting Effect On The Main Continuity – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Some of these events have led to long-lasting changes, ones that will shape the Marvel Universe for years to come.
Marvel is the top comic publisher and basically the engine of pop culture. While they have been on top of the comic industry for most of the past forty years, in the 21st century they’ve hooked into the event cycle, putting out multiple books meant to revitalize their line and the various fiefdoms within. These events will usually end on some big change that sets new stories in motion.
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Marvel has been telling great stories for years and these events have added to that in a lot of ways. Some of these events have led to long-lasting changes, ones that will shape the Marvel Universe for years to come.
House Of X/Powers Of X, by writer Jonathan Hickman and artists Pepe Larraz and R.B. Silva, debuted in the summer of 2019 and set the X-Men’s world on its ear. The books debuted an entirely new status quo for the mutants, giving them their own nation on the island of Krakoa, set up new anti-mutant organization Orchis, and revealed that Moira MacTaggert was a mutant with a power that changed everything.
The X-Men are in their most fruitful era in years and it doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon, as Hickman has left the X-Men books, with the rest of the writers and Marvel agreeing to stretch things out for as long as possible.
Infinity, by writer Jonathan Hickman and artists Jerome Opena, Dustin Weaver, and Jim Cheung, was part of Hickman’s multi-year Avengers run. With the Avengers off in space, Thanos attacked the Earth, causing Marvel’s remaining heroes to mobilize against the Mad Titan. Its main consequence of the story was the release of the Terrigen Mists by Black Bolt.
This story marked the beginning of Marvel’s major Inhumans push, an experiment that would last for four years. It also resulted in the introduction of Ms. Marvel, the publisher’s best teen character in years. She’s actually the longest-lasting effect from the storyline and has been at the forefront of the Marvel teen hero scene, revitalizing it for the first time in years.
Because of the success of the MCU and the fact that Marvel no longer owned the film rights to the X-Men, they tried to push the Inhumans in their place. This was a disaster and would eventually lead to Inhumans Vs. X-Men, by writers Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire and artist Leinil Yu. The two camps came to blows over the fate of the last Terrigen Cloud before teaming up to battle Emma Frost.
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IvX served as the end of the Inhumans’ relevance to the greater Marvel Universe and other than a few low-level attempts, they’ve been kicked out of the limelight. This is bittersweet for a lot of fans, as they’re a good concept that got pushed at the expense of a better concept.
Siege, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Olivier Coipel, was only four issues long but it did a lot in its short run. It ended the Dark Reign of Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers, got rid of the Sentry as a force in the Marvel Universe for years, did away with the Superhero Registration Act, and brought together the Avengers again under one roof.
While there have been small-scale squabbles among the heroes, the Avengers have pretty much gone on as if Civil War never happened for the last decade, barely even bringing up the time they were all at each other’s throats or how Norman Osborn took control of everything.
Avengers Vs. X-Men, by writers Brian Michael Bendis, Jonathan Hickman, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, and Jason Aaron and artists John Romita Jr., Olivier Coipel, and Adam Kubert, is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Pitting the Avengers versus the X-Men over the power of the Phoenix, paid off years of storytelling from the X-Men books and undid some of House Of M’s biggest changes.
Serving to bring Scarlet Witch back into the fold and repower the mutant race, AvX‘s changes have stood for almost a decade, even if the event book itself was hit or miss. It didn’t completely reverse Marvel’s marginalization of the X-Men but it was a start.
Character deaths have gotten to be a joke in comics, with few of them lasting very long anymore, especially those of major characters. The Death Of Wolverine, by writer Charles Soule and artist Steve McNiven, was a major exception to this rule. The four-issue mini killed Wolverine and he stayed dead for five years.
This was pretty unprecedented for such a major character. While he was replaced as Wolverine by his daughter Laura and Old Man Logan was brought over from his alternate future, the Wolverine fans had followed for decades stayed dead for five years, which was basically an eternity in comics.
One More Day, by writers J, Michael Stracynzski, Joe Quesada, and Marvel Editorial and art by Quesada, ended Peter Parker and Mary Jane’s marriage in an ignominious fashion. With Aunt May dying and his identity public, Peter and MJ are forced to trade their marriage to Mephisto to undo it all. This change has stayed for almost fifteen years, regardless of how much fans hate it.
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Marvel has stuck to their guns with this one, although one suspects that’s because Joe Quesada still has power at Marvel. Fans keep hoping for it to be undone or at least for Marvel to let the two get back together, but it hasn’t happened yet.
The Clone Saga came before the current event cycle, starting in 1994 and ending in 1996. Reintroducing the Spider-Clone from The Amazing Spider-Man #149, the story went on to, at first, say the clone Ben Reilly was actually the real Peter Parker before switching back to saying that the Peter fans had followed for years was the real one.
The story ended with the return of Norman Osborn and the death of Ben Reilly. While Reilly has returned to the land of the living several times, he’s still a clone and Osborn has taken his place as Spider-Man’s greatest villain once again.
Civil War, by writers Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, is one of the most important Marvel stores of the 21st century. The story drove a wedge in between Captain America and Iron Man that would last years, split the Avengers into two rival camps, and introduced the Superhero Registration Act to the Marvel Universe. For four years, the changes this story wrought drove the Marvel Universe.
While four years isn’t that long of a time, it’s hard to discount just how huge these changes were. The face of the Marvel Universe was completely changed from Civil War to Siege and those four years were some of the most exciting times to be a Marvel fan.
House Of M, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Olivier Coipel, has its ups and downs quality-wise but it also holds a very special place in Marvel history. For decades, the X-Men had been the center of the Marvel Universe and their titles were the most popular comics in the industry. House Of M started Marvel down the path of marginalizing them with three words: “No More Mutants.”
These three words changed Marvel forever. Mutants were pushed into their own little corner and wouldn’t completely recover from the effects until 2019’s House Of X/Powers Of X. That’s fourteen years of editorially enforced stagnation started by this book.
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David Harth has been reading comics for close to 30 years. He writes for several websites, makes killer pizza, goes to Disney World more than his budget allows, and has the cutest daughter in the world. He can prove it. Follow him on Twitter- https://www.twitter.com/harth_david.

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