Marvel: 10 Story Arcs That Would've Been Better Starring A Different Character – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Most of these stories had potential to be great, they just needed to focus on a different hero, villain, or in some cases, both.
Marvel is one of the biggest entertainment companies in the land and it’s all because of its comics. Marvel has been responsible for some of the greatest comics of all time and its characters have struck a chord with audiences in a variety of mediums. Marvel has some great stories for new fans to discover, almost eighty years worth of wonder.
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While the creators of the Marvel Universe have done their jobs very well over the years, there are some stories out there that are flawed because the wrong characters are playing the wrong roles in them. These stories would be much better if another character took those places.
In the mid-2010s, Marvel started to push the Inhumans in place of the X-Men because they didn’t own the film rights to the mutants. It made sense from a business perspective, but it fell flat from a creative one. Part of the problem is that at their core, the Inhumans are monarchy fueled by eugenics who also own slaves— the Alpha Primitives— and using them to replace the civil rights allegory characters is just wrong.
If Marvel was going to replace the X-Men, they may as well have went out of left field and chose the Eternals. Perhaps with the destruction of the Sleeping Celestial in Gillen’s Uncanny X-Men, a bunch of new Eternals or children of Eternals could have awakened. This would have worked much better and perhaps kept the Inhumans around for stories they actually worked in.
Avengers: The Final Host, by writer Jason Aaron and artists Ed McGuinness & Paco Medina, was a soft reboot of the Avengers franchise that pitted the Avengers against the Celestials. The problem with that is that there is another Marvel group who always deals with the Celestials, and that’s the Eternals. The Eternals always awaken when a host of Celestials are on the way.
Marvel basically forgot the Eternals existed until recently, with the movie coming out. A story with the Celestials needs the Eternals, and for them to not even make an appearance or get a mention was a huge misstep.
X Of Swords is a remarkably uneven X-Men crossover. It was the first of the Krakoa era and was twenty-two parts long. The story had the X-Men battling against the demonic hordes of Amenth and the mutants warriors of Arakko. While it was related to the X-Men, the fact of the matter is that this sort of thing is more of an Avengers job.
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With Doctor Strange as a member of the Avengers, he’d know if an interdimensional assault was happening and scramble the Avengers to take care of it. It’s more their speed and maybe the story wouldn’t have felt so drawn out if they went that way with it.
Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, by writer Allan Heinberg and artist Jim Cheung, was meant to bring Scarlet Witch back and make her a hero. The way it was handled was by retconning the whole story of Scarlet Witch by blaming the whole thing on Doctor Doom. This was a huge mistake.
Making all of Scarlet Witch’s actions, from attacking the Avengers to House Of M, Doctor Doom’s fault makes no sense at all. The story would have worked better involving a villain that Scarlet Witch had dealt with, like the High Evolutionary. Or if they have to retcon things, just have Mephisto be responsible. Her children’s souls were once a part of him, after all.
Secret Invasion, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Leinil Yu, gave readers the long promised Skrull invasion. The leader of the Skrulls was revealed to be Spider-Woman and while that was okay, there was a better— if more predictable— choice: Iron Man. Revealing him as the Skrull leader would have paid off better.
Iron Man has been extremely damaged goods since Civil War and making him a Skrull would have went a long way towards repairing that damage. In the comics, Iron Man has never recovered from his actions in Civil War and beyond, so having a Skrull be responsible might have regained the character his lost popularity.
Avengers Disassembled proved to be very important to Marvel history, but going with Scarlet Witch as the villain was a mistake. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Finch, the story ended the Avengers as readers knew them but it also kept up a pattern of making Scarlet Witch the “crazy woman” archetype.
Avengers Disassembled started with Avengers #500, so a great villain to use who could have done everything that Scarlet Witch did was the first Avengers villain: Loki. The god of mischief holding a grudge against the Avengers and trying to destroy them had thematic resonance— and wouldn’t have broke Scarlet Witch for years.
Original Sin, by writer Jason Aaron and artist Mike Deodato Jr., was all about the murder of the Watcher by Nick Fury. And that’s the problem with the story: Nick Fury has long been a shady character, so having him behind everything as the villain wasn’t much of a surprise. Even the reveal of him as the Man On The Wall wasn’t surprising, as it seemed like a Nick Fury job anyway.
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Now, going with a member of SHIELD with a lot of history in the Marvel Universe is a good step. But two better choices could have been Dum Dum Duggan, which would have been a real surprise; or Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, which also would have worked. Either one would have been way more surprising than Fury.
Inhumans Vs. X-Men, by writers Charles Soule & Jeff Lemire and artist Leinil Yu, made a huge mistake. The Inhumans were obviously the villains in the conflict; their Terrigen Mists were responsible for killing mutants. So, when it was revealed that Emma Frost was manipulating everyone to get the X-Men to fight the Inhumans, it just felt like genocide apologia.
Making anyone but the eugenics-obsessed monarchy who were fighting for their right to kill every mutant on Earth because its part of their culture the villain was a creative misstep. It took a story that was already unpopular and sank it even farther down.
Civil War II has a very bad reputation. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Marquez, it set Iron Man against Captain Marvel over the use of future seeing Inhuman Ulysses. The book was a rather blatant cash grab since Captain America: Civil War was coming out, so Marvel should have milked it.
At the time, Hydra Cap was around and him getting his hands on a future seeing Inhuman would have been perfect for his plans. Pitting him against Iron Man over Ulysses, with Iron Man as the good guy this time, would have worked much better.
Speaking of stories that angered fans, Secret Empire rubbed fans the wrong way from the beginning. Having Cap transformed into an agent of Hydra viscerally angered fans. Writer Nick Spencer should have never made Cap into a Hydra agent but that doesn’t mean that no one should have betrayed the heroes to Hydra.
It’s hard to pinpoint just one hero for this. Nick Fury Jr. could have gotten the Hydra treatment, as could Captain Marvel. They could have even went with Thor Odinson. Sharon Carter, as someone who was already Cap-adjacent, would have been great as a Hydra agent working from within.
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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-


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