10 Spooky Marvel Comics To Read This Halloween | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Marvel has released a lot of scary and spooky stories for readers to ingest for Halloween, such as these great examples.
Marvel has long been the biggest purveyor of superhero fiction out there, creating some of the most respected heroes of all time. Comics are more than just superheroes, though, and Marvel has put out books in multiple genres, including dabbling in horror. While they don’t have the kind of horror icons that DC boasts and don’t go as far as indie horror, Marvel still has some rather respectable horror books in its history.
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As Halloween approaches, fans are looking for some more horror-oriented books to read and Marvel has plenty of that to choose from. From icons of horror to superheroes in scary situations, there’s a lot of spooky Marvel to read.
The X-Men books have actually been a pretty good source of horror stories and a recent example is Ginat-Size X-Men: Nightcrawler, by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Alan Davis. Rumors have reached Krakoa that the grounds of the X-Mansion are haunted, so Nightcrawler leads a team of X-Men to investigate.
Hickman builds the perfect atmosphere throughout the comic and Davis’s pencils get the visuals across. The book uses mood expertly, which is an integral part of horror and even though the story doesn’t go in a stereotypical horror direction, it plays on common horror tropes effectively.
Wolverine ’95, by writer Larry Hama and artist J.H. Williams, is straight-up monster horror, pitting Wolverine, in his feral bone claw days, and Nightcrawler against the demonic N’Garai. For years, the N’Garai obelisk has resided on the grounds of the X-Mansion, and every time they try to invade, the X-Men are there to stop them. Can Wolverine and Nightcrawler succeed on their own?
The N’Garai are an old X-Men threat and Hama captures both the inherent terror of a demonic invasion while balancing it with Wolverine’s horror at what he’s becoming. Williams’ art isn’t as polished as it will one day become but works wonderfully for this scary Halloween story.
Marvel Zombies, by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Sean Phillips, takes a different approach to a zombie story. Instead of following the survivors, it focuses on the zombies. Those zombies just happen to be the greatest heroes of the Marvel Universe, wracked with guilt over their role in the world’s destruction but unable to control their hunger.
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Kirkman combines pathos and humor to make a tale that is alternately chilling and hilarious. Phillips’ art is gritty and dark, perfect for the story. A comic full of gore, it has something for everyone and is a classic of Marvel horror.
The Immortal Hulk: Or Is He Both? by writer Al Ewing and artist Joe Bennet, takes the horror subtext of the Hulk and makes it text. Featuring an undead Bruce Banner running from the world and a more savage and powerful Hulk than ever before, this book casts the Hulk as the imposing monster he really is. It also plays on the body horror aspects of the character in a way that few other Hulk books have.
Ewing does an amazing job throughout. The book’s tone is perfect and while the Hulk has always been scary in a way, Ewing really sells that, creating an experience with the character unlike any other.
The Dark Phoenix Saga, by writer Chris Claremont and artist John Byrne, is a quintessential superhero story, one that most people wouldn’t think is a horror story. That’s a grave misunderstanding of the text, as Claremont uses aspects of both psychological and cosmic horror in the story, as well the horror of watching a friend become a monster.
The Dark Phoenix Saga works on so many different levels, which is why it’s still considered the greatest work of Claremont and Byrne’s careers. The book is excellent horror, mostly because it’s all so unexpected.
Rise Of The Midnight Sons was a crossover that saw Marvel launching new horror-themed books, Morbius: The Living Vampire, Darkhold: Pages From The Book Of Sin, Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance and Nightstalkers, to join Ghost Rider in a new horror-themed corner of the Marvel Universe. It didn’t work as planned, as all of the books were rather short-lived, but the crossover itself is a superhero horror epic.
Pitting the horror-themed heroes against the mother of demons Lilith and her servants, it can’t really compare to the horror books DC was putting out at the time. It’s distinctly Marvel and still a lot of fun, though.
Marvel’s horror output is quite different from DC’s. In the 21st century, Marvel horror comics are nearly non-existent but the ’90s were a different time. Marvel brought back Ghost Rider, but instead of the classic Johnny Blaze they introduced Danny Ketch. This new host for the Spirit of Vengeance had a distinctly ’90s edge and gained a massive following.
One of the most powerful demons in the Marvel Universe, Ghost Rider truly came into his own during the ’90s and that ’90s series remains one of modern Marvel’s best horror series.
Marvel’s best horror books come from the ’70s when the Comics Code Authority lightened regulations on horror books. One of Marvel’s horror icons from this time was Man-Thing, who debuted in Savage Tales #1. Created by comic luminaries like Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, and Gray Morrow, Man-Thing was a twist on the monster horror comic.
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While Man-Thing has been a hard sell in just about every decade since, unlike his DC counterpart Swamp Thing, the ’70s tales starring Man-Thing are great, wonderfully chilling little horror stories that have been collected in Essential Man-Thing volumes for years.
Marvel’s ’70s horror is full of gems and Werewolf By Night was one of the best. Jack Russel, the titular werewolf by night, debuted in Marvel Spotlight #2, created by Gerry Conway and Mike Ploog. The character got a three-issue run in that book before graduating to his own solo series, Werewolf By Night, in 1972 and the rest is history.
Conway loved working on the book, as it was different from the superhero books he had been working on for years. Reprinted in Essential Werewolf By Night volumes, this OG of Marvel horror stands up to this day.
Marvel horror doesn’t get much better than The Tomb Of Dracula, a series that boasted talents like Gerry Conway, Archie Goodwin, Marv Wolfman, Gardner Fox, Marv Wolfman, and Gene Colan. Introducing Marvel’s take on the classic vampire, the book lasted for seven years and is still considered one of the horror high watermarks for the publisher.
Taking aspects of the Bram Stoker original and combining them with Marvel’s own superhero line, The Tomb Of Dracula works brilliantly. Like most ’70s horror books, it’s been reprinted in Essential editions many times over the years and is a great read.
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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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