The 2000s for Marvel were an important time. The early years of the decade were essentially years of rebuilding, as new editor Joe Quesada laid new groundwork, snagging desperately needed writing talent that revitalized several Marvel franchises. This approach paid off, and Marvel received the critical acclaim it had been missing for years, with sales to match.
The 2000s were an exciting time to be a Marvel fan. Marvel published amazing comics, many of which had a massive effect on the publisher and its production. Many of these stories are still fondly remembered and laid the foundation for modern Marvel.
ten Captain America: Winter Soldier Changed the Captain America Mythos Forever
Captain America’s popularity had been on a rollercoaster throughout the 90s and early 2000s. That all changed with Captain America: The Winter Soldier by writer Ed Brubaker and artists Steve Epting, Michael Lark and John Paul Leon. Brubaker’s Captain America run is one of the most memorable in history due to its reintroduction of Bucky Barnes into the Marvel Universe.
This story launched Brubaker’s epic, spotlighting Cap, Sharon Carter and many others as they battle against a new enemy. It’s a legendary story, one that launched the most fertile period in modern Captain America history.
9 Daredevil: Wake Up kicked off Brian Michael Bendis’ Daredevil run
Few Marvel Races of the 2000s Are More Iconic Than Brian Michael Bendis’s daredevil run, and it all started with the three-part story Daredevil: wake up, with illustrations by David Mack. Involving Ben Urich investigating Leap Frog’s son and why he was talking about Daredevil gave readers an idea of what Bandis would do with the book.
Artist Alex Maleev would later join Bendis on daredevil, and both would knock readers’ socks off. This story is excellent on its own merits, introducing plot threads that Bendis would play with throughout his run on the book.
8 The Amazing Spider-Man: Coming Home Started J. Michael Straczynski’s Run
The ’90s weren’t a good time for Spider-Man, especially the last half of the decade. Writer J. Michael Straczynski was brought in to right the ship and, along with artist John Romita Jr., gave fans The Amazing Spider-Man: Homecoming. Introducing Ezekiel and the villainous Morlun, it kicked off plot threads that would play out throughout the run.
It’s also just a great Spider-Man story centered around Peter and MJ. Although he dropped a few changes on things, after the upheavals of the 90s he definitely had a back to basics approach. He did everything he needed to fix fans’ perception of Spider-Man for years to come.
7 Planet Hulk was an unforgettable Hulk epic
Few Hulk stories are as beloved as Planet Hulk, especially on its first outing. Written by Greg Pak with art by Carlos Pagulayan, Gary Frank and Aaron Lopresti, the story saw the Hulk crash land on an alien world, sent there by the Illuminati to take him away from Earth. Enslaved as a gladiator, the Hulk fought back, making new friends in an effort to overthrow the terrible regime at the center of things.
Planet Hulk was a Hulk epic at a time when such stories were rare. It’s still one of the best Hulk stories and sets several Hulk tales in motion, ones that will be set throughout the 2000s and beyond.
6 Old Man Logan introduced a fan-favorite Wolverine and a dystopian new Marvel future
Old Man Logan is a modern classic. Written by Mark Millar with art by Steve McNiven, it introduced Old Man Logan and the Wasteland to the world. A superhero western unlike anything many readers had encountered, it’s an action-packed epic with a core of harrowing events that keep it from being Millar’s typical superhero game.
Old Man LoganThe popularity of has never waned over the years. It’s a story that’s packed with great stuff and manages to be both personal and epic. It’s a great achievement and one of the best Wolverine stories of all time.
5 The Ultimate Spider-Man: Might and Responsibility Kickstarted the Ultimate Universe
The Ultimate Universe was a big part of 2000s Marvel, and it all started with The Ultimate Spider-Man: Power and Responsibility, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mark Bagley. A retelling of Spider-Man’s origin for modern times, it made Bendis a star and revived interest in Spider-Man after the 90s.
The Ultimate Universe would go on to become a sales juggernaut, with some fans even wanting it to replace the 616 Marvel Universe. It all stems from this story, a wonderful little synthesis of why Spider-Man is so great. It’s one of the most influential modern Marvel comics.
4 House Of M Changed The Marvel Universe In Multiple Ways
House of M has its ups and downs, but there’s no denying how important it was to Marvel of the 2000s and beyond. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Olivier Coipel, the book picked up on the plot threads that Bendis built throughout his Avengers run. He teamed up the Astonishing X-Men with the New Avengers to decide what to do with the Scarlet Witch before she could do something worse.
The story drastically changed the Marvel Universe, with Scarlet Witch’s depowering of the mutant race having major repercussions for everyone. It was yet another brick in the Marvel epic that Bendis had spent years building.
3 New X-Men: E Is For Extinction kicked off Grant Morrison’s monumental X-Men run
by Grant Morrison New X-Men was revolutionary, and it all started with New X-Men: E is for Extinction. Joined by artist Frank Quitely, the story introduced new villain Cassandra Nova with a bang, as she destroyed the mutant nation of Genosha. It brought Emma Frost onto the team, gave them all new costumes, and gave readers a taste of what Morrison was on the X-Men.
E is for extinction dropped a bombshell on the mutant side of the Marvel Universe, the aftermath of which is still being felt today. Even after twenty years, the new version of the fan-favorite team is still unlike anything on the market.
2 Avengers Disassembled made the Avengers the center of the Marvel Universe again
disassembled avengers was a game changer for the entire Marvel Universe. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Finch, the story depicts the worst days in Avengers history, as the greatest threats the team has ever faced come back to haunt them. The story hooked readers from the start and was a new start for the team.
It’s the story that really made Bendis a Marvel icon. It was the start of an epic that would span years of Avengers stories and lead to New Avengers, mighty Avengers, and dark avengers down the line, as well as several event books like House of M, Secret Invasion, and Seat. This set Marvel on a new path that lasted the rest of the 2000s.
1 Civil War Changed The Tone Of The Marvel Universe For Years To Come
Civil war, by writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven, is a Marvel epic like few others. Pitting Captain America and Iron Man against each other in an ideological battle turned war that has forced the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe to choose sides; it would drastically change Marvel’s status quo for years to come.
An action-packed story with some deft social commentary on Bush administration-era America, it’s a legendary story. It continued the series of Marvel event books that really changed things and had an impact like few other comics.
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