The Marvel Cinematic Universe is often credited for bringing about the Golden Age of superhero films that we currently reside in. Some of the most iconic moments in Marvel comic book history has been done plenty justice in the movies with plenty more slated to come; however, longtime readers recognize that there will be some stories that will never make it to the big screen.
Despite the obligatory PG-13 rating of all the major films, the comic books have habitually been fairly dark, at times forcing the writers to reboot the character’s whole story. While the critical success of Marvel’s Netflix series demonstrates that going more explicit wouldn’t kill viewership, the films make a strong effort to appeal to a broader audience, and besides, painting Iron Man to be a raging alcoholic or Hank Pym to be a woman abuser just isn’t a good look for their mainstream depictions.
Good idea or not, there are a number of us that would love to see these brooding comic book moments carried out in the movies at some point. The following are some of the most obscure storylines that the MCU has managed to sweep under the rug, for better or for worst.
15. Spider-Man Sells His Soul To The Devil
Quite often, comic book writers will find themselves between a rock and a hard place due to poor planning and will need to exploit some type of device to enable them to backtrack, and boy, did they backtrack.
At wit’s end, Peter Parker finds himself left with no other option but to take the devil’s offer in restoring the life of his murdered aunt and his secret identity in return for his future with Mary Jane. What made the story even more tragic to read is the glimpse they present into Peter’s future as a father with a baby girl.
This story occurred in Spider-Man’s One More Day/Brand New Day comic book storyline, and completely trashed 20 years of character development for the character.
14. Captain America Assassinated
The death of an iconic comic book character is never taken lightly, but the death of patriotic hero had the Marvel Universe in shambles.
The death of Captain America was the climactic end to the “Civil War” storyline. His passing isn’t what angered fans so much, rather the fact that he was assassinated via sniper by the villain Crossbones, thereby exempting the Avenger of an honorable death.
What made the revelation that much more impactful is that while Captain America and Iron Man came to a peaceful resolution, Steve Rogers was still labeled a heretic, which negated everything he stood for. There would still be a large population that would disregard everything he did for the country.
While it is clear that the MCU will at some point have to recast their actors in their signature roles, and killing them off will inevitably be the easiest ways in accomplishing this, going this route is almost certainly too somber for the films.
13. Daredevil Kills Bullseye
Over on Netflix lives the darker, grittier, and all around more savage side of the MCU, but even these highly successful series have boundaries.
Those familiar with the “Daredevil” series on Netflix will surely understand that while its understood that the show takes place within the MCU, there’s reasons as too why they can’t blend the two worlds.
Daredevil lives on a much more violent plane of existence, such as when he intentionally lets one of his longtime adversaries, Bullseye, fall to his death. This event followed the death of Elektra by the hands of the villain, which may or may not have influenced his decision to let him die.
There’re some things that Marvel characters just can’t come back from, and this event has branded Daredevil in the comic book world. It’s expected the MCU will do what it can to avoid this, especially if the character is to ever be featured in the films.
12. The Kingpin Lets His Own Son Die
The depiction of Wilson Fisk in the “Daredevil” series has been relentlessly praised for its ability to bring a truly unnerving crime boss villain into the MCU, and while fans believe they’ve seen the worst of the Kingpin, there are still depths the writers haven’t yet reached.
The Kingpin in the comics is a complete sociopath that doesn’t carry the ability to put the wellbeing of others over his self-gain. This truth was painfully demonstrated when a mob enforcer kidnaps and threatens to kill Fisk’s son. Unwilling to submit to the assailant’s demands, Fisk watches his own son get his throat cut.
The MCU hasn’t casted a son for the Kingpin character, but there is one supporting character he is shown to care deeply for. Carrying out a scene like this would strip the villain of all humanity, which isn’t something Marvel would want to do with such a complex character.
11. Hank Pym Hits His Wife
Domestic violence has always been frowned upon no matter what medium it was depicted in, and is a regularly used as a device to help shape an antagonist, which is probably why the MCU decided to disregard this character’s moment.
In all fairness, this particular segment in the comics wasn’t Hank Pym’s finest as he had just taken on the Yellowjacket persona and sought to redeem his ruined reputation.
The troubling incident took place in “Avengers #213” and changed the way readers saw the brilliant scientist indefinitely and ironically paled in comparison to his inventing of the murderous maniacal robot known as Ultron. Not Pym’s most graceful run in the comics to say the least.
10. Iron Man Gets Addicted To Alcohol
In contrary to the “genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist” trope, Tony Stark is indeed a flawed hero who is nowhere near as perfect as he wishes the world perceives him.
The comic book arc “Demon in the Bottle” illuminated the character’s downward spiral into alcoholism once his most prized invention inadvertently takes away an innocent life instead of saving one.
With help from some good friends, Tony is able to bring himself out of his addiction, however the stigma has never quite left the character. The unrealistic expectations he sets for himself quite often lead him into depression, which writers saw important so that readers could identify with him.
While the MCU has flirted with the idea of Tony Stark finding solace in the bottom of a glass, it has yet to depict the character as the trainwreck he can soon become. Despite popular misconception, underneath the snarky composed tech billionaire is a truly vulnerable soul.
9. Kraven Buries Spider-Man Alive
Villains from the Spider-verse often get criticized for being too campy and lacking intimidation, however this surely wasn’t the case for the most skilled hunter of all time.
In the storyline, “Kraven’s Last Hunt,” the hunter seeks to assert his dominance on Spider-Man by defeating him in hand-to-hand combat and burying him seven feet under alive. After Spider-Man shakes off the tranquilizer and pulls himself out of his grave, it is discovered Kraven has taken on the persona of the webslinger and attacks criminals under his name.
When given the opportunity to end Spider-Man once and for all, Kraven declines and instead declares his days of a hunter to be over. He retreats and instead of following him Spider-Man opts to capture the villain Vermin whom Kraven has released onto the world.
8. Bruce Banner Kills His Father
There was plenty rage and anguish brewing inside Bruce Banner well before the exposure to gamma radiation.
It was revealed fairly in “The Incredible Hulk: Flashback” run that he came from an abusive household with an alcoholic father. The death of Bruce’s mother actually came about from one of his father’s violent fits, a favor Bruce would one day return once they met again at his mother’s grave.
Bruce killed his father by knocking his father’s head against his mother’s tombstone, following their final argument. Bruce’s father blamed him for the grief and death of his mother since infancy, and it was at this moment that he decided to strike back.
This incident would transpire much before Bruce would be exposed to the gamma radiation that would allow him transformation into the Hulk.
7. Spider-Man Was Sexually Abused As a Child
Quite often Peter Parker is chock-full of jokes and satirical humor, but there was nothing particularly funny about this comic book issue.
Spider-Man: Power Pack documents a story in which Peter Parker attempts to quell a young boy’s state of mind by sharing a traumatic tale from his childhood. In this telling, it is revealed that an older male friend pressured Peter into participating in sexual acts. When he finally realized what was going on Peter tried to leave, but states he was too frightened to.
As Peter relayed the story to the young boy, he immediately began to realize he was truly the victim and not to be blamed.
While the message was well received, it painted Spider-Man in a new light for longtime fans; as such a tragic incident would greatly impact much of the character’s identity.
6. Norman Osborn Had Sex With Gwen Stacy
The tragic death of Gwen Stacy in the comics left fans with an empty void in their hearts, however it would never compare to the devastation readers would experience reading this.
A much later Spider-Man comic book issue, Sins Past, revisited the Gwen Stacy character, and in this retelling the blonde hair blue-eyed love interest had a secret romance with Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin. While this fact alone was enough to turn stomachs worldwide, the story advances with the two sleeping together and Norman impregnating the teenage girl.
Gwen’s guilt soon compelled her to want to tell Peter, however Norman would kill her before she got the chance to, per her tragic death in issue #121.
5. Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe
Sure, Deadpool is exempt from the MCU currently and belongs to 20th Century Fox, but after witnessing an insane plot line such as this one, we’re not too sure Marvel Studios could commit to a character such as this.
While this story, Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, belongs in the series’ “what if” category, it’s still something completely within the realm of the character’s nature.
After being committed to an insane asylum, the ‘Merc with a Mouth’ becomes brainwashed by the villain Psycho Man, who influences him to go on a killing rampage. Sadly, the Avengers weren’t the only ones who played victim to Deadpool’s killing spree, as he massacred through the Fantastic Four as well as the X-Men. Due to the mutant’s regenerative ability, he was basically unstoppable.
4. The Punisher Kills The Whole Marvel Universe
As whimsical as Deadpool’s Marvel extermination was, Frank Castle’s was no laughing matter, and thankfully only exist in Marvel’s “what if’s” plotlines.
In this even darker interpretation of the character’s origin story, The Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe, the death of The Punisher’s family derives from a superhero battle rather than by the hand of gangsters. The once happy family man then turns on every Marvel hero and villain in the comic book universe, assassinating each one by one.
The massacre began with Cyclops after the X-Men leader attempts to apologize and make a truce with the vigilante. After putting a bullet between the eyes of his good friend and biggest adversary, Daredevil, Castle turns the gun to himself and blows his own brains out.
3. Quicksilver And Scarlet Witch Had An Incestuous Relationship
Have you ever felt that the two mutant twins were just a bit too close in certain interpretations? Well a certain “Ultimates” comic book storyline flirted with this idea entirely too much.
Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch have always acted as each other’s confidants; however, with the two feeling completely alone in the world, a sexual relationship had soon formed. What makes it even more unsettling is how accepting everyone around them felt about it.
The idea of Wolverine being the twins’ father was also presented, as it was revealed he held an affair with their mother Magda, making the fact that Logan secretly played a Peeping Tom during the whole ordeal that much more creepy.
2. Spider-Man’s Sperm Gives Mary Jane Cancer
Peter Parker has been forced to watch the ones he loves die due to his inability to stop the bad guy, but this would have to be the first time he’s watched someone die completely by his own doing.
This particular comic book storyline, “Spider-Man: Reign,” took a look into Spider-Man’s dystopian future, where New York has become ravaged by villains, and Mary Jane, along with anyone else he’s ever cared for, has long passed on.
Haunted by visions of his deceased wife, Peter comes to the realization that it was his radioactive semen that caused her to suffer cancer, resulting in an emotional goodbye to her rotting corpse.
The overwhelming guilt from her death caused Peter to nearly hang up his Spider-Suit for good, but the recent return of the Sinister Six prompted Peter to once again assume his role until he could one day join Mary Jane in the afterlife.
1. The Assault Of Ms. Marvel
There are two things that comic book readers will never forgive when it comes to their favorite characters. Killing them off, and having them be sexually assaulted.
Ms. Marvel was unfortunate enough to suffer the latter in one very confusing storyline that took place in Avengers #200, pisses off fans to this day.
The baby that was born from the incident, Marcus, was revealed to have gone back in time as a fully-grown man, brainwashing Carol Danvers, and then impregnating the woman that would be his mother, making him not only his own father, but his mother’s abuser.
What makes the ordeal twice as twisted is the fact that Carol actually decided to stay with Marcus under her own volition, while the other Avengers concurred with it all.
Longtime comic book fans needn’t be reminded what kind of symbol Carol Danvers stood for in the Marvel Universe, and to have her written in such a demeaning storyline was a complete insult.