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The 10 Best Marvel Comic Books Ever, According To Ranker – Screen Rant

Marvel has some of the best superheroes in comics, and these are the 10 best comic books by the publisher as voted on by the Ranker community.
Standing at the top of the comic book mountain with the likes of DC, Marvel Comics has a wealth of popular characters in the superhero medium that spawned some of the publisher’s best. The voting community at Ranker compiled a list of the best comic books/graphic novels of all time, and while DC takes the lion’s share of the top of the list, Marvel features prominently, as well.
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Daredevil works have featured toward the top, with the X-Men appearing frequently, as well. It makes sense, as those two properties are some of the most consistently well-written in the superhero genre.
The X-Men have suffered greatly in their Marvel Comics history, and this first volume of the series relaunch started on the premise of Cyclops and Emma Frost reforming the team. However, their plans to do so become threatened by the prospect of a “mutant cure” being discovered by a scientist, which intrigues an extremely mutated Beat.
This first arc was characterized by reintroducing core X-Men characters to set them up down the line and included the revival of Colossus. Astonishing X-Men Vol. 1: Gifted was praised for its story and being a good jumping-on point for a new age.
One of the best movies in the Marvel Cinematic UniverseCaptain America: Civil War, was loosely based on the Civil War comic crossover arc. Ironically enough, writer Mark Millar and artists Steve McNiven and Dexter Vines’ comic book series received a polarizing reception during its 2006-2007 run.
The story centered around the U.S. government passing the Superhero Registration Act that required superheroes to operate under official regulation akin to law enforcement. This pit Captain America’s rebels against Iron Man’s supporters, with the X-Men remaining neutral. However, over time, the meta-commentary explored in Civil War made the comic retroactively become well-received.
Similar to DC’s past imprints like Vertigo, Marvel has the MAX imprint that focuses on more mature content. One of the best to come out of that line was The Punisher MAX by Garth Ennis, Gregg Hurwitz, and Laurence Campbell. The first volume brings back a classic Punisher villain in the form of Microchip while pitting the titular antihero against two rival gangs in the middle of a bloody war.
Its first arc, Kitchen Irish, was also a comic book influence for the acclaimed MCU Daredevil TV series on NetflixThe Punisher MAX took place within the mainline Marvel canon but told a smaller-scale, isolated story that didn’t focus on crossing over with other major characters.
The MCU’s Infinity War and Endgame were loosely influenced by Jim Starlin’s The Infinity Gauntlet limited series. Starlin created the villainous Thanos back in the early ’70s, and over the years, the writer strung together multiple stories that ended up serving as a sprawling prelude to The Infinity Gauntlet.
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Its plot centered on Thanos having gathered all the Infinity Gems, leading him to a quest to erase half of all life to impress Mistress Death. However, his granddaughter, Nebula, stole the gauntlet, prompting the Titan to team up with the surviving heroes to stop her. The six-issue limited series became one of the most well-received and influential comics of the ’90s and spawned several sequels and spinoffs.
Writer Chris Claremont teamed up with fellow industry veteran Frank Miller on pencils for one of Wolverine’s best comic books. The duo was together in the first Wolverine series, which spanned a four-issue limited series. At this point, it chronicled Wolverine’s adventures in Japan facing off against the yakuza and high-profile Daredevil villains, The Hand.
Likewise, it also showed the X-Men superhero’s engagement with romantic interest Mariko Yashida, who belonged to Japan’s powerful Yashida crime family. This arc was an iconic one for the character, with it being the prime influence for 2013’s The Wolverine movie directed by James Mangold with Hugh Jackman leading.
1994’s Marvels limited series was a celebration of the most acclaimed moments in Marvel Comics history. Writer Kurt Busiek and iconic artist Alex Ross had their careers launched thanks to their work on Marvels, which took a grounded and street-level approach to grandiose superhero storytelling.
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It retold famous stories within the universe from the perspective of a news photographer named Phil Sheldon. Such landmark stories include the Fantastic Four defeating Galactus and Gwen Stacy’s death at the hands of Green Goblin. This was the “everyday life of a superhero” theme that became famous and influenced their and other creators’ work across the medium.
Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s Days of Future Past arc from The Uncanny X-Men series is one of Marvel’s most acclaimed X-Men works. It was the inspiration for Fox’s similarly titled 2014 movie, with the narrative focused on the X-Men going back in time to prevent a dystopian calamity that leads to peak anti-mutant aggression.
This alternate dystopia saw mutants being rounded up and forced into internment camps, prompting the future version of Kitty Pryde to transfer herself into the present-day Pryde to help prevent this. The X-Men were always a strong allegory for civil rights and other social issues, and Days of Future Past is a lynchpin story in the superhero team’s mythos.
Though Fox failed twice at tastefully adapting it (The Last Stand and Dark Phoenix), The Dark Phoenix Saga comic book arc remains a classic. Veteran X-Men creative duo Claremont and Byrne put together this arc as well, written around Jean Grey becoming a supervillain in the form of Dark Phoenix.
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She manages to obtain a daunting level of power that maxes out her potential as a telepath, but it corrupts her as a result. The X-Men struggle to combat her and decide whether saving her is worth the disastrous cost of letting her run rampant for too long. Starting with the introduction of the Hellfire Club, The Dark Phoenix Saga spirals into an emotionally resonant story.
Industry legend Frank Miller is known for his acclaimed work on Batman and Daredevil, but it was the latter where he got his start. And like he did for the Dark Knight in the ’80s with Year One, Miller wrote Daredevil’s definitive origin story in The Man Without Fear. This ’90s comic book was part of Miller’s reinvention of Daredevil that started in the early ’80s into the gritty, crime-noir character that he’s been celebrated as.
The story shows Matt’s underprivileged beginnings with his accident and death of his father, to being trained under Stick and beyond. It’s a compelling, intimately-scaled story that also introduces key characters that would become pivotal later on, like Foggy, Kingpin, Typhoid Mary, and Elektra. The Man Without Fear also introduced the classic makeshift black suit that the Netflix series would use in seasons 1 and 3.
Miller is responsible for many of Daredevil’s best-ever comics, with Born Again and the aforementioned The Man Without Fear arguably his best work. The former centers around Karen Page selling Matt Murdock’s identity out of desperation, which ultimately gets sold upward to the Kingpin of New York himself.
What follows is an intense revenge story depicting Matt Murdock at one of the lowest points in his life, with Kingpin serving as the dark architect of his unraveling. Born Again is a gripping crime drama that culminates in one of the most triumphant and cathartic moments in Daredevil’s career. Like with the origin-story comic, it was a major influence on Netflix’s Daredevil. Specifically, it was the narrative anchor for the masterful third season.
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Guillermo Kurten is a journalism major at the University of Houston. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, he now resides in Houston. He is a fan of pretty much anything involving nerd culture. Video games, comics, movies, TV, anime, manga, you name it. He also has experience writing about soccer, specifically, the German team Bayern Munich.


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