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The 10 Most Important Marvel Comics Of The 2000s, Ranked – CBR – Comic Book Resources

The 2000s were an important time for Marvel, and many of the greatest comics laid the foundation for Marvel as it is today.
The 2000s for Marvel were an important time. The first few years of the decade were basically rebuilding years, as the new editor in chief Joe Quesada laid new foundations, snagging desperately needed writing talent that revitalized multiple Marvel franchises. This approach paid off, and Marvel got the critical acclaim it had been lacking for years, with the sales to match.
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The 2000s were an exciting time to be a Marvel fan. Marvel was putting out some amazing comics, many of which had a massive effect on the publisher and its output. Many of these stories are still remembered fondly and laid the groundwork for modern Marvel.
Captain America’s popularity had been on a roller coaster throughout the ’90s and the early ’00s. All of that changed with Captain America: 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 fondly remembered in history because of its reintroduction of Bucky Barnes to the Marvel Universe.
This story kicked off Brubaker’s epic, highlighting Cap, Sharon Carter, and more as they battle against a new foe. It’s a legendary story, one that kicked off the most fertile period in modern Captain America history.
Few 2000s Marvel runs are more iconic than Brian Michael Bendis’s Daredevil run, and it all kicked off with the three-part story Daredevil: Wake Up, with art by David Mack. Involving Ben Urich investigating Leap Frog’s son and why he was babbling about Daredevil, it gave readers an idea of what Bandis would do with the book.
Artist Alex Maleev would later join Bendis on Daredevil, and the two 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.
The ’90s were not 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: Coming Home. Introducing Ezekiel and the villain Morlun, it started plot threads that would play throughout the run.
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It’s also just a plain great Spider-Man story focusing on Peter and MJ. While it dropped some changes on things, after the upheavals of the ’90s, it definitely had a back to basics approach. It did everything it needed to, fixing fan perception of Spider-Man for years to come.
Few Hulk stories are as well-loved as Planet Hulk, especially when it first came out. Written by Greg Pak with art by Carlos Pagulayan, Gary Frank, and Aaron Lopresti, the story saw Hulk crash land on an alien world, sent there by the Illuminati to keep him off the Earth. Enslaved as a gladiator, the Hulk fought back, making new friends in an effort to topple the terrible regime at the center of things.
Planet Hulk was a Hulk epic at a time when such stories were few and far between. It’s still one of the best Hulk stories around and set multiple Hulk tales in motions, ones that would play out throughout the 2000s and beyond.
Old Man Logan is a modern classic. Written by Mark Millar with art by Steve McNiven, it introduced Old Man Logan and the Wastelands to the world. A superhero Western unlike anything many readers had encountered, it’s an action-packed epic with a core of heartbreaking events that keep it from being the typical Millar superhero romp.
Old Man Logan‘s popularity has never flagged over the years. It’s a story that is chock full of great stuff and manages to be both personal and epic at the same time. It’s a great achievement and one of the best Wolverine stories ever.
The Ultimate Universe was a huge part of 2000s Marvel, and it all kicked off 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 the modern-day, it made Bendis a star and revitalized 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. All of that stemmed from this story, a wonderful little encapsulation of why Spider-Man is so great. It’s one of the most influential modern Marvel comics.
House Of M has its ups and downs, but one can’t deny how important it was to 2000s Marvel and beyond. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Olivier Coipel, the book picked up plot threads built by Bendis throughout his Avengers run. It 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 changed the Marvel Universe in drastic ways, 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.
Grant Morrison’s New X-Men was revolutionary, and it all kicked off 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 to the team, gave them all new costumes, and gave readers a glimpse of what Morrison was about on the X-Men.
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E Is For Extinction dropped a bomb on the mutant side of the Marvel Universe, one whose after-effects can still be felt today. Even after twenty years, the fresh take on the fan-favorite team still feels unlike anything on the market.
Avengers Disassembled was a game-changer for the entire Marvel Universe. Written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by David Finch, the story outlined the worst days in Avengers’ history, as the greatest threats the team ever faced come back to haunt them. The story grabbed readers from the word go and was a new beginning for the team.
This is the story that truly made Bendis a Marvel icon. It was the beginning of an epic that would span years of Avengers stories and lead into New Avengers, Mighty Avengers, and Dark Avengers down the line, as well multiple event books like House Of M, Secret Invasion, and Siege. It set Marvel on a new course that spanned the rest of the 2000s.
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 to war that forced the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe to choose sides; it would drastically shift 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 string of Marvel event books that actually changed things and made an impact like few other comics.
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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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