Marvel comics in the 70s had sweeping space operas and genre tales. The 80s had so many epic and memorable storylines that it felt criminal to limit the list to 7.
The 90s? Well, let’s just say there were some popular comics and leave it at that. The 00s were again firing on most cylinders and Marvel published some great stories during that time.
That brings us to the current decade of Marvel comics. What storylines are the best Marvel comics of the 10s? Well, as you’ll see below: there have been some incredible Marvel comic storylines this decade. Let’s look at 7.
Running 22 issues, Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye series was nothing short of excellent. It was smart and snappy. The art was sparse, which fit the story, as it was a close-up tale of Hawkeye as he walked the streets.
Clint Barton aka Hawkeye aka Hawkguy was the title character but the breakout star was Kate Bishop, his young protégé. Kate Bishop cut through Clint Barton’s
bull malarky baloney flim flam fooey? nonsense, making them one of the best duos in all of comics.
Bro, if that wasn’t enough, other breakout stars included Lucky the Pizza Dog and a gaggle of Russian mobsters who said bro a lot, bro.
Fraction’s Hawkeye was a resoundingly human comic that was simultaneously fun and moving. It’s a must read that is among the very best Marvel comics of this decade.
Treat yourself and get the full omnibus.
Ms. Marvel “No Normal”
Created by G Willow Wilson, Sana Amanat, and Adrian Alphona, Kamala Khan is the fourth Marvel character to take the name Ms. Marvel. But she’s certainly unique.
An Inhuman, Ms. Marvel is a 16-year-old Pakistani-American from Jersey who idolizes Carol Danvers. Empowered with the ability to “embiggen,” readers get to follow Kamala’s growth as she changes and adapts on her journey to become a superhero.
It’s a delightful comic. The action and optimism make it a joy to read, while the human, familial moments give it depth and warmth.
Frequent relaunches and sprawling crossovers made collecting comics difficult this past decade. There are multiple #1 issues of Ms Marvel. I think? Make sure you get the initial #1, which is available as a trade. I guarantee that will hook you on the character and you’ll go in for more!
Immortal Hulk: “Or is he both?”
Written by Al Ewing with art by Joe Bennett, Immortal Hulk debuted in 2018. It’s difficult to call something among the decade’s best when it is just a couple years old, but the series now has 25+ issues, which is a considerable run in this day and age when Marvel relaunches comics three times every 15 minutes.
Bruce Banner was killed and the Hulk arose. This took the decades-old character in a differently direction. Instead of a comic about being strong and angry, Immortal Hulk is about about the battle between good and evil.
Immortal Hulk is fresh and something special. It’s slow moving, which isn’t typically lauded as a praise. But that has allowed the title to explore death, religion, abuse, and dread. It’s philosophical and rarely heroic, making it stand out even more.
Marvel Comics have been frustrating this decade. Their frequent and incessant relaunches have chunked up and rebooted lots of storylines that had a great deal of potential but were nevertheless prevented from finding their footing. As good as this decade of comics has been, it will also be remembered for a lot of mediocre #1s.
That’s why a self-contained storyline like Vision is so darned refreshing. Written by Tom King before he took on Batman, Vision runs just 12 issues, allowing the series to tell a complete tale.
Dreaming of becoming a normal, ordinary man, Vision goes to the laboratory where he was created and builds himself a family: A wife, Virginia and two teenage twins, Viv and Vin.
They were a perfect family…for a while.
All 12 issues of one of Marvel’s best storyline of this decade are collected in a hardcover.
Black Panther: “A Nation Under Our Feet”
Black Panther has been in and out of Marvel comics for decades. He’s been an Avenger and interacted with the Fantastic Four. But when the Black Panther movie was about to debut in the MCU, Black Panther hadn’t had a solo series at the top of the sales charts for some time.
Marvel wanted a new era for the Black Panther, so they brought in National Book Award-winning writer T-Nehisi Coates to take the helm. Coates confronted T’Challa with a dramatic upheaval in Wakanda. If Wakanda was to survive, it needed to adapt. But could its monarch?
Interestingly, the first trade has strong ideas but isn’t excellent. Coates–despite being one of the best writers of the 21st century–had never written comics before. The talented Coates had it figured out by trade 2. So, get the hardcover that collects issues 1-12.
Thor: “Goddess of Thunder “
Jason Aaron’s Thor run this decade has been nothing short of spectacular, sporting incredible storylines like “The God Butcher.” But the jewel of Aaron’s entire run is undoubtedly “Goddess of Thunder,” a story that had a new hero take up the mantle of Thor.
A secret was whispered to Thor, a secret that made him unworthy to lift Mjolnir, his enchanted hammer! So the hammer rested on the surface of the moon, unable to be lifted by anyone, including Odin, its creator. But the title was relaunched as Thor: Goddess of Thunder when a woman lifted Mjolnir, thereby being shown worthy to receive the power of Thor.
It’s incredible. It’s full of action, as well as heart-warming moments. The mystery of who is wielding the hammer is incredibly well done and ends with one of the greatest ever reveals in comics. We said a lot more here.
House of X / Powers of X
It’s a little presumptuous to list a recent story as among the best of a decade, because you want to let it sit for a bit to see if the story holds up over time. But I can’t sit on House of X / Powers of X, the recent X-Men storyline from Jonathan Hickman.
House of X (HoX) and Powers of X (PoX) each ran 6 issues. Yet in that brief run, Hickman fully reimagined the entire history and mythos of the X-Men.
I couldn’t sum it up if I tried. HoX/PoX included iconography, reincarnation, alternate futures, and…you know, I’m not lying when I say you can’t sum it up. It’s remarkably imaginative, clever, and engaging.
It’s a stunning read for old school X-Men fans and newcomers alike. It’s collected in hardcover.