10. THE DEATH OF GWEN STACY
Amazing Spider-Man #122 (!973)
Green Goblin, easily Spider-Man’s most evil, most sadistic and cruel enemy, throws Gwen Stacy off the bridge. Just like Spider-Man had done a million times before, he shot down his webbing and caught Gwen. But this time the sudden jerk of the webbing going to tight snapped Gwen’s neck and she died. Spider-Man of course blamed himself. This event scarred Peter like no other event. Plus no one expected that to kill Stacy. We were just as shacked and horrified as Spider-Man.
PS: Stan Lee claims to have been away on vacation when this decision was made and was outraged to find out. But there are others who were there that say it was his idea. Take it as you will.
9. JEAN GREY’S SUICIDE
X-Men #137 (1980)
The Dark Phoenix Saga was amazing. Jean quite being the wimpy Ms. Marvel and became the friggin Pheonix – the embodiment of all psionic energy from the beginning of time to the end of all things. It was scary as hell, and readers had no idea how this situation was going to resolve well. I sure as hell didn’t expect Jean to kill herself. And in front of Cyclops!! The act was both loving and cruel at the same time. Scott truly loved Jean with all that he was, but there was no other way.
8. BULLSEYE KILLS ELEKTRA
Daredevil #181 (1982)
Frank Miller created one of the best characters ever in Elektra. She was just awesome. Everybody reading the title fell in love with her right alongside Matt Murdock. When she went after Bullseye I thought, well there goes a cool villain, that dude is dead. I couldn’t have been more surprised to read that Bullseye killed her – And with her own sai!! Readers everywhere are still picking up their jaws 35 years later.
7. SPIDER-MAN REVEALS HIS IDENTITY TO THE WORLD
Civil War: Frontline #2 (2006)
Peter Parker has struggled his entire life to keep his identity as Spider-Man secret and separate from his life as Peter, going to very great lengths to do so. All of this effort is to protect the people he loves from Spider-Man’s enemies and that’s to say nothing about what this revelation will do to his life as Peter Parker himself said: No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, the ones I love will always be the ones who pay. That’s why I could not believe that Peter did this. He was not just effecting his life. He was calling open season on all of his friends, his family. Wow. Just…wow.
6. THE DEATH OF ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN
Ultimate Spider-Man #160 (2011)
Spider-Man, Marvel’s flagship character in both Earth-616 and in the Ultimate Universe, everybody’s favorite friendly, neighborhood web-slinger dies!! And he does it saving Captain America who just goes off on his business while Spider-Man bleeds out. Mary Jane, Johnny, Gwen, and Aunt May all gathered around a mortally wounded Peter, who told May that while he couldn’t save Uncle Ben, he was able to save the other most important people in his life. Peter then finally closed his eyes and died. Mary Jane cradled his lifeless body while Johnny, Gwen, and May all cried uncontrollably. Norman Osborn died with a smirk, knowing he had succeeded in killing Spider-Man.
5. MAGNETO RIPS THE ADAMANTIUM OUT OF WOLVERINE
X-Men #25 (1993)
Why doesn’t Magneto just pull the adamantium out of Wolverine? All of us X-Men fans must have asked this question a million times in our private debates. But none of us actually thought it was going to happen! Plus, at this point we didn’t know that Logan had bone claws that were covered in adamantium, we though the claws were added during the surgery. So when Magneto did this we were like, “What, so Wolverine doesn’t have claws anymore??!!!” This event rocked X-Men fandom to the core.
4. CAPTAIN AMERICA IS SHOT & KILLED
Captain America #25 (2007)
I don’t know about the rest of you but Ed Brubaker reinvigorated my love for Captain America. His relaunch run was some of the best comics ever written. The event, Civil War, was huge. It literally divided the Marvel Universe and many fans. After so many major, heart-wrenching and mind-blowing events in this crossover our poor, fragile reader-hearts couldn’t take much more and Captain America getting shot was the straw the broke the camels back. It was just too much.
3. CYCLOPS KILLS PROFESSOR XAVIER
Avengers vs X-Men #11 (2012)
Avengers vs X-Men was a huge event with a lot of threads. But even with all of the craziness going on nobody thought that this was a possibility. Scott Summers aka Cyclops, one of the original X-Men and their field-commander. Scott has struggled with darkness ever since the Dark Phoenix Saga in 1980. And he has certainly had his bouts with other X-Men. But even under the maddening powers of the Phoenix Force we could not believe Scott would go so far as to kill the Professor so remorselessly, so coldly.
2. SENTRY RIPS ARES THE GOD OF WAR IN HALF
Siege #3 (2009)
Ares, the Greek God of War, a powerful and skilled warrior attacks the Sentry during the siege event. I was thinking, “This should be a good fight.” Oh, how wrong I was. The Sentry did not come to play at all. He was there for one purpose: to win. He simply grabbed the deity and ripped him in half to the utter shock and amazement of everyone – characters and readers alike. The end of a god in a bloody, guts and organs splattering, second. I had never seen so much gore in a Marvel book. I was in awe.
1. THE BLOB EATS THE WASP
Ultimatum #2 (2009)
The Ultimatum series was loaded up with shocking deaths. But even with all the offing of characters, there is one that stands out. When searching for the Wasp, Hawkeye and Yellowjacket discover her…and they discover the Blob eating her corpse, commenting that it “tastes like chicken.” This moment will stick with me for the rest of my life. Marvel has had it’s share of dark moments in the past but I had no idea Marvel had such an abysmally dark side until this moment in 2009. I was horrified and disgusted and impressed all at the same time. I’ve never felt this way about any other moment in comics. That’s why this is number 1.