2016 has been a very strange year for Marvel. The movies have continued to be amazing and new trends and standard in their films have been set. On the comic book side, Marvel has made good on their word that Secret Wars was going to be a new beginning for them. Universes have been destroyed, some villains are heroes (and vice versa), characters have been killed off, and new allegiances have been formed. It has been interesting to say the least. But let's look at what I think are the 25 most important or memorable Marvel moments of 2016.
1. Death of The Hulk
This was the death heard around the world. Someone actually managed to kill the Hulk. To make the death worse, it wasn't a villain, the American military, or even Red Hulk who took him down. It was his former teammate and fellow Avenger Hawkeye. It doesn't soften the blow that Bruce Banner gave him the means to kill him. The fact remains his friend killed him and that the Hulk is dead.
2. The Face Of Doom
Doom got what he wanted and was ruler of, well, everything (Secret War 2016). After losing his grasp on it all, he was given his face back after the world went back to normal. After he realized what had happened, Doom laughed. And not angrily. Doom looked happy. A month or two later, Doom approaches Iron Man with his new gorgeous face and a new attitude; Doom said he would now help humanity. After the death of an Avenger Doom decided to become more than just a helper. Doom decides to become a superhero.
3. Captain Marvel's Minority Report
If you were given the opportunity to stop a murder before it happened, I am sure you would do it. But what if you weren't sure? What if the information isn't sound and results in untold catastrophe? Well, Carol Danvers would say the rewards outweigh the risks. Captain Marvel, like Iron Man in the first Civil War, refuses to even entertain that she might be doing more harm than good. The predictions that she has followed has done a lot of good, but it has also caused death and trust issues.
4. *%$# YEAH! R-RATED DEADPOOL!
Ryan Reynolds fought for the Deadpool movie to get a hard R rating and he got it. While an R rating means that Deadpool would not be available for all ages (despite parents taking their kids and complaining that it wasn't for kids) the movie succeeded well past its expectations having a budget of $58 million and grossing $783,112,979 world wide. This movie set precedent proving that an R rated movie can in fact be successful (even though the Blade Trilogy was R rated).
5. Spider-Man Is Civilly Warring
There have been...concerns about Spider-Man's movie future for years and the announcement of Tom Holland didn't calm those fears. That was, until Captain America: Civil War came out and Holland blew everyone's mind. Holland gave fans hoping for a great Spider-Man movie hope in a short amount of time. Then there was the Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that was just AMAZING. Pun intended.
7. Death Of X, But The Dream Lives
The Inhumans Terrigen Mist cloud was doing more than just giving humans with Inhuman DNA power. It was killing mutants. And the first major casualty was Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man. After Cyclops saw this, he decided to take action. Unfortunately, he died too soon. Thankfully, Emma Frost was there to make sure that Cyclops didn't die in vain.
8. Hulk Is Back...?
The phrase "too soon" gets thrown around a lot, but this was definitely too soon. The Hulk died in Civil War 2 and was brought back to life before the series had even ended. While the idea could bare some really good fruit, at least wait until Bruce's body was cold before bringing him back. We weren't even given enough time to miss him.
9. A New Beginning For Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm
This may not seem like a big deal, but it's actually is. The Thing and The Human Torch have spent more than 90% of their comic book lives as members of the Fantastic Four. It was almost like they (or the writers) were too scared to branch out even though they are just as much the hero as some of the Avengers and X-Men. The Thing is now in space where he is accepted as normal and not a monster. As an Avenger, Torch can show the world that he's not just a B-list hero. It's about time that they were known for more than just members of the Fantastic Four.
10. Death Of War Machine
Right after President Obama told Rhodey he would make a great president one day, War Machine is killed by Thanos. It was like they built this moment up just so we would be sad when he died an issue later. Actually, that's probably exactly the reason why. Either way, it worked like a charm. Especially after we see how his best friend Tony Stark responds.
11. Black Panther's All Black Cast
Considering some of the anger around Luke Cage not having a "diverse enough cast", it was refreshing to hear that Marvel didn't bend or break when Black Panther was announced to have an all black cast. The story takes place in an all black country in Africa, so it only makes sense that it would have an all black cast. And what a mighty cast they have thus far
12. Marvel And Hip-Hop
Say what you want about Marvel, but they are not scared to take a risk every now and then. People said it was cultural appropriation and that Marvel was just out to get a dollar. When I looked at these covers I saw the collaboration of two cultures that mirror each other coming together to put out amazing art work.
13. Galactus: World Creator
This isn't just about Galactus being fixed. It's about the team that fixed the problem. The Ultimates (T'Challa, Carol Danvers, Blue Marvel, America Chavez, Monica Rambeau) have come together to fix problems before they start. The first one was Galactus. No longer is he devourer of worlds. He now restores them. First planet to be restored was the first panet he devoured.
14. Jessica Jones Gets All Female Directors
Who knows women better than a woman? Season 2 of the hit Netflix Series Jessica Jones will have a woman directing every upcoming season. It's another example of Marvel making sure that it remains diverse in every way possible. Not just in the choice of artists and writers, but for directors and stars as well.
15. Spider-Man And Deadpool
The only thing shocking about this is that it took Marvel this long to make this an on going series. Two of the funniest (and annoying) heroes in comic books were finally paired together. You'd assume that this book would be too goofy, but you'd be wrong. Despite the fact that the two of them never shut up, there have been some great and deep moments with the two of them. And Spider-Man actually realizes that Deadpool isn't so bad after all.
16. Cap Hails Hydra
If there was a scene this year that made everyone mad, it's the picture above from Captain America #1. Not only were people mad, but Marvel was receiving everything from angry tweets to cancellations of their monthly subscriptions. Even after Marvel announced that this would not stick, people were still pretty mad. For me it was kind of like finding out Ripley was in cahoots with the Aliens all along.
17. For The Heart of Wakanda
For years, T'Challa hasn't been the king that he once was. While he did defeat Dr. Doom in his attempt to take over Wakanda (Doom War), it did cost him their mountain of Vibranium and he also suffered a major defeat to Namor (who had the power of the Phoenix). Now, T'Challa is back in Wakanda and his country seems to be losing faith in him. T'Challa is learning how to once again be the king that his country loved and needed.
18. WEEEE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!
It would have been easy to slap this team together and call them the young or new Avengers. But instead, Marvel brought back the Champions name. This isn't just a group of younger heroes carrying on the legacy of their older counter parts. These are a group of young heroes who are looking for a new way to do things. More than just fight super powered bad guys, they want to help with the clean up as well.
19. Embrace Strange
Dr. Strange was like Guardians of the Galaxy. A hero who wasn't incredibly popular but was given the chance to be a household name. While one movie may not have done it, it was a giant step in the right direction. Benedict Cumberbatch was as good a fit as Stephen Strange as Robert Downey Jr. was as Tony Stark.
20. While Solo Lives, Terror dies
Who is Solo? He's a character most people have never heard of and he is getting a chance in his own solo comic (pun intended). Why is this such a top 25 moment? Marvel obviously loves Deadpool, Spider-Man, and the Avengers. But this is looking like the start of them using lesser known characters to appeal to different people. Guys like Fool Killer and Slapstick have also gotten their own series as well. Giving writers and artists a chance to show off their skills with unknown characters gives new writers hope that there is a place for them as well.
21. Riri Williams
There is a new genius in the Marvel Universe and her her name is Riri Williams. Not only is she a genius, she is the smartest person in the Marvel Universe and will be the NEW Iron Man. Well, the new Iron man with Tony Stark's blessing at least. While she may be new, at 14 years old Riri Williams made her first Iron Man armor in her dorm room with parts she found (and stole) all around campus.
You can't mention 2016 and Marvel without talking about the phenomenal job Jon Bernthal did as Frank Castle. He didn't have to reinvent the character, all he had to do was BE Frank Castle. And that he was. He was everything we have been waiting to see from a Punisher for years. Maybe now we can forget Dolph Lundgren's Punisher finally.
23. Luke Cage
Let me start off by saying "SWEET CHRISTMAS". Marvel didn't just hit a homerun, they hit a grand slam in the bottom of the fourth to win the World Series. Luke Cage officially solidified himself in main stream with an unapologetic series about a black superhero. Luke Cage was deep, funny, well written, and hit on a lot of things affecting urban communities. Luke Cage is exactly what we all needed. A stand up superhero who is here in the streets fighting for ALL people.
24. Old Man Logan and How The Villains Won
For years we have been wondering exactly what happened to Logan before he decided to never pop his claws again. These questions are finally getting answered. We finally get to see some of the final battles between the heroes and the villains, what the Hulk's kids were doing, and how Logan met his wife Maureen. You think Logan had it bad? Well, Old Man Logan had all of Wolverine's past on top his messed up reality.
25. Thor's New Beginning
Thor has been known as one of, if not THE greatest Avenger of all time. But what is Thor without his hammer? To Thor, he is not only unworthy of Mjilnor, he unworthy of his name. Thor is now going by Odinson is in search of making himself worthy once again. This journey may lead him on a path that ends with the Hammer of the Ultimate universe's Thor.
What was your favorite Marvel moment of 2016? Let know in the comments below