Marvel has held the top of the superhero comic sales chart in a choke hold for years now. The company’s heroes have become the most acclaimed in the US, and the publisher has created icons that have moved past the comics. The MCU is the most popular cinematic franchise, and Marvel basically controls the board across the pop culture landscape.
Of course, comic fans can’t be a contentious lot, something which extends to opinions on Marvel’s books. Some comics are either loved by fans or hated, with no in between. In fact, many of Marvel’s bestselling books fit this description, which is quite interesting to think about.
10 Hulk (2022)
After The Immortal Hulk ended, the Hulk was a hot commodity and Marvel tried to take advantage of that. Hulk has always been among Marvel’s most popular heroes and the writer/artist team of Donny Cates and Ryan Ottley seemed like the perfect fit for the next phase of the character’s story. However, many fans rebelled immediately against their run.
The tone was entirely different, and some fans basically only wanted The Immortal Hulk part two. These fans hated the new Starship Hulk status quo. However, other fans loved it. It was a lot of fun, a book that supplied thrills and action like no other.
9 X-Force (2019)
The Krakoa Era kicked off at the end of 2019, with multiple X-Men books launching in the wake of House of X/Powers of X. X-Force chronicled the black ops arm of the new mutant nation. Written by Benjamin Percy with art Joshua Cassara, Robert Gill, and multiple fill-in artists, it’s one of the few books to still have the same writer since the beginning of the Krakoa Era.
Percy’s style is old school. Instead of built for the trade five to six issue stories, Percy’s stories are shorter, developing long-running plot threads over the run of the series. Among X-fans, people either love or hate this book. Some fans love Percy’s approach, while others complain about how long stories took to come to fruition.
8 Wolverine (2020)
Wolverine is another book written by Benjamin Percy, having launched in the second wave of books during Dawn of X. Percy worked with regular artists Adam Kubert, Viktor Bogdanovic, Juan Jose Ryp, and multiple fill-in artists since the book’s first issue. It’s the only solo book in the entire X-Men line that has survived, but its reception is pretty mixed.
Wolverine fans love the book, as Percy writes it much like Wolverine expert writer Larry Hama did in the 90s. Of course, he also writes it just like X-Force, which is where all the hate comes from. Many fans don’t like the way the book’s plot lines have extended since the beginning of the book.
7 X Of Swords
X-Men history is full of big crossovers, but 2020’s X of Swords is still among the longest. At twenty-two parts, the book crossed through every X-Men book being published that year. The story pit the mutant islands Krakoa and Arakko against each other, with the demonic hordes of Amenth ready to invade Earth if Krakoa loses.
The first major crossover of the Krakoa Era, this story’s reception has been divided from the beginning. Some people love the care put into every part of it, as well as the surprises of the last half. For others, the story is badly paced, the bait and switch halfway through was more annoying than interesting, and it gave Apocalypse a terrible origin retcon.
6 Civil War
Popularity isn’t good for every Marvel event, as it makes them the focal point of attention. This can reveal flaws in the story, which is exactly what happened with Civil War, by writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven. Civil War has always been a contentious story, but recent years have seen it enter the love it or hate it phase.
Those who love the story overlook the liberties it takes with character and just enjoy it like a summer action blockbuster. Those who hate only focus on those liberties and how the story wrecked Marvel events for years to come. The fact there are two diametrically opposed sides is quite ironic given CW’s premise.
5 One More Day
Being a Spider-Man fan is frequently terrible, and for many it’s all One More Day’s fault. Written by J. Michael Straczynski and Joe Quesada with art by Quesada, the story is infamous among Spider-Man and Marvel fans. In order to save Aunt May’s life, Peter and Mary Jane trade their marriage to Mephisto. It’s widely considered the worst Spider-Man story ever.
However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have fans. Even comics that the vast majority consider terrible have fans, and One More Day is no different. They’re quite rare to find, but there are people out there who love the book and will defend it, which is basically the most thankless job there is.
4 House Of M
Marvel events don’t always bring beneficial change, especially when it is used to devalue a beloved Marvel franchise. House of M, by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Olivier Coipel, was basically Marvel’s way of destroying the X-Men franchise, so that the Avengers and other long-neglected properties could get a chance to shine.
Of course, pretty much every X-Men fan hates it. Grant Morrison fans hate it because Marvel used it to get rid of many of their concepts. Scarlet Witch fans don’t like the character assassination against her which was de rigueur at the time. However, many Marvel fans still love it for its importance to Marvel history.
3 The Avengers (2018)
2018 brought a new beginning for The Avengers, as writer Jason Aaron and artist Ed McGuinness relaunched the team with a more MCU fan friendly line-up. Aaron has been writing the book ever since, working with many different artists since the book’s launch. His run as writer is coming to a close, but it’s hard to say that it’s been successful.
The Avengers has been far from the top of sales charts during Aaron’s run, and many fans hate the book. However, Aaron’s run wasn’t cut short because of sales, and there are some fans who love his run. They’re looking forward to its upcoming ending.
2 The Amazing Spider-Man (2022)
Spider-Man has always been a massively influential Marvel hero. The Amazing Spider-Man trades off its place as the industry’s best-selling title with Batman. However, The Amazing Spider-Man hasn’t been a universally beloved book in years. The current run of the book, written by Zeb Wells with art by John Romita Jr. and multiple fill-in artists, has been the target of much fan ire.
Fans haven’t been completely happy with TASM since One More Day, and Wells’s run is hated by many Spider-Man fans. However, they still buy the book and keep it at number one or two. There are still plenty of fans who love it, although they aren’t as vocal as the massive amount of haters.
1 X-Men (2021)
X-Men status quo changes are often the result of new creative teams, something that has happened to many books during the Krakoa Era. That includes X-Men, set up as the book’s flagship title. When Jonathan Hickman left the X-office, writer Gerry Duggan took over the book and has written it ever since, working with artists Pepe Larraz, Joshua Cassara, and multiple fill-in artists.
Duggan’s time on the book has split the fanbase. While everyone agrees the book’s art is impeccable, fans either completely hate the writing or love it. The haters say the book no longer feels like it matters, the characterization is generic, and the villains are mediocre. Those who love it say that it’s just a fun book with a good roster and great art.