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10 Most Heartbreaking Marvel Comics Storylines

Content Warning: This article contains spoilers for Doctor Strange: Multiverse Of Madness and also mentions of sexual violence and suicide

Fans’ hearts were breaking for Wanda as she tore apart the multiverse in search of a world where she could live with her two boys in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But her story isn’t the one one in the Marvel comics that has made readers truly emotional.

There have been many tear-jerking moments for the superheroes in the comic world–losing family members, friends, loved ones, or even their own lives is only the tip of the iceberg that is the dark side of Marvel.


10 Gwen Stacy’s Death

Gwen Stacy death Spider-Man

Most Marvel fans–even those that don’t read the comics–are familiar with Gwen Stacy’s tragic death, and the comic issue “The Night Gwen Stacy Died” still holds up today. At the hands of the Green Goblin, Gwen fell from the top of a bridge and Peter desperately tried to save her.

Peter shoots his web at Gwen as she fell, but the tension snap of the web ended up doing more harm than good, breaking Gwen’s neck, even though it stopped her from hitting the ground. Peter lived with the guilt of her death, blaming himself for not thinking more before shooting the web.

9 Thor Has To Slay His Dragon Friend

Thor and Skagbagg fight in the comics

What initially starts as a happy story of working against prejudice turns into something much sadder in this issue of Thor: God Of Thunder Vol. 1, #18. Thor wakes up in the mouth of a dragon, hungover from the previous night.

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A group of woman Vikings thinks that the dragon is responsible for damaging their village when in reality, it was a group of trolls that Thor and the dragon defeated. However, after Thor clears the dragon’s name, Skagbagg gets into an argument with his father and takes out his rage on the village, prompting Thor to slay his new friend and mourn the loss simultaneously.

8 Spider-Man & The Avengers Deal With 9/11

Spider-Man witnesses 9/11

One of the most heartbreaking moments–not only for the Marvel characters of the comics but the country and world as a whole was how the catastrophic losses of the 9/11 terrorist attack were covered. The Avengers, along with Peter Parker, were in New York City at the time.

The team of heroes worked alongside rescue crews to try and save people who were put in danger because of the attacks. It was a tragedy for the United States and the Marvel world paid tribute to it in a respectful way.

7 Kilgrave Kidnapping And Assaulting Jessica Jones

Kilgrave controlling Jessica Jones in the comics

The Jessica Jones television show brought some of her best comic stories, but it also brought some traumatizing ones about Jessica’s background. She was, at one point, mind controlled by the villain Kilgrave, and made to do some horrible things.

In addition to using mind control to kidnap Jessica, Kilgrave also used it to sexually assault her. Even worse, he kept Jessica under his control for an extended amount of time, repeatedly assaulting her against her will but referring to her as a romantic partner, and when she broke from his control for a brief moment, she considered jumping off his building.

6 The Scarlet Witch Targets All Mutants

House of M Scarlet Witch

Thanos was one very powerful being with the ability to completely wipe out half of all life at the snap of his fingers. Although she didn’t know it yet, Wanda had that same power with just a few spoken words.

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After being mentored by Agatha Harkness, The Scarlet Witch becomes one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel comics universe. In House Of M, Wanda had already accidentally killed quite a few superheroes with her powers. After being manipulated in an effort to keep her under control, she mutters, “No more mutants,” effectively killing off the X gene.

5 Carnage Kills A Dog

There aren’t many things that viewers and readers hate more than animal violence in their entertainment. There may be many unpopular opinions about the Venom villain, but people can agree that there’s a line at animal cruelty.

Not only does Carnage, in his youth, murder is grandmother by pushing her down the stairs, but he also tortured his foster parents’ pet dog with a power drill, eventually killing it as well.

4 Wanda Tries To Be With Her Sons

The events in WandaVision weren’t created solely for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The moments that foreshadowed Wanda’s eventual turn to villainy were based on the sad comic storyline.

Similar to the show, Wanda manifested her pregnancy and childbirth simply by wanting children with Vision badly enough. Unfortunately, her magic has consequences and Mephisto reabsorbs her twins and Agatha erases the memory of them ever existing in the first place.

3 Captain America’s Death

Captain America death

The Civil War storyline was another comic book series that was covered in the MCU, but it didn’t have quite as much bloodshed as it did in the comics.

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For someone who was such a huge part of the Avengers and the Marvel comic universe, Captain America had a fairly uneventful death, which adds to the sadness of the entire thing. After the fallout of the Civil War, Captain America is assassinated by Crossbones, who was hired by Red Skull. Iron Man has an emotional one-on-one scene after his death which really hammers home the heartbreak.

2 Thanos Snapped Away Half Of Life

Thanos New Origin Marvel Comics Image

The story of Thanos’s search for the Infinity Gauntlet in an effort to bring balance to the universe was also covered in the comic series for Marvel. The Avengers and other heroes fought hard against Thanos, but in the end, he was too powerful.

With a snap of his fingers, Thanos mercilessly murdered half of all the living beings in the universe. In the Marvel comic world, superheroes and civilians alike were victimized by him until the snap was eventually reversed.

1 Peter Parker’s Death In Ultimate Spider-Man

Death of Peter Parker, Ultimate Spider-Man (2011)

The Ultimate series of comics delivered the deaths of quite a few big-name superheroes, and Spider-Man was not immune to the slaughter.

After facing off against the Sinister Six, taking a bullet, and managing to take down the Green Goblin, Peter had sustained a number of injuries that proved fatal. As he collapsed, he took his final moments to tell his Aunt and MJ that he had finally made up for not saving his Uncle Ben.

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