Marvel’s 10 Best Modern Horror Stories (In The Comics)

Doctor Strange: Multiverse of Madness rakes in an incredible $930 million at the box office. Its unique use of horror (courtesy director Sam Raimi) is to thank for this impressive box office feat. Of course, the MCU dabbled in horror from time to time before that.

Still, it would be wrong to assume that this is a rarity for Marvel as a whole. Since their Journey into mystery in the 1950s, Marvel always had a fascination with the macabre. A fascination that continues in their stories in the 21st century.

Night of the Living Deadpool (2014)

Night of the Living Deadpool

Night of the Living Deadpool sees the Merc with a mouth in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. However, it’s not quite the gory, action-packed adventure that people expect. In this universe, Deadpool is the last living hero, as the others have been defeated by the undead in one way or another.

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While Deadpool remains his usual self, there is an underlying sense of dread throughout the story. As he delves deeper into the source of the nightmare, the banter slows down and Deadpool’s crazed optimism gives way to a saddened introspective of his own life.

Franken-Castle (2010)

The cover of FrankenCastle.

Franken-Castle is a surprisingly campy run from the usually serious Punisher storyline. After his death at the hands of Daken, Frank Castle is resurrected by Morbius into a walking, talking patchwork of rotting skin and muscles of steel. Together, he and Morbius battle the gigantic mechanical zombie Robert Hellsgrad, a self-proclaimed monster hunter.

Franken-Castle is the epitome of the “cool rule”. Classic horror elements hark back to Marvel’s history with the occult in the ’70s, with stories such as Tomb of Dracula and night werewolf have classic monsters facing “modern” society. Moreover, it is called Franken-Castle, the name fits perfectly.

Curse of the Mutants (2010)

The Curse of Mutants begins the 2010s with a storyline that pits Count Dracula’s mighty son, Xarus, against the mutant superhero team, X-Men. Xarus, after betraying his father Dracula and killing him, places his army of vampires on the X-Men, in a grand plan to rid the vampires of their weakness to direct sunlight.

The story is a good old race against time as different mutants become infected with the vampire strain. Vampires are terrifying in numbers and powers, and their unsettling bloodlust is something even seasoned X-Men have never had to contend with before.

Absolute Carnage (2019)

Carnage versus Venom in Absolute Carnage.

Absolute carnage takes Carnage to max level and becomes a complete cosmic horror on its scale. A symbiote worship cult resurrects Cletus Cassidy to become the harbinger of their dark god, Knull. This is the story that reveals that the symbiote was the product of an eldritch god all along.

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Absolute carnage explores how depraved and evil the symbiote can be, and it all takes them back to the offspring of an ancient dark god. One such story deals with this at best, as Agony, Riot, and Phage terrorize a young girl by psychologically tormenting her with the “idyllic” family life she’s always wanted.

Fantastic Four: Road Trip (2020)

Fantastic Four: Road Trip is a unique story that follows a surprisingly different path from modern Fantastic Four stories. On a seemingly mundane and well-deserved vacation, the Fantastic Four go on a trip to a peaceful cabin in the woods. However, the always busy Reed decides to bring in one of his side projects.

When the experiment goes awry, it begins to transform the Fantastic Four’s bodies in gruesome ways. For uncomfortable readers, this is a great way to test their resolution. as they see the Thing’s rock skin “peel off”, the Invisible Woman transforms into the Missing Woman, Reed becomes a pile of plastic goop, and Johnny screams in agony as his fire begins to affect him.

Submariner: The Depths (2009)

Namor in Sub-Mariner: The Depths #4.

Submarine: The Depths is a very different one-shot for the ruler of Atlantis. In the 1950s, a rescue team sets out to find a group of explorers who had become lost while searching for evidence of legendary Atlantis. Soon they find their way above their heads as a mysterious being stalks them at every turn.

Submarine: The Depths takes the story of the tenacious Namor down several notches by making him a silent and mysterious underwater stalker. Bidding his time, the Pale King stares at the rescue team, daring them to come closer. When they do, the comic quickly turns into a slasher movie, as Namor picks the team off one by one.

The Spider’s Shadow (2021)

The Spider’s Shadow is a “What if?” story set in a continuity where Spider-Man decides to embrace the symbiote. After nights of restless nightmares and guilt over all the lives he failed to save, Peter lets go and goes after Hobgoblin in a symbiote-fueled fury. Now the villains of New York live in terror of Spider-Man.

The Spider’s Shadow explores the very fiber of Peter’s character. His weaknesses are explored in detail, giving a road map of what happens to the world when Peter decides to let go. It’s a terrifying contrast to the ironic optimist that Peter usually is. Yet it’s also a great character story for Peter Parker in his darkest moments.

The Cancerverse Saga (2010)

image of the evil version of the Avengers called the Revengers in the Cancerverse reality from Marvel comics

A saga that begins in The Thanos Imperative, the story focuses on the results of a universal tear where something sinister has begun to creep in. On the other side of the tear is a place called the “Cancerverse”. In this world, “Life has won.” What this means for this universe is that everything, no matter how rotten and corrupt, is incapable of dying.

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With life unrestricted, life quickly turned into cancerous growths that began to consume every molecule of space within it. It’s such a huge threat that the heroes even took the help of a resurrected Thanos, showing just how desperate the situation has become. Fans of Lovecraftian visuals and horror will find the Cancerverse a fascinating sight.

Immortal Hulk (2018)

Hulk Immortal Force

Immortal Hulk follows Bruce Banner as a nomad once again, far from the Avengers and the stresses of superhero life. However, a convenience store robbery ends with Bruce being shot in the head, as well as the life of an innocent little girl. In the daytime, Bruce is a corpse. At night, however, it is his time. Hulk time.

Immortal Hulk is one of the most successful races in recent modern history and for the best reasons. Immortal Hulk weaves several elements of horror into its story. The cosmic horror of gamma energy, the body horror of turning into the Hulk, and the classic monster horror of a Hulk terrorizing those who harm Bruce Banner.

Marvel Zombies (2005)

Marvel Zombies is the mascot of modern Marvel horror. After an alien virus infests an alternate Earth similar to 616, the inhabitants quickly transform into ravenous cannibals, consumed by eternal hunger. Most horrifying of all, zombies retain their powers and intelligence, making them just as dangerous, if not more so, than they were in life.

Marvel Zombies is modern Marvel’s longest running horror line, with the most recent story being as recent as 2019. Other, it’s cool to see Marvel Heroes looking like messed up Deadites.

NEXT: The 10 Best Zombie Stories In The Comics


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