Batman Year One created a definitive version of the Dark Knight’s origin following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. DC recently released The Joker: Year One, which used the same format and explored the first year of the Joker’s villainous career following the Red Hood leader’s fall into a vat of chemicals.

Marvel Comics could benefit from the Year One format, creating definitive origins for classic villains like Magneto and his disdain for humanity, Apocalypse and his mutant superiority or Galactus and his cosmic crusade. Marvel already has origin comics for some of these villains. Still, Year One can further delve into previously unexplored territory meant to expand what already exists rather than create new, potentially contradicting origin stories.

10 Doctor Doom Before He Meddled With The Fantastic Four

First Appearance: Fantastic Four #5 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Joe Sinnott & Stan Goldberg


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Many Marvel fans feel Doctor Doom’s live-action appearances have been wasted. Neither the Fantastic Four films from the mid-2000s nor the critically-panned reboot a decade later truly captured the essence of Doom. Doctor Doom is far more than just a Fantastic Four villain.

A Year One comic could explore Doctor Doom’s past—–not that of a scientist working alongside Reed Richards or a boy genius, but his life in Latveria and how he became their leader, acquired advanced technology, and learned dark magic.

9 Red Skull Rising Up The Ranks Of Hydra

First Appearance: Captain America Comics #1 by Joe Simon, Jack Kirby & Al Liederman

Whenever Red Skull appears in Marvel Comics or MCU projects, he is already a commanding officer. He’s already taken the Super-Soldier Serum that disfigured his body and is usually halfway through his war against Captain America and the Allies.

But what was Red Skull like in his youth? Red Skull: Year One could show a Red Skull rising through the ranks of Hydra, potentially providing further insight into the organization, its origins, and how it infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. over the years.

8 Thanos Before He Wore The Infinity Gauntlet

First Appearance: The Invincible Iron Man #55 by Mike Friedrich, Jim Starlin & Mike Esposito


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Thanos is one of the Avengers’ greatest threats, with or without the Infinity Gauntlet. He was one of the main characters during the Infinity Gauntlet storyline and gained massive popularity thanks to his antagonistic role in the MCU’s first phase. But who was Thanos before he sought to destroy half the universe?

Thanos starred in his own solo comic, which explored a potential alternate future in which he defeated Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and became “King Thanos.” A Year One comic that explores Thanos’ first moments as a galactic conqueror and his initial dalliances with Death could take his story beyond what fans have already seen.

7 Magneto Wants Mutant Superiority

First Appearance: X-Men #1 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Paul Reinman

Magneto’s origins are no mystery to Marvel comic readers or moviegoers. His origins in World War II and meeting Charles Xavier in their youth have been well documented, so a Year One comic should focus on parts of Erik’s life that have been previously unexplored.

Who was Magneto before he met Charles Xavier? If X-Men: First Class is to be believed, Magneto was a hunter. He sought vengeance on those who killed his family, planting the seeds of authority and power that would one day sprout into the leader of a mutant rebellion. He was also a father and a terrorist leader in his early days as well. All of these aspects could be further expanded on.

6 Apocalypse Is The “First Mutant”

First Appearance: X-Factor #6 by Louise Simonson, Jackson Guice, Bob McLeod & Petra Scotese

When he first appeared in X-Men comics, Apocalypse claimed to be the “First Mutant.” He is a legendary foe, serving as the main antagonist in Age of Apocalypse and, surprisingly, saving the world in X of Swords. The X-Men crossover event delved deep into Apocalypse’s history, exploring the original Four Horseman and his secret wife.

Indeed, Apocalypse lived a full life long before battling the X-Men. While many facets of his life story have already been explored thanks to X of Swords and other X-Men titles, there are still plenty of stories to tell about his youth and how he discovered his powers in a Year One format.

5 Dormammu Rules The Dark Dimension

First Appearance: Strange Tales #126 by Stan Lee, Dick Ayers, Paul Reinman & Stan Goldberg

Some MCU fans may be disappointed by Dormammu’s absence from the Marvel films. After arriving to destroy the world in Doctor Strange, the Dark Dimension ruler hasn’t returned beyond a brief tease at the end of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

In the comics, however, Dormammu remains one of the Sorcerer Supreme’s greatest threats. If Marvel published a Year One comic, they could explore Dormammu’s origins in another world and how he became ruler of the Dark Dimension, expanding their magical lore significantly.

4 Mystique Has Many Forms

First Appearance: Ms. Marvel #16 by Chris Claremont, Jim Mooney, Frank Springer & Janice Cohen


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Mystique, appropriately, is a bit of an enigma. Her many forms and secret age make pinpointing her history difficult. Throughout her known Marvel history, Mystique is Nightcrawler’s mother (later revealed to be her father) and also served as an adoptive parent to Rogue. Mystique developed a relationship with Destiny and was instrumental in Moira MacTaggert’s role in House/Powers of X.

Mystique is a fan-favorite assassin who has aided the X-Men and Magneto’s Brotherhood (always pursuing her own goals on the side). A Year One comic could perfectly explore Mystique’s true origins, solidifying them once and for all.

3 Galactus Eats His Way Across The Galaxy

First Appearance: Fantastic Four #48 by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby & Joe Sinnott

Galactus is one of the most fearsome foes in the Marvel Universe, ironically originating from an entirely different universe. Galactus was originally a being named Galan who was one of many creatures who existed before the Big Bang in the universe that came before.

Galactus: Year One would be the perfect miniseries to explore who Galactus was before he obtained the Power Cosmic. It could even look at his first year as the World Devourer and his trials and tribulations as a new cosmic being. This miniseries could also introduce new lore to Marvel’s universe, just as King in Black expanded the symbiotes’ history.

2 Mister Sinister’s Legion Of Clones & Experiments

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #221 by Chris Claremont, Marc Silvestri, Dan Green & Glynis Oliver


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Nathanial Essex has stolen the X-Men’s spotlight over the past few years in Marvel Comics. He was comical and hilarious in the Hellions series, always inserting jabs in the main X-Men book. At the same time, he served the Quiet Council and notably controlled nearly the entire world during the “Sins of Sinister” event.

Thanks to his army of clones, Mister Sinister can embody any personality. He has been a lovable mutant leader and a dangerous mutant scientist, experimenting on his own kind. Marvel fans know the modern Sinister well, but a Year One comic exploring the classic X-Men villain’s origins is long overdue. Especially given the recent revelations about his alternate selves and rise as a Dominion.

1 Emma Frost & The Hellfire Club

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #129 by Chris Claremont, John Byrne, Terry Austin & Bob Sharen

Marvel Comics readers are seeing Emma Frost everywhere. Since serving on Krakoa’s Quiet Council, the White Queen has played a major role in nearly every X-Men comic title over the past five years. After marrying Tony Stark, Emma Frost even appeared in Invincible Iron Man comics.

Her time after the Hellfire Club has been well documented, but what about Emma Frost’s life before? A Year One miniseries could explore Emma’s character, how she grew into the mutant empress she is today, where she obtained her commanding presence, and how she learned to control her psychic powers compared to Jean or Xavier’s paths.

Batman: Year One

Batman Year One is often considered Frank Miller’s greatest creative work. It dives into Batman’s first months as the Caped Crusader and falls in a long line of Miller’s work deconstructing popular superhero tropes in both tone and structure. Year One has been referenced in countless comics, cartoons, and even live-action films and its legacy still looms large today. 

“}]] While fans have explored the origins of Marvel villains like Apocalypse and Red Skull, a Year One-inspired story could explore untouched chapters.  Read More