<p data-cy="Paragraph" data-experiment=" Echo: Five Marvel Comics stories to read before the MCU series ” class=”text-neutral-grey w-full mb-4 text-body-1 font-body dark:text-neutral-white”>If you enjoyed the dark new future in Avengers: Twilight, these five alternate earths present some of the darkest storytelling in the Marvel Multiverse. 

Avengers: Twilight is finally out. The long-gestating work of esteemed Daredevil and Batman writer Chip Zdarsky, Avengers: Twilight is a vision of a future where heroes are all but eradicated and a dystopian force watches over the world with an iron fist. 

The idea of an alternate world where things go wrong is nothing new. Marvel has dabbled in them for years with concepts like What If…?, while DC has used the Elseworlds branding to explore dark alternate worlds Kingdom Come and Red Rain

Article continues after ad

Marvel has had some incredible dark stories over the years, but these five earths take the cake as the darkest in Marvel’s multiverse. 

Of all the various multiverse stories Marvel has told, Earth X (Earth-9997) might be one of the few to maintain a sense of hope. Don’t underestimate it, though; Earth X is still plenty dark. The title comes from a speculative pitch by legendary Kingdom Come artist Alex Ross, who imagined a dystopian Marvel future. It was so well received that Marvel hired Ross to turn the pitch into a series. 

Article continues after ad

Marvel ComicsEarth X saw humanity gain super powers, resulting in a power shift and a dystopian future.

In Earth X, Black Bolt of the Inhumans unleashes the Terrigen Mists on Earth. As a result, everyone has superpowers, and now the era of the superhuman is an era of mundanity.

In this new dark timeline, Captain America lives with the guilt of killing the Red Skull. Heroes like Invisible Woman, Professor X and Daredevil die in various incidents, while others like Spider-Man and Wolverine fall into unremarkable lives. 

The story, which expanded in sequels Universe X and Paradise X, becomes consistently more winding and bizarre. It’s always dark and always twisted, but there remains a characteristic tinge of hope just on the outskirts of Earth X’s bleak narrative of a world where nobody is special anymore. 


Top 50 highest-grossing movies of all time

Article continues after ad

Fans who only know of Old Man Logan (Earth-807128) from the 2017 film will be in for a shock when they read this one. Originally published in Wolverine #66 and running for seven issues (including a special Giant-Size one-shot finale), Old Man Logan is a road trip through a dark corner of the Marvel multiverse. 

Marvel ComicsWith its surge in popularity, the original dark tone of Old Man Logan has been somewhat downplayed.

In this timeline, heroes have all fallen. An older Wolverine and his family live in Hulkland, a remnant of Sacramento. It’s ruled by the Hulk Gang, the inbred descendants of Bruce Banner. To get enough money to save his family’s land, Logan agrees to a road trip with a blinded Hawkeye. 

Article continues after ad

Old Man Logan spins out of a story beat where Logan kills the X-Men while being manipulated by Mysterio and only goes downhill from there. From the horrors of President Red Skull to the brutal final encounter with the Hulks, Old Man Logan is considerably darker than most fans remember. 

The Cancerverse (Earth-10011) is a unique instance here on this list. While it is an alternate world, it’s not part of an alternate story; rather, it’s an invading universe seen during the Thanos Imperative event. 

Article continues after ad

Marvel ComicsIn the Cancerverse, Death was defeated, resulting in a nightmare universe ruled by old gods.

In the Cancerverse, life did the unthinkable: it beat Death. This gave rise to the Many-Angled Ones, the Marvel equivalent of the Cthulu mythos (and some Conan mythos, thanks to the presence of Shuma-Gorath). 

Sign up toDexertofor free and receive:

Fewer Ads