The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is known for many things, but being dark is not one of them. That’s not to say that Marvel movies are devoid of darker themes and implications, as seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Avengers: infinity war, but even these pale in comparison to certain arcs and comic events.

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In the comics, Marvel heroes and villains have the freedom to participate in adult-oriented events and stories that would be deemed too dark for the MCU’s broad core audience. Some were watered down for the movies, while others were completely ignored.

10 Marvel Zombies – Zombie Avengers Eat Mankind

Marvel zombies

As its very simple title implies, Marvel zombies Reinvent the Marvel Universe if it were taken over by a plague of zombies. All infected heroes and villains retain their conscience and sensitivity, but are now zombies with an insatiable hunger for human flesh.

MCU will pay tribute to this popular alternate universe in upcoming cartoon What if?, where Bucky Barnes faces an undead Captain America in one episode. With that said, this multi-universe spanning zombie apocalypse isn’t Marvel’s most likely event to land a full-length movie in the future, especially given its graphic action and setting.

9 Thor: Vikings – Historic Vikings Raid on New York City

Thor vikings

In Thor: Vikings, Undead Vikings storm New York as Thor and the Avengers watch helplessly from the sidelines. The only way to stop this bloody massacre is for Doctor Strange to summon three historical warriors (another Viking, a Crusader, and a Nazi fighter pilot) instead of other superheroes or cosmic beings. As expected, this was written by Boys creator Garth Ennis.

Thor: Vikings is incredibly violent, as it takes advantage of the Marvel MAX label’s lack of restrictions. The MCU is keen on making Thor more commonplace than ever, and it’s highly unlikely that it will turn to this nihilistic blood-soaked MAX miniseries for inspiration.

8 Planet Hulk & World War Hulk – Sakaar & The Worldbreaker Hulk’s Bloody Revenge

Planet Hulk and World War Hulk

One complaint among staunch Marvel readers was that Thor: Ragnarok He took some of the best Incredible Hulk stories and turned them into a joke. As a comic adaptation, Ragnarok I was free to retell the events freely, but these complaints are not unfounded. This two-part epic put a new twist on the Hulk, turning Marvel’s resident brute into a powerful warrior like no other.

Here, the Hulk went from being an out-of-world gladiator to a Sakaarian warlord and then to Earth’s greatest conqueror.. Furthermore, the Hulk was faced with fearsome emotions such as hatred and revenge, the latter directed towards the Illuminati who banished him in the first place. Although he has anger issues, MCU Hulk is much more benevolent than Worldbreaker.

7 Civil War – Avengers killed and human rights violated

Marvel Civil War

Compared to their source material, the MCUs Civil war it’s just a heated family argument. From its inciting event where the New Warriors accidentally kill 600 civilians to gruesome turning points, the original Civil war it’s as brutal as a superhero showdown can be. The only thing darker than deaths like Goliath and Captain America were the political implications of the war.

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Civil war it was a stab at the political fallout from the War on Terror when the debate between national security and personal liberties was at its highest point. The film adapted the comics in a broad sense, toning down the bloodiest of fights while simplifying politics. That being said, many fans actually thought this was an improvement over the polarizing, edgy arc.

6 The Ultimates: confusing cynicism with realism

The Ultimates

The Ultimates It was done in the 2000s to make Earth’s mightiest heroes “grow up,” but the results weren’t what anyone expected or wanted. Case in point, The Ultimates it was essentially a sassy soap opera starring The Avengers. Here, the “heroes” were actually more self-absorbed brutes who were in charge of defending humanity.

Other controversial moments include Captain America being a patriot, Hank Pym involved in domestic abuse, the Iron Man sex tape incident, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff having an inappropriate romance, and more. The Ultimates He had some cool insights like examining the actions and relevance of the Avengers in the modern world, but overall, readers are glad the MCU ignored it.

5 Absolute Carnage – Carnage goes on a rampage

Absolute carnage

Now that Venom is confirmed to have a potential future in the MCU, fans are eager to see him and the other Symbiotes take on the Avengers. That said, it is highly unlikely that the recent but still iconic arc Absolute carnage would make the screen big panel by panel. Just put, Absolute carnage unleashes Carnage’s bloodiest potential, and it’s a nightmare.

The story begins when Carnage is resurrected by a cult that worships symbiotes, who want to summon the symbiote god Knull. Carnage hunts down everyone who interacted with a symbiote, leading to countless deaths or assimilations. The MCU is unlikely to use the hellish visuals, Carnage’s body count, and haunting themes from this story (and, by extension, successive King in black) for any appearance in a Symbiote movie.

4 The Immortal Hulk – Hulk is a demon

The immortal Hulk

The Hulk’s most recent run is the most acclaimed and terrifying in recent memory. The immortal Hulk uses the basic premise of the comics for what can only be described as a superhero-themed horror comic, with Bruce Banner and the Hulk’s relationship just steps away from demonic possession.

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Other than that, the comic reimagines many of the Hulk’s basic elements in an unsettling way, showing just how monstrous his Gamma-powered enemies really would be and retroactively changing the source of the Hulk’s powers to the supernatural. The immortal Hulk it’s both physical and existential horror, and it will be a long time before the MCU even plays around with this approach.

3 Kraven’s Last Hunt – Kraven, the Hunter’s Blaze of Glory

Kraven's Last Hunt

Kraven the Hunter is one of the most underrated Spider-Man foes that fans really love, but don’t expect his most iconic comic arc to catch up anytime soon. As the title indicates, Kraven’s Last Hunt It ends with the hunter’s death after taking his own life. This happens after he finally defeats Spider-Man, whom he considers his biggest and most elusive prey.

Kraven’s Last Hunt is a glimpse into the obsessive and twisted psyche of the big game hunter, and it takes an otherwise cheesy Spidey villain to haunting but highly human places. This story not only made Kraven a legitimate threat, it made him a tragic figure that fans loved even more.

two Demon In A Bottle – Tony Stark fights against alcoholism

Iron Man demon in a bottle

While arguably the quintessential Iron Man story, Demon in a bottle Assuming the alcoholism of a superhero is so realistic and easy to identify that it can understandably be a difficult read for some. Tony Stark still engages in the usual heroic deeds, but his greatest enemy is his own addiction and escapism through alcohol, which endangers both his Avenger status and his personal life.

This comic is so iconic that the MCU tried to adapt it, but eventually wrote around it. Instead of alcoholism and anger issues, Tony Stark’s inner demons manifested as a death wish in Iron Man 2 and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) in Iron Man 3. MCU Tony Stark hit rock bottom, but it was never as low as it did in this story.

1 Truth: Red, White, and Black – Captain America Tackles America’s Darkest Past

Truth Red Final black and white

Like almost all popular World War II pieces of fiction, the MCU’s Captain America does not portray American racism in wartime due to how deeply awkward it is. Truth: red, white and black take this head on with his renewed origins for Isaiah Bradley, the Black Captain America who was forgotten and / or erased by time.

Here, the US military is desperately trying to recreate the serum of the super soldier who gave birth to Captain America, using African American soldiers as disposable test subjects. Hundreds die before Bradley is the last man standing, but despite his heroic deeds during the war, the government still treats him like a criminal. This critically acclaimed graphic novel took no hit with its dark historical and parallel analyzes.

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