Marvel comics have been published continuously since 1961’s Fantastic Four. The publication has produced countless iconic characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, X-Men, Thor and many more. Over the years, many of these characters have been rebooted, in order to stay relevant.
But there have been many makeovers that have fallen flat on their face. So today we will discuss those makeovers that turned some D-list characters into stars (and some that turned A-listers into duds.)
Star: Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
Created in 1991 by Will Murray and Steve, Squirrel Girl was a light-hearted character who stayed D-list for years until 2005’s Great Lakes Avengers. The impact she made was still very less, as compared to other major superheroes but that changed with the release of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl in 2015.
Thanks to the series by Ryan North and Erica Henderson, Squirrel Girl turned into an A-lister and even joined the likes of Avengers.
Star: Luke Cage joined the New Avengers
Luke Cage made his debut in 1972 and spent two decades as a “Hero For Hire” where he teamed up with Iron Fist. The early 2000’s explored his relationship with superpowered Jessica Jones.
His regular yellow shirt and headband got replaced by a more realistic tee and jeans combination. He even got featured in New Avengers.
Star: Thor, The “Goddess” of Thunder
Jane Foster got diagnosed with cancer in 2013’s Thor: God of Thunder #12. Thor was desperate to save her but she denied any magical treatment. Later during the “Original sin” storyline, Thor lost his ability to wield the Mjolner. The hammer was ultimately picked up by Jane Foster who proved herself worthy to the Goddess of Thunder.
She joined the Avengers while keeping her identity a secret. She eventually sacrificed herself in the battle against Mangog, allowing Thor to reclaim his mantle.
Star: Frank Miller Redefines Daredevil
When Frank Miller took over Daredevil in 1979, the series had a poor sales and Marvel was even considering shutting it. He wrote and drew the title and over the next couple of years, transformed Matt Murdock into a really popular Marvel hero.
Most of the aspects of the series we know are Miller’s contribution, like Stick, the Hand and the overall focus on Martial arts.
Star: The Immortal Iron Fist
Just like Luke Cage, Iron Fist spent most of his time as a D-list character in Marvel Comics. His series struggled until 2006’s The Immortal Iron Fist that rejuvenated interest in the character.
Written by Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker, the series narrated the story of Danny Rand and other Iron Fists. The series even won an Eisner Award in 2008.
Dud: Lee Price becomes Venom
After Eddie Brock and Flash Thompson, the Venom symbiote bonded with Army Ranger, Lee Price. In this case, the symbiote was scared of Price and tried to convince him to be a hero like Brock and Flash, but Price wanted to use the symbiote for his personal gain. This made Venom a fully fledged villain.
Price’s tenure as Venom lasted for just one year, as fans didn’t like to see Venom as a villain. Price is now known as Maniac, after he bonded with another symbiote, Mania.
Dud: Hydra Cap
In 2016’s Captain America, fans were shocked to see Steve Rogers uttering “Hail Hydra”. This began the crossover story, “Secret Empire” which saw Captain America as a sleeper agent loyal to Hydra.
Although he was mind controlled, many fans got really upset and angry at Marvel for this. Some even believed that Marvel tarnished the beloved character just to increase the sales.