While Marvel Comics is full of epic moments, there are some really cringe ones too. Retcons in Marvel comics, for the most part, have been understandable. But sometimes they totally aren’t.
Tony Stark’s Adopted
It was not so much as why they did it as to how the retcon happened. Howard and Maria Stark couldn’t have a child so Howard contacted an alien to make a baby for them. That baby turned out to be an evil genius and went to the future. So Howard adopted Tony Stark. This added nothing to Stark’s character development in the slightest.
Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver’s True Father Isn’t Magneto
Pietro and Wanda were long thought to be the children of Magneto. But that origin story was later revised. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were actually mutates, not mutants, created by the High Evolutionary. This retcon still doesn’t sit well with the fans.
Apocalypse’s Changed Origin Story
Apocalypse was revealed to have a family, living in an ancient mutant continent called Okkara. After the continent split into Krakoa and Arrako, the mutants of the latter landmass went to fight the demons of Amenth. For all these years, Apocalypse had been trying to cultivate an army fit enough to fight the second coming of Amenth’s demons. His altruistic origins seemed way out of character.
Captain America’s Hail Hydra
Many would call Secret Empire a rather unconventional story. Others call it a downright abomination. The story arc gave us the most controversial Marvel moment of all time. Captain America, thanks to the Cosmic Cube, is rewritten as a Hydra Sleeper agent working for the very thing he had been fighting all these years. Then it was revealed the original Cap existed within the Cube all along. What was the point of everything then?
Captain Marvel’s Kree Heritage Was A Shocker
Carol was originally said to have gotten his powers while working for the original Captain Marvel. But to make her origin story not tied to a male character, they retconned that tale, making her part Kree. This not only made her origin story less unique but also rather uninteresting.
Gwen Stacy’s Twins
Marvel revealed later that Gwen Stacy was never victim of the Green Goblin. She was complicit. Stacy had an affair with Osborn and mothered his twins. Longtime Gwen Stacy fans cried foul but the damage was done.
Spider-Man Never Married Mary Jane In One More Day
After aunt may is lethally injured, Peter Parker makes a deal with Mephisto. In return for Mephisto saving Aunt may’s life, everyone would forget Peter is Spider-Man and Mary Jane and Peter would remain unmarried. Definitely one of the most controversial Marvel retcons.
The Entire Clone Saga
The Clone Saga is so infamously convoluted out of all Marvel Comics retcons that even Marvel writers have tried distancing itself from it. basically it is a retcon within a retcon. The year long arc first revealed a Spider-Man clone called Ben Reilly had survived. Then the original Spider-Man was outed as a clone. The entire thing soon imploded and fans were left scratching their heads.
Moira MacTaggert Is A Mutant
A crucial supporting character in the X-Men comics, Moira MacTaggert was at long last revealed to be a mutant. In The House of X story arc, MacTaggert reveals her powers allow her to return back to an exact point in time the moment she dies. This allowed her to relive multiple timelines and she had been working with Xavier and Magneto to create a better future for the human race.
Dark Phoenix Retcon Absolved Jean Grey Of All Her Heinous Crimes
Jean Grey‘s path to villainy was a great plot point in the Dark Phoenix saga. As host to the Phoenix Force, Jean grey kills millions of people and almost destroys many more before she is killed. Marvel later tried bringing Jean back because sales were down. The retcon made it look like Jean was never the Dark Phoenix to begin with, being placed in suspended animation while the Phoenix took her form to ‘experience human life’.