10 Largest Mysteries Marvel Comics By no means Defined

The Marvel Comics story, a sprawling, wild, monthly improvised, 83-year-long tale, isn’t showing any sign of slowing down. Thousands of writers and artists together at the publisher have been creating this twisty world of secrets bit by bit, and the results aren’t always tied up in a neat bow.

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Comic books get canceled, characters fall out of popularity, and writers or editors leave projects all the time. This results in mysteries that intentionally (or unintentionally) get left unresolved, leaving readers to hope that another writer picks up the slack down the line. To this day, several Marvel mysteries have yet to be solved.

10 What Secretive Person Or Organization Was Behind Howard The Duck’s Assassination Attempts?

During the 1976 American presidential campaign, the irrepressible Howard the Duck finds himself a viable candidate but besieged from various fronts. He meets with wealthy tycoons but refuses to accept their quid pro quo: endorsement now for political favors later.

In battle with the leader of a group later christened the Band of the Bland, Howard learns someone specifically wants him out. In the final issue of the storyline, Howard’s attacked with weapons representing major American industries. This implies the everyday businessmen out to preserve the status quo are behind the scheme, yet the comic never explicitly confirms who’s behind it all.

9 What Happened To Peter Parker And Mary Jane’s Baby In The Main 616 Marvel Storyline?

A comic panel of the apparent death of Peter Parker and Mary Jane's baby in Marvel Comics

Mary Jane Watson-Parker announced her pregnancy to her husband, the Spectacular Spider-Man, and from 1994 to 1996, it continued in the background of Spider-Man’s adventures. Sadly, the 616 storyline culminates in MJ having a miscarriage while, in several alternate universes, Peter and MJ’s child lives.

In the main 616 Marvel Universe, a mysterious woman on the payroll of Norman Osborn, Spider-Man’s worst foe, the Green Goblin, lurks nearby, then disappears to a boat in the Mediterranean Sea with a crib onboard. In the MC2 Universe, a follow-up scene appeared in a flashback. On Earth-616, readers never see what happened next.

8 Who Are The Black Priests And Where Did They Come From?

Doctor Strange and the Black Priests from the Avengers story

Amid Jonathan Hickman’s run on The Avengers and New Avengers, many new races and cosmic entities are teased: a Black Swan warns of a host of terrifying cosmic entities. All eventually received explanations except the Black Priests.

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Hickman showed that Doctor Strange took over their ranks behind the scenes and readers got a glimpse of their operations, but not their origins. Doctor Doom theorizes the Black Priests are like antibodies against the Beyonders, an automatic “defensive reaction” for the multiverse, but this is purely because they “emerged around the same time as the Mapmakers” and that’s inconclusive.

7 Who Or What Is Annihilation And How Did It Come To Magically Inhabit A Golden Mask?

A charater becoming Annihilation while wearing its mask in Marvel Comics

Annihilation, introduced by Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu in 2019, is a mask embodying an evil being from Amenth that possessed the wearer. No origin, no face, no gender, no family, no birth, no name, nor any hint of an original physical form, exists.

Annihilation implied that it gave birth to creatures of some kind and allowed them to feed on its body and lived on through the mask, but even that read more like a riddle than a history. Whether Annihilation can be called a god, a demon, a dead spirit, or an entity of pure psychic energy is yet to be written.

6 When, How, And Why Will Kang Transform Into His Future Self And Become Immortus?

Time-Keepers turn Kang into Immortus

Three villains were introduced around the same time in the mid-1960s: Rama-Tut, Immortus, and Kang the Conqueror. Eventually, Marvel writers revealed them to be one and the same, adding the Scarlet Centurion and the young hero Iron Lad to the mix. Therefore, the time-traveler Nathaniel Richards changes his mask and name over his artificially extended life.

How, why, and especially, when these changes happen haven’t been revealed. Kang twice took the Rama-Tut name, and he knows he must, at some point, have a change of heart and become Immortus. Kang is so different from Immortus he actively dislikes him, so what changes him in old age remains a mystery.

5 Where Does The Black Winter Come From, What Is It, And How Does It End Universes?

Thor and Galactus face Black Winter in Marvel Comics

Thor introduced the abstract menace of the Black Winter in 2020, but its existence goes back far, far further. The Black Winter is powerful enough to force the God of Thunder to team-up with Galactus before revealing the planet-eater has been its herald all along.

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The Black Winter went by a previous name in the sixth incarnation of the Marvel Multiverse. When known as the Creeping Plague it destroyed Galactus’ home as shown in Thor #169 flashbacks by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, George Klein, and Artie Simek. Whether called Fimbulwinter, the Creeping Plague, or the Black Winter, its origins and nature remain murky at best.

4 Where Do Peter Parker’s Powers Really Come From: Science Or Magic?

An image of Spider-Man talking to the Spider Totem from Marvel Comics

After TV writer J. Michael Straczynski took the writing job on The Amazing Spider-Man in 2001, he immediately introduced a character named Ezekiel Sims. Ezekiel mysteriously shared the spider-powers of Peter Parker, who everyone knows was bitten by a radioactive spider.

Ezekiel asks, “Did the radiation enable the spider to give you these powers? Or was the spider trying to give you those powers before the radiation killed it?” and soon suggests Peter’s connected to spider “totemistic power.” A conclusive answer to the question of whether radioactive science or totemistic magic or a combination did the trick has never been offered.

3 What Happens To The Personification Of The Fourth Multiverse That Changes It To The Never Queen?

An image of The Ultimates Celestials having a heated discussion with each other in Marvel Comics

For a major 1960s Doctor Strange story, Steve Ditko brilliantly designed a simple outline of a cloaked man full of stars to depict Eternity, personification of everything. In Al Ewing’s absolutely mind-boggling run on The Ultimates, it’s established that Eternity is only the most recent incarnation.

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When Eternity, the eighth embodiment of all that is, meets grave danger, the previous sentient multiverses arrive from “the far shore — where nothing dies” to help. Floating text clearly states that the Fourth Multiverse somehow couldn’t be there, but “he will return.” When Ewing reveals it in Defenders: Beyond, it’s been replaced by (or transformed into) the Never Queen, the embodiment of what could be, and nobody knows why.

2 What Are The Beyonders, Where Do They Come From, And What Else Is Out In The Beyond?

An image of Tabitha accusing the Beyonder of being a mutant in Marvel Comics

In 1980, a comic by Mark Gruenwald mentions Beyonders, but these supreme beings’ nature changed with different writers. A Brian Michael Bendis story makes a case for the one readers met, the Beyonder, merely having the mutant x-gene and being exposed to the Inhumans’ Terrigen Mists, causing massive cosmic power. So whether the Beyonder really comes from outside the multiverse or not has hung in the air.

Jonathan Hickman, mastermind of many 2010s Marvel stories, gave an interview stating that he wrote the Beyonder as a “child” supreme being. His work never addressed the contradiction. At about the same time, a Beyonder’s avatar in a comic by Al Ewing said, “Many kinds. Beyonders. Examiners. Normalizers. Gardeners. Debasers.” raising further questions.

1 What Is The Multiversal Corporation Landau, Luckman, And Lake Really Up To?

Wolverine is being outfitted with some strange technology against a background of a giant green dome

Writer Chris Claremont created a shadowy company named Landau, Luckman, and Lake (and sometimes Lequare) running a safe house in a 1989 issue of Wolverine. Later, Claremont and other writers expanded and embellished until the company had secret departments within secret departments of all varieties. However, there were no leaders and no stated goal.

In an issue by Larry Hama, L, L, & L (& L) agent Zoe Culloden gives Wolverine a mysterious box without revealing its contents inside and various characters want it. Landau, Luckman, and Lake again and again showed they have access to untold resources throughout the Marvel Multiverse and it’s implied they control everything. The company makes another mystery writer will surely someday take the reins and explore.

NEXT: The 10 Longest-Running Secrets In Marvel Comics

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