Why 2022 is the year every Marvel hero hits rock bottom

Iron Man is bankrupt, Black Panther is exiled, Doctor Strange is dead, and everyone hates Spider-Man. That's why Marvel's heroes lost everything in 2022.

In 2022, Iron Man loses his fortune, Black Panther loses his status as king of Wakanda, Spider-Man loses all his friends - and that's just the tip of the iceberg of the unending suffering of Marvel's best and most powerful superheroes. Just about every major superhero has lived through a deep catastrophe, suffered a loss or fought a new villain that pushed them to their absolute limits. Here's why every Marvel hero hit rock bottom in 2022 -- and how things will change in 2023. ^Marvel characters overcoming significant odds is nothing new; creating characters with extraordinary abilities alongside ordinary character flaws and difficulties was the norm when the company set out to create superhero stories. The Fantastic Four of the 1960s stand out for their relationship problems, while Spider-Man struggles with paying his rent despite his super strength and other superhuman abilities. Even so, for every setback these characters go through, they gain a new understanding, or at least save the world along the way--but in 2022, things have changed.

The end of Christopher Cantwell's Operation Iron Man involved Tony Stark buying all the superweapons from a major arms dealing company - going bankrupt in the process. Invincible Iron Man #1 begins with Tony's house exploding and ends with him drinking again after years of sobriety. Zeb Wells' Spider-Man journey begins with Peter estranged from his friends, superhero allies, and even Aunt May and Mary Jane; even before the story begins, all the progress he's made during his Nick Spencer run seems It's all come to naught. Black Panther was cast out of the Avengers and his own country, no longer a king but just a private citizen. The only major hero not consistently hitting rock bottom in 2022 is Doctor Strange - but only because he's dead.

Perhaps the Marvel editorial wanted each character to experience loss and go through their own personal melting pot. Maybe they want superheroes to strip out all familiar elements before fighting evil (similar to Thor: Twilight in the MCU). But perhaps the real culprit for superhero rock bottom in 2022 is 2022 itself: After three years of a global pandemic, civil unrest, and stark economic inequality, Marvel writers have been hit by despair-inducing fears as much as readers. influence on world affairs. No wonder these superheroes suddenly find themselves alone, with no money and nowhere to go life, or friends and family.

Iron Man - And Everyone Else - Hit Rock Bottom In 2022

It's important for characters to fight, but it's also important for characters to emerge from said struggles -- victorious or otherwise. Placing superheroes in an eternal loop of self-destruction (Iron Man) or paralysis by guilt (Spider-Man) can alienate audiences, even fans who have followed these characters for decades. Fortunately, there's a silver lining to the suffering of these Marvel Comics heroes in 2022: After these stories, there's nothing to do but go up.

Next page: Doctor Strange officially dies four times in 2022

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