During the 80’s Frank Miller was hired to continue the title and did so in a similar vein to previous writer Roger McKenzie. Resuming the drastic metamorphosis the previous writer had begun, Miller took the step of essentially ignoring all of Daredevil’s continuity prior to his run on the series; on the occasions where older villains and supporting cast were used, their characterizations and history with Daredevil were reworked or overwritten. Most prominently, dedicated and loving father Jack Murdock was reimagined as a drunkard who physically abused his son Matt, entirely revising Daredevil’s reasons for becoming a lawyer. Spider-Man villain Kingpin was introduced as Daredevil’s new nemesis, displacing most of his large rogues gallery. Daredevil himself was gradually developed into an antihero. In issue #181 (April 1982), he attempts to murder one of his arch-enemies by throwing him off a tall building; when the villain survives as a quadriplegic, he breaks into his hospital room and tries to scare him to death by playing a two-man variation on Russian roulette with a secretly unloaded gun. Comics historian Les Daniels noted that “Almost immediately, [Miller] began to attract attention with his terse tales of urban crime.” Miller’s revamping of the title was controversial among fans, but it clicked with new readers, and sales began soaring, the comic returning to monthly status just three issues after Miller came on as writer.
In October 2015 Marvel released another five-part series of stories under the What If? banner, this time focused on the 2013 event Infinity which saw the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Inhumans and other groups dealing with a combined threat of a universal incursion by the race the Builders and an attack on Earth by Thanos and his forces. Each issue is a one-shot, and the first four explore a different outcome to the event. The fifth, What If? Infinity: Dark Reign, presents a world in which Norman Osborn and the Dark Avengers had acquired the Infinity Gauntlet during the Dark Reign event.
In February 2005, Marvel published a further six issues of What If. They were all in the “one-shot” format. The editor, Justin Gabrie, attributed the publication of Volume 3 to a suggestion from C. B. Cebulski. Uatu the Watcher narrates some issues and there is a cameo by Brian Michael Bendis as narrator (see “The narrator” above). In Volume 3, there is a “nod” to a Volume 1 story, What if Uncle Ben had lived? In a conversation between a comic shop customer and an attendant, the customer asks,”What if Aunt May had died instead of Uncle Ben?” Leading to another alternative plot. Marvel published a single parody edition called Wha… Huh?!? in August 2005.
The 1990s saw the Green Hulk return. In issue #377 (Jan. 1991), the Hulk was revamped in a storyline that saw the personalities of Banner, Grey Hulk, and Savage Hulk confront Banner’s past abuse at the hands of his father Brian and a new “Guilt Hulk” persona. Overcoming the trauma, the intelligent Banner, cunning Grey Hulk, and powerful Savage Hulk personalities merge into a new single entity possessing the traits of all three. The Hulk also joined the Pantheon, a secretive organization of superpowered individuals. His tenure with the organization brought the Hulk into conflict with a tyrannical alternate future version of himself called the Maestro in the 1993 Future Imperfect miniseries, who rules over a world where many heroes are dead.
Originally announced under the title Spider-Man Giant Size, the 1993 series was a quarterly series with double-length stories, which at the time was notable for being printed on glossy stock paper (a practice discontinued in later issues before being adopted by the entire Marvel line in the 2000s). Earlier issues played a part in Spider-Man crossovers; the first issue was the first part of Maximum Carnage and the second issue was the last part of Maximum Carnage. Issues #7-14 formed part of the Clone Saga. Later in the series, the focus shifted to stand-alone stories. Ron Lim penciled the lead story in the first 8 issues of the book. Most of the later issues were written by Christopher Golden and drawn by Joe Bennett.
As part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel branding, Silk is on a stakeout at a skating rink. Silk’s Spider-Sense goes off as a group of Goblin Nation grunts rob a bank. Monologuing to herself, Silk reveals she’d been tailing the Goblin Nation for two weeks in order to avenge her brother who was infused with Goblin Formula and now has no memory of what happened to their parents. Extending claws, Silk slashes the Goblin Nation grunts’ getaway car and webs them up, taking their loot, a safety deposit box containing Parker Industries tech. Thinking to herself that she has no idea what’s in the safety deposit box just that her boss wants it, Silk returns to her now-employer Black Cat, who she is working with despite their earlier antagonism, who scolds her for showing mercy and tells her that being good is bad for business.
In 2008, writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven explored a possible future for Wolverine in an eight-issue story arc entitled “Old Man Logan” that debuted with Wolverine #66. Millar, the writer for the story, said, “It’s The Dark Knight Returns for Wolverine, essentially. The big, wide, show-stopping series that plays around with the most popular Marvel character of the last forty years, a dystopian vision of the Marvel Universe and a unique look at their futures. The heroes have gone, the villains have won and we’re two generations away from the Marvel we know.
During his two years on the title, Roger Stern augmented the backgrounds of long-established Spider-Man villains, and with Romita Jr. created the mysterious supervillain the Hobgoblin in #238-239 (March–April 1983) Fans engaged with the mystery of the Hobgoblin’s secret identity, which continued throughout #244-245 and 249-251 (Sept.-Oct. 1983 and Feb.-April 1984). One lasting change was the reintroduction of Mary Jane Watson as a more serious, mature woman who becomes Peter’s confidante after she reveals that she knows his secret identity. Stern wrote “The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man” in The Amazing Spider-Man #248 (January 1984), a story which ranks among his most popular.
David Michelinie took over as writer in #290 (July 1987) that led to the marriage of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21. The “Kraven’s Last Hunt” storyline by writer J.M. DeMatteis and artists Mike Zeck and Bob McLeod crossed over into The Amazing Spider-Man #293 and 294. Issue #298 (March 1988) was the first Spider-Man comic to be drawn by future industry star Todd McFarlane, the first regular artist on The Amazing Spider-Man since Frenz’s departure. McFarlane revolutionized Spider-Man’s look. His depiction – large-eyed, with wiry, contorted limbs, and messy, knotted, convoluted webbing – influenced the way virtually all subsequent artists would draw the character. McFarlane’s other significant contribution to the Spider-Man canon was the design for what would become one of Spider-Man’s most wildly popular antagonists, the supervillain Venom. Issue #299 (April 1988) featured Venom’s first appearance (a last-page cameo) before his first full appearance in #300 (May 1988). The latter issue featured Spider-Man reverting to his original red-and-blue costume.
Other notable issues of the Michelinie-McFarlane era include #312 (Feb. 1989), featuring the Green Goblin vs. the Hobgoblin; and #315-317 (May–July 1989), with the return of Venom. In July 2012, Todd McFarlane’s original cover art for The Amazing Spider-Man #328 sold for a bid of $657,250, making it the most expensive American comic book art ever sold at auction.
Shortly after Blood and Metal, Cable was given his own ongoing series titled Cable. Issue #6 (Dec. 1993) confirmed the character to be Nathan Christopher Summers, the son of Cyclops (Scott Summers) and Madelyne Pryor (Jean Grey‘s clone) who had been taken to the future in X-Factor #68 (July 1991), introduced by writer Chris Claremont, and appeared in Uncanny X-Men #201 (Jan. 1986). The series ran for 107 issues from May 1993 until September 2002 before being relaunched as Soldier X, which lasted 12 more issues until Aug. 2003.