When Marvel originated they offered a more grounded alternative to DC. Instead of outlandish stories about Batman running around his made-up city in suspenders because he’s been turned into a toddler or Superman finding a new form of kryptonite that gives him a third eye (both actual stories), Marvel offered stories set in real places with heroes who battled real-world problems and their own shortcomings along with supervillains.
However, we’re still talking about a world where side-effects of radiation poisoning include a six-pack and a proclivity to wear spandex so absurdity is never far off, and Marvel have certainly had their fair share of completely bonkers stories over the decades. There have been casual chats with deities, weird mutations and horribly uncomfortable time-travel crimes. And that’s just the superhero stuff.
Coming up with new stories is hard so sometimes it’s easier to just fire up a random word generator and pick whatever comes up. Or at least, that’s the only thing that explains how these Marvel comics came to be.
A lot of them are bad, some of them have their own peculiar charm, but the important thing is that all of them are absolutely insane.
10. Ultimate Iron Man Is A Super Smurf
When Marvel's Ultimate imprint started, it promised a completely fresh spin on existing heroes and a world not too far removed from our own. Ultimate Iron Man was certainly one of those things.
In 2005, Orson Scott Card found time in-between writing sci-fi novels to create an origin story for this universe's version of Tony Stark.
The character had already appeared as part of the Ultimates (The Ultimate Universe version of the Avengers) and was established as being a billionaire alcoholic with a brain tumour, trying to put what little time he has left to good use as a hero. This is information that Card completely ignored.
His version of Iron Man was a super-genius because his entire body was made of brain tissue, which also somehow gave him superhuman healing, allowing him to regrow lost limbs and even survive getting shot in the head. His first "armour" was a special protective coating (because his skin was so sensitive that even air hurt it) that turned his skin blue and could be washed off with soap.
You would think the other Ultimates would've mentioned all of that at some point but apparently Captain America and Nick Fury were just too polite to ever bring it up.
Thankfully, the whole miniseries was later retconned into being a cartoon show within the Ultimate Universe.