Horror Unlimited: 5 Marvel Horror Comics You Should Binge-Read Through Marvel Unlimited – Bloody Disgusting

We all know how to binge watch. Weve been trained as a society and culture at this point, thanks in large part to services such as Netflix, Hulu and various other streaming platforms. What you may not know is that comic books have numerous apps that essentially enable fans to do the same thingbut with comics. Apps such as Marvel Unlimited.

Marvel Unlimited is $9.99/month and provides a wealth of Marvel comics, spanning the entire history of the juggernaut publisher, with constantly updating content that spans both past and present. Most of the new series can be found, just six months behind, while theyre still processing and converting a plethora of older work onto the app.

So I figured, while were all stuck at home right now, lets dive into some horror series and runs that you could be binge-reading in the coming weeks. While the lack of Nightstalkers content is a glaring omission, horror fans can still find a whole lot to enjoy

Uncanny X-Men #159

Not even going to lie, Im biased here. This is the first comic book I ever read and it launched my fascination with superheroes and horror at the same time. Chris Claremont teams up with the frenetic and unmatched Bill Sienkiewicz to pit Marvels Merry Mutants against The Count himself. Thats right, friggin Dracula.

When Dracula kidnaps Storm, arguably one of the teams strongest members, its up to the rest of the crew to face down an evil that is beyond anything that theyve challenged before. Up until then, the X-Men were used to battling other mutants, aliens and evil masterminds, but something so mystical was out of their realm of comfort. This conflict leads to a number of stand out moments in this solo issue, chasing the clock to ensure Ororo doesnt become Draculas most powerful bride.

Claremont is a master of purple prose which is expertly used here with the dynamic of superheroes and supernatural lending itself neatly to the gothic era writing of Draculas origin, and Sienkiewicz isnt quite as crazed as he gets with The New Mutants later on but his pencils are still pitch perfect, playing with some of the more elusive elements of the horror realm. Its hard to not fall in love with the charm of Wolverine attempting to use his claws to create a cross and being scoffed at as he is not a true believer, only to have Nightcrawler use branches to ward off the Count.

This ones a wildly fun singular issue. Dracula would show up in a big way decades down the road but for the time being Uncanny X-Men #159 was a lovely one-off.

Man-Thing (2017)

It will forever be argued that Man-Thing is a rip off of Swamp Thing, or vice versa, both being swamp-dwelling monsters made up of plants and specifically in tune with the Earth. Man-Thing is scientist Ted Sallis, a biochemist who was working on a recreation of the same Super Soldier Serum that created Captain America, but was driven off the road when on the run from A.I.M. agents. Because of mystical and chemical components in the swamp, he was instantly transformed into Man-Thing, an incredibly powerful and empathetic creature who has varying powers depending on the writer save for his one constant: the touch of fear. Anyone or anything that can fear will burn at the touch of Man-Thing.

In this 2017 mini-series, beloved Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine took a swing at the silver age oddity. The series hinged largely on the fact that Man-Thing is a protector of the Nexus of All Realities, found in his home swamp in Cyprusville. In this reimagined five issue series, Man-Thing has regained his speech and thought processes and is working as an actor in Hollywood before hes laid off and runs intoMan-Thing? It turns out someone has kidnapped the Oldfather, an ancient godlike being who keeps chaos in check on Earth. Man-Thing must enter the Nexus and face off against Queen Irena as she hopes to torture and kill Oldfather.

Stine does what he does best, keeping things quirky and off beat, a brilliant blend of horror and humor. (After setting a zombie on fire, Man-Thing tells it to not make an ash of yourself.) Its wonderfully reminiscent of old Ditko Dr. Strange comics as artist German Peralta is bouncing around realities but he also captures some of the old true feel of horror comics a la Bernie Wrightson, particularly anytime a big beastie shows up. The cherry on top is that each issue has a short story from Stine, allowing him to play around with classic ghost stories and urban legends.


Warren Ellis is a bit of a pessimist and hes known for it. Usually bounding around in the indie comic scene writing incredibly heady tales that blend superheroics, science and pulp, Ellis is also well known for crafting stories of moral quandary, nihilism and worst case scenarios. In Ruins, he flips the wonder of Alex Ross and Kurt Busieks Marvels and poses the question: what if we never entered the age of marvels?

The series starts off with the Avengers Quinjet blown up by a missile and sets forth on dissecting the differences between this world and the standard 616 (the number designate of the main Marvel Universe). As reporter Phil Sheldon starts looking for answers, the reader finds out the Captain America practiced cannibalism, Jean Grey is prostituting herself, and the Hulk existed for a moment before exploding into monstrous tumors that ripped him apart. With devastating art from Terese and Cliff Nielsen, its a harsh and desperate world, the dystopic mirror version of Rosss illustrated mastery in Marvels.

Full of satirical commentary and dark, dark humor, Ruins is reminiscent of some of our favorite bleak horror films.

Immortal Hulk (Current)

For decades, The Hulk has often run into a similar problem as Superman when it comes to ongoing series: how do you make someone nigh-invincible interesting? Writers have found creative ways to play around with the green goliath, whether its introducing a slew of other gamma radiated foes, messing around with dissociative identity disorder and his ID, or putting the smarts of Bruce Banner into the body of the Hulk. Weve seen some truly inventive ways to make him more than just a big bruiser (although thats fun too sometimes).

No one, though, has ever thought to turn The Hulks constant mental battle with himself into a strange Cronenbergian nightmare full of body horror and apocryphal references to archangels and hell. Until now. Al Ewings Immortal Hulk is truly one of the best comics on the shelves right now, and by the end of this, could be one of the best runs weve ever seen. Playing around with throwback ideas that date back to the silver age, like the Hulk only coming out at night, Ewing has done a deep dive into the lore of the Hulk, his origins, and the strange intertwining of magic and science within gamma rays.

What starts as a superhero-fueled retelling of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde quickly takes a turn into some of the goopiest, gut churning, gonzo body-melting horror Ive ever seen in any medium. Somehow, against all odds, Ewing is able to craft a mesmerizing story around Banner and the Hulk, as well as his supporting characters, and he throws in a curveball almost every issue that keeps you hooked. All the while, it still feels very much like a superhero comic. Its absolutely must-read material.

Franken-Castle (Punisher #11-21, 2010 Run)

In 2010, Marvel was turning everything on its head in a crossover event called Dark Reign, where we saw Norman Osborne become the head of S.H.I.E.L.D., building his own team of Avengers out of villains. In the midst of that, Rick Remender decided to take Frank Castle in a direction that NO ONE would have ever predicted.

After being sliced and diced to death by Daken (Wolverines long lost son), Morbius and the Legion of Monsters found Frank and pieced him back together, a la Frankenstein. Suddenly, the vigilante veteran is one of the undead and gets dragged into a mission that is full of a weird, wild roster of folks, including Morbius, Man-Thing, an army of Japanese super soldier monster hunters and a giant skull in a robot monster killing machine.

Its a ton of fun to see Frank Castle taken out of his normal element and thrown into the world of kaiju-style monster battles and supernatural mythos, no longer having to worry about bodily harm and just ramping up the damage he dishes out. Its one hell of a run, and about halfway through we switch gears to full War Journal Frank as he uses his newfound abilities and gifts to start tracking down the killers he wants to bring to justice. Its a high-octane, arcane-ridden, bullet-flying ride.

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Horror Unlimited: 5 Marvel Horror Comics You Should Binge-Read Through Marvel Unlimited - Bloody Disgusting

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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