Top 10 Marvel Arcs from 2000-2010 (Inspired by Morpheus_'s list)

Rules:

An "Arc" must be at least 3 issues long.

No Order.

If an entire Series is exemplary, I'll nominate the best Arcs of that Series, rather than just writing down the Series as a whole.

I haven't read Silver Surfer Reqiuem yet, so it wont be appearing on this list, purely due to ignorance on my part.

List items

  • Grant Morrison and Phil Jiminez.

    Arguably the most controversial arc of Morrison's entire New X-Men run, Planet X saw Xorn (Magneto) attempt to commit genocide of the human race. The reason this arc works so well though is that it is completely uncompromising. At no point do we, as the reader, feel as though Morrison has altered his vision in order to appeal to the masses. This is the X-Men at their most brutally pure. It is visceral, it is relentless and it is a personal favourite. Morrison's deconstruction of the X-Men is at its zenith during this arc, but that's not the best part. After all, what could beat a formerly unpowered Cyclops suffering Existential angst blasting Xorneto in the face with an optic blast whilst simultaneously accepting himself? Answer; nothing.

  • Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.

    I'm not a big Garth Ennis fan, but with this series, he managed to win me over at least a little bit. The best thing about this series is how much enjoyment Ennis and Dillion have with such a horrendously unpleasant concept. "Let's have a mortified psychopath systematically eliminate the criminal community, with dead eyes and a smile in his heart". And from then on, the reader is treated to some amazingly cartoonish violence, fantastic humour and some deeply disturbing imagery. And yet, the entire time, Frank Castle comes off as nothing less than an unrelenting force of nature. This is pure, uncorrupted Punisher.

  • Keith Giffen and Andrea Di Vito.

    The Cosmic Event that changed them all. Marvel had a terrific idea in 2006, take all the space characters that no one cared about, and put them in the middle of the biggest event the galaxy has ever known. Whilst the Marvel Heroes were fighting amongst themselves about the merits of wearing a mask; Nova, the Silver Surfer, Phylla-Vell, Drax, Star-Lord and others were battling to save the Universe itself. This isn't the most literary and cerebral of series, but it's arguably the most enjoyable.

  • Ed Brubaker and Pablo Raimandi.

    Brubaker is not a fantastic writer (only Immortal Iron Fist springs to mind as a great comic written by him) and with this story; he takes on the nigh-impossible task of giving Marvel's greatest villain a suitable origin. And what does he do? He not only succeeds in giving Doom a great origin, but he writes one of the greatest Origin stories in the history of comics. There is perhaps one problem with Books of Doom; you love Doom more than you should. Yes, everyone loves Doom, but when a book is so well written that you begin to cheer for the villain; well you might run into some issues down the road. While people were accusing Reed Richards of being a horrible person and husband, we got a story of the Machiavellian Dictator at his most awesome.

  • J. Michael Straczynski and Ron Garney.

    What do you get when you short-sightedly enrage the greatest hero in the Marvel Universe? You get Back in Black. Aunt May is shot. The reader doesn't care, naturally, but Pete does. The Kingpin had an assassin try to kill Peter, and the assassin missed. Bad move, dude. For anyone who's ever read Spider-Man, watching Pete get hammered down by life and constantly berated for being a hero by his friends and family, seeing a truly angry Peter Parker unleashed was a sight to behold. If the scene where Peter says "I'm not here to kill you, Fisk... I am" doesn't give you a chill down your spine, you're probably an invertebrate.

  • Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch

    Mark Millar's best Marvel work reinvents the Avengers and despite ruining Hank Pym (mega-sigh), the quality of this book cannot be denied. Based in "reality", the Ultimates gave us an Avengers team who were a little more messed up that their 616 counterparts, see Pietro and Wanda for some creepy proof. The opening arc is easily eclipsed by the second Chitauri arc, with the Hulk coming out as the most badass Ultimate imaginable. It couldn't get any better, could it?

  • Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch.

    Yes, yes it could, and it did. Whilst the opening arc of this series is, again, vastly inferior to the second arc, it's still a decent read. Then the Liberators show up, and we are treated to one of the most awesome battles in Marvel History, exemplified with an 8-page foldout. And if none of that makes you think of the epicness that was Ultimates 2, I have one word for you;

    Fingernails.

  • Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee.

    Love him or hate him, it cannot be denied that the Sentry's first series was excellently written. Some have dismissed it as feeling like fan-fiction, and that's OK, but even they have to acknowledge that it's the best fan-fiction ever. Even though every arc involving the character tried desperately to destroy what Jenkins and Lee had built (including Jenkins himself), the Sentry is still seen as a hero, and it's because of this series. His unassuming look, quiet dignity and noble sacrifice came together to form a being of pure heroism. And the revelation at the series' conclusion is nothing short of heartbreaking. At the end of the series, you wont be asking why Jenkins added the Sentry to the Marvel Universe, you'll be wondering how it ever got by without him.

  • Joss Whedon and John Cassaday.

    Despite the best art and the best self-contained arc in X-Men history, Gifted was not a novel premise. Truth be told, it's spectacularly unoriginal, nothing like what we'd expect from Mr Whedon. But the execution of this series was borderline perfect. Every character was written to their fullest potential, the plot moved along effortlessly and Colossus came back. Whilst Whedon's run is better enjoyed as a complete series, rather than as merely Gifted, Dangerous, Torn and Unstoppable; each one still makes for a superb read.

  • Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev.

    The arc that I selected for this list was "the Widow", but CV doesn't have an article on it, so you'll just have to live with this generic DD Volume 2 image. Now it does have an image, courtesy of X35.Bendis' run on DD was a defining take on the character, arguably bested only by Frank Miller's work. Despite Bendis' sublime writing though, not all credit can be given to him. Daredevil owes as much to the masterfully neo-gothic art of Alex Maleev. Never has Matt Murdock's world merged with an artist so seemlessly. Sure, Bendis has become a parody of himself over the last few years, but with this series, he set the standard for character-studies of Marvel characters for the next decade.