Marvel’s 31 Best Monsters

Marvel is more than just superheroes, they've done their fare share of horror characters, too.

Halloween isn’t just for monsters anymore. For every Frankenstein Monster that comes to your door, there are probably sixteen Iron Men and a few Rocket Raccoons. It seems that Marvel (and DC) heroes have infringed on the monstrous monopoly of Halloween, but that’s OK, because to even things out, the Marvel Universe has its fair share of monsters dwelling under beds, behind walls, and in gothic mansions (mansions usually expertly drawn by Mike Ploog) to even things out.

Starting in the late Silver Age, the Comics Code became less restrictive (because Frederic Wertham was killed by a mummy…actually, no he wasn’t), and Marvel was able to bring in all sorts of boogeymen to share page time with the likes of Thor, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four. These new, Universal-inspired monsters joined the Kirby Kreatures like Fin Fang Foom and Googam as the Marvel Universe became a world where things that go bump in the night became as commonplace as superheroes.

Join us as we journey into the darkest realms of the Marvel Universe and celebrate the greatest monstrous creations that ever sprang from the nightmares of the House of Ideas.

Marvel Monsters - The Glob

31. The Glob

Listen, I’m not going to exclude a character named the Glob from this list, am I? The Glob was once Joe Timms, a petty criminal, who like every other comic book swamp character ever, was transformed into a muck encrusted monstrosity by a mysterious bog. Glob fought the Hulk a few times before Timms was recreated into the being known as the Golden Brain and used as a weapon by the villain Yagzan and the crazed Cult of Entropists (and holy shit, did I just get an almost sexual rush from typing that sentence).

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As the Golden Brain, Glob was defeated by Man-Thing because of course he was.

The strange bit of business is that there were three other Globs in Marvel history. There was the monstrous Glob from Strange Tales, a creature that was originally known as the Glop from Journey into Mystery, and the young X-Man known as Glob Herman. 

Marvel Monsters - Scarecrow

30. Scarecrow

There have been many comic book characters that have used the Scarecrow moniker, but this obscure Bronze Age Marvel creation might be the most twisted. This isn’t the iconic Jonathan Crane of DC lore or the lesser known Marvel villain that fought Iron Man and Ghost Rider many times. No, this Scarecrow is a demonic figure that dwells within a painting and, at times, walks the world of man.

Sometimes known as the Straw Man to avoid confusion with the Iron Man rogue, this Scarecrow only had three Bronze Age appearance but he was bursting at the seams with potential (and with hellspun demonic straw). The Scarecrow first appeared in Dead of Night, where the hapless Jess Duncan purchased the painting and began a story of Lovecraftian cults and cackling madness. But it was a story that was never quite finished as the tale of the Scarecrow has been relegated to the dusty bargain bin memories of the ’70s.

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But check out that Dead of Night cover, masterfully crafted by Gil Kane and Berni Wrightson and tell me that this Marvel monster couldn’t have been one of the greats. With his cackling laughter, his smile that reeks of insanity, and his gangly body, this Scarecrow was almost part of Marvel’s monstrous greats. And that’s no straw man argument.

Marvel Monsters - Swarm

29. Swarm

Swarm is a very obscure villain who made his debut in the pages of The Champions of all places. So why is he on our list? Because he’s a freakin’ Nazi Scientist MADE OF EVIL BEES! That’s absolutely terrifying!

Fritz von Meyer was once one of Hitler’s leading scientists who escaped to South America after the War and grew fascinated with the idea of hive intelligence. He tried to enslave a queen bee or something nutty and was devoured by her swarm. He was such an evil piece of schnitzel that his consciousness dominated the bees and he became Swarm.

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Swarm’s most notable moment was on the Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoon of the 1980s. The cartoon changed Swarm into an alien because I guess Nazi bees wouldn’t go over well on Saturday morning after Foofur.

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So yeah, genocidal Nazi bee man=monster.

Marvel Monsters - Manphibian

28. Manphibian

In the ’70s, Marvel had great success with its Universal Monsters parallels. Dracula was one of its top sellers and gained a large cult following, while Frankenstein’s Monster and Werewolf by Night each gained a level of success. Marvel had a Living Mummy so why not a Creature From the Black Lagoon knockoff?

Enter the Manphibian. Gosh, is that fun to say. Manphibian, Manphibian, Manphibian!

Anyway, old Gill Face here was kind of a tragic character. In his one and only Bronze Age tale, it was revealed that Manphibian was an alien creature that pursued a member of its own race across the galaxy after the rival creature murdered the Manphibian’s mate. The murderous swamp beast goes on a rampage until the heroic Manphibian stops it, but of course, the rest of the world now views the Manphibian as a soggy threat. Thus Manphibian was set up as Marvel’s leading Creature knockoff but it was not to be as Manny never popped up again.

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Until recently that is, because modern day Marvel creators know that it is beyond awesome that something called a Manphibian shares the same world as Spider-Man and Wolverine. Manphibian has popped up recently in the pages of Ghost Rider, Punisher, and Daredevil and even played a major role in Marvel’s recent Howling Commandos title thus proving that you just can’t keep a good alien version of a Creature From the Black Lagoon rip off down. MANPHIBIAN!

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Marvel Monsters - It, the Living Colossus

27. It, the Living Colossus

Marvel has a character named Colossus, Stephen King created a character named It, put them together and you get a child eating Russian clown with steel hard skin! Sadly, that’s not the It, the Living Colossus we are talking about although this It is still kind of cool.

It, the Living Colossus was created by Jack Kirby right before the dawning of the heroic Marvel age in pages of Tales of Suspense and was revived by Tony Isabella and artist Dick Ayers in the pages of Astonishing Tales #21 (1973).

In the Kirby tales, It was one of those rare Kirby Kreatures that appeared twice in the pre-Marvel Age monster mags. This It was a 100 foot tale Golem like stature crafted as part of an anti-Communist protest. As these things go, the stature was animated by an alien intelligence and trashed Moscow.

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Later, somehow, the statue found itself in the U.S. and once again was possessed and went on a rampage until a Hollywood effects genius named Bob O’Bryan. O’Bryan was the protagonist of the Isabella/Ayers Bronze Age tales. This time, it was revealed O’Bryan lost the use of is legs but was able to animate the lumbering piece of anti-socialist propaganda. By the way, the original It stories were inked by Ayers who got to revisit his co-creation over a decade later, how cool is that?

It has made recent appearances in the pages of Deadpool Team-Up and remains one of the most famed pronouns in Marvel monster lore.

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Marvel Monsters - Golem

26. Golem

While we’re on the subject of giant, lumbering stone colossuses, colossi? colossusseses? We have Marvel’s very own Golem.

There have actually been a number of Golems in the Marvel Universe but our stone monstrosity in question first appeared in Strange Tales and was created by two absolute legends, Len Wein and John Buscema. So this Golem of ours may not have had a huge historical impact on the MU but it was created by the same bard that created Wolverine, so it has that going for it. Actually, this Golem was infused with compelling Jewish lore and really captured the ancient feel of the Hebrew legend.

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The Golem is pretty much the exact character you expect it to be with killer Buscema artwork. It didn’t have many appearances but the Golem did pop up in Marvel Two in One because if a Bronze Age monster was worth anything, it probably showed up in Marvel Two in One at some point.

Marvel Monsters - Hannibal King

25. Hannibal King

Long before Angel opened his detective agency in the Whedonverse, Hannibal King was on the case. Hannibal King was a supporting character in Marvel’s immortal Tomb of Dracula series. He was a skilled private detective and also happened to be cursed with vampirism. It can be argued that King was Marvel’s first vampire hero and used his undead gifts in an attempt to take down Dracula himself.

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Later, when Doctor Strange rid the world of vampirism by destroying all bloodsuckers (they got better), Hannibal King was spared. Even later, the dark curse returned and King joined the Nightstalkers, a team of monster hunters that also included Blade. Film wise, Hannibal King is notable for being played by Ryan Reynolds, before he found his one true calling as Wade Wilson in Deadpool.

Marvel Monsters - Lilith, Dracula’s Daughter

24. Lilith, Dracula’s Daughter

Universal introduced the concept of a female scion of Dracula with the wonderfully atmospheric and surprisingly LGBT friendly 1936 monsterfest Dracula’s Daughter. Never one to let a monstrously good idea pass it by, Marvel introduced its own version of Drac’s little girl in the pages of the ponderously named Giant-Size Chillers #1.

Lilith was Dracula’s first child, the product of an arranged marriage between Dracula and his first wife Zofia. After the death of Dracula’s father, the future Lord of the Undead cast his infant daughter and Zofia from their homeland. Zofia was raised by gypsies because of course she was.

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One night, Dracula, now undead and thirsty, attacked the gypsies, murdering Zofia’s son. Swearing revenge, Zofia transformed Lilith into a very different kind of vampire, one not weakened by holy symbols. Marvel even tried to put a modern day twist by having the spirit of Lilith possess a woman in the contemporary age, but sadly, Lilith never quite caught on in a solo feature. Lilith still makes scantily clad appearances at times in the modern Marvel Universe and if Marvel ever decides to put a horror anthology series on TV, here’s your Elvira-like host. A fan can dream, no?

Marvel Monsters - Godzilla, King of Monsters

23. Godzilla, King of Monsters

Yeah, it does too count! I’ll slap you.

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Godzilla was once a legit part of the Marvel Universe. Godzilla starred in his own comic for about two years. During the run of the title, written by the all-star team of Doug Moench and Herb Trimpe, the King of the Monsters met and fought SHIELD, the Avengers, the Champions, Fantastic Four, and even fought Devil Dinosaur. It was as awesome as it sounds.

On any other monster list, Godzilla would be towards the top, but at Marvel, Godzilla only sparked very briefly. But listen, there was an arc where Godzilla was shrunken down by Pym Particles and fought a sewer rat. So there.

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Actually, some characters introduced in the pages of Godzilla went on to become (not big at all) parts of the Marvel Universe. Such as the only remembered by Roy Thomas Doctor Demonicus. Anyway, Godzilla stomped around the Marvel Universe for a few years and it was awesome.

Marvel Monsters - Frankencastle

22. Frankencastle

Remember that time the Punisher died and was resurrected as the Mary Shelley inspired Frankencastle? Yeah, that was a thing and it was written by Rick Remender and it was way cooler than it had any right to be. It was hard hittin’, blood lettin’, limb flyin’, ass-kickin’ monster fun and if you don’t take it too seriously, it was one of the most daringly different Marvel stories ever.

It also pissed off hardcore Punisher fans which is probably not the best group to anger.

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The Frankencastle arc also featured just about every great Marvel monster on this list, so if these buggers are giving you a hankerin’ for some true monster madness, give Frankencastle a whirl. I was hoping that it would start a whole plethora of Punisher/monster amalgamations. DracuCastle, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Pun, the Punisher from the Black Lagoon…

Marvel Monsters - Man-Wolf

21. Man-Wolf

Any fictional universe that has not one, but two great werewolves is okay in our book. Man-Wolf was once John Jameson, son of J. Jonah Jameson, cranky publisher extraordinaire.

John Jameson isn’t just your everyday werewolf, he’s a cosmic werewolf! Marvel actually pulled off some batshit insane sci-fi adventures with Man-Wolf in the pages of Creatures on the Loose. In addition, Man-Wolf was also right at home in straight up superhero tales as he took on Spider-Man and or in gothic driven Bronze Age awesomeness in the pages of one of the million Marvel creature features.

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As one does, Jameson was turned into Man-Wolf after he got a lunar gem lodged into his throat. He still pops up every now and then because space werewolves are never not cool.

Marvel Monsters - Satana

20. Satana

The devil’s daughter herself, Satana, burst open the Marvel black and white scene in the early seventies and was a nice tribute to cleavage laden, Technicolor Hammer Horror of the era. Satana is a succubus who seduced sinners and reduced their souls into butterflies, which she then kept in a little box and at times devours.

Some of the finest artists of the Bronze Age worked on Satana’s early adventures starting with Roy Thomas and John Romita Sr. and moving on to Chris Claremont and Estaban Moroto. Her adventures were clearly cut for the same cloth as the Vampirella/Harris Comics stable of fright characters but they were also adult oriented, sexy, and atmospheric.

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Recently, Satana played a role as a member of the Thunderbolts in one of the coolest runs of that always underrated Marvel book. So here’s to Satana, the daughter of Satan, one of Marvel’s most underused and frightful bad girls and possibly the most unlikely character that Disney ever owned.

Marvel Zombie Simon Garth

19. Simon Garth, The Zombie

The first Marvel Zombie, Simon Garth, proved his immortality by surviving the pre-Marvel Age. Garth first appeared in the horror title Menace in 1953 but was shunted into the Marvel Universe proper with Tales of the Zombie #1 in 1973 (an awesome black and white mag that I have a complete collection of. Ladies, the line forms to the right).

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Garth isn’t your typical zombie. He retains a vestige of intelligence and morality which is somehow intensely disturbing. Imagine, rotting from within, but being completely aware of your desiccated state. Garth is one of those old school voodoo zombies and usually tried to do the right thing despite the thing that he is a walking maggot farm spit up from the pits of Hell.

Marvel Monsters - The Living Mummy

18. The Living Mummy

As we said, Marvel had great success riffing on the classic Universal Monsters pantheon, so of course the House of Ideas had its own mummy! Marvel went a little left of center with its Mummy as it didn’t look to ancient Egypt for its shambling mound of bandages, it looked to ancient Africa and introduced N’Kantu, chief of the Northern African tribe the Swarili.

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Through the Living Mummy, some great creators like the late Steve Gerber were able to explore some Ancient African mythology and add some much needed diversity to the world of monster comics. The Living Mummy might not have lasted long as a feature, but N’Kantu starred in some truly great atmospheric comics in the pages of Supernatural Thrillers.

Marvel Monsters - Sauron

17. Sauron

Now, get a load of this prehistoric man terror. Sauron is not only a speaking, bipedal, pterodactyl, he also has the ability to drain the life energy from his victim. So essentially, he is a weredinosaur vampire and you bet your Creature From the Black Lagoon pajamas a weredinosaur vampire is going to make this list. Sauron makes his base of operations in the Savage Land and has gone head to beak with the X-Men many times. But for real, HEY DISNEY, YOU HAVE THE RIGHTS TO A WEREDACTYL, WHY AREN’T YOU USING THEM?

Marvel Monsters - Groot

16. Groot

Groot was once an almost forgotten Kirby Kreature of the pre-Marvel Age until fans became hooked on a feeling and fell in love with this space Ent in Guardians of the Galaxy. Groot makes our list because in his first appearance, Groot was one evil, monstrous tree. He stomped around, tried to conquer Earth and did all the things a good evil monster should. Groot’s monstrous roots (HA!) make him worthy of this list and the fact that he transcended complete monster obscurity and became one of Marvel’s most popular characters makes this beastly tree one unlikely monster hero.

Marvel Monsters - Mr. Hyde

15. Mr. Hyde

Sometimes portrayed as a terrifying brutish monster and sometimes portrayed as a run of the mill super villain, Mr. Hyde is one of the oldest threats in the Marvel Universe. Named after the classic creature feature, the literary Mr. Hyde, Zabo created a formula that gifts him with tremendous strength and savagery. Hyde originally teamed with Cobra to make life difficult for Thor and Daredevil, but soon, the duo broke up and Hyde’s savagery really came out. In the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #231-232, Hyde sought revenge on the Cobra and his true brutality and deviousness was revealed.

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Since then, Hyde has been portrayed as a monstrous force worthy of his classic monster namesake. Of course, in recent years, a more watered down version of Mr. Hyde played a prominent role on TV’s Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD as the father of Daisy Johnson aka Skye. TV’s Mr. Hyde was tragic and nuanced but the comic book Mr. Hyde remains a monstrous threat that has created many horrors for most of Marvel’s mainstays.

Marvel Monsters - The Morlocks

14. The Morlocks

The Morlocks might seem like just another faction of mutants, but in the X-verse, homo superior just doesn’t come more Halloweeny than this crew of sewer dwelling monstrosities. The Morlocks long represented the more horrific side of the X-verse and there is just something about a group of outcast mutants living in the muck under our feet that makes these squad of ghoulishly creepy mutants worthy of our list.

Marvel Monsters - Mephisto

13. Mephisto

You can’t very well have a list of the most nefarious Marvel monsters without listing the devil, hisownself. Not really the Biblical devil, Mephisto is a netherworldly tempter, a soul broker, and a liar who pretty much serves the same exact purpose as the Devil but he won’t get Marvel in trouble with Christian conservatives. Mephisto first battled the Silver Surfer in the Silver Age (HEY!) and has bedeviled (hiYO) just about every Marvel hero.

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He recently pissed off fandom by cutting a Faustian deal with Peter Parker and erasing Spidey’s marriage. Mephisto was a key figure in The Infinity Gauntlet, constantly whispering Iago like in Thanos’ ear and is the very symbol of corruption in the Marvel Universe.

Plus, he is a devil in a cape and that is always awesome.

Marvel Monsters - Son of Satan

12. Helstrom, Son of Satan

Son of Satan is a Marvel character who may not appear to be a monster (other than the big, honking Satan pentagram branded on his chest), but Damon Hellstrom here is the son of the Devil, and if that ain’t monstrous we don’t know what is.

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Son of Satan appeared in the pages of Marvel Spotlight before being spun into his own magazine. After the comic that had the balls to call itself Son of Satan in the mid-70s was unsurprisingly cancelled, Hellstrom became a member of the Defenders where he had his greatest success as a character. He’s even getting his own TV series on Hulu soon enough.

Marvel Monsters - Marvel Zombies

11. Marvel Zombies

It’s the entire Marvel pantheon of characters- as flesh eating zombies! When Mark Millar and Greg Land first introduced the Marvel Zombies in the pages of the Ultimate Fantastic Four, no one could imagine the splash these shambling, costumed creatures would make.

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In a bit of pure marketing genius, Marvel spun the Zombies into their own book. All of a sudden, you had zombie version of Spider-Man, the Hulk, Captain America, and the rest written by Robert Kirkman. Yeah, that Robert Kirkman, the very same bearded dude that created a little thing called The Walking Dead. Marvel Zombies had more mayhem per panel than most mainstream comics do in an entire year’s run. So if you ever wanted to experience the horror of a zombie Peter Parker eating Aunt May, this is your jam.

Marvel Monsters - Morbius, the Living Vampire

10. Morbius, the Living Vampire

In the last days of the Silver Age, the Comic Code was still in full effect. You see, the Code strictly forbade the use of undead characters in comic book stories so Marvel (or any company) couldn’t use vampires. But how about a Living Vampire?

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Dr. Michael Morbius became a human loophole when he used bat blood to try and cure himself of a deadly blood disease. Morbius was transformed by this forbidden science into a living vampire and became a longtime ally and foe of Spider-Man. Morbius may have started out as a way Marvel could scratch its monstrous itch but the not so good doctor became the first true horror character of the Marvel Age and remains a Marvel staple.

He’ll be played by Jared Leto in an upcoming Morbius movie, too.

Marvel Monsters - The Lizard

9. The Lizard

Other than that gamma fueled green engine of destruction that we will get to ina bit, The Lizard is Marvel’s greatest Jekyll and Hyde like creations. Originally scientist and family man Curt Connors, the Lizard tried to help humanity by finding a way to regenerate lost limbs. Connors himself was an amputee and he really, really just wanted to help people. That’s when things went very wrong as Connors’ formula transformed him into a bipedal, sentient lizard Hitler.

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Now, Connors was not only feral and cunning, he could control any cold blooded creature and swore to dedicate himself to destroying all mammals. Lizard has long been Spidey’s most savage foe and would have been right at home in any Saturday matinee Creature Feature.

Marvel Monsters - Frankenstein’s Monster

8. Frankenstein’s Monster

Something about the fact that a Boris Karloff looking, lumbering amalgamation of corpses is shambling around the MU fills me with comfort. The Marvel version of Frankenstein is pretty much a mashup up of Mary Shelley’s literary monster and the Universal classic creature feature. Frankenstein’s book ran for just a few years but the Mike Ploog artwork in the first bunch of issues is a sight to behold, and the manner in which the Bronze Age creators stuffed Frankie into the Marvel Universe proper was truly artful schlock.

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Over the years, ol’ zipper neck here met the X-Men, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and many more Marvel mainstays and is still out there somewhere cursing the name of his creator. It’s alive, indeed.

Marvel Monsters - Man-Thing

7. Man-Thing

Most of Marvel’s greatest creatures of the Bronze Age were derivative of the Universal Monster cycle of horror, but not Man-Thing. No, this classic Swamp Creature came from the strange tradition of comic book swamp beasts, the same tradition that spawned DC’ Swamp Thing.

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After the brilliant scientist Ted Sallis was murdered and bathed in mystic swamp water and enhanced chemicals, he was transformed into the Man-Thing, a mindless yet empathetic beast who is drawn to intense emotion. Man-Thing was always a story engine more than a fully realized character as he would plod the swamps mindlessly drawn to the anger and terror of any human that dared to visit the Florida Everglades.

Man-Thing has a truly a horrific power as whatever knows fear, burns at the Man-Thing’s touch. And what wouldn’t know fear when gazing upon the misshapen form of ‘ol creamed spinach face here. Marvel mainstays like Howard the Duck were introduced in the pages of Man-Thing’s feature, and if you call yourself a comic book horror fan and you haven’t read writer Steve Gerber’s immortal run on the character, then you, my friend, are just going through the motions.

Marvel Monsters - Werewolf by Night

6. Werewolf by Night

Who ever thought a werewolf named Jack Russell could be so awesome? Werewolf by Night was part of the Marvel monster surge of the early ’70s and remains one of Marvel’s most heroic classic monsters.

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In fact, none other than one of Marvel greatest monster hunters Moon Knight first appeared in the pages of Werewolf by Night as Russell’s title was once an essential part of the MU. At times, Russell is cut from the classic Lon Chaney mode of lycanthrope but at others, the kind and moral Russell is fully in control of his inner beast and operates as a classic super hero (albeit a hairy one). One can usually find issues of Werewolf by Night in dollar bins and that is one hell of a bargain because Werewolf by Night was one of the strangest, most surreal titles of the ’70s.

Awooohhhh!!!!

Marvel Monsters - Ghost Rider

5. Ghost Rider

What more can be said about Johnny Blaze or any of the other demonic bikers who have called themselves Ghost Riders?

The legacy of the Ghost Rider began in the pre-Marvel Age with a ghostly Western character who haunted the prairie of the American frontier. In the modern era, stunt biker Johnny Blaze was possessed by the demon Zarathos and became the flame headed spirit of vengeance of legend.

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At times, Ghost Rider has been a threat to the Marvel Universe and at others, he has been a stalwart hero, but the fact that Blaze has the power to burn the souls of evildoers makes him a featured part of this Halloween list. Arguably Mike Ploog’s greatest character design, Ghost Rider has gone through many incarnations over the years but somehow, the curse always comes back to Blaze, a man who treated with the devil and no rides the highway to Hell as the legendary Ghost Rider.

Marvel Monsters - Blade

4. Blade

By all appearances, Blade isn’t really a monster. In fact, he might be the greatest monster hunter in comics (sorry Buffy). But consider the fact that Blade is part vampire, and you have a heroic bloodsucker worthy of making our top 5.

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Blade’s mother was turned into a vampire as she was giving birth to the future vampire hunter, making Blade a Daywalker, a man who is half mortal, half monster. Blade not only starred in many Bronze Age adventures in the pages of Marvel’s black and white mags of the ’70s, he was also a major player in Marvel’s classic Tomb of Dracula, a part of the ’90s Midnight Sons line of books, but he is also the reason we are living in the Golden Age of super hero cinema. Without Blade’s cinematic success, a relatively obscure Marvel character before the films despite his monster hunting awesomeness, there would be no Hugh Jackman and the X-Men or Marvel Studios Avengers movies.

Speaking of which, Blade will finally join the MCU as played by Mahershala Ali.

Marvel Monsters - Dracula

3. Dracula

The granddaddy of them all, Dracula, is not only a cinema legend, he is not only a legend of literature and television, he is a comic book legend as well thanks to the premiere scare comic of the ’70s, Tomb of Dracula. After writer Gerry Conway kicked off the title in grand fashion, the immortal creative team of Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan crafted arguably the greatest monster comic of all time.

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Somehow, Marvel made Dracula into a classic anti-hero that captured the atmosphere and pathos of Bram Stokers’ novel and the Universal Horror classic. Somehow, Marvel also managed to weave in some super hero craziness as well with Dracula serving as the sometime hero in a book that featured one of the richest supporting casts of any comic of the 1970s. So many characters on our list, Lilith, Blade, and Hannibal King to name but a few, got their starts in Tomb of Dracula. But it was Vlad the Impaler himself that outshined them all with his evil brand of nobility. Dracula went on to star in major arcs in books like the X-Men, Thor, Doctor Strange, and even Howard the Duck. 

Dracula, in his modern incarnation, still stalks the Marvel Universe and remains Marvel’s greatest classic monster.

Marvel Monsters - The Thing

.2. The Thing

I almost feel bad calling Ben Grimm a monster; after all, he has saved the world with his pals the Fantastic Four countless times, but those early issues of Fantastic Four were filled with classic horror nods especially when it came to the Thing. Remember when Jack Kirby would draw Grimm in an oversized coat, with a classic fedora pulled down over his eyes? More often than not, Ben would go on angry rampages, lashing out at the world after his transformation into a hideous rock beast.

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The early days of the Thing and the Fantastic Four borrow as much from the Phantom of Opera and the classic Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde as it did from Superman. So Aunt Petunia’s favorite nephew makes our list. The horror tropes surrounding the Thing really didn’t last too long, but seriously, read those early FFs, you can almost hear the classic eerie organ music when Ben steps onto the page – classic horror goodness.   

Marvel Monsters - Hulk

1. Hulk

Like the Thing, the Hulk is way more superhero than horror icon, but in the character’s year history, there were plenty of times that this titanic creature was cast in the role of classic monster. Again, particularly during the early days of the character, the Hulk had much in common with the classic monsters of old. The Hulk had an obvious connection to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, in fact, Bruce Banner has been called the Atomic Age Dr. Jekyll many times. The Jade Giant had a great deal in common with Frankenstein’s monster and even had some parallels to the classic Wolf Man.

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If you’ll remember, in the original Hulk series, when the Hulk was still a malevolently intelligent grey brute, the Hulk did not transform when he got angry, instead it was at nightfall, and if that ain’t classic monster goodness we don’t know what is. So even though Hulk has thrown down with some of Marvel’s greatest heroes and villains, underneath the skin of this Avenger beats the heart of a classic lonely and misunderstood monster that would have been right at home in a Universal classic.