10 Bleakest Universes In Marvel Comics, According To Reddit

The Multiverse Saga likely brings in countless alternate timelines from Marvel Comics into the MCU. Some far better than others. For every universe where scarcity seems in the past like in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, others prove less inviting. Fans on Reddit love to debate comics and the bleakest Marvel Comics universe provides a lot to discuss.


The darkest Marvel universes tend to explore alternate paths in history that take positive events and turn them upside down. Others offer a universe where nothing in human conception exists, like the Cancerverse. These terrifying universes likely make it to the screen in some form as the MCU pulls out all the steps in the next two phases.

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10/10 Earth-1218

An image of Earth via Pixabay.

Redditor periphery72271 suggests Earth-1218 counts as the bleakest Marvel universe as it ‘has no superheroes, no superscience, no cosmic entities, nothing.’ This lackluster quality stems from the fact that Earth-1218 is in fact ‘the real world’ as it exists in the greater Marvel multiverse.

The most powerful Marvel superheroes exist in Earth-1218 but only as they do in the real world, as comic book characters. This world officially entered the Marvel multiverse thanks to fourth-wall breaking by She-Hulk and others.

9/10 The Cancerverse

Cancerverse Doctor Strange uses his powers in Marvel Comics.

Reddit user Mddcat04 nominates the Cancerverse, where Death died. That ‘led to the Cancerverse becoming such a nightmare, dominated by immortal elder gods.’ Rather than a utopia where everyone lived forever, the Many-Angled Ones feasted on the universe’s eternal life to create a truly horrific universe.

The Many-Angled Ones function essentially like the scariest monsters from HP Lovecraft’s mythology. They also rank among the most powerful cosmic beings in the Marvel Universe.

8/10 Ruins

Phil Sheldon in Marvel Comics Ruins with the Hulk beside him.

Redditor Selacha says ‘Ruins is basically the worst-case scenario for every superhero or event in Marvel.’ This alternate universe unfolds in a 1995 limited series where instead of power and possibility, the iconic incidents in Marvel history that produced heroes and villains resulted in horrific deformities.

This unravels into absolute disaster as characters like Captain America die, leaving the world undefended against greater threats. This universe features perhaps the most disturbing Hulk variant in Marvel Comics.

7/10 Earth-90227

Wolverine sits before a Ghost Box in Marvel Comics.

Redditor ElimGarak thinks Earth-90227 rates as the bleakest universe since it’s ‘one of the universes that was invaded through the use of ghost boxes.’ In Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes, X-Men from another universe invade others thanks to Ghost Boxes. These powerful devices disrupt time so much that timelines destabilize.

This resulted in the X-Men from Earth-90227, as reality became too difficult to endure within the decaying universe. Most X-Men from this universe ultimately died before they could find peace.

6/10 Spider-Man Never Lost The Symbiote

Spider-Man in his black costume from the cover of Web of Spider-Man #1.

Reddit fan sonofaresiii believes a universe visited in Exiles comics ranks as the worst because Peter Parker never lost the alien symbiote there and became ‘an absolutely ruthless killer.’ Comic book fans know Secret Wars (1985) introduced Peter Parker to the alien symbiote, which he wore before ditching it a few years later.

In this nightmarish universe, he never escaped the symbiotes’ thrall. Parker bonded with it, transforming into a callous, mindless killer more akin to powerful Spider-Man villains Carnage or Venom.

5/10 Ultimate Universe

Mary Jane holds Spider-Man's body in Ultimate Comics.

Redditor TheDarkElCamino lobbies for Earth-1610, the Ultimate Comics universe, saying ‘it was a pretty ruthless universe.’ This definitely manifested in Ultimatum, an important Marvel Comics event storyline and a gory one. Many characters died in this story, often nightmarishly, such as when the Blob ate The Wasp.

Marvel’s most iconic characters like Wolverine, Cyclops, and Spider-Man eventually died in this universe, often in brutal ways. It did provide some optimism though when the new Spider-Man, Miles Morales, took over the mantle.

4/10 Age Of Apocalypse

Sabretooth and Wolverine rush into battle in the Age of Apocalypse comic book storyline.

Reddit user Blackpanther22five thinks the dystopian Age Of Apocalypse timeline gets ‘pretty bad, most of the heroes are dead.’ Age Of Apocalypseamong the best X-Men comic book storylines ever, featured Apocalypse killing most people in the world in his relentless bid to seek survival of the fittest.

This cruel timeline led to entire countries being wiped off the map. Countless characters died, including Apocalypse himself, ultimately falling to Magneto in a gory final battle for the ages. The universe itself ultimately ceases to exist, shattering as the storyline closed down and forcing some characters to flee into Earth-616.

3/10 Marvel Zombies

Marvel Zombies attack in Marvel Comics.

Redditor Clilly1 thinks the Marvel Zombies universe gets so bleak because ‘the heroes aren’t mindless stereotypical zombies, they have maintained memories and personality traits from when they were living.’ In this shocking reality, a virus overtakes the world, transforming heroes and villains alike into flesh-eating monsters.

This universe features truly dark moments, including Spider-Man eating both his wife and aunt, as well as numerous zombie characters consuming Galactus and gaining the Power Cosmic. They then proceed to proliferate across the universe, consuming other worlds with their newfound power.

2/10 Old Man Logan

Old Man Logan also appeared in his comic series.

Reddit user Bass_Sucks thinks the Old Man Logan universe wins since the main heroes ‘die horribly and genocidal maniacs control pieces of the country.’ Although the grizzled Logan from this reality stands with the most powerful Wolverine versions, he lives in a world where he killed the X-Men thanks to a cruel trick.

Villains carved up the world into their pwn personal fiefdoms. The bleakest elements in this universe concerns the Hulk. He rules with impunity, spawning a devolved Hulk Gang he fathered with She-Hulk. The gang murders Logan’s family, setting him off on a quest for revenge across a barren landscape.

1/10 Earth-616

Mephisto appears in One More Day comics.

Reddit fan SuperMario1981 says Earth-616, the main Marvel Universe, counts as the bleakest as ‘Spider-Man sold his beloved wife to the devil in order to escape the consequences of his own rash and ill-advised actions.’ This refers to One More Daythe controversial storyline in which Mephisto erased Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage.

Mephisto permanently altered reality to expunge the marriage and angered vocal fans who still feel the move was a mistake. Almost fifteen years later, the marriage remains among the few Marvel Comics retcons that haven’t been retconned back into place.

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NEXT: 10 Most Powerful X-Men Villains In Marvel Comics