Top 5: Comic Book Wars

Level of difficulty: No real wars, no star wars.

5. The Oz-Wonderland War

This series may be the only remaining proof that Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew ever existed. A crossover that the world never knew it needed until it happened, it is rumored that this miniseries came about because it was a writer’s only legitimate chance to use the words “Wogglebug” and “Jabberwock” in the same sentence.


4. The Viltrumite War

Ever since the first issue of Invincible, there had been hints that Mark’s dad and their people would be coming for our heroes with a vengeance. It took about eight years and seventy issues, but when they finally came to play, it was all floating blood and mustaches as far as the eye could see. So far, this seems to be one of the few events of its kind to have actual long-term repercussions.

Lantern Corps Sinestro War

3. The Sinestro Corps War

Like the Viltrumite War, this was both the culmination of a long-building saga and an excellent excuse to keep drawing so many guys on a page that it’s hard to tell what the hell is going on at any given moment. This was actually just one in a series of sagas– Green Lantern was multi-climactic– some of which may have had long-term repercussions, some of which never happened as of last September. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure.

2. Secret Wars

This is the granddaddy of ’em all. All the heroes versus all the villains for all the marbles! Mike Zeck! The origin of a new Spider-Woman! The origin of Venom! The origin of the She-Hulked FF! The origin of the Beyonder! Nothing would ever be the same, for a while. The fact that Secret Wars figures were the only Marvel super hero toys available to me as a kid didn’t hurt its ranking, either.


1. Civil War

Say whatever you want in hindsight. Blame it if you must for all the tie-ins, crossovers, and event fatigue that have come in its wake. Cast aspersions at the characterizations within its pages if you must, but know this in your heart: the whole time it was happening, this was all any of us were talking about, and whether it was excitement or dread we could not wait to find out what was going to happen next. Just about everything it did to the status quo has since been undone, thank God Almighty.



  1. I don’t remember much about my childhood, but I remember the panel where Hulk HELD UP A MOUNTAIN in Secret Wars.

  2. love love love Secret Wars.

    Avengers/Defenders war is fun too.

    Marvel loves to use the word “WAR”. DC “Crisis”

  3. Kree/Skrull War. Just sayin’.

  4. Mmmmm…. Invincible….

  5. The Fables War was AWESOME! can’t believe it didn’t make the cut

  6. Flash Fact: Civil War was my first Marvel comic.

  7. I can’t believe you missed out DC’s War of the Gods! That was brilliant…No, wait…I mean awful. Sorry to bother you. Move along now. Nothing to see here.

  8. I want to track down all of the Captain Carrot comics now but especially that Public Domain War up there. Looks right up my alley.

  9. Civil War was one of the first comic book events I read (along with DC’s Our World at War, another candidate for this list) and I really liked it. Still do.

  10. Does “War” have to be in the story title? Because the “war” between the Empire Remnant and New Republic in “Dark Empire” was pretty good. And it is “Star Wars”, so there’s that too.

  11. Civil War was just that for me, to many cross overs and I lost track and got bored of this. I just re-read Secret Wars and yes Hulk did hold up a mountain; crazy. Crisis and War; used in comics so much…what? Who cares what the damn series is called as long as it is a great arc/series.
    Comic Book wars for me first brought out the DC and Marvel crossovers mainly and than Crisis on Infinite Earths, Secret Wars (which even after re-reading it now seems to be very child like however; it was still fun.), Legends and that Infinite Gauntlet war thing (forgot the title for that).
    I would like to see a true comic book war and see it spill over into all of the comic book companys not just DC and Marvel. Invinicible vs Spidey, Judge Dread vs Punisher, The Boys vs Suicide Squad, Irredeemable vs Superman, Robo Cop vs Cyborg, Lobo vs Bomb Queen, Witch Blade vs Voodoo, and so on…. Just for the summer and that would truly be fun and maybe than everyone can restart thier universe and have a battle to the death and than reboot. Just like this pasted weekend I had a serious Heroclix battle, kinda of a free for all. Just a thought.


  12. That Captain Carrot stuff is a Wikipedia rabbit hole just waiting to be fallen into. Pun intended I suppose, but now I’m ashamed.

  13. does it have to have the word “war” in the title to count? the infinity gauntlet is one of my favorites. or even the infinity war. great memories.
    BUT ANYWAYS, this is a fine list indeed. civil war is awesome. i wasn’t talking about comics online at the time, so were there people who hated that event as lightly implied in the article? not the endless tie-ins, cuz those were ridiculously exhausting, but the actual event itself? are these people part of the neo-nazi party? lol

  14. Man they really packed the anti-reg side with fan favorites didn’t they?

    “Oh no, you have cast my beloved Doc Samson in a bad light!” How dare you!”

  15. what about infinite crisis? seems like that should be somewhere on here.

    don’t you just love it when people tell you what “should” be on “your” list. i realized that in mid sentence and started laughing. i think i would have the urge to tell most people to make their own damn list and put whatever they hell they want on it and then tell them where they “should” shove it. HAHAHAHA.
    that would be funny(and probably a lil’ liberating) lol

  16. You nailed them all. If I had to add: Alas, while Siege was a piddly event compared to Civil Wars, the four issues were packed with solid, awesome moments that had been building SINCE CW (Note to Marvel: want a good event book? Keep it simple!). Best of all, it was readers’ opportunity to finally see so much of the rottenness of Secret Invasion, bad guys ruling the streets and Norman Osbourne finally get come-uppance.

    I will always remember that final page in issue #1(?) with Osbourne looking into the sky with Cap’s shield getting closer to him via reflection in the armor. That alone was worth the price.

    • That whole sequence was just brilliant. Secret Invasion led seamlessly into Siege which was great. I think the main problem with Fear Itself as an event is that it came out of nowhere unlike all the other events since House of M

  17. I’m a little confused what the criteria here are…

    The “No. 1” entry seems to assert that this is a list of notability/infamy, not writing quality?

  18. I would of had World War 3 from Morrison’s JLA in there somewhere

  19. Civil War was when I started reading comics. Being new to comics, I bought EVERY tie-in thinking it would be germane to the story. It was ridiculous but I still think it was a great story. I have since learned my lesson.

  20. Secret Wars was crack to me when i was a kid. For nostalgia alone, that would be my #1. Unless you just mean stories with “war” in the title, then it would be the “Armor Wars” from iron Man. That story still stands up today as one of the all-time great iron man stories. And throughout all of Civil War when people were saying Stark was acting “out of character” all I could say was “What? ARMOR WARS! he acted EXACTLY like this all the time in the past!”

  21. I used to love Captain Carrot. They even had Superman and Changeling as guest stars in a couple of issues. Weren’t they last seen in 52…coming out of Zatanna’s hat??? There must be room in the new 52 for these guys. DC needs more light hearted comics like this.

  22. Secret Wars.

    The crossover by which all other crossovers will be judged.
    Everybody had a moment, the Hulk holding up the mountain, the Human Torch vs. Ultron, Spiderman vs the X-Men, everybody vs. Galactus, Iron Man on rocket skates

  23. I’m going out on a limb here. Civil War started out great, but for me it fell apart, much like the ending of Final Crisis fell apart. I don’t think something can be in the top 5 comic wars, let alone #1, and not have a satisfactory conclusion. Even Jim’s comments to support its inclusion and placement were derisive. I don’t think “people were talking about it a lot” is sufficient reason to award it #1 spot.

    Secret Wars should be #1, hands down. I would also have included Secret Invasion, I found it to be superior to CW.

  24. Either I’m having serious deja vu or this is an older article.

    Why the re-post?

  25. Love to see that this post generated so many comments. In a 3rd World country without any comicbook stores, Secret Wars made its way through. Even with some toys as well, which all but fueled my under 10 year old hunger. Having a black super hero toy that was cool (The Falcon), as well as the truly brilliant Wolverine with snap on claws.

    Never underestimate the power of Lenticular marketing

  26. I need to make a comment about the need to insert Captain Carrot into a Wizard of Oz/Alice in Wonderland crossover, but I don’t know how.

    Also, “Secret Wars” out-wars “Civil War” any old day of the week.

  27. while not everyone likes “Civil War” (i love it). you can read this comment thread and see that it had a huge effect on bringing in new readers unlike any event in a long while. And for that alone, it deserves the top spot.

  28. Yes! The Viltrumite War is definitely the best and most epic war in comics. Ryan Ottley’s art was beautiful, the action was intense and violent, and there were actual ramifications. Plus the caused a planet to explode by flew through it, which is probably the best explosion ever. What could top that?

  29. Seriously, no blackest night? That was a war abour the living versus the dead.

  30. Sinestro War is definitely my favortie. Say what you will about GL in the last few years, but that was a huge deal when it came out. One of the best payoffs (not to mention “events”) in comics history. And it was brilliantly executed.

  31. Although not labeled a war in the title, the Brood invasion has provided some pretty good comic fan fare over the years.


  33. Even though , it does not count for this topic. I still feel Marvels ” War of Kings ” was one of the best events of all times.