Comics
Published April 24, 2020

7 Heroes Who Went Through It and Came Through It

And we will too. Read these heroic journeys on Marvel Unlimited.

Right now, our world is facing an unprecedented challenge. While unbelievably difficult, our combined effort to stay at home is the safest and smartest move for everyone—we’re setting aside those personal wants and wishes to protect humanity as a whole.

The good news is that, even though it may not feel like it at times, we will get past this, and eventually life will return to normal. We’re going through it together, and we’ll come through it together too.

Throughout its history, the Marvel Universe has often pitted its characters against “no-win” situations. You know the type—times when they hit rock bottom, and there was no place to go but down.

Let’s look at some heavy hitters who faced insurmountable challenges, the kind that redefine you. Not only were these seven heroes able to pull themselves up, but they came out stronger than before. It wasn’t tragedy that determined their destiny, but a will to overcome. And while we may not be “super” with flight, invulnerability, or the hammer of a thunder god, we all can find the courage to have a hero’s heart.

JANE FOSTER

The former Thor, Goddess of Thunder.

Over the course of her long career, Jane Foster developed expansive skills as a doctor, reaching the top of her field. Unfortunately, life has a way of mucking things up, and she developed cancer. Around the same time, Thor Odinson became unworthy to carry Mjolnir during ORIGINAL SIN. Jane took over the mantle of Thor and quickly became one of Marvel’s greatest heroes, even serving as a member of the Avengers.

However, heroism comes at a cost. Jane was going through chemotherapy for her cancer, and when she became Thor, her godlike powers viewed the treatment as a poison. Being Thor was slowly killing Jane’s mortal form, but she still put protecting people first.

Jane knew what she was doing, and what she was sacrificing to do it. Thus, she was rewarded upon entry to Valhalla. Her cancer is now in remission, and Jane was appointed by Thor to be an all-new Valkyrie, ferrywoman to departed souls.

Valkyrie: Jane Foster (2019) #1

Valkyrie: Jane Foster (2019) #1

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Bucky_Winter Soldier
From CAPTAIN AMERICA (2004) #14.

James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes was Captain America’s best friend and partner during World War II. Baron Zemo seemingly killed him in the same explosion that thrust Cap into the sea and placed him in years of suspended animation. It turns out, Bucky survived this ordeal and was recovered by the Russians, who, through experimentation and brainwashing, turned Bucky into their assassin. Now an agent of destruction, Barnes’ transformation into the Winter Soldier was complete.

When Bucky and Cap finally had their reunion, Bucky had no memory of his former friend. It took the use of the Cosmic Cube to restore his mind. Unfortunately, while Bucky remembered who he was, he also remembered what he did. Having his conscience back, Barnes must now live with every murder he committed as the Winter Soldier.

His quest for redemption did not go unnoticed, and upon Captain America’s “death” following the CIVIL WAR storyline, Bucky took up the mantle of his best friend. Now, with Steve once again wielding the shield, Bucky acts as the go-to covert ops agent for the Avengers. From Russian spy to Sentinel of Liberty. From Assassin to Avenger. Bucky went through it and came through it.

Read his first issue as Winter Soldier here and continue through issue #14. This entire arc is now available to read for free—don’t pass it up.

Captain America (2004) #1

Captain America (2004) #1

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Runaways
From RUNAWAYS (2003) #1.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a team (unless your last name is “Summers”) with as much family dysfunction as the Runaways. It’s not every day that you and your friends find out that your parents are secretly Super Villains who sacrifice innocent people to appease god-like creatures. It’s also not every day that one of your teammates turns on you.

Karolina, Molly, Nico, Chase, and Gert had only each other. As if being on the run from The Pride (the name of their parents’ group) wasn’t enough, their supposed leader Alex Wilder betrayed them too, leading his father Geoffrey to take Gert’s life.

Thanks to the power of time travel (and Chase’s broken heart), Gert is now back with the team. A resurrected and remorseful Alex has even assisted his old crew, burying old grudges to reunite with his found family.

For the Runaways, an undivided front is their super-power. Their close bonds have given each member the space and support to struggle, fall apart, build up, and grow.

Runaways (2003) #1

Runaways (2003) #1

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Peter Parker
From AMAZING FANTASY (1962) #15.

You couldn’t have a list of heroes going through it without mentioning the most relatable of them all. Peter Parker was a victim of bullying for years. When he gained the proportionate speed and strength of a spider, he thought he had it made. He could use those powers to give his aunt and uncle the life they deserved.

Unfortunately, those same powers led to an arrogance that cost Peter everything. As most everyone knows from his origin in AMAZING FANTASY (1962) #15, he let a burglar get away following one of his wrestling shows, and that same burglar later murdered Uncle Ben. It was at that moment Peter learned the most important lesson of all: “With great power there must also come great responsibility.”

Those words have echoed in the Wall-Crawler’s head many years since, and are the driving motivation behind his super-heroic deeds. We could make a whole list of the “Parker Luck” just to prove this point, or you could read this defining moment in full.

Amazing Fantasy (1962) #15

Amazing Fantasy (1962) #15

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Ghost Rider
From MARVEL SPOTLIGHT (1971) #5.

With a name as impressive as “Johnny Blaze,” you’d think the world was your oyster. Not the case for Ghost Rider. When his foster father Crash Simpson developed cancer, Blaze made a pact with Mephisto, selling his soul so that the disease would not claim Crash’s life. Crash survived his illness, only to be killed in a motorcycle stunt days later. Thanks to Johnny not reading the fine print, Mephisto held up his end of the bargain, and in return, Blaze became a Ghost Rider. Now living his life at Mephisto’s beck and call, Blaze is under contract to claim the souls of evildoers as the Spirit of Vengeance.

Over time, Blaze was able to gain control of the Ghost Rider’s powers and became a Super Hero in his own right as a member of the short-lived Champions. He even discovered that another Ghost Rider, Danny Ketch, was his long-lost brother.

Nowadays, Blaze is the ruler of Mephisto’s hell. And if you’re the one in charge of condemning souls to the pits of a fiery inferno, you might as well be in charge of it all.

Marvel Spotlight (1971) #5

Marvel Spotlight (1971) #5

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Goldballs
From UNCANNY X-MEN (2013) #1.

Fabio Medina’s mutant ability was unlocked following the events of AVENGERS VS. X-MEN. And that ability was… to create gold balls. Yes, for a time that was as good as it got for Fabio. He was a member of the X-Men, sure, but during his tenure at the Institute he felt lost. He eventually left the X-Men and joined the Brooklyn Visions Academy, befriending Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Even though he felt like he had friends and a bit of focus, Fabio was still the odd one out. He was a mutant whose powers weren’t exactly going to change the world. But that all changed when the mutants flocked to Krakoa

In HOUSE OF X (2019), part of the 12-part saga that established the X-Men’s new era, it was revealed that mutants can no longer die in the traditional sense. All individual mutant consciousness and memories are backed up by Cerebro, and the combined abilities of “The Five” can bring any mutant back from the dead. Their new bodies are housed in incubators, or “eggs,” created by the one and only Fabio.

Fabio has not only found his purpose in life, but his purpose brings life to mutants everywhere. Consider him the comeback kid—his strange gift is his greatest strength.

House of X (2019) #5

House of X (2019) #5

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Rogue
From MR. AND MRS. X (2018) #1.

Rogue has had quite a life, hasn’t she? With the ability to absorb people’s powers and memories via touch, she always has to keep herself in check. She can surround herself with thousands of people but is always alone. It also didn’t help that Mystique raised her, exploiting her abilities any chance she got. Originally an enemy of the X-Men, Rogue once absorbed the powers of Carol Danvers, AKA Captain Marvel, causing Carol’s consciousness to be trapped within Rogue’s psyche for years. This absorption also gave her a subdued version of Carol’s powers, including flight, invulnerability, and superhuman strength.

Over time, Carol became whole again (and went on to do pretty well for herself), and Rogue became a full-fledged member of the X-Men. It was here that she flourished. Rogue used her abilities for good, and thanks to guidance from Professor Xavier and teammates, controlled them as well. She even found love with the (no pun intended) roguish X-Man Gambit, and after years (YEARS) of courtship, they finally married in X-MEN: GOLD (2017) #30. Rogue now stands along with her husband and the rest of the mutant community on Krakoa.

From mutant menace, to an MVP Avenger, Rogue’s journey is marked by triumph and an unwillingness to give in to despair.

Mr. and Mrs. X (2018) #1

Mr. and Mrs. X (2018) #1

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