The rise of Marvel in the film industry has sparked a new interest in Superheroes again. However, the comics industry has been a different story. The collision of universes, all-different heroes and even the resurrection of seemingly dead ones may confuse new readers. If you're really interested in Marvel comics because of their movies, you're probably asking yourself, "Where do I start?". This list is just made for you. We have filtered the best comics for STARTERS. We removed all the stories that may be either really old/outdated or too hard to understand for a newbie.
10. Hawkeye Vol. 1 (2013)
I picked up this story last summer, and it was actually a surprisingly good read . It is centered around the "forgotten" Avenger, Hawkeye. Sadly, I also thought of him as the lame and boring superhero, but reading this definitely changed my mind about him. Compared to his portrayal in the movies, Hawkeye is total bad-ass here. Matt Fraction does a great job taking this"powerless" archer into a butt-kicking superhero who, somehow, always messes up. Artist David Aja provides complementing art that has a sort of "cartoony" feel. The comic is action-packed, funny and has a really interesting plot. Any new reader will be able to enjoy this as it does not require much background reading as it is sort of creates a world for itself.
Reading Importance Meter: Unless you're a Hawkeye Fan, try reading some of the others on this list first.
9. Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1 & 2 (2000)
Captain America: Civil War showed Marvel finally getting Spider-Man right. After so many years, it's funny how Marvel's most famous character has already been played by 3 different actors. If you are interested in reading about this web-slinging hero, Ultimate Spider-Man is a great start. The comic reboots Spider-Man's life. Lets face it, the original first comics of Spider-Man (Amazing Fantasy) are kinda old. In this story, Brian Michael Bendis shows a more present-day Peter Parker and how he becomes Spider-Man in Marvel's second universe. As a teenager, I will always have this connection with Spidey. It's just cool how even a superhero has normal high school problems like homework, crappy teachers and even girls.
Reading Importance Meter: Read this before the next Spider-Man movie next year.
8. Secret Wars (1984)
You're probably saying that I broke my promise of no "old" comics with this 1984 vintage one. Hear me out on this one. My dad recommended this book back when I was around 13. At first, I though this would be another cheesy action scene and dialogue fest. Boy was was I wrong. Secret Wars was probably the first major event that brought in most of the heroes and villains together. Nothing gets better than a classic battle of the strongest super-heroes and their enemies. I'd say this comic is newbie-friendly because it basically is set in a new world. The heroes in the story are just as confused as you as to how they got to this mysterious planet. If you already have background on most Marvel characters, this will be an enjoyable read.
Reading Importance Meter: If you really wanna show that you're hardcore, this is basically the Bible.
7. New Avengers Vol. 1 (2009)
After the disassemble of the Earth's mightiest heroes, a new team was needed to protect the Earth. Hence, the assembly of The New Avengers. This lineup showed us new heroes like Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, Sentry, Wolverine and Ronin fill in their dues as Avengers. But also kept familiar faces like Cap, Spidey and Ironman. Brian Michael Bendis shows his greatness with this excellent story line. Artist Steve Mcniven is also one of my favorites. The first issue is amazing, dealing with an all out super-villain prison break. I really commend this story for creating a very engaging new team. They really kick-ass. It is also their first appearance, so any new readers wouldn't have a hard time catching up.
Reading Importance Meter: If you're a fan of spinoffs, this is a must.
6. House of M (2005)
It may require some background reading, but House of M is a huge event that every comic fan should know about. It is essential for any kind of future reading. Like Secret Wars, many of the Marvel heroes are involved in this reality-changing adventure. It's the third Bendis work in this list, so needless to say, the plot and storytelling are epic. The comic revolves around Magneto and his children, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. All of which have appeared on the big screen and should be familiar to you guys.
Reading Importance Meter: If you want to read more recent issues, start here.
5. Avengers vs. X-Men (2012)
AvX is what you should be reading after finishing House of M. This event finally gave the fans the battle they always wanted; Xavier's top class mutants vs earth's mightiest. The culmination of some of the best writers, Matt Fraction, Brian Michael Bendis (who else), and Ed Brubaker help create this massive death battle. I learned how Cyclops goes from a respectable leader to a complete asshole but at the same time, I pity how much his race has suffered. I also find it funny how both the Avengers and the X-Men have different studios, this kinda makes the battle more interesting.
Reading Importance Meter: One of the best death battles ever. Buy. Read. Repeat.
4. X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga (1980)
I don't think anything is more iconic than the picture of a screaming Scott Summers holding a dead Jean Grey in his arms. Yes, I know, this is another oldie but if there was a definition to a classic comic, The Dark Phoenix Saga would be it. We see the height of Chris Claremont's X-Men with an instant classic, the Phoenix force corrupting one of the strongest mutants to ever live. There are numerous important events ranging from the first appearance of Kitty Pryde (the best X-Man ever), the battle with the Hellfire club and even the journeying to space and seeing the Shi'ar empire. Personally, it's my favorite story from the '80s. It's also nothing like the X-Men: The Last Stand, I promise you that.
Reading Importance Meter: One of the most iconic stories ever, so it's sort of a sin to not read it.
3. The Ultimates Vol. 1 & 2 (2002)
The Avengers also go their much needed Ultimate Spiderman revamp. The Ultimates shows the assembly and adventures of the Earth's Mightiest Heroes in a present day world. Say goodbye to traditional heroes, Mark Millar sets the gritty tone of the comic to sort of shadow the portrayal of the Avengers in a more realistic manner. In a lot of ways, the movies mirror this story line. We see the Hulk going all berserk in New York, a Hawkeye that doesn't look like he's from the circus and a more rich-billionaire-playboy-genius type of Tony Stark. After reading The Ultimates, I had a difficult time reading older Avenger comics. They just felt like children-books, seriously.
Reading Importance Meter: A better version of the Avengers movie, so read it like, now.
2. Civil War (2006)
The movie was fantastic. The video game (Ultimate Alliance 2) was great . Civil War is probably Marvel's most famous comic. Personally it is also the first comic that got me hooked to Marvel. For the first time we see Superheroes go at each other instead of villains. If you've watched and enjoyed the movie, it would be a sin to not pick up a copy of the comic. While the movie tried to stay faithful, the comic still is way better. I mean, obviously a full scale war between heroes would trump a 6v6 clash in the airport. Writer Mark Millar also goes more in depth to different motivations of each hero. His ability to create two sides that both have valid reasons to their cause is what makes this comic impressive. Because it means that there is no "better" side that everyone chooses (*cough Rebel *cough). So If you think that watching the movie is enough, you are very wrong my friend.
Reading Importance Meter: If you've watched the movie and haven't pick this up, I don't know what you're doing with your life.
1. Astonishing X-Men Vol. 1 & 2 (2004)
To me my X-Men fans! Out of all the comics that I have read, Astonishing X-Men probably has made the biggest impact on me. Joss Whedon, director of the Avengers movie, does a superb job of characterizing each X-Man. From conflicted leader Cyclops, to the young and innocent Kitty and even the sort of bitchy Emma Frost. The script and lines of the characters are done to perfection. Joss Whedon really has a gift of incorporating witty moments in serious situations (Hence, the Avengers). I remember reading this story with David Bowie's "Heroes" playing on my Spotify, math assignments on the floor and my mind thinking of ways for me to become a mutant. Lets just say that entire week in school had me depressed and searching for Xavier School for Gifted Students student admissions.
Reading Importance Meter: You cannot die without reading this.