Thanks to the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) more people are discovering what’s behind each film by turning to comics. But, being a world of thousands of stories, it’s hard to know how and where to start. We’ve created a list of 17 Marvel comics for beginners to get started on.
To save you this difficult task of research, we bring you the 17 indispensable graphic novels that you must read. This list is designed for new readers trying to get started in one of the largest comic universes that exist, don’t worry we’ll hold your hand.
It will take you through the origins of some of the Marvel superheroes, so here’s our list of 17 Marvel comics to get started:
1. Amazing Fantasy #15 – The arachnid appears
Published in 1962, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. This is the graphic novel famous for seeing the first appearance of Spider-Man and being the last in its series. And what would comics be without Spidey?
It’s a true gem as it’s the first comic in which the origins, which we all know, of Peter Parker and how he becomes Spider-Man are told. The truth is that although you already know this story from head to toe, it’s worth returning to the true beginning of everything to fill in any gaps.
2. Amazing Spider-Man #122 – The Death of Gwen Stacy
Published in 1973, created by Gerry Conway and Gil Kane. The night Gwen Stacy died is told in this issue, which became one of Marvel’s most popular comics.
Thanks to Spider-Man’s evil nemesis, Green Goblin, Gwen is kidnapped. He causes her to fall from the Brooklyn Bridge and die. We saw this death more graphically in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie, in a different scenario, and it still hurts like the first time.
3. Fantastic Four #1 – Its beginnings
Published in 1961, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. This is the first time that the superiors appear as a team and the first look at how four ordinary humans manage to obtain their wonderful powers. Thus unite to save the world from the threats while learning to control and exploit their powers to the fullest. They are the Fantastic Four.
4. The Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 1) #129 – The Punisher makes his first appearance
Published in 1963, created by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru and Gil Kane. In this comic, we will see for the first time one of the characters that have become popular in recent years. We refer to Frank Castle, better known as The Punisher. He had his first participation in this comic starting as an enemy of Spider-Man. Hired by The Jackal to kill him by making him believe that the arachnid is a thief and a bully.
A few years ago, the premiere of his series on Netflix was a success. If you haven’t seen it, you should so to be aware of who The Punisher is and how it came to the Marvel timeline.
5. The Avengers (vol. 1) #1 – The Original Avengers
Published in 1963, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. This comic is the first issue of a great series that brings together the most powerful heroes on Earth. Those who came together to dedicate their lives to saving the world and avenging threats present. It’s the first time that the original Avengers have come together for the same cause. If you want to know how this team came about and what led them to reunite, this is the right comic.
6. Daredevil (vol. 1) #181 – The blind vigilante
Published in 1982, created by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson. In this comic, we see the first time that Daredevil’s identity is at risk of being revealed, all thanks to his arch-enemy Bullseye. Bullseye escaped from prison and plans an act of great revenge against the Man Without Fear. But revealing his identity is a small thing and he prefers to hit him where it hurts the most, that is, his beloved Elektra.
7. The Incredible Hulk (vol. 2) #181 – Wolverine’s first appearance
Published in 1974, created by Len Wein and Herb Trimpe. This is the first time we see Wolverine in a comic. Many will have thought that it was originally part of the X-Men comics. But it was actually created as a weapon of destruction for a finish with Hulk. In the fight, he realises that his claws fail to pierce the green man’s skin, so he decides to take his side to help him finish off his enemy called Wendigo. Once they finished with him he returns to his attack position and is still determined to finish off the Hulk.
It’s an epic battle between the two most furious indestructible men in Marvel.
8. The Incredible Hulk (vol. 1) #1 – The Creation of the Green Giant
Published in 1962, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. This graphic novel tells the birth of the giant Jade that arose thanks to the same experiment by Bruce Banner called Gamma Bomb (G-Bomb). Hulk is one of the most powerful heroes, if not the most powerful, and lethal of the Marvel Universe.
It’s worth going back to the history of this character to experience firsthand the suffering of Banner. Especially when facing a lifetime condemned to not knowing if he is a man or a monster.
9. Giant-Size X-Men #1 – The New X-Men
Next up on our list Marvel comics to get you started, published in 1975, created by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum. It is a comic that tells the first new story, after five years, of the X-Men. It connects the first X-Men with the new team of mutants recruited by Professor Charles Xavier for a rescue mission for the original members. We see the inclusion of Wolverine, Storm, Sunfire, Banshee, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Thunderbird.
10. The Avengers (vol. 1) #4 – Captain America’s first appearance
Released in 1964, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. It marks the first time Captain America has appeared in the lines of one of the most famous superhero teams in the world.
Seeing the leadership and power that this character has over the rest of the Avengers, many will believe that he was the team’s founder. But the reality is that he was not even close to being it.
The first superhero in history (dating back to being created during World War II). He’s rescued from the depths of the ocean by this group of superheroes that was originally formed by Giant-Man, Iron Man, Thor and The Wasp.
11. Captain America (vol. 5) #1 – The Winter Soldier
Remember the successful Marvel movie with the same name? This wonderful comic comes to mind, which was the inspiration for this film, published in 2005.
Bucky returns from Cap’s past to remind him of all the ravages and losses that war entails. Returning from the dead not as the young and endearing Bucky, but as the Winter Soldier, an elite assassin who will try by all means to avenge his past.
In this story, Captain America is given more depth by creating a plot full of bullets and remorse from the past that praised the figure of Steve Rogers.
12. Civil War (vol. 1) – Whose side are you on?
Movie after movie, Marvel Studios has adapted many of its great comics (sometimes better and sometimes worse). This is one of them. Civil War, created by Mark Millar and illustrated by Steve McNiven was published in 2006. After an accident committed by rookie superheroes, the government enacts a law to register them. Thus exposing their identities.
As expected, a group of superheroes will oppose said law. Creating a great conflict between the two parties. A conflict that will be led by both Iron Man as the promoter of the law and Captain America, who will fight until the end for the freedom from all superheroes. The conflict full of depth that will deal with a problem. Little by little will remind us of many of the problems that we could currently see in our society.
13. The Infinity Gauntlet
This one is a great place to get started with Marvel comics with so many being familiar with it.
Written by Jim Starlin and published in 1991. This is the source of inspiration for the Marvel movie ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, which you will surely have seen or heard of.
In this story, we meet a Thanos in love with Death herself, which will lead him to want to destroy half the life of the Universe in an attempt to conquer it.
To do this, he looks for the gems of infinity (some gems that give the bearer in total control of the Universe). But on the way, The Avengers will try by all means to stop him. A comic full of epic moments and, without a doubt, the beginning of what was later the cosmic universe of Marvel.
14. Hulk (vol. 3) #92-105 – Planet Hulk
If you’re one of those who think that the Hulk only serves to see him having cakes with ultra-powerful beings, you could not be more wrong.
Published in 2006, Planet Hulk tells the story of how the green giant is betrayed by those who believed his friends.
But Hulk arrives on a planet full of evil, slavery and death, where he will have to fight to survive and later liberate the oppressed people. A deep and serious comic where we will see the most human face of the Hulk.
15. God Loves, Man Kills
Published in 1982, we recommend you what for many is the best graphic novel ever written about mutants.
Written by the magnificent Chris Claremont. It tells a story where a Christian fundamentalist tries to destroy all mutants.
Your plan? Kidnap Professor Xavier, give him a good drug shot and try to turn him against his students. A story full of symbolism that will make you love these little gene X carriers even more.
16. Avengers #500 – Avengers Disassembled
Published in 2004, this comic represents a starting point to enter the stories of The Avengers without any doubt.
These pages place us in a moment of real tension for The Avengers since they’re attacked mysteriously by their past. A past that is never forgotten, and that will get them into a lot of trouble-causing a rupture in the team that could be the end for the group.
17. Wolverine (vol. 3) #66-72 – Old Man Logan
Finally, on our list of Marvel comics to get started is this gem. Published in 2010, it is a comic set in a dystopian future where all superheroes are dead and chaos reigns in the world.
We find a very old Logan separated from everything and with a lot of resentment of his past, trying to forget who he was to heal his heart.
But, not everything is so simple. Hawkeye will appear to ask for help and thus undertake an adventure across the country. This gives us a lot of winks from the past and showing us a really harsh reality due to the absence of good. A comic that reads itself and that you will not forget for a long time.
Old Man Logan was the main inspiration for the 2017 Logan film, played by Hugh Jackman, in his last outing as The Wolverine. But you already knew that, right?
And that’s our list of Marvel comics to get started. Do you agree with us, do you think we missed any off, have you read any of these story arcs? Let us know in the comments below.
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Harry Potter: The Questions You Keep Asking, Answered
It’s been over 24 years since the first instalment of the Harry Potter series was published. But regardless of the length of time passed, many questions are still left unanswered. Fansites still tear apart page upon page looking for the key to unlock J. K. Rowling’s extraordinary mind. Interviewers have fired question after question at the infamous author. Yet, when one question is answered, it seems to open the flood gates for many more.
J. K. Rowling has now moved onto crime fiction. But she still finds the odd spare moment to grace Potter fans with her virtual presence. Using Twitter to answer some of the endless questions’ fans have conjured.
Let’s take a look at some of the most valid Harry Potter questions asked on Twitter and how J.K. Rowling answered them.
What happened to Fluffy the three-headed dog?
Poor Fluffy wasn’t mentioned again after being set free in the Forbidden Forest. Never fear! Rowling is here to tell us of Fluffy’s fate.
Back in February 2015, Rowling replied to the question on Twitter. stating that ‘He was repatriated to Greece. Dumbledore liked to put Hagrid’s more foolish acquisitions back where they belong.’
Beyond the happily ever after
A snapshot of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s Happily Ever After is presented at the end of the final book. The three (and Ginny) complete the circle by walking their own children to the Hogwarts train.
But, their lives developed much more than having children. As Rowling revealed back in 2007. Hermione began her career within the Ministry of Magic. She worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Here, she became instrumental in the improvements for the treatment of house-elves. After this, she moved to the Dept. of Magical Law Enforcement, where she ensured the eradication of pro-pureblood laws.
Harry and Ron took different paths. Harry became an aura, a highly trained law enforcement officer. Ron went into the family business, helping his brother run Weasley’s Wizarding Wheels.
Did Harry, Ron and Hermione return to their schooling?
There’s a huge gap at the end of The Deathly Hallows. The pages seem to jump from the defeat of Voldemort to 19 years later. So did the famous trio return to school?
Rowling stated that Hermione returned to Hogwarts to complete her NEWT’s. But Harry and Ron did not, instead, they followed their career paths straight away. Although, I’m pretty sure defeating the source of all evil scores big points on a C.V.
Harry’s scar shape is important, right?
Well, no. Unfortunately, Rowling just thought ‘it looked cool’.
Potter super-fans have other ideas, though. One Tweet back in 2019 revealed that the scar could symbolise much more. @TodayYearsOld Tweeted:
‘Did you know Harry Potter’s scar isn’t a lightning bolt, but the hand motion to cast Avada Kedavra.’
Avada Kedavra is a killing curse used within the Dark Arts. The hand movement looks like a lightning bolt, but much softer. Not surprisingly, the Tweet went viral and caused shock waves through the Potter community.
What does Hufflepuff’s common room look like?
We are taken on a trip to Slytherin and Ravenclaw’s common room, and we spend a lot of time in Gryffindor’s. So, when fans asked Rowling for a description, she was only too happy to oblige.
‘The Hufflepuff common room is accessed through a portrait near the kitchens, as I am sure you have deduced. Sorry – I should say ‘painting’ rather than portrait because it is a still-life. It is a very cosy and welcoming place, as dissimilar as possible from Snape’s dungeon. Lots of yellow hangings, fat armchairs, and underground tunnels leading to the dormitories. All of which have perfectly round doors, like barrel tops.’
Is there more than one Wizarding school?
If you are one of those people who watch the films before the books. You’ll have probably asked ‘Is Hogwarts the only school for wizards?’. In this instance, it’s the books that hold the key, and if you take notes in ‘The Goblet of Fire.’ Students from other schools arrive at Hogwarts to attend the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
The books reveal more about a couple of schools, such as the Palace of Beauxbatons. Beauxbatons is a beautiful chateau situated in the Pyrenees mountains of Southern France. Durmstrang is another, and one of the three largest in Europe. Durmstrang is situated in the northmost regions of Norway or Sweden and is known for its Dark Arts.
Rowling has since revealed more schools, including Castelobruxo, Mahoutokoro, Uagadou and Ilverymorny.
Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood end up together?
It’s a no, which has disappointed fans. But the two remained close friends as Luna followed a career in Wizarding Naturalism. She became famous for tracking rare creatures before marrying Rolf Scamander.
Neville married fellow Hogwarts student Hannah Abbot. Surprisingly, Neville became an aura before returning to Hogwarts as a Herbology Professor.
Did Draco Malfoy get his just desserts?
This is a big one for Potter fans who wished to see Draco pay for everything he subjugated Harry to. But, as The Deathly Hallows hints, it appears he went through a huge transformation.
Draco was a complex character, not only a member of Slytherin, but he was also a bully. But much of his behaviour came from his upbringing.
Draco tried to prove himself to the Dark Lord, only to be rescued by the three he often tormented. This caused him and his mother to neglect Voldemort once it was believed Harry was dead. The two avoided Azkaban, and he went into a very dark place, emotionally. But he emerged a changed man. He had a wife and a son, and a simple nod to the trio 29 years on seemed to solidify that he had changed.
Thanks for reading our article on unanswered Harry Potter questions now answered. Did you already know these? Did we miss any big ones? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out 5 Hidden Messages In Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows That You Missed HERE.
Read IMDB information on Harry Potter HERE.
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