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.
More from the MCU HERE.
Read more from our comic articles HERE.
DC Fandome 2021 – Revelations, Trailers and the future
At the recent virtual DC Fandome 2021 over 66 million fans tuned in across 220 countries. They listened in 12 different languages. All to find out the scoop on what’s to come for the comic book franchise, new DC revelations and even watch trailers of soon to be released films and TV shows.
But, if you weren’t one of the millions to be watching from home, below is the Film, TV and Gaming announcements and revelations that would interest any DC fan.
DC Fandome 2021 started with a world exclusive trailer of Black Adam! The man himself Dwayne Johnson. Along with a host of the films other stars including Pierce Brosnan, Aldis Hodge, Quintessa Swindell and Noah Centineo. They introduce themselves and the exclusive trailer.
During the 4-minute intro below, you see Johnson excitably launch his passion project. He explains how much the Black Adam universe means to him. We are also told that the film is currently in post-production with the film being released on the 29th of July 2022.
We don’t get much information or storyline from the trailer. But Dwayne’s enthusiasm for the character and the gritty darkness of what we do get in the trailer is enough, for now, to keep us excited about this Movie.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
During the day’s events, Jason Momoa was on hand to give fans an in-depth dive into the world of Aquaman. Firstly, apologising for the four-year wait. However, Momoa and director James Wan appeased fans with a host of behind-the-scenes clips. Plus a glimpse of some unusual conceptual art. Which included quirky looking desert creatures and giant grasshoppers.
We have also been promised by Wan that we are going to be getting a film that’s more mature, giving the audience something new, exciting and an experience we haven’t seen before. The 2-and-a-half-minute look into the sequel, below, was enough to make any fan excited for its theatrical release in December 2022.
DC’s League of Super-Pets
A fun animated adventure was also announced. DC’s League of Super-Pets will bring super-pets like Krypto and Ace the Bat-Hound to life for the first time.
In an exclusive trailer, fans were introduced to the two pups, voiced by Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, in a light-hearted look into the film. The full movie voice by the comedy pairing along with some other famous names such as Keanu Reeves and Vanessa Bayer is set to be released next November.
Another film trailer to hit the DC Fandome 2021 screens was The Flash. Portrayed once again by Ezra Miller and directed by Andy Muschietti. Fans were introduced to the trailer and the concept of the film, where the Flash unlocks the DC cinematic universe. He time hops back to the ’90s where Michael Keaton, reprises his role, he originated in 1989’s ‘Batman’ and 1992’s ‘Batman Returns’.
We’re elated that we get another film with Michael Keaton as Batman. Even if the storyline does sound a little farfetched. We’re sure Muschietti will get the narrative across perfectly and the film will be an instant hit. The film is due to hit cinemas in November 2022.
The DC Fandome 2021 team knew exactly what they were doing when they left the release of the second Batman trailer to the very end of the day. Like fans around the world, we also couldn’t wait to see more of Patterson, fully suited up, showcasing his gritty take on the hero. Director Matt Reeves, Robert Pattinson (Batman) and Zoe Kravitz (Selina Kyle/ cat woman) were there to lead the trailers release.
Granted the jury is still out if Patterson can pull of the dark knight or not but we have to admit we are excited to see him in action. We also have a sneaky suspicion that for the first time in a film setting since Michelle Pfeifferthey may have nailed the casting for Selina Kyle with Zoe Kravitz. We don’t have long left to find all this out though, as after a few Covid related interruptions Batman is now set to be released in theatres on March 4th, 2022.
Injustice and Catwoman: Hunted
If some of these DC film releases seem a little far away, fear not because we were also made aware that two animated films will be released quite soon. With Injustice’s release this October and an anime-inspired animated DC offering in the form of Catwoman on February the 8th 2022, both the feature-length animations will be available on digital, 4K and Blu-ray. To take a sneak peak of Catwoman: Hunted you can watch the trailer below.
When it came to the TV side of the DC world there were a lot of announcements and trailers mainly around continuing shows such as, Titans, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow and Stargirl along with the more anticipated trailers for:
Has been renewed for another season, despite the departure of Ruby Rose. The new trailer showcased its new Batwoman – Ryan Wilder played by Javicia Leslie.
Is set to be returning for a fourth season. During the announcement followers of the show were treated to a wonderfully odd and endearing mid-season trailer.
Is set for yet another inter-universe team up as The Flash team takes on a deadly mission against the ‘Armageddon’ villains. Which could decide the fate of humankind. The villainous gang is headed up by Tony Cuttan as Despero, Arrowverse’s Tom Cavanagh as Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash and Neal McDonough as Damien Darhk.
First seen in this summer’s ‘The Suicide Squad’ Movie, John Cena’s comedic take of the Peacemaker is set to have its own HBO Max show. The fun and quirky trailer to the first series premiered at the event. Along with a behind the scenes look at the making of the series. It shows that director James Gunn is staying true to his unique, comedic style. The Trailer also shows the other great actors involved in the series including the hilarious ‘Orange is the New Black’ star Danielle Brooks, Christopher Heyerdahl, Robert Patrick and Jennifer Holland. This eight-episode series is set to be released on 13 January.
Viewers of the event didn’t find out much about this Netflix offering. But we did get glimpses of Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer Morningstar. Wwhich let’s be honest along with the announcement that this is actually happening, is enough to get most of us DC fans excited about its release. There is no release date yet but I’m sure over the coming months there will be more announcements about this extraordinarily dark and forbidding series.
Based on the comic book series of the same name created by Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker and Jamal Campbell. The TV adaptation of the story was announced with a one-minute ten-second trailer. This superhero drama is based around a comic book-loving teenager who discovers she has superpowers. Her curiosity leads her onto a journey into the Multiverse in search of answers. We haven’t got a definitive release date yet, but we have been promised it will be in 2022.
Suicide squad: Kill the Justice League
Since the announcement of this game at last year’s Fandome we haven’t had much information or even any gameplay footage. However, at this year’s event, we did get quite an in-depth trailer and a little look at the storyline. In this game, the player gets a choice of playing Harley Quinn, King Shark, Captain Boomerang or Deadshot. As they take on a new mission against an alien threat that has brainwashed the Justice League. There is still no hint to a release date or even a gameplay trailer, but we have been assured 2022 will be full of hints about the game and hopefully a conclusive release date.
Another game trailer that was released at the Fandome, that excited fans across the world was Gotham Knights. Continuing its Arkham-style adventures, Games Montreal has been working hard on the narrative and gameplay functions of this game. This game, in particular, was supposed to be released sometime in 2021 but it was delayed and we have now got a 2022 release time frame.
In this game you get to play a number of characters including Batgirl, Nightwing, Robin, and Red Hood in an open-world action online RPG in order to uncover secrets and take down the Court of Owls.
So there you have it, some of the top DC new from the Fandome 2021. What do you think about all the new announcements? What are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below..
Read our review of DC’s The Suicide Squad HERE.
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