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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Read more from our comic articles HERE.
Book To Movie Adaptations Coming Soon
It seems that Hollywood is on an adaptation bender these days. With the upcoming Dune film to the To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before Netflix franchise, there is a lot of money to be made in book to screen adaptations. And there are a ton of them in the works. Here’s 15 book to movie adaptations that will soon be coming to a screen near you.
1. The House of Gucci – November 24th, 2021
You don’t have to wait long to watch this true story unfold. Written by Sara Gay Forden, the book goes into the real-life whodunnit of the murder of Maurizio Gucci. Starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, this film is coming out this November.
2. Where the Crawdads Sing – June 24, 2022
This bestseller is going to premiere next summer on Netflix. The book, written by Delia Owens follows Kya; a young woman with a turbulent life, who becomes the prime suspect in a mysterious murder. Daisy Edgar-Jones is set to play Kya.
3. The Nightingale – December 23, 2022
The Nightingale, written by Kristin Hannah, follows the lives of two French sisters after their lives are torn apart by World War Two. The film stars sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning and is set to be released on 23 December 2022.
4. The School for Good and Evil – 2022
Written by Soman Chianani, The School for Good and Evil is a middle-grade standout. It takes place at twin schools that kidnap two children every year. Alongside the children of famous fairy-tale heroes and villains, these children are then trained at either the School for Good or the School for Evil. Eventually becoming the next generation of fairy tales. This film has big names in the cast, such as Charlize Theron, Laurence Fishburne, and Kerry Washington. The main characters Sophie and Agatha will be played by Sophia Ann Caruso and Holly Sturton. Shadow and Bone mainstay Kit Young will also be in this adaptation. It has wrapped filming and will come out sometime in 2022.
5. All Quiet on the Western Front – 2022
Who else remembers reading this in school? The classic was written by Erich Maria Remarque and chronicles the horrors of World War One. The book is being adapted as a film by Netflix. It’s going to be directed by Edward Berger and will star Daniel Bruhl. This is actually the third time the book has been adapted for the screen and will premier in 2022.
6. House of the Dragon/ Fire and Blood – 2022
Rejoice Game of Thrones fans, there’s more coming your way. Based on the book Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin, this Game of Thrones spin-off follows the Targaryens 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. It’s being produced by HBO and will be a ten-part limited series. It’s set to premiere in 2022.
7. Bridgerton (Season 2) – 2022
The pandemic hit Bridgerton has also been renewed for season two. The second season will cover The Viscount Who Loved Me, by Julia Quinn. This love story will centre around Anthony Bridgerton. There’s no official release date, but speculation puts it at 2022.
8. A Discovery of Witches (Season 3) – 2022
AMC +’s Discovery of Witches has been renewed for season three. The show is based on Deborah Harkness’All Souls Trilogy. It centres around actors Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer as a vampire and witch who fall in love. It’s set to premiere sometime in 2022.
9. Shadow and Bone (Season 2) – 2022/2023
Netflix’s Shadow and Bone has been confirmed for a second season. It will cover the events of the second book, Siege and Storm. It’s also unclear if it will dip into the Six of Crows duology. You can read more of our coverage of season two of Shadow and Bone here.
10. Ninth House – TBD
Written by the same author of Shadow and Bone, Ninth House is Leigh Bardugo’s adult fiction series. It follows Yale freshman Alex Stern, who has the ability to see ghosts. She is hired to oversee the dark magical dealings of Yale’s secret societies and gets caught up in forces beyond her imagination. Picked up less than two days after its release in 2019, Ninth House is in the works for an Amazon series adaptation. The show does not have a release date yet and is still in pre-production. Leigh Bardugo is currently writing both the sequel and the show, according to her Instagram.
11. They Both Die at the End – TBD
When Mateo and Rufus are told that they will die, they befriend each other to enjoy their last day. After the project fizzled out at HBO, They Both Die at the End has now been picked up for a tv show by Entertainment One. The show will also be written by the author of the book, Adam Silvera. There is no release date yet.
12. The Selection – TBD
A staple of 2010s dystopian fiction, The Selection by Kiera Kass is right up there with Divergent and the Maze Runner. The Selection follows America Singer, who is selected to compete in a Bachelor-like competition to select the next Queen. What feels frivolous quickly becomes a high-stakes competition for the fate of the country. The Selection is set to premiere on Netflix as a movie. Haifaa Al-Mansour is attached to direct. You can expect to be able to watch The Selection in mid-2021.
13. The Red Queen – TBD
Another mainstay of mid-2010’s dystopia is the Red Queen series, by Victoria Aveyard. The Red Queen is set in a world divided by blood colour. The silver-blooded have superpowers and rule over the kingdom. The red-blooded are powerless; living in poverty and serving as cannon fodder to the war. But when red-blooded Mare Barrow reveals the power to manipulate lightning, everything changes. Elizabeth Banks is executive producing and directing The Red Queen for a TV series at Peacock. She will also play a key role. We’re still waiting on a release date, but Aveyard has co-written the pilot.
14. Blackout – TBD
Blackout is a collection of short stories following black teenagers who stumble upon love in the middle of a blackout in New York City. Authors include Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Nicola Yoon, and Ashley Woodfolk. The collection is going to be adapted into a six-part anthology on Netflix. The Obamas are actually producing Blackout under their flagship Higher Ground banner and Temple Hill. There is no release date yet.
15. Long Way Down – TBD
Written by Jason Reynolds, Long Way Down takes place in the sixty seconds the main character decides whether or not to murder the man who killed his brother. It’s being adapted into a feature film by Universal and is produced by John Legend and Michael De Luca. There is no release date yet.
That’s our list of 15 book to movie adaptations coming out soon. Which one are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out the five things you missed in Bridgeton Season One HERE.
Read iMDB information on The House of Gucci HERE.
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