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How to Get Into Marvel Comics: A Beginner's Guide

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I am a gamer, an Otaku, a sci-fi and fantasy fanboy, a Planeswalker, and an avid reader of comics, novels, and manga.

Getting Into Marvel comics

Marvel was a bit of a challenge for me, largely because of how vast and deep the universe is and the focus on those events and their impact on the involved characters. My strategy was to focus on large events that helped shape the universe as a whole first, then focus on individual characters or teams that I liked.

This guide will focus on those major events. Separate articles detailing where to start with individual heroes and teams will be linked at the bottom of this page as I publish them.

The Timeline

Each major event, unless otherwise noted, has a core miniseries that can be picked up as a Trade Paperback and a host of other Tie-in trades. All you need to understand the story is the core series, but I wholeheartedly recommend picking up tie-ins to help you discover characters you might not have cared about before and to help you broaden your knowledge of the event as a whole.

Civil War

I chose Civil War as my starting point, because it was an older story that I had heard whispers of around its time of publishing. The Idea of hero vs. hero intrigued me, so I began there. The plot of this series revolves around the proposed government regulation of superhumans. Not everyone agrees, people pick sides, and war ensues.

For the tie-ins, I actually recommend reading as many of them as you can. As our introduction into Marvel comics, Civil War and its tie-ins really give you a good idea of the scope of this universe and its characters.

Secret Invasion

Secret Invasion is a major event involving the shapeshifting aliens known as the Skrulls. In this story, the shapeshifters replace various key figures and heroes in an attempt to invade our planet after the destruction of the Skrull homeworld. I actually skipped this one myself after watching an adaptation in the Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon. There are a few discrepancies, but they seemed to explain themselves as I read on.


Dark Reign

Dark Reign isn't so much an event as the state of the Marvel world between the events of Secret Invasion and Siege. This makes it difficult to give a definite reading order. What I did was read the following trade paperbacks:

  1. Dark Reign: Accept Change
  2. Dark Reign: The List
  3. Dark Avengers Vol 1 and Vol 2
  4. New Avengers Vol 10, Vol 11, and Vol 12
  5. Mighty Avengers: Dark Reign

Another good way to clear through here would be to read Accept Change and The List, then tackle the Siege event; and later, after you've decided what characters interest you, come back to this era and check out their trades. The nature of this era doesn't require you to read everything at once. I still come back and read Dark Reign era material from time to time.


Norman Osborn has declared war on Asgard! His Dark Avengers tangle with the other Avengers teams in the floating city until a victor is declared. There is some gruesome death and destruction in this one.

The best trade reading order for siege is:

  1. Siege Prelude
  2. Thor Vol 3
  3. Thor: Latverian Prometheus
  4. Siege
  5. Thor: Siege
  6. Dark Avengers: Siege
  7. New Avengers: Siege
  8. Thor: Siege Aftermath

Fear Itself

Like Civil War and Secret Invasion, Fear itself is a major event with a Core Miniseries and a number of tie-ins. The plot revolves around the release of the ancient asgardian god of fear whose power rivals even that of Odin. A bunch of characters, including the likes of Hulk, The Thing, Juggernaut, and others, are transformed by this god of fear into his exceedingly powerful minions and wreak all sorts of havoc.

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Like Dark Reign and Siege, I recommend coming back to Fear Itself once you have decided what characters and teams you want to follow and pick of the trades here that relate to them. I came back and read the Avengers Academy, Ghost Rider, Herc, Hulk, and Journey into Mystery trades and recommend each of them if they match your tastes.

Avengers vs. X-Men

The Phoenix force is coming. Mutant-kind will either be extinguished or reborn.

Differing opinions on the threat put the X-men and the Avengers at war!

This title is really necessary if you plan on reading avengers or mutant titles, as it set the current status quo.

AVX: Vs is a collection of individual fights from the event and it is worth of a nerdgasm

Age of Ultron (optional)

This super timey-wimey event is about Ultron, the sentient machine of doom, taking over the world.

This one is optional because the events reset themselves at the end (don't you just hate time-travel?)

The only important take-away is that all the time traveling done here caused a rip in space/time, which affected different characters in different ways. This rip introduced the character Angela and started the Ultimate: Cataclysm arc.


The armies of Thanos ravage the world while half our heroes are in deep space dealing with the Builders who are rampaging throughout the galaxy on a B-line for Earth.

The Illuminati are confronted by the Black Order, Thanos' generals. The Mad Titan searches for gems and for a surprise among the Inhumans!

Secrets are revealed and kingdoms fall.


This event deals with the fall out from infinity, namely the Terrigen Mists being spread all over the Earth.

This collection includes all tie-ins.

Original Sin

Who shot The Watcher?

The Watcher was a cosmic being, one of many, tasked with observing life and events without interfering. Though Earth's Watcher is famously involved, comparatively to his fellow watchers. Now the Watcher has been murdered, his home on the moon has been looted, and worst of all, the secrets he observed have been released.

This event really shakes up what we know about a lot of important characters and events. What was Tony Stark's role in the creation of the Hulk? Is Luke Cage's Mighty Avengers not the first incarnation of the team? What is Thor has a long lost sister? So many questions posed, so many secrets revealed, so many perspectives changed.

You can pick up the Original Sin Companion Trade which includes all Tie-Ins or you can grab the individual trades listed below.

  • Avengers Vol. 6: Infinite Avengers
  • Original Sin: Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm
  • Original Sin: Hulk vs. Iron Man
  • The Amazing Spider-Man: The Parker Luck
  • Daredevil: West-Case Scenario
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Original Sin
  • Mighty Avengers: Original Sin - Not Your Father's Avengers
  • Deadpool Vol. 6: Original Sin
  • All-New Invaders: Original Sin
  • Fantastic Four: Original Sin
  • Uncanny X-Men vs. S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Nova #18-20 are so far only collected in the Companion trade

Avengers & X-Men: Axis

The hate mongering Red Skull has stolen and infused the brain of the late Charles Xavier with his own, granting him the legendary mutants telepathic powers! Using this power he plans to unleash a world war of hate culminating in the Reich Eternal! A last ditch effort between Avengers and X-Men attempt to stop him. Even a haphazard team of villains lead by Magneto take on the Red Onslaught.

The fallout of this epic battle leaves those present at its conclusion changed. Personalities become inverted turning heroes into villains and villains into heroes!

Tie in trades include:

  • Captain America & the Mighty Avengers: Open For Business
  • Superior Iron Man: Infamous
  • Axis: Carnage & Hobgoblin
  • AXIS: Revolutions
  • Magneto: Reversals
  • Loki: Agent of Asgard: I Cannot Tell A Lie
  • Avengers World: Next World
  • Deadpool: AXIS
  • Nova: AXIS
  • All-New X-Factor: AXIS
  • Inhuman: AXIS

Marvel Now! Completed Titles

In October 2012, Marvel began its Marvel Now! Initiative which, similar to DC's New 52, Saw the relaunch of many of Marvel's titles. Unlike DC, however, this relaunch initiative was not a reboot of Marvel's continuity. Instead, it serves as a good jumping on point for those somewhat familiar with the Marvel universe.

Like Dark Reign, this isn't so much an event, but the marking of a comic era.( I.E. Everything between the end of AVX and All-New Marvel Now!)

Superior Foes of Spider-Man

Superior Foes is both hysterical and one of the oldest ongoing titles. It follows a group of c-list villains as the new Sinister 6 (although there's only 5 of them)

Amazing Spider-Man

Peter Parker is back to his old self again.Now Peter just has to deal with the changes Doc Ock made to his life, including a violent run-in with Black Cat.

Introducing a brand new character silk, supposedly given powers by the same spider who bit Parker himself!

Spider-Man 2099

Miguel O'Hara, Spider-Man from the year 2099, finds himself trapped in the modern day. He manages to get a job for Alchemax, the evil mega-corp from his future.

New Warriors (Scarlet Spider)

New Warrior veterans, Speedball and Justice, recruit a new team of Warriors including:

  • Nova
  • Scarlet Spider
  • Hummingbird
  • Sun Girl
  • Water Snake
  • Haechi

The High Evolutionary has declared war on all super humans. Atlanteans, Inhumans, Morlocks, clones, and the all-new New Warriors are locked in his sights!


Uncanny Avengers

In the Wake of the funeral of Charles Xavier, Captain America decides it's time for a join initiative between the Avengers and the X-men. With Havok as it's face, he leads a mixed roster including:

  • Captain America
  • Havok
  • Wolverine
  • Thor
  • Scarlet Witch
  • Rogue
  • Sunfire
  • Wasp
  • Wonder Man

Uncanny X-Men

In the wake of Avengers vs X-men, Cyclops is on his own with a small group of renegade mutants to start his own school; The Charles Xavier School as opposed to Wolverines Jean Grey School.

His staff include:

  • Magneto
  • Emma Frost
  • Magik


The solicit for issue one reads:

"Once the deadliest, most feared mutant mastermind on the planet, MAGNETO is no longer the man he once was. After falling in with Cyclops and the X-Men, Erik Lehnsherr became just one more pawn in another man's war. But now, determined to fight the war for mutantkind's survival on his own terms, Magneto sets out to regain what he's lost...and show the world exactly why it should tremble at the sound of his name. Magneto will safeguard the future of the mutant race by hunting down each and every threat that would see his kind extinguished-and bloody his hands that they may never be a threat again."

All-New X-Men

In a misguided attempt to get through to Cyclops, Beast brought the original 5 X-men from the past into the present. You can imagine the shenanigans that causes. This is definitely one of my favorite X-Titles


The solicit reads:

"Cyclops just discovered that the father he thought died long ago is alive and well and A SPACE PIRATE. Spinning directly out of ALL-NEW X-MEN, comes the first ongoing solo series for one of the time-traveling Original X-Men. After the events of 'Trial of Jean Grey', Scott Summers stays in space to learn some valuable lessons from his dad: 1) How to shave, 2) How to talk to girls, 3) How to steal a Badoon space-ship."

Wolverine and the X-Men vol 2

Solicit for issue 1 reads:


The ALL NEW MARVEL NOW smash hit series schools with Jason Latour (WINTER SOLDIER) and Mahmud Asrar (X-MEN) leading the charge with drama, action and homework(?)! World-famous X-Men Wolverine, Storm, and a star-studded faculty must educate the next generation all-powerful, but inexperienced mutants! But with their own lives steeped in deadly enemies and personal crises, how can the X-Men guide and educate-let alone defend-the school? At the Jean Grey School, you never know who will enroll...or who will lead the class! And what mysterious organization waits in the shadows to destroy Wolverine's mutant sanctuary? These questions and more are answered in the All-New Marvel Now sure-to-be-smash, WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #1!"

Savage Wolverine

The Solicit for Volume 1 reads:

"Wolverine awakes to find himself transported to the Savage Land and labeled Public Enemy Number One! With no memory of how he got there, and Shanna the She-Devil his only ally, Logan must unravel the mystery that slumbers at the heart of the Savage Land before it finds a way to kill him first! In search of answers, Wolverine and Shanna venture into the depths of the Forbidden Island - but what will get them first, the island's inhabitants or their tempers? Meanwhile, another hero crash-lands on the island - but is he friend or foe? And what surprising role will the Man-Thing play? NOW!, under the detailed pen of Frank Cho, Wolverine is all brawls, babes and brachiosaurs. And you'll never see the end - or the future of the Marvel Universe - coming!"


The solicit from volume 1 reads:

"The X-Women finally get their own book, from critically acclaimed superstars Brian Wood (X-MEN, ULTIMATE X-MEN, DMZ, THE MASSIVE) and Oliver Coipel (AVX, HOUSE OF M, THOR)! An old enemy shows up at the X-Men's door, seeking asylum from an ancient evil come back to earth. Meanwhile, Jubilee has come home, and she's brought with her an orphaned baby who might hold the key to the earth's survival...or its destruction. Against a backdrop of what seems like an alien invasion and an eons-spanning war between brother and sister, Storm steps up and puts together a team to protect the child and stop a new threat that could destroy all life on earth!"



The Solicit reads:

"Thief. Goddess. Headmistress. Queen. The X-Man called STORM has always defied a single title. And her desire to better the world has never been limited to only her own kind. On a mission to foster goodwill and safeguard the mutant race’s continued existence in her own way, Storm will travel the globe, confronting man and mutant, god and monster and everything inbetween. She will overthrow tyrants, quell tsunamis and strive to see her dream for the world realized. She is STORM, a hero like no other….and the skies will tremble at the sight of their namesake."


Solicit reads:

"NIGHTCRAWLER IS BACK! Newly-returned from the afterlife, veteran X-Man Kurt Wagner finds himself in a world that's a far cry from the one he left: Professor Xavier is dead, Cyclops is on the run, and the X-Men are divided. But determined not to let his new lease on life go to waste, Nightcrawler hits the road alongside Wolverine, eager to right some wrongs and safeguard the future mutantkind...and he's going to do it by the means he loves most: swashbuckling, lady-charming and-of course-BAMFing!"


Recommend reading Cable and X-Force, and Uncanny X-Force before this.

Solicit Reads:

"Almost every sovereign state in the Marvel Universe uses superhumans to covertly protect national interests. The USA has the Secret Avengers. The United Kingdom has MI13. And mutantkind has X-Force! Cable. Psylocke. Fantomex. Marrow. Mutantkind's protectors, spies, assassins and torturers - but what drove them to join this new, deadly incarnati on of X-Force? How has Marrow regained her powers...and how is it connected to X-Force's first target, ruthless arms dealer Volga?"

All-New X-Factor

Solicit Reads:

"X-Factor is never before! Serval Industries, one of the world's most trusted names in electronics and a leader in cutting-edge internet and weapons technology, has just unveiled their newest contribution to society...the All-New XFactor! Led by mutant mistress of magnetism, Polaris, the team uses its corporate backing for the betterment of society. But with her half-brother Quicksilver, notorious thief Gambit and more by her side, can Polaris trust that her corporate masters really have good intentions? Especially when X-Factor is meant to help people, but one of their own has a dark secret?! (Hint: it's Gambit.) Be here as the team takes on their former frenemy, Danger, learns the sinister secret of Techno, Inc., and more! Experience the All-New X-Factor...brought to you by Serval Industries!"



Solicit Reads:

"The greatest heroes in comics, together as one unbeatable team! The Avengers "go large," expanding their roster and sphere of influence to a global and even interplanetary level. When Captain America puts out his call, who will respond? The answers will surprise you! The Avengers' first mission takes them to Mars, but the secrets of the Garden lead right back to Earth's Savage Land! And when the Shi'ar Imperial Guard are broken on a dead moon, the Avengers travel across the galaxy to battle an invading force. It all leads up to the secret origin of the universe itself, as Captain Universe races to decipher the code hidden in the Avengers' recent adventures! Jonathan Hickman takes Earth's Mightiest Heroes to the next level with big threats, big ideas and big idealism. These are the Avengers NOW! "


Secret Avengers

Solicit reads:

"The new Secret Avengers are ready to get started...but can they be the world's most effective secret squad? Or will their personal issues tear them apart? Why not both? Three missions kick off at the same time, and nobody is ready except the bad guys! Earth is endangered by falling S.H.I.E.L.D. satellites! A post-nuclear warhead goes missing in the Middle East! And the Fury...yes, the unstoppable super hero-killing machine from Captain Britain...reappears deep inside Chinese territory! Can Hawkeye, Black Widow and Spider-Woman save Nick Fury and Phil Coulson from dying horribly in space? Will a wounded Maria Hill figure out what her uneasy ally M.O.D.O.K. is up to? Do the Secret Avengers have a prayer against the Fury? As death hits the Helicarrier, Black Widow faces Lady Bullseye...and Coulson goes rogue!"

New Avengers

Solicit Reads:

"The Illuminati must reassemble to prevent the collision of our universe with another! It's the Marvel Universe's most powerful and brilliant team - Black Panther, Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Black Bolt, Mr. Fantastic, Sub-Mariner and the Beast - armed with the six Infinity Gems against an infinite legion of parallel realities. But their task is complicated by old wounds, lies and secret agendas. When the Illuminati experiences its first dimensional incursion, can the members of this loose brotherhood trust each other enough to use the Infinity Gems in unison? And when they learn Earth is the center point for the death of the universe, doesn't that mean destroying it might save everything else? Enter the world-eater, Galactus, as the Illuminati does the unthinkable! Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting revamp New Avengers in a multi verse-spanning saga!"

Avengers World

Solicit reads:

"Earth's Mightiest Heroes have returned from the stars - but on the world they left behind, new threats have emerged, and the Avengers will be tested like never before. In one cataclysmic day, the face of the Marvel Universe will change forever...and the fight for Earth's future will begin. Smasher, Sunspot, and Cannonball find themselves trapped and prisoners of A.I.M.'s Scientist Supreme! Shang-Chi takes on the Gorgon in a fight to the death for control of the Hand! The City of the Dead will rise! And Starbrand must confront the ghosts of his past! Prepare for a globe-spanning epic of empires and armies, and the brave few who stand between them and us. The A.I.M. Empire has begun!"

Iron Man

Solicit reads:

"Tony Stark is Iron Man - technological visionary, wealthy playboy, unparalleled engineer and armored Avenger. But now, his armor's most powerful upgrade has become a lethal danger: the techno-virus Extremis is loose! Tony's hunt for the rogue Extremis Units takes him to New Camelot, where he clashes with the Circle mech-knights and dogfights the Russian Black Exoskeleton Academy; to Colombia, where he battles old foes Vibro, Firebrand and the Living Laser; and to Paris' ancient catacombs, where absolute horror awaits - and Tony may have to betray an old friend! Introducing Iron Man's stealth armor, heavy-duty battle-suit and space armor as Tony creates new suits to tackle new challenges! If he wants to save the world from his own deadly nano-virus, Iron Man must act fast - and Tony Stark must build faster!"

Captain America

Solicit reads:

"Thrust into a bizarre, inhospitable world far from home, the all-new, high-adventure, mind-melting, tough-as-nails, sci-fi, pulp-fantasy era of Captain America is NOW! Arnim Zola's ambitions leave Captain America stranded in the upside-down territory known as Dimension Z. With no country and no allies, what's left for the Sentinel of Liberty to protect? Just the one thing that his foe values most...Zola's son! Steve has saved the boy's life, but can he keep him alive against the savage barbarians of Phrox - with the fate of a world hinging on his victory? Plus: introducing Jet Black...the woman who's waited her whole life for the chance to destroy Captain America! Meanwhile, Zola's plans continue to move forward - and threaten to curse Steve Rogers for years to come."

Thor: God of Thunder

Solicit reads:

"Throughout the ages, gods have been vanishing, their mortal worshipers left in chaos. NOW!, Thor follows a trail of blood that threatens to consume his past, present and future. The only hope for these ravaged worlds is for Thor to unravel the gruesome mystery of the God Butcher! In the distant past, Thor follows the bloody wake of murdered gods across the depths of space. In the present, the Thunder God discovers a forgotten cave that echoes with the cries of tortured gods...and is shocked to find himself among them! And thousands of years from now, the last god-king of a ruined Asgard makes his final stand against the God Butcher's beserker legions. As three Thors from three eras race to stop the God Butcher, the full extent of his vicious scheme takes terrifying shape!"

Issue #5 is available now

Issue #5 is available now


Solicit reads:


Following the shocking events of last month's INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK finale, Bruce Banner lies at death's door! If he survives, it WON'T be as the Bruce Banner we've known! How will the Hulk wreak vengeance on Banner's assailant? How CAN he?"

Savage Hulk

Solicit reads:

"AN ALL-NEW SERIES!!! Alan Davis writes and draws a blockbuster story pitting the HULK against... the X-MEN!?!?! Learn the startling secret of Professor Xavier's connection to Bruce Banner! Guest starring the Leader and the Abomination!"

Issue 8 Available now

Issue 8 Available now

Fantastic Four

Solicit reads:

"The world's greatest comics magazine begins anew! But as the Fantastic Four embark on a strange mission, they aren't met with new beginnings, but an untimely end! Marvel's first family heads towards their darkest hour, but who is behind their downfall? Manhattan is under attack by a killer swarm from a corrupted pocket universe, and in order to defeat it, the Human Torch must make a terrible sacrifice! And with one member down, a new menace emerges: the Wrecking Crew, their powers mysteriously elevated! As Ben and Alicia's romance rekindles, the threats of Fin Fang Foom, the Wizard and the Puppet Master loom, the Baxter Building is quarantined, and the Fantastic Four are held accountable for the destruction in Manhattan! It's the trial of the century, and a major turning point for the family!"

All-New Invaders

Solicit reads:

"The Kree Empire intends to conquer the universe using an army of Norse Gods! Four heroes united by their past - Captain America, Namor, the original Human Torch and the Winter Soldier - must now wage war against the Kree to save Earth! The Invaders face the Kree's ultimate hunter, Tanalth the Pursuer, and take the fight straight to the Kree Homeworld and the Supreme Intelligence - but how does Aarkus, the original Vision, figure in? How will the Winter Soldier find him? And how does the Kree threat relate to a secret Invaders mission from decades ago? Eisner Award winner James Robinson (Starman, Earth 2) returns to Marvel, uniting with Steve Pugh (Generation X, Animal Man) to create a unique, modern day take on the Invaders!"

Black Widow

Solicit reads:

"You've seen Black Widow as an Avenger and even an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. But on her own time she searches for atonement for her past as a KGB assassin - in ways of which those teams just wouldn't approve. The Black Widow goes undercover in Russia, but from its cold streets, the Hand of God reaches out to crush her...and it is as merciless as its name implies. Outmatched by the brute force of a powerful new villain, Natasha faces her deadliest test, and discovers a deadly plot unfolding that spans the entire globe. From the Marvel Universe's darkest corners, Nathan Edmonson (Who is Jake Ellis?) and Phil Noto (Thunderbolts, X-23) bring you a new series as gorgeous and mysterious as Natasha Romanov herself!"



Solicit reads:

"Witness the beautifully violent return of the world's deadliest assassin! A life spent in silent pain has led Elektra to the precipice of despair. As she prepares to shed her past, everything you know about her will change as Elektra hits levels no other Marvel character can touch! Now, Elektra braves the dangers of Monster Island - and the psychotic killer Bloody Lips - in her search for the elusive assassin known as Cape Crow! But the hunt becomes murkier when the hit is revealed as more than it seems...and this might be one quest Elektra's not prepared for. Will Marvel's deadliest femme fatale defeat Cape Crow and collect the biggest bounty of her career? Or will she do what she's never done before - protect the mark, and help the hardened killer and his son escape?"

The Punisher

Solicit reads:

"For years the Punisher waged war on crime in New York, but a lead on a major source of drugs, weapons and more has set his sights due west! Frank Castle is in the City of Angels, taking on the powerful Dos Sols gang - but when he discovers their newest weapon, it's bad news...for him! Now the Punisher must duke it out with A.I.M., even as the Dos Sols' takeover of LA begins and war breaks out in the streets! Will the city burn, or can Frank fight fire with fire? And even if Frank can overcome A.I.M. and the Dos Sols, can he escape the tightening noose of the Howling Commandos?"

Loki: Agent of Asgard

Solicit reads:

"Kid Loki's all grown up - and the God of Mischief is stronger, smarter, sexier and just plain sneakier than ever before. As Asgard's one-man secret service, he's ready to lie, cheat, steal, bluff and snog his way through the twistiest, turniest and most treacherous missions the All-Mother can throw at him...starting with a heart-stopping heist on Avengers Tower! And that's just the beginning, as Loki takes on Lorelei in Monte Carlo's casinos, and heads back to the dawn of Asgard to join its greatest heroes on a quest for a certain magical sword! But when Loki puts together a crew to crack the deepest dungeons of Asgard itself, there may be one plot twist too many for even Loki to handle!"


Solicit reads:

"Dead former United States presidents, from George Washington to Gerald Ford, have been resurrected--and that's bad. The Marvel heroes can't be the ones to stop them...someone is needed with the reputation, skills and plausible deniability to take out these com-monsters in chiefs. Deadpool time is NOW! Be here as Deadpool de-un-deadifies ex-Presidents left and right...matching wits with Tricky Dick Nixon, fighting a grudge match against Honest Abe Lincoln, and battling Ronald Reagan--in space! Do you need more than that?! Fine, then: monkeys! And maybe Dr. Strange if you're good! This is the Deadpool series you will marry someday! In Wade We Trust!"


Solicit reads:

"Red Hulk, Venom, Elektra, Deadpool, the Punisher. Forget the courts, the jails, the system--this team of Thunderbolts fights fire with fire, targeting the most dangerous and lethal players in the Marvel Universe with extreme prejudice. Led by General "Thunderbolt" Ross, the Red Hulk, this hand-picked team of like-minded operatives is going to make the world a better any and all means necessary! But will even this crew approve of the team's newest member--the Red Leader?! As the Thunderbolts' first mission begins to go off the rails, the gamma-powered Madman returns. Can the team trust the Red Hulk to lead them or is a larger agenda at play? Find out NOW!"

Avengers Undercover

Recommend reading Avengers Arena prior to this title.

Solicit reads:

"WHEN TEEN HEROES INFILTRATE THE MASTERS OF EVIL, WHO WILL BREAK BAD? Damaged by their experience in Murder World, five conflicted young superhumans go rogue and infiltrate the Masters of Evil, planning to bring the Avengers' rivals down from within. But the longer the teens spend undercover, the more they descend into darkness, and as they start to build relationships with these multi-layered criminals, the line between good and evil blurs. What will happen first...joining the Masters for real, or getting exposed and killed? If you thought Murder World was dangerous, just wait until 'Most Promising New Talent' Harvey award-winner Dennis Hopeless and acclaimed artist Kev Walker surround you with Evil!"

All-New Ghost Rider

Solicit reads:

"'ENGINES OF VENGEANCE' PART 1 A street race leads a young man on the FAST and FURIOUS road of destiny. Amid an East Los Angeles neighborhood running wild with gang violence and drug trafficking, a war brews in the criminal underworld! With four on the floor, Marvel's newest GHOST RIDER puts vengeance in overdrive!!!"



Recommended reading guides prior to ongoings:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Coming Soon

Guardians of the Galaxy

Solicit reads:

"There's a new rule in the galaxy: No one touches Earth! No one! But why has Earth suddenly become the most important planet in the galaxy? That's what the Guardians of the Galaxy are going to find out! Join Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, Groot and - wait for it - the invincible Iron Man, as they embark upon one of the most explosive and eye-opening chapters of Marvel NOW! These galactic Avengers are going to discover secrets that will rattle Marvel readers for years to come! But while London deals with a brutal invasion by the Badoon, the fate of the Guardians may have already been decided millions of miles away! Why wait for the movie? It all starts here!"

Legendary Star-Lord

Solicit reads:

"From the pages of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY! A brand new series from SAM HUMPHRIES and PACO MEDINA! In this exciting first issue, Peter Quill battles the Badoon, fights to save an orphanage, and still finds time for some flirting with Kitty Pryde--but it's all in a day's work for the STAR-LORD!"

Rocket Raccoon

Solicit reads:

"ALL-NEW, IN-CONTINUITY SERIES! As defenders of the cosmos go, Rocket Raccoon has faced his fair share of galactic battles. He's been a hero to the weak, a champion of good, a protector of the innocent, a heartthrob to the many intergalactic female species and now--a raccoon on the run?! ( I'm sorry, I'm sorry, a 'formidable-and-expert-Guardian' on the run. Rocket is NOT a raccoon, okay?) Rocket's high-flying life of adventure and heroism may soon be a thing of the past when he becomes a wanted man-and the authorities are not the only one on his TAIL! (We'll definitely be overusing that pun!) Superstar creator Skottie Young brings his A-game as writer and artist on the series we've been waiting decades for. Because let's be real, this is the only Guardian of the Galaxy you actually care about. Am I right?"

Captain Marvel

Solicit reads:

"Hero! Pilot! Avenger! Captain Marvel, Earth's Mightiest Hero with an attitude to match, is back and launching headfirst into an all-new ongoing adventure! As Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Carol Danvers, comes to a crossroads with a new life and new romance, she makes a dramatic decision that will alter the course of her life - and the entire Marvel Universe - in the months to come. But as Carol takes on a mission to return an alien girl to her homeworld, she lands in the middle of an uprising against the Galactic Alliance! Investigating the forced resettlement of Rocket Girl's people, Carol discovers that she has a history with the man behind the plot. But when the bad guy tries to blackmail Carol and turn the Avengers against her, it's payback time! Guest-starring the Guardians of the Galaxy!"


Solicit reads:

"The new Human Rocket roars into action! Sam Alexander is a kid bound by the gravity of a small town - and a father whose ridiculous, drunken fairy tales about a "Nova Corps" were just another heavy burden. But lucky for Sam, gravity soon won't even matter - and those troubles will be a billion miles away. It's a boy, a helmet and an intergalactic legacy! As Sam trains with the Guardians of Galaxy's Gamora and Rocket Raccoon, the helmet leads Nova into intergalactic conflict that will affect the entire Marvel Universe! Mysteries are revealed in this breathtaking new series by the bestselling, award-winning team of Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness (Hulk, Avengers: X-Sanction)!"

Silver Surfer

Solicit reads:

"The universe is big. Bigger than you could ever imagine. And the SILVER SURFER, the lone sentinel of the skyways, is about to discover that the best way to see it... is with someone else.

Meet the Earth Girl who’s challenged the Surfer to go beyond the boundaries of the known Marvel U-- into the strange, the new, and the utterly fantastic!

Anywhere and Everywhere... Hang On! THE SILVER SURFER"



Solicit reads:

"Marvel's fearless hero begins his most awe-inspiring adventure yet in sunny San Francisco! Daredevil has headed west, and now protects the Golden City's streets from evil - both as a costumed hero and as blind lawyer Matt Murdock! But big changes are in store for Matt , as old haunts and familiar faces rise to give the devil his due. The Owl is back, and he isn't working alone...but old enemies are small potatoes compared to Matt 's new "friend": the would-be hero known as the Shroud! As one of DD's oldest enemies is permanently redefined, deadlier than ever, Kirsten and Matt find themselves sharing a volatile secret. But who will crack first? Plus: what killed Foggy Nelson? And a special look into the future, celebrating DD's fiftieth anniversary with cryptic hints at what's to come!"

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon

Solicit reads:

"High above the city, in a multi-million dollar penthouse, Danny Rand, a.k.a. Iron Fist, 'The Living Weapon,' is haunted by the consequences of choosing death over life. A message from Iron Fist's mystical homeland of K'un-Lun brings Danny back to his blood soaked origin of betrayal and vengeance! Revenge is a weapon that cuts both ways.... Will Danny survive the bloodletting? A one-of-a-kind kung fu action epic directed by the inimitable Kaare Andrews!"

Ms. Marvel

Solicit reads:

"Marvel Comics presents the all-new Ms. Marvel, the groundbreaking heroine that has become an international sensation! Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City - until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! As Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to handle? Kamala has no idea either. But she's comin' for you, New York! It's history in the making from acclaimed writer G. Willow Wilson (Air, Cairo) and beloved artist Adrian Alphona (Runaways)!"


Solicit reads:

"JENNIFER WALTERS IS...THE SHE-HULK! A stalwart Avenger, valued member of the FF, savior of the world on more than one occasion, she's also a killer attorney with a pile of degrees and professional respect. A 7-foot-tall drink of cool, emerald water, she's tough enough to knock out Galactus with one punch (possibly?) and has a heart bigger than the moon. But juggling cases and kicking bad guy butt is starting to be a little more complicated than she anticipated. With a new practice, a new paralegal and a mounting number of super villains she's racking up as personal enemies, She Hulk might have bitten off a little more than she can chew...but she just calls that that Tuesday."


Solicit reads:

"The newest super heroes of the Marvel Universe are born! A cloud of Terrigen mist is moving around the world, transforming regular people into Inhumans with amazing powers. But not everyone thinks this is a good thing. As the mysterious Lash takes an unwanted interest in the new Inhumans, Queen Medusa finds herself face to face with Captain America...and it doesn't go well. Pressured on all sides for answers and action, Medusa takes on Lash for the fate of the new Inhumans! Then, as the history of an ancient branch of Inhumans is uncovered, a newly transformed Inhuman named Flint sees his world fall apart! And when Thor visits New Attilan, Reader debuts...but is he friend or foe? Discover the Marvel Universe's secret history and get in on the ground floor of the next big Marvel franchise!"

Moon Knight

Solicit reads:

"Marc Spector is Moon Knight!...Or is he? It's hard to tell these days, especially when New York's wildest vigilante protects the street with two-fisted justice and three-that's right, count 'em-different personalities! But even with the mystical force of Khonshu fueling his crusade, how does the night's greatest detective save a city that's as twisted as he is? The road to victory is going to hurt. A lot. Marvel's most mind-bending adventure begins NOW as Moon Knight sleuths his way to the rotten core of New York's most bizarre mysteries!"

Iron Patriot

Solicit reads:

"Jim Rhodes has quit the SECRET AVENGERS!!! As the IRON PATRIOT, he's bringing his fight against the bad guys to the home front. But a new villain emerges with a brutal plan that could turn Iron Patriot"


This Publication History provides a complete list of Marvel Events so you can choose your own jumping in point if you want to start earlier or later than I did.

Once you have figured out which Marvel Heroes you want to track, this Marvel Comics Database is a good resource for figuring out reading orders. (You can also check out my guides for individual characters and teams listed after the conclusion.)

Marvel Comics Database

  1. Just search for your hero in the search bar, make sure you select the Mainstream continuity or Earth 616 version.

2. At the bottom of the hero's wiki page, under Links, there should be one that links to appearances.

3. From there click show next to chronological appearances. Then Click the Arrows next to Month/Year to sort ascending.

4. If you've done all that, then you have a chronological list of Comics for that character in order of first to most recent!


Aditya on August 02, 2018:

Hi umm actually I really want to start reading marvel comics but I don't know where to start and what to read . Can you please tell me where to start and a complete map so that I can read it all in complete sequence without missing anything.

Michael Nolan from Sarasota, FL on April 18, 2015:

I would have suggested going back a little further and start with Avengers: Disassembled and then going to Breakout and then House of M. Disassembled marks the start of the plot that ends with Age of Heroes. Starting with Civil War is jumping in mid-stream.

Otherwise, very thorough, but you quote from Solicit a lot. What are your opinions of the stories?

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