Question of the Week: What Publication Year of Marvel Should I Start With? 1985?

This week’s question of the week comes from James, who asks:

Just a quick question – I read that 1985 is labeled as the beginning of the modern era [of Marvel Comics]. I´d like to, from some point, read everything, is that a good start or should I stick to marvelous year [reading club]?

This is a pretty good question, and you’ll get different takes from different readers.

On Comic Book Herald, I have defined the modern era of Marvel Comics as 1998 to present day. 1998 offers a practical starting place for a few reasons, namely:

1) The Marvel Universe basically rebooted with new #1 issues for tons of core series like Daredevil, Avengers, and Iron Man.

2) New editorial reigns and the launch of Marvel Knights led to a lot of really fun comics that offer solid entry points to convince new readers comics are fun!

If you’re talking to a comic book historian, there will be different takes on these eras, and their appropriate names, but for me, 1998 is the start of anything “modern.”

If you do want to start earlier than that, but don’t want to use My Marvelous Year lists to go all the way back to 1962, then I’d actually recommend you start with 1981. 1985 is comparatively a down year for Marvel, and also a very confusing place to start. Trust me, I wouldn’t wish starting with Secret Wars II on my worst frenemy.

1981 will get you starting with classic runs like Frank Miller on Daredevil and John Byrne on Fantastic Four. You’ll also get the final year of Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s Uncanny X-Men, including the classic Days of Future Past. You can check out the My Marvelous Year 1981 guide here.

And if you’re interested, the list for 1990 goes out this week, so you can totally join the live MMY club now!

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