The Complete Marvel Reading Order Guide

Welcome to the Comic Book Herald ‘Complete Marvel Reading Order Guide.’ Some quick words of explanation that should help answer the most frequent questions.


In the years I’ve worked editing and updating this guide, I’ve focused primarily on the modern era of comics from the late 90’s through the 2000’s. If you’re interested in every year of Marvel, I recommend ‘My Marvelous Year‘ the Comic Book Herald reading club that takes you through every single of year of Marvel comics. You can also check out the Ultimate Guide to Marvel Unlimited for the best available comics throughout Marvel’s History (for example, I find Age of Apocalypse worth its own guide), or the individual character reading orders below. For the most part the list below is for the Marvel Universe around the launch of Marvel Knights and up through present day.

Otherwise, I believe the list is largely easy to follow. If you have questions, or guides you’d like to see, let me hear about it here.

This list is continually updated as new events occur, and as new trades are released, so if you’re interested in the power of reading your Marvel books in a chrono-logical order, you can subscribe to the Comic Book Herald Reading Club newsletter. Or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. This way you’ll be the first to know when the guide is updated! Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

Reading Marvel Comics in order
Image copyright Marvel Comics

* 1961 to 2000 Essential 25 Trade Collections Fast Track *

* 2000 – 2012 Essential 25 Trade Collections Fast Track *

* The Best 100 Marvel Stories From 1998 to 2015 *

* Star Wars Reading Order *

Dave’s Note: You do not need to read Star Wars comics as part of the Marvel reading order, and vice versa! That said, Marvel Unlimited offers a GREAT selection of Star Wars comics.

* Marvel Ultimate Universe (2000 – 2015) *

Dave’s Note: Important for new readers to know that Marvel in the 2000’s has two primary Universes. You have Earth-616, which is the main continuity that began all the way back in 1961 with Fantastic Four #1 (links below). And then you have the brand new Earth-1610 (the Ultimate Universe) which was launched to reimagine Marvel for the 2000’s (link above). They do not need to be read together, and only rarely cross over!Comic Book Herald's My Marvelous Year

Marvel Earth-616 (Main Universe Continuity)

* Early 2000s Until Avengers Disassembled *

* Avengers Disassembled and Tie-Ins (July 2004 – Jan 2005) *

* When Should I Read Secret War? *

* Comics Getting You From Disassembled to House of M (July 2004 – December 2005) *

* House of M and Tie-Ins (2005) *

* Decimation and Tie-Ins (2006) *

* Comics Getting You From House of M to Civil War (Nov ’05 – July ’06) *

* Read Iron Man: Extremis*

* Read Spider-Man: The Other Crossover *

* What about Marvel Cosmic? (Annihilation Goes Here) *

* Civil War and Tie-Ins (July 2006 – Jan 2007) *

* Comics Getting You From Civil War to Secret Invasion (Dec 2006 – June 2008)

* Read Silent War *

* World War Hulk and Tie-Ins (July 2007 – Jan 2008) *

* World War Hulk: Aftersmash – Red Hulk, Skaar & Hercules *

* Read X-Men: Messiah CompleX *

* Secret Invasion and Tie-Ins (June 2008 – Jan 2009) *

* Dark Reign and Tie-Ins (Dec 2008 – Dec 2009) *

* Fall of the Hulks & World War Hulks (Dec 2009 – August 2010) *

* Siege and Tie-Ins (Dec 2009 – May 2010) *

* The Heroic Age and Tie-Ins (May 2010 – November 2010) *

* Shadowland (Daredevil) and Tie-Ins (July 2010 – Dec 2010) *

* Chaos War and Tie-Ins (Oct 2010 – March 2011) *

*Fear Itself, Shattered Heroes, and Tie-Ins (April 2011 – April 2012) *

* Avengers Vs. X-Men and Tie-Ins (April 2012 – Sept 2012) *

* Marvel NOW! Reading Order (October 2012 – 2015 ) *

Dave’s Note: The Marvel NOW! reading order includes every Marvel comic from AvX Aftermath, Marvel NOW!, All-New Marvel NOW!, and series launched in 2015 leading up to Secret Wars. It is inclusive of below events, and is quite possibly the only guide you’ll ever need. I blacked out for like 3 weeks and this is what happened.

* Age of Ultron (March 2013 – June 2013) *

Infinity and Tie-Ins (Aug 2013 – Dec 2013) *

* Original Sin and Tie-Ins (March 2014 – September 2014) *

* Death of Wolverine & Tie-Ins (September 2014 – 2015) *

* Axis and Tie-Ins (September 2014 – December 2014 ) *

* Spider-Verse and Tie-Ins (September 2014 – February 2015) *

* Guardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex (January 2015 – ) *

* Secret Wars: From The Original to Present Day (1984 – 2015) *

* All-New All-Different Marvel * (October 2015 – May 2016 )

*Avengers: Standoff!* (Mar 2016 – April 2016)

*X-Men: Apocalypse Wars* (Mar 2016 – June 2016)

* Civil War 2 * (May 2016 – December 2016)

* Spider-Man: Clone Conspiracy (October 2016 – February 2017) *

* Inhumans vs. X-Men (December 2016 – March 2017)

* Marvel Now 2.0 (October 2016 – ) *

* Monsters Unleashed (January 2017 – March 2017) *

* Secret Empire (April 2017 – ) *

* X-Men: ResurreXion (April 2017 – ) *

Deadpool
Image copyright Marvel Comics

Individual Character/Team Guides

Amazing Spider-Man

Ant-Man

Apocalypse (X-Men)

The Avengers

Black Panther

Black Widow

Cable (X-Man)

Captain America

Captain Marvel

Daredevil

Deadpool

Doctor Doom

Doctor Strange

Drax the Destroyer

Elektra

Falcon (Sam Wilson)

Fantastic Four

Gambit – X-Men

Gamora

Ghost Rider

Groot

Guardians of the Galaxy

Hawkeye (Clint Barton, Kate Bishop)

Hulk (and She-Hulk, Red Hulk)

Inhumans

Iron Fist

Iron Man

Legion (David Haller)

Loki

Luke Cage (Power Man)

Magneto

Moon Knight

Ms. Marvel

New Mutants

Old Man Logan

Punisher

Rocket Raccoon

Runaways

Silver Surfer

Star-Lord (Peter Quill)

Squirrel Girl

Thanos

Thor

Ultimate Spider-Man

Venom

Ultron

Winter Soldier (Bucky Barnes)

Wolverine

X-23 (Laura Kinney)

The X-Men (Modern Era) — Modern X-Men Event Fast Track

The X-Men (Chris Claremont Era)

X-Men: Age of Apocalypse

X-Men: Onslaught

 

 

Notice: Comic Book Herald is not in any way associated with Marvel Comics. The site has never even been to New York. This guide is simply my personal attempt to catalog their materials for avid readers like myself. For official Marvel products and opinions, you can visit their website at Marvel.com

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159 Replies to “The Complete Marvel Reading Order Guide”

  1. Talk about a “bible” this is now my go to site, for some reason i just gave up on comics mid 90’s no real reason just did… Fool me once and all! So trying to get back into it some 20 years later is so so so tough to do without spoilers left and right : (. So a huge thanks to Dave (Mr Comics as of .NOW) for doing his thing and making my life a lot easier. Please keep up the perfect work and i’ll catch up sooner then later! Many thanks in advance – Ben.

  2. THANK YOU!!!! Oh my god, I got into comics probably late 2011 after years of wanting to and I can say I have had so much trouble keeping things straight trying to catch up on everything. I read AvX, Childrens Crusade, and then House of M all because I had no idea what order things went in. I’m constantly reading a series and then making note to go back and read 3 more so I can actually understand what they are referencing to!
    This is a life saver, now I can finally figure out how to read things in an order that will make so much more sense!

  3. Hey! Been using your site to build my trade collection. Excellent work putting all these lists togwther. Quick question, when do I read the New Avengers: Illuminati trade?

  4. Hi! this site is amazing! thanks for all this work and having a good writing about it!

    So, I’m planning all this reading and I notice that the part 3 and 6 of the guide are not clearly identify. Probably just a miss. and also, the links in this page are not all part of the guide it seems, (like * When Should I Read Secret War? *)

    So if started with * Early 2000s Until Avengers Diassembled * and follow every link there, then came back to this page and go one with the following link, I would actually follow the reading order you wrote, catching up to now?

    Second question, I have a Marvel Unlimites Subscription, and an android device, and while the App is now better than when you criticized it, it is still not as good as the comixology one, especially the smart panel system (which I happen to like a lot in comixology, for the possibility to have the full page showed at the beggining and at the end of the page, so I don’t miss on the art) anyway, I wonder if you know of a possibility to read comics from the Marvel Unlimited subcription with another reader?

    IM sorry if my english is wierd a bit, it’s my second language!

    again thanks for all that work, it is great!

    1. Right, read in the order of the links from top to bottom included on the main guide page. I may not totally understand how counting works, so the numbering gets weird 🙂

      Reading Marvel Unlimited in another reader is a really interesting question. The only alternative I know of is to read in a web browser. So instead of using the Marvel Unlimited app, you could log in to marvel.com in the browser of your choice and read your comics that way. Honestly, with the improvements to the app this year, I prefer the app to that approach.

      Hope that helps, and thanks for stopping by!

  5. You area a life-saver! I bought a box of about 400 comics for super-cheap, mostly Marvel, at a thrift store last week. I always wanted to start reading comics, but didn’t know where to start or where it was best to invest $3 per comic, so it seemed like a real deal.

    Little did I know that the Marvel chronology is like dried spaghetti, and following a single reading order requires the work of some kind of mad genius. I’m sitting here right now with 5 different piles of X-Men over there, and 6 piles of Avengers over here, and a special stack just for Thor (the cover art is gorgeous!)…

    Now I realize that the best way to organize is to separate out all of the Secret Invasion, Dark Reign, Initiative.. events into their own stacks. I’ll lay the stacks out in the event order, spread them by character/group, and insert the non-event stuff in where it fits between. It is like some n-dimensional grid! Maybe one day, I’ll actually be able to *read* these things, or at least walk across my floor without tripping over comic books.

  6. Ever since the Marvel Cinematic Universe I’ve been catching up with Marvel comics from the 2000s up until the very recent ones and this project has been a huge help. Thank you so much for the effort! Keep up the good work! Kindest regards from Germany.

  7. I’m starting to read with Avengers Disassembled, I have factored in Hulk, Iron Man, Avengers, Captain America, and even a little Dr Strange into my purchases between events. How much would I be missing excluding X-Men from my reading of the time frames outside of event books like House of M? Also I see Astonishing X-Men would be the natural starting point in that case but is that not as natural of an X-Men starting point as, Avengers Disassembled is an Avengers starting point?

    1. New X-Men (Morrison, Quitely) is a better starting point for X-Men. You could start with Astonishing, but that series actually references a lot within New X-Men.

      You can enjoy the Avengers Disassembled through Siege event run while skipping non-Astonishing X-Men. Exceptions are House of M / Decimation and Dark Reign: Utopia.

      As always, though, I recommend reading what you like. If the world of mutants isn’t doing it for you (or is too unkempt), stick to Avengers!

      1. Thanks for the answer. I am really loving the Claremont X-Men reading order as well, any updates coming on that? Also before even the Marvel Knights era would you be able to list something like the 25 essential graphic novels for earlier Marvel universe. I know some of the big ones are obvious like Secret Wars, Armor Wars, and Age of Apocalypse but was wondering about some of the other great Marvel stories.

  8. Thank you so much this is awesome. I just started getting back into comics after probably 2 decades of being away. I know I’ve been reading some things out of order so I wanted to see if I could get some direction….and come to find out I’ve pretty much been reading everything as backwards and out of order as possible LOL

    Thank you again for putting this together, especially with the links to purchase the comics – very nice work!

  9. Hi Dave, first of all, just have to say thank you for the excellent job on this site. It’s made working through all of marvels massive history so much easier.
    I am currently working through the list pre disassembled, and at the same time wanted to try read important arcs for x-men, avengers, Spider-Man, etc.
    I was just wondering if you had any advice on where to begin with the fantastic four, and Thor though?
    I’m using MU and it can be a little bit overwhelming at times.

    1. Glad you like the site and that it’s helping!

      Fantastic Four I would start with Mark Waid and Mike Wierengo’s run, which begins with issue #60 (it will semi-quickly restore old numbering, meaning after issue #70, you read issue #500. This is weird I know, but it’s just Marvel numbering, the story will make sense).

      Thor is a little trickier. It sort of depends on just how much Thor you want to read. When I first made my way through this, I just started with the Thor Disassembled tie-in. This is a bit in the thick of it, but I kind of prefer this approach. Otherwise you can check out the 1998 – 2004 series which runs for 70+ before Disassembled. This is where you’ll find arcs like “The Death of Odin.”

      Enjoy the comics!

  10. Thank you very much for providing this guide. As someone like me who started reading comic books last year due to the GotG movie. I was extremely confused at where to start. After I found this guide. I know that I can now cope up w/ the latest issue of Marvel comics. Again, thank you very much!

  11. Hi there,

    I am new to comics, even though I’ve been following the TV series and movies for years.

    I noticed on the side of the forums is a “Popular Articles” section. How do these reading orders tie in to the above ordering?

    I am planning to jump in from the “Marvel Ultimate Universe” (going to take my time, skipping the fast track for more reading material :)).

    For example, like you mentioned in the intro, Age of Apocalypse is not listed in your reading order (unless it’s in one of the X-Men links?) but has it’s own guide.

    So how does Civil War, Annihilation, Thanos, Age of Apocalypse tie in with the above mentioned order?

  12. So, over the past week I’ve been using this site to guide me through the Civil War, and holy hell was it awesome. First time reading comics, got interested via the MCU. Anywho, Civil War and the Tie ins were amazing, planning on going through your whole guide now to catch up. Definitely been recommending this to others, helped me into this crazy comic culture, and lingos lol

    Keep Up The Good Work!!!!!

  13. Currently, I have no idea where to start. Do I go back to pre 2000s and read all of the original comics, or should I just start with part one of the guide? I really want to experience marvel at its best, but I have no idea where to start.

  14. Hi Dave – I’ve finished the Point One from 2012 and was wondering where I should go from there. I noticed several titles at the end which include Defenders and Avengers but they appear to be deep into their stories. Any thoughts where I should go? I also have Marvel Unlimited.

    1. Check out the Marvel Now part of the guide. I’ll note that I am completely revamping that section this week, but it will get you started with some good comics for now 🙂

    1. I’m new to reading Marvel comics and I eventually plan to read the 2015 Secret Wars, but before I do I want to ensure that I of course am caught up. However I am still a bit confused on the reading order. I was reading through the guide for the 2015 Secret Wars and noticed it was recommend to read Jonathan Hickman’s Secret War Prologue where you recommended reading part the of the Ultimates by Jonathan Hickman or reading all of the Ultimates Universe. Now the confusion I’m having is that I thought the Ultimates Universe was in the Marvel Earth 1610 Universe and the 2015 Secret Wars was in the Marvel Earth 616 Universe. Should I be reading both the main and the Ultimate and if so when would be the point to start the Ultimate Universe?

      1. Secret Wars deals with the entire Marvel Multiverse, meaning both the Ultimate Universe (Earth 1610) and Earth-616 are in play. So some familiarity with both continuities comes in handy.

        The best possible prep you can do from the Secret Wars guide is Hickman’s Avengers and New Avengers. The Ultimate Universe suggestions will then help a lot with the characters in the Secret Wars main series.

  15. I just gotta say thanks man. i appreciate all your time and efforts here. I too gave up in the 90s and have been slowly reading everything to catch up. Great help. Thanks!

  16. Okay, this list is so super daunting and I’m starting to be overwhelmed by it. This must take so much of your time! Certainly helps out people like me who have been researching for hours and comparing multiple lists trying to figure out where to begin. Amazing work and I’m looking forward to an Iron Man reading list! 🙂

    1. Iron Man, huh? That’s not a bad idea…

      Glad you enjoy the guide, and don’t be daunted! Just get rolling, and if it isn’t working for you, next series!

  17. Hey Dave, just wanted to take a moment and sincerely thank you for all your hard work and research. I was mainly a DC kid growing up and didn’t read much Marvel and now as an adult I’ve decided to catch up on the last 30 years of Marvel comics and your site has been indispensable. This journey through Marvel history has brought me much joy and made me feel like my 10 year old comic fanatic self again and this experience wouldn’t be anywhere close to as fulfilling without your site. THANK YOU!
    P.S. congrats on the re-design, it looks great.

  18. Hello , guys.

    Well, some time now I’ve been getting a huge taste for comics and although I sympathize with Marvel me , I do not know where to start reading.

    I began to search for sites where they had reading orders , but none was so simple yet amazing time like this. Congratulations to all the team.

    But before I begin to venture into the world of comics, I have a doubt : I have to start at the ” 1961 to 2000 Essential 25 Trade Collections Fast Track” or “Early 2000s Avengers Disassembled Until ‘ I would greatly appreciate it if they could answer me.

    Thank you in advance and forgiveness for my horrible english (I’m using Google translator , because I’m Brazilian ) . xD

    1. Personally, I skipped the “fast track” because I wanted to read all there is. With Marvel Unlimited, honestly it’s a shame to miss out on certain stuff.

      I also started with the Ultimate Universe, but it’s funny, because I asked the exact same question you did and Dave basically said “Reading and finishing one would not really confuse things. Just different versions.” in regards to Earth-616 vs Ultimate universe.

      1. (I’m Matheus, I will start posting to this account.)

        I see. Before asking this question , I had begun to read for “Early 2000s Avengers Disassembled Until ” , ‘ Inhuman ‘ to be exact . I was enjoying quite the HQ , but I thought I’d better go back in time , just thinking I could get confused.

        I thank for the answer and I think I’ll read the ” fast track ” before beginning indeed. Anyway , thank you for your reply and I’ll wait for more people opining here!

  19. Hi there,

    Not sure where to ask this, but is there a proper order of reading the Star Wars comics? Or should I just start from the 1977 #1 issue and work my way to present?

  20. I just want to let you know that I use this site literally like every day, multiple times per day.

    I have the site (and different subsections) bookmarked on both my phone and computer and I keep a tab open on my phone at all times to review as I read using the Marvel Unlimited app.

    Seriously your website is immensely helpful and I don’t know what I’d do without it. I’m hugely OCD about order and progressing through the backstory and origin to appreciate material as it goes on and I always refer to this site to help me. Having all this in one place is extremely helpful. I’d miss out on tons of stuff if I didn’t have this website to reference.

    Any who – I just wanted to voice my appreciation and let you know that I believe this is a very valuable resource and I wanted to say thank you for all your hard work.

  21. I only read comics in trade paperback form because I get everything from the library (don’t have the money or space to buy each issue). With that said, is there a trade paperback order that you would recommend for everything leading up to 2015’s Secret Wars? I’m trying to make sure I’m reading everything but it’s rather confusing, and it seems like you only have the issue by issue reading order. Thanks for the help and for the entirety of this website! Wouldn’t be reading comics without it.

  22. I have been following your guide pretty closely so far, and I must say, it is fantastic, although quite a drain on my wallet. I prefer having paper in hand rather than reading on a computer, so I am working my way through buying as many trades as I can. That being said, I just got up to Amazing Spider-Man 500 by JMS, and throughout the run, Dr. Strange has played a pretty big part. I see one Dr. Strange series noted in your before Disassembled guide, but I was wondering if there was anything else worthwhile with him. Additionally, any chance you could put together a Dr. Strange guide like you have with the others? I would like to read more about him, but I am not sure where to start or what to get. Keep up the great work and thanks for what you do!

  23. Dave, got a question for you. As I’m nearing the completion of the Cap run you’ve suggested (awesome, btw!), I’m getting close to starting the various Marvel Now editions and have an important decision to make: should I continue to read collected runs until I fully catch up, or should I read by weeks released? Any thoughts would be appreciated!

  24. Hi Dave,

    I’ve avidly followed your blog for the past two months and it is nothing short of fantastic. I had only just begun collecting the issues leading up to the current Secret Wars as well as anything Inhuman-ish. However, I am still on the lookout for other figures of interest that’s bound to pop up in future MCU films. In light of that, would you consider compiling a reading order for Doctor Strange or Carol Danvers’ Miss Marvel – Captain Marvel some time soon (pretty please!)? I am also attracted to the idea of following the various runs on Moon Knight, despite the many harsh criticisms that compared him unfavorably to Batman. Meanwhile, please keep these awesome reviews and lists coming!

    Ever a fan of Marvel,

    Noel

    1. Glad you like the blog Noel!

      Very solid choices, and I suspect you will see both on here in the near future. Doctor Strange in particular is a monster of an order to try and wrangle!

  25. Hi, I just wanted to take some time to thank you, your reading orders combined with the MCU has gotten me into Marvel comics which has opened my eyes being usually a DC comics fan. This has been a great entry point into the recent history of Marvel and honestly I would have just been overwhelmed without it.

    I just had one question, would you ever consider a Silver Surfer/Galactus reading order? Galactus is a character that has always had me intrigued but I actually know very little about. Thanks again.

    1. I’m very glad it’s been helpful!

      Request for Silver Surfer / Galactus is noted. I have Silver Surfer in the queue, and Galactus follows pretty naturally. If you haven’t already, check out Fantastic Four #48 to #50 for their first appearance.

  26. Really appreciate what you do.

    Simple question (for now): Do I read the Hawkeye Vol. 3: L.A. Woman that my library just got, or wait for Vol. 4 to come out since the issues go out-of-order/skip (3 concentrates on lady Hawkeye, 4 goes back to Hawkeye tales, I guess). Or just go ready them all online with my M.U. subscription? I vastly prefer having a book/story in my hands. But want to avoid spoilers as much as possible. Thanks again for all you do, and your many reading orders!

    1. Hmm, I read the issues as they were released and wouldn’t really recommend against that. If you definitely prefer trades, and can wait, then by all means I recommend that approach. But that near full run on MU has to be pretty tempting 🙂

      1. Love MU. Biggest problem reading it online, though, is its pages often have tendency to freeze or disconnect from my Firefox browser. And a.nnihil.us or whomever Marvel uses also tends to cut short the last couple of pages, freeze me out and make me start over. (I’ve reported some out-of-order/missing page problems to Marvel of other books, they promised to look into/fix.) I read Hawkeye 3 TPB, which wasn’t full order but seemed to be all Lady Hawkeye; so really didn’t seem to be any continuity or spoiler problems. Look forward to Hawkeye 4 TPB and catching up the skipped issues, back to the man in purple. (And also, admit I’d still rather have books in-hand to read not rely on electronics.)

  27. I have had Marvel Unlimited for over a year, and have been trying to get to where I can be current starting from disassembled. I was just sort of lost, this list is beyond fantastic. Thank you so much!

  28. Are you planning on any more “Comics getting you from X to X” segments to fill in gaps between events? I understand how monumental of a task that is, so I am in no way trying to rush you. I am just curious what the way ahead is for you right now. I am just past World War Hulk and am mostly filling in blanks with the help of some other sites plus common sense (World War hulk involves issues 1X-3X and Messiah Complex has 8X-10X so obviously I need to read 4X-7X in between etc) but that leaves out a lot of the lesser known awesomeness that you include in the getting from X to X segments. Some of my favorite comics have been these lesser knowns, so I don’t want to miss out on any if I can help it. Thanks a bunch and keep up the good work. It is very much appreciated.

  29. Hi!,
    I’m in love with the marvel films and I’ve watched them all in chronological order (with a bit of help off course) but now I want to start reading the comics.
    Little did i know there where more comic books in the marvel world than there are brain cells in my head. (just joking… hopefully)
    Needless to say, I almost shat my pants when searching for ‘where to start’.
    At the moment I’m most interested in the avengers, captain America, Thor and iron man. And I’m intending on reading all of those stories in chronological order,
    the only problem is that I have no idea where to start.
    now I’m sure you’ve received this question a billion times already but I was hoping you could maybe give me some advise on where to start and how to go on?
    Tank you anyway, great website!

  30. Just wondering where X – Men Second Coming fits into the complete reading order because it’s not in any of the guides around April 2010

    If there is an answer, would be great to know

    Thanks

  31. As I get through AvX (which I’m totally digging), I see that there’s about a 6-month gap within your list that leads up to Age of Ultron. Also, at the end of several of the Marvel Unlimited comics, I see a four-episode arc called Marvel Universe vs. The Avengers. Can you recommend anything else interesting to read in between AvX and AoU? Thanks and keep up the good work.

  32. So I’m not sure if this is the place to ask, but does anyone know where I would star on Black Knight comics? Is he an interesting character and are there any runs worth reading?

  33. Looking through all of this, I see one major character that needs a reading order… Wolverine. How can the best there is at what he does not have his own reading order already? It’s a travesty! I am sure it would be a Herculean effort but if anyone can handle it, I’m sure you can!

  34. Hey ! Thank you very much for this Reading Order ! It’s an awesome work you do there !

    I’m a french reader and your guides are really helpful 🙂

  35. Recently bought marvel unlimited, and started with civil war. If I start following this reading order from the start, does it literary include all stories from the mid ’90s? Like the 700 parts from AMS? And so on?

  36. Hey, I was wondering if you had or could do an Individual Character/Team Guide of sorts for Victor Von Doom? What comics should I read to get his story from his very beginning to present? I’d really appreciate an article on that. Should I just read some Fantastic four issues? which ones? Anything really Doom centric so far?

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  38. Hi there! I’m new to reading marvel comics…by new I mean I haven’t started yet :/ I’ve been doing tons of research to try to figure out how I should go about starting, and this site has been such a huge help to get sense of what I’m about to get myself into! Now that I have a better feel for how all of this works and the different ways I can go about this, there are only a couple of things I don’t understand. The Complete Marvel Reading Order Guide mentions that Secret Wars should be read after Disassembled but before House of M, however Secret Wars is also recommended to be read after Marvel NOW!…I guess my confusion is in regard to what exactly is Marvel NOW! is. I’m intrigued because it seems like it might be a reboot and the most appropriate place to start for new readers, but the fact that it is supposed to be read after AvX and before Secret Wars makes me wonder if it isn’t a reboot but instead a continuation of modern Marvel and the Earth 616 universe, and if it’s a continuation then I feel like I should start from the pre-Disassembled guide 1 to get the full story for the 616 universe. So what is Marvel NOW! exactly and what would be the consequences of starting with it as apposed to starting with Guide 1?

  39. Hi Im looking for a novel not with pictures but a novel in form say like Lord of the Rings. The reason is I want to visualize what Im reading. I also want to read a see how the marvel universe all intertwines vs watching the movies along with getting more detail about everything. Yes watching the movies is great but I’m looking to read about it and as I said not looking for graphic novel. Any help be awesome

    1. There are a number of good books like you seek. Known as prose novels. Most come in paperback. Hard to find in bookstores or comics shops, not worth it for them to carry. But check your local library (surprsiing what you can find there!) or Amazon. I’d recommend the novelization of Secret Wars. Also recent ones about Avengers, Ant-Man and Deadpool. Older ones on X-Men, Spider-Men, Iron Man, etc. Have come out in the past under Marvel Press, Marvel Books and many other publishers like Bantam. Might Wiki for an easy list of prose novels (list of novels based on comics), which will also point you to DC and other characters. I still prefer Robert E. Howard’s Conans best of all… Let me know if you want more info!

    2. There’s a Marvel Civil War prose novel by Stuart Moore. I also love The Chaos Engine Trilogy if you’re prepared for some completely crazy X Men/Marvel U alternate realities.

    1. Thanks! Possible but may take me a while. In the meantime:

      The 60s Lee and Kirby Fantastic Four. Must read for any marvellite, and Namor is the most frequently recurring character not named Doctor Doom.

      New Avengers: Illuminati and the Hickman run on New Avengers leading up to Secret Wars. This is modern Namor as I know him!

  40. Just wanted to thank you for this amazing information. I stopped reading comics back in the early 70″s except for occasional trades. I’m old enough (61) that I remember buying and reading X-Men from issue #1 back in early 60’s . In the last 2 days I have read the Inhumans run and 30 issues of Deadpool, following your guide and I love it. I hope to introduce my 10 year old grandson to this new world while he’s out of school this summer. Once again, thank you!

  41. Hi,

    My Name is Quinn and Im 15 years old. I have always loved marvel movies and after watching 20 or so marvel superhero movies in a week I felt a push to start reading the comics. Under the belief that the marvel universe was one big continuity I set out to find more information and was completely overwhelmed. I found this website which has been quite helpful but im wondering If someone could give me some more information. What is or isn’t considered canon? What series are cannon and how do they connect to each other. Why do so many events have reading orders that jump from series to series?
    Thank you to all.

    1. Another question I forgot to ask was why do some issues of comics have things on the cover like “house of M’ or “civil war II” and not have it in the title of the issue and then in later issues the “house of M” is not on the cover?

    2. Hi Quinn, thanks for the comment. Welcome to comics!

      I imagine you don’t intend this, but ‘canon’ across either DC or Marvel is actually a pretty loaded question.

      The glorious history of superhero comic book universes is a double-edged sword, in that it offers more breadth and depth than any artistic medium, and it’s also confusing as #$$%#!####gocubs!@#*#&.

      Very, very broadly speaking, Marvel ‘canon’ begins with Fantastic Four #1 in November, 1962 (technically that’s not even right, but I’m willing to incur the wrath of the original human torch loons in the crowd), and proceeds unfettered to present day.

      By ‘unfettered’, I really mean “constantly fettered,” with any number of retcons, editorial mandates, and just flat-out time shaking up the status quo over the course of 50+ years.

      Like… Marvel Comics are older than MY DAD, and he walked with the Dinosaurs. That’s a lot of history!

      Ultimately, here’s how I approach the question of canon: It’s whatever the heck you want it to be.

      Now, there are certain stories, or comics, that clearly exist outside the standard Marvel Universe continuity. For example, Spider-Man: Reign is set in a (potentially) alternate future.

      The same is true for a series like Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, which reimagines the Spider-Man mythos as a perpetual high school drama.

      How will you know if a series falls within “standard” Marvel continuity? Much like porn in Washington D.C., you’ll know it when you see it. Generally speaking, the Comic Book Herald reading orders will make a note if a book falls outside standard continuity. Naturally, I recommend you follow the guides for an easier path.

      Boy that’s confusing. The most important lesson, at the end of this and every day, is to enjoy the comics!

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to launch myself out of a cannon.

  42. Hey man amazing work! I’m just getting back into comics after 30+ years ad you ave aided me greatly.

    Any chance we will see a Spider-Woman reading order list with a heads up of the most recent events?

    Thanks

    1. Always a possibility if I see enough demand 🙂

      Spider-Woman a bit tricky right now, especially with the majority of the early Claremont work missing in MU. Hoping this changes soon!

  43. I’m probably gonna sound like the most idiotic person on the face of the earth, but which series do you think would be best to start with? I’m assuming it is mentioned in this guide but I’m totally lost, as I am a teen who has never read a single marvel comic ever (since I didn’t have access to them when I was younger). I have a basic knowledge of the marvel universe through the movies and reading a couple things (I know the movies are loosely based, but I’ve read up on a couple of things here and there) But I want to start with the series that makes the most sense to start with. Either current or from some of the older comics. Thanks.

    1. Not a bad question at all.

      There’s so much that’s happened/happening, so much tied in, that it’s near-impossible to pick one place on the Marvel timeline to start. Just go with your favorite character, as far back as you can. Or the original Civil War, which set the stage for Secret Invasion and Dark Reign. More recent, probably Infinity and the things (mostly Avengers and Illuminati keyed) that led to Time Runs Out. Or jump back when and where you feel inspired or have questions why somehting is happening or what happened when (I’m following about 10 catch-up paths right now, shouldn’t have been Marvel-idle for 30 years!). Or follow any of CBH’s (Dave’s) magnificent trails and suggestions — there are a lot of columns here on where to begin and why. I was lucky: The first Marvel I read was “The Wedding of Reed and Sue” and that started me on figuring out the answer to that etrnal question: Who are all these people?

      Enjoy!

  44. Hi Dave.

    I wanted to say your reading order is being very useful so far and it has gotten me into reading Marvel Comics, so thanks for that.

    However, I found a few mistakes in your issue by issue reading order and after reading I’m pieceing together a new list, which includes lots of issues you left out, corrects some issues placed wrong, and includes everything, straight and numbered.

    I’m wondering if you would like to know about some of the corrections I’ve made, I’d love to share it and maybe you could tell me if there was a reason for those issues being out of order

  45. I’m just getting into comics after wanting to since I was like 15 years old (never did because it’s just so intimidating, though I did have what I thought was a decent collection when I was younger, and always loved easy to start series like Preacher, Watchmen, etc. but the superhero stuff is so hard to jump into for someone with completionist OCD like myself). Now that technology has made it so I don’t need to scour for paper copies of tens of thousands of issues just to get some sense of what’s going on in any given storyline, I’m taking the dive…. Your website is a life saver, I don’t have any sense of where to start, so having reading orders for so many characters, series, events, etc. is helpful beyond words. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this, and making it easier for new fans like myself to get into comics. Without your guides I’d never have found a way to get into comics again, thank you.

  46. Hey Dave, I was wondering if you could do a 1961-2000 marvel reading order (only counting good 90s comics). It would really help me. Thank you!

      1. What I’ve decided to do is follow your essential 25 stories from 1961-2000 and then read the modern marvel. I think after that I may go back and read the MMY stuff that I haven’t read. Do you think this is a good idea?

  47. Hey Dave,

    I really appreciated what you do here – it’s awesome.

    I just wanted to clarify something – is the Marvel NOW section of the reading order skippable if you plan on reading all the following groups? Because there is some overlap (as you have stated), and I was just wondering if the best option is to read JUST Marvel NOW and then skip to Secret Wars OR skip Marvel NOW then read all the following groups (Age of Ultron, Infinity, Original Sin etc.)?

    1. All events between AvX and Secret Wars are also included within the Marvel NOW! order. Personally, I’d recommend checking out the Marvel NOW! order and then proceeding to Secret Wars.

      Enjoy the comics!

  48. Hi Dave,

    For starters, you have made probably the most comprehensive way to read comics that I’ve ever seen, and you’re doing wonders for helping everyone get caught up with the vast history of Marvel. I just had one concern:

    After Secret Invasion and Dark Reign, you stop doing the “Comics to read between…” pages and started just doing events. I realize by this point that events don’t have a lot of space between them, but by doing this, I can’t seem to find the rest of Hickman’s Fantastic Four run, a lot of the Spidey Brain Trust stuff, and the Dan Slott Spidey run on the main list. Would you consider adding these runs and any I’m forgetting?

  49. I just couldn’t leave your site before suggesting that I really loved the usual information an individual supply to your visitors?

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