Question of the Week: Where Do I Start With Avengers Trade Collections?

As the Comic Book Herald audience has grown from my cats (and only then under duress; I’m not proud of the threats I made) to a multi-pronged legion of fanatical comic fans, I’ve been getting more and more questions.

What’s up with this specific aspect of your Infinity reading order? I’m new to comics, where should I start with the Avengers? You seem like an omega-level intellect – how would you handle the crisis in the Ukraine?

All valid questions, and I’m happy to answer them, but I’ve found that I’m frequently answering them behind closed doors. In super-sexy private time. (Many people just call this e-mail.)

So starting henceforth, I’ll be answering one question a week for all to see. I call it “the question of the week.” I’m open to suggestions, but I think I nailed it. As always, if your question is super-sexy private, I won’t share information you don’t want shared. And you can send all your questions to @comicbookherald on Twitter, or dave@comicbookherald.com.

Hawkeye shoots Ant Man

Question of the Week

I recently fell in love with Marvel comic books. I began reading The New Avengers vol. 1 and i just finish Vol. 5. I also seek one that can help me with some sort of timeline  – You know , how to read them in the correct timeline. ~Mathias

Paraphrasing the question here, it’s basically: what order do I read modern Avengers trades?

This is a fairly loaded question given the Avengers’ intersection with major Marvel events and then the post-Civil War split of New Avengers and Mighty Avengers titles.

It’s also a great question, and one I’ve heard from a lot of new comic readers. So let’s do this – here’s to making Avengers trades comprehensible for a new reader.

Bonus Update – 10 Best Avengers Stories Before 1998

Below you’ll find a guide to navigating Avengers comics from 1998 to present. I’m adding this additional section to cover the essential Avengers stories you should check out if you’re more interested in the history of the team.

I’d also recommend you check out My Marvelous Year, the Comic Book Herald reading club where we read every single year of Marvel Comics, in manageable weekly installments. We cover plenty of Avengers over there as well!

Avengers Epic Collection: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – Issues #1 to #20

Avengers Epic Collection: Behold the Vision – Issues #57 to #76

Avengers: Kree / Skrull War – Issues #88 to #97

Avengers: The Bride of Ultron – #157 to #166

Avengers: The Korvac Saga – Issues #167 to #177

Avengers: Nights of Wundagore – Issues #181 to #187

Avengers: Heart of Stone – Issues #188 to #205

Avengers: The Legacy of Thanos – Issues #255 to #261

Avengers: Under Siege – Issues #270 to #277

Avengers: Assault on Olympus – Issues #278 to #285

The Avengers: Where Do I Start?

One of comics' most iconic covers: The Avenger...
One of comics’ most iconic covers: The Avengers #4 (March 1964). Art by Kirby & George Roussos. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If we’re talking the modern Marvel era (kicks off about 1998 with Joe Quesada as editor-in-chief and the launch of the Marvel Knights imprint), many fans would have you start with Avengers Disassembled. For the purposes of getting caught up on major storylines and the state of the Marvel Universe as a whole, this makes a lot of sense.

But if you just like Avengers stories, then it would be a mistake to entirely bypass Kurt Busiek and George Perez’s near 60 issue run on the title. These are two all-time comic book greats, and Busiek in particular has proven himself as a master of Marvel lore with the essential Marvels and Avengers Forever.

If you’re reading on Marvel Unlimited, this is the series known as Avengers 1998 – 2004, and ends with Avengers Disassembled. The trades can be collected as follows:

Avengers Assemble Vol 1 (#1 – #11)

Avengers Assemble Vol 2 (#12 – #23)

Avengers Assemble Vol 3 (#24 – #34)

Avengers Assemble Vol 4 (#35 – #44)

Avengers Assemble Vol 5 (#45 – #56)

From here, Avengers is taken over by Geoff Johns, known now as DC’s Chief Creative Officer, and the man who brought us Infinite Crisis, Green Lantern: Rebirth, and the coolest version of Sinestro in years. Knowing his later success with the Green Lantern franchise, it’s interesting to see Johns cut his teeth on the Avengers.

Avengers: The Geoff Johns Collection (#57 – #63)

Avengers: The Geoff Johns Collection (#64 – #76)

Avengers falls into a weird state of trade collection disarray here, with Chuck Austen’s run on issues #77 – #84 collected over the course of two terribly reviewed trade paperbacks. I include links to these issues here and here, only so you can see how angry they make Marvel fans.

Otherwise, our next stop is Avengers Disassembled, where Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch kick off the modern Marvel era of events. Note here that Avengers re-adopted the original numbering so it could sell a number #500.

Avengers Disassembled (#500 – #503 + Finale)

Avengers Disassembled: So No More Avengers, Right?

Avengers Disassembled
Avengers Disassembled (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of course not! But to Avengers Disassembled’s credit, the team is greatly impacted and is never quite the same. It can only exist moving forward as a new entity: the New Avengers.

I’d note here that there’s a pretty awesome New Avengers omnibus that also collects the Avengers Disassembled issues. I’ll list out the remaining trades and their intersection with Marvel events in chronological order below, but you may prefer the omnibus. Marvel Unlimited readers, get your New Avengers on here. And your Young Avengers here.

New Avengers vol 1 (#1 – #6)

Young Avengers: Ultimate Collection (#1 – #12)

New Avengers vol 2 (#7 – #10)

New Avengers vol 3 (#11 – #15)

House of M

New Avengers vol 4 (#16 – #20)

Civil War

New Avengers vol 5 (#21 – #25)

Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways (#1 – #4)

Thunderbolts by Warren Ellis & Mike Deodato Ultimate Collection (#110 – #121)

This is a non- Avengers title, but it’s going to be important with Dark Avengers later. Including for that purpose. Also, Warren Ellis is awesome, and it’s a blast.

Civil War Splits up the Avengers

The Mighty Avengers
The Mighty Avengers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Following the events of Civil War, Avengers titles start to get really fractured. You have your official, government-sanctioned Avengers (Mighty), your rebel Avengers (New), and your Avengers: Initiative training program.

As you’d expect, you don’t necessarily have to keep up with every title to know what’s going on in the Marvel Universe. New Avengers remains a good barometer for macro-level storylines. Nonetheless, there are plenty of options.

For the Marvel Unlimited crowd: Mighty Avengers & Avengers: The Initiative

Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America

New Avengers vol 6 (#26 – #31)

Mighty Avengers vol 1 (#1 – #6)

Avengers / Invaders (#1 – #12)

Avengers: The Initiative vol 1 (#1 – #6)

Mighty Avengers vol 2 (#7 – #12)

Avengers: The Initiative vol 2 (#7 – #13)

New Avengers vol 7 (#32-#37)

New Avengers: Illuminati (#0 – #5)

Secret Invasion

New Avengers, vol 8 (#38 – #43)

Mighty Avengers, vol 3 (#12 – #15)

Avengers: The Initiative vol 3 (#14 – #19)

Mighty Avengers, vol 4 (#16 – #20)

New Avengers, vol 9 (#44 – #47)

Dark Reign of the Dark Avengers

solicited cover
The Initiative (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Secret Invasion provides another long in the works shake up to the state of the Avengers, introducing Norman Osborne’s Dark Avengers as a new title in the game. The following Avengers trades coincide with Dark Reign and ultimately Siege.

A note here that the Dark Avengers omnibus may well be the best option for collecting all these issues. It really just depends on your interest level in Dark Avengers / Uncanny X-Men: Utopia, which is not included in the omnibus.

For the Marvel Unlimited crowd, here’s Dark Avengers.

Dark Avengers vol 1 (#1 – #6)

Mighty Avengers vol 5 (#21 – #26)

Avengers: The Initiative vol 4 (#20 – #25)

Dark Avengers / Uncanny X-Men: Utopia (#7 – #8 + various issues)

New Avengers vol 10 (#48 – #50)

Dark Reign: Young Avengers (#1 – #5)

Mighty Avengers vol 6 (#27 – #31)

Avengers: The Initiative vol 5 (#26 – #30)

New Avengers vol 11 ( #51 – 54)

Dark Avengers vol 2 (#9 – #12)

New Avengers vol 12 ( #55 – 60)

Siege

Avengers: The Initiative vol 6 (#31 – #35)

New Avengers vol 13 ( #61 – 64)

Mighty Avengers vol 7 (#32 – #36)

Dark Avengers vol 3 (#13 – #16)

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade (#1 – #9)

Children’s Crusade is post-Siege and reconnects us with the Young Avengers and the Scarlet Witch. 

Heroic Age Avengers

The New Avengers (comics)
The New Avengers (comics) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just like that the Dark Reign is over and Marvel’s Heroic Age essentially reboots the Avengers. The Heroic age covers 2010 to 2012 and includes all of the Avengers issues before Marvel Now! begins.

For the Marvel Unlimited crowd, New Avengers, Avengers, Secret Avengers, and Avengers Prime.

Avengers Prime (#1 – #5)

Avengers vol 1 (#1 – #6)

New Avengers vol 1 (#1 – #6)

Secret Avengers vol 1 (#1 – #6)

Avengers vol 2 (#7 – #13)

Secret Avengers vol 2 (#6 – #12)

Fear Itself

Avengers: Fear Itself (Avengers #13 – #17, New Avengers #14 – #16)

Secret Avengers: Fear Itself (#13 – #15)

New Avengers vol 3 (#17 – #23)

Avengers vol 3 (#18 – #24)

Secret Avengers (#16 – #21)

Avengers vs. X-Men

Avengers vol 4 (#25 – #30)

New Avengers vol 4 (#24 – #30)

Secret Avengers (#21.1 – #25)

Secret Avengers (#26 – 32)

Avengers vol 5 (#31 – #34)

New Avengers vol 5 (#31 – #34)

Secret Avengers (#33 – #37)

Marvel Now! Avengers

The "Heroic Age" roster of the Aveng...
The “Heroic Age” roster of the Avengers. Cover art for Avengers vol. 4, #12.1, by Bryan Hitch. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The newest Avengers titles with Jonathan Hickman at the writer’s helm. I’d note here that the full list of Avengers titles from 2012 through 2015 can be found in my Marvel Now reading order. Alternatively, the below will get you started.

Avengers vol 1 (#1 -#6)

New Avengers vol 1 (#1 – #6)

Avengers vol 2 (#7 -#12)

Avengers vol 3 (#13 -#17)

Infinity

Infinity Omnibus: Avengers (#14 – #23), New Avengers (#7 – #12)

Avengers Reading Order Leading Up To 2015’s Secret Wars 

There’s your guide to Avengers trades and titles from 1998 through Secret Wars!

All-New All-Different Avengers

The post Secret Wars landscape marks a serious shake-up for the Avengers lineups, with new rosters across the board.

Rage of Ultron (Original Graphic Novel)

This graphic novel from Rick Remender with gorgeous art by Jerome Opena was published around the time of Secret Wars, but can be read in line with the All-New Avengers roster, and is purportedly very much in canon. Great read for fans of Ultron and Hank Pym, founding Avenger!

All-New All-Different Avengers Vol. 1: The Magnificent Seven (All-New All-Different Avengers #1 to #6)

Uncanny Avengers: Unity Vol. 1: Lost Future (Uncanny Avengers #1 to #6)

New Avengers: A.I.M. Vol. 1: Everything is New (New Avengers #1 to #6)

A-Force Vol. 1: Hypertime (A-Force #1 to #5)

Avengers Standoff Reading Order

AllNew, AllDifferent Avengers Vol. 2: Family Business (All-New All-Different Avengers #9 to #12)

Uncanny Avengers: Unity Vol. 2: The Man Who Fell to Earth (Uncanny Avengers #7 to #12)

A-Force Vol. 2: Rage Against the Dying of the Light

Civil War 2 Reading Order

Avengers: Unleashed Vol. 1: Kang War One (Avengers #1 to #6)

Uncanny Avengers: Unity Vol. 4: Red Skull (Uncanny Avengers #18 to #22)

Great Lakes Avengers Vol. 1: Same Old, Same Oid

Occupy Avengers Vol. 1: Taking Back Justice

Have a question of your own? Let’s hear it in the comments, @comicbookherald, or e-mail dave@comicbookherald.com.

24 Replies to “Question of the Week: Where Do I Start With Avengers Trade Collections?”

  1. Thanks so much, Dave. I was honestly going to e-mail you the other day to request a modern Avengers reading order.

    Suggestion: Some time far in the future, do you think you could assemble a reading order for all modern era marvel? It seems like you started this with Part 1 of your reading order but then subsequently focused only on crossovers.

    1. You noticed that, huh? 🙂

      You’re right, the intention has always been a more complete order. The crossovers have proved the most expedient way of making resources available.

      So no promises, but I hear what you’re saying, and it’s definitely on my mind. Hopefully it won’t be too long now. In the meantime, glad this Avengers guide is useful. Enjoy!

  2. I want to start reading the avengers comics from the beginning and does jonathan hickmans avengers start from the beginning or just a new roster of superheros

    1. Hickman’s Avengers marks the beginning of the Avengers in the Marvel NOW! Era. So essentially Marvel Comics after Avengers vs. X-Men.

      If you want to read Avengers and Infinity, I would recommend starting with Hickman’s Avengers and New Avengers from issue #1. The two series are interconnected, and starting with the Infinity tie-ins will likely be confusing. I have a more detailed Infinity reading order here.

      Hope that helps!

  3. Another question do you think i should follow this order (marvel now) with infinity and tie-in
    I know it gonna be confusing so what do you suggest if i want the avengers and the infinity story lie

  4. I just finished reading avengers vs xmen comic great comic btw my fav is iron fist what do you recommend for me to carry on with, shall i start the uncanny avengers or something else what do think.

  5. First of all, great website. As someone just really discovering comics it’s a fantastic resource. Can I ask where does the avengers assemble fit in to the reading timeline of your guide part one (1998-2004)

    Thanks in advance and keep up the amazing work

    1. Hey Dan,

      Good question. Basically you can read this Avengers series any time during the guide part one. I need to run through the series to add it there sometime in the near future, but for now, I’d encourage you to just read it all at once as you like!

  6. Okay. So I got a very elaborate question. I’m finishing up your spider-man reading order, and soon I’m going to start your avengers reading order. I was skimming through everything here and noticed it cuts off at Infinity. So, my question is how does should I read Avengers 24-28,Mighty Avengers 4-10, and where does uncanny Avengers fit into everything? Also, is new avengers still going on. If so how does that fit into everything? Sorry for this being so long.

    Thank You

    1. Uncanny Avengers can be read at the start of Marvel NOW! Both New Avengers and Avengers are still ongoing after Infinity, and you can continue to read those series following the events of Infinity as you like 🙂

  7. Hey again,
    how does Avengers Assemble 1-8 (Bendis/Bagley) fit into this or into the overall big events? Maybe I am just not seeing it because there is just soo much stuff! 😀
    Thanks!

  8. While being really stand-alone, Bendis & Bags’ “Avengers Assemble” works best right before AVX. It may happen shortly thereafter but it’d really be mashed in with Bendis’ finales & the transition into Marvel Now!

  9. first, I must say, thank you for all your work. This list has been the reason I started reading conics, I finally had a starting point. I’m coming to a completion of this list, and just wanted to see if there is anything new since you originally made it 😀 such as the uncanny avengers/axis, or anything to this secret war I hear so much about! Thanks again .

  10. Thank you so much for this list! I had started reading Disassembled and House of M when it was out, then loaned the trades to a friend never to be seen again. I’m starting to get back into it and recollect the trades and try to catch up and this list is a lifesaver ^-^

  11. Ok. Just read Celestial Quest. Good to see Vision and Mantis get together after his breakup with Scarlet Witch. But what happens next, where do I read to see what became of Mantis (Celestial Madonna)’s plan to return to Earth but be on her own. Is this before or after Avengers Vol 2 (Heroes Reborn) and Vol. 3 (Avengers Assemble)? The Marvel Unlimited link to Mantis stories was not very help, and did not see Clestial Quest among the Vision timeline of MU books. All so very confusing, but this is one thread I’d like to pursue. Thanks for being there for us and helping!!! I missed so much playing Rumpelstiltsnocomicsken for 30 years …

  12. Where does the Uncanny Avengers, Avengers Prime, Avenger Assemble (Bendis, & DeConnick), and Avengers World fit into this Avengers trade collections.
    Thank you for everything you have done.

    1. Avengers Prime happens after the Siege event, and it’s highly recommended that you’ve read Civil War (CW is actually very essential to the events leading up to Avengers vs X-Men) before that because Avengers Prime kind of acts as the first time Tony and Steve have been in close proximity since the end of Civil War, co-starring Thor as he navigates the aftermath of Siege.

      I believe Uncanny Avengers falls into Marvel NOW! Which is the state of the universe after Avengers vs X-men. I’d read this right after AvX.

      Avengers Assemble & Avengers World are also a Marvel NOW! Titles, I believe. Find out more here: http://www.comicbookherald.com/the-complete-marvel-reading-order-guide/marvel-now-checklist/

  13. Hi, I really love your guide but I think you should add the New Avengers Annual #2 (2006 in MU) just after Civil War because they change the line-up and it throws you off a little. Thanks a lot for your hard work. 🙂 hugs from mexico

  14. So if i wanted to read the bonus content as well is there a specific place i should add them in or should i maybe just read them before or after?

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