I’ve been taking my time with individual character reading orders, but this comment from one “Anthony” really kicked my butt into gear.
Ok, I understand that you are annoyed by the Cap falling and comming back up. But can you at least put together the proper order for the Fallen Son?
I was really into the entire series, especially when Bucky took on the red, white and blue. I just want to know the exact order, so I am not missing anything before reading HOW cap was brought back.
You suck. Your wife never loved you.
Ok, I added that last part, but Anthony reminded me of a few things.
1) A TON has happened in Captain America in the modern Marvel era (for me that’s pretty much all comics post 2000). And it’s happened with some of the absolute best creative talents in comic books over that time.
2) Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier
has inspired a ton of interest in Cap comics. There’s probably never been a better time to get caught up on Captain America.
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3) It’s VERY difficult to avoid spoilers in the Captain America story. This is a difficult task, but some large, stunning man needs to do it (I’ll find one, don’t worry).
Ok, ready? Let’s do this. First some words of inspiration:
Captain America Trade & Issue Reading Order
Captain America in the 2000’s – Before The Winter Soldier
Captain America: The New Deal (#1 – #6)
Marvel Knights response to 9/11. Like so much of American culture and society, the world needed a new Captain America after the events of 9/11. The first half of issue #1 gives us Steve Rogers, Captain America, in the immediate aftermath of the World Trade Center bombings. As you’d expect, it’s still beyond horrific, but there’s an optimism in Captain America’s call for strength that resonates even today. John Cassaday’s art is rightfully hailed as incredible.
The story may jump a little too quickly to another terrorist attack on the Smallville-esque rural setting of Centerville, but maybe the intent was to see Cap save the day this time. The politics of the story, and the WWII propoganda nature of the book covers, has led to a lot of discussion, no more thought-provoking than this article.
Most secretly important for continuity, at the end of issue #3 Cap reveals his identity is Steve Rogers to the world on t.v. This doesn’t feel like a huge reveal, but apparently the world didn’t know his identity prior to this revelation. It’s easy to forget this wasn’t common knowledge.
Truth: Red, White, and Black (#1 – #7)
This 2003 mini-series from writer Robert Morales and artist Kyle Baker falls outside the typical Captain America continuity, but it provides some essential back-story for the Super Soldier program and the Captain America mythos.
As you might guess from the title, the series reconstructs the origins of the Super Soldier serum to create an allegorical account of African-American exploitation. Or, in less pretentious terms, it creates a black Captain America.
For all its flaws, and despite many fans’ problems with Baker’s egregiously cartoonish art (personally, I’m ok with how different it feels), Truth takes a hard look at American civil rights and the sad, flawed history many would like to forget. It also creates the character of Isiah Bradley, who will become an integral part of Marvel continuity in future titles.
Captain America (#7 – #28) – Vol 2, Vol 3, Vol 4, Vol 5
Following the New Deal, we have 17 issues of Marvel Knights era Captain America. For the Marvel Unlimited subscribers, this is the Captain America (2002 – 2004) portion of your textbooks.
Captain America: Disassembled (#29 – #32)
Captain America and the Falcon (#5 – #7)
The Captain America: Disassembled tie-ins can both be read before the main event of Avengers Disassembled, and are included in a stellar Omnibus collection.
Avengers Disassembled (#1 – #4)
The first of the modern Marvel events. Best read in full after the “Disassembled” tie-in issues above.
I haven’t mentioned Cap’s involvement in the Avengers yet (and from the title of the film “Captain America: The First Avenger,” it’s obviously a central part of his history). From this point forward Avengers titles and Marvel events will intersect more frequently with ongoing Captain America continuity.
See the link above for my full breakdown of Secret War’s place in the modern Marvel universe. This event has some far reaching implications for the Marvel Universe as a whole, and especially for the relationship between Cap and Nick Fury.
Captain America – The Winter Solider Through Civil War
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (#1 – #8)
This is where Captain America really takes off, when Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting take the creative reigns and bring us the best possible version of Captain America for nearly 8 years.
For those of you excited about Captain America: The Winter Solider the movie, this is the blueprint for the entire narrative.
In short, it’s great. Brubaker is one of the best writers in comics in the last decade, Epting is the perfect artist for this book, and thus begins one of the greatest Captain America arcs of all time.
New Avengers: Breakout (#1 – #6)
Cap plays a huge role in putting the Avengers back together (as you might expect).
This isn’t really about Cap, but he plays a big role and we see how some of that Isiah Bradley history will continue to influence the modern Marvel universe.
Also worth noting that even though Young Avengers clearly begins in the immediate aftermath of Avengers Disassembled, we learn from Jessica Jones that the New Avengers are likely already meeting in secret.
Captain America (#9) + House of M
In the middle of Brubaker’s Winter Soldier story arc, the action-packed thriller succumbs to the ongoing House of M event. The Cap one-shot is actually one of the better House of M tie-ins.
The Ultimate collection linked in issues #1 – #8 also collects the issues listed here, and finishes the Winter Soldier volumes.
New Avengers: Sentry (#7 – #10) & New Avengers: Secrets & Lies (#11 – #15)
Captain America: Red Menace (#15 – #21)
The Red Skull’s diabolically elaborate plans heat up until the Marvel Universe is turned on its head during Civil War.
New Avengers: The Collective (#17 – #20)
Civil War + Captain America: Civil War (#22 – #24) + Winter Soldier: Winter Kills + New Avengers: Civil War (#21 – #25)
While Civil War is many things (the most successful Marvel event of the decade, the biggest development in Spider-Man’s life since Gwen Stacy, a nice chance for Dr. Strange and the Watcher to grab a beer), it’s largely about a major disagreement between Captain America and Iron Man.
When most people disagree the result is a fight, but when it’s Cap and ol’ shellhead, that fight involves the world’s superheroic population, world governments, and mass devastation.
This is one of the most important moments in the modern era of Captain America, and continues to reflect the “New Deal” patriotic spirit of Steve Rogers.
One of the biggest Captain America issues of Brubaker’s arc. Follows up the collateral of Civil War with a major disruption in the life of Steve Rogers.
Civil War: The Confession + Fallen Son
Fallen Son is one of my favorite moments in Captain America stories from this time period. Following the events of Captain America #25, friends and associates from around the Marvel Universe respond.
Captain America & Civil War Fallout
A new chapter in Captain America begins, as Brubaker and Epting take the seeds laid in the Winter Soldier story arc to create something perfectly new and appropriate.
Captain America: The Man With No Face (#43 – #48)
Picking up again with the New Avengers as Cap rejoins the team after the events of Secret Invasion.
Captain America: Road to Reborn (#48 – #49, #600 – #601)
You can likely see where this is heading from the story title, but an important wrinkle here: Marvel restored Cap’s original numbering for issue #50, jumping all the way to #600. Because, ya know, numbers?
Captain America: Reborn (#1 – #6)
New Avengers (#51 – #60) + Siege
Carves out a new role in the Marvel Universe for Steve Rogers.
Captain America: Two Americas (#602 – #605) + Captain America: Who Will Wield the Shield?
Captain America (#606 – #619)
A new start for the Avengers in the Heroic Age.
Steve Rogers: Super Soldier (#1 – #4)
Captain America and Bucky: The Life Story of Bucky Barnes
Collects: Captain America And Bucky 620-624
The secret story of Cap and Bucky’s orgins, told from his sidekick’s POV.
Captain America and Bucky: Old Wounds
Collects: Captain America And Bucky #625-628 And What If? (1977) #4.
William Nasland and Fred Davis took over the mantles of Captain America and Bucky after the two heroes went missing during WWII. But what will these two men do with the power of these legacies?
Secret Avengers: Mission to Mars (#1- #5)
Captain America: Shattered Heroes (#1 – #10)
Winter Soldier: The Longest Winter + Fear Itself #7.1: Captain America
Winter Soldier: Broken Arrows (#6 – #9) + Winter Soldier: Black Widow Hunt (#10 – #14)
Avengers: X-Sanction (#1 – #4)
Captain America & Winter Soldier Join Marvel NOW!
Marvel NOW! was a line-wide Marvel initiative from 2012 to 2015. The time period saw some major developments for Steve Rogers and the Winter Soldier, and you can find all of them below, including the Rick Remender Captain America run:
The new Captain America run begins here!
All-New Captain America: Fear Him
Collects: All -New Captain America Fear Him 1-4, Captain America (1968) 280, Avengers (1998) 64
All-New Captain America Vol. 1: Hydra Ascendant
Collects: All-New Captain America #1 to #6
Captain America & the Mighty Avengers Vol. 1: Open for Business
Collects: Captain America & The Mighty Avengers 1-7
Captain America & the Mighty Avengers Vol. 2: Last Days
Collects: Captain America & The Mighty Avengers 8-9, Captain Britain & The Mighty Defenders 1-2, Avengers Assemble 15Au
All-New All-Different Captain America
The post Secret Wars Marvel landscape marks some serious changes for Captain America, with an all-new Cap, and huge controversial changes for Steve Rogers during Nick Spencer’s run on the title.
Uncanny Avengers: Unity Vol. 1: Lost Future (Uncanny Avengers #1 to #6)
All-New All-Different Avengers Vol. 1: The Magnificent Seven (All-New All-Different Avengers #1 to #6)
Captain America: Sam Wilson Vol. 1: Not My Captain America (Captain America: Sam Wilson #1 to #6)
Captain America: Steve Rogers Vol. 1 (Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 to #6)
Only issues #1 to #3, and Free Comic Book Day 2016 #1 occur prior to Civil War II.
Avengers Standoff! Reading Order
Note that the Avengers Standoff! reading order includes Thunderbolts Vol. 1 (Thunderbolts #1 to #6) as an epilogue, and the next steps for Winter Soldier in the All-New All-Different Marvel U.
Captain America: Steve Rogers Vol. 2: The Trial of Maria Hill
Takes you through Captain America: Steve Rogers #7 to #11, plus includes the Civil War 2: The Oath tie-in.
Captain America: Sam Wilson Vol. 4: #TakeBackTheShield
Tales you through Captain America: Sam Wilson #14 to #18
Avengers: Unleashed Vol. 1: Kang War One
Secret Empire tie-ins
Captain America: Steve Rogers Vol. 3
Collects: Captain America: Steve Rogers #12 to #15
Captain America: Sam Wilson Vol. 5
Collects: Captain America: Sam Wilson #19 to #22
From here we are taken directly into the 2017 Secret Empire event. You can find a full guide to the entire event via Comic Book Herald’s Secret Empire reading order. Otherwise, I’ve laid out the crucial components for Cap below.
Uncanny Avengers: Unity Vol. 4: Red Skull
Collects: Uncanny Avengers #18 to #22
Captain America: Steve Rogers Vol. 3
Collects: Captain America: Steve Rogers #12 to #15
Collects: Free Comic Book Day 2017, Secret Empire #0 to #9
Captain America After Secret Empire
Captain America by Waid & Samnee: Home of the Brave
Collects: Captain America 695-700
From the creative superteam behind Daredevil and Black Widow.
Captain America by Mark Waid: Promised Land
Collects: Captain America 701-704
Captain America by Ta-Nehisi Coates Vol. 1: Winter in America
Collects: Captain America 1-6, Free Comic Book Day 2018 (Avengers/Captain America) 1 (Captain America Story)
Captain America must rebuild his reputation in this story set in the fallout of Secret Empire.
Captain America by Ta-Nehisi Coates Vol. 2: Captain of Nothing
Collects: Captain America 7-12
Captain America by Ta-Nehisi Coates Vol. 3: The Legend of Steve
Collects: Captain America 13-18
Captain America by Ta-Nehisi Coates Vol. 4
Collects: Captain America (2018) 20-25
Captain America by Ta-Nehisi Coates Vol. 5
Collects: Captain America (2018) 26-30
Nick Girdwood says
When Captain America throws his might shield
All those who choose to oppose his shield must yield
Unless you’re plane
Or a bomb
Or some ice
Or a brainwashed buddy
Or a Spider-Man!
Then you don’t necessarily have to yield!
Hey Dave, thanks for your work!
I got a question I can’t find the answer to…
Can you tell when Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run takes place; in relation to the Avengers title and the rest?
Because the only indication I’ve read is before Aaron’s Avengers run but Sue Storm is in it …
was there a statement?
I love your site and I love that unlike many other reading order sites these doesn’t feel completely arbitrary.
One question though, have you thought about doing an order for classic Cap as well?
I started trading Cap from the 1998-2002 series that kicked off with Mark Waid on writing duties. This series leads right into your reading order. I have one big question regarding the ending of that series and the lack of explanation in New Deal (granted I’ve only read issue #1), but this is going to bug me if it’s not explained eventually. Naturally, there are spoilers, so if you’re reading and don’t want to know how the 1998-2002 series ends, move along.
Still here? Great! So, what the heck! Cap dies in one of the mini stories in the over-sized issue #50?!?! But he is alive and well in issue #1 of the next volume? Is this out of continuity? Is this storyline ever picked up again and explained?
Hey Dave I was wondering if this list is new reader friendly! thats all
Filiberto Montes says
I have a question, I’m getting into comics and have started reading Captain America. As a kid, I grew up with Cap. I want to start a collection so my son can also get into comics as well. To make a long story short, I was at a comic book store and one of the guys there saw that I was lost not knowing where to start. As we got to talking, he recommended I start with the Reborn TPB issue. Should I wait before I start reading it and go off of your guide or start reading what I bought? Thanks for taking the time reading this.
I’m loving the comic book version of Cap so far! I’m up to Red Menace, but Civil War is looking daunting. How much of it should I read before I move on to Brubaker issue #22? Just the main event? Or should I read Road to Civil War, the main event and all the tie ins first?
What about the order of the original Cap comics, as in before the 2000’s?
I’m going through the lit’s and I’m wondering if you could label which of theservice are available in Marvel Unlimited?
Hi, a few humble suggestions: read Secret War after the Winter Soldier story arc (Nick Fury is part of the story and the relationship between Cap and Nick Fury in this story is affected by Secret War). In my opinion, it best to read New Avengers #1 – 14 after the Winter Soldier arc and before House of M. It is #10 of Captain America that is the tie-in to House of M.
In short, I suggest the following adjustment to the reading order between Avengers Disassembled and Civil War:
Captain America: Winter Soldier (#1 – 9 & 11 – 14)
New Avengers: Breakout (#1 – 6)
Young Avengers (#1 – 6)
New Avengers: Sentry (#7 – 10)
New Avengers: Secrets & Lies (#11 – 15), but keep #15 until after House of M
Captain America #10 + House of M
Captain America: Red Menace (#15 – 21)
New Avengers: The Collective (#16 – 20)
Hi!! This list is amazing. Thank you!! And you’ve done an amazing job avoiding certain spoilers.
I have a question, though. I’ve been reading some collector’s editions of Captain America due to Civil War coming up and I’ve just finished reading Civil War + Captain America #25 + The Fallen Son, and I have “Man with no face” in my pile, but my friend (and comic book guru) just lent me Captain America: the chosen.
I was wondering where does The Chosen fit in this arc… Should I read it before or after “Man with no face”? Or does it even matter? Thank you already!
Thanks, I’m glad you enjoy!
You can read The Chosen any time, it’s an out of continuity graphic novel (and it’s quite good). It actually probably makes sense thematically after Fallen Son, but otherwise it stands alone. Enjoy the comics!
Do you have a Hulk reading order?
Hi, I’m new to this site but so extremely grateful for this and have started collecting this reading list as a project. I was wondering, when you say House of M or Secret Invasion, are there certain ones I should be including in this list or do I need to also collect the whole HoM/SI series as well?
Sort of just depends how deep into the Marvel Universe you want to get. You certainly don’t have to read every tie-in to enjoy the Cap experience. For more a streamlined approach, I’d recommend the core event issues (House of M #1 to #8) plus Cap’s tie-in. Enjoy the comics!
Thanks for this – so helpful! I’m trying to bulk out the sporadic bits of Caps story that I’ve already got and was wondering, since I’ve got the Civil War edition that collects #1-7 is there any overlap with Captain America:Civil War – or does that just follow on from Civil War? Thanks!
The Cap Civil War trade does not overlap with the main Civil War event, including only Cap #22 to #24, and a Winter Soldier one-shot. So it’s primarily tie-in issues for Cap during the events of Civil War. Enjoy the comics!
I loved the WWII aspect of the Cap movie. Is there a series or TPB that has modern writers (80s-today) taking on Cap in WWII? I’ve tried with the early Cap issues and it’s really hard to read that style of storytelling, the “tell and show” style, if that makes sense. I don’t need Cap to explain how his shield works every time he throws it.
Brubaker’s run does a good job flashing back to WWII, and reinventing Cap and Bucky’s war relationship (in a great way). These scenes are integrated into the “present day” story, but well worth it, particularly when they include the original Invaders.
I’d also suggest checking out the “Theater of War” Captain America comics available on Marvel Unlimited: http://marvel.com/comics/series/7230/captain_america_theater_of_war_a_brother_in_arms_2009
Paul Jenkins rarely disappoints and these are all newer stories (2009 on) from Cap’s World War Two days.
Thanks! I’ll check out your recommendations.
Q_Q, I wrote a more elaborate comment but then I got an error when I submitted it and it’s now gone .
Anyway, the short version then: Thanks a lot Dave! Due to (last but not least) the upcoming movie I also wanted to catch up on the Captain and this helps a ton.
It is very daunting though with the intersecting events. As a newbie to comics, they are more off-putting than anything.
Hmm, I’ll have to look into comment errors…
Glad you’re finding this useful, and interesting point about events. It is particularly difficult when you just want to read one particular character and these mega events continuously disrupt the story. Cap’s a little better than most, largely thanks to Brubaker and Epting committing to a sustained creative arc.