In theory, crossovers fulfill comic books’ promise of shared universes. The events and actions that impact one character in one book also affect another hero across town.
This is all fine and dandy – at least until you start trying to apply a chronological order to the cross-comic sequence.
The idea of crossovers is nothing new to Marvel. As a matter of fact, it predates the origin of the Marvel name, taking place back when the company was still Timely Comics. The first crossover of sorts occurred in Marvel Mystery Comics #8-#10 when the original Human Torch met and fought Namor the submariner.
The intersection of seemingly divergent characters helped establish the shared universe concept that has ruled superhero comics to the present day.
Ever since that time, we’ve seen loads of stories spread across different comic lines, and with Marvel’s era of events, we’ve seen the event tie-in add another level of complexity to reading stories in order.
Crossovers and tie-ins are particularly problematic if you’re trying to catch up on stories after their time. When you’re in the moment, buying your comics as they hit the shelves, it’s a little easier to understand the intended order based on a books release date. Move on a few months – or a few years – and all these publication dates fade into murkiness leaving you with no order.
Collected trade editions can alleviate this reading problem in many cases, but if you’re looking to collect back issues or catch up via a service like Marvel’s Digital Comics Unlimited, you’ll still need to know which issues go in which order.
The below offers a look at some quick, easy-to-follow orders for a handful of Marvel’s most popular stories. The collection below is intended to represent cross-comic stories that do not fall under the umbrella of Marvel’s major events. You can try the complete Marvel reading order guide for the order of those stories.
This is a working page, and crossovers will be added as possible. If you have any questions or comments, definitely let me hear them in the comments. Otherwise, happy reading!
Major Marvel Crossovers
Note that the above is less a straight forward reading order, and more a detailed history of the Clone Saga. I really like the info contained within, but otherwise have not found much of a suitable clone saga reading order replacement. Many of the comics are still unavailable on Marvel Unlimited as well.