Below you’ll find our reading selections for the year of 2000, and once we’re finished reading, I’ll post the winners for hero, villain, issue, artist, and writer.
Feel free to discuss the comics and any related thoughts below in the comments!
2000 Comic Reading List
(Check out Patreon for Full List With Notes!)
|2000||Comic Book Title||Issues|
|1||Apocalypse: The Twelve / Ages of Apocalypse||Reading Order:|
|2||Sentry||#1 to #5|
|3||Marvel Boy||#1 to #6|
|4||Punisher||#1 to #12|
|5||Black Panther / Deadpool / Black Panther||#14 to #22 / #44 / #23 to #24|
|6||Captain Marvel (2000 to 2004)||#1 to #11|
|7||Marvel Knights||#1 to #5|
|8||Maximum Security||Reading Order:|
|9||Spider-Man: Revenge of the Green Goblin / Amazing Spider-Man / Peter Parker, Spider-Man||#1 to #3 / #25 / #25|
|10||Daredevil||#10 to #13|
X-Men vs. Apocalypse (The Twelve and Ages)
Additionally, we will be making our way through much of Comic Book Herald’s complete marvel reading order, starting with Marvel Knights to Avengers Disassembled.
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Charles Martin says
With publishing dates in 2000, I would assume most of these stories were written right about when Fight Club hit theaters. How coincidental do you think it is that we got two good “you’re the hero *and* the villain” stories this year?
That’s a good observation. I’m sure not.
Just wait for all the Matrix inspired costumes to really take full force 🙂
Pretty thrilled Hexis the Living Corporation got a Villain of the Year vote. It’s no Danny the Street, but what is.
Reminder: Get your votes in now! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScMpkX2GUwmseLrom7RdhU5_cLB3gyD1Zo3wzwufEwIYo7rTQ/viewform?usp=send_form
I know we have a week left, and I have already made a number of comments on individual comics and story lines, but I will try to briefly coalesce my thoughts on the year 2000.
Dave has given us a nice list of stories that take a decent spin around the Marvel universe. I think that had I been in a comics store in 2000 I may not have had all of these on my pull list, so I like that I am reading things that are not my usual cup of tea.
I have to agree that the real eye-opener was the Sentry. I had always meant to get to this story, but had put it off again and again. I am not sure why, especially given how pivotal the Sentry will be in later Avengers story lines, especially Siege which I felt was the best of the lot. I recently came across my copies of Miracle Man (from Eclipse) and I while I know Moore’s story is a milestone, I think that Jenkins did a better job of it. I am not overly fond of the retroactive insertion into Marvel continuity, but the story, writing and art are so well put together that it is a great read. It is not the best comic in 2000, that is obviously Ultimate Spidey, but Sentry is certainly first runner up.
What I feel is missing from the list, though, is a strong representation of mainstream Marvel from this time. The more I look at Maximum Security the more I believe it should be skipped in favor of reading more from the associated series: Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man and The Avengers. There are Thor books involved in the Bonus Round, but really, it was almost the weakest of the ‘central’ books. Both Cap and Avengers were strong well written reads in 2000 (How could anyone not read Busiek and Perez Avengers). And the Jenkins work on the Hulk is a hoot.
Also very good was Jenkins and Buckingham’s work on Peter Parker, Spider-Man. I far preferred the ASM and PPS books in 2000 over the X-books. The writing on ASM was a little week, but the art by Byrne, Romita and, yes, even Larsen, was worlds better than Liefeld.
Voting becomes difficult, but to keep it simple I will state right off that I vote for Spider-Man and Green Goblin as hero and villain, but this is a vote that includes the Ultimate iterations. Jenkins gets writer of the year because he really earned it. Definitely the Marvel MVP this year. Both Bendis and David wrote great stuff in 2000, but Jenkins did solid work on three series. ChrisCross gets a nod for his artwork on Captain Marvel. John Romita always does great work, and Jae Lee has really turned into a master draftsman, but the sheer fun in ChrirCross pencils makes him the stand out artist.
I look forward to seeing what others say…
Now, in my week off I can finally catch up on some Star Wars reading.
Phew, OK, finally made it through the entire list, including the bonus round. I found most of this good to very good, with some notable exceptions. I’d also not read most of this previously, so this was fun. Thoughts on each below:
– The Twelve and Ages was very meh. It has the later period Claremont syndrome of trying to do way too much at once and getting so muddled that it becomes borderline incomprehensible. I’m on record here as thinking that beyond the first Age of Apocalypse series (which is brilliant), the rest have been middling to poor, and this falls under middling. It’s an interesting concept, and the future age where Xavier has become the leader of the mutant Skrulls is cool and disorienting, but I think in general this was way too long and cluttered.
– Sentry was a revelation. I’d never read it before, and absolutely loved it, which is perhaps not too surprising given how much I love Jenkins and Lee’s Inhumans. I found the artwork spectacular, with a couple of panels that took my breath away, and the story was haunting and well-told. I’m definitely going to check out the one-shots if they’re not in the 2001 reading list.
– The first time I read Marvel Boy, I hated it. It was one of the most visceral reactions I’d ever had to a comic, and it made me swear off Grant Morrison comics for a while. However, I also read it before having much in the way of Marvel history under my belt, so re-reading it now while understanding the Kree much better, as well as having consumed a lot of Marvel Cosmic material, was a much better experience. I do still think this is very weak compared to other Morrison work, and it’s certainly one of the most emotionally unpleasant comic runs I’ve read, but at least this time I felt like I understood its inspirations and motivations a little better. Also, as others have said, it packs a ludicrous amount of content into a short run.
– Punisher was a lot of fun. I’ve always liked Punisher as a character, and I think this was one of the most interesting if not exactly profound takes on him I’ve seen. It helps that I also love Preacher, as this was basically Punisher/Preacher, with the same team behind both. I will say that I completely understand why people wouldn’t like this, and it’s certainly not deep in any way like some Punisher comics, but as a fun Preacher-esque read, I had a great time. I’m honestly amazed Marvel was OK with releasing this as part of their normal imprint though.
– Black Panther was solid. To be honest, it’s one of the runs that stuck with me the least of all of these, but I remember it settling into a nice groove, and I found the narrative style to be much more comprehensible this time around. I wish I had more to say here, but I think it’s telling that I can’t recall too much about it.
– Ah, Captain Marvel. I enjoyed it the first time I read it without any previous history with the character, and this time I enjoyed it even more. A classic, breezy, well-written, fun Peter David romp. One thing I find interesting about this is the relative breaking of the fourth wall with the comic book store content.
– Marvel Knights was….OK. Another series I remember very little about despite having read it a week ago. It felt mostly like setup for Maximum Security. Speaking of…
– Maximum Security is one of the weaker crossover arcs I’ve read so far. It starts off with an interesting concept, and then pretty much goes nowhere with it. There were many issues that seemed inconsequential. I don’t think most of it was bad per se, just not particularly interesting. I guess it is notable that this is the unexpected continuation of the plotline from Avengers Forever. It also ends with, shocker, Quasar suddenly being able to solve everything at the last second. The deus ex machina resolution is an unfortunately common way to end these crossovers, and while this was a little less dumb than they usually are, it still seemed rather convenient.
– Revenge of the Green Goblin was intense and to be honest, pretty off-putting. I think it got into some strong psychological territory with Spider-Man’s dark side, but I actually think the Kraven’s Last Hunt series did it a bit better than this. It’s certainly a striking series, with some strong artwork and good writing. I am a bit surprised I’d never heard of it before.
– I was rather impressed with the Daredevil Echo run. I thought everything about it was solid, with some neat artwork and an interesting plot arc. I especially loved the courtship between Daredevil and Echo, and the contrast between a blind superhero and a deaf superhero. Good stuff.
Moving on to the Bonus Round…
– Inhumans was intense and had some very striking artwork, but I don’t remember many specifics. Truly terrifying plot though.
– Deadpool was incredibly fun. I don’t know much about Priest’s work outside of Black Panther, but he was a terrific fit with Deadpool. Zany plots, crazy characters, inexplicable fourth-wall breaking? I’m down. I do think the space stuff was overlong, but hey, so did Priest and the editors, as they joked about it in one of the covers!
– We read half of the Deathlok run last year, and I’m on record as finding it interesting but not great or a fun read. Well, I liked the second half much more, though I found the ending just as strange as the beginning if not more so. The artwork really is something else though in this series, and I have to admit being amused by the imprint of “Marvel Tech” that this falls under. Reminds me of all of the cyberpunk stuff from the mid to late 90s.
– I’m torn with Galactus: The Devourer. I’ve never been a fan of Louise Simonson’s writing, especially her dialogue, which I find in general to be stiff and odd, and indeed, the first half of this was pretty rough, especially with the random Moleman plotline. But then the plot developed in a very interesting way, and I found it super compelling by the last couple of issues. The art was also wonderful, but that’s no surprise from Sienkiewicz. I give this a cautious thumbs-up, especially as it seems to be setting up something very ominous.
– Iron Fist/Wolverine was OK. Nothing particularly special, and Wolverine in particular felt like an afterthought in his own series, but the artwork was nice if a bit too bright, and at least it didn’t overstay its welcome. I read this two nights ago and barely remember most of it.
– So that I can save the best for last, I’ll cover Thanos vs. Thor now slightly out of order. This was definitely weak, though it featured some beautiful and interesting artwork. Still, Thanos was so out of nowhere here, and all of these random invented items that Thanos somehow knew about felt incredibly lame. One of my favorite things from this was the huge warning that you’d better read Thor Annual 2000 or else after I think it was Thor 22! Well, I read it despite it not being listed on the reading order, and then went to the next issue and was still very, very confused. Not good.
– And then there was Ultimate Spider-Man, which is far and away my favorite thing this year. So much has been written about it, but despite my having read these first issues a number of times, this still felt so fresh and was just a blast to read. This is Bendis at his absolute best, with perfect pacing, an incredibly great and sweet take on Uncle Ben and Aunt May, a different and almost better origin with Osborn (and Doc Ock) being involved with the spider from the beginning, and a wonderful depiction of high school in general. Easily my favorite couple of issues of the year.
Overall, this was a pretty good year, but it felt disjointed to me, with characters and events feeling all over the place and not much cohesion between series. Still, there’s some interesting experimentation going on, and of course, the Ultimate Universe starting is super exciting. Onto 2001!
Claude Drolet says
Finished up the Marvel Knights last night, and while I enjoyed it, I have to say it was not a good comic… very simplistic. “Team” members sitting around a diner in costume. Moon Knight dropping to say “Hey, I wanna join your team”.
The character motivation reads like an old DC JLA or All-Winners story.
I’m really not digging the The Twelve/Ages of Apocalypse series. The Cable books are awful, particularly #75; page after page of the characters grimly gurning at each other. Also, can anyone explain what the hell is happening on page 24?
Charles Martin says
I didn’t much care for those either. It’s really astonishing to read those and then move on to Sentry and Marvel Boy and realize all these comics were written at the same time. The X-books feel dated even when compared to contemporary work.
Claude Drolet says
Y’know, it’s not so bad. I think the key is to skip all the books drawn by Liefeld or written by Terry Kavanagh. I’m just about 2/3 done, reading just the main X-Men, Uncanny and Wolverine. It is nothing ground breaking, but it’s alright. No worse than Marvel Knights.
The problem for me is that each time I check in with the X-books through the Marvelous Year, it feels like the same story. Some sort of apocalyptic story involving Apocalypse. Magneto has to be brought back into the ‘team’. Wolverine goes through some sort of existential angst, and other characters realize how tough he is. Angel has a deal with his wings. In the end Cable is central to solving the conflict. It’s the same tropes over and over.
Man, it’s great to be back in My Marvelous Year! I’ll have a full post likely in the next week or so about the comics, as I’m taking my time with these (a luxury we did not have last year, especially near the end).
A question for Dave about the Maximum Security reading order. You list Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet #1-3 as issues to read. I can’t find reference anywhere online to a Dangerous Planet #2 or #3, only to the issue Dangerous Planet, which was a prologue to the series and is available on MU. Did you mean just Maximum Security #2 and #3 in the Reading Order instead of Dangerous Planet #2 and #3? Thanks much.
Yep, “Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet” was a one-shot which was the first issue you should read; when the reading order says Dangerous Planet, it should be “Maximum Security” issues 1-3.
Bryon McMackin says
Speaking of cant finds.
Peter Parker spiderman 23 amd 24 not on MU. Seems to skip them any thoughts
Reading Maximum Security now, I think some comics are missing from MU that are in the reading order. Are they worth tracking down or should I just accept it and move on?
Is it just me or is marvel boy super convoluted and confusing. Not the plot, more the structure. I feel like Morrison is cramming too many ideas into every page.i find it disorienting. So far i enjoyed sentry the best, it was exceĺlent, but plenty more to go
I just didn’t enjoy Marvel Boy. It felt, to me, like Morrison had some sort of dystopian future idea he wanted to use and didn’t much care where he used them, and they didn’t really fit into this Marvel story that well.
Totally agree. I had high hopes but was a bit disappointed.
Claude Drolet says
I’m not digging the Marvel Boy myself. It does not make much sense and is not all that compelling. I know that Noh-Varr is going to play a role later on in number of stories, especially Dark Reign, so I am sloughing through. But by comparison Captain Marvel is such a fun and compelling read.
Its not my favorite of his, but in general, Morrison fits more ideas per square inch than any writer in comics. It can absolutely feel convoluted. Often its transcendent and thrilling. Marvel Boy oscilliates between the two. More than anything its impactul on the decade to come.
I love the Morrison I’ve read like All-Star Superman and and some of his JLA stuff. I think the difference is that it felt a little more cohesive there, like he was world building, making a more cohesive whole. I guess its a thin line between that and this. I finished it last night and there ended up being parts of it i really liked. The sentient corporation book and some of the exterminatrix stuff i thought worked (despite her stupid costume). I guess i just think its start is too frenetic and disorienting. Also, those green speech balloons were really hard for me to read on my tablet. I mean i know that was the point but i think that was more frustrating than anything else. But im looking forward to see what they do with Noh-Varr, he was a new character to me.
I think I will have to re-read All-Star one of these days. I did not really like it much. But all of Morrison’s JLA work really blew me away. And most of his Batman work was pretty good. I read his Super-Gods treatise. His take on super-hero as god works quite well with the DC pantheon. However, I fear he does not have a good grasp of Marvel. I can see how he is trying to make Noh-varr into a super-god type character, but did not like the final product. The art was great.
Charles Martin says
I’m a crazy huge Morrison fan, but most of my experience is with his creator-owned/Vertigo stuff. I look at this Marvel Boy series as “something Mr. Morrison wrote in between the Invisibles and the Filth,” and it fits into that context exceedingly well. To be honest, I’m amazed it ties into the greater Marvel canon at all. I’ll be really excited to see what happens with Noh-Varr in 2000s.
My first exposure to Oubliette Midas was actually her appearance in Mighty Thor last year and I felt an inexplicable affinity for her weirdness. I should’ve known she was a Morrison creation.
No Name says
I got to say, I really loathe this Punisher series. I quit halfway through issue 4. And this is from someone who got through everything MU had on the clone saga.
Claude Drolet says
Yeah, I’m with you.
I’ve never been all that fond of the Punisher as a lead character. In his original iteration in Amazing Spiderman, as conceived by Conway and Andru, I liked him as a villain/supporting character. At least then he had some frustration over his self-appointed role of killer vigilante, engaging in soul-searching as to what is the right thing to do.
He was an exploration of an extension of the vigilante do-gooder. What if the “hero”, a character with motivations like Bruce Wayne/Batman or Peter Parker/Spiderman, took the further step from citizens’ arrest to being judge, jury and executioner?
I could see the development of the character through his interactions with Spidey, Captain America and Daredevil, and he worked well as an antagonist. Even his first mini-series was good. But then there was just too much. 4 comics a month and a death count that rivaled EC war comics. It stopped being and exploration of an extreme character and turned into just a “violence sells” late 80’s early 90’s stereotype.
This new series is just another of the same. The character has lost his moral imperative. There is no ambiguity. It is just a violent vigilante who kills dumb criminals. I can remember coming off the Preacher how people who were eager to see Ennis and Dillon’s take on Frank, and back then I was on board, and I think Iread the whole thing; but this time around even 5 issues in I cannot see how this is compelling. The Preacher, at least, had that over-arching theme of seeking out God to call him to task for abandoning the world. The Punisher has nothing to say except violence for violence’s sack.
When I read comics, at least super-hero comics, I generally come to them with an aspirational mindset. I want to see characters, however flawed, try to overcome obstacles, do good and make their world a better place. To my mind the Punisher is still the guy other heroes should be fighting, not the guy we should be rooting for.
I disagree. I’m new to Marvel Universe. The Apocalypse and Maximum Security were totally over the top. Punisher had a more linear storyline and was easy to follow and get into. That and Sentry were my favorites.
I just started My marvelous year, is the best way to get set up for these stories one of those fast track reading orders? I REALLY don’t want to read all of the 1960’s and this in the span of a month but at the same time I want to have a good grasp at how the MU got here.
Claude Drolet says
I’ll throw in my two-cents worth…
Dave’s “The 25 Essential Trades to Marvel Comics From 1961 to 2000” is a good way to get up to speed. But having gone through the whole “My Marvelous Year” up to 2000 I would suggest a few changes:
With Amazing Spider-Man you absolutely have to read up to issue 40.
Strange Tales #143 – #168 and Silver Surfer #1 – #18 are really not all that essential. Peruse a few issues to get the feel.
Howard the Duck – #1 – #33 IMHO is not essential. If you go back an look at the discussion about Howard you’ll see many people in agreement. Try an issue or two, but it really is not essential for understanding where Marvel is in 2000
The same can be said about Squadron Supreme and Elektra: Assassin. Not really needed…
On the other hand, the excellent (and long) runs by John Byrne on Fantastic Four (specifically #242-244 and #257-262) and Peter David on the Hulk (Future Imperfect especially) are fairly important.
Here’s the ’61 to 2000 fast track link for those interested: https://www.comicbookherald.com/the-25-essential-trades-to-marvel-comics-from-1961-to-2000/
Claude Drolet says
Some thoughts going back into the “assigned” readings…I read a lot of this already as I went rogue in November and kept reading through the years on my own.
I read all the Avengers, Thor, Captain America, and Hulk from 2000. And I must say Avengers is a hoot…really a must read through to 2002 (so far). I read these back in the day, but have never gone back to give them a second look. I think I will be reading all Avengers through to Disassembled.
Thor did not click, but Captain America was excellent, which is odd as Jurgens was writing both.
These included the Maximum Security crossover, which I think is easily skipped if you are pressed for time. I read it, and a couple of months later I do not remember anything about it. The graphic on the Comic Book Herald shows Ronan saying “Eh–?” and I think that about sums it up. Waste of a crossover.
I also read the Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four. I found that Spidey was very good. The re-boot was fairly well done, and the art by Byrne makes it all the better. Even with his departure Larsen and then Romita do great work. I wanted to give it a read just to get ready for JMS taking over in 2001, but really enjoyed it. And the FF was much better than I had remembered. I had planned to read a couple of issues to just get a taste, but ended up reading all issues from 2000-2001. The 2000 issues are decent and things take off when Pacheco takes over.
The Sentry was cool, and the one shots coming in 2001 are a good addition, but I found the reworking of continuity didn’t work as well in those.
Captain Marvel is great. Fun and interesting with great art. I’ve gone through the whole series. Will start with series 4 once we get there in 2002.
I did not think much of the Daredevil issues in 2000. It gets much better with issue 16 in 2001. I read a lot of the Marvel Knights stuff. Some of it is pretty good. The Fantastic Four 1234 was disappointing. But I often find Grant Morrison to be hit and miss. His DC work just prior his Marvel move was some of the best I’ve ever read. His Marvel stuff, including the impending X-Men run, left me cold.
Indeed, more and more I am looking at the X-Books as a lot of hype without much substance. When I think back now on all of the X-Stuff, and there has been a lot, for me only a few stories/runs really stand out: 108-142, 169-Mutant Massacre, Peter David’s X-Factor and that’s about it. Looking forward to Astonishing in a few years…
I’ll give Apocalypse: The Twelve a try, but I’ll tell you right now I am skipping anything drawn by Liefeld or written by Terry Kavanagh. Life is just too short to put myself through that kind of torture.
On a closing note I have to suggest moving Ultimate Spider-Man out of the Bonus Round and to the top of the reading list. Nothing coming out in 2000-2001 can compare. I read these as they came out and had held of re-reading for years. Last month I started again with issue 1 and did not stop until issue 25. It is just that good. Some people are critical of Bendis’ decompressed writing style, but as the art is the best Mark Bagley has done, the story flows well and the “cliff-hangers” are so intense it is a must read.
Patrick M. says
So excited that My Marvelous Year is back! I’ve read most of these, apart from the Apocalypse stuff and Maximum Security. Ultimate Spider-Man is one of the first series that really got me into reading comic books, so that will always have a special place in my heart. Daredevil is also quite phenomenal during this era.
I notice some errors in your notes section of the 2000s Google Doc almost like it’s off a column or some entries were reversed. Regardless, I look forward to following along!
Thanks for the note! Got shifted when I moved Punisher up before his appearance in Marvel Knights.
I can see why we’ve gone monthly instead of weekly – that’s 150 issues by my rough count! Aww yeah.
Yeah it should be plenty to enjoy 🙂
Brandon Harbeke says
Solid picks from the list and file:
Apocalypse: The Twelve
Deadpool (variable, but definitely look at #37)
Of everything, the best issues are the two Ultimate Spider-Man issues.
One off-list pick of mine is Fantastic Four #27. As it starts, Sue is set to marry Doctor Doom. This is a high point in Chris Claremont’s Fantastic Four run.
I’m a bit over halfway through part 1 of the complete reading order, so I’ve already read a lot of these (not AoA though… looking forward to giving that one a go!). I LOVED Sentry! It’s by far one of the best story arcs I’ve read so far!
I really enjoy Sentry as well. Love the Jenkins and Lee creative pair from this time period.
I didn’t include in the list, but if you enjoy, I recommend the Sentry one-shots as well.
It can go:
Sentry: Fantastic Four
Sentry: The Void
I’d wager that the Sentry one-shots might make an appearance in the 2001 list?
Claude Drolet says
I think that Paul Jenkins is really the go to guy at this point in Marvels history. His Hulk work was fine. Sentry was great. His Spidey stuff works. And even Origin was a decent read.
Jenkins and Lee smashed it outta the park (ok, I actually know nothing about baseball, or any sport for that matter, but the metaphor works) in the early 200’s! I immediately read the Sentry one-shots when I finished the series because it was such a good story!