This week’s question of the week!
Thank you for the great comic book resource. The movies have gotten me interested in the comics, so I’m starting from scratch on the comic side with the understanding that all of the Marvel movies have presented. The main question I have is if I dive into any of your reading guides, and start to read those comics, will future movies not have the same surprises? For example, did you have a general idea of what would happen in Avengers, Avengers 2, and Civil War, or were the movies more inspired by the comics, rather than adaptations. I ask because I read the Harry Potter books, and watched the movies, and at times you’re going through the motions of the storyline, knowing where the narrative is headed. I want to read the comic books, and am hoping they stand alone without impacting my enjoyment of Infinity Wars, or other future Marvel movies.
As an avid spoiler-avoider, this is a pretty great question. One of my least favorite aspects of ascending comic book culture is that the vast majority of the coverage relates to leaked plot details, characters, and potential storylines. As excited as I am by a potential Brother Voodoo appearance in Doctor Strange, I still cling to the unlikely delight his surprise appearance would deliver. I’ve never really understood why anybody would want to know intimate details of a story before viewing.
Honestly, within the MCU, the only time that reading comics “spoiled” a plot for me came during Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier. If you’ve read Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Captain America (hint: You should read Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s Captain America), you know all about the Winter Soldier and his backstory. It’s unavoidable.
To their credit, the Russo brothers and associated creative team adapted the story in a manner unique from the comics, and that thankfully doesn’t focus on any “big reveal” behind the Winter Soldier.
To date, the MCU as a whole has followed a similar approach. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is based on the tone, ideas, and concepts behind the Marvel Comics, but they adapt these elements in stories both familiar and distinct. More often than not, a movie will take several comic book storylines, and weave them together to create something altogether different. For example, Iron Man 3 calls for a strong serving of Iron Man: Extremis, but reading this Warren Ellis and Adi Granov comic would in no way spoil the outcome of the movie for you.
Even though they are both MCU films named after comic book events, Civil War and Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, are only loosely connected to the general concept or premise for the comic book event. The details and specifics are just about all unique to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which I absolutely prefer.
There’s a chance some outlier comes along and reproduces a comic book note for note (Hey, Watchmen just walked in the room, everybody say hi!), but Marvel Studios has exhibited no signs of that approach to date, and hopefully they never do.
Long story short: Read all the comics you want!
(Oh, and for anybody interested in the same kind of reading approach to the Marvel Universe as mentioned in the question, I highly recommend My Marvelous Year – fits the bill perfectly.)