Getting into Marvel Comics is an exciting yet intimidating time, so let me be the first to welcome you to the wonderful world of Marvel!
Whether you’re in love with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and looking for more, or simply fell out of favor with comics in an earlier decade and want to catch up, there are plenty of entry points for all kinds of readers.
Since Marvel has been publishing an ongoing continuity of a shared universe since Fantastic Four #1 in 1961, there are tens of thousands of comics, across thousands of series titles. It can be wildly confusing to try and read them all, which is why Comic Book Herald is here to take as much of the confusion out of the equation as possible.
Best Marvel Comics To Start With For New Readers
If you’re brand spanking new to Marvel Comics, I think it’s often times useful to try out a few series to find out what you most enjoy reading.
There will be a temptation to try and read absolutely everything, and for that I’d recommend My Marvelous Year, a comic book reading club and podcast! Join all of us in the completely insane yet totally understandable quest as we read every single year of Marvel publication history, year by year, enjoying the best stories from Marvel history!
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Or, if video is more appealing, check out Comic Book Herald on Youtube, where I breakdown new comics with an eye towards the history readers need to know to understand and enjoy!
1) Essential Marvel Classics
For my money, I’d recommend checking out Marvel’s earliest standout comics, Amazing Spider-Man by Steve Ditko, John Romita and Stan Lee, and Fantastic Four by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee.
Amazing Spider-Man by Ditko and Lee
Fantastic Four by Kirby and Lee
For new readers, note that these comics feel like they were written in the 1960’s, and guess what, they were! The Silver Age style of comics (and Stan Lee’s verbose dialogue) is not for everyone today. Don’t worry if it’s not working for you – there’s plenty more to check out below!
2) Top 25 Most Important Marvel Stories From 1961 to 2000
If you want to know how the Marvel Universe progresses throughout its first 40 years, but don’t necessarily want to sink a whole lot of time into the more middle-of-the-road, product, I’ve also compiled a list of the top 25 stories from Marvel during this time.
1961 to 2000 Essential 25 Trade Collections Fast Track
In addition to the essential origin stories, this guide will take you through Chris Claremont’s X-Men (the origins of Wolverine on the X-Men), Frank Miller’s Daredevil, and the 1990’s event Age of Apocalypse.
3) Best Modern Marvel Comics
If you gave them a shot and think those old Marvel Comics are for the birds (or, you know, your great-grandparents), there are a few good ways to launch into modern Marvel Comics from 1998 on.
My personal favorite recommendations are:
My Favorite 100 Marvel Comics From 1998 to 2015
Comic Book Herald’s Complete Marvel Reading Order Part 1 (Marvel Knights)
The major difference between these two approaches is that Part 1 of the CBH reading order will take you through every Marvel story, in chronological reading order through present day. This guide is updated constantly and as we head in to the new year, includes Marvel’s most recent events.
In short, the top 100 Marvel Comics guide is best for readers who just want to get started with the good stuff. The Comic Book Herald reading order is for those who want to try and read as much of the Marvel Universe as possible. You’ll be pretty well-versed in all things Marvel either way!
How To Start With Marvel Comics in 2023
If you’re less interested in catching up on Marvel’s vast history, and would instead like to jump in to the current, ongoing state of Marvel Comics in 2023, there’s a fair amount of background you’ll need to understand what’s going on.
Beginning in May 2018, Marvel launched an initiative known as “Marvel Fresh Start,” which effectively marks the most recent wave of comic starting points for readers in 2023. If you missed out, Comic Book Herald has a complete guide to getting started with “Fresh Start.”
It’s important to note that Marvel continuity doesn’t offer any sort of hard reboot with “Fresh Start” in 2018, so if you really want the most modern context for everything happening, the Comic Book Herald Marvel reading order is your best bet.
To dive into what’s new with the X-Men, Avengers, and other Marvel staples, though, “Fresh Start” is a good jumping on point that’ll pave the way for you to enjoy classics from this era including Immortal Hulk, X-Men: House of X, and Venom!
The chronology of essential/important comics that sets up the current state of Marvel Fresh Start flows as follows:
As you’d expect, reading all of this is the best way to understand what’s going on. It’s also a whole lot of comics to read.
For the purposes of quickly getting up to speed, I’d recommend you check out my favorite Marvel Comics of 2022.
This approach will give you plenty of background as you head in to the world of Marvel!
Get To Know The Heroes And Villains of the Marvel Universe
If instead of reading the shared universe as a whole you’d prefer to start with particular characters, Comic Book Herald has guides for most major Marvel characters.
You can find them all on the bottom half of the complete Marvel reading order, and I’ve listed some of the major players in 2023’s slate of MCU movies and TV as well!
Hello there. I swear I need to start from the beginning. Or it’s never have a start? But yeah I watched the video but I don’t understand 🙁 I LOVE MCU the movies and I can’t be waiting for movies all the time. So I really want more information about Marvel. Can anyone actually tell me is it okey to start with Thor? Or the Spider-Man? From 1962? I saw it on Amazon Spider-man volume 1. 1962-1964 for $200 should I buy that? I am really2 excited anyone please 🙁
A.J. White says
Well, I’m not the best guy to ask, but I personally have the first 2 volumes of TASM from 1962. I don’t think these 2 combined cost $200.
Volume 2 seems to be getting a reprint this November.
You could also get an annual subscription to Marvel Unlimited for $70/year.
I want to start reading the comics because I really loved watching the mcu where do I start to understand the marvel comics universe
Cam Moore says
Anywhere you’d like! As this article said, Fresh Start from 2018 are all great jumping on points, but you can pick up any book you’d like and go from there. Best place to buy for prices is probably Amazon, or try to find a local comic shop, and they can help guide you in what to read.
They are the most useless & stupid (shit) company created.
Marvel are scum, dirty moron & gangster asshole.(Their brainless fans, actors, etc are weak-minded, sore losers with low IQ)
All of their comics, cartoons, movies, dramas, etc are all shit, crap, garbage, rubbish & suck-ass.
Marvel must be removed from this face of this planet.
Marvel Comics (& their fans, forever) SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS & SUCKS!
If you don’t like marvel you didn’t have to get in the website 🤷♀️
jacob spidey fan says
you’re just wrong im going to try and not be mean but that opinion is actually wrong as long as you can read or have enough brain cells to breath and eat then you can find a comic or movie or show that’s good that you like
I am a big MCU fan and Bucky is my favourite character. Is there any way I could just read some Bucky comics and still understand what is going on? If so, do you have any recommendations for where to start or which ones are the most important? I don’t have a lot of free time so I won’t be reading a ton of them I dont think… But every now and then I want some good Bucky content to read while I wait for the next time he appears in the MCU
I would recommend the Falcon and the Winter Soldier Comics. They are my comfort comics and they have Alpine too!
Bucky first appears as Winter Soldier in Captain America (2004) #1 and there is also the run where he becomes Captain America starting from Captain America (2008) #34. After those runs, Bucky appears sporadically in certain events. You can read these on Marvel Unlimited if you have it https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SZHBPW3?notRedirectToSDP=1&ref_=dbs_mng_calw_0&storeType=ebooks
Heres a good start if you don’t have unlimited
To hop into this thread I was wondering about USAgent. I liked reading him as a supporting character in Thunderbolts and some other places I cant remember off the top of my head. Is his stand alone stuff solid? Is there a current run I can find him in as a supporting character more recent than Devil’s Reign?
Cam Moore says
I’d personally recommend Black Widow by Waid And Samnee, it features Bucky heavily in parts, and is a good Black Widow story on top of that.
Oh, wow. I haven’t read any Marvel since Secret Wars 2015 so this is all daunting to me. I guess I’ll start with Fresh Start. Hopefully, MU has some things from there. I just got my free trial lol.
the link to “Fresh Start” in chapter “How to start with Marvel Comics in 2019” is broken, it leads to Extermination instead.
So can we just call it Marvel Herald now? lol
There’s a ton of DC content on the site. As well as pretty much every big indie publisher…
Compare the guides and articles that Marvel has compared to DC and even other publishers. Also the shilling being done, it’s practically the Marvel Herald plus friends. It sucks cause Dave is awesome and there is nothing like his Marvel guides but his DC guides are severely lacking.
So i see there are two ways to catch up with recent events one being this and the other is the full marvel reading order. I was thinking about buying a one year subscription to marvel unlimited and was wondering about how many comic books I would have to read a day to actually be able to be caught up with the full reading order, or if it would be a better idea to just read this.
I’ve been following Dave’s complete modern Marvel reading order for 2 1/2 years (with some supplements from other sites). It starts with comics that came out in 1998-9. I’m currently only in comics that came out in 2011. It’s a slow go with thousands upon thousands of comics. I’ve read approximately 3-5 per day, sometimes a lot more. So, to your questions:
– Marvel Unlimited is totally worth it no matter what approach you take.
-The Complete Marvel reading order (starting with FF from 1961) to today in an effort to read everything in between will take you forever and you’ll never get into the best stuff (unless you’re a comic-reading machine).
-starting with Dave’s complete reading orders for modern Marvel will still take a looong time, if you want to be thorough.
Good luck reading!