Marvel Must Read Storylines, Events, and Comic Runs

Discuss your favorite comics, comic heroes, comic companies. Anything comics. Did we mention comics?
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Marvel Must Read Storylines, Events, and Comic Runs

Fri Jul 30, 2021 2:56 am

I've got a lot of reading time in both my immediate and near-distant future, so I'm breaking my Marvel Unlimited app back out and going to work my way through another project. Couple years ago, I finished reading every single issue of Uncanny X-Men, beginning to end, and now I'm coming to y'all for y'all's input.

What are *the* Must-Read Marvels, in your oh so humble opinions? Events, Mini Series, Storylines, the run of a particular writer, whatever it is, what are the Must Reads to you? Doesn't have to just be all-encompassing stuff like Infinity Gauntlet, although, please, list those too. Got a favorite character with a strong story that you think should be read? I want it.

Gimme a reading list!

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Re: Marvel Must Read Storylines, Events, and Comic Runs

Fri Jul 30, 2021 1:16 pm

I've got recent history covered. I would imagine you've read a lot of these already. I tried to put them in order, starting with my favorite, by grouping:

X-Men:
Astonishing X-Men
Uncanny X-Force
New X-Men

Avengers:
Vision (King/Hernández Walta)
Captain America (Brubaker)
Thor (Aaron)
Hawkeye (Fraction/Aja)
Thor (Simsonson)
Immortal Hulk
Avengers (Hickman)
Black Widow (Waid)

Other:
Fantastic Four (Hickman/various)
The Immortal Iron Fist
Silver Surfer (Slott)
Doctor Strange: The Oath
Runaways (Vaughan)
Daredevil (Zdarsky)
Daredevil (Waid)

Spider-Man:
Spider-Man: Life Story
If This Be My Destiny...!
Kraven's Last Hunt

Events:
Secret Wars (Hickman; read his FF and Avengers first)
Annihilation
Annihilation: Conquest
Messiah CompleX
Infinity Gauntlet
Planet Hulk
World War Hulk
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Re: Marvel Must Read Storylines, Events, and Comic Runs

Fri Jul 30, 2021 5:59 pm

Limited to Marvel? If you're already blown through X-Men, you've hit most of my picks. There are a few limited runs/series/one offs that are worth picking up, imo. Obviously God Loves, Man Kills and the original Wolverine solo limited, but I also really liked Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown (mostly for the really unusual art style, but it's kind of a fun "odd couple adventure" story featuring two characters who, at that time, were very much oil and water in the main books), and the first Nightcrawler limited (from '85, I think? It's SUPER ridiculous, swashbuckling fun). I remember really liking Mekanix (a Kitty Pryde limited where she's attending college). Madrox was really good and leads into the mostly amazing X-Factor Investigations run. X-Statix is a good, if kind of inconsistent, book, too. V weird.

Outside of the merry Mutants, Fraction and Aja's run on Hawkeye is one of my favorite Marvel books of all time. It's smart and fun and has some really great art direction. The Vision limited is also good, creepy, weird. Immortal Hulk is a fantastic book that really embraces the horror side of the Hulk character. I'm not a huge fan of the Hulk, in general, but this book changed my mind. Dan Slott's run on She-Hulk is awesome for the first four volumes, but then it goes off the rails and I found Peter David's run very disappointing.
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Re: Marvel Must Read Storylines, Events, and Comic Runs

Sat Jul 31, 2021 1:31 am

As a fan of the 'myths' side of the MCU - I really dig on the return of Thor (Thor Vol. 3 from 2007) just after Civil War. I think that has proved to be a definitive episode in the story of the character that basically didn't just re-write and re-introduce the character for a more modern audience, but is still today the foundation for where Thor stands in the MU and how he's approached. It honestly revitalized the character and remains one of my favorite things done with the character.

In that regard, I genuinely thought War of the Realms was excellent as well. Punisher fighting Trolls in New York. Spider-Man riding talking horses and loving every minute of it. Malekith being a complete psycho (I love the character and I think he's severely under-utilized). There was a lot of good stuff going on, but it didn't drag on past its welcome, in my opinion.

Annihilation and Annihilation Conquest remain two of my absolute favorite big event stories. Those are fantastic and are some of the only 'cosmic' MU stuff that I legitimately and fully enjoy. But that being said, the run of Nova from through Annihilation and up until Realm of Kings was fantastic. It's the only solo Nova run I've ever been into, but I was -SO- into it. Still one of my favorite solo runs for any character.

I'm not even going to say Age of Apocalypse because of course you've done that one already.

The CURRENT run of Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade is phenomenal. I haven't read issue 5 yet, which may very well be the last issue. I'm not sure how far it's supposed to go. BUT, I'll say that it's reinvigorating and reinventing Black Knight as a character in much the same way that the Return of Thor revitalized Thor. It's a great story that creates and enhances so much backstory for another underutilized character. I don't think anyone should say they are or AREN'T a fan of Black Knight without reading this one.


Thor Vol. 4 is the Jane Foster as Thor storyline and, despite that I was extremely skeptical of this when it was announced, this might be the second best Thor story ever. It's wonderful and I love it. It ties in beautifully with War of the Realms.


I love Ghost Rider and would recommend almost any run of the character, but I want to go with the most under-appreciated but must-read stuff and that's the Cosmic Ghost Rider. The five-part Revenge of the Cosmic Ghost Rider is fantastic. And if you didn't get enough Frank, I think one of the best recent-ish runs of Punisher was Punisher - War Machine from 2018 when Frank stole the War Machine armor and the awesomeness ensued.
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Re: Marvel Must Read Storylines, Events, and Comic Runs

Sat Jul 31, 2021 6:40 am

Good call with God Loves, Man Kills and J. Michael Straczynski's Thor run. I knew I'd forget some favorites.
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Re: Marvel Must Read Storylines, Events, and Comic Runs

Sun Aug 01, 2021 2:22 am

These are these first finite series picks that come to mind. A few are kind of niche-ish, but each of these are on here for a specific reason:

Howard the Duck (1976) 1-33 --Brilliant storytelling. Steve Gerber was Grant Morrison before Grant Morrison was Grant Morrison.
Hercules Prince of Power (1982) limited series 1-4 --My first introduction to the character, and the series that made him one of my favorites. It's also a series in which Hercules more or less tries to get Galactus drunk.
West Coast Avengers (1984) limited series 1-4 --Between his run on Spider-Man and the Avengers, Roger Stern could do no wrong in the early 80s, and this introduction to a brand new Avengers team was just pure fun.
Slapstick (1992) limited series 1-4 --Marvel introduced Looney Tunes concepts into the Marvel Universe and made everything better.
Marvel Boy (2000) 1-6 --Grant Morrison given free rein with a cool new character that was then neutered by...every other writer
Unbelievable Gwenpool (2016) 1-25 --The comic that nobody who complained about Gwenpool getting a Marvel Legend figure actually read. It's not actually Gwen Stacy as Deadpool.
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 1-8 and then 1-50 --Worth it for the footnotes alone
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Re: Marvel Must Read Storylines, Events, and Comic Runs

Sun Aug 01, 2021 6:08 am

That reminds of a few other books/runs: Marvel Team-Up (I'm especially fond of the 2005 series, which ran a couple dozen issues and was a complete story). Also, Next Wave! I don't know how I forgot that above. Alan Moore's Captain Britain is worth a read, too.
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Re: Marvel Must Read Storylines, Events, and Comic Runs

Mon Aug 02, 2021 5:21 pm

1.) Grant Morrison's New X-Men (2001)
2.) Al Ewing's Ultimates (2015)
3.) Tom King's Vision (2018)
4.) Al Ewing's Immortal Hulk (2018)
5.) Jonathan Hickman's House of X + Powers of X (2019)
6.) Rick Remender's Uncanny X-Force (2010)

I've heard good things about the new Black Widow but haven't read it yet. The Dawn of X titles have mostly been enjoyable too, Zeb Wells' Hellions, Jonathan Hickman's/Gerry Duggan's X-Men, Leah Williams' X-Factor, and Al Ewing's SWORD most of all imo.
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Re: Marvel Must Read Storylines, Events, and Comic Runs

Fri Aug 13, 2021 5:14 pm

I think there is a reason why Byrne's FF, Simonson's Thor (especially 337 to 353) and Miller's Daredevil (especially 168 to 191, then the Born Again series 227-233) are considered some of the best comics ever, and I highly recommend all of those.

Kraven's Last Hunt is great. Both Bob Layton Hercules minis are fun reads. The Longshot mini is as well.

More recent, the Fraction and Aja Hawkeye is really good.

The first What If? series is hit and miss at times, but some are pretty good, and what's amusing is the number of ideas that eventually were reused in the main continuity (What if Jane Foster became Thor, the Hulk had Bruce Banner's brain).

Micronauts 1-12 has some great Michael Golden artwork - not sure if that is on Marvel Unlimited though.
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Re: Marvel Must Read Storylines, Events, and Comic Runs

Sun Aug 15, 2021 6:54 am

not particularly a *must read list but if your exploring their marvel corner, here's some that could keep you busy

I feel that Silver Surfer has had a few good runs from the late 2000's on

Silver Surfer Requiem by JMS 1-4 (mini)
(as mentioned) Silver Surfer by Slott/ Allred
Silver Surfer King in Black by Cates 1-5 (mini)

Lots of rightful Thor recommendations.. i'll toss in

Journey into Mystery by Gillen issues 622-636, 626.1, EXILED 1; NEW MUTANTS 42-43; JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY 637-645; THE MIGHTY THOR 18-22, ANNUAL 1

Newer-ish stuff

Superior Foes of Spider-Man by Spencer issues 1-17 quirky/fun vibe
Superior Spider-Man by Slott issues 1- 31 Annual 1-2 far from perfetto but i dug it

Buffet of Daredevil Runs
Miller, Zdarsky, Waid
the Brubaker and Bendis' runs are dark rides

Death of Captain Marvel and Warlock by Starlin are 70's/80's cosmic Marvel goodness.

If I could suggest some non-x team books to try

Avengers by Busiek and Perez
issues AVENGERS (1998) 1-56, 0, 1 ROUGH CUT, 1 1/2, IRON MAN (1998) 7; CAPTAIN AMERICA (1998) 8; QUICKSILVER 10; AVENGERS ANNUAL '98, '99; AVENGERS FOREVER 1-12, ANNUAL 2000-2001; THUNDERBOLTS 42-44; MAXIMUM SECURITY: DANGEROUS PLANET; MAXIMUM SECURITY 1-3; AVENGERS: THE ULTRON IMPERATIVE

Fantastic 4 by Waid and 'Ringo
issues 60-70, 500-524

some fwoosh connection but i remember the

Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett and Lanning
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2008) 1-25; THANOS IMPERATIVE: IGNITION 1, 1-6, DEVASTATION 1; MATERIAL FROM ANNIHILATORS 1-4; MATERIAL FROM ANNIHILATORS: EARTHFALL 1-4

A thread was made here in its early run praising it for how consistently good it was and im not sure if it was Abnett, Lanning or Pelletier who was/is a board member but one of them chimed in to thank the support it was getting. I thought that was neat. The book itself is a good read. Nice art.

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