Summer Reading Recommendations – Marvel Comics

Hello all! After the recent interest in Jeremy’s Summer Reading Recommendations, I thought I would do some further recommendations for comics. This week it’s Marvel Comics recommendations, and next week I’ll wrangle together some independent (non-Marvel or DC) comics recommendations. 

Got a bit of a mix: complete stories, current ongoing comics — some brand new and untested — and  even a crossover event. Some options if you’re looking for a comic to read!

I like reading comics digitally, though your local library might have some of these in Trade Paperback as well. A good way to get access to these and other Marvel comics is through their Marvel Unlimited subscription service: an annual fee for access to all of their digital comics six-months-old and older.

A+X

Cover to A+X #7 - with Iceman and Thor!

Cover to A+X #7 – with Iceman and Thor!

One of the most fun Marvel comics in recent months has been A+X. This comic came out of the Avengers vs. X-Men crossover event. Having gotten over their differences, this comic tells two stories per issue, combining two characters in each – an X-Man and an Avenger. So really, as simple as it sounds.

The stories are generally one-shots, not relating to each other, or from comic-to-comic. They don’t rely heavily on knowledge of what has come before, or who the characters are – they do the introductions for you. So basically, some writers and artists get together, tell a fun little story, and you’re off to do something else. Light, fun reading – highly recommended. 

The series serves one other purpose – if there’s a writer or artist you really like, you can look them up and find their other work to read more!

Marvel 1602

Cover to Marvel 1602 #3

Cover to Marvel 1602 #3

I love alternate realities, and I love Neil Gaiman. You get both with this series. It’s an 8-issue story arc that requires no pre-reading. However, for Marvel fans – even just ones who mostly know Marvel characters from something like the movies – there are extra joys in this series, with appearances aplenty from many of Marvel’s greatest. 

What would the Marvel universe be like in the year 1602? Who would be good, who bad, who hunted? Find out in Marvel 1602! Want more on this one? Check out our review on Comparative Geeks.

Ms. Marvel

Cover to Ms. Marvel #1

Cover to Ms. Marvel #1

One I plan on looking into further this summer is Ms. Marvel. They’ve introduced a new character to carry this mantle, a young, Muslim geek girl. Sounds interesting. 

While one way of looking at this comic is that it’s an attempt to answer lots of things missing in comics in a single comic, the other way of looking at it is that that’s a good thing, and buying this comic is a good way to support diversity in comics! Which reminds me, I should probably be buying this comic. Off to do that!

Want a review for this series? Check out the ones over on Things Matter!

Hawkeye

Hawkeye Description

After his sudden fame in The Avengers, Hawkeye seems to have come into his own. He’s not the sort of character who’s always gotten his own comic – he’s just one of those guys who is around with the Avengers, shooting arrows when arrows need shooting. This comic explores the adventures of Hawkeye when he’s on his own, and they are both smaller-scale and more excellent than a lot of others in comics. Pretty much every issue opens like this:

Okay. This looks bad.

Okay. This looks bad.

Also, this comic stars two Hawkeyes. When Hawkeye was on the run, Young Avenger Kate Bishop took up the reins and the name, and she is also Hawkeye. Both star in this comic, and that just makes it twice as much fun! Want more? Check out our review on Comparative Geeks.

Guardians of the Galaxy

Cover from Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Cover from Guardians of the Galaxy #1

Another comic I plan to read this summer is Guardians of the Galaxy! With the movie coming out in August, the time is now. This team is only a few years old – the comic ran from 2008 to 2010. 25 issues, though it looks like much of it is crossover events, so maybe there’ll be some related reading to know more of what’s going on. 

If you want to see the movie first without being spoiled, this could be good late-summer reading. There’s a new ongoing that started last year as well. So if you’re just waiting for the movie for now, there are introductory posts here on Sourcerer or over on Comparative Geeks, or there’s their first trailer, which is really all they should have made, because it does the trick:

Battle of the Atom

Cover to the combined volume for X-Men: Battle of the Atom

Cover to the combined volume for X-Men: Battle of the Atom

And finally, I was trying to think of an X-Men comic to recommend. Sure, there are classic stories like Days of Future Past or the Dark Phoenix Saga, but in recent years, there have been a whole lot of crossover events, lots of different titles, and I’m pretty sure Wolverine gets no sleep, because he’s in just about all of it.

So instead, let me recommend one of the crossover events: Battle of the Atom. This was the 50th Anniversary of the X-Men special event last fall, and they did it in style. Time travel all over, with the past X-Men, present X-Men, and future X-Men all present. It also functions, in a way, as a sequel to Days of Future Past, or continuation of that idea. The future still looks like a bad place to be a mutant.

Reading this has actually led me away from the X-Men, despite how much I like them. It feels a bit like their story, their struggle for rights, is never getting anywhere. And that’s kind of depressing. But hey, I recommend giving this a read, and thinking about that for yourself!

@CompGeeksDavid helps run the blog Comparative Geeks, where he often talks about comics, comic book movies, and other things geeky! He is also a new ongoing blogger here on Sourcerer, blogging about music and now comics!

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15 thoughts on “Summer Reading Recommendations – Marvel Comics

  1. Thanks for the link!

    Love love love that Guardians of the Galaxy series (although it is hard to parse with all the crossover events). I’m also reading Hawkeye as the trades come out and it’s lots of fun.

    X-Men was the first superhero property I fell for, but I’ve never been able to get into the comics because they’re so confusing and there are so many characters, is that an issue with Battle of the Atom?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am trying to remember for Battle of the Atom… some of it is that they are introducing you to some new characters (the future X-Men), so they have to explain to you who they are and what is going on… eventually. But it is a crossover of three X-Men titles, with added characters, so it is a ton. Not going to lie. Only 10 issues in the crossover event, so not too much time to spend on too many of the characters or get too lost or invested, though…

      For a different X-title, which they recently ended and restarted at issue #1, I liked Wolverine & the X-Men, by Jason Aaron. A few years of comics, and while there are a few crossover moments, they spend a lot of time with their group of teachers and young mutants. And hijinks ensue.

      Excited for reading Guardians of the Galaxy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t read many comics – haven’t in a long time, but I read Marvel 1602 recently and loved it. Especially Steven Strange and Daredevil. That’s all I’ll say, because spoilers, but it’s definitely a Gaiman story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, the characterizations were great, and you can definitely tell it’s Neil Gaiman. Daredevil, Stephen Strange, Black Widow… Also, the place of the mutants is fantastic, but yes, spoilers. Quicksilver is great.

      So good. And it functions like a Graphic Novel – it has its own plot, introduces you to the characters, and completes in short order.

      Although, they ended up making more comics in this continuity… I read the Fantastic Four ones, by Peter David, who is my favorite author. Also good.

      Like

      • Oh. A continuity? I’ll have to give that a look. And you’ve almost convinced me to start a reading list at my local comics shop. I know the guy who runs it from the 90s, and Jeremy’s been working on me for a while.

        It’s the Ms. Marvel that did it. Can patronize my friend’s business AND support diversity in comics. How cool is that. Also – that character is just damned intriguing.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Wow. No comics store? We have a couple. We have one that’s right beside a music store and is all cool and down-to-earth, another downtown next to some art galleries that is polite but a bit upscale. This has happened in the last 15 years. I remember not having one. It sucked.

            Liked by 1 person

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