With superhero movies come great responsibility a vast amount of people who want more background. How did these characters come to be? What have their journeys been like? Where do I even start? There are a lot of resources online to help you find your starting place, but sometimes they can be dense and confusing. I’m by no means an expert, but I’ve put together a concise post in order to help fellow fans.

There are over 150 series titles that feature the Avengers. This post will feature the most prominent ones to get you started. Remember that you don’t have to start from the beginning. Do not be afraid of continuity. In other words, start wherever you like with whatever series you like!

Also, for a lot of these I’m going to recommend Marvel Digital Comics because it’s affordable and convenient. The interface is user-friendly and worth every penny in my opinion. Each Marvel Digital link will take you directly to the comic series page. 

The Avengers (Comics) Wikipedia entry has a great table that outlines these publications. I’ve summarized them below:

  • The Avengers (1963 series), total comics = 402. 
  • Where to read them: (1) As a subscribed member, Marvel Digital Comics has all 402 issues; (2) Marvel Masterworks has 11 volumes that compile the original comics into books; (3) Essential Avengers (Marvel Essentials), volumes 1-7, compiles much of the comics from the 1970s and 1980s. 
  • My advice: This is a lot to read for a new comic book reader. If you’re into reading old comics and enjoy the narrative style of the time period, go for it. Otherwise, go for the more modern comics. 
  • Avengers, Vol. 2 Heroes Reborn (1996), total comics = 12.
  • Description: A 1996-1997 crossover story arc that received mixed reviews and is considered an alternate reality by most fans I’ve encountered.
  • Where to read them: As a subscribed member, Marvel Digital Comicshas the trade paperback version.
  • My advice: I’ve heard mixed reviews for HR. Many Avengers fans love it and others think it should stay on the shelf. It’s up to you!
  • Avengers, Vol. 3 (1998), total comics = 90.
  • Description: Various adventures that have been compiled into trade paperbacks. Refer to the Wikipedia table for a detailed list.
  • Where to read themMarvel Digital Comics
  • My advice: I’ve read quite a few of these and enjoyed them. Definitely go for the Avengers Assemble, volumes 1-5, if you’re interested.
  • Avengers, Vol. 4 (2010), total comics = 12.
  • Description: Brian Michael Bendis writes various adventures that involve Kang the Conqueror and have been compiled into trade paperbacks. 
  • Where to read them: (1) This one is a purchase you’ll have to make because I tried looking for it in the Marvel database and couldn’t find it.
  • My advice: This is a great spot to start off and definitely available for purchase online and at book stores.
  • Avengers: The Origin (2010), total comics = 5.
  • Description: A re-telling of the beginning.
  • Where to read themMarvel Digital Comics (although the first issue isn’t available there. You may have to invest in the trade paperback version)
  • My advice: MUST READ! If you want to start reading Avengers comics, this is where you might want to start.
  • Avengers: Disassembled (2004)
  • Description: Become familiar with Brian Michael Bendis’s name because he owns the Avengers franchise. This tells the story of how the team splits up and it will blow your mind.
  • Where to read themMarvel Digital Comics 
  • My advice: Yes yes yes! Remember do not be scared of continuity! If you’re somewhat lost, Wikipedia and Marvel Wiki should help you get up to speed! There is no shame in doing that!
  • Ultimates (2002-2009)
  • Description: Awwwww yeaaahhhh, cue the awesome music in the background. This a mature and modernized version of The Avengers aka the badass series lol!
  • Where to read them: (1) As a subscribed user in Marvel Digital Comics (2002-2003)(2004-2006), and (2007-2008); (2) Trade paperbacks
  • My advice: Definitely worth reading. 
  • New Avengers (2006)
  • Description: Follows the events of Avengers: Disassembled. A brand new era starts for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. 
  • Where to read themMarvel Digital Comics
  • My advice: Another series worth reading!
  • Civil War AKA MY CREYS! (2007)
  • Description: A conflict drives the team apart and drives everyone to the brink of war.
  • Where to read them: Marvel Digital Comics
  • My advice: Another iconic series of the Marvel Universe worth reading.
  • Mighty Avengers (2008)
  • Description: Follows the events in Civil War.
  • Where to read themMarvel Digital Comics
  • My advice: Written by Brian Michael Bendis…why wouldn’t you read it!?
  • Secret Invasion (2008)
  • Description: The Skrulls invade!
  • Where to read themMarvel Digital Comics
  • My advice: Anyone who is a huge fan of the cartoon series Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes should read this series. 
  • Dark Avengers (2009)
  • Description: This is a new team of Avengers (with Hawkeye AWWWW YYYEEAAAAHHH!!!) with a twist with Norman Osborn aka The Green-Goblin heading the team. 
  • Where to read themMarvel Digital Comics
  • My advice: Definitely another series worth reading!
  • Siege (2009)
  • Description: Osborn plans to take over Asgard. It’s about to go down!
  • Where to read themMarvel Digital Comics
  • My advice: Again, anything by Brian Michael Bendis is worth reading, lol! 
  • Secret Avengers (2009)
  • Description: By Ed Brubaker <3, this secret team is put together by Steve Rogers.
  • Where to read themMarvel Digital Comics
  • My advice: Yes, yes, and yes! Read it!

And don’t forget what’s currently on the shelf!! 

You have the Ultimate Comics (Ultimate Avengers, Ultimate Hawkeye, Ultimate Spider-Man, and Ultimate X-Men), Fear Itself, and plenty more!

Remember, never hesitate to use Wikipedia and the Marvel Wiki. Ignore people who say you’re less of a comic book fan for doing so. Also, get to know your comic book store workers! They know they’re sh*t, lol! Never hesitate to ask questions! PS. Never hesitate to ask me questions! :)

I hope this breaks things down and helps you choose where to start off your comic book reading adventures! Enjoy!

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