Before I begin, let me ask you a couple of questions.
Have you been wanting to dive headfirst into the emotional maelstrom of comics and have zero idea where to start?
Are you particularly interested in what Marvel has to offer?
If the answer to both of these is a yes, then this will be the article for you.
Marvel NOW! is a shifting type of relaunch instead of a full reboot, with creative team changes, as well as resetting the issue numbers to #1, following the events of Avengers vs. X-Men. There are still 10 titles to be released in the next couple of months, but what should you consider picking up out of what’s been released? More importantly, will you need past knowledge to enjoy all of the titles?
While a few of the titles require some past knowledge (mostly X-Men and Avengers titles), many are easy to flip open and enjoy. Here are my top five recommendations in no particular order.
All New X-Men
All New X-Men is absolutely one of the titles you need previous history to fully appreciate the story. I’d recommend you read Avengers vs. X-Men, as well as the mini-series immediately following, AvX Consequences, before picking this up. Beast’s mutation has taken a turn for the worse, leaving him dying and refusing to leave the world as it is. He makes the decision to travel back in time in the hopes that the past version of Cyclops will be able to smack sense into the current Cyclops. It is by far the most emotional of the titles so far as this choice of Beast’s has many repercussions, perhaps even some even he hasn’t thought of.
Instantly engrossing, you need absolutely no background reading and absolutely no foreknowledge of the Norse god of thunder to enjoy this story. Gorgeous art, perfect pacing and a story featuring the Godkiller, an entity killing off every god he can find, is right up your alley if you’re a new reader and a fan of Thor. The viewpoints alternate between a youthful Thor, present time Thor, and an elderly Thor, who bears a striking resemblance to the Allfather. Barely three issues in and I can already tell you it is my favorite of the titles so far.
When it was announced that comedian, Brian Posehn, would be writing the Merc with the Mouth, I considered myself intrigued. A slightly painful pun-filled first issue disappointed me, but luckily the second and third issue had me laughing out loud and enjoying Deadpool as he takes on dead presidents. This title is also a wonderful series to try out the Marvel AR app as pages range from pre-colored sketches to how Posehn comes up with the dialogue. This is another series where you need no background reading or information.
American’s hero meets hardcore science fiction in this series, so most of that Captain America trivia can fly out the window. I genuinely don’t want to spoil any bit of this serious side of Cap, but suffice to say that it’s a ride a lot unlike any other. I’ve never been a fan of his solo series but this one is full of intrigue and he faces real dangers, so it will be fun to see where it goes.
Morbius: the Living Vampire
Hold back all that frustration aimed at vampires due to a horrendously written book series turned movie saga. Hold back all the objections to picking up a title about a villain the vast majority of people have never heard of. Morbius was created through science instead of traditional methods, and although he is not the villain to spring to mind when you think Spider-Man, the first issue in his new ongoing series is downright fun and worth a chance.
HONORABLE MENTION: Avengers Arena
Which titles have you picked up?