Ongoing MARVEL reading order … (not definitive … but still worth a look)

Not definitive seeing as how it’s only a selected reading order. MARVEL puts out a ridiculous amount of books each month. Imagine, darling, if you will, how wonderful things would be if they’d just focus on a handful of titles and made each of them exceptional; kind of like how the fine folks at VALIANT do things.

But anyway, when I took an interest in custom binding, I had the admittedly insane idea of building a narrative out of the Marvel Universe, one with which someone could begin a journey that would guide them through its complexities as painless as possible. I didn’t want to deal with Silver Age madness, so starting in the Modern Era seemed to be the best idea.

I ended up choosing the year 2001 as a springboard for this project. Around this time MARVEL was going through a bit of a company-wide relaunch. Think of something like MARVEL NOW but without all the publicity and gimmicks. In fact, if you were a MARVEL reader at the time, you probably wouldn’t even notice the changes happening (no endless amounts of all new number ones).

Essentially, there was an editorial change. And even though I can’t confirm this, it’s obvious that focus had been shifted on hiring critically acclaimed writers and letting them have their ways with the MU. So it goes without saying that I really like this time period. There are things that began here that have reverberated through to the current era.

Even so, it’s not all top notch and custom bind worthy, so I devised a set of requirements for the stories I would feature, which are … 1. Is it damn good? … and/or … 2. Is it important to the overall MU? … So if it wasn’t good, but still a big event, I’d include it. If it wasn’t important but just so so rad, I’d stick it in there anyway. Ideally, I suppose, you’d want it to be both: damn good and important.

Because I’m treating the MU as a single narrative, I arrange titles not just chronologically, but thematically, much like I did with my VALIANT reading order. I wouldn’t dare place THE PUNISHER next to THOR. But if you did PUNISHER –> DEADPOOL –> X-MEN –> AVENGERS –> THOR then things flow better, you see? I do feel I should point out that there are some titles included that don’t vibe with the publication date of others. For instance, I included the Paul Jenkins INHUMANS maxi-series even though it came out in 1998. I did this because of its relations to storylines in 2001. I promise you, though, I was very careful with this; the narrative remains solid.

One final note: The adjustment in quality that MARVEL was going through at the time didn’t immediately happen with AVENGERS and the characters’ respected solo series. That did happen about a year later (Mike Grell on IRON MAN and Bruce Jones on HULK were especially nice), but I didn’t feel it necessary to jump right into Avenger stuff. So, for a while, much of my reading order is street level MU and mutant stuff. But fear not, true and beautiful believers, there was some great Avenger stuff that came about around 2002 and will be added in time.

The reading order is actually only a little over 180 issues so far. I wasn’t even going to post it yet but someone on Reddit requested it, so I’ll shut up now AND GET RIGHT TO THE FRIGGIN’ READING ORDER ….

_______________________________________________________

(Let’s assume all titles are 1st series unless noted otherwise.)

  1. Spider-Man’s Tangled Web      4

  2. Daredevil (2nd series)      9
  3. Daredevil (2nd series)      10
  4. Daredevil (2nd series)      11
  5. Daredevil (2nd series)      12
  6. Daredevil (2nd series)      13
  7. Daredevil (2nd series)      14
  8. Daredevil (2nd series)      15

  9. Revenge of the Green Goblin      1
  10. Revenge of the Green Goblin      2
  11. Revenge of the Green Goblin      3
  12. Amazing Spider-Man (2nd series)      25
  13. Peter Parker Spider-Man      25

  14. Peter Parker Spider-Man      27
  15. Peter Parker Spider-Man      28

  16. Amazing Spider-Man (2nd series)      28
  17. Amazing Spider-Man (2nd series)      29
  18. Peter Parker Spider-Man      29
  19. Amazing Spider-Man Annual      2001

  20. Wolverine      162
  21. Wolverine      163
  22. Wolverine      164
  23. Wolverine      165
  24. Wolverine      166

  25. Punisher (5th series 2000)      1
  26. Punisher (5th series 2000)      2
  27. Punisher (5th series 2000)      3
  28. Punisher (5th series 2000)      4
  29. Punisher (5th series 2000)      5
  30. Punisher (5th series 2000)      6
  31. Punisher (5th series 2000)      7
  32. Punisher (5th series 2000)      8
  33. Punisher (5th series 2000)      9
  34. Punisher (5th series 2000)      10
  35. Punisher (5th series 2000)      11
  36. Punisher (5th series 2000)      12

  37. Deadpool      46
  38. Deadpool      47
  39. Deadpool      48
  40. Deadpool      49
  41. Deadpool      50
  42. Deadpool      51
  43. Deadpool      52
  44. Deadpool      53
  45. Deadpool      54
  46. Deadpool      55
  47. Deadpool      56

  48. Spider-Man’s Tangled Web      1
  49. Spider-Man’s Tangled Web      2
  50. Spider-Man’s Tangled Web      3

  51. Daredevil (2nd series)      16
  52. Daredevil (2nd series)      17
  53. Daredevil (2nd series)      18
  54. Daredevil (2nd series)      19

  55. Incredible Hulk (2nd series)      26
  56. Incredible Hulk (2nd series)      27
  57. Incredible Hulk (2nd series)      28

  58. X-Treme X-Men      1
  59. X-Treme X-Men      2
  60. X-Treme X-Men      3

  61. X-Men      114
  62. X-Men      115
  63. X-Men      116
  64. X-Men      117

  65. Uncanny X-Men      395
  66. Uncanny X-Men      396
  67. Uncanny X-Men      397
  68. Uncanny X-Men      398

  69. Cable      97
  70. Cable      98
  71. Cable      99
  72. Cable      100
  73. Cable      101
  74. Cable      102
  75. Cable      103
  76. Cable      104

  77. Inhumans (2nd series 1998)      1
  78. Inhumans (2nd series 1998)      2
  79. Inhumans (2nd series 1998)      3
  80. Inhumans (2nd series 1998)      4
  81. Inhumans (2nd series 1998)      5
  82. Inhumans (2nd series 1998)      6
  83. Inhumans (2nd series 1998)      7
  84. Inhumans (2nd series 1998)      8
  85. Inhumans (2nd series 1998)      9
  86. Inhumans (2nd series 1998)      10
  87. Inhumans (2nd series 1998)      11
  88. Inhumans (2nd series 1998)      12

  89. Black Widow (1st series 1999)      1
  90. Black Widow (1st series 1999)      2
  91. Black Widow (1st series 1999)      3
  92. Black Widow (2nd series 2001)      1
  93. Black Widow (2nd series 2001)      2
  94. Black Widow (2nd series 2001)      3

  95. Elektra (2nd series)      1
  96. Elektra (2nd series)      2
  97. Elektra (2nd series)      3
  98. Elektra (2nd series)      4
  99. Elektra (2nd series)      5

  100. Alias      1
  101. Alias      2
  102. Alias      3
  103. Alias      4
  104. Alias      5

  105. Doctor Strange: Flight of Bones      1
  106. Doctor Strange: Flight of Bones      2
  107. Doctor Strange: Flight of Bones      3
  108. Doctor Strange: Flight of Bones      4

  109. Spider-Man’s Tangled Web      7
  110. Spider-Man’s Tangled Web      8
  111. Spider-Man’s Tangled Web      9
  112. Spider-Man’s Tangled Web      22

  113. Amazing Spider-Man (2nd series)      30
  114. Amazing Spider-Man (2nd series)      31
  115. Amazing Spider-Man (2nd series)      32
  116. Amazing Spider-Man (2nd series)      33
  117. Amazing Spider-Man (2nd series)      34
  118. Amazing Spider-Man (2nd series)      35
  119. Amazing Spider-Man (2nd series)      36
  120. Amazing Spider-Man (2nd series)      37
  121. Amazing Spider-Man (2nd series)      38

  122. Punisher (6th series 2001)      1
  123. Punisher (6th series 2001)      2
  124. Punisher (6th series 2001)      3
  125. Punisher (6th series 2001)      4
  126. Punisher (6th series 2001)      5
  127. Punisher (6th series 2001)      6
  128. Punisher (6th series 2001)      7

  129. Deadpool      57
  130. Deadpool      58
  131. Deadpool      59
  132. Deadpool      60

  133. Wolvering: Origin      1
  134. Wolvering: Origin      2
  135. Wolvering: Origin      3
  136. Wolvering: Origin      4
  137. Wolvering: Origin      5
  138. Wolvering: Origin      6

  139. Daredevil (2nd series)      26
  140. Daredevil (2nd series)      27
  141. Daredevil (2nd series)      28
  142. Elektra (2nd series)      6
  143. Daredevil (2nd series)      29
  144. Daredevil (2nd series)      30
  145. Daredevil (2nd series)      31
  146. Daredevil (2nd series)      32

  147. X-Men Annual      2001
  148. X-Men      118
  149. X-Men      119
  150. X-Men      120
  151. X-Men      121

  152. X-Treme X-Men      4
  153. X-Treme X-Men Annual      2001
  154. X-Treme X-Men      5
  155. X-Treme X-Men      6
  156. X-Treme X-Men      7
  157. X-Treme X-Men      8

  158. X-Men      123
  159. X-Men      124
  160. X-Men      125
  161. X-Men      126

  162. Uncanny X-Men      399
  163. Uncanny X-Men      400
  164. Uncanny X-Men      401
  165. Uncanny X-Men      402
  166. Uncanny X-Men      403
  167. Uncanny X-Men      404
  168. Uncanny X-Men      405
  169. Uncanny X-Men      406

  170. Marvel Boy      1
  171. Marvel Boy      2
  172. Marvel Boy      3
  173. Marvel Boy      4
  174. Marvel Boy      5
  175. Marvel Boy      6

  176. Inhumans (3rd series 2000)      1
  177. Inhumans (3rd series 2000)      2
  178. Inhumans (3rd series 2000)      3
  179. Inhumans (3rd series 2000)      4

  180. Incredible Hulk (2nd series)      34
  181. Incredible Hulk (2nd series)      35
  182. Incredible Hulk (2nd series)      36
  183. Incredible Hulk (2nd series)      37
  184. Incredible Hulk (2nd series)      38
  185. Incredible Hulk (2nd series)      39

  186. Iron Man (3rd series)      50
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