Where To Start Reading Marvel Comics

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Apr 8, 2018

    Anonymous Apr 8, 2018

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C.5) Where To Start With Vertigo Comics

Vertigo Comics is the (now defunct) mature readers imprint of DC Comics, and for most of the 1990’s and early 2000’s was the place to find critically acclaimed all-time great comics. The likes of Sandman, Preacher, and John Constantine, Hellblazer all come from Vertigo.

Below you’ll find a comprehensive guide to every great Vertigo comic of all time!

Vertigo Comics Resources:

Best Vertigo Comics Of All Time

Hellblazer Comics Reading Order Guide

Fables Universe Reading Order Guide

Astro City Universe Reading Order Guide

Best Neil Gaiman Comics Guide


How to Get Your Comics

You might be asking yourself, as I once did, “Where can I buy comics?” Well, there are several different ways:

  1. I took the Trade Paperback approach. If you’re lucky enough to have a comic book shop nearby, then great. Support them! You can pick up single issues and Trades there. If not, your local bookstore usually will have various Trades.
  2. In case you’re not of a mind to collect and store a bunch of physical comics, most publishers, including the Big 2, offer digital comic services to pick up back issues and purchase ongoings.
  3. Another great option is your local library. Seriously, you’d be surprised at the Trade Paperbacks you can check out there while saving your wallet a little heartbreak.

DC and Marvel are the two largest comic book publishers.

Finally, Just Follow Your Passions

I present this guide, not as a definite roadmap, but as one of the many paths one can take in the hopes that I might help one of you find one of your own. There really is no wrong way to get into comics. As the old comic saying goes “every comic is somebody’s first comic”. Meaning that if the comic is well written, you can theoretically jump in anywhere. Comic books are a medium of passion, so find characters, writers, and/or artists that evoke that passion within you.

12 comics for those who don’t read comics

Every year serial comics and individual graphic novels are becoming more and more part of the culture. In cinemas, films from Marvel and DC are collecting the most solid box office, and TV screens are flooded with series about “heroes in raincoats.”

Although, despite the stories of fans, many still believe that books in pictures can be of interest only to children. But there are quite a few serious adult stories that will make you look differently at the comic book industry.

1 Keepers


The graphic masterpiece of the famous author Alan Moore deservedly got into the list of the 100 best novels of the 20th century according to the Time magazine. At first glance, this is a typical story about heroes in strange costumes. But in fact, “Guardians” can be opposed to ordinary comics.

Here, the life of superheroes is similar to that of a human: a character similar to Batman has problems with erection, a villain saves the world, and a principled avenger can destroy it.

2 V for vendetta

V – for Vendetta

Another work by Alan Moore. This time in the genre of dystopia. Great Britain is dominated by a fascist government, everyone is trying not to stand out from the crowd. But the mad anarchist V challenges the system.

In this graphic novel, it is not the main character that is important, but the world itself, in which the action takes place. In the mid-80s, Moore wanted to describe a dystopian future, but in fact he predicted a lot of what has become our reality.

3 Mouse: a survivor’s tale

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale

The only comic strip in history to win a Pulitzer Prize. Its author Art Spiegelman tried to tell the story of his father, a Jewish survivor of the camps during the Holocaust. To slightly simplify the visual presentation, he portrayed all the Jews as mice, and the Nazis as cats.

But one should not think that this makes the work comical. Eerie sensations from him are no less than from serious articles on this topic. Moreover, at the end of the book, Spiegelman shows a real portrait of his father, forcing the reader to remember that all this time it was about real people.

4 Persepolis


Autobiographical work of the French writer Marjean Satrapi. She is originally from Iran and in this piece she talks about how a little girl is going through the Islamic revolution. Like, after the war with Iraq, she is sent abroad, and there she thinks that she is in the world of freedom. And how she has to return back to her native country, where a lot has already changed.

5 Sandman

The Sandman

Those who lack literary content in comics should read the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. His writing talent, combined with his passion for mythology, has led to a magnificent story about the Lord of Dreams, his sister Death and many other inhabitants of the other world. Even if the first volume does not seem very exciting, it is definitely impossible to stop after “Dollhouse”.

6 Sin City

Sin City

The complete opposite of the previous comic. This is a purely visual work by Frank Miller, on which the scripts of his films of the same name are based. There is little text and bright colors, but a lot of cruelty, passion and other emotions.

7 From hell

From Hell

Another graphic novel by Alan Moore, this time a story about the 19th century. A depressed opium addict police inspector tries to investigate the murders of prostitutes on the streets of London. Girls are killed by one of the aristocrats, and even with a medical education. The inspector is trying to find out who is hiding behind the frightening pseudonym Jack the Ripper.

8 100 bullets

100 Bullets

Brian Azarello, a fan of all kinds of gangster stories, suggests thinking: what if they show you the person responsible for your main hardships? And they will not just show, but also give 100 bullets that cannot be tracked. Will this be justified revenge or just murder for the purpose of self-justification?

Azarello’s story is more reminiscent of Tarantino’s films than the usual comics. There are no heroes here – only scoundrels and villains. Not a single character will remain episodic, everyone will be told in detail.

9 Black


In recent years, children’s cartoons about anthropomorphic animals have become very popular. But a detective story, where the main characters are animals, does not always look like Zootopia. The Spanish authors of the Blacksad comic strip take the reader into a noir world filled with lies and cruelty.

The main character, a black cat, works as a private detective. He investigates murders, robberies and disappearances. Every time he has to face the world of money, temptations and lies. The picture in this comic is drawn very elegantly, and where necessary and realistic. In just a few pages, you can forget that there are cats, bears and rhinos in front of you: their behavior is too human-like.

10 Preacher


It was this comic by Garth Ennis that formed the basis of the AMC series. However, if the plot is drawn out in the film adaptation, then the original is dynamic from the first to the last 66th issue. The priest Jesse Caster is possessed by a divine essence, and he gains power over the word – the ability to control people with his voice. However, things are not so simple. Angels are sent from heaven to return the essence, and along with them, the immortal patron saint of murderers. Although even this can be dealt with, there is still a more serious problem: God himself escaped from paradise.

Ennis managed to mix literally everything in this series: the apocalypse, worldwide conspiracies, saving the world, fights, family relationships, black humor, vampires, voodoo. And if you are not afraid of rudeness and frankness, then it is very easy to read it, even if you do not like comics.

11 Spy


Jessica Jones is often portrayed as “a superhero show for those who don’t like superhero shows.” It is logical that its original source will be on the list of “comics for those who do not like comics.” The story is exactly the same: Detective Jessica Jones has super powers that she hates. And most of all, she wants to forget about her past and live a normal life.

This is primarily an emotional work about a woman who has suffered from violence. And although she is part of the superhero Marvel universe, “Spy” can be read without even knowing anything about all the other heroes. These are completely independent stories, combining a noir detective story and a psychological thriller.

12 I kill giants

I kill giants

Once upon a time there was a girl who wore hare ears on her head. She also had a magic bag that held a huge hammer and many magical items. Every day she saved the city from the giants. Or maybe this girl just wanted to believe that she was saving, but in fact she was hiding from real problems in a fictional world. But be that as it may, she knew that she was doing something important.

Drawn in the form of black and white sketches, the comic is sometimes mistakenly attributed to the fantasy genre. But in fact, this story is about the life of a simple, frightened child in a complex world of adults.


Next step is figuring out which runs of the character you like are the ones you should read.

Different writers mean that all those 600+ issues of Spider-Man will have different tones, storylines and characters, and some will be more akin to your tastes than others. Characterization can also vary wildly from author to author, and some heroes you like might get unrecognizable when written by a different pen.

An infamous example: Daniel Way’s Deadpool run was
An infamous example: Daniel Way’s Deadpool run was so different from the others, fans started calling his version of the character ‘Waypool’, considering him a different character altogether.

There is no rule of thumb for deciding which runs are the best: bother friends, read forums and blogs, ask on Twitter, browse 4chan’s comics board. Chance are if a run gets often praised by different sources, it’s good.(If the idea of dipping into 4chan doesn’t appeal to you, give a look to this handy collection of recommendation guides made by users! It was my bible when I started reading American comics).

A recommendation chart made by /co/ users.

Top Best Graphic Novels

Graphic novels – no, not the ones about superheroes – are almost like books, only with pictures. They captivate with bright design, non-trivial plots, clever background.

Major Thunder, A. Gabrelyanov

The first episode of The Plague Doctor just made me squeak with delight, because Igor Grom is the embodiment of both Sherlock Holmes, the same one performed by Cumberbatch, and Meglin. The Doctor is Moriarty, the antagonist of Major Thunder, who will appear more than once in the next episodes. However, there are other interesting storylines, where a Russian Sherlock with such a memorable pointed chin investigates the kidnapping of his young lady in Ireland and finds himself at the center of an international scandal.

Allies, N. Devova

It differs from the previous one in cruelty and not entirely pleasant scenes. From the first pages there is a set, in the middle of the peak of the culmination, and after … after the events develop in a measured manner. This is not the story that I read avidly and put on the shelf. Many episodes, long storyline with branches. The art is also worth mentioning. In many scenes, she’s just gorgeous. The nature and landscape around is incredibly beautiful! I advise you to get acquainted.

Adapted stories in graphic novel format. Many of them have already been filmed.

American Gods, N. Gaiman

The graphic novel is an illustration of a book by Neil Gaiman, which I learned about literally finishing the comic. The first part of “The Shadow” is nothing more than the plot of the entire work. We are smoothly, not always very successfully immersed in history, periodically knocking us off the main idea of ​​the narrative. The illustrators should be given their due: quality work has been done, some pictures and dialogues are a work of art. On the downside, I can refer to glossy paper, which glares from the lamp when you read in the evening. Well, and the fact that after finishing the book, having tasted the core, you want to understand what the salt is. The plot is simple enough: the prisoner is released from prison, but his life will never be the same. Around him there is a parallel world of gods worshiped by people. They can have different names, faces and even the time of life … before there were the gods of thunder, death – now the goddesses of television and advertising. And here something inexplicable happens: two worlds touch and tightly intertwine … perhaps it’s all about the coins … a war is brewing ahead …

Sabrina: Eerie Adventures

Surprisingly, it has few similarities with the series. Interesting experience, slightly intimidating illustrations, but the atmosphere and decoration are on par. Is there a continuation? I can’t wait to find out how this action will end.

Anya from Green Gables

Popular book in the West. She is often referenced in HBO and Netflix series. A story about a girl who was adopted by mistake by a family of farmers. Her easy temper and her penchant for adventures are the reasons she gets into trouble. A touching and instructive story about Anya who grew up in Green Gables. A comic was finally released in Russian, and not just translated stories.

Complete comic stories that don’t have a sequel.

That Summer, J. Tamaki

A beautifully designed graphic novel about “that very summer”, when adult problems consume carefree childhood. Reading, I myself began to remember how I spent the summer at the dacha, what we did in the summer with friends, how at the end of August we were preparing for the start of the school day. Probably, the book is more of a reminder of what our summer was like once, how we spied on our elders, how we argued with our parents and wanted to appear adults. A leisurely story about summer, where there is no place for a thriller or a detective. Just someone’s life. Partly ours.

Beasts from the mortal hill, E. Dorkin

The story is told from the perspective of animals. Starring 5 dogs and a ginger cat. A kind of “ghost hunter” and fighters against evil spirits. At first glance, the plot is quite childish, but some chapters are frightening with their drama and gloom. In some places it’s hard for anyone to read, because you start to empathize with the main characters. The work itself is nothing more than a small collection of stories about the “wise dogs”. Nice color pictures, but a lot of blood. It definitely teaches you to love your pets even more!


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