Marvel 616 essentials


I've been catching up on ultimate marvel for a while now, and I'm almost at the end...
I was thinking of reading DC next, but I've changed my mind and would like to go to Earth-616 of marvel comics.... (which I've heard is a lot better than ultimate (altough i liked ultimate marvel quite alot))

However, 616 is quite extensive, and I would like to skip as much as possible but not so much to miss great and essential story arcs and crossovers...
I would really appretiate any help you could give me... (at least up to AVX)


Excelsior Club a tall order. I mean, even if you cut out the fluff there is a LOT out there.

If you stuck with event books it might be a little easier but you'd miss a lot of good stories (and a lot of events are pretty average at best).

Are there specific books or characters you are interested in? That might make it easier to pare down.


Excelsior Club
I might need some help here because I don't remember all of them and I doubt I have them in order:

House of M
Civil War
Annihilation: Conquest
Secret Invasion
Fear Itself

Actually this is a pretty good guide to events:

I don't usually read the X-Men ones so I can't comment on those. There are spoilers in some of those plot summaries so if you have no idea what happens in them and want to be surprised feel free to ask here for spoiler-free summaries if you want them.

Captain Canuck

The poster formerly known as captaincanuck65
Sorry man, Marvel has been around since the 60s and events as they currently are have only been around for the past 10-15 years. Your idea to read all the major events really won't work.

If your aim is to set yourself up for AVX, then read these tpbs

Avengers West Coast: Darker Than Scarlet (an old story from the 80s or 90s that sets up for a lot of the Avengers stuff that follows)
Avengers Disassembled (by Brian Michael Bendis)
Young Avengers Vol 1&2 (by Allan Heinburg)
New Avengers (ongoing series by Bendis), which crosses over with…
Illuminati (miniseries by Bendis)
House of M (event by Bendis)
Civil War (event by Mark Millar)
Mighty Avengers (ongoing series by Bendis from Civil War - Secret Invasion, after which someone else started writing it, so it's not important then)
Secret Invasion (event by Bendis)
Dark Avengers (replaced Mighty Avengers as Bendis' second ongoing Avengers Book, goes from Secret Invasion - Siege)
Siege (event by Bendis)
Avengers: The Children's Crusade (miniseries by Allan Heinburg)
Avengers (ongoing series by Bendis, replaced Dark Avengers after Siege)
Fear Itself (event by Matt Fraction)

Also, read
X-Men: Messiah CompleX (event that comes after House of M)
X-Men: Second Coming (follow up event to Messiah CompleX)
and any of the the issues in between that you care to read.
Uncanny X-Force (before Marvel Now, written by Remender) is also worth checking out in it's entirety, but isn't really important for the lead up to AVX.

If you read that stuff, AVX will make sense. The direction of the Marvel Universe has basically been set by those stories and series since about the mid-2000s, but not all of it has been really all that great - some of it was good, but really this stuff is more "important" than good.

There have also been a few other "events" such as Spider-Island or Shadowland (Daredevil) but neither are super important, nor will they make much sense without the context of what happened before. And Shadowland is pretty crappy. Actually, Secret Invasion and AVX are kind of low points as well, in my opinion.

Alternatively, you could invest in one or two heroes/teams and just go back and read everything you can find for them. Or even get suggestions on some of the best/most important stories in Marvel's history and read those.

X-Men - The Dark Phoenix Saga, Days of Future Past, Wolverine (mini by Chris Claremont)
Spider-Man - Origin, The Death of Gwen Stacy, The symbiote saga, Kraven's Last Hunt, Origin of the Hobgoblin,
Fantastic Four - The Trial of Galactus, (more old stories, but I'm not super familiar with F4), anything written by Jonathan Hickman (late 2000s)
Daredevil - anything written by Frank Miller, anything since 1998
Avengers - Origin, Ultron, the Trial of Hank Pym, Kree-Skrull War

You could also chose to look into some of the less well known, less mainstream stories/sagas. There was a really amazing cosmic marvel saga that ran for several years in the 2000s. Check out Annihilation and the stories that go along with and follow that, as well as X-Men:Deadly Genesis and the stories that follow out of that. You can find reading orders online for that stuff.

Hope that helps!
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