On Thursday night, Disney announced their plans, and released trailers, for some of their new Marvel projects, and it was a lot to take in!
But, I’m here to help you, at least with some comic recommendations!
I’m not going to give you full character profiles (except for She-Hulk and Ironheart) yet, as I’ll save those for when each project comes out. Instead, what I’m going to do is give you comic recommendations for each new character/show/film announced, so you can get to know everyone in advance!
I’m going to start with the projects that have trailers first:
Now the most obvious one for the Loki TV show is the Vote Loki comic:
Loki is many things: god, trickster, brother, son, villain, even hero. Now he wants to add one more title to the list: President of the United States! That’s right, the God of Lies wants to be ruler of the free world! But is this just another scheme? One fact is certain: With Loki’s winning smile and silver tongue on the campaign trail, this election just got a lot more interesting! He’ll soon have the American people eating out of the palm of his hand, but can would-be President Laufeyson sway the media? And what will be his response when the heroes of Earth launch their attack ad? A crisis in Latveria offers Loki the chance to demonstrate his foreign policy…but surely he wouldn’t cause a national catastrophe just for a little good press? Would he?
As you can see by the trailer, or just the thumbnail if you’re avoiding the trailers, Loki is dressed very similarly to the comic cover, and is wearing a ‘Loki’ campaign badge, so it looks likely that the show is going to adapt at least part of this comic!
Time Variance Authority
Also seen in the trailer is the TVA, which is basically an organisation that works basically like The Commission in The Umbrella Academy, as in, it monitors the multiverse and keeps everything running as it’s supposed to. I’ll do more on these when the show comes out, but for now, I’d recommend reading:
Thug has become the new Zaniac, and goes to kill Jane Foster. In Chicago, Justice Peace arrives to find he’s too late, Thor is right behind him though, and strikes him down. Justice Peace finally has no choice, and tells Thor his story. Thor realizes that Jane is now the Zaniac’s target, but Mick and Kevin wake up. Before they can see their mother’s dead body, Thor takes them and puts them back to bed and causes them to fall into a deep sleep. Thor and Justice Peace then race to Highland Park Chicago, but they are too late again, Jane Foster is dead. But one slim hope remains. If there is enough temporal enchantment left in Mjolnir, he can recharge Hopsickle, and travel back in time a couple of hours when before Zaniac arrived. They arrive before Thug became the new Zaniac, and kill all the vermin, but Thug dies of a heart attack anyway. Thor places his body on a park bench so he will appear to be just another vagrant that didn’t survive the night. Justice Peace returns to the future, while Thor checks on Jane. Thor then takes Mick and Kevin to Asgard since they have no other family. There, they are adopted by Volstagg into his own family. Elsewhere, Hela prepares to strikes at Thor in revenge for his humiliating defeat of her.
You’ll want to read around this issue to get the full Thor story, but this is the introduction to the TVA, so there’s no better place to start!
Falcon And The Winter Soldier
For Falcon And The Winter Soldier, I’m recommending:
An office of dead government agents. A gifted new killer. Two ex-Captain Americas…When a dramatic attempt on the life of Bucky Barnes reunites him with Sam Wilson, the two old friends are plunged headlong into a race to uncover the new leader of Hydra before a mass casualty event announces the terror group’s resurgence to the world. The clock is ticking…
Sam and Bucky have already been Captain America in this comic, but I still think this will be a great one to read, especially seeing as this was actually released around the same time the show should have come out, so Marvel probably intended for it to be a sort of tie-in for the TV show!
I want to say House Of M, I always want to say House Of M, but seeing as that isn’t confirmed to be happening (I think it is though, if you want my theories/reasoning, let me know!), I’ll behave and give you a different option:
In a world full of heroes, villains and monsters, there are few stranger phenomenons than the marriage of a mutant witch to a heroic synthozoid! As this unlikely couple settles into their New Jersey home, they find themselves at odds with the members of their complex families, including Ultron, the Grim Reaper, Quicksilver and Magneto!
Wanda and Vision living together and trying to be normal, but being interrupted by outside influences? Sounds like Wandavision to me!
Now, with What If…?, there’s many, many, many comics to choose from and each one is connected to a major event/character! So, I’m not going to give you any specific recommendations, because I don’t know what events you’ve read! Instead, I’m going to say look up your favourite event’s name followed by ‘what if’ and see what comes up! You’re likely to find something!
Now, onto the announcements:
Kamala Khan is a recently introduced character, so her origin should be easy to find:
Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey!
This admittedly was not my favourite comic of all time, but if you want to read Kamala’s origins, this is where you need to go!
After years of hope, Ironheart is finally turning up in the MCU too!
Riri Williams, the armored hero called Ironheart who took the comics world by storm, takes center stage! When a group of world leaders is held hostage by one of Spider-Man’s old foes, Riri must step up her game. But she’s thrown for a loop when an old acquaintance from back in Chicago re-enters her life! Now, Ironheart is caught between her need for independence and her obligations at M.I.T. – and when an old friend is kidnapped, she needs to make some tough decisions! Luckily, Riri has a will of steel, a heart of iron…and a brand-new A.I. system on her side! CHAMPIONS artist Kevin Libranda joins award-winning poet Eve L. Ewing, as Ironheart steps boldly out of Tony Stark’s shadow to forge her own future!
Really, you should start with Brian Michael Bendis’ introduction to RiRi, but I started with Eve Ewing and I absolutely fell in love with RiRi and the Ironheart! Eve is a fantastic writer, and I cannot recommend her Ironheart run enough!
As linked up above, I do have a She-Hulk character profile, so I’d check that out first! But my recommendation would be:
Jennifer Walters is the She-Hulk! A stalwart member of the Avengers and FF, she’s also a killer attorney with a pile of degrees and professional respect. But juggling cases and kicking bad guy butt is a little more complicated than she anticipated. With a new practice, a new paralegal and a mounting number of super villains she’s racking up as personal enemies, She Hulk might have bitten off more than she can chew! When Kristoff Vernard, the son of Victor Von Doom, seeks extradition, it’s an international jailbreak, She-Hulk-style! Then, She-Hulk and Hellcat must uncover the secrets of the Blue File — a conspiracy that touches the entire Marvel Universe! And when someone important to She-Hulk is killed, and won’t let it stand — but who can she trust? She-Hulk takes on her most terrifying role yet: defendant!
She-Hulk is another character who mostly turns up in team ups, her most prevalent being A-Force, but that comes as a tie-in to Secret War, so I’d say start here instead.
I Am Groot
Groot is finally getting his own series, so I’m recommending you Groot’s first solo series!
For the first time ever, the most famous talking-tree-thing in the Marvel Universe is starring in his own series! You might recognize him from Guardians of the Galaxy, the biggest movie of 2014. When Rocket and Groot are on an intergalactic road-trip and calamity strikes, the two get separated, and for the first time in years, Groot’s on his own! Whatever may be coming Groot’s way, one thing’s for sure- it’s going to be a Groot adventure!
This was written to draw in fans of the Guardian’s Of The Galaxy film, so will be fine for new comic book readers.
Hawkeye (Kate Bishop and Clint Barton)
Judging by the set photos and the characters, it looks like the Hawkeye TV show is basing itself off of the Matt Fraction Hawkeye comics:
The breakout star of this summer’s blockbuster Avengers film, Clint Barton – aka the self-made hero Hawkeye – fights for justice! With ex-Young Avenger Kate Bishop by his side, he’s out to prove himself as one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! SHIELD recruits Clint to intercept a packet of incriminating evidence – before he becomes the most wanted man in the world. You won’t believe what is on The Tape! What is the Vagabond Code? Matt Fraction pens a Hawkeye thriller that spans the globe…and the darkest parts of Hawkeye’s mind. Barton and Bishop mean double the Hawkeye and double the trouble…and stealing from the rich never looked so good.
Again, this is not my favourite comic run ever, but, it does introduce Hawkeye’s using hearing aids and sign language, and gives you a look into Clint and Kate’s partnership.
Rhodey doesn’t generally get his own solo series, he’s usually a side character to Tony. But he did have one solo series that did not tie into any big event:
James Rhodes is War Machine, determined to right the world’s wrongs one international incident at a time! When a human-rights activist is held captive in his own African nation, War Machine teams up with Nick Fury, Cable and Deathlok to rescue him–and they’ll have to fight through the African military and even S.H.I.E.L.D. to do it! And just as Rhodey is getting his professional life put together, the assassin Deathtoll sets his sights on War Machine! Then, it’s War Machine and Hawkeye versus the deadly Cold Warrior!
This isn’t covering the same story as the show at all, but, at least you’ll get to know Rhodey as his own hero! Let’s hope that the show gives Rhodey a chance to shine in the comic world, too!
Finally, America is coming to the MCU! She’s making her debut in Doctor Strange: Multiverse Of Madness and I cannot wait!
It’s not important what our parents did. It matters what we do. Someone has to save the world. You’re someone. Do the math. The critically acclaimed team of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie reinvent the teen super-hero comic for the 21st century – uniting Wiccan, Hulkling and Kate “Hawkeye” Bishop with Kid Loki, Marvel Boy and Miss America. No pressure, right? When Wiccan makes a horrible mistake that comes back to bite everyone on their communal posteriors, we cue five issues of hormonal panic. Fight scenes! Fake IDs! Plentiful feels! (a.k.a. “meaningful emotional character beats” for people who aren’t on tumblr.) Young Avengers is as NOW! as the air in your lungs and twice as vital.
Sadly, America is another who doesn’t have that many solo comics, and actually first appeared in the Young Avengers comics, so that’s what I’m recommending to you. Her solo series’ do follow on from this, so I’d read this to get to know her.
Gorr The God Butcher
Another very, very new character to the comic world is coming to the MCU!
Throughout the ages, gods have been vanishing, their mortal worshippers left in chaos. NOW!, Thor follows a trail of blood that threatens to consume his past, present and future. The only hope for these ravaged worlds is for Thor to unravel the gruesome mystery of the God Butcher! In the distant past, Thor follows the bloody wake of murdered gods across the depths of space. In the present, the Thunder God discovers a forgotten cave that echoes with teh cries of tortured gods…and is shocked to find himself among them! And thousands of years from now, the last god-king of a ruined Asgard makes his final stand against the God Butcher’s beserker legions. As three Thors from three eras race to stop the God Butcher, the full extent of his vicious scheme takes terrifying shape!
This is Gorr’s first appearance, and is also part of the series where Jane Foster is introduced as Thor! If you’re looking for the full reading order, here’s part one and part two.
Kang The Conquerer
Kang, without doubt, is going to give me a headache when I get to his character profile, and is already proving difficult to pin down in terms of recommendations, so I’m just going to give you his first appearance and spend the next two years doing some hardcore research into him.
The Avengers come face to face for the first time with a villain that is destined to be one of their most dangerous foes, the mysterious Kang the Conqueror. What is his mysterious secret that will rock the Marvel Universe?
This one is old, so may be difficult to get hold of, but it is Kang’s first appearance, so probably a good place to start.
Secret Invasion is also coming to Disney+, so there’s obviously one comic to read!
The shape-shifting alien race known as the Skrulls has secretly infiltrated every super-powered organization on Earth with one goal – full-scale invasion! Filled with shocking revelations and powerful action, this adventure will keep you on the edge of your seat as Marvel’s greatest heroes and villains ask – Who do you trust?
This gives you the whole event in one go! Obviously, there will be some differences, as the TV show is focusing on Fury and Talos, but it’s still a great jumping off point!
And that is absolutely everyone I need to mention! I hope this helps you after all the announcements, if you’ve got any questions/requests for more information on characters and predicted storylines, please do let me know down below!