One day I decided to read every Marvel comic book. I quickly realized that’s not what I wanted at all, because Marvel put out a shit load of very strange comic books before they turned to superheroes. I’m still trying to find issues of Teen-Age Romance.
Luckily, I found a couple of resources which led me to what I really wanted: every Marvel superhero comic book. The first of which is The Order. This list is quite comprehensive; however, I’m also using The Marvel Database to cross-reference the list. The Order is a comprehensive guide to the 616 timeline, which is great. But I want to read every single superhero book, regardless of timeline, in the order in which they were published (outside of some timeline issues), so I’m using the second link to verify every single monthly release.
I’m a guy with a wife and kid and two jobs, so I’m expecting this to take a ridiculously long amount of time, and, quite honestly, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to catch up to the current lineup of comics. That’s the hope. That’s the dream. But we’ll see.
I’ve read a decent amount of Marvel comics, but I felt it would be much better to review each book as though I didn’t have too much knowledge of the future. Acting completely oblivious will be impossible, and probably even somewhat insulting to the reader, but I’ll certainly keep it to a minimum. Odds are very good that I will always be ahead in the order than I will be in reviews, because it takes much less time to read a comic than to make a blog post, but I’m going to get posts out as often as possible.
A couple of side notes. I’m pretty harsh on my reviews so far. The early comics were really just not that great. I like to say this: Stan Lee was great at inventing stories but terrible at telling them. Now, part of that has to do with how comics were at the time. Their target audience was kids, and most kids couldn’t buy every comic, so the stories have to start and end in the same book. Because of this, there is a lot of hand waving, and there was also a flair for the dramatic, which often didn’t make sense. Like Human Torch not just fire blasting every-mother-fucking-thing. Seriously, most of the Fantastic Four stories could just end with Johnny going supernova on the villain. Problem solved. But that isn’t fun or exciting or dramatic. The other problem is that in the beginning, Stan wrote like 20 comics a month. He then got his brother to start scripting things, and his story telling is even worse than Stan’s.
But that’s okay. I’m not trashing the old comics. They’re fun reads. Except Fantastic Four #2 and Journey Into Mystery #94. Those are fucking garbage. Seriously just terrible. But back to my point…. the old comics are just fun. They’re like pop music: terrible but catchy. Even through all the trash, there’s still greatness in it, like the characters. Yeah, Ben Grimm’s whining and tantrums get old pretty quickly, but it’s who he is, and it starts to just feel like that annoying brother that you don’t want to invite to your house at regular intervals, but you certainly want to see him on the holidays, because you still love him. You really start to feel a connection with the characters, and that’s what makes them enjoyable. It’s no wonder some of them made it 60 years so far. It is a wonder how Johnny’s only aged like 5 years though.
Lastly, how am I reading all of these? No, I don’t own every Marvel comic book. My plan is to eventually own them all. It’s not a plan my wife is fond of. I do have an okay selection currently, but it’s only about 1,500 comics… most of which are just Deadpool-related. So, yes, I’m reading these online, which some may take issue with, but I buy most of my comics off of eBay, so I’m not taking a whole lot of money out of Marvel’s pocket by reading these online, since I almost exclusively buy comics second-hand. But! As I said, I’m going to have every comic eventually, and I will certainly put some more money into Marvel’s hands. Also, reading them online allows for me to grab images for my reviews much more easily. And maybe, hopefully, my reviews will bring more people into comics too, which will have a pyramid effect.
At the end of the day, the point is to have fun, and I’m having fun with the reviews, and I hope you have fun reading them. You can always feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.