If you fell in love with Brie Larson (please kindly gtfo if you did not) then you’ve landed in the right place comic newbies. These first two sections will address your adventures into the confusing, weird and stellar world of comics.
TLDR: Feel free to just skip down to the reading guide.
Imposter Syndrome (What to know as a comic newbie)
What I’ve heard a lot is that getting into superhero comics is intimidating. It’s not even the fan boys or gatekeeping but the sheer magnitude of timelines, reboots and fictional realties. For a multitude of reasons the history of many characters is pretty convoluted. Unlike book series, TV shows or movies you often have a superhero with decades of history that passes from different characters and creative teams. It makes for some… complicated timelines.
It’s kind of a common situation to start a new series at issue one and feel like you’re missing something. It’s like when you and your SO both watch the same show and you click “start from where you left off” before realizing your SO is on a different season. Embrace this. You are not an imposter. Years of reading comics and I still find myself saying “wait, who is this weirdo? Why is everyone acting like they know him? Did I miss an issue?” #comicsculture
Mar-Vell, Marvel and Shazam
Remember that bit about convoluted histories? Okay, so here’s the tricky part about reading Captain Marvel. There are literally 9 different people/aliens who have had that mantle across three different comic book companies. To illustrate I created the easy to view, hard to read graphic.
READING GUIDE for Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel
Carol Danvers has a long history that started in the 1960s as Ms. Marvel. While it’s often recommended by hardcore comic fans to go back and read a characters entire arch that’s just… that’s too much bad hair and equally bad catch phrases. While I highly recommend that you dive into Carol Danvers’ time as Ms. Marvel this is 90% all about the Cap’.
Let’s break this down in different ways to read Chronologically(ish), Quick Start Guide and the Best Storylines.
If you want to start chronologically with Carol as the Captain then this would more or less be your reading order (not including minor appearances):
Keep in mind that these are not individual volumes but that each square represents its own series. So it’s roughly a bajillion issues total.
If you’re in love with the film representation of Carol then Civil War II is really going to disappoint you (and just really any Carol fan). However, with a Marvel Unlimited Subscription and summer vacation ahead, you could tackle all 10+ series here for a full view of how Carol role as Captain Marvel has developed.
You have a lot of shit going on – I get it. If you just want to jump in at a solid starting point, with little work, try this configuration. While many people recommend Carol Danvers’ first run as Captain Marvel (2012 – 2013), I found it disjointed. Higher, Further, Faster, More offers a more compelling storyline (and better writing). You’ll be able to pick figure out what happened in DeConnick’s earlier runs easy enough and if not do what I do and read Wiki or a Goodreads review.
The Life of Captain Marvel is the recon version of Carol Danvers’ origin story. It’s a great place for beginners. The series by Thompson starts right after. As a bonus, check out the first volume of Captain Marvel: Carol Danvers – The Ms. Marvel Years. It’s a bazillion pages but covers some fantastic storylines from Carol’s early years as Ms. Marvel.
BEST STORYLINES ACCORDING TO ME *and the internet (look. there’s only so much a gal can read):
Personally I’d recommend using this reading order as a starting point over the chronological configuration.
After a combo of reading a bunch of Carol Danvers’ storylines and reviews these are the books that best highlight Carol’s character. I’ve even thrown in some great Ms. Marvel arcs almost out of necessity. Unfortunately Carol hasn’t had the greatest runs as the Cap. Hopefully Kelly Thompson treats her better in 2019.
One lucky Captain Marvel fan will win Higher, Further, Faster to start off their reading adventure.
To enter, comment with your favorite superhero below. I’ll randomly chose a name from the list and then TN will reach out for shipping details.