Captain Marvel, Shazam, Aquaman and Venom: all of their movies to be released either this year or next. That being said, these movies are going to be some audiences’ first time being exposed to these characters. As everyone knows, they have a long and rich history within the comics, and most of the time, it can help reading some of their past and present adventures to understand the character and the story that revolves around them. Come movie time, you can feel an even better connection with the characters. The question that arises now is where to begin, or what stories you should read to get yourself ready? Never fear! I can help you with that! Here are a couple of comic runs that you can read to get you prepared for each of comic book movies coming up!
This one is the hardest of the bunch. Captain Marvel’s history in the comics is quite confusing, and even to a long-time comic book reader like me, it can be daunting to look through her vast history. I think the MCU is going to go with the most current version of her, so that makes things easier for us. I would say the first issue to pick up is “Captain Marvel” from 2012. This series is only 17 issues, so it is an easy read. More importantly, though, it shows just what makes Captain Marvel so unique. It highlights her ability to be super strong and use brute force but at the same time shows how she can be a leader and work with a team. The story also does an excellent job of introducing her backstory without confusing the reader too much. Another title to pick up is “The Mighty Captain Marvel” which started in 2017 and is still in publication. I like this run because it is very current, and often the energy and dynamic in this book between all the character and Carol herself (Captain Marvel’s real name) flows very much like it would in the MCU. It feels as if the comic is just a movie script edited with pictures!
Such a cool character to read. The sad thing is that he has not gotten much love in the recent state of comics, but I am thinking that is going to change very soon with the release of Shazam. Shazam’s story isn’t as confusing as Captain Marvel, but there is some material I think the movie will avoid. I believe there are two or three comic runs that you might want to read to get ready for the film. The first comic run is the Shazam book from The New 52. It does a fantastic job of telling his origin and giving a good background on the rest of the Shazam family! The only problem is that The New 52 is a lot darker than what I expect the movie to be, so take the grittiness with a grain of salt. The second book also has the same situation, but I picked it for a different reason. The run is titled “Shazam/Superman: First Thunder”. I recommend this title because it shows just how strong Shazam is but at the same time that he is just a kid. The story shows him often outclassing Superman, but also making a childlike mistakes. Overall, the story shows a well-done portrayal of what we are most likely going to see in the film when it comes to strength levels!
Easy. Aquaman is dope and so are his comics. There are three sides to his character: the king (his political side), the warrior (his combatant side) and then the surface dweller and member of the Justice League! Luckily for his solo movie, we can avoid his involvement in the Justice League. For those who enjoy politics, I would recommend reading “Aquaman: Rebirth” Volume 1 and on. The first volume does a great job of highlighting the troubles and problems that come with being a king. It also highlights Black Manta and what makes him so interesting as well as the other kingdoms within the deep sea! For those who enjoy action, I would read his New 52 runs. The first two volumes should do the trick, as it shows what makes him a formidable fighter. The movie looks incredible, and seems to be taking a lot from the New 52 run, so it will be interesting to see how it goes down once it comes out this year!
Another one of those characters that has not gotten as much love as he should. It wasn’t until recently Marvel had given the symbiote some love and affection (with the movie on the horizon and all). The comic I would start with for Venom is “Venom: Dark Origin”. This is a slam dunk, as it covers not only Venom’s backstory, but Eddie Brock’s as well. It is also dark and gritty while at the same time keeping a sense of excitement! The Eddie Brock character development in this title is essential, as it shows his reporting skills but also his warm heart. This creates a dark contrast between him and what happens once the Venom symbiote takes over. The next title I would recommend is “Venom: Lethal Protector”. This should be the most important comic on this entire list because the director came out and said that this was a huge inspiration for him (and we can see that). This story is where the other symbiotes were created (with the exception of Carnage). The story involves the Life Foundation making other symbiotes to become a “super police force,” and Venom has to stop them. Sounds familiar…like it’s from a trailer we saw…correct? If there is only one title on this list you can pick up, I highly suggest that you pick up Lethal Protector.
Those are just some of my recommendations! Did I miss any? What do you think are some good comics to read to get ready for the next wave of super movies? Let us know on Twitter @geekmotivation and follow us for more pieces like this! For all things geek, you are in the right place!
– @Indianparker (on Twitter)