1. Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol 1 (by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli)
What It’s About: In the Marvel Ultimate Universe, Peter Parker is dead. Miles Morales takes over the Spider-mantle in one of the best superhero origin stories ever told.
Why You Should Read It: REMEMBER WHEN DONALD GLOVER WANTED TO BE SPIDER-MAN AND HOW AWESOME THAT WOULD’VE BEEN!?
2. Young Avengers: Style>Substance (by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie)
What It’s About: Queer teen superheroes saving the multiverse from the world’s worst mother and instagramming the whole thing along the way.
Why You Should Read It: Jamie McKelvie is your new comic book artist crush and every character he draws is your new comic book character crush. Also, Noh-Varr’s abs.
3. The Joker (by by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo)
What It’s About: Heavily influenced by Heath Ledger’s Joker performance, this crime-noir comic shows The Joker being released from Arkham Asylum and seeking revenge on former co-horts like The Penguin, Two-Face, and The Riddler.
Why You Should Read It: The Joker has never been more terrifying.
4. X-Men: Messiah Complex (by Ed Brubaker, Marc Silvestri, and various other writers and artists)
What It’s About: The first new mutant baby is born since M-day. The race is on to find her before Mr. Sinister and nearly every other X-Men villain can find her first. This story sets the stage for a lot of the current X-Men runs.
Why You Should Read It: Lady Deathstrike and X-23 is the fight you didn’t know you needed to see. AND IT’S ALL THE X-MEN FIGHTING TOGETHER SO LIKE…
5. Marvel Civil War (by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven)
What It’s About: The New Warriors all die trying to stop a bunch of B-list supervillains and accidentally level a whole town in the process. Iron Man, Mr Fantastic, and a bunch of other people think every hero should register their identity with the government. Captain America feels otherwise and fights back. Lots of fighting ensues.
Why You Should Read It: There has never been a better heroes vs heroes storyline. Also, Invisible Woman saving Captain America and company after an Avenger is murdered IS SO GOD DAMNED ICONIC.
6. Captain Marvel: Higher, Further, Faster, More (by Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez)
What It’s About: Carol Danvers gets an all-new look, all-new codename, and all-new monthly title that mostly takes place in space. She’s funny, badass, and gets to have an awesome supporting cast consisting of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Why You Should Read It: One of the best written solo books in ages. Also, her cat. Also also, THIS WHOLE BOOK SERVES AS REASONS NUMBER 7 THROUGH 86786 AS TO WHY SHE NEEDS HER OWN MOVIE.
7. House of M (by Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel)
What It’s About: The Avengers and X-Men team up to find Scarlet Witch. They all get sucked into an alternate reality created by Scarlet Witch and lots of awesome action ensues. The ending will make you genuinely worried about how your favorite heroes will make it.
Why You Should Read It: Hawkeye’s triumphant return and an ending with one of the most lasting effects on the Marvel Universe.
8. Batman: Hush (by Jeph Leob and Jim Lee)
What It’s About: Batman fractures his skull and encounters nearly every God damned villain in his rogue gallery. One of the Batman-iest Batman stories ever told.
Why You Should Read It: The kinda sorta return of Jason Todd.
9. Hawkeye: My Life As A Weapon (by Matt Fraction and David Aja)
What It’s About: Hawkeye is a weapon, albeit a clumsy one. You get a glimpse into Clint Barton’s daily life and cry about him saving a dog.
Why You Should Read It: QUEEN KATE BISHOP
10. The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite (by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba)
What It’s About: A family of adopted children with superpowers who were raised to be superheroes by their father, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, and a talking monkey, Pogo.
Why You Should Read It: The Eiffel Tower is launched into space, so like…
11. Wolverine: Old Man Logan (by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven)
What It’s About: Set in an alternate reality where everything is terrible, most Marvel heroes have either gone crazy or been murdered, and all the supervillains rule the world.
Why You Should Read It: Wolverine holding a murdered Jubilee and Red Skull defeating Captain America will all break your freakin’ comic-coated heart…but in the best way possible.
12. Wonder Woman: Blood (by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang)
What It’s About: Wonder Woman defeats centaurs, leaves Paradise Island, and kicks off The New 52 with a big punch to the face.
Why You Should Read It: Wonder Woman has never been more badass.
13. The Runaways Complete Collection Vol 1 (by Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona, and Takeshi Miyazawa)
What It’s About: A group of young teens find out their parents are actually supervillains and do the rebellious thing…they become superheroes.
Why You Should Read It: TEEN HEROES WITH A DINOSAUR!
14. Ms. Marvel (by G Willow Wilson and Adrain Alphona)
What It’s About: Kamala Khan is a regular teen from New Jersey until she suddenly gets new powers and has to deal with growing up and being a secret superhero.
Why You Should Read It: I’m not saying there’s a selfie with Wolverine, but there’s a selfie with Wolverine.
15. Batwoman: Elegy (by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III)
What It’s About: Kate Kane is dismissed from the army because of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and becomes Gotham City’s newest Batwoman. She tries to stop a crazed villain named Alica from poisoning all of Gotham City.
Why You Should Read It: The works of art that are on each page should be hanging in a museum.
16. Invincible Iron Man: The Five Nightmares (by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca)
What it’s About: Iron Man has to deal with Ezekiel Stane, MODOG (not to be confused with MODOK), A.I.M., and Thor all at the same time.
Why You Should Read It: MATT FRACTION WRITING IRON MAN BECAUSE THE COMIC GODS HAVE BLESSED US ALL. Also, Iron Man beats Reed Richards in a game of chess.
17. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Avengers (by by Brian Michael Bendis, Steve McNiven, and Sara Pichelli)
What It’s About: Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Drax, Iron Man, and Rocket re-form the Guardians of the Galaxy in this comic that’s not unlike the movie. This book is worth the read for the witty banter and awesome art alone.
Why You Should Read It: I AM GROOT AND PETER QUILL IS A BABE, THAT’S WHY!
18. The Authority Vol 1 (by Warren Ellis and Paul Neary)
What It’s About: A group of superheroes, who have no issues killing their villains, save the world time and time again…all while trying to keep their team from falling apart.
Why You Should Read It: Apollo and Midnighter, one of the best gay couples in comics.
19. New Mutants: Return of Legion (by Zeb Wells and Diogenes Neves)
What It’s About: These teen heroes reform their team to stop an old villain. Dani Moonstar proves her worth even without any powers. It’s the ultimate, “Let’s get the band back together” comic book storyline.
Why You Should Read It: Dani Moonstar taking no shit from Cannonball, Cyclops, or anyone else.
20. New Avengers: Breakout (by Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch)
What It’s About: B-list villian, Electro, is hired to break a bunch of villains out of a maximum security prison and happens to do it while a random set of heroes are visiting said prison.
Why You Should Read It: The moment when half of Spider-Man’s rouge gallery gangs up on him and breaks is arm…and you become genuinely worried for Spidey’s safety.
21. JLA: Tower of Babel (by Mark Waid and various artists)
What It’s About: Batman really drops the ball when his secret files are all stolen by Ra’s Al Ghul and it leads to the entire JLA being defeated.
Why You Should Read It: IT’S ALL BATMAN’S GOD DAMNED FAULT!
22. Invincible: Family Matters (by Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker)
What It’s About: Mark Grayson is the teenage son of the world’s most powerful superhero, Omni-Man. Mark is forced to learn how to use his newly developed powers without the help of his father, who is too busy saving the world.
Why You Should Read It: Mark is your everyday teen if his father were FREAKIN SUPERMAN…not that Omni-Man is Superman but like…you know.
23. Superman and The Legion of Super-Heroes (by by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank)
What It’s About: Superman reunites with his now-adult childhood friends, The Legion of Super-Heroes, who are being hunted down by the Justice League of Earth.
Why You Should Read It: Superman reminds you that he sometimes needs some friends that aren’t Batman…AND THAT HE DOESN’T TAKE ANY OF YOUR SHIT.
24. Thor Vol 1 (by J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel)
What It’s About: It’s what most of the first Thor movie was based on. It sets up Thor for the modern era and addresses some of the things that happened while he was gone.
Why You Should Read It: The blessing known as THOR KICKING IRON MAN’S CLONE MAKING, REGRISTRATION ACT ENFORCING ASS!
25. Astonishing X-Men: Gifted (by Joss Whedon and John Cassady)
What It’s About: Kitty Pryde is re-introduced in this book, we learn about a “mutant cure” created by Dr. Rao, and Colossus comes back. It’s everything X-Men: The Last Stand should’ve been.
Why You Should Read It: KITTY PRYDE, EMMA FROST, KITTY PRYDE, EMMA FROST, KITTY PRYDE, EMMA FROST, KITTY PRYDE, EMMA FROST, KITTY PRYDE, AND EMMA FROST!