This is the second installment of the Midtown Comics Marvel Guide! If you haven’t checked out the first part, click here!

These books are ones you can read and enjoy without having to read other titles, so if you don’t feel inclined to invest yourself heavily into the mainline Marvel continuity, you can still check out these fantastic reads!

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN

Ultimate Spider-Man, whether it’s Peter Parker or Miles Morales, has been one of the more entertaining Marvel titles period. Spider-Man is Marvel’s most beloved character, and with all of the media exposure over the years, most people are familiar with the character. If you want to start with Peter’s time as Spider-Man, everything is available in collections large and small, hardcover and softcover. Miles started recently, so there’s still a chance to catch the issues!

DAREDEVIL

The 2011 Best New Title for Midtown, Daredevil is a lot of fun. Mark Waid has taken Matt Murdock out of the darkness that started with Frank Miller years ago and continued through such noted writers as Kevin Smith, Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker. The series lighter nature is also reflected in the beautiful art of Marcos Martin and Paolo Rivera (art picture above). There’s no need to worry about how Avengers or Battle Scars affects Daredevil, so just sit back and enjoy Ol’ Hornheads exploits!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

Spider-Man has hit the BIG TIME, thanks to writer Dan Slott, who took over the reins of a committee of writers to become the solo Spider-Man writer. He’s brought Peter to an interesting place too. Peter is no longer struggling to make ends meet, he works at a cutting edge scientific think tank called Horizon Labs. Through his work there, he’s created new costumes, all kinds of cool gadgets and even helped fight an infestation of bed bugs… spider-power giving bed bugs! Sure, Spider-Man shows up everywhere, but his FF/Avengers duties don’t interfere with his Amazing Spider-Man adventures at all. Check out the first few volumes of Slott’s run in trade paperback and hardcover!

CAPTAIN AMERICA

Captain America has seen a renaissance since Ed Brubaker took over in 2005. Under Brubaker, Cap has undergone an insane ordeal, from death to being replaced to being the most powerful man in Marvel Comics’ Earth (politically). The main Captain America series has been relaunched recently, so you can catch the recent exploits of Steve Rogers there!

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY

 

The Avengers book that isn’t a full-on Avengers book, Christos Gage has crafted a nice story about a bunch of kids who were abused by Norman Osborn, and are being taught by the Avengers to be heroes. The lessons are learned hard, but the writing is rock solid and you really learn to feel for these kids and get a good look at their character. We’d recommend it as a good comic for teens as well.

S.H.I.E.L.D.

S.H.E.I.L.D. is a terrific book. Written by Jonathan Hickman, it revolves around the concept that humanity has been protected throughout the years by it’s greatest minds. From Imhotep to Nathaniel Richards, these geniuses have protected us and sit away from us in a hidden city. Hickman is one of my favorite writers, his high concept sci-fi work is terrific. The first series is collected, and the second series is still ongoing!

FANTASTIC FOUR/FF

Two more series by Hickman, Fantastic Four recently returned to print, while FF, it’s replacement is still going strong. A lot of crazy Marvel cosmic concepts are thrown in, with a council of Reeds, each other leaders possessing an Infinity Gauntlet! In the aftermath of the death of Johnny Storm, the Future Foundation was formed, comprising of all of the gifted children the Fantastic Four have encountered in Hickman’s run, as well as Reed and Sue’s two kids, Franklin and Valeria. The epic that Hickman’s been weaving since he started Fantastic Four can’t be missed, check out the earlier issues in trade paperback!

 

Well that’s it for the Marvel Guide from us here at Midtown Comics! Until next time–

 

Stay Bloggy My Friends!

– Raph

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