Marvel has broken the internet. Like right in half. At least the parts of the internet that sell comics, anyway. Marvel’s own digital store is hit and miss right now, and Comixology is similarly swamped. Yesterday, Marvel announced that digital copies of 700 of their #1 issues were going to be free until March 12, and people just went bananas. And rightly so. At first, I figured that since I’m not a huge Marvel guy that I’d pick up a couple books for fun, and I ended up with over 30 new issues to read. There’s SO much good stuff.
So much, in fact, that it’s overwhelming. So I thought I’d put up a little rundown of the best books out there to help you navigate the chaos of 700 free issues combined with intermittent availability as the sites perpetually crash. All of the following links are for Marvel’s own digital store, but both Marvel and Comixology’s phone apps seem to be working better than their sites right now.
MARVEL NOW! AND NEW BOOKS GENERALLY
There’s a lot of new stuff available, particularly Marvel NOW! stuff, which is really cool. With so many new books, it’s super expensive to check out all of them when they’re released, and now you can try out most of them for free!! It’s a very smart promotion. Here are some new and NOW! books worth reading:
- HAWKEYE #1!!!! It’s just the best book. The first issue is fantastic, and it’s been the best series on the stands since it debuted. Fraction and Aja are killing it. If you’re not reading Hawkeye, you’re a crazy person. I have the paper version and I still nabbed the digital copy.
- You can also check out Kelly Sue DeConnick and Dexter Soy’s Captain Marvel #1, which is crazy good. See what all the tumblr fun is about!!
- In terms of Marvel NOW!, my favourite books by far are Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers titles. You can pick up Avengers #1 and New Avengers #1, and see the beginning of what is going to be an EPIC story.
- I’m also quite enjoying Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s Thor: God of Thunder, and the first issue is available.
- Really, just go to the Marvel NOW! section and go to town… pick up everything!! It’s free, and you might find something new that you like.
Ladies making comics is always good to see, and there are a bunch of great titles that feature female creators. This is by no means a comprehensive list (the site is so slow, I couldn’t look at everything), so there are probably even more if you go searching around, but here are some to start out with:
- Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Rescue and Sif one-shots are both available, and both are excellent. Kelly Sue is all the rage right now, so check out her early stuff!!
- Marvel teamed up with CrossGen (or bought them or something) a while back, and one of the books to come out of it was Mystic, written by G. Willow Wilson with amazing art by David Lopez. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
- Since this is a #1 sale, Kathryn Immonen’s new Journey Into Mystery isn’t included, BUT you can get her Avengers Origins: Thor #1 from a couple years ago for some other Asgardian fun.
- The first issue of the mini-series Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Black Cat is available, and it’s written by Jen Van Meter with a cover by Amanda Conner. Also, Javier Pulido does the interior art and he’s super good too.
- You can also check out artist Sara Pichelli’s take on the new Ultimate universe Spider-Man, Miles Morales, in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1.
- Marjorie Liu is another female writer doing great work for Marvel right now, and her X-23 #1 is available as well.
OTHER GOOD STUFF
There is a deep bench of cool, random stuff to check out in this sale. Here are some of my favourites:
- You can get the first issues of Eric Shanower and Skottie Young’s spectacular Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Road to Oz, and Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz. They’re so good.
- If you’re into Matt Fraction (and how could you not be?) the first issues of his criminally under read Defenders and The Order are both available, along with his super entertaining Thor team-ups with Patrick Zircher, Thor: Ages of Thunder and Thor: Man of War.
- Are you reading Saga? It’s awesome, right? Well you can check out these great Marvel books from Brian K. Vaughan, like Doctor Strange: The Oath #1 (with Marcos Martin!), Logan #1 (with Eduardo Risso!), and his now-classic Runaways #1 (with Adrian Alphona!).
- Jonathan Hickman and Dustin Weaver’s S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 is one of the weirdest Marvel books I’ve ever read. Leonardo da Vinci is in it. And Isaac Newton. And Nikola Tesla I think. It’s bonkers.
- Neil Gaiman’s Marvel 1602 is such a fun take on the Marvel universe, and definitely worth a read.
- Before Joss Whedon made The Avengers he wrote Astonishing X-Men #1, and it was crazy good.
- One of my favourite Marvel books of all time is a Loki mini-series written by Robert Rodi and painted by Esad Ribic. It’s gorgeous and dark and moody, and you can get Loki #1 for free.
So there are some fantastic books available, and lots of other cool titles you can browse through. Go get yourselves some free comics!! And best of luck navigating the sites. I’ve heard rumours that they’re going to extend the sale due to the huge response swamping the sites, so if you can’t get in now, keep trying!!