So you just saw Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier and now you want to get into Marvel comics. Maybe you’ve already checked out our original Marvel Comics beginners guide but you want something books that are more specific to the plotlines and themes from the film. Well you’re in luck because we’ve got a few suggestions!
First off, there’s a name you need to know when it comes to Captain America over the past decade or so: Ed Brubaker. A good rule of thumb here is that if you see a book by Ed Brubaker that’s about either Captain America or the Winter Soldier, it’s going to be a good read. With that said, onward with the recs!
If by some chance, you haven’t seen the film yet and are still avoiding spoilers, beware. This post will likely reveal a thing or two about some plot points.
The best place to start for Steve Rogers is Captain America, Volume 5. It’s when Brubaker takes the reins and starts his iconic Winter Soldier storyline. It’s also well worth following the book after the initial Winter Soldier parts as Brubaker’s handle on Steve is ridiculous excellent and he’s a well rounded character with flaws and strengths.
It’s also a book that features a great supporting cast including Sharon Carter/Agent 13 and Sam Wilson/Falcon. Honestly. Just go read it already.
The obvious successor to reading Brubaker’s Captain America is, of course, reading his Winter Soldier. It picks up in the wake of the Fear Itself event and explains why Bucky decides to return to the Winter Soldier code name but you can probably pick up this book without needing to read the event. Overall, it’s a great read that really should have been called ‘Winter Soldier and Black Widow’ because it’s a story about both of them. Brubaker returns them both to their super spy roots but doesn’t forget their allies when it comes to the book’s supporting cast. Personally, I can’t speak to the issues after Brubaker left the book but the ones he did write are great reads.
Marjorie Liu wrote what’s possibly the best Black Widow story ever. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little but I have yet to meet anyone who read it and didn’t really like it. Honestly, I can’t think of a better recommendation if you want to read about Natasha Romanoff.
Go buy it. Go read it. Now.
It’s hard to talk about Secret Warriors without first mentioning Secret War. Secret War is one of the pivotal books when it comes to Nick Fury and the Marvel Universe over the last decade. The end result of the book had implications and influence upon the major stories for years to come.
Basically, this is Nick Fury at his sneakiest along with all of his plotting and plans buried below other plans. It’s pretty easy to see where Captain America 2 took a few of its ideas when it comes to Fury along with where they might take the character in the future. Brian Bendis wrote Secret War and co-wrote the first arc of Secret Warriors before Jonathan Hickman took over the full writing duties. I can’t recommend these books to you enough. Suggested although probably not mandatory reading to go along with these two would be Secret Invasion and Dark Avengers as Secret Invasion is where the Secret Warriors get their start and Dark Avengers weaves in and out of the Secret Warriors story at the start. And is anyone else sick of the word ‘secret’ now? Regardless, you know how this ending goes now: go read these books!
And that’s it for this short and sweet Winter Soldier edition of Marvel Comic suggestions. If you have any further questions, feel free to leave a comment or ask me on Twitter.