Like a lot of 90’s kids, I grew up on a healthy diet of Marvel comics. I was pretty obsessed. I was even in Wizard Magazine #49. (As a pen-pal, but in the magazine none the less) Any allowance money I had was spent on comics, and I do mean ALL of it. The X-Men cartoon was constantly on television. Times where good.
From those times, I have put together a list of my personal favorites that I’m sure you’ll enjoy, especially all you classic Marvel fanboys. Each one gave me months of entertainment. Check them out. You can’t go wrong
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Spider-Man: Maximum CarnageThis was the story-line that really got me into Spider-Man. This also was the moment that I realized that Spider-Man wasn’t just Marvel’s brand-safe version of Superman. There’s also the fact that Carnage is just an amazing super-villain in general. He’s every bit as scary as a Xenomorph and as crazy as the Joker himself. The art in this collection is also fantastic. It’s a true defining moment in Spider-Man comics and a perfect place to start reading if you’ve never read any Spider-Man before.
Old school EC horror comics are just the best. The creepiest comics ever! (In a good way of course) This particular collection won’t drain your bank account either, unlike the similar Tales From the Crypt: The EC Archives will. If you love golden age horror, or the Tales From the Crypt television show, your no doubt going to love this collection. Just remember to lock the doors and grab your teddy bear when reading, because these stories will creep the hell out of you!
X-Men: Mutant Genesis 2.0This book covers my absolute favorite run of X-Men comics. Jim Lee (on pencil duty here) is simply an amazing artist and these images are forever burned into my retinas. The story here is amazing too, courtesy of Chris Claremont. There are other very good X-Men stories out there. In fact, I think I could make a list of nothing but awesome X-Men graphic novels, however this one in particular covers the absolute best offering from the franchise (in my own humble opinion). Check it out, its guaranteed to have your eyeballs melt out of your face from pure awesomeness.
Punisher Epic Collection: Capital PunishmentNo Marvel superhero is more known for pure ass-kickery than The Punisher. These older Punisher comics where gritty, bloody, and full of street justice unmatched by any other comic (Except maybe Judge Dredd). I’m surprised a lot of them even got the “Comics Code” endorsement, because what he does to dudes is just plain brutal. This particular collection of stories is old school Punisher at his very finest. Guns, thugs and street warfare! Nothing brings me back better than this. I can almost smell the gun smoke in the air.
Wolverine: Weapon XWolverine is everyone’s favorite X-Man. Everyone knows this. This is the one story arc that perfectly defines how and why this insanely popular killing machine became the raging ball of fur and claws that we all love today. It serves as a explanation to not only why he is such a badass, but also why he is so psychologically damaged. It’s also just full of that wonderful destruction you have come to expect from this crazy Canadian. If you love Wolverine, you owe it to yourself to check out this amazing story. Its a fantastic look at the defining moments of this character.
What If?: The Complete Collection Vol. 1What If? was always such a fun book. Every month a new hypothetical scenario was presented that dynamically changed characters, teams, ect in the Marvel Universe. One month Wolverine would be the Lord of the Vampires and the next Rogue had the power of Thor. It basically flipped entire story-lines just to see what would happen. This meant that the most wild things could happen month to month, since these where only one-off comics. Every single issue was insanely entertaining. Every Marvel fan should definitely check this out.
Deathlok: The Souls of Cyber-FolkImagine if RoboCop and Spawn had a baby and that baby grew up to kick the crap out of everyone. That baby would be named Deathlok. He’s part undead monster, part robot killing machine. This character and more specifically, this series are totally badass. If you love books like The Punisher or Cable, you’ll most likely love Deathlok. Deathlok was one of the first characters I really latched onto as a kid too. It’s really a shame he’s not more well known today, because every Deathlok book I ever read was too awesome for words.
Spider-Man: Birth of VenomWhere would Carnage be without Venom? Nowhere, that’s where. He’s a personal favorite villain of mine just because of how truly evil he was in appearance. All of those wonderful teeth. That tongue that could just lick you from a block away. All of that wonderful body dysmorphia! He was a true, living and breathing monster in the pages of Spider-Man. As a young kid, I thought all of this was just awesome. This book takes you through his birth, as the name implies. If your a Venom fan, this is most definitely essential reading material for you.
Spirits of Vengeance: Rise of the Midnight SonsIf you wanna take a journey to the spirit realm, there is no better ride there than on Ghost Rider’s fiery steed. I used to love Ghost Rider stories especially because they took you to hell and back, quite literally. The supporting characters here are also super dark and twisted as ever. I mean, who doesn’t love an anti-hero with a flaming skull who beats up demons!? This particular book is beautifully illustrated and a perfect interpretation of what Ghost Rider is truly about, a flaming spirit of vengeance, pure and simple!
X-Men: Days of Future PastThis might be my favorite X-Men story-line of all time. It involves time travel and a bombed-out dystopian future where mutants are hunted down like fugitives or just outright killed by the evil Sentinels, now in charge of everything. It’s very dark and doesn’t pull a lot of punches. It’s a lot like the future in the Terminator movies, but with Sentinels instead of terminators. If your looking for something dark and gritty, but also filled with tons of your favorite mutants, look no further. This is the book you want!
Alright everybody! That’s it for this list! If you liked what you’ve seen here, make sure to bookmark GroovySauce for more awesome content. Enjoy your new books and EXCELSIOR!