For those of you who haven’t read my post with my 5 steps to start reading Marvel comics, one of them is to choose stories/comics based on MCU features. That being both movies that are already out and – as this post will cover – some of the MCU installments to come. As I’ve only read a rather limited amount of comics compared to so many other people on the internet, this is just as much a reading list for me as it is for you. I’ve tried to compile the most popular suggestions to comics you should read in 2020 if you’re a hard-core MCU fan just like me.

First of all, let’s establish the MCU features that will arrive this year.

And a quick side-note for those of you, who’ve slept beneath a rock for the last decade: The MCU is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You know, the Iron Man movies, Avengers etc.

MCU Phase 4 Slate

As some of you probably know, Phase 3 of the MCU ended last summer with the movies Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Endgame was the definitive end to the Infinity Saga. And Far From Home acted as a sort of epilogue to the devastating consequences in the ensemble movie.

And so, after 23 installments spread across three phases, Marvel Studios is ready to build even further upon their vast universe and begin a new major story arc. Hopefully, it will be as epic as the Infinity Saga was. With the buyout of Fox Studios, the rights to Fantastic Four, X-Men and Deadpool are now back with Marvel Studios. So in practice, I don’t see any excuse on their part to not being able to continue their success.

And with the beginning of the streaming service Disney+, new opportunities in the shape of TV-series linked tightly to the movies are also a thing now.

Marvel Studios announced their Phase 4 slate on San Diego Comic-Con last summer. With five movies and five Disney+ series, we are in for a lot of stuff in the coming two years.

Already, there has been some changes. The Disney+ series WandaVision is moved up to premiere in 2020. This means that we will actually get four features this year, which is really exciting.

Before diving into my suggestions, I want to give you a spoiler warning. If you haven’t yet seen the MCU movies up until Avengers: Endgame, first of all, what the hell is wrong with you (!), and secondly, you might not want to read on before having seen it.

As already mentioned above, the below comics to read in 2020 for the MCU are primarily based on my research online on various blogs and other websites dedicated to comic books. I have not read a lot of them, but I’m definitely intending to do so. Otherwise, I would be kind of a hypocrite, wouldn’t I…

In the bottom of the page, I’ve put a “clean” list of the 11 suggested comic books with some detailed info about the comic and links to buy/read.

Black Widow (May 1, 2020)

Black Widow will be the first Phase 4 movie to premiere on May 1. Since she died in Endgame a lot of speculation has been around as to what time period the movie will be set within. However, it’s pretty much always been carved in stone that it would be a prequel to the current state of the MCU.

A teaser trailer released in December and a special look released this week gave us some more specific info. It seems as if we will see Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff) in different time periods and settings. It’s been speculated that the movie will take place in the time after Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. But the trailer revealed a rather young Thaddeus Ross (the guy with the moustache from Incredible Hulk back in 2008). This probably means, we will go back to a time even before the first Iron Man. But we’ll see.

I’m especially excited to find out how the movie will connect to the future of the MCU. Because it surely has to do just that, otherwise why start an entire new saga within the MCU with that movie?

But let’s dive into some essential Black Widow comics.

  • Black Widow (2010) #1-5: The Name of the Rose
    This 5 issue arc in the 2010 Black Widow is the favorite Black Widow storyline of Dave from Comic Book Herald. Someone is trying to kill Natasha, and she sets out to find her attacker in this mystery/thriller limited series.
  • Black Widow: Deadly Origin (2009)
    A modern take on the origin of Black Widow. This four issue thriller limited series guest stars the Winter-Soldier and Wolverine.
  • Black Widow (2016)
    The All-New All-Different Black Widow 12 issues series sets Natasha on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D. Just as she is on the run in the movie (but from whom?). I’ve read the first issue, and it is just as action-packed as the trailer for the movie.

WandaVision (Fall 2020)

This is perhaps the feature of 2020 I’m most excited about. WandaVision is supposedly going to be a very different kind of MCU installment. Obviously, it will centre around the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) and the Vision. Since the latter was killed by Thanos in Infinity War, and was not resurrected by the Infinity Gems in Engame, it’s going to be interesting to see, how he will be brought back to life.

Or maybe he won’t be brought back at all. Maybe it’s all in Wanda’s head? The first couple of episodes will supposedly have a 1950-1960’s comedy tone. And they are to be filmed in front of a live audience. Eventually, the show will shift into something more “MCU-familiar”, and finally it will tie into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. These bits of information might indicate a bending of reality which, as far as I’ve been told, seems quite similar to the story arc in the first of the suggested comic books:

  • House of M (2005)
    This eight issue cross over event centres around Scarlet Witch’s alteration of reality in order to restore her lost children. Perhaps something similar is bound to happen in the Disney+ series?
  • Vision (2015)
    A 12 issue story line with Vision in the lead. He builds a family for himself and moves into suburbia.
  • West Coast Avengers (1985) #42-#50: Vision Quest
    This nine issues deals with the death and resurrection of Vision and the following impact on Wanda’s and his marriage.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Fall 2020)

Not much is known of this Disney+ series as of yet. Obviously, the series will focus on the Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and how they both come to terms with the passing of Steve Roger’s Captain America mantle to Sam Wilson (aka the Falcon).

The series will feature reappearances of Sharon Carter from the Captain America movie series and Baron Zemo from Civil War. As not many details of the plot have been published, the comic book suggestions will focus on Sam Wilson as Cap and the Winter Soldier as a “good guy”. All suggestions are rather new publications.

  • All-New Captain America (2014)
    A good starting place for Sam Wilson as Cap. The series spans six issues and deals with the rise of Hydra which we were acquainted with in the two first Captain America movies.
  • Captain America: Sam Wilson (2015)
    After the major event Secret Wars, which tore the Marvel Universe apart, Captain America was de-powered and de-aged. This 24 issues series follows Sam Wilson as he becomes the new Captain America.
  • Winter Soldier (2018)
    After having redeemed himself and atoned for his sins, Bucky takes on the mantle of helping others in this rather new five issues Winter Soldier series.

Eternals (November 6, 2020)

The Eternals are an immortal alien race that was created by the cosmic entities Celestials. They have lived on Earth for millennia alongside another race also created by the Celestials, the Deviants.

The movie is supposedly going to focus on a war between the Eternals and Deviants, probably with some interference by the Celestials. The movie will apparently be spanning across a long period of time, exploring the ancient times of the MCU, but will also touch upon the time post Endgame.

I’m quite excited to see what this movie will bring. The Eternals are completely unknown to me. But hopefully the movie will be equally succesful as the then little-known Guardians of the Galaxy was back in 2014.

Fortunately, I have compiled a couple of suggestions for this group of characters, as well.

  • Eternals (1976)
    The original Eternals comic series created by legend Jack Kirby. The 19 issues series introduces the Eternals to the world of Marvel comics.
  • Eternals (2006)
    A revival of the Eternals franchise in the modern Marvel Universe. The Eternals have forgotten who they are, but one still remembers. The series consists of seven issues.

Summing Up

So there you have it. The 11 comic books (whether it be series or single trades) are collected below. Some of the physical trade paperbacks are quite expensive, since they are out of print and sold second-hand. So if you don’t mind not having them in your bookshelf, I would recommend reading them digitally.

DISCLOSURE: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at NO additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

1.  

Black Widow (2010) #1-5
by Marjorie Liu
Note: The series consists of 8 issues, the last 3 issues are the story arc Kiss and Kill.

Buy on Amazon:
Black Widow (2010) #1-5: The Name of the Rose

Read on Marvel Unlimited

2.  

Black Widow: Deadly Origin (2009)
by Paul Cornell

Buy on Amazon:
Black Widow: Deadly Origin (2009) #1-4

Read on Marvel Unlimited

3.  

Black Widow (2016)
by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

Buy on Amazon:
Black Widow Vol. 1: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Most Wanted (#1-6)
Black Widow Vol. 2: No More Secrets (#7-12)

Read on Marvel Unlimited

4.  

House of M (2005)
by Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel

Buy on Amazon:
House of M (#1-8)

Read on Marvel Unlimited

5.

Vision (2015)
by Tom King and Gabriel Walta

Buy on Amazon:
Vision Vol. 1: Little Worse Than A Man (#1-6)
Vision Vol. 2: Little Better Than A Beast (#7-12)
Vision: Complete Collection (#1-12)

Read on Marvel Unlimited

6.  

West Coast Avengers (1985) #42-50
by John Byrne

Buy on Amazon:
West Coast Avengers (1985) #42-50: Vision Quest

Read on Marvel Unlimited

7.

 

All-New Captain America (2014)
by Rick Remender and Stuart Immonen

Buy on Amazon:
All-New Captain America Vol. 1: Hydra Ascent (#1-6)

Read on Marvel Unlimited

8.  

Captain America: Sam Wilson (2015)
by Nick Spencer and Paul Renaud

Buy on Amazon:
Captain America: Sam Wilson Vol. 1: Not My Captain America (#1-6)
Captain America: Sam Wilson Vol. 2: Standoff (#7-8)
Captain America: Sam Wilson Vol. 3: Civil War II (#9-13)
Captain America: Sam Wilson Vol. 4: #TakeBackTheShield (#14-17)
Captain America: Sam Wilson Vol. 5: End of the Line (#18-21)
Captain America: Secret Empire (#22-24)
Note: This TPB also collects issues from the series Captain America: Steve Rogers.

Read on Marvel Unlimited

9.  

Winter Soldier (2018)
by Kyle Higgins and Rod Reis

Buy on Amazon:
Winter Soldier (2018): Second Chances (#1-5)

Read on Marvel Unlimited

10.  

The Eternals (1976)
by Jack Kirby

Buy on Amazon:
The Eternals: The Complete Collection (#1-19)

Read on Marvel Unlimited

11.  

Eternals (2006)
by Neil Gaiman

Buy on Amazon:
Eternals (#1-7)

Read on Marvel Unlimited

© Images by Marvel Studios

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