If you’ve already seen The Avengers multiple times and still want more, Marvel Comics has a solution.
For those wanting direct tie-ins for the movie, there’s Avengers Prelude: Fury’s Big Week. This stars the exact characters from the movie only it gives readers a glimpse into what happened prior to the movie’s events. The story weaves S.H.I.E.L.D.’s activities behind the scenes of the stories in Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, and Captain America. Fans of Fury, Agent Coulson and, most prominently, the Black Widow will enjoy this.
Detailing events a little bit further in the past is Avengers: The Road to Marvel’s Avengers.. It contains the stories of the first two Iron Man movies, fills in some events in between the movies, particularly in providing background on the Black Widow, and includes a prequel to the events of Captain America’s tale.
In short, Black Widow fans are going to like these two books. Their only disadvantage is that they rely somewhat on a reader’s knowledge of the events in the Marvel movies.
Avengers Solo: Hawkeye collects Avengers Solo #1-5 and Avengers Academy #1-5. This is the Hawkeye from the comics, not Clint Barton from the movie, but their personalities are close. It’s a good story involving a long-ago conspiracy and crosses over with the kids attending the new Avengers Academy. Warning for new readers is that the Academy issues are somewhat steeped in Marvel history.
For a solo Black Widow adventure and a trip through her long Marvel history that’s also a great espionage tale, read Black Widow: Deadly Origin by Paul Cornell of Doctor Who fame. Great action and the story tells you all you need to know about Natasha Romanoff.
Captain America: Man Out of Time is so close to the movie Cap that many readers won’t notice the difference. It covers Steve’s reactions to waking up so long after he’s been presumed dead and his fear of the modern world, which can be summed up in Dorothy’s famous plea: “I want to go home.”
Iron Man has had a number of terrific stories throughout the years but I’m going to go very old school and recommend Demon in a Bottle because that, to me, is the essence of the character that embodied so well in the movies. Tony battles enemies, lovers and allies along with alcohol.
Thor’s recent solo series by J. Michael Straczynski puts the realm of Asgard in the American Midwest, leading to both a lot of trouble and a lot of fun as Asgardian and human customs collide. Those wanting more gods versus gods and mythology are going to find the Walt Simonson Thor collection has just what they want.
Hulk is somewhat of a problem for writers who want to go beyond “HULK SMASH!”
He’s used by Joss Whedon very effectively in the movie, and we all remember the television show, but I’ve never been that interested in his solo stories. However, Bill Mantlo’s take laid the groundwork for the more modern characterization of Bruce Banner and Peter David’s run on Hulk expanded the ideas first presented by Mantlo and Roger Stern. My favorite David story is Hulk: Future Imperfect which sends the most powerful force on the earth into the future where he encounters someone at his power level, only with far more experience.
Lots of Hulk smashing in that one.