I like reading comic books, but I’ll be honest—I just cannot keep up with Marvel. Between crossovers, different universes, Secret Wars, Civil Wars, and so much more, I feel I’m drowning in storylines. This is probably why I enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe so much. Even though they do have crossovers and guest appearances, each movie is a closed loop (sort of). There’s a start… a middle… an end.
I’m also growing quite fond of Titan Books new paperback series. Each “Novel of the Marvel Universe” is a complete story. I’ve recently finished reading Civil War by Stuart Moore and Avengers: Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Dan Abnett. And let me tell you… so FUN! I read them quickly too. They are fast-paced, totally true to the characters we all love, and they have some outstanding storylines.
Let me start with Civil War, a novelization of one of the most famous events in the Marvel Universe, splitting our heroes into groups with different opinions and goals. While there are many similarities with the Captain America: Civil War movie, the novel follows more of the comic book story that differs in key areas from the film. And unlike the movie, there are characters here that didn’t make it into the film, namely the Fantastic Four, Wolverine, Daredevil, and some other surprise cameos.
The main opponents, however, remain Captain American and Iron Man. But with the novel, we get some deeper insights into their motivations. You may have picked sides in the movie, but the novel makes some solid arguments on both sides of the registration coin. While I totally identified with Captain America in the movie (mainly because I didn’t like the idea of the heroes being controlled by the UN), the novel flips things a bit more on their head, and I found myself actually understanding Tony Stark’s argument for reigning in such destructive powers. Ultimately, the story does have a resolution at the end (and you may or may not like it)… and it does end up making sense. Maybe. Sort of. Okay, yeah… I’m wanting a follow-up novel, Stuart Moore. Please.
The other novel I received from Titan Books was Avengers: Everybody Wants to Rule the World. This novel focuses tightly on the core Avengers: Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk, Thor, and Hawkeye. While Civil War had the world’s heroes fighting one another, this one is pure Hero versus Villain. And Hero versus Villain… and Hero versus Villain. Yeah, there are FIVE villains in this amazing story, each pulling one or more of the Avengers (along with a couple guest appearances) to a separate part of the globe. Divided, the heroes slowly but surely discover a major plotline that has the five villains each trying to gain control of the world… but not working together! Each of them has a reason for their evil plans, and that’s about all I can say. There’s a HUGE secret that is slowly revealed… and I won’t tell you what it is. But trust me… very cool buildup with the heroes reuniting as they realize something else is amiss…
There are four MORE novels to be read in this new series—Deadpool: Paws by Stefan Petrucha, Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover by David Liss, Black Panther: Who is the Black Panther? by Jesse J. Holland, and Ant-Man: Natural Enemy by Jason Starr. Based on my enjoyment of these first two novels, I now plan on tackling these other tales over my summer break. I think Titan Books has a hit series on its hands here, and I’m hoping this series will continue to grow and expand. If you take a chance and read one or more of them and enjoy it, please do let Titan Books know!