Daredevil

5 Marvel Graphic Novels You Really Need to Read

Obviously, there are more than 5 great Marvel graphic novels, but here’s a small selection of the very finest. The quintet I’ve chosen are all accessible to anyone, really, and don’t require a PhD in Marvel chronology to appreciate.

Marvels

Kurt Busiek’s take on the Marvel Universe’s New York through the eyes of Daily Bugle photographer Phil Sheldon isn’t quite like anything else. The premise is simple: what would it be like to live a normal life in the Marvel world? Beautifully painted by Alex Ross, Buseik’s narrative spans several decades of comic history, as Sheldon manages to shoot the biggest events in Marvel comics, from the arrival of Galactus to the death of Gwen Stacy.

Inhumans

When Paul Jenkins took on Jack Kirby’s family of metahumans, they were hardly the hottest comic property going. But alongside artist Jae Lee, Jenkins crafted a complex tale that acts as a primer to the Inhumans, while touching upon such subjects as genetic diversity and adolescence metamorphosis. And Magnus the Mad, Black Bolt’s insane brother, has to be one of the most brilliant villains in a very long time.

The Sentry TPB

Nowadays the Sentry, or Bob as we’ve come to know him, is the Marvel Universe’s equivalent of Superman, a deus ex machina who numerous writers have exploited as an easy way to end a difficult conflict. This trade paperback collects the miniseries that introduced the character to the MU, as wasted loser Bob Reynolds suddenly recovers memories of fighting alongside the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and many more, as beloved hero the Sentry. But why does nobody else but Reed Richards remember the Sentry? Written by Paul Jenkins with art by Jae Lee.

Old Man Logan

Wanted/Kick-Ass writer Mark Millar and Civil War artist Steve McNiven teamed up once more for this futuristic take on that X-bloke known as Wolverine. 50 years from now, the heroes have fallen and Logan is forced to come out of hiding and once again take down the scum, accompanied by a blind Hawkeye. Unlike much of Millar’s recent work, Old Man Logan has a real British feel to it, and evokes some of the finest 2000AD stories, and McNiven’s work is incredible.

Daredevil

Ok, not a graphic novel as such, but an entire series collected in over a dozen (and counting) trade paperbacks. Kevin Smith, Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker take blind attorney Matt Murdock down an increasingly dark and tortured path. Unlike many Marvel superheroes, Daredevil actually evolves, and his relationship with Kingpin of Crime Wilson Fisk is one of the most multifaceted in comic book history.

At time of writing collected in the following volumes (and growing!), as well as several larger hardbacks:

Daredevil: Guardian Devil

Daredevil: Parts of a Hole

Daredevil: Wake Up

Daredevil: Underboss

Daredevil: Out Daredevil

Daredevil: Lowlife

Daredevil: Hardcore

Daredevil: Echo – Vision Quest

Daredevil: King of Hell’s Kitchen

Daredevil: The Widow

Daredevil: The Golden Age

Daredevil: Decalogue

Daredevil: The Murdock Papers

Daredevil: The Devil, Inside and Out, volumes 1 & 2

Daredevil: Hell to Pay, volumes 1 & 2

Daredevil: Cruel and Unusual

Daredevil: Lady Bullseye Daredevil: Return of the King

Carl Doherty has written about movies, video games, comic books and literature for almost a decade, forging ill-informed critiques for numerous websites, blogs and publications that no one has ever heard of. His debut novel, the epic fantasy comedy Welcome to The Fold, is available now on Kindle here (UK) and here (US).

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