If you're reading this, odds are pretty good you're one of the millions of people who's seen The Avengers in the last week. I've seen it twice already and I will probably see it one more time, which says something about how enjoyable the movie is. So here's some suggestions for a few comics about the members of the Avengers.
Iron Man: Extremis
Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Adi Granov
If you liked the Iron Man movies and the Avengers then this is a book to check out. Warren Ellis is always an enjoyable writer and the art in the book should look familiar since Adi Granov designed the Iron Man armor for the movies.
Extremis is a sort of techno-thriller about a virus called Extremis that is a new super soldier injection which is, of course, stolen and used so Tony Stark has to go to work.
The rumor going around about Iron Man 3 is that the story will be partially based on Extremis so maybe that will also be worth a look besides just being a good comic.
Written by Greg Pak
Art by Carlo Pagulayan
Here's how this went down.
- A group of the smartest people in the Marvel Universe, including Tony Stark, Mister Fantastic, and Professor X, decide that the world would be better off without the Hulk smashing it up on a frequent basis.
- They get the Hulk into a spaceship and get him off of Earth where they attempt to send him to a peaceful planet.
- The ship gets sucked into a wormhole and lands on a planet where the inhabitants enslave Hulk and force him to fight as a gladiator.
- Hulk is the strongest there is so naturally he wins all his fights and eventually conquers everything barbarian style.
It goes on after that and eventually Hulk comes back to Earth and wages war against the people who shot him into space. All in all this is probably my favorite Hulk story in the comics and there's a cartoon adaptation that came out a few years ago that was very enjoyable.
Thor: Ages of Thunder
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Patrick Zircher and Khari Evans
Now here's a different kind of Thor story and one I really enjoyed. This book is made up of stories about Thor from Norse mythology so you really get to see Thor the Warrior and Thor the Giant Killer. This is Thor as the god the vikings would have worshiped but also the Thor who needed to be taught some humility by his father.
Now if you want to see more of Thor the superhero then I would also recommend looking out for Walt Simonson's run on the comic. He wrote and drew The Mighty Thor for nearly three years and there were some truly fantastic stories in that time and the introduction of Beta Ray Bill who is a horse-looking alien who was able to lift Mjolnir.
Captain America: Man Out of Time
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Jorge Molina
This just came out at the end of last year and is an updated look at Steve Rogers trying to adjust to life after being unfrozen. This was an element that was more or less skipped over in the movie.
Now Marvel Comics have what they call a sliding timeline to explain why their characters aren't really aging. Basically what this means is that all of the superheroes only came on the scene about five years ago so, for example, Tony Stark was now captured by terrorists in the Middle East instead of somewhere in southeast Asia while Ben Grimm (AKA the Everlovin' Blue Eyed Thing) is no longer a World War II veteran.
So for Captain America, this means he was thawed out not in the early sixties but in the early 2000s, which is a much more shocking difference.
Mark Waid is one of my favorite writers and he did an excellent job of telling the story of a man out of time adjusting and adapting to the 21st century. It is well worth a read.