Marvel Civil War – Reading Order

It has been the bane of the Meanwhile Comix team that there doesn’t seem to be a definitive reading order for Marvel’s Civil War. So we have dusted off old trade paperbacks, digital downloads and actual comics (how retro) to re read and review the whole bloody lot.

We’ve used the Marvel guide as a jumping off point and we’ll explain why we have changed the order around.

For a bit of background reading it’s probably wise to at least some synopsis of House of M, House of M Decimation, Nick Fury’s Secret War and Thor Ragnarok  #80-#85.

So in the best order we can, with explanations and our reasons why, here is the list.  In our own particular order.  Keep coming back as we update the page.  Please leave a comment if you disagree and why.

WARNING.  CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS, SO I HAVE PUT THE TITLES IN BOLD.  IGNORE THE REST IF YOU DON’T WANT THE STORY GIVEN AWAY.

01 The Road to Civil war
001 The New Avengers Illuminate – Marvel claim to rewd this one 6th, but it’s perfect at the start.  It breaks down the whole Illuminate gatherings in one issue without having to read the mini series.  it’s mentioned in The Amazing Spider-Man 530 that Tony Stark has just got back from the meeting, but it would interrupt the flow of the Spider-Man story, plus there are recaps in the Fantastic Four issues.  On another note, when you have time, do get around to reading the whole Illuminate stories details here.  It’s a damn fine read. 4/5
002 The Fantastic Four 536 This is an absolutely brilliant story.  If you can somehow avoid looking at the cover, please do.  It gives away the whole point of the story and the ending. 5/5
003 The Fantastic Four 53
Also brilliant, but what happens on the cover doesn’t happen in the issue.  So again, try and avoid looking at it. 5/5
004 The Amazing Spider-Man 529 4/5
005 The Amazing Spider-Man 530 4/5
006 The Amazing Spider-Man 531 
These three issues work well together as run as they lead up nicely for the start of the main story.  These really put us in preparation for the main event. 4/5

02 The Stamford Bomb
007 Civil War 01 This is an absolutely brilliant start to Civil War.  It reads and flows like Captain America Winter Soldier and it makes perfect sense why this is the next Captain America film and not The Avengers 3.  The artworks is spectacular and the dialogue faultless. 5/5
008 She Hulk 08 4/5
009 Wolverine 42 The Wolverine comics were great.  I shall be looking to see if it is possible to read them in runs rather than have them so spread out.  5/5
010 The Amazing Spider-Man 532 4/5
011 Civil War Frontline 01
These are all great.  They follow the story of journalists Ben Ulrich and Sally covering the civil war.The second story “The Accused concerning Speedball is also brilliant.  This what makes civil war so good.  As this unfolds it gets better and better. 5/5
012 Civil War 02
Up to this point every issue is pretty amazing.  this is where the plot starts getting convoluted and it feels like there’s an excuse to boost the sales of lesser known comics. 5/5

enter…..

013 Thunderbolts 103
Judging by the number of the issue this must be a popular enough comic, but until I’d read Civil War I had never read a Thunderbolts comic.  You notice from the first few pages this is a vastly weaker story than the previous. It’s definitely worth reading all the way through just to see what happens at the end, but it didn’t flll me with excitement to read any more after Civil War finished. 2/5

03 The start of the registration
014 Civil War Frontline 02
The quality is back.  This was another excellent comic which denotes the start of the registration. It was this point that I looked at other issues to work out if any pre this issue was a flashback or not.  The Thunderbolts 103 at first glance looks like the registration has already started but on a second reading it it clear that iron Man, Hank Pym and Mister Fantastic are anticipating the trouble ahead. This explains why iron man is ready to arrest the lesser known superhero Prodigy. 5/5
015 X-Factor 08
If you are not familiar with the X-Factor, make sure you read the intro where they explain what has happened in the Decimation story line.  I hadn’t read it and found the story and artwork a bit “art house” as far as superhero comics is concerned.  At this moment there doesn’t seem to be too much that warrants this to be worth reading apart from what I shall refer to as “this happens alongside the main event”.  While it wasn’t the strongest of stories so far, it gave a welcome change in tone. 3/5
016 New Avengers 21
Another average story.  Captain America on the run and recruiting.  It’s definitely one you need to read, but more for continuity.  The bar was raised so high for the first 12 issues it would be nigh on impossible to keep up that standard. 3/5
017 Wolverine 43
It would be tempting to read these all in one go, but there’s something quite nice about having to waiting for a while before you can read the next issue.  Top stuff.  5/5
018 Amazing Spider-Man 533
A good issue dealing with how Peter Parker deals with his identity being reveal and the sinister side starts to creep in about the registration act. 4/5
018a Amazing Spider-Man 534
Entertaining and moves the story forward.  Now Marvel claim this should be 30th, but there is a massive flaw in that.  This would mean a large amount of the superheroes are two separate battles at the same time.  So for now I suggest you read it here.  (I’m numbering it 18a as it would mean reorganising everything else and for the time being I want to keep as many of the numbers the same as the Marvel checklist.)
019 Fantastic Four 538
Wonderful stuff 4/5
020 Civil War Frontline #3 (4/5)
021 Thunderbolts #104
A lot of pointless dick slinging but you need to read it I suppose (2/5)
022 X-Men Civil War #1
Average to say the least (3/5)
023 Civil War #3
Back to some god stuff. (5/5)
023a Civil War #4
This story is brilliant and you should really read it next because the cliff hanger from Civil War 3 is so brilliant.  It’s supposed to be 42nd, but there are too many factor that don’t make that work.  Ben Grim would have already left, there would have been too many mentions of Goliath’s death, it would have been crossing between too many fights going on at the same time and Scott Summers talks to cap directly after this fight in 034 X-men Civil War 02.  It’s at this point that make me think the Marvel list is closer to a release order than a reading order. (5/5)
024 Cable and Deadpool #30
As of reading I’m not sure if this is worth bothering with.  It’s mildly amusing.  A bit of light heartedness in the middle of such an epic story.  But not great.  (3/5)
025 Young Avengers and Runaways #1
A shameless attempt to start a new comic in the middle of an epic.  Pretty dull and more of an aside to what they were doing during Civil War.  the kind of comic you should read after the whole event.  (2/5)
026 Civil War Frontline #4 (4/5)
027 X-factor #9
Again.  Not sure if this is worth reading unless you’re a completest.  It’s more of an aftermath of The Decimation.  (3/5)
028 New Avengers #22
This is an OK story.  Nothing to write home about, but readable.  You get to this point and feel that’s it’s not being dragged out.  This issue needs to be thought through as this takes place just as the registration takes place,  (3/5)
029 Wolverine #44
Back on track now.  Awesome story. (5/5)
(030 this is where Amazing Spider-Man #534 originally went.  See 018a)
031 Fantastic Four #539
This gets 5/5 just for the ending.  What a great installment.  Again, this continues the wonderful well written Fantastic Four comics we used to read when we were kids. (5/5)
032 Civil War Frontline
Consistently good. (4/5)
033 Ms Marvel #6
More padding but you have to read it. (3/5)
034 X-Men Civil War #2
This feels like an excuse to print money.  This should have been in a regular X-Men comic. (3/5)
035 Heroes For Hire #1
OMFG.  This is appalling.  Piss poor characters and just an excuse to release a comic.  Really bad all round.  Not worth reading even for a completest.  (0/5)
036 The New Avengers #23. (3/5)
037 Wolverine #45 (4/5)
038 Young Avengers and Runaways #2
039 Cable and Deadpool #31
040 Ms Marvel #7
041 X-Men Civil War  #3
042 Civil War #4

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