Comics are truly great. But they can be a little intimidating, there’s no denying. Issue numbers in the hundreds and beyond. Comic book stores with wall-to-wall selection staring down at you. What’s an average Joe or Jane to do? “Like This/Read That!” is your semi-recurring comic book breakdown here at Being Geek Chic, sending out fresh reading recommendations that are simple, sensible, and positively super.
Like Captain America himself, frozen away for years in cold, suspended animation, I’ve been missing-in-action from my comic recommending duties over these past few months. But there’s nothing like a new movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to wake me from my blogging slumber!
Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters in just a matter of days, and in honor of that exciting occasion, I’m back in action with some comic book recommendations, focused squarely on the First Avenger’s return to the screen. Whether you’re building your excitement before heading to the cinema, or you want to dive deeper after the credits roll, these recommendations have got you covered.
You want to explore the original inspirations for the movie
Captain America’s newest film doesn’t just borrow its name from this mid-2000s story arc; in the pages of these issues, you’ll find much of the direct inspiration for the story being told in the Captain America sequel. So it only makes sense to start your reading list here. Written by Ed Brubaker, this is amongst the most well regarded modern Captain America stories. Give it a look to explore the roots that inspired the filmmakers.
You’re searching for a topical, modern Captain America story
I’ve always found the “man out of time” hook to be the most compelling thing about Captain America. How does a soldier birthed in an era of national unity, when lines between ally and enemy were apparent and clear, adjust suddenly to a world of complex geo-political tensions, compromises and ever-present shades of gray? How does an icon of patriotism rally and reflect the people’s will in an age of cynicism, hyper-partisanship and bitter political divides? I’ve yet to find the story that completely satisfies on these fronts, but here’s one that scratches the surface. Imagining the actions of Steve Rogers in the wake of the September 11 attacks and the ensuing War on Terror, this series treads sensitive ground, but is filled with strong art and some thought-provoking moments.
You enjoy Black Widow’s increasing role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
The marketing and promotion campaign leading up to the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier has put a large focus on the Black Widow and her relationship with Steve Rogers. If this and some recent rumors of a standalone Black Widow film are to your liking, you’ve got to check out the brand new Marvel NOW! series starring Black Widow. It just kicked off with issue #1 in January 2014, and early buzz is strong. Get in on the ground floor with these early issues to explore the life of Natasha Romanoff and her past as a KGB assassin.
You’d like to see more of Cap’s newest partner-in-heroics, the Falcon
While Captain America isn’t known for his sidekicks to the same extent that some other heroes are (cough, Batman, cough), he has definitely had a few. There’s been Bucky Barnes, Sub-Mariner and the Invaders, and perhaps most prominently, the Falcon. Falcon has been a mainstay in the pages of Captain America comics over the years (including a couple of the ones I’ve recommended above), and now he’s set to make his cinematic debut. Want an intro to the Falcon? I recommend these two comics as a start. The one-off Captain American and Falcon issue provides a more classic look at the character, while Ultimate Nightmare sees the character’s first appearance in the more contemporary Ultimate Marvel universe – where you can expect to see a Falcon that more closely reflects the film’s take on the character.
You’re pondering the possibilities for Captain America 3 and beyond
It has been unclear to me whether the identity and role of the Winter Soldier falls into movie spoiler territory for non-comic book readers, but ever mindful, I’m offering this final recommendation as something to be read only after seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The Winter Soldier may or may not have a further role to play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (a la our friend Loki), but in either case, this series bearing his name will give you an outlet to explore more of his background, and to join along in his continuing misadventures, whatever may come of his on-screen counterpart.
So there you have it friends, there are five fresh comic book recommendations that should pair quite nicely with the latest slice of Marvel cinematic goodness, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Enjoy the movie, enjoy the comics, and as always, be sure to share your own thoughts and recommendations in the comments below.
Guest post by Adam Giorgi, who also happens to be my brother. He’s a writer, gamer, reader and Potter head. He also makes cool comics from time to time. Check out his blog: Geek-Attack. Follow him on twitter: @adamgiorgi