That was pretty awesome, right? You just watched/read/heard/experienced something you absolutely loved, and you can’t wait to get your hands on more things like it…if only you knew what those things were. Times like these, you’ve got no choice but to ask What Now?
It’s been just about two weeks since Marvel’s The Avengers premiered here in the States and started crashing through box office records like the Hulk chasing the Black Widow on the Helicarrier. You’ve probably already tried all the Shawarma places nearby, and, while delicious, I’m willing to bet it hasn’t satisfied your craving for more Avengers related awesomeness.
Well you’re in luck – the fine folks at PoP! have taken the time to put together a list of some of your best bets to curb your Avengers addiction. Fair warning: if for some reason you haven’t seen The Avengers yet there are spoilers ahead. But seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet…re-evaluate your priorities, because you’re doing it wrong. Let’s start the list off with…
Perhaps the most obvious place to go for more Avengers is the monthly comics, which are currently caught up in this summer’s Avengers vs X-Men crossover. Now, you may be hesitant to get involved in a comic book crossover, but, so far Avengers vs X-Men has been fairly self-contained. Best of all? You don’t REALLY need to know all that much to get started. You’re familiar with the Avengers, and, c’mon, I’m sure you’re familiar with the X-Men. Well, they’re fighting. They’re fighting over the Phoenix, which you might remember from the 90s X-Men cartoon. There you go. The recaps at the beginning of each issue will get you caught up on anything else you need to know. When you’re ready to join the fight, you can go ahead and pick up digital copies of each of the issues from the Super-Fly Comics & Games digital store. It’s that easy.
If you’re a newcomer to the world of comic books, you may want to break in with the short miniseries Fury’s Big Week. This 8 issue story follows Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury character, as well as his S.H.I.E.L.D cohorts, and bridges the gaps in the story timeline between Captain America, Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, and Thor. Ever wondered what happened to the Destroyer after Thor trashed him? How about what the Black Widow was doing during the Hulk’s fight with the Abomination? This series will fill in all of those gaps, and best of all it’s specifically aimed at new readers. You can grab all the issues you’ll need here.
Airing weekly on DisneyXD, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is one of the pillars of the current animated superhero resurgence. The show features many of the same characters you’re already familiar with from the movie, while at the same time introducing you to countless characters from the larger Marvel universe – it’s pretty much a perfect jumping on point if you’re an Avengers newbie. And, as a bonus, a recent season 2 episode introduced The Guardians of the Galaxy, who have been rumored to be next in line for the Marvel movie treatment. You can watch the first 26 episodes on Netflix Instant now. Just don’t forget to fast forward through the theme song.
Unless you’re one of those boneheads who leaves before the credits finish rolling, then you saw the big reveal of Thanos as the major villain behind the Chitauri invasion. It’s a near certainty that Thanos will play a role in the upcoming crop of Marvel movies, before throwing down with Earth’s Mightiest in the inevitable Avengers 2. You may as well get a jump start on your Thanos knowledge know by reading the seminal Thanos story. In The Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos courts Death by using the powerful Infinity Gems to wipe out half of the world’s population. If you can only read one issue, read #4 and bask in the glory of damn near every Marvel hero battling an unstoppable mad titan. You can pick up all six issues here.
If you’re a fan of the Marvel movie universe, but have never read the Ultimates, you’ll find many common themes between the two, including the first appearance of Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury. This “alternate” version of the classic Avengers team offers a new take on the formation of the Avengers, as well as more modern – and dark – takes on the characters that make up the team. If you’ve ever wanted to see The Hulk try to eat Freddie Prinze Junior, this is the book for you. Be warned, this take on the team is not for the faint of heart, so younger fans are better off getting their Avengers fix somewhere else. Check out the first two collections of the story here.
Beyond cartoons and comics, every good Avengers fan needs some toys to round out their obsession – and there aren’t many better options than the new Avengers sets available exclusively at the Disney Store. About the size of a Lego figure, Minimates offer the perfect blend of articulation, cool accessories, and space saving design to make them fit in your cramped apartment or on your desk at work. Split across two sets of four figures each are seven of the coolest Minimates out there – and a Hulk. Remodeled versions of Captain America, Ant Man, Thor, and Iron Man join up with exclusive Hawkeye, Kang, and Grim Reaper figures to round out a must have set. I mean…it’s Hawkeye…of COURSE it’s a must have set.
We here at PoP! love podcasts, and, while they may not be on our PoP!-Cast Network, we still get all of our Avengers recaps from the fine gentlemen of Earth’s Mightiest Podcast. Tune in each week as Corwin, Alex, and longtime PoP!ulation member ComedianViet walk you through a week’s worth of Avengers comics. This is a fantastic way to keep up on the goings ons of the various Avengers related comics without investing the time and money necessary to read them all yourselves. You can download past episodes and subscribe to their feed on their website.