The Best of Marvel’s 700 #1s

Last month, Marvel and Comixology announced they would be giving away the #1 issue of 700 Marvel titles through their joint digital comics service. This quickly crashed the Comixology servers and the program was suspended. The program is reopening today for readers who signed up on Comixology’s website earlier in the week (check your inbox today for an email from Comixology if you signed up). The different #1 issues available to download span decades; you can download the Avengers first appearance as well as the first issue of a new Avengers series that debuted earlier this year. 700 comics can be a little daunting. Here are what Tuesday Night Movies feels are your best choices:

Hawkeye #1 – You might recognize this from our Best Comics of 2012 post. Hawkeye is the best series that Marvel currently produces. The creative team of Matt Fraction and David Aja are working magic on the page. When I recommend this series to people, their reaction is usually, “Hawkeye? The guy from the Avengers? With the arrows?” Yes, yes and yes. This series is so much more than that though. It focuses on what Hawkeye does when he’s not with the Avengers. It’s very street level. His main antagonist is the Russian mob. After you download the first issue for free, you may want to buy the just released Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon, which collects the first five issues of the series.

Avengers Arena #1 – If you like The Hunger Games or Battle Royale, I highly recommend checking out this series. 16 heroes have been captured by murderous villain Arcade and taken to an island where they’re told they have to battle it out to the death. I won’t lie, when this series was first announced I thought it would be cheesy and shallow. I was wrong on both counts. Writer Dennis Hopeless is giving us great stories on what it means to be a hero. The pacing reminds me of the TV show Lost.

Infinity Gauntlet #1 – That purple guy at the end of The Avengers movie? That’s Thanos, an alien obsessed with death. Infinity Gauntlet is the tale of Thanos getting the power to do what he wants. He starts the story by wiping out half the universe with the snap of his fingers. Needless to say, Marvel’s heroes aren’t happy about this (the half of them that are left, that is).

Amazing Fantasy #15 – Spider-Man is my favorite superhero. After four movies and countless cartoons, I’m sure you know the story by now. Nerdy high school student Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider, imbuing him with spider-like superpowers. Yes, this isn’t technically a #1. But this is the issue that started it all, and Marvel is including it in this promotion. See Spider-Man’s origin as it was originally told by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

Superior Spider-Man #1 – What you need to know: Doctor Octopus switched brains with Spider-Man. Spider-Man died in Doctor Octopus’s body, leaving Doctor Octopus in charge of Spider-Man’s body. Having access to Peter Parker’s memories have inspired Doc Ock to use his powers for good and become a superior Spider-Man to Peter Parker. It’s an exciting series full of thrills and intrigue. Will Ock woo Mary Jane? Will Peter find a way back to the land of the living? Will Peter’s friends realize it’s not him in his body? Only time will tell.

Fantastic Four #1 – Another classic. Stan Lee. Jack Kirby. This is the one that really started it all. This is the birth of the Marvel Universe right here.

Daredevil Volume 3 #1 – The best Marvel comic on the stands right now not named Hawkeye. For years, Daredevil has been portrayed as a hard boiled action hero. Writer Mark Waid flips the script with the new Daredevil comic, giving readers the first lighthearted Daredevil in decades. Artist Paolo Rivera gives us the coolest visuals from Daredevil’s POV that we’ve ever seen.

Wolverine #1 – Without a doubt, the most popular character to wear a X on his belt in the Marvel Universe, it was years before Wolverine starred in his own solo comic, a 4-issue mini-series. This is the start of that mini-series. Besides having one of the coolest covers of all time, this comic takes Wolverine away from the X-Men to Japan where he fights ninjas. Ninjas!

All-New X-Men #1 – In the next X-Men movie, the story is going to focus on Days of Future’s Past, a story where X-Men from the future come to the present to stop the annihilation of the mutants from coming about. In All-New X-Men, the original five teenage X-Men from the past come to the present and aren’t exactly happy with what they see.

If you’re a Deadpool fan, you’ll find a bunch of comics to choose from. The two that I recommend most are Deadpool #1 and Uncanny X-Force #1. The latest volume of Deadpool is written by comedian Brian Posehn and his TV writing partner Gerry Duggan. Uncanny X-Force #1 is the first issue of the recently completed 35 issue epic by writer Rick Remender. It gives you Deadpool, Psylocke, Wolverine and Archangel at their absolute coolest. It’s a must read.

That’s 11 of 700. There are a lot of other really good stories among the 689 that remain. Try some out. What’s it going to cost you?