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Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

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The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… Teen Titans and Young Justice

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or series. This post is all about the premiere teen super-teams of the DC Universe, the Teen Titans and Young Justice!

(GIFs via Giphy)


Who are the Teen Titans?

When there’s trouble, you know who to call… TEEN TITANS!

They’re a team of teen heroes, comprised of experienced sidekicks and newly minted superhumans looking to fight for justice. Operating from their T-shaped tower in the San Francisco Bay, they lead by example for up-and-coming heroes and try to live up to legacy of their mentors. 

Note: DC Comics are divided by publishing eras, determined by a point where they set the issue number (and sometimes, continuity) of a series back to #1. ‘Pre-Crisis’ is everything DC published prior to 1986, ‘Post-Crisis’ is everything from 1986-2011, the New 52 from 2011-2016, DC Rebirth from 2016-2021, and Infinite Frontier from 2021 to present.


Post-Crisis

The Teen Titans were originally made up of the sidekicks of the Justice League; Robin, Wonder Girl, Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Speedy. As those heroes grew up and graduated to new identities, new teen heroes like Beast Boy and Raven emerged to fill the roster. The New Teen Titans series is considered the definitive edition of the team (and main inspiration for the 2003 TV show), introducing such characters as the alien powerhouse Starfire, the techno-organic athlete Cyborg, and the duplicitous earth-bending Terra.

Teen Titans : year one / Wolfram, Amy

The new Teen Titans. Volume 3 / Wolfman, Marv

The New Teen Titans. Volume five / Wolfman, Marv

The new Teen Titans : who is Donna Troy / Wolfman, Marv

In the 2000s, a new Teen Titans emerged with a roster of original New Teen Titans members and new teen heroes like the Kryptonian clone Superboy, the third Robin and the hyperactive Kid Flash. Here, the Titans fought against such foes as the Zookeeper (a scientist who copied Beast Boy’s powers), the reality-bending ‘Superman Prime’, and an evil team of the Titans from the future.

Teen Titans by Geoff Johns. Book one / Johns, Geoff

Teen Titans by Geoff Johns. Book two / Johns, Geoff

Teen Titans by Geoff Johns. Book three, Sins of the father / Johns, Geoff

Infinite crisis / Johns, Geoff

Teen Titans : Titans around the world / Johns, Geoff 

Teen Titans : Titans of tomorrow 

Teen Titans : changing of the guard / McKeever, Sean

Teen Titans : prime of life / Krul, J. T


The New 52

The New 52 reset DC Comics’ continuity, and with it the history of the Teen Titans. Here, the Titans are formed after a mysterious organisation begins kidnapping and imprisoning superpowered teenagers. New members introduced here are the fire-manipulating Solstice and the barrier-creating Bunker.

New 52 Teen Titans reading order

Teen Titans. Volume 1, It’s our right to fight (only on Libby) 

Teen Titans. Volume 2, The Culling / Lobdell, Scott 

The Culling : rise of the ravagers / Lobdell, Scott 

Teen Titans. Volume 4, Light and dark / Lobdell, Scott

Teen Titans. Volume 5, The trial of Kid Flash / Lobdell, Scott

Teen Titans. Volume 2, Rogue targets / Pfeifer, Will

Teen Titans. Volume 3, The sum of its parts

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The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… X-Men: The Krakoa Era

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or series. This post is all about Marvel’s most recent reboot of their merry band of mutants, the Krakoa Era of the X-Men!

[Video via the Marvel Entertainment Youtube channel]


Who are the X-Men?

In the Marvel Universe, ‘mutants’ are people born with superhuman powers, granting them anything from control over electromagnetism to teleportation to growing wings. Dubbed ‘homo superior’, mutants have faced hostile prejudice from ordinary people, due to their abilities, appearance, and the fear that they are ‘replacing’ humankind in the evolutionary ladder. Factions of mutants have gathered together over the years to protect themselves, the most famous of which is a team lead by educator and mutant telepath Professor Charles Xavier, aka Professor X. Together, they use their extraordinary powers to fight for a world that hates and fears them…they are the X-Men!


What is The Krakoa Era?

In 2019, writer Johnathan Hickman relaunched the X-Men line of comics with the twin series House of X and Powers of X (that’s X as in the Roman numeral for the latter, so it’s ‘powers of ten’).

To protect themselves from a future threat to mutantkind, the X-Men and their enemies join together to form a nation for all mutants, run by a government of prominent mutants such as Magento, Professor X, and Apocalypse, and founded on the living island of Krakoa (which first appeared in the landmark issue Giant-Size X-Men #1, the book that similarly reinvigorated the X-Men back in the 1970s).

Newly created mutant technology allows Krakoa’s citizenry to be resurrected in the event of death, making all mutants living there functionally immortal. Professor X also brokers deals with the world’s governments to provide them with miraculous mutant-derived medicine in exchange for Krakoa’s recognition as a sovereign nation and the placement of portal gates around the globe that can teleport mutants to Krakoa’s shores.

However, the creation of Krakoa reinvigorates anti-mutant causes, beginning with the Sentinel-building black-ops organisation Orchis. Internally, Krakoa also faces the growing pains of any developing nation, such as creating laws, diplomacy, and national security, as well as the ambitions of its less scrupulous citizens wanting to use Krakoa for their own ends.

The Krakoan era lasted five years and helped revitalize the X-Men franchise with an exciting new status quo, spawning dozens of new comics that celebrated the decades-long history of the series, all created by superstar artists and writers from Marvel Comics.


How do I read The Krakoa Era?

The Krakoa era kicks off with House of X and Powers of X, which are collected together in one volume. After that, you can read the entire era in chronological publishing order with the Dawn/Reign/Trials of X collections, or read the individual team books listed below.

X-Men Krakoa Era Reading Order

House of X ; Powers of X / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X

Dawn of X. Volume 01 / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X. Volume 02 / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X. Volume 03 / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X. Volume 04 / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X. Volume 05 / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X. Volume 06 / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X. Volume 07 / Hickman, Jonathan

Dawn of X. Volume 08 / Duggan, Gerry

Dawn of X. Volume 09 / Brisson, Ed

Dawn of X. Volume 10 / Percy, Benjamin

Dawn of X. Volume 11 / Brisson, Ed

Dawn of X. Volume 12 / Wells, Zeb

Dawn of X. Volume 13 / Duggan, Gerry

Dawn of X. Volume 14 / Ayala, Vita

Dawn of X. Volume 15 / Williams, Leah

Dawn of X. Volume 16 / Hickman, Jonathan

X of swords / Hickman, Jonathan

Reign of X

Reign of X. Volume 1 / Ewing, Al

Reign of X. Volume 2 / Ayala, Vita

Reign of X. Volume 3 / Duggan, Gerry

Reign of X. Volume 4 / Percy, Benjamin

Reign of X. Volume 5 / Howard, Tini

Reign of X. Volume 6 / Ewing, Al

Reign of X. Volume 7 / Percy, Benjamin

Reign of X. Volume 8 / Duggan, Gerry

Reign of X. Volume 9 / Wells, Zeb

Reign of X. Volume 10 / Williams, Leah

Reign of X. Volume 11 / Spurrier, Simon

Reign of X. Volume 12 / Duggan, Gerry

Reign of X. Volume 13 / Duggan, Gerry

Reign of X. Volume 14 / Williams, Leah

Trials of X

Trials of X. Volume 01 / Williams, Leah

Trials of X. Volume 02 / Ewing, Al

Trials of X. Volume 03 / Percy, Benjamin

Trials of X. Volume 04 / Wells, Zeb

Trials of X. Volume 05 / Spurrier, Simon

Trials of X. Volume 06 / Howard, Tini

Trials of X. Volume 07 / Duggan, Gerry

Trials of X. Volume 08 / Howard, Tini

Trials of X. Volume 09 / Ewing, Al

Trials of X. Volume 10 / Wells, Zeb

Trials of X. Vol. 11 / Duggan, Gerry

Trials of X. Volume 12 / Duggan, Gerry


Main Krakoa Era X-Men series

In the Krakoa era, classic X-Men teams get rebooted and recontextualized to fit the roles needed for their new nation.

X-Men

Handpicked by Cyclops, these X-Men are Krakoa’s public-facing super-team that defend mutantkind from a world that hates and fears them. A new team is elected annually and announced at the Hellfire Gala, a yearly ball held on Krakoa’s shores.

Krakoa X-Men reading order

X-Men. Vol. 1 / Hickman, Jonathan

X-Men. Vol. 2 / Hickman, Jonathan

X-Men by Jonathan Hickman. Vol. 3 / Hickman, Jonathan

X-Men : Hellfire gala / Hickman, Jonathan

X-Men. Vol. 1 / Duggan, Gerry

X-Men by Gerry Duggan. Volume 2 / Duggan, Gerry

X-Men. Vol. 3 / Duggan, Gerry

X-Men. Vol. 4 / Duggan, Gerry

X-Men : Hellfire Gala : immortal / Duggan, Gerry

X-Men : Hellfire Gala : fall of X

X-Force

X-Force is the national security and special operations group for Krakoa, a ‘mutant CIA’. Previous X-Force members like Domino, Colossus, and Wolverine return, as well as new members Marvel Girl, Kid Omega, and Beast, who slowly begins to repurpose the team for his own malicious ends.

X-Force. Vol. 1 / Percy, Benjamin

X-Force. Vol. 2 / Percy, Benjamin (also on Libby)

X-Force. Vol. 3 / Percy, Benjamin

X-Force. Vol. 4 / Percy, Benjamin

X-Force. Vol. 5 / Percy, Benjamin

X-Force. Vol. 6 / Percy, Benjamin

X-Force. Vol. 7 / Percy, Benjamin

X-Factor

Even though mutants can now be resurrected in the event of  their demise, the circumstances of their deaths still need investigating. That’s where Krakoa’s detective force X-Factor comes in, made up of an elite team of telepathic and tracking mutants.

X-Factor by Leah Williams. Vol. 1 / Williams, Leah (also on Libby)

X-Factor. Vol. 2 / Williams, Leah

Excalibur/Knights of X

Lead by Betsy Braddock (the former Psylocke, now Captain Britain) and Apocalypse, Excalibur deals with the supernatural side of mutantkind and its ties with the magical dimension Otherworld.

Excalibur. Vol. 1 / Howard, Tini

Excalibur. Vol. 2 / Howard, Tini

Excalibur. Vol. 3 / Howard, Tini

Excalibur. Vol. 4 / Howard, Tini

Knights of X / Howard, Tini

New Mutants

The original team of New Mutants, including Sunspot, Cannonball, Cypher, Dani Moonstar, and Magik, team up once more for adventures in Krakoa and beyond.

Krakoa era New Mutants reading order

New Mutants. Vol. 1 / Hickman, Jonathan

New Mutants. Vol. 1 / Brisson, Ed

New Mutants. Vol. 1 / Ayala, Vita

New Mutants. Vol. 2 / Ayala, Vita

New mutants : lethal legion / Anders, Charlie Jane

Marauders

Led by Kitty Pryde, this pirate team of X-Men sail the seven seas to rescue mutants being held against their will in their native countries. Later, the team is retooled as a personal strike force for Emma Frost, the telepathic White Queen.

Marauders. Vol. 1 / Duggan, Gerry

Marauders. Vol. 2 / Duggan, Gerry

Marauders. Vol. 3 / Duggan, Gerry

Marauders. Vol. 4 / Duggan, Gerry

Marauders. Vol. 1 / Orlando, Steve

Marauders. Vol. 2 / Orlando, Steve

Fallen Angels and Hellions

These series deal with the mutants who either oppose or have difficulty assimilating into Krakoa’s new society, led by frequent X-Men villain turned tenuous ally Mister Sinister.

Fallen Angels. Vol. 1 / Hill, Bryan Edward

Hellions. Vol. 1 / Wells, Zeb

Hellions. Vol. 2 / Wells, Zeb

Hellions. Vol. 3 / Wells, Zeb

Way of X and Legion of X

Believing that the blessing of immortality might change mutant nature for the worst, Nightcrawler tries to create a new system of justice and ethics for Krakoa with the help of Professor X’s wayward son, the multi-powered mutant Legion.

Way of X. Vol. 1 / Spurrier, Simon

Legion of X. Vol. 1 / Spurrier, Simon

Legion of X. Vol. 2 / Spurrier, Simon

S.W.O.R.D and X-Men Red

S.W.O.R.D is the former extraterrestrial arm of S.H.I.E.L.D, now rebranded as the Krakoan space program. In the sequel series X-Men Red, the X-Men terraform the planet Mars with the aid of a newly discovered society of mutants from the living island of Arrako.

S.W.O.R.D. Vol. 1 / Ewing, Al

S.W.O.R.D. Vol. 2 / Ewing, Al

X-men : Red / Ewing, Al

X-Men red. Vol. 2 / Ewing, Al

X-Men red. Vol. 3 / Ewing, Al

Immortal X-Men

This series follows the Quiet Council of Krakoa, the island nation’s ruling body made up of prominent mutants such as Emma Frost, Apocalypse, Magneto, Jean Grey, Storm and Nightcrawler.

Immortal X-Men. Vol. 1 / Gillen, Kieron

Immortal X-Men. Vol. 2 / Gillen, Kieron

Immortal X-Men. Volume 3 / Gillen, Kieron

X-Cellent

‘The X-Statix’, a team of celebrity mutants from the 2000s, get resurrected for the Krakoa era and return to the Hollywood spotlight, struggling to adapt to the 2020s style of fame.

The X-Cellent. [Vol. 1], New blood, new world / Milligan, Peter

The X-Cellent. Vol. 2, Unsocial media / Milligan, Peter


Krakoa Era Miniseries

Giant-Size X-Men

An anthology series spotlighting specific mutant’s early adventures in Krakoa.

Giant-size X-Men. Volume 1 / Hickman, Jonathan (also on Libby)

Children of the Atom

A group of human high-schoolers try to pass themselves off as the X-Men’s sidekicks.

Children of the atom. Vol. 1 / Ayala, Vita

 

Children of the Vault

A group of human zealots artificially evolved into superhumans opposes Krakoa, offering their technology to the world to advance humankind to their level, whether people want it or not.

Children of the Vault / Camp, Deniz

X-Terminators

A comedy series that sees Dazzler, Boom Boom, Jubilee, and Wolverine (Laura Kinney, the former X-23) team up to get revenge on Dazzler’s vampire ex-boyfriend and his clan of bloodsuckers.

X-Terminators / Williams, Leah

 

X-Corp

Angel and Monet run the corporate side of Krakoa, applying their business acumen and mutant abilities to both the boardroom and the battlefield.

X-Corp. Vol. 1 / Howard, Tini

 

Bishop: War College

Time-travelling mutant Bishop trains a defense force of young mutants to protect Krakoa.

Bishop : war college / Holtham, Jason

 

 

X-Men ’92: House of XCII

This series imagines the Krakoa era if it happened during the time of the 1992 X-Men animated series (recently revived as X-Men ’97).

X-Men ’92 : House of XCII / Foxe, Steve


Krakoa Era Events

These series cover the major events in the Krakoa era.

X of swords / Hickman, Jonathan – The X-Men discover a rival mutant society on the living island of Arrako.

X-Men : Hellfire gala / Hickman, Jonathan – Come for the election of the new X-Men team, stay for the fashion!

X-Men : the trial of Magneto / Williams, Leah – A murder occurs on Krakoa, and all signs point to Magneto as the culprit. But what happens when the victim resurrects herself?

Inferno / Hickman, Jonathan – An unfulfilled promise to Mystique may spell the end of Krakoa.

X lives of Wolverine ; X deaths of Wolverine / Percy, Benjamin – Wolverine goes back to his past to stop a time-travelling assassin who could end the Krakoa era before it even began.


Crossovers

These are the X-Men centric series that tie into the yearly Marvel summer crossover events during the Krakoa era, or crossover with other Marvel characters like the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man.

X-Men/Fantastic Four. the world has changed / 4X / Zdarsky, Chip – Franklin Richards, the son of Mr Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, is invited to Krakoa due to his X-Gene, but his family have other ideas.

Empyre : X-Men / Hickman, Jonathan – The X-Men have to fight a zombie uprising on Krakoa at the same time that Earth is invaded by an empire of plant-like aliens.

Avengers / X-Men / Eternals : Judgment Day / Gillen, Kieron – The Eternals are tasked with destroying Krakoa, leading the Avengers to step in and stop a conflict between the two ‘chosen species’ of Earth.

Devil’s reign : X-Men / Duggan, Gerry – As Mayor Wilson Fisk (the Kingpin) launches his attack on New York’s superheroes, his secret ties to the X-Men are revealed.

Dark Web / Wells, Zeb – The X-Men team up with Spider-Man and Venom to stop their villains, the Goblin Queen and Chasm, from unleashing demons on New York.

Ghost Rider/Wolverine : weapons of vengeance / Percy, Benjamin – A mysterious string of killings crosses the Ghost Rider’s path with that of Wolverine.


Character-specific Krakoa Era series

Wolverine

What does mutantkind’s fiercest protector do when no mutant can die? Retire quietly? But Logan’s newfound peace on Krakoa can’t last forever, and soon enough, he’s back to doing what he does best.

Wolverine. Vol. 1 / Percy, Benjamin

Wolverine. Vol. 2 / Percy, Benjamin

Wolverine. Vol. 3 / Percy, Benjamin

Wolverine. Vol. 4 / Percy, Benjamin

Wolverine. Vol. 5 / Percy, Benjamin

Wolverine. Vol. 6 / Percy, Benjamin

Wolverine. Vol. 7 / Percy, Benjamin

X lives of Wolverine ; X deaths of Wolverine / Percy, Benjamin

Ghost Rider/Wolverine : weapons of vengeance / Percy, Benjamin

Deadpool

Everyone’s favourite Merc with a Mouth (and mutant on a technicality) joins Krakoa’s X-Force, while also auditioning to join a top assassin guild and dealing with an alien life form growing inside him.

Deadpool Vol. 1 / Wong, Alyssa

Deadpool. Vol. 2 / Wong, Alyssa

Cable

Cable, the time-travelling future son of Cyclops and Phoenix, returns as a fellow defender of Krakoa (albeit reborn as a teenage mutant rather than a grizzled elder veteran) tasked with investigating the disappearance of multiple mutant children.

Cable. Vol. 1 / Duggan, Gerry

Cable. Vol. 2 / Duggan, Gerry

Sabretooth

Victor Creed is Sabretooth, an animalistic killer mutant and archnemesis of Wolverine. While most mutants are given amnesty for their crimes committed prior to Krakoa’s founding, the Quiet Council make an exception for Victor, casting him into ‘The Pit of Exile’. Later, Sabretooth bands together with other Exiles to attack Krakoa from within.

Sabretooth : the adversary / LaValle, Victor

Sabretooth & the exiles / LaValle, Victor

More X-Men members

Beloved X-Men writers return to the classic characters for all new miniseries that celebrate the histories of Jean Grey, Storm, Rogue, Gambit and more.

Jean Grey : flames of fear / Simonson, Louise

Rogue & Gambit : power play / Phillips, Stephanie

Gambit : thick as thieves / Claremont, Chris

Magneto : Magneto was right / DeMatteis, J. M

Storm [1] : blowback / Nocenti, Ann

Juggernaut : no stopping now / Nicieza, Fabian

X-23 : deadly regenesis / Schultz, Erica

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… The Bobbinsverse

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or series. This post is all about the sprawling webcomic-turned-print comic universe, the Bobbinsverse!


What is the Bobbinsverse?

The Bobbinsverse encompasses several comics that all take place in the same universe, centered around a fictional Yorkshire town called Tackleford. Written and drawn by John Allison, the ‘verse’ began with the webcomic Bobbins and continued into two sequel series, Scary Go Round and Bad Machinery. These comics are either slice-of-life stories or supernatural mysteries, all told with a trademark light-hearted tone.

The Bobbinsverse has since expanded into monthly print comics courtesy of BOOM! Studios, as Allison took his webcomic characters and spun them off into new adventures, such as…


Giant Days

Giant Days is about the university life of eccentric goth girl Esther de Groot (who first appeared in Scary Go Round) and her friends, naive archaeology major Daisy and prickly med student Susan. Together, the trio navigates the ups-and-downs of student life, like halls, flatting, study, romance, work-life balance, and what the future holds for them after graduation.

Giant Days reading order

Giant days : early registration / Allison, John

Giant days. Volume one / Allison, John (also on Libby)

Giant days. Volume two / Allison, John (also on Libby)

Giant days. Volume three / Allison, John (also on Libby)

Giant days. Volume four / Allison, John (also on Libby)

Giant days. Volume five / Allison, John (also on Libby)

Giant days. Volume six / Allison, John

Giant days. Volume seven / Allison, John

Giant days. Volume eight / Allison, John

Giant days. Volume nine / Allison, John

Giant days. Volume ten / Allison, John

Giant days. Volume eleven / Allison, John

Giant days. Volume twelve / Allison, John

Giant days. Volume thirteen / Allison, John

Giant days. Volume fourteen / Allison, John

Giant Days was also turned into a YA novel, which adapts the early volumes of the comic when the trio first start university.

Giant days / Pratt, Leonie

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The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… The Fantastic Four

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or series. This post is all about Marvel’s First Family, The Fantastic Four!

Who are the Fantastic Four?

During a space expedition, four astronauts – scientist Reed Richards, pilot Ben Grimm, student Sue Storm and her kid brother Johnny – were bombarded by cosmic rays. After returning to Earth, the team discovered they had gained superpowers: Reed could stretch his body to incredible lengths, Ben became a super-strong rocky being, Sue was now able to turn invisible and create force fields, and Johnny could ignite his body into flame and fly.  

Dubbing themselves Mr. Fantastic, The Thing, the Invisible Woman, and the Human Torch (respectively), the quartet now explore the cosmos and fight incredible villains together as the Fantastic Four. 


Fantastic Four : Origins

We have the first ten issues of the original Fantastic Four series on our eLibrary, which covers their origin and their first meetings with villains such as the Skrulls and Doctor Doom. The team’s origin and early history has also been retold in the Grand Design graphic novel, the Marvels miniseries, and the History of the Marvel Universe.

Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four Volume 1 (only on Libby)

Fantastic Four : grand design / Scioli, Tom

Marvels / Busiek, Kurt

History of the Marvel Universe / Waid, Mark


Waid and Wieringo run

The definitive Fantastic Four run of the 2000s was by writer Mark Waid and artist Mike Wieringo. This run is regarded as the ideal Fantastic Four series, as it balances family sitcom shenanigans with super-science adventures. Stories collected here include one of Doctor Doom’s greatest revenge plots, Human Torch becoming the herald to Galactus the Devourer of Worlds, and the team travelling to Heaven itself to resurrect The Thing.

Fantastic Four by Waid & Wieringo

Waid would later return to the Four to write the Antithesis miniseries.

Fantastic 4 : antithesis / Waid, Mark


Johnathan Hickman run

Johnathan Hickman is one of Marvel’s most prolific writers, whose runs on Avengers and X-Men have updated and reinvigorated the teams for the 2010s and beyond, but he got his start writing Fantastic Four. Here, Reed meets the multiversal Council of Reeds and is compelled to ‘solve everything’ in his world, establishing the Four’s spinoff super-science team, the Future Foundation, to aid them.

Fantastic Four [1] / Hickman, Jonathan (also on Libby)

Fantastic Four [2] / Hickman, Jonathan (also on Libby)

Fantastic Four. Vol. 3, Unified field theory / Hickman, Jonathan

Fantastic Four. Vol. 4, Three / Hickman, Jonathan

Future Foundation. Vol two, The Supremor seed / Hickman, Jonathan

Future Foundation. Vol. three, All hope lies in doom / Hickman, Jonathan

Fantastic Four. Vol. 6, Foundation / Hickman, Jonathan

The Future Foundation would return in a new series, starring members of another Marvel family superhero quartet, the Power Pack.

Future Foundation / Whitley, Jeremy

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The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… Dragon Ball

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or series. This post is all about the adventures and battles of the greatest martials arts warriors on Earth, Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z!

Goku in the original Dragon Ball anime (GIF via GIPHY)


What is Dragon Ball?

Written and drawn by the late Akira Toriyama (1955-2024), Dragon Ball is one of the most popular and influential manga in the world. First serialized in the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump between 1984 and 1995, the story follows the adventures of Son Goku, a heroic monkey-tailed boy who goes an epic quest to collect the seven Dragon Balls, a set of artifacts that when gathered together summon a dragon that can grant wishes.

Beginning as an adventure story inspired by martial arts films and the Chinese epic novel Journey to the West, Dragon Ball initially followed Goku on his quest alongside explorer Bulma, former bandit Yamcha, rival martial artist Krillin, and the aged but powerful martial arts sensei Master Roshi.

Goku and his allies in Dragon Ball Z (GIF via GIPHY)

The series then skips ahead to Goku’s adult years (which the anime would rename Dragon Ball Z), where he learned of his alien heritage as a member of the Saiyan race. Here, Dragon Ball pivots to being a science-fiction action series, based around epic battles between powerful villains, such as the Saiyan prince Vegeta, the alien tyrant Frieza, and the child-like magical being Majin Buu.

(Note: The Dragon Ball manga series is split into Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z to be more familiar to anime viewers; the manga in its original form is considered one continuous series named Dragon Ball. As such, our Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z volumes overlap slightly between these two halves, which I will note below).


Dragon Ball

We have the entirety of the Dragon Ball series in 3-in-1 editions, covering chapters 1 to 194 of the original manga.

The first five volumes of Dragon Ball Z are also in these editions, beginning halfway through the sixth one.

Dragonball : 3-in-1 edition. 1 / Toriyama, Akira

Dragonball : 3-in-1 edition. 2 / Toriyama, Akira

Dragonball : 3-in-1 edition. 3 / Toriyama, Akira

Dragonball : 3-in-1 edition. 4 / Toriyama, Akira

Dragonball : 3-in-1 edition. 6 / Toriyama, Akira (Dragon Ball Z begins here)

Dragonball : 3-in-1 edition. 7 / Toriyama, Akira


Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z comprises chapters 195 to 519 of the Dragon Ball manga, beginning with the volume The World’s Greatest Team.

(If you read all of the above Dragonball volumes first, skip to Dragon Ball Z volume 2).

Dragon Ball Z [1] / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball Z [2] / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball Z [3] / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball Z [4] / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball Z [5] / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball Z [6] / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball Z [7] / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball Z [8] / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball Z [9] / Toriyama, Akira


Dragon Ball Super

Published 20 years after the end of Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Super picks up six months after the series’ climactic battle with Majin Buu. Here, Goku and his allies take part in the Tournament of Power, a contest between the most powerful warriors of eight universes.

Dragon Ball super. 1, Warriors from Universe 6 / Toriyama, Akira (also on Libby)

Dragon Ball super. 2, The winning universe is decided / Toriyama, Akira (also on Libby)

Dragon Ball super. 3, Zero mortal project / Toriyama, Akira (also on Libby)

Dragon Ball super. 4, Last chance for hope / Toriyama, Akira (also on Libby)

Dragon Ball super. 5, The decisive battle! Farewell, trunks / Toriyama, Akira (also on Libby)

Dragon Ball super. 6, The super warriors gather / Toriyama, Akira (also on Libby)

Dragon Ball super. 7, Universe survival! Tournament of Power begins! / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball super. 8, Sign of son Goku’s awakening / Toriyama, Akira (also on Libby)

Dragon Ball super. 9, Battle’s end and aftermath / Toriyama, Akira (also on Libby)

Dragon Ball super. 10, Moro’s wish / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball super. 11, Great escape / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball super. 12, Merus’s true identity / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball super. 13, Battles abound / Toriyama, Akira (also on Libby)

Dragon Ball super. 14, Son Goku, galactic patrol officer / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball super. 15, Moro, consumer of worlds / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball super. 16, The universe’s greatest warrior / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon ball super. 17, God of destruction power / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball super. 18, Bardock, father of Goku / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball super. 19, A people’s pride / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball super. 20, All-out bout / Toriyama, Akira

Dragon Ball Super 21 / Toriyama, Akira

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… Supergirl

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or series. This post is all about the Girl of Steel from the planet Krypton, Supergirl!


Who is Supergirl?

Kara Zor-El is the older cousin of Superman, sent from Krypton as a teenager to look after the baby Kal-El once he landed on Earth. However, due to her ship landing decades later, she arrived when Superman was already an adult. Lacking a purpose, Kara struggles to adapt to a planet that is less technologically advanced than Krypton, but this in no way deters her from following Superman’s example as a hero. Gaining superpowers under Earth’s yellow sun, she now protects Metropolis while trying to find a place in her strange new home as Supergirl. 

Note: DC Comics are divided by publishing eras, determined by a point where they set the issue number (and sometimes, continuity) of a series back to #1. ‘Pre-Crisis’ is everything DC published prior to 1986, ‘Post-Crisis’ is everything from 1986-2011, the New 52 from 2011-2016, DC Rebirth from 2016-2021, and Infinite Frontier from 2021 to present.


Supergirl : Origins

The details of Supergirl’s origin have varied over DC’s publishing history, including her civilian identity, when she was discovered on Earth, and even whether she is Kryptonian or not. Her origins have been explored in the story Being Super and the recent World’s Finest series.

Supergirl : being super / Tamaki, Mariko

Batman/Superman : world’s finest. Vol. 2, Strange visitor / Waid, Mark

As for her origins on Krypton, the House of El graphic novel trilogy provides some context for Krypton’s history prior to its destruction.

House of El. Book one, The shadow threat / Gray, Claudia

House of El. Book two, The enemy delusion / Gray, Claudia

House of El. Book three, The treacherous hope / Gray, Claudia

And for stories about Supergirl’s more famous cousin, check out our WCL Guide to Superman!


Pre-Crisis

In the Pre-Crisis timeline, Kara Zor-El landed on Earth and was discovered by Superman, who learned that they were cousins and took her under his wing as Supergirl. In her headline series from this era, Kara moves to Chicago, enrolls in university, and soon gathers a rogues gallery, including her archnemesis, the nuclear-powered Reactron.

Pre-Crisis Supergirl appearances

Daring new adventures of Supergirl. Volume 1 / Kupperberg, Paul

Superman : whatever happened to the man of tomorrow / Moore, Alan


Post-Crisis

In the Post-Crisis era, a new editorial rule at DC meant that Superman had to be the only survivor from Krypton, which presented problems for introducing Supergirl. In this continuity, Supergirl is Linda Danvers, a human teenager who can transform into a superhero with powers similar to Superman.

Supergirl Linda Danvers appearances

Supergirl. Book one / David, Peter

Supergirl. Book two / David, Peter

Superman : Emperor Joker

Convergence : zero hour book 2 / Giffen, Keith


The Last Daughter of Krypton… At Last!

Eventually, Kara Zor-El was reintroduced to Post-Crisis continuity, with her spaceship being discovered at the bottom of the Gotham River. After meeting Superman, Supergirl travels to the future to join the Legion of Super-Heroes, fights a mysterious Superwoman, and sees the birth of a New Krypton and the resurrection of her parents.

Post-Crisis Supergirl appearances

Supergirl : the girl of steel / Loeb, Jeph

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes : the quest for Cosmic Boy / Bedard, Tony

Supergirl : who is Superwoman / Gates, Sterling

Supergirl. Volume 4, Daughter of new Krypton / Gates, Sterling

Supergirl : friends & fugitives / Gates, Sterling

The hunt for Reactron / Gates, Sterling

Supergirl : Bizarrogirl / Gates, Sterling


The New 52

The New 52 reset the histories of most DC characters back to square one, and Supergirl was no exception. Here, Kara is a loner who only occasionally runs into Superman. In her journey to find a home and community, she briefly befriends Superman villain Silver Banshee, joins the rage-powered Red Lantern Corps, and attends the intergalactic Crucible academy.

New 52 Supergirl reading order

Supergirl. Volume 1, Last daughter of Krypton / Green, Michael (also on Libby)

Supergirl. Volume 2, Girl in the world / Green, Michael

Supergirl. Volume 3, Sanctuary / Johnson, Mike

Superman : H’el on Earth / Lobdell, Scott

Supergirl. Volume 4, Out of the past / Nelson, Michael Alan

Supergirl. Volume 5, Red daughter of Krypton / Bedard, Tony

Supergirl. Volume 6, Crucible / Perkins, K.


DC Rebirth

Taking inspiration from the Supergirl TV show, the DC Rebirth era has Supergirl move to Metropolis’ sister city National City, teaming up with the Department of Extranormal Operations to help stem the city’s various alien threats.

Supergirl Rebirth era reading order

Supergirl. Vol. 1, Reign of the cyborg supermen / Orlando, Steve

Supergirl. Vol. 2, Escape from the Phantom Zone / Orlando, Steve

Supergirl. Vol. 3, Girl of no tomorrow / Orlando, Steve

Supergirl. Vol. 4, Plain sight / Orlando, Steve


Supergirl meets the Killer of Krypton

During the reinvigoration of the Superman books by Brian Michael Bendis, Supergirl got a new series that saw Kara setting off on an intergalactic manhunt for the dreaded Rogol Zaar, a Kryptonian-hating alien mercenary with a mysterious connection to Kara’s uncle (and Superman’s father) Jor-El.

‘Bendis era’ Supergirl reading order

The Man of Steel / Bendis, Brian Michael

Supergirl. Vol. 1, The killers of Krypton / Andreyko, Marc

Supergirl. Vol. 2, Sins of the circle / Andreyko, Marc

Supergirl. Vol. 3, Infectious / Houser, Jody

Batman/Superman. Volume 1, Who are the Secret Six / Williamson, Joshua

Superman action comics. Vol. 5, The House of Kent / Bendis, Brian Michael


Infinite Frontier – The Woman of Tomorrow

Supergirl has had one miniseries in the Infinite Frontier era, the acclaimed Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, which is set to be adapted into a feature film starring Milly Alcock as Kara. Meanwhile, Kara has helped her cousin protect Earth during the Warworld Saga and the Lazarus Planet event.

Infinite Frontier Supergirl appearances

Supergirl : woman of tomorrow / King, Tom

Superman action comics. Volume one, Warworld rising / Johnson, Phillip Kennedy

Superman Action Comics. Volume three, Warworld revolution / Johnson, Phillip Kennedy

Superman : Kal-El returns / Johnson, Phillip Kennedy

Lazarus Planet


Based on the TV show

The long-running CW Supergirl show starring Melissa Benoist has also been adapted into its own comics, much like The Flash show before it.

Adventures of Supergirl [1] / Gates, Sterling

Crisis on infinite Earths : Paragons rising : the deluxe edition / Wolfman, Marv

Earth-Prime


Supergirl’s Teams

Supergirl has rarely been a team player outside of her immediate Super-Family, having only brief tenures on the Teen Titans, the Legion of Super-Heroes, and the Justice League. In a moment of pique, she was briefly inducted into the Red Lantern Corps, a crimson-themed version of the Green Lanterns who are powered by rage.

Supergirl in the Legion

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes : the quest for Cosmic Boy / Bedard, Tony

Supergirl as a Teen Titan

Teen Titans : Titans of tomorrow

In the Justice League

Justice League United. Volume 1, Justice League Canada / Lemire, Jeff

Justice League United. Volume 2, The infinitus saga / Lemire, Jeff

As a Red Lantern

Red Lanterns. Volume 5, Atrocities / Soule, Charles

Supergirl. Volume 5, Red daughter of Krypton / Bedard, Tony

Team Supergirl

In order to save Superman from cosmic imprisonment in Superman/Batman : vengeance, Bizarro assembles a whole team of Supergirls from across time and space, including the modern Kara Zor-El, Pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El, Linda Danvers, Power Girl (see below), and Cir-El, Superman and Lois’ daughter from a potential future.


Power Girl

Kara Zor-L is Power Girl, the Supergirl from Earth-2 who wound up on the mainstream DC Universe (Earth-0) after the destruction of her Earth. Where Supergirl is eager to adapt to her adopted home, Power Girl bears a chip on her shoulder for having lost both Krypton and her original adopted Earth, manifesting in her brash, ‘punch first and ask questions later’ attitude.

Post-Crisis, Power Girl took on the secret identity of ‘Karen Starr’, and split her time between running a tech start-up and serving on the Justice Society of America.

Black Adam/JSA : black reign / Johns, Geoff

Infinite crisis / Johns, Geoff

Power Girl : power trip / Gray, Justin

Justice Society of America : thy kingdom come. Part two / Johns, Geoff

Justice Society of America : thy kingdom come. Part three / Johns, Geoff

Justice Society of America : Black Adam and Isis / Johns, Geoff

Justice Society of America : the bad seed / Willingham, Bill


Just a Girl in the Worlds’ Finest

In the New 52, a new Earth-2 is created with a new Kara Zor-L, who gets sent to Earth-0 along with Earth-2’s Robin (Helena Wayne, the daughter of Batman). The pair take on the new aliases of Power Girl and Huntress and try to find a way home to Earth-2 in the series Worlds’ Finest.

Worlds’ Finest. Volume 1, The lost daughters of Earth 2 / Levitz, Paul

Worlds’ Finest. Volume 2, Hunt and be hunted / Levitz, Paul

Worlds’ Finest. Volume 3, Control issues / Levitz, Paul

Worlds’ Finest. Volume 4, First contact / Levitz, Paul

Worlds’ finest. Volume 5, Homeward bound / Levitz, Paul

Upon returning to Earth-2, Kara must help her fellow heroes save the world from an invasion from Darkseid, and after the planet is regenerated (a literal ‘Earth 2’) she strikes up a romance with its new Superman, Val-Zod.

Earth 2 : world’s end. Volume 1 / Wilson, Daniel H.

Earth 2 : world’s end. Volume 2 / Wilson, Daniel H.

Earth 2 society. Volume 1, Planetfall / Wilson, Daniel H.

Earth 2 : society. Volume 2, Indivisible / Abnett, Dan

Earth 2 : society. Volume 3, A whole new world / Abnett, Dan


Power Girl Returns

The Post-Crisis Power Girl eventually returns in Infinite Frontier. After burning out of the corporate grindset as a member of an ‘Uber but for superheroes’ service in One-Star Squadron, she gains new telepathic powers in the Lazarus Planet event and rejoins the Justice Society.

Infinite frontier / Williamson, Joshua

One-star squadron / Russell, Mark

Lazarus Planet

Power Girl returns / Williams, Leah

Justice Society of America. Vol. 1, The New Golden Age / Johns, Geoff


Supergirl Across The Multiverse

Power Girl isn’t the only alternate Supergirl out there in the infinite Multiverse of DC Comics.

Crime Syndicate / Schmidt, Andy – On Earth-3 where the roles of heroes and villains are reversed, a treacherous Ultragirl tries to take out her cousin, Ultraman. This world also has a Superwoman, although technically she is the evil equivalent of Wonder Woman.

Multiversity : teen justice / Cohen, Ivan – On the matriarchal world of Earth-11, Supergirl is the daughter of Superwoman and fights alongside the young super-team Teen Justice.

Kingdom come / Waid, Mark – In a possible future, an older Karen Starr (now Power Woman) joins a new Justice League, led by an older Superman trying to bring order to a world full of unruly metahumans.

Supergirl adventures : girl of steel – In the world of the DC Animated Universe, Supergirl is Kara In-Ze from Argo, a ‘sister planet’ to Krypton that was also devastated. Discovered in cryogenic stasis by Superman, Kara is brought to Earth, where she becomes gains powers similar to her ‘cousin’ and becomes Supergirl.

Injustice 2. Vol. 1 / Taylor, Tom – The Injustice universe’s version of Supergirl first appears in its sequel comic, where she arrives on Earth not knowing her cousin has taken over the world.

Ame-Comi Girls. Volume 3, Earth in crisis / Palmiotti, Jimmy – Both Supergirl and Power Girl appear on this manga-inspired world where only women gain superpowers.

DC Comics Bombshells : the deluxe edition, Book one / Bennett, Marguerite – Here, Kara’s ship lands in Soviet Russia instead of the USA. When she comes of age in the midst of World War II, she defects and joins a team of heroines determined to end the conflict.

Dark Knights of Steel. Vol. 1 / Taylor, Tom – Transporting the heroes of the DC Universe into a medieval world of knights and nobility, the Supergirl here is Zala Jor-El, the princess of the ruling family, the House of El.

Supergirl : cosmic adventures in the 8th grade / Walker, Landry Q. – In this cartoon-influenced series, a young Kryptonian named Linda Lee struggles to balance schoolwork with being Supergirl.

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… Astro Boy and PLUTO

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character. This post is all about Japan’s first manga sensation, the super-powered robot Astro Boy, and his recent adaptation, the science-fiction crime comic PLUTO.

Astro Boy Anime GIF - Astro Boy Anime Robot - Discover & Share GIFs

(Astro as seen in the 2003 anime – GIF via Tenor)

image

(Atom from the 2023 adaptation of PLUTO – GIF via Tumblr)


Who is Astro Boy?

Astro Boy (‘Tetsuwan Atomu‘ in Japanese) was created by Osamu Tezuka, one of Japan’s most prolific cartoonists, and published from 1952 to 1968 in his original run (then adapted into several anime and a feature film). While the series was drawn in a light-hearted style inspired by old Disney cartoons, Tezuka used Astro Boy to explore heady themes about environmentalism, war, prejudice, and the cost of technological advancement.

In a futuristic world where humans and robots co-exist, Astro was built by roboticist Dr Tenma as a replacement for his deceased son, Tobio. When Astro failed to live up to Tenma’s expectations, he sold Astro to a circus, where he was rescued by the kindly Dr Ochanomizu. Designed with ‘100K horsepower’ and an array of gadgets like jet boots and finger lasers, Astro’s greatest strength is his emotional intelligence, as he often finds himself acting as a mediator between robots and humans when they come into conflict.


How to read Astro Boy

We have the first eight collections of the original Astro Boy run by Tezuka on our eLibrary Libby, plus a graphic novel of the first collection.

Graphic novel

Astro Boy. 1 / Tezuka, Osamu

On eLibrary (Libby)

Astro Boy Volumes 1-2

Astro Boy Volume 3

Astro Boy Volume 4

Astro Boy Volume 5

Astro Boy Volume 6

Astro Boy Volume 7

Astro Boy Volume 8

We also have a spin-off of the original Astro Boy series by Tezuka, A-tomcat, in which a young boy becomes friends with a cat who has all of Astro Boy’s abilities.

A-tomcat / Tezuka, Osamu


What is PLUTO?

Astro Boy‘s most famous story arc is ‘The Greatest Robot on Earth’, in which a colossal, powerful robot named Pluto begins hunting down and destroying the seven most advanced robots in the world, including Astro (you can read it in Astro Boy Volume 3). It was one of Astro’s biggest challenges, requiring him not only to increase his power to match his new rival, but also learn to reason with Pluto, who turned out to be more sympathetic than initially believed. This storyline was adapted by artist Naoki Urasawa into PLUTO, a manga for mature readers (seinen) between 2003 and 2009, and later turned into an anime for Netflix in 2023.

In PLUTO, the seven most advanced robots are destroyed and have their bodies left with objects resembling horns sticking out of their heads. Not only that, each robot’s human creator is hunted down as well, with the crime scenes left in a way that indicates only a robot could have done the deed. There’s just one problem: it’s impossible for a robot to kill a human. Or is it?

While Astro (here called Atom) is still in the story, the main character of PLUTO is the detective robot Gesicht (pronounced GEH-sicked), who is tasked with investigating the case. As the plot unfolds, he learns the deaths of the robots and their inventor are tied to a vast conspiracy involving a recent controversial war, a secretive anti-robot hate group, and Atom’s original creator, Tenma.

Urasawa’s PLUTO is the ‘gritty adult version of a childhood property’ done right. It expands on Astro Boy‘s themes and setting to tell a new story with classic characters, who gain a far greater amount of depth than they were allowed in the original Tezuka story. PLUTO’s themes about prejudice being the likely human response to living with robots and the psychological harm from conflict has never been more relevant in an era of ongoing wars, political extremism, and the pressing fear of AI replacing human labour. Yet, due to the presence of Atom/Astro Boy, it contains an element of irrepressible hope for a better, kinder world where we can overcome hatred and difference.

With its recent pitch-perfect adaptation to anime, it’s never been a better time to read PLUTO, and it may only grow more prescient with time.


How to read PLUTO

The complete story of PLUTO is collected in eight tankoban volumes.

Pluto : Urasawa X Tezuka. 001 / Urasawa, Naoki

Pluto : Urasawa X Tezuka. 002 / Urasawa, Naoki

Pluto : Urasawa X Tezuka. 003 / Urasawa, Naoki

Pluto : Urasawa X Tezuka. 004 / Urasawa, Naoki

Pluto : Urasawa X Tezuka, 005 / Urasawa, Naoki

Pluto : Urasawa X Tezuka. 006 / Urasawa, Naoki

Pluto : Urasawa X Tezuka. 007 / Urasawa, Naoki

Pluto : Urasawa X Tezuka. 008 / Urasawa, Naoki

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… Venom and Carnage

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character. This post is all about those two gruesome toothsome puddles of alien goo, Venom and Carnage!

(GIFs via Giphy)


Who is Venom?

Venom is a ‘symbiote’, a race of alien creatures that parasitically bond to other beings to survive. When one of these symbiotes bonded to Spider-Man and was rejected, it found its way to disgruntled reporter Eddie Brock, who had a vendetta against Spider-Man. Eddie and the symbiote formed a partnership over their mutual hatred of the Wall-Crawler, transforming into a hulking ink-black monstrosity – Venom.

In addition to granting its wearer increased strength, durability, and the power to shapeshift and manifest weapons out of its body, the symbiote also replicated all of Peter’s powers and memories. Due to its previous bond with Peter, Venom also cannot trigger Spidey’s danger-alerting ‘Spider-Sense’, which makes Venom one of Spider-Man’s deadliest villains. Fortunately, the symbiote’s biology makes Venom weak to high-pitched sounds and extreme heat, a vulnerability that Spider-Man can always exploit.

Over the years, Venom has also spawned new symbiotes, including the maniacal Carnage, the quintuplet Life Foundation symbiotes (Riot, Lasher, Phage, Scream, and Agony), the inverted copy Anti-Venom, and the good-natured Sleeper.


Symbiote Spider-Man

Spider-Man first gained the symbiote in the original Secret Wars, where he thought it was just an all-black version of his costume. While Peter initially embraced the symbiote, over time it began to amplify his negative emotions and control him against his will, leading Peter to reject it.

Black Suit Spider-Man appearances

Secret wars / Shooter, Jim

Symbiote Spider-Man / David, Peter

Symbiote Spider-Man : crossroads / David, Peter

Symbiote Spider-Man : king in black / David, Peter

Spider-Man has rejoined with the symbiote on occasion, such as when he fought a Carnage-powered Green Goblin, or when a Doc Ock-possessed Peter (see ‘Superior Spider-Man’ in our Spider-Verse blog) tried the symbiote on for size as the Superior Venom. Some What If? stories explore what would have happened if Peter had kept the symbiote permanently, like the recent miniseries Spider’s Shadow.

The amazing Spider-Man : Red Goblin / Slott, Dan

The Superior Spider-Man. 5, Superior Venom / Slott, Dan

Spider-Man : Spider’s shadow / Zdarsky, Chip


Venom: Lethal Protector

Venom initially tried to be a hero, calling himself a ‘Lethal Protector’ following a simplistic eye-for-an-eye morality. During this period, Venom moved to San Franciso and was later captured by the Life Foundation, who forced him to create his first five offspring.

‘Lethal Protector’ era Venom reading order

Venom: Lethal Protector (only on Libby)

Venom : lethal protector : heart of the hunted / Michelinie, David

Venom : planet of the symbiotes / Michelinie, David

Spider-Man : maximum Carnage

Venom : the complete collection / Way, Daniel


Mac Gargan as Venom

Eddie would eventually lose the symbiote, and Mac Gargan (the Spider-Man villain know as the Scorpion) became its new partner. As Venom, Gargan worked with the Thunderbolts, and using the suit’s ability to shapeshift, passed himself off as Spider-Man on Norman Osborn’s ‘Dark Avengers’.

Mac Gargan as Venom appearances

Thunderbolts : caged animals / Ellis, Warren

Thunderbolts : secret invasion / Gage, Christos

Mac Gargan as ‘Spider-Man’ appearances

Dark Avengers (only on Libby)

Dark X-Men / Cornell, Paul

Siege : Mighty Avengers / Slott, Dan

Siege : battlefield


Anti-Venom

Remnants of the symbiote in Eddie fuse with his white blood cells to create Anti-Venom, a symbiote with none of Venom’s weaknesses and no mind of its own. Anti-Venom is harmful to other symbiotes and has the ability to cure any disease or ailment, leading Brock to gain a messiah complex over his newfound power to heal.

Anti-Venom appearances

The amazing Spider-Man : the return of Anti-Venom

Amazing Spider-Man : Venom Inc / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

Black Cat [4] : queen in black / MacKay, Jed


Agent Venom

The Venom symbiote is captured by the US government and given to Flash Thompson, a military veteran and Peter Parker’s former classmate. Flash uses the symbiote’s abilities as ‘Agent Venom‘, a covert operative performing secret missions for the Army and working alongside the Secret Avengers and General Ross’ Thunderbolts.

Agent Venom appearances

Venom [1] / Remender, Rick (also on Libby)

Venom : the complete collection. Volume 2 / Remender, Rick

Venom : the land where killers dwell / Bunn, Cullen

Agent Venom teams

Secret Avengers. [Vol. 1] / Remender, Rick

Secret Avengers [3] / Remender, Rick

Thunderbolts. Volume 1, No quarter / Way, Daniel

Thunderbolts. Volume 2, Red scare / Way, Daniel

Thunderbolts. Volume 3, Infinity / Soule, Charles

Thunderbolts. Volume 5, Punisher vs. the Thunderbolts / Acker, Ben


Venom: Spaceknight

Agent Venom later joins the Guardians of the Galaxy as their Avengers envoy (see our blog on Guardians of the Galaxy for more on this series). Here, Flash changes his symbiote form to an armored-plated look as Venom: Spaceknight.

Venom, space knight [1] : agent of the cosmos / Thompson, Robbie

Venom, space knight [2] : enemies and allies / Thompson, Robbie


Back to Brock

The symbiote eventually returns from space and is bounced between different hosts: the veteran-turned-criminal Lee Price and Venom’s original host, Eddie Brock. After settling on Brock once more (and leaving Flash with a new Anti-Venom suit to compensate), Venom spawns another symbiote, the benevolent Sleeper.

Venom. Volume 1, Homecoming / Costa, Mike

Venom [2] : the land before crime / Costa, Mike

Venom : lethal protector. Vol. 3, Blood in the water / Costa, Mike

Amazing Spider-Man : Venom Inc / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

Venom. Vol. 4, The nativity / Costa, Mike

Venom. First host / Costa, Mike


Venom: The King in Black

Donny Cates’ run on Venom deepens the mythology of the symbiotes, expanding on what exactly they are as a species and their role in the Marvel Universe. In this series, Eddie discovers he has a long-lost son named Dylan, fights a vastly more powerful Carnage, and confronts the mind-controlling ‘King in Black’, the god of all symbiotes.

Donny Cates Venom reading order

Venom. Vol. 1, Rex / Cates, Donny (also on Libby)

Venom. Vol. 2, The abyss / Cates, Donny (also on Libby)

These first two volumes are also collected as Venom. Vol. 1 / Cates, Donny

The war of the realms : Venom / Bunn, Cullen

Absolute Carnage / Cates, Donny

Venom. Vol. 3, Absolute Carnage / Cates, Donny (also on Libby)

Venom. Vol. 4, Venom Island / Cates, Donny (also on Libby)

Venom. Vol. 5, Venom beyond / Cates, Donny

Venom [6] : king in black / Cates, Donny

The ‘King in Black‘ storyline is continued in these spin-offs.

King in black : planet of the symbiotes / Chapman, Clay McLeod

King in black : thunderbolts / Rosenberg, Matthew

King in black : return of the Valkyries / Aaron, Jason

Spider-Woman. Vol. 2, King in black / Pacheco, Karla

King in black : Avengers / Thorne, Geoffrey

Savage Avengers. Vol. 4, King in black / Duggan, Gerry

Symbiote Spider-Man : king in black / David, Peter

King in black : Gwenom vs. Carnage / McGuire, Seanan

King in black : Namor / Busiek, Kurt

The Guardians of the Galaxy [2] : “Here we make our stand” / Ewing, Al


Venom and Son

In the current Venom series, Eddie ascends to becoming the new King in Black, discovering the extraordinary (and time-bendingly weird) extent of his new role. Meanwhile, on Earth, Eddie’s son Dylan becomes the new Venom and must confront a violent new symbiote named Bedlam, who has mysterious ties to his father.

Current Venom reading order

Venom. Vol. 1, Recursion / Ewing, Al

Venom [2] : deviation / Ewing, Al

Dark Web / Wells, Zeb

Venom [3] : dark web / V, Ram

Venom [4] : Illumination / Ewing, Al

Venom [5] : predestination / Ewing, Al


Across the Venomverse

Did you know that Venom had his own Spider-Verse? Across the multiverse, Venom has bonded to all sorts of other Marvel heroes, including Captain America, Rocket Raccoon, Black Panther, and Deadpool. In Venomverse and its sequel Venomised, Eddie Brock teams up with these Venom variants to fight the Poisons, an interdimensional hyperparasite race that feed on symbiotes.

Venomverse / Bunn, Cullen

Venomized / Bunn, Cullen

Extreme Venomverse

Death of the Venomverse / Bunn, Cullen

Ultimate Venom

In Ultimate Marvel (Earth-1610), Venom is not an alien, but a lab-grown organism created by Peter Parker and Eddie Brock’s parents. As in the original continuity, Venom bonds to Peter and then Eddie, and later spawns Carnage, which here bonds to Gwen Stacy. When Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man, he fights a deadlier, improved version of this Venom.

Ultimate Venom appearances

Ultimate Spider-Man : war of the symbiotes / Bendis, Brian Michael

Miles Morales : with great power / Bendis, Brian Michael

“Gwenom”

The symbiote appears in Spider-Gwen’s universe (Earth-65), also created as a lab-grown experiment. This Venom bonds to Gwen, creating the combo of ‘Gwenom’.

Gwenom appearances

Spider-Gwen. Vol. 4, Predators / Latour, Jason

Spider-Gwen. Vol. 5, Gwenom / Latour, Jason

King in black : Gwenom vs. Carnage / McGuire, Seanan

Renew Your Venoms

In the Renew Your Vows timeline (Earth-18119) where Peter and his family fight crime together, Mary Jane bonds with Venom to keep up with her super-powered husband and daughter.

The Amazing Spider-Man : renew your vows [2] : the Venom experiment / Conway, Gerry

The End of Venom

The miniseries The End imagines possible futures for Marvel’s heroes and villains. In Venom’s case, the symbiote comes into conflict with an artificial intelligence, starting a war that extends for over a trillion years.

The end / Larsen, Erik


Who is Carnage?

Carnage is Venom’s first offspring, created when Eddie Brock was sharing a prison cell with serial killer Cletus Kasady. The spawn of Venom bonded to Kasady and they became Carnage, a maniacal, all-red symbiote with an insatiable bloodlust.

Early Carnage appearances

Spider-Man : maximum Carnage

Superior Carnage / Shinick, Kevin

Deadpool vs Carnage / Bunn, Cullen


Carnage off his AXIS

In the crossover series AXIS, a magic spell causes the Avengers, X-Men and their villains to have their moralities inverted, causing the heroes to turn bad and the villains to turn good. Here, Carnage grows a conscience for the first time but is unsure how to use it, turning him good but without a stable guide on how to do good.

Carnage in AXIS appearances

Avengers/X-Men : Axis / Remender, Rick

Axis : Carnage & Hobgoblin / Spears, Rick

Nova [5] : axis / Duggan, Gerry

Later reverting to his evil ways, Carnage is hunted by a police task force, before being captured and bonded to Norman Osborn to become the Red Goblin.

Carnage [3] : what dwells beneath / Conway, Gerry

The amazing Spider-Man : Red Goblin / Slott, Dan


Absolute Carnage

Over the years, Carnage has grown a god complex, and continues to evolve in his quest for universal omnicide. In Absolute Carnage, he learns he can gain power by absorbing the DNA of former symbiote hosts (by force, naturally) and begins hunting them down, putting him in the path of Venom and Spider-Man.

Absolute Carnage / Cates, Donny

The amazing Spider-Man : absolute Carnage

Venom. Vol. 3, Absolute Carnage / Cates, Donny (also on Libby)

The Absolute Carnage storyline is continued in these spin-offs.

Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool / Tieri, Frank

Absolute Carnage : Miles Morales / Ahmed, Saladin

Absolute Carnage : Scream / Bunn, Cullen

Absolute Carnage : lethal protectors / Tieri, Frank

Absolute Carnage : the immortal Hulk and other tales / Ewing, Al


Extreme Carnage

Seemingly defeated after Eddie becomes the King in Black, the Carnage symbiote begins another campaign of death by hunting down various Spider-Man villains, like Hydro-Man and The Spot, and stealing their powers. This culminates in him gaining the ability to travel across the multiverse and becoming the villain of the most recent Venomverse series.

Extreme Carnage / Johnson, Phillip Kennedy

Carnage : black, white & blood

Carnage. Vol. 1, In the court of crimson / V, Ram

Carnage in hell / V, Ram

Carnage reigns / Ziglar, Cody

Death of the Venomverse / Bunn, Cullen


Red Goblin

Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin, once fused with Carnage to become the Red Goblin, using his new symbiote powers to stage an all-out assault on the Spider-Man family and forcing Peter to bond with Venom once more to face him. Later on, Osborn’s grandson Normie bonded with a symbiote named Rascal to become a new Red Goblin, becoming an ally to the current Venom, Dylan Brock.

Red Goblin appearances

The amazing Spider-Man : Red Goblin / Slott, Dan

Venom [3] : dark web / V, Ram

Red Goblin [1] : it runs in the family / Paknadel, Alex

Red Goblin. Vol. 2, Nature/nurture / Paknadel, Alex

Cult of carnage : misery / Pirzada, Sabir


Ravencroft

When not raising havoc, Carnage is incarcerated in Ravencroft, an asylum for the criminally insane. Other famous inmates include Carnage’s girlfriend Shriek, the imperfect Spider-Man clone Doppelganger, Wolverine’s nemesis Sabertooth, and even Dracula.

Ravencroft appearances

Spider-Man : maximum Carnage

Ravencroft / Tieri, Frank

Ruins of Ravencroft / Tieri, Frank


Other Symbiotes

Both Venom and Carnage have spawned new symbiotes over the years, growing a deadly family tree that continues to wreak havoc over the Marvel Universe.

Life Foundation symbiotes

The five Life Foundation symbiotes (the brute Riot, the tendril-coated Lasher, the spiky Phage, the prehensile-haired Scream, and acidic Agony) have only appeared sporadically since their creation, usually as foot soldiers for bigger villains.

Life Foundation symbiote appearances

Venom: Lethal Protector (only on Libby)

Deadpool vs Carnage / Bunn, Cullen

Venom. Vol. 3, Absolute Carnage / Cates, Donny

Extreme Carnage / Johnson, Phillip Kennedy

Scream has a few spin-off titles of her own, mostly tying into Carnage-related storylines.

Absolute Carnage : Scream / Bunn, Cullen

Scream. Vol. 1, Curse of Carnage / Chapman, Clay McLeod

Agony and her current host Gemma Shin were members of Wilson Fisk’s Thunderbolts, serving as his enforcers during the Kingpin’s time as mayor of New York City. Later, she is offered redemption as a part of Daredevil and Elektra’s new team, The Fist.

Devil’s reign / Zdarsky, Chip

Devil’s reign : villains for hire / Chapman, Clay McLeod

Daredevil & Elektra. Vol. 1, The Red Fist saga / Zdarsky, Chip

Daredevil & Elektra [2] : the Red Fist saga. Part two / Zdarsky, Chip

The Life Foundation symbiotes eventually wound up at chemical corporation Alchemax (future workplace of Miguel O’Hara, the Spider-Man of 2099), before shortly being stolen. To track them down, Alchemax owner Liz Allan (a former classmate of Peter Parker) bonds with a symbiote fusion of Carnage and Anti-Venom, becoming Misery.

Cult of carnage : misery / Pirzada, Sabir


Toxin

Toxin is Carnage’s first offspring (and by extension, Venom’s grandchild). As the 1000th of his line, Toxin is stronger than both his parent and grandparent and more resistant to their weaknesses. Fortunately, Toxin is also the most benevolent of his family, with a strong dislike of other symbiotes.

Toxin appearances

Venom : the complete collection. Volume 2 / Remender, Rick

King in black : planet of the symbiotes / Chapman, Clay McLeod

Extreme Carnage / Johnson, Phillip Kennedy


Sleeper

Sleeper is Venom’s most recent offspring, and very protective of his ‘brother’, Eddie’s son Dylan. Like Toxin, Sleeper is a more benevolent symbiote, but is more secretive than his brethren, preferring to possess hosts without their knowledge. Sleeper also has the unique ability to generate chemical compounds from his body, such as mind-altering pheromones and corrosive acids.

Sleeper appearances

Venom. Vol. 4, The nativity / Costa, Mike

Venom. First host / Costa, Mike

Venom. Vol. 3, Absolute Carnage / Cates, Donny

Venom. Vol. 4, Venom Island / Cates, Donny (also on Libby)

Extreme Carnage / Johnson, Phillip Kennedy

Venom. Vol. 1, Recursion / Ewing, Al

Venom [2] : deviation / Ewing, Al

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… Aquaman

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or series. This post is all about DC Comics’ King of the Seven Seas… Aquaman!


Who is Aquaman?

The son of a lighthouse keeper and a princess from the undersea kingdom of Atlantis, Arthur Curry, discovers he has the power to breathe underwater, survive in deep ocean environments, and command marine life. Claiming his birthright as king of Atlantis, Arthur now protects the seven seas as its monarch and hero, Aquaman. Alongside him are his wife and queen Mera, and the Aqualads, Garth and Jackson Hyde.

Note: DC Comics are divided by publishing eras, determined by a point where they set the issue number (and sometimes, continuity) of a series back to #1. ‘Post-Crisis’ is everything from 1986-2011, the New 52 from 2011-2016, DC Rebirth from 2016-2021, and Infinite Frontier from 2021 to present.


The Legend of Aquaman

Aquaman’s Post-Crisis origin is told in The Legend of Aquaman, which has him as the son of an Atlantean wizard and the Queen of Atlantis. Exiled to land at birth and raised to adulthood by the lighthouse keeper Tom Curry, Arthur eventually returned to Atlantis and took the throne.

Aquaman : the legend of Aquaman / Fleming, Robert Loren


Sub Diego

The ‘Sub Diego’ storyline begins when a massive earthquake sinks the city of San Diego under the waves, leaving thousands dead and the survivors inexplicably gaining the ability to breath underwater. Aquaman and his new sidekick Lorena Marquez, aka Aquagirl, must help the new waterbreathers adapt to life under the sea, while preventing the rise of a new oceanic criminal syndicate.

Aquaman : to serve and protect / Arcudi, John

Aquaman : kingdom lost / Arcudi, John


Sword of Atlantis and Blackest Night

Arthur uses Atlantean magic to restore Sub Diego back to land, but as a consequence, he mutates into the monstrous Dweller of the Depths. He is then replaced with a younger Aquaman, Joseph Curry, who Arthur aids alongside a seemingly reformed King Shark.

Joseph Curry appearances

Aquaman : sword of Atlantis : once and future / Busiek, Kurt

Superman/Batman. Volume 4

Sometime after, Arthur perishes and is resurrected during the Blackest Night crossover, which sees deceased heroes and villains in the DCU return to life as superpowered zombies called Black Lanterns. In the sequel series Brightest Day, Arthur and Mera search for a cure for Arthur’s lingering Black Lantern powers, discovering the secret son of Black Manta along the way.

Blackest Night saga / Johns, Geoff (also on Libby)

Brightest day : omnibus / Johns, Geoff


The New 52

The New 52 reboots DC Comic’s long-running continuity, tweaking Arthur’s history in the process. Rather than being the king of Atlantis for some years, here Arthur is reluctant to take the throne until his hand is forced by Orm, his half-brother and self-proclaimed ‘Ocean Master’, attacking the surface with an Atlantean army.

Aquaman. Volume 1, The trench / Johns, Geoff (also on Libby)

Aquaman. Volume 2, The Others / Johns, Geoff

Aquaman. Volume 3, Throne of Atlantis / Johns, Geoff

Aquaman. Volume 4, Death of a King / Johns, Geoff

Aquaman. Volume 5, Sea of storms / Parker, Jeff

Aquaman. Volume 6, Maelstrom / Parker, Jeff

Aquaman. Volume 7, Exiled / Bunn, Cullen

Aquaman. Volume 8, Out of darkness / Abnett, Dan


DC Rebirth

The DC Rebirth period of Aquaman focuses on the geopolitical tensions between Atlantis and the United States, as Arthur must mediate between both sides to prevent an all-out war. Later, the Atlantean throne is usurped by the vicious King Rath, and Arthur finds new allies in the denizens of Atlantis’ slums.

Aquaman. Vol. 1, The drowning / Abnett, Dan

Aquaman. Vol. 3, Crown of Atlantis / Abnett, Dan

Aquaman. Vol. 4, Underworld / Abnett, Dan

‘Underworld’ is also collected as Aquaman : Underworld, the deluxe edition / Abnett, Dan

Aquaman. Vol. 5, The crown comes down / Abnett, Dan

Aquaman. Vol. 6, Kingslayer / Abnett, Dan

Aquaman/Suicide Squad : sink Atlantis / Williams, Rob


Drowned Earth

After leading the Justice League against an oceanic alien armada in Drowned Earth, Arthur loses his memories and is nursed back to health by a community of ancient sea gods (including Aotearoa’s own Tangaroa). This series sees Aquaman reconnecting with his allies both on land and Atlantis, and facing an improved mecha-powered Black Manta.

Justice League : Aquaman : drowned earth / Snyder, Scott

Aquaman. Vol. 1, Unspoken water / DeConnick, Kelly Sue

Aquaman. Vol. 2, Amnesty / DeConnick, Kelly Sue

Aquaman. Vol. 3, Manta vs. machine / DeConnick, Kelly Sue

Aquaman. Volume 4, Echoes of a life lived well / DeConnick, Kelly Sue


Infinite Frontier

The Infinite Frontier era of Aquaman (or rather, Aquamen) focuses on former Aqualad Jackson Hyde, who now shares the Aquaman title with Arthur. Here, Jackson, Arthur and Black Manta must team up to stop a secret cabal of Atlantean sleeper agents.

Aquaman : the becoming / Thomas, Brandon

Black Manta / Brown, Chuck

Aquamen / Brown, Chuck

Also published in this era is Aquaman: Andromeda, a cosmic horror adventure that sees Aquaman aiding an experimental submarine crew to a spaceship graveyard in the ocean.

Aquaman : Andromeda / V, Ram


Aquaman’s teams

Aquaman is a founding member of the Justice League, valued for his status as regent of the oceans and his unique powerset. Arthur and the League have faced threats together such as the time-travelling League of Ancients (JLA. Volume six), the Ocean Master and his Atlantean army (Throne of Atlantis), and a disgruntled Justice League fan using the League’s secrets against them (The people vs. the Justice League).

Aquaman on the Justice League

JLA : New world order / Morrison, Grant

JLA. Volume two / Morrison, Grant

JLA. Volume four / Morrison, Grant

JLA. Volume five / Waid, Mark

JLA. Volume six / Kelly, Joe

Justice League. Volume 3, Throne of Atlantis / Johns, Geoff

Justice League of America : power and glory / Hitch, Bryan

Justice League. Vol. 6, The people vs. the Justice League / Priest, Christopher J.

Justice League. Vol. 7, Justice lost / Priest, Christopher J.

Dark nights : metal / Snyder, Scott

Justice League : Aquaman : drowned earth / Snyder, Scott

Aquaman and the Others

The New 52 establishes that Arthur was once a part of a team of mysterious heroes called The Others, each of whom possesses a unique Atlantean weapon (Arthur’s being his signature trident).

Aquaman. Volume 2, The Others / Johns, Geoff

Aquaman and the Others. Volume 1, Legacy of gold / Jurgens, Dan

Aquaman and the Others. Volume 2, Alignment Earth / Jurgens, Dan


Mera, Queen of Atlantis

Mera is from the kingdom of Xebel, another underwater city constantly at war with Atlantis. Initially sent to execute Arthur, Mera fell in love with him, and now uses her gifts of water manipulation and her royal connections to aid him as his queen.

Mera, Queen of Atlantis / Abnett, Dan

Mera : tidebreaker / Paige, Danielle


Garth, the first Aqualad

Garth was an Atlantean orphan whom Arthur adopted as his trusty sidekick, Aqualad. With powers identical to Aquaman, in addition to some proficiency in Atlantean magic, Garth became a founding member of the Teen Titans (later just ‘the Titans’).

Garth as Aqualad appearances

Teen Titans : year one / Wolfram, Amy

Titans hunt / Abnett, Dan

Titans. Vol. 1, The return of Wally West / Abnett, Dan

Titans. Vol. 2, Made in Manhattan / Abnett, Dan

Titans. Vol. 3, A Judas among us / Abnett, Dan

Titans : the Lazarus contract / Priest, Christopher J.

Aquaman : Underworld, the deluxe edition / Abnett, Dan

Heroes in crisis / King, Tom


Jackson Hyde, the second Aqualad

The second Aqualad is Jackson Hyde, the son of Black Manta and a Xebel spy. Raised in New Mexico as far from the ocean as possible, Jackson eventually discovered the truth of his parentage and joined up with Aquaman and Mera. Jackson has the same powers as Mera, using special gauntlets to shape water into weapons and generate electrical shocks through them.

This version of Aqualad first appeared in the animated series Young Justice as an Atlantean named Kaldur’ahm, then was introduced in the comics shortly after.

Aqualad in Young Justice appearances

Young Justice [2] : training day / Weisman, Greg

Young Justice [3] : creature features / Weisman, Greg

Aqualad in mainstream DC Comics appearances

Brightest day : omnibus / Johns, Geoff

Teen Titans. Vol. 2, The rise of Aqualad / Percy, Benjamin

Teen Titans. Vol. 3, The return of Kid Flash

Aquaman. Vol. 2, Amnesty / DeConnick, Kelly Sue

Aquaman. Vol. 3, Manta vs. machine / DeConnick, Kelly Sue

Aquaman. Volume 4, Echoes of a life lived well / DeConnick, Kelly Sue

Aquaman : the becoming / Thomas, Brandon

Aquamen / Brown, Chuck

Jackson is openly gay, appearing in DC’s Pride comics and even has his own graphic novel romance, You Brought Me the Ocean.

DC Pride 2021

You brought me the ocean / Sanchez, Alex


Black Manta

Aquaman’s nemesis is Black Manta, a ruthless high-tech pirate commanding an undersea legion of criminal henchmen. While Manta is mostly out for loot and plunder, he has a personal vendetta against Aquaman, who in his early adventures was responsible for the death of Manta’s father. Recently, Manta has tried to persuade his teenage son Jackson Hyde into joining him in his criminal enterprise.

Black Manta appearances

Aquaman : kingdom lost / Arcudi, John

Brightest day : omnibus / Johns, Geoff

Aquaman. Volume 2, The Others / Johns, Geoff

New Suicide Squad. Volume 1, Pure insanity / Ryan, Sean

New Suicide Squad. Volume 2, Monsters / Ryan, Sean

New Suicide Squad. Volume 3, Freedom / Ryan, Sean

Aquaman. Vol. 1, The drowning / Abnett, Dan

Aquaman. Vol. 3, Manta vs. machine / DeConnick, Kelly Sue

Justice League : Aquaman : drowned earth / Snyder, Scott

Black Manta / Brown, Chuck

Aquaman : Andromeda / V, Ram


Other Aquaman allies

Lagoon Boy

La’gaan is a fish-like Atlantean who took on the name ‘Lagoon Boy’ due to his resemblance to the classic movie monster, the Creature from the Black Lagoon. He’s been a member of the teen super-team Young Justice in the comics and became Aqualad’s replacement on ‘The Team’ in the show Young Justice.

Lagoon Boy appearances

Young Justice. Book six

Young Justice [4] : invasion / Weisman, Greg (based on the TV show)

Heroes in crisis / King, Tom

King Shark

Nanaue is a humanoid shark, the son of the Shark God Chondraka and a human woman from Hawaii. As King Shark, Nanaue’s nature wavers between articulate villain and bloodthirsty beast-man, and as such, his allegiance has shifted many times over the years. He’s been an ally to Aquaman in Sword of Atlantis, a mercenary in the Secret Six, and an operative in Task Force X.

King Shark appearances – Post-Crisis

Aquaman : sword of Atlantis : once and future / Busiek, Kurt

Secret Six : unhinged / Simone, Gail

Secret Six : the reptile brain / Simone, Gail

Secret Six : the darkest house / Simone, Gail

King Shark appearances – New 52 to present

Suicide Squad. Volume 1 (also on Libby) through Volume 5

Teen Titans. Vol. 2, The rise of Aqualad / Percy, Benjamin

Aquaman. Vol. 5, The crown comes down / Abnett, Dan

Suicide Squad : Blaze / Spurrier, Simon

Suicide Squad : King Shark / Seeley, Tim

If you’d like to learn about the actual Hawaiian legend that inspired King Shark, check out The Shark King : a Toon book/ Johnson, R. Kikuo


Aquaman across the Multiverse

Absolute Justice / Krueger, Jim – In a global conflict between the Justice League and the Legion of Doom, Aquaman must rescue his infant son from Brainiac and Black Manta.

Kingdom come / Waid, Mark (also on Libby) – Like many elder heroes in this alternate future, Arthur has retired, choosing to rule Atlantis while the first Aqualad protects the seas as the second Aquaman.

Flashpoint / Johns, Geoff  – In this dark alternate timeline accidentally created by The Flash, Arthur leads Atlantis in a brutal war against the Amazons.

Injustice : Gods among us : Volume 1As sovereign of Atlantis, Aquaman is one of the first challenges to a grieving Superman’s world-conquering Regime.

The Multiversity / Morrison, GrantAquawoman from the matriarchal Earth-11 joins a team of multiversal heroes to fight the evil interdimensional Gentry. Other multiversal Aquapeople featured here include the fascist Unterwasserman, the Mer-Man of Justice 9, and the hybrid hero Aquaflash.

Justice League incarnate / Williamson, Joshua – Aquawoman returns to the Multiversity to fight a reinvigorated Darkseid.

Multiversity : teen justice / Cohen, IvanAquagirl Jaqui Hyde leads Earth-11’s teenage super-team Teen Justice.

Earth 2. Volume 4, The Dark Age / Taylor, Tom – On Earth-2, the Atlantean on the resident hero team ‘The Wonders of the World’ is Queen Marella.

Justice League beyond : power struggle / Gage, Christos – Set in the future of the DC Animated Universe, Aquaman’s daughter Mareena joins the Justice League Unlimited.

The Jurassic League / Gedeon, Juan – Aquaman’s equivalent on the dinosaur-dominated Earth-27 is the trident-wielding spinosaur Aquanyx.

Wildstorm : Michael Cray. Volume 1 / Hill, Bryan Edward – In the spy-oriented Wildstorm Universe, operative Michael Cray is tasked with hunting down ‘The Aquaman’, a New Zealand scientist who genetically engineers himself into an animalistic aquatic being.

SpongeBob comics. #2, Aquatic adventurers, unite / Hillenburg, Stephen – While not part of the DC Multiverse proper, it should be noted that the aquatic adventurers Mermaidman and Barnacle Boy from Spongebob Squarepants were inspired by Aquaman and Aqualad.

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… The Marvels

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or series. This post is all about the cosmic-powered ladies who go higher, further, faster: Carol Danvers, Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan – The Marvels!

The Marvels Fight GIF - The marvels Fight Iman vellani - Discover & Share GIFs

(GIF via Tenor)


Who is Carol Danvers?

Carol Danvers is a US Air Force pilot who was exposed to an alien weapon that belonged to the militaristic Kree Empire. Gaining extraordinary powers of super-strength, flight, energy manipulation and energy absorption, Carol became a superhero. Currently bearing the title of Captain Marvel, she protects the Earth from intergalactic threats.


Carol as Ms. Marvel

Before Carol became Captain Marvel, she was Ms. Marvel, the distaff counterpart to the Kree warrior Mar-Vell, the first Captain Marvel. Carol was a steadfast member of the Avengers during this time, joining on the pro-registration side of the superhero Civil War, fighting against the Skrulls in the Secret Invasion, and opposing the X-Men alongside the entire Avengers roster in Avengers vs X-Men.

Carol as Ms. Marvel appearances

Ms. Marvel : this woman, this warrior. Volume 1, 1977-1978 / Claremont, Chris

The Avengers : the Kang Dynasty / Busiek, Kurt

Civil war : Ms. Marvel / Reed, Brian

Captain Marvel : Carol Danvers : the Ms. Marvel years. Vol. 2 / Reed, Brian

Captain Marvel : Carol Danvers : the Ms. Marvel years. Vol. 3 / Reed, Brian

Ms. Marvel on the Avengers

Avengers Disassembled (only on Libby)

House of M / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

New Avengers: Volume 4 (only on Libby)

Civil war / Millar, Mark (also on Libby)

The Mighty Avengers : Venom bomb / Bendis, Brian Michael

Secret invasion / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Siege : battlefield

Avengers vs. X-Men (also available in Te Reo, where Ms. Marvel is called Hinemīharo)


Carol as Captain Marvel

After going by Ms. Marvel, Binary, and Warbird, Carol took up the mantle of Captain Marvel. Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Pretty Deadly) and getting a slick new costume courtesy of artist Jamie McKelvie (The Wicked + the Divine), this series established Carol as a top-tier Marvel hero, gaining her a huge fan community called ‘The Carol Corps’ (which was later made canon in a Secret Wars comic). Here, Carol reconnected with her Air Force roots, confronted the Kree soldier responsible for her heroic origin, and travelled through space saving alien communities in need.

DeConnick Captain Marvel run reading order

Captain Marvel / DeConnick, Kelly Sue (collects the first appearances of the new Captain Marvel)

Captain Marvel. [Vol. 1], In pursuit of Flight / DeConnick, Kelly Sue (also on Libby)

Captain Marvel [2] : down / DeConnick, Kelly Sue (also on Libby)

Avengers : the enemy within / DeConnick, Kelly Sue

The Enemy Within storyline is also collected as Captain Marvel : Earth’s mightiest hero. Vol. 2 / DeConnick, Kelly Sue

Captain Marvel [1] : higher, further, faster, more / DeConnick, Kelly Sue (also on Libby)

Captain Marvel. Vol. 2, Stay fly / DeConnick, Kelly Sue (also on Libby)

Captain Marvel [3] : Alis volate propriis / DeConnick, Kelly Sue (also on Libby)

Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps / DeConnick, Kelly Sue (tie-in to Secret Wars)

Captain Marvel [3] and Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps are also collected together in Captain Marvel : Earth’s mightiest hero. Vol. 4 / DeConnick, Kelly Sue


Alpha Flight

After DeConnick’s departure, Captain Marvel’s series was taken up by Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas (Agent Carter). Here, Carol becomes the leader of Earth’s new space defense force, Alpha Flight.

Captain Marvel. Vol. 1, Rise of Alpha Flight / Fazekas, Michele

Rise of Alpha Flight is also collected in Captain Marvel : Earth’s mightiest hero. Vol. 5 / Fazekas, Michele

Alpha Flight later spun-off into the Hulk-hunting team Gamma Flight, who appeared throughout Immortal Hulk and eventually got their own series.

Gamma Flight / Ewing, Al


Civil War II

A surprise attack by Thanos catches the Avengers off-guard, leaving War Machine dead and She-Hulk comatose. As the superhero community reels from the attack, a new hero appears, Ulysses, who has the ability to predict the future. Carol embraces him, believing Ulysses could prevent further crimes and disasters before they happen. Tony Stark opposes her on the premise that these predictions could violate people’s rights, and the Marvel heroes choose sides, setting off a second Superhuman Civil War.

Carol in Civil War II appearances

Captain Marvel Volume 2: Civil War II (only on Libby)

Vol 2: Civil War II is also collected in Captain Marvel : Earth’s mightiest hero. Vol. 5 / Fazekas, Michele

Civil war II / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Ms. Marvel [6] : Civil War II / Wilson, G. Willow

Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 3, Civil War II / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)


A New Origin

After Civil War II, Carol returns to her role as leader of Alpha Flight, and learns the undiscovered truth about her heritage and her powers.

The mighty Captain Marvel. Vol. 1, Alien nation / Stohl, Margaret (also on Libby)

The mighty Captain Marvel [2] : band of sisters / Stohl, Margaret (also on Libby)

The mighty Captain Marvel [3] : dark origins / Stohl, Margaret (also on Libby)

The life of Captain Marvel / Stohl, Margaret


Kelly Thompson run

In Kelly Thompson’s run on her series, Captain Marvel explores apocalyptic futures, becomes an Accuser for the Kree Empire, and finds a new nemesis in Ripley Ryan, a reality-altering journalist.

Captain Marvel. Vol. 1, Re-entry / Thompson, Kelly

Captain Marvel. Vol. 2, Falling star / Thompson, Kelly

Captain Marvel [3] : the last Avenger / Thompson, Kelly

Captain Marvel [4] : accused / Thompson, Kelly

Captain Marvel [5] : the new world / Thompson, Kelly

Captain Marvel [6] : strange magic / Thompson, Kelly

Captain Marvel [7] : the last of the Marvels / Thompson, Kelly

Captain Marvel [8] : the trials / Thompson, Kelly

Captain Marvel. Vol. 9, Revenge of the Brood, part 1 / Thompson, Kelly

Captain Marvel. Vol. 10, Revenge of the Brood / Thompson, Kelly

Captain Marvel : dark tempest / Nocenti, Ann


Captain Marvel’s Teams

As Captain Marvel, Carol has been a member of the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, The Ultimates, and the all-female team A-Force.

Captain Marvel’s team appearances

Avengers [1] : Avengers world / Hickman, Jonathan

Avengers by Jason Aaron. Vol. 1 / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 3, Civil War II / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

A-Force : hypertime, 1 / Wilson, G. Willow

A-Force [2] : rage against the dying of the light / Thompson, Kelly

The Ultimates [1] : start with the impossible / Ewing, Al


Who is Monica Rambeau?

Monica Rambeau is a harbour patrol lieutenant who became a superhero with the ability to manipulate the electromagnetic spectrum, going by Captain Marvel, Photon, and Spectrum. A natural-born leader, Monica has commanded the Avengers, Ultimates, Thunderbolts, Strikeforce, and the anti-corporate splinter cell Nextwave.

Monica Rambeau appearances

Nextwave, agents of H.A.T.E. : ultimate collection / Ellis, Warren

Captain Marvel [2] : down / DeConnick, Kelly Sue (also on Libby)

Mighty Avengers. Volume 2, Family bonding / Ewing, Al

Mighty Avengers [3] : original sin : not your father’s Avengers / Ewing, Al

Captain America and the Mighty Avengers [2] : last days / Ewing, Al

Avengers : no road home / Waid, Mark

Strikeforce [1] : trust me / Howard, Tini

Captain Marvel [7] : the last of the Marvels / Thompson, Kelly

Captain Marvel [8] : the trials / Thompson, Kelly

The amazing Spider-Man : beyond [4]

Thunderbolts : back on target / Zubkavich, Jim

Monica Rambeau. Photon / Ewing, Eve L.


The Ultimates

Both Monica and Carol (along with Black Panther, America Chavez, Blue Marvel, and a reformed Galactus) were members of the Ultimates, a team dedicated to solving larger-scale threats, like evil living universes and nightmarish cosmic beings. Here, Monica’s powers evolve to the point where she becomes a being of living energy.

The Ultimates reading order

The Ultimates [1] : start with the impossible / Ewing, Al

The Ultimates [2] : Civil war II / Ewing, Al

The Ultimates 2 [1] : troubleshooters / Ewing, Al

The Ultimates 2. Vol. 2, Eternity War / Ewing, Al


Who is Kamala Khan?

Kamala Khan is a Pakistani-American superhero fan from New Jersey who, after being exposed to the Inhuman’s ‘Terrigen Mist’, gained the ability to grow, shrink and shapeshift. Inspired by her idol Captain Marvel, Kamala took up the identity of Ms. Marvel, fighting any villains that threaten her home of Jersey City while balancing life as a high-school student.

Ms. Marvel reading order

Ms. Marvel [1] : no normal / Wilson, G. Willow (also on Libby)

Ms. Marvel [2] : Generation why / Wilson, G. Willow (also on Libby)

Ms. Marvel [3] : crushed / Wilson, G. Willow (also on Libby)

Ms. Marvel [4] : last days / Wilson, G. Willow (also on Libby)

Ms. Marvel [5] : super famous / Wilson, G. Willow

Ms. Marvel [6] : Civil War II / Wilson, G. Willow

Ms. Marvel. Vol. 7, Damage per second / Wilson, G. Willow

Ms. Marvel [8] : Mecca / Wilson, G. Willow

Ms. Marvel [9] : teenage wasteland / Wilson, G. Willow

Ms. Marvel. 10, Time and again / Wilson, G. Willow

G. Willow Wilson’s entire run on Ms. Marvel are also collected in these double-sized volumes, which are read in this order:

Ms. Marvel : Kamala Khan / Wilson, G. Willow

Ms. Marvel : metamorphosis / Wilson, G. Willow

Ms. Marvel [3] / Wilson, G. Willow

Ms. Marvel meets the Marvel Universe

Ms. Marvel : army of one / Wilson, G. Willow

Ms. Marvel. Game over / Wilson, G. Willow

Ms. Marvel : something new / Wilson, G. Willow

Ms. Marvel : generations / Wilson, G. Willow


Ms. Marvel: Outlawed

In the most recent run on Ms. Marvel by Saladin Ahmed (Miles Morales), Kamala battles an alien invasion, gains her version of a symbiote in the living armour ‘Stormranger’, and inadvertently becomes the catalyst for a law that restricts the age of active superheroes to 18 and over.

Ms. Marvel [1] : destined / Ahmed, Saladin (also on Libby)

Ms. Marvel [2] : stormranger / Ahmed, Saladin (also on Libby)

Ms. Marvel [3] : outlawed / Ahmed, Saladin (also on Libby)

Marvel voices : identity

Ms. Marvel : beyond the limit / Ahmed, Samira (also on Libby)


Ms. Marvel’s Team-Ups

Ms. Marvel initially joined the Avengers, before she split off with Miles Morales and Nova to form the Champions, a team of young heroes dedicated to fighting the social justice issues that the Avengers don’t address.

Ms. Marvel Team-up collections

Ms. Marvel team-up / Ewing, Eve L.

Ms. Marvel : fists of justice / Houser, Jody

Ms. Marvel in the Avengers and Champions

All-new, all-different Avengers. Vol. 1, The magnificent seven / Waid, Mark (also on Libby)

All-new all-different Avengers [2] : family business / Waid, Mark

All-new all-different Avengers. Vol. 3, Civil War II / Waid, Mark

Champions [1] : change the world / Waid, Mark

Champions [2] : the freelancer lifestyle / Waid, Mark

The first two Champions volumes are also collected as
Champions : because the world still needs heroes / Waid, Mark

Champions. Vol. 3, Champion for a day / Waid, Mark

The Avengers & Champions : worlds collide / Waid, Mark

Champions [1] : outlawed / Ewing, Eve L. (also on Libby)

Champions. Volume 2, Killer app / Lore, Danny (also on Libby)

A grizzled, older variant of Kamala is a member of the Exiles, a multiverse-hopping team of heroes, each from a different parallel universe.

Exiles [1] : test of time / Ahmed, Saladin

Exiles. Vol. 2, The trial of the Exiles / Ahmed, Saladin


Other Captain Marvels

Marvel Comic’s original Captain Marvel was the alien Kree warrior Mar-Vell. Since his passing, both his son Genis-Vell and daughter Phyla-Vell (a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy) have been Captain Marvel, before Carol Danvers took up the name.

Genis and Phyla-Vell appearances

Genis-Vell : Captain Marvel / David, Peter

Guardians of the Galaxy. 1, Then it’s us / Ewing, Al

The Guardians of the Galaxy [2] : “Here we make our stand” / Ewing, Al

Of course, the original Captain Marvel was the Fawcett Comics hero (now owned by DC Comics) we now call Shazam. You can find out about his exploits on our blog for him here.


Moonstone and Star

Carol Danvers has inspired not just heroes, but villains as well. Her enemy Karla Sofen, the super-powered psychologist Moonstone, once impersonated her as Ms. Marvel on Norman Osborn’s ‘Dark Avengers’.

Moonstone as Ms. Marvel appearances

Captain Marvel : Carol Danvers : the Ms. Marvel years. Vol. 3 / Reed, Brian

Dark Avengers (only on Libby)

Dark X-Men / Cornell, Paul

Siege : Mighty Avengers / Slott, Dan

Recently, Carol fought Ripley Ryan a.k.a Star, a reporter and wannabe hero who became the host to the Infinity Gauntlet’s world-altering Reality Stone.

Star appearances

Captain Marvel. Vol. 1, Re-entry / Thompson, Kelly

Captain Marvel. Vol. 2, Falling star / Thompson, Kelly

Star : birth of a dragon / Thompson, Kelly

King in black : thunderbolts / Rosenberg, Matthew

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… Invincible

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or series. This post is all about the teenage superhero who doesn’t always live up to his name… Invincible!

(GIF via Giphy)


What is Invincible?

Invincible is a comic series published by Image Comics about the adventures of a young superhero, Invincible. Written by Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) and drawn by Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley (The Amazing Spider-Man), the series ran for 144 issues, plus a couple of spinoff series.

Invincible was praised for its clever skewering of classic superhero tropes, memorable and well-developed characters, and phenomenal fight scenes that rival nothing else in modern comics. In 2021, Invincible received an animated adaptation on Amazon Prime, and is currently being adapted into a live-action movie.


Who is Invincible?

Mark Grayson is your average high schooler, except that his dad is the hero Omni-Man, a superpowered alien representative from the distant planet Viltrum. When he turns 17, Mark discovers he has superpowers just like his father, including flight, super-strength and invulnerability, and creates his own costumed moniker, Invincible.

Omni-Man takes Invincible under this wing, joining a world already full to the brim with heroes, like Atom Eve, the Teen Team, and the Guardians of the Globe. But as he begins to adjust to his new powers and responsibilities, Mark gets more than he bargained for when he learns the real purpose behind his father’s mission to Earth.


How to read Invincible

We have the entire Invincible series in our collection, and there are a couple different ways you can read it.

Ultimate Collections

The entire Invincible series has been reprinted in twelve giant Ultimate Collections, each volume containing around 12 issues of the series apiece.

Invincible : ultimate collection, Volume 1 / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible : ultimate collection. Volume 2 / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible : ultimate collection. Volume 3 / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible : ultimate collection. Volume 4 / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible : ultimate collection. Volume 5 / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible : ultimate collection. Volume 6 / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible : ultimate collection. Volume 7 / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible : ultimate collection. Volume 8 / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible : ultimate collection. Volume 9 / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible : ultimate collection. Volume 10 / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible : ultimate collection. Volume 11 / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible : ultimate collection. Volume 12 / Kirkman, Robert


Original Volumes

We still have most of the original volumes of Invincible from when it was still being published. If you’re waiting on reserves for the Ultimate Collection, these might help you out in the meantime (each catalogue entry will tell you what issues are collected in each volume).

Invincible [4] : head of the class / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible [5] : the facts of life / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible [6] : a different world / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible [7] : three’s company / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible [12] : still standing / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible [14] : the Viltrumite War / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible [15] : get smart / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible [16] : family ties / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible [17] : what’s happening / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible [18] : the death of everyone / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible [19] : the war at home / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible [21] : modern family / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible [22] : reboot / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible [23] : full house / Kirkman, Robert

Invincible [24] : the end of all things. Part one / Kirkman, Robert


Compendiums on the eLibrary

We also have the entire series on our eLibrary, Libby!

Invincible. Compendium One (issues #0-47)

Invincible. Compendium Two (issues #48-96)

Invincible. Compendium Three (issues #97-144)


Invincible spinoffs

Not included in the Invincible Ultimate Collections are the spinoff series Guarding the Globe and Invincible Universe. These series focus on a new team of the Guardians of the Globe as they tackle the global crises that spin out of the events of the main Invincible comic.

Guarding the Globe takes place after the Invincible War arc (collected in Ultimate Collection Volume 8), while Invincible Universe takes place after The Death of Everyone arc (collected in Ultimate Collection Volume 9).

Guarding the globe [1] : under siege / Kirkman, Robert

Guarding the globe [2] : hard to kill / Hester, Phil

Invincible Universe. Volume 1 / Hester, Phil

Invincible Universe [2] : above the law / Hester, Phil

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… Loki

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or series. This post is all about Marvel’s God of Mischief, Loki!


Who is Loki?

Born to the Frost Giants of the realm of Jotunheim and adopted by Odin, the King of Asgard, Loki is the Norse God of Mischief and sibling to Thor, the God of Thunder.

When Thor is banished to Earth and becomes a superhero, Loki follows to menace him as a supervillain. Using their magic powers and skills in deception, Loki has been a thorn in Thor’s side for years. Famously, they were also the first threat to ever assemble The Avengers, and they’ve kept a vested interest in the team ever since, even becoming a member of the Young Avengers.

After years of villainy and mischief, Loki now plays a more ambivalent role in the Marvel Universe; sometimes they’re a hero, sometimes they’re a villain, sometimes they’re working for higher powers, sometimes they’re working for themselves. But whatever they do for whatever reason, to those that know them, Loki will never be trusted.


Some Low-Key Notes Before We Begin

Given Loki’s penchant for trickery, disguise, time travel, faking their death, and actually dying and being resurrected a couple of times, their timeline is incredibly complicated, weaving back and forth across the Marvel canon. I’ve done my best to put Loki’s appearances in chronological order of their personal timeline rather than the publishing date of the series they appear in.

In addition, Loki has three notable iterations (the original Norse god ‘Old Loki‘, the young anti-hero ‘Kid Loki‘, and the present incarnation Loki), the former two identifying as male with he/him pronouns and the third being genderfluid, able to change gender at a whim and identifying with the relevant pronoun depending on appearance. I’m going to default to ‘they/them’ for this incarnation, as current writers have done in Loki’s recent appearances.


Loki: God of Mischief

Following Thor to Earth, Loki uses his skill with magic and trickery to be a supervillain. In addition to continuing to menace his brother across Earth and Asgard, Loki also becomes the first threat that the Avengers ever assembled against. Loki’s iteration from his early appearances up to Siege is retroactively called ‘Old Loki’, though he will occasionally pop up via time travel to antagonise both Thor and his future self (see Agent of Asgard below).

‘Old Loki’ appearances

Thor : the mighty avenger / Langridge, Roger

The Avengers : Earth’s mightiest heroes. Volume 1, 1963-1965 / Lee, Stan

Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Volume 1 (only on Libby)

Marvel Masterworks: The Avengers Volume 2 (only on Libby)

Loki (the Marvel-Verse collection)

The mighty Thor [3] / Simonson, Walter

Thor : Ragnaroks / Oeming, Michael Avon


Loki and the Siege of Asgard

When Norman Osborn (the Green Goblin) takes over the Avengers and SHIELD following Secret Invasion, he forms the Cabal (the villain equivalent of the Illuminati) and asks Loki to join. When Osborn begins to lose his grip on absolute power, Loki suggests he boost his status by leading a false flag attack on Asgard (which at this point in time hovered over a small town in Oklahoma), leading to the crossover story Siege.

Loki’s Journey to Siege

Secret invasion : Thor / Fraction, Matt

Dark reign : accept change

Siege : battlefield

Siege : Mighty Avengers / Slott, Dan

Siege / Bendis, Brian Michael


Kid Loki

After Siege, Loki is reborn as ‘Kid Loki’, a preteen Asgardian looking to get a fresh start. This Loki is still a schemer, but also more of a team player, working with Thor, the Young Avengers, and a cosmic team of gods called ‘The Asgardians of the Galaxy’.

Kid Loki appearances

The mighty Thor : journey into mystery : everything burns / Fraction, Matt

Young Avengers [1] : style > substance / Gillen, Kieron

Young Avengers [2] : alternative cultures / Gillen, Kieron

Mic-drop at the edge of time and space / Gillen, Kieron

The three Young Avengers volumes are also collected together as Young Avengers : the complete collection / Gillen, Kieron

Asgardians of the Galaxy [1] : the Infinity Armada / Bunn, Cullen

Asgardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 2, The war of the realms / Bunn, Cullen

There’s also a prose novel of the adventures of a younger Loki in nineteenth-century London, written by The Gentlemen’s Guide author Mackenzi Lee.

Loki : where mischief lies / Lee, Mackenzi


Loki: Agent of Asgard

After their adventures with the Young Avengers, Loki becomes the Agent of Asgard, working behind the scenes to maintain their hallowed home’s place in the cosmic order. Along the way, Loki confronts their alternate selves, gains a greater awareness of their purpose, and later assists the Defenders in an adventure beyond the Multiverse.

Loki: Agent of Asgard reading order

Loki : agent of Asgard [1] : trust me / Ewing, Al

Original sin : Thor & Loki : the tenth realm / Aaron, Jason

Loki : agent of Asgard [2] : I cannot tell a lie / Ewing, Al

Loki : agent of Asgard [3] : last days / Ewing, Al

The entire Agent of Asgard series is also collected as Loki, agent of Asgard : the complete collection / Ewing, Al

Defenders : beyond / Ewing, Al


Loki: Schemer, Sorcerer… Politician?

When the multiverse resets following Secret Wars, Loki has a pretty full schedule of mischief: menacing the new Thor Jane Foster, running for president in Vote Loki, briefly becoming the Sorcerer Supreme, awakening a dead Celestial buried on Earth (which kicks off Jason Aaron’s long-running and recently concluded Avengers run), and leading a ragtag team of Avengers to gather the Infinity Stones.

Post-Secret Wars Loki appearances

The mighty Thor [1] : thunder in her veins / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

The mighty Thor [2] : Lords of Midgard / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

The mighty Thor [3] : the Asgard/Shi’ar war / Aaron, Jason

Vote Loki / Hastings, Chris

Doctor Strange. 1, God of magic / Cates, Donny (also collected in Doctor Strange / Cates, Donny)

Marvel legacy

The Avengers [1] : the final host / Aaron, Jason

Infinity Wars / Duggan, Gerry


War of the Lokis

Loki learns that their past self had a hand in starting The War of the Realms, a massive conflict between the Avengers and an invasion force of villains from across the Ten Realms. They also learn of a prophecy where a version of ‘Old Loki’ is fated to destroy Asgard, which is explored in the miniseries King Thor.

Loki in the War of the Realms reading order

Thor [1] : God of Thunder reborn / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

Thor [2] : road to war of the realms / Aaron, Jason (also on Libby)

The unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Vol. 11, Call your squirrelfriend / North, Ryan

The war of the realms / Aaron, Jason

Loki : the god who fell to Earth / Kibblesmith, Daniel (also on Libby)

King Thor / Aaron, Jason


Return of the God of Lies

In their most recent series, Loki must travel the universe to find the pieces of a cursed weapon he built back in ancient times to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.

Loki : the liar / Watters, Dan


Thor and Loki

Despite their differences over the centuries, the two Asgardian brothers make a great team, with Thor’s brash honesty and raw strength complimenting Loki’s trickery and magical deceptions. Here are a few series that feature their adventures together (and if you’re interested in more Thor books, I wrote a guide for them here!)

Thor and Loki adventures

Thor & Loki . Blood brothers / Rodi, Robert

The mighty Thor : journey into mystery : everything burns / Fraction, Matt

Original sin : Thor & Loki : the tenth realm / Aaron, Jason

Loki : agent of Asgard [2] : I cannot tell a lie / Ewing, Al

Thor and Loki : double trouble / Tamaki, Mariko

Blutant Blurtles: The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… Blue Beetle and Ninja Turtles

“Blutant Blurtles: Adolescent Armored Animals”

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or series. This post is all about two armoured animal adolescent heroes who recently made the leap from comics to the big screen: Blue Beetle, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!


Who is Blue Beetle?

Blue Beetle is a title held by heroes who possess the Scarab, a beetle-shaped artifact that can turn into a metallic insectoid armour. Its most recent bearer is high school student Jaime Reyes, who uses the Scarab’s abilities to protect Palmera City alongside his mentor, the previous Blue Beetle Ted Kord.


Blue Beetle’s Surprisingly Important History

Despite being a minor hero compared to the likes of Superman or Spider-Man, Blue Beetle has a long and storied history in the world of comics.

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For starters, Blue Beetle was not originally a DC Comics character; the first Blue Beetle, a rookie cop named Dan Garrett, was first created by Charles Wojtkoski for Fox Feature Syndicate in 1939 (a year after the debut of Superman). The character was later bought by Charlton Comics, where he received a new identity in businessman Ted Kord and got a sleek redesign (see right) by original Spider-Man artist Steve Ditko.

After Charlton went under, their characters were bought by DC and incorporated into their multiverse on Earth-4. You can read about their adventures in the story ‘Pax Americana‘ in The Multiversity series.

Versions of the Charlton heroes also exist in the ‘prime’ DC Comics timeline of Earth-0, including the atomic army man Captain Atom, the faceless detective The Question, the shadow-wielding spy Nightshade, the patriotic soldier (and recent TV sensation) Peacemaker, and of course, Blue Beetle.

The Charlton heroes then went on to inspire the characters of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ celebrated comic Watchmen, considered one of the greatest graphic novels ever made; Blue Beetle’s analogue there is the tech-using animal-themed hero Nite Owl. ‘Pax Americana‘ in Multiversity incorporates elements of Watchmen into its version of Earth-4, and Watchmen‘s official sequel Doomsday Clock has the Charlton heroes collide with the graphic novel they influenced in the most obvious way possible, fighting Doctor Manhattan on the surface of Mars.


Ted Kord – Blue Beetle II

The first Blue Beetle was Dan Garrett, a blue-armoured adventurer in the 1940s. The Scarab then passed to businessman Ted Kord, who couldn’t use the Scarab’s powers but incorporated its design into his costume and his trademark insect-shaped aircraft, the Bug. Ted has been a member of the Justice League International and its low-rent revival ‘the Super Buddies’.

Blue Beetle Ted Kord appearances

Blue Beetle. Volume one / Wein, Len

Justice League task force. Volume 1, The purification plague / Michelinie, David

Formerly known as the Justice League / Giffen, Keith

Convergence : infinite earths. Book two

Suicide Squad : bad blood / Taylor, Tom

Doomsday clock : the complete collection / Johns, Geoff

The human target. Volume one / King, Tom

Dark crisis on infinite Earths / Williamson, Joshua


The Blue and the Gold

In the days of Justice League International, Ted was frequently paired with time-travelling hero Booster Gold as a comedy duo, with the modest, level-headed Ted trying to keep the vainglorious, easily duped Booster out of trouble. After Ted died, Booster would try to use time travel to revive his friend by meddling with history. With the timeline being rewritten after DC Rebirth, Ted is alive once more, mentoring the third Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes.

Booster Gold and Blue Beetle team-ups

Formerly known as the Justice League / Giffen, Keith

Booster Gold : blue and gold / Johns, Geoff

Justice League 3000. Volume 2, The Camelot war / Giffen, Keith

Convergence : flashpoint book 1

Heroes in crisis / King, Tom

Dark crisis on infinite Earths / Williamson, Joshua


Ted Across the Multiverse

As mentioned above, a version of Ted appears on Earth-4 with the original Charlton characters in Multiversity. Ted is finally able to use the Scarab’s armour in Kingdom Come and takes Batman’s side in an encroaching superhero war (the other Charlton heroes also cameo in the story’s inciting incident). In a twisted possible timeline from the Dark Multiverse, Ted becomes a technologically enhanced tyrant called ‘OBAC’ – the One-Beetle Army Corps.

Kingdom come : the 20th anniversary deluxe edition / Waid, Mark

The Multiversity / Morrison, Grant

Tales from the DC dark multiverse


Jaime Reyes

Jaime Reyes is a Mexican-American high schooler from Texas who comes across the Scarab, which promptly fuses to his body and allows him to manifest armour and weapons at will. Jaime learns the Scarab is actually an agent of a conquering alien empire called The Reach, and he sets out to redeem its power for good. Proving his worth as a hero, Jaime later joins the Teen Titans.

Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes appearances

Post-Crisis

Blue Beetle : road trip / Rogers, John

Blue Beetle : boundaries / Sturges, Matthew

Teen Titans : Titans of tomorrow

Teen Titans : changing of the guard / McKeever, Sean

The New 52/DC Rebirth

Blue Beetle. Volume 1, Metamorphosis / Bedard, Tony

Threshold. Volume 1, The hunted / Giffen, Keith

Blue Beetle. Vol. 3, Road to nowhere / Sebela, Christopher

Dark crisis on infinite Earths / Williamson, Joshua

Blue Beetle : graduation day / Trujillo, Josh


Jaime Across the Multiverse

Jaime is a late recruit to ‘The Team’ in the world of Young Justice, where the sidekicks of the Justice League form a black ops unit to save the world covertly. In the second series of Injustice, Jaime becomes Blue Beetle after Ted Kord’s passing, and joins Batman’s resistance.

Young Justice [4] : invasion / Weisman, Greg

Injustice 2. Vol. 1 / Taylor, Tom


Who are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

Four ordinary turtles were exposed to a can of Ooze, which caused them to mutate into humanoid forms. Falling into the sewers and adopted by a kindly rat named Splinter, the four turtle brothers learned martial arts under his tutelage and took on names and trademark ninjutsu weapons, defending New York in secret from ancient and alien threats.

Leonardo leads. Donatello does machines. Raphael has attitude. Michelangelo is a party dude. They are the heroes in a half shell, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!


Original Indie Ninja Turtles

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared in an indie comic by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, skewering the 1980s obsession with ninjas, especially in Frank Miller’s Daredevil (the Ooze is implied to be the radioactive waste that blinded a young Matt Murdock). We have the earliest issues of their indie comic in this volume here:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Volume one / Eastman, Kevin B


Licensed Comic Ninja Turtles

The Turtles have been rebooted numerous times across media, including comics, television, and movies. The current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic series is a reboot by original Turtles creator Kevin Eastman and artist Tom Waltz, aiming to streamline the Turtles lore from various media into one comic.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Volume 1, Change is constant / Eastman, Kevin B

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Volume 2, Enemies old, enemies new / Eastman, Kevin B

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Volume 3, Shadows of the past / Waltz, Tom

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Volume 4, Sins of the fathers / Waltz, Tom

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Volume 5 / Lawson, Jim

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : the Armageddon game / Waltz, Tom

Read More

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… One Piece

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or series. This post is all about the story of a kid who wants to be King of the Pirates and sets out find the world’s greatest treasure: One Piece!

The Straw Hats’ ship, the Thousand Sunny, sails off into the horizon (via GIPHY)


What is One Piece?

Luffy (centre) and the Straw Hats (clockwise from top left) Nami, Zoro, Brook, Franky, Usopp, Sanji, Robin, and Chopper (via GIPHY)

One Piece is a weekly manga published by the anthology manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump. Written and drawn by mangaka (manga artist) Eiichirō Oda, it’s the longest-running manga in the magazine’s history, running for over 26 years, and has been adapted into movies, video games, a long-running anime, and a live-action TV series on Netflix.

The story of One Piece takes place following the capture of notorious pirate Gol D. Roger, who proclaims before his execution that he hid a fabulous treasure named ‘The One Piece’ at the end of the world’s most perilous ocean, the Grand Line. This inspires a generation of pirates to seek out the treasure, including Monkey D. Luffy, a boy with the power of the Gum-Gum Fruit, which allows him to stretch his body like rubber at the cost of being able to swim.

Luffy gathers a loyal crew (named the ‘Straw Hat Pirates’ after his signature lid) including ace swordsman Zoro, sassy cat burglar Nami, cowardly sharpshooter Usopp, and chivalrous chef Sanji, and they set off to find the One Piece, battling rival pirates, crime lords, sea monsters, corrupt governments, and despotic rulers, while gathering new crew members along the way.


How do I start reading One Piece?

Start at Volume 1! You can reserve it here or start reading here on our eLibrary app Libby. We have the first four volumes on the eLibrary, and the first 99 volumes of the series in tankōbon (manga collection). In fact, the most recent tankōbon in our collection has the series milestone 1000th chapter in it, which sets up the series’ final arc. So now has never been a better time to get caught up!

That’s the how explained, but the more important question is why should you start reading One Piece? A series this long is a big commitment, but as someone who is currently up to date with the manga (all 1091 chapters as of this writing), I can tell you from experience that it is well worth the journey. Come aboard, and let us count the ways…

Luffy and the Straw Hats in the order they joined the crew (via GIPHY)


The Story

Come aboard and bring along all your hopes and dreams! (via GIPHY)

While One Piece‘s overall story is literally just the world’s biggest treasure hunt, it’s the journey that matters, as the Straw Hat crew travel from island to island encountering rivals and obstacles to their quest. The series is divided into discrete arcs, which vary in length and build in complexity as more characters are introduced and the world gets further fleshed out.

My personal favourite One Piece arcs are:

Baroque Works (vol 13-24) – The Straw Hats help a princess disguised as a bounty hunter save her desert kingdom of Arabasta from Crocodile, a crime lord with the power of the Sand-Sand Fruit. The first major arc of the series which sets the template for the rest of One Piece’s storylines.

Skypiea (vol 25-33) – Arguably the most imaginative setting in One Piece, here the crew ascends up a giant geyser to a civilization in the sky, where ships can sail on clouds and an indigenous population protects their land from the ‘Sky People’ and the self-proclaimed lightning god Eneru.

Enies Lobby (vol 39-45) – After fighting through a train that rides over the ocean, the Straw Hats must rescue a member of the crew from a government stronghold guarded by highly trained secret agents. This arc sees the crew come face-to-face with the oppressive World Government, the major governing body of the One Piece world that silences or imprisons anyone who threatens their power.

Impel Down (vol 55-57) – To save his brother Ace from execution, Luffy teams up with a number of the series’ previous villains to break him out of the titular prison island, which is inspired by the circles of Hell from Dante’s Inferno. This story also sets up the Marineford arc, a major turning point in the One Piece narrative and the halfway point of the manga’s overall story.

Whole Cake Island (80-90) – Luffy and half of the Straw Hat crew venture to a chain of fairy tale-inspired islands to save Sanji from an arranged marriage. Despite the island’s (literally) sugar-coated surface, the lands of Whole Cake are ruled with an iron fist by the villainous ‘Big Mom’, a giantess pirate and member of the series most powerful villains, the Four Emperors.


The Fights

Luffy performs his Gum-Gum Jet Gatling attack (via GIPHY)

It wouldn’t be a shōnen manga if the fights weren’t top-notch, and in that respect One Piece does not disappoint. In addition to a litany of sword-wielders, martial artists, cyborgs, and mythical creatures like giants and fishmen that inhabit the Grand Line, we have the signature superpowers of One Piece that come from the mysterious Devil Fruits. When eaten, these fruits grant their user supernatural abilities, ranging from ‘growing extra limbs at will’ to ‘turning into a dinosaur’ to ‘being able to manipulate biscuits’, making the fights incredibly imaginative depending on each character’s particular skillset.

Nico Robin has the Flower-Flower Fruit, allowing her to grow copies of her limbs onto anything or anyone (via GIPHY)

Every One Piece arc has an act dedicated just to Luffy and the Straw Hats going mano-a-mano with the antagonists of that storyline. Over the course of the series, we’ve seen such hits as:

  • The Crew Fights a Pirate Circus, Led by a Clown Who Can Split His Body into Pieces!
  • Who Can Sword More: The Crew’s Swordsman, or A Literal Man Made of Swords?
  • Usopp and Chopper Fight a Mole-Woman and a Guy Whose Dog is a Bazooka!
  • Zoro and Usopp Fight a Sword-Wielding Giraffe-Man… While Handcuffed Together!
  • How Many Biscuit Soldiers Can Luffy Eat in One Battle? The Answer May Surprise You!
  • Sanji Abandons His Noodle Stand and Embraces His Power Ranger Heritage to Beat Up a Spinosaurus-Man!

While those all sound ridiculous, every fight is written with an emphasis on showing growth through conflict, and drawn to showcase action and exaggerate the impact of each blow (it helps when your main character can squash and stretch like a Looney Tune). Some of the best moments in One Piece are when a character overcomes a limitation or sees their motivation in a new light while mid-conflict. It’s classic shōnen manga stuff, but filtered through One Piece‘s signature brand of wackiness, it’ll make you laugh and cheer (and sometimes cry).

Zoro always gets the final cut (via GIPHY)


The Art

The art style of One Piece is unlike a lot of other manga, which in the 90s tended to favour sharper designs and large, expressive eyes. Though Oda was inspired by earlier Japanese mangaka like Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball), his style also takes influence from Western comics and animation, giving his characters a more noodley, ‘cartoonish’ quality.

When your characters are mostly leg, they gotta know how to use them (via GIPHY)

In contrast, every background in One Piece is drawn with the utmost attention to detail, thanks to Oda and his team of tireless art assistants that maintain the manga’s quality week after week. Because of this unique blend of dense worldbuilding and cartoony characters, the series can shift tones from goofy to serious on a dime, but still never break your immersion in the story.

Yes, the joke is Chopper doesn’t know how to hide, but can we take a second to notice someone had to draw ALL those bricks? (via GIPHY)

Oda is a notorious fiend for research and he puts all on the One Piece page, pulling inspiration from mythology, animation, history (including, naturally, the Golden Age of Piracy), architecture, cinema, even professional wrestling. It keeps the Grand Line interesting, and it only gets better as Oda keeps adding new ideas to the story and grows more confident in his draftsmanship, cramming immense amounts of detail into each page.

Over the course of the series, the Straw Hat crew have visited such imaginative locales as:

  • Baratie, a giant floating restaurant for pirates in the middle of the ocean (I do not envy who had to draw all those floorboards…)
  • Skypiea, a civilization in the clouds built on floating islands, full of dense jungles and ancient temples
  • Water Seven, a massive canal city that puts Venice to shame, with multi-tiered, interconnected river roads
  • Fishman Island, a colourful kingdom of fishmen located deep under the ocean, which can only be accessed by covering your ship in an airtight bubble of a special tree sap and sinking straight down
  • Zou, a society of humanoid animals called ‘Minks’ that live on the back of a colossal, centuries-old talking elephant who walks through the ocean
  • Thriller Bark, a Tim Burton-inspired island full of zombies and Frankensteined animals that’s basically just ‘The Straw Hats go to Nightmare Before Christmas

Five minutes in Thriller Bark and Luffy is already sick of it (via GIPHY)

Oda clearly never wants the series to grow stagnant by staying in one setting for too long, and that promise of novelty is what keeps every One Piece fan coming back to the series week after week.


The Writing

One Piece Quote Analysis #1 | Anime Amino

‘Warlord of the Sea’ Doflamingo explains the ‘justice’ of the Grand Line (GIF via Anime Amino)

A world as dense and diverse as the Grand Line needs to be populated with characters that believably inhabit that world. Every character in One Piece, from the Straw Hat crew to the villains to the incidental villagers, have motivations, habits, beliefs, even specific laughs. But where the manga really shines in terms of character writing is when you get to see how a character became the way they are, and some of One Piece‘s most affecting moments are when a character’s ambition comes into harsh conflict with the unfair world around them.

This comes to a head in the series’ halfway point, the Summit War, a massive battle between the authoritarian World Government and a united army of pirates. The tension in the story comes from not from who will win, but how the winning side will determine what justice in the world gets to be. Pirates are defined against the laws and norms of their society, branded as criminals by the governmental and economic powers of their era. This makes One Piece uniquely suited to explore themes of justice, inequality, and resistance against entrenched power structures. English teachers, take note!

Storylines like Arlong Park and Fishman Island not only examine systemic racism experienced by the series’ unique aquatic peoples, but also their disagreements on how they respond to their oppression. Characters like Nico Robin and Luffy’s brother Ace are targeted for their ties to historical events that the World Government has tried to cover up, touching on ideas of “history being written by the victors” and whether any one person is a criminal simply for existing.

The people of Skypeia fly into battle (via GIPHY)

And in my opinion, the Skypiea arc is one of the best fictional interpretations I’ve seen of indigenous resistance to colonisation, written in a way that is both broad yet specific, and one that immediately made me think of Aotearoa’s own history. Probably helped by the fact that it literally takes place on a land of long white cloud.


The Journey

15 Best anime quotes images | Anime, One piece quotes, Dbz memes

Will Monkey D. Luffy be the one to challenge the world? (via Pinterest)

At over 1000 chapters and counting, One Piece is a truly monumental feat of serialised storytelling for any medium. Unlike American comics, where writers and artists change hands on a title regularly, Eiichirō Oda has been the sole creator of One Piece since it began in July 1997, which gives the series a consistent level of quality. It’s exceedingly rare to read something still being published today that is written and drawn by the same person, where everything that excites, fascinates, and concerns them has been filtered into one work of art over two and a half decades.

With recent buzz that the manga is heading into its finale, all eyes are on One Piece to stick the landing, especially as it’s grown more popular worldwide in recent years. But it would go against the series’ goals to recommend it solely on how it might end. After all, it’s the journey that matters.

Recommending One Piece is like talking about your best overseas trip: you can explain all the specifics of what you did, who you met or how you got there, but you really just have to experience it for yourself. And the more people you can share that experience with, the better it becomes.

Set sail for One Piece! (via GIPHY)

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… The Amazing Spider-Man

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character. This post is all about the first to do whatever a spider can: Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man!

(via GIPHY)

This blog will just cover what we have of The Amazing Spider-Man, the main Spider-Man series which has published continuously since 1963, and any other Peter Parker-centric comics.

If you want to read about Miles Morales, Spider-Gwen, and the other heroes from across the Spider-Verse, check out their blogs here (Part One) and here (Part Two).


Who is The Amazing Spider-Man?

Let’s do this one more time….

Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, and gained superhuman abilities like incredible strength and reflexes, adhesive fingers and toes to climb along walls, and a ‘spider-sense’ that could predict danger. After the tragic death of his Uncle Ben, Peter learned that with great power must also come great responsibility, and he became the crimefighting hero Spider-Man.


An Amazing FantasyBook: 'Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man (2003), Volume 1'. Cover image.

Spider-Man first appeared in the fifteenth (and final) issue of an anthology comic called Amazing Fantasy in 1962. Proving to be a hit with readers, he received his own series the following year, The Amazing Spider-Man.

On Libby, we have the first twenty issues of the series (plus the original Spider-Man story from Amazing Fantasy), which introduces Peter’s supporting cast, like his Aunt May, his boss J. Jonah Jameson of the Daily Bugle newspaper, and his first love interest Betty Brant.

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 1 (only on Libby)

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2 (only on Libby)


For a contemporary take on Spider-Man’s early years, check out the Learning to Crawl volume, which takes place between Amazing Fantasy #15 and The Amazing Spider-Man #1, or the recent Spidey miniseries.

The amazing Spider-Man [1.1] : learning to crawl / Slott, Dan

Spidey. Volume 1, First day / Thompson, Robbie

Spidey. Vol. 02, After-school special / Thompson, Robbie

The whole run on Spidey is also collected in one volume as
Spidey. [1], Freshman year / Thompson, Robbie


Brand New Day and The Gauntlet

Brand New Day was a mid-2000s Amazing Spider-Man arc which re-established a classic status quo for Peter Parker, working once more for the Daily Bugle and struggling to stay afloat in post-recession New York. In the now-classic The Gauntlet arc, Spider-Man faces revamped versions of his classic foes, like Sandman, Electro, the Lizard, and Mysterio.

The Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day (only on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man : brand new day. Vol. 2 / Gale, Bob (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man : brand new day / Slott, Dan

The amazing Spider-Man : election day / Guggenheim, Marc

The amazing Spider-Man : crime and punisher / Guggenheim, Marc

The amazing Spider-Man : death and dating / Waid, Mark

The amazing Spider-Man : the gauntlet [1] : Electro & Sandman

The amazing Spider-Man : the gauntlet. [Vol. 2], Rhino & Mysterio

The amazing Spider-Man : the gauntlet [3] : Vulture & Morbius

The amazing Spider-Man : the gauntlet [4] : Juggernaut

The amazing Spider-Man : the gauntlet. [Vol. 5], Lizard


Spidey hits the Big Time

Big Time sees Peter Parker joining Horizon Labs, a tech company specialising in cutting-edge research and development. This era focused more on Peter’s scientific smarts, as he used his personal lab to develop tech for fighting villains as Spider-Man and then repurposed it into consumer technology at Horizon.

The amazing Spider-Man : big time

The amazing Spider-Man : matters of life and death / Slott, Dan

The amazing Spider-Man : the return of Anti-Venom

The amazing Spider-Man : flying blind

The amazing Spider-Man : ends of the Earth

The Amazing Spider-Man : Lizard : no turning back / Slott, Dan

The amazing Spider-Man : dying wish / Slott, Dan


Into the Spider-Verse

After having his mind taken over by Doctor Octopus (see Superior Spider-Man in our Spider-Verse blog), Peter returned just in time to join the Spider-Verse crossover, where he first met Silk, Spider-Gwen, and the rest of the Spider-Army.

The amazing Spider-Man [1] : the Parker luck / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [2] : Spider-Verse prelude / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [3] : Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [4] : graveyard shift / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [5] : spiral / Conway, Gerry


Spider-Man Worldwide

Continuing Dan Slott’s 100+ issue run on Amazing Spider-Man, this series has Peter Parker going global after becoming the multi-millionaire owner of Parker Industries, with Spider-Man acting as his ‘security consultant’.

The amazing Spider-Man : worldwide [1] / Slott, Dan

The amazing Spider-Man : worldwide [2] / Slott, Dan

Civil war II : amazing Spider-Man / Gage, Christos

The amazing Spider-Man : worldwide [3] / Slott, Dan

The amazing Spider-Man : worldwide [4] / Slott, Dan

The amazing Spider-Man : worldwide [5] / Slott, Dan

The amazing Spider-Man : worldwide [6] / Slott, Dan

The amazing Spider-Man : worldwide [7] / Slott, Dan

The amazing Spider-Man : worldwide [8] / Slott, Dan

The amazing Spider-Man : worldwide [9] / Slott, Dan

Spider-Geddon (ONLY on Libby)


Spider-Man goes Back to Basics

Nick Spencer (Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Captain America) took over the series and brought Spider-Man down to Earth and back to New York. Here, Peter rekindled his romance with Mary Jane Watson and became roommates with one of his B-list villains, Fred Myers aka Boomerang.

The amazing Spider-Man. Vol. 1, Back to basics / Spencer, Nick

The Amazing Spider-Man [2] : friends and foes / Spencer, Nick
(also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man. Vol. 3, Lifetime achievement / Spencer, Nick

The amazing Spider-Man [4] : hunted / Spencer, Nick

The amazing Spider-Man. Vol. 5, Behind the scenes / Spencer, Nick

The amazing Spider-Man : absolute Carnage

The amazing Spider-Man [7] : 2099 / Spencer, Nick

The amazing Spider-Man [8] : threats & menaces / Spencer, Nick

The amazing Spider-Man [9] : sins rising / Spencer, Nick

The amazing Spider-Man [10] : Green Goblin returns / Spencer, Nick

The amazing Spider-Man. Vol. 11, Last remains / Spencer, Nick

The amazing Spider-Man : last remains companion / Spencer, Nick

The amazing Spider-Man [12] : shattered web / Spencer, Nick

The amazing Spider-Man [13] : king’s ransom / Spencer, Nick

The amazing Spider-Man [14] : Chameleon conspiracy / Spencer, Nick

Sinister war / Spencer, Nick

The amazing Spider-Man. Vol. 15, What cost victory / Spencer, Nick


Spider-Man Beyond

Peter Parker’s clone Ben Reilly (see Scarlet Spider in our Spider-Verse blog) takes on the Spider-Man mantle while Peter is out of commission, joining up with the Beyond Corporation as their corporate-sponsored hero.

The amazing Spider-Man : beyond [1]

The amazing Spider-Man : beyond [2]

The amazing Spider-Man : beyond [3]

The amazing Spider-Man : beyond [4]


The Return of Peter Parker

The current run of Amazing Spider-Man has no shortage of ups and downs for Peter Parker, as he gains a new suit courtesy of the reformed Green Goblin, teams up with the X-Men to prevent a demonic invasion in Dark Web, and faces an upgraded Doctor Octopus.

The Amazing Spider-Man. Volume 1, World without love / Wells, Zeb

The Amazing Spider-Man. Volume 2, The new sinister / Wells, Zeb (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man. Volume 3, Hobgoblin / Wells, Zeb (also on Libby)

Dark web / Wells, Zeb

The amazing Spider-Man. Vol. 4, Dark web / Wells, Zeb

The amazing Spider-Man. Volume 5, Dead language, part 1 / Wells, Zeb

The amazing Spider-Man. Vol. 06, Dead language, part 2

The amazing Spider-Man [7] : armed and dangerous / Wells, Zeb

Read More

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… The Flash

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character. This post is about all the heroes who have held the title of the Fastest Man Alive… The Flash!

(via GIPHY)


Who is The Flash?

After being struck by lightning in a lab accident, police scientist Barry Allen discovers he has the ability to move at superhuman speeds and travel through time. Donning a friction-resistant red-and-yellow suit, Barry protects his home of Central City from the villainous Rogues and traverses time and space as The Flash.

Later, Barry’s nephew Wally West gains super-speed as well and becomes his sidekick Kid Flash, before graduating to becoming the Flash himself.

A Flash Fact about DC Comics history

DC Comics are divided into publishing eras, determined by a point where they set the issue number (and sometimes, continuity) of a series back to #1. These periods are referred to as:

  • ‘Pre-Crisis’ – everything published before 1986
  • ‘Post-Crisis’ – everything published from 1986-2011
  • The New 52 – 2011-2016
  • DC Rebirth – 2016-2021
  • Infinite Frontier – 2021 to present.

This is important to know because the events that define these publishing eras usually have something to do with The Flash; Barry Allen famously dies during the ‘Crisis’, and after being resurrected, he creates the timeline that came to define ‘The New 52’.

If you’d like to know more about DC Comic’s increasingly complicated internal chronology, I recommend checking out DC greatest events : stories that shook the multiverse.

Pre-Crisis

Barry is actually the second Flash: the first was scientist Jay Garrick, who resides on the parallel world of Earth-2. During one of his adventures, Barry travels to Earth-2 and teams up with Jay; this story ‘Flash of Two Worlds’ established the existence of the DC Multiverse, and subsequently the template for all other stories involving multiverses in other media. Barry and Jay would regularly partner up again along with their respective teams, the Justice League and the Justice Society.

Showcase presents The Flash. Volume 2 / Broome, John (includes ‘Flash of Two Worlds’)

The Justice League of America : the Silver Age. Volume three / Fox, Gardner F.

Showcase presents Justice League of America. Volume three / Fox, Gardner

Showcase presents Justice League of America. Volume four / Fox, Gardner


Post-Crisis

Post-Crisis refers to the point after the story Crisis on Infinite Earths, when the DC Multiverse collapses into one Earth with one shared history. Now the Flash became a succession story: Jay Garrick retires as the Flash after WWII, Barry is inspired by Jay, and after Barry’s death, Wally West takes up the mantle of the Flash.

Mark Waid run

Writer Mark Waid first established the idea that the Flashes get their powers from the ‘Speed Force’, an extradimensional energy that governs all motion across time and space, and can be manipulated to grant super-speed and other powers to its wielders, called ‘speedsters’.

The Flash by Mark Waid. Book one / Waid, Mark

The Flash by Mark Waid. Book four / Waid, Mark

The Flash by Mark Waid. Book five / Waid, Mark

The Flash : emergency stop / Morrison, Grant

The Flash : the human race / Morrison, Grant

(The Flash : emergency stop and The Flash : the human race are also collected together as The Flash / Morrison, Grant)

Geoff Johns run

Under Geoff Johns’ pen, Wally West fights new and old Rogues, starts a family, and learns the cost of being a hero with a public identity from Zoom, a villain who alters the flow of time to move at superhuman speed.

The Flash By Geoff Johns : Book One / Johns, Geoff

The Flash by Geoff Johns. Book two / Johns, Geoff

The Flash by Geoff Johns. Book three / Johns, Geoff

The Flash by Geoff Johns. Book five / Johns, Geoff


Flashpoint

During Final Crisis, Barry Allen is brought back to life and becomes the Flash again. Barry then attempts to rewrite history to prevent his mother’s death, inadvertently creating the ‘Flashpoint’ timeline, a world where Flash, Superman and other heroes never existed.

Absolute final crisis / Morrison, Grant

The Flash : rebirth / Johns, Geoff (also on Libby)

The Flash by Geoff Johns. Book six / Johns, Geoff

The Flash : the road to Flashpoint / Johns, Geoff

Flashpoint / Johns, Geoff


The New 52

Barry erases the Flashpoint timeline, but ends up creating The New 52, a simplified timeline which DC Comics used as a springboard to reboot their comics’ shared continuity. As a result of history being rewritten, Barry becomes the one and only Flash.

The Flash. Volume 1, Move forward / Manapul, Francis
(also on Libby)

The Flash. Volume 2, Rogues revolution / Manapul, Francis

The Flash. Volume 4, Reverse / Manapul, Francis

The Flash. Volume 5, History lessons / Buccellato, Brian

The Flash. Volume 6, Out of time / Venditti, Robert

The Flash. Volume 7, Savage world / Venditti, Robert

The Flash. Volume 8, Zoom / Venditti, Robert

The Flash. Volume 9, Full stop / Jensen, Van


DC Rebirth

During DC Rebirth, the timeline is once again altered, restoring characters and events that had been erased from the timeline by the New 52. These include Wally West, Zoom, and the Reverse-Flash, a stalker fan from the 25th century who wants to emulate his hero, Barry Allen.

The Flash. Vol. 2, Speed of darkness / Williamson, Joshua

The Flash. Vol. 3, Rogues reloaded / Williamson, Joshua

Batman/The Flash : the button : deluxe edition / Williamson, Joshua

The Flash. Vol. 4, Running scared / Williamson, Joshua

The Flash. Vol. 5, Negative / Williamson, Joshua

The Flash. Vol. 6, Cold day in hell / Williamson, Joshua

The Flash. Vol. 7, Perfect storm / Williamson, Joshua

The Flash [8] : Flash war / Williamson, Joshua

The Flash. Volume 9, Reckoning of the forces / Williamson, Joshua

The Flash. Vol. 10, Force Quest / Williamson, Joshua

The Flash : year one / Williamson, Joshua

Heroes in crisis : the price and other stories / Williamson, Joshua

Flash forward / Lobdell, Scott

The Flash. Vol. 11, The greatest trick of all / Williamson, Joshua

The Flash. Vol. 12, Death and the speed force / Williamson, Joshua

The Flash. Vol. 13, Rogues’ reign / Williamson, Joshua

The Flash. Vol. 14, The Flash age / Williamson, Joshua

The Flash. Vol. 15, Finish line / Williamson, Joshua

Dark nights : death metal : the darkest knight (includes ‘Speed Metal’, a team-up with every Flash in history).


Infinite Frontier

After Barry becomes lost in the once more infinite Multiverse, Wally West takes on the mantle of the Flash once more, fighting crime while balancing life as a husband and father.

Infinite frontier / Williamson, Joshua

The Flash. Vol. 16, Wally West returns / Shinick, Kevin

War for Earth-3 / Thompson, Robbie

The Flash. Vol. 17, Eclipsed / Adams, Jeremy

The Flash. Vol. 18, The search for Barry Allen / Adams, Jeremy

The Flash. Volume 19, The one-minute war / Adams, Jeremy

Aquaman & The Flash : Voidsong / Kelly, Collin


Based on the TV series

The (pardon the phrasing) long-running CW series of The Flash has also inspired a few comics of its own.

The Flash : season zero / Kreisberg, Andrew

Crisis on infinite Earths : Paragons rising : the deluxe edition / Wolfman, Marv

Earth-Prime


The Rogues

The Flash’s villains are collectively known as The Rogues, a team of science-powered criminals content to menace The Fastest Man Alive. Lead by ‘The Man Who Mastered Absolute Zero’ Captain Cold, the Rogues have included the pyromaniac Heat Wave, the deceptive Mirror Master, the mischievous Trickster, the blowhard Weather Wizard, the ethereal Golden Glider, and the telepathic criminal ape Gorilla Grodd.

Rogue-centric stories

The Flash by Geoff Johns. Book five / Johns, Geoff (includes the ‘Rogue War’ arc)

The Flash by Geoff Johns. Book six / Johns, Geoff (includes Final Crisis: Rogue’s Revenge miniseries)

Forever Evil [1] : Rogues rebellion / Buccellato, Brian

The Flash. Vol. 3, Rogues reloaded / Williamson, Joshua

The Flash. Vol. 13, Rogues’ reign / Williamson, Joshua

Rogues / Williamson, Joshua


Flash Across the Multiverse

The Flash. Volume 9, Reckoning of the forces / Williamson, Joshua – This volume features Barry meeting the Flashes of the Multiverse, including the cowboy Johnny Thunder of Earth-18, the robot Mercury-Flash of Earth-44, and the unnaturally swift turtle Fastback from the Zoo Crew of Earth-26.

Teen Titans : Earth one. Volume one and Volume two
Wally West hunts down the Teen Titans, here reimagined as teens given superpowers through a covert government experiment.

Earth 2. Volume 1, The gathering / Robinson, James Dale – A reboot of the original Earth-2, now home to a younger Jay Garrick protecting the world from an invasion by Darkseid.

Crime Syndicate / Schmidt, Andy – The Flash from the criminal world of Earth-3 is named Johnny Quick, a member of the nefarious Crime Syndicate.

Multiversity : teen justice / Cohen, Ivan – The matriarchal society of Earth-11 is home to Kid Quick, a genderfluid speedster for the sidekick team Teen Justice.

Justice League infinity / DeMatteis, J. M – A comic continuation of the TV show Justice League Unlimited, where most fans first encountered Wally West.

DC, the new frontier / Cooke, Darwyn – A young Barry Allen helps found the Justice League in the 1950s to battle the monstrous living island ‘The Centre’.

Kingdom come / Waid, Mark – In a future where heroes have rejected humanity, Wally West has fused with the Speed Force and become a human blur.

The Jurassic League / Gedeon, Juan – On the prehistoric Earth-27, the local Flash is a velociraptor (natch).

The Multiversity / Morrison, Grant – The multiversal team Justice League Incarnate includes Red Racer, a comic book fanboy with superspeed from Earth-36, a world protected by the Justice 9.

Justice League incarnate / Williamson, Joshua – After Red Racer’s disappearance, Avery Ho (the Flash of China from New Super-Man) takes over as Justice League Incarnate’s resident speedster.

Injustice : Gods among us : Volume 1 – When Superman takes over the world after a personal tragedy, Barry Allen reluctantly joins the Man of Steel’s Regime.

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… Spider-Verse (Part Two)

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character. This post is about all the heroes that can do whatever a spider can from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse!

Be sure to check out the first part of this blog series, where we covered the Spider-heroes and their villains who appeared in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

(via GIPHY)


Spider-Verse sequel comics

Warzones: Spider-Verse

The first Spider-Verse sequel was set during the Secret Wars storyline, featuring a team of Spiders that would later become the multiverse-protecting Web Warriors.

Spider-Verse / Costa, Mike

Web Warriors, protectors of the Spider-verse. Volume 1, Electroverse / Costa, Mike

Web Warriors, protectors of the Spider-verse. Volume 2, Spiders vs / Costa, Mike


Spider-Geddon

Spider-Geddon sees the Inheritors return to destroy Spiders across time and space, and a new Spider-Army assembles to stop them. Notable new recruits include Spiders-Mana sentient cluster of spiders who shape themselves into a Spider-Man, and Spider-Ma’am, a version of Aunt May who was bitten by a radioactive spider instead of Peter.

Spider-Geddon (ONLY on Libby)

Peter Parker : the spectacular Spider-Man. Volume 5, Spider-geddon

Spider-Geddon : covert ops / Priest, Christopher J.

Spider-geddon : edge of Spider-geddon

The superior Spider-Man. Vol. 2, Otto-matic / Gage, Christos

Spider-Gwen : Ghost-Spider. Vol. 1, Spider-geddon / McGuire, Seanan


Spider-Verse: Spider-Zero

Spider-Verse: Spider-Zero sees Miles Morales return to the multiverse to help Spider-Zero, a girl with spider-powers who has no universe to call home. This comic is notable featuring fan commissions for new Spider-characters, playing into the ‘Spidersona’ hashtag from social media.

Spider-Verse : Spider-Zero / MacKay, Jed


The End of the Spider-Verse

In The End of the Spider-Verse, the wasp-goddess Shathra takes over the Spider-Verse, and its up to a new team of Spider-Heroes to stop her. New Spiders introduced here include a Disney-inspired Spider-princess named Spinstress, a queer teenager with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome named Sun-Spider, and the Spider-Rex, a web-slinging dinosaur who was hit by a spider-meteor.

Edge of Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan

Spider-Man [1] : end of the Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan

Edge of Spider-Verse. : bleeding edge / Pacheco, Karla


Who’s Who in Across the Spider-Verse?

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse sees Miles Morales being recruited into the Spider Society, an interdimensional team of Spiders who help fix the broken multiverse, alongside Spider-Gwen and Peter B. Parker. Here are just some of the Spiders who debut in the new film:


Spider-Man 2099 (Earth-928)

In the cyberpunk future of the year 2099, geneticist Miguel O’Hara has his DNA spliced with that of a spider and gains its powers. Aided by his AI companion Lyla, Miguel uses his new abilities to battle the evil Alchemax corporation as the Spider-Man of 2099.

Spider-Man 2099 reading order

Spider-Man : 2099 / David, Peter (the original Spider-Man 2099 series)

The amazing Spider-Man [2] : Spider-Verse prelude / Slott, Dan

The amazing Spider-Man [3] : Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan

Spider-Man 2099 [1] : out of time / David, Peter

Spider-Man 2099. Vol. 3, Smack to the future / David, Peter

Spider-Man 2099. vol. 4, Gods and women / David, Peter

Spider-Man 2099 [6] : Apocalypse soon / David, Peter

Spider-Man 2099 [7] : back to the future, shock / David, Peter

The amazing Spider-Man [7] : 2099 / Spencer, Nick

Spider-Man 2099 : dark genesis / Orlando, Steve

Other stories from Marvel 2099 include:

Secret wars 2099 / David, Peter

Deadpool 2099 / Duggan, Gerry


Spider-Woman (Earth-616)

There have been several Spider-Women over the years, but the first to bear the name was Jessica Drew, who gained her powers from a spider-blood serum made by her geneticist father. Trained in espionage, Jessica has been a private eye, an Agent of SHIELD, and a member of both the New Avengers and the Secret Avengers.

Spider-Woman reading order

Spider-Woman [1] : Spider-Verse / Hopeless, Dennis

Spider-Woman. Vol. 2, New duds / Hopeless, Dennis

Spider-Women / Hopeless, Dennis (crossover with Silk and Spider-Gwen)

Spider-Woman : shifting gears. Vol. 2, Civil war II / Hopeless, Dennis

Spider-Geddon (ONLY on Libby)

Spider-Geddon : covert ops / Priest, Christopher J.

Spider-Woman. Vol. 1, Bad blood / Pacheco, Karla

Spider-Woman. Vol. 2, King in black / Pacheco, Karla

Spider-Woman. Vol. 3, Back to basics / Pacheco, Karla

Spider-Woman. Vol. 4, Devil’s reign / Pacheco, Karla

Spider-Woman in The Avengers

New Avengers (2004), Volumes 1-4 (all ONLY on Libby)

Avengers assemble : the forgeries of jealousy / DeConnick, Kelly Sue

Avengers [1] : Avengers world / Hickman, Jonathan

Avengers [2] : the last white event / Hickman, Jonathan

Secret Avengers [1] : let’s have a problem / Kot, Ales

Secret Avengers [2] : the labyrinth / Kot, Ales

Secret Avengers [3] : God level / Kot, Ales


Spider-Man India (Earth-50101)

(via GIPHY)

Pavitr Prabhakar is a boy from Mumbai who was given spider-powers by a yogi, and learned the lesson of great power and great responsibility after the death of his Uncle Bhim. In addition to being the Spider-Man of India, Pavitr is the resident tech whiz for the Web Warriors.

Spider-Man India appearances

The amazing Spider-Man [2] : Spider-Verse prelude / Slott, Dan

The amazing Spider-Man [3] : Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan

Spider-Verse / Costa, Mike

Web Warriors, protectors of the Spider-verse. Volume 1, Electroverse / Costa, Mike

Web Warriors, protectors of the Spider-verse. Volume 2, Spiders vs / Costa, Mike

Edge of Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan


Spider-Punk (Earth-138)

In a country under totalitarian rule, punk musician Hobie Brown is bitten by a spider mutated by illegal waste dumping. Brown now uses his spider-powers and his sick guitar to inspire rebellions as an anarchic Spider-Punk.

Spider-Punk appearances

The amazing Spider-Man [3] : Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan

Web Warriors, protectors of the Spider-verse. Volume 2, Spiders vs / Costa, Mike

Spider-Geddon (ONLY on Libby)

Spider-geddon : edge of Spider-geddon

Spider-Punk : battle of the banned / Ziglar, Cody


Mayday Parker, Spider-Girl (Earth-982)

May ‘Mayday’ Parker is the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary-Jane Watson from the ‘MC2’ universe, a world where the Marvel heroes aged out of their roles and new heroes take their place.

Spider-Girl appearances

Spider-Girl : the complete collection. Vol. 4 / McKeever, Sean

The amazing Spider-Man [2] : Spider-Verse prelude / Slott, Dan

The amazing Spider-Man [3] : Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan

Spider-Island : Warzones / Gage, Christos

Web Warriors, protectors of the Spider-verse. Volume 1, Electroverse / Costa, Mike

Spider-Geddon (ONLY on Libby)


Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows (Earth-18119)

The Renew Your Vows series shows a future where Peter Parker, Mary Jane, and their daughter Annie-May fight crime together as a family, with Mary Jane taking up the name Spinneret and Annie-May going by Spiderling.

The amazing Spider-Man. Renew your vows / Slott, Dan

The amazing Spider-Man : renew your vows [1] : brawl in the family / Conway, Gerry

The Amazing Spider-Man : renew your vows [2] : the Venom experiment / Conway, Gerry

The Amazing Spider-Man : renew your vows. Vol. 3, Eight years later / Houser, Jody

The amazing Spider-Man : renew your vows. Vol. 4, Are you okay, Annie / Houser, Jody


Scarlet Spiders (both Earth-616)

Scarlet Spider is an alias used by two different clones of Peter Parker: the amiable identical clone Ben Reilly, who briefly replaced Peter as Spider-Man, and the grizzled flawed clone Kaine.

Ben Reilly as Scarlet Spider

Ben Reilly, Spider-Man / DeMatteis, J. M

Ben Reilly : the Scarlet Spider [2] : death’s sting / David, Peter

Ben Reilly : the Scarlet Spider [4] : damnation / David, Peter

Kaine as Scarlet Spider

Scarlet Spider : life after death / Yost, Christopher

Scarlet Spider : lone star / Yost, Christopher

Scarlet Spider. Vol. 3, The big leagues / Yost, Christopher

Scarlet Spider [4] : into the grave / Yost, Christopher

Superior Spider-Man team-up [1] : versus / Yost, Christopher

Spider-Geddon : covert ops / Priest, Christopher J.

Ben Reilly as Spider-Man Beyond

Recently, Reilly replaced Peter as Spider-Man again, this time as a corporate-sponsored hero working for the tech company Beyond.

The amazing Spider-Man : beyond [1]

The amazing Spider-Man : beyond [2]

The amazing Spider-Man : beyond [3]

The amazing Spider-Man : beyond [4]


Gamerverse Spider-Man (Earth-1048)

The ‘Gamerverse’ Spider-Man is the Peter Parker from the 2018 Spider-Man game. He made his comic debut during Spider-Geddon, and later received his own series.

Spider-Man : Velocity / Hopeless, Dennis

Spider-Man : city at war / Hopeless, Dennis

Spider-Man : the Black Cat strikes / Hopeless, Dennis


Superior Spider-Man (Earth-616)

During the Dying Wish storyline, an expiring Otto Octavius (Doctor Octopus) swapped his mind with Spider-Man in order to prolong his life. When Peter’s mind seemingly died in Otto’s body, Doc Ock was inspired not only to take up Spider-Man’s mantle, but become a better Spider-Man than Peter ever was… a Superior Spider-Man.

Superior Spider-Man appearances

The amazing Spider-Man : dying wish / Slott, Dan

The superior Spider-Man [1] : my own worst enemy / Slott, Dan

The superior Spider-Man [3] : no escape / Slott, Dan

The Superior Spider-Man. 5, Superior Venom / Slott, Dan

The superior Spider-Man [6] : Goblin Nation / Slott, Dan

Superior Spider-Man team-up [1] : versus / Yost, Christopher

Superior Spider-Man team-up : superiority complex / Yost, Christopher

Superior Spider-Man team-up : friendly fire / Gage, Christos

While Spider-Verse takes place after Peter took back control of his body, Doc Ock was able to participate in the cross-over due to a time warp. Later, Otto clones himself into a new body to continue his Superior mission.

The amazing Spider-Man : worldwide [7] / Slott, Dan

The superior Spider-Man [1] : full Otto / Gage, Christos

The superior Spider-Man. Vol. 2, Otto-matic / Gage, Christos

Spider-Geddon (ONLY on Libby)


Villains of Across the Spider-Verse

The Spot

(via GIPHY)

Scientist Johnathan Ohnn gained the power to generate spot-shaped portals and set off on a life of crime as ‘The Spot’, with the advantage that his portals don’t trigger Spider-Man’s precognitive ‘Spider-Sense’. While powerful in his own right, Ohnn is not the smartest crook, and his powers are often exploited by other villains, including MODOK, the Kingpin, the Prowler, Carnage, and the Daredevil villain Coyote.

The Spot appearances

Super-villain team-up : MODOK’s 11 / Van Lente, Fred

Daredevil. Vol. 1 / Waid, Mark

Daredevil [4] / Waid, Mark

Spider-Man : Miles Morales [4] / Bendis, Brian Michael

The amazing Spider-Man [12] : shattered web / Spencer, Nick

The amazing Spider-Man [13] : king’s ransom / Spencer, Nick

Carnage. Vol. 1, In the court of crimson / V, Ram


More Spider-Man tales from the Marvel Multiverse

Spider-Man : life story / Zdarsky, Chip – A universe where characters age in real time, following Spider-Man’s career from the 1960s to the present day.

Marvel mangaverse : the complete collection – A manga-inspired universe, home to a Peter Parker trained by spider-ninjas.

What if? With great power – Collects two Spider-Man What If? stories, one where Peter’s jock classmate Flash Thompson became Spider-Man, and one where Peter became a web-slinging Punisher.

What if… : Miles Morales / Ziglar, Cody – What if Miles Morales became a different Marvel hero instead of Spider-Man?

Spider-Man : Spider’s shadow / Zdarsky, Chip – This miniseries explores what would have happened if Peter had fully embraced the Venom symbiote.

The end / Larsen, Erik – Features ‘Miles Morales: The End’, a possible future where an elderly Miles defends a post-apocalyptic Brooklyn.

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… Spider-Verse (Part One)

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s (WCL) Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character. This post is about all the heroes that can do whatever a spider can from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse!

(via GIPHY)

And stay tuned for another blog in a few weeks where we explore the comic origins of the characters from the upcoming Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.


What is Spider-Verse?

Spider-Verse was a 2015 Marvel Comics crossover storyline of all the Spider-Man titles. The story followed Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and other Spider-People from across the Multiverse uniting as a ‘Spider-Army’ to stop a group of aristocratic, interdimensional vampires called the Inheritors from exterminating every Spider-Man in existence.

The original Spider-Verse storyline can be read across these collections:

The amazing Spider-Man [1] : edge of Spider-Verse (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [2] : Spider-Verse prelude / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [3] : Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

Spider-Woman [1] : Spider-Verse / Hopeless, Dennis


Spider-Verse publishing line

Since the release of the film Into the Spider-Verse, Marvel has put out a Spider-Verse line of collections to give readers a primer on the heroes and villains featured in the movie.

Spider-Man, Spider-verse : amazing Spider-Man / Eliopoulos, Chris

Spider-Man. Spider-Verse: Spider-Women

Spider-Man : Spider-Verse : Spider-Men / Bendis, Brian Michael

Spider-Man : Spider-Verse : Spider-Gwen / Latour, Jason (also on Libby)

Spider-Man : Spider-Verse : Miles Morales / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Spider-Man Spider-Verse : fearsome foes / Lee, Stan


Who’s Who in the Spider-Verse?

Miles Morales (Earth-1610, later Earth-616)

Teenager Miles Morales was bitten by a genetically engineered spider and gained spider powers, including the new abilities of camouflage and producing an electric ‘venom shock’. Initially keeping his abilities a secret, after the death of his universe’s Peter Parker, Miles is inspired to take up the mantle of Spider-Man.

Ultimate Universe Miles Morales

Miles was originally from the Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610), a world for modern updates of classic Marvel characters that had its own publishing line, Ultimate Comics, that ran from 2000 to 2015.

Ultimate Spider-Man reading order

Ultimate comics Spider-Man : death of Spider-Man fallout / Bendis, Brian Michael (Miles’ first appearance)

Miles Morales : Spider-Man / Bendis, Brian Michael

Spider-Men / Bendis, Brian Michael (crossover with The Amazing Spider-Man) (ONLY on Libby)

Miles Morales : with great power / Bendis, Brian Michael

Miles Morales : great responsibility / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Miles Morales : ultimate end / Bendis, Brian Michael

Miles Morales : ultimate end is also collected as Miles Morales: the ultimate Spider-Man [1] : revival (also on Libby) and Miles Morales : the ultimate Spider-Man [2] : revelations (also on Libby)

Secret wars / Hickman, Jonathan

Ultimate end. Battleworld / Bendis, Brian Michael

Miles also became a member of the All-New Ultimates, a team of young heroes inspired by their universe’s version of the Avengers.

All-new Ultimates [1] : power for power / Fiffe, Michel

All-new Ultimates. Vol. 2, No gods, no masters / Fiffe, Michel


Marvel Universe Miles Morales

After the destruction of the Ultimate Universe during Secret Wars, Miles was folded into the mainstream Marvel Universe (Earth-616) and now fights crime alongside Peter Parker as a protégé. 

Miles Morales Reading Order

Spider-Man : Miles Morales [1] / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Spider-Man : Miles Morales [2] / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen : sitting in a tree / Bendis, Brian Michael (also collected as Miles Morales : the avenging Avenger) (crossover with Spider-Gwen, also on Libby)

Spider-Man : Miles Morales [3] / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Spider-Man : Miles Morales [4] / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Spider-Men II / Bendis, Brian Michael

Miles Morales [1] : straight out of Brooklyn / Ahmed, Saladin (also on Libby)

Miles Morales. 2, Bring on the bad guys
(also on Libby)

Absolute Carnage : Miles Morales / Ahmed, Saladin

Miles Morales. Vol. 3, Family business / Ahmed, Saladin

Miles Morales [4] : ultimatum / Ahmed, Saladin
(also on Libby)

Miles Morales. Vol. 5, The clone saga / Ahmed, Saladin
(also on Libby)

Miles Morales [6] : all eyes on me / Ahmed, Saladin (also on Libby)

Miles Morales. Vol. 7, Beyond / Ahmed, Saladin (also on Libby)

Miles Morales [8] : empire of the spider / Ahmed, Saladin (also on Libby)

Miles Morales : Spider-Man : trial by spider / Ziglar, Cody


Spider-Gwen (Earth-65)

On Earth-65, a ‘low-super’ universe with fewer superhumans, Gwen Stacy was bitten by a radioactive spider, gained spider-powers, and became Spider-Woman. Gwen struggles to balance school, her rock band, and her super-heroics, all while continuing her multiversal misadventures with her fellow Spiders.

Spider-Gwen reading order

The amazing Spider-Man [1] : edge of Spider-Verse (Spider-Gwen’s first appearance) (also on Libby)

Spider-Gwen [0] : most wanted / Latour, Jason (also on Libby)

Spider-Women / Hopeless, Dennis (crossover with Spider-Woman and Silk) 

Spider-Gwen. Vol. 1, Greater power / Latour, Jason (also on Libby)

Spider-Gwen Volume 0, 1, and Spider-Gwen’s first appearance in Edge of Spider-Verse are also collected as Spider-Gwen : Gwen Stacy / Latour, Jason

Spider-Gwen. Vol. 2, Weapon of choice / Latour, Jason

Spider-Gwen [3] : long-distance / Latour, Jason

Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen : sitting in a tree / Bendis, Brian Michael (also collected as Miles Morales : the avenging Avenger / Bendis, Brian Michael) (crossover with Spider-Gwen, also on Libby) 

Spider-Gwen. Vol. 4, Predators / Latour, Jason

Spider-Gwen. Vol. 5, Gwenom / Latour, Jason

Spider-Gwen [6] : the life of Gwen Stacy / Latour, Jason

Spider-Geddon (ONLY on Libby)

Later, Gwen takes up the name Ghost-Spider and moves to Earth-616.

Spider-Gwen : Ghost-Spider. Vol. 1, Spider-geddon / McGuire, Seanan (also on Libby)

Spider-Gwen : Ghost-Spider. Vol. 2, Impossible year / McGuire, Seanan

Ghost-Spider [1] : dog days are over / McGuire, Seanan

Ghost-Spider. Vol. 2, Party people / McGuire, Seanan

Spider-Gwen : Gwenverse / Seeley, Tim

Edge of Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan

Spider Gwen : shadow clones / Kim, Emily


Peter Parker (Earth-616)

By the time Spider-Verse happened, Peter Parker had just recovered from having his personality overwritten by Doctor Octopus and was running his own company, Parker Industries. Once the Inheritors arrive on Earth-616, Peter is recruited into the Spider-Army because he is believed to be ‘the greatest Spider-Man’.

Spider-Verse era Amazing Spider-Man reading order

The amazing Spider-Man [1] : the Parker luck / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [2] : Spider-Verse prelude / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [3] : Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [4] : graveyard shift / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man [5] : spiral / Conway, Gerry


If you want to catch up to Peter Parker’s current adventures, here are the volumes of the most recent Spider-Man run.

Current Amazing Spider-Man run

The Amazing Spider-Man. Volume 1, World without love / Wells, Zeb

The Amazing Spider-Man. Volume 2, The new sinister / Wells, Zeb (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man. Volume 3, Hobgoblin / Wells, Zeb (also on Libby)

The amazing Spider-Man. Vol. 4, Dark web / Wells, Zeb


Spider-Man Noir (Earth-90214)

Spider-Man Noir hails from the Marvel Noir universe of Earth-90214, where the Marvel heroes first begin appearing in the 1920s and 1930s. Here, Peter Parker gains his powers after being bitten by a mystical spider and becomes a web-slinging, hard-boiled detective.

Spider-Man noir : the complete collection / Hine, David

Spider-Man noir : eyes without a face / Hine, David (also collected in the above complete collection)

Spider-Man noir : twilight in Babylon / Stohl, Margaret (also on Libby)

Edge of Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan

Other titles in the Marvel Noir universe include:

Daredevil noir / Irvine, Alexander

Luke Cage noir / Benson, Mike

Wolverine noir / Moore, Stuart


Spider-Ham (Earth-8311)

Peter Porker was a spider bitten by a radioactive pig (yes, you read that right). He’s from the ‘Larval Universe’, a world populated by anthropomorphic animal versions of Marvel’s superheroes. Outside of Spider-Verse crossovers, Spider-Ham mostly appears in Marvel Comics’ humour publications.

Spider-Ham appearances

Howard the Duck : the complete collection. Vol. 4 / Mantlo, Bill

The Marvel Universe according to Hembeck / Hembeck, Fred

Spider-Verse / Costa, Mike

Secret wars, too

Spider-Man : Spider-Verse : Spider-Men / Bendis, Brian Michael

Web Warriors, protectors of the Spider-verse. Volume 1, Electroverse / Costa, Mike

Web Warriors, protectors of the Spider-verse. Volume 2, Spiders vs / Costa, Mike

Spider-Ham : great power, no responsibility : an original graphic novel / Foxe, Steve (also on Children’s eLibrary)

Edge of Spider-Verse / Slott, Dan

Spider-Ham : a pig in time / Foxe, Steve


Peni Parker – SP//dr (Earth-14512)

Co-created by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, Peni Parker hails from a world inspired by classic manga and anime like Akira and Neon Genesis Evangelion. Selected by a sentient radioactive spider to replace her father as the co-pilot of a giant robot suit, Peni protects New York as the wall-crawling mecha SP//dr.

SP//dr and Peni Parker appearances

Spider-Man : Spider-Verse : Spider-Men / Bendis, Brian Michael

Spider-geddon : edge of Spider-geddon

Spider-Verse : Spider-Zero / MacKay, Jed


Cindy Moon – Silk (Earth-616)

Did you know that Peter Parker wasn’t the only person bitten by the radioactive spider in his universe? His classmate Cindy Moon also got spider-powers, including the ability to create limitless webs, but she was abducted by the mysterious Spider Society before she could use her new powers. After escaping during the first Spider-Verse event, Cindy dons a costume and becomes the heroine Silk.

Silk has yet to appear in the Spider-Verse films, but is set to star in a planned spin-off movie based on the Spider-Women crossover comic.

Silk reading order

Silk. Vol. 0, The life and times of Cindy Moon / Thompson, Robbie

Silk. Vol. 1, Sinister / Thompson, Robbie

Silk Vol. 0 and 1 are collected together as Silk. Vol. 1, Out of the Spider-Verse (also on Libby)

Spider-Women / Hopeless, Dennis (crossover with Spider-Woman and Spider-Gwen)

Silk. Vol. 2, The negative / Thompson, Robbie

Silk Vol. 2 and the Spider-Women crossover are collected together as Silk : out of the Spider-Verse. Vol. 2 (also on Libby)

Silk [1] : Threats and Menaces / Goo, Maurene

Silk [2] : age of the witch / Kim, Emily

Silk [3] : nightmare boulevard / Kim, Emily


Villains of the Spider-Verse

For the lowdown on all the villains who appear in Into the Spider-Verse, check out Spider-Man Spider-Verse : fearsome foes. Here, we’re only covering the main two villains from the first film, the Kingpin and the Prowler.


The Kingpin

Wilson Fisk is the Kingpin of Crime, a powerful and ruthless mob boss who has fought Spider-Man and Daredevil. In the recent Devil’s Reign crossover, Fisk became the mayor of New York City and employed an army of supervillains to eliminate every hero in the city.

Civil war II : Kingpin / Rosenberg, Matthew

Kingpin : born against / Rosenberg, Matthew

Devil’s reign / Zdarsky, Chip (also on Libby)

Devil’s reign : villains for hire / Chapman, Clay McLeod (also on Libby)


The Prowler

There are two Prowlers currently active in the Marvel Universe: Spider-Man’s sometime-ally Hobie Brown, and Miles Morales’ uncle Aaron Davis. Both Prowlers are inventors who use a variety of gadgets, including a gliding cape, gauntlets that shoot gas pellets, and claws that allow them to climb walls.

Hobie Brown Prowler appearances

The amazing Spider-Man : worldwide [1] / Slott, Dan (also on Libby)

The Prowler : the clone conspiracy / Ryan, Sean

Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man [2] : hostile takeovers / Taylor, Tom

The amazing Spider-Man : beyond [3]

Aaron Davis Prowler appearances

Miles Morales : Spider-Man / Bendis, Brian Michael

Miles Morales : with great power / Bendis, Brian Michael

Spider-Man : Miles Morales [4] / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Miles Morales. Vol. 3, Family business / Ahmed, Saladin

Miles Morales [4] : ultimatum / Ahmed, Saladin (also on Libby)

Miles Morales [8] : empire of the spider / Ahmed, Saladin (also on Libby)

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… The Guardians of the Galaxy

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s (WCL) Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or team. This post is an Awesome Mix of all the comics we have about Marvel’s cosmic outlaw heroes, the Guardians of the Galaxy!

(via GIPHY)


Who are the Guardians of the Galaxy?

The legendary Star-Lord. Gamora, the deadliest woman in the galaxy. Drax the Destroyer. Rocket Raccoon. Groot, the Monster from Planet X. This rag-tag group of heroes and mercenaries team up to save the universe from certain annihilation as the Guardians of the Galaxy.


First Formation and Annihilation

The Guardians of the Galaxy first formed as a response to the Annihilation Wave, a horde of extra-dimensional insectoid aliens from the Negative Zone trying to conquer the universe. The team included Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Mantis, Nova, and Phyla-Vell, one of the many heroes to take on the name ‘Captain Marvel’.

Guardians of the Galaxy : road to annihiliation. Vol. 2 / Byrne, John

Annihilation : conquest. Book one

The Thanos imperative / Abnett, Dan

Annihilators : Earthfall / Abnett, Dan


Marvel NOW!

The Guardians of the Galaxy reform to protect the Earth and the rest of the galaxy from interstellar threats, with a team made up of Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Rocket, and Drax. During this period, the team would always be joined by one Earth-based hero; the rotation included Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Venom, Kitty Pryde, and The Thing from the Fantastic Four.

Guardians of the Galaxy [1] : Cosmic Avengers / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Guardians of the Galaxy [2] : Angela / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

The trial of Jean Grey / Bendis, Brian Michael (crossover with The X-Men)

Guardians of the Galaxy [3] : Guardians disassembled / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Guardians of the Galaxy [4] : original sin / Bendis, Brian Michael

Guardians of the Galaxy [5] : through the looking glass / Bendis, Brian Michael

Guardians of Knowhere / Bendis, Brian Michael (Secret Wars miniseries)

Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 1, Emperor Quill / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Guardians of the Galaxy : new guard [2] : wanted / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 3, Civil War II / Bendis, Brian Michael (also on Libby)

Guardians of the Galaxy [4] : grounded / Bendis, Brian Michael


All-New Guardians

More heavily inspired by the movies, this run sees the Guardians trying to stop a villain named Requiem from gathering the Infinity Stones.

All-new Guardians of the Galaxy [1] : communication breakdown / Duggan, Gerry

All-new Guardians of the Galaxy. Volume 2, Riders in the sky / Duggan, Gerry

All-new Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 3, Infinity quest / Duggan, Gerry

Infinity Wars / Duggan, Gerry (also on Libby)


The Final Gauntlet

The Guardians face off against Thanos’ Black Order and a rival team of ‘Dark Guardians’ to prevent the resurrection of Thanos.

Guardians of the Galaxy. Vol. 1, The final gauntlet / Cates, Donny

Guardians of the Galaxy [2] : faithless / Cates, Donny

This run is also collected in one volume as Guardians of the Galaxy / Cates, Donny

Silver Surfer : black / Cates, Donny


“We’re Super Heroes”

The next series has the Guardians fight the Olympian gods, and later team up with the X-Men and Doctor Doom to fight ‘The Last Annihilation’. Guest members in this run include Hercules, Marvel Boy from the Young Avengers, and Power Prince, a dim-witted alien royal who accidentally swallowed the Power Stone of the Infinity Gauntlet.

Guardians of the Galaxy. 1, Then it’s us / Ewing, Al

The Guardians of the Galaxy [2] : “Here we make our stand” / Ewing, Al

The Guardians of the Galaxy [3] : “We’re super heroes” / Ewing, Al

Infinite destinies

The last annihilation / Ewing, Al

Read More

The Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide to… Dungeons & Dragons

Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s (WCL) Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ comic collection. This post collects all the comics we have inspired by the premiere tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons!

(via GIPHY)


What Dungeons & Dragons comics are there?

Dungeons & Dragons has inspired many comics since the tabletop gaming renaissance of the 2010s. In addition to the official comics licensed by Wizards of the Coast, D&D has crossed over into other comic franchises, and “actual play” podcasts like The Adventure Zone and Critical Role have started adapting their in-game storylines into graphic novels.

If you were looking for sourcebooks and manuals to run your own campaigns, check out J’Shuall of Jackanapery’s recent post on our Dungeons & Dragons collection here!


Official Dungeons and Dragons comics

These are the official licensed Dungeons & Dragons comics we have, based on the Pathfinder system and Forgotten Realms setting.

Forgotten realms. Cutter / Salvatore, R. A.

Pathfinder. Volume one, Dark waters rising / Zubkavich, Jim

Dungeons & dragons. Infernal tides (only on Libby)


Dungeons and Dragons and Television

Dungeons & Dragons has crossed over into comic-book tie-ins of TV shows, notably Stranger Things and Rick and Morty.

Stranger things and Dungeons & Dragons / Houser, Jody
(also on Libby)

Stranger things : Erica the great / Lore, Danny

Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons and Dragons (only on Libby)


The Adventure Zone

Artist Carey Pietsch adapts the McElroy-starring live-play podcast The Adventure Zone into graphic novels, starting with the ‘Balance’ arc. The storyline follows impulsive fighter Magnus, vainglorious wizard Taako, and grumbling monk Merle as they collect magical artifacts for a secret organization called The Bureau of Balance.

The Adventure Zone [1] : here there be gerblins / McElroy, Clint (also on Libby)

The Adventure Zone [2] : murder on the Rockport Limited / McElroy, Clint (also on Libby)

The Adventure Zone [3] : petals to the metal / McElroy, Clint (also on Libby)

The Adventure Zone. 4, The crystal kingdom / McElroy, Clint

The Adventure Zone [5] : the eleventh hour / McElroy, Clint


Critical Role

Critical Role, the acclaimed live-play podcast helmed by GM Matt Mercer and a troupe of voice actors, has been adapted into comics, starting with their first campaign Vox Machina.

Critical Role – Vox Machina

Critical role : Vox Machina origins [1] / Colville, Matthew

Critical role : Vox Machina origins [2] / Mercer, Matthew

Critical role : Vox Machina origins [3] / Houser, Jody

Vox machina : kith & kin / Nijkamp, Marieke

Critical Role – Mighty Nein

Critical role : the Mighty Nein origins. Volume one

The Chronicles of Exandria : the Mighty Nein

Critical role : the Mighty Nein origins : Fjord Stone / Burke, Kevin

Critical role : Mighty Nein origins : Mollymauk Tealeaf / Houser, Jody

In addition to the comics, there are also Critical Role books about the settings, lore and history of the campaign.

The world of Critical Role : the history behind the epic fantasy / Marsham, Liz

The tales of Exandria : the Bright Queen / Poelgeest, Darcy van


DIE – a comic turned TTRPG

A darker take on the typical D&D story, DIE follows five forty-somethings who return to the tabletop fantasy world they were trapped in as teenagers. Created by Kieron Gillen (Young Avengers, The Wicked & The Divine) and artist Stephanie Hans (Angela: Asgard’s Assassin), DIE was later adapted into its own tabletop RPG.

Die. Volume 1, Fantasy heartbreaker / Gillen, Kieron (also on Libby)

Die. Volume 2, Split the party / Gillen, Kieron (also on Libby)

Die. Volume 3, The great game / Gillen, Kieron

Die. Volume 4, Bleed / Gillen, Kieron (also on Libby)

The entire DIE series is also collected in one volume as Die. [Book 1].


More tabletop gaming-themed comics

Roll for initiative / Walls, Jasmine – On the eve of their college graduation, a group of friends try to complete their unfinished campaign.

D&D Dungeon Club [1] : roll call / Ostertag, Molly – The friendship between two D&D players is tested when they open their two-person campaign to other players.

Modern fantasy [1] / Roberts, Rafer – D&D meets office culture in this comedy series drawn by Henchgirl artist Kristen Gudsnuk.

Rise of the dungeon master : Gary Gygax and the creation of D&D / Kushner, David – A biography comic about the creator of Dungeons & Dragons, Gary Gygax.


D&D inspired zines

We also have zines inspired by Dungeons & Dragons in the catalogue by local artists, including Hicksville artist Dylan Horrocks.

Darkest dungeons / Horrocks, Dylan

Saint : a collection of drawings and writings from a campaign of 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons / Lean, Alis

Choose your own D&D character. Vol. I, Class / Fey


Comics that ARE roleplaying games

We’ve covered comics based on roleplaying games, but what about a comic that is a roleplaying game? In You Are Deadpool, you play through the comic as the Merc with a Mouth, your journey through the story determined by your dice rolls.

You are Deadpool / Ewing, Al

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