The Avengers franchise is what made Marvel Studios the completely dominant force in comic based entertainment. The way they streamlined Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and other characters into an expansive universe that also includes television shows like Daredevil and Agents Of SHIELD is something that has never been achieved before in motion picture entertainment.
The Avengers continuity, even without including the individual characters is supremely daunting. So, I’ve put together a chronology of some of the best Avengers related books that are currently or were recently available in collected editions (the recently available are still around for pretty cheap on various online outlets and in bookstores) into ten TV seasons.
Season 8 was all a big lead up to the end of all things Avengers and Marvel. The complete destruction of 616. But it wasn’t just 616 that got destroyed, there was a whole nother universe completely eradicated, and that’s where we start season nine.
The Vision’s harddrive failure led to a most unfortunate over-tanning during The Avengers beach vacation.
Season 9: Time Runs Out
(Showrunners: Mark Millar and Jonathan Hickman)
Serial 1: The Ultimates Ultimate Collection
(written by Mark Millar, art by Bryan Hitch)
Super powered being are popping up all over the place, and the government decides to form a team to deal with them. It’s a whole different version of The Avengers.
The Ultimates. 2 episodes
Episode 3: Ultimate Fantastic Four The Fantastic
(written by Mark Millar and Brian Michael Bendis, art by Adam Kubert, John Dell, and Danny Miki)
Awww, look at the adorable little fantastic fourlings. They’re all teenaged and excited about life. I hope they never ever change.
The Fantastic. 1 episode
Episode 4: Ultimate Galactus Nightmare, Ultimate Galactus Secret, Ultimate Galactus Extinction
(written by Warren Ellis, art by Trever Hairsine, Mark Bagley, Steve Mcniven, and Scott Hannah)
The devourer of worlds descends on The Ultimate Universe, and a team of Ultimates, and a team of X-Men need to figure out how to stop him before it’s too late. Ga Lak Tus hungers. Even The Fantastic Four join in on the, uhhh…fun?
Ga Lak Tus. 1 episode
Episode 5: Ultimates 2 Gods And Monsters, Ultimates 2 Grand Theft America
(written by Mark Millar, art by Bryan Hitch)
The origin of Thor, Ultimates dating Ultimates, the celebrity life of being superheroes, The Hulk gets outed, and one of the Ultimates is probably a traitor. Dra-ma.
Gods And Monsters. 1 episode
Episode 6: Ultimate Origins
(written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Butch Guice)
Everything. is connected.
The Ultimate Connection. 1 episode
Episode 7: Ultimate Comics Avengers Next Generation, Ultimate Comics Avengers Crime & Punishment
(written by Mark Millar, art by Carlos Pacheco and Francie Lienil Yu)
Nick Fury must protect Captain America at all costs. AT ALL COSTS. What does The Punisher have to do with any of this?
Crime And Punisher. 1 episode
Episode 8: Ultimate Comics Doomsday
(written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Rafael Sandoval)
There’s a new Big Bad in The Ultimate Universe. And he’s going to be doing some major damage.
The Face Of Evil. 1 episode
Episode 9: Ultimate Comics Ultimates By Hickman Volumes 1 & 2
(written by Jonathan Hickman and Sam Humphries, art by many)
The Ultimates have to contend with Reed Richards and his Children Of Tomorrow. The Universe is, of course, at stake.
The Children Of Tomorrow. 1 episode
Episode 10: Ultimate Comics Ultimates Disassembled
(written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Carmen Di Giondomenico)
It’s Reed Richard’s world, and you’re just living in it.
New World Order. 1 episode
Episode 11: Original Sin
(written by Jason Aaron, Ed Brubaker, and Mark Waid, art by Mike Deodato JR, Javier Pulido, and Jim Cheung)
I bet you thought we were never going to get back to the 616. Well, surprise, we’re back in the old continuity. And whenever some huge event is about to take place in the Marvel Universe, Uatu The Watcher can be seen observing. So, what do you do when someone shoots and kills him? PANIC!!!!
Original Sin. 1 episode
Episode 12: Avengers Infinite Avengers
(written by Jonathan Hickman, art by Leinil Francis Yu)
Remember that time Steve Rogers was part of The Illuminati? Well he doesn’t. Remember how they mindwiped him? Well, now he does. That and other revelations come out due to Original Sin. It could distract our heroes from some very important going-ons.
The Past Catches Up To The Future. 1 episode
Serial 3: Secret Avengers Let’s Have A Problem, Secret Avengers The Labyrinth, Secret Avengers God Level
(written by Ales Kot, art by Michael Walsh)
It really does seem like the whole world is coming undone, doesn’t it? Can the addition of Deadpool and MODOK possibly help take down AIM? Probably not. Plus, Fury the monster threatens to completely destroy the team put together by Fury, the man,
The Labyrinth. 2 episodes
Episode 15: Thor Goddess Of Thunder, Thor Who Wields The Hammer
(written by Jason Aaron, art by Russel Dauterman)
After being deemed unworthy during Original Sin, the Odinson can no longer lift Mjolnir (his hammer). While we’ve seen many heroes attempt to lift it over the years, apart from Storm of the X-Men, frogs and horse faced aliens are way more likely to be worthy of the hammer than any humans. And yet, a woman on the moon picks up the hammer easily. Who is this new Thor? Odinson would like to know.
Goddess Of Thunder. 1 episode
Episode 16: Avengers World Before Time Runs Out
(written by Frank J Barbiere, art by Marco Checchetto)
The super, mega, universe destroying event is about to occur, so let’s tie up as many loose threads as possible before we get the…we’re introducing new plots? Why?
Before Time Runs Out. 1 episode
Serial 4: Avengers Time Runs Out Books 1-4
(written by Jonathan Hickman, art by Jim Cheung, Kev Walker, and many more)
This is it. This is really it. All of the plots from the Hickman run, plus all the plots from The Ultimates universe converge in one dizzying story where all continuity unravels. Truly, the end of Marvel 616 and The Ultimate Universe. How will any of our heroes survive the destruction of The Universes?
Time Runs Out. 4 episodes
This penultimate season (“but how”, you ask, “is not everything gone?”) is 20 episodes