Marvel Guides is your new destination when you need information about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) or Marvel comic book timelines. You didn’t know how much you needed this until now.
Marvel is forever growing and expanding in both the real of comics and cinema. With 20 MCU films already released over the past 10 years and 60+ comics released on a monthly basis, trying to get involved in the worldwide phenomenon can be daunting to a new fan. Or even as a fan who has seen every film from Iron Man to Ant Man & The Wasp, it can be easy to forget what happened and when in the cinematic timeline. When it comes to comics it can be extremely difficult to know where to start from; visiting your local comic book store and seeing that the newest issue of Daredevil is already hundreds of issues in can be off-putting.
Enter Matt Farley, the creator of Marvel Guides, here to help us all learn about Marvel. Webbed Media spoke with Matt about his fantastic new site below.
What is Marvel Guides?
Currently Marvel Guides is an interactive website that has Marvel Cinematic Universe viewing guides and comic book reading orders. The MCU guides have just about everyone movie, TV show, and short film (one-shot) organized in what I believe is the ideal viewing order. Throughout each guide you’ll find a list of MCU easter eggs and references to help enhance your viewing experience, which I think is especially useful for new fans who aren’t aware of all of the connections throughout the movies and shows, many of which are hard to catch upon first viewing.
The MCU guides were my first, primary focus, so the comic book section of the site is still a work in progress but we have some guides for both the oldest and most recent periods of Marvel’s long history.
Why have you decided to create Marvel Guides?
I’ve always loved the Marvel Universe, but my first real entry into the world of comics was through Spider-Man when I was 5 years old. For a long time I only read Spider-Man because I did not have the money to buy a lot of different books every month, and also because the long history of the world and the number of characters intimidated me. Still, my interest was always piqued when Doctor Strange or The Avengers would cross over into a Spider-Man story.
In the last decade, both the popularity of some of these other characters due to the movies and the ease of access to digital comics through apps like Marvel Unlimited has really allowed me and many others to read more comic books than ever before. But, I still find it very difficult to read everything in a way that makes sense. To make things easier, I began finding natural jumping on points for different series, which was made even easier when Marvel relaunched all of their books in 2012 with Marvel Now. This didn’t erase any continuity, but it allowed new creators to tell fresh stories that honored the history and made it all less confusing.
At that point, I started reading everything and putting it all into my own personal reading orders. I found I loved making sense of everything not only for the books but also for the movies and TV shows (a considerably easier job). Over time I realized, if this was helping me enjoy the Marvel Universe more, I’m sure it could help others. I was working on this lists anyway, so I decided to put in some extra time and work to make them more visually appealing and shared them with the world.
How are you tackling the challenge of cataloging the enormous comic book universe?
This is certainly the biggest challenge because there are just so many series to keep track of. Right now Marvel releases around 60 books every month, so it is certainly easy to fall behind. It helps me to focus on specific eras, so right now I’m reading the earliest stuff from the Silver Age, which is basically everything from the 1960’s. These are a little easier to organize because back then there were only around 10 books a month and other than some character crossovers there weren’t as many big, complicated story arcs as there are today.
Simultaneously I’m reading and organizing everything from the All-New, All-Different Marvel era, which is the period around 2015-2017 where Marvel relaunched all of their series after the Secret Wars events. This is another great starting point because the books skip ahead by 8 months, making it easier to organize everything without extra baggage. From there I plan to select one or two other eras at a time and complete the same process. It will take a long time, but I find it helps keep things from feeling too overwhelming.
What are the long-term plans you have for the website?
Right now my primary focus is to put the finishing touches on the MCU guides so that they are completely up-to-date leading into Captain Marvel and Avengers 4, the end of Phase 3. The majority of the work going forward will be filling in Marvel’s long comic book history. I’m kind of it approaching it from two ends by adding guides for both the oldest and most recent Marvel eras. I’ve already received a lot of great feedback and the one thing many people seem to want is character specific guides, so I may have something to announce soon about that.
Longer term I’d love to expand the Marvel Guides platform with podcasts and videos, which are stretch goals of our Patreon. But for now I’m just happy inching towards more complete guides for both the MCU and comic books.
From an accessibility angle, the website is extremely easy to use. Both the MCU and comic guides start with frequently asked questions and an introduction. The MCU is then broken down into the 4 phases whereas the comics are broken down into publishing eras, the golden and silver age etc.
Marvel Guides has the potential to be a necessity for fans and it deserves your full attention from the offset. Whilst much of the comic section is still being finalized the website still offers a wealth of knowledge.
The website for Marvel Guides is MarvelGuides.com.
You can follow Marvel Guides on Twitter, @MarvelGuides.
You can like Marvel Guides on Facebook, facebook.com/MarvelGuides.
You can support Marvel Guides on Patreon, patreon.com/marvelguides.