Marvel's Civil War Reading Order Guide

Marvel’s Civil War Reading Order Guide

Looking for the Civil War II Reading Order Checklist? You can find it here.

After the U.S Government passed an act that forces superheroes to register themselves and reveal their identity, there is a huge rift in the superhero community. On one side, lead by Iron Man, there’s a group who supports the move. On the other side, lead by Captain America, there’s a group who don’t. While the concept of heroes in conflict with each other is not new, it captured the reader’s attention, encouraging them to pick a side, and was a huge success for Marvel Comics.

Thanks to the MCU, there has been a new found interest in this event. The problem with this new found interest is that there are a lot of people who are not sure where to start with Civil War.

This Civil War Reading Order Guide aims to help make sense of this event – with a checklist of all the preludes, tie-ins and trade paperbacks.

How Do I Read Civil War?

There are a few ways that you can read Civil War, depending on how much time you want to invest in the story. You can:

  1. Read Civil War #1-7. You’ll get a full story from start to finish.
  2. Read the Road to Civil War prelude issues and Civil War #1-7.
  3. Read Civil War #1-7 and the tie-ins that interest you based on characters or storylines.
  4. Read Everything.

Just keep in mind that Civil War is a large comic book event and you don’t have to read everything if you don’t want to.

Marvel’s Civil War Reading Order

The Road To Civil War trade paperback cover by Alex Maleev. Civil War Reading Order Checklist.
The Road To Civil War trade paperback cover by Alex Maleev.

Road to Civil War

These issues act as a build up to the main story. They aren’t essential to understand the Civil War but if you’re looking to see the events leading up to it then check them out the following:

New Warriors (2004 series) #1

New Warriors (2004 series) #2

New Warriors (2004 series) #3

New Warriors (2004 series) #4

New Warriors (2004 series) #5

New Warriors (2004 series) #6

Amazing Spider-Man #529

Amazing Spider-Man #530

Amazing Spider-Man #531

Fantastic Four #536

Fantastic Four #537

New Avengers: Illuminati

Civil War #1 trade paperback cover by Steve McNiven. Civil War Reading Order Checklist.
Civil War #1 trade paperback cover by Steve McNiven.

Civil War

This is the entire Civil War event, including the main series (in bold) and tie-ins. As mentioned earlier, you do not have to read all the tie-ins to understand the event. Civil War #1-7 contains all the major plot-points so think of the tie-ins as additional side stories that focus on certain characters or scenarios.

Civil War #1

She Hulk #8 (2005 Series)

Wolverine #42 (2003 Series)

Amazing Spider-Man #532

Civil War: Front Line #1

Civil War #2

Thunderbolts #103

Civil War: Front Line #2

X-Factor #8 (2005 Series)

New Avengers #21 (2004 Series)

Wolverine #43 (2003 Series)

Amazing Spider-Man #533

Fantastic Four #538

Civil War: Front Line #3

Thunderbolts #104

Civil War: X-Men #1

Civil War #3

Cable & Deadpool #30

Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways #1

Civil War: Front Line #4

X-Factor #9 (2005 Series)

New Avengers #22 (2004 Series)

Black Panther #18 (2005 Series)

Wolverine #44 (2003 Series)

Amazing Spider-Man #534

Fantastic Four #539

Civil War: Front Line #5

Ms. Marvel #6 (2006 Series)

Thunderbolts #105

Civil War: X-Men #2

Heroes for Hire #1 (2006 Series)

New Avengers #23 (2004 Series)

Wolverine #45 (2003 Series)

Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways #2

Cable & Deadpool #31

Ms. Marvel #7 (2006 Series)

Civil War: X-Men #3

Civil War #4

Wolverine #46 (2003 Series)

Heroes for Hire #2 (2006 Series)

Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways #3

Civil War: Front Line #6

Captain America #22 (2004 Series)

Cable & Deadpool #32

Amazing Spider-Man #535

Civil War: Choosing Sides

Fantastic Four #540

Civil War: Front Line #7

Civil War: X-Men #4

Ms. Marvel #8 (2006 Series)

Wolverine #47 (2003 Series)

Heroes for Hire #3 (2006 Series)

Captain America #23 (2004 Series)

New Avengers #24 (2004 Series)

Civil War #5

Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways #4

Iron Man #13 (2004 Series)

New Avengers #25 (2004 Series)

Punisher War Journal #1 (2006 Series)

Civil War: Front Line #8

Amazing Spider-Man #536

Black Panther #22 (2005 Series)

Captain America #24 (2004 Series)

Civil War: War Crimes #1

Civil War: Front Line #9

Iron Man #14 (2004 Series)

Fantastic Four #541

Black Panther #23 (2005 Series)

Punisher War Journal #2 (2006 Series)

Civil War #6

Iron Man/Captain America: Casualties of War #1

Civil War: Front Line #10

Amazing Spider-Man #537

Fantastic Four #542

Civil War: The Return #1

Punisher War Journal #3 (2006 Series)

Black Panther #24 (2005 Series)

Civil War #7

Amazing Spider-Man #538

Civil War: Front Line #11

Black Panther #25 (2005 Series)

Casualties of War

These are a list of comics with the Civil War: Casualties of War branding. These can be read after Civil War as it doesn’t have a whole lot to do with Civil War. These include the following:

Blade (2006 series) #5

Ghost Rider (2005 series) #8–11

Moon Knight (2006 series) #7–9

Winter Soldier: Winter Kills #1

Wolverine (2003 series) #48

The Great One

Trade Paperback Reading Orders

This is a listing of all the trade paperbacks collections that are related to Civil War. Just like the list of single issues, you are best off reading the main series first then picking and choosing tie-ins based on plot points and/or characters that interest you.

Keep in mind that some of the smaller tie-in collections are most likely out of print. Although, these may get a new printing closer to the release of the Captain America: Civil War movie. If you can’t wait that long, eBay, second-hand copies on Amazon, Comixology or Marvel Unlimited are all alternative options.

Civil War: Road to Civil War
Amazing Spider-Man #529-531, Fantastic Four #536-537, New Avengers: Illuminati

Civil War
Civil War #1-7

Civil War will also be re-released in Hardcover in 2016.

Civil War: Black Panther
Black Panther #19-25

Civil War: Captain America
Captain America #22-24, Winter Soldier: Winter Kills

Civil War Companion
Civil War Files, Civil War: Battle Damage Report, Marvel Spotlight: Mark Millar/Steve McNiven, Marvel Spotlight: Civil War Aftermath, Daily Bugle: Civil War Special Edition

Civil War: Fantastic Four
Fantastic Four #538-543

Civil War: Frontline Vol. 1
Civil War: Frontline #1-6

Civil War: Frontline Vol. 2
Civil War: Frontline #7-11

Civil War: Heroes for Hire
Heroes for Hire #1-5

Civil War: Iron Man
Iron Man #13-14, Casualties of War, The Confession

Civil War: Marvel Universe
Choosing Sides, The Return, The Initiative, She-Hulk #8

Civil War: Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel #6-10; Ms. Marvel Special

Civil War: New Avengers
New Avengers #21-25

Civil War: Peter Parker, Spider-Man
Sensational Spider-Man #28-34

Civil War: Punisher War Journal
Punisher War Journal #1-4

Civil War: The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man #532-538

Civil War: Thunderbolts
Thunderbolts #101-105

Civil War: War Crimes
Civil War: War Crimes, Underworld #1-5

Civil War: Wolverine
Wolverine #42-48

Civil War: X-Men
Civil War: X-Men #1-4

Civil War: X-Men Universe
X-Factor #8-9, Cable & Deadpool #30-32

Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways
Civil War: Young Avengers & Runaways #1-4

Civil War: Script Book
Scripts to Civil War #1-7

And if you have $500 free, you can buy the massive boxset.

Civil War: The Initiative #1 cover by Marc Silvestri. Marvel Civil War Reading Order Checklist.
Civil War: The Initiative #1 cover by Marc Silvestri.

After Civil War

This is the aftermath of Civil War, which Marvel has branded “The Initiative”. This branding is just an indication that it relates to the aftermath of Civil War which branches off in various directions focusing on various different characters.

Just like the main reading list, you don’t have to read everything. It’s fine to pick and choose based on what you’re interested in.

Titles that are labelled with a (*) are the start of new stories which you can continue on with. Issues labelled with (^) are best read in relation to Captain America #25 as that is the start of the Death of Captain America storyline.

Civil War: The Initiative #1

Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. #15-18 *

Mighty Avengers #1-6 *

Captain America #25-30 (2004 Series) *

Civil War: The Confession #1

Civil War: Fallen Son – The Death of Captain America #1 ^

Civil War: Fallen Son – The Death of Captain America #2 ^

Civil War: Fallen Son – The Death of Captain America #3 ^

Civil War: Fallen Son – The Death of Captain America #4 ^

Civil War: Fallen Son – The Death of Captain America #5 ^

Fantastic Four #543-550 *

Avengers: The Initiative #1-3 *

Other Civil War: The Initiative Titles

These are issues that are involved in the Initiative branding but are not listed in the Marvel Unlimited reading order. These can be read in any order

Daily Bugle: Civil War Aftermath

Civil War: Battle Damage Report (one-shot)

Black Panther (2005 Series) #26-30

Marvel Spotlight: Civil War Aftermath

Moon Knight #11-13 (2006 Series) *

Ms. Marvel #13-17 (2006 Series) *

New Avengers #27-31 (2004 Series) *

New Warriors #1-8 (2007 Series) *

Nova #2-3 (2007 Series) *

Omega Flight #1-5

The Order #1-4 (2007 Series) *

Punisher War Journal #6-11 (2006 Series)

Sub-Mariner #1-6 (2007 Series)

Thunderbolts #110-115

House of M: Civil War

There have been a few readers ask me where House of M: Civil War fits into this checklist. The answer is that it doesn’t. This miniseries is part of the House of M event and is not required reading for Civil War.

What About Civil War II?

2016’s Civil War II is a spiritual sequel to the original Civil War event. It’s not a direct sequel and can be read independently to Civil War.

Check out the Civil War II Reading Order Checklist for more information.

Have Your Say!

Have you found this Civil War Reading Order Guide helpful? Also, whose side are you on? Let us know in the comments below or via our Facebook or Twitter.

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Comments (40)

  • Man…I’ve loved civil war and Road to civil war since its release, but I’ve never read the tie-ins and always wanted to.

    Now I’m starting to create a motion comic for it and decided I NEEDED to collect the tie-ins so THANK YOU SO MUCH for this list. You’re awesome, my dude.

  • Hi, first off appreciate you taking the time to create this list. It was very helpful. While i was looking through what was available in the local bookstore I aslo notice a Civil War: House of M which was not in your reading order list. Why is that?

    • Hey Hisham, great question. It’s a miniseries that’s set in the House of M reality. Doesn’t tie-in to Civil War but shares some themes. Not required reading for Civil War. I’ll update the guide to let people know.

  • hi, i’m from VietNam and i don’t know how to read the marvel comic. so should u tell me how to read it. i appreciate what someone tell me how. thks

  • Hi..,
    I decided to go with Road to Civil War + Civil War Issues

    What do you think about Civil War II ?
    should I get it as well ?

    • Hey Fahad, If you’re looking for a thematic sequel then Civil War II might be up your alley. It doesn’t connect directly, but it covers many of the same themes, but in different situations.

    • Hi John, it’s a mini that set in the House of M reality. Doesn’t tie-in to Civil War but shares some themes. Not required to read for Civil War.

  • Hey Trevor! This guide has been such a help. I’ve been flying through the list in preparation for Captain America: Civil War (yes I know sadly it won’t really be much like the comics but I wanted to really read it anyways!) I’m five issues away from finishing your list but I have a question. what is the significance of the series Penance that comes forth from the from the Frontline Arc following Robbie?

    Another question, do you have a suggested reading list for Age of Apocalypse? That is my next task to embark on since it comes out later this May.

  • Hey man, I am planning on starting all these comics, just wanted to know how complete this order is? I’m on deployment and I downloaded a torrent with the marvel reading list and about 103 different comics with three “Initiative” comics. They’re in about the same order as yours, except for a few that are slightly out of place when it comes to right before, or right after a “Civil War #_” title. Should I go by yours, or is just a rough chronological timeline like mine okay?

    • I’ve bases mine off Marvel’s official order with a few tweaks. I’d go with mine but the order you have should be okay to use too.

  • Hey, thanks for this list and the super friendly tone. I’ve read DC all my life and I’m hitting up Marvel now, and getting a straight answer without a nasty ‘tude has been difficult (Fake Nerd Girl accusations, etc.). So, genuine thank you. It’s very refreshing!

  • Hi Trevor,
    Great list.
    I am fairly new to reading marvel comics, I’m a DC girl but I do love marvel and seeing as civil war movie is coming out soon I thought I would read the comics. I have read road to civil war and the actual civil war collected edition but I wanted to know what happens after. Like I know what happens to cap but I wanted to read about it and the aftermath of the war. I know you probably have answered this but my question is, is there a novel or comic I should read that has the aftermath explained or anything.

    Thanks
    Naina

    • Hi Naina, great question! The comics labelled “The Initiative”, which I’ve listed are a great place to start reading after Civil War. I have listed all of them in the section called “Post Civil War: The Initiative”. If you like any of them you can continue on with those series. If you want to know more about what happens to Captain America I highly recommend Ed Brubaker’s Captain America series from issue #25 onwards. Not all of these will still be in print, but cheap graphic novels or back issues should be easy to find on eBay. Otherwise digital comics are the way to go. Eventually some of these comics will lead into the next major Marvel event, Secret Invasion.

      I hope that helps!

  • GREAT LIST!!!!!!!! I’ve been looking for something like this.
    I haven’t been able to find anything about The Casualties of War: The Great One. I even searched marvel.com
    Any suggestions?

    • Thanks, Mark! I got The Great One from Wikipedia, but I can’t find any reference of it anywhere online. My guess would be that Marvel announced it and it never came out. I’ll probably remove it from the list.

    • Hi Dale, I haven’t done a reading guide for House of M but it’s pretty straightforward. I’d read House of M #1-8 and then any of the tie-ins that appeal to you.

      • I think he meant what about “Civil War: House of M” (later printed in the same TPB stylings as all of the other white covered collection. Due to the printing date being a year later, I just assumed that House of M must go at the very end of the story arc.

  • Great list, man. My only suggestion would be adding New Warriors Vol. 3 #s 1-6 before anything else since what goes down in those six issues was the impetus for the Superhero Registration Act’s expedient passage with overwhelming support from the general public and politicians, many of whom were against it previously. The tragedy is often referenced throughout the Civil War event.

    • It seems like there are two different trade paperback collections around the Civil War period for Black Panther. The main Black Panther Civil War TPB collects Black Panther #19-25 while Black Panther: War Crimes only collects Black Panther #21-23. If you want to read everything the first one is the way to go.

  • Where would Thinderbolts #105 fit in the series? Black Panther 22? As well as all of the casualties of war sections?

    • Hi Christian,

      It appears I missed out on Thunderbolts #105 and have not fixed this. It’s between Ms. Marvel #6 (2006 Series) and Civil War: X-Men #2.

      Black Panther #22 was already in the list and it’s situated between Amazing Spider-Man #536 and Captain America #24 (2004 Series).

      Casualties of War doesn’t really tie too deeply with Civil War, even with the brandinfg so it can be read right at the end. I’ve now added this to the list ?

      I hope this helps!

  • Hi, Trevor. I have a doubt. I’m currently reading the event and I don’t know where to put Black Panther #18. I don’t find it listed in here neither in Marvel’s site for the event, but it is tied to the civil war, so, I would appreciate if you can please help me with that. Thanks, I hope you can answer this.

    • Hi Gabriela, thanks for the question. I did some research and the best place to read Black Panther #18 is between New Avengers #22 and Wolverine #44. I’ve updated the list to reflect this ?

    • Hi David! Thanks for letting me know. I had missed out on a few of the Initiative tie-ins so I’ve updated the list.

  • Do the civil war comics come in 7 different little books, or can i find them condensed into one book?

    • Hi Dave,
      Currently there’s no Omnibus that covers the whole event. I can only assume this is due to the size of entire event would be due to the size of collecting everything. It would certainly be a huge book!

  • Great article! I always have trouble working out where to ‘jump on’ when it comes to ongoing comic series. This tells me everything I need to get across this story arc. Thanks!