Read it before you see it: 'X-Men: Apocalypse'
The number of comic book-based movies and TV shows hitting screens in the past couple years is overwhelming. Just thinking about the dozens yet to come can make anyone's head spin. Fear not, fellow nerds, head geeks over at the Times have you covered.
More than 20 movies based on comic book characters and storylines are planned to hit theaters between 2016 and 2020. Many of these characters have hundreds of different comics that explain their origins, their enemies and sometimes their downfalls.
It's not necessary to read the hundreds of Captain America comics before seeing Captain America: Civil War, or try to research the various origin stories for every villain in Suicide Squad.
We created guides to essential comics and graphic novels you should read before or after seeing the movies Marvel and DC will bless us with in the next four years.
Note: These lists are by no means comprehensive nor are they set in any particular order. They are simply staff favorites and recommendations from fellow comic book lovers.
Thanks to overly revealing trailers, movie-goers already know the gist of the newest X-Men movie directed by Bryan Singer. Starring Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner and, like, everyone else in Hollywood, the famous X-Men face their most powerful threat yet in the form of a resurrected god bent on taking over the world. A dizzying cast of characters including old favorites like Professor X, Magneto, Quicksilver and a young Jean Grey battle the ancient Apocalypse and his four mutant horsemen in a loud, chaotic race to save the world.
Age of Apocalypse Omnibus
This behemoth collects the events after the death of Professor Xavier and the catastrophic takeover of the world by Apocalypse. In a post-apocalyptic world, the ancient god rules with a Darwinian fist, enforcing the theory that only the strong shall survive. And who else would lead the rag-tag group of secret freedom fighters other than Magneto, playing a role opposite of his character in the new movie. Collecting issues of Uncanny X-Men, Amazing X-Men, Astonishing X-Men, Weapon X and so much more, the omnibus reveals how Apocalypse plans to rule and what the world would be like without the X-Men's quintessential leader.
Rise of Apocalypse
There were plenty of comics chronicling Apocalypse's takeover and iron-fisted rule of the world, but it took almost a decade to get his origin story. Thousands of years ago the first mutant was unknowingly born, becoming an orphan before being picked up by nomads. Only comic books could combine a time traveling Pharaoh, ancient Egypt and the creation of the first and most powerful mutant to walk the Earth.
Apocalypse returns to wreak havoc yet again, but this time as an innocent-looking child. The X-Men must go against their aversion to killing and enlist the help of the reconstituted X-Force. Wolverine's secret team of Deadpool, Archangel, Psylocke and Fantomex must battle Apocalypse's deadly horsemen to destroy him once and for all.
Get to know your favorites
X-Men: Season 1: This collection follows the most powerful mutants in the world during their first experiences at Professor X's school. They're still teenagers, and on top of raging hormones they have fresh powers they still don't know what to do with yet. Cyclops, Iceman, Beast and others learn to control and wield their powers while facing the likes of Magneto, the Sentinels and other adversaries.
Storm #1-11: The new X-Men movie also comes with a new storm, who doesn't exactly stay true to her comic book form. But this standalone series from a couple of years ago sheds some light on the character's history and her attitudes toward the world as someone with the power to wield weather.
Wolverine: Old Man Logan: Fifty years after evil triumphed, Wolverine is no longer Wolverine. He's just Logan, now an "old man" only concerned about his family. Though not the typical Wolverine story, Old Man Logan is still one of the most important modern X-Men series.
Apocalypse: X-Factor #5
His four horsemen
Archangel (formerly known as Angel): X-Factor #24
Magneto: X-Men #1
Storm: Giant-Size X-Men #1
Psylocke: Uncanny X-Men #213
Have better suggestions for X-Men? Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @chelseatatham.