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Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers Reading Order, from Disassembled to Avengers vs. X-Men

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In 2004, Brian Michael Bendis’s Avengers run began with the destruction of the existing traditional roster of the team. It was the end of an era and the start of a new one that ended up being a series of crossover events that changed the Marvel Universe in a big way.

At first, with the Avengers in ruins, a new team named The New Avengers is created: Iron Man, Captain America, Luke Cage, Wolverine, Ronin (aka Echo), Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, and Sentry. It was also the title of the main Avengers series written by Bendis—with art by David Finch, then by Steve McNiven, Leinil Francis Yu, Billy Tan, and Stuart Immonen as the years went by.

But that’s not all! After some massive events, a concurrent government-sanctioned team led by Ms. Marvel (with Ares, Black Widow, Iron Man, Sentry, Wasp, and Wonder Man) gathered in The Mighty Avengers—also originally written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Frank Cho, then Mark Bagley. But that’s not all! There also was the Dark Avengers—also originally written by Brian Michael Bendis with art Mike Deodato…

After eight years, Brian Michael Bendis ended his run on Avengers and New Avengers in 2012 with the “End Times” arc. He wrote multiple series, miniseries, and events to create one big superhero story.

Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers Reading Order:

Before Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers: As the Avengers is active since 1963, you can obviously explore the team’s past, with our Complete Avengers reading order.


Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: Other Collected Editions

Before taking a more detailed look at Brian Michael Bendis’s run on the Avengers/New Avengers (and more), following is other collections collecting his run:

The New Avengers Modern Era Epic Collection

Marvel starts to collect newer material in Epic format with Brian Michael Bendis’ run on The Avengers!

Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: The Complete Collection Reading Order:

Marvel did a pretty good job at collecting almost everything in “The Complete Collection” collection.

I. The Avengers are Disassembled, long live The New Avengers

Avengers Disassembled” is a story arc with a lot of ramifications, but it’s also an entry point in the Avengers Universe. You can find a lot more information in our article dedicated to the story.

All of these are also collected in New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: The Complete Collection Vol. 1.

At the same time New Avengers Vol. 1 started, Marvel launched Young Avengers. You can find more about this team in our Young Avengers Reading Order, of course.

II. In the House of M, out with the Civil War

The Avengers and the X-Men are faced with a common foe that becomes their greatest threat: Wanda Maximoff! The Scarlet Witch is out of control, and the fate of the entire world is in her hands. It’s House of M, and for more information and tie-ins, go to the reading order.

  • House of M Omnibus 
    Collects House of M #1-8, Spider-Man: House of M #1-5, Fantastic Four: House of M #1-3, Iron Man: House of M #1-3, New Thunderbolts (2004) #11, Black Panther (2005) #7, Uncanny X-Men (1981) #462-465, Wolverine (2003) #33-35, Captain America (2004) #10, Pulse (2004) #10, Cable & Deadpool #17, Incredible Hulk (2000) #83-87, New X-Men (2004) #16-19, Exiles (2001) #69-71, Mutopia X #1-5, Decimation: House of M – The Day After, Giant-Size Ms. Marvel (2006) #1, Secrets of the House of M, Pulse: House of M Special, House of M 1 Director’s Cut, House of M Sketchbook, material from Hulk: Broken Worlds Book One.

It’s The Civil War! The U.S. Government proposed the Superhuman Registration Act, intending to register all super-powered beings as living weapons of mass destruction and requiring all costumed heroes to unmask themselves before the government and subject themselves to federally mandated standards. Heroes had to choose between rallying behind either Iron Man’s pro-registration forces or Captain America’s opposition. The Civil War began.

Civil War was written by Mark Millar. Here is the reading order. It’s important, especially for the fate of Steve Rogers/Cap America, but you don’t need to read a lot to follow the Avengers. You can just focus on that:

All of these are also collected in New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: The Complete Collection Vol. 2.

III. The Official & Non-Official Avengers

After the events that took place during Civil War, the New Avengers are now an “unregistered” team – Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, Ronin (Hawkeye), Wolverine, and Spider-Man – but there are others, the officially sanctioned Avengers team of registered superheroes: The Mighty Avengers (Ms. Marvel, Ares, Black Widow, Iron Man, Sentry, Wasp, and Wonder Man).

All of these are also collected in New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: The Complete Collection Vol. 3 and Mighty Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: The Complete Collection.

IV. Who’s Who? It’s The Secret Invasion

The Secret Invasion begins with a brutal battle between the New Avengers and the Hand—one that claims the life of Elektra and reveals that she was a Skrull! What does this mean for Tony Stark and his Mighty Avengers? How about the Illuminati? And how about the Reading Order!

The Secret Invasion is also collected in Secret Invasion by Brian Michael Bendis Omnibus (collecting Secret Invasion #1-8, Prologue; New Avengers (2004) #31-32, #39-49; Mighty Avengers (2007) #7, #12-20; New Avengers: Illuminati (2007) #1, #5).

All of these are also collected in New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: The Complete Collection Vol. 4 and Mighty Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: The Complete Collection.

V. Dark Avengers for the Dark Reign

Dark ReignThe immediate event that spun out of the conclusion of Secret Invasion was War of Kings, but it’s about the Marvel Cosmic Universe, not about the Avengers. On the regular Earth, after Secret Invasion came the Dark Reign, a new “dark” era for the heroes of the Marvel Universe. Dark Reign is not an event, but a thematic era (see this article for more information). A new status quo, a bad one for the heroes but good for the Dark Avengers, Norman Osborn’s team!

Note: At that point, Brian Michael Bendis is not the writer of Mighty Avengers anymore, Dan Slott took over. I still put the series here for those who want to read it.

All of these are also collected in New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: The Complete Collection Vol. 5 et Dark Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: The Complete Collection.

VI. Dark Reign ended with a Siege

Marvel Siege LogoAnd now, Siege! Coerced by Loki and on the brink of madness, Osborn, in his final bid to take total control, targets the final obstacle in his mission…Asgard. More with the reading order of the event. It’s the end of the Dark Reign Era.

  • Dark Avengers: Siege
    Collects Dark Avengers #13-16 & Dark Avengers Annual 1.
  • Siege
    Collects Siege: The Cabal, Siege #1-4, and Avengers: The Way Things are.

All of these are also collected in New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: The Complete Collection Vol. 5 et Dark Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: The Complete Collection.

Brian Michael Bendis' Avengers Reading Order - Logo

VII. The Avengers of The Heroic Age

With Siege, the Dark Reign era concluded. It was replaced by The Heroic Age. It began with the one-shot Enter the Heroic Age. Dark Avengers and Mighty Avengers are no more. Brian Michael Bendis is now the main writer on Avengers and New Avengers (relaunch!). Also, Ed Brubaker launched Secret Avengers about a black-ops superhero team led by Captain Steve Rogers (see our Brubaker’s Cap America Reading Order) and Christos Gage wrote Avengers Academy, the story of a group of young super-powered persons selected to join a training academy.

All of these are also collected in Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: The Complete Collection Vol. 1 and New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: The Complete Collection Vol. 6.

VIII. The Avengers vs. Fear Itself and The X-Men

Be afraid of Fear Itself! A 2011 crossover Marvel Comics event written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Stuart Immonen. It’s not from Bendis, but it affected all of the Marvel Universe, including the Avengers of course. The entire planet has been seized by Fear and only chaos reigns. The Serpent, Asgard’s most ancient evil, has awakened and is feeding off the fear of Earth’s populace. Don’t be afraid, the Reading Order is here.

The Avengers and the X-Men go to war in Avengers vs. X-Men! This 2012 crossover event involved the return of the Phoenix Force and the subsequent war between the Avengers and the X-Men. For a more comprehensive look at the event, go to the reading order.

  • Avengers vs. X-Men Omnibus
    Collects Avengers vs. X-Men (2012) #0-12; Point One (2011) #1 (AVX story); AVX: Vs. (2012) #1-6; Avengers vs. X-Men: Infinite (2012) #1, 6, 10; Avengers Academy (2010) #29-33; Secret Avengers (2010) #26-28; Avengers (2010) #25-30; New Avengers (2010) #24-30; X-Men Legacy (2008) #266-270; Wolverine & the X-Men (2011) #9-16, 18; AVX: Consequences (2012) #1-5; Uncanny X-Men (2011) #11-20; A-Babies vs. X-Babies (2012) #1.

Also available in separate paperbacks:


All of these are also collected in New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: The Complete Collection Vol. 7 and Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis: The Complete Collection Vol. 3.

THE END.

What to read after Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers?

After all these years, Brian Michael Bendis took over the X-Men (during the Marvel Now! Era) and Jonathan Hickman took over, becoming the main writer on The Avengers titles –  Avengers (Volume 5) and New Avengers (Volume 3). The reading order of Hickman’s Avengers is here.

Last Updated on July 21, 2023.

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