The Comic: Secret Warriors, written by Jonathan Hickman, with art by Stefano Caselli and others. Created by Jonathan Hickman and Brian Michael Bendis.
What it’s about: S.H.I.E.L.D. is broken and Nick Fury is on the run. This spy thriller is nothing short of epic. It’s far reaching and dense at the same time, featuring tons of characters, some of whom show up once and some of whom become new favorites. Many characters are secretly other characters. Nick Fury slowly unravels a conspiracy that’s hundreds, if not thousands of years in the making, and with the help of the titular team (and a number of other super-secret teams) (and also a few secret super teams) he’s going to blow the whole thing wide open.
Why you should read it: This book is the unsung hero of the MCU. Marvel’s movies and television shows draw heavy influence from Secret Warriors. It’s the comic that elevated Daisy Johnson a.k.a. Quake to prominence, and she went on to be the main character of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It also was a big inspiration for the much celebrated Winter Soldier film. The book is the twistiest of spy thrillers. It’s impossible to predict what happens next, despite the book clearly foreshadowing and spelling out the entire mystery all the way at the beginning. Also, it has some of the best gritted teeth, action hero one-liners in comics.
Also, did you know: Each member of the Secret Warriors has a connection to a small time Marvel supervillain. Hellfire for example, is a descendent of the original Ghost Rider, who rode a spectral steed in cowboy times.