Marvel comics has been around in some shape or form since 1939, and in that time, it has seen the launch of hundreds if not thousands of different titles. Some are successful, some form the cornerstones of popular culture, but many of them disappear into the bargain bin of history.
In the modern age, comics often relaunch with a new issue #1, either as part of a universe-wide reboot or as a way of signifying the start of a new era for a particular character or line of books. Combining reimagined properties, like the Ultimate line, heroes getting a solo title or new characters debuting, the number of first issues put out by Marvel since 1989 is staggering.
High sales are not a mark of quality; ask any of the seven million who read adjective-less X-Men #1. Likewise, the title might get cancelled after a half dozen issues of varying quality. For an issue #1 to hit, it has to offer the reader something new, exciting, and demands they pick up the next issue.
Here are the best #1s in Marvel history.
10. Ms Marvel #1
If I were to offer a template for bringing fresh ideas, perspectives and images into modern comics, it would be Kamala Khan, AKA Ms Marvel, a female Muslim superhero created by G. Willow Wilson, Sana Amanat, Adrian Alphona, Jamie McKelvie and Stephen Wacker.
The book is ostensibly about a girl who gets superpowers and how she deals with them. The only difference is that the girl must come to terms with her faith and culture concerning these new powers.
What really sets it apart is that the first issue is about Khan and not her connection to the larger Marvel Universe. Instead of telling readers how Capitan America or Iron Man feel about this new superhero the creators focus on her teenage world, with every day problems more important than battling Hydra or the Skrulls.