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A list of comic-movie reading material 

If you watched this year's Super Bowl (well, the commercials), then you — and more than 100 million other folks — probably know that this summer will be a big one for comic book movies. Not only are film adaptations for Captain America and Thor coming our way, but celluloid versions of Green Lantern, Cowboys & Aliens and even the X-Men (a new one) are slated to hit the big screen as well. And since we're highlighting films this issue, I thought it would be a great time to recommend comic-movie reading material — a few books to pick up before you see some of these potential blockbusters. Check 'em out:

Green Lantern: Secret Origin — This one's pretty much a no-brainer; the upcoming Green Lantern movie explains the origin of the film's title character, and so does this book. A hardcover collecting the six-issue re-telling of test pilot/space cop Hal Jordan's early days, Secret Origin features an action-packed, character-driven story by Geoff Johns, the writer credited with resuscitating the emerald-clad hero. (He also worked on GL's movie.)

Thor Volume 1 — OK, finding an appropriate comic about Marvel's favorite Norse god/superhero is more difficult than narrowing down the perfect jumping-on point for Green Lantern fans. Thor is a complicated character, and only a few creators have crafted great stories about him — especially tales that are accessible to new or casual readers. All that said, I'd suggest snagging a copy of Thor Volume 1 — which collects several issues of the amazingly underrated run by writer Dan Jurgens and artist John Romita Jr. This compilation contains some of the biggest, boldest and most universe-shaking tales ever told about the "God of Thunder" ... and it also includes some juicy human elements as well. On top of that, the art is bright, funky, kinetic and Jack Kirby-flavored. Buy it.

Captain America Omnibus Volume 1 — Finding a fitting comic about Captain America is difficult, too. My advice is to pick up Captain America Omnibus Volume 1; it collects the first 25 espionage-oriented issues of writer Ed Brubaker's stint on Cap and offers a pretty thorough look at the star-spangled Avenger's past and present. This book also introduces important allies, like the Winter Soldier, and spotlights Cap's arch nemesis, the Red Skull (both of whom are in the soon-to-be-released movie).

Reviewed materials provided by Heroes Aren't Hard to Find: www.heroesonline.com.

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