Marvel Unlimited sent out an email to subscribers yesterday that detailed what was most popular with readers in 2017.  Some of the answer might take you off guard, other not.

“Top Read Issues”

  • Civil War II #3
  • Civil War II #4
  • Civil War #1

Well… Civil War II was a big event, if not a particularly well reviewed one.  The original Civil War seems to be an evergreen in both digital and print, though.

“Top Read Series”

  • Uncanny X-Men (1963)
  • Ultimate Spider-Man (2000)
  • Amazing Spider-Man (1963)

Two looooooooooong running titles featuring popular characters and the Bendis revival that defined the early aughts.  You might be a little surprised at Ultimate popping up in the middle but that was a very, very popular series for the better part of a decade and had pretty heavy library penetration.  It was well reviewed, too.

“Top Read Characters”

  • X-Men
  • Spider-Man
  • Avengers

Again, not a shock.

“Top Read Writers”

  • Brian Bendis
  • Jason Aaron
  • Chris Claremont

So Bendis has written a pretty large number of Marvel issues over the last 17 years.  He’s got two of the top three most read issues.  He wrote the entirety of one of the top three most read series.  He’s had… what… 4-6 issues coming out each month for news comics?  Possibly more.  Makes sense why he’d be the most read writer.

With Jason Aaron, you have to figure his Star Wars run and Thor titles are driving a lot of his reads (possibly not in that order), but he’s been around Marvel and written some X-books in his day.

For Chris Claremont, it does list the X-Men as ruling the roost and he’s written quite a bit of their best bits.  Since he’s not writing new material for Marvel these days, it underscores the popularity of the backlist on the service.

As for the “Top Read Artists,” they didn’t list any.  No love for artists, it appears.


  1. It’s hard to believe these rankings are accurate. I’m a subscriber and at least from a user interface point of view, authors are often missing or incomplete or plain wrong. And by authors I mean any creative person involved in a book.

  2. You have to take into account what’s available. The 2000s are more readily available, since a lot of them were created with digital in mind (creation and archival of materials, if not formatting itself). Uncanny was one of the first titles fully put out digitally, along with Ultimate Spidey. I would be curious to see which issues were more popular. As well, the sales on how quickly they sold vs. when they were available.

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