How Long Would It Take to Read All of Marvel's Comic Books?

How Long Would It Take to Read All of Marvel’s Comic Books?

In a moment of madness or bravery, depends on how you look at it, a man might venture to read every Marvel Comics comic book ever published. It looks amazing and unbelievably fun, but the whole endeavor is not without its downsides. First of all, you need time. Secondly, you need the resources. And thirdly, you need around 40,000 comic books. So, how long would it take to read all Marvel comics?

There are around 40,000 published Marvel comics since 1939. It takes around 11 minutes to read one comic. That means that it would take you 440,000 minutes to read all of the Marvel comics. If you spend eight hours a day reading, it would take you roughly 917 days to finish all of them.

In today’s article, I am going to tell you the procedure regarding reading all of Marvel’s comics. You are going to find out if it is even possible to read all of the comics, how many there are, and how long it would take you to read all of them. Enjoy!

How many Marvel comics are there?

In order to give you a proper answer to this question, we have to give you a brief history lesson. Marvel Comics is an American comic book publishing house founded back in 1939, which means that it has been around for a while. From 1939 to 1947, the company was known as Timely Comics, and from 1947 to 1961, they appeared on the market as Magazine Management, but both these publishing houses are considered to be the predecessors to the modern-day Marvel Comics, which was officially founded in 1961. 

So, in order to determine the exact number of Marvel’s comics, we have to go back to 1939, which is – by all means – no easy task. Namely, as far as we know, there is no official record of all of Marvel’s publications so the numbers that we are going to be dealing with in this article are really just estimates; they are quite precise and are based on some known numbers and the company’s publishing frequency, but they’re still just estimates, so the exact number might vary a bit.

In 2009, Marvel Comics published an official index, listing a total of 32,000 publications published under its banner since 1939. This, of course, compiled all the publications that came out from 1939 until 2009 when the index was published. This means, by doing some simple math, that Marvel publishes around 475 comics per year, another rough estimate for sure, but it’s certainly not far from the correct numbers (some years are more prolific than others, really). Now, if we consider the fact that 12 years have passed since the index’s publication and that Marvel has kept publishing comics during that time, we conclude that there are around 38,000 Marvel Comics published up to date, which we can round up to 40,000, considering that there surely are some variations in these numbers. 

To sum things up, we estimate that there are around 40,000 comic books published by Marvel up to date and that is the number we are going to be dealing with in the rest of the article.

Can you read all of Marvel’s comics?

Is it even possible to read all of these comics? Physically, it certainly is, but there is one issue – not all of these comics are really available. Some old issues have been lost or have never been reprinted, meaning that they’re out of print and cannot be found. Some older issues are, of course, available online (both via legal sites and illegal ones), but we assume that it is, indeed, impossible to get your hands on all of Marvel’s publications.

This means that you probably won’t be able to read all of Marvel’s comics, but we assume that the number of these issues is not that big, and that you’ll still be able to read more than 95% of these comics in one way or another.

How long would it take you to read all of Marvel’s comics?

Now that we have all of the numbers, let us commence with the exact calculations so that we can answer the main question of this article.

The first number we have to take into consideration is the total number of publications since 1939, which is, as we have established, around 40,000, and that is the number we are going to use in our calculations. Now, as for the individual reading time, some older issues were longer than modern ones; historically, it would have taken you a good 15 minutes to read one chapter, while modern chapters go for around eight minutes per chapter. We’re going to take an average estimate and state that it would take you 11 minutes on average to read one individual comic book.

So, where does this bring us? A total of 40,000 individual issues with 11 minutes for each issue brings us to a total of 440,000 minutes, i.e. 7,334 hours, i.e. 306 days. It would take you a total of 306 days to read all of these publications if you would read them 24/7. Less than a year, that’s not much, eh? But, seeing how one cannot read comics 24/7 (sleep, work, food, etc.), we have to adjust our calculations according to some realistic parameters.

Let us state that one can read comics between six and twelve hours per day, depending on the quantity of free time and other factors. We have done calculations based on these reading times (per day), and these are the numbers we got:

Reading Hours (per day)Total Time (in days)Total Times (in years)
61,2223.4
89172.5
107342.0
126111.7

As one can see, it would take you anywhere between 611 and 1,222 days to read all of Marvel’s comics, i.e. between 1.7 and 3.4 years. If we take the average working time (or free time) of eight hours per day, it would take you around 917 days, or 2.5 years, to read the whole collection.

And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we gave you all the information you were looking for! See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!

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