I have been seeing all the stuff lately about Secret Invasion and Dark Reign and I'm wondering, can I read just these event books and not be confused. I mean just the main event book itself, not the hundreds of tie-ins. If I go and get Civil War and other event trades will I not get a complete (or good) story if I don't read the respective tie-ins.
Also if possible can someone suggest which event books are good and where to start.
Personally, I think so. Unlike DC's latest Events, each Marvel one seems a complete story in itself. The cases where you *have* to get a tie-in to understand the story seem rare at Marvel.
Civil War is a good example; you CAN read it just by itself. There ARE important bits in other books, but mostly for those who care- for example, many people asked "How come Nitro never blew up an entire town before?" This was answered in Wolverine, but is not really important for the main story.
(One warning, though: Many of Civil War's tie-ins blatantly contradict the main series... but that seems to have been due to the writers disagreeing majorly on plot points. Again, not a problem if read by itself.)
Recent Events I'd recommend: Civil War, Annihilation, Secret Invasion. World War Hulk depends on how much you like Hulk, in the end it was much ado about nothing.
I agree with Sijo. You can read the events by themselves and not be entirely confused as to what's going on, they're mainly self-contained stories.
My favorite tie-in's for Secret Invasion were X-Factor, She-Hulk, Nova & Guardians of the Galaxy, and although each had important stories for supplemental value for Secret Invasion, they absolutely do not need to be read to understand or feel the full impact of the story in Secret Invasion.
The New Avengers and Mighty Avengers tie-in's are important to the back story of Secret Invasion, in that they tell quite a bit of story as to when certain people were replaced or the formation of Nick Fury's Secret Warriors and stuff, but again, they're not necessary reading material to understand the main event taking place in Secret Invasion.
My favorite was World War Hulk, which was basically just a lot of Hulk smashing the shit out of stuff and people, but it was a damn fun read, and again, you don't really have to get any of the tie-in's to not be lost by the main event.