5G Reading Order!
Road to 5G: The road to 5G truly began with Dark Nights Metal. Though I don’t necessarily recommend starting from there. I do recommend starting with Scott Snyder’s Justice League. I want to be clear though, there are three different main “storylines” operating seemingly outside of each other. So here’s what is important
Batman: Prelude to 5G
Consider: Batman: City of Bane
Why: This epic story concludes Tom King’s Batman and sets the stage for Tynion’s take over. I wouldn’t say it’s a must read though and many people think this story is a mess.
Read: Batman: Dark Designs
Why: James Tynion is doing the work right now of setting up Lucius Fox and Luke Fox ahead of 5G. It is starting as a sort-of Alfred role and then evolving.
Read: Pennyworth RIP #1
Why? The Batman Family has never been more fractured. This comic gives us the mental status quo of the Batman Family.
Read: Joker War
Detective Comics #1023
Batman Secret Files #3
Why: To be very straight forward, most rumors say this will be the LAST Batman Arc of Rebirth. Enough said.
Lead up to Death Metal
Consider: Dark Nights Metal
Dark Nights Metal #1-6
Why: The series creates the Batman who Laughs and many important ideas for the future of DC. Death Metal is also a sequel to this. However, the series is relatively self contained with it’s spin-off/effect not actually being that big.
Consider: Justice League: No Justice
Justice League: No Justice #1-4
Why: This comic kicks off Snyder’s run on Justice League which is the “prelude” to his series
Read: Justice League (2018)
Justice League #1-39
Why: More than any comic out there, this story establishes the major ideas (so far) of Death Metal and get us from the “normal” world to the world as of Year of the Villain.
Consider: Batman/Superman: The Infected
Batman/Superman (2019) #1-6
Why: This comic arc puts the Batman who Laughs Plan into action.
Read: Year of the Villain: Hell's Arisen
Why: This comic reveals what happened to the world after Justice League #39 and combine JL and The Infected into one big prelude for Death Metal
Read: Dark Nights: Death Metal
Why: Snyder gets to write the final crisis of Generation 4, and it will set up 5G in a major way.
Wally and Doctor Manhattan
Wally and Doctor Manhattan are arguably the two most important characters of the last 4 years. Though Wally has had a rough time, Dr. Manhattan has been the cause of most of his struggle.
Read: DC Universe: Rebirth #1
Why: This oneshot is largely set up for all of Rebirth, but much of the set up includes establishing the presence of both Wally and Doctor Manhattan. Wally more so.
Consider: Batman/The Flash: The Button
Why: This comic is the next big event in the Dr. Manhattan story, and shows the increasing wonkiness of time.
Consider: Flash: Flash War
Why: Wally’s journey begins to unwind as Wally suffers deeply from Dr. Manhattan manipulations. This arc is great, but ultimately not an absolute MUST.
Consider: Heroes in Crisis
Why: My theory is Doctor Manhattan sets up these events to “test Wally.” regardless of that, Heroes in Crisis sets up the second half of Wally’s Journey. That being said, this comic is widely disliked.
Consider/Read: Flash Forward #1-6
Why: You should read Flash Forward #6 just to know where Wally ends up going into Generation Zero: Gods Among Us #1. That being said, I know people who like it.
Read: Doomsday Clock #1-12
Why: This is arguably the most important comic to understanding what happened to the world in Rebirth. As far as I can tell, it also creates the timeline in which 5G exist, reintroduces dormant teams, and concludes Doctor Manhattan’s Story, however there is a lot of stuff that is still unclear.