Chronological Reading Order


Long time lover of all things DC but haven’t gotten into the comics until recently. There is so much and not a lot of direction. Ant suggestions on the best way to enter the DC Universe chronologically through comics?


I am also open to any suggestions on what order to watch shows/movies in.

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For comics, I started out with the Golden Age (can’t get any closer in desiring chronology than where it began). If you decide to read from the Golden Age, I highly recommend reading Batman and Wonder Woman. Both of their Golden Age personalities are almost identical for the Batman: TAS and the Wonder Woman (1977) tv show.
Also, Superman: The Movie is a great film, if you are interested in Superman.

If you want to watch shows/films before reading the source material, I recommend Constantine, Human Target, and Green Lantern: TAS.

What are you interested in character/genre- wise?

Glad you are interested in reading comics, and if you have an “origin story” to share, that can also be beneficial.


I started watching DC Justice League when I was a child after coming home from school. Justice League was my first love of anything superhero. I grew up with 3 older brothers so superheroes surrounded me in DC and Marvel form.

I am mainly interested in origin stories of the Justice League members, how they joined up, how they got powers, what they experienced, love interests, etc.

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The Golden Age Superman is not a good place to start then because that version of Superman was definitely more aggressive than how he has now been associated with.
Elements of the Golden Age Batman still carry on to this day, but Scott Snyder’s New 52 Batman may be a good place to start.
The Wonder Woman from Justice League may be more like George Pérez’s take on her, and not so much like early Golden Age.
Martian Manhunter, Hal Jordan, and Barry Allen were all created during the Silver Age, so I would recommend reading about them there.
Then, the final original Justice League member is Aquaman and he is created in the More Fun Comics of the Golden Age.
All seven of these members were grouped together in the Brave and the Bold #28, but I do not know if that comic is still on here.

Have you looked into omnibuses? They usually try to reprint comics in exact publication order for the character or team.

As for Hawkgirl and Jon Stewart, I am not too familiar with them comics-wise.


I appreciate your help! I have a Green Lantern omnibus but didn’t realize there were more for the different comics. I will be looking into finding more.


Give up now because trying to read DC comics chronologically from the beginning will destroy your sanity quicker than reading a first printing of the Necronomicon :slight_smile: You’ll also probably die from old age before you get through the seventies because DC has published ALOT of comics.

Seriously though what I recommend is don’t get overly hung up continuity. One of the great things about DC is that their best stuff exists outside a strict canon and a lot of it is contradictory. Once you know the basic origins of the characters all you need to do is approach any given story with the mindset of hypertime: everything has happened in some alternate universe and only the stuff that directly references something else is in continuity with it. Using this approach should allow to enjoy 90% of DC’s stories. The remaining 10% are bad stories that you shouldn’t be reading anyway.


One series I highly recommend tracking down online is the old Greatest Stories Ever Told Series. The originals (which were published between the late eighties and early nineties) collect about 250 pages of the best stories written up to that point. DC carried on producing a much larger line into the 2000s with more characters and smaller page counts. They also include newer comics that don’t neccessarily work as well but are still a nice resource. The more recent 75th Anniversary collections are still in print but they’re expensive hardcovers and include a lot of single issues that are part of longer arcs and don’t stand well on their own at al.

The best thing about all of these is that cherry pick stories that are either historically significant or particularly good. You don’t have to plod through (or pay for) eleven issues of forgettable, mediocre comics to get the one classic story that’s worth reading.

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Here is a link that may prove useful:
But, to add on to what TheDemonEtrigan said, all of the early continuity was practically erased by the Crisis on Infinite Earths, but since you are looking for the origins, pre-crisis (including Bronze Age and the CoIE) would be in the timeline desired. Other events like the New 52 and Rebirth begin a new continuity.

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Quick note on the Greatest Stories Ever Told:

The originals are titled “The Greatest xxxxx Stories Ever Told” (Greatest Superman, Greatest Batman etc) Most of the ones they did in this series were Batman related. They are larger, have better quality paper and are some of the best collections DC ever published (though technically they were put out by Warner Books).

The second series put the character name first (Superman The Greatest Stories Ever Told). They are shorter and the paper isn’t as nice but there are alot more of them so you can really experience the full range of DC characters and stories.

Unfortunately all are out of print at the moment but they are pretty cheap online and show up frequently at conventions with anyone selling cheap trade paperbacks.

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@TheDemonEtrigan, nice Necronomicon reference. Klaatu, Barada, Nikto indeed :wink:


Noting that I’m moving this over from the Suggestion Box to the Comics area, as it’d be better suited there - also, lol at the last part of your post, @Vroom; love that! :slight_smile:



I was thinking more of the original HP Lovecraft version. Cthulhu Fhthan!

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Heya, @nmbelanger!
If you’re looking for a little direction or help with getting started reading comics, check out this thread:

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If I were you, I’d start off reading New 52 stories, New52 is a clean slate/restart of DC Comics’ continuity. That’ll establish a continuity for you. Then start reading Rebirth titles (2016-present, even though the Rebirth banner was removed). The purpose of Rebirth was to re-introduce some of the great things that were in the pre-New 52 continuity into the current/Rebirth continuity. Since DC has a long list of stories, it’s a good idea to read whats current then go back and read older story lines. Google searches and youtube is a great source for info as well. This is what I did. Hope this helps.

Batman Year One
Detective Comics 571 through 575 in library
Detective Comics, Rebirth by John Tynion IV
Batman. New 52 or Rebirth

Aquaman, New 52, 2011, by Geoff Johns, in library

Wonder Woman 1986, by Perez, in library
Wonder Woman, Rebirth Year One Rucka and Scott

Superman Lois and Clark Pre 52 Superman replaces 52 Superman, Introduces son, Jon Then Rebirth with Jon, until Bendis run

Justice League
New Frontier Vol 1 and 2 early Flash, Origin Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern
JLA, by Morrison in library.

Year one, in library

Teen Titans
Year one, in library
The New Teen Titans by Wolfman and Perez, in library
Teen Titans, 2003, by Geoff Jones
Titans Hunt, in Library

Nightwing, in library

Saga of Swamp Thing, by Alan Moore, in library

Doom Patrol, in library, starting with My Greatest Adventure.

Batgirl, in Library Year One
Current run by Margread Scott

Supergirl, in space, hawkman, Shazam current runs

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