Help! What are your suggestions for essential comics?


I am just getting into the graphic novels and comic world of DC. So far I have read Batman: Hush and Metal.

What are your picks for DC essentials?

I enjoy Superman, Batman and I am looking to get more into Captain Marvel (Shazam). Open to anything though and would just like some suggestions for the best storylines of any hero / villain.


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Go to the news section

There are recommendations , mostly titles called 10 … Titles Moments, though Shazam is 7 Covers for

Wonder Woman
Detective Modern Age
Detective Bronze Age
Detective Silver Age
Detective Golden Age

Since NEWS is not part of Search, you must continue asking for older NEWS until get

Detective Golden Age.

I took screen shots of articles and used OCR to convert to text. It was a lot of work, but you get a lot of info that seems accurate and gives you a good feel for each character.

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The artitles are actually called in the NEWS section as

How to STart Reading Wonder Woman

How to Start Reading Superman


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If you are on the web or a mobile device. Take a look at the front page of the comics section. There’s a lot of recommendations for places to start on that page. Also look at the storylines section (also called out on the comic page). There’s a bit more there but it’s a lot of the DC classics so pick something that catches your eye

New Teen Titans

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Wolfman’s New Teen Titans
Levitz’s Legion of Super-Heroes
Moore’s Swamp Thing
Thomas’ All-Star Squadron and Secret Origins
Perez’s Wonder Woman
Cooke’s New Frontier
Grell’s Green Arrow

Depending on your tastes:
Ostrander’s Suicide Squad if you like Dark
Giffen & DeMatteis’ Justice League International if you like Light


I always think if you even know just a bit about DC at all.

Start with: Crisis On Infinite Earths (COIE for short)
It’s a great way to “get to know DC”. It touches on so many characters that you are likely to find a couple that you find interesting that aren’t necessarily the trinity (Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman) and Shazam (Captain Marvel) who is having a resurgence because of the movie.

While not specifically comic books, I think watching the Justice League Unlimited (JLU) animated series can help you explore some of the breadth of DC’s characters as well.


I’d recommend Batman: The Long Halloween as well as Superman: American Alien. Both are miniseries which I find are great for introducing yourself to a character. Aside from that both books are very well written and give you a good self contained arc that tells you a lot about the characters without getting too bogged down in the decades worth of continuity surrounding them.

If you want the best of the best, then The Death and Return of Superman awaits ye.

If you want lesser known characters/franchises that are every bit as fun as the household names, there’s fun to be had from the following:

-Blackhawks (New 52)
-The Movement
-OMAC (New 52)
-Plastic Man (1988 four issue mini-series)


Here are my recommendations:

Best Batman stories off the top of my head: Year One, Long Halloween, The Killing Joke, Hush, The Court of Owls, R.I.P, Black Mirror, Under the Red Hood, Knightfall, The Dark Knight Returns.

I would read Batman: Year One first and then the rest and then The Dark Knight Returns at the end. I feel like it would feel like a beginning and end if you started with Year One and read any of the stories from above and then ended with The Dark Knight Returns. Also there is an animated Year One movie and a 2 part Dark Knight Returns movies that are stellar.

Best GL stories: Rebirth, Blackest Night, Brightest Day, Secret Origin, Sinestro Corps War, Circle of Fire, Emerald Twilight, Emerald Dawn, Sinestro.

Honestly with GL, Geoff Johns whole run and whatever other work hes done with the character is top notch. And if your interested, Grant Morrison current new run on the character has been absolutely stellar and critically acclaimed.

Best Justice League Stories: Grant Morrisons run( New World Order, Rock of Ages), Tower of Babel, Kingdom Come, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Justice for All, Divided We Fall, Final Crisis.

Tower of Babel was animated into JL: Doom the movie is loosely based on it but its one of DC’s best animated movies.

These are some of my favorites as well as they are some of the most famous and most critically acclaimed stories from Justice League, Batman and Green Lantern.

For Shazam check out Geoff Johns work on it. His 2011 New 52 story was pretty good.


Crisis on Infinite Earths really is the best.

Suggestions for the Big Five, just for the heck of it:
The Death and Return of Superman saga. Alright, it’s long, and has a healthy dose of padding in the Doomsday and Funeral for a Friend arcs, but Reign of the Supermen is mostly excellent.

Batman: Legacy. It’s a really well-put-together story arc showing the Bat-Family being awesome against some of their most dangerous villains. It’s helpful to have read Batman: Contagion first, but not required, and Contagion is just kind of average.

For another Batman recommendation, I personally really enjoy the Knightfall/Knightquest/Knightsend arc (and technically, you should probably read the Sword of Azrael and Vengeance of Bane miniseries to get the lead-in and Batman: Prodigal for the wrap-up). However, you kinda have to go in understanding that it’s meant as a deconstruction of edgy, Punisher-style anti-heroes. Knightquest has a lot of padding, which made it begin to feel like a permanent change for some people at the time it was released. The whole thing’s kind of an acquired taste, and you could probably save yourself some headache by just skipping Knightquest, but I think that despite its flaws, it did a good job of capturing Jean-Paul Valley’s slow descent into madness to set things up for Bruce Wayne’s return. It’s also funny to note that the Superman and Batman writers (seemingly completely coincidentally) developed nearly identical plots around the same time with the Death of Superman and Knightfall.

Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals. The George Perez run in general is awesome. There were some weird choices made with her origin after the Crisis (namely, overwriting her history and portraying her as completely new even though other characters’ histories were largely intact), but the story itself is excellent and doesn’t really address the weird retcons until the issue following the origin.

The Flash: The Return of Barry Allen. Not The Flash: Rebirth (which might be good; I haven’t read it), but the fakeout one from Mark Waid’s run. It’ll make more sense if you’ve read Crisis on Infinite Earths, but it’s probably the best story arc of an ongoing title that I’ve read (with Gods and Mortals at a close second and Knightsend at a distant third). Just read it. It’s awesome.

Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War. Geoff Johns’ entire Green Lantern run from Green Lantern: Rebirth up through Blackest Night set up the bulk of the modern lore for the character and setting, and is really good. But for one particular storyline to get you hooked, I recommend this one.