Just a little whelmed, a little help please?

There’s nothing wrong with simply grabbing a book and starting to read.


I’d never discourage anyone from consuming as much as they want. That said, I’d pick out essentials only from Pre-Crisis. Everything since Crisis is 35 years of reading. That alone will keep you busy for about 10 years of serious daily reading. I like the list from @TurokSonOfStone1950 myself.


While you are at it, you can also take part in our Comic Reading Challenge.

It is a good way to catalog everything that you have read for the year.


Come to that, and maybe somebody said this already, you could just start with Crisis On Infinite Earths. Man of Steel #1. Wonder Woman (1987) #1.


Let me swim against the current here. Grab what looks good to you. Don’t worry that you might miss a nuance here or an obscure character reference there. I don’t want you to think “I’ve got to get through all this, before I get it.” This is a big warm ocean to swim in, explore and find the little surprises. Some thread from your story leads you elsewhere, follow it. You can beat the trodden both or you can roam. You’ll like the surprises of roaming.


I agree w/ @msgtv. I usually just grab what looks interesting and do a bit of research if I want more or if something/someone (a character, artist, writer, a ref I didn’t understand, etc) piques my curiosity. Otherwise it is a daunting task to try and collect every narrative and specificity. That might make you feel disconnected, but it’s a journey, one far more enjoyable if you let it meander a bit. Filling in the blanks is the fun part, so don’t worry. That’s what google is for! :grin: and there are more than enough people here to talk to when you land on something you like.


Pick a run and start. Lots of 80s comics had good runs without a lot of back story that you had to learn. Blue Beetle, Blue Devil, Captain Atom all spring to mind.


I’d suggest doing a bit of read by era. You mentioned you were readings some Golden Age stuff. Go and check out some Silver Age books. 1956-1969 I’d suggest Flash 105 and the Silver Age Green Lantern and the early JLA.
Then on to the Bronze Age, I’d focus on the O’Neil/Adams runs in Batman & Green Lantern/Green Arrow.

That is a real foundation of DC pre-crisis. There have been plenty of post crisis recommendations. So I’ll only add these DC Universe Presents s& the Sinestro Corps War.

I do think getting a foundation of Golden, Silver & Bronze Age helps. Especially for characters you like. Plus they have fewer crossovers/tangents than more modern era stuff.

But, try to enjoy the books themselves and worry less about continuity. The storyline section is good for a continuity fix for that sphere of character(s) for that main arc. The rest is generally not that important from a tie-in standpoint. (And I say this as someone who is a but of a continuity obsessive.) I enjoy (and some times don’t enjoy) books, as themselves. They can be viewed as self contained islands. Unless you are dealing specifically with crossover storyline, and the more significant of those you can find in the storyline section.

There is no right way or wrong way to get into and explore comics. As Joseph Campbell famously said: Follow your bliss, and doors will open that you did not even no were there.


It’s funny, When I was starting to dive full-time into reading DC’s Superhero Titles I really just started with Batman and bought a lot of the books that were available at the time. Now this was in 1988-89 so there was a lot being put out at that time.
When 1990 rolled around and DC started The Who’s Who Binder Format Series I really used that as a reference to get an idea of what else I’d like to read. From there my collecting really took off full force. I didn’t read everything DC put out. But I did least have some kind of familiarity with what was going on at the time so I didn’t feel completely lost.
The Binder format Who’s Who’s aren’t currently available digitally but the original Who’s Who is. I would recommend going through that series and seeing what catches your eye. At the very least,it’s a good starting point. (There’s also The Who’s Who Podcast at Fire and Water Podcast that covers the series that’s very helpful as an additional resource.)


While it is hard to fight thoughts of fitting all of this available reading into one lifetime, try to embrace having way too much. Don’t be afraid to drop books and story lines when you’re not feeling them, even if they are held as crucial, different strokes completely apply to four colors. The ability to create lists is great, I have a few with organizations ranging from hero/villain, to story arc, to holiday, haha. I also personally jump around (jump jump) to different eras and points of the multiverse constantly and only worry about reading issues in a linear fashion if they are a specific arc or shot. You can always go back and read full runs what i call “Tarantino” or “Memento style,” provided you’re not spoiling anything major.


Yeah bud is a little daunting at first, I would recommend picking a character you like, then following a story line (the app has them all nice and laid out for ya now​:+1:). Jumping on at a reboot is good to although you’d be pretty far behind. I really enjoyed the new 52, but I’d say at this point start with Rebirth titles. Hope that helps, there’s almost too much to enjoy on here!


Well…I started with the beginning of Batwoman because she is the character I am most interested in, the Smallville Comics because that is the only Superman storyline I cared about. Doom Patrol I am reading from the beginning, and 52 because not long after Batwoman was introduced a Crisis happened which I read that one as well as 52 which was an aftermath to get more context to the Batwoman story. From what I have seen the year in the comic series section for the individual story sections I read helps to a point and finishing one will automatically go to the next one of that particular Comic Series for that year making it somewhat more chronological in that sense…but because the different Crisis story lines after a few years it gets confusing trying to make sense of that particular storyline when it makes everything before that outside of those events interesting. It is connecting an older cannon to a Crisis story that rewrites the reality for the characters past present and future going forward from that crisis story to the next crisis story that will change the cannon but the change to the cannon still in my opinion makes everything still cannon because the crisis stories that create each new cannon are in itself cannon. From what it seems the various writers use crisis stories as an excuse to do new things with the universe bit still manage to make the old cannon cannon…sooo if you want to say understand the entire story of Batman for example like hard core fan style then you would ultimately have to understand all those changes made to the cannon of that character throughout their many cannons as a whole. If any of that makes sense but I would never be that serious…the only Characters I am that serious about are Doom Patrol even though the oldest ones are soooo Adam West Batman level cheese and writing.


That used to bother me, the little asterisks saying as seen in issue so and so. But you are correct theres a big ole dc ocean and such a great community to get help from. I’ve only just started reading comics since I joined the app (I did have a few growing up but mostly just batman and some marvel :open_mouth:)
my process is just to read the characters story lines I enjoy (jason blood, batwoman, constatine) and then I joined some book clubs to dip my feet into stuff I normally wouldn’t read. (Looking at you teen titans…which surprisingly I really enjoyed!) Well shoot good luck!

Agreed! :grin:


You know, I think this is EXACTLY how most people get into comics. When I was a kid I never had enough money or patience to follow every title I was interested in. I just went to the shop and grabbed stuff with characters I liked or cover art that looked cool. As you said, the DC universe is overwhelming, it’s massive, you’re never going to get a handle on all of it. As long as you know the basics of the main character you can just start reading and you’ll probably understand the important stuff. You’re never going to understand every reference or be able to read every crossover so just roll with it. Start with the stuff that looks interesting to you and pay attention to the creative team. Eventually, you will find writers and artists that appeal to you and you can dig into their body of work. Hope this helps.

Sorry if this is a little off-topic, haha. Best of luck with your search no matter what you do :superman_hv_4:


Oh, heck, there’s always NEW TEEN TITANS


I’m usually the first on the “Just pick something and read it” bandwagon, but I do want to play a little Devil’s Advocate here since I did talk about my reading list.

  • First: Note that I call it a reading list and not a reading order. It’s for organization and clarity, not a straitjacket to keep me from reading things that catch my attention. For example, the reason I’m so much further ahead on the Flash than other stuff I’m reading? Because I was enjoying it and wanted to read more. Nothing fancier than that to it. Conversely, I originally skipped Deathstroke, but other series referenced events in it enough that I recently backtracked to get caught up. And hey, it turned out to be a much better read than I expected, so I say curiosity about continuity stuff is a good thing and can lead you to other books you might like.

  • Second: The reason I keep such a detailed list is because I like having a strong sense of history and continuity. I find this stuff interesting even if the books themselves aren’t good. For someone who also finds it interesting (which isn’t everyone but is certainly some people), doing all that reading in an organized, chronological manner is quite helpful. Based on the original post, I get the impression that ghostofnikki is interested in that stuff.

  • Third: As you hear about things through recommendations and other word-of-mouth channels, you’ll eventually want to start writing down stuff you want to read somewhere. So, why not organize it chronologically?

But there is absolutely nothing wrong with just picking up whatever catches your attention, and even despite everything I just said, I still sometimes do a quick impulse read just to cleanse my palate.

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I definitely can relate to going to the library after school and picking up the collected editions they have there. To my surprise I was shocked how I found that one story led to another story. I’ll put my journey of DC in the modern era (before the new 52) down here in chronological order.
Identity Crisis
Green Lantern: Rebirth (Event not series)
Sinestro Corps. War
Infinite Crisis
Flash: Rebirth (Event not series)
Batman R.I.P.
Final Crisis
Battle for the Cowl
Blackest Night
Brightest Day
The storyline section on the app has the main event entries as well as the spin-off event entries in chronological order. Hope this helps.


This website may help you out with a general outline:

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You can’t keep everything in order. There’s too many characters, alternate timelines and retcons. Most golden age and early silver age stories are not that relevant to character development and continuity either. They are allot of fun to casually read. I have vol 1 of Golden age Wonder Woman and its just fun to see the old artwork and crazy stories. 70s Batman and Superman are arguably even more ridiculous.

My advice would be read the characters you like and learn their history as you go. Branch out from there and read other characters from their story and you will start to learn what you like. For instance if you like Batman and Detective comics then checkout Nightwing and Batgirl. If you like suicide squad check out Harley Quin or Red hood and the outlaws.

The year one stories are a great intro for any character. Lately I’ve been really digging into rebirth because I want to read modern continuity and current artists/writers. I also regularly check the “get to know” section of the app for essential reading and storylines.

Reading large crossover events can be daunting and confusing but they’re usually good starting points because characters standalone comics generally have a clean slate after a crossover even if there is a life altering moment in that crossover with that character. For instance you can read Dark Knights Metal and right after jump into Hawkman (2018). After No Justice you can jump right into Justice League Odyssey.

I also follow specific writers and artists because I like what they’ve done. When it comes to Batman I love Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jeff Loeb, Tim sale and James Tynion IV.
Frank Miller, John Romatia jr, and Marv Wolfman for their work on Superman, Teen Titans, and Wonder Woman in the 80’s.
Mike Grell and Neal Adams Green Arrow.
Geoff Johns Flash and Green Latern stories are some of the best in the DC pantheon.
Tom King’s Batman run and Joelle Jones Catwoman are also amazing.

You can’t go wrong wrong starting at issue #1. I just finished the Man of steel miniseries and went right into Superman #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and I’m loving it. It’s very colorful and psychedelic.

Finally if you see a reference to an earlier story that you haven’t read in the story you’re reading now following that breadcrumb can help you fill your own timeline as a reader.

Newer and breifer version of elder post
Have new link of recomended titles

If you don’t know much about DC

Watch Secret Origins Siory of DC Comics. it covers DC Comics up to the the big three British Authors Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore and Grant Morrison

It only takes an hour and a half and gives you a solid background in the History of DC Comics

If you have favorite characters go to

in Comic Books
Get To Know
Sort Alphabetically

There are start Reading Guides

Dick Grayson
The Flash
The Teen Titans
Wonder Woman

Storylines in Browse can also be sorted
that makes it easier to find great Batman storylines among other characters.

The Encyclopedia may give you important titles and issues for the character you are interested in.

You can join.a Book.Club

A good link for Batman is

In general

Crisis events comics are the worst to start with
Too many unfamilar characters with little character development

My two lists of best DC stories, 13 historic and 52 comprehensive are found at


This is my
Batman for new readers

Just try to read first arc in a title
Then go to next title
Either by the timeline
Or by characters you are interested in

Emphsis was for coverage of most major characters and teams, while giving enough on these characters so could understand their basics.

The idea was that there are probably more than great ten Superman Origin Titles, so just pick one.

Coverage of Titles

Aquaman 2
Batman 3
Blue Beetle Jamie 1
‘Dark’ Solo characters 4
‘Dark’ Teams 3
Earth 2 2
Flash JLA Earth 2 Beginnings 1
Gail Simone 2
Hawkman 3
Jessica Cruz 2
Justce League 3
Justice Society 3
Legion of Super Heroes 1
Solo Female Super Heroes 5
Suicide Squad 1
Superman 2
Titans/ Young Justice 4
Vertigo Sandman Death 1
Wonder Woman 2
Warren Ellls 2

Other Titles

Legends by John Bryne
DC New Frontier
DC Universe Rebirth
Doomsday Clock

My Super Hero Genre History lists significant DC Titles and issues
It is by year
Look.at the start of each post for starting year to
Find issue or titles that might interest you
After Crisis on Infinite Earth is year 1986

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