Master Thread: "I'm New to DC Comics! What Should I Read?"

It’s nice that we get to help a new fan along the road of wonder and awe. So here are my suggestions:
Action: Satellite-era Justice League of America (Just the yearly JLA/JSA crossovers are more than enough to keep you on the edge of your seat.)
Team-ups: Brave and The Bold (The team-up book that set the standard.)
Mystery: The Phantom Stranger (Heck, sometimes you had to look hard to find him on the cover of his own book, but his creators–Wein and Aparo–always delivered the chills)
Romance: Beyond the tons of romance comics DC published for decades there are power-couples that deserve your reading attention; Lois and Clark, Carter and Shayera,
Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, Oliver and Dinah, Arthur and Mera, and Ray and Jean (that didn’t end well) to name a few.
Horror: Slam-dunk: Samp Thing!
Science: The Silver Age Adam Strange
Magic/Fantasy: Zatanna, Amethyst, and Dr. Fate
Humor: Justice League International & Europe and everyone’s favorite slacker–Booster Gold.
Classics: That’s a broad spectrum to choose from, but for me, it would have to be Silver Age Flash by Infantino, Fox, and Broome.
Modern: Batman: Year One, Hawkworld (Tim Truman), Man of Steel (John Byrne), Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Aquaman (Geoff Johns), and Green Arrow: The Long-Bow Hunters (Mike Grell). Hope this helps!

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Hey, I never noticed that this thread got bumped. Let’s update my recommendations! And I’ll try to do just one per category, just for fun (and to streamline things for anybody reading this).

:muscle:t4:Action: Suicide Squad, original '87 series.
:family_man_man_girl_girl:Team-Ups: Birds of Prey, original '99 series.
:male_detective:t2:Mystery: Batman: The Long Halloween
:rose:Romance: The Flash, Mark Waid run of the '87 series (Start with #62)
:japanese_ogre:Horror: Still haven’t read a ton of horror books. The '88 Doctor Fate miniseries is the only one that springs to mind, and it’s… an experience. “Recommend” might be a strong word but you certainly won’t be bored.
:microscope:Science: In the sense of Science Fiction, try Green Lantern '05. In the sense of series in which science and scientists are prominent, 52 actually springs to mind.
:sparkles:Magic/Fantasy: Wonder Woman, George Perez run starting with #1 of the '87 series.
:joy:Humor: Justice League International from guess which year? I’m surprised how many of my top recommendations are from the initial Post-Crisis lineup.
:books:Classic: '70s Batman and Detective Comics. Kind of hard to separate them since writers would often work on both titles, but we have a lot more issues of 'Tec to choose from.
:iphone:Modern: Detective Comics '16.

injustice for sure, read all of the annuals, or you could go peice by piece, and then google “injustice full movie” after you finish

What are the absolute must-read 52 titles?

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Yay @Rymanlives! Welcome to the DCU! :+1: :grinning:

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Thank you! Love DC!

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Cool thank you!

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I’m very new to reading comics but I have always loved dc characters through both animated and live-action shows/movies. I want to get up to date with what’s currently happening in the dc comicbook realm but I’m not sure where to start. Here are some of my favorite characters for reference.
Batman
Dick Grayson
The flash
Aqualad
Black lightning
Superman
Cyborg

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Some recommended reads for a few of your preferred characters:

-Batman: His 2011-2016 series, especially issues 1-12. The Court of Owls are the best Batman villains of the modern era and they debut in that series.

-Cyborg: I find his 2016-2018 ongoing series to be his best solo book. Start with Cyborg: Rebirth #1, which then leads into the regular issues of this series.

-Dick Grayson: if you want him as Nightwing, most of his ongoing titles are a good start.

He shed the Nightwing persona in 2014 and became an agent of the spy agency Spyral until 2016 in the ongoing series Grayson (2014-2016). Issues 1-4 constitute the first arc of the series.

-The Flash: the current series that began in 2016 is a good new reader jumping on point, and it introduces a nifty new rogue named Godspeed.

-Superman: his 2016-2018 ongoing series. Start with the Superman: Rebirth #1 one-shot, which will then lead into the regular series. Issues 1-6 make up the first storyarc, “Son of Superman”.

Hopes this helps =)

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If you just want to see what’s current (keeping in mind that DCU is 1 year behind publication), you can just pick a Rebirth title and go from there. They’re normally pretty easy to spot in the search results, because they all have a big blue Rebirth banner at the top, but for specifics.

For Batman, it’s simple. There are 2 series that center on him.
Batman (2016-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/batman-2016/bf73a76a-c16d-439c-b3f1-b74a03e34198
Detective Comics (2016-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/detective-comics-2016/ed3180f9-48be-41b5-a5c6-3f30275d5f41

For Superman, it’s a little more complicated. Superman (2016-) is over. It leads into Man of Steel (2018-) which is a 6 issue mini series. Man of Steel leads into Superman (2018-) which is the current run. If you just want to see the most current stuff, I’d just read Man of Steel then pick up Superman (2018-) and go from there. There’s also Action Comics, which is just another super book.
Superman (2016-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/superman-2016/aea3ac6d-ee6e-42c1-9d39-f6e5e30f7234
Man of Steel (2018-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/man-of-steel-2018/9762c427-d7c7-4006-abd1-efa92fcf4478
Superman (2018-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/superman-2018/76249bfd-b875-4eee-bf04-11b5d37e5570
Action Comics (2016-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/action-comics-2016/38a2bc8c-5947-4046-90be-7d95cb2ba6e7

Nighwing, Flash, and Cyborg are simple. Cyborg’s series is over though.
Nightwing (2016-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/nightwing-2016/8ff8904e-90b2-47c2-9afa-502fe651aad7
Cyborg (2016-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/cyborg-2016/bb21ef9c-7847-40ff-ad05-6ebdc458bd7f
The Flash (2016-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/the-flash-2016/dff8aef0-a2a2-47d5-8eb3-34f3136adac6

Black Lightning a little more difficult. Neither has an ongoing series. Black Lightning is in a book that’s no on DCU yet (Batman & the Outsiders). He had a miniseries called Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands, which was good, though very focused on racial tensions with police. Some people find that too political, I enjoyed it.

Can’t say I know much about Aqualad.

There are also tons of other books you could read. A lot of standalone stories. Too many to list, honestly, but some pretty standard recommendations are All-Star Superman, Flashpoint, Superman Red Son, Batman Hush, Batman (2011-) [the entire series is great], Kingdom Come, Grayson (2014-) [again, entire series is fun, though probably confusing for new readers], Batman Long Halloween, and I could keep going forever.

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I usually start on the page furthest to left and continue turning pages until
I finish the book.

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My advice is not to limit yourself to recent stuff. DC has a long and rich history to choose from, and some of the bad decisions they’ve made in the last eight years or so have been piling up. Of course, stuff from before a certain point tends to have very clunky writing and less polished inking and coloring, so a new reader might be put off, but if you stick to the late '80s on, you’ll be doing alright on writing, and while the quality of the art depends more on the penciler, you start to see more detail on the coloring sometime in the late '90s.

Some good, beginner-friendly series and stories for the characters you mentioned:

Batman: This is my strongsuit, so I have a few different ways you could approach it.
-It has some detractors, but Batman: Hush (1941 Batman series, starting somewhere around issue 612 from 2004) is a really solid, self-contained sort of “tour” of the supporting cast and rogues gallery and while the mystery isn’t super difficult, there are some good twists to it.
-If you want a longer sequence of stories that’ll introduce you to other series and Bat-Family members, you can go crossover-hopping through the timeline with Year One, The Killing Joke, A Death in the Family, Knightfall/Knightquest/Knightsend, Prodigal, Troika, Contagion, Legacy, Cataclysm/Aftershock/No Man’s Land, Officer Down, Bruce Wayne: Murderer?/Bruce Wayne: Fugitive, Hush, War Games, Under the Hood, and RIP.
-Finally, you could also look into the prequel stories that address Batman’s early years: Year One, Year Two, Year Three, most of the early arcs of Legends of the Dark Knight, The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Robin: Year One, Batgirl: Year One, Nightwing: Year One, and Catwoman: When in Rome.

Nightwing: The 1996 series is fantastic up until issue #80 or so. When you get there, do yourself a favor and stop. Also look into the 1998 Titans series.

The Flash: Try starting around issue #62 of the 1987 series. Mark Waid’s run created most of the franchise’s lore, and the guy’s plots are genius.

Aqualad: Can’t really help you here. Maybe the Young Justice comics (not the '98 series, the 2012 tie-in for the cartoon; the '98 series is great, it’s just not related to the cartoon in the slightest and doesn’t have Aqualad)?

Black Lightning: I honestly don’t know much about him. I can’t help much here, unfortunately.

Superman: Superman’s history and continuity aren’t my strong suit either, but the 1986 miniseries “The Man of Steel” is quite good.

Cyborg: His history got kind of complicated at a certain point, but I’d say try either New Teen Titans starting in 1980 (introduced the character, but the dialogue and narration are kind of painful for most of the run) or Geoff Johns’ 2003 Teen Titans (which I haven’t read but people seem to like).

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For the modern Aqualad, his first appearance in the mainline DCU was in Brightest Day #10.

There’s also the comic based on the Young Justice TV series. It obviously features Aqualad to a very heavy degree.

Going back to the mainline DCU, Aqualad joined the Teen Titans in their current series in issue #6. The volume two collection is titled “The Rise of Aqualad”.

The Hush arc of Batman is also another great jumping on point for Batman. It’s in the Batman series that ran from 1940-2011, issues 608-619.

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@BatWatch That was my tactict then someone handed me a Manga and blew away everything I thought I knew about how to read a comic.

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Ha! Fair enough.

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Good Superman? Try Action Comics (2011) 1-18. That doesn’t require a whole lot of familiarity with the character but will give you some wonderful characterization of the Big Blue Boy Scout and some wonderful art.

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Read the current series Batman and the Outsiders (there’s only been 3 issues and it has Black Lightning as the leader of the team), Scott Snyder’s new 52 Batman run would be a good jumping on point, for Superman I would read Jurgens rebirth run and Tomasi’s. They were phenomenal and for me a top 5 rebirth book. Also, another two great books are Super Sons, and Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps.

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Hahah I feel like we’re in the same boat. I just started reading comics this summer and I really enjoy the new rebirth series. I personally started with the teen titans and spread out from there. The comics will usually make you read multiple at once for you to understand a storyline, backstory, or crossover.

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If you’re really wanting to get into what’s CURRENTLY happening with Batman, then start at Detective Comics #994. I really like Tom King’s run that started in Batman (2016) #1, but since that run is nearly over, you might as well focus on Detective Comics instead as a jumping-on point for current events.

Both of Superman’s main titles are being written by the same author, and his run began in the 2018 Man of Steel six-issue miniseries before continuing in Superman (2018) #1 and Action Comics (2016) #1001.

Dick Grayson is currently in a bit of a transitional phase, and here’s a place where you might want to take a quick dip into Tom King’s Batman (2016) for issues 54-57. After that, you can start with Nightwing (2016) #50. If you want to start a tad earlier, you can read Nightwing #44-49 before going to Batman #54.

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Note: much of what I listed above isn’t available on this service quite yet. If you’re wanting to go with fairly recent stuff, follow the advice above and go to the 2016 Rebirth books for each character. However, you will want to read the following books in this exact order first:

  1. Superman: Lois and Clark (2015) #1-8
  2. Superman (2011) #51
  3. Batman/Superman (2013) #31
  4. Action Comics (2011) #51
  5. Superman/Wonder Woman (2013) #28
  6. Batman/Superman (2013) #32
  7. Action Comics (2011) #52
  8. Superman/Wonder Woman (2013) #29
  9. Superman (2011) #52
  10. DC Universe: Rebirth (2016)

And to make sense of that last book, you may also want to make sure you’re at least familiar with Flashpoint (2011) #1-5 and the premise of the New 52 continuity that started in 2011. (If you want to jump back even further than 2016’s Rebirth for books, the next logical starting point is the line-wide 2011 reboot.)

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