I never understood the format of comic books. Still don’t to this day. How do I start reading Superman and Batman comics from the beginning and possibly follow along chronologically, if that’s a thing? Right now I’m reading Batman from the Detective Comics, starting in the late 30’s, and I’m reading Superman starting in the Adventure Comics also starting in the late 30’s. How long do I keep reading until they get their own comics? Is there a way to chronologically read these comics? Is there a website that can help? I have so many questions…
Late 30’s meaning the 1930’s. I am reading each of these comics from their inception.
Unfortunately, there’s really no easy answer. If we were talking about lesser known heroes, then it would be pretty straightforward to start at their first appearance and go from there. But characters like Batman and Superman have been around for over 80 years, and their popularity means that they’ve been in a huge variety of comic book titles.
If memory serves, both Batman and Superman got their own comic books about a year after their first appearances, but they still kept showing up in Detective Comics and Action Comics, respectively. After that, you basically have to do your own homework and figure out what other books they appeared in as time went on. I can tell you that by the nineties, both of them made regular appearances in like five unique titles, so it will definitely be a challenge to juggle through all those books. Thankfully, the comics library does mention the publication date of each issue, which would make things easier for you.
So that said, good luck, and happy reading!
I think its very hard to read from 30s forward. If you want some chronological it might be best to decide how much you need or want to read. Post crisis had the best continuity of any comic books I have read from the big two. Batman got a soft reboot but superman was clean slate comic from Man of steel 1-6 forward. Batman was very loose, so Dick Grayson robin is gone. I was just like you 10 years ago. If you want to read old stuff there isnt much continuity in Batman until Neal Adams in the 70s(Batman 219/Detective 395), and Superman it was from Action 241 forward ok continuity and later Superman around 233. I dont recommend superman old issues because silver age superman was super god like.
Batman 401 and Dectective 568 are the beginning of modern continuity Batman. If you partner this with New Teen Titans it will explain Dick Grayson as well. These are great reads but not as clean as superman. If you start here you get all of the modern character interpretations and history.
Superman starts Man of Steel 1-6(1986), and then Action 584, Adventures of superman 424, Superman #1 (1987). Superman story continues completely accross each series issue so its kind of hard to keep up. They put shields on the cover with year and issue nunber to follow. Its excellent to read and truly is amazing how good Superman was.
It should be noted that even if you find a chrological order it will be very unlikely you could find every issue, I know not all have been digitized or collected from official sources. And even if you could it would not make sense in terms of “following a mans life”. The number of stories even if you don’t count guest appearances in other characters titles is insane. You might be able to find a decent post-crisis list and for my money if you want to tackle something like that would be your better choice. The continuity it tighter and most you probably could find a reprint f if nothing else.
But trying to go from Superman or Batman’s first appearance to the present. Honestly, even if you had access to every comic ever printed the sheer volume would probably keep you reading for years, probably a decade or more before you would ever get caught up.
I am not 100% but almost all post crisis primary continuity is on this site currently. DC universe I mean. Maybe I am wrong but usually issues most missing are 1950-1960 because they dont have the physical issues to digitize and a ton of rights issues I think too.
Goodness, thank you for the replies. You all have given me something to chew on. I suppose my wanting to read from the “beginning” stems from all the movies and tv shows like Man of Steel, Superman the movies, Batman movies and video games, Smallville and others and all the characters and enemies. I read reviews from people about how these superhero’s villains are not what they are supposed to be as per the comics, or how this or that was not supposed to happen like that, or other things.
I have not really been heavy into Superman until I started rewatching Smallville which I just bought on iTunes. Batman I have always been into and he’s my favorite superhero. Because of so many comics and so many spinoffs like Batman ninja or the futuristic Batman beyond and what have you I find it daunting to try to keep up and don’t know where to start. I love the classic Joker, Riddler, Penguin and all the main villains timeline and am not much into seeing Batman beyond or him as a ninja or anything… not just yet at least… but I would love to see the origins of Joker and all the rest of the villains so I ca better understand their mindset of why they are the way they are. There are SO many origin stories regarding Joker that I don’t know which one is most accurate.
As for Superman, I would also love the origin stories of Lex and all his other arch enemies and the death and return of Superman and how that came about. I did see Justice League but I’m not sure how accurate that story is with the comics. Although they did kind of get it right that he and Doomsday punched each other so much until they both sort of died. Would love to read those stories as well but would love to see his origin story of how he developed into Superman, learned to fly, all that. That’s what I love about Smallville. I know it’s Hollywood license and I’m sure much of that didn’t really happen, but I loved how the writers wrote Smallville and Clark’s on again off again relationship with Lex as his friend. That was really compelling.
Anyways, I thank you all for your help and I do hope I can find what you were referring to when you mentioned all the comic series. Only thing I recognized is Detective Comics. I’m afraid I don’t know much about comics to search for all the other series. If it’s possible, could you break it down for me on what to search for on this app? I’m loving this app by the way. I do know that not all comics are digitized but more are still being digitized today. If this were Netflix where they have seasons 3-6 but not 1 and 2, I wouldn’t bother watching, but since these are comics and much is explained in them as you go along it doesn’t really bother me much if I don’t get the “whole” story, although I would love if I could get the whole story. Who wouldn’t? Lol Hope that all made sense?
Anyways, thank you again for the suggestions and I hope to hear from you all again.
This is something
I have been working on
A fast route
So you can
Give it a try
For New DC Rraders
- NIight of the.Stalker
Detective Comics #439,
Number 1 pick
From Michael Uslan
Executive Producer of ALL Batman film and TV
Bought rights from.Warner Brothers in 1979
From his book
The Boy who loved Batman
Night of the Stalker
from Detective Comics #439,
which I read over Thanksgiving 1973,
I immediately pronounced to
be the BEST Batman comic book story ever written,
and since then, nothing has changed my mind.
I made Tim Burton read it when we were pitching him to direct.the 1989 Batman, and you’ll see its influence in the opening.sequence of the film.
I bow before my comic book course guest lecturer Steve Engelhart,
and Neal Adams and Sal Amendola, and Archie Goodwin, for this historic work- in which, by the way, there is NO dialogue.
Batman says nothing. He doesn’t have to. The emotional impact is intense.
This is Batman
Strippled to his essense
There is no major villian
No idea of Gotham being corrupt
Just the Dark Knight
Against some thugs
- To Kil a Legend
WHERE TO FIND IT: Detective Comics #500
THE STORY: The Phantom Stranger sends Batman and Robin to a parallel world where a young version of Bruce Wayne hasn’t lost his parents yet. Robin isn’t sure if they should interfere. After all, doesn’t this world need a Batman? But Bruce Wayne isn’t about to sit back and let his parents die again…or is he? “To Kill A Legend” celebrated Detective Comics 500th issue with a story that questioned what it means to be a hero. Writer Alan Brennert’s single-issue story is a favorite of many Batfans, who still ponder its implications to this very day.
FOR FANS OF: If you enjoy tales of alternate realities and/or philosophical questions then this story is for you. If this comic feels like an episode of The Twilight Zone, don’t be too surprised…Alan Brennert was a frequent writer for the show in its 1980s incarnation
Most of these stories are
Either before Robin is introduced
Or after Robin was no longer featured
As Batman worked alone
This is a Batman and Robin story
Only Batman 1 in this list
Has Robin as a major character
In Batman’s adventures
- Daughter of he Demon
1971 Comic Book Batman 232 “
'Daughter of the Demon” writer Denny O’ Neil and atist Neal Adams redefined the Batman from the campy figure in the 1966 Batman TV series into a dread avenger of the night. This story is one of the high points of their legendary run
THE STORY: When Robin is kidnapped, Batman is approached by a man named Ra’s al Ghul, whose daughter Talia has also been kidnapped. (Batman had met Talia in Detective Comics #411’s “Into the Den of the Death-Dealers!”) The two men agree to work together to find their missing loved ones in a journey that takes the Dark Knight across the globe. This issue introduces the rivalry between Ra’s and the Caped Crusader. In the Bronze Age of comics, writer Denny O’ Neil and atist Neal Adams redefined the Batman from the campy figure in the 1966 Batman TV series into a dread avenger of the night. This story is one of the high points of their legendary run.
FOR FANS OF: Batman: The Animated Series patterned its tone after this issue’s era, drawing heavy inspiration from the stories of O’Neil and Adams, which featured a grimly determined Batman, but one who still possessed a sly sense of humor. When you read their classic stories, you’ll feel like you’re watching an episode of the show.
- Batman Englehart Rogers Run
Also called *Batman: Strange Apparitions
1979 Detective Comics 471 to 476 Batman by Steve Engleheart and Marshall Rogers
THE STORY: This classic run of Bronze Age Batman stories features the Dark Knight going up against mob boss Rupert Thorne, mad professor Hugo Strange, and the Clown Prince of Crime himself, The Joker. It also introduces Silver St. Cloud, setting up Bruce Wayne’s first truly adult romance. The team of writer Steve Englehart and artist Marshall Rogers didn’t have a very long run on Detective Comics, but in their short time together they wound up producing some of Batman’s most memorable Bronze Age stories. This thrilling run of stories also features the work of famed writer Len Wein and celebrated artist Walt Simonson.
FOR FANS OF: This is another run of comics that Batman: The Animated Series fans will love. Many elements from this era, including mob boss Rupert Thorne, helped build the status quo for the TV favorite. And devotees won’t regret checking out the tales that inspired their favorite cartoon.
- Batman The Long Halloween
WHERE TO FIND IT: Batman: The Long Halloween #1-13
THE STORY: Set in the early days of Batman’s career, the Dark Knight teams up with Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent to stop the mysterious Holiday Killer. Nobody knows who this murderer is, but on each holiday they leave behind a new victim. The case becomes more complicated when Harvey Dent falls from grace and begins to transform into the villainous Two-Face. Writer Jeph Loeb tells an eerie whodunit, one perfectly complimented by the moody art of Tim Sale. Together, Loeb and Sale wound up telling one of the most unforgettable Batman sagas of the Modern Age.
FOR FANS OF: Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy borrowed some elements from this story, including Harvey Dent’s fall from grace and the intrigue from Carmine Falcone and Gotham’s crime families.
- Batman 1 1940
two page Origin story
Notice it is two pages rather than 4 issues
Some characters, like Joler, should not have an origin story
Batman’s origin story first appeared in Detective Comics #33 (November, 1939), six issues after first appearance
So dont have to start with origin.
This issue also contains
First appearance of Joker
Last time Batman kill somebody - a giant who he hangs from the Batplane
First appearance of Catwoman
Members should be encouraged to read the entire book because these are great stories, especially for the 1940s
- Batman Year One
WHERE TO FIND IT: Batman #404-407
THE STORY: Batman: Year One is a modern retelling of the Dark Knight’s origin, which has gone on to become one of the most celebrated comics in the medium. The story is about two men, Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon, and how their arrival in the corrupt city of Gotham shakes the underworld. Bruce seeks to eradicate crime by becoming a masked vigilante; Jim wants to clean up the crooked police department. The two men eventually realize their missions won’t succeed unless they put aside their differences and work together. This masterpiece was written by Frank Miller and brilliantly penciled by David Mazzucchelli.
FOR FANS OF: The 2005 Batman Begins film and Fox’s Gotham both took many of the best elements from Batman: Year One and brought them to live-action life.
Gotham as almost a character
If Gotham was NOT
the way it was
Would be no need for a Batman
and Early Adventures
because they have
of the hero
and making mistakes
But if your already know
in their very experienced state
You can enjoy the contrast
As well as the early story
That are not needed
With the experienced version
Of the character
- Batman 2011 New 52 Court of Owls
WHERE TO FIND IT: Batman (2011) #1-7
THE STORY: Batman knows Gotham like the back of his hand, and there aren’t many secrets the city can keep from him. So how can a secret society be operating for ages right under his nose? Who are the Court of Owls, and can they have more control over Gotham than Batman does? See the Dark Knight solve the mystery he didn’t even know existed in this blockbuster tale from writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo.
FOR FANS OF: Did you enjoy the “Court of Owls” saga in season 3 of Fox’s Gotham? Were you intrigued by their cameo in the Young Justice: Outsiders episode “True Heroes?” Are you a fan of conspiracy stories and secret societies? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then this is the story for you!
Issues 1 3
Woman! Witness the first
meeting of three of the greatest
superheroes in comics as they
battle a terrifying trifecta of
villains, written and illustrated by
Eisner Award-winner Matt Wagner.
In my Recommended Comic Book.topic
My picks for Superman was
1939 Superman 1. Reprints the earliest Actipn Comics Issues containing Superman.
1958 Adventure Comics 247 First Appearance of the three founders of the Legion of Super Heroes, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, with Superboy. See 1994 Zero issues in Legion of Super Heroes and Legionaires for Origin without Superboy
1959 Action Comics 252 First Appearance of Supergirl. See 1996 Supergirl 75 to 80 by Peter David
1986 Man of Steel by John Byrne.
2008 Superman The World of New Krypton by Geoff Johns James Robinson and Sterling Gates
2015 Superman Lois and Clark Introduction of Jon Kent, their son. Dan Jurgens followed by Superman Rebirth in 2016, by Tomasi followed by Super Sons
Thank you so much for this list. I will be saving each comic in my favorites so I can easily access them. Awesome list, thank you!
From my super hero genre history
1971 Comic Book.Superman 233. First Superman under editor Julius Schwartz By O’Neil, Swan Anderson All kryptonite becomes iron. Clark Kent is reassigned by his new boss, Morgan Edge, as a television reporter of WGBS, and O’Neil dumps wimpy Clark Kent persona. O’Neil soon left New look.was abandoned when Cary Bates wrote Superman 243.
1985 Comic Book Superman Annual 11. For the Man Who Has Everything.Superman Batman Robin Wonder Woman Mongul.First appearance of the Black Mercy, an extraterrestrial, magical plantlike organism that, upon it attaching parasitically to its victims, exhibits enjoyable hallucinogenic effects onto the victims’ minds. Adapted to television twice, in Justice League Unlimited and “For the Girl Who Has Everything”, foe the live action Supergirl TV series. Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons
1986 Comic Book “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” Written by Alan Moore Editor Julius Schwartz, the story was published in two parts, beginning in Superman #423 and ending in Action Comics #583, both published in September 1986. The story was drawn by long-time artist Curt Swan in his final major contribution to the Superman titles and was inked by George Pérez in the issue of Superman and Kurt Schaffenberger in the issue of Action Comics. The story was an imaginary story which told the final tale of the Silver Age Superman and his long history, which was being rebooted following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, The Last Stand of Krypto Lana Lang Insect Queen and Jimmy Olson Elastic Lad attacking the villains to save Superman. The last imaginary story. Aren’t they all
1986 Comic Book Man of Steel Byrne Superman sole survivor of Krypton. Gained powers after decades on Earth. Nowhere near as powerful.as previous version.
1992 Comic Book Death of Superman. Sells millions of copies. Event created because TV show Lois and Clark in development and planned Lois Lane Clark Kent marriage had to be postponed to coordinate with new series. Followed by Funeral for a Friend and Reign of the Superman, which introduced new Steel and Superboy.
2003 Comic Book Trinity First Metting of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman versus Ra’s al Ghul, Bizarro, Artemis of Bana-Mighdall. Matt Wagner
2005 Comic Book All Star Superman by Grant Morrison.
2015 Comic Book Superman Lois and Clark Introduction of Jon Kent, their son. Dan Jurgens
Just wanted to chime in here…
I love this topic. It reminds me of when I first started reading DC. Scouring the local comic book store; spending my small amounts of money; piecing together the puzzle of how all the characters fit together.
It’s a magical feeling!
Superman.snd Batman live in the DC Universe
To understand that universe
Secret Origins the Story of DC Comics
In that hour and a half you will get a good overview of most of our comic book library. It was filmed in.2009 so of course can’t takk about new than that
This is my complete list for New DC Readers.
if you want to learn significant events in super hero genre history
if you want to learn how Superman Batman.and Wonder Woman were created
If possible, try not to think too much in terms of definitive origin stories. Characters are rebooted, their stories are changed to agree with overall evolution of other titles, and they may have different backgrounds in animation, film, and comics.
Eventually, you will find versions of characters that just ring true to you. Some writers will write in a way that’s good to you, others may not be as pleasing to read. I think my point is, not all origin stories are created equally.
If you need help, there are some wonderful recommended lists on the forum intended to get you started reading these titles, so those might help!
Links for Superman stories
First the proposal
Versus Joshua Lapin-Bertone
Other DC Universe
The first issue of Superman was a reprint of the stories from Action Comics 1-4. The following issues were released quarterly, while Action Comics came out monthly.
The first issue of Batman came out after Detective Comics 38 (the first appearance of Robin). Again, the series started off as a quarterly magazine, while Detective Comics came out monthly.
Whoa bro, no no no no, I do not recommend doing that’s going to be exhausting and it’ll take forever to get to the best superman stories
If you want a starting point for superman, i highly recommend for all seasons and birthright. You can pretty much read anything else from there are.
Of you’re looking for recommendations, Theres Up, up, and away, Superman and the legion of superheros, Last son, Brainiac, and all of new Krypton.
There’s some also good elseworld stories like Kingdom come, red son, secret identity, and All star superman.
Here’s my suggestions for Batman first
Batman: Year One
Robin: Year One
Batgirl: Year One
Robin and Batgirl: Year One
Night-Wing: Year One
The Killing Joke
Death in the Family
Under the Red Hood
The Knightfall Trilogy
The New 52 Series
And now for Superman
Superman: Hope For All
Haven’t read much of Superman more than Batman but those two suggestion for the character are good enough for now.
I would really recommend searching out stories that sound interesting to you. IMO, Batman: Year One and Superman: Secret Origin are good places to start!
Thank thank thank you all for your suggestions and recommendations. I totally forgot about this post I created and sent another one saying how much I hate the cocky, destructive, non flying Superman in the Detective Comics. The guy is NOTHING like the Superman I grew up with, but, I will defer to those of you who would probably disagree with me about this, since you are well versed with the comics and I am still a newbie. I just can’t get into those Superman comics. I miss the familiar S shield and a Superman that can actually fly. Lol
I will DEFINITELY refer back to this awesome list by you all when starting my reading. I never grew up reading comics, although I did want to start reading them when I was younger, but even then I didn’t know a thing about them or where to start or even what to read. Thanks to DC Universe, which I am loving, I can finally read different superhero comics and catch up with some favorites.
Again, thank you to all of your. You truly are an awesome community!