DC Character Recommended Reading Lists

Members of the community often ask, “Where’s the best place to start reading about a character?” and, “What are some good stories featuring this character?” This topic is dedicated to answering those questions by providing reading lists for characters based on the DC Universe comic library.

This topic is not a discussion thread. Rather, it is a resource for readers looking for guidance. As such, please do not create new replies without permission from the topic creator. All subsequent posts in this topic will be in the Wiki format to allow for community editing. Those posts are linked here alphabetically by character name, and more characters will be added periodically.

Use the following links to navigate the topic:

32 Likes

Allen, Barry (Flash)

1. Where to Start

A. Origin Stories

B. Jumping-On Points

  • Flash: Rebirth by Geoff Johns
    The world reacts to Barry’s return from the dead.

  • Move Forward by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
    Barry’s first story arc in the rebooted New 52 timeline.

  • Lightning Strikes Twice by Joshua Williamson
    Barry’s first story arc after the events of DC Universe Rebirth.

2. Recommended Stories

A. Classic Stories (Pre-Crisis)

B. Modern Stories (Post-Crisis)

C. Current Stories (Post-Flashpoint)

  • The Button by Tom King and Joshua Williamson
    Batman and Flash investigate an item tied to DC Universe Rebirth.
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Curry, Arthur (Aquaman)

1. Where to Start

A. Origin Stories

B. Jumping-On Points

  • A Small World Incident by Shaun McLaughlin
    Oumland invades Atlantis in this 50th anniversary story.

  • Time and Tide by Peter David
    The sequel to Atlantis Chronicles and prologue to the author’s main run.

  • The Trench by Geoff Johns
    The start of the character’s New 52 stories.

2. Recommended Stories

A. Classic Stories (Pre-Crisis)

B. Modern Stories (Post-Crisis)

  • Thicker than Water by Neal Pozner
    Aquaman’s first miniseries after the Crisis.

  • Tide of Battle by Keith Giffen and Robert Fleming
    A jellyfish invasion coincides with tensions between Arthur and Mera.

  • Hitting Bottom by Peter David
    Aquaman reinvents himself after a terrible injury.

C. Current Stories (Post-Flashpoint)

  • Throne of Atlantis by Geoff Johns
    Aquaman’s brother declares war on the surface world.

  • Out of Darkness by Dan Abnett
    Prelude to Abnett’s Rebirth run. Aquaman faces the monstrous Dead Water.

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J’onzz, J’onn (Martian Manhunter)

1. Where to Start

A. Origin Stories

B. Jumping-On Points

  • The World of No Return by Gardner Fox
    The first issue of the original JLA series, featuring Martian Manhunter.

  • Purification Plague by David Michelinie
    The first story arc of Justice League Task Force.

  • New World Order by Grant Morrison
    Martians invade in the opening arc of Morrison’s JLA series.

2. Recommended Stories

A. Classic Stories (Pre-Crisis)

B. Modern Stories (Post-Crisis)

  • Justice League International by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
    As the team expands its focus, Batman appoints J’onn as its leader.

  • Valley of the Daals by Peter David
    J’onzz gender-swaps to help the Task Force negotiate a prisoner release.

  • Double Stuff by John Ostrander
    The Manhunter’s love of cookies goes one step too far.

C. Current Stories (Post-Flashpoint)

  • The Epiphany by Rob Williams
    J’onn learns a horrible truth about his repressed past.

  • Identity by Steve Orlando
    An exploration of J’onn’s two police careers: on Mars and on Earth.

9 Likes

Jordan, Hal (Green Lantern)

1. Where to Start

A. Origin Stories

B. Jumping-On Points

  • Green Lantern: Rebirth by Geoff Johns
    Hal returns to life and faces the entity that had once possessed him.

  • Sinestro by Geoff Johns
    The opening arc of Hal’s New 52 adventures.

2. Recommended Stories

A. Classic Stories (Pre-Crisis)

B. Modern Stories (Post-Crisis)

  • Emerald Twilight by Ron Marz
    The tragic fate of Coast City leads Hal down a dark path.

  • Blackest Night by Geoff Johns
    The undead terrorize the living as the Black Lantern Corps.

C. Current Stories (Post-Flashpoint)

  • Sinestro’s Law by Robert Venditti
    The Sinestro Corps has seized control, and Hal plans a resistance.

  • Intergalactic Lawman by Grant Morrison
    Hal defies his suspension from the Corps and faces the Blackstars.

15 Likes

Kent, Clark (Superman)

1. Where to Start

A. Origin Stories

  • Clark Kent Gets a Job by Jerry Siegel
    Reprint of Superman’s origin and earliest Action Comics adventures.

  • The Man of Steel by John Byrne
    New origin for Superman after Crisis on Infinite Earths.

  • Birthright by Mark Waid
    Modernized take on Superman’s origin from 2003.

  • Secret Origin by Geoff Johns
    Revised origin for Superman after Infinite Crisis.

B. Jumping-On Points

2. Recommended Stories

A. Classic Stories (Pre-Crisis)

B. Modern Stories (Post-Crisis)

  • Death of Superman by Various
    A monster from space proves unstoppable for everyone but Superman.

  • All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison
    Superman overcomes various trials after learning that he is dying.

  • Last Son by Geoff Johns
    Lois and Clark take in a young boy who appears to be Kryptonian.

C. Current Stories (Post-Flashpoint)

12 Likes

Prince, Diana (Wonder Woman)

1. Where to Start

A. Origin Stories

  • Introducing Wonder Woman by William Moulton Marston
    Wonder Woman’s debut and the first appearance of Steve Trevor.

  • The Origin of Wonder Woman by William Moulton Marston
    Further details are developed in the first issue of Diana’s solo book.

  • Gods and Mortals by George Perez
    Diana’s revised origin after Crisis on Infinite Earths.

  • Year One by Greg Rucka
    The current version of Wonder Woman’s origin.

B. Jumping-On Points

  • Wonder Woman Arrives in Man’s World by William Moulton Marston
    Diana’s second appearance begins her starring role in Sensation Comics.

  • The New Wonder Woman by Dennis O’Neil
    Diana’s entire status quo changes as she loses her powers.

  • Who is Wonder Woman by Allan Heinberg
    Diana begins working for the Department of Metahuman Affairs.

  • Blood by Brian Azzarello
    Details of Diana’s origin are brought into question in the New 52.

2. Recommended Stories

A. Classic Stories (Pre-Crisis)

B. Modern Stories (Post-Crisis)

  • Legends by John Ostrander and Len Wein
    Diana debuts as a hero for the first time in a new timeline.

  • War of the Gods by George Perez
    The finale of Perez’s run on the series.

  • Paradise Island Lost by Phil Jimenez and George Perez
    Civil war breaks out on Themyscira, resulting in major ramifications.

C. Current Stories (Post-Flashpoint)

  • The Lies by Greg Rucka
    Companion piece to Year One, challenging revelations from Blood.
10 Likes

Wayne, Bruce (Batman)

1. Where to Start

A. Origin Stories

  • Untold Legend of the Batman by Len Wein
    Definitive pre-Crisis origin story.

  • Year One by Frank Miller
    Lt. Gordon deals with a bat-themed vigilante in this post-Crisis origin.

  • Zero Year by Scott Snyder
    Batman’s origin for the New 52 timeline.

B. Jumping-On Points

  • The Case of the Chemical Syndicate by Bill Finger
    Batman’s first appearance, starting his leading role in Detective Comics.

  • The Joker by Bill Finger
    Batman meets his archenemy in the first issue of his self-titled series.

  • One Bullet Too Many by Frank Robbins
    Bruce moves out of the manor as Dick Grayson leaves for college.

  • Batman and Son by Grant Morrison
    Batman learns of his child at the start of Morrison’s run.

  • Court of Owls by Scott Snyder
    Batman faces a secret society in the opening arc of the New 52.

2. Recommended Stories

A. Classic Stories (Pre-Crisis)

B. Modern Stories (Post-Crisis)

  • My Beginning and My Probable End by Mike Barr
    Batman reflects on his past as Leslie Thompkins tries to save Robin’s life.

  • Son of the Demon by Mike Barr
    Batman allies himself with Ra’s Al Ghul and consummates his marriage with Talia.

  • The Cult by Jim Starlin
    Batman is captured and brainwashed by a charismatic leader.

  • Venom by Dennis O’Neil
    Batman deals with addiction in his second year on the job.

  • Knightfall by Various
    Batman faces unbeatable odds as Bane frees the Arkham inmates.

  • The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb
    Early in his career, Batman works with Gordon and Dent to solve a series of murders.

  • No Man’s Land by Various
    Gotham City is in ruins, and Batman must strive to hold it together.

  • Hush by Jeph Loeb
    A mysterious enemy orchestrates an elaborate conspiracy against Batman.

C. Current Stories (Post-Flashpoint)

  • I Am Gotham by Tom King
    New superheroes arrive in Gotham as the Rebirth era begins.
13 Likes

Grayson, Richard “Dick” (Robin/Nightwing)

1. Where to Start

A. Origin Stories

B. Jumping-On Points

2. Recommended Stories

A. Classic Stories (Pre-Crisis)

B. Modern Stories (Post-Crisis)

  • Batman: Year Three by Marv Wolfman
    Dick reflects on his origin as his parents’ killer is granted parole.

  • The Gauntlet by Bruce Canwell
    Young Dick is tested to earn his place as Batman’s sidekick.

  • Robin: Year One by Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty
    The newly-minted Boy Wonder endures trials and Two-Face.

  • Nightwing: Year One by Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty
    Dick retires his Robin identity and takes on a new name.

  • The Great Leap by Peter J. Tomasi
    Nightwing faces Two-Face and deals with Batman’s death.

  • Batman Reborn by Grant Morrison
    Dick takes over as Batman and trains his own Robin.

C. Current Stories (Post-Flashpoint)

  • Night of the Owls by Kyle Higgins
    Nightwing explores his familial links to a villainous secret society.

  • The Untouchable by Sam Humphries
    Nightwing takes on the Judge.

  • The Bleeding Edge by Benjamin Percy
    State-of-the-art technology proves dangerous for Bludhaven.

5 Likes

WOW! Thank you for putting this list together. Reading this should get me through for a while.

3 Likes

Hey @AlexanderKnox… nice stuff. I’ve been putting together lists in notebooks of tons of reading orders for years. This will be very helpful. Appreciate it.