As a relatively new reader (been reading comics for under two years still), I think the best strategy is not to care about chronology. To be honest, nobody reads complete chronologies of characters. If they do, they’ve probably been reading comics for 20+ years. Instead, start by reading the best stories. Look up a list of classics, or get some recommendations of stories that are worth reading from people here. From there, I would recommend following writers and artists instead of characters. The quality of a story most of the time is going to be determined by the creative team—not the character. Plus, this strategy will quickly introduce you to more characters so you can get a sense of the broader image of the DC Universe instead of being really well versed in one character in the DC Universe. Of course this is just something that worked for me, and everyone reads comics differently. All I’ll say is that I think that this is a better strategy for ensuring that you’re reading good stories. If you just run down the timeline of a character you’ll have to be prepared to sit through some not-so-great stories. Hope this helps
That’s actually pretty similar to how my progression has been too.
Goin with the flow hasn’t let me down yet haha! Saw “Luthor” and picked it up on a whim the other day… Looking forward to reading it. Let’s see how it goes.
Oooh that’s a great point!! I forget there are one-shots with comics
Totally! Some great ones for sure! Let me know if you need any recommendations? Good luck!
f 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
in Comic Books
Get To Know
There are start Reading Guides
The Teen Titans
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
A good starting point is after Crisis on Infinite Earth
Man of Steel by John Byrne
Wonder Woman by George Perez
Batman Year One by Frank.Miller
Justice League International
Are great reads
f you are interested in recent comics
I suggest the following Titles
DC Rebirth 1 2016
Superman Lois and Clark followed by
Superman Rebirth 2016 followed by Super Sons
Wonder Woman 2016 Year One Issues 2 4 6 8 10 12 14
Detective Comics 2016
Green Lanterns 2016
RedHood and the Outlaw 2016
New Superman 2016
Titans Hunt followed by
Titans with.Orginal Titans 2026
Earth 2 issue 17 on
Huntress Mini series followed by
Good new series
Justice League Dark 2018
Justice League Odyssey 2018 issue 6 on
If ypu want to start with earliest issues
Filter Comic by Era to get Golden Age
And read Only the following
Wonder Woman 1
Look.at Movie and TV to see if any videos interest you.
The DC Animation.Universe starts with
Batman The Animated Series
Superman the Animated Series
Justice League Unlimited
Also Wonder Woman TV series
Superman 1978 movie with Christopher Reeves
And original Content
Titans two seasons
(partially based on
New Teen Titans 1980
Tern Titans 2003
Young Justice (three seasons of original storylines)
Doom.Patrol (1989 Doom Patrol 19 Crawling from the Wreckage Grant Morrison)
Swamp Thing (1984 Saga of Swamp Thing 21 The Anatomy Lesson Alan Moore)
My short list of best DC stories is found at
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
In my experience, the best thing to do when you come across something of interest is to just read it. Don’t worry at all about continuity, key appearances/ storylines, reading everything that came before, etc.
Way, way too many people sweat that stuff when they just don’t need to, they really don’t. Saying to yourself “Well, I need to read this, that, and the other before I even attempt this book over yonder.” does absolutely nothing but serve as a way to confuse one’s self, unnecessarily extend your reading list and make one think comics require more effort than they really do.
Read what’s of interest to you now, and worry about filling in the rest of the puzzle later on, as everything will eventually coalesce for you over time.
The priority is to have fun reading, and to not sweat the small things.
I think most of us got into it by just grabbing a comic off the shelf, because the cover pulled us in (at least that was what I used to do), but here is a good resource, if you want to read from beginning to end…
This is what I am using to dig through Rebirth from the beginning.
I should say that despite my previous ramble, I actually agree with this. A longwinded chronological reading order is something that’s great and useful if you personally think it’s fun to read like that. By and large, my advice for a new reader would be much closer to Vroom’s.
Aside from what others have suggested above, you could also just pick something and go with it. I started the same way as you (with far more limited resources from the sound of it) and I turned out like this. (Bad example). You can try to go with the time-line or you could just pick up issues with characters you like. That’s still what I do even with the whole database available.
(nice YJ reference.)
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! 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.