What Essential (or Famous/Well-Known) DC/Vertigo Story (Series, Arc, etc.) haven’t you read (but should have by now)?

So I have been reading comics and mainly DC comics for over 15 years. And yet there are still some essential, well known, and/or famous stories (series, arcs, etc.) that I haven’t read yet. And if I’m being honest, I should have by now.

Some (not a definitive list) are as follows:

  • Any Sandman (Vertigo)
  • The New Teen Titians: The Judas Contract
  • Any Hellblazer from Vertigo
  • All of Knightfall (I’ve read like a 1/3)

One item that use to be on this list was Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing but since getting DC Universe I’ve been working my way through it and love it.

So here are the questions:

  1. What essential DC/Vertigo comics haven’t you read (that you should have by now)?
  2. What essential comics have you read since subscribing and would recommend?
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  1. Sandman and V for Vendetta - I’m just not that interested in Vertigo titles; Knightfall and No Man’s Land - I’d like to get into them, but they’re each just so excessively long for a single storyline; Zero Hour - I’ve heard that this is pretty convoluted and just not that good compared to other Crisis events, which has turned me off to it; 52 - Not only does this appear to be another overly long and complicated storyline, but it’s part of the lead-in to Final Crisis, which is my least favorite comic ever

  2. I had pretty much read every other essential DC story before joining DCU, but I did re-read Batman: The Black Mirror here after not really taking it in the first time. It definitely stuck the second time around and I’d highly recommend it

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I haven’t read No Mans Land or Zero Hour as well. The length of NML is a little daunting.

Thanks for sharing.

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I feel like if I was reading something like NML or Knightfall at the time that it was being released, it wouldn’t feel as overwhelming since it’d only be one issue a week/month/whatever other frequency. But seeing all those issues together at once is definitely too much. For now, I feel like it’s enough just to know what generally happened during those storylines

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The Backstory on the rest of the endless from the sandman. We get dialogue about a family arguement with Destruction at the center, causing Delight to transform into Delirium.

Thw payoff never came.

Batman: Hush I was not reading comics regularly at the time. I should go read it.

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Vertigo wise I never read 100 Bullets and I have only heard good reviews on it.

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Couldn’t recommend it more. The artwork is absolutely beautiful and the story is underrated, I think, with surprises and characters galore. It’s easily my favorite comic ever

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I’ve been putting off James Robinson’s Starman for, like… 20 years now.

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That is on my list to read as well.

Starman is wonderful. Was one of my most anticipated books each month back in the day.

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I’ve never read Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run.

I also have never been able to get into Hellblazer. At least with Hellblazer I’ve tried but always seem to put it down after the first few issues. Just doesn’t connect with me.

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All Star Superman. I keep telling myself I need to read it but find myself getting sucked into something else.

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Zero Hour is very much not worth reading. It has some interesting tie-ins, but the miniseries itself is very bland and complicated.

But I think you’re conflating 52 and Countdown. 52 is more of an epilogue to Infinite Crisis. It’s a bit convoluted, but entirely self-contained within the series itself. No wonky reading orders or anything, just fifty-two issues of awesome. Countdown is the Final Crisis lead-in with seven billion tie-ins that contain more plot than the actual series. They’re easy to get mixed up because Countdown tried to piggyback on 52’s success by using the same cover design and starting at issue #51 and counting back down to 1 just after 52 counted up from 1-52 (the titles are pretty indicative, though). Their actual plots have very little to do with each other. I would only recommend 52 to someone with a strong working knowledge of DC continuity, not because the plot doesn’t hold up on its own but because the writers are all continuity junkies who like to throw in lots of little nods to obscure old characters and stories (Rucka maybe a little less so than Waid, Johns, and Morrison), and they’re all going full blast through the whole thing.

Also, Knightfall is a bit of an acquired taste and has a ton of padding in the middle, but I like it. No Man’s Land is maybe not as coherent taken as a whole, but has more entertainment value from issue-to-issue. Both of them are a little intimidating, though. I’d recommend them more to hardcore Batman fans than to general DC fans.

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I keep meaning to get into Scalped and Y the Last Man but can’t seem to find them in print form. And I always want more Preacher, as I only have volume one

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  1. OK, most obviously, I haven’t read Watchmen. I know, I should, but I just haven’t gotten to it. Really, my Moore reading is pretty weak in general. I’ve read For the Man Who Has Everything and Tygers from Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #3, and that’s about it. I’ve also avoided most of Grant Morrison’s better-known work because I hated his JLA and found Batman: Gothic from Legends of the Dark Knight to be really poorly-plotted. I’ve also been avoiding The Authority because the premise sounds really annoying (the world does not need another “It’s the Justice League, but they’re all jackwagons” story).
  2. One particularly topical story that I’d consider essential reading is Crisis on Infinite Earths. It’s a pivotal moment in continuity, and if you’re unfamiliar with DC, it uses just about every DC character from the time, and will at least introduce them all by name since no reader can be expected to be familiar with all of them. So it’s a great place to spot a character that looks interesting and then go hunting for more information. On the higher-brow, less popcorny end, I’d point to Kingdom Come (I’m not sure I actually like it, but it’s certainly a very interesting read) and Batman: The Long Halloween.
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It’s incredible…really a treat.

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It’s astonishing.
Go for it.

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Try Alan Moore’s Top Ten and Tomorrow stories.
Very under appreciated.

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Alright well it sounds like this weekend it will be my number one priority! Thanks for the feedback!

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