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I am a newcomer to comics with an interest in reading a Superman storyline. I have little deep knowledge of the Superman canon beyond what can be gleaned from the movies. As I understand it, the main line for Superman stories will now be Superman Rebirth, with a reading order of

  1. DCU Rebirth #1
  2. Superman Rebirth #1
  3. Superman (2016-) #1
  4. Superman (2016-) #2
  5. ...and so on.

However, in DCU: Rebirth #1 it says the story takes place after Superman #52 and Justice League #50 (and that you should read those first). Looking at those comic books, it seems that they are the concluding parts of story lines that have been running for several issues at least.

It's not clear to me how far this rabbit hole goes. So my questions are:

  • What would a sensible starting place for a newcomer like me be? Should I just start with Rebirth or go further back (and if the latter, how far back)?
  • What reading order should I follow to deliver me to the start of DCU Rebirth?
  • Once I arrived at DCU Rebirth, should I expect to be able to read the Superman books as a self-contained series, or will other rebirth titles contain important plot information?
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    +1, although it seems same question can be applied to anything in DC universe. DC seem to have those pesky events happening across comic series - naturally one can get lost. My solution - read an isolated event, but for now I was only able to find Injustice (cool comic, strongly advise) – Gallifreyan Aug 21 '16 at 21:28
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    There was a similar question for Batman, if you're interested. – Gallifreyan Aug 22 '16 at 7:59
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    “It's not clear to me how far this rabbit hole goes.” I think ultimately it ends up with reading every comic book ever published. – Paul D. Waite Aug 22 '16 at 11:17
  • @Gallifreian Thanks for the link, I was going to ask the Batman question at some point... – Zommuter Aug 23 '16 at 12:26
  • @Zommuter my pleasure, I found it quite useful myself. – Gallifreyan Aug 23 '16 at 12:52
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DC relaunched pretty much everything with their New 52 initiative. Everything written before is irrelevant in New 52, thus it is a good starting point.

DC's Rebirth, contrary to how it sounds, is not a relaunch but a loading of additional packages of sorts. Basically, they will be adding pre-Flashpoint storylines to New 52. (Don't know what Flashpoint is? There's an animated movie based on it).

Rebirth will be happening after the conclusion of New 52 storyline. It is implied that you have to read New 52 to understand Rebirth. Below is a list for New 52; if you want to just start with Rebirth, your list is as good as any.

I have found a detailed reading list titled "Beginnings" on Reddit, To quote, you should progress in following order:

  • Action Comics #1 to #8
  • Action Comics Annual #1
  • Action Comics #9 to #12
  • Superman #0
  • Action Comics #13 to #18
  • Superman #1 to #12
  • Superman Annual #1

Or, if you want the trade paperback order:

  • Action Comics, Vol. 1: Superman and the Men of Steel (collects Action Comics #1-8)
  • Action Comics, Vol. 2: Bulletproof (collects Action Comics #9-12, #0)
  • Action Comics, Vol. 3: At The End of Days (collects Action Comics #13-18)
  • Superman, Vol. 1: What Price Tomorrow (collects Superman #1-6)
  • Superman, Vol. 2: Secrets and Lies (collects Superman #7-12, Superman Annual #1)
  • Superman, Vol. 3: Fury At World's End (collects Superman #13-19, #0)

There are 14 lists (arcs) like this listed there. If you ask me, this list is as good as any.

You could also look at DC Wikia's list of recommended reading, and IGN's top 25 Superman stories

It looks like a Reddit user created a rather comprehensive list of Rebirth reading (Google Docs link). Might also be worth checking out.

That being said, a comment by Paul D., stating that you'll end up reading every comic in existence, is mostly correct. I myself tried reading Hellblazer (2013) and I couldn't understand half of it because it made frequent jumps to other series, namely something called Justice League Dark.

  • The especially nice thing about the Reddit link is that it includes a list of the trade paperback collected volumes that you need to complete the suggested reading order. This is an easier & cheaper way to get hold of the necessary issues than buying all of the individual comic books. – Ubiquitous Aug 23 '16 at 14:30
  • I tried to read New 52 and the best way I've found to read and not miss on the crossovers is just to read everything from 2011 until now, week by week. – fabikw Aug 24 '16 at 15:57
  • @fabikw which is well within "read every comic in existence". Keeps me away from anything but one-shots and secluded arcs. – Gallifreyan Aug 24 '16 at 17:42
  • @Gallifreian It's true. Though starting at flashpoint and with some knowledge of Blackest Night seems to be enough so far. Even though New 52 was not a clean reboot. – fabikw Aug 24 '16 at 17:44

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