I'm starting to read DC comic books but I don't know where to start.

It's pretty easy with Marvel thanks to Marvel Platinum series but I can't seem to find something like that but for DC.

Is there a definitive (e.g. non-subjective) answer to question of which are the most important comics and story-arcs? Something suggested by the publishers or authors or the experts?

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    The reason this might be getting downvoted is because there are a lot of places to start reading DC, as it's a multi-franchise company. A little more info on where you want to start (since it has 70+ years of history) would help this question out a lot. – Zibbobz Oct 3 '14 at 19:11
  • I voted to close. That said, I'm minded to reopen if we can find a definitive source – Valorum Oct 3 '14 at 19:20
  • I posted an answer assuming that the OP is talking about the Justice League. That's generally the main focus of DC Comics for most people, so I thought it was a safe place to start. The question could use some clarification, though. – Omegacron Oct 3 '14 at 19:26
  • I've retracted my close vote. I'll still be downvoting anyone whose answer is basically "I personally think that these are the best..." – Valorum Oct 3 '14 at 19:42
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    In spite of being an interesting question, I think it is "too broad", since it will have too many valid answers. Also, possible duplicate of this one? – Kreann Oct 3 '14 at 20:01

You might want to consider getting hold of a copy of the "DC Entertainment Essential Graphic Novels and Chronology". This book details the comics that DC thinks are most important as well as listing "essential" back-catalogue items for DC's main properties; Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Justice League, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Justice Society of America, Legion of Superheroes and the Teen Titans.

Most of their 'essential' stories have been marketed under the "Greatest Stories Ever Told" banner. You certainly couldn't go wrong reading those.

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If you want to catch up with the current continuity, look for books set in the New 52 universe. Most people think of the Justice League when they think DC Comics, so here are some suggestions that will catch you up on the New 52 version of the Justice League:

If you're more interested in the previous continuity that occurred for most of the 2000's, here are some recommendations for that version of the Justice League:

Trade paperbacks are collected editions of popular story arcs, so it's a great way to catch up on major plotlines. The downside is that they don't always include every issue and therefore might have some missing gaps.

If you want character-specific titles or something else entirely, I would recommend going to Amazon (or your preferred online retailer) and search for the name of the character you want and the acronym TPB (ex - "Batman TPB"). On Amazon, you can also include the search term "New 52" to look for items specific to that continuity. You generally want to look for titles like "Batman: Volume 1" when looking for the core stories.

Alternatively, if you just want to catch up on the whole New 52 thing, I also recommend the following animated films:

The first is the adaptation of "FlashPoint", which is the event that changed everything to the New 52 continuity. The second is the adaptation of how the Justice League first formed in the new continuity.

  • This still seems really subjective – Valorum Oct 3 '14 at 20:24
  • Any suggestions for cleanup? Given how broad the question is (and whether or not it gets closed) I may just remove the answer as well. – Omegacron Oct 3 '14 at 21:06
  • I don't honestly think you can clean this one up. If your answer is essentially "I think that...", then you're referencing yourself as an expert. – Valorum Oct 3 '14 at 21:14
  • Well, 30+ years of reading DC comics makes me at a minimum fairly knowledgeable. But at any rate, I'd like to keep the site neat & tidy so will gladly remove the answer if you think it's warranted. – Omegacron Oct 3 '14 at 21:30
  • I've downvoted (for the reasons discussed above) but it's not not an answer. Deleting it is your decision and certainly not mine to make. – Valorum Oct 3 '14 at 21:35

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