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25 Best DC Comics (2022 UPDATED) Full Guide

Before the thrilling and suspense movies even came, so many fans worldwide first got addicted to reading comics with great storylines. Everyone can’t just stop turning pages because of the exciting plots and impressive illustrations.

If you happen to be one of them, here are the best DC (Detective Comics) comics you can explore!

Top 25 DC Comics of All Time

1. The Dark Knight Returns (1986)

1. The Dark Knight Returns (1986)

This comic book by Frank Miller offers a mind-blowing story about Batman. He is one of the best DC heroes whose character struck many fans, and his darker side was shown in this story, unlike the other Batman comics in the modern era. [1]

Aside from the dark plot, the illustrations made it even more appealing and suspenseful for the readers. Most people say that The Dark Knight Returns is one of the best in the comic book industry.

2. All-Star Superman (2005-2008)

2. All-Star Superman (2005-2008)

If you are into a good Superman story, this comic book might be exactly what you are looking for. Many people love this comic because writer Grant Morrison maintained the image of Superman as a hero who always chooses to do the right thing even when it means sacrificing his happiness. 

The artist, Frank Quitely, made each panel force the readers to keep turning the pages and read more because of the very thrilling scenes. The best thing is, you don't have to read another Superman story to understand this comic book - this alone is enough.

3. The Coyote Gospel (1988)

3. The Coyote Gospel (1988)

The Animal Man series of Coyote Gospel is another piece written by Grant Morrison. It is an interesting comic book that will force you to think of infinite possibilities as it makes you reflect on what is real and what is not. 

This series was written during the best times of comic book history when the DC universe started to create stories with mature tones for their adult readers. The Animal Man has a more “unusual plot” when compared to other superhero comics. Want to know what we’re talking about? Grab a copy now!

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4. The Sinestro Corps War (2007-2008)

4. The Sinestro Corps War (2007-2008)

People looking for a galactic cosmic war with breathtaking scenes should read this book by the famous writer Geoff Johns. It is one of the best DC comics wherein he created the story with a rich and fulfilling plot and characters. 

The visuals of Sinestro Corps War are thrilling, impressive and can help the readers understand every part of the story. Although this comic book can stand alone, some parts are also interconnected with the other stories written by Geoff Johns. 

5. Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters (1987)

5. Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters (1987)

This is a four mini-series comic book written by Mike Grell under DC stories. He wrote it when DC was going darker and was producing comic books with mature topics and content. 

It is also one of the DC comics that portrayed real-life situations like street crimes and even arrow shooting! Mike Grell surely did a great job in writing and illustrating everything in this story. 

If you are one of the new fans of Green Arrows, you must consider reading this remarkable book to understand the characters' story even deeper. 

6. Jla: Earth 2 (2000)

6. Jla: Earth 2 (2000)

A person who loves comic books produced by writer Grant Morrison (like Animal Man) will surely like JLA: Earth 2 because of the brilliant story, great characters, and amazing illustrations.

It is composed of iconic characters in Justice League like Superman, Batman, Flash (Barry Allen), and even Wonder Woman. This story is one of the well-known comic books in the DC universe and features the battle between the Justice League heroes and the Crime Syndicate from a parallel universe. 

7. Batman: Year One (1987)

7. Batman: Year One (1987)

After reading The Dark Knight Returns, if you have become an avid fan of Batman, you should read how he wandered in Gotham City to continue his mission of fighting evil and corruption. In this story, he struggles to end the corrupt police force in Gotham City with a few trusted people he decided to work with, like Lt. James Gordon. 

This story also includes the scene where Bruce Wayne encounters the Cat Woman. For all those who are avid supporters of the DC universe, this book is a must-read!

8. Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow? (1986)

8. Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow? (1986)

This story is another amazing piece by writer Alan Moore about Superman wherein he exposes all his vulnerabilities and flaws. It was released along with the transformation of characters in DC comics concerning the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

The ending is quite controversial and will surely keep you thinking. Superman is one of the heroes of DC who can be selfish at times, but in the end, he decides to save both himself and the future.

Read: Our Favorite DC Comics Gifts

9. Jla: Tower Of Babel (2000)

9. Jla: Tower Of Babel (2000)

This comic book is another one of the great storylines written by Mark Waid under the Justice League series. This story narrates how Batman has become a traitor in his own team.

It has an intense plot because the JL superheroes encountered enemies who were fully aware of their vulnerabilities. Batman's greatest enemy acquired the top-secret files about the entire superhero team, threatening everyone’s safety. 

Mark Waid always wrote stories about the DC universe with intense plots and enticing graphics, which excites his readers all the time.

10. Superman For All Seasons (1998)

10. Superman For All Seasons (1998)

A powerful tandem wrote Superman for All Seasons - Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. Both of them worked on a story that everyone would read regardless of their age. The warm and exciting plots always kept the readers hooked, and the illustrations are truly one of a kind.

This specific story is all about Clark Kent and how he started to discover his superpowers. It tackles his adventures during spring, summer, fall, and even during wintertime. However, note that the plot has a different story structure and has four perspectives, so it may be tricky for some readers.

11. Jsa: The Golden Age (1993-1994)

11. Jsa: The Golden Age (1993-1994)

JSA: The Golden Age is one of the prominent DC comic books by James Robinson. The set of the story is World War II with the JL golden age heroes who are continuously fighting evil in the world. 

It is one of the DC comics that has received much praise from its readers because of the new characters included in the storyline. The writer is very knowledgeable about the superpowers of each hero, which makes the story more concise and quite fascinating.

12. Jack Kirby’s New Gods (1971)

12. Jack Kirby’s New Gods (1971)

The DC comics is not complete without the book written by Jack Kirby and illustrated by Alex Ross. New Gods give the DC universe new characters in a new world, which is very different from all the other series.

The story's setting is under the Gods with supernatural powers, which is bound to bring so much joy and excitement to its readers in the long run. He filled this book with visuals and action scenes that will trigger the imagination of everyone as they flip through every page. 

13. Batman: The Long Halloween (1996-1997)

13. Batman: The Long Halloween (1996-1997)

Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale wrote Batman: The Long Halloween with thirteen issues revolving on how Batman deals with the problems in Gotham. They say that it is one of the best mystery books in the DC universe because of its exciting plots and twists.

The graphic artist has also contributed to creating thrilling scenes that push people not to drop the book and finish it in one sitting! Tim has an impressive art style that suits exactly what the plot requires. 

14. Swamp Thing: The Anatomy Lesson (1984)

14. Swamp Thing: The Anatomy Lesson (1984)

This book by the famous author Alan Moore. In this story, the hero fights with underwater vampires and cults to stop them from ruining heaven. The author is known for writing stories on monsters that bring about suspenseful feelings for readers who are in for interesting stories.

The story illustrates how the protagonist deals with humanity and his relationships. It is also a DC book that discusses gender and race, which makes it even more controversial. 

15. For The Man Who Has Everything (1985)

15. For The Man Who Has Everything (1985)

This is another masterpiece by Alan Moore during the 1980s where the Justice League heroes Superman, Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman are all present. This comic might touch your heart because it reveals all the pain that the All-Star Superman has carried ever since he became a hero.

Dave Gibbons, the illustrator of this piece, was able to give justice to the storyline written by Moore. He was able to impart the feelings and personalities of the characters with every illustration he made. 

16. Identity Crisis (2004)

16. Identity Crisis (2004)

If you are new to reading DC comics, then you should get started with the Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer. This was written for people who are unfamiliar with the comic industry.

The story revolves around the murder of a family member. The plot also made the characters realize that they too, have vulnerabilities. It serves to remind everyone that even the people we have had for a long time are still bound to make the wrong decisions and put everyone in peril. 

17. Crisis On Infinite Earths (1985-1986)

17. Crisis On Infinite Earths (1985-1986)

The Crisis On Infinite Earths is a series that became popular during the Golden Age and Silver Age of the comic industry. It is composed of a twelve-issue series that fans refer to as pre and post-crisis.

Many characters died on The Crisis on Infinite Earths, and some of them were erased from the memories of the people because of the destruction of the parallel universe. Because of this crisis, many characters in the DC stories were changed and rebooted.

18. Snowbirds Don’t Fly (1971)

18. Snowbirds Don’t Fly (1971)

Snowbirds Don't Fly is a story by Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams. It is a crossover of Green Lantern and Green Arrow, and it all starts with Oliver Queen. 

The characters face numerous societal issues like a drug war -a storyline in which the DC comics are quite popular.  The story and illustrations were so realistic that they could trigger the emotions of the readers. One of the writers also used his experience in a rehabilitation center in writing this story which makes the storyline cut deep into everyone’s hearts.

19. The Man Of Steel (1986)

19. The Man Of Steel (1986)

The All-Star-Superman has created a big impact in pop culture because of the crimes he resolved and the help he gave to the people for over 80 years. Marv Wolfman and Jerry Ordway elevated his character, which was later developed into a film that trended all over the world. 

The Man of Steel is a 21st-century version of Superman who left a deep legacy in the comic industry. No wonder that it is one of the mainstream comic books and films!

20. Arkham Asylum: A Serious House On Serious Earth (1989)

20. Arkham Asylum: A Serious House On Serious Earth (1989)

This comic story is another piece by the well-known author Grant Morrison. Batman has no choice left when Commissioner Gordon calls him to go to the Arkham Asylum and face the patients who will murder all the staff if he does not proceed as instructed. 

This book has a different vibe and atmosphere when compared to the other Batman stories. The font styles of the book also made a difference because it allows you to hear what you are reading.

21. The Killing Joke (1988)

21. The Killing Joke (1988)

This story revolves around many issues, including comedy, tragedy, violence, and insanity. Moore, one of the famous authors from the DC universe, created a character who will make Commissioner Gordon, her daughter Barbara, and Black Canary, suffer. However, Gordon will not just sit and let it happen, so he calls Batman for help.

The Dark Knight even thought of begging the Joker to stop. However, he refused to do it because by then, it was already too late. They say that this has a backstory depicting the Jokers' origins. 

22. Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (1984)

22. Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (1984)

The New Teen Titans by George Perez are composed of teenagers who will face the battle with Deathstroke and Brother Blood. It becomes more challenging for the characters because they also have to deal with personal problems involving Dick Grayson and Wally West.

George Perez, the illustrator of The New Teen Titans, has effectively created visuals where people can feel the emotions of the characters. This gives everyone a thrilling and suspenseful feeling whenever they turn the pages.

23. The New Frontier (2003-2004)

23. The New Frontier (2003-2004)

Darwin Cooke has set the story in the 1950s, making it more interesting and one of the best DC books in the industry. He is responsible for bridging the JL's golden age and silver age. 

JL's superheroes Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, continued the fight for building a justice society. Barry Allen also took part in protecting the city. The art style fits the whole story, and their appearances in the comics portray their characters very well. 

24. Kingdom Come (1996)

24. Kingdom Come (1996)

The Kingdom Come by Mark Waid is a story set in the modern DC universe that enabled him to go along with the all-time comic writers in the field. It also touches on numerous issues like religion, class, and race.

The storyline illustrates the conflict between the JL and Legion of Doom in regaining control in the world. The authors brought the characters into question by making contemporary roles and giving them never-ending battles to fight. 

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25. Superman: Red Son (2003)

25. Superman: Red Son (2003)

One of DC's authors, Mark Millar, has written Superman: Red Son. It illustrates what could have been in the life of the said superhero if he decided to go the opposite way of the path he decided to take on.  

Moreover, there are societal issues that Superman has to go through along the way. Socialism and democracy are present in the different plots that have taken place. Red Son also involves other heroes like Batman and Green Lantern Corps. 

FAQs

What is the best DC comic to start with?

The best DC comics to start with is The Dark Knight Returns. Frank Miller made it so classy and quite exciting for the readers. Moreover, it will open your eyes to violence and other societal issues. Batman addressed these with complexity and coherence, which makes readers excited every time they turn the pages. 

How long would it take to read all DC Comics?

You need to spend 14 hours for 1,125 days or 3.35 years to read the 51,436 DC comics. The publication has produced thousands of comics medium available in the market. The stories are catchy that avid fans invest time, money, and effort to buy and read great comics in the market.

Who is the most popular DC comic superhero?

The most popular superhero in the DC comics is Batman. There is no doubt because his comic books revealed how morally complex he is despite the challenges he faced in his stories, from the golden up to the silver age. He is one of the iconic DC heroes in the comic industry, along with Superman and Robin Hood.

Time to Flip That Page!

You will never go wrong in choosing DC because they offer a good comics medium that will satisfy their readers' curiosity and excitement. The best DC comics mentioned above will never disappoint you.

The writers of these comics are quite famous, recognized internationally, and have received numerous awards. DC's continuity and amazing storylines will surely keep you hooked right from the beginning! The illustrators are also talented enough to help readers visualize each thrilling scenes they are looking at.

They have produced well-known superheroes from the golden to silver age like Batman, Cyborg Superman, Robin Hood, Wonder Woman, Flash (Barry Allen), Green Arrow, and many more. They also turned some comics into films which made them more popular not just with adults but also with children. 

Everyone needs a hero, and DC is always ready to provide us with one! If you're looking for DC Comics collectibles, we've got those right here. 

References:

  1. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Batman-The-Dark-Knight-Returns