Comics Creators

Iconic graphic novels for DC and Marvel characters?


If I am looking to go back and read the best Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Venom, Logan, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Shazam, etc, which isolated storylines should I read? There are some obvious ones for Batman and Superman, and Frank Miller’s Daredevil, but how about for the rest of the characters? There are a lot of characters I would like to like, but I don’t think I have found the right storylines.


Batman -
Year 1
The Dark Knight Returns
Grant Morrison’s full run
Alan Grant’s run

Superman -
All Star Superman
Bendis current run

Spider-Man -
Dan Slott’s full run

Venom -

Logan -
Old Man Logan (Millar & McNiven)

Wonder Woman -
Azzarello’s run

Captain Marvel -
Peter David’s run

Shazam -
Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s collection


Batman -
Consider some Neil Adams classic 70s Batman as well.

Logan -
Claremont and Miller’s mini series


For the characters mentioned, I’d recommend:

Batman: Year One (Miller/Mazzucchelli)
Dark Knight Returns (Miller)
Killing Joke (Moore/Bolland)
Morrison’s run
Court of Owls (Snyder/Capullo)
Hush (Loeb/Lee)
Long Halloween & Dark Victory (Loeb/Sale)

(All quite obvious, but all worth a read. There are loads of other great ones not in the list. You’re spoiled for choice with Batman, really.)

All-Star Superman (Morrison/Quitely)
Superman For All Seasons (Loeb/Sale)
Birthright (Waid/Yu)
For The Man Who Has Everything (Moore/Gibbons)
Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow? (Moore/Swan)

Spider-Man is an odd one, as there have been lots of classic runs but not that many stories that you can pick out as accessible, standalone reads. I think it’s because a lot of his appeal is so closely tied to the ongoing personal subplots, the soap-opera stuff, perhaps more than most superheroes.

Still, I’d pick out:

The origin story from Amazing Fantasy #15 (Lee/Ditko): this still holds up (in fact, most of the Lee/Ditko and Lee/Romita early issues are well worth a look)
The Night Gwen Stacy Died - Amazing Spider-Man #121-122
Kraven’s Last Hunt
The JMS/JR jr run
Spider-Man: Blue (Loeb/Sale)
Ultimate Spider-Man (Bendis/Bagley)

The Michelinie/McFarlane stories from Amazing Spider-Man #300 & #315-317
The Michelinie/Larsen stories from Amazing Spider-Man #332-333 & #346-347
The Michelinie/Bagley ‘Carnage’ story from Amazing Spider-Man #361-363

(That seems like a bit of a random smattering of issues, but there are quite a few collections that bundle these issues together.)

The Claremont/Miller Wolverine mini
Weapon X (Barry Windsor-Smith)
Enemy of the State/Agent of SHIELD (Millar/JR jr)
Old Man Logan (Millar/McNiven)

Wonder Woman
The Perez run
The Azzarello/Chiang run
Wonder Woman: Earth One v.1 & v.2 (Morrison/Paquette)
Year One (Rucka/Scott)

(Harder to recommend for WW as there aren’t really many all-time classic stories.)

For Captain Marvel and Shazam I’m not that familiar, although the original Death of Captain Marvel OGN is well worth a look.


These two are included in a collection called DC Universe by Alan Moore along with a bunch of other cool stories if Miceal wants to search them out.


Yep, they also have their own slim collection together (which also includes DC Comics Presents #85, Moore’s Superman/Swamp Thing issue).


Legion of Superheroes


  • Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes #241 - #245
    (can be found in the HC vol. 2)

The Great Darkness Saga

  • Legion of Superheroes #290 - #294
    (can be found in HC and TP)

A search on either will find it’s own Wiki page with detail


We did this a while ago - it’s amazing how few characters have a decent classic run of trades considering just how much publishing is going on. You’re spoiled for choice with Batman, Superman has the same few classics, as does Spidey, Punisher, Cap, Wolverine, the X Men, Flash, Thor, JLA, Daredevil and a couple of others. But a large range of characters, some of whom are already cinematic classics don’t have a good range of books from their history.


All suggestions appreciated!! The reason I put this question up is because I have been buying two of my nephews graphic novels for the last 5 years for Christmas and birthdays, and I have worked through all the Batman ones, and a few of the Superman stories (although there are some listed that I haven’t gotten that I will pick up tomorrow, assuming they are in stock, so Thanks!!)

But I wanted to start branching out from the Batman/Superman comics for them.

Also, my niece, 10 years old, has started reading comics, so I was hoping there was a solid Wonder Woman, or something she would be more interested in digging into.

A lot of great suggestions above! Appreciated!!


Maybe hold off on the Azzarello run, then. :sweat_smile:
Earth One would probably be very dull for a ten year old.


Have you tried any of the DC Super Hero Girls stuff? My niece really loves them.


Superman: All-Star Superman, Secret Identity, and Birthright
Batman: Year One, any of the Grant/Breyfogle run
Spider-Man: Ultimate Spider-Man (Bendis/Bagley), Marvel Knights is a solid self-contained run, Kraven’s Last Hunt, the Slott, Wells, or Waid Brand New Day trades
Venom: I liked the Remender/Moore run, but that’s a different character from the movie.
Logan: Enemy of the State, the Miller/Claremont miniseries
Wonder Woman: Azzarello/Chiang New 52
Captain Marvel: Higher, Further, Faster, More (DeConnick/Lopez)
Shazam: Monster Society of Evil (Jeff Smith)


Ms. Marvel vol. 1 would be perfect. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is a lot of fun, too.


Awesome! I just ordered this. :smile: (I prefer to try to get them at the local comic book store, but you made it too easy. Thanks!!!)


My daughter likes these a lot too. They may be a little kid-oriented for age 10 but they’re a good place to start.


I have no idea about age appropriateness. I usually go by the numbers on the books for kid’s books.


I think it always depends on the kid anyway.


Quoted for truth


ooo I know a few! And I want to venture away from the regular recommendations :slight_smile: this time!


Way to Dusty Death


vs Muhammed Ali


the Dracula trilogy for sure!


Those oneshot HC graphic novels like HIKITEIA and LEAGUE OF ONE are amazing!


Honestly you should move beyond Marvel and DC. Those characters are saturating pop culture and over 10 is a good age to start looking into other types of story.

Something like Groo or Atomic Robo is a great choice for the pre teen market. Smart, interesting and a nice alternative to the typical superhero stuff. I Kill Giants is a book all young adults should read.