Comics Creators

New 52 Reading Order Discussion

So, I want to get started with Rebirth, but I want to start it with the original New 52 beginnings. Can someone explain to me the continuity, because I’ve heard of Zero Years and stuff, but I don’t understand it. What’s the order of the main crossover events and stories in New 52?

Who I want to follow: Batman, Superman, Justice League, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Teen Titans, Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, JL International, Nightwing, Batgirl, Batwoman

If there are any characters on that list whos’ stories you think are awful, tell me, and if there are any others which you think are great, tell me too.

Personally I’d just ignore it and start with Rebirth.

DC continuity is never clean with any reboot, they keep some things and ignore others, that goes right back to Crisis in the 80s.


Most of the ‘New 52’ series can be read in straight publication order, starting with issue #1.

(A lot of the series did have a special ‘#0’ issue published, which I think was a special initiative around the anniversary of the relaunch, and told stories set prior to the ‘#1’ issues. So chronologically they would come first, but in publication order they would come somewhere around issue #12.)

“Zero Year” was a big Batman story that also involved a few tie-ins from other issues. There were a few other crossover stories published during the New 52 era (like “Future’s End”), but they should be pretty clear.

Of the series you mention, I enjoyed Batman, Justice League and Batwoman, and also enjoyed Action Comics (which tells a young-Superman story that re-imagines the character to an extent).

As Gar says though, Rebirth (which continues on from the ‘New 52’ - well, kind of) does a pretty good job of clearing the decks and starting fresh in most cases, or explaining continuity where necessary in others.


True, but I’m personally interested in reading some of the New 52 stuff.


Do all of the runs start at the same time? Do Zero Year and Action Comics happen before the rest?

From memory, some were set in the past. Justice League in its earliest issues I think told a story that was set five years before the ‘present’ (about the formation of the team), and Action Comics was set even before that (maybe seven years before the present?).

Zero Year was a flashback arc that went back in time to when Bruce first started operating as Batman, but it didn’t come until fairly well on into the Snyder/Capullo run. It makes sense to read it in publication order rather than where it fits chronologically.


I bought #1 of every New 52 title just as an experiment, and dropped the majority of them before #2. Of the titles you list:

I liked Superman as it was a fairly traditional take on the character, but editorial incompetence made a mess of it so I really wouldn’t recommend it now. If you want Superman, get the first few issues of Action Comics because Grant Morrison has a really interesting take on the character (but can’t sustain it, so you only need the first arc or two).

For a Batman title, All-Star Batman was the best of the bunch, but again I would only really recommend the first story arc, as after that it became patchy.

Wonder Woman was just dreadful. Though it had a lot of fans, so you might want to get a second opinion :wink:

Batwoman is the best of the bunch on your list. Fantastic comic. Can’t recommend it too highly. For the first story arc, at least. But once again, it fell apart after the first couple of story arcs. That seemed to be a common problem with the New 52. Even when something started good, it didn’t stay good.


You should add to your list:

  • Green Arrow by Lemire - Sorrentino, this is a 3-volume run, in the middle of New 52, available as trades Vol 3-5 or as a big hardback edition.

  • All Star Western is a very fun book, with subtle ties to the overall world. 6 trades, all paperbacks.

On those on your list:

  • Wonder Woman by Azzarello and Chiang is very good, deserves its rep. 6 trades, paperback. Also consider Superman & Wonder Woman trades by Soule, though the second is best read as the Doomed collection instead of the Vol 2 trade.

  • For the Snyder-Capullo Batman run I’d recommend the Court of Owls, Vols 1-2 and Zero Year, Vols 4-5, arcs. The 2 trades of Layman’s run on Detective Comics were excellent, both paperback. Don’t overlook Batman Eternal either, it’s a good, big Bat-story.

  • For Justice League, I’d recommend the set of Forever Evil, then Justice League Vols 6-8, which sees the New 52 out.


I’ve read most of this stuff and here’s my advice, based on my own taste and what I consider solid runs.
This is a mix of both what you have mentioned above and stuff I personally rate from the new 52 and Rebirth - I’ll try to categorise it for you;

*Justice League New 52 - it takes a while to get going, but hang in there. Once it does it’s great superhero comics. Really solid writing and art throughout. It also gets better and better as it goes on. It’s quite tense and many of the stories feel like they really matter - which is very hard to do in a team book. Johns on fire.
*Justice League Rebirth - I’ve found this gets repetitive very quickly after a bombastic start. Also the characterisation & dialogue feels very much off to me compared to the main titles I am reading with the same characters in them. I’d read the 52 issues by Johns then hold off for a while to see what happens on the Rebirth book.

*Aquaman New 52
Read the first 25 issues by Johns. It’s top stuff and the best Aquaman has been in years, if not the best I’ve read period.
*Aquaman Rebirth
Dan Abnett’s series has been really solid and the issues expertly blend into each other from one arc to another. Abnett’s experience as a top writer really shows here as he effortlessly build a rich tapestry out of smaller arcs, acheiving both an overriding theme but enough variety to keep it really fresh.
It’s an easy read and I like it more with each passing issue.

*Batman New 52 - Batman by Snyder is inconsistent. It ranges from average to very good though, it is never poor. But it never hits the highs of the first 10 issues again. The art is great, but the story tends to drag and sag a lot and none of the big storylines like the Joker or Year Zero arcs really match their potential or promise. The Mr Bloom storyline is a bit of a stinker, peppered with some good moments.
*Detective Comics New 52 - John Layman and Jason Fabok’s run, was criminally short, but really great fun. I’d recommend it above all. It reminded me of Batman comics I read as a kid and he introduced some cracking new characters.
*Batman Suggestion - do yourself a favour and go to the start of Grant Morrisons Batman run and just read all of it. From Batman, to Batman and Robin, to Batman Inc. Also pick up all of the Thomasi and Gleason issues of Batman and Robin which act as a companion peice to the GM run and is it times incredibly emotional.
*Batman Rebirth & Detective Comics Rebirth - both excellent. Detective Comics is a great way to follow a number of Batman characters in the one book.

*wonder Woman new 52 - a must read title (Azzarello run only). A unique take on WW that evokes the feel of Sandman and the Endless to me. Some of the best character designs in the last couple of decades from Chiang as well, which is an underrated aspect of this run.
*wonder woman rebirth - Again really solid comic from Rucka and Liam Sharp’s artwork is immense.

*Green Lantern New 52 - my suggestion is that you read Johns run from pre new 52, right thru to the new 52 issues he wrote then stop. It’s worthwhile picking up the pre new 52 GL corps series as well, starting with the Dave gibbons mini series and moving into the pete Thomasi long running series that he did (much of which is with Gleeson) right up until Thomasi drops off and new 52 begins.
I would avoid the rest of the new 52 lantern books and move right to
*green lantern rebirth - green lanterns by Sam humprhies is excellent when it gets going. It also showcases two minority characters in Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz but does so in totally natural way, so much so that it’s almost unnoticed compared to how contrived Marvel’s approach to doing the same thing has been. Geoff Johns introduced both of these characters very well and Humpries runs with it.
Vendetti’s Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps rebirth series is much better than his editorially ruined new 52 run and like detective comics, a great way to showcase your characters without having a million shitty books like Marvel do; you’ll find Jordan, Gardiner and Stewart here as well as other favourites

*Nightwing new 52 - was a bit of a mess after a good start I’d go straight to tim Seeley’s Nightwing Rebirth series which has gone from strength to strength, particularly since the return to Bludhaven. It’s brilliant.

*Superman and Action Comics Rebirth - the new 52 stuff is really fragmented, to be honest I wouldn’t bother with it. Just read the Last days of superman issues of the new 52, then the Lois and Clark mini by Jurgens and move straight to Jurgens Action Comics Rebirth and Thomasi & Gleeson Superman Rebirth, both of which are the best ongoing superman books I’ve read. (I count all star superman as a mini series)

*Teen Titans - avoid the new 52 Titans, it’s garbage. As is the Ben Percy Rebirth series. Read Geoff Johns Teen Titans run from pre new 52 and move straight to Dan Abnett’s Rebirth book, via Teen Titans Hunt. There’s always the Marv Wolfman run of you want to go further back.

*Blue Beetle I would not touch with a barge pole anything that’s been done in the last decade or so. Same with Captain Atom. Bargirl isn’t my bag. The bat woman series written by Rucka was good but is unfinished, although the Rebirth series is off to a good start and it helps if you have read the Rucka run going into it.

Make sure you pick up Dial H from the new 52


I know that batman Vol 4 is Zero Year, but which of the other Batman Volumes take place before or after JL Origins?

Vol 5 is the second part of Zero Year (“Dark City”), so also takes place at the start of Batman’s career.

Vol 6 collects a few odd stories that didn’t make it into previous volumes, including #0, which is also set early on.

Pretty much all the other Snyder/Capullo stories take place in the present, as far as I remember.


To avoid confusion, I mean Snyder’s New 52 Batman. Got my titles mixed up as he’s now doing Rebirth All-Star.


Right, so on my list, I have

Superman: Action Comics Vol 1
Batman Vol 4
Batman Vol 5

Justice League Vol 1
Batman Vol 1 Court of Owls
Batman Vol 2 City of Owls

Justice League Vol 2

Aquaman 0-13 (for Throne of Atlantis)

Batman Vol 3 Death of the Family

Throne of Atlantis (Justice League Vol 3 and Aquaman)

Justice League of America 1-5 (for Trinity War)
Justice League Dark 1-21 (for Trinity War)
Justice League 18-21 (Vol 4 I think)

Trinity War (JL, JL Dark, JLA)

Forever Evil (Justice League Dark, Justice League, Justice League of America)

Justice League 30-39

Darkseid War (Justice League)

Are the Batman runs placed correctly here? When do Superman, Batwoman, Wonder Woman, Teen Titans (I really want to try it out), Nightwing, Green Lantern fit in to this lot? As in which events do they take place before and after?

Rebirth (Justice League, Suicide Squad, Batman) - What else do you recommend?
Justice League Vs Suicide Squad

[quote=“thenerdlifechoseme, post:14, topic:9852, full:true”]
Are the Batman runs placed correctly here?
[/quote]Are you looking for a chronology order or a reading order?

I would recommend reading stuff like Zero Year as published (so reading Batman volumes 1-5 in order), rather than by in-universe chronological order.


I’m looking for a chronology order. I’ve been doing that with Marvel for ages and it’s best for me.

Fair enough.


So is it right? Where do Superman, Batwoman, Wonder Woman, Teen Titans, Nightwing, and Green Lantern fit in?

Wonder Woman can be safely ignored in the Nu52. The whole Rebirth story is a correction not of the Nu52 so much, but of Diana. Which is the key to all of Rebirth.


So WW New 52 is irrelevant?

It’s actually one of the better books in the relaunch. Miqque’s just being a curmudgeon. :wink: