DC Comics is releasing their first ever team of superheros on the silver screen, the Justice League, a group of heroes with gifts that they use to protect the innocent. So, what better way to prepare yourself for this long-awaited movie than by reading the original comic books in which the movies is based off of? Here’s a list of 8 DC comic books that you need to read before watching Justice League.
Justice League Volume 1: Origin (The New 52) #1-6 of Justice League
The story begins with Batman hunting down rouge unidentified threats called Parademons. Batman then tried to find the reasons behind its appearance on Earth but not for long, the Parademons escapes and was apprehended by an object glazed in a green light. Turns out, it was none other than Green Lantern himself. From here on forth, the story continues with Batman finding more and more other superheroes such as Superman, Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, and Wonder Woman. An action-packed volume full of heart, this is one of the finest Justice League origin comics out there as it not only shows the epicness of superheroes, but also diversity and compassion. A story of people who came from different background, different abilities and views, sacrificing their life for the greater good of others as well as the chemistry they share as members of the Justice League – this is what I can say is the joy of a ride to read. Completed with amazing art from the Jim Lee himself, Justice League Volume 1: Origin (The New 52) is definitely a must-read because judging from the upcoming trailer for Justice League, a huge part of it was taken from the comic itself. Unlike any other origin stories where they usually start slow, this one starts with a bang and will get you hooked from the very first page.
Action Comics Volume 1 #1-8 of Superman Action Comics
For some of you who doesn’t know which Superman comic to read, one of the best and long-running title is the Action Comics, the same title that is used on Superman’s first debut in 1983. Action Comics reinvented the story as it features Superman in his early career as a journalist, not the superhero that we now know. Not the Superman with his undergarment outside anymore but a Superman with a simple blue t-shirt with an S symbol on it, a pair of blue jeans, and a cape made out of Krypton material, the home of Kal-El a.k.a Clark Kent a.k.a. Superman. The story revolves around Clark Kent still finding his footing in the Human world. Fighting against any kind of evil he sees, from evil corrupted businessmen to otherworldly alien threats. Written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Rags Morales, this story is grounded and more down to earth with the art so dynamic you can see how fluid the characters are drawn.
Batman Vol 4: Zero Year – Secret City #21-24 of Batman
Driven by the death of his parents, Bruce Wayne dedicates his time and inherited wealth in order to better himself into something much greater, something more, something that can prevent what had happened to him from happening to others. Donning the cape for the first time, he came across his one true enemy, the Joker, and villain who threatens Gotham City. Here, we see how Bruce Wayne balances his life as a billionaire playboy by day and vigilante by night in order to fight against the uncanny Red Hood gang and the unpredictable Edward Nygma a.k.a. The Riddler. Written by Scott Snyder and penciled by artist Greg Capullo, the real life Dynamic Duo that has made this run on Batman’s legacy as one of the most-read comics of the decade. Different from the other comics on the list, it is not the first volume of the run, but one that focuses on the origins of Batman and his long-time nemesis the Joker. The story is amazing and the beautiful art with unique color palette and dynamics made this – dare I say – one of my favourites from all the list here.
Wonder Woman Rebirth Volume 1: The Lies #1,3,5,7,9,11 of Wonder Woman Rebirth
With Wonder Woman’s success in entering the big screen, the DC Cinematic Universe is set to be on par with Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Like the movie, the comic depicts a half Amazonian, half god whom was born full of compassion and love. A heroic, stoic and iconic figure that represents the best of what a human kind can become. Like the title of the volume itself implies, this is the story of self-discovery and the truth behind Diana’s a.k.a. Wonder Woman’s true identity. To find the truth, she must go on an epic quest with her archnemesis, Cheetah, on a journey to untangle the secret behind her past. Written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Liam Sharp, this is literally a greek art piece turn into a comic book. It is a story full of mystery- showing the magic behind the fantasy world of DC Comics. Full of charm and surprises, this comic emphasizes the heroine that is not defined by her status but by her actions that inspires the hearts of millions of readers.
The Flash Rebirth Volume 1: Lightning Strikes Twice #1-8 of The Flash Rebirth
Since his first debut in the CW TV series, many has become fans of the fastest man alive. In this comic, we took a glimpse into more than just Team Flash’s adventures, but also another side of Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash, a mentor, a friend and a CSI Investigator. His powers come from an energy called the speed force that was exposed to many humans, enabling them to receive super speed. Now that everyone is a speedster, it raises the question regarding whether or not the world still needs the Flash. Written by Joshua Williamson and illustrated by Carmine di Giandomenico, this is the story of heroism, relationships and betrayal. We get to see the world through someone who bears a huge responsibility and the hardships of being the fastest man alive, allowing us to learn that sometimes the way to handle things is to stop for a second and to see the bigger picture. This comic is definitely a must-read for a deeper understanding of the speed force and the importance of having the right qualities in order to be a superhero.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Rebirth Volume 1: Sinestro’s Law #1-7 of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, and a one shot special
When creating this list, I deliberated whether to put him on the list or not. Why, you ask? The reason is because he won’t be present in the Justice League movie. It’s a bold move to remove Green Lantern from the first ever Silver Screen adaptation of the Justice League, but I feel that it’s important to ensure that people are aware that he is a part of the Justice League. Similar to the Green Lantern movie on 2011, Hal Jordan, the second Green Lantern, is left behind by the entire Green Lantern Corps. With the absence of the Green Lantern Corps, the Galaxy is left with the tyrannical Sinestro having the power of the Yellow Lantern that represents fear. The Yellow Lantern now becomes the new peacekeeper of the entire Galaxy, causing fear amongst every known living being on the Galaxy. Now that the Yellow Lantern has become the new law of the Galaxy, it’s time for Hal Jordan, the last of the Green Lanterns, to stop them. Written by Robert Venditti and illustrated by Rafa Sandoval and Jordi Tarragona, this comic book is a good start for newcomers to be introduced to Green Lantern as it tells the rebirth of Sinestro, Green Lantern’s archnemesis, and a closer look to Hal’s personal journey.
Aquaman Rebirth Volume 1: The Drowning #1-6 of Aquaman
This is the comic to read, if you’re curious with Aquaman. As a half man and half Atlantean superhero, Aquaman who bears the status of the King of the seven seas is often undermines with the ability to talk to fishes. Now is the time to acknowledge him not as just a mere man but a superhero who can actually stand toe to toe with Superman. In the story, Arthur and his fiancee, Mera, is trying to prove that Atlantis can be a city of peace and justice but things took a wrong turn when a group of Atlantean and Aquaman’s rival, Black Manta, shows up. Now it’s up to Aquaman to stop the bloodshed and distrust between Land Dwellers and the Atlanteans. Written by Dan Abnett and Art by Phil Briones, it tells the story of Aquaman at his prime where you can learn that Aquaman is a force to be reckoned with, making it one of the most critically acclaimed best selling line of comics ever published.
Cyborg Rebirth Volume 1: The Imitation of Life # 1-5 of Cyborg
Cyborg, the new rookie in the Justice League, was once a member of the Teen Titans. A tragedy in the form of a freak incident that befalls the life of Victor Stone, once an American football athlete, causes his life to change forever. Now a half man, half machine, Cyborg must come face-to-face with his darkest fear his true identity. Is he more machine than man, or vice versa? Is he still the same Victor Stone, or something else entirely different? With these questions rising, he must face a cybernetic entity and make a decision regarding the safety of humankind and the future of artificial intelligence. Written by John Semper Jr and illustrated by Will Conrad, Tony Kordos, and Paul Pelletier, this is the right comic to pick up if you are trying to understand Cyborg not only as a new member of the Justice League, but also on someone struggling with finding his new identity.
There are a lot of great DC Comics out there, besides the one listed above, and there have been a lot of iteration of each of these Characters, so i suggest once you’re done reading all the comics above, it’s best to explore more. You might end up finding the character that you can relate the most. What makes these stories great are not only because it is an awesome superhero comic but more over of how each stories showcases a heartfelt journey of each individual, how the more and more you read the more you are going to be immerse into the world, the world of the Golden Age of Superheroes.
Words By: Adrian R
Header Image is Credited to: Fanpop.com