Welcome to The Nerdd Reading List! A list of all the comics that we see as important to read if you want to keep up in the conversation!
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Batman: Hush – Jeph Loeb
Gotham City’s worst criminals—Joker, Riddler, Ra’s al Ghul, Clayface and others—have emerged to throw Batman’s life into utter chaos. However, these villains are part of a much more elaborate, sinister scheme to destroy the Dark Knight once and for all, one headed by a mastermind much closer to Bruce Wayne than any foe before…
Pushed past his breaking point, Batman will need to use more than the world’s greatest detective skills to unravel the mystery behind this murderous plot before those closest to the Detective suffer the consequences.
The Killing Joke – Alan Moore
Presented for the first time with stark, stunning new coloring by Bolland, BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE is Alan Moore’s unforgettable meditation on the razor-thin line between sanity and insanity, heroism and villainy, comedy and tragedy.
According to the grinning engine of madness and mayhem known as The Joker, that’s all that separates the sane from the psychotic. Freed once again from the confines of Arkham Asylum, he’s out to prove his deranged point. And he’s going to use Gotham City’s top cop, Commissioner Jim Gordon, and his brilliant and beautiful daughter Barbara to do it.
Now Batman must race to stop his archnemesis before his reign of terror claims two of the Dark Knight’s closest friends. Can he finally put an end to the cycle of bloodlust and lunacy that links these two iconic foes before it leads to its fatal conclusion? And as the horrifying origin of the Clown Prince of Crime is finally revealed, will the thin line that separates Batman’s nobility and The Joker’s insanity snap once and for all?
All Star Superman – Grant Morrison
The Underverse ruled by Bizarros. The time-eating Chronovore. Jimmy Olsen, superhero?
Nothing is impossible in ALL-STAR SUPERMAN.
Except for the fact that Superman… is dying.
Now with time running against him, the Man of Steel must tie up loose ends and make sure that he leaves the Earth better than he found it.
Watchmen – Alan Moore
A murder mystery-turned-nationwide conspiracy, WATCHMEN examines the lives of the eponymous superhero team as they seem to decay alongside the ever-darkening America around them. Rorschach, Nite Owl, the Silk Spectre, Dr. Manhattan and Ozymandias reunite to investigate who’s behind a teammate’s murder, but find that the truth may be even more grim than the world they seek to protect.
Flashpoint – Geoff Johns
Not a dream, not an imaginary story, not an elseworld. This is Flash Fact: When Barry Allen wakes at his desk, he discovers the world has changed. Family is alive, loved ones are strangers, and close friends are different, gone or worse. It’s a world on the brink of a cataclysmic war – but where are Earth’s Greatest Heroes to stop it? It’s a place where America’s last hope is Cyborg, who hopes to gather the forces of The Outsider, The Secret 7, S!H!A!Z!A!M!, Citizen Cold and other new and familiar-yetaltered faces! It’s a world that could be running out of time, if The Flash can’t find the villain who altered the time line!
Flash: Rebirth – Geoff Johns
The epic story of Barry Allen’s return from the dead to reclaim his title as The Fastest Man Alive is collected in hardcover.
Superman Red Son – Mark Millar
Imagine a reality where the world’s most powerful super-being does not grow up in Smallville, Kansas – or even America, for that matter…
SUPERMAN: RED SON is a vivid tale of Cold War paranoia, that reveals how the ship carrying the infant who would later be known as Superman lands in the midst of the 1950s Soviet Union. Raised on a collective, the infant grows up and becomes a symbol to the Soviet people, and the world changes drastically from what we know – bringing Superman into conflict with Batman, Lex Luthor and many others.
Blackest Night – Geoff Johns
The prophecy of the Blackest Night has come to pass–a mysterious force is raising deceased heroes and villains into an army of undead Black Lanterns! The combined might of the Green Lantern Corps and an armada of living superbeings must now band together in a fight quite literally for their lives. The incredible graphic novel story from #1 New York Times bestselling writer Geoff Johns is collected here in Blackest Night!
Throughout the decades, death has plagued the DC Universe and taken the lives of heroes and villains alike. But to what end? As the War between the different colored Lantern Corps rages on, the prophecy of the Blackest Night descends and it’s up to Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps to lead DC’s greatest champions in a battle to save the Universe from an army of undead Black Lanterns made up of fallen Green Lanterns and DC’s deceased heroes and villains.
The Joker – Brian Azzarello
The Joker has been mysteriously released from Arkham Asylum, and he’s none to happy about what’s happened to his Gotham City rackets while he’s been “away.” What follows is a harrowing night of revenge, murder and manic crime as only The Joker can deliver it, as he brutally takes back his stolen assets from The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face, Killer Croc and others.
Batman: The Long Halloween – Jeph Loeb
Christmas. St. Patrick’s Day. Easter. As the calendar’s days stack up, so do the bodies littered in the streets of Gotham City. A murderer is loose, killing only on holidays. The only man that can stop this fiend? The Dark Knight. In a mystery taking place during Batman’s early days of crime fighting, Batman: The Long Halloween is one of the greatest Dark Knight stories ever told.
Kingdom Come – Mark Waid
Set in the not so distant future, the DC Universe is spinning inexorably out of control. The new generation of heroes has lost their moral compass, becoming just as reckless and violent as the villains they fight. With Batman retired, Superman in a self-imposed exile and the rest of the Justice League nowhere to be found, it seems that all hope is lost.
But not for long.
After a cataclysmic event costs the lives of millions, the Justice League—led by a rejuvenated Superman—returns to bring balance back to the world. However, the new guard will not go down quietly. A battle is coming between the uncompromising protectors and a untamed group of young powerhouses—one that will define what heroism truly is.
Final Crisis – Grant Morrison
In possession of the Anti-Life Equation, Darkseid is determined to remake mankind in his dark image and destroy reality itself in the process. Can the most powerful superheroes on Earth–and across the Multiverse!–stop the madness? And when the Final Crisis reaches its inevitable climax, who will step up and make the ultimate sacrifice?
Crisis On Infinite Earths – Marv Wolfman
This is the story that changed the DC Universe forever. A mysterious being known as the Anti-Monitor has begun a crusade across time to bring about the end of all existence. As alternate earths are systematically destroyed, the Monitor quickly assembles a team of super-heroes from across time and space to battle his counterpart and stop the destruction. DC’s greatest heroes including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Aquaman, assemble to stop the menace, but as they watch both the Flash and Supergirl die in battle, they begin to wonder if even all of the heroes in the world can stop this destructive force.
Dark Nights: Metal – Scott Snyder
The Dark Multiverse is coming, and nothing will ever be the same! Now in paperback, one of the biggest events in DC history is here in the shocking, action-packed epic Dark Nights: Metal from critically acclaimed author Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, reuniting after their smash-hit Batmanseries.
Beyond our universe, there is the Multiverse … and beneath the Multiverse is a nightmare realm where every fear that has ever been felt on our Earth becomes reality. Now an evil force as old as time wants to drag us down into the shadows, into the realm of never-ending terror.
But when the door between worlds opens, it’s not just any nightmares that come spilling out. They call themselves the Dark Knights. Each one is a twisted version of Batman from a world where one of his worst fears has come true.
With the invasion underway and Batman trapped in the Dark Multiverse, the Justice League must undergo an impossible quest to find the mysterious metals capable of repelling the Dark Knights and their master, the fearsome Barbatos. If they fail, everything they’ve ever known will be plunged into eternal darkness. But the true horror is…what if they’re already too late?
Shazam! – Geoff Johns
Young orphan Billy Batson has bounced from foster home to foster home, but he’s far from the ideal child. Brash and rude, Billy is a troubled teen that just can’t seem to find a calling. But after a fateful night on a subway car, that all will change.
Brought to the feet of the magical wizard Shazam at the Rock of Eternity, Billy is imbued with powers beyond any mortal man. By shouting the wizard’s name–Shazam!–the young teen is mystically transformed into the powerhouse known as Shazam! Now given abilities that make him Earth’s Mightiest Mortal at the utterance of a simple phrase, will Billy make the right choices and do what it takes to become a hero? Or will he succumb to the poor choices of youth–and the villainous Black Adam!
The movie Shazam! is based almost entirely on this book.
Batman: Earth One – Geoff Johns
Batman is not a hero.
He is just a man.
Fallible, vulnerable, and angry.
In a Gotham City where friend and foe are indistinguishable, Bruce Wayne’s path toward becoming the Dark Knight is riddled with more obstacles than ever before. Focused on punishing his parents’ true killers, and the corrupt police that allowed them to go free, Bruce Wayne’s thirst for vengeance fuels his mad crusade and no one, not even Alfred, can stop him.
Hellblazer – Jamie Delano
The very first Hellblazer collection ORIGINAL SINS is available in a new edition that includes John Constantine’s appearances in SWAMP THING. This is the first of a series of new HELLBLAZER editions starring Vertigo’s longest running antihero, John Constantine, England’s chain-smoking, low-rent magus.This first collection is a loosely connected series of tales of John’s early years where Constantine was at his best and at his worst, all at the same time.
Batman: The Court Of Owls – Scott Snyder
Hidden for years, a secret organization known as the Court of Owls suddenly surfaces in Gotham City. But why? As Batman begins to unravel the deadly mystery, he discovers a conspiracy going back to his youth and beyond to the origins of the city he’s sworn to protect. Could the Court of Owls, once thought to be nothing more than an urban myth, be behind the never-ending crime and corruption in Gotham? Or is Bruce Wayne losing his grip on sanity and falling prey to the pressures of being Batman?
Superman: Earth One – J. Michael Straczynski
JLA – Grant Morrison
Relive the legendary 1990s JLA series, written by comics mastermind Grant Morrison (FINAL CRISIS) with stunning art by Howard Porter and others, in this amazing oversized softcover collecting JLA #1-9 and SECRET FILES AND ORIGINS #1! The action begins as the JLA reunites to stop the Hyperclan, who have come to Earth posing as a new group of super heroes. But as their true nature comes to light, only the World’s Greatest Super Heroes can stop them! Standing side by side, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern and the Martian Manhunter take on alien posers and come to realize that Earth needs a protectorate made up of only the mightiest icons!
The Dark Knight Returns – Frank Miller
Writer/artist Frank Miller completely reinvents the legend of Batman in this saga of a near-future Gotham City gone to rot, 10 years after the Dark Knight’s retirement. Forced to take action, the Dark Knight returns in a blaze of fury, taking on a whole new generation of criminals and matching their level of violence. He is soon joined by a new Robin—a girl named Carrie Kelley, who proves to be just as invaluable as her predecessors.
Can Batman and Robin deal with the threat posed by their deadliest enemies, after years of incarceration have turned them into perfect psychopaths? And more important, can anyone survive the coming fallout from an undeclared war between the superpowers—or the clash of what were once the world’s greatest heroes?
Mister Miracle – Tom King
No prison can hold him. No trap can contain him. He is Scott Free, the worldwide celebrity sensation known as Mister Miracle, and he is the greatest escape artist who ever lived. But can he pull off the ultimate trick–and escape death itself?
Something has gone horribly wrong with the perfect life that Scott and his wife Big Barda have made for themselves on Earth. With war raging between their homeworlds of Apokolips and New Genesis, Scott’s cruel adoptive father, Darkseid, seems to have finally found the Anti-Life Equation–the weapon that will give him total victory.
As the mountains of bodies on both sides grow ever higher, only Mister Miracle can stop the slaughter and restore peace. But the terrible power of the Anti-Life Equation may already be at work in his own mind, warping his reality and shattering the fragile happiness he’s found with the woman he loves.
Is death the trap that’s been waiting for him all along? Or is it life itself? And what price will Scott Free have to pay to learn the answer?
Arkham Asylum – Grant Morrison
The inmates of Arkham Asylum have taken over Gotham’s detention center for the criminally insane on April Fool’s Day, demanding Batman in exchange for their hostages. Accepting their demented challenge, Batman is forced to endure the personal hells of the Joker, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Two-Face and many other sworn enemies in order to save the innocents and retake the prison. During his run through this absurd gauntlet, the Dark Knight’s must face down both his most dangerous foes and his inner demons.This is the critically acclaimed Batman story that helped launch the U.S. careers of Grant Morrison and Dave McKean.
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract – Marv Wolfman
They were Earth’s teenage defenders–unbeatable and unstoppable. Riding high, they took an eighth member–a young girl–into their ranks. And she would be their downfall.
The New Frontier – Darwyn Cooke
Welcome to the DC Universe in 1950s America — a land of promise and paranoia, of glittering cities and segregated slums, of dizzying scientific progress and simmering Cold War conflict. A land without the Justice League—Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Or so it seems.
The masked mystery men who fought for freedom in the Second World War have been outlawed. The soldiers and spies who conducted top-secret missions into the unknown now work in the shadows. And those icons who do still fight on — Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman — operate under hidden agendas and dueling ideologies.
Yet this America needs its heroes more than ever. With darkness gathering on the horizon once more, only a bold new generation of adventurers — young, daring, and dedicated to the better angels of our nature — is equal to the challenge of the New Frontier.
Batman: Year One – Frank Miller
In his first year on the job, Batman feels his way around a Gotham City far darker than the one he left. His solemn vow to extinguish the town’s criminal element is only half the battle; along with Lieutenant James Gordon, the Dark Knight must also fight a police force more corrupt than the scum in the streets.
Forever Evil – Geoff Johns
The Justice League is DEAD! And the villains shall INHERIT the Earth! In a flash of light, the world’s most powerful heroes vanish as the Crime Syndicate arrives from Earth-3! As this evil version of the Justice League takes over the DC Universe, no one stands in the way of them and complete domination … no one except for Lex Luthor. His main ally in this seemingly impossible battle? Batman.
With the two smartest men on the planet leading them, an unlikely crew of saviors, including Black Manta, Captain Cold, Bizarro, Catwoman and Black Adam, must not only free the DCU’s heroes and banish the deadly Crime Syndicate before they leave this universe in shambles, like their own!
Identity Crisis – Brad Meltzer
With one of their own dead, the entire superhero community searches for the killer, fearing their own loved ones may be the next targets. But before the mystery is fully solved, long-buried secrets of the heroes rise to the surface, threatening to tear apart and divide the heroes before they can bring the mysterious killer to justice.
Rife with mystery, intrigue and tragedy, Meltzer brings the nuance and suspense of a mystery novel to the printed page, turning our conception of the mythological Justice League on its head and showing the deep humanity in our favorite heroes. With pencils by the divine Rags Morales, IDENTITY CRISIS is one of the great tales in League lore.
DC One Million – Grant Morrison
In the 853rd century–one million months after the publication of ACTION COMICS #1–Earth remains safe, thanks to the heroics of the JLA of the future. The ancestors of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and others remain united in combating forces of evil, but perhaps have never met anything as deadly as the sentient super-computer Solaris, the Tyrant Sun. As this villainous threat becomes too much to handle, these heroes of the future turn to the only group they know can help: the original JLA.
Justice League: Darkseid War – Geoff Johns
The Justice League first came together years ago to stop Darkseid and his parademon army from invading our Earth. Now the Lord of Apokolips will once again make the planet a war zone, as Earth becomes the front line in Darkseid’s battle with the Anti-Monitor, a universe-devouring creature that can reduce whole planets to rubble.
To stop their planet from becoming collateral damage in a war of gods, the Justice League must delve into the secrets of the New Gods and learn the hidden truth of the Anti-Monitor’s identity and his history with Darkseid.
But even that might not be enough to stop two destroyers of worlds from destroying ours.