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Justice League (New 52) Reading Order, the Geoff Johns’ era

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Justice League New 52 Reading Order

One of the most famous superhero teams today, The Justice League was conceived as a revival of the Justice Society of America. A team from the 1940s, the JSA title was canceled due to to a decline in sales, as superheroes were in decline after World War II.

When editor Julius Schwartz asked writer Gardner Fox to reintroduce his creation, the JSA, he decided to rename it the “Justice League of America”, a name he thought would appeal better to young readers. After having made its first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #28 in March 1960, the Justice League got quickly its own title and became one of DC’s best-selling title.

The Justice League is usually comprised of highly popular heroes (like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman) who generally operate independently, but would team up to tackle more ruthless villains of world epic menace. That way, the characters gain exposure that helps sales titles and participate to build the DC shared universe by working and interacting with each other. Though, DC gas deviated from this formula at different times, most notably in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the Justice League International, which purposefully starred an ensemble of lesser-known characters. This more quirky and humourous Justice League led to the creation of several spin-offs.

DC revamped the Justice League in the second part of the nineties, first with the help of Mark Waid and Fabian Nicieza, returning to the basic, then with Grant Morrison’s run named JLA, where he made the Justice League an analogy for a pantheon of gods and wrote more epic stories. It became a staple for years to come, with the Justice League specializing in world-shattering threats with epic stakes.

Which lead us to New 52 in 2011, when DC relaunched its entire line for a partial reboot and with a new continuity. This era begins with a new origin story for the Justice League, featuring initial team members Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg. Those heroes must come together when loner vigilante Batman stumbled upon a dark evil that threatens to destroy the earth as we know it. To save the world, they must put aside their differences…

Justice League New 52 Reading Order:

Before Justice League New 52: As the Justice League is active since the sixties, you can obviously explore the team’s past, with our Complete Justice League reading order.

Omnibus Editions

Before taking a more detailed look at Justice League New 52, just know you can find those stories in two omnibuses:

  • Justice League The New 52 Omnibus Vol 1Justice League: The New 52 Omnibus Vol. 1
    Collects Justice League #0-22; Aquaman #14-16; Justice League Dark #22-23; DC Comics – The New 52 FCBD Special Edition #1; Justice League of America #6-7; Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger #11; Constantine #5; Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1-3.
  • Justice League: The New 52 Omnibus Vol. 2
    Collects Justice League #24-52, Forever Evil #1-7, DC Universe: Rebirth #1, DC Sneak Peek: Justice League #1, Justice League feat. Secret Society #234, Justice League of America feat. Black Adam #74, Justice League: Darkseid War Special #1, Justice League: Darkseid War: Batman #1, Justice League: Darkseid War: The Flash #1, Justice League: Darkseid War: Green Lantern #1, Justice League: Darkseid War: Lex Luthor #1, Justice League: Darkseid War: Shazam #1, and Justice League: Darkseid War: Superman #1.

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The Paperback Collection

This new super-heroes era is launched with the Origin storyline that takes place five years before most other DC comic books to tell us the origin of the Justice League.

AquamanThrone of Atlantis! This is a crossover between Justice League and Aquaman, following the launch of a missile that hit Atlantis. In retaliation, Orm, the Atlantean King, attacks the surface and Arthur must choose a side. This story is more important for Aquaman, and the repercussions are felt more in his title. To enjoy this story more, it’s recommended to catch up with the Geoff John’s Aquaman run with Aquaman, Volume 1: The Trench and Aquaman, Volume 2: The Others.

In a questionable move from DC, this story has been collected in Justice League AND Aquaman. Beware of the little differences! The Justice League book contains Justice League #13-14 and Aquaman contains Aquaman #0 and #14.

Shazam Vol 1 Justice League New 52 Reading Order

Captain Marvel Shazam Reading Order LogoShazam! A reimagining of the origin of Billy Batson, a young orphan that gains superpowers and control over the magic of the world. This story by Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank was a backup feature from the pages of the Justice League. You can begin to read that trade sooner, if you prefer, just know it takes place before Trinity War. Take a look at our Shazam Reading Order for more information.

Justice League of America New 52 Icon Reading OrderFollowing recent events, the US Government created the Justice League of America as a countermeasure against the already established Justice League.

Justice League DarkThis title is not written by Geoff Johns. Created by Peter Milligan with art by Mikel Janín, the Justice League Dark didn’t exist before New 52. The team consists of the supernatural members of the DC Universe, handling situations deemed outside the scope of the traditional Justice League. And it will be part of the Trinity War/Forever Evil crossover. So if you want to know more about the team, it’s the perfect moment to get up to speed with what’s happened in Justice League Dark (and to simply know more, check out our Justice League Dark reading order.)

Trinity War New 52 Icon Reading OrderTrinity War! When the three Justice Leagues go to war with one another, who’s side will everyone be on? This is the crossover story between Justice League, Justice League of America and Justice League Dark, also serving as a prelude to the bigger event, Forever Evil.

  • Justice League: Trinity War
    Collects Free Comic Book Day 2012, Trinity Of Sin: Pandora 1-3, Trinity Of Sin: Phantom Stranger 11, Justice League 22-23, Justice League Dark 22-23, Justice League Of America 6-7 And Constantine 5

Forever Evil New 52 Icon Reading OrderForever Evil! As the Forever Evil main event and tie-in titles interconnect in many places, there is two way to read this part. You can choose to read the main event first, then the tie-ins, or follow the Forever Evil reading order issue by issue — it contains more than the Justice League part of it, but the tie-in books are not essential and like always, you should read the one in which you are interested in.

Justice League DarkFollowing those events, the Justice League Dark pursued its activities for two more trade paperbacks. If you’re interested, you can mostly read them at any time as there is no connection with the other titles.

In the aftermath of Forever Evil, Adam Strange is caught up in an adventure across the far reaches of the cosmos that will unite an unexpected team of heroes including Supergirl, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Stargirl, Martian Manhunter and Animal Man. This is  The Justice League United coming from Jeff Lemire and Mike McKone.

Justice League The Darkseid War Saga Omnibus Reading Order

Darkseid War! Darkseid is back, as Earth becomes the frontline in his battle with the Anti-Monitor, one of the most powerfully destructive creatures ever created. Geoff John’s run on the Justice League comes to an end with this storyline. For more information, check out our Darkseid War reading order.

Where to find Justice League #51 and #52? If Geoff John’s run is over, The Justice League title continues for two more issues that are, in trade paperbacks, collected in:

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The Other Justice League titles during New 52

During the New 52, two other Justice League titles have been published and can be read independently.

Justice League International Vol. 3By Dan Jurgens and artist Aaron Lopresti. Initial team included Booster Gold, Fire, Ice, Rocket Red (Gavril Ivanovich), Green Lantern, Vixen, August General in Iron, and Godiva.

Justice League 3000 – Created by  JM DeMatteis, Keith Giffen, Howard Porter. This is the Justice League of the 31st Century.

Justice League LogoWhat to read after the Justice League New 52?

The Justice League continues to save the world in the Rebirth era, by Bryan Hitch and Tony S. Daniel (#1-31) and then by Christopher Priest and Pete Woods (reading order available here).

Did we forget an important issue? Did we make a mistake? Write us or let us know in the comments!

Last Updated on March 10, 2023.

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