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Justice League

Justice League Reading Order, DC Comics’ Greatest Team of Superheroes

Almost nine years after the end of the original JSA run, DC Comics introduced another team of Super Heroes in The Brave and the Bold #28 (dated March 1960) by writer Gardner Fox and artist Mike Sekowsky. It was viewed as a modernization of the Justice Society, but with a new name chosen by editor Julius Schwartz who thought that a “‘Society’ meant something you found on Park Avenue”. He went with “League” instead – because of the popularity of the baseball leagues.

The first Justice League was composed of Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Wonder Woman, but also of Superman and Batman, even if they were mostly absent from the League’s early adventures (it was thought that they would quickly become overused if they appeared in too many titles). Soon, the team would welcome Green Arrow, the Atom, and Hawkman.

The Justice League became a hit. As the years passed, the roaster of superheroes changed a little, the DC Universe became more connected and events were organized like the famous annual crossovers with the Justice Society.

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Last Updated on April 11, 2023.

Justice League Rebirth Reading Order (with Justice League of America, Justice League Odyssey and Justice League Dark)

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Following the ending of The New 52 era, DC relaunched its entire line in 2016 under the Rebirth banner. For this occasion, the company restored the timeline to a form much closer to what it was before the famous Flashpoint storyline while still maintaining several elements of the New 52.

What does it mean for the Justice League? The most famous DC superteam still continues to save the world in this era. No continuity changes have been introduced at the beginning, but the team’s roster changed with the two Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz joining the League (taking the place of Hal Jordan).

Here is the official synopsis: Superman. Batman. Wonder Woman. The Flash. Cyborg. Green Lantern. They’re more than just a team of superheroes. They’re the Justice League…and they’re about to enter a whole new era! The Superman these incredible heroes once knew is dead, leaving an older, wiser Man of Steel from a vanished universe to take up the fight against evil. Hal Jordan, the greatest of the Green Lanterns, has taken to the stars, entrusting his place in the League to his powerful but untested young protégés, Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz. Now the Justice League must get used to these new faces and learn to work as a team once more. But they’d better do it fast. They’re about to confront the biggest threats they’ve ever faced, from godlike machines capable of converting all life on Earth into a weapon, to a humble hacker who’s ready to hit them where it hurts most…

Before The Justice League Rebirth

As a new era is launched, it’s fairly safe to just jump right in with the one-shot DC Universe Rebirth #1 serving as an introduction. But if you want a little more context, here is what to read before:

As the Justice League is active since the 1960s, you can obviously explore the team’s past.

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Last Updated on December 23, 2022.

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…

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Last Updated on March 10, 2023.

Grant Morrison’s JLA Reading Order

Grant Morrison's JLA Reading Order

In 1986, Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis launched Justice League International which became a popular series – see the reading order for more information. A decade later, the commercial success of the series was becoming history, and the titles were canceled. DC tried to revamp the League with the help of Mark Waid and Fabian Nicieza. They launched the miniseries Justice League: A Midsummer’s Nightmare. But it was in 1997 when Grant Morrison reformed the Justice League with artist Howard Porter in the new JLA series that the team found success again.

Grant Morrison wrote JLA for the first four years and treated the superheroes as gods who had to fight villains who threatened the World (and/or the Universe). Now based on a Watchtower on the moon, the JLA took on revamped versions of classic threats including the White Martians, the Injustice Gang, and the Key; along with new foes like Prometheus and Mageddon. 

Here is the official synopsis: In a world where superhumans live side-by-side with mortals, the people of Earth can take comfort that some of these powerful beings are on the side of good. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter are the world’s first line of defense against alien invaders and supernatural entities. Time and again the JLA has rallied to save humankind from the brink of extinction. These are the adventures that have made them living legends.

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Last Updated on September 30, 2022.

Milk Wars Reading Order, a DC/Young Animal crossover

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Milk Wars Reading Order (DC/Young Animal crossover)

DC’s Young Animal is a pop-up imprint launched in 2016 in collaboration with Gerard Way, musician and writer of the Umbrella Academy with the purpose of relaunching characters with a more experimental approach. It gives us four ongoing series: Doom Patrol, Shade the Changing Girl, Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye, and Mother Panic.

In the middle of 2018, those four titles entered in collision with the mainstream DC Universe thanks to the Milk Wars event, a crossover with the Justice League, when the inter-dimensional corporation Retconn hijacked the DC Continuity with the goal to make the whole DC Universe more wholesome.

What to read before Milk Wars?

There is no pre-requisite reading for the Justice League, as the story has no connection with what was happening at the time for our heroes. For them, it doesn’t occupy a particular place in the timeline. That’s not the case for the Young Animals’ characters. The Milk Wars event takes place after volume 2 of each title — Doom Patrol’s story leads directly into the event.

With that said, it is a self-contained event supposedly new reader-friendly. Will it be confusing? Probably, but chances are it’ll still be even with prior reading due to the nature of the story itself.

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Last Updated on July 22, 2022.

DC One Million Reading Order

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Dc One Million Reading Order

Get ready to go to the 853rd Century! DC One Million was a 1998 event written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Val Semeiks set a million issues in the future – meaning, in the 853rd Century 

In this possible future, Earth remains safe, thanks to the heroics of the JLA of the future. The descendants 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.

The core of the event was a four-issue mini-series, and the thirty-four other series then being published by DC also put out a single issue numbered #1,000,000, which either showed its characters’ involvement in the central plot or gave a glimpse of what its characters’ descendants/successors would be doing in the 853rd century.

What to read before DC One Million?

DC One Million is a stand-alone event, meaning that you don’t need any pre-plot knowledge before diving into it.

It takes place during Grant Morrison’s run (see reading order) and more precisely, after JLA #23, as the final two pages of this issue lead into the story. But, those famous two pages have almost never been included in the several reprints (from JLA: Strength in Numbers trade paperback to the digital version available on ComiXology to even the DC One Million Omnibus hardcover or trade paperback collections). 

If you want to read those two pages (which includes the return of Diana as the team’s Wonder Woman), you will have to get hold of JLA Deluxe Edition Vol. 3 hardcover

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Last Updated on July 13, 2022.

Darkseid War Reading Order, a Justice League Event (New 52)

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The end of New 52 is around the corner, as Justice League: The Darkseid War is the penultimate story of this era, leading into DC Rebirth. Written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Jason Fabok, the story shows the return of Darkseid, ruler of Apokolips, but this time he’s set his sights on the world-shattering Anti-Monitor.

The Justice League is caught in a war between those two gods, and are they enough to protect Earth from becoming collateral damage in this fight?

What to read before Justice League: Darkseid War?

Darkseid War takes place at the end of the New 52 Justice League, written by Geoff Johns. There are hints and setup for the event throughout the series. That said, if you haven’t read his Justice League (you can find a full reading order here), you’ll find the most essential background in the first volume (with the introduction of Darkseid) and the sixth volume. Then, Forever Evil leads into the event…

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Last Updated on September 30, 2022.

Justice League International Reading Order, by Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis

Keith Giffen and JM Dematteis Justice League International Reading Order

After what is known as Justice League Detroit (or the Detroit League), the crossovers events Crisis on Infinite Earths and Legends, came a new kind of Justice League. Written by Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis, with art by Kevin Maguire, the Justice League International (JLI) was created in 1987. It was not a team of A-listers. In fact, it was considered as a jock and, with what they got, Giffen and DeMatteis created a sitcom-like version of the Justice League. One that is still quite unique to this day.

With most of the usual big Justice League characters unavailable, this new league introduced new characterizations to old characters like Guy Gardner (Green Lantern) and Booster Gold, but also a major new character named Maxwell Lord who was behind the creation of this new league. They fight alongside (and with) Batman, The Black Canary, The Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, Doctor Fate, Doctor Light, The Martian Manhunter, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Green Flame, Ice Maiden, Rocket Red, and more.

But here is the official synopsis: The world’s greatest super-team, the Justice League, are Earth’s greatest and last line of defense against all manner of world-threatening villains… assuming they don’t wipe each other out first! Find out what happens when Batman, Superman and the rest of the gang face a galactic invasion fleet known as the Cluster, exchange harsh words with crazed bounty hunter Lobo and track Mister Miracle back to the hell planet that is Apokolips, and then battle yet another invasion fleet…because that’s how they roll.

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Last Updated on May 6, 2023.

Justice League: Endless Winter Reading Order, a DC December Event

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Justice League; Endless Winter Reading Order

Joker War is over. Death Metal is still going and Future State begins next month. Why not offer a Winter/Christmas Event in December then? You can count on DC to squeeze an event between two others. Justice League: Endless Winter is a 5-week DC Event, marking the end of the year.

The Justice League encounters an extinction-level global storm brewing at the former site of the Fortress of Solitude. Enter the Frost King, a monster mad with power with an army at his command! What devastating mystery lies in his past? And how does he tied to Queen Hippolyta, Swamp Thing, Viking Prince, and their reluctant ally, Black Adam? Two timelines will reveal further clues and secrets throughout each chapter of this blockbuster tale!

What to read before Justice League: Endless Winter?

Written by Andy Lanning and Ron Marz, and penciled by Howard Porter and Marco Santucci, Endless Winter is a self-contained story introducing a brand-new villain. As a result, you can jump right into this nine-part event.

If you want more stories from this era, check out our Justice League Rebirth Reading Order.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2022.