5 Comics You Need to Pick Up After Seeing ‘Justice League’
After much fanfare, Justice League is finally in theaters, complete with Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg. It’s a jam-packed two hours, but it can still leave people wanting more. For those looking to go—in the parlance of the tagline—”all in” with the film’s heroes, the DC Comics back catalogue is filled with stories that build out the mythology and ideas introduced in the movie, from Atlantis to Apokolips and beyond. With an entire comic book universe to explore, where should a new Justice League fan start? We have some suggestions.
Justice League Vol. 2 #1-6
Arguably the source material for the movie—albeit with an additional Green Lantern—the first six issues of DC’s 2011 Justice League series had an impressive creative team (Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, aka DC’s chief creative officer and co-publisher, respectively) and a daunting remit: Reboot the entire DC comic book universe and tell an all-new origin for the Justice League. That it manages to pull both off is more than slightly impressive.
How to read it: Available digitally and in the Justice League Vol. 1: Origin print collection.
Aquaman Vol. 8 #1-6
First, the bad news: Jason Momoa’s Aquaman isn’t really like any version of the Sea King from the comic books, so anyone looking for more of that guy will have to wait until next year’s solo Aquaman movie. While you’re waiting, however, check out the opening issues of the current Aquaman comic book series, which makes a convincing case for why Arthur Curry is a badass no matter what form he takes. (Yes, even this one.)
How to read it: Available digitally and in the Aquaman Vol. 1: The Drowning print collection.
New Gods #1-11
Wondering what Steppenwolf’s whole deal is? Can’t decipher what those Mother Boxes are all about? Still can’t figure out what’s going on with that teleport tube no one ever bothers to explain in the movie? Turn to the Source—that’s a pun, which you’ll realize once you crack open these comics. The 1970s output of Jack Kirby, the man behind the Fantastic Four, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Avengers, and X-Men (to name just a handful), is more stylized and out there than his Marvel work, but it’s no less awesome. Also, if you read these books much, much more of Justice League will make sense. We promise.
How to read it: Available digitally, and in the upcoming Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus print collection.
We won’t spoil the post-credit sequence for those who haven’t seen it, but those wondering where Justice League 2 might end up going would be well-served to read the “Rock of Ages” arc from the 1990s JLA series, in which the team faces two threats they didn’t see coming. Spoiler alert: You’ll have to deal with the fact that Superman was made out of electricity or something in this run, so get ready for a bright blue hero in a different costume than you’re used to. That said, if you can handle alternate futures, time travel, and the subjugation of the human race—all of which appear in this story—you can probably live with Kal-El looking a little weird.
How to read it: Available digitally, and in the JLA: Deluxe Edition Vol. 2 print collection.
The Flash Vol. 5 #25-32
Just as Ezra Miller’s slightly nervous and lovable take on the fastest man alive, Barry Allen, is about to win new fans for the Flash, the regular DC comic featuring the character has—ahem—kicked into high gear, thanks to a showdown with his arch-nemesis that changes his powers for the worst. What happens when the Flash can no longer just run away from his problems? That’s what you’ll find out in these books.
How to read it: Available digitally and in print editions.
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