We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

The best DC comics ever

While they’re the all-stars of the roster, there’s more to the best DC Comics than just Batman and Superman - check out our recommendations.

Best DC Comics - art showing batman, catwoman and the joker

While it hasn’t yet had quite the same boom as Marvel on the cinema front, DC has some of the best comics known to man. The best DC comics are immensely enjoyable, exciting, thought provoking reads that have been massively influential to the superhero genre and the comic medium as a whole. This guide will introduce you to a wide range of the best DC comics, both old and new, from the dark and brooding Batman, to the larger than life Superman, to the many lesser-known comics that are well worth your time.

If you want more reading material, we’ve also got advice to share on the best Star Wars comicsbest Marvel comics, best Image comics, and best Dark Horse comics. Now get ready to dive in and get a full sense of the richness of the DC comics universe.

Batman: The Long Halloween

The best young Batman DC comic

Today’s best deals
Batman: The Long Halloween specifications:
Author Jeph Loeb
Artists Tim Sale
Reasons to buy
  • See Batman in his role as the great detective rather than the caped crusader
  • Excellent, Tim-Burton inflected gothic artwork
Reasons to avoid
  • Not a pure detective comic like Batman: Year One, not a pure superhero comic like later Batman.


Continuing from Batman: Year One, Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb tells a compelling mystery story in the early years of Batman’s caped crime-fighting career. It features an inexperienced Batman, a noir detective style, and a strong serial killer story, with a mystery to explore. It also does a good job of introducing the main Batman rogue’s gallery throughout its run, as well as the origins of classic villain Two-Face.

Batman: The Long Halloween focuses on Batman’s attempts to tackle corruption and the mob in Gotham, and features a good balance between supervillain baddies and a more mundane sort of nastiness. It was a major source of inspiration for the 2022 film The Batman, starring Robert Pattison.

All-Star Superman

The best Superman comic

Today’s best deals
All-Star Superman specifications:
Author Grant Morrison
Artists Frank Quitely
Reasons to buy
  • A lightning fast distillation of what makes Superman so wonderful
  • Gorgeous, heroic art
  • Full of cheeky dives into Superman deep lore
Reasons to avoid
  • You’ll get through the two slim volumes faster than a speeding train

All-Star Superman is rightly lauded as one of the best Superman stories of all time, and it’s a solid recommendation for anyone who wants to find out what Superman is all about or read a pure and simple superhero story, without the now-popular helping of edge or angst.

This DC comic tells the story of a Superman who’s found out he has just a year to live, after a radioactive incident. It explores a more vulnerable side of the invincible Man of Steel, digging deep into his personality, motivations, and connections with other characters, as he sets out to put his affairs in order. Featuring charming characters, and strong emotional beats, plus stunning artwork – this work by a legendary duo of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely deserves a spot on any best DC comic book list.


An influential classic

Today’s best deals
Watchmen specifications:
Author Alan Moore
Artist Dave Gibbons
Reasons to buy
  • A visionary re-examination of the superhero myth, our desire for heroes, and comics history
  • Clever as hell
  • Alan Moore’s argument against gritty super hero stories, told as a gritty super hero story
Reasons to avoid
  • The ending, while well grounded in Moore’s project for the book, is weird and potentially disatisfying
  • A key reason for the boom of edgy, forgettable 90s superheroes.

Watchmen by Alan Moore is a massively influential DC comic, one of a number of comic books from the 1980s that reimagined superheroes as, not the larger than life paragons of virtue they were generally presented as up to that point, but something more human, and much, much less infallible. Arguably spawning the ‘dark and gritty’ superhero subgenre, Watchmen has been massively influential, shaping plenty of media today, from The Boys to Invincible.

Full of new, interestingly flawed characters, an exciting and thematically rich story of Cold War politics and the corrupting nature of power, and stylish artwork, there are few DC Comics as fine as Watchmen. The Times even put it on its list of the top 100 best novels since 1923.

The Sandman

The best fantasy DC comic

Today’s best deals
The Sandman specifications:
Author Neil Gaiman
Artists Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Jill Thompson, Shawn McManus, Marc Hempel, Bryan Talbot, and Michael Zulli
Reasons to buy
  • There’s literally nothing else like it
  • Introduces an alternative pantheon of weird-as-hell mythic figures
  • Lyrical and imaginative
Reasons to avoid
  • The overall story arc takes a long time to manifest
  • Has frequent breaks from the narrative for self-contained mini stories

best DC comics - the front cover of The Sandman

Not a superhero story, but technically taking place in the DC Universe, Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman is a tour de force that anyone with a love of comic books should pick up. Following the path of the personification of Dream, the Sandman is full of amazing storytelling and worldbuilding – it’s also really, really hard to sum up.

A meandering saga full of gods, talking animals, historical figures, and the occult, in Sandman it’s not so much the plotting that’s great, but the boundless imagination of the author, and his ability to craft a believable, interesting Mythos.

Sandman features constantly changing art styles as well as numerous storytelling methods – at times breaking away from the narrative for short stories (Gaiman’s other area of expertise) that always have some connection to or bearing on the main throughline. Sandman keeps an unbelievable number of plates spinning at once and, from the devil’s retirement to the dreams of cats, it has a little something for everyone.

The Dark Knight returns

The best old Batman DC comic

Today’s best deals
The Dark Knight returns specifications:
Author Frank Miller
Artists Frank Miller, Klaus Janson
Reasons to buy
  • The definitive answer to the question: who would win, Superman or Batman?
  • Frank Miller’s best work
Reasons to avoid
  • If this didn’t exist, neither would ‘Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice’

So good it makes our guide to the best graphic novelsBatman The Dark Knight Returns follows an aged, experienced, jaded Batman who comes out of retirement for one last ride.

A tale of a darker Batman dealing with a dystopian Gotham and trying to put right old wrongs, The Dark Knight Returns features interesting takes on Two-Face and the Joker, as well a Superman who’s a tool for the government. It also introduces a new female Robin who gets to do cool stuff like fly helicopters!

Kingdom Come

An epic Elseworlds DC comic

Today’s best deals
Kingdom Come specifications:
Author Mark Waid
Artists Alex Ross
Reasons to buy
  • The in-universe answer to the question, “Why do they bother putting the Joker into that Asylum?”
  • The ultimate super-on-super showdown
Reasons to avoid
  • A superhero fan’s comic, through and through

Kingdom Come is one of the most popular Elseworlds DC comics, one of many stories that explores an alternate ‘non-canon’ version of the DC Universe. It presents a conflict between the classic, uncompromising heroism of old superheroes like Superman and Wonder Woman, and a more brutal new breed, who don’t see the use in codes like ‘no killing’, and question the point of locking villains up only for them to inevitably break out time and time again.

Not to get too spoilery, but things come to a head once these heroes begin turning on themselves, and the line between superhero and villain gets all kinds of blurry.

Saga of the Swamp Thing

An underrated character done right

Today’s best deals
Saga of the Swamp Thing specifications:
Author Alan Moore
Artists Stephen Bissette, John Totleben
Reasons to buy
  • A superb reinvention of a movie monster trope
  • Earthy horror stories that bleed into psychedelia
Reasons to avoid
  • Alan Moore’s gnostic spiritualism creeps in and may be a bit rich for some readers
  • Alan Moore’s tendency to alternately problematize and worship femininity pops up in places


Alan Moore’s revitalization of plant-monster hybrid Swamp Thing is probably an unexpected recommendation for anyone who’s not a diehard DC comics fan, but trust us, it’s good. Watchman author Moore takes an underloved character (Swamp Thing is no Batman) and explores him in a compelling, thoughtful way.

A nice touch, Alan Moore pays respect to the previous version of the character before this revival, through the new Swamp Thing’s philosophical musings of the nature of his existence. (This comic gets pretty deep at times!)

Saga of the Swamp Thing is a horror comic, overall, and naturally stars some pretty creepy villains as a result, but it also takes the time to explore character through truly excellent writing. It’s worth noting that the horror within is more the subtle psychological horror than the grotesque gross-out kind.

Mister Miracle

The best modern DC comic

Today’s best deals


Mister Miracle specifications:
Author Tom King
Artists Mitch Gerads
Reasons to buy
  • Runs the gamut from funny to thought-provoking
  • Eisner Award winner for best writer and best artist
Reasons to avoid
  • The deep and weird New Gods sci-fi lore, originally created by Jack Kirby, may be an acquired taste.

Mister Miracle starts out strong and thought-provoking. Escape artist main character Scott Free starts the tale making an apparent suicide attempt – but then he’s Mister Miracle, one of the New Gods, and this time, he’s going to escape from death.

Sometimes sweet, sometimes funny, often sad or poignant, Mister Miracle mixes the superhero genre in with relatable drama and existentialism. Ambitious, bombastic, complex, and largely open to interpretation, Mister Miracle is one of the best modern DC comics of all time.

DC: The New Frontier

The best DC comic for history buffs

Today’s best deals
DC: The New Frontier specifications:
Author Darwyn Cooke
Artists Dave Stewart
Reasons to buy
  • Gives the comic characters of the 50s and 60s the political depth they never had
  • Fantastic character writing
Reasons to avoid
  • Complex and wandering – not a straightforward read


Darwyn Cooke’s DC: The New Frontier is a modern comic set in the 50s and 60s. It tells a nostalgic story but builds in the political complexities of the period that contemporary comic book authors could not. As well as great character writing and an instantly recognizable art style, The New Frontier does a great job of weaving in historical events from the period, from the Space Race to the Korean War.

A self-contained story, Cooke’s tale reimagines the origin stories of all the big name DC heroes. It’s a bit of a complex, wandering tale, and often draws comparison to Watchmen thanks to the politics and themes behind it, but any DC fans searching for strong characterization and a well-realized setting are sure to have a good time.

The Animal Man

The best obscure superhero DC comic

Today’s best deals
The Animal Man specifications:
Author Grant Morrison
Artists Chaz Truog, Doug Hazlewood
Reasons to buy
  • Extremely weird
  • Get in on one of the best kept secrets in superhero stories
Reasons to avoid
  • Potentially too weird for some readers

While he’s beloved among a large swathe of DC comic lovers, if you weren’t already a big comics person, you’d probably never heard of Animal Man, despite his storied history.

This superhero can borrow the abilities of animals, but only if they’re nearby. That might sound pretty rubbish (Animal Man’s son sure thinks so), and it’s a key theme in Animal Man’s run that he’s not in the same league as your Superman or your Batman, but it actually enables some pretty creative superhero moments.

If you’d enjoy reading a superhero story about a family man superhero who’s a little more mundane, dealing with the B-list villains the real stars don’t bother with, you’ll enjoy this comic.

Be prepared going in for this to get pretty strange at times. There’s aliens, parallel villains, and the author Grant Morrison shows up at the end to talk about his cat. But overall, this is another great bit of comic  storytelling.

Hellblazer: Hard Time

A self-contained disasterpiece for DC’s best anti-hero

Today’s best deals


Hellblazer: Hard Time specifications:
Author Brian Azzarello
Artists Richard Corben Tim Bradstreet
Reasons to buy
  • An approachable entry point to the excellent Hellblazer series
  • Tense, dark, brooding, and extremely cool
Reasons to avoid
  • Divorced from the his native Liverpool, this isn’t exactly an archetypical version of Constantine
  • Uses tropes about sexual violence in prison that some may find disturbing

John Constantine, the wheeler-dealer modern magician who debuted in Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, soon got his own series, Hellblazer.  Hellblazer comics take cosmic concepts and roll them around in the gutter, with devils and angels meddling in human lives that are already tarnished beyond repair by ordinary social strife.

Constantine is as much a con-artist as he is a sorcerer, more likely to foil a supernatural scheme with a double-cross, dirty deal, or confidence trick than with any magic.

Hard Time is the first volume in a self-contained Hellblazer run written by Brian Azzarello (best known for his Eisner-award winning noir series 100 Bullets), which takes Constantine through the rotten underbelly of the USA. The story starts with Constantine locked in a max security US prison, pitting his wits (and a few underhanded tricks) against guards, inmates, and other forces arrayed against him.

For more comic book goodness in a different medium, try out these Marvel board games. And if you’ve ever wanted to dip your toe into an over-the-top grimdark sci-fi world, these are the best Warhammer 40k books to try.