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Dark Crisis Reading Order Guide

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It’s time for another DC Comics crisis, the massive comic book events that threatens the very multiverse itself.

The latest is Dark Crisis. This time around, a destructive force known as The Great Darkness and an army of the most dangerous villains are on a collision course with the main DC Universe. Usually, it would be up to the Justice League to save the day. However, they tried to stop it and are now believed dead. It will be up to the countless other heroes of the DC Universe to save the day!

DC’s crisis events are known for tearing the multiverse down and rebuilding it in new ways for storytelling reasons or realign continuity. Dark Crisis appears to be different. It looks to use the multiversal threat to celebrate the various generations of legacy heroes that the publisher has built a foundation on. So while readers might not see some drastic change to the fabric of the multiverse by its conclusion, it’s possible Dark Crisis change the heroic landscape.

Jumping into a comic book event like this can feel daunting. The Dark Crisis reading order has been created to make reading as easy as possible. It has the recommended reading order plus a slew of other handy things such as release dates, background reading, and loads more. Soon you’ll be able to dive into Dark Crisis with ease.

Do you have to read everything?

No. You don’t have to read everything in order to enjoy Dark Crisis.

The great thing about comic book events is that you can tailor your reading experience based on your interest, time, and budget. You’ll get the full story by reading the main series but you can expand upon it through the side-stories and different character perspectives that the tie-ins offer.

DC Comics would love if you read all of the Dark Crisis tie-ins but totally understand that might not be feasible. If you want to check out any of the tie-ins, you can decide which ones you read based on the story, characters involved, and the creators who made the comic.

Crisis On Infinite Earths #1 cover by George Perez.
Crisis On Infinite Earths #1 cover by George Perez.

Background reading

Dark Crisis and it’s build-up reference a lot of classic DC Comics stories. These are some of the notable stories worth checking out for those who want to go the extra mile with their reading.

Crisis on Infinite Earths
Written by Marv Wolfman. Art by George Perez.

The granddaddy of DC Comic book events. This 1984-85 maxiseries sets the template for the multiverse spanning events that DC likes to do from time-to-time. A lot of the build-up has referenced and retconned ideas from this story, including one of the major villains.

Read more about Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Swamp Thing (1982 series) #49-50
Written by Alan Moore. Art by Stan Woch.

The Great Darkness, a destructive force and the embodiment of darkness in the multiverse and a major threat in Dark Crisis. It first appeared in Swamp Thing (1982 series) #49-50, the final two issues of the classic “American Gothic” storyline that ran in Swamp Thing (1982 series) #37-50.

The Great Darkness is one of those niche ideas that was used in the 80s and forgotten about until it surfaced again in Justice League Incarnate. You could easily read the DC Wikia page to get a general gist of it.

Multiversity #2
Written by Grant Morrison. Art by Ivan Reis.

For those who want to see the first appearance of Justice League Incarnate.

Dark Nights: Death Metal
Written by Scott Snyder. Art by Greg Capullo.

For those who want to understand how the concept of the DC Omniverse came into being. Check out the Dark Nights: Death Metal reading order to find out more about this event.

Infinite Frontier #0 cover by Dan Jurgens and Mikel Janín.
Infinite Frontier #0 cover by Dan Jurgens and Mikel Janín.

Lead up to Dark Crisis

These are the comics and stories that build-up and directly lead into Dark Crisis.

Infinite Frontier #0-6
Written by Joshua Williamson. Art by Xermanico, Jesús Merino, and Paul Pelletier.

This miniseries sets the events that will lead up to Dark Crisis in motion.

Infinite Frontier Secret Files
Written and art by various.

Infinite Frontier Secret Files are digital-first tie-in stories to Infinite Frontier, which explore more characters around the multiverse. It’s also available as a one-shot in print.

It’s an optional read. For those who want to, it’s best to read them between Infinite Frontier #3-4.

Justice League Incarnate #1-6
Written by Joshua Williamson and Dennis Culver. Art by Brandon Peterson, Andrei Bressan, and Tom Derenick.

Justice League Incarnate is the follow-up to Infinite Frontier and continues to set up Dark Crisis.

Justice League vs. Legion of Super-Heroes #1-6
Written by Brian Michael Bendis. Art by Scott Godlewski.

Plenty of hints to Dark Crisis in this one.

Shadow War Crossover
Written and art by various.

Shadow War is a Joshua Williamson crossover with Batman, Robin, and Deathstroke Inc that writer has said will have elements that will help build up Dark Crisis. Find out how to read it in this handy reading order.

Dark Crisis #1 cover by Daniel Sampere #1.
Dark Crisis #1 cover by Daniel Sampere #1.

Dark Crisis reading order

Take a look at the recommended reading order for Dark Crisis below.

Justice League (2016 series) #75 (Prelude)
Written by Joshua Williamson. Art by Rafa Sandoval.
Available 26th April

Note: While Justice League #75 as a prelude, it could be argued that it’s one of the more essential comics. The events of this issue will be the launching pad for Dark Crisis.

Dark Crisis Free Comic Book Day Special Edition 2022 #1 (Prelude)
Written by Joshua Williamson and others. Art by Jim Cheung, Daniel Sampere, and others.
Available 7th May

Note: This prelude is a free comic that will be made available from comic book shops on Free Comic Book Day (7th May, 2022).

Justice League: Road To Dark Crisis #1 (Prelude)
Written by Joshua Williamson, Jeremey Adams, Brandon Thomas, Chuck Brown, Stephanie Pillips, and Phillip Kennedy Johnson. Art by Clayton Henry, Fico Ossio, Emanuela Lupacchino, Leila Del Duca, and others.
Available 31st May

Dark Crisis #1 (of 7)
Written by Joshua Williamson. Art by Daniel Sampere.
Available 7th June

Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1 (of 6) (Tie-in)
Written by Meghan Fitzmartin. Art by Laura Braga.
Available 21st June

The Flash #783 (Tie-in)
Written by Jeremy Adams. Art by Amancay Nahuelpan.
Available 21st June

Dark Crisis #2 (of 7)
Written by Joshua Williamson. Art by Daniel Sampere.
Available 5th July

Dark Crisis: Worlds Without A Justice League – Superman #1 (Tie-in)
Written by Tom King, Brandon Thomas and Chuck Brown. Art by Chris Burnham and Fico Ossio.
Available 12th July

Note: This will also include an Aquaman back-up story.

Dark Crisis: Young Justice #2 (of 6) (Tie-in)
Written by Meghan Fitzmartin. Art by Laura Braga.
Available 19th July

The Flash #784 (Tie-in)
Written by Jeremy Adams. Art by Amancay Nahuelpan.
Available 19th July

Aquamen #6 (Tie-in)
Written by Chuck Brown and Brandon Thomas. Art by Sam Basri.
Available 26th July

The following comics are known to be are part of Dark Crisis but don’t have enough information to order them right now. This will be updated and added to as more details arise over the coming months.

Dark Crisis #3 (of 7)
Written by Joshua Williamson. Art by Daniel Sampere.
Available August

Dark Crisis: Young Justice #3 (of 6) (Tie-in)
Written by Meghan Fitzmartin. Art by Laura Braga.
Available August

Dark Crisis: Worlds Without A Justice League – Green Lantern #1 (Tie-in)
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Nadia Shammas. Art by Fernando Blanco and Jack Herbert.
Available August

Note: This will also includes a Hawkgirl back-up story.

The Flash #785 (Tie-in)
Written by Jeremy Adams. Art by Amancay Nahuelpan.
Available August

Dark Crisis #4 (of 7)
Written by Joshua Williamson. Art by Daniel Sampere.
Available September

Dark Crisis: Worlds Without A Justice League – Wonder Woman #1 (Tie-in)
Written by Tini Howard and Dan Watters. Art by Leila Del Duca and Bandon Peterson.
Available September

Note: This will also includes a Martian Manhunter back-up story.

Dark Crisis: Young Justice #4 (of 6) (Tie-in)
Written by Meghan Fitzmartin. Art by Laura Braga.
Available September

Dark Crisis #5 (of 7)
Written by Joshua Williamson. Art by Daniel Sampere.
Available October

Dark Crisis: Young Justice #5 (of 6) (Tie-in)
Written by Meghan Fitzmartin. Art by Laura Braga.
Available October

Dark Crisis: Worlds Without A Justice League – Green Arrow #1 (Tie-in)
Written by Stephanie Phillips and Dennis Culver. Art by Clayton Henry and Nik Virella.
Available October

Note: This will also include a Black Canary back-up story.

Dark Crisis #6 (of 7)
Written by Joshua Williamson. Art by Daniel Sampere.
Available November

Dark Crisis: Worlds Without A Justice League – Batman #1 (Tie-in)
Written by Si Spurrier and Meghan Fitzmartin. Art by Ryan Sook and Rebecca Isaacs.
Available November

Dark Crisis: Young Justice #6 (of 6) (Tie-in)
Written by Meghan Fitzmartin. Art by Laura Braga.
Available November

Note: This will also include a Zatanna back-up story.

Dark Crisis: War Zone #1 (Tie-in)
Written by TBC. Art by TBC.
Available December

Dark Crisis #7 (of 7)
Written by Joshua Williamson. Art by Daniel Sampere.
Available December

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