Superhero comics can seem impenetrable for those on the outside looking in. Publishers like Marvel and DC Comics have their own extensive and interconnected universes, making it hard to figure out where to begin and what to read. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way. DC Comics is making a concerted effort to make their comics accessible in 2023 with the Dawn of DC publishing initiative.
Read on to find out what Dawn of DC is all about and all the comics you can start reading with this extensive guide.
Please note that Dawn of DC is a year-long initiative and DC Comics will be drip feeding new comics and information through 2023.
This guide will be continually updated when more details have been made available. I recommend bookmarking this page and checking in every few weeks to find out more about Dawn of DC.
What is Dawn of DC?
Dawn of DC is a publishing initiative by DC Comics to create dozens of jumping-on points for their superhero comics in 2023. It gives new and old readers a place to start reading the publisher’s much-loved heroes and presents lesser-used characters with a renewed push.
This is done through a number of fresh comic series and new story arcs for existing titles. They’re a great jumping-on point, with readers presented with a number of these each month throughout 2023. While DC Comics launches new stories regularly, the publisher will use these comics to “forge the future one hero at a time”. This will include bold storytelling, big stories, and looking to the future instead of relying on the past.
There also seems to be a focus on multievent narratives. This isn’t new in comics, and it’s been made mainstream with the Marvel movies, but Dawn of DC gives DC Comics something to build towards in this new era of storytelling. Based on what we know so far, many of the comics will have narrative links to specific events (see the What do you need to read before Dawn of DC? section for more details) or franchise family (e.g. Superman-themed comics) but will also stand on their own too with their own stories.
Is Dawn of DC a reboot?
No. Dawn of DC is not a reboot. These new comics are not wiping pre-existing history. Everything still exists – they’re just new comics and stories within the DC Universe.
What do you need to read before Dawn of DC?
Many comics that are part of Dawn of DC have been set up by major stories that recently happened in the DC Universe. The conclusion of comic events such as Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths and DC Universe: Lazarus Planet act as springboards for these new comics. They look at what happens next for certain heroes and villains or justify new status quos.
Are those stories essential in understanding Dawn of DC? Not really. DC Comics has marketed the publishing initiative as a jumping-on point, with stories focusing on looking forward. It’s not like they don’t exist, but DC is more concerned with what happens next instead.
This guide will mention if a comic spins out of a particular story when discussing each series. That way, readers looking to do further background reading can be pointed in the right direction.
What is happening to existing comics?
Dawn of DC is introducing a slate of new series, but the current ones are not going anywhere. Comics such as Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and many others make up the bulk of DC Comics’ publishing line and are sticking around. It’s also likely that many of these existing comics will join Dawn of DC with jumping-on points later in the year.
Which comics are part of Dawn of DC?
So now that you know what Dawn of DC is, you’re probably wondering what comics are part of it. Take a look below at the comics that have been announced for this new publishing initiative so far. As mentioned above, DC will be drip-feeding details throughout 2023. As a result, this list will be updated when more titles have been announced.
Action Comics #1051
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Dan Jurgens, and Leah Williams. Art by Rafa Sandoval, Lee Weeks, and Marguerite Sauvage.
Action Comics #1051 is the first of many comics in the new era of Superman-themed comics.
Spinning out of the Return of Kal-El crossover, Action Comics #1051 marks a new era for the Superman family of comics and the first comic as part of Dawn of DC. The long-running series is getting a format change, becoming an anthology series that serialises three stories at once.
The second is Lois and Clark 2: Doom Rising. This follow-up to the fan-favourite tale flashes back to tell a story of young Jon Kent on the farm with his parents as he learns to use his powers.
Power Girl stars in the final story with a three-parter that spins out of DC Universe: Lazarus Planet.
Action Comics #1051 will be available on 24th January.
Written by Joshua Williamson. Art by Jamal Campbell.
Superman has returned to Metropolis after spending a significant time on Warworld. But he won’t have much time to settle in, with villains old and new striking from the shadows. Also, Lex Luther, who is in prison, has left Superman a gift – the secretive Supercorp!
Superman #1 is available on 21st February.
Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #1
Written by Tom Taylor. Art by Clayton Henry.
Adventures of Superman: Jon Kent #1 is available in March.
Unstoppable Doom Patrol #1
Written by Dennis Culver. Art by Chris Burnham.
It’s been a while since there was a Doom Patrol series. DC Comics is keeping quiet about what this series will be about. However, they’ve mentioned that it will spin out of DC Universe: Lazarus Planet.
Unstoppable Doom Patrol #1 is available in March.
Superboy: The Man of Tomorrow #1
Written by Kenny Porter. Art by Jahnoy Lindsay.
Conner Kent, Superman’s teenage clone, is looking to make a name for himself. To do that, he’s leaving Earth and going on a journey of self-discovery. Along the way, the hero that doesn’t take anything seriously will meet freedom fighters who will challenge what Conner stands for and what it means to wear the Superman crest.
This six-part miniseries was the winner of the 2022 DC Round Robin competition.
Superboy: The Man of Tomorrow #1 is available in April.
Green Lantern: Hal Jordan #1
Written by Mariko Tamaki. Art by TBA.
Green Lantern: Hal Jordan #1 is available in April.
Green Lantern: John Stewart #1
Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson. Art by TBA.
This John Stewart series will spin out of Green Lantern: Hal Jordan and will debut later on.
Green Lantern: John Stewart #1 will be available in 2023.
Green Arrow #1
Written by Joshua Williamson. Art by Sean Izaakse.
Green Arrow has been missing since Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths. His friends and family are determined to find him, but dangerous forces want to keep them apart. DC has promised this action-packed series will set up major stories in 2023.
Green Arrow #1 is available in April.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1
Written by Tom King and Rob Williams. Art by Mitch Gerads, Guillem March, Gabriel Hardman, Dan Mora.
Traditionally, The Brave and the Bold is a team-up series. Each story saw Batman align himself with another hero to save the day. This new series looks to follow that tradition and set up future tales in the DC Universe.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1 is available in May.
Written by TBA. Art by TBA.
DC haven’t revealed anything about the new Cyborg series yet.
Cyborg #1 is available in May.
Written by Mark Waid. Art by Dan Mora.
This new Shazam series will be an action-comedy brought to you by the creative team of Batman/Superman: World’s Finest. If it’s anything like that series then Shazam! is going to be a whole lot of fun.
Shazam! #1 is available in June.
The Penguin (working title) #1
Written by Tom King. Art by Stefano Gaudiano.
Spinning out of Batman, The Penguin is ready to leave Gotham City and his criminal past behind. However, the U.S. Government isn’t and pulls him back in for their own use.
The full title for this series will be revealed at a later date.
The Penguin (working title) #1 is available in June.
Written by TBA. Art by TBA.
Steelworks will star Steel (John Henry Irons) and his nice Natasha.
Steelworks #1 is available in June.
Where can I find these comics?
Do you need to read everything?
Nope. How much you read is totally up to you.
My recommendation is to check out the comics that appeal to you the most. The could be based on the characters, story premise, or creative team.
Will there be more Dawn of DC comics?
Yes! At the moment, DC has only announced the comics that will be part of Dawn of DC up until June 2023. The publisher has mentioned that there will be plenty more to be revealed. Most of these will begin in the second half of the year, but it’s possible that March through June will have a few surprises too.
DC Comics share the above teaser roadmap. As you can see, things are only getting started! It also appears that there will be a Hawkman series and something Batman related in the middle of the year.
This guide will be updated throughout 2023 as new information comes to light. Make sure you bookmark this guide so you can easily find it again.