DC Black Label Reading List – Comic Book Herald

At least once per year, my local comedian patronize runs a “ modern comics ” sale, where books that are still on their shelves that came out at least a month ago are all $ 1.50. It ’ s a great sale, and I typically use it to compulsively collect runs I wasn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate pulling in real fourth dimension, or in some cases to spot up for atypically expensive outsize specials strictly based on the savings .
In 2020, I was most stimulate for the sale as an opportunity to catch up on DC ’ s Black Label books. For the unfamiliar, “ Black Label ” is an imprint within DC Comics that launched in 2018 with Batman Hung Damned, and offers standalone, ( generally ) out of continuity stories from A-list creative endowment. While the accurate market can get muddled, I think of it as something like Vertigo for just DC superheroes and villains, with stories that are targeted for more mature audiences and gunning hard for “ must read ” long-run condition .
There ’ s a variety of books that fall into “ Black Label, ” and the point of this guidebook is to help you navigate the selections, but in many cases “ Black Label ” comics defy traditional print standards. For example, Daniel Warren Johnson ’ s Wonder Woman: Dead Earthir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=d5e3a5b56c550c194118f4cea0943d1e& cb=1582298684090  is wider and taller than a standard printed amusing, contains 46 pages of floor ( about 2x standard ), and is priced accordingly at $ 6.99 an issue. I ’ m far from an technical on defining the particulars here, but “ Black Label ” comics besides feel courteous, printed on better composition, with a quality of product intend to drive collecting value .
speaking of which, my dreams of $ 1.50 priced “ Black Label ” books at my LCS were dramatically dashed when I scoured the shelves and realized these books sell like Aunt May ’ mho wheatcakes. “ Black Label ” is enormously popular, and honestly says some potentially matter to things about where DC ’ sulfur comics output signal may be heading. DC ’ sulfur constantly had an edge on the evergreen “ graphic novel ” market, at least compared to Marvel, and this feels like a impregnable move to solidify that standing.

In the meanwhile, though, you can keep up with DC ’ s Black Label comics here. I ’ ll note that technically DC has committed to rebranding some of their greatest hits as “ Black Label ” moving forward. so perennial best-sellers like Watchmenir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=3b922e05d513a3fc0297d6bc3678aed0& cb=1582299559207  or All-Star Supermanir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=af7d415741266fae577a8bf989ccd508& cb=1582299550707  are now “ Black Label ” books. I won ’ thyroxine be re-listing those titles here ( you can find them on the “ Absolute Editions ” scout linked below, or basically on any DC Best Of guide I publish on CBH ), focusing alternatively on books that have launched as part of “ Black Label. ”

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alike, there are besides imprints that drop under the “ Black Label ” heading, such as DC ’ s “ Sandman Universe ” and “ Hill House ” horror comics. These imprints are large enough to get their own distinct guides on Comic Book Herald !

Related Reading Orders:

DC Absolute Editions
Sandman Universe
White Knight by creator Sean Murphy

Batman Black Label Comics!

Batman: Damnedir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=5f2099b2ebef876cde3befbc8dd2ea7c& cb=1582299835489
3 issues .
By Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, creators behind Joker and Luthor ( both of which are ex post facto “ Black Label ” books ). Damned got a whole fortune more care for Bruce Wayne ’ s wide frontlet nakedness than literally anything else, which is probably not how DC intended to launch the imprint !
Batman: Last Knight on Earthir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=d3ff3d825276f2aa1d4efb6042ba821c& cb=1582300907682
3 issues .
By Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, continuing their fantastic sour on Batman that began in the New 52. stopping point Knight on Earth is the early “ Black Label ” shape that most closely fits into a potential future of the ongoing DC superhero population, and honestly feels like a identical real end point for the Snyder / Capullo sight of Bruce Wayne from New 52 to Metal / Death Metal and beyond .
More importantly, last Knight on Earth is flipping bang-up .
The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Childir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=7b83274e0a7912e49f129fbb50e725f3& cb=1582304625884
Frank Miller ’ s Dark Knight Returns population continues with “ The Golden Child ” one-shot. In a draw of ways, the iconic Dark Knight Returnsir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=9cb73c2f0130475e271a4d6cf5ee6e08& cb=1582320792729  is – aboard Watchmen – the claim ethos DC is trying to recapture with “ Black Label, ” therefore including any future additions by Miller and company is a no-brainer .
One-shot by Frank Miller and Rafael Grampa .
Batman: White Knightir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=c8602bd5697862e4821c40eeead6415b& cb=1582304672121
Batman: Curse of the White Knight + Batman White Knight Presents: Von Freezeir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=fa919a7ad32ed3c3beb61dc16086859b& cb=1582305290567
Two eight topic limited series by Sean Murphy, with the “ Von Freeze ” one-shot including work by Klaus Janson .
Murphy ’ s White Knight is the honorary “ true ” establish of “ Black Label, ” as the highly successful original eight issues weren ’ t a partially of the line until a retroactive inclusion body for the roll up edition .
The work imagines an alternate Batman, Joker and Gotham, with Murphy ’ s sight driving many Batman 1989ir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=c29a1da5d70b30f099eef55101469b19& cb=1582320888700  elements into the familiar mythos .
Batman: White Knight Presents Harley Quinnir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=44900e7b7e10c91bec94cad64cee4650& cb=1621021825181
Joker Killer Smile by Jeff Lemire

Joker & Harley Quinn Black Label Comics!

Harleenir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=881715b35d2e2a0da990d43d8f87b186& cb=1582303724618
3 issues .
Written and drawn by Stjepan Sejic. I have to say a “ prestige ” repeat of Harley Quinn ’ second origins is a bad ask, but Sejic pulls it off and then some. It ’ s an essential addition to the Harley canon .
Joker: Killer Smileir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=629c4c2ed3f4687d8225905d65bc9651& cb=1582303780887 + Batman: Smile Killer

3 issues, and a one-shot .
By Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino, creators of the Image series Gideon Fallsir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=5a20204c9fb52cf1d079c312c24069a3& cb=1582303818062 .
Joker/Harley: Criminal Sanityir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=2e4bc76cdec72f1a428c30a7dc268e5e& cb=1582304042157
By Kami Garcia, Mico Suayan, Mike Mayhew
Harley Quinn & The Birds of Preyir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=1fdb9cbb1a6f28672c4b48c73fc181bb& cb=1582304156190
By Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, the creative partnership that helped grow Harley ’ randomness now enormous presence throughout the New 52 .
Birds of Prey by Brian Azzarello
Batman: Three Jokers
ir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=93d7c96d8772bf77267b6fc3dae0dc26& cb=1621021874669ir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=f06765762963eb273be39060a7477522& cb=1621021856450 For the full CBH follow-up
Daniel Warren Johnson on Wonder Woman prestige comics

DC Universe Black Label Comics!

Superman: Year Oneir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=06f9c665aa3b486f80e04d55d527f8eb& cb=1582303920915
By Frank Miller and John Romita, Jr .
He hasn ’ triiodothyronine returned to the well since Batman: Year Oneir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=667889a70606c0f8b848b14c19423141& cb=1582321604553 but if Frank Miller wanted to own the “ Year One ” franchise at DC, it ’ s surely his to lose .
The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage
ir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=dcbe727fda4a0601b66e0df873e6ad6c& cb=1582303859379 By Jeff Lemire and Denys Cowan, with inks by Bill Sienkiewicz .
Wonder Woman: Dead Earthir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=e6fd167be571e2f67d46858584d20c0f& cb=1582304061868
By Daniel Warren Johnson
Following mangle Falcon, Daniel Warren Johnson is one of my favored storytellers in comics, an absolutely incredible artist with the correctly sensibilities around humor, affection and action .
Strange Adventuresir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=521d0f3809075171734710ba1c395e6c& cb=1582304533270
By Tom King, Mitch Gerads and Doc Shaner .
The religious and creative follow-up to all-time great Mister Miracleir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=a1c525f364a0fa1dea88778bbb08dfea& cb=1582321398252  will focus on Adam Strange, and launch as a “ Black Label ” 12 offspring limited series .
Hellblazer: Rise and Fall
For the Full CBH Review of the three issue series by Tom Taylor and Darick Roberson. ir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=16637c5b5aefbff950e430eaba579d63& cb=1621021959425
By Tom King and Jorge Fornes. ir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=cb97eb1b8b426b553ece53c09236cc98& cb=1621021964144
The Other History of the DC Universe
Written by John Ridley. ir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=bdc8387a3a5a4af30843951c1975d928& cb=1621021927305

Outside the DCU!

The Last Godir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=12661e0029505c7cb3470c2011a97c54& cb=1582304513615
By Phillip k. Johnson, Riccardo Federici, and Sunny Gho .
DC takes a pang – heh – at night fantasy with “ The last God, ” a sword and sorcery book that seems to share a ocular lyric with the likes of Conan the Barbarian.

Sweet Tooth: The Return
Creator Jeff Lemire returns to his classic Vertigo series, Sweet Toothir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=b462bc8e9d2e3fd57638973d564a48a4& cb=1621022210677. ir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=d0d4ba4e8d0555dc4544d608e63a9137& cb=1621021989109
American Vampire: 1976ir?source=bk&t=combooher05 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=83eaabff22a71643a86114fff70c4bfc& cb=1621021994820

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