171. DC Entertainment Essential Graphic Novels and Chronology 2013

DC Entertainment Essential Graphic Novels and Chronology 2013. Foreword by Jim Lee & Dan Didio

Rating: (4/5)

FREE (Kindle) (Available at select comic stores)

May 28, 2013, DC, 62 pgs

Received a review copy from the publisher through Net Galley.

Age: 18+

"DC Entertainment has been the birthplace of some of comics' landmark graphic novels, from books that defined the category like WATCHMEN, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, and SANDMAN to contemporary classics like SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE and AMERICAN VAMPIRE. 
Now, for the first time ever, DCE has compiled its Essential Graphic Novels and Reading Chronology into one place. Inside is an expansive look at our rich backlist collection created by the best writers and illustrators in the industry. This catalog can be used as an important resource for new fans seeking a starting point, as well a look back at our impressive backlist for the most fervent DCE enthusiasts."

For a free catalogue, this is a great reference source especially for the newcomer to the DC universe.  Starting with a list of 25 essential graphic novels that should be read (this includes vol. 1 of series) from both DC itself and its imprint Vertigo.  Readers who haven't been around for long will get themselves a fantastic start to reading DC.  Almost everything listed here I am at least familiar with if I have not already read it.  Next you are introduced to Vol. 1 of all the "New 52" series started up to the point of its publication, mind some of these series have already been cancelled, but at least it gives you a sense of what you want to read.  I'm only keeping up with two at the moment well, all the JL's and just the one Batman, but I find this list to be very informative.  Next we go through each of the major male superheroes with a section devoted to each with the must read volumes in each character's history with the women being delegated to a "Women of DC" section.  I'm big on Batman and found this section very interesting and can see myself going back to it should my interest get deeper in another hero.  Follows is a list of Vertigo's Top Series and I found many of these I hadn't heard of but after that came a focus on the very popular series such as Fables, Sandman, etc.  These I have either read or know very much about.  Finally there is a short author feature with lists of recommended reading by a few top authors and then the catalogue ends up with a chronological reading order of DC superheroes and a recommended Vertigo reading list.  These are certainly useful lists.

I've read other reviews of this catalogue by more knowledgeable DC readers than I, and the main complaint I've seen is that this catalogue only lists books currently in print at the time it was published.  Of course, the catalogue's purpose of being available for free is to sell books for the company and having out of print books listed would be frustrating to customers, but on the other hand for readers trying to be completist this catalogue listing is not really going to be what your looking for and there are probably much better volumes available for purchase that will list everything you could possible want to know about.  I had fun scanning through this.  Added books to my tbr list and think it's great for the price!