How’s your quarantine going? Are you getting a little stir crazy yet, especially since most of America is heading back to Phase 1 of the lockdown? Maybe you’ve finished Netflix? Or did you already watch Hamilton on repeat for the last week and you’re rapping everything you do. Well, there’s at least one day of the week that remains Holy. Wednesday—or Tuesday, with all of DC Comics’ recent changes. But what DC Comics should you read in July? Despite slowdowns in shipments and release dates, there’s still a good selection. Well, to make it easier, we narrowed it down a little to 5 must-read comics and 5 graphic novel recommendations.
What DC Comics Single-Issues You Should Read In July
There are dozens of single-issues every month, and it can get a little overwhelming. Nobody wants to jump into a story in the middle, completely lost. But knowing where to start, or finding the issues for a story arch, isn’t that hard nowadays. With services like Comixology and Midtown Comics shipping, catching up is a lot easier. But of all the DC Comics coming out in July, deciding what you should read really comes down to preference.
Joker looks like he’s about to have the best day of his life…which is not good for Batman. (Image Batman (2016) #95, DC Comics)
Writer: James Tynion IV
Pencils/Inks: Jorge Jimenez
Colors: Tomeu Morey
Release date: July 21
The Clown Prince of Crime is ready for battle as The Joker War kicks off. Tynion has been building towards this for a while, but it’s also his first BIG story following Tim King’s critically acclaimed run. Also, since nearly all the DC Bat comics are dealing with the Joker War, the July issue of Batman is one you should definitely read. At least to get a sense of what’s happening.
It was always going to come to this. The Clown Prince of Crime and the Dark Knight Detective go head-to-head for the last time. The Joker has never wanted to win before, he’s never wanted his battle with Batman to end, but now his motivation has shifted. He has decided that one way or another, this will be the final chapter to their story. “Joker War” begins here!
DCeased: Dead Planet #1
The Justice League of another Earth fighting zombies…YES! (Image: DCeased: Dead Planet #1, DC Comics)
Writer: Tom Taylor
Pencils: Trevor Hairsine
Inks: Gigi Baldassini and Stefano Guadiano
Colors: Rain Beredo
Release Date: July 7
Over a decade ago, Marvel Zombies proved that fans love the combination of superheroes and the undead. DC finally created their own Zombie-verse with the just as cleverly titled DCeased. The original mini-series was such a big hit that it spawned three more series: DCeased: Unkillables, the bi-weekly DCeased: Hope at World’s End, and now DCeased: Dead Planet. If you liked the other DCeased stories, this is a must-read. If you haven’t read any of them yet, you basically need to know this: ZOMBIE SUPERMAN!
After a corrupted Anti-Life Equation turned billions into monsters-including Earth’s Greatest Heroes-our planet was as good as dead.
Years later, a distress call brings Damian Wayne, Jon Kent, and Cassie Sandsmark-the Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman of Earth 2-back to a dead planet…but what will this new Justice League find waiting for them? If life still exists on Earth, who-or what-is lying in wait for these heroes?
The original creative team of Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine reunite for the sequel to the 2019 blockbuster series DCeased.
Lois Lane #12
One of the best maxi-series DC Comics has ever produced. (Image: Lois Lane #12, DC Comics)
Writer: Greg Rucka
Pencils/inks: Mike Perkins
Colors: Andy Troy
Release Date: July 7
Long before July, we listed this as one of the DC Comics you should binge read during the lockdown. But then that very lockdown delayed the last three issues of the series. Well, the finale is finally here! If you like espionage, crime, noir, and hard reporting stories, Greg Lucka and Mike Perkins’s Lois Lane is something you can’t miss. They’ve proven that the most powerful person in DC Comics is a petite, middle-class woman with a notepad and a pen. It’s amazing.
At the end of multiple investigations, Lois finds herself with the power to change-or destroy-the lives of everyone involved.
Daphne Byrne #6
Daphne would make the Children of the Corn hide under their beds. (Image: Daphne Byrne #6, DC Comics)
Writer: Laura Marks (with Joe Hill)
Art: Kelley Jones and Dan McDaid
Release Date: July 14
The Hill House pop-up imprint from DC is not just a throwback to the horror comics of the 1960s and 1970s, it’s a powerhouse of amazing comics. And the creepiest one is Laura Marks’s Daphne Byrne. The Victorian Era gothic supernatural story also has the most unsettling art style in the entire Hill House lineup. The mini-series ends with issue #6, but with only five issues before it, it’s an easy one to catch up on.
The full scope of Daphne’s relationship with the mysterious Brother is revealed-and so is the full strength of their combined power. God help anyone in their path…
Dark Nights: Death Metal #2
Sure, the Bat-monster truck looks cool, but the mileage is terrible. (Image: Dark Nights: Death Metal #2, DC Comics)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Pencils: Greg Capullo
Inks: Jonathan Glapion
Colors: FCO Plascencia
Release Date: July 14
If you haven’t read Dark Nights: Death Metal #1, the first issue in the newest DC Comics events, you should read it before July 14th. The first issue was insane. Of course, we don’t want to spoil too much of what happened in the first, very explosive, chapter. But when we review Death Metal #2, we’ll definitely discuss the ending of #1. You’ve been warned.
Get ready to scream! Wonder Woman roars across the horrifying Dark Multiverse landscape in the world’s most demented monster truck, with Swamp Thing riding shotgun! The two arrive at the ghoulish cemetery base of Batman and his army of zombies, but can the former friends stand each other long enough to form a plan and take back the planet? Plus, what’s Lobo doing in space?
Don’t miss the second chapter of the wildest ride in the DC Universe, from the epic team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo!
What DC Comics Graphic Novels You Should Read in July
While single-issues are great, sometimes you just want to sit down with a longer story arch instead of snippets of one. That’s where graphic novels come in. DC Comics is releasing several great collections in July, but these are the ones everyone should read. Some are fun, some are serious, but they are all great.
Is this the ends of Slade Wilson? (Image: Deathstroke R.I.P., DC Comics)
Writer: Christopher Priest
Pencils: Fernando Pasarin with Carlo Pagulayan
Colors: Jeromy Cox
Release Date: July 28
When Christopher Priest, one of the most celebrated Black Panther writers in the character’s history, returned to comics, no one expected him to write Deathstroke. But with issue #50, Priest concluded his epic run, one that people will regard nearly as they do his Black Panther work. Now, if it feels a little overwhelming to catch up on the entire series, you can start with the first volume, available on Comixology Unlimited. However, if you subscribe to the DC Universe app, the first 45 of 50 issues are currently available. Read up!
It’s the conclusion of Christopher Priest’s acclaimed Deathstroke run – and it starts with Slade Wilson’s murder! In the wake of his father’s apparent demise, Jericho accepts Lex Luthor’s offer of power, leading to all-out sibling war between Jericho and Rose Wilson! When Slade wakes, he seeks to take that power for his own, leading to a confrontation between father and son! Is there any humanity left in Jericho? And can Deathstroke defeat his ultimate enemy – himself? Collects Deathstroke #44-50.
Wonder Woman: Come Back to Me
Everything Wonder Woman does looks badass. Everything. (Image: Wonder Woman: Come Back to Me, DC Comics)
Writers: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
Release Date: July 28
Connor and Palmiotti are best known for their long and successful run on Harley Quinn. But they’ve also worked together on some amazing Wonder Woman stories for Justice League Giant, and several of those stories are collected here. So, if some of the story arches in the main Wonder Woman series get a bit too intense, check out this graphic novel. Also, if things are getting a bit stressful this July, you should really read this and the weekly DC digital dollar comics.
It’s a Wonder Woman story for the ages as she sets off in search of Steve Trevor! Joining Wonder Woman on her quest is Steve’s commanding officer, Etta Candy. The two soon find themselves trapped on a mysterious, uncharted island. If Steve is there, he may not have survived the island’s many dangers! Collects Wonder Woman: Come Back to Me #1-6.
Green Lantern/Green Arrow: Space Traveling Heroes
More stories from the great Denny O’Neil. (Image: Green Lantern/Green Arrow: Space Traveling Heroes, DC Comics)
Writer: Denny O’Neil
Artists: Mike Grell and Alex Saviuk
Release Date: July 15
In June, we lost a titan in the comic book community: Denny O’Neil. His most celebrated run was on Green Lantern/Green Arrow, especially his work with Neal Adams during the Hard Traveling Heroes era, issues 76-89. But O’Neil’s run didn’t end there, and DC is slowly collecting his run into various graphic novels. Now, this July, DC Comics is releasing the second installment, Space Traveling Heroes, and if you love the bronze age, you should read this collection.
In these team-up tales from the mid-1970s, Green Lantern and Green Arrow face fantastic threats, starting with the former Green Lantern known as Sinestro! Also in this collection, Green Lantern Katma Tui pursues a monstrous beast to Earth, and Green Arrow accidentally enters Green Lantern’s Lantern and becomes cosmically charged. Plus, the Golden Age hero called Air Wave returns in a new guise, as Hal Jordan’s young cousin, and Green Arrow’s romantic relationship with Black Canary takes some unexpected turns. Collects Green Lantern #90-106.
The Flash: United They Fall
Not the final cover, but it will be done in a…flash. I’m so sorry. (Image: The Flash: United They Fall, DC Comics)
Similarly to the July 28th release of Wonder Woman: Come Back to Me, Flash: United They Fall collects various stories from The Flash Giant. Before, these massive DC Comics specials were only available at Wal-Mart, but aside from the two July releases, everyone should check out the dollar digital comics too. Also, this collection features Gail Simone, so you really can’t go wrong.
Barry Allen and Iris West take a vacation, but their relaxation is cut short when their cruise ship is attacked by King Shark! Can the Fastest Man Alive save a sinking ship when there’s no land in sight – or will he be fish food? This and more in stories featuring the Flash taking on his greatest rogues, including Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Heat Wave, Captain Boomerang, and Weather Wizard! Collects stories from The Flash Giant #1-7 (first wave) and The Flash Giant #1-5 (second wave).
Batman Vol 13: City of Bane Part 2
In Bane’s defense, that’s just how he naps. (Image: Batman (2016) Vol 13: City of Bane Part 2, DC Comics)
Writer: Tom King
Art: Jorge Formes, Mitch Gerads, Mikel Janin, John Romita Jr
Release Date: July 14
This is it. The end of Tom King’s epic run on Batman, and the culmination of several years of plot threads. From the failed wedding of Batman and Catwoman, to Alfred Pennyworth’s gruesome death. There might be a lot to catch up on, but the good news is that the DC Universe app has the first seventy-three issues available. So, if you want a nice long run to read over the rest of July, Tom King’s Batman comics, from DC: Rebirth to City of Bane will make the month fly by.
The epic finale of Tom King’s Batman run! The bad guys thought they had it made with Bane in control, but with Batman back in Gotham City they’ll be reminded what justice feels like…and how it hurts when it hits you in the face. With Catwoman at his side, the Caped Crusader is looking to take down Bane’s army and reclaim his city. But is the Dark Knight Detective ready to take on the foe who broke him worse than any other that came before? And what else stands in Batman’s way, to put an obstacle between him and his enemy? Batman and his allies have a choice: let Bane stay in power and guarantee the city’s survival, or risk everything to break free! Collects Batman #80-85 and Annual #4.
Also, just a reminder, all release dates are subject to change!
Featured Image: Batman (2016) Vol 13: City of Bane Part 2, DC Comics
Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.