Countdown to Final Crisis trade paperback reading order


OK, this is by no means complete, but here's a beginning, tentative attempt at creating a Countdown to Final Crisis trade paperback reading order. I would appreciate anyone who's been reading these books, with as few spoilers as possible, chiming in if you think you see something that needs to be reordered.

The overarching logic here is that, since one reads a full story in a trade, we place full stories side-by-side to be read in a way that hopefully spoils neither one. To that end, for example, Death of the New Gods ends about the same time Countdown to Final Crisis does, so maybe it needs to be placed after Countdown to Final Crisis Volume 4, or maybe not. It's that kind of thing I'm still working on, and could use help with.

Updates will be made as we go along. As such:

Countdown to Final Crisis Volume 1

- Teen Titans: Titans East

The Lightning Saga:
- Flash: The Fastest Man Alive: Full Throttle
- Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga (Countdown 50)
- Superman: Camelot Falls Vol. 2

- Superman: 3-2-1 Action (between Countdown 42 and 41)

Amazons Attack:
- Wonder Woman: Love and Murder
- Wonder Woman: Amazons Attack
- Catwoman: Catwoman Dies
- Outsiders/Checkmate: Checkout
- Outsiders: Five of a Kind

Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding:
- Green Arrow/Black Canary: Road to the Altar
- Green Arrow/Black Canary: The Wedding Album
- Justice League of America: The Injustice League

- Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War Vol. 1

- Metal Men

Countdown to Final Crisis Volume 2

- 52 Aftermath: Black Adam (Countdown #49)

- Countdown to Adventure

- 52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen

- Suicide Squad: From the Ashes

Teen Titans/Blue Beetle/Eclipso:
- Teen Titans: Titans of Tomorrow
- Blue Beetle: Reach for the Stars
- Countdown to Mystery

- Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters: Brave New World

- Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer

Death of the New Gods:
- Death of the New Gods
- Birds of Prey: Metropolis or Dust
- Teen Titans Presents: Wonder Girl
- Titans: Old Friends
- Superman/Batman: Torment

Sinestro War (Finale):
- Green Lantern: Tales of the Sinestro Corps War
- Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War Vol. 2
- Superman: Escape from Bizarro World
- Blue Beetle: Endgame (between GL Corps 17 and Superman-Prime)

- Countdown Presents: Lord Havok and the Extremists

- The Question: Five Books of Blood

Countdown to Final Crisis Volume 3

Salvation Run:
- Justice League of America: Sanctuary
- JLA: Salvation Run
- Gotham Underground

- Countdown Presents: Arena

- Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer (updated)
- All-New Atom: The Hunt for Ray Palmer (updated)

Countdown to Final Crisis Volume 4
- Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes (updated)

I'd love any help or suggestions anyone could send, and if you want to reprint this, I'd appreciate your linking back. Of course, eventually we'll move this over to the DC Comics Trade Paperback Timeline when it's done. Thanks!

Comments ( 15 )

  1. AnonymousMay 06, 2008

    Hm. Is the goal here just to track the crossovers in and out of Countdown, or to include everything that goes into Final Crisis itself also? If the latter, then Morrison's Batman trades covering the year are going to need to fall in somewhere

  2. AnonymousMay 06, 2008

    Also, Superman and the Legion of Superheroes, fitting in somewhere near the end.

    (Did you know that late 2008 trades are showing up on Amazon right now? While checking for that one I noticed that GL:Secret Origin and Booster Gold V. 2 are both in there...)

  3. Jeff -- Good questions, and good catch on Superman and the Legion. Is there an issue of Countdown with which that crosses, or where one is reflected in the other?

    This timeline, for right now, is just to track what you can read around the Countdown to Final Crisis trades. Morrison's Batman trades are important because they go into Final Crisis, but their timeline isn't necessarily set in the scheme of Countdown -- that is, if you read them after Countdown to Final Crisis Vol. 2 or Countdown to Final Crisis Vol. 3, it doesn't make a difference. But ultimately they'll go on the DC Trade Paperback Timeline.

    If that didn't clarify, just let me know.

  4. AnonymousMay 06, 2008

    I'd put it late, possibly even after Volume 4. The last part of it spoilerizes some fairly late Countdown developments.

    I'll also note that there's an Atom:Search for Ray Palmer trade that goes, I think, more or less right after the Countdown:Search for Ray Palmer book.

  5. I'm glad that you have started this project because I am waiting for all the trades to come out to read Countdown and the other books I want. One suggestions that I'd make is to maybe highlight the volumes that are absolutely essential. For example, I don't really want to read Amazons Attack. But if it is really crucial to the overall story, I might change my mind.

    Keep up the good work!

  6. A year ago I would have eaten most of these up and burned a hole in my wallet. But the negativity surrounding Countdown and all its spin-offs has been so strong that I just had to change my mind. Thank god for waiting-for-the-trades!

  7. Jeffrey - Yay trades!

    Jeff R. - Thanks for the suggestions; I've added Superman and the LOSH, and the Atom trade.

  8. AnonymousMay 07, 2008

    Wow - as someone who has not been following this at all I'm totally overwhelmed by how many books connect! I mean, I remember various trades connecting into Infinite Crisis, but damn, was it this many?

  9. AnonymousMay 08, 2008

    The entire Amazons Attack section has to be moved up between Full Throttle / Lightning Saga because Bart is the Flash in AA 2.

  10. AnonymousMay 09, 2008

    Great work here!! I've been following your timeline for some time now, got to the bottom and didn't know what to do next:)

    Can't wait to get into the next lot....

    Keep it up!

  11. Hi, I have been following the reading order of the Countdown series via your link to the DC Trade Paperback Time Line:

    Can you tell me when it will be updated please?



  12. The timeline should be updated soon, I hope; I take lots of notes while I read, but it's time-consuming to turn it around on the web. I'm glad it's helpful to you, and there'll be more soon, I promise.

    If you have a specific question about when to read something, just send me an email and I'll respond.

  13. I should mention on this thread that the DC Trade Paperback Timeline has a new home:

  14. i felt very confused reading these issues i was reading from 1-11 and it seemed to jump around and i didn't really get it...then i started to think "...countdown?" am i supposed to read these from 50-1? can somebody reply? i'm kinda confused...

  15. It's supposed to be like a countdown; the books read from issue #51 down to #1, and then DC Universe #0 and Final Crisis.

    (Not sure if I'm being put on here, but I'll guess not.)

    It would be an interesting blog experiment for someone to read Countdown backward and then try to make a cohesive narrative out of it; certainly there were times when the cohesive narrative was difficult as is ...


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