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Getting Into DC Comics: The Dark Titles (New 52)

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I am a gamer, an Otaku, a sci-fi and fantasy fanboy, a Planeswalker, and an avid reader of comics, novels, and manga.

A panel from "Justice League Dark."

A panel from "Justice League Dark."

Introduction to the New 52

Comics in the New 52 are generally broken down into related categories, primarily in regards to solicits. The Dark category focuses on supernatural characters and stories. This is magic and demons and twists of fate. The cast ranges from ghosts and wizards to forces of nature and beyond. Some are Divine, others not so much. A lot of Vertigo properties made their way into this category

The following is a listing of all titles in the New 52 that fall into this category in order of initial release and alphabetized.

  • Animal Man
  • Demon Knights
  • Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  • I, Vampire
  • Justice League Dark
  • Resurrection Man
  • Swamp Thing
  • Dial H
  • Sword of Sorcery
  • Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger
  • Constantine
  • Trinity of Sin: Pandora
  • Klarion
  • Trinity of Sin

For Crossovers, check out the DC beginner's guide.

Animal Man

September 2011 – March 2014
Issues: 1–29, 0, plus 2 Annuals

Animal Man, along with Swamp Thing, is some of the finest storytelling in the New 52. Animal Man has more of a Horror element than Swamp Thing does, excluding the horrific Rotworld crossover.

Animal Man is an agent of The Red, a parallel force of nature to The Green. Where The Green networks all plant life on the planet, The Red networks all animal life. His connection to The Red gives Animal Man the ability to take on the characteristics and talents of any animal.

Following the conclusion of Animal Man, he moves on to the Justice League United team.


Demon Knights

September 2011 – August 2013
Issues: 1–23, 0


Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.

September 2011 – January 2013
Issues: 1–16, 0

Frankenstein is, for the most part, a pretty great series. Personally, I had a hard time with the art, but the story was pretty solid. Especially the tie-ins with Rotworld (covered under the Event category).

I, Vampire

September 2011 – April 2013
Issues: 1–19, 0

I, Vampire follows DC's altruistic vampire, Andrew Bennet. Through a truce with his ex-lover, Mary—The Queen of Blood, Andrew has kept mankind safe. But now, the truce is broken, and all bets are off. It's a war of vampires that even spills over into Gotham. That's right. Batman fights Vampires. *Mic drop*


Justice League Dark

September 2011 – March 2015
Issues: 1–40, 0, plus 2 Annual

Like any good League title, JLD doesn't disappoint. When supernatural shenanigans are afoot, it takes more than one of our ghoulish good-guys to save the day. With several change-ups in cast, the stories stay fresh and broaden our knowledge of the DC supernatural world at large.

Click here for 5 Reasons you should read Justice League Dark.

The roster consists of, at varying intervals:

  1. Andrew Bennett
  2. Black Orchid
  3. Doctor Mist
  4. Enchantress
  5. Frankenstein
  6. John Constantine—On again/Off Again Leader
  7. Deadman
  8. Madame Xanadu
  9. Mindwarp
  10. Nightmare Nurse
  11. Pandora
  12. The Phantom Stranger
  13. Amethyst
  14. Shade, the Changing Man
  15. Swamp Thing
  16. Timothy Hunter
  17. Zatanna—Leader in John's place
  18. Zauriel

Resurrection Man

September 2011 – September 2012
Issues: 1–12, 0

Swamp Thing

September 2011 – March 2015
Issues: 1–40, 0, plus 3 Annuals

Personally, I think Swamp Thing is some of the best story telling in the New 52. Between the Rotworld crossover (mentioned in a late category) and the exotic mythos of The Green, you'll not want to miss this title.


Dial H

May 2012 – August 2013
Issues: 1–15, 0

Sword of Sorcery

September 2012 – May 2013
Issues: 0–8

Lots of little girls dream of one day discovering they are in fact a princess. Well in Sword of Sorcery, a teen girl named Amy Winston, gets way more than she bargained for when it is revealed that she is the lost princess of Gemworld and has powerful adversaries after hunting her down!

The title also features a back up feature, first starring DC's version of Beowulf and secondly a new version of Stalker.

Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger

September 2012 – August 2014
Issues: 0–22

The mysterious Phantom Stranger is a supernatural super-power. One of the three greatest sinners known to DC, the Stranger is cursed to eternal life and eternal betrayals (usually for the greater good). He's another character that struggles with the good and evil in side him. Although unlike Constantine, it's his evil he battles with.


September 2011 – August 2013
Issues: 1–23, 0

DC's greatest con-man, Constantine of Hellblazer fame stars in this eponymous title. His internal struggle with good and evil makes him a fascinating anti-hero. A must-read for fans of magic.

Trinity of Sin: Pandora

July 2013 – August 2014
Issues: 1–14

Pandora, the mother of sin, stars in this title that, along with Phantom Stranger, leads up to the new ongoing Trinity of Sin. This title ties in with Trinity War and then Forever Evil respectively for it's first 9 issues. It finishes at #14 in August and will have a Future's End Tie-In for September's event.



October 2014 – March 2015
Issues: 1–6

Issue 1 Solicit reads: "Klarion the Witch Boy makes his New 52 debut and stands for the forces of chaos in this new ongoing series!"


Trinity of Sin

October 2014 – March 2015
Issues: 1–6

Issue 1 Solicit reads: "Pandora, The Phantom Stranger and The Question have hated each other for centuries…and nothing has changed! Now the Trinity of Sin are forced to work together to save humanity and uncover the darkest secrets of the universe in this new ongoing series!"