The Snyder Cut of Justice League is officially a reality, with the four-hour HBO Max epic making its debut over the past weekend. In addition to finally bringing to life Zack Snyder's intended vision, the longer cut of the film has helped better acquaint viewers with the Justice League itself, providing a more epic and comprehensive take on their alliance. While it's unclear when we'll get the next Justice League movie — either from Snyder or someone else entirely — DC fans have the opportunity to further explore the team across a wide array of existing stories in the comics.
If you need help figuring out where to start reading Justice League comics after watching Zack Snyder's Justice League, we're here to help. Here are ten DC Comics stories — some single issues, and some entire miniseries — that also capture the magic of the Justice League.
"Crisis on Earth-One!" and "Crisis on Earth-Two!" (1963)
To some fans, it might seem impossible to imagine a time where there weren't multiple Earths of canon and multiple different superhero teams within the DC Comics mythos. But up until the 1960s, the DC multiverse was a relatively simple concept — one that, in a roundabout way, helped the publisher deal with both the popularity of its current "Silver Age" heroes in the Justice League of America, and the ongoing fandom surrounding the "Golden Age" Justice Society of America, who had been phased out of comics a decade prior.
Justice League of America #21 and #22 took that concept and ran with it, introducing the first of what would become many crossovers between the JLA and the JSA. The end result is (deservedly) one of the most quintessential stories that DC has ever published, one that showcases the inherent coolness and wish fulfillment that comes with seeing the publisher's various heroes teamed up together.prevnext
"Unknown Soldier of Victory" (1972)
Honestly, any and all arcs within Justice League of America's "Satellite Era" of the 1970s and 1980s is worth checking out. But one of the stories that stands out from the pack — and captures a magic similar to the Snyder Cut — is the arc across 1972's Justice League of America #100-102. One of the more unexpected JLA/JSA crossovers, the story opens with a landmark celebration from the League that turns into something else entirely, a sweeping story about death, legacy, and sacrifice. But along the way, the story never feels weighed down by the heaviness of its subject matter, instead creating a spellbinding story that will leave fans eager to follow each plot twist and turn.prevnext
"Crisis Between Two Earths" (1980)
Given how heavily the Snyder Cut deals with the lore of Apokolips, it would be criminal not to mention "Crisis Between Two Earths", a three-part crossover that stretched across Justice League of America #183-185. The storyline, yet another JLA and JSA team-up, saw both teams joining forces with the heroes of New Genesis in a fight against Darkseid and the Injustice Society.
Like the Snyder Cut, "Crisis Between Two Earths" puts the sheer magnitude and scope of the DC universe on display, all while helping further establish Darkseid as a villain who shouldn't be messed with.prevnext
Kingdom Come (1996)
Countless people have argued that Snyder offers a deconstructionist take on the DC Comics mythos, and if that's the kind of storytelling you're looking for more of, then Kingdom Come is a good place to start. The four-issue "Elseworlds" miniseries imagines an apocalyptic future that is torn by two factions of DC superheroes with wildly different approaches on their ideology.
While it's not quite the deserted post-apocalypse we see in the Snyder Cut's "Knightmare" timeline, Kingdom Come remains one of the most impactful and inventive DC stories to date — and for good reason.prevnext
JLA: Rock of Ages (1997-1998)
Nearly two decades after their first major fight, Darkseid and the Justice League would cross paths again in a major way in "Rock of Ages", a six-issue arc that ran across JLA in 1997 and 1998. The storyline provides an unexpected but oddly rewarding take on the threat that Darkseid poses on Earth — one that, again, bares some resemblances to what we've briefly seen in the "Knightmare" timeline. The stakes are pretty high, and the League definitely rises to the occasion, and the end result is genuinely awesome to see.prevnext
JLA: Year One (1998)
That same year, the very notion of the Justice League of America would be reimagined in JLA: Year One, a twelve-issue maxiseries that navigated what the team was like in a Post-Crisis world.
While it made retcons that didn't always stick within the DC universe, it still showed a profoundly unique take on what it's like when the League joins forces.prevnext
JLA: The Nail (1998)
While he only appears in the Snyder Cut for a fraction of its four-hour runtime, Superman undeniably has a massive role within the film, with his legacy inspiring the team to fully join forces. That idea of Superman's significance within the DC universe is played up to interesting lengths in JLA: The Nail, a 1998 Elseworlds miniseries. The three-issue run imagined a world where Superman never existed, because a nail on the road stopped Jonathan and Martha Kent from discovering his alien pod outside of Smallville.
Not only is the story a clever "butterfly effect" narrative, but it's one that dives head-first into the idea of a League without Superman, and how that absence can be both meaningful and world-altering.prevnext
DC: The New Frontier (2004)
Another of the most highly-regarded Elseworlds stories — one that completely recontextualized the Golden and Silver Ages of DC's legacy — was 2004's DC: The New Frontier. While the series provides a pretty comprehensive and sweeping look at the overall DC universe, the League do play a significant part in it, and the end result is breathtaking and complicated in so many intriguing ways.prevnext
To an extent, the formation of the Snyder Cut's Justice League wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for the dream had by Batman, which forecast a tumultuous vision of the "Knightmare" timeline. That concept is turned on its head in the twelve-issue maxiseries Justice, in which the Legion of Doom all band together after having a shared dream about Earth's demise.
Justice is ambitious, lofty, and high-stakes in a way not unlike the Snyder Cut — but it provides room for some epic character moments as well. Plus, whether you loved or hated Jared Leto's cameo as The Joker, the way the Clown Prince of Crime is portrayed in Justice has something for you.prevnext
"The Darkseid War" (2015-2016)
While only just a few years old, as the final major Justice League story before the DC Rebirth relaunch, "The Darkseid War" feels perfectly suited for those who vibed with Zack Snyder's Justice League. The arc, which spanned across eighteen issues, saw the League dealing with a conflict between Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor — one that quickly proved to be much more than meets the eye.2comments
Zack Snyder's Justice League is now available to stream exclusively on HBO Max.prev