The 10 best DC comics to be considered official film canon

The new Black Adam The film did more than just introduce its titular character, it expanded the DC Universe in numerous ways, including establishing a new one man of Steel follow and society of justice spin off. One way to expand the history of this universe was through its comics, which introduced the various members of the Justice Society Black Adam.

This is hardly the first time official comics have been created to promote a major blockbuster. However, DC has become known for creating comics that not only adapt the films, but also expand on them as sequels, prequels, or in one or two cases, alternate versions of the film itself.


Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice – Above/Below (2016)

Partial Batman and Superman in action in the Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice prequel comic

This was a fairly simple one-shot that took place before the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It shows the drastic differences and similarities between Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent as heroes. One public figure bravely faces the dangers that threaten the world, while the other hides in the shadows and fights in secret.

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In the end, both save the world together without knowing it. It shows Batman’s bitter hatred of Superman while also expanding on the events of the DCU, showing that Batman and Superman saved even before they met to fight Lex Luthor and Doomsday.

Batman Forever: The Official Comic Adaptation (1995)

Val Kilmer's Batman marches out of a fire in Batman Forever The Official Comic Adaptation Of The Warner Bros Motion Picture (1995)

Rather than a direct 1:1 adaptation from 1995 Batman forever, the connecting comic is more of an alternate cut of the film. It still tells the same story, but some scenes have been changed and added. It includes scenes that were scrapped or deleted from the final cut of Batman Forever, something fans have been wanting to see a director’s cut of.

This comic is the closest thing to a look at the Schumacher Cut of Batman forever, with a balanced tone thanks to dark scenes featuring the villains and less focus on cheesy one-liners and the need to sell toys. The beginning of the book is a recreated version of the alternate beginning of the film found online.

The Justice Society Files: Hawkman #1

Hawkman flies through a roof in The Justice Society Files Hawkman #1

Although most will agree that they stole the show Black Adam, the history of the Justice Society has been largely kept secret. Unless the viewer reads the direct prequels too Black Adam known as The Files of the Justice Society which show what the members of society were up to before the film.

Hawkman charts his life as a superhero and as billionaire Carter Hall and a founding member of the Justice Society, almost reminiscent of the Batman and Bruce Wayne dynamic. It also introduced Gentleman Ghost as a canonical DCU Hawkman villain and developed the Justice Society lore a bit further.

The Files of the Justice Society: Atom Smasher #1

An unmasked Atom Smasher who smashes his way through criminals in The Justice Society Atom Smasher #1

in the Black Adam, Noah Centineo’s Atom Smasher was played mostly for comedic relief with some cool action sequences. The prequel comic, which first featured him in an Atom Smasher suit, develops the relationship with Al Pratt, his uncle and the original Atom Smasher, and reveals more of the young hero’s vulnerabilities as a person and as a hero.

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This comic also shows that Atom Smasher is such a novice hero that his first mission is disastrous, but he never gives up. It’s a refreshing take on a being with superpowers, showing that he’s not immediately perfect at using them.

The Files of the Justice Society: Cyclone #1

Maxine Hunkel fights a metahuman in The Justice Society Files Cyclone #1

World building is at the heart of this story centered on Maxine Hunkel AKA Cyclone. She talks about growing up a Justice Society fan, suggesting they’ve been around longer than the DCU’s Justice League, much like the comics.

There’s an entire subplot devoted to the drug known as tar, which turns humans into metahuman bruises. Finally, seeing Cyclone meet Hawkman is the climax, with Maxine saving lives to gain the attention of the hero she admires and become a powerful member of the Justice Society.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice #1 – Batman (2016)

Ben Affleck's Batman battles his way through town in the Batman V Superman Dawn Of Justice prequel comic

It’s a simple comic that shows what an everyday patrol is for Ben Affleck’s Batman, fighting criminals and even expanding his villain roster with Firefly. Before that he was supposed to appear in the unfortunately canceled one bat girl Movie, Firefly made his debut in the DCU with this comic.

The design for Batman out Batman v Superman translates pretty well into comic book art style and shows how comic book accurate Ben Affleck looked in the movie. It’s not something that changes the DCU forever, but it’s a nice glimpse into the life of this version of the Caped Crusader and how long Lex Luthor has been watching him.

The Justice Society Files: Dr. Fate #1 (2022)

Doctor Fate summons lightning in The Justice Society Files #1

a lot inside Black Adam, Doctor Fate is the hero that shines most in the Justice Society’s record. Much like the Batman comic, Doctor Fate’s prequel story is as simple as possible, and features a regular event that Fate deals with on a daily basis.

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However, this comic expands more of Fate’s world by showing him fighting a demon and what the Tower Of Fate looks like in the DCU. The comic also potentially sets up Trigon, Raven’s demonic father, for the future of the DCU.

The Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #1 (2022)

Ezra Miller's Flash as depicted in The Flash The Fastest Man Alive #1 (2021).

When Barry Allen was first introduced Zack Snyder’s Justice League, he didn’t even call himself The Flash. This comic takes a deep dive into Barry’s evolution into a superhero as he battles villains like Girder and Tar Pit, powerful metahumans who push him to the limit.

These comics also show Ezra Miller seeing his upgraded suit The Lightning Movie. It was developed by Alfred while Barry was mentored by Batman to fight Girder. This comic even shows Barry activating his lightning ring and the suit growing onto his body, hinting at what the transformation will look like in the new Andy Muschietti movie.

Batman ’89 (2021)

Batman fights Drake Winston aka Robin in the Batman '89 comic

Although Michael Keaton will don the cape and hood again in The Flash, fans still have batman ’89 as the official sequel to his Batman set following the events of Batman returns. It includes unused concepts from Tim Burton’s original version of a third film, including Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face.

Barbara Gordon is said to resemble Winona Ryder when she looked back in the mid ’90s and introduced Drake Winston aka Robin from Marlon Wayans. These six issues show and even confirm a clear love and respect for the universe of Tim Burton Batman forever andBatman & Robin are now their canon.

Superman ’78 (2021)

Christopher Reeves Superman flies to the camera in the Superman '78 comic

Although the films are known for adopting the old-school tone and style of Silver Age comics, the official one is Christopher Reeve superman 2021 comic goes in a much darker direction. Superman ’78 imagines what a film version of Brainiac (in the style of Yul Bryner) would have looked like in the late 70’s/early 80’s and gives this Superman an adventure that is more epic than the films could portray.

Fans of the Reeve movies will appreciate this comic as it pays tribute to the first two movies in so many ways, as does batman ’89, from the looks of the world to the similarities of the actors. It even happens before Superman IIwhich allowed the comic to stay away from the maligned sequels that came after.

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