Year of the Villain Reading Order

The Year of the Villain was an event/crossover starting in March 2019 and ending in March 2020, which followed Dark Nights: Metal.

The emphasis during this time was to give a little bit more attention to DC’s large roster of villains and supervillains throughout most of their active titles such as Batman, Superman and primarily Justice League.

Year of the Villain and its reading order is a little bit of a mess and making a reading order was tricky – Year of the Villain wasn’t the same kind of event as previous ones such as Darkseid War or any of the Crisis events, instead its more of a ‘celebration’ throughout the titles with separate events within the Year of the Villain event. Death Metal followed YoTV.

In any case, for anyone looking for a Year of the Villain reading order we’ve collated all the trades with these issues included as well as an issue by issue chronological guide (in the order they were released). Please let us know your thoughts on what we’ve produced in the comments.

Year of the Villain Trade Reading Order Checklist

As we said in the intro, the Year of the Villain was a bit messy, so there’s no “Year of the Villain’ trade with just the main series, instead its a bunch of connected tie ins without a single spine to hold them together. Instead, look at Year of the Villain as a companion to Scott Snyder’s Justice League, The Batman Who Laughs and Bendis’s Event Leviathan.

Shockingly, all the one shots and tie ins are not collected together and can only be read loose. An omnibus was solicited but there are still now new even now.

Either way, these are the trades you’ll need and then refer to the issue reading order to the order to read them. The one shots are not collected in a book.

How to use the trade reading order checklist?

This is the hardest reading order we’ve ever made as we feel DC never intended for the Year of the Villain to be read as a series in its own right, rather as the sub events contained within it. So, what we’ve done is found all the issues that tie in and what trade covers most of them. We would not expect anyone to go for all of these.

However, we’ve split them into categories –

  • Main series – the core titles which are directly labelled as Year of the Villain
  • Batman Who Laughs – A major arc which fits well with the theme of the villain
  • Infected – A subset of the above but ties in with Year of the Villain
  • Event Leviathan – Same as Batman Who Laughs, a major event which ties in nearly with YotV
  • Tie ins – Tie in issues which are not connected with each other and intended to read on their own

You’ve got four choices –

  1. Stick with just the main series to keep it short and sweet
  2. Read the main series, Batman who laughs, infected and event leviathan
  3. Read the issues within the trades in the order listed in the Year of the Villain issue by issue reading order which is ordered by release date

The issue by issue reading order actually follows an order with named plot lines which are: The Offer, Dark Gifts, Evil Unleashed and Doom Rising. This is pretty straightforward but not for the trades. For the ultimate reading order, refer to the issues and read the trades in that order.

Good luck!

Main Series

Justice League Volume 4: The Sixth Dimension

YotV starts in earnest here with issue #26. This book collects Justice League issues #19-28.

Justice League (2018-) Vol. 4: The Sixth Dimension (Justice League (2018-2022))
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Snyder, Scott (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Justice League Volume 5: The Doom War

Keeps going here just before the main event. Collects: Justice League #26-39.

Justice League Vol. 5: The Doom War (Justice League of America)
  • Snyder, Scott (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 06/23/2020 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen

This book has the Hell Arisen storyline by James Tynion IV and Snyder but also Year of the Villain #1 which is the first and only main series issue. Not to be missed for this reading order.

Hell Arisen is the conclusion of Year of the Villain, however you choose to get into this make sure to read this last.

Collects Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1-4, plus DC’s Year of the Villain #1.

Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen (DC's Year of the Villain (2019-))
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Tynion, James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Batman Who Laughs

Batman Who Laughs is a crossover storyline in itself, which we’ve made a seperate reading order for. In the context of Year of the Villain, the main issues will be more than enough.

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The Batman Who Laughs
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The Batman Who Laughs
  • Snyder, Scott (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 232 Pages - 04/06/2021 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Infected Arc

Year of the Villain: The Infected

Collects the tie ins and some off issues. Collects The Infected: King Shazam, The Infected: Scarab, The Infected: Deathbringer, The Infected: The Commissioner, Hawkman #18, and Supergirl #36.

Year of the Villain: The Infected
  • Various (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 152 Pages - 06/23/2020 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Batman/Superman Vol. 1: Who are the Secret Six? 

One of the most clear Year of the Villain titles. Collects Batman/Superman #1-6. The Infected is a major Year of the Villain (and Batman Who Laughs) Arc and it starts here for Batman/Superman.

Batman/Superman (2019-) Vol. 1: Who are the Secret Six?
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Williamson, Joshua (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Supergirl Vol. 3: Infectious 

Supergirl #32 to #37 are tie ins, this trade collection has #34 to #42 and Superman: Leviathan Rising Special #1 which is in itself a sub event of Year of the Villain. Lastly, this is a tie in with The Batman Who Laughs who plays a big part in Year of the Villain – one the rare books that really fits in well with the whole thing.

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Supergirl Vol. 3: Infectious
  • Andreyko, Marc (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 280 Pages - 11/03/2020 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Hawkman Vol. 4: Hawks Eternal

More Hawkman. This one is relevant to Infected and Batman Who Laughs in particular. Collects #20 to #29.

Hawkman (2018-) Vol. 4: Hawks Eternal
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Venditti, Robert (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Event Leviathan Arc

Event Leviathan was an arc that happened during Year of the Villain. We won’t do the entire reading order for this event, just the basics to keep it relevant and concise for Year of the Villain.

Event Leviathan

The main series. Collects Event Leviathan #1-6 and Superman: Leviathan Rising #1

Event Leviathan (Superman: Leviathan Rising 1)
  • Bendis, Brian Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 264 Pages - 04/06/2021 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Superman – Action Comics Vol. 2: Leviathan Rising

Prelude and tie ins. Collects Action Comics issues #1007-#1011.

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Superman: Action Comics Vol. 2: Leviathan Rising (Superman: Action Comics, 2)
  • Bendis, Brian Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 184 Pages - 04/14/2020 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Superman – Action Comics Vol. 3: Leviathan Hunt

#1013 to #1017 of Bendis’s Action Comics is a Leviathan story and a tie in to Year of the Villain. This book collects #1012-#1016 which is one short but has the bulk of it.

Superman - Action Comics (2016-) Vol. 3: Leviathan Hunt
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Bendis, Brian Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Tie Ins

These trades go in and out of the four episodes The Offer, Dark Gifts, Evil Unleashed and Doom Rising. To get the most out of these, refer to the Year of the Villain Issue reading list.

Batman: City of Bane

Issues #75 to #85 of Tom King’s Batman is both a solo story and a Year of the Villain tie in. This story revolves around Bane taking over Gotham.

Read the City of Bane reading order here.

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Batman: City of Bane: The Complete Collection
  • King, Tom (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 344 Pages - 12/15/2020 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Wonder Woman: Loveless

#75 to #82 are tie ins and this collection has #74 to #81.

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Wonder Woman Vol. 3: Loveless
  • Wilson, G. Willow (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 12/29/2020 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Batgirl Vol. 7: Oracle Rising

Contains Batgirl’s Year of the Villain tie ins which are #37 to #41. Story deals with Oracle’s return via Lex Luthor’s actions. Collects Batgirl #37 to #44.

Batgirl Vol. 7: Oracle Rising
  • Castellucci, Cecil (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 06/16/2020 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Aquaman Volume 2: Amnesty and Aquaman Vol. 3: Manta vs. Machine

Collects just the two tie ins, with the other two in Manta vs. Machine. Collects #48 to #52 with Manta vs. Machine collected the other two and the Annual which are all Villain tie ins.

Aquaman (2016-) Vol. 3: Manta vs. Machine
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • DeConnick, Kelly Sue (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Batman and the Outsiders Vol. 1: Lesser Gods

Batman and the Outsiders issues #3 to #7 are Year of the Villain tie ins and this trade collects #1 to #7.

Batman and the Outsiders Vol. 1: Lesser Gods
  • Hill, Bryan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages - 01/28/2020 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Catwoman Vol. 3: Friend or Foe?

Joelle Jones’ Catwoman had tie ins in #13 to #17. This trade collects #16 to #21. You might need to get Vol. 2 as well.

Catwoman (2018-) Vol. 3: Friend or Foe?
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Jones, Joelle (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Deathstroke R.I.P.

Christopher Priest helms the Year of the Villain tie ins. This trade collects #44 to #50. Of which, #45 to #49 are the tie ins.

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Deathstroke R.I.P.
  • Priest, Christopher (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 200 Pages - 07/28/2020 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Detective Comics: Cold Dark World

Detective Comics has 8 Year of the Villain tie ins, #1008 to #1016. There is no one trade which has all of them, there are two you’ll need to find – Greetings from Gotham and Cold Vengeance. Cold Vengeance has 6 so if you just want the one then get that.

Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 4: Cold Vengeance
  • Tomasi, Peter J. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 12/29/2020 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

The Flash Vol. 12: Death and the Speed Force

The Flash’s Year of the Villain tie ins deal with Captain Cold and the Rogues in issues #75-#83. Death and the Speed Force trade #76 to #81 with Vol. 13 having #82 to #87. This is another example of how Year of the Villain has been poorly collected by DC.

The Flash Vol. 12: Death and the Speed Force
  • Williamson, Joshua (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 06/09/2020 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Harley Quinn Vol. 4: The Final Trial

A rare perfect trade as you get ALL Harley Quinn’s tie ins and the Harley Quin: Year of the Villain one shot. Collects Harley Quinn #64-#69 and Harley Quinn: Villain of the Year #1.

Harley Quinn (2016-) Vol. 4: The Final Trial
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Humphries, Sam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Hawkman Vol. 3: Darkness Within

Issues #14 to #19 are tie ins and this trade has #13 to #18 which is just one shy.

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Hawkman Vol. 3: Darkness Within
  • Venditti, Robert (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 168 Pages - 09/15/2020 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour 

Justice League are the driving force beyond YoTV and Dark #13 to #17 are tie ins and this book has Justice League Dark #14 to #19 which is perfect.

Justice League Dark Vol. 3: The Witching War (Justice League Dark, 3)
  • Tynion IV, James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 04/14/2020 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Justice League Odyssey Vol. 3: The Final Frontier

More Justice League, #11 to #15 are tie ins and this trade has #13 to #18.

The Terrifics Volume 4: The Tomorrow War

Collects The Terrifics #19-#30. #18 can be gotten from Volume 3.

The Terrifics (2018-) Vol. 4: The Tomorrow War
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Yang, Gene Luen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Nightwing: The Gray Son Legacy

Nightwing #62 to #66 are Year of the Villain tie ins, this trade has #59-#64. His Joker War trade has the other two issues if you wanted to get that. We have a Joker War reading order.

Nightwing: The Gray Son Legacy (Nightwing (2016-) Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Jurgens, Dan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Red Hood: Outlaw: Generation Outlaw

Red Hood and the Outlaws #36 to #40 are the tie ins, Generation Outlaw #37 to #41. The previous volume as the one issue if you really wanted to be complete.

Red Hood: Outlaw (2016-) Vol. 3: Generation Outlaw (Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016-))
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Lobdell, Scott (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy

Happens towards the end, the entire miniseries is collected.

Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy
  • Houser, Jody (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 152 Pages - 05/18/2021 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Teen Titans Vol. 3: Seek and Destroy

Part of the “The Gift” episode. The Terminus Agenda which came before it is optional.

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Teen Titans Vol. 3: Seek and Destroy
  • Glass, Adam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 03/31/2020 (Publication Date) - DC Comics (Publisher)

Batman Vs. Ra’s Al Ghul

A miniseries penned by Neal Adams. Collects Batman Vs. Ra’s al Ghul #1-6

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Batman Vs. Ra's Al Ghul
  • Hardcover Book
  • Adams, Neal (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Year of the Villain Issue by Issue Reading Order

This our best attempt at making the issues flow in a coherent way.

  1. The Flash #65
  2. The Batman Who Laughs #1-7
  3. Year of the Villain #1
  4. Justice League #25
  5. Justice League #26
  6. Justice League #27
  7. Deathstroke #45
  8. Harley Quinn #63
  9. Catwoman #13
  10. Red Hood: Outlaw #36
  11. Superman #13
  12. Supergirl #32
  13. Batman and the Outsiders #3
  14. Hawkman #14
  15. Justice League Odyssey #11
  16. Justice League #28
  17. Aquaman #50
  18. Nightwing #62
  19. Batman #75
  20. Teen Titans #32
  21. Justice League Dark #13
  22. Detective Comics #1008
  23. Batgirl #37
  24. Action Comics #1013
  25. The Terrifics #18
  26. The Flash #75
  27. Wonder Woman #75
  28. Justice League #29
  29. Deathstroke #46
  30. Harley Quinn #64
  31. Batman #76
  32. Aquaman #51
  33. Justice League Odyssey #12
  34. Wonder Woman #76
  35. Batman and the Outsiders #4
  36. Detective Comics #1009
  37. Hawkman #15
  38. The Flash #76
  39. Teen Titans #33
  40. Nightwing #63
  41. Justice League #30 
  42. Justice League Dark #14
  43. Detective Comics #1010
  44. Batgirl #38
  45. The Terrifics #19
  46. Red Hood: Outlaw #37
  47. The Flash #77
  48. Wonder Woman #77
  49. Action Comics #1014
  50. Batman/Superman #1 
  51. Sinestro: Year of the Villain
  52. Black Mask: Year of the Villain
  53. Batman Vs. Ra’s Al Ghul #1
  54. Justice League #31
  55. Harley Quinn #65
  56. Batman #78
  57. Deathstroke #47
  58. Action Comics #1015
  59. Justice League #32
  60. Aquaman #52
  61. Hawkman #16
  62. Justice League Odyssey #13
  63. Superman #15
  64. Detective Comics #1011
  65. Catwoman #15
  66. Batman and the Outsiders #5
  67. The Flash #78
  68. Supergirl #34
  69. Wonder Woman #78
  70. Nightwing #64
  71. Teen Titans #34
  72. Detective Comics #1012
  73. The Flash #79
  74. Red Hood: Outlaw #38
  75. Justice League Dark #15
  76. Batgirl #39
  77. The Terrifics #20
  78. Wonder Woman #79
  79. Batman/Superman #2
  80. Harley and Poison Ivy #1
  81. The Riddler: Year of the Villain
  82. Lex Luthor: Year of the Villain
  83. Batman Vs. Ra’s Al Ghul #2
  84. Justice League #33
  85. Batman #80
  86. Deathstroke #48
  87. Harley Quinn #66
  88. Detective Comics #1013
  89. Batman and the Outsiders #6
  90. Catwoman #16
  91. The Flash #80
  92. Hawkman #17
  93. Justice League Odyssey #14
  94. Supergirl #35
  95. Superman #16
  96. Wonder Woman #80
  97. Justice League #34
  98. Aquaman #53
  99. Nightwing #65
  100. Teen Titans #35
  101. Action Comics #1016
  102. Batgirl #40
  103. Justice League Dark #16
  104. Detective Comics #1014
  105. The Flash #81
  106. Red Hood: Outlaw #39
  107. The Terrifics #21
  108. Wonder Woman #81
  109. Batman/Superman #3
  110. The Joker: Year of the Villain #1
  111. Black Adam: Year of the Villain #1
  112. Harley and Poison Ivy #2 
  113. Batman Vs. Ra’s Al Ghul #3
  114. Aquaman Annual #2
  115. Nightwing Annual #2
  116. Justice League #35
  117. Batman #82
  118. Deathstroke #49
  119. Harley Quinn #67
  120. Batman and the Outsiders #7
  121. Catwoman #17
  122. Detective Comics #1015
  123. The Flash #82
  124. Hawkman #18
  125. Justice League Odyssey #15
  126. Red Hood: Outlaw #40
  127. Supergirl #36
  128. Wonder Woman #82
  129. Justice League #36
  130. Nightwing #66
  131. Aquaman #54
  132. Teen Titans #36
  133. Action Comics #1017
  134. Batgirl #41
  135. Detective Comics #1016
  136. Justice League Dark #17
  137. The Terrifics #22
  138. The Flash #83
  139. Wonder Woman #83
  140. Batman/Superman #4
  141. The Infected: King Shazam! 
  142. Harley and Poison Ivy #3
  143. The Infected: Scarab
  144. Batman Vs. Ra’s Al Ghul #4
  145. Justice League #37
  146. Deathstroke #50
  147. The Infected: Deathbringer #1 
  148. Batman and the Outsiders #8
  149. Catwoman #18
  150. The Flash #84
  151. Harley and Poison Ivy #4
  152. Hawkman #19 
  153. Justice League Odyssey #16
  154. Supergirl #37
  155. Harley Quinn: Year of the Villain #1 
  156. Ocean Master: Year of the Villain #1
  157. Aquaman #55
  158. Teen Titans #37
  159. Nightwing #67
  160. The Infected: The Commissioner #1
  161. Justice League #38
  162. Batman/Superman #5 
  163. Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1
  164. Action Comics #1018
  165. Batgirl #42
  166. The Flash #85
  167. Justice League Dark #18
  168. Red Hood: Outlaw #41
  169. The Terrifics #23
  170. Batman and the Outsiders #9
  171. Catwoman #19
  172. Harley and Poison Ivy #5
  173. Hawkman #20
  174. Supergirl #38
  175. Justice League #39
  176. The Flash #86
  177. Justice League Odyssey #17
  178. Nightwing #68
  179. Teen Titans #38
  180. Justice League Dark #19
  181. Batman/Superman #6
  182. Wonder Woman #750
  183. Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #2
  184. Batgirl #43
  185. Red Hood: Outlaw #42
  186. Action Comics #1019
  187. The Flash #87
  188. The Terrifics #24
  189. Harley and Poison Ivy #6
  190. Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #3
  191. Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #4

Last update on 2022-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API