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DC UNIVERSE INFINITE's New Ultra Tier...From A to Z

DC UNIVERSE INFINITE's New Ultra Tier...From A to Z

By Alex Jaffe Tuesday, January 10th, 2023

You want all access? You’ve got all access. With a subscription to the Ultra tier of DC UNIVERSE INFINITE, you’ve got pretty darn close to every comic that DC has ever made digitally available to anyone. We’re talking Vertigo. We’re talking graphic novels. We’re talking special collected editions with material you can’t find anywhere else. So much to read that it can get pretty overwhelming going through it all. It would be impossible for us to guide you through all the incredible material you can read now, but trust us: it’s a trove of treasure that encompasses everything from A to Z.

Here, let’s prove it to you…
 

A is for AMERICAN VAMPIRE

Before he was one of the world’s leading authorities on Batman and heavy metal crises, Scott Snyder was a vamp man. With the then burgeoning and now celebrated artist Rafael Albuquerque, Snyder’s American Vampire transplanted one of our most captivating cultural mythologies, the curse of vampirism, and weaved it through American history from the old west to the modern age. Plus, the first volume was cowritten by Stephen King!
 

B is for BIRTH OF THE DEMON

If you’re looking for the greatest Ra’s al Ghul story ever told, your Demon’s Quest is at an end. This masterwork from Denny O’Neil, the co-creator of Batman’s greatest enemy, and Norm Breyfogle, delivering some of the greatest work of his career, finally tells the hidden origins of one of the deadliest men on the planet, and the great personal tragedy which forged an altruistic doctor into the Demon’s Head.
 

C is for CLEAN ROOM

Fans of Gail Simone’s DC work from Secret Six to Birds of Prey will wax on about her penchant for complex and relatable friendship dynamics, finely crafted bawdy humor, and an ability to evoke sympathy for characters you never thought you’d fall in love with. But one of Simone’s greatest strengths is the undercurrent of horror which often defines the most harrowing of her heroes’ escapades. In Clean Room, that penchant for terror becomes the central thrust, paired expertly with the darkly alluring art of Jon Davis-Hunt. Decontamination has never felt so dirty.
 

D is for DAYTRIPPER

One of the most critically acclaimed comics of all time, Daytripper by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá is a ten-issue meditation on the nature of death and what it says about the meaning of life. One of the greatest works of literature ever written in any medium, let alone comics, it’s a book which has changed lives. Maybe it will change yours too.
 

E is for ELSEWORLDS

Over forty Elseworlds stories which envision DC’s greatest icons in entirely new settings and situations are available with your standard Infinite subscription, but some of the best only come with Ultra. Elseworlds: Batman Vol. 2, for instance, contains the entire trilogy of Vampire Batman stories which began with Red Rain. You’ll also get Gotham by Gaslight, the Elseworlds graphic novel which started it all, and The Doom That Came to Gotham, which you can read before it becomes an animated film this year. And don’t sleep on “World’s Funnest” in Elseworlds: Justice League Vol. 3, one of the most ambitious DC stories ever told chronicling a multiverse-spanning battle between Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk.
 

F is for FRANK MILLER’S RONIN

Years before redefining how we look at Batman in The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller gave us Ronina six-issue limited series which feels very much like a prototype for his eventual Gotham opus, while claiming a place as a contemporary masterpiece of the medium in its own right. Set in a future New York City, Ronin represents the fruits of Miller’s interest in martial arts and samurai stories transposed into a dystopian future. It’s a story of how the values of yesterday can be the only force that resists a suffocating tomorrow. In practice, it nearly feels like a Batman story awaiting its Batman. Return to a world before Returns.
 

G is for GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

In conjunction with the release of the 2012 film, Denise Mina, Leonardo Manco and Andrea Mutti gave us this stunning multi-volume graphic novel adaptation of all three novels in Stieg Larsson’s barnstorming epic of trauma and revenge, which he based on his own journalistic experiences in the criminal underworld. And let’s not overlook the provocative, oh-so-fitting covers by Lee Bermejo.
 

H is for HELLBLAZER: SHOOT

It was the Hellblazer story that crossed the line. In 1999, Warren Ellis and Phil Jimenez submitted “Shoot,” a story intended to be the 141st issue of the 300-issue Vertigo series on DC’s darkest magician. From the series’ beginnings under Jamie Delano, Hellblazer never shied away from using its platform to address the ugliest facets of our own society, from child abuse to xenophobia. Similarly, “Shoot” was planned as a sober examination of the terrible phenomenon of school shootings. But with the mass shooting at Columbine High School that same year still a fresh, raw wound in the collective psyche, the issue never made the transition to print. “Shoot” would eventually be issued eleven years later, and is collected here along with the rest of Warren Ellis’s run on the Hellblazer series.
 

I is for THE INVISIBLES

If you’re a fan of Grant Morrison’s metatextual work from the fringes to the center of the DC Universe, you should know that The Invisibles is where they really let loose. Your cool older sibling’s favorite comic book if you grew up in the 1990s, this X-Files unleashed is Morrison’s first creator-owned work for DC, and some would still claim their greatest.
 

J is for JONAH HEX

A hero to some, a villain to others, and wherever he rode people spoke his name in whispers. If you’re looking for the pre-eminent anti-hero of the Old West, Ultra’s got you covered with Jonah Hex: Classic Tales, collecting some of the bounty hunter’s most iconic stories from his original 1970s run; Jonah Hex: Shadows West, a treasury of truly weird Western tales from the ’90s by Joe R. Lansdale and Tim Truman; and Jonah Hex: No Way Back, the graphic chapter of Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti’s eight-year ride with the half-faced man in gray.
 

K is for THE KILLING JOKE

One of the most requested comics since DC’s digital subscription library launched in 2018 has been Batman: The Killing Joke, Alan Moore’s standalone exploration of the philosophy, desires and motivation of Batman’s most enigmatic enemy. Well, now you can have it—in fact, you have it three different ways. We’ve got the classic graphic novel, an expanded edition with a rich collection of artist Brian Bolland’s takes on the Joker since Killing Joke’s release, and even a Noir edition in black and white. After all, if you’re going to read a Joker story, it should be multiple choice.
 

L is for THE LOST BOYS

Who ever said DC fans don’t love Joel Schumacher? Tim Seeley and Scott Godlewski’s The Lost Boys graphic novel is no mere adaptation of the 1987 vampire movie cult classic, but a sequel that picks up right where the film left our freaky Frog brothers. You say you still believe… go ahead and prove it.
 

M is for MAD MAGAZINE

What, me worry? Not about running out of books to read. More copies of MAD Magazine dropped last year on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE than any teenage weisenheimer could reasonably carry, but Ultra ups the ante with collections like the iconic MAD About Superheroes, MAD Presents: Spy vs. Spy, two volumes of material on our 45th president of the United States alone, and the behind-the-scenes Inside MAD. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
 

N is for NEW FUN COMICS #1

Have you ever wanted to go back to where it all began? No, not Action Comics #1. Earlier. Not Detective Comics #1. Earlier than that. National Publications, the company which would become DC Comics, started it all with New Fun Comics #1 in 1935, which you can read in its entirety on Ultra, complete with plenty of context on how this history-making anthology came to be.
 

O is for OCEAN/ORBITER

This double feature of sci-fi space stories pairs Warren Ellis with Chris Sprouse, Karl Story and Colleen Doran, first for a trip to the moon of Europa originally intended as a cinematic screenplay, but adapted as a graphic novel; followed by a true Mystery in Space about a disappearing shuttle returned home after ten years away.
 

P is for PRIDE OF BAGHDAD

An award-winning, allegorical, anti-war parable for the modern era, Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon’s Pride of Baghdad is the story of a pride of lions which escapes the Baghdad Zoo after a bombing by the US military during the war in Iraq—an occurrence based on true events, but one which examines the catastrophic unintended repercussions of war in extreme focus.
 

Q is for QUARANTINE ZONE

A far-too-prescient 2016 post-apocalyptic story by Daniel H. Wilson and Fernando Pasarin about the collapse of humanity after a contagion emerges that disables the infected’s capacity for empathy. Quarantine Zone is one of those rare stories that’s only grown in its power and effectiveness since it was first published and hits far more differently now in our post-pandemic society. A hidden dystopic gem just waiting to be discovered.
 

R is for ROAD TO PERDITION

One of the last books published by Paradox Press, a precedent imprint to DC’s Vertigo, Road to Perdition is a father-and-son crime story by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner. It was so good that Tom Hanks signed up to play the main character in the 2002 film adaptation, winning tons of awards and critical acclaim. And giving you one up on anyone who says they don’t need to read it because they’ve seen the film, Ultra members also can read its two lesser-known sequels.
 

S is for THE SANDMAN UNIVERSE

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series may have ended with issue #75’s retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, but the Dreaming sprawls out into eternity. The realms of Morpheus have grown exponentially since “The Wake” of 1995, from chronicles of The Dreaming, to Endless Nights, to a line-wide relaunch curated by Neil himself in 2018. The dream lives on.
 

T is for TRANSMETROPOLITAN

Transmetropolitan may be 25 years old, but this often disturbingly relevant social and political satire remains as sharp today as it was back when its Hunter S. Thompson-inspired protagonist Spider Jerusalem was telling us all “I hate it here” in 1997. Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, this Warren Ellis-penned tale of the ugly things we do to each other in the name of civilization is the reality check that many of us needed back then, and some of us clearly still need now.
 

U is for THE UNWRITTEN

Exploring the borderline between fiction and reality, Mike Carey and Peter Gross’ The Unwritten is about the child of a famous author who must contend with the destiny of the popular fictional character based on him. It’s the beginning of a journey which explores the nature of fiction itself, and how its impact ripples into the real world.
 

V is for VENDETTA

Sorry, we couldn’t resist. All ten-issues of V for Vendetta are available on the standard subscription tier of DC UNIVERSE INFINITE, but the 30th anniversary edition comes with notes about the series’ production from Alan Moore and preliminary character sketches from David Lloyd difficult to find anywhere else. That goes for all the many, many collected editions that the Ultra tier gives you access to as well—many of these special editions come with valuable behind-the-scenes information for when you want to know the story inside and out.
 

W is for WATCHMEN

There’s only one book more requested than The Killing Joke since DC UNIVERSE INFINITE first launched and that’s Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore’s magnum opus, Watchmenthe deconstruction of the superhero myth held to this day as the high water mark for the art of comics as a medium. Yours to review again and again like a time-unstuck Jon Osterman on Ultra.
 

X is for EX-TRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN

Look, X is hard. Almost as hard as assembling Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s impossibly ambitious tribute and crossover of all of literature extant within the public domain. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen brings together the characters of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man and many more you’ve probably never heard of on a mad quest to bring some real culture into this blighted pop landscape. The next best thing to picking up a real book. (That’s a joke.)
 

Y is for YOU BROUGHT ME THE OCEAN

Ultra brings a wealth of great Young Adult graphic novels to the INFINITE library, from Shadow of the Batgirl to Galaxy: The Prettiest Star, but few are as powerful a read as this retelling of Jackson Hyde’s origin story by Alex Sanchez and Julie Maroh which pairs his awakening to his aquakinetic powers with the realization of his sexuality.
 

Z is for ZATANNA/BLACK CANARY: BLOODSPELL

Okay, caught us again. Technically the title is Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell, but you can’t blame us if Zatanna’s got us thinking backwards. This all-fishnet team-up from Paul Dini and Joe Quinones feels like a lost episode of Justice League Unlimited, forging a connection between two rarely paired heroes for a unique flavor.


And once again, all that is just barely scratching the surface. A mere 26 of over 32,000! No matter what kind of comic reader you are, there’s something waiting in DC UNIVERSE INFINITE new Ultra tier that you won’t be able to put down.


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Alex Jaffe is the author of our monthly "Ask the Question" column and writes about TV, movies, comics and superhero history for DC.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexJaffe and find him in the DC Community as HubCityQuestion.