Seven Soldiers is a mid 2000’s loose DC “event,” in which superstar writer Grant Morrison wrote seven individual miniseries (each four issues in length) chronicling the stories of some of DC’s lesser known or forgotten characters. While the character’s issues don’t crossover a la a traditional comic book event, their stories do ultimately tie together in bookend issues of Seven Soldiers #0 and #1.
Grant Morrison’s ambitious interweaving narratives are brought to life by outstanding artistic talents like J.H. Williams III, Simone Bianchi, Ryan Sook, and Yanick Paquette (among many others). The most well known of the character’s today are likely Zatanna and Mister Miracle, although the likes of DC’s Frankenstein has also gone on to have a larger post Seven Soldiers role in the DCU, particularly in the New 52.
It’s worth noting there is some debate as to whether Seven Soldiers should take place immediately preceding or immediately following the events of DC’s Infinite Crisis. For my money, I think it’s best to accept Seven Soldiers running more or less parallel to the Infinite Crisis Countdown series, and after Zatanna’s role in the Infinite Crisis prelude, “Crisis of Conscience” in JLA #115 to #119.
The truth, though, is Seven Soldiers is most closely connected to 2008’s Morrison written event, Final Crisis, and so long as you have the seven series under your belt prior to taking on Morrison’s most challenging DC event (I’m still wrapping my head around some elements of Final Crisis a decade later), you’ll be in good shape! Below you’ll find the complete reading order and checklist for the Seven Soldiers series, including comics from DC’s history that will help inform some of the continuity and ideas at play.
Previously: Identity Crisis
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Road to Seven Soldiers
Seven Soldiers of Victory, The – Archives, Volume 1
Collects: Leading Comics #1 To #4
The original Seven Soldiers of Victory – and legacy inspiration for Morrison’s version – are the second major DC Comics team to unite in the Golden Age of 1940’s comics, after the Justice Society of America. The original Seven Soldiers of Victory lineup included Green Arrow, his sidekick Speedy, Stripesy and the Star-Spangled Kid, The Crimson Avenger, the Shining Knight, and the Vigilante.
While you don’t need to read the original Seven Soldiers of Victory stories to dive into Morrison’s updates, it’s a helpful reference point for the material.
Seven Soldiers of Victory Archives, Vol. 2
Collects: Leading Comics #5 To #8
Seven Soldiers of Victory Archives Vol. 03
Collects: Leading Comics #9 To #14
JLA Confidential, Book 1: Ultramarine Corps
Collects: JLA Classified #1 To #3
It should be noted that Morrison’s JLA Classified issues that function as a soft precursor to concepts in Seven Soldiers are also included at the very tail end of his JLA Vol. 4 hardcover edition. Since Morrison’s time writing JLA (primarily with artist Howard Porter) is fantastic, I’d recommend simply grabbing the JLA editions and reading them all.
Seven Soldiers Collected Graphic Novels
Seven Soldiers by Grant Morrison Omnibus
Collects: Seven Soldiers #0-1, Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #1-4, Seven Soldiers: Guardian #1-4, Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #1-4, Seven Soldiers: Klarion The Witch Boy #1-4, Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle #1-4, Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #1-4 And Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #1-4
Note that the Omnibus collects every issue included in the Seven Soldiers collections below.
Seven Soldiers of Victory Book One
Collects: Seven Soldiers Of Victory #0, The Guardian #1-4, Klarion #1-3, Zatanna #1-3, And The Shining Knight #1-4
Seven Soldiers of Victory Book Two
Collects: Mister Miracle #1-4, Bulleteer #1-4, Zatanna #4, Klarion #4, Frankenstein #1-4 And Seven Soldiers Of Victory #1
Seven Soldiers Reading Order Checklist
- Seven Soldiers #0
- Shining Knight #1
- Guardian #1
- Zatanna #1
- Klarion the Witch Boy #1
- Shining Knight #2
- Guardian #2
- Zatanna #2
- Klarion the Witch Boy #2
- Shining Knight #3
- Guardian #3
- Klarion the Witch Boy #3
- Shining Knight #4
- Zatanna #3
- Guardian #4
- Klarion the Witch Boy #4
- Mister Miracle #1
- Zatanna #4
- Bulleteer #1
- Frankenstein #1
- Mister Miracle #2
- Bulleteer #2
- Frankenstein #2
- Mister Miracle #3
- Bulleteer #3
- Frankenstein #3
- Mister Miracle #4
- Bulleteer #4
- Frankenstein #4
- Seven Soldiers #1
Next: Infinite Crisis
Next in Grant Morrison: Batman
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I’d recommend picking up Justice League of America 100–102 for additional context.
Gideon Faulconer says
Since the individual mini-series don’t crossover, would it be confusing to just read Seven Soldiers #0, then each of the miniseries separately, and then finishing with Seven Soldiers #1? I was just thinking the stories might flow better that way if there’s not a lot of integration before the end.
It probably would not be that much more confusing. There are some smaller elements of story that bleed between the crossovers, but not to the point of distraction. I’d say go for it!
I’m a bit late to the party, but I just read each miniseries separately (instead of mixed together) between bookends and had no issues with confusing crossover. I think it helped me keep track of things better.
Prior to that I tried to read the storyline three times through the years, giving up each time when reading them in release order. IDK why it was so difficult for me in the past, but I’m glad I finally finished it and can recognize the amount of work and genius Morrison put into constructing it.
Tough to read and impossible to keep track of? Must be Grant Morrison.