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Alex Ross Books

Confused about which Alex Ross books to read ? This article shows you how to get started by focusing on his major work

Who is Alex Ross ?

Nelson Alexander "Alex" Ross is a comic book artist known for his photo realistic painting style, attention to detail and modern day treatment of classic comic book characters, particularly those from DC's silver age of comics.

Essential Reading

Ideally, you should read everything that Alex every created, in chronological release order. However, we realize that everyone is not filthy stinking rich and you might want to get into his work on the cheap.

The good news is ... almost all of Alex's work is standalone and does not require any prior reading. This means that you can jump right in and read "Liberty and Justice" if you want to followed by anything else.

For DC fans that want to limit their reading, we recommend the following

  1. Kingdom Come - This is a mind blowing masterpiece and still the fan favorite after all these years
  2. Kingdom - OPTIONAL - If you enjoyed Kingdom Come follow it up with Kingdom, the prequel to Kingdom Come released after Kingdom Come.  Alex Ross was not involved in this, but it is still a great read based on Alex's Kingdom universe. 
  3. Justice League of America: Liberty and Justice
  4. Absolute Justice
  5. Mythology 2004 Hard Cover version - thick reference book of Alex's work and history

Save Money - Amazon "Best Price"

You will save a lot of money buying books from Amazons third party sellers by using the "best price" link.  This shows books available from other sellers via Amazon's web site including new and second hand books ! The prices on this page show the Amazon full price and the reseller Best Price.

We bought some of these for just a few dollars including Kingdom Come for less than $10 and Secret Origins for just a few cents.  We have used International Shipping to Australia with no problems - delivering straight to our door without any messing around with customs or import duties. 

Major Comics by Alex Ross

Here is a list of the most important works from Alex Ross that have internal art from Alex.  It does not include items where he has done cover art only or where Alex has been involved in the plotting rather than the internal art (such as the Earth X series (Earth X Universe X, Paradise X).

These are bundled reprints / graphic novels not the original comic issues.

To get fast tracked, simply focus on the items that we have highlighted with a green background

 Fiction  Buy from Amazon
Terminator: The Burning Earth (1990)

First published work.
The quality and level of detail is significantly less than future work
which is to be expected as this is his first comic release.
This is not essential reading if you are DC fan as it not connected to the "worlds" of his future work.  It is only listed here due to its historical significance as his first work in comics.
Marvels (1994 Marvel)  ****

If you are a DC fan, skip this and go straight to Kingdom Come.  But return later and read this work as you become more interested in Alex's work

Great for Marvel fans, optional for DC fans.
Kingdom Come (1997 DC) ***** MUST HAVE

A possible DC universe future where our favorite superheros have been pushed aside for a new generation ... until our old favorites return and kick ass.

A "Must Read" for DC and Alex Ross fans.  This book ranks alongside Watchmen and Dark Knight as the most important and ground breaking comics ever produced.  All three are breathtakingly amazing and Im sure you will re-read them many times

There are four different prints.  Our preference is the "Absolute Kingdom Come" print if you can afford it but otherwise the other prints will do fine.  The 2008 print actually has better quality print than the original release and an expandable wrap around cover.

If you like Kingdom Come, follow it up by reading the prequel "The Kingdom" which was released after Kingdom Come in 1999 and shows preceding events.  This is a good book, but not as good as Kingdom Come.  Unfortunately, Alex Ross was not involved in Kingdom Come which was a huge mistake
<sigh>, but none the less "The Kingdom" is a good read and one of the few that involves the "Kingdom" universe.
Original 1997

2006 Our Fave



Uncle Sam (1997 DC)

After the success of Kingdom Come, Ross was given freedom to pursue a project of his own interest.  Uncle Sam was the result.  This is not essential reading for DC or Marvel fans as it is based in another Universe with stronger ties to the real world

The deluxe edition adds sketches, introduction by author/music journalist Griel Marcus and a history of Uncle Sam

 1997 Original
2009 Delux
Superman: Peace On Earth (1999 DC)

First of the four "tabloid sized editions" celebrating 60 years of DC heroes.  Alex's internal artwork but with verbose text rather than the traditional comic speech bubbles which may turn off some readers

Batman: War on Crime (1999 DC)
Tabloid sized edition, text rather than word balloons
Shazam!: Power of Hope (2000 DC)
Tabloid sized edition, text rather than word balloons
Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth (2001 DC)
Tabloid sized edition, text rather than word balloons
Justice League of America: Secret Origins (2002 DC)
Origins of the silver age DC heroes with a focus on the JLA

This does not have a story so newbies might want to skip this and jump straight to "Liberty and Justice".  On the other hands, Ive seen this sell for as little as 1c + shipping on Amazon "best price" so why the heck would you not buy it at that price

Justice League of America: Liberty and Justice (2003 DC) ****

Absolute Justice (2009 DC) ****

Nearly 500 pages reprinting the 12 part series.


Reference Books

In addition to the actual work, there are a few reference books - most are large and thick with quality prints and lots of history information

Alex Ross Wizard Millennium Edition  (1999)

Reference Book
showing behind the scenes and Alex at work on his paintings.

2 versions - 1999 and 2003. We prefer the 2003 as it has more material.

This goes into more information on his Marvel work than other reference books

Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross (2004)

Reference book of Alex's work.

Large, thick coffee table book with many pictures and behind the scenes pictures and history sections. A beautiful wrap-around cover that opens up into 2 extra sections.

We prefer the 2004 hard cover print (288 pages) rather than the 2005 paperback even though the 2005 version has more pages (320).  Its a large heavy book and deserves the impressive hard cover to highlight the quality of the work.
2004 Hardcover
 2005 Paperback
Rough Justice (2009)

Reference book with a focus on Alex's pencil work rather than the paintings that he eventually transforms them into.  Alex does all his work in detailed pencil drawings first including gray scale shading and then paints over them