Here is a Blackest Night reading issue order suggestion.
I compiled this by reconciling three different reading orders from blog posts and forum posts. The explanations of the orderings come from a forum post. If I find the original sources, I will post them.
[Ed.: Looking for a Trade/Collected Edition reading order suggestion? Try our TPB list here, which also includes important prelude volumes.]
In Bold: Main Threads from Blackest Night, BN: Green Lantern, BN: Green Lantern Corps, and BN: Tales of the Green Lantern Corps
In Underline: Main Tie-Ins from BN: Batman, BN: Superman, BN:Wonder Woman, BN: TItans, BN:Flash, BN:JSA (Found in Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps vol 1 and 2)
In Italics: Titles from Blackest Night: Rise of the Black Lanterns. These titles are where canceled series such as Catwoman and Suicide Squad were “resurrected” for one last issue.
The other titles have tie-ins found in volumes under each title’s own tpb sequence. Comments contain potential spoilers, so are whited out after a hyphen-bracket. Select them to see them! -[ Like this
- Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1
- Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #2
- Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #3
- Titans #15 -[ Tempest returns. BN: Prelude
- Green Lantern #43 - [ Prologue
- Blackest Night #0
- Blackest Night #1 -[ Power Levels 0.01% to 0.02%
- Green Lantern Corps #39 -[ Kyle & Guy mention attending Tribute Day from BN #1, but also features the events leading to their report toward the end of BN #1. Issue happens side-by-side with BN #1.
- Green Lantern #44 -[ Power Levels 0.75% to 1.20%
- Blackest Night #2 - [ Power Levels 2.63% to 3.43%
- Starman #81 -[ Doesn't appear to matter where to put it, but it seems pre-Nekron rise and very early by the behavior of the security guards.
- The Power of Shazam #48 -[ Appears to take place early on in the Blackest Night. Exact place not able to ascertain.
- Blackest Night: Batman #1 -[ No power levels but the Bat Symbol is destroyed so Hal already crashed into it. (Read all issues of this miniseries or order by power level of other issues as story doesn't tie in with any of the other books)
- Blackest Night: Superman #1 -[ Power Levels 3.44% to 3.82%
- Blackest Night: Titans #1 -[ No power level's but Hawk is out of his grave so this goes after BN #2
- Green Lantern #45 -[ Power Levels 45.43%
- Green Lantern Corps #40 -[ Power Levels 45.96% to 46.31%
- Blackest Night: Batman #2 -[ Power Levels 46.65% to 47.01%
- The Question #37 -[ Put before BN #3 because when Jason touches Ronnie in BN #3, he sees Vic Sage's grave empty already.
- Blackest Night #3 -[ Power Levels 50.32% to 56.59%
- Adventure Comics #4 -[ Events happen simultaneous to Alex Luthor rising in BN #3.
- Adventure Comics #5 -[ The previous issue's story is wrapped up very shortly afterward.
- Justice League of America #38 -[ Dr. Light I is seen as a Black Lantern. This happened at the end of BN #3.
- Suicide Squad #67 -[ Power Level's 57.01%
- Blackest Night: Titans #2 -[ Power Level's 57.03%
- Green Lantern #46 -[ Power Level's 75.25%
- Blackest Night: Titans #3 -[ No power levels but just seems to fit here.
- Blackest Night: Batman #3 -[ No power levels but just seems to fit here.
- The Phantom Stranger #42 -[ Takes place not long after the Spectre Rising in BN #2. Has to take place after BN: Batman #3 as well, factoring in Deadman's involvement.
- Catwoman #83 -[ The blackout in Gotham is mentioned. Seems to be pre-Nekron rise as well.
- Green Lantern Corps #41 -[ Power Level's 85.26%
- Blackest Night: Superman #2 -[ No power levels but Psycho Pirate is there so it's after BN #3.
- Blackest Night: Superman #3 -[ Power Levels 93.01%
- Outsiders #23 -[ Black Lantern Terra appears at the end of it. Given the next issue is post-BN: Titans #3, it makes sense here.
- Outsiders #24 -[ The events of BN: Titans #3 are recalled but it seems to be pre-Nekron rise.
- Outsiders #25 -[ The rest of the fight from the previous issue.
- Teen Titans #77 -[ Most signs point to it being post BN: Titans #3 but pre-Nekron rise.
- Teen Titans #78 -[ Concludes previous issue's events right afterward.
- Weird Western Tales #71 -[ Doesn't appear to matter where to put it, but it seems pre-Nekron rise.
Solomon Grundy #7 -[ Solomon Grundy is resurrected with a Black Ring. Though is a BN: Prelude, it makes sense to put after BN: Batman as Etrigan has been involved in S/B #66 & S/B #67 which seem to form one story arc.
- Superman/Batman #66 -[ Blackout may be a BN: Batman reference, plus this is definitely a post Outsiders #23 Man-Bat appearance.
- Superman/Batman #67 -[ Picks up right where #66 left off.
- Green Lantern #47 -[ No Power Levels but just seems to fit here.
- Blackest Night #4 -[ 100%. Nekron Rises.
- Blackest Night: Flash #1 -[ The ending of the issue coincides with the closing events of BN #4.
- Secret Six #17 -[ Continuing from Suicide Squad #67, but we see mention of Barry's message from BN #4 at the end.
- Secret Six #18 -[ Picks up immediately from SS #17.
- Doom Patrol #4 -[ We see Barry's message from BN #4.
- Doom Patrol #5 -[ The previous issue's story is wrapped up very shortly afterward.
- Booster Gold #26 -[ We see Rip Hunter talking about Barry's message from BN #4.
- Booster Gold #27 -[ The previous issue's story is wrapped up very shortly afterward.
- Justice League Of America 39 -[ This tie-in does link to the main story: Dr. Light is seen rising at the end of BN3, plus the Hall Of Justice is the setting for the battles in BN3 and BN4. I put this issue at no.23 because the Hall Of Justice is only now empty. Dr. Light and company rose in BN3, but there is STILL fighting in the Hall during BN4 – it must therefore go after BN4.
- Justice League Of America 40 -[ no deaths here, as Plastic Man has a stretchy heart and recovers anyway, and Reddy's Reddy. I can't find any reference to the story (a common feature of these tie-ins, if you ask me) but I've included the first part, so here's the resolution.
- R.E.B.E.L.S. #10 -[ We see Vril Dox mentioning receiving Barry's message from BN #4.
- R.E.B.E.L.S. #11 -[ The previous issue's story is wrapped up very shortly afterward.
- Blackest Night: JSA #1 -[ Appears to be shortly after Damage's death in BN #4.
- Blackest Night: JSA #2 -[ Takes place shortly thereafter. No reason to displace.
- Blackest Night: JSA #3 -[ Picks up immediately after #2.
- Green Lantern Corps #42 -[ Power Levels 100% and "100% Power Level Exceeded."
- Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1 -[ Leads directly into the events of BN #5.
- Green Lantern #48 -[ Leads directly into the events of BN #5.
- Blackest Night #5 -[ "Die!"
- Green Lantern Corps #43 -[ Doesn't appear to matter whether it is pre-"Die!" or post-"Die!" at the moment.
- Green Lantern #49 -[ John Stewart brings Xanshi to Earth… which we see followed-up on in BN #6.
- Blackest Night #6 -[ Temporary new Lanterns are selected for each Corps.
- Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2 -[ Simultaneous to BN #6's conclusion.
- Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #3 -[ Takes place in-between pages at the end of BN #6.
- Blackest Night: Flash #2 -[ Picks up virtually immediately after BN #6.
- Green Arrow #30 -[ Seems to be immediately after BN #6 but before Adventure Comics #7.
- Green Lantern Corps #44 -[ No marker to indicate placement, but seems to be concurrent with BN #6/after.
- Blackest Night: Flash #3 -[ At the end everyone races toward the Spectre.
- Green Lantern #50 -[ Parallax Rebirth. The Spectre is fought.
- The Atom and Hawkman #46 -[ We see the other Corps' fighting the Spectre as seen in GL #50.
- Adventure Comics #7 -[ BL Superboy is freed. Likely before GL #51 since BL Superboy is not seen on the ending splash.
- Green Lantern #51 -[ The Spectre is defeated and Parallax is taken away.
- Green Lantern Corps #45 -[ The GLC appears to transport to Earth at the end.
- Blackest Night #7 -[ Rise of the White Lantern.
- Green Lantern Corps #46 -[ Clearly post-BN #7 with the Anti-Monitor getting free.
- Green Lantern #52 -[ Leads directly into BN #8.
- Blackest Night #8
- R.E.B.E.L.S. #12 -[ "For three whole days, he fought [the Black Lanterns] without pause.”
- Green Lantern Corps #47 -[ Blackest Night epilogue.
Ian’s Note: Thanks to Origin4 for posting this! Hope this list helps you with your reading! It’s a pretty big event and contains a lot of good stuff. After you’re done, feel free to let us know any advice or contributions. If enough people ask for significant preludes to be added, I may put them at the top of this post (or make a prelude post!)