Top 7 Batman Stories
Recently, I attended New York Comic Con and it was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. After being surrounded by so many creative professionals in the industry (especially those that have worked on Batman), I wanted to share my top Batman stories.
I added these two together since The City of Owls continues the story from The Court of Owls. This creative duo have been pushing out some amazing Batman stories ever since DC’s relaunch of all of their titles. Here, they have created a brand new villain named the Court of Owls. In addition, Scott Snyder heavily explores the past of Gotham City and how it ties into the Wayne family.
Story by Jeph Loeb
Art by Jim Lee
An incredible story where the main villain is using many of Batman’s Rogues Gallery (and allies) against him.
Another two part story I’ve added together. The Long Halloween has a strong influence on Nolan’s The Dark Knight (the team up of Harvey Dent, Jim Gordon and Batman taking down the crime families). More importantly, the emphasis is on the transition of power from the crime families to super villains. Dark Victory ties up some loose ends from The Long Halloween and serves as an origin story for the first Robin, Dick Grayson.
4. The Killing Joke
Story by Alan Moore
Art by Brian Bolland
Written by the legendary Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta), this is the first comic to give The Joker a definitive backstory. A lot of controversy exists within the story, especially a scene that revolves around Barbara Gordon. But the story is good in the sense that it almost makes to sympathetic to The Joker.
3. Year One
Story by Frank Miller
Art by David Mazzucchelli
Following the success of The Dark Knight Returns (mentioned below), DC Comics wanted to re-tell Batman’s origin. Frank Miller did this in an interesting way by telling it through a young Jim Gordon’s eyes. From his perspective, you get a sense of how corrupt Gotham is. This Gotham City is heavily based on Times Square (back when it wasn’t such a great place).
2. The Dark Knight Returns
Story by Frank Miller
Art by Klaus Janson
(redesigned cover by Chip Kidd!!!)
Very important in the history of Batman comics. An aging Bruce Wayne has retired the cowl and has to deal with the struggles of coming back as Batman. The media’s reaction to this vigilante coming back is where this shines. That criticism mirrors the criticism of comic books at the time; are they still relevant and why? Batman V Superman is heavily influenced by this story, with the media’s focus on Superman rather than Batman. This was also the first story to show a darker side of Batman (the idea was to move away from the Adam West show). If it weren’t for this comic, I really don’t think we would have the movies and stories we have today.
1. Death of The Family
Story by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo
The Joker is my favorite villain and this story is my favorite featuring him. This interpretation of The Joker is absolutely terrifying to the point that even Batman starts to fear him. Essentially, Joker is trying to prove to him that Batman cares more about The Joker than his allies. It is truly a fantastic read.
I hope this helps you to help build a library of Batman stories. They really are aimed for more of an older audience. Complex themes are explored throughout.