Batman is one of the greatest cultural icons of all time. But most people who know the character have discovered him through various media outlets such as movies and television. Several hit movies like the Dark Knight and, most recently, The Batman, brought Batman back into the limelight.
But many people learned about Batman by reading his comics. What are some of the best Batman comics of all time? It is time to go over what is among the best Batman comics of all time, and the ones everyone needs to read to truly understand the character.
Number 5- Batman Year One: Until this book came along, there were not too many stories about the first year of Bruce Wayne’s career as Batman. There were plenty of hints to how his career started, but many stories started either within the first few years of his career or when he was already a veteran crime-fighter. This 1988 comic book by Frank Miller changed how fans look at Batman and Bruce Wayne. He is still a novice at this point, trying to determine what he wants to be. When he returns to Gotham, he has the skills but still does not have the identity he is seeking. On his first night, the chaos of the streets breaks him, as no one fears him. Sitting in his living room, nearly bleeding to death, he is about to give it up when a bat comes crashing through his window. This inspires him to become Batman. Another thing that is great about this story is that Jim Gordon arrives in Gotham, fresh from Chicago, and becomes the Sergeant of Gotham. He also has to deal with the corruption on the Gotham P.D. including Detective Arnold Flass and Commissioner Gillian Loeb. It is a fascinating look into the lives of Bruce Wayne and James Gordon during year one.
Number 4- Batman The Killing Joke: The only bad thing about this story is about what happens to Barbara Gordon. The rest of the story dives into the tragic origin story of the man that would become the Joker. It shows flashback scenes of what possibly was his life before he becomes the Clown Prince of Crime. The Killing Joke makes the reader feel bad for the Joker and the random injustice that happened to him. It also drives a narrative where Batman shows he wants to help the Joker, but it is likely too late.
Number 3- Batman Knightfall: This is the story that inspired the Dark Knight Rises and also the tale that introduced Bane. Never had Batman faced an opponent that was equally intelligent and powerful. Bane does something no other villain has done before as he destroys Arkham Asylum, forcing Batman to tire himself out capturing all of them. Bane uses his intellect to break into Wayne Enterprises and break Batman’s back, an act that would have consequences for later stories. Thus, Bane became the man that broke the bat.
Number 2- Batman No Man’s Land: This is one of the best stories of all time in comic book history and also another inspiration for the Dark Knight Rises. In No Man’s Land, the reader dives into a world where the United States government has abandoned a big city after a ground-shattering earthquake. Bruce Wayne failed in his goal to get help for Gotham, and the city devolved into chaos. Supporting characters like Barbara Gordon, the Huntress, and James Gordon shine in this story, and the reader meets Cassandra Cain for the first time. It is a story every Batman fan should read.
Number 1- Batman the Long Halloween: This is the book that inspired one of the best Batman films of all time. In The Long Halloween, the reader meets a young district attorney named Harvey Dent, who tries everything he can do to stop the Falcone Crime Family. Assisting Dent is a young Sergeant named James Gordon and Batman, who is in his second year of being the costumed crime-fighter. What makes this story appealing is the reader gets to see all the mistakes Batman makes while trying to solve the Holiday case, which is a series of murders committed on a holiday. The reader also gets to see the tragic origin story of Two-Face, one of Batman’s biggest villains. The story has plenty of Batman foes from Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Riddler, to even the Joker. This story also features Catwoman as she assists Batman for her own reasons.
What do you think are the top five Batman comics? Feel free to comment.