There are many Batman comics, but these 10 are the best. They all have a high-quality story and great artwork.
The best batman comics to start with is a difficult question. There are so many good comic books that have been written about the character, but if you want to get started in collecting them, these are some of the best ones to start with.
Following on from our lists of Batman’s greatest detective tales, Batman’s best Elseworlds stories, Batman’s best comics to start with, and Batman’s essential comics, we’ve compiled a list of the essential Batman comic novels that every fan should own!
Collectible Batman Comics:
1. The Return of the Dark Knight (1986)
Frank Miller is the author of this piece. Klaus Janson is a musician.
Plot: Batman has retired in a dystopian 1986 Gotham City, and there are no superheroes to defend the city. Once again, crime is on the rise in Gotham, and Batman emerges from retirement to put a stop to “The Mutants’” chaotic rule.
However, his reappearance heralds the return of his arch-nemesis, the Joker, who had been in a coma for years. Batman must battle on two fronts, but he is aided by a young woman named Carrie Kelley, who becomes the new Robin. Batman saves the day, but his presence is a danger to the dystopian government, so Superman is sent to speak with him.
Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns would undoubtedly be the most significant Batman comic if we were to choose just one. This is not just the most significant Batman comic, but also the most important DC Comics publication (together with Alan Moore’s Watchmen) and the most important American comic book of all time.
Why? Well, it was a game-changing tale that ushered in a totally new era in comic book history. With this comic, a new era of comic books began, replacing the campy Golden, Silver, and Bronze eras. They grew darker, more serious, and more artistically significant, making them more than simply a weekly source of amusement.
With this tale, American comic books were firmly established as an artistic medium, rather than just a business commodity. This comic has had a huge impact, and it is without a doubt a tale that every Batman fan should have at home.
If you want the whole picture, check out The Dark Knight Strikes Again, The Dark Knight III: The Master Race, The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade, and The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child, all of which were written by Frank Miller.
2. The First Year of Batman (1987)
Frank Miller is the author of this piece. David Mazzucchelli is an artist.
Plot: Bruce Wayne’s first year as the Dark Knight of Gotham is chronicled in Miller’s famous tale. It’s a totally factual tale that chronicles his battle against Gotham’s criminal underworld even before the formation of his Rogues Gallery, as well as his initial meeting with James Gordon and the building of their future friendship and partnership.
Year One by Frank Miller is without a doubt one of the most significant and greatest Batman comics ever published. It not only provides a canon narrative about the start of his profession, but it also establishes the tone and atmosphere for his subsequent exploits.
It was turned into a fantastic animated picture, and it inspired Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of films. Because this is a genuine tale set long before Batman’s Rogues Gallery, it largely depends on Batman’s investigation and detective work.
It should come as no surprise that it is on our list for all of these reasons, as well as its really important historical significance.
The Killing Joke is the third film in the series (1988)
Alan Moore is the author. Brian Bolland is an artist.
The plot follows an unidentified comic whose life spirals out of control after only “one bad day.” After his pregnant wife is murdered in a car accident, he is hired to assist a gang of mobsters in breaking into a local chemical plant.
He dives into a pound lock of chemical waste to escape Batman following a confrontation there. He made it out alive, but his skin was permanently bleached, his hair was turned green, and his mind was totally broken. As a result, the Joker was born. After three years, Batman returns to Arkham to put an end to his conflict with the Joker, only to discover that the criminal has escaped.
Meanwhile, the Joker went to Jim Gordon’s house, shot his daughter in the back, and abducted him, intending to make him crazy like Batman. Batman must not only locate the Joker, but also rescue Gordon’s life and sanity.
Significance: Alan Moore’s work is impossible to exaggerate, with The Killing Joke unquestionably one of his greatest graphic novels ever. Moore chose to completely embrace the depth of the Modern Age of comics and write a macabre origin story for DC Comics’ most renowned supervillain, the Joker, in this dark, psychologically tortured, and frightening narrative.
The tale is both terrifying and clever – and it is great – in that it shows us how thin the border between sanity and total, absolute lunacy is. Joker wanted Batman to have that “one bad day” that transformed him into the monster he is, so he did all he could to test the Dark Knight.
The enigmatic conclusion is one of the most discussed and debated comic book endings in history, and The Killing Joke is without a doubt a must-read and must-have for every Batman fan.
4. There Has Been a Death in the Family (1988)
Jim Starlin is the author of this piece. Jim Aparo is an artist.
Plot: After Batman dismisses Jason Todd of his responsibilities as Robin, the latter storms out in quest of his real mother. Meanwhile, the Joker manages to escape Arkham once again and obtains a nuclear bomb that he intends to sell in the Middle East.
In the Middle East, Batman and Jason reconnect and collaborate until Jason locates his mother, Sheila Haywood, who, after being blackmailed by the Joker, gives up her son to the Clown Prince of Crime.
Jason was tortured with a crowbar before the Joker blew up the warehouse where he and his mother were being kept prisoner, murdering both of them before Batman arrived. Batman must face the Joker as well as his own remorse for failing to save Jason.
While “A Death in the Family” may not be one of the most upbeat tales surrounding the Dark Knight, it is unquestionably one of the most significant. Not only does this tale include a key event in Batman’s history – the killing of Jason Todd, the second Robin – but it is also known for the manner the plot was written.
Dennis O’Neil, the renowned DC editor, decided to put Jason’s destiny in the hands of the fans. Readers may call a special phone line set up by DC Comics to choose whether to keep Jason alive or let him die.
The readers chose to murder off Jason Todd by a margin of just 72 votes, making it a genuinely unique occurrence in American comics history (5,343:5,271).
This incident had a lot of ramifications in subsequent tales, particularly in the study of Batman’s mind, and it was one of the most well-known comic book deaths ever. Jason Todd was resurrected in the later Red Hood narrative, reuniting with Batman and becoming a superhero himself, which was fortunate for him.
Batman: Knightfall is number five on the list (1993-1994)
Chuck Dixon, Dennis O’Neil, Doug Moench, and others are among the writers. Jim Aparo, Eduardo Barreto, Klaus Janson, and others are among the artists.
Plot: Over the course of six months, this large-scale tale comprises of three main storylines and a succession of prequel, sequel, and tie-in stories. A new supervillain arrives in Gotham in the first major story, “Knightfall.”
Bane, as he is known, is a “super-steroid” criminal mastermind who uses a tactical assault on Batman, depleting him physically and emotionally until he ultimately beats him in a battle, shattering his back and almost killing him. Batman is rescued, but his immobility prevents him from donning the hood.
Batman selects Jean-Paul Valley, also known as Azrael, as his successor in an unexpected decision. Valley is a completely different Batman, considerably more violent, egotistical, and paranoid, which creates difficulties and alienates him from his allies, despite being a suitable successor.
Valley created a new mechanical Bat-suit and faced Bane, beating him and leaving him psychologically and physically damaged, much as he did Batman. Valley decides not to murder him and instead sends him to Blackgate, where he will continue to watch over Gotham.
“Knightquest” is a direct sequel to “Knightfall” and follows two different stories. Valley’s controversial time as Batman and his battles against Gotham’s criminals and supervillains are chronicled in the first story, which includes the infamous moment in which Valley lets serial murderer Abattoir and his victim die.
In the second story, Bruce Wayne and Alfred are on the lookout for Jack Drake and Shondra Kinsolving.
Valley’s collapse culminates in him becoming a cruel and unpleasant version of Batman in “KnightsEnd.” Bruce Wayne insists that he resign, but Valley refuses, so Bruce prepares for a fight. Valley and Wayne fight it out in the caves around the Batcave under Wayne Manor in the ultimate battle.
Valley is outwitted and then defeated by Bruce, who then lets him go since he chose him as his successor and so bears responsibility for his misdeeds.
It would take a long time and a lot of room to discuss how the Knightfall epic influenced Batman and his tales. This massive series – now collected in three omnibus volumes – was a landmark 1990s tale that not only introduced Bane to the main continuity, but also delved even deeper into Batman’s mind and took on a more sinister tone. It had drastically altered.
It altered readers’ perceptions of Batman, who had previously seemed invincible. It established the idea of a “out-of-control” Batman other than Bruce Wayne, and it gave Jean-Paul Valley, who had previously been a supporting character known as Azrael, a bigger role.
Knightfall was a fun and essential tale that established the tone for the rest of the series, and it’s still considered one of the most important and must-read stories in the Batman universe. Every real collector should have these three omnibus editions.
6. Dark Victory (1997) / The Long Halloween (2000)
Jeph Loeb is the author. Tim Sale is an artist.
The story is set during Batman’s early days as the Caped Crusader of Gotham. Holiday, a mystery serial killer, is murdering individuals in Gotham on holidays, one victim each month, and the killings are always holiday-themed in some manner.
While balancing the power games involving Carmine Falcone and Gotham’s other villains, Batman must cooperate with James Gordon and DA Harvey Dent to hunt down the Holiday Killer.
Dark Victory is a direct sequel to The Long Halloween, and it takes place many months after the events of that tale. It follows Batman and Robin in their mission to find a new serial murderer in Gotham, The Hangman, whose tactics are remarkably similar to Holiday’s, but instead of holidays, his gimmick is the renowned word game.
In addition, Batman must contend with Two-plan Face’s to exact vengeance on Gotham for turning him into a monster.
The Long Halloween is a crucial tale in the evolution of Batman’s persona, not simply as one of the greatest Batman stories of all time. Unanimously acclaimed, this comic book has amassed a huge fanbase and has inspired Christopher Nolan and Matt Reeves’ approaches to directing Batman films.
In terms of the detective component, The Long Halloween is a true-crime thriller with very little “supernatural” or “superhero” aspects, and it might easily be portrayed as a true-crime with some “strange” individuals, similar to those seen in David Lynch films.
Despite the fact that the case was not solved in the traditional Sherlockian way, Batman’s investigative abilities were put to the test. We could just restate what we’ve already stated about Dark Victory.
Dark Victory is a fantastic sequel that not only builds on the success of The Long Halloween, but also does a fantastic job of expanding Batman’s narrative, character, and mythology on its own.
If you want to see the whole series, you should watch the prequel, Batman: Haunted Knight, as well as a spin-off/sequel, Catwoman: When in Rome.
No Man’s Land (Batman) (1999)
Greg Rucka, Chuck Dixon, Paul Dini, and others are among the authors. Alex Maleev, Dan Jurgens, Sergio Cariello, and others are among the writers.
Plot: No Man’s Land continues the efforts of Batman and his family, as well as the GCPD, to control the villains creating havoc in the divided city, after the events of Cataclysm, in which a powerful earthquake hit Gotham and shut it off from the rest of the world.
Other heroes, like as Superman, assist the heroes of this world. No Man’s Land is a really enormous event with many fascinating tales, focused on a variety of unique hero and villain narratives.
No Man’s Land is a landmark and highly important Batman tale. It was a significant in-universe event that demonstrated what would happen if criminals split Gotham and seized control of the city in an already unstable situation.
This plot was loosely used in the TV show Gotham and Christopher Nolan’s film The Dark Knight Rises. No Man’s Land is without a doubt one of the most fascinating and creative Batman tales ever and is well worth your time, even though it didn’t alter anything on a global level – but it did have an effect on individual stories.
Read the Cataclysm prelude, as well as the sequels Batman: Evolution and Bruce Wayne: Fugitive, to completely understand the whole tale and its importance.
8. Batman: Be quiet (2003)
Jeph Loeb is the author. Jim Lee is an artist.
Plot: Batman is pursued by a mysterious new criminal who goes by the name Hush, which sounds like a children’s lullaby.
He seems to know all there is to know about Batman and can anticipate his every action, which is why the Dark Knight is having so much difficulty dealing with him while also dealing with his other enemies, many of whom appear to be linked to the enigmatic Hush in some manner.
Importance: Hush is a crucial Batman tale from the contemporary era, as well as another masterpiece by Jeph Loeb. Hush made a great first impression and quickly established himself as one of the most intriguing and deadly members of Batman’s Rogues Gallery.
Hush has a lot of investigative aspects, and the mystery of Hush’s identity is really fantastic, while not being a traditional detective tale. If you chance to stumble across an animated film with the same name, don’t get your expectations up — it’s simply a sloppy adaptation that’s really quite awful, so unless you’re a die-hard fan, don’t bother.
Hush is one of the Dark Knight’s most important contemporary tales, and it goes deep into his mind, which is why we had to put it on our list.
If you can find the unauthorized sequels – Heart of Hush, House of Hush, and Hush Money – do not hesitate to finish the tale; however, be aware that these are very difficult to find since they haven’t been published.
9. Earth One (Batman) (2012-2015)
Geoff Johns is the author of this piece. Gary Frank is an artist.
Plot: Set in the other Earth-One, Johns’ original tale examines a new path for Batman and Gotham, one that is similar yet somewhat different from the original plot. In the first book, Johns delves into the ramifications of Thomas and Martha Wayne’s murders on Batman’s “birth,” as he battles corrupt mayor Oswald Cobblepot.
Volume Two follows Riddler, Gotham’s first true supervillain, as he attempts to combat the city’s corruption with unconventional means. There’s also a “Killer-Croc” in Gotham’s sewers, as well as a teaser for Volume Three that teases the villain Two-arrival. Face’s
Despite the fact that Johns’ Earth One is not part of the main continuity, it is nonetheless a fantastic Batman tale and a unique take on a well-known subject. Johns’ story is much more realistic than the traditional Batman tales, with even the supervillains coming off as more genuine.
When you combine it with Gary Frank’s fantastic artwork, you have a dark, gritty, and realistic tale that might easily be plucked from the pages of a newspaper.
Johns attempted to build an universe in which Batman could be a genuine person, with real enemies and stories that we might read about in the news, and he succeeded admirably. Despite being a relatively recent tale, Earth One has had a significant impact and is undoubtedly a work of comic book art that must be read and collected if you want a solid Batman collection.
Pick up both volumes and cross your fingers for the much-anticipated release of Volume Three.
10. Batman: The Final Chapter (2014)
Scott Snyder is the author. Greg Capullo is an artist.
Plot: The Joker, Batman’s archenemy, returns to Gotham after inexplicably vanishing in the “Death of the Family” narrative. What was his initial move? The Joker kidnaps the Justice League and orders them to assassinate Batman. Batman is able to control his friends, but he quickly learns that Joker has a larger scheme in mind. Something larger than anything he’s ever attempted before.
Joker’s goal is to Jokerize everyone, and it’s his most ambitious, large-scale, and terrifying scheme ever. To fight the Crown Prince of Crime, Batman will need the assistance of his whole family, as well as certain anti-Joker foes, in what promises to be their most spectacular, but also last battle yet.
Significance: The New 52 sparked many debates throughout its run, but I must admit that I am a huge fan of the whole series and believe it delivered some fantastic tales, with the Snyder-Capullo take on Batman being one of the finest the series has to give.
Scott Snyder proven to be a great storyteller, while Capullo’s art is unquestionably one of the finest Batman books ever published.
We examined “Death of the Family,” the Court of Owls series, and this narrative when contemplating what to select as an example of the contemporary stories you must have in your collection.
Despite the fact that this is Volume 7 of the Batman ongoing series, we chose it because it was a really great conclusion to the Snyder-Capullo epic that began with “Death of the Family” and without a doubt one of the finest Joker-centered stories in Batman comics ever.
This is a tale in which both Batman and the Joker gave it his all, and their final battle even made our list of the greatest fights in comic book history.
Our recommendation is to acquire the whole New 52 Batman, but if you just want to read one tale, “Endgame” is a must-read. Oh, and there’s also a Joker-themed companion book called The Joker: Endgame, so don’t forget to check it out.
The darkest batman comics are the best to collect. They include The Dark Knight Returns, The Killing Joke, and Hush.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is considered the best Batman comic?
The Dark Knight Returns.
What is the best Batman story ever?
The best Batman story ever is The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller.
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