Good Batman comics?


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I'm a huge Batman fan but I've only ever seen him in the DCAU (and in those Youtube videos by the awesome Itsjustsomerandomguy) and I really want to read some of the comics. My local library does have a few which I've read (The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One)...but it's not a big selection by any means and I would love some suggestions as to where I should begin.

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You're going to hear a lot of the same ones from people. Generally, Batman: Year One is the best starting point (and arguably the greatest Batman story ever). From there is stuff like Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Killing Joke and Arkham Asylum.

And welcome to the forums!

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The long halloween is a great read. It's meant to take place in the year one universe.

The killing joke is a must read, but don't pay more that $10 for it if you can, unless you get the figure set. It's really short.

Arkham Asylum is a great read as well(Hi Dan!) By Grant Morrison.

Batman and son is really good as well.

Batman: Hush parts one and two are ok, but the ending is a little bit of a letdown, but the art is awesome.

Batman VS Two-Face is a mixed bag, it is partly good, with the classic two face stories being awesome, but the later ones aging quite badly.

Under the hood volumes one and two are great, though to get the best out of them, you really need to read a death in the family, or just look it up on Wiki.

The new Joker graphic novel is really dark, but really good if you want to read that.

That's what i have that i can recommend.

Oh wait!

Tales of the demon has the first Ras Al Ghul stories that were altered and used in Ras first DCAU appearance.

That's all the Batman in my collection i'd recommend.

P.S Welcome to the forums!

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there's a lot of good stuff, if you are just intrested in trades i'll name some good collected editions

obviously you have already read DKR and Year One, but if you are into seeing a really radical take on Batman and his mythos i suggest giving Frank Miller's other work like The Dark Knight Strikes Again and All*Star Batman & Robin, The Boy Wonder a try. They might be a little shocking at first but i think they both showcase a unique take on the characters, and further examines Batman, his relationships with others, and his place in the world of superhero comic books with a more satirical edge. David Lapham's City Of Crime kind of fits in this category as well.

I am a huge fan of Grant Morrison's take on Batman as well, and highly suggest giving his stories a shot

Arkham Asylum: A Serious House On Serious Earth - an extreme exploration of Batman and his relationship with the villians he opposes and the place that houses them.

Gothic - Batman battles a seemingly immortal killer while confronting a demon from his own past. Yea that probably sounds like every batman story you've ever read but Morrison makes it intresting.

His current run on the character is also another very intresting take in which every batman story ever written actually happened but in the span of about 10 years or so and how that man confronts his past when it starts to come back to get him in different ways. So far it has been collected in Batman And Son, The Black Glove, and R.I.P.. Also if you are just intrested in a straight up superhero team book Morrison had a lengthy run on JLA in which Batman was featured prominetly.

Matt Wagner did some great early years Batman stuff with his Dark Moon Rising stuff which is collected in 2 trades, Batman And The Monster Men, and Batman And The Mad Monk. He also did a Two-Face story called Faces.

Going Sane is one of my favorite Joker stories ever. It's a intresting look at what the Joker would do if he lost Batman. Blind Justice is a tale of what happens when someone fucks with bruce wayne's identity. Batman: Year 100 is Batman 100 years in the future in kind of Blade Runner inspired setting as written and drawn by Paul Pope. The Man Who Laughs is another great early years tale of Batman's first meeting with the Joker. Strange Apparations is considered by many to be the definitve Batman story and the birth of the modern Batman. You can never go wrong with the Chronicles stuff either, the Bill Finger era is excellent. Batman: Black and White is a great anthology series of one in dones by famous creators.

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Am I the only one who likes Death in the Family and a Lonely Place of Dying? Knightfall too?

I'm with you on Death in the Family. Good story and anything with Jim Aparo art is gold.

I'm not a big fan of Death in the Family (Jason Todd is massively annoying) or Lonely place of dying (Tim Drake is massively annoying). I will however sing the praises of Knightfall. The first Batman comics I read were Sword of Azreal and the Knightfall series, its why I'm a comics fan today.

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My Top 5 Essential Bat-books/Bat-stories to get started with:

Batman: Year One

Frank Miller's retelling and official origin story of Batman. It's grittiness and simplicity (just a guy in a mask fighting crime) is the perfect set up to Bruce Wayne's transformation.

Batman: Long Halloween & Dark Victory

I'm pairing these two together as they are the same storyline. It's arguably a Year Two setting and covers some major charecters and what an early Batman looked and felt like. Plus...it's Tim Sale...come on.

Batman: Death in the Family

I hated the art (sorry) but the story is maybe one of the biggest in Batman history. So suck it up and get it over with.

Batman: Knightfall vol. 1-3

Epic story line, major role in Batman's history, good story, and with all this Battle for the Cowl stuff you'll get a more comfortable feel for today's Bat-family (the two robins in particular).

Batman: HUSH vol. 1 & 2

I hope I don't take any heat for this; I loved HUSH. Some people might argue whether the ending was worth the hype and when it's all said and done the story doesn't play a major role in Bats history (introduces a new villain though)...I just think it's a great modern Batman story. It's a good mystery (which is what Batman is supposed to be), has GREAT art, and will give you a good feel for today's Batman and what all he's capable of.

Of course when you break it down to just five there is a lot missing (The Killing Joke, Under the Hood, War Games/Crimes, No Man's Land, and on and on and on) but I feel like if you went out today and bought all 5 I have listed you would have a pretty good feel for the modern Batman's comic book history.

Another good site for some chronological Batman trade references; batmantrades.com.

enjoy!

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Its not that the art in that story is bad, its just very of its time. We are so spoiled with modern comic art that appreciating how good Aparo was is tough for some people, including myself when I first picked it up. Going back over it its actually remarkably consistant, with interesting composition and great panel to panel storytelling. It lacks the sophistication of modern colouring but its very solid work, and quite influential.

I still don't ilke the story itself though.

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*gulp*

Look...it's not that I don't appreciate Aparo and the impact his art had both in DC and comic books in general I'm just not the biggest fan of Bronze Age-isk comic book art. I agree that modern comic book art can sometimes devalue the impact of some of comic book's greatest moments in history (such as Aparo's work in Death in the Family and Knightfall, both of which I grew up on), and I've been reading comics since I was 8 years-old, that art style just isnt my favorite.

I like the paneling, Jason Todd's death scene is one of my most memorable comic book moments, and I always get a kick out of Batman slugging Sups but I can't stand Joker's elongated face/chin, I NEVER have like the gray and blue batman, and I hated even more the desert backdrops (what's with Batman-family members never dying in Gotham).

So...sorry to disappoint but I can't help it.

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but I can't stand Joker's elongated face/chin

So you don't like Neal Adams either? And you're a Batman fan?

I know that the Joker's facial features have always included a long chin, but even as a kid I thought the Joker in that story was a little much. You can cut glass with that chin.

To be fair, I was born in 1984, so I wasn't reading comics during Neal Adams start/prime...but yes...I've collected a good amount of his stuff and really enjoy it. I think his most recent variant covers for All-Star Batman and Robin were very cool.

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  • 4 months later...

This post may be kind of late, but if you are just about to start out with Batman, then where we are right now is actually a good place. Basically Batman is currently a man named Dick Grayson and Robin is a boy named Damian Wayne. A guy named Tim Drake is the Red Robin and is looking for the old Batman. Good place to hop in. You don't really have to read Battle For The Cowl or Batman R.I.P.

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I actually did manage to read RIP because my library bought it, but it confused the crap out of me.

Would reading Infinite Crisis/Final Crisis make me more or less confused by what's going on in the current Batman universe?

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I actually did manage to read RIP because my library bought it, but it confused the crap out of me.

Would reading Infinite Crisis/Final Crisis make me more or less confused by what's going on in the current Batman universe?

Well, not really. Final Crisis just shows you why everyone thinks he is dead if Bruce is or not other than that.... I'd say it's pretty much safe to ignore RIP and FC if your only into the Batman stuff.

-Skyler

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