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Comic Book Question of the Week Results: Favorite Batman Story

There are dozens of "must read" Batman story arcs, but which one does the Comic Vine community appreciate the most?

If someone were to walk up to you and ask, "I want to get into Batman. What should I read?" it's likely at least a handful of stories would immediately pop into your head. Sure, you can recommend a great starting point, but it's always tempting to promote what we really adore, isn't it? And this week, we wanted to see which Batman story you love the most! After 2 days of voting, one story took a moderate lead over some truly excellent works of art: Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee's "Hush."

This 12-issue storyline is a superb introductory read for anyone looking to dive into Batman's world. Jeph Loeb's greater mystery doesn't exactly have a mind-blowing conclusion, but the road there is hugely entertaining, incorporating plenty of Batman's villains -- and allies -- in the journey. And to top it off, it's all gorgeously illustrated by the very talented Jim Lee. It may not be the best Bruce Wayne mystery around, but it's definitely easy to understand why so many people love it and continue to recommend and reread it. In case you need more convincing, "Hush" was also one of our selections in the ongoing "Why You Should Read" segment! You can check that out here.

Viner Post of the Week for "Hush" is by BalooMamalu

"Hush was a great Batman story. A detective story first, which puts it above many of the other famous creator runs or novels or even movies. The art was consistently superior. It had a classic Superman guest appearance which illustrated their difference but also friendship. Villains galore are showcased Joker, Riddler, Ra's, Talia, Poison Ivy, Croc, Clayface, Shiva, Harley and even an engaging new villain. Tons of excellent allies; Gordon, Nightwing, Robin, Catwoman, Alfred, Oracle and even Harvey Dent are shown at their best. The characters were well introduced without excess exposition. The story had many deep emotional plot points from the entire mythos, like how Batman deals with or doesn't deal with Joker. It even ends with heavy trust issues Batman himself has. The story works very well as a stand alone, entertaining for longtime readers, but also serves as an excellent introductory point for new fans."

450 people voted, so 0% doesn't necessarily mean the story received 0 votes!

Viners, did you vote for "Hush" and if so, why? For everyone else, which story earned your support? Elaborate below and maybe it'll convince others to give the arc a read!

Have a suggestion for the "Comic Book Question of the Week?" Share it below with us! Also, be sure to check the homepage next Tuesday for an all-new poll!

109 Comments
Posted by AllStarSuperman

shocker there

Posted by frogdog

I am disappointed by the communities taste of batman stories.

Posted by Akindoodle

I love Hush. I think it was the first Batman story I read cover to cover (or panel to panel since I read it digitally)

Edited by Wolverine08

Everyone has their opinion, but I honestly don't think Hush deserved the top spot. It was one of Batman's most fun stories, but several other Batman stories egregiously outclass it in depth and heart. Cool competition though! Batman is nearing his 75th anniversary, and may the Bat dominate for years to come!

Online
Posted by PunyParker

Court of Owls....seriously,Snyder is already a legend.

Posted by andy_117

Really? Hush? Hush. Of all things. I mean don't get me wrong, Hush is neat and all, it has some great ideas and the character of Hush is certainly entertaining, but... best? Alongside the genuine literary classics that grace Batman's library? Batman has often surpassed the notion of "comic book" and taken a stance as being just genius in motion, graphic storytelling of the highest caliber... Hush, conversely, is "just a comic book". To put it bluntly and very, very distastefully.

Edited by nobodyisemo

My favorite is Batman and Robin: Batman vs. Robin

Posted by Wardishy

Can't remember if I voted for Year One or The Black Mirror, but those two are probably my top two of all time. I still haven't gotten around to reading Hush yet but it does look like a fun read. Not necessarily as deep as other Bat books though...

Posted by Saren

Moderator
Posted by Grey56

I say again; without The Dark Knight Returns - none of these would've been possible. The publishing milieu wouldn't have allowed such creative license with any such iconic property. Assuming it was even creatively inferior to anything on this list - it is still the father of all modern Batmen whom we read.

Considering though that most voting and commenting here weren't even born when this nearly 30 year old property was published; it's a small wonder that they vote for things more nascent to them. I suppose street graffiti appears masterful when the Sistine Chapel is a noise someone makes while sneezing.

Posted by DarthShap

Hush? That's just sad.
Hush is not bad but it's just not very interesting either. Basically, it has no original scene. Every scene comes from some better, more original comic book. In the end, it's just a well made "best of Batman" drawn by Jim Lee.

Posted by ectoborge

This is why Hush should be on Beware the Batman. He is totally a villain that never got his time to shine.

Edited by MrPrivateStock

Are you serious? I honestly read it and had to push myself through the entire thing... At least the killing joke came in second lol

Posted by TheManInTheShoe

I would've voted for Hush, if I could find the alternative in the list :3

Posted by Saren
Moderator
Edited by DarthShap

@grey56 said:

I say again; without The Dark Knight Returns - none of these would've been possible. The publishing milieu wouldn't have allowed such creative license with any such iconic property. Assuming it was even creatively inferior to anything on this list - it is still the father of all modern Batmen whom we read.

Considering though that most voting and commenting here weren't even born when this nearly 30 year old property was published; it's a small wonder that they vote for things more nascent to them. I suppose street graffiti appears masterful when the Sistine Chapel is a noise someone makes while sneezing.

No. Dennis O'Neil reinvented Batman in the 70's. Miller wrote two great stories and went further with the dark approach to the character but O'Neil was the one who originated it, some fifteen years before TDKR.

If you're looking for the real comics which fathered the modern Batman, read Joker's five way revenge, There is no hope in crime alley, Half an Evil or the first Ra's al Ghul saga, all of which were written by O'Neil years before he hired Miller to write TDKR (he also edited TDKR).

Posted by gregroyj42

Hush is great in my opinion, killing joke is ok at best. However No man's land explored the other characters in ways no other batman i have ever read does. Gordon is a key part of the story huntress, robin, bane being helpfull, the penguin being a real threat, , and two-face actually being a threat too.

Posted by spinningbirdcake

Okay I'll say it. TDKR is overrated. And I blame Frank Miller for everyone going for the dark and brooding comic style after it.

That being said I do think Year One is my favorite so...considering that it's after TDKR and by the same writer...I'm an idiot.

Posted by Dm225

These results dissapoint me...

Edited by Mezmero

No matter what you vote for Batman wins.

Edited by Grey56

@darthshap:

Denny took an ailing property reeling from bad marketing a la campy television shows, stagnant sales and branding not consistent with Kane's vision. He assisted in the transition for the torch pass to Neal Adams whom would then bring the character back to its thematic roots.

Also, Giordano hired Miller to write the story in the wake of other similar character success from film. To argue that TDKR isn't the progenitor from which all modern Batman stories are is superfluous at best and ignores known motifs and critical reviews at worst.

The stories you've listed are all consistent with sister colors to the mythos but were not the singular event from which all others would flow 3 decades thereafter. Again, upon a re-reading of my original post you may see that the initial declaration isn't inhibited by any other tar laid down by other prolific creators - they simply were not the unifying event by which all other stories on this list were made possible by.

Edited by LCazT1996

Hush? That's just sad.

Hush is not bad but it's just not very interesting either. Basically, it has no original scene. Every scene comes from some better, more original comic book. In the end, it's just a well made "best of Batman" drawn by Jim Lee.

How so? There are a lot of continuity elements from the story but it does have a lot of original ideas. Hush himself was, while maybe not that original from a storytelling angle, was a very great and interesting and complicated villain.

It was also a good one-off story. While it does pull off of past ideas, you don't have to know all kinds of information about that past to know what's going on. Really the only thing you have to know is that Jason Todd died at the hands of the Joker. That's about it. So if you don't want to go back and find/read volumes upon volumes of stories to understand what's going on, this is perfect.

Its a really great story. With great art. I've read it somewhere between 15-20 times and every time I can't put it down. Its never gotten old.

All-in-all, I'm just not understanding how being a, as you put it, "Best of Batman" story is so bad. It draws from all corners of Batman's mythology, which is a good thing. I enjoy Batman's supporting cast for a reason...and that's because they're great characters that can support themselves but work so much better when put beside Batman.

Posted by AbdAzh
@mezmero said:

No matter what you vote for Batman wins.

Cheers. =D

Posted by Lvenger

Hmmm even with Lee's art, Loeb's storytelling wasn't amazing in this instance. It's just a good comic at best, not the best Batman story by far.

Edited by HushoftheWind

Dammit

I guess people we're judging this by artwork not story, b/c top would definitely be Court of Owls and Black Mirror.

Posted by The_Vein

I don't think Hush is the best, but I still like it quite a bit--if for nothing else than it settles that Superman would beat Batman in a fight, even Bruce admits that Clark could kill him in the blink of an eye if he wanted.

Posted by RustyRoy

@frogdog said:

I am disappointed by the communities taste of batman stories.

Agreed man, this was really disappointing, also Court Of Owls shouldn't be even on the Top Ten.

Edited by CheeseSticks

Hush? LOL, what a joke.

Edited by k4tzm4n

Keep in mind this was asking people what their favorite Batman story is -- not what they believe the absolute best one is.

Staff
Posted by Sampsman

I think for a lot of readers, it depends on when was your 'golden age/era' of reading comics. I did a lot of reading in the 80s so its really no surprise my favorite are Batman: Year One and also Batman: The Dark Knight Return. Killing Joke also deserves strong consideration.

But although Court of Owls is very recent, I understand why it made the top 5. I think Batman: Zero Year is also turning into an instant classic.

It baffles me to see Hush at the top of the list. C'est la vie.

Posted by UltimateSMfan

@k4tzm4n said:

Keep in mind this was asking people what their favorite Batman story is -- not what they believe the absolute best one is.

lol, was just about to comment/reply to people assuring them of this. You beat me to it though, damn you Gregg! ;)

Posted by k4tzm4n

@k4tzm4n said:

Keep in mind this was asking people what their favorite Batman story is -- not what they believe the absolute best one is.

lol, was just about to comment/reply to people assuring them of this. You beat me to it though, damn you Gregg! ;)

:D

Staff
Posted by AbdAzh

I might agree that it's not the best Batman story so far. But, someone mentioned earlier that people have their own opinions -- and taste. All those years I've come to know Batman was through the Batman: The Animated Series - having so little access and knowledge about other Batman stories in other medias, especially comics. And it stuck to me since I was a kid. Was that a great, well, Batman story? To me, generally speaking, Yes. But, to some? Maybe not quite.

I first read "Hush" around 2004. I did have access to quite a lot of stories, comics, and information about Batman related stuffs, but it was all so limited. Hush, in a way, reintroduced me to the Batman world. Was it a best-selling Batman story of it's time? Yes. Was it a good Batman story? It could be and could still be. Was it a great, and/or greatest Batman story? That's open to debate.

Like LCazT1996 said,

It was also a good one-off story. While it does pull off of past ideas, you don't have to know all kinds of information about that past to know what's going on. Really the only thing you have to know is that Jason Todd died at the hands of the Joker. That's about it. So if you don't want to go back and find/read volumes upon volumes of stories to understand what's going on, this is perfect.

LCazT1996

I knew about Jason Todd's death before reading Hush. Been knowing about it for quite some time. I jumped from one issue to the other not in a regular way when I read Batman around my 3rd to 4th grade. But, I got the idea. But, I didn't read the story of it thoroughly. When reading Hush, I could retrace back the story without being frustrated because I couldn't read all-related stories about the theme. I felt like I was being reintroduced to the character I've always known quite well for years, and it felt refreshing.

Okay, I must admit, the ending wasn't that all impressive -- Who wouldn't think that Hush was Elliot? But, it was a fun story to read. And concerning Jim Lee's art. It made me feel enthusiastic again with drawing. The lines, the shadows, the details. Whenever I'm stuck with my paper or college or anything, whenever I doodle, I'll always be doodling Batman. And that's all because of Jim Lee.

One more thing I'd like to say is, most of "The Best Stories" are usually -- in my opinion, is based on the generation of the time. Us old fans would think that The New 52 is somewhat lacking here and there. Some like it. Some hate it. Some are fine with it even though it feels odd. But, for the "now" generations, The New 52 is "THE" story of the DC universe. That, it's the "default" story to them. It's the same, but it's different. And even in it's young stage, I think The New 52 has gotten quite a few lists of "The Best Stories" from today's generation.

Posted by reaperOnyx

I actually liked Hush and it was great in my opinion

Edited by Mulder15

Hush won?.

Posted by DarthShap

@darthshap said:

Hush? That's just sad.

Hush is not bad but it's just not very interesting either. Basically, it has no original scene. Every scene comes from some better, more original comic book. In the end, it's just a well made "best of Batman" drawn by Jim Lee.

How so? There are a lot of continuity elements from the story but it does have a lot of original ideas. Hush himself was, while maybe not that original from a storytelling angle, was a very great and interesting and complicated villain.

It was also a good one-off story. While it does pull off of past ideas, you don't have to know all kinds of information about that past to know what's going on. Really the only thing you have to know is that Jason Todd died at the hands of the Joker. That's about it. So if you don't want to go back and find/read volumes upon volumes of stories to understand what's going on, this is perfect.

Its a really great story. With great art. I've read it somewhere between 15-20 times and every time I can't put it down. Its never gotten old.

All-in-all, I'm just not understanding how being a, as you put it, "Best of Batman" story is so bad. It draws from all corners of Batman's mythology, which is a good thing. I enjoy Batman's supporting cast for a reason...and that's because they're great characters that can support themselves but work so much better when put beside Batman.

Which ideas are original?
Hush himself is just another anti-Batman, like Mike Barr's Wrath or Bane.
Hush being new reader friendly really does not make it great. Being new reader friendly and being good are two completely different things.
Drawing elements from other stories is OK, but you really need to do something different with those. Here, Loeb is just stealing entire scenes from other books. Catwoman seeing Batman's scars, Batman being stopped from killing the Joker, the sword fight scene in the desert with Ra's, Batman fighting Superman, Harvey Dent being cured, etc...
It's not a bad selection of Batman's greatest hits and it's definitely well done but if you've already read The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne, Death in the Family, the original Ra's al Ghul saga, etc... there really is not anything new to see here.

Posted by Saren
Moderator
Posted by superior_prime_maybe

I dont know why people are crapping over the hush. It was a people pleaser. Both Batman fans and non batman fans. If someone doesnt know batman at all, he can definitely start from here.
We all have our personal favorite, but this is definitely a title that works for everyone.
Hush deserves the respect its getting. And so does the other titles on the list. And some that didnt get mentioned.

Posted by Wilbertus

Only 2% for Arkham Asylum? Well, I am proud to be one of 9 who did vote for it. I love Arkham Asylum because it connects with the reader on an emotional level, yet still contains so much deeper mythology. The art is not just meant to portray what is going on, but actually makes you feel a certain way. It's a perfect example of how comics can be considered art.

I can live with Hush winning this one though. It was a close runner up for me personally for all the reasons listed by BalooMamalu. In fact, it would be my first pick for people asking where to start on Batman.

Posted by patrat18

@frogdog said:

I am disappointed by the communities taste of batman stories.

I agree.

Posted by Mucklefluga

TDKR isn't the best! It was just game-changing.

Posted by tomchu

I felt like Killing Joke shouldve topped the list, then again, Killing Joke is more of a Joker story.

Still, I voted for the Killing Joke so....

Posted by DarthShap

@grey56 said:

@darthshap:

Denny took an ailing property reeling from bad marketing a la campy television shows, stagnant sales and branding not consistent with Kane's vision. He assisted in the transition for the torch pass to Neal Adams whom would then bring the character back to its thematic roots.

Also, Giordano hired Miller to write the story in the wake of other similar character success from film. To argue that TDKR isn't the progenitor from which all modern Batman stories are is superfluous at best and ignores known motifs and critical reviews at worst.

The stories you've listed are all consistent with sister colors to the mythos but were not the singular event from which all others would flow 3 decades thereafter. Again, upon a re-reading of my original post you may see that the initial declaration isn't inhibited by any other tar laid down by other prolific creators - they simply were not the unifying event by which all other stories on this list were made possible by.

1) You really should not talk about "Kane's vision" when you're talking about Batman. At best, Bob Kane did 30% of the work. Pretty much everything you know and love about the character came from the mind of Bill Finger.

2)The 1966 TV show did absolutely nothing to the tone of the comics. Batman comics were kind of silly ever since the 1940's, when Robin came along and Batman dropped his gun, when he stopped being a Shadow rip-off and became a super-hero.

3)Neal Adams was a penciller. I think the only Batman story he wrote was Odyssey, in the 2010's.

4)I argue that TDKR isn't the progenitor to all modern Batman comics because I have actually read a lot of comics from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's which means I can see where and when the big change happened and it wasn't TDKR. Dennis O'Neil was the game changer, not Miller. Guys like O'Neil, Englehart, Wolfman, Wein, Moench, Goodwin, Conway, Levitz etc... were writing pretty dark Batman stories wayyyy before Miller came along and they kept on writing these dark stories after he had done his two masterpieces.

5)If you do not think the arrival of Dennis O'Neil on the book was a big thing, I'm sorry but you just do not know much about comics history. That's what he did in the late 60's-early 70's. He was the guy who put an end to DC's Silver Age. His Wonder-Woman, Superman, Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow were absolutely revolutionary.

Posted by 2cool4fun

Dammit

I guess people we're judging this by artwork not story, b/c top would definitely be Court of Owls and Black Mirror.

No, court of owls is too high already.

Edited by BalooMamalu

Woo-hoo! They used my quote!

Posted by maxicere

I missed this poll. I love Hush!

Posted by johnkmccubbin91

I voted for Killing Joke, but my next favourite was Hush anyway so glad to see them in the top 2 even if I prefer them the other way around.

Posted by Trevel8182

@grey56 said:

@darthshap:

Denny took an ailing property reeling from bad marketing a la campy television shows, stagnant sales and branding not consistent with Kane's vision. He assisted in the transition for the torch pass to Neal Adams whom would then bring the character back to its thematic roots.

Also, Giordano hired Miller to write the story in the wake of other similar character success from film. To argue that TDKR isn't the progenitor from which all modern Batman stories are is superfluous at best and ignores known motifs and critical reviews at worst.

The stories you've listed are all consistent with sister colors to the mythos but were not the singular event from which all others would flow 3 decades thereafter. Again, upon a re-reading of my original post you may see that the initial declaration isn't inhibited by any other tar laid down by other prolific creators - they simply were not the unifying event by which all other stories on this list were made possible by.

1) You really should not talk about "Kane's vision" when you're talking about Batman. At best, Bob Kane did 30% of the work. Pretty much everything you know and love about the character came from the mind of Bill Finger.

2)The 1966 TV show did absolutely nothing to the tone of the comics. Batman comics were kind of silly ever since the 1940's, when Robin came along and Batman dropped his gun, when he stopped being a Shadow rip-off and became a super-hero.

3)Neal Adams was a penciller. I think the only Batman story he wrote was Odyssey, in the 2010's.

4)I argue that TDKR isn't the progenitor to all modern Batman comics because I have actually read a lot of comics from the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's which means I can see where and when the big change happened and it wasn't TDKR. Dennis O'Neil was the game changer, not Miller. Guys like O'Neil, Englehart, Wolfman, Wein, Moench, Goodwin, Conway, Levitz etc... were writing pretty dark Batman stories wayyyy before Miller came along and they kept on writing these dark stories after he had done his two masterpieces.

5)If you do not think the arrival of Dennis O'Neil on the book was a big thing, I'm sorry but you just do not know much about comics history. That's what he did in the late 60's-early 70's. He was the guy who put an end to DC's Silver Age. His Wonder-Woman, Superman, Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow were absolutely revolutionary.

Bob Kane is human garbage!

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