So for me a story that really goes above and beyond is a story that tries to tackle a tough question that people have. In the case of Batman there are a lot of questions that are difficult to answer. Why does Batman put children in danger by having sidekicks? Why doesn't Batman kill? Why doesn't Batman use guns? Why does he dress like a Bat? Why does he fight crime? etc.
And there are other questions that get asked for superheroes in general. What motivates you to use your powers to fight crime? Why not use your powers to solve other world issues? Whats stopping you from taking over?
So then I got to thinking what Batman stories actually tried to tackle these questions. I have two amazing stories that I could think of!
Justice - It was a mini series that was absolutely mind blowing. It tackles the question on why superheroes don't use their powers to help different world issues. It starts off showing super villains feeding the hungry, providing shelter, etc. Things superheroes could do but they don't.
Batman: Under the Red Hood - Omg the question that resonates with me the most was from Jason Todd. "If you loved me, why is he (the Joker) still alive" That is a tough one and I remember reading how the Batman totally wanted to kill him and was going to when Superman stopped him. But that is a big question why keep him, or any other crazed villain alive.
Batman: Year One - Amazing origin story that captures why Batman does what he does, why he works outside of the law and not within it
So that got me to think what other stories try to tackle (and do a good job) at answering these tough questions?