#1 Edited by Discopirate (34 posts) - - Show Bio

As I mentioned in a previous thread, I'm fairly new to reading comic books having decided that the New 52 was the perfect jumping on point. However, as Batman's continuity has, for the most part, been left unchanged I wanted to go back and read some of the older trades to better understand things. So I cam up with a list of trades that I wanted to read. However, things got out of hand and the list I complied was rather long! Which of the following would people say are absolutely essential to get up to speed on the Batman continuity? I've already picked up Batman: Year One as well as Batman and the Monster Men and Batman the Mad Monk (for a taste of Batman's beginnings).

I've read enough to understand that The Man Who Laughs, The Long Halloween, Killing Joke, A Death in the Family and Hush are pretty essential reads. But which of these other trades should I go for?

1. BATMAN: YEAR ONE – Batman #404 – 407

2. BATMAN AND THE MONSTER MEN – Batman and the Monster Men #1-6

3. BATMAN AND THE MAD MONK – Batman and the Mad Monk #1-6

4. BATMAN: PREY – Legends of the Dark Knight #11-15 + #137-141

5. BATMAN: THE MAN WHO LAUGHS – Original Graphic Novel + Detective Comics #784-786

6. BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN – Batman: The Long Halloween #1-13

7. BATMAN: HAUNTED KNIGHT – Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1-3 + Batman: Madness + Batman: Ghosts

8. BATMAN: DARK VICTORY – Batman: Dark Victory #0-13

9. BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE – Original Graphic Novel

10. BATMAN: A DEATH IN THE FAMILY – Batman #425-429

11. BATMAN: KNIGHTFALL VOLUME 1: NEW EDITION – Batman: Vengeance of Bane Special #1 + Batman #491-500 + Detective Comics #659-660 + Showcase ’93 #7-8 + Batman: Shadow of the Bat #17-18

12. BATMAN: KNIGHTFALL VOLUME 2: KNIGHTQUEST – Detective Comics #667-675 + Batman #501-508 + Batman: Shadow of the Bat #19-28 + Catwoman #6-7 + Robin #7

13. BATMAN: KNIGHTFALL VOLUME 3: KNIGHTSEND - Batman #509-514 + Batman: Shadow of the Bat #29-34 + Detective Comics #676-681 + Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #62-63 + Robin #8-13 + Catwoman #12-13

14. BATMAN: CATACLYSM – Batman #553-554 + Detective Comics #719-721 + Batman: Shadow of the Bat #48-49 + Catwoman Vol. 2 #56 + Robin Vol. 4 #53 + The Batman Chronicles #12 + Blackgate: Isle of Men + Huntress/Spoiler: Blunt Trauma

15. BATMAN NO MAN’S LAND VOLUME 1: NEW EDITION – Batman: Shadow of the Bat #83-86 + Batman #563-566 + Detective Comics #730-733 + Azrael: Agent of the Bat #51-55 + Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #116-118 + Batman Chronicles #16

16. BATMAN NO MAN’S LAND VOLUME 2: NEW EDITION – Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #119-121 + Batman: Shadow of the Bat #87-88 + Batman #567-568 + Detective Comics #734-735 + Young Justice in No Man’s Land #1 + Robin #67 + Azrael: Agent of the Bat #56 + Batman Chronicles #17 + Nightwing #35-37 + Catwoman #72-74

17. BATMAN NO MAN’S LAND VOLUME 3: NEW EDITION – Batman: Shadow of the Bat #89-92 + Batman #569-571 + Detective Comics #736-738 + Robin #68-72 + Azrael: Agent of the Bat #58 + Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #122-124 + Batman: No Man’s Land Secret Files #1

18. BATMAN NO MAN’S LAND VOLUME 4: NEW EDITION – Batman Chronicles #18 + Batman #572-574 + Detective Comics #739-741 + Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #125-126 + Robin #73 + Batman: Shadow of the Bat #93-94 + Azrael: Agent of the Bat #59-61 + Catwoman #75-77 + Nightwing #38-39 + Batman: No Man’s Land #0

19. BATMAN NO MAN’S LAND VOLUME 5 – Batman #573-574 + Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #126 + Batman: Shadow of the Bat #91 + Detective Comics #740-741

20. BATMAN: HUSH – Batman # 608-619 + Wizard #0

21. BATMAN VS. THE BLACK GLOVE DELUXE EDITION – Batman #655-658 + #663-669 + #672-675

22. BATMAN: R.I.P. – Batman #676-683

23. BATMAN: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE CAPED CRUSADER? – Batman #686 + Detective Comics #853

24. BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL – Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1-3 + Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead? + Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive?

25. BATMAN: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE – Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1-6

26. BATMAN: BRUCE WAYNE THE ROAD HOME – Bruce Wayne: The Road Home: Batman and Robin #1 , Red Robin #1 , Batgirl #1 , Outsiders #1 , Catwoman #1 , Commissioner Gordon #1 , Oracle #1 , Ra’s Al Ghul #1

27. BATMAN: THE BLACK MIRROR – Detective Comics #871-881

Thanks!

#2 Edited by DylanOfEarth2 (100 posts) - - Show Bio

Hush is great for new readers who know basic knowledge about batman.

Long Halloween is just essential.

The court of owls and night of owls trades are really great but idk about essential, if you want to give them a shot.

#3 Posted by d_bones (1398 posts) - - Show Bio

year one, killing joke, long Halloween, hush

#4 Edited by silent_bomber (1586 posts) - - Show Bio

One of my favourites was called "Blind Justice"

This was (I believe) set quite early on, Batman makes some serious errors of judgement here, 1st with not keeping a tight rein on Wayne Enterprises, then with his not covering up his past training years well enough, and lastly something I'm not going to spoil for you in case you decide to read it, each of these mistakes has dire consequences.

The book has no big villains or set-pieces, but I felt that it had some good character moments, and it does actually delve a little into certain elements of Batman's backstory that I don't think have been covered elsewhere (Though I don't know if this book is considered non-canon or whatever).

#5 Posted by longbowhunter (6978 posts) - - Show Bio

I see you've got some LOTDK in there. Try Shaman and Gothic. I wouldn't call them essential, but they're still great stories.

#6 Edited by Jake Fury (18315 posts) - - Show Bio

anything with Morrison as writer.

  • Batman & Son
  • The Black Glove
  • R.I.P.
  • Batman & Robin
  • Return of Bruce Wayne
  • Time & The Batman
#7 Posted by BigL (242 posts) - - Show Bio

Long Halloween

Dark Victory

The Killing Joke

A Death in the Family

Hush

Black Mirror

#8 Edited by GeekBait (779 posts) - - Show Bio

Year One, Long Halloween, and Dark Victory.

#9 Posted by Discopirate (34 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks for all the input so far!

@silent_bomber Is it me or is the batman Batman: Blind Justice TP really expensive? Around £50 ($77) on Amazon.

#10 Posted by Jayc1324 (10993 posts) - - Show Bio

Half of these aren't essential. They're great, but not essential

#11 Edited by silent_bomber (1586 posts) - - Show Bio

@discopirate said:

Thanks for all the input so far!

@silent_bomber Is it me or is the batman Batman: Blind Justice TP really expensive? Around £50 ($77) on Amazon.

Yeah, I have bad luck with these trades, all of the ones I remember liking are expensive, Strange Apparitions is one of my other favourites (didn't mention earlier as its 70s and doesn't really fit in with contemporary Batman), and that's a pain to get in good condition as well :(

#12 Edited by DarkKnight1939 (148 posts) - - Show Bio

@silent_bomber said:

@discopirate said:

Thanks for all the input so far!

@silent_bomber Is it me or is the batman Batman: Blind Justice TP really expensive? Around £50 ($77) on Amazon.

Yeah, I have bad luck with these trades, all of the ones I remember liking are expensive, Strange Apparitions is one of my other favourites (didn't mention earlier as its 70s and doesn't really fit in with contemporary Batman), and that's a pain to get in good condition as well :(

I can't help you with those ones but try Book Depository; they have a lot of TPBs for free shipping and a good price.

I would recommend:

- Grant Morrison's Batman run and his other work Arkham Asylum Serious House on a Serious Earth and Bamtan: Gothic. -

Scott Snyder's Batman run

- Jeph Loeb's Batman work, most notably: Batman: Long Halloween, Batman: Dark Victory and Batman: Haunted Night as well as Batman: Hush.

- Frank Miller's Batman work, most notably: Batman: Year One and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.

- Also Etherworld tales can be fun to read such as Gotham by Gaslight and Red Rain.

- Batman: Killing Joke, Batman: The Cult, Batman: Year 100, Batman: Venom, Batman: The Death in th Family and Whatever Happened to the Cape Crusader?

I would begin with the classics though: Batman: Killing Joke, Batman: Year One, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Arkham Asylum A Serious House on a Serious Earth, Batman: The Cult and Batman: The Long Halloween.

#13 Edited by Discopirate (34 posts) - - Show Bio