Draft for Comic Vine Top 100 Batman Universe List (with nomination reasons)
Just a draft...
Just a draft...
Batman #1-7: Decades from now, Scott Snyder will be remembered as one of the great Batman writers. I was going to include “Black Mirror” but it is already taken so I went ahead and included the equally fantastic “Court of Owls” which was arguably one of the strongest stories to come out of the New 52s. “Court of Owls” sees Bruce Wayne as Batman struggle against an unknown entity whose relationship with Gotham may predate even Batman. Everything about this arc is fantastic from the writing to the paneling and the revelations and the covers! I can not wait for “Night of Owls”.
Batman #426-429: This story arc completely turned the world of comics on its head. As we all know, though not entirely popular at the time, given the void left behind by Dick Grayson, the fate of Jason Todd would be left to the readers in a poll conducted like any other, resulting in the death of the second Robin at the hands of Batman's arch-nemesis. Though only 4 issues long, the fallout caused by A Death in the Family continued to haunt the Batman as his greatest-ever failure.
Adventure Comics #462: The Golden Age Batman puts on the cape and cowl one final time, to oppose a villain threatening all of Gotham City. Possessing power enough to overwhelm the entirety of the Justice Society, the odds are against the Batman. Undeterred, the Dark Knight sacrifices his life to save his city, his friends, and his comrades. It's a story that puts a period on the adventures of the Golden Age Batman. One whose ramifications will be felt a universe away, by the Silver Age Batman. In subsequent crossovers with the Justice Society, especially the Golden Age Robin & the Huntress, the death of his parallel counterpart will raise complicated and conflicting emotions in the Batman that remains. Ultimately, the Golden Age Batman's death will even reach as far as DC's Infinite Crisis, as one of the foundation stones motivating the Golden Age Superman's return to the greater DC Universe.
The prisoners of Arkham Asylum have taken over Gotham's mental illness detention center on April Fool's day and demand Batman for the exchange of the prisoners.
#36-40: This is absolutely a must read for both fans of Bane and Jean-Paul Valley. Illustrated by Roger Robinson, the struggle between Bane's desire for revenge and Azrael's sheer willpower is a highly entertaining and violent adventure from the first page all the way to the last one.
Batgirl #1-7: Stephanie Brown is a refreshing contrast to the normal pathos that drives the defenders of Gotham City. Yeah, she has her baggage but for the most part she is so enthusiastic about becoming Batgirl (after already assuming the mantle of Spoiler and a Robin) that it is hard not get caught up in her great spirit, snarky backtalk, and wonderful inner monologues. Stephanie Brown routinely makes me laugh out loud as Batgirl. Her relationship with Damian is also brilliant. This arc also does well to focus on Barbara Gordon coming to terms with her role as Oracle and her feelings for Dick Grayson. This arc is a wonderful mix of superhero fun and emotionally complex characters working through their issues.
#1-9: Once again, a story that introduced me to a character, immediately making me aware of what that character stood for as well as what the writer was trying to get across. A light-hearted and fun story of a young girl destined for something more. This is a beautiful story and the art is wonderful as well.
Batman #250: A rather fun-take on the Batman, where children exchange their rather imaginative accounts of Batman, one more wacky than the last. The idea presented in this comic book from the 1970s has branched out to various forms of media, and remains an important issue in the Batman universe, exploring how the youths of Gotham see him - a topic that is not considered often enough.
Batman #251: In what may be THE quintessential Joker story, writer Denny O'Neil and artist Neal Adams take the Joker back to his roots in murderous fashion. After having being depicted as a harmless buffoon due to the Comics Code Authority and self censorship for many years previous, O'Neil and Adams reinvigorated the character, showing him as a murderous and very real threat to the Batman. Re-establishing the relationship between the two protagonists and reaffirming the character as a very real threat, this version of the Joker inspires every appearance of the character to this day.
Batman #253: This is a simple "Batman busts counterfeit ring" story. Or it would be, if not for the inclusion of The Shadow. It's no secret that the creators of Batman were influenced by the Shadow's pulp adventures in crafting Batman's stories. In the 1970's, DC had the publishing rights to the Shadow. It just made sense for the influence to meet the influenced. The Shadow mysteriously keeps to the background for most of the issue, as one would expect, but at the very end, the two icons share a little face time. The Shadow clearly passes on the torch to Batman, taking pride in the accomplishments of the hero he helped to inspire. The two would meet again a few months later, but that story sucked ass.
Batman #300: David V. Reed takes the Golden Age Batman & Robin on a career capping adventure, one that finds the original dynamic duo pitted against the syndicate to end all syndicates, Spectrum. It's an adventure that carries our heroes from the Gotham City of the future, all the way across the country, with a detour into outer space. Along the way we get tantalizing hints to the eventual fates of classic rogues like Joker and Two-Face, as well as the particularly intriguing disappearance of the Riddler, his final puzzle unsolved. The finale finds Bruce Wayne contemplating giving up the mantle of the Batman. He's done all one man can do, and lived to see Gotham City change in ways he never could have dreamed. A political future looms before him, and the possibility of marriage to the woman he loves. Reed leaves the ending ambiguous, with Wayne on the brink of a decision about his future, while reflecting on his past.
Batman #400: Ra's Al Ghul releases every single one of Batman's adversaries from both Arkham Asylum & Blackgate prison. Then the fun begins. This isn't the first time Batman has had to run through a gauntlet of his many colorful foes, but this one, hand's down, featured the best art. Cover by Bill Sienkiewicz. Splash page by John Byrne. Individual chapters illustrated by the likes of Art Adams, Brian Bolland, George Perez, and more. This should be the template for every anniversary issue. Big story. Top artistic talent. Something special. This certainly was.
BATMAN #416: Decades of unspoken history between Batman and Dick spill out as Nightwing finally confronts Batman about why he ditched him. An emotional tale that leads to the recent change over as Dick finally took up the mantle of the bat.
Batman #663: A quintessential Joker tale on par with the Killing Joke IMO,this story is unique in that it is written as a prose,it shows Jokers new murderous transformation,further explores the concept of super sanity and ends his relationship with Harley Quinn.
Batman #666: Set 15 years in the future, Bruce Wayne is dead, Dick Grayson is gone, and Alfred is a cat leaving Damian Wayne to assume the mantle of Batman all by himself. This futuristic romp is bleak and violent as we see one possibility of the Batman that Damian would become only a few issues after meeting him for the first time. He is at odds with the current commissioner Barbara Gordon who hates him because she believes he killed a good friend. Armageddon is about to fall upon Gotham at the hands of the last remaining member of “Three Ghosts of Batman” who claims Satan himself as his father. Damian is not his father and admittedly he is not as good as Dick Grayson either, but Damian is self-aware and so he staves off Armageddon from coming to Gotham in the bloody violent manner you would expect from a child raised and trained both by the League of Assassins and The Batman.
Since Batman was invented, one question remained in people's heads; Who would win? Batman or Dracula? Well, after so many years it was answered in Batman: Red Rain, an Elseworlds published in 1991. This comic was written by comic legend Doug Moench and was drawn by Kelley Jones. This comic was great since every page was full of great twists, amazing artwork, and a brilliant story. Batman: Gotham By Gaslight may have invented the Elseworlds, but Red Rain was the first to perfect it.
#1-16 (Morison's run): Let me start by saying that Grant Morrison is certifiably insane and that’s a very good thing! As a side effect of his Batman RIP saga, Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne became the new Batman & Robin. They have to struggle a bit, but eventually they make a fantastic dynamic duo. Morrison’s run on Batman & Robin sees the emergence of a terrifyingly grotesque villain Professor Pyg, the return of Jason Todd as the Red Hood as he creates a dynamic duo of his own, a wonderfully horrific tie-in to Blackest Knight, Talia at her crazy best, a terribly violent homage to the classic Jason Todd crowbar death scene, and the groundwork is laid for understanding the mystery of Batman’s death. The artwork changes quite a bit, but there is definitely something for everyone! The last page of Morrison’s run on Batman & Robin sets up one of the biggest events to hit Batman ever in the announcing of Batman Incorporated! Love him or hate him, Grant Morrison’s run on Batman & Robin is definitely one of the best story arcs in Bat-history!
Batman & Robin #20-22: There is something about Dick and Damian as Batman & Robin that really works for me. This story comes from one of their final adventures together before Bruce takes up the cowl once more. This story introduces “The White Knight”, a complicated villain who attempts to clean up Gotham by making it a heaven on Earth. The imagery of the story and the villain’s rationale help make one of the most memorable stories from the recent “Batman & Robin” title.
Batman & Robin #26: I scarcely know where to begin with this one. Its a tale that shaped the possible future for Nightrunner in the DC Universe. It gave him a Joker who avoids being a cheap imitation by being self aware of his identity as a cheap imitation. David Hine took some of the core ideas of Batman, and rewrote them into a whole new world. In France. Arkham Asylum is, in my opinion, outdone by Le Jardin Noir. Certainly a breakout at Arkham is very very very bad, and certainly the place itself is essentially a well of psychosis; but the breakout of simply four inmates from Le Jardin Noir causes the entire scope of reality in Paris to be so far fractured, that within two days, the entire city was declared a Disaster Area. It was chock full of Dada symbolism, and created oodles of as-of-yet-untapped potential for the so called 'Batman of France.'
#1-7: I'll confess, the first issue left me unimpressed. Damian was a brat and we dove yet again into Batman's feelings about the tragic loss of his parents at a young age. But then something special happened, the book introduced a villain that would give this story so much more depth. Not only was the villain himself worth checking out, but the impact he would have on both Damian and Batman is worth experiencing. I can't wait to see where this goes after the events of issue 7.
Batman #655-658: This arc is of note mostly because of the introduction of Damian Wayne into the Batman canon. Grant Morrison takes the seed of a plot point introduced years ago in “Son of a Demon” and creates Damian Wayne, one of the finest modern additions to the Bat family. The story itself also features a Man-Bat army and Talia at her crazy finest!
Based of the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series, this 64-page special is responsible for intruducing Harley Quinn, who went on the become one of Batman's most popular opponents. If nothing else, it should be included for that. Aside from that you get some great insight into Joker's manipulation techniques and his desperation in having the Batman all to himself.
#1-6: Another story from early in Bruce's career. It shows us his first encounter with Hugo Strange.
Batman Annual #11: Alan Moore takes an unflinching look into the mind of one of Batman's more obscure foes, Clayface III. Preston Payne started out as a pretty pathetic character, but his pathos reaches new heights of greatness with this story. On the surface, this is a love story, one between a psychotic murderer and a mannequin. It follows all the usual beats of a relationship gone bad. Payne experiences the blush of new love, and the inevitable passion that follows. His monumental insecurities, though, lead to jealousy, murder, truth, pain, loss, and ultimately, the kind of complacency one is resigned to, when clinging to a loveless union. Batman shows up for the tragic finale, but even though his appearance is relegated to a few pages, the Dark Knight has his own character arc to follow. One that sees him play the familiar role of protector, then cast as the rival in the eyes of his deranged foe, and finally, the savior. It's a classic Alan Moore story, and a nice deep look at a Batman rogue that, sadly, rarely gets the attention he deserves.
Batman Chronicles #1: Although most of this issue is pretty ordinary, there is a backup tale of Commissioner Gordon trying to make it home on the subway before it is hijacked by gun wielding thugs. The inclusion of the Huntress in Gordons' quest to reclaim the train brings up memories in Jim of what happened to Barbara, when the Joker paralysed her. A simple, beautifully written and illustrated tale that gets to the heart and the humanity of Gothams' real protector, James Worthington Gordon.
#1-6 ("Rules of Engagement"): If you are in to a tech savvy Batman then this is for you,great series opener which showcases a war for corporate supremacy in arms manufacture between Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor.Expect badass battles.
What Grant Morrison's whole batman run led up to. Your enjoyment of this really depends on how you feel about Grant. The whole run is a lot of fun, and as always there are some bizarre nods to the more wacky side of Batman's history... like bringing back Lord Death Man from the 60's Batman manga. It should be on the list purely for it's grand scale, and for being the final chapter (for now) of Grant's crazy run.
One of the stories that shows Batman's Batman's will and foresight after he is pushed to his mental and physical limits. Also introduces us to Dr. Hurt.
Batman Special #1: Mike W. Barr re-imagines the Batman origin through a dark looking glass, twisting it and reforging it into the foundation stone for the Wrath. This time, a young boy's criminal parents are gunned down by police, launching the boy on a quest to become a vengeance fueled avatar, targeting the forces of law enforcement, across the globe. When the Wrath comes for Commissioner Gordon, the inevitable conflict between Batman and his opposite number ensues. An intriguing scenario, well executed and illustrated by the amazing Michael Golden. A real forgotten gem from the 80's.
This collection shows the evolution of Ra's Al Ghul and examines his relationship with the dark knight.
Takes place during the early days of Batman's crime fighting career. It's a good mystery story that shows Batman's detective skills and his relationships with Harvey Dent and Gordon.
Another great Golden Age Batman & Robin story, this time set in World War II, as the two icons crossover with Marvel's Captain America & Bucky. Byrne is, clearly, having fun with this story. It's big adventure from the first page to the last. It's got giant Nazi death machines. A cameo appearance by Sgt. Rock & Easy Company. A "team-up" between the Joker and the Red Skull. Sidekick swapping. And an ending that pays homage to one of the most iconic moments in Marvel history. Good luck getting through this one without a smile on your face.
#1-2: A great company crossover featuring Matt Wagner's indie comic great, Grendel, in an intellectual chess match with the Batman. Grendel makes for an awesome adversary for Batman. Throw in some strong dialogue, stylish artwork, and well defined characters, and you've got one of the finest Batman "team-up" books ever crafted.
The introduction of Tim Drake is one of the most important occasions in the life of Batman. The book ranks amongst the top 100 however not for that reason, I placed it in my top 5 because of the way it questioned and revised the reasoning behind why Bruce really needs a Robin. Some had argued that Bruce needed a beacon of hope, or that Bruce simply wanted to train the next superhero too take over him, but no, Wolfman story concludes by reflecting that Robin is essentially to Batman because it keeps him cautious, keeps him alive.
#1-4: I think it is a must read Bane story,it shows a different,more vulnerable side of him,explores his relationship with Ra's & Talia and he gets to do some badass stuff both physically and intellectually.
This collection provides a look at Batman and Talia's relationship, Ra's attempts at fathering a heir, and an in depth look into the motivations of the man known the world over as the Demon Head
#1-4: Some of the greatest comic makers got the chance to produce one, short B & W Batman-story. The range of stories is as colorful as you`d probably expect from an anthology. There are grim, psychological, action filled, and scary stories in these books. Some of them, naturally, aren`t as masterful as the others, but even those ones are better in various levels, than what you can find from TEC or Batman every month. They`re different, and not as restricted by continuity as you`d expect. The talent in these stories comprised of Chris Claremont, Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Joe kubert, Dave Gibbons, Gene Colan, Marie Severin, Walter Simonson, Daniel Torres, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Dwayne McDuffie and dozens of others. This anthology-series isn`t an epic. It`s a tale of Batmans ordinary life, and tells about him, and his influence. In this one, he is truly Batman.
Cataclysm is an event that shook the foundations of the Stat Quo, and it culminated in what is the event known as the "Breaking of the Bat", in which Bane ends up breaking Batman's back, forcing the latter to somewhat retire and Jean-Paul Valley, to become the new Batman.
#1-13: Loeb and Sale follow up the gigantic success to “The Long Halloween” with this sequel that follows the early days of Batman. There is a cop-killer known as The Hangman that is going after Gotham’s finest and Batman must race to figure who this villain is. Typical of Loeb and Sale collaborations, many of Batman’s most famous rogues make an appearance and are all possible suspects. The big reveal at the end will certainly leave you reeling! Sale really outdoes himself on the artwork creating several stunning splash pages! Dick Grayson’s origin story is also told in the final issues of this story establishing him as Robin. Loeb and Sale do a fantastic job integrating him into the world of Batman that they have created. Once again, Loeb and Sale create a masterpiece!
#1-9: A dying Ra's al Ghul has no choice but to beg Batman, his greatest nemesis, for help against a woman who once shared his life, centuries ago. In exchange, he offers the Dark Knight a chance of a lifetime - the ability to speak with his dead parents. But what Batman's parents have to say to him will profoundly affect both the man and the hero
Ego is really a physiological trip for the Dark Knight. It showcases an arguement between Bruce Wayne and Batman regarding who he really is, what his purpose is, what methods he should be using to put an end to crime and his true motivation for doing so.
#1-5: This story is a perfect jumping on point for Snyder's run on Batman and is perfect for giving little tidbits about Gotham's history that even as fans we were not aware of. Plus, it was a wonderful prelude to what Bruce now faces with the Court of Owls in the current Batman books. Highly recommended to be an all time top 100 I say!
#1-3: Yeah, I know it is not as dark as many of the other choices on the list and I really wanted to have the Kingdom Come choice instead but I could not resist this gem. It is not a solid Batman story but this is a list of the best stories in the Batman Universe and I love the refreshing comedy that is brought out in the dynamic of Harley and Ivy. They are great characters together. Somehow when Cat Woman is brought in the mix it is not as good but this is a wonderful three issue series and I believe it is a great selection for this Batman Universe list.
This is an Elseworlds title that gives a whole new spin on the Batman origin story, albeit an original one with Bruce receiving Abin Sur's Green Lantern ring instead of Hal Jordan. I believe it is an excellent addition to the top 100 as a "what if" to all those who would wonder what kind of superhero Batman would be had he become a Green Lantern.
Batman is a brilliant character, dark, but honourable, the best Gotham has too combat the darkness that beseeches it. However, in many ways, it's his Rogue's Gallery that is the most compelling part of his mythos. Joker's Asylum is great because it provides 5 short little looks into the lives and minds of Batman's most prominant adversaries. In particular I value it highly for it's expansion of Ivy, and how it matures her origins and purpose within live to something more deadly, on par with the likes of Two Face, Joker and the Penguin.
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #2: Out of the three Halloween stories they did together, this one struck a chord with me. It features The Mad Hatter which although not necessarily one of the strongest rogues, I have always enjoyed the strange connection he has to Alice in Wonderland. Also, it features a young Barbara Gordon who has just moved in with her Uncle Jim Gordon and the two don't quite get along. Babs runs away and unfortunately is abducted by Mad Hatter and forced to play along in the madness as she fills the role of Alice. There are some nice moments that feature a young Babs at odds with Jim and even a brief appearance from James Gordon Jr. which all have a slightly ominous tone given what will happen to all of them in the future. This all features a wonderful flashback that focuses on Bruce's relationship with his mother and a children's story she used to read to him. The last panel of the story is heart-breaking! Of course, the artwork by Tim Sale is breathtaking as usual! This one shot has some really nice character development and features some usual characters in a slightly different light.
One of the most effective Elseworlds ever written, this tale features a hard-boiled detective named Dick Grayson on the beat trying to figure out who killed local Kit Kat Club proprietress, Selina Kyle. This story manages to play on long-standing Bat-conventions while creating something wholly new. The noir tone is perfectly captured and the artwork is stunningly appropriate. Many staple Bat-character make an appearance in one way or another in this story that makes me extremely glad that the Elseworlds imprint existed for a time.
Nothing if not beautifully drawn. Batman: Noël is a cleverly constructed story that adapts the work of Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' to the world of Batman. One very appealing aspect of several Batman publications is the personal inner-demons that Batman has to overcome in order to feel worthy of the role of Gotham's protector - a concept explored here with the help of a whole cast of familiar supporting characters from the Batman mythos
The story shows us Batman's relationship with Ra's al Ghul and Talia.
#1-4: In this four-part series, we are first introduced to Jean-Paul Valley. This would be the begining of a rocky path which would lead to the Breaking of the Bat and Jean-Paul becoming the newest Dark Knight.
I'm just going to say it, this book is too often compared to The Killing Joke. It's a shame too, because this book not only has great art and story, but great characters. It wonderfully portrays both Bruce's drive and Joker's twisted psychology, challenging how insane he truly is.
Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne is hit or miss mini-series. Some people hate it, others love it, but it is unarguably one of the most important stories of the last half decade as it sees the final return of Bruce Wayne from his perceived "death" at the hands of Darkseid, one of the most powerful villains in the DC Universe. Whether people liked the fact the twist of Batman walking through time, suffering from Amnesia or not, it definitely brings something different to the table.
A simple story that serves to re-enforce the core concept of the Batman character, the big draw here is the incredible art by Alex Ross, finally presented in a format that truly showcases the man's work. Batman has never looked more real, his world more authentic. It's a shame that we can't get a book like this every year.
#1-4: This is not the Batman you're used to. This is not the Robin you're used to. It's not supposed to be. It's a new Batman for a new world. With art that is adored by some and hated by others, this story shows a man reminding Gotham about her once most famous citizen.
Perfectly explanatory why this should be among the top one hundred, for it was a reboot of the Dark Knight mythos following the Crisis on Infinite Earths. New beginnings lead to new interpretations, and its from this issue where we get almost everything we take for granted with the Batman of today.
#1-4: Once upon a time, before both Marvel and DC just made cash grabs by selling mediocre stories in fine dressing, the "Prestige" format was reserved for only the best stories, art, and creators. Teaming up Starlin & Wrightson on Batman was exactly the kind of project that called out for the "Prestige" format. Starlin gave us a new adversary for the Batman, and Wrightson... what can I say? Just amazing. Wrightson's passions may lie in the horror genre, but, in my opinion, his is one of the 10 best versions of the Batman. Seeing him doing the artistic honors on a four part "Prestige" format mini-series was a helluva treat.
In the wake of Batman’s death, Gotham City desperately needs someone new to assume the mantle of Batman. While this three issue event penned and illustrated by Tony S. Daniel features a myriad of guest stars, this story is ultimately about the Robins: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Damian Wayne. Arguably, Bruce Wayne/Batman has had the most profound effect on the young wards he took on and raised to fight crime under the mantle of Robin. Battle for the Cowl is basically the Robins duking it out and dealing with their grief and coming to terms with the responsibility they have to continue Batman’s legacy. Arguably, this story leads up to a conclusion everyone saw coming from miles away, but it isn’t really about that. This is a story about the lives the Batman touched and how Gotham City is reeling from the death of Batman as those he left behind battle for the right to wear the cowl!
Batwing #1-8: A lesser known Bat family member steps into the spotlight and delivers what I believe to be one of the must read new 52 titles. Batwing's origin story is worth a read and Ben Oliver's art is downright stunning. It's no secret I'm a fanboy for the new villain Massacre, and this is what you'll need to read if you want to know more about him as well.
Batman #620-624: The central focus of this story revolves around the murder of a woman. Batman being the great detective he is, embarks on a trail in which he embraces several twists and turns until finally being able to identity the culprit behind the murder. The story is unpredictable and keeps you guessing all the way through, which is exactly what any die-hard comic fan wants to have in a comic such as this. Azzarello's characterization for Batman is dead-on and flawlessly executed. This is classic Batman the detective solving strange and bizarre murder cases we all know him to be. The art is by Eduardo Risso whose style here is very neo-noir. It's not my favorite art I've ever seen, but I think it's absolutely perfect for this comic. It sets the tone of the comic and reflects the dark, gritty feel Gotham City is known for. I would recommend this comic to all comic fans who like a good murder story. You can pick this up and jump right into it without having to have read anything else prior to it. This is something that should be in any Batman fans collection.
Continuing on from 'Murderer?', and not being complete without it, this is another great Batman epic in the same vein as 'No Man's Land', 'War Games' and 'Knighfall' etc... and while It suffers from being fairly long-winded in places and never reaching the highs of some of the other long story-arcs (or it's prequel, in my opinion), it still deserves to stand alongside them in this list. It's also interesting to see some of the interactions between between Batman and other characters during this desperate time for him.
This story really shook things up for the Batman comics, had Bruce broken his one golden rule of no killing? It is a great, action-packed story which flows at a great pace and is just the right length. It's really interesting to see a Bruce/Batman who is not in control, doesn't have a plan and who's trusted relationships are crumbling. Like a lot of the best best Batman tales, it revolves around a mystery, it captivates and keeps you reading. While everything isn't wrapped up here, It also sets the scene for the 'Fugitive' story-line, where the mystery continues.
Selina sets out to give something back to the neighborhood, but a new wave of crime brings her even closer to her roots than she ever imagined. This is a tale of Triumph and tragedy.
#1-4: Sets the stage for Brubaker’s run on “Catwoman” which I believe to be the finest run of Catwoman ever written. Anodyne’s immediate plot is a serial killer who is targeting prostitutes. However, “Anodyne” also deals with Selina coming to terms with Catwoman and returning to a life she had long thought abandoned.
I never understood Catwoman's character until I read this. It was very sleek, noirish, and completely fitting to the modern interpretation of Selena Kyle's character, providing a wonderful look into her mind as well as a kiss-ass heist story as well.
I must say I haven't read that many Catwoman books, but I really enjoyed Catwoman: when in rome. It has wonderful art and the story is very enjoyable. It finds Selina Kyle entangled in an adventure involving the Falcone crime Family, the Riddler, a blond, the Cheetah, Joker Venom and so much more! There are a lot of amusing moments in this series. Even being a Riddler Fan I love it when Selina kicks him off a boat into the harbor. Nice adventure.
I love both the Red Robin and Batgirl Rising series. I included this story-line to give a nod to both of them as it includes a mini-crossover. Above everything else - these stories are fun. They stand up as two of the best bat-family orientated runs, and so deserve a place up there. Everyone should read the whole Red Robin series and Brian Q Miller's Batgirl.
#7-8: It's the absolute greatest showcase of Creeper's own twisted brand of heroism as well as his impact on the criminal underworld and ever so volatile relationship with Batman. The ending is heartbreaking in its own way.
Crisis On Infinite Earths was an important storyline for all characters involved, but with the death of the Golden Age Robin and The Huntress, it left an indelible mark on the Bat-Family and lovers of these characters. It highlighted some beautiful character moments between Batgirl and Supergirl and showed the humanity of Batman, relegated to basic crowd control when faced with such a seemingly overwhelming cosmic foe. Crisis is very much a story that left its mark on every member of the Bat-Universe, past, present and future.
Batman #452-454: This story I believe to be important and deserving to be in the top 100 due to the fact that it was one of DC Comics' first attempts to explain connections between Barbatos, Bruce Wayne, Batman, and Gotham in general. I see it as an inspiration and prelude to the Batman RIP story arc.
#1-5: This 5 issue run is a dream come true for Deadshot fans. Awesome feats showcasing his accuracy, plenty of battles, and a better look at Floyd's personal and family life.
Detective Comics #235: Let's be honest, when people think silver age they think very silly comic books that never really stood out as good unless they had some ridiculous gimmick. Well, this story was made in the silver age, and sounds like it has a silly gimmick but it is still great. The story is that Batman finds an old tape, his father's diary and Batman costume and discovers (after watching the tape) that it was worn by Bruce's father Thomas Wayne during a costume party. After finding out that crime boss Lew Moxon kidnapped Batman's father at the costume party, which ultimately amounted to Lew ordering a hit on Thomas Wayne by hiring a certain Joe Chill, Batman decides to open the Wayne murder case once again to bring Lew Moxon to justice. I don't want to ruin the ending, but it is certainly dark compared to most other silver age comics.The comic builds on Batman's origins greatly (and rightfully so, since it was written by Batman co-creator Bill Finger) and is full of great art.
Detective Comics #27: How can the best stories not include the very first one?
Detective comics #475: A classic story which helped to cement Joker's title as Batman's #1 Rogue. It was also adapted for Batman: the Animated Series
Detective Comics #500 ("To Kill a Legend"): This one's really interesting. Batman having the opportunity to stop his parents' murder is very intriguing and plays out pretty emotionally and realistically. Also, it further goes to show just how destined Bruce was to become Batman, no matter what. This is what he was meant to do and what Gotham needs him to do.
Detective Comics #572: Batman has been refered to as "The World's Greatest Detective", but he is not the only one who has possessed that title. In celebrating 50 years of Detective Comics, one of my favorite crossover events occured to allow Sherlock Holmes and Batman to meet. It is one of my favorite batman stories. It is a pure mystery adventure which draws from Detective Comic's original roots. There is no magic in this comic (unless you count Elongated Man's powers) only a story which is wonderful even 26 years later. It has some great twists and turns and a magnificent group of creators. Very epic comic!
#654-656 ("God of Battle", "Anvil of War", "Besieged"): This story arc struck a cord with me. The villain in a young child (General) with the mind of a genius who is an expert in military strategy, logistics and tactics. He simply and methodically joins all the gangs of Gotham by treating them as individual nations. The story arc goes into his mind and how and my he makes each chess move. He starts off simply by joining the weakest gang in Gotham killing their leader and taking control. He maintains control by his strategies in successful raids and his complete willingness to kill. Batman is matched in brains by a child but in physical force Batman has the advantage. The arc is also historical as it is the story leading up to Batman's Knightfall. Although not a part of the Knightfall story Arc, Batman is already weakened and tired by fighting all the gangs in Gotham only to have Bane send out wave after wave of adversaries at him. The General it the "tip of the sword" in the Battle that broke Batman's back.
Detective Comics #784-786: This is a story I'd wanted to see written ever since DC distilled the multiverse down to just one shared world. The Green Lantern of the 1940's operated in Gotham City. Batman operates in present day Gotham City. Wouldn't it be cool if the two heroes could meet on a case, one that juxtaposes the Gotham City of old against it's modern day counterpart? How would Green Lantern feel about the changes Gotham had gone through in his absence? How would Gotham feel about the hero who once watched over her, but abandoned in later years. Thankfully, Brubaker wondered about these things too, & wrote a fine story that explored those themes, along with a few I hadn't considered. The only question I have now is... what took so long?
Detective comics #854-857: This story introduces us the Batwoman character in a way we haven't seen her and Rucka definitely succeeds to make her one of the main Bat-related characters in the DC Universe.Before this story,Batwoman was a character that has something to do with the Bat-family but nobody was interested in her and after this she became Batwoman and an actual big character.
Detective Comics Annual #2: Setting out on his crimefighting career was not a clear path for Bruce as he figured out a lot of lessons on the way. In this story it shows him before when he became Batman trying to learn some things about detective work from a master. Instead of getting some clear cut patterns, he learns that being on the right side of the law is not a matter of black and white (or black vs. white) but instead often involves shades of grey.
The world is broken, and nobody seems to know what's wrong. It isn't even until halfway through this Nine Issue story that The Joker is revealed as the cause. But we get to see the world shaped in the Clown Prince of Crime's image, and it's as interesting as it is terrifying. In the end, it's also one of the Joker's easiest defeats. He is beaten simply by the idea of Batman that he can't erase from his head.
If you ask a comics fan who Harvey Dent is, chances are that they'll say Two Face. That's not the case in this story. Harvey Dent has not only been repaired both physically and mentally, but was also Gotham's protector when Batman and Robin are away. When Batman returns to Gotham and doesn't show Harvey the thanks that he thinks he deserves, he may just go over the edge. With a thrilling mystery, emotional trails for Bruce, Harvey, and Tim, and some very important changes to the Batman mythos, this story is a must read to all Batman fans.
I think final crisis should be on the list since its the "Death" of Batman. Without Final Crisis you wouldn't have stories like Battle for the Cowl, The Black Mirror, Pretty much the entire Red Robin series, Morrisons Batman and Robin run.. I could really make a list of how many stories this one effects the DCU let alone just the Batman family/universe. I know its a love/hate story like the other crisis' but I believe it deserves consideration in light of all the great stories that spun from it.
#1-3: Out of the world of Flashpoint comes an amazing addition to the world of Batman in this alternate reality re-telling of Batman. While there were dozens of Flashpoint tie-ins, this was the best selling one and after you’ve read it, you can understand why. The basic premise that Brian Azzarello sets up is what if Bruce Wayne was the one killed and Crime Alley, leaving his parents to survive? Thomas Wayne ends up assuming the mantle of Batman and other famous rogues also appear making it seem as though in any reality, Batman must exist. Seeing Thomas Wayne in action as Batman is incredibly thrilling. Watching Thomas and Martha deal with the grief over the death of their beloved son is heartbreaking. Seeing the emergence of Joker is shocking and reading the final pages literally brought tears to my eyes! This is absolutely one of the best and most interesting Batman stories ever told!
It is the very first 'Elseworlds' story DC did, and it remains one of the best. Mike Mignola's dark artwork sets the perfect tone for any Batman story, and let's face it, how cool is it to see Batman fighting Jack the Ripper? Not to mention the completely different reaction from the Victorian times to this 'Bat-Man.
GOTHAM CENTRAL #19-22: This is a great story involving the unsung heroes of gotham, the GCPD. In a thrilling, chilling, and suspenseful tale of the Joker versus the GCPD, the Joker begins randomly executing citizens of Gotham with a rifle live. Its up to Gotham's finest to stop him. It's a very dark edge-of-your-seat read.
GOTHAM CENTRAL #6 – 10: The first introduction of Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen into the series and also the first arc of Greg Ruckas'. This was before Montoya became the Question and Allen became the Spectre and we see Greg Rucka leave his mark on both characters. The characterisation throughout this series on all characters is brilliant, but Half A Life shows off the crackling dialogue to its best and highlights Montoya in the reveal of her lesbianism, which had been kept a secret up until this point. This arc showed a new maturity to the bat universe and expanded the bat universe into deep and dark corners more befitting a HBO show than a comic book.
Detective Comics #846-850: Technically this can be treated as an arc within an arc since it goes hand in hand with events going on in Batman: RIP but I singled it out as being one of Bruce's most trying events. Not just because it deals with his conflict with Thomas Elliot, but because in the end Bruce's true revelations toward Selina Kyle come out at the end with her near death, which I believe was a perfect reaffirmation to what we learned in the Batman: Hush story arc.
Batman: Streets of Gotham #14-21: Dustin Nguyen is undoubtedly one of the greatest Batman artists of all time, and he teamed up with Paul Dini again to follow up to Heart of Hush. But House of Hush is unique for a Hush story, because it isn't about Batman. Each issue was great alone, but slowly worried me on how a complex Hush plan could be squeezed out of the remaining issues; and in the final pages I realized that Hush had been the main character the whole time. It was Hush who was inadvertently put through an accidental gauntlet of older and more obscure Batman villains; while digging deep into the history of the Waynes and the Elliots, and many other darkened corners of Gotham City.
Another mystery story that focuses on Batman's detective side. Features a lot of Batman related characters and it has stunning art by Jim Lee.
Batman Beyond #1-6: The first animated series I ever saw was Batman Beyond and the first graphic novel I ever read was Hush. I love both stories, so the combination of both concepts is very fun. Although it does have its faults (for ex: art work), it is a nice way to start an introduction to the Beyond Universe.
#6-7: After realizing what he has created with the Brother Eye satellite, Bruce leads a group of the less strong heroes to tear it apart from the inside.
#1-4: If you ever venture into the battle forums of CV, you'll often see the phrase 'Batman wins with prep' or a variation of it bandered around a fair bit, and arguably with good reason. This is the book that really solidified Batman's place as a Prep Master. Some people often wonder how Batman, a mere human can hang with the Gods of the DC universe, and it is solely due to his intelligence and ability to prepare for anything. This is acknowledged in arguably one of the most epic moments of baddass-ry as Batman springs the trap on 3 White Martians, destroying them with Gasoline after they'd just been wiping the floor with the Justice League. If you ever need a book to prove Batman is a baddass. This is it.
JLA #43-46: While Tower of Babel isn't necessarily a Batman story, it is most definitely a story in which the reader can see why a human of flesh and blood such as Batman, can stand with his head held high among Gods. This is not without its problems, because the reader comprehends in this book that Batman can only do what he does in a manner which the other members of the JLA, don't consider ethical.
This Original Graphic Novel By Brian Azzarello took a darker look at one of the greatest villains in comics.
The basic concept is this: The Joker, thinking he is going to die, wreaks havoc across the DC Universe. I just love the idea of a Jokererized DC universe. Its just so fun!
Justice League #5: Alright, this is not much of a Batman story arc but it is one of the greatest Batman moments. I may be the biggest Guy Gardner fan but I recognize that many don't like him. Guy was brash, obnoxious and opinionated. He rubbed people the wrong way including his Justice League teammates and even readers. So, when Guy challenges Batman to a fight mono y mono over leadership he takes off his ring and Batman clocks him so hard that he knocks him out with one punch. He then goes off with the rest of the league on their next mission leaving Guy unconscious on the floor. Blue Beetle: Ted Kord laughs so hard he literally lifts up his goggles to wipe the tears form his eyes. Again, it may not be the greatest story arc but it is definitely one of the greatest comic moments
Kingdom Come shows a Batman who has never given up, even in old age and will go to great lengths to protect the city of Gotham. Bruce Wayne (Batman) will not let anything stop him. I doubt even the grave could hold him back. The first story arc stays true to who he is and is an excellent story.
#1-6: I must say I enjoy the idea of a british Batman and robin. This mini-series had a lot of british humor in it (some of which went over my head) and yet was enjoyable. I liked this series. Paul Cornell and Jimmy Broxton gave playful insight into a duo we haven't seen a lot.
A fantastically brutal arc that featured the breaking of the bat
Following the events of Knightfall and Knightquest, Bruce Wayne considers retiring the Batman persona - but changes his mind once he sees the chaos caused by the stand-in Batman, Jean-Paul Valley. This story arc is particularly important as Bruce traverses down the path to once again earn the cape and cowl, but controversially under the guidance of Lady Shiva. The scenes where Batman finally regains the mind of the Bat, and when Jean-Paul Valley releases the mantle of the Bat are two very powerful scenes that have stayed in the minds of many Bat-fans, including this one.
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